Excellent news in helping with your school’s purchasing

We are delighted to have been awarded a Technology Services 2 Framework agreement by the Crown Commercial Service, the procurement arm of central government.

The agreement covers a broad range of services and Atomwide were successful in being awarded to supply in all lots including:

Lot 1 – Technology Strategy & Services Design

Lot 2 – Transition and Transformation

Lot 3 – Operational Services

a) End User Services

b) Operational Management Services

c) Technical Management

d) Application and Data Management

Lot 4 a) – Programmes and Large Projects

More information about the new Technology Services 2 Framework can be found here – http://ccs-agreements.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/procurement-pipeline/technology-services-2

What does this mean for our customers?

The great news for both existing and potential customers is that they can now choose to ‘direct award’ for Atomwide services without having to go out and get further quotes saving time and procurement costs. The reward also demonstrates and recognises the value for money afforded by Atomwide services to their users.

To find out more about our services, now available on the Crown Commercial Service Technology Services 2 Framework, please visit our website or speak to a member of the team.

Many thanks

The Team at Atomwide

www.atomwide.com | 01689 814700 | info@atomwide.com

National Association of School Business Management (NASBM) Approved Partner

The level of complexity and autonomy in schools is ever increasing, matched with new levels of direct accountability. The NASBM aims to support and develop a fit-for-purpose professional workforce equipped to effectively manage diverse school operations.

The NASBM aims to be:

Impartial – apolitical, representing the breadth of views of our members and the wider profession

Authoritative – providing relevant and reliable information and insight

Collaborative – working with a range of stakeholders and partners to support and raise the profile of the profession

Sector led – drawing on the expertise of our members and the wider profession

Responsive – listening to and responding to the needs of our members

We are delighted to have become a NASBM Approved Partner for our ICT services and support and look forward to working in partnership with the NASBM to support both them and their members nationwide through the use of our designed-for-education technology.

Keep an eye on our events calendar to see where we will next be exhibiting alongside the NASBM to find out more about how we can help at school.

http://www.atomwide.com/events.html

To find out more about the NASBM please see their website.

https://www.nasbm.co.uk/

Many thanks

The Team at Atomwide

www.atomwide.com | 01689 814700 | info@atomwide.com

Exciting News and New Opportunities

On the 1st August 2017 AdEPT Telecom Plc, a London Stock Exchange listed company that provides telecom services to over 20,000 customers across the UK, purchased Atomwide.

AdEPT provide telecom services to county councils, town councils and Ministry of Justice probation services as well as universities and colleges. This means Atomwide can now offer more services and better value to both existing and new customers alike.

Ian Fishwick, Chief Executive of AdEPT, commented:

“We are delighted to have acquired such a high quality, well-run and profitable business with a strong management team and extremely pleased the highly experienced senior management team will remain to grow the business”

More details can be found out about AdEPT below:

http://www.adept-telecom.co.uk/

Email Filtering with MailProtect

As email is a common way to initiate cyber-attacks, it’s essential that all establishments have robust email filtering in place to keep their networks secure and their users safe. MailProtect is a powerful email filtering product that harnesses the power of multiple industry-leading scanning technologies to offer round-the-clock protection from email-borne viruses, malware, phishing attempts and other cyber-nasties, as well as filtering out general spam and unwanted bulk mail.

Each day, MailProtect scans over 2 million emails for harmful or unwanted content. By using multiple scanning engines in a coherent fashion, MailProtect is able to offer real-time protection on a global scale where users are protected from threats as soon as they are discovered, helping prevent the spread of ‘zero-hour’ attacks.

As well as providing safeguards against cyber-attacks, MailProtect also helps shield users from unwanted spam and bulk mail. Users can receive daily spam digest reports that inform them of any mail that’s been trapped in the filters and are able to ‘preview’ or ‘release’ depending on the threat.

