Connecting the Dots: Stopping Human Trafficking

Return on Prevention vs. Return on Regret This is a real-life experience. I went down to one of the main hotel/casinos on the Las Vegas Strip to meet a buddy and his wife who were in town for some fun and some gambling. As my buddy and I were standing ...
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Ransomware Solutions: Ongoing Awareness and Accountability Vault

Why are ransomware attacks soaring? Because they are working! It is estimated that by 2021 the predicted ransomware damages will be $20 billion. Why are ransomware attacks working? Traditional information security solutions are easy to beat! Do you remember everything from your last information security training? Do you even remember ...
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National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2020

Are hackers actually BENEFITTING from National Cyber Security Awareness Month? Watch the video below to learn more! Click here to learn more about the proven solutions that exist to help improve ongoing awareness and accountability.  ...
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New Release! The First Preventers Playbook: How to Intervene, Disrupt, and Prevent Tragedy Before It Strikes

The First Preventers Playbook: How to Intervene, Disrupt, and Prevent Tragedy Before It Strikes. Enough is enough! Old playbooks and strategies depend on First Responders (defense), however First Preventers (offense) are needed too. It’s time to use a new prevention playbook to prevent more incidents and tragedies, The First Preventers ...
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New and Different Times Require New and Different Playbooks

New and Different Times Require New and Different Playbooks In Schools, Workplaces, and Communities Challenges in 2020 have created a new normal that is different and strange. Strange because when you think about it, pandemics are not new, protests are not new, riots are not new, racial tensions are not ...
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Twitter Hacked with Old Playbook

The Twitter hack is pretty alarming when you realize what a couple of teenage hackers were able to accomplish using one of the oldest hacking techniques in the hacker playbook. Twitter Attack What happened? Twitter employees were hacked by hackers using social engineering and exposing human vulnerabilities and lack of ...
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Scary Indicators for School Leaders… Shootings, COVID, Mental Health & More

Scary Indicators for School Leaders… Shootings, COVID, Mental Health & More Targeted Violence In a 2019 US Secret Service analysis, between 2008 and 2017 41 schools experienced targeted violence which is scary enough. However, it is also scary because BEFORE the 41 attacks occurred: ALL the individuals (attackers) exhibited concerning ...
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9-11 Commission Report: 16th Anniversary

16 years ago, on July 22, 2004, the 9-11 Commission Report was released. Do you remember one of the most important revelations in the 9-11 Commission Report? National intelligence is still organized around the collection disciplines of the home agencies, not the joint mission. The importance of integrated, all source ...
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Stage 6: Ongoing Awareness

Stage 6: Ongoing Awareness Do you remember everything from each of the previous emails and the overview of 20+ years of research? Do you remember all the compliance requirements with Pandemic Phases, OSHA, HIPAA, FERPA, ANSI, and other state and industry-specific guidelines? Do you know what is working and not ...
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Stage 5: Preventing

Stage 5: Preventing Stage If you stay with what you have today, will your people feel safer, will you have improved trust and reduced fear? Will your organization's and community's preventing efforts and results be better? Will you be able to keep up with the increasing challenges, more and more ...
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Stage 4: Intervening and Monitoring

Stage 4: Intervening and Monitoring Stage Most everyone has heard of the “Pathway to Violence” where an individual may have a grievance and then begin to express thoughts and fantasies about violence and then plan, prepare, and execute their plan of attack. Failures & challenges at this stage The Columbine ...
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Stage 3: Connecting the Dots

Stage 3: Connecting the Dots Stage Do you remember what the 9-11 Commission Report said? National intelligence is still organized around the collection disciplines of the home agencies, not the joint mission. The importance of integrated, all source analysis cannot be overstated. Without it, it is not possible to “connect ...
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Stage 2: Assessing the Dots

Stage 2: Assessing the Dots Stage Do you know what the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said about preventing gun violence? The importance of detecting and addressing concerning behaviors, thoughts, or statements cannot be overstated. In fact, preventing violence by detecting and addressing these red flags is more effective than ...
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Stage 1: Collecting the Dots

6 Stages of Preventing Introduction Do you know what the US Secret Service found while studying 41 school shootings? All attackers exhibited concerning behaviors. Most elicited concern from others, and most communicated their intent to attack.  Yes you read that right, all 41 shooters exhibited concerning behaviors (indicators) BEFORE they ...
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High Costs, Bad Headlines, Lawsuits, and “Cockroaches” all Because You Didn’t Do This…(Video)

Hackers and breaches create huge costs and unwanted consequences, but most were preventable. Hackers – cyber criminals, corporate espionage, state-backed countries, insiders, ex-employees, and others want your organization’s information or your money. Every day hackers are successfully breaching organizations, taking advantage of gaps, and then taking the organization’s proprietary information ...
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COVID-19: Returning to Work (VIDEO)

As organizations are reopening and returning to work, how are you managing all the new pains and liabilities related to COVID-19 challenges on top of all the existing challenges you were already dealing with? It’s time for reopening and returning to work, however, managing lots of new COVID-19 challenges on ...
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How Awareity is Using Big Data to Expose WHY Prevention Efforts Fail…Way Too Often!

Nearly everyone has experienced or is currently experiencing pains and fears as more shootings, acts of violence, sexual assaults, child abuse cases, suicides, and numerous other incidents and tragedies continue to occur. Are you tired of it? Have you had enough? Sadly, most incidents and tragedies are increasing rather than ...
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Major Events (COVID-19) = Major Problems for Information Assets

Major events, like the Coronavirus (COVID-19), are major problems that can lead to more major problems beyond just the scope of health and health care. HACKERS (the Villains from the Dark Web) see major events (pandemic, sports, elections, natural disasters, etc.) as opportunities to take advantage of fears, emotions, confusion, ...
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COVID-19 and Higher Education: Decisions and Decision Makers

Attention Higher Education Decision Makers: The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing a lot of fear, stress, chaos, and confusion with so many different sources of tips, guidelines, apps, etc. While most leaders are currently involved in lots of meetings discussing the immediate actions (suspensions, cancellations, working remotely, online education, safety, health, ...
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Problems & Solutions

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing a lot of fear, stress, chaos, and confusion with so many different sources of tips, guidelines, apps, etc. While most leaders are currently involved in lots of meetings discussing the immediate actions (suspensions, cancellations, working remotely, online education, safety, health, etc.), it is just as ...
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Red Flags, At-Risk Individuals, and a Paradigm Shift

May I Have Your Attention Please:  All CEOs, CISOs, CFOs, CROs, COOs, CDOs, Superintendents, Deans, Principals, Board Members, Trustees, Mayors, and other leaders too. A paradigm shift is taking place and leaders need to be aware because it involves a legal strategy that attorneys are using to win lawsuits and ...
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Warning Signs, Red Flags, and Preventing

How many times have you read a headline or story about an incident or tragedy and it mentioned how warning signs and red flags were missed, ignored, or not acted on? How many times have you had an incident at your organization and found out afterward that others were aware ...
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An Umbrella Platform to Better Protect Your Organization

Who oversees your Threat Assessment Team(s) and prevention – CFO, Risk Management, Legal, CEO, other? No doubt they understand the importance of insurance policies for specific needs (Workers’ Compensation, Property, Errors & Omissions, Directors and Officers, General Liability, etc.). They also know the tremendous value in having an “Umbrella Insurance ...
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Who Ya Gonna Call? GAPbusters!

Remember Ghostbusters (1984) the movie? The Ghostbusters became heroes when they waged a high-tech battle with the supernatural after they stumbled upon a gateway to another dimension that could release evil upon the city. The Ghostbusters saved the day by zapping the gateway with their high-tech proton packs, blowing up ...
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Preventing Incidents: 5 Essential Articles

5 essential articles you need to read after any tragedy so you can take the right actions to prevent the next one from involving your school, organization, or community. 1. People want more than words. People (employees, management, family, friends, politicians, and others) around the world are calling for real ...
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Would you like to prevent more incidents and tragedies?

Would you like to prevent (intervene, disrupt, stop) more incidents and tragedies BEFORE they occur? ✓ Have you ever experienced an incident or tragedy and found out afterward that people were aware of red flags and warning signs BEFORE the incident or tragedy occurred? ✓ Eliminate your gaps, silos, and ...
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Solutions Require Strategies, Tools, and Actions…Not More Words

Another horrific massacre at a workplace by a disgruntled employee. Unfortunately, most responses after attacks and massacres are just more words, condolences, and thoughts and prayers. But people want more than words. People (employees, management, family, friends, politicians, and others) around the world are calling for real solutions (actions, not ...
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Myth: We need more security

The big question on everyone’s mind after an incident or a tragedy is, will more security help? Let’s take a look at the facts. In 2018 the global physical security market was $84.1 BILLION and projected to grow, and yet there were still over 300 mass shootings in the United ...
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Fixing Higher Education’s Institutional Failures

With the recent stories out of Ohio State, Baylor, Harvard, Michigan State University, and others it’s clear that institutional failures are an epidemic. Institutional failures are costly, often costing institutions the lives of their people, their reputations, and their bottom lines. The solution to these failures doesn’t involve designating a ...
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Preventive Intelligence: A Game Changer Everyone Needs

Preventive Intelligence is the Real Game Changer Everyone Wants (and NEEDS) Most people have heard about Artificial Intelligence, but have you heard about Preventive Intelligence? Artificial Intelligence (AI) is getting a lot of headlines and hype, however, the recently released book, Architects of Intelligence noted that most Artificial Intelligence experts ...
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Warning Signs & Red Flags: Where were they?

Have you ever been involved in a post-incident investigation and found out others were aware of warning signs and red flags BEFORE the incident occurred? Have you seen the headlines after an incident? Data reveals most incidents and tragedies had enough warning signs and red flags recorded before the incident ...
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Threat Assessment Teams: Are you equipping yours for success?

A lot of schools, organizations, and communities are focusing on threat assessment teams (TATs) right now, are you equipping yours for success? In the DHS School Security Guide (2018) they state that “The importance of detecting and addressing concerning behavior, thoughts, or statements cannot be overstated. In fact, preventing violence ...
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Connecting the Dots: April 2019

April 2019 was a fantastic month for Awareity. Validation. The April 2019 ASIS Security Management Magazine Case Study featured Sarpy County (NE) and their impressive successes with making schools, higher education institutions, and entire communities safer. Captain Griger and the Sarpy County’s Sheriff Office implemented Awareity’s next-generation tools and strategies ...
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#WarningSigns: Community-wide Efforts

“Child abuse is incredibly common,” Patterson said. “The community as a whole has to be involved in order to make a difference." Read the full article here. Is your Threat Assessment Team (TAT) seeing all the Warning Signs your community members are? To succeed, it's time they were... Awareity specializes ...
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#WarningSigns: Anonymous Reporting for Safety

The District Attorney's office says one of the most common problems with domestic violence cases is that victims refuse to come forward. In order for anything to change in those cases, the District Attorney's office needs victim cooperation and police need victims to report domestic violence. - Megan Abundis To see ...
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Security Sales & Integration Magazine: 2019 SSI MVP Award Winner

Awareity is honored to be a winner of the Security Sales & Integration Magazine 2019 SSI MVP Award. Our proven, and award-winning Connecting the Dots Platform for Intervention and Prevention won a top spot and recognition in the category of "Central Station/Monitoring" as well as a finalist position in the category ...
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#WarningSigns: Don’t Forget After Tragedies

"We know that post-traumatic stress and catastrophic events can cause depression. And there can be suicidal thoughts. But we really now are seeing that there's a big risk and that's why we want to get these kids the help that they really need to make sure that someone is looking ...
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Security Management Case Study: The Power of Awareness

I am proud to share this new Case Study featured in April’s issue of Security Management magazine (an ASIS publication) that features Awareity’s client, Captain Kevin Griger of the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office in Nebraska. The leadership of Captain Griger is next level in how Threat Assessment Teams in schools ...
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#WarningSigns: Connecting the Dots

“Investigations will be done and this case will be looked at. And everyone will try their best to figure out what went wrong and how can we prevent it from happening in the future. Somehow there are a lot of people who missed a lot of things.” - Torrie Taj, CEO ...
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Innovator’s Edge Podcast: Rick Shaw

It was an honor to connect with ITL CEO Wayne Allen on the Innovator's Edge Podcast! Together we discussed how Awareity's innovative "Smart Platform" solution is designed with Community-wide Threat Assessment Teams in mind. I also touched on how the Smart Platform equips Threat Assessment Teams to better collect, coordinate ...
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Can’t Afford An SRO or More SROs?

Are you tasked with keeping students safe but you don't afford an SRO or more SROs? There's a better solution for threat assessment teams, watch now! Looking for more information? Click here or use the form to your right to reach out and we’ll be in touch with more information! Real ...
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Executives, Board Members & Leaders: Recipes

As executives, board members, and leaders you probably have tons of trainings, policies, laws, guidelines, standard, etc. that form the recipes for your leadership and the actions of your employees, students, community members, etc., but do you and your people have the right tools to actually get the job done ...
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Executives, Board Members & Leaders: Smart Platforms

Are you still trying to connect everything above in the pre-smart platform era? Looking for more information? Click here or use the form to your right to reach out and we'll be in touch with more information! Real people connecting the dots, who could ask for more? ...
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#WarningSigns: Social Media Cries for Help

Warning Signs are often seen outside of your organization or school, however, they play a vital role in your intervention and prevention efforts. Are you equipped to collect and assess Warning Signs from social media so you can see the bigger picture and intervene BEFORE incidents occur? Awareity's "Smart" Platform ...
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Attention Executives: Threat Assessment Teams and The Right Tools

Surgical Teams need the right tools. SWAT Teams need the right tools. Football Teams need the right tools.  To get the best results and the right results, Threat Assessment Teams need the right tools too. Evidence reveals very unfortunate and dangerous gaps with Threat Assessment Teams not having the right tools ...
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Preventing or Responding to Shootings: Which would you choose?

