Cybersecurity

Five Principles for Securing Student-Data Privacy

Given the risks, one may ask: Is it worth investing more in technology in our schools? In fact, the benefits are huge. With the cloud-based tools available today, educators can personalize student instruction to a degree that wasn't possible just five years ago. These tools can engage young minds in new ways, including many that no one has even thought of yet.

Chinese Hackers Force Penn State to Unplug Engineering Computers

One of the country’s largest and most productive research universities, Penn State offers a potential treasure trove of technology that’s already being developed with partners for commercial applications. The breach suggests that foreign spies could be using universities as a backdoor to U.S. commercial and defense secrets. The hackers are so deeply embedded that the engineering college’s computer network will be taken offline for several days while investigators work to eject the intruders.

Is your student's homework data private?

Indiana Congressman Luke Messer is spearheading bipartisan effort to set enforceable, national rules to keep companies from marketing directly to students based on their educational data. The online quizzes that are a regular part of homework for Rep. Luke Messer's kids give teachers instant feedback, but also raise questions about other ways the data might be used.

5 Exploding Niches Within Tech

The progress achieved each year is monumental, and the rate at which we are progressing is exponential. Industries are being disrupted, conventions are being proven wrong, and the world at large is completely transforming right before our eyes. Here are five tech industries that are exploding with startups, venture capital and innovation:

Student Privacy Bill Puts Ed-Tech Groups in Hot Seat

Just about a year ago, a student data nonprofit with the backing of none other than Bill Gates found itself in the crosshairs of angry parents who bristled at its big data ambitions. The death of inBloom has cast a shadow on the debate over student privacy ever since. It’s a debate that’s starting to bleed into Congress, as members of the House are introducing a bill that would limit the ways in which technology companies use data from students who use their devices and programs.

Cyber general: US satellite networks hit by 'millions' of hacks

The top cyber official for the Air Force says the service’s space and satellite networks are being constantly hacked by outside groups. “There’s millions of probes every year into our networks, from every corner of the world,” Gen. John Hyten, the head of Air Force Space Command, said Tuesday during a Defense Writers Group breakfast, discussing the scale of the cyber threat. “Those probes come from everything, from nation states down to individuals just curious, down to criminal behavior,” he added.

Balancing student privacy with the benefits of ed tech

Protecting student privacy is, of course, a paramount concern for teachers like me. Because the role of technology is essential in all of our lives, it is also increasing in our children's classrooms. This means we are creating more data and we must ensure that data is safeguarded. We must remember, though, that technology plays a critical role in helping teachers prepare students to intelligently consume and contribute now and as professionals.

Activists, Companies Have Mixed Reaction to Proposed Student Privacy Law

Leonie Haimson, co-chair of the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy, says the bill does not go far enough to protect students. The bill still doesn’t require any parental notification or consent before schools share personal data with third parties,” said Haimson. It wouldn’t stop the surveillance of students, or the collection of huge amounts of highly sensitive student information by third parties, as inBloom was designed to do.

Bill to protect student privacy introduced in Congress

Two members of Congress today (4/29) introduced legislation intended to keep the burgeoning education technology industry from selling data on students, or using it to steer targeted advertising. Luke Messer, R-Indiana, and Jared Polis, D-Colorado, said the proposed Student Data Privacy and Parental Rights Act would prevent misuse of personal information submitted by students and parents to educational websites and apps, while allowing innovation in K-12 classrooms to flourish.

Once a field of self-taught hackers, cybersecurity education shifts to universities

There's a sea change occurring in how information security is taught. Millions of dollars are pouring into universities to launch cybersecurity programs. While cybersecurity is still an industry that celebrates self-taught outsiders and hackers working for good, the future is sure to bring more engineers and specialists trained in the classroom.

Threat of global cyber disaster

To date, the threat of cyber terror remains an abstract concept. While several major American enterprises have been attacked, threatened and blackmailed – sometimes very publicly, for many citizens – and in the consciousness of many elected officials in Washington – the threat remains theoretical. In order to truly protect against these acts, the way we invest in fighting cyber terror has to change.

US Navy Gears Up for Cyberwarfare

Although any kind of warmaking offensive carries risks, "cyberwarfare can be an effective deterrent in two ways," noted Vasco Data Security VP John Gunn. "It can make our assets less attractive for fear of retaliation -- and used in a preemptive manner, it could potentially be used to interrupt or detect hacker threats in process to decrease their effectiveness."

Avoiding a privacy headache

Educators struggle with inherent contradictions in education data. On the one hand, they produce very real benefits. When teachers can identify precisely what students know, they can focus their teaching on areas students still need to master. Today’s educational technology can tell teachers why students are getting the wrong answer, enabling them to provide even more personalized instruction.

Navy to launch new cyber strategy

Kevin Cooley, executive director and command information officer for Fleet Cyber Command/10th Fleet, suggested that the service is gearing up for the possibility that the White House will order offensive cyberattacks. "You don't win a knife fight without swinging a knife," Cooley said at a C4ISR & Networks conference in Arlington, Va., on Tuesday. "We're spending time making sure we're ready to execute should those options be considered appropriate by national command authority to do that.”

Is Big Brother Watching Our Campuses?

At Georgia State University, algorithms alert advisers when a student falls behind in class. Course-planning tools tell students the classes and majors they're likely to complete, based on the performance of other students like them. When students swipe their ID cards to attend a tutoring or financial-literacy session, the university can send attendance data to advisers and staff. Colleges are analyzing all kinds of student data to figure out who needs extra support and when advisers and faculty should intervene.

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