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Primary Technology Ltd

Becta Safe & Secure Guidelines: data handling in schools. Security guidance – is your data secure?

Thursday 29th January | No comments yet


Is your data secure? How secure is it? How large is the threat?

Firstly lets discuss ICT encryption for schools

All of the schools supported by Primary Technology use Windows XP+ on all computers, we use a file system that in its nature is encrypted. This file system is called NTFS. For more reading on NTFS please see- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTFS

Pupil information never leaves the admin or curriculum server in an unencrypted format and is never stored in plain text.

Now lets talk about USB Keys

Information on most USB keys is NOT encrypted – For this reason we strongly recommend that schools purchase Secure USB Keys or do not put pupil information onto their USB Keys.  If you wish to purchase a Secure USB Key please get in touch for a quotation.

Now lets talk about remote access.

Remote Access from Primary Technology has dual authentication, it is also encrypted so this is fine.

Now lets talk about classroom e-registration.

This is the process of completing a school register digitally using a computer workstation. This is encrypted and single password secured. This is secure as it is only accessible from inside the school.

Now lets talk about hosted services, email – VLE’s etc.

A majority of the schools we support use a secure and encrypted email system called Primary Email. This is secure.

We believe there is a potential risk element in schools using the iMail system as this is not a secure system.

The majority of schools are not currently using secure VLE’s.

How can you tell if your hosted service is secure?

As a simple rule of thumb: if there is a padlock on your internet explorer icon bar or address bar as you access your VLE or hosted service, then the service is secure.

Is there any risks associated with our wireless networks?

Primary Technology uses an encryption and passphrase technology that completely secures your wireless networks, we also do not allow anonymous access to any of your school ICT resources.

How large is the threat?

Well, the threat is small but the risk is large. For example a member of staff creates user accounts for pupils on your school VLE then a hacker or threat is able to get a list of those pupils, this potentially puts those pupils at risk.

Source from Becta: http://schools.becta.org.uk/index.php?section=lv&catcode=ss_lv_saf_se_03&rid=14734

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