The Misbourne, a school in Great Missenden with over 1,000 pupils, had to partially shut down due to a recent cyber attack that significantly affected its infrastructure and operations.

As of Friday, January 26, the school opened its doors again, but only to students of Years 11 and 13. 

Following the cyber attack, precautionary measures were taken by closing the school.

According to the school, the ransomware attack of international origin encrypted and locked down their servers and network, leaving them unable to access the internet and crucial infrastructure systems.

This situation incapacitated their ability to track students, and communicate between staff and running the school safely became an impossible task.

In response to the attack, the school tapped into their network of forensic analysts and cybersecurity specialists.

It sought advice and investigation from network contractors and CyberClan, a specialist organisation provided under their RPA insurance.

These remediation efforts were focused on isolating and identifying the source of the problem, which they claim to have achieved.

In terms of the potential breach of student data, Headteacher Rich Peters expresses assurance.

He said: "At this time we do not believe that any data has been lost or shared outside of our organisation".

All indications suggest a 'lockdown' of systems to elicit funds, with a very low risk of data loss.

The situation was reported to relevant authorities including the Information Commissioner’s Office and the National Cyber Security Centre.

The impact of the experience on the school’s risk awareness seems significant.

Stating that the Misbourne won't be the last school to face such issues, they emphasised the need for good digital hygiene.

Accordingly, they suggest students take appropriate steps to protect their own devices.

The school’s focus has transitioned to restoring services like servers, internet connectivity, and rebuilding Windows-based devices in school with significant progress already made.

However, students currently do not have access to Wi-Fi in the facility, and until further notice, no devices should be connected to the school network or Wi-Fi.

Closing his communication on the incident, Headteacher Peters expressed his appreciation to the staff, contractors, and the community, thanking them, "for their support" during this challenging episode.

He also shared his relief on getting systems back up and running for a partial re-opening.

As of Monday, January 29, it appears that the school will be fully open for all students.

Further updates are expected to be communicated in the following days, regarding the ongoing response to the cyber attack.