Internet security is high on Local Authority agendas, especially highlighted since the government launched a major e-safety initiative designed to protect children online in 2006.
Following enhanced government guidance to all local authorities in 2006, Warwickshire County Council decided that they needed to increase their Internet monitoring and filtering capabilities to improve security and to meet new accreditation standards for Internet filtering and monitoring. “We needed a technology solution that would help us implement an effective Internet child-safety system in the schools,” says Chris Page, Technical Development Manager, ICT Development Service (ICTDS). “For example, if a child was in an online chat room and was being targeted by a child predator, an Internet filter would not stop that. We needed an easy-to-monitor system to work alongside filtering to detect and report these types of events. We didn’t have anything in place to do that.”
What they wanted was user authentication to enable logging; category-based URL filtering to block inappropriate and unknown sites; and client-based monitoring to capture the creation and display of inappropriate content in any application. With a new security solution, based on ISA Server 2006, they have simplified deployment and centralised their IT security management capabilities. The solution also reduces costs for the Local Authority and provides virtual private networking capabilities, as well as solid integration with its existing IT infrastructure.
There's a lot more to read about in the case study, which contains useful information whether you're thinking at a local authority level, regional broadband level or just as an individual school.
I certainly agree that proxy websites can be very damaging as we have found out in the last year. Other issues we have could only really be solved by using a key logger - is this part of the warwickshire solution?
Does Websense also work with foreign websites as this is the channel through which many of our pupils try to access games? How does it work with brand new published websites?
What is the cost of this solution? When we have looked into e-safety we are not looking to spend the entire ICT budget.
The client piece of the Warwickshire solution is Policy Central Enterprise from Forensic Software - which monitors keyboard and screen compliance with acceptable use policy in real time. See http://www.forensicsoftware.co.uk/FSL_PCE.htm for details.
Websense is used worldwide, but please check their site for details of how the filtering works and how it keeps current: http://www.websense.com/global/en/ResourceCenter/IndustrySolutions/Education/
I'm afraid I don't know how much the Warwickshire solution cost.
We supply the e-safety solution to our schools at no extra cost, it's part of the Broadband service.