Cyber-Security in Education: Is your school safe?

With a recent increase of cyber-attacks in educational establishments across the UK, schools and academies should be aware of the risks and threats of cyber-crime. But how do you manage cyber-security at your school?

Further to guidance shared with schools last summer, the DfE (in collaboration with the NCSC) has provided updated guidance on cyber-security in schools.  All schools should be aware of the risks and threats of cyber-security and have an action plan in place, as they are often targets of scams and attacks, with a recent increase in educational establishments across the UK.

As your IT support provider, we continue to review and assess the many ways that we can support you because as technology advances, so too will the advances of cyber-crime.


What has happened:

Over the last few months, there has been a new cyber-threat. The first identification of the threat took place in November of last year and the top cyber-security specialists across the globe have been quietly investigating its impact ever since.

In March of this year (this month), Microsoft publicly acknowledged that the threat had indeed impacted on-premise Microsoft Exchange Servers 2013, 2016 and 2019. Please note: whilst Microsoft 365 is hosted in the cloud, there are still some elements of the solution which are linked to physical exchange servers and so most Microsoft estates could be at risk.

In recent weeks, you may have heard numerous reports of large companies being impacted by a cyber-attack and whilst vulnerabilities currently appear to be evident amongst the larger corporations, it is still crucial that we all take this seriously, doing all we can to protect our IT estates and our data.


What Dataspire is doing:

Microsoft patches have since been released and we have been working with all managed service customers to ensure these patches are rolled out. Where we provide a service to your school outside of a managed service, we are also able to help you with any uncertainties you may have around the online security of your school.

We are reviewing all antivirus systems to ensure that:

  1.  Each school has a sufficient solution in place
  2.  Antivirus licences are current and active
  3.  Updated patches are applied to prevent any future threats
  4.  Effective off-premise backup solutions are in place should a future rollback be necessary
  5.  We look to eliminate the presence of suspicious commands by reviewing logs over the last 5 months.



Of course, we know that schools like to have options and so we will be supporting numerous systems across the Dataspire landscape. However, if you are unsure about the reliability of your current antivirus solution, we do recommend Sophos Intercept X.

Sophos Intercept X is a cloud-based, enterprise solution that prevents schools from malware, ransomware, exploits and viruses. It includes artificial intelligence (AI) for the automated detection and blocking of both known and unknown malicious software. It also protects all endpoint devices such as desktops, laptops, servers, tablets and mobile devices across all major operating systems.

Sophos is unrivalled in its ability to noiselessly detect and address any ransomware associated activity. Without a doubt, it is the most effective cyber-security protection on the market.


Further Information:

If you would like to discuss your school’s security solutions or the options available to you via Sophos Intercept X, please contact your account manager for more details. In the meantime, if you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Dataspire Service Desk.

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