The UK’s first school to demonstrate that they have protected themselves against common cyber attacks by achieving the Government’s Cyber Essentials standard is Osgodby Primary School in Lincolnshire. Cyber Essentials is a scheme which has been developed by Government and industry to fulfil two functions: it provides clear controls which an organisation must take to reduce the likelihood of attack from the most common Internet-based threats and also provides a means of assurance to demonstrate to individuals or bodies external to the organisation that they have taken essentials precautions.
For Osgodby Primary School, Cyber Essentials is the latest in a line of achievements to raise the profile of e-Safety amongst pupils. Last year, some of Osgodby’s Young Journalists reported on Cyber Security when the attended a Cyber Security Boot Camp and the school was also the first organisation of its kind to join the free Cyber-security Information Sharing Partnership (CiSP) which is managed by CERT-UK. Whilst the pupils within the school don’t use the CiSP themselves, Osgodby has used information from the CiSP to bolster its cyber defences.
“All our children are very proficient in using ICT in all forms” says Jill Fincham, Osgodby’s Head Teacher. “Safeguarding is therefore vitally important to us all within the school and through the work that the children have done as a result of our activities and membership of the CiSP we’ve been able to develop a mature attitude to working online. We’ve even been able to work with parents and provide them with information that has helped develop their understanding too.”
Chris Gibson, Director of CERT-UK, is delighted that the CiSP has helped Osgodby to attain this certification, “after they joined the CiSP, we’ve mentioned Osgodby Primary School’s healthy attitude to cyber security all over the UK and further afield. To see that they’ve now developed further is extremely encouraging.”
In addition to Cyber Essentials certification, Osgodby have also achieved another milestone by meeting the needs of the IASME standard. The IASME standard, based on international best practice, is risk-based and includes aspects such as physical security, staff awareness, and data backup.
Sarah Greig, Senior Administrator at Osgodby Primary School says “We initially thought that Cyber Essentials would be difficult but as we were supported through the process, we found that it was something that, with a few tweaks here and there, we could achieve.”
We're pleased that we have been able to make this happen for Osgodby Primary School!