School Safety in the Cloud

A Texas school district has adopted the use of cloud technology to store and monitor school safety – providing an all around view of security. The software maintains emergency plans, contact information, reports and tracks threats and monitors public safety and social media channels, reportedly costing the district about $50,000 per year.

Cris Esquivel, chief of the district’s police department, said, “I don’t just want to control a crisis; I want to get ahead of it.”

The program features:

  • A threat streams module that pulls and identifies information from news sources and Twitter
  • Opportunity for police officers and school staff to report suspicious activity
  • Modules to maintain data about school facilities and key personnel

Although the program seems solid on the surface, obvious security risks arise when any information is stored on cloud technology. The two biggest concerns with cloud storage are reliability and security. There is always the possibility that hackers could access private data or that the system could crash – leaving stored data useless in the event of an emergency.

This system is designed to help law enforcement respond in an emergency and any system that enhances law enforcement effectiveness is certainly a benefit. However, according to Jeff Green, CEO of SafeDefend, “The question still remains; what do staff do until help arrives? School staff will always will be the first responders in ANY crisis. Law enforcement help is minutes, sometimes MANY minutes away. A comprehensive approach is needed to ensure the highest levels of protection and response options exist for those who are in the crisis until help arrives.”

The cloud based structure for school security in Texas blazes the trail for this type of security system in schools, but only time will tell if the program is worth the hefty price tag.
Read more about the system here.

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