2019 includes the one-year anniversary of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre and the 20-year anniversary of Columbine High School massacre… and unfortunately way too many other anniversaries of massacres and other violence in schools. What has changed since these massacres?  What hasn’t changed? Why, even with all the data ...
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#WarningSigns: University of Utah, Domestic Violence

How is your school (SRO, student conduct systems, etc.), university (campus police, counselors, etc.), or organization (security, HR systems, etc.) connecting #WarningSigns with community resources (local police, mental health, court systems, parole status, etc.)? Without connecting those silos you can't save lives, reputations and bottom lines, but we can help! ...
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The Right Tools: Would you choose a surgeon with a plastic knife? Or a football player with no pads?

How Important is Having the RIGHT Tools?? The Super-Duper Football game is coming up this weekend and everyone's talking about who is the better team, but what if the Patriots or the Rams showed up for kickoff and one of the teams didn't have helmets, pads, and cleated shoes?  No ...
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#WarningSigns: Violent Behavior in Children

While it's important to understand the #WarningSigns of violent behavior, the post-event data shows that schools, organizations, and communities like yours still need a way to connect the dots in order to PREVENT tragedies, are you ready to PREVENT? We can help! More Warning Signs: ...
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Southeast Education Network’s School Safety Guide: Enough is Enough!

Enough IS ENOUGH! How to Think Different to Prevent School Shootings and Violence Enough is Enough! Different thinking is needed to prevent school shootings and violence. Different thinking, different strategies, and different tools are needed based on overwhelming evidence, research-based data, and success stories proving PREVENTING school shootings and violence ...
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Cybercrime Gangs and Cybercrime for Hire

Cybercrime Gangs and Cybercrime for Hire – Are You Sure Your People Are Ready for This? According to BankInfoSecurity.com, Cybercrime Gangs are hiring! Cybercrime gangs are hiring hackers who can “send ‘violent and graphic’ emails and text messages to schoolchildren's parents, blackmail healthcare organizations, manufacturers, technology companies and law firms, ...
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Thousand Oaks, Pittsburgh, Parkland, Vegas… WHY Do Bad Things Keep Happening?

Had enough with bad things happening? If you agree it is time to start PREVENTING tragedies and evil, please continue reading. Immediately below is the Tale of Two Wolves followed by a blog I published on December 18, 2012… An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight ...
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Connecting the Dots: September 2018

September was a very interesting month and a very good month for connecting the dots – including international dots. Transcending Boundaries Together & Pilot Program On September 11, I boarded a plane headed for Trinidad and Tobago, more specifically Port of Spain. My trip to Trinidad was to be the ...
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Connecting the Dots: August 2018

August was a good month for connecting the dots. 2018 National School Security Roundtable August started with the 2018 National School Security Roundtable in Washington, DC.  The roundtable was hosted by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Academic Engagement and was attended by around 100 pre-qualified attendees. Day 1 ...
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#10: Gaps: 3D printed ‘downloadable guns’

When guns can be printed, the importance of having Awareity's Community-wide Platform to collect, share, assess, and connect the dots to intervene and prevent BEFORE the attack should now be your #1 priority! Are you ready to make PREVENTING an attack your #1 priority? Let us help! ...
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HOW to PREVENT Shootings, Violence, Tragedies and Incidents

HOW can schools, organizations, and communities PREVENT shootings, violence, tragedies, and other incidents? The sad truth is most shootings, violence, tragedies, and other incidents were PREVENTABLE, but too many times prevention efforts failed.  To understand HOW to PREVENT, you must first understand WHY so many shootings, acts of violence, tragedies, ...
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Recipes: Platform Compliance

Platform Compliance Awareity's Community-wide "Connecting the Dots" Platform is designed to help schools, organizations, and communities meet and exceed many local, state, and federal compliance mandates. In the chart below you will find a number of laws and acts that the Platform helps to meet the compliance requirements for. If ...
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Gaps: Incident Outcomes and Costs

Incident Outcomes and Costs * Post-incident report links can be provided upon request ...
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Gaps: Warning Signs Missed

WARNING SIGNS Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it… and doomed to experience the same failures and missed opportunities. View Incident List Incident List: Arapahoe High School Shooting Aurora Theater Shooting California Veterans Hospital Shooting Columbine Shooting Fort Hood Shooting Freeman High School Shooting FSU Campus Sexual ...
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Active Shooters: Does Preventing Them Require a Different Kind of Camera?

It's no secret Security Cameras are on almost every school and organization’s wish list, especially at budget time. In fact, billions of dollars have been invested in Security Cameras and other security products… but questions about whether Security Cameras are the best solution for preventing Active Shooters and other acts ...
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Gaps: School Safety & School Security: Common Failures Since 1999

Research reveals the biggest school security and school safety failures, and their common denominators. But do you know what the research says about school safety & school security? Columbine High School (1999) Sandy Hook Elementary (2012) Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (2018) Q: What are the Common Denominators since 1999 ...
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Open Letter to: School Administrators, Community Leaders and Lawmakers

Dear School Administrators, Community Leaders, and Lawmakers: “Every adversity, every failure, every heartbreak, carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” – Napoleon Hill  Each of you have a huge opportunity as you deal with adversity and as you make choices that students, parents, and others are demanding ...
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2018 Patient Safety Awareness Week

It's Patient Safety Awareness Week (March 11 - 17), are you sure you're doing everything you can to keep your patients safe and ensure they are receiving the best care they can? The evidence from the tragic attack at the Veterans Home of California in Yountville mirrors similarities we have ...
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Enormous Dangerous Gaps and A Big Growing Problem!

[Disrupting Evil] Disrupting Evil attacks on innocent students and adults in schools, organizations, and communities is possible, but disrupting evil requires immediate changes. The recent act of evil in Parkland, Florida at Stoneman Douglas High School exposed numerous Enormous Dangerous Gaps that have already allowed hundreds of evil doers to attack ...
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What does questioning status quo thinking mean?

[Prevention] Would you prefer to REACT to an attacker at your front door? Or would you prefer to DISRUPT and PREVENT the attacker from getting to your front door? At speaking events, 99.9% of people raise their hand for prevention, but is that where people are putting their energy and ...
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Ready to Transform Student Safety? Watch this video.

[Student Safety] Are you ready to transform and improve student safety by PREVENTING school shootings and other incidents? Watch this video. If you want to keep the status quo and keep Responding to them...don’t watch this video. Download an updated school shootings chart to compare your school's security to others who ...
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Student Safety MUST Become a Higher Priority Than School Security

In the wake of yet another tragic mass shooting at a school, it's time to respond and ensure student safety with action. This message is for the President, the Governors, the Attorney Generals, the Department of Education, the Department of Safety, Mayors, City Managers, Superintendents, and anyone else who is in ...
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Information Security 2018 Predictions

Making new year predictions about Information Security and Hackers is not difficult based on knowledge, evidence, and lessons learned from previous years. 2018 Prediction:  Hackers will continue to hack your weakest links, unaware people (employees, contractors, vendors, third-party service providers, etc.) and unpatched systems, to gain access to unauthorized information ...
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Let’s Make Your 2018 New Year’s Resolution…

We have reached that time of year… the time of year when people are thinking about or making New Year’s resolutions and making positive changes for 2018. And I want to help you make your 2018 New Year’s Resolution positive and successful!  Why? Because since 2013 (maybe since forever), statistics ...
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The Sad Truth: I’m going to be direct, and I hope you are not offended…

The Sad Truth: Innocent People Are Dying Because of Closed-Minded People Are you concerned about all the Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assaults, Workplace Violence, Bullying, Social Media Attacks, Suicides, the Opioid Epidemic, Violence, Mass Shootings, and other acts of evil? Are you concerned about the innocent children and adults being targeted ...
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RECIPES, RECIPES, RECIPES… Where’s the Cake? (Safer Environments)

If you want to make and enjoy the best chocolate cake ever, you need the RECIPE for the best chocolate cake ever. BUT just having the RECIPE for the best chocolate cake ever does not mean you will get to enjoy the best chocolate cake ever… To enjoy that incredible ...
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Cyber Security Failures Explained (and Exposed)

Connecting the dots with Cyber Security failures…Why are so many Cyber Security failures occurring? The data doesn’t lie.  The 2018 Global State of Information Security Survey from PwC surveyed 9,500 executives across 120 countries which helps explain why so many organizations and failing to prevent Cyber Security incidents: 48% of ...
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Active Shooter: The easiest/best way to prepare for an active shooter incident…

I have seen multiple e-mail Subject Lines, Webinars, and articles eluding to a similar topic "The easiest/best way to prepare for an active shooter incident…" Is this really what your people in your organization or your community want? Do your people really want to “prepare for an active shooter incident”? ...
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[Video] Connecting The Dots: Equifax

Related: [Blog] CYBER SECURITY: PATCHING AND THAT DAM ANALOGY! ...
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Cyber Security: PATCHING and that Dam Analogy!

ONGOING PATCHING is one of the BEST ways to prevent expensive and embarrassing information security breaches. Equifax failed to PATCH a server and it led to 143 million of Americans (perhaps even you and me) having their sensitive information exposed to cybercriminals. Two top Equifax IT executives have stepped down ...
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Disruptive and Tragic Violence: Do You Need More Security?

Disruptive and Tragic Violence incidents are on the increase. Violence is scary, stressful, ugly, concerning, sad, evil, expensive, frustrating, disruptive, and tragic. Disruptive and tragic violence threatens innocent children and adults in schools, colleges, organizations, government, and communities every day… and all over the world. Do you need more security? ...
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The Stupidest Question Ever… Is this Terrorism or Not Terrorism??

Yes, there are stupid questions. Even though our teachers told us there are no stupid questions, there is at least one. Is this Terrorism or Not Terrorism?? Ok, two stupid questions… Is this a Hate Crime or Not a Hate Crime?? It is time for politicians, mainstream media, law enforcement, and ...
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The DOTS Are Out There. Prevention IS Possible. But…

If it is possible to “connect the dots” AFTER attacks, why can't organizations and communities “connect the dots” BEFORE attacks to intervene and prevent? They can and they are! (If they are equipped to do so.) Research-based data and practice-based data overwhelmingly proves PREVENTION IS POSSIBLE. Headlines like these appear ...
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How To Prevent Terrorism, Violence, and other Acts of Evil

I am not a fan of watching or listening to TV news, however, after the recent attacks in England, I was interested to see how TV news was covering the attacks.  Buried in their biased views with the news, I was pleasantly surprised to hear a common thread emerge – ...
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WannaCry, GAPS, and Cockroaches!

You can’t prevent hackers and hacker threats, but you can prevent breaches like this! When you fail to apply the latest patches to your Systems, and when you fail to update People about new threats…you create GAPS for hackers. Hackers are like cockroaches… they only need one small GAP and ...
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Your Dangerous GAPS: Do you know where they all are?

Dangerous GAPS Evidence from hundreds of post-incident reports reveal almost every organization and community has a myriad of common GAPS and dangerous GAPS. At-Risk Individuals Evidence reveals almost every organization and/or community has at-risk individuals who could commit numerous types of disruptive incidents involving people, information, organizations, and communities. Disruptive ...
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Calling Evil What It Is Eliminates Confusion with Terrorism, Racism, etc.

Evil is immoral, wrong, sinful, corrupt, vicious, malicious, malevolent, vile, hateful, and bad. Terrorism, rape, racism, murders, drug dealing, pedophilia, harassment, etc. are all the acts of Evil Doers. Calling incidents (like the ones above and others) Acts of Evil would eliminate most of the arguing among politicians, media, activists, ...
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Attention Education Leaders!

What is more important and more valuable than a student’s life?  What is more important than an employee’s life? What is more important than any human life? Cameras to record the violence? A PC for every student? A football game? Coffee for Faculty/Staff? Hundreds of other lower priority purchases?  None ...
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How Disruptive Innovation and Human Intelligence Trumps Artificial and Machine Intelligence?

Disruptive Innovation is (DI) is an innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market leading firms, products, and alliances. Human Intelligence (HI) is the intellectual capacity of humans, which is characterized by perception, consciousness, self-awareness, and volition ...
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The Super Bowl Delivers Super Game-Changing Lessons for Leaders

No matter who you were cheering for… the Super Bowl was exciting, history-making, and it provided super valuable lessons for anyone who is responsible for leading a team or an organization! First valuable lesson If you want to be a “winner” you need BOTH Offense and Defense. There is an ...
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2017 Predictions and Connecting the Dots – The Incompetence Must END!!

2017 predictions for Information Security and Cyberattacks. People are and will continue to be the Weakest Link! Because most organizations only provide annual information security training and because most deliver the awareness training for the wrong reasons (one or more state/federal compliance requirements), they are not really addressing their weakest ...
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Why Does Every Organization Need a Preventing Coach?

Because 99.9% of people prefer PREVENTING over REACTING/RESPONDING to incidents, attacks, lawsuits, and tragedies. Dangerous Gap #1 – nearly every organization has invested almost 100% of Safety/Security budget in: First Responders (Security personnel, Emergency Personnel, etc.) Re-Active Shooter Drills (good drill for First Responders) Security Products Reacting to an attack ...
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99.9% Do NOT Budget for What 99.9% of People WANT… What is it?

