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Schools Broadband - Latest News

Page last updated: 16/07/2019

Please find below the latest updates for the school Broadband Service:
 

April 2019

SSL - Why hasn't your school transferred?
 
SSL has been the advised filtering solution for Schools Broadband schools since April 2016 when it was made available to all of our schools after a sucessful pilot in the previous term.
 
SSL - (Secure Sockets Layer) is a security protocol that creates an encrypted connection. Using our SSL option allows a greater flexibility for filtering and blocking certain types of results as it enables inspection of https encrypted traffic and provides a deeper level of protection.
 
The solution does require the distribution of an e-certificate. All devices within a schools network will either need the certificate installed or will need to be excluded via a static IP address. Guidance on how to download and install the certificate are in the  covering letter below, while there is also a link to the proforma to be completed and returned to Schools Broadband once you have finished the installations. We can then book your school a slot with DUCL and notify you when your school’s transfer is due to take place.

March 2019

WARNING - Active Spoof email campaign example
 
The team has been advised by one of our schools that they have received a rather convincing email which, if you click on the blue box, is putting the integrity of the user's account, device and school's network at risk.
 
 
 
 

 

 
Cyber threats & Training
 

As per emails distributed to our schools, Cyber criminals seem to have started to target schools more frequently.

 

Please ensure all of your staff know how to handle calls and emails of this nature as they are your school’s last line of defence. New threats appear every day and if a good imitation gets through into one of your school's inboxes or they receive an "urgent" call they need to know to how question, check and respond. Genuine callers shouldn't mind you verifying they are who they claim to be.

 

Schools Broadband team are continuing to organise more Cyber training courses around the County throughout the Spring & Summer Term 2019. Please get in contact if you would like to host or attend as we are already in the process of booking a few for next term - schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk

February 2019

Use your Head …

 

As we highlighted to our schools on several occasions last term there appear to have been an increase in instances of malicious emails circulating, some of which seemed to be particularly targeting schools.

 

Although mostly they are a simply annoyance, if these emails fool someone into clicking on them they can quickly spread themselves around and cause difficulties.

 

The people behind these emails rely on users being busy, not thinking or just unaware of the risks of clicking on links and attachments in emails.

Schools need to ensure that staff realise they are all responsible for being vigilant and checking details before opening files or links as well as immediately reporting if they think they may have been compromised so actions can be taken to mitigate the impact.

 

They literally are your last line of defence.

 

Therefore we have sourced these posters from an ongoing ECC campaign to help you raise awareness and brighten up you walls!

 

 

 

                 UseYourHead_A4.pdf                                      Passwords - CYBER TOOTHBRUSH_A4.pdf

 

 

Where is your data?

 

It's important that schools have their data backed up and there are many different options to do this - but do you know "where" your School's data is stored?

 

If you utilise the Redstor Attix 5 backup service that is included in your Schools Broadband provision then your school's data is stored offsite but on-net in secure UK datacentres and needs a Schools broadband connection to access. 

 

These accounts are monitored and a schools are alerted and assisted if needed, to ensure their backups are kept running and up to date. We have a specialist team within DUCL that provide support for this service.

 

Schools all get a standard account size as part of their provision and can add to this at a competitive rate.

 
 
 
 Spoof Email Scam targetting schools.
 

Please be aware that there is a currently a malicious email circulating that appears to be from another Essex school. It has convinced quite a few people into clicking a link which releases a nasty virus that then uses that email account to target others.

This particular email appears use school related topics for the subject and ask the recipient to click on a blue box to display the message. Please ensure all staff are aware not to click on this link.

 

 

These spoofs emails are getting more convincing and some, like this one, seem to particularly target schools. We all know School Offices are busy places but your staff are your school's last line of defence against cyber attach. Any email that pertains to finance or other sensitive information should be thoroughly vetted before any links are clicked on.

If you are not sure about an email then you shouldn't open any attachments or links.

If a member of staff does click on a suspect link then you need to get whomever manages your Super Administrator account to reset their password as soon as possible. You will also need to run an antivirus a scan on their device. If you have third party that look after your schools LAN or a member of staff who is responsible for this infrastructure they should be informed.

Our Cyber Security Training with Essex Police covers how to verify emails along with other topics relating to cyber security. If you wish to know more about this free training please contact us

 
Cyber threats & Training
 

As per emails distributed to our schools Cyber criminals seem to have started to target schools more frequently.

 

These individuals are often just trying to trick school staff into providing information to them and have no actual incriminating videos or data and are simply using scare tactics. However they are getting better at imitating known suppliers and companies, utilising copied logos and email formats to make the emails look believable.

 

Some of the examples we have shared include:

  • Bogus Phone calls asking to remote into your device to fix a problem with your broadband.
  • Malware added rules for mailboxes that forwards financial information and then use it to send the school spoofed invoices.

           - How to Check for rules on your email account.pdf

  • Spoof emails from Microsoft & 365 requesting account details or trying to get user to "log in" via a link.

