CICT addresses cyber security issues in public schooling sector

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Commercial ICT (CICT) has a positive impact in the public school sector with a recent project involving a comprehensive review of the IT security of a Gauteng school.

According to Forbes,[1] cyber attacks in the education / research sector rose 75 percent, and Checkpoint says “education and research have been the most targeted sector, with organizations facing an average of 1,605 weekly attacks.”[2]

Shane Rheeder, a business manager at Commercial ICT, says the school’s IT security issues became apparent after the CICT conducted an extensive assessment and audit of its current cybersecurity. “We were able to hack the system from outside the school with relative ease. This is obviously less than an ideal situation for schools, given the rapid rise of cyber attacks.

“We moved to the site in early May to conduct assessments and audits and presented our findings to the principal, teaching staff and key members of the school board in a report listing all exploits of vulnerability,” Rheeder added.

Rheeder points out that the CICT team met with all teachers and after getting to know the company and its capabilities provided them with general training on cyber security awareness and hacking.

“They were thrilled with our knowledge and positively engaged in an open discussion about hacking and email theft. We will conduct more frequent IT security workshops with the school to ensure that we educate and improve on all types of hacking and how to combat resilient phishing attacks in the country. ”

The CICT offered the school the option to continue with its current system provider or allow the CICT to take over a full-service contract. They agreed that the latter option is best for their future needs, and CICT now has a full-time on-site office. “According to the SLA, we have transferred the entire network to our servers, enabling us to ensure that the school’s IT integrity is protected through improved resilience to cyber security,” Rheeder says.

The scope of work includes the use and provision of the current 500K network architecture with the addition of FortiGate firewall protection software and Sophos anti-ransomware software. “In addition, we conducted an internal penetration and external penetration test; and changed policies, rules and procedures to ensure maximum cyber security in the future. Finally, we are currently writing a document on the policy of compliance with ISO 27001 in printed and electronic format that will ensure compliance of the school with POPIA. “

Rheeder says the CICT effectively took over the full SLA on June 1 and is in the process of making all the necessary security changes. “Representatives of the school are delighted with the proposed security changes and are looking forward to a stable and secure network. The feedback shows that they have seen significant improvements in the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the system, which has had a positive impact on the school. They noted that the most noticeable is the overall improvement in support and the timing of support requests, ”says Rheeder.

For more information contact CICT (+27) 010 590 6177, info@commercialict.co.za www.commercialict.co.za

[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckbrooks/2022/01/21/cybersecurity-in-2022–a-fresh-look-at-some-very-alarming-stats/?sh=137ccfb16b61

[2] https://www.checkpoint.com/press/2022/check-point-softwares-2022-security-report-global-cyber-pandemics-magnitude-revealed/

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