Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Life After Pen Drives

From 1st January 2018 external hard discs and pen drives (essentially any storage connected to a computer by USB) are no longer permitted on David Ross Education Trust IT systems.

Survival Guide

We've shared a number of articles and videos about good alternatives to USB storage, there really is no reason to carry on using them.


But What If?

The "ban" is a change to the terms of use of IT systems across the Trust. Initially at least, there is no technical block - if you plug in a USB drive tomorrow it will work (but don't, you'll be in breach of our terms of use and your account will be suspended).

If you have a legitimate special case (eg an exam board requirement) contact itsupport@dret.co.uk and a written authorisation will be given to cover that situation (and that situation only). In an emergency a senior member of staff can allow use, however that must later be confirmed in writing.

Why?

Taking away a service people use is always going to be an inconvenience for someone. Things have however got to the point that a decision had to be made because:

  • Better alternatives now exist that not only allow you to access your files from anywhere, store as much data as you need and work on your personal as well as work devices, they also allow for better sharing and collaboration. 
  • They represent a security risk - our auditors highlight this on every visit and the defence that "staff need them because they are used to them" has now reached the point where it is unsustainable.
  • They represent a data protection risk. Although we all know that we shouldn't put personal data on unencrypted storage, when people use them habitually, eventually it will happen. We cannot take the risk of people's private data being lost.
  • They fail - this year we have had three cases of teachers that had all of their teaching resources on a drive they had carried to and from work every day fail - and everything was lost. Because the data was kept "off the system" no proper backup was available.

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