Creating security mindedness in universities
Learn how to create a security-minded approach across universities with our blog post.
Security mindedness can be created by organisational leaders encouraging the consideration of security for assets, people, projects, and programs. For universities, a culture of security-mindedness is vital to implement to ensure that staff and students are aware of their role in maintaining a safe environment for everyone. By doing so, you’re being proactive against potential risks that higher education facilities face.
Security-mindedness with external stakeholders
There are many ways in which you can build a good security-mindedness strategy throughout a university. However, a very effective way can be by working with external stakeholders. This includes local authorities, for example, working with the police to learn about crime rates and discover what are more likely incidents to occur in the area. Additionally, you can work with organisations such as Secured By Design for guidance as well as advice on security products that can help mitigate potential threats posed within the environment.
Security-mindedness in staff and students
Developing good attitudes toward security among staff and students can be a challenge. With a lack of awareness around risks, it can be hard to establish relevancy to them. However, a solution to this can be by assigning security roles to departments of staff and students. This way, they receive information regarding security from people that they trust while also being able to gather information and concerns that are specific to each department. For example, a medical research department may have concerns about access control to labs due to the threat of malicious scientific gain, whereas the art department may have greater worries about how their equipment is kept safe from theft. Having departmental roles in place means that these concerns can be raised and are more effective for the varying level of threat that each area of the university face.
On top of this, communicating well with staff and students to educate them on security is vital. From updated web pages on the matter to accessible training, increasing awareness will make them more mindful of security issues and how to deal with them. Also, carefully targeted communications will enhance how well it is received. For instance, the level of knowledge they have on security would widely differ. For one, a member of staff may know more about current security measures within the university due to working there permanently and having to take more responsibility as it is their workplace. In comparison, a student will typically leave after 3 years, therefore presumably having less understanding of the university’s security.
Training and resources
Encouraging security-mindedness throughout a university can also be aided with training and resources. To coincide with the idea of having assigned security roles by each department, you can make it part of their duty to ensure information is constantly reviewed and adapted based on each department needs. Some areas of consideration when doing so may be:
- Changes in environment
- Updated regulations
- Changes to internal policies
A wide variety of benefits can come from having a security-mindedness approach across a university. Advocating a collaborative attitude towards vigilance means people help towards protecting themselves and each other while reporting any concerns. Overall, it helps keep people and assets safe while creating a welcoming and appealing environment.