We've also seen examples of

  • Threat emails claiming to have recorded you and/or stolen you social media information.
  • Emails begging for you to "help" someone due to various plights by giving them your bank account details.

 

There have also been instances of a type of malware known as Ransomware that we highlighted to our schools last year. Further information from Esex Police can be found here : RANSOMWARE.pdf

 

Please ensure all of your staff know how to are aware how to handle calls and emails of this nature as they are your school’s last line of defence. New threats appear every day and if a good imitation gets through into one of your school's inboxes  or they receive a "urgent" call they need to know to how question, check  and respond. For examples genuine callers shouldn't mind you verifying they are who they claim to be.

 

Schools Broadband team are continuing to organise more Cyber training courses around the County in  Spring & Summer Term 2019.  Please get in contact if you would like to host or attend as we're already in the process of booking a few for next term - schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk

January 2019

WARNING - Active phishing campaign identified!
 
We've been advised by one of our secondary schools that the below warning has been issued by AQA
 
 
 
Dear Exams Officer

We've identified a phishing email campaign that is currently active and being distributed through email accounts belonging to some of our examiners.

The campaign is not due to any compromise of AQA systems but rather is a sophisticated cyber-criminal phishing campaign using convincing phishing emails and websites to trick users into entering passwords. The intent of the cyber criminals is to gain access to personal email accounts and exploit any valuable information contained within them. This campaign isn't isolated to AQA and it's affecting many other organisations too.

The malicious phishing email will be from a genuine, and usually a known email address and will contain a clickable button that links to a malicious website. If you hover over the link in the email you'll see that the link goes to a domain that is not associated with AQA. The malicious website is typically populated with an AQA logo to increase its plausibility and will prompt users to enter a password that will then be harvested by the cyber criminals. Any compromised email accounts will typically be inspected for any valuable personal, financial or business related information within them.

Please be vigilant and if you've received an email (like the example below) and entered a password into this malicious site we'd advise resetting the password for any systems this is associated with. 


If you have any questions please email us on cybersecurity@aqa.org.uk

Thank you for your support.

The AQA Cyber Security Team.
 
 Essex Police Cyber Training with Schools Broadband continues around County.
 

As per emails & articles distributed to our schools, Cyber criminals seem to have started to target the education sector more frequently.

 

These individuals are often just trying to trick school staff into providing information to them and have no actual incriminating videos or data and are simply using scare tactics. However they are getting better at imitating known suppliers and companies, utilising copied logos and email formats to make the emails look believable.

 

Please ensure all of your staff know how to are aware how to handle calls and emails of this nature as they are your school’s last line of defence. New threats appear every day and if a good imitation gets through into one of your school's inboxes  or they receive a "urgent" call they need to know to how question, check  and respond. For example genuine callers shouldn't mind you verifying they are who they claim to be.

 

Schools Broadband team are continuing to organise more Cyber training courses around the County in Spring & Summer Term 2019.  Please get in contact if you would like to host or attend as we're now looking at dates after half term, although there may be some space on courses that are already in place - schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk

 

 

 

New Year, new term…. But are you all up to date?

 

As the new term starts schools need to review all of their passwords and log in information for the various services and ensure these are saved securely in case they're needed as the term progresses. This information should be checked regularly and updated as needed – especially with personnel or supplier changes!

To help with this we've created a handy checklist. This can be filled in and either saved securely or printed off and locked away.

December 2018

Before you leave for the Christmas holidays...
 

We understand that this is a busy time of year for schools but before your school closes down for Christmas please ensure you have all your passwords and log in information for the various services saved securely in case you need them upon your return.

To help with this we've created a handy checklist. This can be filled in and either saved securely or printed off and locked away.

 
Cyber threats & Training
 

As per emails distributed to our schools Cyber criminals seem to have started to target schools more frequently.

 

These individuals are often just trying to trick school staff into providing information to them and have no actual incriminating videos or data and are simply using scare tactics. However they are getting better at imitating known suppliers and companies, utilising copied logos and email formats to make the emails look believable.

 

Some of the examples we have shared include:

  • Bogus Phone calls asking to remote into your device to fix a problem with your broadband.
  • Malware added rules for mailboxes that forwards financial information and then use it to send the school spoofed invoices.

           - How to Check for rules on your email account.pdf

  • Spoof emails from Microsoft & 365 requesting account details or trying to get user to "log in" via a link.

We've also seen examples of

  • Threat emails claiming to have recorded you and/or stolen you social media information.
  • Emails begging for you to "help" someone due to various plights by giving them your bank account details.

 

There have also been instances of a type of malware known as Ransomware that we highlighted to our schools last year. Further information from Esex Police can be found here : RANSOMWARE.pdf

 

Please ensure all of your staff know how to are aware how to handle calls and emails of this nature as they are your school’s last line of defence. New threats appear every day and if a good imitation gets through into one of your school's inboxes  or they receive a "urgent" call they need to know to how question, check  and respond. For examples genuine callers shouldn't mind you verifying they are who they claim to be.

