The 2020 Summer IT Workshops, which are presented twice each year by the California Community Colleges Information Security Center and Accessibility Center, were held entirely online in June for the first time in the event’s five-year history to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

The winter and summer IT workshops provide faculty and staff with effective strategies and practices for maintaining the security of student and college data and ensuring that electronic learning materials are provided in an accessible format for all members of the campus communities. Workshop content is geared toward community college or district staff involved in the administration, support or procurement of IT, alternate media or assistive technologies.

“Cyberattacks have been on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly phishing scams resulting in ransomware,” said Aamir Khan, chief information security officer with the CCC Information Security Center. “Educational institutions are generally top targets for hackers. With record-high registration for virtual events and meetings, it is essential to keep California Community Colleges faculty and staff up-to-date on the best information security practices.”

Sean Keegan, director of the CCC Accessibility Center, shared that the online format allowed for additional expertise to be tapped this summer.

“One advantage of an online event was the ability to include presenters and topics that might not have been possible for a face-to-face workshop,” said Sean Keegan, director of the Accessibility Center. “For the accessibility sessions, this allowed us to include subject matter experts from outside of California, providing sessions on social media accessibility and accessibility tools for teaching online.”

Workshop registration and attendance exceeded expectations, more than doubling typical event participation as 470 attendees logged into the workshops over the course of June 15-16. Despite some first day technical challenges, feedback from the field was positive.

“Thanks and great job on the workshop! Your services are crucial to our campus’s security posture and compliance,” said Dan Rojas, information systems security officer at Santa Monica College, who attended the Monday workshop.

The workshops are among the many services offered by the CCC Information Security Center and CCC Accessibility Center at no cost to all California community colleges. More information about additional resources are available on the CCC Information Security Center and the CCC Accessibility Center websites.

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