iBoss & The prevent duty - Prevent and Keeping children safe in education

The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (The Act) was introduced to the House of Commons in November 2014 and was intended to counter the threat of terrorism and curb the threat of jihadist ideology. Further to this, The Act imposes a duty on “specified authorities” (i.e. schools, colleges, local authorities and NHS institutions) when exercising their functions, to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.

This part of The Act is referred to as The Prevent Duty and has been separated into The Prevent Duty Guidance: for England and Wales, The Prevent Duty Guidance: for Scotland, as well as separate guidelines for Higher and Further Education institutions. Key to fulfilling the Prevent Duty is the ability for staff to identify children who may be vulnerable to radicalization, understand what to do when they are identified and should be seen as part of a schools or organisations wider safeguarding duties. 

Although there is much more to The Prevent Duty guidelines, one of the main avenues of terrorist propaganda for organisations such as ISIS is online and through social media. The Prevent Duty states;

“The statutory guidance makes clear the need for schools to ensure that children are safe from terrorist and extremist material when accessing the internet in schools. Schools should ensure that suitable filtering is in place.” 

More than ever it is essential that schools and educational establishments have the correct filtering and security in place to safeguard their students or else face the repercussions from Ofsted and other governmental bodies. So the key question is with so many different solutions out there, what should schools be looking for in their filtering solution and how can iBoss help?

Web Filtering Essentials

Filtering Web Traffic

Your ideal filter needs to have the ability to block harmful and important issue in Education. What’s more granular access will be required, allowing different levels of access dependant on the function of the user (Student or Staff) as well as in some cases the particular age or year group of the user.

Comprehensive Dynamic URL Database

 – iBoss contains a large categorised URL database, all of which have been checked and categorised through human contact to avoid over blocking and latency experienced in the real time scanning of websites.

SafeSearch Enforcement

 - iBoss can force SafeSearch on Google, Bing and Yahoo search engines, including image searching. With this option enabled, the safe-search preference is automatically set to "strict”, preventing any attempts to circumvent it.

Internet Watch Foundation and the Home Office

 - iBoss has been a member of the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) since 2011 and implements the IWF’s CAIC list within its filtering category set. The iBoss SWG (Web Filter) platform has all of the features to meet the requirements set out by the Home Office Prevent Act regarding web filtering and monitoring. iBoss have implemented ‘The Police Assessed list of unlawful terrorist content produced on behalf of the Home Office’.

Blocking Evasive Protocols

The modern day pupil is very tech savvy and will utilise any open channel or avenue in your network to by-pass lters. Schools need to consider and monitor all the trac in their network and have the ability to block evasive protocols and other methods that may use non-standard web ports.

Evasive Protocols

 – iBoss’ SWG solution contains Evasive Protocol features allowing schools to restrict port/protocol evasive applications such as Tor, Hot Spot, OpenVPN, Spot Flux, Bit Torrent and more.

Keyword Filtering and Real Time Alerts

– as standard iBoss provides suspicious keyword lists but also schools can add/remove keywords or import their own custom lists. Triggers can be set to immediately email administrators upon detection of high risk or suspicious words and scheduled reports can provide daily, weekly or monthly logs of monitored/- blocked keyword requests.

Reporting and Visibility into all traffic

Comprehensive monitoring and reporting is critical for schools to meet The Prevent Duty guidelines and to provide detail logs of user internet activity to inspectors representing government bodies such as Ofsted. Without in depth reporting and logs schools are not adequately equipped to spot students vulnerable to exploitation which is keenly outlined in The Prevent Duty and Ofsted guidelines.

Dynamic SSL Decryption 

– iBoss offers selective decryption that allows trusted traffic to travel unrestricted and selectively decrypts other SSL traffic per your policies. It gives schools the required visibility into the right traffic without the latency and performance issues created by unnecessary SSL decryption.

Drill down reporting

- iBoss incorporates industry-leading, forensic-style reporting which provides instant feedback on activities, searches, threats, and bandwidth usage all the way down to the User level. This feature provides unrivaled insight into the blind spots in SSL traffic, with the information stored in a self-managed, auto-archiving database, for easy retrieval for inspectors and compliance for the Prevent Duty.

BYOD, Social Media & Application Controls

Schools need to make sure that BYOD devices have the same levels of filtering and monitoring as a normal school owned device. Whilst the device is on the school’s network, it is their responsibility to ensure BYOD users are protected from extremist and potentially harmful content. Social Media is a vital component in the propaganda arsenal of extremists but can also be an essential educational tool. Schools need a solution that has the flexibility to control Social Media so as to reap the benefits whilst minimising the risk.

BYOD and Guest WiFi Management

 – iBoss BYOD management extends ltering, monitoring and Prevent Duty compliance across all your mobile users, including BYOD and Guest WiFi.

Advanced Application Management and Safe Social Media

– iBoss advanced application scanning with deep packet inspection secures the school gateway from unwanted applications, threats and circumvention attempts. And iBoss enables granular content-aware management of social media applications with policy based enforcement and advanced scheduling.

Article categories: Security


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