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General Chat Thread, Questions asked by 6th Form IT class in General; Originally Posted by Earthling Exactly that.......that would be my first and foremost concern, and never mind their course requirements. I ...
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    SovietRussia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Earthling View Post
    Exactly that.......that would be my first and foremost concern, and never mind their course requirements.
    I wouldn't even give up information about management (GP, AD), if they want to learn - find it!

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    carnforthhigh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unixman_again View Post
    I would hope that the answer to Q4 is "Only IT staff have the access rights to install anything".
    Exactly that, specifically IT Technical Staff!! not even the IT Teachers

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    No idea if this'll help you or not, but thought I'd answer from my own (non-school) perspective.

    Quote Originally Posted by carnforthhigh View Post
    1. What disaster recovery techniques are used?
    Off-site warm room with fifty seats for 'essential' staff (definition of essential is somewhat controversial) in case of office incidents.

    For anything less than the building burning down our live network is provided by an MSP, mirrored between two data centers in different parts of the country.

    2. How often is system security reviewed? How often are audits carried out?
    Bi-annually for security reviews on the live network, annually for our ISO 27001 audit. On the dev network (my area) security reviews are an ongoing process.

    3. Is there an email or Internet usage policy? What are the limits for staff and students?
    Two, depending on which network you are on at the time. The live network policy is a lot more stringent than the dev network policy due to information sensitivity. They both essentially boil down to 'don't be a moron'.

    4. How do you monitor for software installation?
    On dev we use Spiceworks to reduce the instances of iTunes and similar. On live no software can be installed, everything is provided by app streaming or browser so workstations are nothing more than terminals.

    5. Does the centre have a policy for use of CCTV?
    Yup. We don't have it anywhere other than shared areas.

    6. What are the most common risks you face in managing the network?
    Air conditioning breaking down in my case. Just recently I had a server burn out when the server room hit 90 degrees over the weekend.

    7. What proportion of your budget do you spend on equipment and software?
    Less than 10%.

    8. What do you look for when recruiting and hiring technical staff?
    It depends entirely on the role. Usually it's a case of hiring developers so generally the right experience on the CV. Speaking for myself if I were hiring an assistant I'd be more interested in general experience, adaptability and a demonstrated enthusiasm for the area.

    9. How are network and system security delegated?
    Me.

    10. What training do you offer your staff?
    Whatever's appropriate to their role and required by project, carried out by external training providers.

    Once again Thanks
    No problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by SovietRussia View Post
    I wouldn't even give up information about management (GP, AD), if they want to learn - find it!
    I work with sensitive data, and I'm quite happy to tell people about any of our security practices (in fact twice a year I have to do so, as well as documenting them). If a little information about group policy is going to let someone break into my network I should really be looking for a new job rather than trying to keep them ignorant.

  4. 2 Thanks to jamesb:

    carnforthhigh (20th November 2013), gwendes (20th November 2013)

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    SovietRussia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    I work with sensitive data, and I'm quite happy to tell people about any of our security practices (in fact twice a year I have to do so, as well as documenting them). If a little information about group policy is going to let someone break into my network I should really be looking for a new job rather than trying to keep them ignorant.
    So am I happy to share, I was refering to the fact that they are students, and might want to do some research than listen to me harp on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SovietRussia View Post
    So am I happy to share, I was refering to the fact that they are students, and might want to do some research than listen to me harp on.
    I partly agree, although I'd give them the basics as a jumping off point. Research is all well and good, but if they've never heard of Active Directory it could be a long, frustrating and pointless search.

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    carnforthhigh's Avatar
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    Thanks jamesb, just out of interest what kind of company do you work for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by carnforthhigh View Post
    Thanks jamesb, just out of interest what kind of company do you work for?
    No problem at all.

    One of the government corporations (i.e. set up through legislation, regulated by it but not tax payer funded), the Pension Protection Fund.

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    We do something similar here. Once a year, I teach a lesson on some of the topics covered in the OP using real-world examples from the school network, as well as bigger networks such as Google, Amazon etc.

    Where possible I tell the truth or an abstracted version if they'll have trouble grasping the concept.

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    Here's my answers:

    1. What disaster recovery techniques are used?
    A. Praying and swearing with a lot of crying.

    2. How often is system security reviewed? How often are audits carried out?
    A. All the ********* time.

    3. Is there an email or Internet usage policy? What are the limits for staff and students?
    A. Yes, but nobody reads them. Limits - are you serious? We have staff setting fire to themselves in the playground if you stick a quota on anything!

    4. How do you monitor for software installation?
    A. We don't allow software installation. Students use chalk and a piece of slate.

    5. Does the centre have a policy for use of CCTV?
    A. Yes, but everyone ignores it. We have outbreaks of mooning.

    6. What are the most common risks you face in managing the network?
    A. Caffeine overdosing.

    7. What proportion of your budget do you spend on equipment and software?
    A. Not enough. It's never enough. Even if they gave me 100k a year it would never be enough. Rant over.

    8. What do you look for when recruiting and hiring technical staff?
    A. Arms. And legs. And a head. They help.

    9. How are network and system security delegated?
    A. If you're the IT Bod it's your job. Same rule applies to anything with a plug on the end.

