Security in computer rooms

Sunday, February 1st, 2009 | Implementation Issues, security

During summer vacation periods in the Western Cape, schools are the target of criminals.  This year many schools were vandalized once again.  But only two out of a thousand Khanya computer facilites were broken into with a loss of only a few pieces of equipment.

This is good news amidst all the bad news we receive daily.

To what could this good fortune be attributed?  Strict security measures undoubtedly play a major role.  Windows, doors and ceilings are secured – yes, the ceiling is an easy way for thieves to enter the computer room.  Alarm systems and the presence of security guards also act as deterrents.

The Khanya Story gives a glimpse into some of the efforts that go into securing the computer facilities in schools:

The safety bars must not be thin

  They must be thick and strong

The burglars – may they never win –

  Their tries must all go wrong


The stone guards on the outside wall

  Firm be they and robust 

No stone or rock may through them fall

  They are an abs’lute must


A flimsy gate is not enough

  To keep intruders out

One’s needed that is strong and tough

  The thieving one to flout


Attempt to find a safety door

  One made of heavy steel

Impossible through it to bore

  No one the goods can steal


Fort Knox – a place that’s quite secure –

  The lessons to be learned

Of entry points make doubly sure

  Full safety will be earned


The same rule you can here apply

  Pants with a belt you hold

To feel secure and keep them high

  Are braces to you sold


A double safety door is not

  An over kill at all

It will keep out the wicked lot

  The thieves both great and small


So brace it up and bolt it down

  Of thieves who’re bold beware

Protect the lab like a fine crown

  Be brave and take good care

In addition to our own safety precautions, Khanya formed a partnership with ITCrimes – all components of each piece of computer equipment are recorded electronically and made available to the police force.  In this way stolen equipment could be tracked with ease.  I believe that this initiative plays a major role in making thieves think twice before they would target a computer room protected in this way.

If, in spite of all these precautions, criminals still get away with the loot, a good, paid up insurance policy will soften the blow.  Schools are encouraged to keep their policies up to date to ensure that they are adequately covered.

In our experience, the most effective protection mechanism is the committed involvement of the community. When community members are actively involved in the process of creating a computer facility for the school right from the start, they are sure to assume a protective role.  The low incidence of burglaries in computer rooms this year once again proves the wisdom of this approach.

We will continue to use belts, braces, buttons, bolts and whatever bulwarks can be built to bolster the security of precious technology facilities at schools.

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1 Comment to Security in computer rooms

David Mathe
Tuesday, 3 February, 2009

I totally agree that the involvement of Communities goes a long way in fighting the scourge of thefts and burglary in our schools. While attending to a technical request at one school, i was told of a bitter-sweet story that happened in December last year.

One night in December there was a burglary at the school.All but a few sets of computers were left but there was massive damage to the cabling infrastructure.The local community, together with the neighbourhood watch, launched a massive manhunt.The culprits were apprehended and a number of the stolen items were recovered.Unfortunately one of the culprits was a pupil at the school.The bitter part of it was that the pupil was maimed and then killed by the locals before he could attend his court case.

So while i am totally against any act of vigilantism, our communities play a vital role in safeguarding our infrastructure.

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