 

Schools Broadband team are continuing to organise more Cyber training courses around the County in  Spring & Summer Term 2019.  Please get in contact if you would like to host or attend as we're already in the process of booking a few for next term - schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk

​​​​​​​November 2018

Cyber threats & Training
 

As per emails distributed to our schools Cyber criminals seem to have started to target schools more frequently.

 

These individuals are often just trying to trick school staff into providing information to them and have no actual incriminating videos or data and are simply using scare tactics. However they are getting better at imitating known suppliers and companies, utilising copied logos and email formats to make the emails look believable.

 

Some of the examples we have shared include:

  • Bogus Phone calls asking to remote into your device to fix a problem with your broadband.
  • Malware added rules for mailboxes that forwards financial information and then use it to send the school spoofed invoices.

           - How to Check for rules on your email account.pdf

  • Spoof emails from Microsoft & 365 requesting account details or trying to get user to "log in" via a link.

We've also seen examples of

  • Threat emails claiming to have recorded you and/or stolen you social media information.
  • Emails begging for you to "help" someone due to various plights by giving them your bank account details.

 

There have also been instances of a type of malware known as Ransomware that we highlighted to our schools last year. Further information from Esex Police can be found here : RANSOMWARE.pdf

 

Please ensure all of your staff know how to are aware how to handle calls and emails of this nature as they are your school’s last line of defence. New threats appear every day and if a good imitation gets through into one of your school's inboxes  or they receive a "urgent" call they need to know to how question, check  and respond. For examples genuine callers shouldn't mind you verifying they are who they claim to be.

 

Schools Broadband team are continuing to organise more Cyber training courses around the County in Autumn Term 2018& Spring Term 2019.  Please get in contact if you would like to host or attend as we're already in the process of booking a few for next term - schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk

 
 
 
ECC Schools Broadband and DUCL Autumn Update
 
Move to Remedy
 
As you may be aware DUCL have introduced a new logging system onto the DUCL Helpdesk.  The software is more comprehensive and has a number of enhanced features.
 
Logging incidents and requests
 
 Logging incidents and requests remains unchanged and you can contact DUCL in the following ways:

*If you have not got a portal account please complete this form and send to Schools Broadband team - schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk

 

Updates on Ticket from DUCL

As with the previous system you will receive email updates from DUCL on the progress of your incident or request.  However, the format of these have changed.  Emails will now come from capita.request@capita.co.uk (Updata is a Capita company) these are for information. 

DUCL engineers may also contact you if additional information is required to complete the work.

It is now possible to reply directly to these emails (please DO NOT change the email subject/title), the reply will automatically be added to the incident/request and the engineer will be alerted.  Alternatively, you can still phone to give the response.

Please note however that if you wish to raise a new incident or request this should be sent to the Customer.Service@DUCLTD.co.uk email address.

 

Updata Portal 

We would strongly recommend that schools request access to the Updata Portal which allows schools and, if appropriate, affiliated/MAT schools to access log new requests, view open and closed requests, provide updates and track progress on line when it is convenient to you.

Text Alerts

The Schools Broadband Team provide a Major Incident Text Service which will alert you if there is a widespread issue either in your area or affecting a number of schools.

Information on these services, self-help guides and other useful information can be found on the Broadband and Telephony section of the schools “Infolink" on the Essex County Council website.

October 2018

Strong Passwords - Three random words

 

Following on from the alert email we sent out to all schools, please ensure all of your school's users are using adequate passwords and storing them correctly.

 

The below is an extract from an article from The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) which helps explain the idea of three random words - these should be made up from both alphanumeric characters and symbols.

 

 -  the full article can be found here

 

#thinkrandom

 

If stopping a cyber-criminal breaking your password relies on long and complex passwords, where does three random words come from? Well, super-long and complex passwords aren't necessarily the best option for a number of reasons:

 

It's not all maths. Maths is great, but not at the expense of the users. It is really, really hard for a user to remember lots of complex, unique passwords. What happens is that we come up with coping mechanisms which are well known to cyber-criminals, and which they can and do exploit in order to attack our accounts.

So, ironically, using long and complex passwords sometimes just plays right into attackers' hands. For example using ‘Pa55word!’ may follow the rules of a website, but is a bad password as it's quite guessable. Typically if a cyber-criminal has the hashes to attack they will break them whatever rules are put in place.

 

Salt with that? Actually, when a website processes your password it stirs in some other information as well, like your username. This is called salting. Combined with three random words, this provides a reasonable amount of protection from attack. 

 

How did they get the hash? I glossed over the cyber-criminals getting hold of the files containing all of the password hashes. If a website is well designed this should be really hard for a cyber-criminal to do. This is also why we recommend separate passwords for sites that are important to you (like your email) to things like web forums, that aren't. If one website doesn't look after the password hashes properly, that shouldn't allow easy access to the things that are important to you.

 

Hard to guess. Three well-chosen random words can be quite memorable but not easy to guess. It provides a good compromise between protection and usability.

 

 

 

 

 

 
Third Party & Technical Meeting - Autumn Term

 

The next Third Party & Technical Meeting for schools will be on Thursday 1st November 2018, at 3pm at County Hall, Chelmsford.

