Special Supplement: Securing the Campus
issues—both of the
campus community and
its information assets—
are more urgent than
SECURING THE CAMPUS—whether it be from the standpoint of protecting
information and ensuring data privacy, or guarding the physical safety of the
campus community—is more of a challenge today than in any other time in history.
The conundrum of fostering the open forum that is the mainstay of higher
ed life and learning, while also implementing and enforcing impenetrable barriers
(both IT and physical), is confounding not just college administrators, but the
world at large. How, for instance, do we encourage the growing adoption of
open source applications while, at the same time, we bemoan the rise of the
hacker and his ability to exploit the chinks inevitable in our burgeoning infrastructures?
How do we live through national catastrophes such as the April Virginia
Tech shootings, without succumbing to the knee-jerk reaction to install every
new bell and whistle coming onto the market in the aftermath—or worse, feeling
overwhelmed by the barrage of new devices and choices?
In these 24 pages, you’ll find
the information, products, and
resources to help you devise
actionable plans for strategically
sound protection of the campus,
its community, and its information
assets. The features herein deal
with two urgent security issues facing
campus administrators today:
1) the development of an integrated,
multi-pronged plan for effective physical protection of the campus community,
and 2) the need for a clearer understanding of the security issues (or nonissues)
inherent in the current move to an open source information environment.
Having said that, and in light of the Virginia Tech tragedy, we cannot help
but offer additional vital information to our readers:
Parents are now understandably concerned that US campuses have adequate
security measures in place. They worry that their children may not be protected,
or that students will not be notified effectively and immediately, when an
emergency or critical event takes place.
In light of this, in late April Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced legislation aimed
at strengthening security on campuses, and requiring that universities
develop emergency response procedures and implement campus
notification systems. His Campus Law Enforcement Emergency
Response Act of 2007 also states that these systems be tested at
least once a year.
Durbin has the right idea. This legislation would develop and
distribute policies for responding to law enforcement emergencies,
and would include notifying students and employees about
emergencies on campus. The protocol demands that campus
communities provide notification no later than 30 minutes after
the discovery of an emergency situation in which law enforcement
Sen. Durbin is backing up his proposed legislation with the
stipulation that $5 million be provided to the US Department of
Education for a competitive grant program designed to help colleges
and universities develop and improve their emergency
response procedures. Follow the bill’s progress.
Ralph C. Jensen, associate publisher/editor, Security Products
Katherine Grayson, editor-in-chief, Campus Technology