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HID, Genetec survey: Campuses ready to swap legacy access control systems for newer tech

A survey conducted by HID Global and security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions provider, Genetec, has revealed that many college campuses could be operating with outdated access control systems. Moreover, the report suggests that many universities are eager to move on from these legacy access control systems and implement newer, more secure technologies.

According to the survey of 1,800 higher education security and IT professionals, universities are ready to embrace new technology, and are looking to go “beyond the door” and integrate with other security and operations systems.

The Genetec and HID research findings show that 33.76% of readers, 30.6% of controllers, and 24% of software are more than six years old. Just as troubling, the report reveals that legacy technologies like barcode, magnetic stripe and 125khz low-frequency proximity (prox) continue to dominate physical access control systems in higher education. More than half of survey respondents still use mag stripe, and almost a quarter still use 125khz prox. And 64% of survey respondents reported their current access control system experiences malfunctions.

The report does reveal that more than 35% of respondents are ready to embrace more modern technology as a way of improving the experience for students, faculty, and administrators. A healthy 54.2% of respondents would be interested in using their access control credentials to support multiple applications beyond physical access, and 44% stated that better integration with other security systems/components is a key driver to upgrade their access control systems.

Most colleges and universities want to provide their students with a true one-card experience or mobile credentials for multiple types of applications, spanning dorm room access, library checkout, paying for food, parking, and more. However, 64% of survey participants said while they want to upgrade their systems, they view cost as an obstacle. This can lead campuses migrating to systems that fulfill minimum requirements to keep within budgets, rather than seek the features and integration capabilities they seek.

“There are new technology options that can make life easier for administrators as well as those who use the systems,” says Jason Friedberg, Commercial Head, Education at Genetec. “With ever evolving threats, and a need for increased efficiency, accessibility and privacy, security on higher education campuses is an ever-changing environment. Institutions need to be prepared for these changes by upgrading to a unified video and access control solution that is flexible, connected, and easy to use.”

“And while cost is seen as an obstacle, the true value is often not factored in,” adds Friedberg. “With a modern, unified system, ongoing costs often end up being lower than those of legacy systems because the additional capabilities of newer systems increase operational efficiencies across multiple departments.”

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