Numerous surveys reveal: 99.9% of people WANT a shooter to be prevented from arriving at their organization rather than responding to a shooter at their organization. 99.9% of people WANT a terrorist to be prevented from attacking their organization rather than responding to a terrorist attack at their organization. Evidence-based ...
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Healthcare Security and Safety Week 2016

The motto of Healthcare Security and Safety Week 2016 is “Your Security is our Success” and Awareity would like to help you improve Security and Safety all 52 weeks of the year! There are significant differences between Security and Safety, Safety is focused on Preventing (First Preventers) while Security is ...
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How to Stop Mounting Violence: First Preventers AND First Responders

Burlington/Seattle. New York. New Jersey. Minnesota. Orlando. San Bernardino. Chicago… and on and on. How do communities, states, and nations stop mounting violence? It requires leadership across organizations, communities, states, and nations to actually make changes. Leaders from all levels of government (and organizations too) have been “talking about preventing ...
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Attention Higher Ed Administrators – Court Case Sets Legal Precedent for Preventing

Attention: All Higher Education Chancellors, Presidents, Boards, Regents, Vice Presidents, etc. this court decision may be have just set a very important precedent for all Higher Education institutions when it comes to Preventing violence. Tyrell K. Okoro, 23, was awarded $823,869 for non-economic damages and $76,131 for medical expenses by ...
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Follow Up: Why Are 225+ Higher Education Institutions Under Federal Investigation?

This question was the topic of Awareity’s latest Higher Education webinar in August 2016 and part of an ongoing series of webinars focused on mounting challenges in Higher Education. The evidence is alarming and overwhelmingly clear that: Sex assaults are happening on every campus People know about the sexual assaults ...
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Fifteen Years Since 9-11, First Responders and First Preventers

Fifteen years after 9-11-2001 we still honor all First Responders for their responses and we remember the tragic losses of 265 people on four planes, 2,606 people in the World Trade Center and 125 people at the Pentagon…and we honor the losses to their family and loved ones too. Fifteen ...
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Why YOU need a “Connecting the Dots Platform”

Give us 5 minutes... ...and you'll see why YOU need a proven "Connecting the Dots Platform" for your organization, because no one wants a preventable incident on their resume or conscience. Want to get notified as soon as we post helpful information like this? Subscribe to our blog in the ...
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National Campus Safety Awareness Month

There are so many “Awareness Days” and “Awareness Months” throughout the year that sometimes I wonder if the “real definitions” and “real issues” are overlooked. Take for example “Campus Safety Awareness Month”, you will no doubt see a lot of campaigns (e-mails, posters, Twitter posts, Facebook posts, and other Social ...
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World-Changing Announcement from Awareity: The Butterfly Effect

As you know, I am passionate about Preventing incidents and tragedies in schools, colleges, organizations, governments, and communities. My passion and Awareity’s extensive research into hundreds and hundreds of previous incidents and tragedies led to Awareity developing the world’s leading Collecting, Assessing, and Connecting the Dots Platform which is equipping ...
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Connecting the Dots… Excuses, Research, Standards & Successes with PREVENTING*

The most common excuse from leadership after their organization experiences an incident or tragedy is: “We failed to Connect the Dots.” The most common finding in hundreds of post-event reports after incidents and tragedies including Columbine, 9-11 Commission, Penn State, Sandy Hook, Fort Hood, Paris, San Bernardino, Orlando and others ...
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Student Safety Priority at Umonhon Nation Schools: Anonymous Reporting First Step in Prevention

With a strong focus on community-based prevention, Umonhon Nation Schools is providing a new resource called TIPS to report potential school safety concerns. Community members (students, parents, employees, neighbors, etc.) almost always observe red flags and warning signs prior to a violent event, but too often, this information is not ...
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[Infographic] – Preventing Mass Shootings, Violence, Terrorism and Acts of Evil

How can we start identifying at-risk individuals and preventing mass shootings, violence, terrorism and acts of evil? Is your community connecting the dots? Check out Awareity’s Prevention Infographic to review the dangerous gaps and disconnects that exist within communities and organizations today and the 6 Essential Steps to Prevention that ...
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Awareity’s Announces New Partnership with Childhelp Hotline Service, Leading the Way in Community-based Prevention

Awareity, Inc. is expanding their leadership in proven community-based prevention services and enhancing their Threat Assessment, Incident Management & Prevention Services (TIPS) platform with a new hotline/phone service option from Childhelp. Childhelp, also a leader in prevention, has been leading the way with child abuse prevention services since 1959 and ...
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Awareity's Platform Chosen as Top Higher Education Product for 2015

Awareity selected for Higher Ed Tech Decision's Top of the Line Higher Education Products for 2015 Awareity is proud to announce that our MOAT/TIPS platform was selected by higher education end users and integrators as one of the top 15 products that made their jobs easier and more efficient this ...
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Power Grid Blackout because of Hackers… Are You Paying Attention?

On December 23, 2015 parts of Ukraine were without power and the blackout was due to black hat hackers using the sophisticated BlackEnergy trojan horse malware. (click here for full story) The BlackEnergy trojan was able to disable parts of Ukraine’s power grid leaving organizations and neighborhoods in the dark…are ...
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Hutchinson Community College Launches Awareity’s TIPS Prevention Platform

Hutchinson Community College Launches Awareity’s TIPS Prevention Platform: A Community-wide Connection to Improve Safety and Security Hutchinson Community College recently implemented Awareity’s web-based incident reporting and prevention platform, TIPS (Threat Assessment, Incident Management and Prevention Services), to improve campus safety and increase efficiencies in threat assessment and investigation processes. A ...
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Threat Assessment: On the Books

Centralized and Secure Record-Keeping is Key for Virginia Colleges By now, most colleges and universities have taken steps to form threat assessment teams – groups providing consultation and assistance on campus regarding potentially dangerous situations. The teams investigate a range of possible cases, including threats made by students, employees, faculty ...
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A World Changing Lesson Learned from Paris Attack

I have had the privilege to speak about student safety at numerous Education conferences in the USA, Canada, South Korea and Japan over the past 5 years, and no matter where I am speaking, there is one question that produces the same audience response. The question and my response would ...
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Preventing Violence and Terrorism Requires New Prevention Strategy…NOW!

San Bernardino, Paris and a growing number of terror and violent acts prove over and over again why a new and better PREVENTION strategy is needed…and it is needed right now! Would you rather PREVENT violence and terror acts or REACT to them?? Using lessons learned from San Bernardino, Paris ...
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Awareity's TIPS named a “Reader’s Choice Top Product” by District Administration readers

Awareity's TIPS Prevention Platform has been recognized for the third year in a row by K12 leaders who named it to District Administration magazine’s “Readers’ Choice Top Products for 2015.” The winners were compiled from 2,100-plus nominations from the magazine’s readers over the past year. The Readers’ Choice Top Products ...
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3 Things Every Education Institution Needs…But Most Don’t Have

There are three things every school and every college (and other organizations open to general public) needs to pro-actively PREVENT numerous types of incidents, fears and concerns including: • Lying awake at night fearing the worst • Being overwhelmed by negative media scrutiny and social media escalations • Increasing violence, ...
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Connecting the Dots: Interview with University of Nebraska-Lincoln

As colleges across the nation continue to face growing challenges, dialogues about diversity, bias, safety and security are happening and pointing toward the need for change. As Secretary Duncan recently said, it is critical for college presidents to “lead from the top”, and "when an incident occurs, institutional leadership have ...
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PREVENTING Mass Shootings and Other Violence: A Comprehensive Community-based Threat Assessment, Incident Management & Prevention Platform is Necessary

Since the tragedy at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, OR most every news anchor, parent, student, education leader and government leader has been asking the same question…is there a SOLUTION to prevent future tragedies like what happened at Umpqua Community College? The answer is YES, tragedies can be prevented and ...
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Data Reveals How DATA is the Answer to PREVENTION

Data is powerful and a valuable asset for organizations. Data can make organizations leaders in their industry. Data is the best way, and arguably the only way, to prevent unwanted, embarrassing and expensive incidents, tragedies and liabilities. Simply put…you cannot prevent things you don’t know about it. Based on overwhelming ...
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Connecting the Dots: Interview with Bradley County Public Schools

Switching gears back to education, Rick met with Bradley County Public Schools Safety and Security Director, Scotty Hernandez. Scotty is really leading the way in providing his school and SRO team with the TIPS secure platform to both report concerning behaviors and document all investigation efforts and daily activities to ...
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Connecting the Dots: Interview with Cornhusker Bank

Moving over to the financial sector and connecting with the Chief Operating Officer for Cornhusker Bank, Steve Lindgren! Financial institutions and their customers continue to be defrauded by increased incidents of account takeover, ACH and wire fraud incidents that have led to the theft of millions of dollars. So, how ...
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Connecting the Dots: Interview with Twin Rivers Schools

These counselors are making a huge difference! Another interview, this time with High School Counselor, Christina Miller from Twin Rivers Schools in Missouri. After the Twin Rivers Schools participated in a student survey following the Stand for the Silent anti-bullying presentation, it was clear the students were asking for solutions ...
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Connecting the Dots: Interview with Westfield Washington Schools

Another great interview with Middle School Counselor, Craig Spinner, from Westfield Washington Schools. In 2014, Westfield Washington Schools had the honor of participating in a presentation by David and Tina Long, of Everything Starts with One and featured in the “Bully” movie, in which they spoke about their son’s tragic ...
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Connecting the Dots: Interview with Virginia Lottery

I know I am biased, but I am excited to share this recent interview with one of my favorite MOAT Administrators! Amy Roper is the Policy and Content Administrator and Legal Liaison for Virginia Lottery and has really taken advantage of the system in a big way to ensure policy ...
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Connecting the Dots: Interview with Tidewater Community College

Although this interview was conducted before the recent tragedy in Oregon, this is great example of a community college working hard to improve student safety and prevention efforts ongoing. Rick spoke with George Okaty, Safety and Security Manager of Tidewater Community College. Okaty is a true leader who is dedicated ...
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Connecting the Dots: Interview with the Regional Center for Border Health

Rick also recently sat down with Amanda Agguire, former state senator and CEO and Founder of the Regional Center for Border Health (RCBH). Agguire helped create the Yuma County Anti‐Bullying Task Force in 2008 in an effort to raise awareness regarding such a sensitive and difficult issue in rural Yuma ...
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ASIS 2015 Update – Preventing an Active Shooter

Rick and Jason received great feedback from their ASIS pre-conference program that was part of the "Developing a School Security and Safety Plan for the Next Five Years," sponsored by the ASIS International School Safety and Security Council. Experts discussed topics including risk assessments, active shooter programs, emergency planning, access ...
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ASIS 2015 – Developing a School Security and Safety Plan for the Next Five Years

Are you attending ASIS 2015 in Anaheim this year? Are you concerned about Student Safety? Social media seems to be a big challenge for every school, as well as violence, sexual misconduct, depression, bullying and numerous other incidents that can make your school’s learning environment difficult for everyone. Administrators know ...
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Workplace Violence…Einstein and Pro-Active Prevention

In light of the horrible tragedy in Virginia where a television reporter and cameraman from WDBJ-TV were shot and killed by a former colleague during a live report on tourism, it is time to take a deeper look at the data and what can be done to prevent workplace violence ...
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One Billion Reasons (Dollars) To Improve Information Security Awareness

In case you needed more reasons to continuously improve your organization’s information security awareness, does $1 BILLION lost to hackers since October 2013 get your attention? According to the FBI, corporate account takeover and business email fraud have resulted in $1 billion dollars lost since October 2013…and some of these ...
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Southeast Community College Launches TIPS Prevention Platform: Empowering Students to Play Proactive Role in Campus Safety

Southeast Community College (SCC) has launched Awareity’s anonymous reporting and prevention platform, TIPS (Threat Assessment, Incident Management and Prevention Services), allowing the campus community to confidentially report potentially harmful incidents, accidents or concerning behaviors and ensuring the appropriate campus personnel take immediate action. If someone is aware of conditions that ...
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People Can’t PREVENT Cyberattacks…BUT YOUR PEOPLE CAN PREVENT BREACHES

Cyber Attacks are on the rise and they are creating big problems and big expenses for organizations of all sizes and across most sectors. Organizations being hacked include some of the most recognized in their respective sector including the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the White House, Anthem, UCLA ...
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3 Significant LIABILITIES CREATED BY Your Student Records System…

What you don’t know about your Student Records System and FERPA…could cost you dearly! (and many others too!) CREATING MORE LIABILITIES is not exactly a “top priority” for most Administrators and Board members, but creating more liabilities is exactly what their Student Records System and their lack of awareness of ...
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6 Essential Steps to Proactive Prevention: Part 6

As mentioned in Part 5 of this blog series, there are 6 Essential Steps to Proactive Prevention, Awareness is step 1, Collecting the Dots is step 2, Assessing the Dots is step 3 and Connecting the Dots is step 4. Step 5 is Intervention & Monitoring and Step 6 is ...
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6 Essential Steps to Proactive Prevention: Part 5

As mentioned in Part 4 of this blog series, there are 6 Essential Steps to Proactive Prevention, Awareness is step 1, Collecting the Dots is step 2 and Assessing the Dots is step 3. Step 4 is Connecting the Dots. What does Connecting the Dots involve? Connecting the Dots involves ...
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6 Essential Steps to Proactive Prevention: Part 4

As mentioned in Part 3 of this blog series, Awareness is the first step in the 6 Essential Steps to Proactive Prevention and Collecting the Dots is the second step. Step 3 is Assessing the Dots. What does Assessing the Dots involve? Assessing the Dots involves several important steps, roles, ...
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OSHA Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence

