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MIS Systems Thread, Accessing Sims from home? in Technical; Thanks very much for this Geoff. I have to create an agreement document for users given access to SIMS (and ...
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    Re: Accessing Sims from home?

    Thanks very much for this Geoff. I have to create an agreement document for users given access to SIMS (and limited network access) via VPN. (2 so far!). Any help draughting it greatly apreciated!

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    From a technical standpoint your systems must be secure. This obviously includes the hardware, software, and network.

    From an organisational standpoint you must address some more issues. Who has access to the data, what controls are in place over these users and how your overall systems are governed.

    In assessing if school systems meet the requirements of the seventh principle, it's helpful to ask yourself a few questions:

    • Is there proof that the school took all reasonable steps to comply with the security obligations of the Act? For example, has it undertaken a security audit to assess the obvious security risks associated with the data processing?
    • Has the school complied with relevant standards which relate to the security of personal data and which are used in the Education sector? For all public bodies, the ‘Code of Practice for Information Security Management’ (BS7799 or ISO 17799) will be of particular relevance.
    • Can the school answer some basic security questions: Is there a security policy? Is there a business continuity plan should a disaster result in the inability to process personal data for some time? Does management take its security responsibilities seriously? Do staff and students keep passwords secure and follow access control procedures?
    • How do other educational establishments deal with their security obligations? Have others set higher standards of security?
    • What security risks are known to exist and what products and/or polices can minimise these risks?


    Now, with all that organisational and technical stuff out the way. We need to deal with the teachers wandering off site with laptops. In the language of the DPA, they are 'data processors' and as such the school has an obligation to ensure they are bound by the same security regime as the school itself.

    The DPA has the following to say about policies/contracts to enforce this.
    A contract/policy must:
    [*]Require the data processor to comply with obligations
    equivalent to those of the seventh principle;[*]grant the data controller the right to audit the data processor at any time; [*]and specify that the data processor is to act only on
    instructions from the data controller
    Enjoy.

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    Re: Accessing Sims from home?

    Quote Originally Posted by ozydave
    Grommit
    We have obviously got the teachers to sign that they will comply with the data protection act. The teachers have to bear the responsibility for the safety of the data, both in school and at home.
    At school the data is available so what is stop a teacher or any other member of staff coping / printing information and taking it home.
    I agree that many times I have walked into a classroom and found the teacher has let him/her self logged on. All you can do I tell them of the importance of data protection again. If there is something that enables teacher to do their job in a way that suits them, i.e. doing reports at home rather than sitting at school etc then that has to be a good thing.
    As regards downloading stuff from the server while working remotely, that is stopped. We have MS office running on the TS so they can open documents and work on them and resave but not copy to their computer at home. (In fact the only software that will run is SIMS and MS Office. Everything else has been stopped by the software restriction policy. The start menu has been redirected so the only icons they see are SIMS and Office)
    If your school is concerned about the data falling into the wrong hands, do you allow the use of USB Flash drives and printers?

    Regards
    Ozydave
    What Software do you use for this ?

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    Re: Accessing Sims from home?

    Hi,

    We also use TS for remote sims access. We have bought a new server just for this task although at the moment the access is only open to SLT members but that my change.

    We don't allow them to connect to TS directly using the TS box but use a software called 2X Application Server which allows you to publish the applications to the users so whrn the user is accessing the applications on their remote PCs they think its running on their local machine i.e. no remote desktop window etc.

    The 2X Application server in the background uses RDP and TS but has its own RDP type client that supports SSL so we use this to encrypt the traffic. There are other ways to encrypt the traffic i.e. tunneling through SSH etc but we found the 2X Application server easier to use and deploy both in terms of from administration and users' point of view.

    The TS license does cost but the solution works. We also have FMS available to our bursar as well so he can work from home if required.


    Ash.

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    Re: Accessing Sims from home?

    As most teachers here have a Laptop with SIMS installed we just set up a VPN connection on their laptop so if at home they can run the VPN connection then run SIMS works well and no need for TS you do also have to Map the S: drive so that it can load SIMS but it works well at the moment although we dont have a lot of teachers accessing SIMS from home yet!

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    Re: Accessing Sims from home?

    As most teachers here have a Laptop with SIMS installed we just set up a VPN connection on their laptop so if at home they can run the VPN connection then run SIMS works well and no need for TS you do also have to Map the S: drive so that it can load SIMS but it works well at the moment although we dont have a lot of teachers accessing SIMS from home yet!

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