School leaders have been warned by government officials that they must prepare for the threat of cyberattacks as the new academic year gets fully under way.
Last September, just weeks into the new term, six schools in the same academy trust in Hertfordshire had their internal systems brought down by a cyberattack.
More recently, Debenham High School in Suffolk saw a hack take all of its computer facilities taken offline, leaving technicians scrambling to restore them before term starts.
The National Cyber Security Centre said "appropriate security measures" should be in place to defend against any threats and prevent disruption. And it is now widely accepted Police Cyber Alarm can be one of the key measures that schools can use to protect themselves from cyber-attacks.
What is Police Cyber Alarm?
Police CyberAlarm (PCA) is an award-winning free tool, provided by your local police force and funded by the Home Office, to help your business or organisation monitor and report the suspicious cyber activity it faces.
Since Police CyberAlarm launched it has identified over a billion suspicious events resulting in reports and advice being given to members, enabling them to take action to prevent a successful attack.
Police CyberAlarm will detect and provide regular reports of suspicious cyber activity and vulnerabilities enabling your business or organisation to identify and mitigate its cyber risks.
PCA also takes all the logs from all the members and gathers them together in one central Police database, where analysts are able to more easily identify national trends. And that information is then used to help everyone, members and non-members alike.
What are people saying about PCA
Canny Clever IT Services
The information provided by Police CyberAlarm helped us understand the mechanics of this attack, which then led to us discussing the issue with the software developer responsible for the firewall software. The vulnerability that was discovered has now been fully patched by the developer, with the patch being made available to their other customers. Police CyberAlarm is making a real-world difference in helping business understand and mitigate real-world cyber threats.
GORDON PERKINS LGSS at Northamptonshire County Council
Police CyberAlarm was implemented with ease and provides essential proactive intelligence of external cyber security threats. With the regular reporting received from Police CyberAlarm, we are now equipped to secure against any new vulnerabilities as they are detected.
What should I do next?
Join our community at the Eastern Cyber Resilience Centre; it’s totally free. We can talk to you about your firm’s cyber resilience and can offer guidance to free tools that you can implement straight away.
Contact us and we can help you navigate the journey to incorporate PCA into your part of your security posture.
Alternatively, go to the Police Cyber Alarm website and sign up directly..
Reporting a live cyber-attack 24/7
If you are a business, charity or other organisation which is currently suffering a live cyber-attack (in progress), please call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 immediately. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Reporting a cyber-attack which isn't ongoing
Please report online to Action Fraud, the UK's national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime. You can report cybercrime online at any time using the online reporting tool, which will guide you through simple questions to identify what has happened. Action Fraud advisors can also provide the help, support, and advice you need.
Alternatively, you can call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040