How Gallagher Security provides solutions for safe and secure environments

Managing access to a complex array of locations and services at a university can cost many hundreds of hours. Gallagher Security supports campuses with everything from monitoring critical resources to handling lockdowns and emergency notifications

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Gallagher Security
24 May 2023
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Students at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia
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Learn how Gallagher Security creates a safe learning environment for students and educators

“Universities are like small cities, they encompass everything from sports facilities to accommodation and health services,” says Mick Lambert, technical account manager at Gallagher Security, explaining the scale and complexity of streamlining access and safety at higher education institutions.

The company’s Command Centre software is a centralised platform that offers universities control and visibility when managing multiple facilities. This might include scheduling and booking rooms or laboratories, integrated access to accommodation and other university services via one card or biometric key, or automated procedures such as lockdowns in case of an emergency. 

Gallagher has worked with Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, to develop a robust security framework for its 55,000 students, 4,000 staff and 8,000 contractors. One of the core needs for Griffith was a security solution that could manage many systems, across multiple campuses. On top of this, the university has several high-risk or restricted areas, such as criminology and glycomics laboratories, where there are legislative requirements to meet regarding access. “[Using Command Centre] means they can confidently oversee and manage all of those sites from one central platform,” says Danielle Mitchell, training manager for APAC, India, the Middle East and Africa at Gallagher Security.

During the pandemic, Command Centre was particularly useful as it meant the university could enable key workers or those working on critical research to access certain areas of the campus, while completely locking it down for others. Now that students and staff are back on campus, being able to manage security remotely and quickly means that guards doing patrols can work more efficiently. They do not have to be interrupted to unlock a door or to attend an unscheduled call-out as they can deal with most issues via their mobile phone.

“It’s not just about working out cardholder access. You can enforce safe paths of travel or deny access if someone does not have the right certifications,” Mitchell says. The system can automatically send links to the university’s learning management system for individuals who need to complete training or an induction before they can access certain areas, for example, high-security labs or sensitive research materials. 

The benefits to Griffith have been manifold. “Things that previously would have been done manually are now automated, so there are operational efficiencies. And if a new requirement comes in or the use of space changes, they can easily update it centrally. This frees up the officers’ time so they can undertake more meaningful tasks such as student engagement,” Lambert says.

Furthermore, students and staff feel secure because their data and records are protected and student accommodation is kept safe so they can focus on their studies and academic success. Gallagher offers free system training to all clients so new security or other campus staff can be updated and onboarded easily. 

Looking to the future, Gallagher is keeping on top of potential threats from cyberattacks, which pose a major risk to complex security systems. The company follows industry standards on encryption and updates and there are testing teams internally and externally. There are two main software updates to Command Centre each year, but any security patches required in the interim are made available to end users. “Convenient solutions are not always secure, and secure solutions are not always convenient. We aim to deliver creative solutions to achieve both of these outcomes for our end users,” Lambert concludes.

Find out more about Gallagher Security.

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