In 2013, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported more than 23,000 significant injuries due to assault at work. More than 70 percent of these assaults were in healthcare and social service settings. Health care and social service workers are almost four times as likely to be injured as a result ...
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2015 Nebraska Schools of Banking – Fundamentals Presentation

2015 Nebraska Schools of Banking - Banking Fundamentals presentation, "Security in a Technological Age" by Awareity's President and CEO Rick Shaw. Presentation: Examines examples of information security/privacy risks Reviews technological, procedural and people related security issues faced by financial institutions Explores the latest technologies and threats with regard to information ...
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Verizon 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report

The 2015 DBIR expands its investigation into nine common threat patterns and sizes up the effects of all types of data breaches, from small data disclosures to events that hit the headlines. Though the number of breaches per threat actor changes rather dramatically each year, the overall proportion attributed to ...
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IBM Security Services 2014 Cyber Security Intelligence Index

The annual Cyber Security Intelligence Index report offers a high-level overview of the major threats trending across businesses worldwide over the past year. Report reveals that over 95 percent of all incidents investigated recognize “human error” as a contributing factor. The most commonly recorded form of human errors include system ...
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Violence Prevention in Health Care Facilities Act

From the American Nurses Association - an example bill for workplace violence prevention. For full example bill, please click here. To see current state requirements, click here. Nearly 60% of all nonfatal assaults and violent acts occurred in the workplace occurred in the health care and social assistance industry. The ...
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6 Steps to Proactive Prevention: Part 3

As mentioned in Part 2 of this blog series, Awareness is the first step in the 6 Essential Steps to Proactive Prevention. Step 2 is Collecting the Dots. What does Collecting the Dots involve? Collecting the Dots is critical because without this step, there are no “dots” to assess and ...
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6 Essential Steps to Proactive Prevention: Part 2

As mentioned in Part 1 of this blog series, the 6 Essential Steps to Proactive Prevention are the result of over 40 years of experiences, validated by prevention failures described in detail in post-incident reports AND confirmed by real-world prevention success stories from clients. The first Step of the 6 ...
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6 Essential Steps to Proactive Prevention: Part 1

My Story My name is Rick Shaw and I am the founder and CEO of Awareity, and the originator of the proven and multi-award-winning “TIPS prevention platform”. My background includes more than 30 years of real-world business related experience, combined with several years of extensive research. My business experience includes ...
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Westfield Washington Schools Proactively Addressing Student Safety Concerns with TIPS

Most schools today have an online form for students to report bullying, but where do those reports go? In Awareity’s 2014 Student Safety Report, students claim only 17% of the time are reported incidents getting better. Westfield Washington Schools in Indiana is taking a more comprehensive and proactive approach by ...
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NASCAR Drivers Validate Proactive Prevention – Disconnects Are Expensive

A NASCAR accident on opening weekend has provided several valuable lessons learned, but only if you are listening and ONLY if you take actions to proactively prevent future incidents. Kevin Harvick gets proactive prevention: "It's a reaction from the racetrack unfortunately," Harvick said. "I hit the same wall a little ...
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Prevention Assessment

Post-incident reports and overwhelming evidence-base data validate most incidents (from data breaches to policy violations to violence) and tragedies were PREVENTABLE. However, even with all these lessons learned, the same common gaps and disconnects lead to more and more failed prevention efforts. Failure to “collect, assess and connect the dots” ...
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Awareity’s 2014 Student Safety Report – Preventing Liabilities and Improving School Climate

Thirty-four percent (34%) of students say they are aware of an individual who poses a risk to their school, according to Awareity’s 2014 Student Safety Report. The 2014 Student Safety Report unfortunately validates that many of the same overall risks and liabilities identified last year still exist. The results reveal ...
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Allen Consolidated School District Launches TIPS Platform to Improve Student Safety

Nebraska - Students today face ongoing challenges with bullying, weapons, drugs/alcohol, violence and more. Disconnects between youth and school educators cause many of these student issues to unfortunately slip through the cracks. Allen Consolidated School District in Nebraska is implementing a new tool to try to increase prevention and give ...
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2014 Student Safety Report

The 2014 Student Safety Report unfortunately validates that many of the same overall risks and liabilities identified last year still exist. The results reveal students observe and know about things most school administrators don’t. Students are talking about concerning behaviors (hurting others, self-harm/cutting themselves, suicidal ideations, bringing weapons to school, ...
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Cover Ups – The End of an Era?

Cover ups – attempts to prevent others from discovering the truth about a serious mistake, moral or ethical failure, abuse, assault or numerous other illegal actions and crimes have existed for many years. In the past, people who became aware of a cover up had limited options to come forward ...
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Prevention Was Possible at Fort Hood…Again!

"In the absence of a system capable of identifying (Lopez) as a threat, and because the unit was unaware and unable to address the variety of stressors in (Lopez's) life, Fort Hood was not able to prevent the shooting," lead investigator Lt. Gen. Joseph E. Martz said. Connecting the dots… ...
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The Secret Weapon for a Safer 2015?

Are security cameras making organizations safer? Security cameras have been utilized for many years and because of mounting incidents and tragedies (and growing terrorism concerns) around the world, organizations are installing more and more security cameras. As the number of security cameras have increased, are incidents and tragedies decreasing at ...
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Your Biggest Threat in 2015 – Your Threat Assessment Capabilities

Negative headlines, embarrassing lawsuits, reputational damage, expensive fines, violence, cyber-attacks, suicides, tragedies, etc. – are most of these incidents preventable? YES! Fact: Hundreds of post-event reports have revealed over and over again that prevention was/is possible. Fact: Preventing incidents and tragedies delivers better results than reacting to incidents and tragedies ...
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Higher Ed Leaders Select Awareity’s TIPS as One of the Most Effective Products of 2014

January 5, 2015 — Awareity’s TIPS Prevention Platform has been recognized for making a positive difference on college campuses by higher education leaders who named it to University Business magazine’s “Readers’ Choice Top 100 Products” for 2014. The winners, selected by University Business’ editors from hundreds of nominations, were products ...
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K12 Leaders Select Awareity’s TIPS as a “Reader’s Choice Top 100 Product”

December 1, 2014 — Awareity’s TIPS Prevention Platform has been recognized for making a positive difference in education by K12 leaders who named it to District Administration magazine’s “Readers’ Choice Top 100 Products for 2014.” From a record-setting 2,400 nominations, TIPS was selected by District Administration editors based on the ...
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Twin Rivers Community Schools Improves Student Safety with TIPS

Students today face ongoing challenges with bullying, weapons, drugs/alcohol, violence and more. Often, disconnects between youth and school administrators cause many of these issues to slip through the cracks. Twin Rivers School District in Broseley, MO is focusing on prevention and giving their students a secure way to share their ...
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A Little Secret and Huge Results

Suppose some great man were to hand you an exquisite, beautifully built machine equipped with many self-repairing features. Suppose he explained to you that with reasonable care and proper handling, this machine would automatically, after about eighteen years of warming up, begin to deliver money from a slot, each week, ...
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Lincoln Lutheran Schools Implement Online Reporting and Incident Tracking Platform to Keep Students Safe

Lincoln Lutheran Schools are committed to student safety and understand that in order for students to achieve academically, they must feel secure and comfortable in their learning environment. To proactively prepare for the 2014 fall school year, Lincoln Lutheran implemented Awareity’s TIPS (Threat Assessment, Incident Management and Prevention Services). TIPS ...
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ABA: An Avalanche of Regulation

“As battle-scarred survivors of a financial crisis and deep recession, community bankers today confront a frustratingly slow recovery, stiff competition…and the responsibility of complying with new and existing regulations. Some observers have worried that these obstacles— particularly complying with regulations—may prove insurmountable.” – Ben Bernanke, October 2, 2013 An infographic ...
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Plausible Deniability, In Loco Parentis and Connecting the Dots

An article by Guy Bliesner and Brian Armes was brought to my attention…and in full disclosure I know both Guy and Brian, and I think they do great work with school security assessments and more. Their article was called: There Is No Such Thing as Plausible Deniability in School Safety ...
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Awareity Wins Campus Safety BEST Award

Awareity has accepted the 2014 Campus Safety BEST Award from Campus Safety Magazine, for its Cawood Assessment Grids, winning in the Incident and Records Management Software category. The honor was announced at the ASIS International 60th Annual Seminar and Exhibits taking place in Atlanta, GA. As tragic stories of violence ...
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Failure by NFL Leadership Creates Game-Changing Opportunity

The news and sports headlines for the last several weeks have focused a lot of attention on NFL running back Ray Rice and his involvement in a domestic violence incident, as well as Adrian Peterson and his involvement in child abuse. The headlines were followed by an explosion of public ...
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Prevention Assessment

Post-incident reports and overwhelming evidence-base data validate most incidents (from data breaches to policy violations to violence) and tragedies were PREVENTABLE. However, even with all these lessons learned, the same common gaps and disconnects lead to more and more failed prevention efforts. Failure to “collect, assess and connect the dots” ...
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Next Generation Survival Guide

Next Generation Challenges are Not Going Away... Click here to download Awareity's Next Generation Survival Guide for Superintendents, School Board Members and Educators to learn how you can take action today! Every day more children’s lives are ruined and lost. Sweeping and pervasive media coverage of bullying, cyber bullying, suicides, ...
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Visitor Management: Do You Have a Policy? Does Anyone Know It?

The school shooter in DeKalb County, GA allegedly gained entry to the heavily secured school by “piggy-backing", following someone with controlled access through the door. Does your school have a policy to prevent this potential risk? Do you tell your employees not to hold the door open for others? How ...
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Southwestern Wisconsin School District Focuses on Student Safety and Prevention with TIPS

How safe do students really feel at school? Southwestern Wisconsin School District (SWSD) asked their students that very question last May and are now taking action to proactively ensure a safe environment for all students and staff. SWSD recently selected Awareity’s TIPS platform as part of a school-wide prevention effort ...
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Nodaway Valley Schools to Incorporate Innovative TIPS Platform into Student Safety Efforts

As the new school year begins and already we see tragic stories of bullying, suicide and violence emerge throughout school systems and communities; Nodaway Valley Community School District in Iowa is focusing on prevention. Nodaway Valley CSD is implementing Awareity’s proven and multi-award-winning TIPS (Threat assessment, Incident management & Prevention ...
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The Handbook for School Safety and Security Released

Awareity is excited to announce that The Handbook for School Safety and Security, written by Lawrence J. Fennelly and Marianna A. Perry has been released! Awareity's President, Rick Shaw, authored and contributed Chapter 7: Prevention and Student Safety for K-12, providing an overview of how K-12 schools can better focus ...
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TIPS adds new way to report campus matters, concerns

Beginning Sept. 3, UNL’s website will provide a link to a new reporting service. TIPS, an online reporting system that can be accessed via a new permanent link in the footer of the UNL.edu home page, expands the methods by which any member of the university community can share matters ...
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Incident Management Critical to Fairfax County’s Workplace Violence Program

The Fairfax County Government recently launched Awareity’s TIPS prevention platform as part of their ongoing workplace violence prevention and safety efforts. Safety officers within Fairfax County are required to report all security incidents, including alcohol/drugs, arson, bombs, burglary, disorderly conduct, extortion, fraud, property damage, suspicious activity, theft, threats and assaults, ...
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VIDEO: Tulsa Public Schools Equipping Students to Report, Prevent and Document Incidents

Awareity's Rick Shaw explains how Tulsa Public School's is taking advantage of TIPS to empower their students to share information regarding bullying, weapons, threats to harm, drug/alcohol abuse, etc ...
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INTERVIEW: Lessons Learned from Homer Public Schools

Rick recently sat down with Homer Public School’s Secondary Principal Randy Pirner to learn more about their school safety efforts and use of TIPS. As a small rural school in Nebraska, we are definitely impressed with Homer’s leadership and their innovative efforts to keep their students safe! Below is a ...
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2013 Student Safety Report

The 2013 Student Safety Report helps explain why so many incidents and tragedies in schools are not prevented. Students see and hear about things most school administrators don’t. Students are talking about concerning behaviors (hurting others, self-harm/cutting themselves, suicidal ideations, bringing weapons to school, drugs/alcohol and other risks) among themselves, ...
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Corrections.com – Safety More Important Than Silence

With 74 school shootings since Sandy Hook, school safety is and must continue to be a priority as we plan for next year. Bulletproof backpacks, door locks, cameras, and other security tools are being promoted, and while these tools can be useful in the event of an attack, a more ...
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Awareity's TIPS Selected as a Top Ed-Tech Product

August 1, 2014 — Awareity’s TIPS Prevention Platform has been selected as a favorite ed-tech product and solution in eSchool News' annual Readers’ Choice Award program. School leaders are asked to nominate their favorite products and explain how they are using these products to improve teaching, learning, or school administration—and ...
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TIPS Connects Yuma County Anti-Bullying and Violence Prevention Task Force

TIPS Connects Yuma County Anti‐Bullying and Violence Prevention Task Force Task Force launching a community school safety effort The Yuma County Anti‐Bullying Task Force was formed in 2008 in an effort to raise awareness regarding such a sensitive and difficult issue in rural Yuma County, Arizona. The Regional Center for ...
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Community Policing Dispatch: Keeping Your School Hallways Safe

Twenty-eight innocent students and staff members were killed in 44 different U.S. school shootings in the 14 months following the tragedy at Sandy Hook. Many schools have implemented school resource officer or security officer programs to help protect students and staff, but faced with limited resources, leading schools are also ...
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INTERVIEW: St. Peters Lutheran School – Accountable to Students and their Families

Another great interview!   This time Rick speaks with Scott Schumacher, Principal of St. Peters Lutheran School in Columbus, Indiana.  Scott is a true leader who is dedicated to building trust and forming strong relationships with his students and staff in order to keep his school safe. Below is a quick ...
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INTERVIEW: Ankeny Community Schools – We Don't Do That Here

Rick recently sat down with Ankeny Community School's Safety and Security Manager, Chad Bentzinger, to learn more about their school safety efforts and use of TIPS.  We are definitely impressed with Ankeny's leadership and their dedication to keeping their students safe! Below is a quick excerpt from the interview.  Click ...
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Business Insurance: Workplace Violence Prevention Starts with Comprehensive Employee Training

There were at least 60 incident reports prior to the April 16, 2007, shooting at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, but the school had no central repository to collect that data, such as a dedicated database where all of these various types of information could be stored and analyzed, he said. “They ...
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Turpin School Focuses on Student Safety and Prevention with TIPS

Stories of violence, weapons, abuse, self‐harm and bullying are being reported in school systems nationwide. A small rural school in Oklahoma is taking a proactive stance by establishing a school‐wide prevention program. Turpin School recently selected Awareity’s TIPS platform to help keep their students safe. TIPS, an award‐winning web‐based software ...
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Campus Safety Magazine: You've Suspended a Potential Aggressor…Now What?

