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Choosing the Best Cloud Security Camera and Access Control System for Your School

March 17, 2021

For many schools, video security and access control are two important pieces of their overall physical security solution. Separately, both types of solutions improve safety and accountability for students and staff—but the real magic happens when they work together. By unifying video security and access control, school administrators can improve safety with automated entry verification and real-time monitoring of building access.

In this post, we’ll explore how video security and access control work together to improve campus safety, and what to look for when choosing a solution.

For in-depth information on choosing a video security solution for your school, read: How to Choose the Right Video Surveillance System for Education.


Benefits of cloud video security and access control for schools

Heighten security and visibility

Video security and access control help create safer, more secure environments. Administrators and campus resource officers can’t be everywhere at once—security cameras reduce blind spots and provide visibility when officers aren’t present, and access control allows you to safeguard campus areas from unauthorized access.  

With these physical security solutions, you can automatically monitor buildings 24/7 and use AI analytics to proactively protect students and staff. You can also restrict access to private areas and create custom door schedules that make it easy and automatic to secure classrooms, hallways, auditoriums, and more.

Access events with coordinated video footage

In an ideal world, your video security and access control system should be a team with seamless communication occurring between both platforms. In order to receive the best performance and experience, it’s crucial to find a video security system that integrates with leading access control solutions.

When video security integrates with access control, your platform automatically ties access events to corresponding video footage. You can set up custom, real-time alerts that activate when specific access events occur. Alerts include video clips of the event and can be sent to any device. This allows you to quickly and easily understand the full context of what’s happening on campus, from one unified platform.  

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When an unauthorized access event occurs, get an immediate alert that includes footage of the event.

For example, if a door is opened after hours when it shouldn’t be, you can receive an alert (via email, text, or mobile app) that includes time stamps, badge information on who accessed the system, and a video clip of the event. This allows you to remotely view the incident on your mobile phone or laptop, immediately and comprehensively understand what’s happening, and respond quickly if there’s an emergency or event that requires investigation.

Remote access for improved flexibility and emergency response

Remote access is a fixture of modern access control and video security systems, and for good reason. Remote access gives you the flexibility to manage your entire platform from anywhere. This provides real-time visibility into events across your campus and allows you to respond to urgent incidents more quickly. It also gives you the flexibility to lock and unlock doors remotely on an ad-hoc basis.

Problems with Existing Systems 

If you want to protect your school with both access control and video security, there are certain challenges to look out for. These issues can make your security platform slower, less efficient, and in some cases, insecure.

Closed systems with an inability to integrate

Video security and access control work best when they work together. However, this is not the reality for many traditional video security systems. 

Many traditional (NVR/DVR) systems are not designed to work with access control systems. The two platforms are often completely siloed from one another, meaning administrators must switch between different platforms to manage each solution. This method requires cross-referencing information between platforms and is time-consuming compared to an integrated solution.

When you can set up an integration between a traditional security system and an access control platform, they are often limited in functionality. Setting up these kinds of “forced” integrations is time-consuming, highly technical, and often requires additional maintenance.

Limited features and security vulnerabilities

When evaluating an access control system, make sure you understand the features that are important for your campus and that your chosen platform provides them. Common features that are helpful for schools include badge creation, visitor management, touchless mobile access, and attendance tracking integrations. With event management, you can schedule doors to be open or closed on a schedule without compromising school security. These features make day-to-day school life more convenient and secure.

It’s also crucial that your chosen access control solution has no cybersecurity vulnerabilities. For example, some vendors use Wiegand access control readers that transmit unencrypted signals, which can easily be hacked and spoofed—meaning the system can be fooled by faked credentials.

What to look for in a unified video security and access control solution

Ability to integrate with third-party solutions

Third-party integrations enable you to handpick security solutions for your school without being forced into using only one company (with potentially subpar offerings) to protect your organization. You can choose and customize your security experience without any limitations.

In just a few clicks, you can integrate Rhombus’ video security solution with the best access control systems in the market and manage it all from one unified console without switching back-and-forth between systems.

Best-in-class products deliver best-in-class experiences, which is why Rhombus offers 20+ integrations with leading business solutions and an open API to provide organizations with the most flexibility when it comes to managing their physical security.

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Activate trusted access control integrations in the Rhombus Console in just a few seconds.

Robust access control experience

A good access control solution gives you the tools to manage and secure campus facilities without sacrificing convenience. Consider the features your school needs—for example, badge creation, touchless mobile access, plenty of configurable outputs, and more. Look for solutions that offer the features you need now, and also ones that you may implement in the future. This ensures that your access control solution is future-proof.

To ensure your school has a successful access control experience, Rhombus partners with leading access control solutions with a wide suite of features and proven technology that is trusted by thousands of organizations around the world.

End-to-end cybersecurity

There should be no gaps in cybersecurity for your video security and access control solution. Make sure all communication is fully encrypted and protected from man-in-the-middle attacks. Rhombus follows the strictest level of cloud cybersecurity protocol (SOC 2 Type 2), and only partners with access control solutions that ensure stringent levels of cybersecurity.

Conclusion

When access control and video security work together, each enhances the other. The right platforms can save you time and improve visibility and safety for schools.



To learn more about Rhombus’ video security platform and access control integrations, request a free trial or reach out sales@rhombussystems.com.

For more on choosing a school video security solution, read: How to Choose the Right Video Surveillance System for Education

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