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ATLIS Virtual Town Hall 21 July 2021

The July 2021 Virtual Town Hall invited participants to share what they were most excited about for the coming school year and to ponder what kept them going when times were roughest. -- SD [10-minute read; 1 hour video]

Video Archive
ATLIS Virtual Town Hall, July 21, 2021

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ATLIS Cybersecurity Update (March 31, 2021)

ATLIS continues to provide critical information to the independent school community via its semi-annual Cybersecurity Update webinar. On March 31, 2021, regular contributors Todd Doss of the Ankura cybersecurity response team, Alex Inman of Educational Collaborators, and Buddy Pitt of Logically offered their latest insights, including how to build a team to conduct a self-audit, how to conduct regular, necessary training in how to avoid common pitfalls, and how to consider the changing landscape of cyber criminal behavior, including recent attacks that hijack software updates to sneak into your systems.  -- SD [5-minute read; 1-hour video]

ATLIS Cybersecurity Update (Webinar Video Archive)
March 31, 2021

Don't miss these ATLIS Cybersecurity Resources!

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Asking Vendors the Right Questions About Data Protection

At a recent ATLIS webinar, industry experts were invited stock share a "Cybersecurity Update" for our community. As the webinar came to a close, a vital question remained unanswered in the chat, so we followed up with our panelists for an answer. In this post, you will find responses from Buddy Pitt, Director of Technical Development for the Network Support Company, and Alex Inman, Founder and Senior Collaborator for Educational Collaborators, on asking vendors the right questions about data protection.  [10-minute read; video archive included in resources]

What are the best questions to be asking our vendors to ensure that we are getting the information about security or prevention measures they have in place, their data retention policies, etc.?

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Protect Your School From Cyberattacks During Remote Learning

Whether your school is in person and planning for potential remote/hybrid scenarios, or if your students are currently virtual, learning from home introduces new cybersecurity risks to your community. We’ve listed 6 low-cost, high-impact things you can do today to improve the security at your school.

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ATLIS Virtual Town Hall 12 August 2020: The Next Normal

The technology leaders who gathered for our August 12 Town Hall were in the final phases of preparing their schools for reopening. Their usual summer planning and projects have been compounded by the constantly changing landscape for opening schools amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.  Yet technology leaders continue to meet these challenges and carry their schools forward into the future. In our latest Virtual Town Hall, we discussed "When Your Data Is Breached" with special guest Todd Doss of the Ankura Data Response Team, school reopening challenges and solutions, the emotional impact of the pandemic, and shifts in professional development strategies. -- SD [10-minute read; 1-hour video]


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Optimizing Summer Wifi Updates: Best Practices

ATLIS Corporate Member Wyebot offers the following best practices for analyzing and updating your campus wifi systems. Whether you are installing new hardware, running diagnostics, or conducting security audits, maintaining effective wifi services is a mainstay of independent school technology department work. -- SD

[10-minute read]

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Another Day, Another PHISHING Attempt

Earlier this fall, William Stites, Director of Technology at Montclair-Kimberley Academy (NJ) shared this post about his school's experiences with and responses to several phishing attempts. The post confirms how frequent such attempts can be and how they have unfortunately become part of daily life at schools. Stites, who is also one of the co-hosts for the ATLIS Information Systems User Group, describes how phishing attempts provide an opportunity for training and education. -- SD

[15 min. read]

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ATLIS Cyber Threat Assessment February 2018

ATLIS views cybersecurity as a critical area of concern for technology leaders in independent schools. In this post, you will find the February 2018 update of the ALIS Cyber Threat Assessment. Are you ready for a deeper dive into professional development designed specifically for independent schools? securing your school from cyber threats? Learn more about our two-day cybersecurity workshop designed specifically for technology leaders and risk management professionals, to be held this summer, July 19-20, at Trinity Valley School in Fort Worth, Texas. -- SD

[10-min read]

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Cybersecurity Update

Recently, in the ATLIS Slack Channel on #security, Shandor Simon, Director of Technology  at the Latin School of Chicago (IL), shared a collaborative document for tracking the cybersecurity information of concern to Independent Schools for January. In this post, we share his document and a link for updating -- and we encourage our community to crowdsource the information critical to keeping our information safe. We also want our community to know that ATLIS will offer its Cybersecurity Workshop for Independent Schools as an introductory bootcamp at our annual conference and as a two-day workshop this summer in Fort Worth, Texas, on July 19-20. Learn more about this essential, one-of-a-kind workshop for independent schools here.  -- SD

(10-minute read)

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We're Not Just Making This Up

In September, Susan M. Bearden joined ATLIS for a webinar on Building Technology Infrastructure for Learning, the product of her year-long residency at the Department of Education. Now a private-sector educational consultant in Washington, DC, Bearden shared with ATLIS her goals for the project, the importance of envisioning the learning first, the significance of cybersecurity for education, ruminations on how public and independent schools can learn from one another, and a look forward to what the future holds for technology and education. We are happy to share Bearden's interview, also available in video format elsewhere on this website, in the blog post that follows. -- SD

ATLIS Leadership Webinar
Susan M. Bearden on Building Technology Infrastructure for Learning
Wednesday, September 13, 2017

(20-minute read)

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Security and Trust in the Land of the Blind

We are pleased to welcome guest writer Brian Horton, Director of Technology Operations at Duke School (NC), to our blog. In this post, Brian shares his reflections on the ways that technology departments may now serve as trusted sources of information for independent school communities, especially as cybersecurity breaches cause all of us to be more anxious about the safety of our personal data.

