Genetec’s Clear ID simplifies access control for students

Ephrem Tesfai, Sales Engineering Manager, META, speaks with Security MEA and explains how Genetec’s ClearID can be an ideal solution for the educational institutes across the GCC to adapt to the emerging ‘new normal’.

We are all familiar with access management in an office/commercial environment, can you elaborate on how this can be tailored for an educational institution to address the current COVID-19 restrictions?

With over a million students back to schools in the UAE, many schools had to adjust their access flow to ensure the safety of their students and faculty. Additionally, as some governments regionally have begun to loosen their local regulations, it’s important to prepare for a deconfinement phase.

Schools need to establish an efficient and secure way to manage this increase in traffic within classes. The beginning of the deconfinement phase means that we’re a step closer to returning to a regular school environment. Therefore, it is important to have a physical identity and access management system that’s adaptable and easy to use, to help schools manage the flow of students and faculty throughout the shift from confinement to deconfinement.

Securing establishment in deconfinement phases introduces unique challenges to a school’s security. With local regulations enforcing social distancing, the number of students allowed in classrooms/schools at a given time is limited, moving schools to apply stricter access control. Other than that, since schools are required to maintain adequate records of its staff/guests/members/students, including names, telephone numbers and visit dates, to assist if contact tracing becomes necessary, and to maintain accurate work records of its staff for contact tracing purposes, access controls become more necessary in this case.

What are some challenges that affect a school’s security throughout the deconfinement phase?

The absence of on-site personnel is a key factor that affects organizational security. Since a limited number of students are allowed in the school or the classroom. Schools in the UAE for example are mostly operating through shifts – where half of the students go to school in the morning while the other half goes to school in the afternoon. Other schools are operating on a percentage level where a certain percentage of students go to school while the rest operate online.

Consequentially, enabling access control can enable the limitation of students – to make sure the students in the morning and the afternoon shifts don’t mix and can be a reminder for students and faculty to be aware of which areas they’re meant to travel through while keeping track of their overall movements, helping to maintain the safety of all faculty.
Off-site control of a school’s access management system is key. With the right system, schools can manage students, faculty and visitor access remotely. This allows for enhanced control for access rights, regardless of the location.

How can access control make sure that social distancing measures are being followed in schools?

Allowing or restricting student access to certain parts of a building is one way to maintain social distancing in schools. The ability to quickly and easily adjust access management settings to control flow in hallways and classrooms is key. It’s important to trust the versatility of your security system, especially throughout an evolving situation like the one we’re in now. Whether it be in confinement or deconfinement phase, schools need to be able to adjust their student, faculty, and visitor access settings accordingly, to maintain the safety everyone within the school while complying with evolving local regulations.

What is Genetec Clear ID and what are the advantages schools get from having it?

Genetec ClearID is a proven system that can help organizations manage its physical identity and access rights with ease, allowing schools to adjust student and faculty access rights quickly, remotely, and on a detailed level.

Whether it be allowing and restricting students access to areas of establishment or facilitating visitors’ experience with self-check-in, ClearID is an adaptable system that can manage an organization’s access rights from any location with an internet connection. It also has various advantages to it’s utility such as the below:

• Automate security policies: Improve security by eliminating a manual approach to access management
• Improve the flow: Simplify the process of requesting and receiving access to secured areas
• Always up-to-date: Ensures that only the right people have access to secured areas
• Control temporary access: Always know who is in your secured area and for how long

Will this system be compatible with other third-party access management systems?

Genetec ClearID offers a more intelligent solution. It’s a selfservice physical identity and access management system that enforces your security policies, helping to make your organization more efficient, compliant, and secure. And we can connect ClearID platform to internal platforms like HR systems and Microsoft Active Directory to manage the entire lifecycle of an employee’s identity in one place. It can be deployed faster and with greater ease than other integrated systems because it’s unified with our access control security software, Security Center Synergis™.

And because ClearID is a cloud-based service, it works natively with Synergis – which means goodbye to endless customizations and clunky component integrations. With less infrastructure, customers save both money and time by not having to maintain additional physical systems.

How does Genetec ensure Genetec ClearID is safe from cyberattacks?
Genetec ClearID ensures servers, communications, and data are secured with the latest cryptographic protocols so that your ClearID and Synergis system are protected against emerging cyber threats. We ensure the use of the latest encryption standards to maintain the privacy and integrity of data within the Genetec ClearID platform. Our goal is to simplify the management of Access Control while ensuring the security of data managed by the system.