Campus Security and Access Control Management

As universities and K-12 schools prepare for a safe return to campus this fall, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, security continues to be a priority. A recent article in Campus Safety Magazine, lists the most common types of access control and what the future holds for physical security.

Campus ID cards were developed in 1993 and have evolved from being a visual source of identification to becoming an access control card that can make purchases, allow access to school buildings, events and parking garages. There are three main types of access cards: proximity (prox), magnetic stripe (mag), and smart cards.

  • Prox Cards: Low security, older technology cards that work by being held close to a card reader.
  • Mag Stripe: Minimal security card that works by swiping the magnetic stripe through a card reader.
  • Smart Cards: The newest and most advanced and secure ID card that can be used for multiple applications.

Mobile Access is another type of access control that uses Near-Field Communication (NFC) or Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology. Students and staff use their smartphone as the credential instead of a card for access. The NFC technology authenticates the student's identity to grant them access to school facilities and also serves as a cashless payment option for campus resources such as laundry and dining.

Looking into the future, Biometric Access Control is increasing in popularity around the world as it uses fingerprint, retinal or facial scans to grant access. However, biometrics is costly and can be difficult to maintain at this time.

Campus security cards have been used for over 25 years and the security and functions of each card continues to increase. ID Cards can be personalized from your desktop and made on the spot for students and faculty and can activated or deactivated as needed.

Elliott Data Systems is a local provider of campus cards solutions that provide a complete campus ID system that provides an all-in-one solution from building access to dining to activities and so much more. Call 1-888-345-8511 or visit to schedule free demo or to speak to a representative for more information.



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