Brian's experience after the recent Equifax data security breach led him to share important information with his school community about how to respond in such an instance. One by-product of his outreach has been a strengthening of relationships with the constituents he serves at his independent school. --  SD 

(10-minute read) 

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6 Steps for Polishing Your Proposal for ATLIS 2018

Lots of people have trouble turning their grand ideas or best practices into a presentation, even if they know their content backwards, forwards, and sideways. They freeze up despite the huge need the audience may have for what the proposal writer hopes to share. You may feel daunted by the writing, or you may not feel that you have put all the pieces of your idea together yet. This post can help you get started with the proposal writing process for ATLIS 2018. Remember, the proposals are due on September 30! -- Susan Davis, Professional Development, ATLIS

You can find a video of the webinar I made on proposal writing here. See a preview of what's on the submission form here.

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ATLIS Cybersecurity Advisory Panel Challenges Independent Schools to Take Action

Recently the ATLIS Cybersecurity Advisory Panel issued its 2017 report on the most significant sources of cyber attacks on independent schools, along with recommendations on how to combat those attacks. In this post, we introduce you to some of the key steps independent schools can take to protect their communities from cyber malfeasance.

Educational institutions are now a top target for cybersecurity attacks. Why? According to Jamie Britto of Collegiate School (VA), it’s “because we are weak and we pay.”

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Implementing Multi-Factor Authentication

Bobby Bardenhagen, Marin Country Day School (CA)

Our recent webinar with Bobby Bardenhagen yielded a wealth of information about implementing multi-factor authentication (also called two-step verification) to bolster cybersecurity at his school. Below you will find notes from the webinar, as Bobby shared his personal journey and offered guidance for others who might be considering instituting this important security step. ATLIS members may access a video of the webinar here. -- SD

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Having Your Say: Attendee Responses to ATLIS AC 2017

As we studied the responses of this year’s attendees to our annual conference held last month in Los Angeles, we were pleased to find that the data reinforced the positive zeitgeist we had detected from personal interactions with attendees. We saw that you valued the inspiration of both keynotes and that you sought information and new connections to stretch your thinking. You found your investment of time and money yielded important interaction with trusted mentors and colleagues. This was the magic of the 2017 ATLIS annual conference: a community abuzz with the opportunity to learn together.

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Hey, Do You Know Someone Who Clicked?

Recently, a rash of what appeared to be phishing emails mimicking a request to share a Google Document descended upon our online communities. While the circumstances of this particular email attack remain uncertain, issues of cyber security remain of grave to concern to independent school technology leaders and are at the forefront of our work at ATLIS, most recently in a webinar offered by Jamie Britto and Denise Musselwhite.

As it occurred, an active discussion about the attack sprang up on the ECATD and ISED Listserves, Twitter, and regional discussion groups as members shared their experiences and perspectives, an exchange that serves to highlight the importance of our connections with ATLIS members who are dealing with problems like this in real time. The day after the attack, a New York Times article, “Email Attack Hits Google: What to Do If You Clicked,” offered recommendations for those who fell for the phishing attack and clicked. These included  revoking access (via and changing passwords to one never before used on your account.

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Cyber Security: Where to Start?

Jamie Britto from  Collegiate School (VA) and Denise Musselwhite from Trinity Preparatory School (FL)  team up for a webinar  on Thursday, April 13, 2017 (10:00 to 11:00 AM PDT) to explore steps school leaders can take to address cyber security on independent school campuses. Jamie and Denise will focus on no or low-cost options that can immediately improve your school’s cyber security; they will also share next steps for technology leaders who must face the evolving challenges of securing school networks. Here is an overview of this important ATLIS event.

This webinar inverts the approach used at our two-day workshop (co-hosted by ATLIS and ISACS) by starting with tactics, then looking at strategy, and wrapping up with a brief look at concepts which need to be addressed in the future.

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IRS Warning to Schools

IRS Issues Warning to Schools

ATLIS shared this news last month with each of our member schools as a special bulletin.  If you did not receive the bulletin and would like to subscribe as one of your school's primary contacts, please submit this brief form and we'll add you to the list.

We want ATLIS leaders to be aware that schools are being targeted by increasingly persistent criminals who attempt to acquire employee W-2 data and file false returns to steal tax refunds.  Please share this information personally with those who have access to employee W-2 data in your school.

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