Perhaps MailProtect’s greatest strength is in the scale of its deployment – hundreds of thousands of unique recipients (and growing) across the UK. When a new threat is discovered it can be categorised as such and immediately blocked across the MailProtect community of users.

While a strong email filtering platform is a good defence, it is only half the battle. User vigilance and understanding is also key, and an integral part of protection from not just email-borne threats, but all types of cyber-attack. Below are some top tips1 from our partners at Sophos to help you keep your guard up.

  1. Make sure you are running an up-to-date antivirus application and that it is enabled.
  2. Ensure your computer is up-to-date and fully patched. Not just your operating system, but your web browser and third party applications like Java too.
  3. A lot of malicious code is distributed via links in emails or social media messages, so don’t click on suspicious links or attachments in emails.
  4. Use web filtering to prevent you browsing to websites infected with malicious code.
  5. If you’re worried you aren’t secure, or think you may be infected, run a scan with a tool like the Sophos Free Virus Removal tool which will detect and remove any nasty code like Gameover.
  6. Keep regular backups of your important files and if you can, store them offline, where they can’t be affected in the event of an attack on your active files.

More information can be found in our MailProtect brochure.

Should you have any queries regarding MailProtect or any of our online safeguarding services please speak to one of our experts.

www.atomwide.com | 01689 814700 | info@atomwide.com

Staying secure against Gameover and CryptoLocker

1. https://news.sophos.com/en-us/2014/06/03/staying-secure-against-gameover-and-cryptolocker/

Making school-wide announcements in an emergency

An area sometimes overlooked when planning for a potential emergency at school is the making of school-wide announcements. Should the need arise for a school to communicate instructions with the entire school there needs to be a simple and effective solution in place.

Further to demand from some of our supported schools we have developed a couple of options for schools using the LGfL VoIP service to ensure that if a school needs to install or replace a communication system, we have something that will do the job.

1)      With an Atomwide supported VoIP telephony system, we’ve introduced a feature that allows a user to speak through the loudspeaker on each individual phone handset around the school to broadcast messages. An ideal choice for schools who are already using one of our VoIP systems, as it removes the need for any additional speakers. Importantly, announcements can be made from any phone, simply by dialling an extension and speaking into the handset meaning that in the event of an emergency, instructions can be laid out quickly and efficiently.

2)      Atomwide are now able to supply public announcement systems that link with selected VoIP telephony services. We’ll install a series of wall-mounted horn speakers throughout the building that you will be able to broadcast messages from using your VoIP handset, again by dialling an extension number. Though this solution does require the purchase of extra kit, the solution itself provides more widespread coverage and higher volume for both internal and external areas of the school.

To discuss either aforementioned provision or any of our school emergency or security solutions in more detail please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

www.atomwide.com | 01689 814700 | info@atomwide.com

Atomwide launches Audio Visual range

Due to an increased demand Atomwide are pleased to now provide a full range of Audio Visual equipment to our customers. As teaching and learning becomes more digital, having the right tech in the classroom and throughout the school is key when using resources that are often hosted online and encourage user interaction. Although something that we have provided for many years we have now officially partnered with a variety of leading AV hardware providers to fulfill the ever increasing demand for quality, affordable and supported AV products and services for our schools. With some older technologies such as interactive whiteboards and data projectors being replaced by more future-proof technology such as interactive flat panels it is very exciting to be working with schools on these refresh projects and seeing first-hand how other services we provide are being used to aid teaching and learning in the classroom.

 

Atomwide can now provide:

Interactive Flat Panel Displays
Digital Projectors
Sign-in Systems
Digital Signage
Projector Bulbs
Cabling and Accessories
Full Installation and Support
And more…

 

“From first contact with sales, to survey of our existing infrastructure and to the advice and support process to the implementation, the whole project was carried out smoothly, professionally and with great customer service. It was a joy to deal with all involved in this process, and the post installation support has been exemplar.” Network Manager, Westminster School

 

Installation, Support and Training

As with all Atomwide products our AV service is underpinned by our professional and accredited installation service and industry-leading support giving our customers peace of mind that we are there not only when hardware gets installed but also further down the line should there ever be any problems. We understand that the best tech can only be used to its full potential by those who understand how to use it which is why we also offer training and accessible resources to help ensure our customers are making the most of their investment and both teachers and pupils receive the best in teaching and learning outcomes.

