The Spires College Overcome Old Challenges with Cyber Security Overhaul


The Spires College aims to ensure that every young person can achieve their true potential, by building an ethos centred upon a love of learning.

The school strives to help students develop into resilient independent learners who are equipped to face any challenges they might face during their education and life beyond school.

  • Recent cyberattacks
  • Outdated internal network
  • Vulnerable remote desktop protocols
  • Insufficient email & data security
  • Altinet Managed Email Security
    • Fast Deployment
    • Advanced Threat Protection
    • Email Encryption
    • Easy-to-Use
    • Fast Response Support
  • Barracuda Cloud-to-Cloud Backup

    • Fast Deployment
    • Protection for all Office 365 Data
    • Fast and Easy Recovery Options 
    • Daily Summary of Backup Status

Remote desktop vulnerabilities

The recent upheaval for education has presented novel challenges for all departments. Teachers and students have had to adapt to distance learning, and IT departments have had to pivot from performing their typical duties to establishing a new infrastructure to support the rapid shift to remote practices. As the demand for adaptable remote desktop protocols (RDPs) increases across all industries, pressures on schooling continuity has made the education sector a particular area of concern.

At The Spires College, Network Manager Jules McKenzie-Bell faced a uniquely challenging scenario. Having inherited a network that had recently suffered a cyberattack from a phishing email and RDP compromise, Jules' team needed a solution that could address their cyber vulnerabilities without disrupting the important work of the children's learning, as well as setting the school up with a future-proof infrastructure.

An all-in-one solution

Schools are especially responsible for the data they hold, for safeguarding as well as GDPR reasons. Any information relating to children must be out of reach for any attackers and protected against any interference or manipulation. Plus, having already suffered from phishing email attacks and remote desktop compromise, it was vital to secure The Spires College's mailboxes with a comprehensive email protection solution.


With 1400 staff and student users to cater for, The Spires College needed a solution that could provide both email security and long-term backups of sensitive files in the cloud. "It needed to be simple enough to navigate, robust, well featured and cost effective," said Jules.


That's why Spires opted for a winning combination of Barracuda's Total Email Protection and Cloud-to-Cloud Backup, with service management by Altinet. The results were immediate. "All of our OneDrive and SharePoint assets are now automatically backed up without intervention," said Jules, praising the solution's fire-and-forget autonomous operation. "It is a relief to know that it is doing its stuff, and is a large part of our risk mitigation strategy since the attack. Since implementing, we have had no issues with the system, and it has done what we require of it."


The Spires College can move forwards confident that they are well-prepared for any and all cyber threats that come their way, backed by Barracuda's intelligent security and backup solutions, managed by Altinet.

Quick installation with quality assured

With a limited timeframe to move their project forward, The Spires College needed their implementation to be fast and painless, with as little impact on the school's operations as possible. Working in close collaboration with Altinet, Jules and his team achieved just that - with implementation being completed in around 6 hours.


Praising Altinet's dedicated support, Jules said "Our account manager was on the ball to arrange installation as soon as possible. This was done remotely by a skilled and efficient technician who talked me through the setup, and answered our questions on the fly." Jules also commended Altinet for being 'professional and courteous throughout', highlighting the knowledgeable, friendly and accessible service he received during the process. "I would highly recommend working with them, and look forward to doing so in the future."


Now, with a reduced load on their time and resources, Jules and his team at The Spires College can continue to work on their other important tasks without having to worry about their email security or data loss.


About Altinet Managed Email Security

Altinet Managed Email Security is a cloud based service that blocks email-borne threats, whilst also providing extra features needed to achieve business continuity. As a complete email management solution, Altinet Managed Email not only lets organisations encrypt messages and leverage the cloud to spool email if mail servers become unavailable, but it also includes the latest Barracuda ATP technology.

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Comprehensive, reliable protection against attacks like ransomware and advanced persistent threats require a layered approach with progressively sophisticated defence techniques that balance accurate threat detection with fast response times. This is why Altinet integrated the most advanced threat protection technology into our email security solution to be able to provide a complete email security solution that is affordable, scalable and reliable.


About Barracuda Cloud to Cloud Backup

Barracuda’s Cloud-to-Cloud Backup Service backs up all of your Office 365 data to secure Barracuda Cloud Storage with no need for on-premises infrastructure, with both on-demand and automated scheduling options. 

Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business data is all deduplicated and compressed for maximum storage efficiency and reduced backup windows before being stored in the Barracuda Cloud.

The data backed up to the Barracuda Cloud is accessible, searchable, and retrievable from anywhere with an Internet connection. Messages, folders, or even entire mailboxes and be restored back to the original user and location, to a different location within the account, or to a completely different user account. You can also download items for offline use.