This meeting enables schools to meet with representatives from the DUCL and Schools Broadband Team to discuss upcoming plans and any technical issues.

Please note that this meeting will have a technical focus, so schools should opt to send their Third Party representatives or Technical Lead. Attendance should be confirmed by emailing schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk

September 2018

Cyber Training Autumn 2018
 
​​​​Schools Broadband Team in partnership with ​​​​Essex Police Cyber Crime Unit are looking to organise further training sessions for Autumn Term 2018.
 
If you were unable to attend any of the previous sessions, then please get in contact, particularly if you would like to host a session at your school.
 
Sessions will need to take place on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday and will require at least 20 attendees to attend. All dates will need to be arranged with the School Broadband Team.
 
Encryption Software for schools
 

Schools Broadband are now able to offer McAfee Encryption Software to all of our schools at a competitive price to increase their GDPR compliance.  

This is an additional service procured at schools behest so schools will need to purchase licences to enable them to utilise this particular service.

To request a quotation or to discuss further then please contact the Schools Broadband Team

Please remember:

  • Schools will need one license per machine.
  • Schools will need to keep the encryption password safe as it is impossible to unencrypt without it & we cannot reset this password.
  • If an encrypted device is lost or stolen, then this still needs to be reported
  • The software is not to be used on privately owned computers or shared.

July 2018

Encryption Software for schools
 

Schools Broadband are now able to offer McAfee Encryption Software to all of our schools at a competitive price to increase their GDPR compliance.  

This is an additional service procured at schools behest so schools will need to purchase licences to enable them to utilise this particular service.

To request a quotation or to discuss further then please contact the Schools Broadband Team

Please remember:

  • Schools will need one license per machine.
  • Schools will need to keep the encryption password safe as it is impossible to unencrypt without it & we cannot reset this password.
  • If an encrypted device is lost or stolen, then this still needs to be reported
  • The software is not to be used on privately owned computers or shared.

June 2018

Third Party & Technical Meeting

 

The next Third Party & Technical Meeting for schools will be on Wednesday 18 July 2018, at 3pm at County Hall, Chelmsford.

This meeting enables schools to meet with representatives from the DUCL and Schools Broadband Team to discuss upcoming plans and any technical issues.

Please note that this meeting will have a technical focus, so schools should opt to send their Third Party representatives or Technical Lead. Attendance should be confirmed by emailing schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk

 
 
Cyber Training Autumn 2018
 
​​​​Schools Broadband Team in partnership with ​​​​Essex Police Cyber Crime Unit are looking to organise further training sessions for Autumn Term 2018.
 
If you were unable to attend any of the previous sessions, then please get in contact, particularly if you would like to host a session at your school.
 
Sessions will need to take place on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday and will require at least 20 attendees to attend. All dates will need to be arranged with the School Broadband Team.

March 2018

Working with Essex Police Cyber Crime Unit, we have arranged the following training sessions for schools staff, to ensure they are fully aware of the measures that need to be in place to protect their schools from cyber attack:

Venue

Date/Time

County Hall,

Chelmsford. CM1 1QH

Thursday 19th April 4pm

Birch C of E Primary School,

School Hill,

Birch,

Colchester. CO2 0LZ

Thursday 26th April 4pm

Highfields Primary School,

Colchester Road,

Lawford,

Manningtree. CO11 2BN

Monday 30th April 3:30pm

Upshire Primary Foundation School,

Upshire Road,

Upshire,

Waltham Abbey. EN9 3PX

Wednesday 2nd May 4pm

If you would like to attend one of these, please email schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk with your preference.

February 2018

Remote Access Security & the Importance of Strong Passwords

 

Following on from the article in this week newsletter posted by Schools Broadband, we have had a visit from an officer from the Essex Police Cyber Crime Unit.

We  have contacted the schools directly that have been victim of this cyber crime, but  think the letter he left  has useful information that could help protect all schools. A copy of this letter can be found here: Essex Police Letter.pdf

 

School Passwords – Security risks

 

With a lot of our processes now reliant on electronic systems there are many log in details and passwords that schools need to keep a secure record of.

But how secure are the passwords you’ve chosen? When did you last change your passwords? Do you change them regularly? Where do you store the record of the passwords you now need?

If you don’t know the answer to any of these questions then your passwords likely need to be changed and the process for maintaining them securely may need reviewing.

Commonly compromised password include system or equipment defaults that are not updated upon installation and commonly used ones such as password1,1234 and publicised names.

We have a number of resources in our Useful Stuff section of the Infolink including a checklist of passwords you may need and posters you can use to raise awareness around your school.

We are working with Essex Police to try to ensure all schools are aware of the importance of ensuring only strong passwords as used, changed regularly and recorded securely to prevent them from being targeted.

