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MIS Systems Thread, SIMS ZIS Agent in Technical; Originally Posted by CyberNerd Capita extended SIF without getting the changes ratified, making interoperability difficult. We have been very open ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    Capita extended SIF without getting the changes ratified, making interoperability difficult.
    We have been very open about our security concerns which Rob has acknowledged to be real. Rob's solution is to build security into the ZIS. I don't think this is something that other ZIS manufacturers have done? Our solution was to add a tag to the messages.

    We had a real problem to solve two years ago. We tried using straight SIF messages but the schools did not want to share pupil records with schools that didn't teach their pupils. If we had waited for our changes to be ratified our schools still wouldn't have a solution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    We have been very open about our security concerns which Rob has acknowledged to be real. Rob's solution is to build security into the ZIS. I don't think this is something that other ZIS manufacturers have done? Our solution was to add a tag to the messages.

    We had a real problem to solve two years ago. We tried using straight SIF messages but the schools did not want to share pupil records with schools that didn't teach their pupils. If we had waited for our changes to be ratified our schools still wouldn't have a solution.
    @PhilNeal

    I can see the issue about security, but student information is shared between schools, la's and government.

    You've solve one problem but inadvertently caused another one which is much bigger, due to the focus which as you stated as being on schools.

    Another solution could have been take a step back and look at the wider issue of data sharing between Schools, LA's and Government.

    Apart from the Schools wish not to share data, what were the other factors taken into account for this decision? So the debate can continue.

    Can ZIS be joined together?

    If they could, an LA ZIS would hold all the students records for children in education in there LA, a schools ZIS would have the information for students they teach.

    The government could have a ZIS which holds the information of all the students in education in the country fed from the LA ZIS's.

    This would remove the need for CTF files as the information required for a schools is held on at least two other ZIS.

    Examination board could feed the information into the government ZIS and then it would filter down to the schools.

    Could what i suggest work within the defined SIF standard?

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    I'm afraid that the situation gets worse as you move towards school/LA data sharing. SIF doesn't provide for a "dialogue" between data owners that could result in children being lost. This could place a child at extreme risk.

    Data can only be shared between institutions that have a valid interest in a pupil.

    We are working with Becta and SIFA to get these issues addressed. Rob is one of the few people in SIFA to recognise the issues we have raised as real.

    Implementing a system that we believe would be insecure would create a huge reputational risk for Capita - imagine the headlines. "Capita implements a data exchange system that it knew was insecure".

    If these issues are acknowledged we can find a solution that is standard and proper plans can be made to roll it out.

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    Just to add a bit to both Rob and Phil ... the issue of access and sharing of data is one thing ... the next bit is making sure what is shared is appropriate. At the moment Rob has dealt with that one way and Phil another.

    @penfold_99 have you got hold of anyone in SIFA yet?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    @penfold_99 have you got hold of anyone in SIFA yet?
    i have emailed the SIFA UK person at becta but there away on annual leave and will be back monday.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    Data can only be shared between institutions that have a valid interest in a pupil.
    Whay can't an LA have all the students listed as guest in a LA sims, that would ensure a vested interest?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    We are working with Becta and SIFA to get these issues addressed. Rob is one of the few people in SIFA to recognise the issues we have raised as real.

    If these issues are acknowledged we can find a solution that is standard and proper plans can be made to roll it out.
    So are you saying Becta and SIFA UK do not recognise this issues as real and a security problem?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    Implementing a system that we believe would be insecure would create a huge reputational risk for Capita - imagine the headlines. "Capita implements a data exchange system that it knew was insecure".
    This could also be said but using any piece of software that has a known exploit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    I'm afraid that the situation gets worse as you move towards school/LA data sharing. SIF doesn't provide for a "dialogue" between data owners that could result in children being lost. This could place a child at extreme risk.
    Hi Phil, could you explain this point a little more. I understand the security concerns. I donít want anyone along the SIF chain to have access to all the data in that chain. I donít understand what you mean by lack of dialogue and how children could get lost.

