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School DfE cyber security requirements updated

The Department for Education’s Digital and Technology standards have been updated to include advice on cyber security.

Cyber Security Risks for Schools

More schools are facing cyber security threats – In 2022, 70% of secondary schools, and 41% of primary schools in the UK reported cyber attacks, compared to 58% and 38% last year, respectively. 

The most common type of cyber attack reported was phishing – 88% of reporting primary schools encountered this threat, and 87% of reporting secondary schools. Phishing attacks are normally established through fake emails designed to look like legitimate messages from companies and contacts. To find out more about cyber attacks, check the security section of our Knowledge Hub.

New Standards

On 10th October 2022, the Department for Education updated their Digital & Technology guidance to ensure children are kept safe while using technology at school. The latest update includes cyber security requirements for school and college firewalls. Firewalls block incoming and outgoing traffic that could be harmful. 

To meet this standard schools must: 

  • Protect every device with a correctly configured boundary, or software firewall
  • Keep firewall firmware up to date
  • Protect access to the firewall’s administrative interface with multi-factor authentication, or a small specified IP-allow list combined with a managed password, or prevent access from the internet entirely
  • Use anti-malware software to protect all devices in the network, including cloud-based networks

  • In addition:
  • Accounts should only have the access they require to perform their role and should be authenticated to access data and services

  • The full document includes wider points on cyber security that you may find useful.

    DfE Cyber Security Checklist

    In the meantime, we’ve made a handy checklist to help you identify if your cyber security meets these requirements. 

    If you’d like more information on our services, feel free to Contact Us.

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