January 2018

Next NWM & Third Party Meeting
 
The next Network Managers & Third party Meeting for secondary & Primary school ICT Leads, Mangers and Third Party Support Companies will be on Tuesday 20th March 2018 - 2.30pm at County Hall, Chelmsford. This meeting enables schools to meet with representatives from the DUCL and Schools Broadband Team to discuss upcoming plans and any issues.
Please ensure you schools network manager is aware of this meeting and attends if possible. Please confirm attendance to schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk
 

December 2017

MAT Services
 
Following feedback from various MATs and federating schools we have now developed services  to assist them such as specialised portal access and a private network within the LAN to enable their schools work more cohesively and share resources.
 
More details on these can be found here DUCL MAT Leaflet.pdf
 
Christmas Holiday Checklist
 
With December now here and the Christmas Holidays fast approaching, we just wanted to ensure all schools were aware that their DUCL equipment will need to remain switching on over the holidays so the monitoring systems can accurately detect any issues.
We’ve created a flyer for schools to print off  and put up to ensure everyone at each site knows.
Flyer  can be found here SCHBB Christmas Flyer.pdf 

November 2017

Latest IOS update - E-safety issue resolution
 
Apple's new iOS upgrade defaults to allow Safari to access your microphone and camera.
This means that all schools that have iPads for students will need to ensure this was switched off on the school equipment once the upgrade has been applied.
Each upgrade that Apple brings out may now require schools to go  through the settings of the devices to check this type of thing doesn't happen again when upgrades are applied, so they will need to ensure that they have a process in place for this.
 
 
 
Annual PEN Testing for Schools
 
FAO - Headteacher
            Data Protection Officer (If you have one in place)
            Senior Information Risk Officer (If you have one in place)
            ICT Support
 
The annual penetration testing of the education wide area network ( the method by which your school access the schools broadband services) will take place between 20th November and 4th December. This should have no impact on your access to schools broadband services, but if you do experience any degradation of service please report this to the support desk on 0800 0283011.
 
The results of the testing will be sent to your school during January via email.
 
Please can you note this information in your General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) records as an example of the technical security measures in place to protect your Wide Area Network(WAN).
Please contact Schools Broadband Team if you have any questions.

October 2017

Education Payroll Bureau - Carval Computing Ltd
 
Schools Broadband Team have been liaising with Education Payroll Bureau - Carval Computing Ltd to ensure schools can  implement their system securely
To enable us to do this we need to set some firewall rules and Carval advise us that it’s best practice to allow one machine per school, so the Schools Broadband Team have emailed the list of schools that Carval Computing Ltd  provided. This email requests the static IP address for the machine that the school wish to use to access the education payroll bureau.
Once you have supplied this information to us, we will create the firewall rule for your school and you will be able to access the Carval platform.
Your LAN / IT support will be able to help you find this information.
 
 
 
NEW PORTAL
 
Over the summer DUCL  and Schools Broadband have  implemented a new Portal for schools to use to log, monitor and update incidents and requests so you can directly interact with your tickets. This new Portal is also GDPR compliant.  Schools can still contact the DUCL Service Desk via phone or email ( 0800 0283011 / customer.service@ducltd.co.uk
We have a built in facility for School MATs or federations to use this tool cohesively and can enable third party support companies to assist their schools (although some changes will still need school verification)
This new Portal will replaces the current “magic” portal many schools have previously signed up to, we will be contacting schools to transfer them across if they wish to continue to have this access.
To sign up please complete this form Portal flyer.pdf and send to us at schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk
 
 
 
 
McAfee AntiVirus UPDATE - School Action Required!!!
 
Please note: the McAfee grant number was updated in January 2017 and you will need this to access the update. Schools will need to email the Schools Broadband Team (schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk) to request this.
 
The latest version of McAfee Endpoint Security (ENS) is now available. Version 10.5.2 includes important improvements in performance and usability, plus a tool for a simplified migration process from VirusScan Enterprise (VSE) to ENS.
 
After you download the update, new features and enhancements will be delivered through the McAfee Endpoint Security (ENS) agent. New features of this release include:
 
  • Broader out-of-box application compatibility
  • Better security effectiveness by reducing false positive risks
  • Performance optimization with a significant reduction in time to launch apps, load websites and execute subsequent On-Demand Scans
 
The McAfee Endpoint Upgrade Assistant automates your upgrade to McAfee Endpoint Security from VSE, as well as McAfee Host Intrusion Prevention (HIPs) and McAfee SiteAdvisor Enterprise (SAE). It is a McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO) extension that analyses the endpoints in your McAfee ePO environment, detects the supported McAfee products that are installed, and determines the minimum requirements for upgrading to current versions of the products.
 
 
Additional Resources Available:
 
 
 If you require additional support please contact McAfee
 
Technical Support:
McAfee Support Telephone number  08709 110010 
or via the support website: http://mysupport.mcafee.com  

September 2017

SSL & YouTube
 
With the cessation of YouTube Education, YouTube access was restricted to the adult ports 8084-8085 so teachers could still use this as a resource whilst DUCL investigated how restricted access could be provided on ports 8081-8083.
 
