Strategies to help your institution combat cyberattacks

eschoolnews | November 14, 2019

It doesn’t matter where you look. Today, technology is everywhere. In educational organizations, tech has become a crucial part of the daily learning process, fundamentally changing the way students learn, how teachers educate, and how learning institutions operate. Whether doing research in a computer lab or conducting classwork on a personal tablet, students and teachers are more connected now than ever before. Of course, with such connection, there comes potential of cyber threats and cyberattacks. Since 2016, there have been 688 publicly-disclosed cybersecurity-related incidents involving U.S. public schools and 61 public school districts have experienced more than one cybersecurity incident. One might ask, “Why are attackers targeting schools?” Beyond the troves of personally-identifiable information (PII) on students and staff, there is frequently sensitive—and lucrative—data associated with research projects being conducted at the schools. According to the 2018 Education Cybersecurity Report, institutions struggle with application security, endpoint security, and patching cadence. Multiple types of bad actors can target these vulnerabilities at schools. They could be someone seeking profit from the sale or use of stolen personal data, young people involved in some sort of a prank, or possibly even foreign governments looking to exploit research-related data.

Spotlight

This report examines data across 11 chapters that provide a foundation from which the higher education community and its many stakeholders can draw insights, raise new questions.

Spotlight

This report examines data across 11 chapters that provide a foundation from which the higher education community and its many stakeholders can draw insights, raise new questions.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

BoomerangFX E-Learning platform expands to Asia-Pacific and Europe

BoomerangFX | November 23, 2022

BoomerangFX, a cloud-based, global integrated practice management software, digital marketing, and educational solution provider to the private-pay aesthetic medicine industry, is expanding its reach beyond North America. Having experienced demand for its e-learning solutions across Asia-Pacific and Europe, the company's educational platform, BoomerangFX LEARN, recently surpassed 10,000 participants worldwide. "We are seeing explosive consumer demand globally for highly effective, non-invasive treatments across all ages and demographics. This trend has driven an unprecedented number of new entrants launching aesthetic medicine practices, including traditional physicians, leaving managed care in droves to enter the lucrative, cash-based "med spa" industry. New non-invasive technologies, like the highly popular radio frequency fractional needle-based Morpheus8, introduced by global medical device leader, InMode Ltd. (Nasdaq: INMD) ("InMode"), have been a worldwide phenomenon and created a whole new category for safe, effective, office-based, and non-invasive treatments for facial and body reshaping." Jerome Dwight, CEO and Co-Founder of BoomerangFX The med spa industry continues to grow at double-digit rates and is proving to be recession resilient. With the entrance of 80 million millennials to the already engaged 80 million baby boomers, half of all North American consumers are potential clients for the cosmetic enhancement industry. Recent trends highlight that virtually every age group over 20 years, including both men and women of various socio-economic stature, is seeking out non-excisional and minimally invasive treatments that provide faster and highly effective outcomes without the downtime and risks of cosmetic surgery. Additionally, Dwight shared, "The industry is still in its infancy, and physician owners are seeking a global standard in training, certification, and ongoing support for their staff in basic and advanced techniques. They want to utilize the most popular technologies, like the Morpheus8, along with combination therapies that include a range of complimentary treatments such as the injectable Botox and soft tissue fillers, as well as non- and minimally invasive radio frequency devices and lasers. Alongside our core markets in North America and Mexico, we are seeing massive global demand in the United Kingdom, European Union, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Australia for cutting-edge learning delivered digitally. Doctors who are leaving managed care for the enhancement med spa space also need assistance in managing and marketing a private pay practice in the digital era, and our BoomerangFX LEARN platform can provide those much-needed educational tools and support. BoomerangFX currently offers hundreds of educational videos and webinars, certification programs, and content that cover a spectrum of training techniques and foundational business principles on how to launch, advertise, build, and manage a successful med spa practice. The educational resources, training videos, and companion materials are authored by BoomerangFX co-founder, Dr. R. Stephen Mulholland, one of the world's foremost authorities on cosmetic surgery, non-invasive aesthetic medical devices, and practice management. Mulholland was one the early pioneers in non-invasive aesthetic medical treatment technologies and helped to develop the underlying radio frequency technology and devices for InMode, which is one of the fastest-growing medical device companies globally. "I had the vision to launch the world's first and only specialized e-learning solution for the aesthetic medical market to enable future practices to learn the newest techniques and proven strategies to build and succeed in this exciting new industry," added Dr. Mulholland. Along with its e-learning cloud-based platform and solutions, BoomerangFX serves the aesthetic medical market with the industry's most advanced software as a solution (SaaS) practice management system, BoomerangFX RUN. It combines intuitive dashboards, integrated electronic medical records, scripting, patient workflow management, accounting, and scheduling. The BoomerangFX SaaS platform includes the industry's only fully integrated digital advertising and lead management solution, called GROW, which utilizes artificial intelligence and data science to optimize advertising on Google, Facebook, and other social media platforms to geo-target ideal customers for its med spa clients. Further, we complemented our software solution with virtual practice management consulting and coaching services, called OPTIMIZE. This additional unique feature, along with our integrated digital marketing and e-learning platform, is exactly what this new and dynamic industry needs to capitalize on the massive consumer demand. The team at BoomerangFX has worked diligently to provide these revolutionary platforms and we could not be more thrilled to be the global foundational platform driving the aesthetic medical market forward," Dwight continued. About BoomerangFX BoomerangFX is North America's fastest-growing cloud-based practice management company specializing in the aesthetic medicine industry. Co-founded by the globally recognized plastic surgeon and entrepreneur, Dr. R. Stephen Mulholland, along with technology entrepreneur and banking executive, Jerome Dwight, BoomerangFX revolutionized the private-pay aesthetic medicine industry by introducing the first turnkey practice management and digital marketing platform by seamlessly integrating digital ad placements, lead generation, electronic medical records (EMR), scheduling, customer relationship management (CRM), invoicing, and accounting in a single cloud-based service.

