March 2017

Cyber Essentials is Essential for Schools

Cohort company MASS has supported The Leys and St Faith's schools in becoming some of the first schools to achieve Cyber Essentials certification.

The Leys, the only co-educational boarding and day school in Cambridge, and St Faith's, the largest co-educational prep school in Cambridge, identify data protection as a high priority and pursued the certification to demonstrate that they take cyber security seriously. 

Cyber Essentials certification, which is now a prerequisite in bidding for Government work, is primarily focussed at business and aims at helping protect organisations from common cyber security threats, demonstrating their understanding and approach to the issue.

However, the importance of schools protecting their academic and pastoral data is as vital as a company protecting its commercially sensitive information.  The schools' achievement sets an example to other educational establishments to consider this safeguard and also highlights the importance of meeting the Cyber Essentials criteria to companies who have not yet done so.

MASS has a long heritage in the provision of secure networks to the education and commercial markets and specialises in providing guidance and support to IT-reliant organisations, helping them to achieve Cyber Essentials certification. 

Damian Glasfurd-Brown, IT Director at The Leys & St Faith's Schools Foundation, said, "We have always prided ourselves on taking network security seriously. Recent developments in Data Protection legislation have led us to do a major internal review, and we felt it was timely to have a proper test of our security posture.  MASS have provided this service in the form of the Cyber Essentials Plus assessment, and delivered very useful guidance around industry standards and best-practice.  We are delighted that our systems, networks, and administrative practices are judged compliant with the demanding Cyber Essentials Plus standard."

Ashley Lane, Managing Director of MASS, said, "With one in four organisations reporting a cyber-breach or attack in the past 12 months, achieving Cyber Essentials provides evidence that they are taking Cyber Security seriously.  Secure IT systems and processes are fundamental to this, and adopting Cyber Essentials helps a school to manage its risk and give confidence to parents, staff, students and governors that information safety is taken seriously."