When YouTube changed the settings dissolved the Education section they also implemented different access level that could be set to restrict the content that was available depending on its YouTube categorisation. We can utilise these for schools that have moved to SSL as the certification allows for these settings to be safely implemented.
 
Therefore schools with SSL will get the following access to YouTube
 
Strict Restricted YouTube access for ports 8081 and 8082
Moderate Restricted YouTube access for ports 8083 and 8084
Unrestricted YouTube access for port 8085
 
Schools who have not yet moved to SSL will get the global settings which are
 
8081 – No Access
8082 – No Access
8083 – No Access
8084 - You Tube access
8085 - You Tube access
 
Therefore if you wish to have restricted access enabled for you school then you will need to transfer to SSL to have this enabled and will then also be able to access resources such as Google Translate, Yahoo mail and Bing.
 
If you wish to transfer then please let us know and will send you out the guidance and proforma.
 
This access is dependent on the YouTube categorisation of their content so students access will still need to be overseen and any unsuitable or incorrectly categorised content would need to be reports to YouTube as per their guidance - https://www.youtube.com/yt/policyandsafety/en-GB/communityguidelines.html#communityguidelines-enforce
 
 
Autumn Term Meetings
 
Schools Broadband Network Managers Meeting
Monday 25th September 2017 - 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM
County Hall, Chelmsford
​Schools Broadband termly meeting for Secondary and Special Schools Networks Managers / ICT Coordinators​, to meet with representatives from the DUCL and Schools Broadband Team to discuss upcoming plans and any issues. 
 
To request a space please email us - schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk
 
Schools Broadband Primary Schools - Third Party Support Meeting
Tuesday 3rd October 2017 – 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
County Hall, Chelmsford
​​Audience: Third parties which provide ICT support to Primary Schools.
Schools Broadband termly meeting for Third Parties which provide ICT support to Primary Schools, to meet with representatives from the DUCL and Schools Broadband Team to discuss upcoming plans and any issues. 
 
To request a space please email us - schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk

June 2017

Dates for your Diary!
 
Primary School Overview and Information session
Wednesday 28th June 2017  - 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM
County Hall, Chelmsford
For ICT support/lead. This will cover; running internet activity reports, setting internet filtering policies, cloud backups, SSL certification and tracking/logging helpdesk ticket on line
More details and application form for this can be found here Overview session 28th June 2017 flyer.docx
 
Schools Broadband Network Managers Meeting
Monday 25th September 2017 - 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM
County Hall, Chelmsford
​Schools Broadband termly meeting for Secondary and Special Schools Networks Managers / ICT Coordinators​, to meet with representatives from the DUCL and Schools Broadband Team to discuss upcoming plans and any issues. 
 
To request a space please email us - schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk
 
Schools Broadband Primary Schools - Third Party Support Meeting
Tuesday 3rd October 2017 – 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
County Hall, Chelmsford
​​Audience: Third parties which provide ICT support to Primary Schools.
Schools Broadband termly meeting for Third Parties which provide ICT support to Primary Schools, to meet with representatives from the DUCL and Schools Broadband Team to discuss upcoming plans and any issues. 
 
To request a space please email us - schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk

May 2017

The Modern Highwayman – Ransomware
Is your school at greater risk by not utilising all of the AntiVirus protection available via your Essex Schools Broadband Provision?
Unfortunately there are some nasty 'Ransomware' type viruses that target servers and then hold the owner’s information ' to ransom'. To help combat the risk of these types of viruses entering schools systems McAfee recommends selecting the HIPs (Host Intrusion Prevention) option when you are downloading their software.
More details can be found here: AntiVirus Solutions
DUCL have provided this update: Security Incident- NHS Cyber Attack.pdf and the Schools Broadband Team have emailed out further details directly to their schools.

April 2017

Major Incident(MI) Notifications
 
Following on from direct feedback from schools, we have now established a facility for schools to sign up to be notified via SMS/Text message of any issues or incidents which may affect your broadband connection and services as they are detected. These schools will also receive updates and a MI closure notification for MI’s which relate to them.
 
This means even if you are temporarily unable to receive emails we can still contact your school if you have signed up. This will reduce the need for schools to call the Service Desk to check whether the issue they are experiencing is a local issue which needs to be logged or a wider one that we are aware of and working to resolve.
 
We are looking to launch this service in May 2017 and have over 130 schools registered so far.
 
If you would like to join these schools then please complete and return this form : SMS Text Messages.docx

March 2017

Dates for the Diary
 
Schools Broadband Network Managers Meeting
Monday 24th April 2017 2.00 pm – 4.00pm
County Hall, Chelmsford
​Schools Broadband termly meeting for Secondary and Special Schools Networks Managers / ICT Coordinators​, to meet with representatives from the DUCL and Schools Broadband Team to discuss upcoming plans and any issues. 
 