Threat assessment teams, information sharing, community partnerships and automated tools help colleges manage at-risk individuals both on- and off-campus. For full article: http://www.campussafetymagazine.com/article/youve_suspended_a_potential_aggressor_now_what ...
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School Bus Fleet: Nearly Half of Students Witness Bullying on Bus

A new student survey from reporting solution supplier Awareity sheds light on bullying and other safety risks in schools as well as on the school bus. For full article: http://www.schoolbusfleet.com/Channel/School-Bus-Safety/News/2014/03/21/Report-Nearly-half-of-students-have-seen-bullying-on-the-bus.aspx ...
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Prevention Gapidemic – Part Three

Frogs, Excuses and Budgets   Most everyone has heard of the Boiling Frog Syndrome…. When a frog is dropped in boiling water it will jump out…but when a frog is placed in cold water that is gradually heated, it will not perceive the danger and will be ‘cooked to death’ ...
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Prevention Gapidemic – Part Two

Questions Reveal Answers   IF old school advice and hundreds and hundreds of stop bullying programs/curriculums were the solution – why would the CDC cite bullying and suicide as a significant public health problem? http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/bullying-suicide-translation-final-a.pdf   IF old school advice and stop bullying programs/curriculums were the solution, why would a ...
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Awareity CEO Selected as Chair at the Pan-Pacific Conference

Rick Shaw, President and CEO of Awareity, has been selected as the risk management session chair at the upcoming Annual Pan‐Pacific Conference in Sakai City, Osaka, Japan, June 2‐5, 2014. This year’s conference theme is “Designing the Shared Future through Co‐Creation”. Now in its 31st year, the Pan‐Pacific Business Association ...
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Prevention Gapidemic – Part 1

The Prevention Gapidemic and Connecting the Dots Shootings:  Twenty-eight innocent students and staff members were killed in 44 U.S.A. school shootings in the 14 months following the tragedy at Sandy Hook. Stabbings: Multiple stabbings in Canada, China and USA, including 16-year-old student in PA who stabbed 21 students and an ...
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Empowering You: A Students' Guide to Bullying Prevention

I am being bullied. I talked to my school and nothing happened. What can I do? This student guide has been created to help you and your classmates make a real difference with proactive actions... This is not your average bully guide...We will not tell you "kids will be kids" ...
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Banning a My Little Pony Backpack – Are Schools Teaching and Reinforcing Intolerance?

Earlier this month, an elementary school in Buncombe County, N.C., banned 9-year-old Grayson Bruce from carrying his My Little Pony backpack, saying it triggered bullying. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/03/18/my-little-pony-backpack-banned-school-north-carolina/6565425/ According to the student’s mother, one of the school counselor’s suggestions was to hide it. "If you have something like this you're asking for ...
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Student Safety Survey Reveals What Students Know and School Administrators Don't

Earlier this month, Awareity released our 2013 Student Safety Report – What Students Know and School Administrators Don’t. To request the full report click here. The findings outlined in the report provide administrators with the validations and evidence they need to justify immediate action. Just think how much safer every ...
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With vigilance, much workplace violence preventable, panelists say (Business Insurance)

For full article: http://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20140313/NEWS06/140319900 ...
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Are you a Genius or an Intellectual?

Albert Einstein said: “Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them.”  I definitely agree with Albert Einstein on this quote.  When it comes to preventing incidents and tragedies in schools, colleges and organizations of all types, evidence clearly reveals our planet is in need of more geniuses. Are you ready to be ...
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National Youth At-Risk Conference in Savannah

After a very cold and very early start on Sunday morning with a 3 hour delay due to frozen airplane systems and frozen lines (meaning no hot coffee on a very cold plane!), I finally made it to the 25th annual National Youth At-Risk (NYAR) Conference in Savannah, GA. http://coe.georgiasouthern.edu/nyar/ ...
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A Walk in the Shoes of an SRO

Article originally posted on Corrections.com http://www.corrections.com/news/article/35182-a-walk-in-the-shoes-of-an-sro What does a School Resource Officer (SRO) do all day? Do they just stand in the hallway at school waiting for violence to occur? Should schools be spending their limited funding on SROs? These are questions, Safety and Security Coordinator for Bradley County Schools, ...
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Walk in the Shoes of an SRO (Corrections.com)

What does a School Resource Officer (SRO) do all day? Do they just stand in the hallway at school waiting for violence to occur? Should schools be spending their limited funding on SROs? For full article: http://www.corrections.com/news/article/35182-a-walk-in-the-shoes-of-an-sro ...
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St. Peters Lutheran School Keeping Students Safe with TIPS

St. Peter’s Lutheran School in Columbus, Indiana, has implemented a web‐based anonymous incident reporting and prevention platform called TIPS to help maintain a safe environment for the members of their congregation and surrounding community. St. Peter’s Lutheran is committed to providing a safe and secure school for all students and ...
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Hackers Better At Connecting the Dots?

In my 30+ years of performing risk, vulnerability and threat assessments, I have always advised my clients to be really careful with whom they hire to for “maintenance and cleaning crews”.  This news about the Target data breach validates my advice. According to news reports, the hackers that pulled off ...
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Homer Community School Implements Prevention Platform with Anonymous Reporting for Student Safety

Homer Community School is preparing to make a difference for their students and community This small Nebraska school district is leading the way for rural schools by launching TIPS, a web‐based incident management and prevention platform from Awareity, Inc. No matter how big or how small, all schools face the ...
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Free School Climate Survey

To take advantage of the free student survey at your school, click here. How are you assessing the well-being of your students? Did you know over 80% of bystanders know about bullying, but only 10% report it. Are your students witnessing threatening behaviors within your walls? Do they feel comfortable ...
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Logan‐Rogersville Takes Advantage of New TIPS Platform to Improve School Safety

As tragic stories of bullying, suicide and violence continue to circulate throughout our nation’s school systems, Logan‐ Rogersville Public Schools in Missouri is taking action. Officer Mark Hall, Director of Safety & Security with the Logan‐Rogersville School Police, worked diligently over the last year to research incident reporting and risk ...
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Bullying Teachers

A friend of mine recently shared this link to an anonymous note with me: I wonder how many other teachers feel like this?   I wonder how many teachers go home at the end of the day drained from dealing with bullying directed at them?   I wonder how many ...
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Solving Bullying and Preventing Bullying

Bullying has been going on since people set foot on this planet and people have been writing about bullying all the way back to Cain and Abel.  So why does bullying still exist and continue to escalate? Why has bullying escalated to a level that the Centers for Disease Control ...
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Identifying Concerning Behaviors Key to Campus Safety at Lipscomb University

Lipscomb University has launched a new anonymous reporting and prevention platform called TIPS (Threat Assessment, Incident Management and Prevention Services), allowing students, faculty, staff and others from the campus community to confidentially report potentially harmful incidents or concerning behaviors. A private, Christian college in Nashville, TN, Lipscomb University, is dedicated ...
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Ankeny Community Schools to Incorporate Cutting Edge Bullying Prevention and Student Safety in Iowa

As tragic stories of bullying, suicide and violence continue to spread through school systems and communities, Ankeny Community School District is focusing on solutions. Ankeny Community Schools will be the first Iowa school district to implement Awareity’s proven and multi‐award‐winning TIPS (Threat assessment, Incident management & Prevention Services) prevention platform ...
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Liars and Bullies Will Never Achieve Long-term Greatness…

Have we reached a tipping point…the point at which a series of incidents becomes significant and obvious enough to cause a larger, more important change? Is this a national teachable moment…the time at which learning about a particular topic becomes obvious and easiest? Call it what you want, but obviously ...
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Bradley County Schools Launch TIPS Safety Platform

The Bradley County Schools system has implemented a new program to help keep children safe. TIPS: Threat Assessment, Incident Management and Prevention Services, an award‐winning web‐based risk management and incident reporting platform from Awareity. The TIPS platform is successfully being used in multiple school districts across the United States to ...
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Why Kids Aren’t Reporting Potential Threats

Last month, A 17-year-old Texas student committed suicide in a high school courtyard.  The student posted two Facebook updates that morning–one saying he was planning on committing suicide, and another with him pointing a gun at his head. In his message, he said, “I don’t know if this is going ...
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Security Awareness Training Not Forgotten at Virginia’s Board of Accountancy

Data breaches, personally identifiable information exposed, phishing, passwords hacked, credit card numbers stolen – incidents that happen all too often in today’s word. Virginia’s Board of Accountancy, however, is taking security awareness training to a new level to help ensure their employees know how to protect information and reduce human ...
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Do Your Teachers Know How to Investigate Bullying?

A child or parent reports bullying during the parent-teacher conference.  Then what?  What constitutes bullying?  What should a teacher do with this report?  Who does the information get shared with?  What type of investigation needs to be done?  Do you talk with the bully and victim together or separately or ...
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Opening the Lines of Communication for Employees at New Hampton School

New Hampton School, a selective boarding school located in the in the foothills of New Hampshire's White Mountains, has implemented Awareity's TIPS platform to improve faculty and staff support and communications. Founded in 1821, New Hampton School has a philosophy based on two values: respect and responsibility. Healthy relationships between ...
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Documenting Your Bullying Incident

  If you or your child is being bullied by classmates, you have probably reported the bullying to someone at the school.  But, then what?   How was the issue addressed by the school?  Did they talk to the bully or punish the bully?  Did the situation get better?  Did the ...
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New School Year Reveals Serious PAINS and Dangerous Trends – My Urgent Plea to All School Leaders

Headlines from the first month of school are troubling with stabbings, suicides, murder, bullying, cyberbullying and numerous other incidents. Even more troubling is that most of the incidents look like they were PREVENTABLE had the schools had the right tools to get the right information (concerning behaviors, threats, escalations, etc.) ...
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Preventing Mother Nature…Preventing Tragic Acts of Humans

Can you prevent acts of Mother Nature?  No. Can you prevent tragic acts of Humans?  YES! Over 30 years ago, I started working for a large data processing organization and we processed data for nearly 400 banks.  One of my job responsibilities was to be part of the Disaster Recovery ...
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INTERVIEW: Athletic Director Leads the Way in Coaching Compliance

Awareity’s Rick Shaw recently had the opportunity to speak with Tulsa Public Schools’ Assistant Athletic Director Mick Wilson.   TPS is always looking for ways to save time and improve the way the athletic department manages their obligations and Wilson shares several tips for improving compliance and touches on hot topics ...
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I Remember…

Guest Post from Tina Long After her son Tyler’s peer abuse driven bullycide in 2009, Tina Long has worked along with her husband, David, to stop bullying and make schools accountable for our children’s safety. She has traveled the country to promote awareness of the severity and damage that bullying ...
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Time Out Needed for School Administrators, Athletic Directors and Student Athletes

Any good Coach will tell you a well-placed time out can be a game changer. Clearly now is the time to call a time out for ALL School Administrators, ALL Coaches and ALL Student Athletes!  (actually all students) This tragic incident involving a female student who was raped by multiple ...
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Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Implements MOAT for Improved Risk Management

As part of a new state contract, Virginia’s Department of Game and Inland Fisheries recently implemented Awareity’s web‐based MOAT platform to improve security awareness and risk management ongoing. MOAT is a comprehensive platform of proven and award winning policy and procedure management and training tools designed to replace expensive and ...
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The Real Reasons Children are Turning to Suicide

Co-Authored by Keira Olvey and Rick Shaw of Awareity Adolescence can be a terrifying time for children. Harassment, assault, bullying, cyber bullying, weapon threats, stabbings, shootings, bombings, gangs, child abuse, human trafficking, drugs, alcohol and more - have all become potential risks that children face in their community and their ...
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Lessons Learned from Homer Public Schools

Rick recently sat down with Homer Public School’s Secondary Principal Randy Pirner to learn more about their school safety efforts and use of TIPS.  As a small rural school in Nebraska, we are definitely impressed with Homer’s leadership and their innovative efforts to keep their students safe! Below is a ...
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Last line of defense…

The title of a recent article caught my attention – “Last Line of Defense” http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/08/19/universitys-new-whiteboards-double-bulletproof-shields The article talks about how a higher education institution has spent $60,000 on whiteboards that can be utilized by teachers as bulletproof shields. The president of the institution said: “We are not really doing this ...
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Do you know the differences between School Security and Student Safety?

