With schools like yours collecting more and more data its more important than ever for your school to make sure your backing up all the data you can.
Online backups should be part of your schools daily life, one of those things that’s no longer considered a luxury rather than an essential. Much like you consider broadband an essential utility rather than a luxury. Online, offsite backups should be given the same status within your school.
The days of backing up to an external hard drive sat on top of your dusty server should be banished to the history books. As well as tape backups that need you to change the disk every day to make sure you have a 7 day backup (lets hope you don’t take any time off). In most cases it would be safe to assume that these disks aren’t taken offsite every night and you have a high probability of finding them tucked into a draw or left loose next to the server they are backing up. In either case one catastrophic failure and the system is gone along with all of your backups.
These devices are prone to another weakness encryption or more accurately lack of encryption. To keep things simple this simply means that information stored on devices is open to anyone who has access to the media the backups are stored on.
Another reason to back your data offsite is to help reduce the risk of ransomware hijacking your systems… encrypting all of the data you have on the live system as well as your backup media that’s attached to the server. You have two choices:
Option 1 – Pay the ransom
You hope the group unlocks your data, leaves your system without leaving another bit of software on the system that will at a later date give them access and hold you to ransom again.
Option 2 – Start from scratch…
You’ve lost your central record, your student progress, evidence portfolios, SIMs etc. Can you afford to start again from scratch – at least if you do the scammers don’t get any money.
These two compelling reasons alone why you should be moving to online, offsite backups. Organisations that resist the move face scrutiny from the Information Commissioner. The ICO has published guidelines regarding this issue below is an extract from the guidelines. The full article can be found by clicking the hyperlink at the end of the quote.
“Information Commissioner has formed the view that in future, where such losses occur and where encryption software has not been used to protect the data, regulatory action may be pursued.” – Encryption – ICO.org.uk
Even our friends at Ofsted have highlighted the issue as well as other leading bodies within the education sector. The “Schools Financial Management Standard guidance put forward by the DfE’s SFVS point 23 states that
“all Local Authority maintained schools must back up their data off-site daily to protect the schools important IT systems.”
Did you know that inspection bodies also include management of personal data in their inspection criteria, stating that schools must ensure that
“the impact level of personal data is understood and data is managed securely and in accordance with the statutory requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998”. An indicator of bad practice is that “Personal data is often unsecured and/or leaves school site without encryption.”
How can you start your online backups?
We at Morph ICT can provide you with UK-based online backups solutions that are scalable and more importantly affordable. Answer a few simple questions and we can get start working on your bespoke backup plan. Our service is UK-based, encrypted and is all automatic after the initial setup. Say goodbye to your daily trek to the server room to swap those tapes out, gone are the days of having a hard drive on top of the server… sleep well knowing your backups are running on their own making sure you are protected. Our online backups can be run at multiple points during the day.
We can even backup those laptops that don’t come on site very often…
Just use the “Get In Touch” section and we will get back to you as soon as possible.