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ONLINE EDUCATION

DEI Organization Fearless Futures Launches E-learning Tool Available Worldwide

Fearless Futures | November 18, 2022

Today, Fearless Futures, an international diversity, equity and inclusion training and consultancy firm, announces the launch of its premier E-learning program, E-learning: Foundations to Inclusion and Equity, which educates participants on how to build inclusion and equity into their organization. Known for its transformative virtual and in-person trainings, Fearless Futures expands the accessibility of its educational offerings with this E-learning tool, enabling smaller companies, as well as corporations with teams too large to make instructor-led live training for all feasible, to advance their own anti-oppression learning in a cost-effective manner and at their own pace. Through the program, Fearless Futures pushes e-learning to a higher level of effectiveness by keeping participants deeply invested through engaging facilitators and short chapters, while also preserving the gravity of the subject matters. Unlike typical online DEI trainings, which are mainly intended to avoid workplace litigation and therefore set a very low bar in terms of actual education, this program covers the foundational concepts of systemic oppression, intersectionality and equity. The studio-produced experience, which includes interactions, engaging animations and historical footage, is slightly over two hours and structured in 17 bitesize video chapters, interspersed with activities. Foundations to Inclusion and Equity is available globally in English with captions in different languages upon request and accessible on computers and mobile devices. "Making intersectional equity and inclusion education available to a large audience has always been a driving force of our organization and we are thrilled to now offer a tool that expands accessibility as well as affordability,We believe that everyone has a right to this education, which is key to achieving profound change. Now, from the palm of their hands or within their homes, folks can participate in the in-depth analysis required to understand intersecting oppressive systems that exist in our workplaces with our E-learning tool." Hanna Naima McCloskey, founder and CEO of Fearless Futures. Initially developed to support schools' DEI efforts in 2014, Fearless Futures was founded by Hanna Naima McCloskey, now a seasoned facilitator and educator, to give students the tools to engage with the nuance and complexity of oppression. Following the organization's initial success, Hanna expanded Fearless Futures' teachings to cater to leaders in the corporate world in 2016, a demographic in urgent need of anti-oppression training. Since then, Fearless Futures has served employees of all levels, from c-suite leadership to junior staff working in organizations across a variety of industries including technology, finance, media and more. About Fearless Futures Fearless Futures is a diversity, equity and inclusion training and consultancy firm that facilitates transformative learning experiences by actively challenging the root causes and intersections of inequities as well as their lived realities. The firm serves daring companies across sectors including tech, finance, media and more who are unafraid to engage in courageous analysis and actions and are committed to deep change across their organizational ecosystems. Fearless Futures envisions a world in which each person and organization possesses and actively practices the skills and tools to design equity into their everyday lives in service of affording access to freedom, legitimacy, dignity, safety and belonging for those who live with inequity. Founded in the UK in 2014 by Hanna Naima McCloskey, Fearless Futures specializes in globally relevant, robust analyses of inequities in the workplace and how they produce unequal and harmful outcomes for marginalized groups, applying its intersectional methodology to design equitable policies and processes.

