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When HfL looked into potential broadband providers in 2016/17, we were very clear that companies had to have all the necessary industry standard security accreditations, such as ISO27001 and Cyber Essentials security. When we reviewed bids, assessing companies security credentials was an important part of the process. Subsequently RM was named as our broadband partner.

The HfL Broadband service delivers an enhanced security offering, and it includes features that are not included in RM’s standard (core/core+) provision. The cost of the enhanced security features that HfL offer should cost an extra £1,200 PA but we include this within our offering at no extra cost. We have been able to do this due to our buying power.

All schools whether they receive their internet through HfL or not, should have anti-virus installed on local devices and servers. We have an extra layer of security that runs over all internet traffic that comes in and out of the school. We believe there is going to be greater focus on IT security within schools in the coming years, hence why we were keen to add this. The extra features HfL have in our offering will help to mitigate both active attacks against the HfL network and school systems as well as protecting against users inadvertently downloading viruses or malware. The extra security features we negotiated with RM contributed towards them winning Best Cyber Security at the ISP Awards in 2019.

The extra security features are;

IPS (Intrusion Prevention System). This scans all inbound/outbound traffic via the Internet, spotting and blocking any attacks that may try to exploit vulnerabilities in Internet facing systems (such as web sites).

In-line AV/Anti-malware checking. As with IPS, this scans all traffic coming via the Internet. However, rather than blocking attempts to exploit vulnerabilities this blocks viruses and malware that may be being accessed and downloaded by students or staff from the Internet. For example whereby users have clicked on dodgy links within an email they have received, the security features will block viruses or malware being downloaded.