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Successful Cyber Security Workshop for Schools

We had a full house at our Cyber Security Workshop for schools in Shoreham this week. The popularity of the event reflected the concerns many people have after so many cyber-attacks and data leaks made the headlines last year. Schools are under pressure to make sure their IT is secure and we decided to put on an event with the experts to help everyone understand how to set up and maintain IT security.

Our speaker was Chris White, his experience working for the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit meant that he had extensive knowledge and a clear understanding of the challenges schools are facing. His presentation took in not only IT security for schools, but also some great tips for everyone on how to keep their data secure and avoid falling prey to phishing emails, identity theft and even simple but essential tools such as password management.
The event at Shoreham airport was a great success, we managed to provide some valuable information to schools across the region and we all learned from the experts who work on the front line of this challenging area. Technology changes so rapidly that we all have to keep up to date to make sure we’re staying safe and this free workshop at Shoreham airport was a great way to help our clients and make sure our solutions were in line with the aims of the National Cyber Security Strategy 2016-2021.
Given the popularity of the event and the fact that the security threat is always evolving, we’re looking into running more workshops n partnership with the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit in the future. We’re always happy to hear from people who have suggestions for other events – if there’s something you’re stuck on or you want to discuss with your peers, our events are always informative with plenty of chances to discuss the issues with professionals from other schools to get some perspective and insight into the issue.

Free Cyber Security Workshop for Schools

After a spate of cyber attacks and data leaks made the headlines last year, the need for greater cyber security became apparent. It can be difficult to address because technology changes so rapidly and the threat is always evolving, leaving many schools unsure where to start. The best defence is to keep as up to date as possible with any potential issues and that’s why we’ve teamed up with the South East Cyber Protect Team to run a free workshop for schools. We’ll be addressing a range of cyber security issues within schools and will provide advice on how to protect your school from cyber-crime.

Cyber security is a complex area and that’s why we’re so delighted to have Chris White running this workshop. Chris works for the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit which covers the Thames Valley, Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex and he is part of a number of regional units which provide cyber security support across the UK. All of his advice and expertise is delivered in line with the National Cyber Security Strategy 2016-2021.

The workshop will cover the key issues that schools and individuals are likely to encounter, including:

  • Personal and corporate security
  • Identity theft
  • Cyber frauds and scams
  • Phishing, smishing and Vishing
  • Password management
  • Social engineering tactics

If you’re worried about your school’s cyber security or want to make sure you’re on top of the latest threats, our free workshop will give you a chance to learn from the experts.

SIGN UP TODAY FOR YOUR FREE PLACE

The event takes place on Tuesday 12th June from 10.00 – 12.00 at Shoreham Airport, in the Pashley Suite.

 

Modern makeover for the JSPC Showroom

Showroom 1We were delighted to unveil the all new JSPC Showroom last month. We’re in our same location in Sompting, but we’ve completely modernised the space to reflect the cutting-edge technology available from JSPC.

Whilst we can all benefit from researching online, there really is no replacement for getting a hands-on test of any technology you might want to buy. Our friendly and knowledgeable team are on hand to help you consider your options from our new and refurbished PCs and laptops.

If you have a custom-built computer in mind, you’re also welcome to pop in and visit. You can see what is available and talk to a member of the team who will be able to understand any specifications or requirements and translate that into a PC that is designed to suit your needs.

Showroom 3

We’re delighted at the new look of the showroom but underneath the fresh coat of paint, it’s still the same dedicated, expert service and high-quality technology products, services and support that you have come to expect from JSPC.

JSPC certified as a Google for Education Partner

We are delighted to announce that JSPC is now a certified Google for Education Partner. That means we’ve been fully trained to help our schools make the most of the many exciting Google for Education tools. We pride ourselves on providing a personal service and the very best technology available for our school clients and this latest partnership ensures that we have the expertise to continue to help educators harness the value of technology in their teaching.

