Security Planning

Threat and Vulnerability Assessments

Our multidisciplinary approach looks at security from every angle to mitigate risks — from the physical environment to the human element to the role of technology. Comprehensive threat and vulnerability assessments are essential to securing your school.

Effective security starts with a clear understanding of your vulnerabilities. We can help you gauge your strengths and weaknesses in a wide variety of scenarios. Not only do we bring decades of experience to our assessments, we can aso help you anticipate potential sources of new threats.

Our vulnerability assessment methodology begins with an in-depth security review.

No matter the focus of your assessment, we apply a time-tested methodology where we:

  • Look at current areas of exposure and any past security incidents in order to identify potential vulnerabilities.
  • Interview employees and other key individuals for critical insights and information about situations, policies, and procedures.
  • Provide a gap analysis to isolate areas where your security program does not meet industry best practices.
  • Make recommendations and guide you in implementing measures to mitigate any areas of vulnerability to reduce your risk.

Security Audit

We have the resources to uncover where weaknesses and security gaps exist throughout your school system and what issues are driving that noncompliance to establish an effective security program.

Security measures are of little use if they are not enforced. A security audit assesses how effectively your organization’s security policies are being implemented. Our audits will show you where gaps and vulnerabilities might exist in your current systems and procedures.

In more than 38 years, we have seen countless reasons for noncompliance with existing security procedures. Sometimes employees bypass measures for the sake of convenience or if they believe they can be more productive without them. Other times, there is a resistance to change or just forgetfulness or carelessness. School districts with multiple campuses and facilities can find it especially challenging to ensure there is system-wide compliance with security procedures.

With our seasoned experience, we have the ability to not only uncover where weaknesses and security gaps exist throughout your organization, but also what issues are driving that noncompliance. We can then help you establish a balanced and effective security risk management program and solutions that you can be comfortable and confident with.

Our security audits can also play an important role in internal investigations when anomalies are discovered or wrongdoing is suspected. You can use our findings for not only any potential litigation/legal proceedings, but also to strengthen your internal controls to mitigate future problems.

Security Master Plans

Good security risk management begins with a master plan — a vision of the security department, its roles and responsibilities, and how it fits into the overall organization. We have found that security is more effective when you look at your organization as a whole. Accordingly, we address all aspects of security planning simultaneously to provide our clients with a security master plan that serves as a coordinated and cohesive security solution.

While built on best practices, our master security plans are customized for your unique needs. In our experience, the most effective plans will incorporate responsibilities not only for preventing, detecting, investigating, and responding to incidents, but also for ongoing monitoring and updating of the plan itself.

Our approach to creating a security master plan starts with an assessment of the current risk environment. We will identify any high-risk areas in your organization based on the severity of impact and likelihood it will occur. This process can include both interviewing a variety of personnel as well as examining technical resources such as electronic security systems.

Our goal is to ultimately produce a plan that will enable you to prioritize, estimate the cost, and implement risk mitigation measures that can be adapted if your needs change. The four major components for developing a security master plan typically include:

  • Asset Definition to establish priorities for the security master plan. It is not realistic to assume that every asset can be or should be protected against every possible threat. Assets will be identified on how critical each is to the institution.
  • Threat Assessment that includes the identification and analysis of potential threats against your organization. Events are typically categorized as criminal, natural, or accidental.
  • Vulnerability Analysis where we correlate assets and threats and define the method or methods for compromise. We will analyze the existing security program to identify any physical, operational, and procedural weaknesses that may exist and identify potential countermeasures that could be implemented to minimize the probability of an event. The primary goal of this analysis is to develop a profile that defines overall threats that may affect your institution.
  • Security Measures are selected for implementation. The selection process is intended to channel resources to protect the most vital assets against the most probable threats.

Security Design and Engineering

Parents, students, teachers and staff all have an expectation that they will be safe while on school grounds. How will you deliver on that expectation? We can design and oversee cutting-edge security systems that help all stakeholders feel more confident in the strategies deployed. We are proud to have been able to contribute to a safer learning environment and workplace to some of the most prominent academic institutions in Western Pennsylvania.

Based on time-tested best practices as well as real-world experience, our holistic approach reflects the interrelated nature of today’s schools. It’s a classic case where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts — an integrated security framework provides for stronger, more cohesive protection to mitigate threats to your institution.

For example, there are physical, operational, and cyber components to protecting your students, personnel and property. By looking at your unique security challenges from several vantage points, a Cloudcast Security Resource specialist can help you better prevent, plan for, and respond to threats.

We can help you create a robust security environment with services that includes Operational Security Services as diverse as your needs. We will work closely with your staff and guide you through proven processes that include:

  • ALL areas of Physical Security
  • Design and Layout of Access Control and Camera Systems
  • Access Control support - ID Badges, Alarms, Off-Hours Notification and Response
  • Emergency Response Plan Development that includes topics like:
  • Fire
  • Bomb Threats
  • Intruders on campus or in the school
  • Explosions
  • Severe Weather
  • Violent Student Situations (weapons, fights, hostage situation)
  • Active Shooter and Lockdown Procedure
  • In-School Death, In-School Overdose
  • Out of School (Athletic Contests, Field Trip, etc.,) Issues (overdose, death, weather, fire, bomb threat, etc.)
  • Security Policy and Procedure Review and Development
  • VIP Visit Protocol and Training
  • Contingency and Disaster Recovery Plan Development
  • On-Site Exercises from Tabletop to Limited and Full Scope Response Drills including:
  • Active Shooter
  • Hostage Situations
  • Barricaded Suspect Situations
  • Workplace Violence
  • Bomb Threats
  • Active Shooter Training for School Administration
  • Protected Parking Lot Development
  • Physical Security Assessment Surveys
  • Perimeter Security Survey and Development
  • Property Protection Policies and Procedures
  • Emergency Operations Center Establishment, Review and Enhancement
  • Special Event Security

Can you rely on your policies and procedures?

Do you have policies and procedures that cover risks like active shooters, bomb threats or natural disasters? How about visitor control and camera use? Emergency response and disaster recovery? How do you know if your current procedures are sufficient or effective?

Given the complexity of most school districts, developing effective security programs can be an overwhelming job. As a seasoned, experienced expert in physical and operational security, we can assist you with creating security policies and procedures that work together to close the gaps that might otherwise expose your institution to greater risks. Policies that apply unilaterally across all schools in your district from pre-school through senior high. These policies provide consistency for your parents and students as they will grow more familiar with and accepting of them through the years as they grow.

An effective security program must cover many scenarios that clearly define the duties and expectations for everyone in your institution. For example, from the maintenance staff to students to teachers and Administration as well as third parties like local emergency responders and business continuity partners. By taking a multidisciplinary approach, we can review your current security policies to ensure they cover your current risks and vulnerabilities.

If you discover that your current policies are insufficient or ineffective, we can develop security policies and services tailored to the exact risks you face. Depending on your needs, we can assist with either comprehensive security programs or individual components, such as access control, alarm response, contingency plans, training, drills, etc.