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What Are the Top Security Trends in Higher Education Facilities?


Campus security concerns are at an all-time high – due to the rise in school shootings.

However – believe it or not – crime on campuses has been on a steady decrease over the last 15 years, down over 50 per cent, according to education statistics.  Much of this is owing to the rapid advancements in security technology.

With emerging threats and innovation, staying ahead in campus safety and security trends isn’t just advisable; it’s imperative to keep students and staff safe. In this post, we want to discuss how technological innovation is working to improve security on higher education campuses – as well as elementary schools, middle schools, and all other private and public schools.

Let’s examine some of the school security trends we’re seeing and how they are improving outcomes in safety and security across the board.

Emerging Tech Trends in Campus Security

High-Definition and AI-Enabled Security Cameras

The use of high-definition cameras combined with artificial intelligence (AI) has become a significant trend in campus security for monitored doors and high-traffic areas. These systems provide clearer images and intelligent threat detection, offering proactive security solutions.

Moreover, AI-enabled cameras are revolutionizing how campus security personnel respond to incidents. With capabilities like motion tracking and behavior analysis, these cameras provide security facilities in schools that can quickly alert security staff to potential risks before they escalate into serious incidents.

This advanced video surveillance technology enhances the ability to monitor large crowds during campus events and helps in identifying suspicious activities, contributing significantly to the overall safety of the campus community. 

Drone Surveillance

Drones are increasingly being used for campus surveillance, offering a bird’s-eye view and the ability to quickly cover large areas, making campus monitoring more efficient and far-reaching.

The versatility of drones extends beyond just wide-area surveillance. They can be deployed quickly in response to specific incidents, providing real-time information to ground security teams.

Drones equipped with thermal imaging can also be valuable in search and rescue operations at night or in challenging terrains. Their ability to provide different perspectives makes them an invaluable tool in comprehensive campus security strategies.

Biometric Authentication

From fingerprint to facial recognition systems, biometric authentication is becoming popular for access control in campuses, offering a higher level of security than traditional keycard systems.

Biometric systems are increasingly being integrated with other campus security measures for a more cohesive security strategy.

For instance, access to certain high-security areas can be restricted to individuals whose biometric data is pre-registered, thus ensuring that only authorized personnel can enter sensitive locations like research labs or data centers. This integration offers a seamless yet secure access experience across the campus.

Mobile Access Solutions

Using smartphones as access keys is a growing trend. In addition to controlling access, it’s convenient for students and staff and offers enhanced security features like remote locking for school buildings and tracking.

The use of mobile access solutions also ties in with the growing trend of smart campus initiatives, where convenience and security are blended to better protect students. With features like geo-fencing and time-based access permissions, mobile access systems can be programmed to allow entry into certain areas only during specific times, enhancing security facilities in schools.

This modern approach to school safety aligns with the tech-savvy nature of current campus populations.

Training in Cyber Hygiene

Educating staff and students about cyber hygiene practices is essential in safeguarding the campus and other security facilities in a school.

This training should also be an ongoing process, evolving with the changing landscape of cyber threats. Regular updates on new types of cyber attacks and the latest best practices in digital security can empower staff and students to be the first line of defense against cyber threats.

This proactive approach to educating the campus community plays a critical role in building a resilient and secure digital environment.

Emergency Response and Mass Notification Systems

Integrated Alert Systems

Campuses across the country are adopting integrated security alert systems that can quickly notify the entire campus community during emergencies through multiple channels, including mobile alerts, public address systems, and digital signage.

The effectiveness of these school security systems also lies in their ability to disseminate customized messages based on the type and severity of the emergency.

For example, in case of a weather emergency, specific instructions can be sent to those in affected areas, while a different set of instructions can be sent for a security lockdown. This customized approach ensures that messages are relevant and clear, avoiding confusion and aiding in efficient evacuation or shelter-in-place procedures.

Crisis Management Training

Regular training drills for handling various emergencies have become a norm to ensure preparedness and swift response – especially in the age of active shooter scenarios.

Further, the scope of crisis management training is expanding to include mental health first aid, recognizing that emergencies can have psychological impacts as well. Training now often incorporates how to provide initial support to individuals who may be experiencing emotional distress post-crisis, emphasizing the importance of holistic care in emergency response.

Analytics for Predictive Security

The use of data analytics is more than a growing school security trend – it’s an essential component in campus security systems. Analyzing past incidents and campus activities helps in predicting and preventing future threats.

Beyond just security, data analysis can help in optimizing campus services like lighting and energy use, predicting peak times for campus facilities, and even helping in traffic management during large events. This holistic use of data not only enhances security but also contributes to a more efficient and pleasant campus environment.

Responsible Data Management

With the increased use of data, campuses are also focusing on responsible data management practices to protect privacy.

In responsible data management, there is also an increasing emphasis on transparency with the campus community. This involves communicating how data is collected, used, and protected. Such transparency helps in building trust and reassures students, staff, and faculty that their personal information is handled with the utmost care and respect for their privacy.

The Role of Professional Security Management

Given the complexity and cost of these advanced security systems, professional installation, and routine maintenance are crucial for their effective operation.

Moreover, professional installation and maintenance of advanced security systems go beyond technical expertise; they provide peace of mind with campus safety. With the high costs associated with these systems, ensuring that they are installed correctly and maintained regularly helps to prevent costly malfunctions or downtime.

Professional security teams help campuses adapt to changing security needs, ensuring systems remain effective and compliant with current standards.

The Wrap: A Commitment to Safe, Progressive Learning Environments

Embracing these school security trends is not just about adopting new technologies; it’s about creating a safe, inclusive, and conducive environment for learning and growth. With the right professional guidance, campuses can implement these trends effectively, ensuring the safety of their community while adapting to the ever-changing landscape of higher education.

2 Krew Security & Surveillance specializes in commercial security installation and management – including campus security. Get in touch with our team today to discuss how you can incorporate these trends to keep students and faculty safe.




2 Krew Security and Surveillance

Providing Customize Security solutions in the Greater Pittsburgh region for over 15 years.


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Brian Kozlosky


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