Converge Your Resources: Linking Physical Security and Cyber Security Methods Can Maximize a District's Safety Efforts

Article excerpt

TECHNOLOGY PROVIDES a prime example of a paradox. It can solve, or at least alleviate, many K-12 security problems, yet it causes many as well. On the plus side, we no longer hear debates at school board meetings as to whether a gas-powered or electric-powered golf cart would better serve the night watchmen patrolling school campuses. Thanks to the advent of surveillance cameras, the night watchman has gone the way of the milkman. But on the downside, K-12 educators never used to worry about protecting students from pornography, except for the occasional dirty magazine a student might smuggle into school. And a sharp eye from the assistant principal was enough to make would-be mischief makers reconsider. Today, however, the internet has exposed students to all sorts of external dangers. Outsiders can find their way into the school from around the world, not just the neighborhood.

Technology brings new dangers, but fortunately, technology also can stop those dangers. How is this best accomplished? In a word, convergence.

Converging physical security methods with cyber-based tools can make a school district's safety measures more effective, makes better use of personnel and technology, and can save a district money. For example, instead of using analog surveillance cameras and storing the footage on videotape, using digital cameras and transporting the data via a district's intranet is more efficient and is done without anyone having to handle any media. …