    Ian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian_ICTDS View Post
    I donít want anyone along the SIF chain to have access to all the data in that chain.
    Why are you wanting to restrict data in the SIF when it could be actually required.
    Everyone along the SIF chain needs access to all the information they require.

    Can't this be governed with the SIFUK certification process?

    Agents would require a digital certificate when they request information from the zis it passes of the certificate first and then the zis only returns information allowed by the certificate.

    So a ZIS further down the SIF chain would contain the same information as a ZIS further up the chain but only for the students/contacts that are relevant to there school/la.

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    Quote Originally Posted by penfold_99 View Post
    Why are you wanting to restrict data in the SIF when it could be actually required.
    I only want to restrict illegitimate access to data. I can imagine many situations where legitimate access to data could really empower schools, LAs and governments to improve life for children. What concerns me is that the current system is open for abuse. To me it appears that If you are registered along the SIF chain you can make requests for any data on anyone. To me, thatís worrying.

    Ian.

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    Ian, SIF deals with single ownership of data well.

    The problem comes when two parties own a data item and the best example is addresses which are managed by schools and LAs. SIF doesn't provide for a dialogue between the two parties. If one party rejects a change the originating party isn't automatcially informed and the rejection sits on the ZIS waiting for manual intervention. We know from our own experiences with B2B Student that there are hundreds of rejected messages that need to be processed every month. Knowing where a child is living is vital for social services.

    Penfold the LA has every right to see the pupil data. The problem I'm referring to is within consortia. You want to share John Smith's data with Barnfield and Shirelands but none of the other schools in the consortia.

    We have raised our concerns with SIFA but haven't seen a solution emerge. You'd need to ask Becta what their view is.

  11. Thanks to PhilNeal from:

    dhicks (25th July 2009)

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    Thanks Phil,

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    Penfold the LA has every right to see the pupil data. The problem I'm referring to is within consortia. You want to share John Smith's data with Barnfield and Shirelands but none of the other schools in the consortia.
    That’s my concern exactly.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    The problem comes when two parties own a data item and the best example is addresses which are managed by schools and LAs. SIF doesn't provide for a dialogue between the two parties. If one party rejects a change the originating party isn't automatcially informed and the rejection sits on the ZIS waiting for manual intervention. We know from our own experiences with B2B Student that there are hundreds of rejected messages that need to be processed every month. Knowing where a child is living is vital for social services.
    This is another real concern. I can see all sorts falling through the cracks. Defiantly food for thought.

    Ian
    Last edited by Ian_ICTDS; 23rd July 2009 at 03:34 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    The problem I'm referring to is within consortia. You want to share John Smith's data with Barnfield and Shirelands but none of the other schools in the consortia.
    This wouldn't be a problem if the topology was correct. As if a student was attending two schools this would be tagged in the LA ZIS and the schools ZIS should only pull information for students tagged with there school. There acces to thsi information could be controlled by the certidfication of the ZIS agents for a given application.

    The consortia wouldn't then need there own ZIS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by penfold_99 View Post
    This wouldn't be a problem if the topology was correct. As if a student was attending two schools this would be tagged in the LA ZIS and the schools ZIS should only pull information for students tagged with there school. There acces to thsi information could be controlled by the certidfication of the ZIS agents for a given application.

    The consortia wouldn't then need there own ZIS.
    Penfold, Is this possible currently in SIF or is this something you are proposing?

    Ian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian_ICTDS View Post
    Penfold, Is this possible currently in SIF or is this something you are proposing?
    More proposing the idea, than saying its possible. As no one has stated you can't join ZIS's together in a chain then it should be possible.

    I'm mainly raising these questions as it could be something missed or not thought of in conversation that have previously been had.

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    Penfold,

    I donít think you daisy chain ZIS together as such. I think you would have some sort of software in between. Say the DCSF had a ZIS. The LA would have some kind of MIS software that is registered with that ZIS. This software would also be registered with the LA ZIS. Schools MIS would be registered with the LA ZIS. So a message would go from School MIS to LA ZIS, LA ZIS to LA MIS, LA MIS to DCSF ZIS and vice versa. At least this is the impression Iíve got from the reading Iíve done.

    Ian.



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