Unfortunately, many people do not know the differences between security and safety because so many security solutions have been misrepresented or misunderstood. For over 30 years, I have had the privilege to assist thousands of organizations with multiple security related technologies, services, vendors and solutions.  For the most part, Security ...
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Preventing Bullying – Like Baking a Cake?

Baking a cake and preventing bullying have more in common than you may think. If you were going to bake a cake, you would start by finding your favorite cake recipe (and there are hundreds of them to choose from).  Based on how serious you are about making a great ...
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Germanna Community College Focuses on Safety and Prevention with TIPS Incident Management System

Germanna Community College has launched an online incident reporting platform called TIPS (Threat Assessment, Incident Management and Prevention Services) from Awareity, making it easy for students, faculty, staff and others on campus to confidentially report concerning behaviors or incidents. Bullying, threats to harm, verbal abuse, harassment, assault and battery, domestic ...
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Your Voice: A Parents’ Guide: Secrets to Saving Your Bullied Child (what they don't want you to know)

Your child is being bullied or threatened by other students at school, but you can’t allow your child to stay home day after day. Something has to be done, but how exactly do you take appropriate action? How to respond (and get actual results) can be confusing. What are the ...
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Arming Staff within Schools – A Reactive Solution with Increased Potential for Danger?

The discussion on school safety is being held at every school and community across the Nation.  The end goal is the same, ensuring the safety of every young child and staff member within the school.  But, how we get there is up for debate. One of the most common solutions ...
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Virginia Workers Compensation Commission Launches MOAT for Security Awareness

The Virginia Workers Compensation Commission (VWC) recently implemented a comprehensive web‐based risk platform from Awareity called MOAT (Managed Ongoing Awareness and Trust). Available on a Virginia State Contract, Awareity’s award‐winning MOAT services help organizations manage escalating costs and obligations associated with information security awareness, privacy, compliance, risk management, public safety/security, ...
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Macklin School Launches Awareity’s TIPS to Improve Student Safety and Incident Management

As part of their No Such Thing as a Bully program and ongoing school safety efforts, Macklin School in Saskatchewan has launched TIPS, a web‐based incident reporting, incident management and prevention platform from Awareity. Students, staff, parents and community members all share the responsibility to create and maintain a safe ...
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City of Fredericksburg Implements MOAT for Improved Risk and Policy Management

As risk management and prevention obligations mount in all levels of government, the City of Fredericksburg, Virginia recently implemented Awareity’s web‐based MOAT platform to improve information security awareness training, policy management, compliance management and other ongoing risk management responsibilities. Available on a Virginia State Contract, MOAT is a comprehensive platform ...
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Research-Based Evidence vs. Results-Based Evidence

Which is more valuable, research-based evidence or real-time/results-based evidence? Let’s start with a definition of each: Research-based evidence – The term evidence-based is often in the educational and psychological literature as the level of evidence that supports the efficacy, generality, and use of a practice as indicated by research and ...
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PROACTIVE PREVENTION…continued

As a follow-up to our previous blog, I wanted to share some real-world solutions that are helping schools proactively PREVENT. Proactive prevention starts with empowering and equipping students, families, teachers, churches and other community members [like all the people coming forward now who observed “concerning behaviors” with this disconnected young ...
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Diocese of Toledo Schools Implements Anonymous Reporting System to Ensure Safe Learning Environment

Improved Threat Assessment, Incident Management and Prevention in a Changing World In an effort to improve and maintain student safety and violence prevention, the Diocese of Toledo Schools has launched an online risk management, incident reporting and prevention platform called TIPS. The TIPS platform equips all students, parents, faculty, staff ...
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Grand Canyon University Launches Anonymous Incident Reporting and Clery Act Compliance Tool

Grand Canyon University (GCU) has launched a new online risk and incident management platform called TIPS (Threat Assessment, Incident Management and Prevention Services) that allows students, faculty, staff and others from the campus community to confidentially report potentially harmful incidents or concerning behaviors. As a growing Christian University in Phoenix, ...
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Landmark Federal Investigation – Tehachapi Unified School District

A seven month investigation by the Departments of Justice and Department of Education is being called a landmark case with serious and expensive consequences for School Boards and School Administrators. To learn more about the recent settlement with Tehachapi Unified School District and how your school can improve bullying documentation ...
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Which do you prefer…Preventing Evil or Reacting to Evil At Your Front Door?

The evil that showed up at the front door of Sandy Hook Elementary School was horrible, morally unbelievable and extremely scary. Most everyone is wondering how this could happen? How could this 20 year old kid be so full of evil that he would murder young innocent children, innocent adults ...
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Awareity’s TIPS Named a District Administration Magazine 2012 Readers’ Choice Top 100 Product

This year DA readers nominated a record number of products that have made a positive difference in their school districts. Awareity, the leading provider of risk management and prevention solutions for education, announced its TIPS incident management platform including the innovative Awareness Vault for professional development has been selected as ...
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How Two Oklahoma School Districts are Using Students to Improve Prevention and Intervention Efforts

Bullying.  Cyberbullying.  Harassment.  Violence.  Weapons. Truancy.  Student Achievement.  While most school leaders want to focus their attention on the last item mentioned in that list, student achievement, school districts are finding themselves overwhelmed with school safety issues and constantly working to investigate and respond to situations, leaving fewer and fewer ...
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TIPS Centralized Risk Management/ Incident Reporting Tool Enhances Campus Safety for Rappahannock

Rappahannock Community College has launched a new online incident reporting platform called TIPS (Threat Assessment, Incident Management and Prevention Services) from Awareity, equipping students, faculty, staff and others on campus to confidentially report concerning behaviors or potentially harmful incidents. An award‐winning suite of web‐based tools, TIPS empowers individuals to anonymously ...
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Freehold Borough School District Implements Anonymous Reporting System to Ensure Safe Learning Environment

In an effort to meet the requirements of the New Jersey’s Anti‐Bullying Bill of Rights and improve and maintain student safety, Freehold Borough School District is launching an online risk management, incident reporting and prevention platform called TIPS. The TIPS platform equips all students, parents, faculty, staff and others to ...
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Tulsa Public Schools Utilizes TIPS to Improve Athletic Department Compliance Efforts

In order to ensure compliance with the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association’s (OSSAA) policies and rules, Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) has implemented the TIPS platform from Awareity. TIPS allows all TPS coaches and athletic department personnel to have on‐demand access to required compliance tests, athletic/student handbooks, consent forms, and more ...
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What Makes a Good Risk Manager?

What makes a good risk manager? This was a discussion I participated in recently and most of the responses suggested a good risk manager had to have knowledge and ability – and needed to know who, how, why, when, where, how often, etc. I agree a good risk manager should ...
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OKCPS Launches 587‐STOP Bullying Incident Reporting System

Bilingual Reporting System Will Address & Track Bullying Incidents The state’s largest school district is offering a new tool to report (hotline and online), track and address bullying or other potentially harmful incidents. The Oklahoma City Public School District (OKCPS) is launching 587‐STOP, a bilingual incident reporting system available to ...
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Awareity’s TIPS Receives Recognition for Reader’s Choice Award from eSchool Media

Awareity, the leading provider of risk management and prevention solutions for education, announced it has received an Honorable Mention Reader's Choice Award from eSchool Media, publishers of eSchoolNews.com, eCampusNews.com and eClassroomNews.com. Based on votes from nearly 1,400 readers, the Awareity's incident reporting and risk management solution, TIPS, was named one ...
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Doing the Right Things – Part 5 and Conclusions

We know from a lot of research and lessons learned that the right information comes in many different forms and the right people includes many different individuals who can be located in many different places who need the right information at many  different times so they can all do the ...
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Lessons Learned from Bullying of Bus Monitor

Did you see the video of the 68 year-old Bus Monitor getting bullied and abused by students? This incident has received attention from across the nation with support pouring in for the bus monitor. But, perhaps what is more important is the lessons we learn from this incident to help ...
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Doing the Right Things – Part 4

We know from research and lessons learned that in order for organizations and individuals to prevent incidents and do the right things, organizations and all appropriate people must be equipped with the right tools to get the right information to the right people in the right places at the right ...
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Doing the Right Things – Part 3

We know from research and lessons learned that in order for organizations and individuals to prevent incidents and do the right things, organizations and all appropriate people must be equipped with the right tools to get the right information to the right people in the right places at the right ...
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Federal Investigation – University of Notre Dame Harassment

A federal investigation by the U.S. Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights resulted in a Resolution Agreement with the University of Notre Dame regarding its handling of sexual-harassment cases. In addition to the federal investigation, several dangerous and alarming trends reveal mounting concerns and questions for college presidents, student affairs ...
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Doing the Right Things – Part 2

Part 1 of Doing the Right Things shared why organizations of all types are failing to prevent preventable incidents of all types. We know from research and lessons learned  that it is critical to equip organizations and individuals to prevent incidents and do the right things which means equipping organizations ...
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Becker College Implements MOAT to Improve Policy Management and Compliance

Becker College has implemented MOAT, an innovative risk management software platform from Awareity, to more effectively communicate all policies, procedures, training, etc. with faculty and staff and ensure ongoing compliance. With campuses in Worcester and Leicester, Massachusetts, Becker College serves nearly 1,800 students and is always looking for innovative and ...
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Thomas Nelson Community College Launches Online Incident Reporting Tool to Enhance Campus Safety

Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) has launched a new online incident reporting platform called Threat Assessment, Incident Management and Prevention Services (TIPS) that allows students, faculty, staff and others on campus to confidentially report potentially harmful incidents. An award‐winning suite of web‐based tools developed by the privately held organization Awareity, ...
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Doing the Right Things – Part 1

We have studied hundreds and hundreds of failures, fines, lawsuits, tragedies and numerous other incidents that have occurred across multiple sectors and around the world.  In our studies, we have discovered some extraordinary details that nearly every failure, fine, lawsuit, tragedy, incident had in common: Most incidents and consequences were ...
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Prevention and the Tip of the Iceberg

Everyone has seen a picture of an iceberg showing only the tip of the iceberg actually visible above water and the majority underwater.                           Prevention is sort of like an iceberg because the majority of actions that must be ...
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Lessons Learned – Doing the Right Thing

“Talking” about Doing the Right Thing is not the same as “Doing” the Right Thing. Lots of news stories, government folks, celebrities and experts talk about doing the right thing.  Lots of “talk” appears on websites and in blogs, books, programs and laws.  But “Doing the Right Thing” requires taking ...
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Failure to Prevent Costs University Millions

Business Insurance reported that Penn State University’s expenses in response to the alleged child abuse by former assistant football coach Gerald Sandusky are mounting.  A Penn State statement said they are paying nearly $2.5 million for the services of two public relations firms. The communication firms aim to work with ...
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Earth Day – Environmental Awareness and Citizenship

Earth Day has been celebrated since 1970 and was created to broaden the support for environmental programs and community awareness to promote environmental citizenship. So in honor of Earth Day…I am offering everyone a tip that can help your organization with “going green” and “saving lots of green”. Wouldn’t be ...
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5th Anniversary of Virginia Tech: Cost of Reaction vs. Prevention Is Not Even Close

Did you see the recent report from the Center for American Progress?  The report estimates that the Virginia Tech tragedy cost the university and taxpayers $ 48.2 million.  And this cost does not include the “costs” associated with the loss of lives and lives that were changed forever. An ounce ...
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Virginia Community College System Utilizes TIPS for Incident Reporting and Management

In an effort to keep up with information security risks and threats and improve the incident management process between the 23 Virginia Community Colleges and the system office, the Virginia Community College System has implemented TIPS, an innovative risk management software platform from Awareity. TIPS provides the Information Security Officers ...
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Awareity’s TIPS Receives 2012 Business Insurance Innovation Award

Awareity, a leading provider of incident management and prevention software platforms, has received a 2012 Innovation Award from Business Insurance, for TIPS (Threat Assessment, Incident Management and Prevention Services). Traditional front‐end incident reporting solutions are clearly not delivering the results organizations need. The TIPS platform delivers an innovative and comprehensive ...
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Scottsbluff Public Schools Utilizing TIPS to Prevent Alarming Trends in School Safety

Taking school safety to the next level, Scottsbluff Public Schools has launched an online suite of tools to empower students, teachers, staff and others in the community to confidentially or anonymously report suspicious or potentially harmful incidents. TIPS (Threat Assessment, Incident Management and Prevention Services), an award‐winning platform from Awareity, ...
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Awareity Recognized by Computerworld as a 2012 Honors Laureate

Awareity, a leading provider of incident management and prevention software platforms, has been recognized as a 2012 Honors Laureate by IDG’s Computerworld, for their web‐based TIPS (Threat Assessment, Incident Management and Prevention Services). The annual award program honors visionary applications of information technology promoting positive social, economic and educational change ...
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School Safety – Time is Our Greatest Asset…And the Time is Now!