 

For more information please visit our website at http://www.atomwide.com and if you have any AV needs don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Atomwide team on 01689 814700 or sales@atomwide.com

Keeping Safe Against Ransomware Attacks

In light of the ransomware incident that has impacted severely on organisations internationally, including the NHS, Atomwide offer the following advice and guidance to our customers to help you keep your networks secure. If you are not currently an Atomwide customer you may also find this information useful in line with your own strategies to protect against such cyber-attacks.

The malware responsible for the attack is a ransomware variant known as ‘WannaCry’. The malware propagates over TCP port 445 (Server Message Block/SMB), compromising hosts and encrypting files following which a ransom payment is demanded in the form of Bitcoins. The ransomware is designed to attack a vulnerability in the Windows Operating system that was patched by Microsoft in March 2017.

How is Atomwide mitigating the risk of infection across its customer base?

Atomwide maintains a highly secure network, on behalf of its customers, where there are multiple layers of firewalling implemented. In addition, there are services deployed that actively monitor traffic on networks looking for weaknesses, or misconfigured services from within a subscribing establishment, that could be used to compromise the integrity of your network.

All Atomwide customers, whether contracting directly or via LGfL/TRUSTnet, should act promptly and never ignore a support case alerting you of a vulnerability; the Atomwide Service Desk is available for advice and guidance should there be any doubt with the enabling of services external to your network.

Server Message Block/SMB

The Atomwide Service Desk has conducted a review of all network rules. A Support Announcement was sent to all establishments where we identified open SMB shares between other connected establishments. If you received Support Announcement 282152, the advice is to conduct a review of your firewall rules to ensure that all configured access is still required. Reducing the number of SMB connections between your organisation and other connected organisations will significantly reduce the risk of compromise.

Patching Policy

It is vital to ensure that your establishment has a patching policy in place that prioritises the install of critical patches released by vendors. As a priority, ensure all Windows devices have patch MS17-010 installed (released March 2017). For our school customers connected via LGfL/TRUSTnet this patch is available on the LGfL WSUS servers for Windows operating systems, including XP. LGfL provides a WSUS service that can be used to patch Windows Operating Systems in your school, for more information on how to use the service please contact the Atomwide Service Desk.

Backups

As the role of technology in everyday use both personally and professionally increases, and with ransomware attacks on the rise, the secure storage of data becomes even more critical. The secure, automated and regular backup of all critical data to an offsite storage location is highly recommended and should be part of any establishment’s disaster recovery plan. When deploying a remote backup solution, backup files should not be accessible by machines which are at risk of being infected by ransomware. Atomwide currently manages over 1.3 Petabyte’s of remotely backed-up data across over 800 individual establishments. For more information on our remote backup services please visit our web pages – http://atomwide.com/gridstore/default.htm

Intercept X

All of our LGfL/TRUSTnet customers have Sophos Intercept X available to them as part of their LGfL/TRUSTnet subscription. Intercept X is specifically designed to help prevent the malicious encryption of data by ransomware. If you are an LGfL/TRUSTnet school and have not yet deployed Intercept X, please raise a support case via the Service Desk so that steps can be taken to have your computers and files protected.

WebScreen Internet Filtering

A ‘kill switch’ was discovered in the WannaCry variant that prevents the malware from executing. It is thought the kill switch was originally designed to prevent the malware from being analysed within a closed sandbox environment. Access to the kill switch URL has been permitted for all of our WebScreen customers, under no circumstances should the URL be blocked in your WebScreen policies. Due to the nature in which WebScreen continually gathers web intelligence, ‘crowd sourced’ in real time from our 3,000+ real world customers, education-focused custom categorisation is added to the entire delivery platform in situations like this without having to wait on AI systems for updates and interim decisions.