Making the most of technology

The possibilities for technology within the classroom can be dizzying, but our understanding of the tools available and the varying needs of schools means we can provide advice and consultancy to ensure schools make the most of the technology and embrace the many possibilities. Just like the teaching profession, we take a results-focussed approach to ensure that the tools we provide make a positive impact for teachers and pupils alike.

Maximise your technology budget

We understand that budgets remain under pressure and that’s another reason we are glad to have the training and expertise to support and deliver Google for Education, which offers an affordable solution with numerous free educational tools. The option to manage in the cloud and use shareable devices means that you can make the most of your IT investment and adapt the tools to a range of learning environments from one-on-one work to a whole class and everything in between.

Explore the benefits of Google for Education

There are a lot of benefits to Google for Education tools, but above all is the fact that they work and that’s why we’re keen to support our schools in implementing the technology. It can help with everything from engagement and personalised learning to productivity tools. We see first-hand the passion and dedication that teachers bring to their classrooms and tools such as these which are simple to set up and make an immediate impact let them concentrate on what really matters – teaching.

If you’re interested in finding out how Google for Education could transform your school, drop us a line and we’ll be happy to talk it through.

 

JSPC is now certified for Cyber Essentials

IT security has been on everyone’s minds this year – if you follow the news you can hardly have missed it. We’ve written articles which have appeared on this blog as well as in education magazines and business publications which highlighted how cyber attacks work and more importantly, how to protect against them. We were keen to share these articles because we think it’s important to keep up to date and take control of your IT security. That’s also why we decided to follow our own advice and get the company certified for Cyber Essentials.

Implement basic protection

Cyber Essentials aims to help organisations implement basic levels of protection against cyber attack. It has become a prerequisite for some companies looking to supply to public sector organisations to be certified, which shows how seriously the government is taking the various threats to IT security. It also shows that organisations – from businesses to schools and public sector providers – need to take the initiative and make sure they are protected.

Five key controls

The Cyber Essentials programme has developed a robust system of self-assessment against five key controls:

  • Firewalls
  • Secure configuration
  • User access control
  • Malware protection
  • Patch management

Take IT security seriously

We have gained the Cyber Essentials certification not only to protect JSPC, but to ensure we have the latest knowledge and best-practice frameworks available to help our clients get informed and protected about IT security threats. The certification is an outward sign to demonstrate how seriously we take security at JSPC. Also, as an accreditation that should be renewed annually, it demonstrates we are committed to staying up to date and on top of the latest security threats.

If you’re interested in getting accredited for Cyber Essentials, you can find out more here: www.cyberstreetwise.com\cyberessentials. If you’re concerned that your skills or your equipment won’t pass the assessment, you’re welcome to give us a call and we can talk through the requirements and any additional training or investment you might need.

Expert help to ease your GDPR worries

Upcoming changes to the data protection rules mean a raft of new obligations for the storing and management of data. The new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) have a particular focus on data held on children and young people, which means schools are under pressure to ensure they are compliant. There are stringent fines for organisations who don’t meet the new standards; fines will be levied in accordance with the size of the organisation and the severity of the issue. Whilst schools may not be liable for fines in the hundreds of thousands of pounds like large corporate offenders, the nature of the data means that the ICO is likely to prove a tough moderator and could result in a fine and poor publicity for the school.

We’re not trying to scare anyone with this update – the rules are important and significant but from what we know of the schools we work with, very few will have any significant issues. The challenge, however, is that organisations are not only required to comply with the rules but also provide clear evidence that this is the case. At JSPC, we’re experts on technology and can provide support on how to keep your data secure, for example, or solutions for responding to data access or deletion requests, but these rules are as much about processes as technology.

This is why we’ve partnered with a specialist company, GDPR.co.uk to help schools take control and manage their own compliance. The online tool allows you to assess all aspects of current procedure and available technology and will not only highlight where action needs to be taken, but also provide confirmation of where current processes meet the required guidelines. Once you’ve identified any gaps, it’s easier to take action on the key priorities before the rules come into force in May 2018.