Time is our greatest asset, time is limited and we all have the same amount of time. What we do with the time we have is critical to each of us and to those around us too.  And unlike movies, cartoons and commercials…in real life we cannot go back in ...
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Cutting Wasted Expenses Helps Meet Budget Cuts

As budgets grow tighter…how many school Superintendents would approve the following expense requests? Expense Request A: I am submitting a request to spend thousands of dollars to print up thousands of pages of information that no one will read… Expense Request B: I am submitting a request to spend thousands of ...
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Tenna Whitsel – Reese House LGBTQIA Educator of the Year Award

Awareity is proud to announce that one of our very own TIPS Administrators was awarded the LGBTQIA Educator of the Year Award at last weekend’s CESCaL conference! Below is an excerpt from Tenna’s nomination: Some of the greatest leaders in history find opportunities for helping others during times of adversity ...
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Teachable Moments, Bullying Laws and Escalating Liabilities – Part 2

If you missed part one of this blog, please click here for teachable moments and bullying laws… Now that you have reviewed Part 1, my other concern with this story involves communities and their taxpayers.  Is the complaint by school administrators and this vote by the Council on Local Mandates ...
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Teachable Moments and Anti-Bullying Laws – Part One

A recent news story involving the NJ Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, the Council on Local Mandates and a school district in Warren County in New Jersey caught my attention.  After reviewing related articles, are New Jersey school administrators missing out on a significant teachable opportunity? http://legalclips.nsba.org/?p=11962&utm_source=NSBA+e-Newsletter+Subscribers&utm_campaign=b060639842-Legal+Clips+Newsletter&utm_medium=email The Council on Local ...
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School Bullying Outbreak – Building and Maintaining a Safe School Environment

A special thanks to Sarah Fudin for the “School Bullying Outbreak” infographic below raising awareness and providing facts about bullying methods, bullying consequences and preventative measures.  Once you have reviewed this educational graphic, please scroll down to see our “Next Steps” for bullying prevention.  Via MAT@USC: Masters in Teaching Like ...
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Lessons Learned from Joe Paterno and Penn State

With the recent passing of football coach, Joe Paterno, Joe he can now rest in peace knowing he touched the lives of many as a coach at Penn State for 62 of his 85 years on this planet. The horrific scandal at Penn State University will no doubt have an ...
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Cornhusker Bank Implements Incident Reporting Program to Meet FFIEC Compliance Requirements

Financial institutions and their customers continue to be defrauded by increased incidents of account takeover, ACH and wire fraud incidents that have led to the theft of millions of dollars. These incidents have led to a series of lawsuits between banks and customers, and they were a key reason for ...
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Top 12 Tips for School Leaders in 2012

Information your school leaders (Board Members, Superintendents, Principals, Student Services, Safety Teams and others) need to know to effectively prevent serious and expensive consequences with lifelong effects on students, families and communities. To request this document, please click here to fill out our Resources request form ...
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Tulsa Public Schools keeps kids safe with TIPS reporting software

TULSA, Okla. – Tulsa Public Schools, as an outgrowth of its anti-bullying efforts, is launching a new online tool that will encourage students, teachers, staff and others in the Tulsa community to confidentially report bullying or other potentially harmful incidents. The district plans to go “live” with TIPS (Threat Assessment, ...
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Bullying Prevention in Schools – NOW is the Time for Next Steps

Last week, Secretary Arne Duncan from the Department of Education, along with several other agencies, sponsored the second annual national summit on bullying. Multiple federal government representatives reminded the attendees that bullying remains a priority and that is good…Unfortunately we have heard similar messages at multiple White House Summits and ...
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Nebraska Regional Interoperable Network (NRIN) Uses MOAT to Improve Information Sharing & Accountability

The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and Communications Services Inc. (CSI) are engaged in creating and building the Nebraska Regional Interoperability Network (NRIN). The network is designed to connect the Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) and dispatch centers across Nebraska’s eight state regions. A project this complex requires continuous coordination ...
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Alibis Don’t Save Lives or Prevent Bullying

When it comes to anti-bullying efforts, most seem to be in agreement that we need to do something about bullying. It is everyone’s moral obligation to lookout for the safety of students and do the right thing.   However, in New Jersey, there is a debate on new legislation and school ...
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Norfolk State University Improves Campus‐wide Efficiencies with Awareity’s Enhanced MOAT

Colleges and Universities are facing mounting challenges with budgets, oversight, safety and student achievement, and it can be difficult to manage reputations with students, faculty members, staff, administrators, third‐parties, media, etc. Campus obligations are overwhelming, so coordinating with all appropriate stakeholders in these times requires more innovative and more efficient ...
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Campus Disconnects – A Lack of Reporting in Higher Education

Two high profile incidents this week revealed that despite updates to the Clery Act and Title IX requirements, campuses continue to struggle to proactively identify warning signs and red flags and gather information and reports from their people (students, staff, faculty, law enforcement, counselors, etc.). Penn State – Lawmakers are ...
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9 Myths of Student Safety

Unfortunately, when it comes to Student Safety there are way too many myths. This document, written by Awareity’s CEO and Founder Rick Shaw, shares real evidence from incidents, tragedies and lessons learned to help all school and college administrators realize how Student Safety myths are putting their students, faculty, staff, ...
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Is a Disconnect Preventing Bully Prevention?

A disconnect is seemingly growing and becoming more and more serious every day. Disconnects in schools exist for many reasons including: silos and departments hierarchy and org chart issues multiple locations lack of ongoing awareness and accountability ineffective and outdated policies and procedures the disconnect between “well said” and “well ...
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Connecting the Dots in Bullying Prevention

When it comes to bully prevention, connecting the dots is one of the best ways to achieve better results and to achieve “well done”. Too many times after a bullying incident or targeted violence incident or a suicide, we hear school leadership, government leaders and expert review panels say the ...
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Bullying Prevention = Well Said AND Well Done

Bully Prevention is receiving a lot of attention this month and that is a very good thing.  Lots of websites, articles, TV shows and experts have voiced their ideas, opinions and suggestions for bully prevention and these are really good things. I was a guest on a radio show with ...
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ANSI Workplace Violence Prevention and Intervention – National Standard

ASIS/SHRM WVPI.1-2011 Violence in the workplace represents one of the most challenging security and personnel safety problems that organizations can face today. This standard establishes policies, processes, and protocols that organizations can adopt to identify and prevent threatening behavior and violence affecting the workplace, and to better address and resolve ...
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October is Bully PREVENTION Month

October is National Bullying PREVENTION month, so I thought it would be helpful to blog about some of the key issues relating to bullying PREVENTION. First things first…Bullying and Cyber Bullying related problems are serious and better PREVENTION efforts are critically needed.  Studies, Town Hall Meetings, documentaries and numerous stories ...
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We Owe Them (kids) More Than Talk

Anderson Cooper hosted a Town Hall Meeting on Sunday with the theme of ‘Bullying: It Stops Here’. I watched the town hall meeting and I listened to the experts and took notes. I listened to the kids and took even more notes.  I listened to Anderson Cooper say this about ...
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Bullying…An Ongoing Struggle

What can schools do to ensure students do not fall through the cracks? Many of you may have watched the recent 48 Hours special segment on bullying.  The show highlighted one school district’s proactive efforts to implement bullying prevention programs and solutions.  We witnessed one young student who we felt ...
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Bullying Prevention Requirements: Does Your School Pass the Test?

Is your school prepared to respond accordingly to reports of bullying and harassment? Are you prepared to investigate, stop, prevent, eliminate hostile environments, take appropriate actions and document your actions? Are your school leaders aware of the different types of bullying that may be creating hostile learning environments in your ...
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Patching User Risks in the 21st Century

I saw a discussion last week that was asking for input on ways to reduce employee risk.  Most of the responses offered a technology solution…which is interesting considering most studies and trends show employee risks and weaknesses are getting worse and more alarming even though organizations have spent thousands, millions ...
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The Next Federal Investigation – Minnesota School District

In case you missed it, federal authorities are investigating “incidents involving harassment and bullying” in Minnesota’s largest school district. The civil rights investigation is underway in Anoka-Hennepin, a suburban Minneapolis school district, and based on the seven-month “landmark federal investigation” that recently ended involving Tehachapi Unified School District in California, ...
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Who is Responsible for the Ethics of an Organization?

I recently came across a discussion between Markkula Center for Applied Ethics’ Executive Director Kirk Hanson and Craig Nordlund, former general counsel of Agilent Technologies.  Nordlund believes the concern for ethics must be shared by everyone in the organization, but suggests ethics programs will be ineffective without leadership from the ...
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#8 Human Error Leads to 3rd Strike for Sony

Strike 1: The first incident occurred on April 26th, when SONY announced personal information had been compromised on their PlayStation Network exposing the personal information of 77 million users. Strike 2: One week later, a second security breach occurred on a different SONY network compromising 24.6 million users. Strike 3:  ...
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Incident Management and Documentation Lacking in Bullying Prevention

A recent investigation of anti-bullying efforts in Minnesota schools revealed a major weakness across local school districts.  Most schools are not tracking bullying incidents…which makes it almost impossible to gauge the effectiveness of their bullying prevention and intervention efforts. So just how important (and expensive) is it when schools do ...
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The Parent’s Guide to Texting, Facebook, and Social Media

May 17, 2011 is National Cyber Awareness day, as well as the release day for The Parent’s Guide to Texting, Facebook, and Social Media: Understanding the Benefits and Dangers of Parenting in a Digital World.  Awareity is proud to be a supporting launch partner for this excellent resource for parents. Has ...
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The Payback of Compliance: Organizations Save When They Focus on Security

A review of security practices and investments at 46 global organizations finds that compliance with industry security standards actually saves money over the long-term.   A recent Ponemon Study revealed that companies that consistently comply with security requirements and standards save three times more in security-related expenses annually than non-compliant companies ...
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#7 Consumer Awareness/Education…Potential Competitive Advantage for Banks?

Recent attacks continue to show that spear phishing is quickly emerging as one of the society’s greatest threats.  Technology alone is NOT going to solve this problem.  It is critical for consumers to be more vigilant and aware of what they are clicking on, sites they are visiting, e-mails they are ...
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#6 How are Organizations Managing Policies Ongoing?

OCEG recently announced poll results from a One Minute Poll about Policy Management.  In their poll, 429 members replied to the following question: How do you primarily manage lifecycle of internal policies, procedures and guidelines? 32% use an internally developed database or intranet system 24% have no formal structure 18% ...
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2010 – Massive Security Breaches…Lessons Learned

Check out this recent overview of 10 of the largest data breaches from 2010 resulting in the loss of millions of data records. Lessons Learned: Is your organization providing ongoing situational awareness training?  People are the weak link for the majority of data breaches which are caused by human error, ...
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How are Organizations Managing Policies Ongoing?

OCEG recently announced poll results from a One Minute Poll about Policy Management.  In their poll, 429 members replied to the following question: How do you primarily manage lifecycle of internal policies, procedures and guidelines? 32% use an internally developed database or intranet system 24% have no formal structure 18% ...
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Your People Platform is Crucial…

How important are platforms? What if you had a great football coach, but no platform (fields, training rooms, etc.) to bring it all together? What if you had a great cast and a great play, but no platform (stage, props, etc.) for performances? What if you had some great software, ...
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OIG tells CMS to Improve Hotline Responses

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services needs to improve the way its staff and contractor staff process complaints from its waste, fraud and abuse hotline.  Long timeframes and inefficient processes have delayed starting work on many complaints.  On average, more than five months passed between CMS receiving complaints from ...
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The ERC on Whistleblowing Workplace Misconduct

The Ethics Resource Center’s (ERC) recent survey revealed that 40% of employees observing misconduct do not step forward to report it out of fear of retaliation, mistrust or feel their reports will be ignored. Lessons Learned: Organizations must develop secure, anonymous and/or confidential reporting solutions to empower all employees (and ...
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The Payback of Compliance: Organizations Save When They Focus on Security

A review of security practices and investments at 46 global organizations finds that compliance with industry security standards actually saves money over the long-term.   A recent Ponemon Study revealed that companies that consistently comply with security requirements and standards save three times more in security-related expenses annually than non-compliant companies ...
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‘Tricked’ RSA Worker Opened Backdoor to APT Attack

A targeted phishing e-mail with the subject line “2011 Recruitment Plan” tricked an RSA employee to open a document attached to an e-mail.  The document contained a virus that led to a sophisticated attack on RSA’s information systems. Lessons Learned:  Are your employees aware of changing and more sophisticated risks? ...
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AML Fine Sends a Message to Banks

Miami-based Pacific National was fined a $7 million penalty for violations to the Bank Secrecy and USA Patriot acts. Lessons Learned: Fines for gaps in AML practices are becoming more severe.  Financial organizations must ensure they have the appropriate policies and procedures in place and ensure their people are aware ...
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Alarming School Survey: “Thou Shall Not Snitch”

What does recent a school survey reveal about ‘thou shall not snitch’ culture?  Can schools take advantage of real life situations to create a culture of preparedness, safety and prevention? The responses to this survey at H.D. Woodson High School reveal opportunities for schools to open the lines of communication, ...
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Super-Should-A-Docious!

I have attended several threat management and risk management seminars this year, and it seems like many of the speakers and experts have fallen under the spell of “super-should-a-docious”. Many of the speakers and experts continue to express “You should do this” and “Your people should do that” or “You ...
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#5 Ed. Dept. Isn’t Backing Down From Bullying Guidance

The Department of Education and Office of Civil Rights sent out a “Dear Colleague” letter in October 2010 outlining schools’ responsibilities for being aware of, responding to and preventing future incidents of bullying, discrimination and harassment.  In response to the National School Board Association’s letter questioning a school’s responsibilities, the ...
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Schools Should Focus 20-30% of Resources on Innovation and “Next Practices.”