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TALENT DEVELOPMENT

Orenda Education Merges With Think Together to Create Scalable School Improvement Nonprofit

Think Together | September 13, 2022

Think Together, one of California's largest nonprofits serving K-12 schools today announced it has completed the merger with Orenda Education, a top school improvement and professional development consultancy. Upon the close, the combined organization will serve more than 200,000 students across the state with more than $150 million in annual revenue. Moreover, the organization will be better positioned to rapidly scale their impact. "We're thrilled to bring our two organizations together in our combined efforts to improve student success and close the achievement gap,This merger is the natural evolution of Orenda's existing relationship with Think Together and solidifies our joint commitment to ensuring that the more than 2 million California students that are performing far below grade level have the support they need during the school day and beyond to succeed academically." Think Together Founder and CEO Randy Barth Over the past seven years, Think Together and Orenda have had an affiliate agreement in place while the full acquisition builds the long-term financial and operational capacities for Orenda to continue to scale. Orenda's work focuses on transformingeducation systems, either across a school district or by cohorts of schools, providing professional development to all levels of district staff, around a specific data-driven but people-centric school improvement model. Think Together partners with over 60 school districts and charter management organizations to provide more than 900 direct-to-student academic and enrichment programs at more than 450 school sites across California, serving more than 100,000 youth. Orenda Education works behind-the-scenes with school district leaders and educators to identify inequities in schools and then transform their systems to ensure all students have access to a premium education. "Think Together has always been an incredible partner, infusing the infrastructure needed to provide an efficient model for changing the odds for kids," said Orenda Education Founder and CEO Dr. Robin Avelar La Salle. "Our two models have always complemented each other but now, we can efficiently scale our vision for all students to receive the premium education they deserve." The acquisition comes as both organizations experience tremendous growth due in large part to new and renewed state investments in education to accelerate learning recovery efforts and provide educators with needed support amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. "Now more than ever, teachers, school leaders and administrators need to think outside the box to address the issues impacting students including socio-economic biases, social emotional learning, and more," added Barth. "Providing these much-needed supports to educators means districts and schools can provide the skills they need to teach, lead and counsel during and following a period of great disruption during the pandemic. Recently the U.S. Department of Education reported a dramatic decline in scores from the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) known as the nation's scorecard. Two decades of growth for American students in reading and math were wiped away by just two years of pandemic-disrupted learning, according to national test scores released last week. And, the declines were much larger for students at lower performance levels, widening already-huge learning disparities between the country's high- and low-achievers. Orenda's approach to school improvement has proven to accelerate student outcomes, such as mastery of grade-level standards (measured by math and English language SBAC scores), improved A-G class completion rates, and improved graduation rates. They also provide administrative coaching, teaching strategies, and leadership clinics. To expand these services, Orenda was recently awarded a $4 million Education Innovation and Research grant by the U.S. Department of Education to digitize and distribute their school improvement approach through an online platform that is effective and highly scalable to schools and districts in any geography, and to those who require less in-person support. Think Together adds Orenda to their growing list of services that support student education in and around the school day. Think Together's flagship afterschool programs support students in underserved communities with homework help, enrichment, social-emotional learning and physical well-being, all to enable students to strive for college or a fulfilling career. To provide high-quality programs, Think Together partners with philanthropic organizations like the Joseph Drown Foundation. "Breaking down the barriers to opportunity, equity and access in education by keeping students and their success as the centered focus is one of the most meaningful investments for our future generations" said Alyssa Santino, Program Director of the Joseph Drown Foundation. "Ensuring the educators, leaders and structures around students are supported and inspired and effectively trained with research-based, proven and engaging strategies is imperative for thriving students and communities. We are pleased to partner with Think Together and Orenda Education as they excel in this space and continue to transform the trajectory of students and the schools they attend." Barth sees the combination of direct services to students through expanded and early learning, coupled with equity-based professional development, as an effective combination to supporting student achievement alongside their school district and charter partners. Dr. Paul Gothold, Superintendent of County Office of Education in San Diego agrees. His former district, Lynwood Unified School District, realized astonishing improvements when partnering with both Think Together and Orenda, including increasing graduation rates from 56% to 90.8%, and A-G college eligible rates from 18% to 53%. Orenda provides the technical expertise for true district turn-around. The systems approach and professional development modules to build staff capacity ensures all leaders have the tools and resources to provide a premium education for all students, said Gothold. "With Think Together's financial and operational support, Orenda is well positioned to continue providing much-needed education innovation to schools throughout the state and beyond. About Think Together For over 25 years Think Together has partnered with schools and communities to pursue educational equity and excellence for all kids. As a nonprofit organization, Think Together innovates, implements, and scales academic solutions that change the odds for hundreds of thousands of California students. Think Together's program areas include early learning, afterschool, school support services and leadership development for teachers and school administrators.

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