Futureproofing your school data with cloud hosting
Choosing how and where you store your school’s data is an important consideration. In today’s world, every aspect of school life – from student records, timetabling and accounting to wellbeing concerns – is based on data stored on a server. Naturally, that server needs to run efficiently to protect against external security threats and eliminate unforeseen periods of downtime that make running a school more difficult.
As cloud technology has become ubiquitous, many schools have opted to switch from storing their data on-premise to a cloud-hosted solution. In this post, we’ll explore some of the key reasons cloud-hosted servers are surpassing their on-premise counterparts.
One of the most significant benefits of storing your data in the cloud is that it’s less expensive. Servers can be a costly piece of kit to purchase upfront and require round the clock power, ventilation and cooling. They also require ongoing maintenance including updates, patches and reboots to ensure they’re kept running smoothly. This maintenance will likely need to be completed by your IT team, taking up their valuable time, or outsourced to an expert.
Another ongoing expense to consider when opting for in-house servers is the associated software licenses, such as Windows, SQL and antivirus software which need to be regularly renewed. Given the sensitivity of the data held on your servers, robust antivirus protection is essential should your school’s data be targeted.
Choosing to store your data in the cloud negates all of these associated costs. At iSAMS, your data is held on a server in two secure locations – the UK and Hong Kong.
Another important consideration when choosing whether to host your data on-premise or in the cloud is security, as servers need to be protected against both digital and real-world attacks. Without proper safeguarding, servers can be infiltrated by hackers and sensitive data may fall into the wrong hands or be destroyed.
iSAMS servers are protected by Cloudflare – a sophisticated performance and security service that provides protection against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks and features a Web Application Firewall that automatically prevents hacking attempts and flags them for our inspection.
This service also provides ‘Server Hardening’ to Microsoft’s recommended standards. Server Hardening is the blanket term for a collection of tools, techniques, and best practices to mitigate any vulnerabilities in your school’s server infrastructure.
As a final layer of protection, we utilise eSentire – a managed detection and response service, which is deployed across the entire iSAMS server network, protecting your data from all forms of attack. This service continually pulls data from servers and processes it to look for threats and attacks. This data is monitored by a team of experts at their Security Operations Centre.
The upshot of all this protection is the peace of mind that comes with placing your data in the hands of experts utilising the most cutting edge technology available, and the time saved for your IT staff that can be spent elsewhere.
Server maintenance is absolutely essential to ensure your data is kept safe and secure, but it can be a time-consuming task for IT staff or an expensive one to outsource to technicians. Schools using our cloud-hosted solution can leave all the maintenance to us, saving time and money and giving you peace of mind that your data is well cared for and your licenses up to date.
This goes for backing up your data too. Our servers are backed up every hour of every day, 52 weeks a year, with backups stored onsite and offsite for an added layer of security. This means you’re unlikely to lose large amounts of important information in the event of a fire or burglary.
Our entire cloud-hosted environment is observed by a sophisticated monitoring system that alerts our engineers to any issues that may cause downtime. Any flagged issues will be investigated, and actions are taken to rectify them before they become a problem.
We also ensure that server updates are applied quickly at a time convenient to your school, ensuring minimal downtime for staff during working hours.
To find out more about our cloud-hosted Management Information System (MIS) and how it can support your school, please get in touch and we’d be delighted to help.