Schools Broadband Primary Schools - Third Party Support Meeting
4th May 2017 - 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM
County Hall, Chelmsford
​​Audience: Third parties which provide ICT support to Primary Schools.
Schools Broadband termly meeting for Third Parties which provide ICT support to Primary Schools, to meet with representatives from the DUCL and Schools Broadband Team to discuss upcoming plans and any issues. 
Primary School Overview and Information sessions for ICT support/lead
Wednesday 28th June 2017 2:00 pm – 4:00pm
It will cover; running internet activity reports, setting internet filtering policies, cloud backups, SSL certification and tracking/logging helpdesk ticket on line.
 
More details and Application form for this can be found here: Overview session 28th June 2017 flyer.docx

January 2017

Schools Broadband Service - Primary School Overview Sessions
 
The Schools Broadband Service are organising a Primary School Overview and Information Session. It will cover; running internet activity reports, setting internet filtering policies, cloud backups, SSL certification and tracking/logging helpdesk ticket on line.
More details and application form for this can be found here: Overview session 1st March 2017 flyer.docx

November 2016

SMS Text Messages Notifications
 
Essex Schools Broadband services are now able to offer SMS text messages for any issues or incidents which may impact your school’s service.
 
To sign up your school for this service, please complete this flyer:SMS Text Messages 2017.pdf and send to Schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk

October 2016

Attix 5 Upgrade
 
Our Online Backup platform Attix 5, is scheduled to be upgraded to Version 16.9 on October 28th

Version 16.9 features a number of speed and efficiency improvements as well as a host of new features.

As a result of the required upgrade maintenance, there will be a planned 2 hour service outage window on October 28th between 10:00AM and 12:00PM. Services may experience disruptions during this time.

Please note that no client updates will be performed unless specifically requested and all clients versions will continue to function as before once the platform has been upgraded.

If you require any further information regarding the planned service outage window or the platform upgrade, please contact me.
 
If you require any further information about the online backup offered to you as part of the schools broadband package, please see Essex Schools Infolink.
 
 
Schools Broadband Service - Primary School Overview Sessions
 
The Schools Broadband Service are organising a Primary School Overview and Information Session. It will cover; running internet activity reports, setting internet filtering policies, cloud backups, SSL certification and tracking/logging helpdesk ticket on line.
More details and application form for this can be found here:Schools Broadband Service - Overview Sessions 16.11.16.doc
 
Proxy Port Settings Check Guidance  - When did you last check your School’s Proxy settings.pdf

September 2016

YouTube Access Update.
It became apparent via reports from schools that the full YouTube site was accessible via port 8084 on Monday. Therefore this was rectified and the site was blocked as due to the content available on the full site, it is normally restricted to port 8085 which is defined as being for “Adult/Sixth Form Level Filtering Access with social networking and media”
 
As schools then advised they could not access the YouTube Education section of YouTube so we asked DUCL to investigate further and it was then discovered that this change was due to YouTube having altered the way in which it now defines it's different sections.
 
Therefore to prevent this from impeding school from using YouTube as resource we will reinstate access via port 8084 as an interim fix whilst we work with DUCL to implement the recommended Google/YouTube solution. Schools need to be aware however that this will be access to the full site so they will need ensure that appropriate measures are in put in place where needed. Any schools who do not wish to have this access granted to their port 8084 users can contact us and we will have them excluded.
 
Backup Solution Replacement Project
 
DUCL are pleased to be able to announce we are in the final planning stages of upgrading the schools backup solution infrastructure to increase capacity, improve value for money and future proof the solution. The schools backup solution offers Essex schools that are registered with the service the ability to backup critical data on their networks and restore it in disaster recovery situations.
 
The current project is to replace the existing backend storage infrastructure which will enable Essex to expand the storage available and also ultimately offer more functionality to its existing users. 
 
At this moment in time the new platform has been built and is undergoing testing. Once this phase has been completed existing backup data/schools account information will be migrated from the old platform to the new platform.  During this piece of work users will continue to access the current platform and when the migration is complete the DNS entries will be updated to point to the new platform.  This means that the transition should be seamless to you and will need little involvement the existing users.  No changes are needed to the client software for this project and the support calls should be logged in the same way as they are currently.
 
Estimated Timeline below –
 
w/c 29th August
Testing started with Schools BB Team and select Schools.
9th September
Test Schools to complete Baseline testing
w/c 12th September
Migration of existing backup data/User account information.
16th September
New platform fully operational.

August 2016

NEW LOOK - the Schools Broadband Pages have been updated!  Based on feedback from schools we have worked with the Schools Communication team to improve our pages and the user experience as well as making them more in keeping with the main pages.

June 2016

June 2016
 
Essex Educational Filtered Internet Service Project Update – 28/06/2016
 
DUCL are pleased to be able to announce we are in the final planning stages of upgrading the core infrastructure of the educational filtered internet service to increase capacity and future proof the solution.    
 
As some of you may be aware the education filtered internet platform is spread across two datacentres.  The Virtus Data Centre infrastructure was completed in April and we are now in a position to upgrade the London Hosting Data Centre infrastructure.   
 
In the past this type of work needed to be completed to during the school holidays when the expected traffic volumes are much lower.  However now the Virtus data centre now has sufficient capacity to allow us to divert all traffic to one datacentre whilst we upgrade the other during term time which means that we are able complete more meaningful testing.  The Schools Broadband team have asked a number of schools to assist with the user acceptance testing. 
 
