What does Teaching Continuity really mean?
Teaching continuity means ensuring solutions are in place that will enable your school to carry on teaching and ensure your critical school data is kept safe following a disruptive occurrence. This is of ever increasing importance as the cybersecurity landscape evolves and GDPR compliance requirements are implemented.
Within a Teaching Continuity solution there will be Back Up and or Disaster Recovery.
What exactly is Backup?
This is a copy of your data on another device or in another location, whether it be on premise or in the cloud.
Backups are usually performed on a daily basis. That day’s data is copied and stored away from the original data.
What exactly is Disaster Recovery (DR)?
Your DR strategy is about having a plan of action and, importantly, a technical solution in place that will mean that the core components of your school are back up and running as soon as possible following an incident or cyber-attack.
To formulate this DR plan, there are a number of questions that you should be asking yourself, including:
- What are the key systems my school requires to function?
- How long can my school function without the above systems?
- What data is crucial to keeping my school operational?
These questions will form the framework of a DR strategy plan that your IT support provider can then help you to implement.
A comprehensive teaching continuity plan will therefore encompass:
- A comprehensive backup plan to ensure there is an up to date copy of your data on another device and/or in another location
- A disaster recovery plan that ensures critical components of your school’s systems and data are back up and running as soon as possible following an incident or cyberattack
- Enhanced measures to protect your school from cyber attacks
As best practice for schools, Sweethaven would normally recommend a solution that combines both data backup and disaster recovery, to minimise any potential downtime.
Why is this so important?
It is important to know that "the education sector saw 19 breaches in the last quarter, many of which were due to the loss or theft of an unencrypted data storage device."1
This information is vital to be aware of because “Cyber-attacks are one of the biggest threats that schools face, experts have warned, as new figures show that a fifth of education establishments have been hit.”2 This statistic clearly outlines the danger schools are in due to cyber-crimes. Many can have the attitude of thinking that ‘It’ll never happen to our school’ however, these statistics evidently prove that anyone is in danger from these cyber-attacks and they could occur at any given point.
Backup and disaster recovery solutions need to be implemented at the same time as network protection measures, to ensure you are doing the best to mitigate any critical data loss that may impact teaching continuity.