    10. What training do you offer your staff?
    A. How to deliver the best ever Chinese Burn.

  11. 2 Thanks to tech_guy:

    Earthling (20th November 2013), LosOjos (20th November 2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    If a little information about group policy is going to let someone break into my network I should really be looking for a new job rather than trying to keep them ignorant.
    ^THIS

    (plus, lol)

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    I really don't understand the mentalilty of some of these answers. God forbid the students should learn something eh? It's not like they're at school to learn or anything is it? Oh... wait...

    I don't see the problem with these questions. Some of them perhaps should be answered in broad terms, especially given that they are trying to learn something for a curriculum assignment so would need answers framed in a context suitable for that anyway.

    If anyone really thinks that students knowing that something called "a GPO" (or "SCCM" or whatever) is how you install software genuinely puts your network security at risk then your network security simply isn't adequate anyway. This is kinda like the big fear some people have over letting students know that a command prompt exists... On a properly secured network it should not be an issue, and if your network isn't properly secured then the answer is to secure it, not to pray that no one notices the emperor has no clothes.

  14. 4 Thanks to Roberto:

    carnforthhigh (20th November 2013), FishCustard (20th November 2013), jamesb (20th November 2013), jcollings (20th November 2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roberto View Post
    If your network isn't properly secured then the answer is to secure it, not to pray that no one notices the emperor has no clothes.
    Absolutely. Security by obscurity is no security at all really...

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    God forbid the students should learn something eh?
    I don't think it really has anything to do with dampening their education, or wanting to. The tendency, for IT techs, is to feel very protective of the network. This is amplified by the rogues we all know exist in schools - especially so in the higher years, simply because they (the rogues) are, generally, smarter and more daring. Unfortunately, this can have a negative impact on the more well behaved kids that genuinely do want to learn.

    Based on the Y11 IT curriculum content I have seen, my initial thought was 'why would they need to know anything like this for their coursework?' - but Y12 might be a far cry from Y11.
    Personally, I certainly wouldn't 'give up the information' without thoughts of possible consequences, which could be huge!
    In the end, whether I answered the questions in the OP or not would depend entirely who was asking. If i felt the kids were trustworthy enough with the info then I would be happy to help. Others I have met in schools wouldn't stand a chance!

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    Quote Originally Posted by detjo View Post
    I don't think it really has anything to do with dampening their education, or wanting to. The tendency, for IT techs, is to feel very protective of the network. This is amplified by the rogues we all know exist in schools - especially so in the higher years, simply because they (the rogues) are, generally, smarter and more daring. Unfortunately, this can have a negative impact on the more well behaved kids that genuinely do want to learn.
    I've worked in schools, so I do know what you're talking about.

    Having said that I currently work with devs. They are definitely smarter, more aware of the measures taken to protect the network, have more experience, and the ongoing 'friendly' tussle for control of the network and security is far, far more intense than anything I've ever experienced in a school.

    I still don't see how any of the questions above could provide them with any information to poke holes in even one of my security measures. If telling someone the DR plan, or what I look for in an assistant, is going to help them penetrate my network I stick by my original statement - I should be looking for a new job.

    Now if they started asking for passwords, or to borrow my security token, or to get access to my server room without me present that would be a different matter.

    Based on the Y11 IT curriculum content I have seen, my initial thought was 'why would they need to know anything like this for their coursework?' - but Y12 might be a far cry from Y11.
    My initial thought was 'great, someone actually taking an interest in real IT rather than the dross they pass off as a curriculum, wonder if I could sort out an apprenticeship'. But each to their own.
    Last edited by jamesb; 21st November 2013 at 10:55 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carnforthhigh View Post
    Hi, We have been asked some questions by our 6th Form IT class and wondered what other peoples responses would be. We would be grateful if a few of you fellow edugeekers could post some answers. Thanks
    1. What disaster recovery techniques are used?

    Backup to Disc then Backup to tape. Second server room. Large site with distributed storage of assets.

    2. How often is system security reviewed? How often are audits carried out?

    Full strategic reviews : 3 years. We operate configuration change control which may trigger review.

    3. Is there an email or Internet usage policy? What are the limits for staff and students?

    Yes. Limits are under review, currently 5GB mail, 50GB storage for students.

    4. How do you monitor for software installation?

    Various, from scanning storage for .exe's and various monitoring tools.

    5. Does the centre have a policy for use of CCTV?

    Yes.

    6. What are the most common risks you face in managing the network?

    Data loss via "pressing wrong keys error". Data security via people taking personal data offsite using unsecured devices/services.

    7. What proportion of your budget do you spend on equipment and software?

    Do you mean the school budget? ISTR 2%.

    8. What do you look for when recruiting and hiring technical staff?

    Specific skills + ability to learn + a customer service focus.

    9. How are network and system security delegated?

    Not sure I understand the question.

    10. What training do you offer your staff?

    Very little if it is not associated with H&S, safeguarding or development of teaching staff. We allocate some budget to books and encourage staff to allocate time to develop their skills.

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