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Our latest tech advice for education IT decision makers sees Graeme Walker, senior technician, recommending how schools protect their investment as they switch onto the benefits of remote network monitoring.

Remote monitoring is a standard specification that enables a school’s network to be accessed and managed off-site from a central location using devices such as monitors or probes.remote-control

Such a capability is clearly beneficial for small teams stationed in one spot but with responsibility for IT provision across wide sites. With remote network access, if a device goes down, you don’t have to travel to that location to identify and fix any problems. This saves time, increases productivity, and allows you to rest easy knowing that the network is monitored around the clock.

However, it’s also important to protect your network investment; so you need to follow some simple steps to identify where IT responsibility lies and processes reside within your school to help you move ahead:

Ensure your school managers and governors acknowledge the importance of and responsibilities for maintaining e-Learning security.
If possible, work with an external technology partner, who offers objectivity, to ensure technical measures are in place to protect your school’s network.
Create user privileges for teaching staff, administrators and pupils to ensure they can access the required facilities while minimising the potential for deliberate or accidental misuse of the network.
Develop an e-security protocol to ensure everyone understands their obligations and responsibilities through easy-to-understand and intuitive education and training.
Establish and maintain proper processes to log, report on and monitor any e-security incidents
Make sure that you have the necessary technical protections in place to detect and prevent any malicious code or content damaging network confidentiality, integrity and availability.
Establish and maintain effective network monitoring to ensure attacks and other e-security breaches are detected quickly – enabling a rapid and proactive response.
Consider placing controls on the use of removable devices such as USBs, which can introduce malware inadvertently or accidentally to your network.
Also, make sure there are mechanisms in place to support remote use of school network facilities by staff and pupils, particularly for devices that are used onsite and beyond.

By following these tips you will help to protect your network investment in the long term and reflects how value added expertise provided by Calibre can make an impact.

Get the protection right from the very start, and your school will enjoy the long-term benefits the network investment deserves. Get it wrong, or take short cuts, and you could be faced with years of problems and spiralling costs.

Ask yourself: Can you afford to take the risk?