Cybersecurity Training Options

The November 2019 SVRTC meeting had 26 attendees representing 14 counties from southside Virginia (Amelia, Appomattox, Brunswick, Buckingham, Colonial Heights, Charlotte, Cumberland, Greenville, Danville, Dinwiddie, Halifax, Nottoway, Prince Edward, Sussex).  The topic for professional development was security awareness training and had two companies present briefly to members.

Devin Callahan from Proofpoint, a software company out of California, presented virtually at the meeting. While Proofpoint offer a variety of data security products, Mr. Callahan presented on their  security awareness training modules. Their product allows flexible training options within the modules to help make sure the cybersecurity awareness training meets the needs of the targeted learners. The platform allows you to first understand your users’ weaknesses and then develop training based on the users’ needs.  The reporting tools then inform stakeholders about their users’ data security knowledge and target areas of need. The company offered members a demo account to get more familiar with its structure and usability.

The next virtual presentation was led by Lindsay Piraino, Regional Account Manager for KnowBe4 out of Florida. Ms. Piranio shared handouts, as well as presented some slides on her company’s product highlighting the interactive capabilities for learners and assessment features for administrators in their cybersecurity modules.  

After the meeting, members expressed they looked forward to taking the information about the two companies back to their divisions.  SVRTC divisions hope to benefit from consortium discounts going into the new fiscal year to address security awareness training with their faculty and staff.

Data Security: What are your schools doing?

The October SVRTC meeting had twelve divisions represented with attendance of twenty-six education professionals.  Dr. Susan Clair, Learning Infrastructure Coordinator with VDOE, presented for the professional development portion of the meeting.

Woman talking in front of a presentation screen with a person in the background on a computer.

Dr. Clair discussed concerns about how schools are being attacked by a variety of malware and ransomware that want student data.  She noted several cases where hackers have targeted schools in Maryland and Virginia, while referencing a map of incidents reported across the United States.   Dr. Clair emphasized the importance of student data privacy and shared several websites that contained useful information on protecting data and security training options, including:

Dr. Clair stated that VDOE is beginning work with several larger school divisions on student data privacy and will share her findings at a later date.  She also reminded members that with Amazon’s new headquarters heading for our state,  many jobs for cloud computing will be available and it’s important that we start providing training and certification in our schools now.

Additional discussion during Dr. Clair’s presentation included updates on the latest Erate information where members were able to ask questions.

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