As another academic year draws to an end, here is the latest news from the ICT Development Service:
Information Security has been a key focus of our work this year. We have improved the security of our systems and services and have implemented processes that enable us to proactively raise awareness of potential concerns, threats or breaches with schools. However, we need your continued support to share good practice with staff and pupils in your school and always welcome your feedback.
A document has been sent to head teachers regarding passwords and security. If you have not seen this document already, it covers a number of topics including information on phishing attacks, password resets in School and at home and new rules for staff and pupil passwords.
A number of head teachers have received an email from ICTDS informing them of staff accounts that have insecure passwords.
Please action the list as soon as possible and make sure staff reset their passwords if required.
We have had a busy time over the last 12 months dealing with an increased number of phishing attacks. We have a number of methods to protect our users from phishing attacks in both Office365 and while staff are in School using the Warwickshire broadband network.
Staff need to be aware, that during the summer holiday, using the email system from home will not be protected as well as it would be in School.
* Please be extra vigilant over the summer.
The advice to users is:
be very cautious of any link / attachment regardless of who the sender is, if in doubt contact sender to verify
be very cautious of entering your username and password in a window that originates from a link in an email as this is how account details are compromised
if you believe your account details have been compromised you MUST change your password immediately
forward any suspicious emails to email@example.com
be especially cautious when accessing email on a non-managed machine or on a non-managed network e.g accessing at home or via a mobile network
Keeping Windows 10 up-to-date - this advice applies to primary, nursery and special schools only.
A notification has been sent out to all schools that take Curriculum or Admin cover from ICT Development Service, explaining how to perform the Windows 10 feature update on both desktops and laptops. Please can you remind members of staff to perform this update by October at a time that is convenient with you. The current version (1703) will reach end of life on October 8th 2019 and will no longer receive Windows security updates.
If you have not already arranged your new PRIME / Simba server, please get in touch by contacting the service desk as soon as possible. We are currently booked up to January 2020.
New September - ICTDS School Manger Portal Feature
An email has been sent to key members of staff at your school explaining in more detail how to access the School Manger Portal and the key benefits of this new site. Please log a call with our Helpdesk 01926 414100 if you need more information.
Don't forget your summer checklist!
Here's a list of things to check before you head off for the summer holidays:
Please keep your servers well ventilated over the summer, as we don't know yet if it is going to be a scorcher but could we ask you make sure that you leave plenty of space around your servers so that air can flow freely and help to keep them cooler.
Building Works over the summer: if your school has any building works over the summer please contact our Service Desk - as we may have to arrange some scheduled downtime for servers or other equipment so that they do not get damaged by any unplanned power outages.
Don't forget to get all new staff and children into SIMS as early as possible, as your login accounts and email accounts are automatically provisioned through SIMS so the earlier you can get them added with a start date, the sooner they will be ready for the start of the new term.
Remember the 120 day rule: as part of standard maintenance of the network we have a rule that any computer device that does not connect for 120 days is deleted. This helps to clear out a large number of computer accounts that are no longer required, and prevents degradation of the network directory. This is a reminder to bring your staff laptops back into school fairly regularly and login within the 120 day period to keep your computer active. However, if you find yourself in this position and receive a message stating your device has lost a trust relationship, then please log a call with the service desk and they will be able to re-add your device to the network.
If schools require the server to be taken off line due to electrical work etc, please contact the ICT Service Desk with as much notice as possible so we can arrange a safe shutdown of the server. Please also provide the date the server can be powered back on and we can perform this remotely.
We will be performing routine patching on school servers over the summer to keep them up to date, so there will be a small interruption to the servers while they reboot. We will try and keep this to a minimum – contact the Service Desk if you have any issues over the summer, we are open throughout the holiday period.
Wishing you all a wonderful summer break!