In March, SVRTC was prepared to celebrate its 25th year of ‘Educating Southside School Divisions in Emerging Technologies’. Due to unforeseen circumstances, our annual awards banquet was cancelled. While it has taken a while for us to figure out the best way to celebrate our awardees, we found four special guests to help us celebrate our SVRTC awardees and announce our (long overdue) competitive award recipients for Division Leadership Award and Technology Leadership Award:
Officially, our competitive awards were announced at 3:30pm, Thursday, December 10, 2020 through ITTIP’s Youtube channel video premiere, SVRTC 2012-2020 Banquet Awardees. Recognition for each SVRTC division Teacher, Technology and Support awards were also distributed early in the Fall and shared as Twitter posts from both the ITTIP Twitter and SVRTC Twitter accounts. There is also slideshow available with pictures and descriptions of those awardees.
During SVRTC’s November 18th meeting, members from the following divisions attended: Amelia, Appomattox, Brunswick, Buckingham, Colonial Heights, Cumberland, Danville City, Dinwiddie, Franklin City, Henry, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg and Prince Edward. Tim Tillman, Chief Information Security Officer with VDOE, presented virtually. The focus of his presentation was advancing Cybersecurity in Virginia schools.
Mr. Tillman explained that his job is to provide outreach to Virginia schools divisions that includes providing a model security program for use by divisions to develop their own security programs. He explained that ransomware by far is still the number one attack vector for K-12 education delivered via fishing and email attempts and backups and general disaster recovery is not being properly performed by some school divisions. Cybersecurity awareness is his department’s main focus.
Mr. Tillman emphasized that cybersecurity awareness training can decrease exposure to things like ransomware. The current environment opens up to new security issues especially now when teachers and students are working from home. Mr. Tillman explained plans are being made to develop more shared contracts for cybersecurity tools. Relationships with both the FBI and Cisco are being developed to learn of potential threats around the country. Mr. Tillman has produced a Cybersecurity newsletter that goes out every other Friday. Members can access and subscribe to the Cyber Friday newsletter here: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/VADOE/bulletins/2b02569. Mr. Tillman closed his presentation by answering member’s questions and stating it will be a long road to get all school divisions on board, but he and his office recognize the need and will be there for them.