The new GDPR is a significant piece of legislation, brought in to reflect the changes to the way data is used and stored due to rapid technological change. We recommend the GDPR.co.uk tool because it will help you ensure compliance but also it will promote best practice across the school. Rather than seeing the new rules as a burden, it can be an opportunity to streamline processes, bolster security and provide processes which not only ensure compliance, but also support better communications with teachers, pupils and parents.

Contact us to find out more about how we can help with your school’s journey from GDPR uncertainty to full compliance.

JSPC shortlisted for Employer of the Year in the FSB Awards

We were delighted to have been shortlisted for Employer of the Year in the upcoming Federation of Small Business (FSB) Awards. To be on the shortlist for any award is, of course, a great honour, but in this case we’re particularly pleased because it recognises our strong commitment to teamwork. Businesses need great people to achieve any success, and we believe the people at JSPC are amongst the best!

Valuing our team means that we invest in training – not only does that mean that they’re all up to date on the latest legal requirements for schools and technical solutions but also everyone is constantly learning, keeping each role new and fresh with plenty of opportunities for the future. In addition, we also have team building days to make sure everyone works well together and each individuals’ skills is valued as part of the team.

Every single member of our 25-strong team is integral to the great service we provide to schools across the region. We genuinely feel like this nomination is a reflection of just how much we value our team, and how much great work they all do for schools every day.

The awards take place on 6th March 2018 at Sandown Park Racecourse, and we’re looking forward to the event. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for the final result but either way, we feel that as an employer, we definitely have a team worth celebrating.

New Exa Status Checker

Calling all schools on Exa! You will be pleased to hear that Exa has launched a status checker for their services. The new checker notifies when Exa are experiencing problems with their broadband or mail services, it also details any planned upgrade or maintenance works they undertake.

To subscribe, click this link and scroll down to the green ’Subscribe’ button at the bottom of the page. You will then be asked to enter your email address to receive emails about any Exa issues or updates.

We know that many of you receive your emails on your phone. This new service means that even if the Internet is temporarily down you will easily be able to access up-to-date information regarding any Exa problem via your mobile and determine whether there is an overall issue or if it is a problem specific to your school.

As always, if you are concerned by any issue please feel free to give us a call on 01903 767122.

Pokemon Go Explained

Pokemon Go is causing a stir all over the world so we thought we would give you the low down on this latest craze.

A spin off of the late 90’s card game, Pokemon Go is an augmented reality game where players are tasked with spotting and catching those same animals in their real world surroundings. The app films your setting via your phone’s camera and the Pokemon characters then appear in various places depending on the time and your location. Your phone alerts you when you come into an area near a Pokemon by vibrating and when you spot it you throw a Poke Ball to capture it, the aim of the game being to catch them all.

This new augmented reality technology blurs the line between what is real and what is computer generated. Similar to virtual reality, which creates immersive, computer-generated environments, augmented reality adds graphics and sounds to the real world as it exists.

Although, due to unprecedented popularity in the US, Australia and New Zealand, the games release was originally delayed in the UK. The craze has now hit our British shores. You have been warned!

Using Google reverse image search

Google now processes over 3.5 billion searches per day. This includes image searches but did you know you can also do reverse image searches? This is a function where you can use an image you already have to search for similar images online, to find other websites that use the image or to find the image in different sizes.

To use this function visit Google and click on the link that says ‘Images’. You will then see a different Google search screen appear with a search box that has a small camera icon in the far right hand corner.

When you click the camera icon you will be given two options to help you search for your image. You can either ‘Paste by URL’ or ‘Upload an Image’. If you are searching for similar images to one you already have then click ‘Upload an Image’. From here you can follow the directions to upload your chosen image from your computer. Google will automatically search for the picture and generate a list of website pages that use this image. It will also show a selection of visually similar images. You can also search for similar images by choosing the ‘Paste by URL’ option and copying and pasting the URL of an image into the search to find images that are similar to your selected photo.

You can retrieve the URL of an image by right-clicking on the image of your choice and copying the link then pasting this into the search. Searching by images works best when the image is likely to show up in other places on the Internet, for example you will get more results for famous landmarks than you will for personal images.