Today I learnt that another school (fortunately not mine!) lost a great deal of data due to a member of staff leaving a pc logged in as them and a pupil using it to delete more or less ALL staff data on the server. To add to this it turns out that the central IT department hadn't been backing up this data and the network manager in the school had no permissions to get onto these servers to set the back up.
Any laws or guidelines broken?
Although I sympathise with the network manager I do have to wonder why he hadn't checked it, I check my backup is running every few weeks so surely he should have queried why he had no access to even check this?
Cardinal sin for IT services who installed and setup the servers not to ensure correct backups were being taken.
Muppetry by the member of staff who left the pc unattended after logging on, annoyingly this still happens in my school
Your opinions please! I honestly think I'd have been dragged to the nearest tree and hung if this happened here!
Data Protection Act for the School. The school is liable initially, plus is open to civil suits by parents if they feel their child was disadvantaged in some way because of the data loss. NM will probably get fired. School can do some buck passing if it want and take some legal action against 'Central IT' (kinda hinges on if there's any SLA in place though).
Computer Misuse Act for the pupil involved. Go directly to Jail, do not pass go, do not collect ¬£200.
It all depends on who is actually responsible for the backups. If the backups were included as part of the NM's job description then he will likely get the axe. If it is Central IT that is suppose to take complete control of them, then the legal blame can partly be passed their.
On the accessing of the machine part, as Geoff says the kid should be prosecuted and the Staff member who left their machine logged in should at least get disciplined, or made an example of under the DPA.
Well seeing as the chap has the same job description as myself and I know that backups are in it (as you'd expect) I guess he's facing a hard time. He does however have a document from central IT stating that they will install and setup the backup software to backup all essential data, this hasn't been done so I guess a little blame could be passed.
Ultimately though I think it's down to the network manager, it's why we're there!
I've put a warning up on our intranet about this, using it as an example and hopefully making staff aware that THEY could be in trouble for it. That being said I'll still go and tweak my security settings.. just in case
Even if I have a piece of paper telling me that the backup stuff is ok I still want documentation that shows me where it all is ... and then test restores are needed to be done on a random basis throughout the year.
Ultimately the NM is responsible for the data stored on the network. He is the person that should be holding his hands up and then saying 'this is how we fix it for the future' ...
I will hold my hands up and say 'been there, done that' and had the major shouting at by the Head (last place) ... it is a lesson learnt the hard way. It didn't result in any disciplinary action as it was not just my fault (depending on your school you may have to do blame management) but it did involve me working lots of extra time to help put it right.
Blimy!! If this happened in the school I work for, I expect myself and my systems co-ordinator would both get the axe.
Annoyingly we do get a lot of staff laptops left logged on in this school, and on ocassions staff have even let students use their laptop for work while logged on as themselves! Madness!
I check my backup on a daily basis, and perform test restores fairly frequently, and also run shadow copying so could swiftly recover from such a disaster.
The most damage a student could do on my domain, even logged on as a member of staff, would be to delete that member of staffs home area, and the public drive. Can't see how they could delete all staff files unless it was an administrator level account, or the network security was badly done.
I do feel sorry in part for the people involved, but sometimes it takes an event like this to wake people up. I bet that school won't have any problems spending money on network security in the future!