Protecting your school from cyber attacks

May 15th, 2017

Tips for protecting your school

As you are no doubt aware there was a major cyber attack affecting the NHS and other organisations around the globe this weekend.

The impact of the current cyber threat has been reduced due to a security consultant registering the domain used as a kill switch preventing its execution and further spread. However this will probably result in a more sophisticated and potent variant being released.

The current threat targets devices that have an exposed and unpatched security flaw and the systems most at risk are those running legacy Windows operating systems. The majority of schools have up to date IT systems which are maintained and updated regularly. A key update was released in March (a “patch” ) to address this vulnerability and your school devices should have been updated with this

Although the current threat did not spread via email it is likely future variants will use this as an additional method of propagation and we recommend staff do not access personal email accounts and social media using school devices to reduce the risk. Using the LGfL web filtering it is possible to block access to external mail services and only allow access to the LGfL provided email, if you are an Octavo IS customer and would like assistance to implement this change please contact the Octavo service desk.

As always staff should be vigilant and avoid visiting high risk websites, avoid opening attachments and clicking links in emails from unknown accounts or those thought to be suspect.

Signs that an email is unsafe to open are:

  • The message is addressed generally (e.g. dear sir/madam)
  • It contains poor spelling or grammar
  • You are asked to provide personal information
  • You are asked to click on an attachment or web link

If in doubt contact your IT support provider.