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FAQ & Support

For further information, feedback on technical issues or queries about the tool or the certification, please see the frequently asked questions here.

If the FAQs do not provide the answer you require you can use the “Further Support” form below to seek further help.

    • What is the Cyber Secure tool?

      The Cyber Secure tool allows schools to review their Cyber and Information Security provision, benchmark it against good practice and other settings, produce action plans and access good practice resources.

    • Why use Cyber Secure?

      Cyber Secure is a free, powerful tool designed by Cyber and Information Security experts, that simplifies a difficult task. It helps experts and non-experts alike in schools to: assess their Cyber Security and Information policies and practice, compare these to other settings, suggest improvement actions and point to good practice resources.

      This has specifically been developed by the DfE for schools. This provides a pathway for schools to develop and mature their protective security measures.

    • Is there a charge to use the tool?

      There is no charge for the tool, as it is fully departmentally funded and provided tool for the school sector. It is operated by South West Grid for Learning Trust (SWGfL) on behalf of the DfE.

    • Where can I find additional information about the tool?

      More information can be found in the ‘About’ and ‘Start Guide’ pages. A pdf version is available too for groups to carry out their assessment inputs collectively offline.

    • Can I just use the pdf version for my assessment?

      No, as the pdf version will not be able to provide assessment scores and give direction on improvement options and steps.

      The pdfs may not remain current with changes that may be made to the tool and would not allow for benchmarking your scores against those of other schools.

    • How many accounts can each setting have in Cyber Secure tool?

      The tool works on the basis of one school record with multiple user accounts. When the school is registered initially the first user will be given Administrator rights. The Administrator can add other users to the tool and will be able to see details of who is registered to use the tool under “Account” (from your name on the top right of the home page)

      It is important that if the Administrator leaves the setting or changes, that the setting informs us of the change by completing the contact us form so we can allocate Administrator rights to the new relevant staff member, or any other user that the setting wishes to have administration rights.

    • How many staff members in a setting can register for Cyber Secure tool?

      There is no limit to the number of people who can access the tool, in fact we encourage a team approach to using the tool and reviewing each aspect. The Administrator can add users under "Account". We would, however, recommend that the number of users is a manageable amount to reduce the administrative overhead of user changes and training of staff.

    • We are a Multi Academy Trust (MAT) and have multiple schools in our trust. Are we able to add schools to our account and view their data?

      Yes, as part of the registration process, users will populate basic information about their school. Contained in this process includes a field which provides an affiliation to a MAT.

      When selected, a drop-down box will appear, select your trust, and the school will be added to the MATS account. By completing this field, the MAT will be able to view the school’s overall data as well as their own.

    • Can the DfE see our data?

      No, the DfE does not receive any information which contains the personal identifiers of the school. The data we receive will be anonymised and will be used to take a proactive approach to increasing security and resilience in the future.

    • Does the Department for Education see school data?

      Staff at the Department for Education are able to see aggregated data across all schools completing reviews. The Department for Education cannot access individual school data, any data provided is anonymised. Accessing aggregated data in this way allows us to take a proactive approach to increasing security and resilience in the future.

    • Do other schools see our scoring data?

      No, all the data you enter into the tool is only shared with users authorised by you. But, your aspect scores are compared with local and national averages. Your individual scores will never be shared with surrounding schools.  

    • Does SWGfL or any other provider have access to my data?

      SWGfL provide the platform that Cyber Secure operates on. Staff at SWGfL have super-admin rights to the tool for maintenance and management purposes. Access is restricted to key personnel only and all actions are logged.

    • What security controls exist around school data?

      All platforms provided by the DfE are security assessed and authorised before launch. SWGfL systems are protected by layers of security measures which are independently verified. SWGfL has CyberEssentials and is working towards ISO 27001 certification.          

    • How do I access my school’s data remotely?

      Cyber Secure is available anywhere, anytime from an internet connected device. There are no restrictions on where you can access the tool from, or the number of user accounts you have.

    • What is the availability of the service?

      The tool will be available for all schools from autumn 2023, it will then be available 24/7 for the school to access. Cyber Secure has a 99% uptime record.

    • When is the service not available?

      The service will only be unavailable when maintenance is required or for updates to be applied.

    • What happens if I can’t access the service from the school?

      If you are able to access the tool from other locations but not from your school please contact your IT provider and make sure that the website is whitelisted on your firewalls/filters.

    • Is the data backed up?

      Yes, the data is backed up every week to an offsite server and then backed up monthly to an air-gapped backup. We recommend that you use the reporting system available to you to create pdf’s of your review whenever significant changes are made. This provides you with your own backup copy of the data.

    • Can I recover previous data?

      In exceptional circumstances, your data can be restored from backups. If you require a recovery from backup please use the contact form and provide as much information as possible. We will contact you to explain what is possible.

    • How do I carry out my assessment?

      You should click on the “Assessment” tab. You will then be presented with a graph that shows your progress in the tool. Clicking on the assessment button at the bottom of the page will take you to the assessment starting page. You can click on an aspect within the corresponding area and subsequently get to the review pages. On the assessment page the improvement actions will change depending on which level statement you choose. You can also go directly to an aspect by clicking on that aspect on the review graph.

    • What are the level statements?

      Each aspect has five level statements (0 to 5). You should choose the statement which is closest to that which best describes your current setting provision for that aspect. Click on your chosen level and then click save. The tool will provide an improvement action, which is different for each level. You can also add a commentary.

    • What are the commentary/evidence boxes for?

      You can use the commentary free text boxes as you wish. You could use the boxes to work collaboratively with others in the setting, or with external consultants. You might wish to add a description of your current practice and some notes about how you would wish to improve your practice. These boxes are for your own benefit. While gathering information to provide evidence isn’t required it will be useful for you to understand monitor your progress and demonstrate change.

    • Can we upload our documents for safe keeping, easy access and to share with other schools?

      Unfortunately, this is not a functionality we can provide for this tool currently. It is an area that we are investigating and potentially incorporating into future versions of the tool.

    • What reports are available?

      There are several different reports available to settings under the Reports tab. These provide various levels of detail about your review, progress and progress history in the review and allows you to select the date for which you wish the review to be printed.

    • How can I save my reports?

      When you select a report, you will have the option of printing it or downloading it to your device. The tool does not save copies of reports, but you can print a report of the content entered into the tool on a previous date by selecting the relevant date from the drop-down menu in the reports. 

    • How can I download my Certificate of Commitment and Essentials Level Certificate?

      To access your certificates, go to the review page and click on the certificates link. You can then download certificates as they become available. The Certificate of Commitment will be available after you register. The Certificate of Progress will be available when the setting has rated all aspects at level 3 or above.

    • How can I get further support?

      If the FAQs do not provide the answer you require you can use the contact form. The tool is intended to be easy to use, however external consultancy can be offered to settings that require it – but there would be charges for this.

    • How do I register my setting to use Cyber Secure tool?

      You should use the registration page. If the group is already registered the tool will tell you that this is the case. If you do not know who the Administrator is, or if the person is no longer at the group you can ask for a new person to be made Administrator in their place. You should request this from the contact tab in the tool or by email to cybersecure@swgfl.org.uk.

      The manual registration will need approval and this can take up to 5 days, but is usually done much sooner.