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Cyber Security and the Educational Sector

Schools and Universities like all other businesses and organisations have a high demand for IT and not least Internet access. Online services are key to many schools administrative systems and operative processes and play a significant part of the learning and teaching environment. It is considered a mission critical element of the education system.

Cybercrime is high on the political agenda and is attracting considerable government investment, but are universities and colleges doing enough to protect their data and reputation, not to mention their staff and students?

Education Sector Security Best Practice Advise

As well as the risk to a school’s network from malware, viruses, intrusions and outsider attack, schools’ also need to protect students from inappropriate material and inappropriate contact. Therefore there is also a safeguarding issue that sits alongside other cyber security considerations. With the increased use of Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) in many schools, e-safety and network and data security become more closely linked, as schools’ need to protect both students and themselves from their own devices.

Wizard Group provide network management services to the Educational Sector as the trusted IT partner, we have advised and implemented measures to address these key issues.

Network Protection

It goes without saying that school networks need robust defences in place to protect from threats such as malware or distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

Managing User Privileges

An effective way of limiting the potential damage an insider threat poses – whether malicious or accidental – is to rigorously manage who has access to the network, and what they can and can’t do.

Monitoring The Network

An important deterrent and motivator to ensure staff and student comply with a school’s AUP is to inform them that their activity is being monitored, and that reports and event logs are maintained so that in the event of an incident user activity can be reviewed to identify any misdemeanors or user errors.

Remote Access, Removable And Mobile Devices

With students and staff needing to access the school’s network from home, BYODs becoming an important element of providing IT provision in schools, and individuals bringing removable devices such as USB sticks into schools, security policies must address the risks these pose.

Awareness Of The Threat Landscape

Regular training should be part of the schools’ IT acceptable use policy (AUP), raising awareness of the consequences of cyber attack to the school and individuals personally – which might include disciplinary actions.
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