More detail on the kill switch can be read on the National Cyber Security Centre website – https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/blog-post/finding-kill-switch-stop-spread-ransomware-0

More information on the WebScreen internet filtering service can be found at – http://atomwide.com/webscreen/default.htm

Awareness and Reporting

A program of education and awareness training for all staff within your establishment should be implemented to ensure users do not open attachments or follow links in suspicious emails. If your school makes use of the LGfL/TRUSTnet private cloud hosted email platform, StaffMail, and should there be any doubt over the validity of an email, it is highly recommended that the email is reported through StaffMail’s unique ‘Report as Spam’ feature. A positive report of an email containing malware from a single user in any school has a direct benefit to all schools within the LGfL/TRUSTnet community as that email is firstly, as a matter of urgency, removed from StaffMail and in addition, measures are put in place within MailProtect to prevent the same email variant from being received by others.

All establishments who make use of MailProtect but maintain their own internal mail system benefit too from the measures implemented in MailProtect. More information on MailProtect can be found at – http://atomwide.com/mailprotect/default.htm

Finally, and for interest, the NY Times has produced an animated graph of the infection spreading which is based on data from a researcher that was tracking the outbreak. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/05/12/world/europe/wannacry-ransomware-map.html?_r=0.

Please remember, if in any doubt, the Atomwide team will be more than happy to help.

01689 814700 | info@atomwide.comsupport.atomwide.com

New, free training courses are now available

New training courses are now available for nominated contacts from both LGfL / TRUSTnet connected schools to attend. The courses cover a wide range of the services included in the LGfL / TRUSTnet bundle and are available for both technical and non-technical staff alike to help ensure you are getting the best from your service.

Training Courses are now available to book via myUSO, not the support site as has been the case in the past.

If you are not already using myUSO in school why not consider attending the myUSO training course? Free for all staff (not just for Nominated Contacts) the myUSO course will help ensure you are using the myUSO range of cloud-based services and resources such as online storage, file sharing, secure file exchange and online homework apps to the fullest.

The training is hosted at Atomwide’s offices in Orpington, is free to attend, and also includes a complimentary lunch!

Please see below a list of the available dates for the Winter.

17th May 2017 – Web filtering using WebScreen2.0 for Nominated Contacts

6th June 2017 – How to use myUSO

28th June 2017 – USO Basics for Nominated Contacts

For further information on any of the courses or to reserve a place please click the link below.

https://my.uso.im/training/booktrainingnc.aspx

Many thanks,

The Training Team at Atomwide

Proven School Web Filtering

Safer Internet Day – Tuesday 7th February 2017

The approach of Safer Internet Day 2017 offers a timely opportunity for us to extol the virtues of WebScreenTM2.0, our flagship internet filtering service deployed in thousands of schools across the UK. WebScreenTM2.0 was designed, developed, created and thereafter supported here at Atomwide specifically to address and fulfil the internet filtering requirements of UK schools. A mandate it fulfils to this day.

Today, WebScreenTM2.0 helps ensure that a growing number of over 2 million pupils nationwide are able to use the internet safely and appropriately as part of their learning.

As you would expect, WebScreenTM2.0 fulfils the requirements of last year’s Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) 2016 revised statutory guidance, and the related UK Safer Internet Centre (UKSIC) guidance on the topics of filtering in schools.

You like us, have probably heard many people ‘quoting’ a requirement and saying what must be done, or that certain actions are now ‘mandatory when sometimes this is not the case. These views could politely be referred to as sales misinterpretation, but often can result in schools spending much-needed, scarce cash.

