Schools ICT advice to schools
For Schools that buy NYCC broadband via the NYnet network we are satisfied that our systems are secure and protecting you from this type of attack. Our technical teams within NYCC have spent the weekend reinforcing our systems and testing them to ensure we have not been compromised.
However we must remain vigilant and we suggest the following action:
- Ensure your systems are backed up (if you have a backup, you can’t be held to ransom)
- Check your Sophos Anti-virus software is up to date
- Make sure your school computers have the latest windows updates and you are using a Microsoft supported operating systems
- Ensure that all internet connected equipment is up to date with the latest software updates and patches
- Do not open or respond to any suspicious emails
For all the actions above Schools ICT can help, please contact the Schools ICT helpdesk on 01609 536086 for advice or to report any issues, or visit our website at www.schoolsict.co.uk
For Schools that do not buy NYCC broadband we recommend that you contact your service provider immediately to check that you are fully protected and all updates are in place.
What we are doing to keep you safe
The latest statement from the Government’s National Cyber Security Centre emphasises that “there have been no sustained new attacks of that kind”.
Schools ICT will keep monitoring the situation. The way these attacks work means that compromises of machines and networks that have already occurred may not yet have been detected, and that existing infections from the malware can spread within networks.
Schools need to ensure that all their internet connected equipment is up to date with the latest software updates and patches. Please call our helpdesk if you require any help with checking this. 01609 536086.
We’ll be continuing to monitor our systems and will provide updates if the situation changes.
Contacting the NHS
We know that schools and NYCC departments need regular contact with the NHS. So we will not block NHS emails as this would cause immense disruption. You can be reassured that schools connected to our NYnet network are able to continue to work as normal and we have put in place a number of sophisticated patches on central firewalls and via pc anti-virus software (Sophos).
If you have received an email which you think is suspicious do not open any attachments or follow links. Call the schools ICT helpdesk on 01609 536086. Our team has a secure way to investigate. Do not send or forward the email to us.
Protect Yourself at Home
These attacks are not just targeted at schools and organisations; cyber attacks can hit individuals as well. The advice on keeping any home and personal systems updated is equally applicable to anyone with computers at home.
Using up to date security products is also important and if your current product has lapsed then there are free alternatives which you can use, (for example AVG and Sophos which are amongst the more popular – although there are many others available) and don’t forget your mobile phone as well!
Since Friday, much of the world has been hit by a massive cyber-attack using ransom ware. This has been widely reported in the media.
This is a particularly virulent version of ransom ware and is still transforming and finding new ways of compromising systems.
Schools ICT takes cyber security very serious and we ensure that our systems are up to date and protected at all times.
Even with these key levels of protection in place there is still the risk that the ransomware can find a way through by vulnerabilities can be identified, exposed, and ultimately attacked before organisations have the ability to update.
Schools ICT alongside colleagues from NYnet and NYCC’s Technology & Change Team are continuing to monitor all our systems to ensure we keep you protected from attacks.
Smoothwall's response to the ransomware attack can be read here:
NYCC's Technology and Change Service Centre issued the following statement on the 15 May 2017
Please continue to be diligent in regards to the recent cyber-attack effecting many organisations including our colleagues in the NHS.