It is possible that you may notice a minor outage whilst we divert traffic between datacentres although this activity will be completed out of hours.  Work is planned to start work on the evening of Wednesday 7th July, by isolating London Hosting DC so that the schools and libraries that normally use London Hosting are re-routed via Virtus.  No changes will  be made during Friday whilst we confirm that all traffic flows as expected via the Virtus Datacentre and test schools complete tests.  Over the weekend on the 9th & 10th July we will complete the hardware upgrade of London Hosting infrastructure and rejoin the London Hosting environment back to the solution allowing schools to route via their home datacentre and resilience will be restored.    On Monday the 11th  July we will complete tests to ensure that there are no issues on the new London Hosting infrastructure
 
I would like to thank you in advance for your understanding whilst we complete these upgrade to the solutions.
 
4th July
Change Freeze. No changes to Education DNS and Firewalls
7th July
Test School to complete Baseline testing
20:00 Work starts to isolate LHC from the solution
DUCL / ECC to test
8th July
Test School to complete stage one testing of all schools running on Virtus Datacentre and DUCL monitoring.
9th & 10 July
DUCL upgrade the London Hosting infrastructure and test
11th July
Test School to complete final testing
Additional support resource available
 
If you experience any problems with your broadband service, please contact the helpdesk on 0800 0283011
 
 
Schools Broadband Service - DUCL Telephony Fraud Prevention
 
 The latest Telephony Fraud Prevention guidance from DUCL - Telephony Fraud.pdf
 
 
Schools Broadband Service - Primary School Overview Sessions
 
The Schools Broadband Service are organising a Primary School Overview and Information Session. It will cover; running internet activity reports, setting internet filtering policies, cloud backups, SSL certification and tracking/logging helpdesk ticket on line.
More details and application form for this can be found here: Schools Broadband Service - Overview Sessions 04.07.16.doc​

May 2016

DUCL - Essex NGN Schools Update Report
 

April 2016

How to find your device's IP Address  - Guide

IP Address Guide.pdf

 


 
Schools Network Mangers Meeting  - Minutes

 

Schools Broadband minutes 19 04 16.docx



Essex Education Core Internet Upgrade - Additional work
 
Due to some delays experienced over the  Easter Break, DUCL are starting the second part of the core upgrade work on Thursday 21 April 2016. All schools will be temporarily moved over to the upgraded Virtus Data Centre so that work can be completed on London Hosting Data Centre. Schools should not notice any changes and DUCL will be monitoring for the first two days to ensure there is minimal disruption prior to initiating to upgrade work.
 
If you do experience any anomalies please contact the DUCL Service desk straight away so these can be investigated and resolved. - customer.service@ducltd.co.uk or 0800 0283011
 

 

Schools Network Mangers Meeting
Tuesday 19 April 2016, 2.00 pm at County Hall, Chelmsford.  - email schoolsbroadband@essex.,gov.uk  to confirm attendance.

 


 


Essex Education Core Internet Upgrade
As you may be aware the DUCL team have been working to renew the Essex Education Internet links over the Easter Break to upgrade the technology and capacity.  This is the infrastructure that protects schools through the firewall modules and provides the web filtering platform and the transparent proxy.

The Essex Schools are connected to the Internet via two diverse data centres - the London Hosting Data Centre and the Virtus Data Centre and the infrastructure is mirrored on each.  DUCL hoped to upgrade both datacentres over the school break.  At the moment schools are anchored to one of the two datacentres.  This will need to stay in place until the all the work is complete.
 
We are pleased to inform you that DUCL have successfully completed the upgrade of the Virtus Data Centre which is now running on new hardware and increased capacity.  The London Hosting Centre Data Centre was not completed due to some unforeseen delays with the Virtus Data Centre and some additional configuration tasks for the London Hosting solution that were identified.  DUCL plan to complete the London Hosting upgrade in the near future and communications will be made via the “Education Essex - Your weekly LA news roundup​

March 2016

Guidance on setting up Clutter for your schools  Office 365 accounts

 


Essex Educational Filtered Internet Service Project Update
 
DUCL are pleased to be able to announce we are in the final planning stages of upgrading the core infrastructure of the educational filtered internet service to increase capacity and future proof the solution.
As some of you may be aware the education filtered internet platform is spread across two datacentres.  The work will be completed during the Easter Break when the expected traffic volumes will be much lower which will allow us to divert all traffic to one datacentre whilst we upgrade the other.  Following the successful completion of the first datacentre upgrade we will complete user acceptance testing.  Once the testing complete all the traffic will be diverted to this datacentre and the process will be repeated for the second datacentre and bring this back on line to restore resilience.  
It is possible that you may notice a minor outage whilst we divert traffic between datacentres.  Work is planned to start work on Wednesday, 29 March and complete all work by Friday, 8 April.​

February 2016

Presentation from EPHA Meetings in February 2016
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