Currently, our recommendation to schools is to look at the UK Safer Internet Centre’s website, where there is guidance on Prevent, and on the latest update to Keeping Children Safe in Education, plus several helpful documents for schools to use to interpret the recent guidance, particularly around filtering and monitoring, and how to judge what is appropriate for their requirements.

For more information concerning WebScreenTM2.0 please get in touch using the contact details below or click here.

Wishing everyone a very happy Safer Internet Day next week.

Kind regards,

The Team at Atomwide

OpenCheck

Let everyone know when school is closed.

Perhaps most helpful in times of poor weather, OpenCheck is a free service for all UK schools that allows them to quickly and easily let parents, pupils and staff know if school has had to close in the event of an emergency or unexpected circumstance.

The morning after a night of heavy snowfall, for example, might result in a flock of calls to the school office (which may not be staffed) or a flurry of hits to the school website, which may not be able to handle the sudden, increased traffic.

With OpenCheck these are not problems.

Via the OpenCheck website, nominated contacts from a school can update the school’s status from a list of templates, or create their own. For example:

‘The school has had to close due to icy weather conditions. Please look out for further updates’

Authorised staff can update this status without having to be in school, at the OpenCheck website or with their smartphone using the free ParentComms: Mobile app.

The school’s OpenCheck status is then published in three ways:

  1. As an automated phone answer message that can be listened to by calling the OpenCheck number – 020 8408 7508, and entering your school’s 7 digit DfE code (available here).
  1. On the OpenCheck website and/or as an update to an RSS feed on your website.
  1. As a free push notification to the smartphones of those who have downloaded the ParentComms: Mobile app and registered for OpenCheck updates from school.

Authorised staff using Unified Sign On (USO) can log in at opencheck.atomwide.com and start using OpenCheck right away. If you are a member of staff at a school not using USO, simply follow the instructions here on how to get set up.

Best wishes,

The Team at Atomwide

BETT Awards 2017 – Service and Support

Considered by many as the most esteemed accolade in the industry, winners of BETT Awards are seen to have excelled in ICT provision and support for nurseries, schools, colleges and special schools alike with a clear focus on what works in the classroom.

After almost 30 years supporting schools, Atomwide are going to enter to win one, in the category of best Service and Support, and have made a video to support our entry which you can watch here – https://youtu.be/g-zPKZUiEFk

We hope you like it, and would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our schools for their ongoing support which has made entering for this award possible.

Many thanks

The Team at Atomwide

myDrive editor – New to myUSO!

Edit your documents directly in myUSO, using Microsoft Office Online

Those who are using myDrive to securely store and share their files are now able to create and edit Microsoft Office documents easily and conveniently online.

  • Save time by removing the need to download documents, amend them and re-upload
  • Amend documents and save them in real time keeping your work up-to-date
  • Create MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents straight from myUSO
  • Collaborate on shared documents in real time
  • Always work off the latest version of a shared document
  • All files are resiliently backed-up preventing the loss of work
  • Make your changes safely, from within the securely authenticated myUSO platform

What’s more, as myUSO is an included service for LGfL and TRUSTnet connected schools, the new myDrive editor feature comes at no extra charge.

If you haven’t been doing so already, the best way to enjoy the benefits of myUSO is to log in and get started – my.uso.im

Should you have any queries please see the User Guide by clicking on the ‘?’ in the top bar or call the Atomwide Help Desk on 020 82 55 55 55.

Remember to give us your feedback by clicking on the ‘provide feedback’ button on the top bar.

Many thanks,

The Team at Atomwide

Is your data safe while you’re away?

Protection against the unexpected

As the end of term is almost upon us we thought we’d remind you of GridStore, the secure, off-site backup service offered at a special price by London Grid for Learning (LGfL) to their connected schools. Easy to set-up, GridStore ensures your data is properly backed up, meaning it’s kept safe from any unforeseen events that may occur while everyone is off enjoying a well-deserved Summer break!

