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  • Blog Post: How Microsoft uses the Windows Server 2008 R2 features to enhance our own security

    The Microsoft IT team publish case studies of how we've used our own products within our own infrastructure - sharing their real-life experiences. This month there's a case study about the way that we've implemented the security features in Windows Server 2008 R2, along with Windows 7 on the desktop...
  • Blog Post: The TES writes a scary Information Security headline

    People are definitely getting concerned about the need to secure data in schools. On Tuesday, in the "When too much security means less security" post I mentioned that there are new stricter penalties faced by organisations for losing/disclosing personal data, with fines up to £500,000. And...
  • Blog Post: When too much security means less security

    In December, my local BBC News station showed an interview with a head teacher, who’d had to crawl across a sloping playground, covered in black ice, to send out a text to let parents know the school was closed. Which surprised me because he was using one of the systems that allows you to send out the...
  • Blog Post: Free anti-virus protection for staff and student owned computers

    I was suprised to discover I hadn’t blogged this before. So if you’ve renewed an anti-virus subscription for your home computer since last October, when this was launched, then I’m sorry! We have launched a free anti-virus programme, Microsoft Security Essentials , which is for Windows XP, Windows...
  • Blog Post: When was the last time you checked out Microsoft Downloads?

    Mark A’Bear is one of our resident ‘amateur’ geeks in the education team. His job isn’t to be a full-time geek, as he’s our Education Partner Manager ( and from my days of working at Microsoft partners, I know he’s pretty good at that ). But he’s also a closet geek, and he has many moments of geekery...
  • Blog Post: Information Security in Education and Two-Factor Authentication

    This is just a quick one for Monday morning. Last week, when I talked about Information Security, and Becta’s guidance, at the Learning Gateway Conference, there was quite a bit of interest in the two-factor authentication that would be required for all teacher access to sensitive data from outside the...
  • Blog Post: Keeping your teachers safe online

    A teaching friend spent the half-term hobbled by the fact that their computer had been infected by a worm. And as it was half-term, they’d not been able to get support from the IT team at school, so they had spent a lot of time trying to fix their laptop themselves. What is odd is that it’s a school...
  • Blog Post: A question of security

    I was at a conference yesterday (sadly covered by Chatham House Rule so no juicy snippets) which looked at security of public sector ICT systems, and there was a session which was about malware. Although it was delivered in a matter-of-fact deadpan way, it left me feeling just a little bit nervous (and...
  • Blog Post: Information Security – the detailed guidelines

    If you’ve been following the story so far , you’ll know that Becta have published new guidelines for Information Security in schools. It has happened in a few stages, with the detailed information finally being published in the autumn. This included information on the various protection levels that applied...
  • Blog Post: The Fat Lady sings

    “Ed the Fed” has written to me again. For those who are new to the blog, Ed’s a legend around here as the Microsoft UK Chief Cyber-Security Advisor. We call him “Ed the Fed”, because of his career history at the FBI and other places – which obviously makes him an ideal person to ask about Information...
  • Blog Post: Internet Explorer patch – time to roll it out

    I’m sure you’ve already got this covered, but just in case you have missed it, we released the update for Internet Explorer overnight to resolve the security glitch that the BBC et al have been getting all frothed up about. If you’ve got automatic updates set up on your own computer, or your school network...
  • Blog Post: Excellent BitLocker deployment advice

    As you may know, I enabled Windows Vista’s BitLocker encryption on my laptop a couple of weeks ago, and since that time I have been reassured to know that should something happen to my laptop, all of the data on it is fully encrypted and secure. The whole process was very smooth – I simply enabled it...
  • Blog Post: BitLocker’d up

    To the famous Diana Ross tune I’m Coming Out * I’m BitLocker’d up, I want the world to know, Got to let it show, I’m BitLocker’d up, I want the world to know, Got to let it show… I don’t know why it took me so long to get started. My new laptop has a TPM chip in it, and even though...
  • Blog Post: Information Security – all the guidelines are out

    And, boy, do they take some reading. We’re rocketed from ‘ worry, but I can’t tell you why’ to ‘ this is what you should really worry about’ , in a mere 125 pages. How does that make you feel? For the minute, if you want all of the specifics on the Becta Data Handling guidance, you’re going to have...
  • Blog Post: Information Security – it’s not black and white

    I’m continuing to read the new Becta guidance documents on Information Security, and think about the consequences. After a few discussions with people, and comments from others here and elsewhere, I thought I’d try a to create a visual way of understanding where we are. This is by no means definitive...
  • Blog Post: Ed The Fed says "Stay safe out there"

    I have a colleague, Ed, who’s a legend around here. He’s the Microsoft UK Chief Security Advisor. Obviously that’s a bit of a mouthful, which is why we call him “Ed the Fed”, because of his career history – which obviously makes him an ideal person to ask about Information Security. ( I was going to...
  • Blog Post: Information Security – more, but not yet enough, advice from Becta

    The Becta Information Security advice page for schools has been updated, and they provide a more detailed document ( Keeping data safe, secure and legal ) which goes further than their previous advice, but not yet far enough. In fact, if you take the report at face value, you’re going to lock up your...
  • Blog Post: Where will your laptops be this summer?

    According to recent research , 900-1000 laptops go missing every week at Heathrow ... that is 52,000 a year. Worldwide, 800,000 laptops are lost or stolen at airports every year. Even more incredibly, the survey also reveals that many travellers fail to take any steps to protect the information contained...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft’s Information Security Symposium Event

    The steam roller of Information Security continues to run down the hill towards education. Becta’s in the driving seat, and they haven’t really started the engine. By the time the new term begins, there will be new guidance on what you should be doing ( read my previous posts on this blog ). So it is...
  • Blog Post: Information Security – a week on

    It wasn't a slow news week last week - which must have delighted those people who weren't looking forward to the reaction from publication of the reports on Wednesday into data losses at HMRC, MOD etc. It being a fast news week (is that what a non-slow news week is?) the reports didn't make it onto the...
  • Blog Post: Keeping your data safe and secure

    Two emails arrived at the same time last week, which reminded me to write about the issue of data security. The first email was Becta's ictadvicealert email ( sign up here ), which reminded readers about their information security guidance for schools- as they put it " What your school should be doing...
  • Blog Post: Live Meeting - Is your data secure? Top tips for data security

    As Ray's blog last week noted, data security has been a bit of an oxymoron over the last few months and something that schools, governments and individuals alike are struggling with. A question that we should all be asking ourselves is: do we know who can see the data we share? Although data security...
  • Blog Post: Live Meeting: Reducing those hidden costs – a new way to deploy applications

    Taking place online at 3.30pm on Thursday 31st January, this session will discuss some new approaches to deploying applications to your students, teachers and administrators desktops using the new features that Windows Server 2008 has to offer. During our time at BETT earlier this month, one of...
  • Blog Post: Is your data at risk?

    2008 hasn't really started any better than 2007 finished - a laptop is stolen from the boot of a car, containing 600,000 personal data records - heaping data disaster upon data disaster . Reality says that laptops will be stolen, even when we think they are secure. I've had a laptop stolen from a hotel...
  • Blog Post: Get Safe Online Week II

    We're in "Get Safe Online Week": The initiative aims to help individuals and micro-businesses to protect themselves against Internet security risks by raising awareness of the need for Internet security and providing information, advice and updates through its website www.getsafeonline.org . It's entirely...
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