This is just a quick one for Monday morning. Last week, when I talked about Information Security, and Becta’s guidance, at the Learning Gateway Conference, there was quite a bit of interest in the two-factor authentication that would be required for all teacher access to sensitive data from outside the school (eg if they are accessing your MIS and Learning Platform from home).
It’s a subject that’s way beyond my technical abilities, so I went to see what information I could find (that was intelligible to me!) and found an article on our TechNet site about our use of Smart Cards.
The way it works for me (as a user) is that when I login via our VPN connection from home, I have to also put my Smart Card into my laptop. So it means that even if somebody had my username and password, and even my laptop, they couldn’t access our internal systems without also having my Smart Card (and of course, this works because I don’t keep my Smart Card in my laptop bag. Ever. Honest.)
The article is all about the use of Smart Cards by Microsoft IT (the people that keep our network running and secure). It includes information about the problem, solution design, the deployment and shares the lessons we learned along the way. So if you are in a school or Local Authority, and thinking about how you improve your Information Security, then it makes a relevant and fascinating read.
It is also based on the previous, rather than the next, versions of our products, which makes it much more likely to match your own current IT environment!