Police CyberAlarm

The Police CyberAlarm (PCA) service is funded by the Home Office and developed by Pervade Software. Originally designed for small businesses, the PCA service is now being recommended to schools as part of their cyber security regime. If, for example, a school uses the government’s Risk Protection Arrangement (RPA) for its insurance, one of the conditions for the Cyber Insurance element is that members register with the PCA (See Section 14, Conditions of Cover [3], p109).

The PCA service consists of an on-site “Data Collector” (DC). The DC gathers logs from the network’s internet gateways (typically firewalls), encrypts and transfers them to the central server which analyses the logs and returns reports to the site. No proactive measures are taken, but the reports may provide information that would be useful in, for example, hardening the firewall rules against known threats.

As well as the monitoring service PCA also provides vulnerability scanning of external IPs and public-facing web applications.

The information gathered is shared with the Police Cybercrime units and used to monitor the scale of threat nationally and inform their policies.

As currently configured, CyberAlarm is not appropriate for schools that do not have a direct internet connection or public IP address (e.g. schools that connect to the internet via their LA’s private network infrastructure).

The full guidance can be downloaded as a pdf below.

Download Guidance as pdf