Sector Focus


Schools must learn lessons about IT security

Technology experts have warned that bungling schools are putting children at risk by allowing confidential information to be stolen.

Experts from Infuse Technology

– the IT arm of accountant Smith Cooper, which has an office in Birmingham – have said that around four out of five secondary schools and nearly half of all primary schools had reported incidents of cyber theft or some other security breach in the past year.

‘There are small, yet effective measures that all institutions can adopt’

Examples of blunders included a

primary school mistakenly sending out a confidential letter discussing the redundancy of a member of staff to parents, complete with that individual’s name and address. And another primary school sent

a list of children entitled to free Christmas lunches to all parents. In a further incident, a former

head teacher was able to obtain personal information about school children – and in another, personal details of examiners were stolen by hackers. Under Government General Data

Protection Regulation guidelines (GDPR), schools must report breaches to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) within 72 hours of their discovery. Infuse managing director Paul

Howard said: “The figures published last year by DCMS are a sobering reminder that there is still a lot to be done when it comes to protecting the sensitive data of the youngest in our society. “It should encourage all

educational institutions to conduct a thorough and comprehensive audit of their existing cyber security policy and take the necessary action to ensure appropriate measures are in place to assure safeguarding. “Since September 2020,

the Department for Education established a continuity directive for mandatory remote education, so that pupils are able to continue learning despite the restrictions imposed to combat the spread of Covid-19. “This in itself presents

educational institutions with additional challenges when it comes to cyber security, which is why it is now more important than ever that organisations asses their existing cyber security measures, particularly for remote learning. “Having a water-tight IT

Amazon partner status for multinational firm

The UK and French businesses of IT services provider SCC have achieved ‘Advanced Partner’ status with Amazon Web Services (AWS). SCC is a member of the AWS

Partner Network (APN), and the AWS Advanced Consulting Partner tier recognises firms that have excelled in providing successful solutions on AWS. This includes providing extensive

training to teams, having enough knowledge of AWS to manage projects effectively, and coming up with innovative, revenue-generating ideas.

Didier Lejeune, chief executive at

SCC France: “SCC France, a key player in the public sector, is

58 CHAMBERLINK April 2021

pleased to achieve AWS Advanced Partner status with AWS as we continue its growth. “As the leading partner of all

constructors and certain software publishers, we have the ambition to be an important AWS’ partner in the years to come.” SCC UK chief executive Mike

Swain said: “This is a wonderful achievement and just reward for our UK and French businesses, who have worked remarkably hard to earn AWS Advanced Partner status in under 12 months. “We are excited to continue

developing our well-established partnership and technical expertise with AWS.”

Cyber threat: School’s sensitive data about students is at risk. Inset: Paul Howard

infrastructure in place is just the

beginning. It’s crucial that this is maintained and

reviewed regularly, particularly given the speed at which digital threats continue to evolve. “There are small, yet effective

measures that all institutions can adopt in the immediate short-term to become more cyber aware and enhance existing security protocols. “These include keeping security

software up to date and enabling automatic updates to ensure you’re using the most recent version, using anti-virus protection and

firewalls, making use of a password management tool and enable two- factor or multi-factor authentication and ensuring staff and pupils are aware of phishing scams, and how to identify them. “In order to ensure schools and academies are well equipped to protect and educate, we have developed a process which means they are able to establish and implement mechanisms to identify, intervene in and escalate any digital security threats, all of which is aligned with government recommendations for security governance.”

Agency design new website for producer

Digital marketing agency Astute Media has designed and launched a new website for a production company founded by the theatre producer Hannah Elsy. The new site highlights the services

offered by Ms Elsy as well as providing information for potential sponsors and investors, detailing the benefits of becoming involved with live theatre and encouraging them to get in touch. James Ebdon-Muir (pictured), Astute digital account director, said:

“It was a great project to work on, stretching both our creative and digital muscles as we delivered a website, within a defined budget, that will promote the client well into the future.” Ms Elsy said: “I wanted a website that represented my business

creatively and stood comparison with the best sites in the business, Astute Media have delivered this.”

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