Sophos protects 11,000 schools in Yorkshire and Humber from malware and spam

November 08, 2010 Sophos Press Release

Yorkshire and Humber Grid for Learning (YHGfL) has selected IT security and data protection firm Sophos to provide 11,000 schools in Yorkshire and Humber with protection from viruses and other malicious threats. In the first instance three-quarters of the schools in the consortium's area (encompassing 65,000 computers) will be protected by Sophos's endpoint security solutions, but this is expected to expand early next year.

YHGfL is a regional broadband consortium with twelve local authority members* representing 275 secondary schools, 86 special schools, 30 nurseries and 1,657 primary schools and their partners in learning. A regional centre for excellence and innovation in e-learning, the consortium provides secure broadband connections to schools in the region and uses its bulk purchasing ability to find the best deals for its twelve member authorities - key in the current environment. In addition, as well as access to licensed content and many other free resources, YHGfL also provides a wide range of services, including curriculum support, e-safety guidance and continuing professional development workshops.

E-safety is a key focus for the Grid, which appointed a full-time e-safety manager 18 months ago to provide support and guidance to educational establishments in the region on both behavioural and technical approaches to e-safety. In addition to working with schools to ensure they are protected, this remit also includes running seminars and workshops and working with the police, schools and LEAs.

Phil Moore, Chief Executive, Yorkshire and Humber Grid for Learning, said: "Sophos came up with an incredibly good deal for the Grid and the solution fits squarely with schools in our region. Rollout is already underway and our job is now to work with schools and the individual authorities to ensure everything goes smoothly. We've also received great support from Sophos, who have been very responsive in helping to sort out any teething problems."

He added "YHGfL's aim is to become the regional centre for excellence and innovation in eLearning. Along with the other nine Regional Broadband Consortia (RBCs), YHGfL was originally set up to meet the Government target of connecting all schools in the region to broadband. Having accomplished that task, we're now turning our attention to how we can add value to the region by becoming a strategic partner to the Government and to relevant Government agencies."

Ciaran Rafferty, VP - Sophos UK&I, said: "Sophos works with a number of Grids, helping protect schools' networks from viruses and other malicious code as well as securing student data against potential breaches. We are delighted to be working with the Yorkshire and Humber Grid for Learning, who provide a fantastic range of eLearning services and resources to their partner local authorities, as well as delivering them great value for money when it comes to agreements like the one with Sophos. We look forward to a long relationship with the Grid and its member authorities, working together to share best practice."