With the backing up of school data being increasingly important, GridStore offers an automated, reliable, cloud-based backup solution at a preferential rate specifically for LGfL and TRUSTnet connected schools. Easily set up, GridStore automates much of the back up process allowing for regular, secure backing up of important school data without hassle or the need for on-site technical expertise. It also affords the freedom to control where critical admin and finance data, for example, is stored as well as the ability to retrieve it when needed.

Furthermore, GridStore ticks the box of the EFA’s Schools Financial Value Standard Guidelines for your Disaster Recovery Plan as it offers ‘daily backing up off-site of the schools important IT systems‘.

•    Simple and easy to use
•    Fully automated – set and forget
•    No hardware to pay for or go wrong
•    Free telephone support
•    24 hour case logging system
•    All data is encrypted before it leaves the school site
•    Rapid data recovery online
•    2 copies of data are stored off-site in highly secure, UK data centres

Schools across multiple sites also benefit as it boosts operational efficiency by reducing the number of backup deployments (such as tape drives or removable media) to maintain, and also by providing central visibility of backup success and failure. GridStore will back up from all locations to two centralised data centres reducing time, risk and cost.

To find out more about GridStore please visit gridstore.lgfl.net or get in touch at gridstore@lgfl.org.uk

Enjoy the break!

The Atomwide Team

01689 814700

www.atomwide.com

A School-Focused CCTV Solution

Has your school grown in size and now your cameras don’t cover as much as they need to? Is it difficult to monitor and retrieve footage? Are the quotes you are receiving unrealistic for a school’s budget?

Atomwide have updated their CCTV offer, meaning you can help protect your school with a future-proofed, state-of-the-art CCTV system that won’t break the bank.

The system comes with a Network Video Recorder that supports up to 32 cameras, if this isn’t enough, more can be arranged. What’s more, LGfL VoIP or WiFi service subscribers may be able to use their existing switching allowing for a further cost saving.

There are a wide range of cameras from which to choose. Infra-red for night-time viewing is available, along with full pan, tilt and zoom options.

Once you have all your equipment your new CCTV system can be installed by Atomwide and is thereafter supported by our UK-based help desk. With remote status monitoring however, often we will have been able to fix the problem before you are aware of it.

All of this can be delivered incredibly cost effectively…

“We have had Atomwide’s CCTV since 2013 and cannot fault it. The first attraction was the cost which was considerably lower than alternatives. Functions such as saving a bit of footage or creating a photo are simple, and adding cameras to the system has been easily undertaken. Being able to see the pictures on a mobile phone can be very useful, and the very few technical problems we have encountered have all been fixed remotely and quickly. We are very happy to recommend Atomwide.” School Business Manager, Westminster. 

To join the community of schools benefiting from the Atomwide CCTV service please get in touch using our contact details below. Alternatively, for more information please see our website or download our brochure.

Many thanks

The Team at Atomwide

01689 814700 | info@atomwide.comsecurity.atomwide.com

New Training Courses for LGfL and TRUSTnet Schools

New training courses are now available for nominated contacts from both LGfL and TRUSTnet connected schools to attend. The courses cover a wide range of the services included in the LGfL bundle and are available for both technical and non-technical staff alike.

The training is hosted at Atomwide’s offices in Orpington, is free to attend, and also includes a complimentary lunch!

Please see below a list of the available dates for the Spring.

28th June 2016 – Training for Primary School Nominated Contacts (non-technical staff)

30th June 2016 – Training for Primary School Nominated Contacts (for technical staff)

5th July 2016 – Training for Secondary School Nominated Contacts

7th July 2016 – Web filtering using WebScreen 2.0 for Nominated Contacts

For further information on any of the courses or to reserve a place please visit the support site, relevant links below.

LGfL Schools

https://support.lgfl.org.uk/secure/training/bookcourse.aspx

TRUSTnet Schools

https://support.trustnet.pro/secure/training/bookcourse.aspx

Many thanks,

The Training Team at Atomwide