Raymond J. McNulty, president of the International Center for Leadership in Education discusses that in order to see real change in our schools and move the needle on closing the achievement gap, school leaders need to try some things that aren’t “proven.”  Organizations need to experiment with “next practices” not ...
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Va. Tech Gets Max $55K Fine for Late Warning

Virginia Tech was fined the maximum fine allowed under the Clery Act of $55,000 for waiting almost two hours before warning students, faculty and staff of an active shooter on campus. Lessons Learned: Colleges and Universities must develop, implement and follow clearly defined policies and procedures for notifying students and ...
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Dept. of Education Releases Handbook to Help Higher-Ed Campuses Meet Safety Reporting Standards

The U.S. Department of Education released the Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting providing step-by-step procedures, examples, and references for higher education institutions to follow in meeting campus safety and security requirements. Lessons Learned:  College and University administrators are overwhelmed with responsibilities for HEOA, FERPA, HIPAA, Clery Act, OCR ...
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Fighting Bullying with Lawsuits

Lawsuits targeting school districts for allowing students to be bullied by other students are escalating. Lessons Learned: With new guidelines outlined in an OCR “Dear Colleague” Letter and an increase in bullying, harassment, discrimination and school violence, schools need to be aware of the potential risk of lawsuits.  School leaders ...
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In Brazil – Bullied Student to Cold-Blooded Killer

The Brazilian whose shooting spree left 12 school children dead was a loner who spent his days surfing the Web, and had been victim of schoolyard bullying and taunts.  His classmates and former teachers said he was routinely bullied at school, rejected and taunted by girls in class, and forced ...
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Fighting Bullying with Lawsuits

Lawsuits targeting school districts for allowing students to be bullied by other students are escalating. Lessons Learned: With new guidelines outlined in an OCR “Dear Colleague” Letter and an increase in bullying, harassment, discrimination and school violence, schools need to be aware of the potential risk of lawsuits.  School leaders ...
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HIPAA is Most Troublesome Compliance Regulation

A recent survey revealed that HIPAA is the most challenging regulation to businesses today. Lessons Learned: Regulatory requirements are updated regularly…Hackers, risks, threats, etc. are constantly changing. Staying up-to-date and within compliance is challenging, but critical.  Organizations must ensure all employees (and third-parties) understand their responsibilities to protect sensitive information ...
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State Attorneys Generals Trained to File Federal Civil Lawsuits

OCR is offering HIPAA Enforcement Training to help State Attorneys General enforce the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules and file federal civil lawsuits for HIPAA violations. Lessons Learned:  HHS and OCR are serious about Privacy and Security in Health Care.   Policies and procedures play a critical role in an organization’s ...
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#4 Health Net Breach Exposes 1.9 Million Records

Health Net exposed as many as 1.9 million customer records in a breach after its IT vendor misplaced nine server drives.  This is the second breach in two years for Health Net when a portable hard drive containing medical and financial information on 1.5 million customers disappeared from a facility ...
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California Hospital Cited for Workplace Violence Violations

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health recently fined the Children’s Hospital in Oakland for allegedly failing to protect workers from violence in the emergency department.  The hospital was penalized for “having an ineffective training program, incomplete and inadequate procedures to deal with safety concerns, and an incomplete and ...
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#3 CVS Whistleblower Gets $2.6M and Pays Government $17.5M for Overbilling

CVS Caremark Corp has agreed to pay $17.5 million to resolve claims that it overbilled Medicaid.  The case was brought to the Justice Department by a whistleblower in Minnesota, who will receive $2.6 million. Which makes more sense to you and your bottom line?  A) Having employees report illegal and unethical ...
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#2 Parents of Student Who Committed Bullycide File Lawsuit – Failure to Warn

The parents of a bullied student who committed suicide in 2009 have filed a lawsuit against the Hillsborough School Board claiming school officials failed to take proper steps after learning their daughter showed signs of being suicidal. Lessons Learned:  If a student signs “a formal contract in which she expressly ...
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Study shows: Hospital Errors Occur 10 Times More Than Reported

A new study revealed an enormous patient safety gap – up to 90 percent of patient injuries, infections and other safety issues are not being recorded.   What does this mean for hospitals?  What does this mean for patients?  What does this mean for regulators? Lessons Learned:  Hospitals face serious patient ...
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Breaches Cost Health Care Industry $6B Annually

Despite stricter privacy and security regulations, hospitals are struggling to protect patient information.  According to a recent Ponemon Study, breaches are costing the health care industry $6 billion annually. The top three causes of breaches: Unintentional employee action Lost or stolen computing devices Third-party accidents Lessons Learned:  Failure to protect ...
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OCR Tightens Requirements and Increases Financial Penalties

The HHS Office for Civil Rights plans to use powers authorized under the HITECH Act to tighten up privacy requirements, as well as exponentially increase the penalties for HIPAA privacy and security violations. Lessons Learned:  Organizations will need to ensure they are meeting all requirements and documenting actions under the ...
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OCR Requests More Funding for HIPAA Enforcement

The HHS Office for Civil Rights is asking for $46.7 million in funding, an increase of $5.6 million over the current level.  76 percent of the new funds will be for increased enforcement of health information privacy and security rules. Lessons Learned:  Increased enforcement of existing and new regulatory requirements ...
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First HIPAA Civil Fine $4.3M

Cignet Health is facing a $4.3 M civil penalty after violating the HIPAA Privacy Rule and failing to cooperative with HHS’s subsequent probe.  This is the first civil money penalty for a violation of HIPAA. Lessons Learned: The Feds mean business and there will be more fines and lawsuits and ...
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286 Million New Threats in 2010

According to Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report, there were 286 million new threats in 2010 which equals an average of about 783,561 new threats per day.  The report also points to dramatic increases in both frequency and sophistication of targeted attacks and continued growth of social networking sites to distribute ...
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Preventing the Next School Tragedy

Brazilian gunman fatally shot 11 children and wounded 18 others at a Rio de Janeiro public school… One person dead and three others hurt in a shooting at Southern Union Community College… Student Planned to Shoot “As Many as He Could”… If you followed the headlines last week, we saw multiple ...
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Schools Should Focus 20-30% of Resources on Innovation and “Next Practices.”

Raymond J. McNulty, president of the International Center for Leadership in Education discusses that in order to see real change in our schools and move the needle on closing the achievement gap, school leaders need to try some things that aren’t “proven.”  Organizations need to experiment with “next practices” not ...
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No Brainer for Brain Drain?

Attention Governors, State Education Directors, Superintendents, School Boards, Principals and community leaders: What is Brain Drain?  Most often ‘brain drain’ is defined as ‘the human capital flight’ or the loss of skilled intellectual and technical labor through the movement of such labor to more favorable geographic, economic or professional environments ...
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Compliance and Ongoing Audits Save Money…

A new study by the Ponemon Institute shows organizations that perform internal audits spent less per capita on compliance than those that didn’t perform internal audits. Larry Ponemon is chairman of the Ponemon Institute and he commented:  “I believe that the reason why internal audits reduce compliance cost is that ...
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Winning or Helping

Seems like ‘winning’ is a popular word these days thanks to all the TV and radio shows that have jumped on the Mr. Sheen train. But is Mr. Sheen really winning or is he really reaching out for ‘HELP’? With the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention coming up tomorrow, ...
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Escalating Costs of Bullying in Schools

Pictures are worth a thousand words.  Pictures tell stories.  So what does a picture tell about alarming trends in schools? Financial Funding is Decreasing and the ‘funding cliff is coming’… School Safety obligations and costs are increasing School Safety liabilities and costs are increasing Regulations and Federal Mandates (OCR Dear ...
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Arming Teachers and Staff…Improving School Safety?

In response to the January 2011 shooting at a Nebraska high school that killed one school administrator and seriously injured another, Sen. Mark Christensen of Imperial has introduced LB 516.  The bill would allow security guards, administrators and teachers to carry a concealed handgun at Nebraska public and private schools, ...
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Preventing Online Fraud –Assumptions Versus Awareness

I recently came across an interview on BankInfoSecurity entitled, “Banks Must Assume Customers Will Compromise Themselves”. In this interview, Tom Oscherwitz, chief privacy officer and vice president of government affairs for ID Analytics, discussed why online security measures are failing due to basic authentication techniques.  With the use of current ...
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Rehab Associates of Central Virginia Reduces Privacy and Compliance Costs with MOAT

Lynchburg, VA – Rehab Associates of Central Virginia (RACV) is proactively targeting escalating obligations and rising costs associated with information privacy, compliance, employment, risk management and security across multiple locations with Awareity’s award‐winning MOAT (Managed Ongoing Awareness and Trust) tools. What started out in 1966 as a small physical therapy ...
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National School Counseling Week – Prevention and Intervention

In recognition of National School Counseling Week 2011, Awareity would like to help focus your attention on the vitally important and long-lasting contributions school counselors provide in our nation’s schools. School counselors can have a tremendous impact on students of all ages.  Counselors not only help students plan for the ...
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Same Should Different Day!

I wrote a couple blogs in December 2010 about importance of solving bullying problems and about the importance of awareness, accountability and measurability in solving problems.  The underlying message in each of those 2010 blogs was to point out the need to SOLVE problems rather than just talking about what ...
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Missed Opportunities With Red Flags and Warning Signs

Already in 2011, tragedies in Tucson and Omaha have reminded each of us about the consequences of missed opportunities involving red flags and warning signs.  Lives were lost and lives will be changed forever because of these and many other tragic incidents. We are now learning numerous red flags and ...
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South Korea – Top 5 Observations

I went on a trip to South Korea of the holidays and had a fabulous time. The trip was great because I had never been to South Korea, so there were many “firsts” for me.  I also love Korean food and had some “really fresh” seafood too! I got to ...
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Bullying Prevention (or Procrastination) Plans?

Under a law signed by Governor Patrick in May 2010, all Massachusetts schools had a December 31, 2010 deadline for filing comprehensive bullying prevention and intervention plans. On November 10, only 3 of the 394 school communities had responded.  On December 31, it was reported early in the day that ...
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Measuring Risk and Measuring Cake

Is Measuring Risk Possible? I saw a discussion question recently asking how to measure risk? My first reaction was…do you measure risk?  I say no. Do you measure security?  Do you measure prevention?   I would say no and no. Do you measure cake? Not usually, unless you are paying for ...
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Phishing for Mobile Users? They Are Taking the Bait

In a recent Dark Reading article, new research from Trusteer revealed that mobile users are the most likely to fall victim to fake e-mail messages and visit phishing sites. Once they arrive at the fraudulent site they are also three times more likely than users on PCs to provide sensitive ...
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2010 – The Year of Bullying; 2011 – The Year of Bullying Prevention?

Much of the media spotlight in 2010 was given to bullying, cyberbullying, bullying legislation, bullycides, bullying lawsuits and more.  However, most of the attention was focused on reacting to problems and consequences. In 2011, rather than continuing to discuss how to address bullying once it occurs, reading about young children ...
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Bullying Reporting Requirements – Lack of Documentation can Lead to Significant Costs and Failures

In a recent Boston Globe article, several Massachusetts school administrators discussed how they were implementing (or not implementing) the new state requirements for bullying. The new anti-bullying law can potentially expose schools — and individual staffers — to lawsuits by parents or state authorities if incidents of bullying are not ...
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2011 The Year of Awareness, Accountability and Measurability?

As the end of 2010 approaches, it is a great time to review lessons learned and decide where you need to be to ensure better results in 2011. Lessons learned from WikiLeaks, OCR and NSBA Dear Colleague letters, breaches, lawsuits, fines and numerous other failures clearly reveal how risks, threats, ...
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Bullying PSAs…OK, Then What?

Natasha Alam from True Blood has joined the growing list of celebrities speaking out publicly against bullying.  Celebrities are raising awareness and bringing attention to this escalating challenge. Alam recently filmed an anti-bullying public service announcement (PSA), click here to learn more. Canada recently targeted bullying with their National Bullying ...
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Lessons Learned: Tips Can Definitely Save Lives…

Tips prevent a lot of bad things from happening within organizations, but tips alone are not the answer based on recent lessons learned.  The Christmas Day Bomber attack was prevented and lives saved thanks to tips, but also thanks to the FBI’s proactive efforts in confidentially sharing information with other key ...
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TSA Lessons Learned…Is Anyone Learning?

All of this TSA stuff on the news is getting a little crazy…it almost seems like the media is looking for passengers who are looking for attention. But once again the lessons learned are clear…at least if we all agree on the primary goal. Hopefully everyone agrees that our main ...
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Lessons Learned in Airline Security…

Airline security is a hot topic and it reminded me about my experiences flying to Israel earlier this year. Have you ever flown into or out of Israel?  I flew in and out of Tel Aviv this past year and the differences between airline security in the USA and Israel ...
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Does Information Equal Awareness?

General Information Personally Identifiable Information Intelligence Information Industry Information Regulatory Information Legal Information Risk Information Customer Information Emergency Information Competitive Information Etc…. Most people and their organizations would agree they are overwhelmed by information that is spread all over in e-mails, web sites, binders, intranets, etc. BUT, most people and ...
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Does Information Equal Awareness?

General Information Personally Identifiable Information Intelligence Information Industry Information Regulatory Information Legal Information Risk Information Customer Information Emergency Information Competitive Information Etc…. Most people and their organizations would agree they are overwhelmed by information that is spread all over in e-mails, web sites, binders, intranets, etc. BUT, most people and ...
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Pursuit of Success Radio Interview with Awareity’s President Rick Shaw!

November 17, 2010 6:00 PM 1240 AM KFOR Lincoln, NE Awareity is proud to announce that Rick Shaw, President and CEO, will be featured in an interview on November 17 discussing his experiences as an entrepreneur, what led him to Awareity and how lessons learned continue to play a role ...
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Bentley University Improves Compliance and Awareness with MOAT

On October 1, 2010, Bentley University successfully implemented Awareity’s award‐winning MOAT (Managed Ongoing Awareness and Trust) tools to address obligations for security awareness, risk management, privacy, compliance and more. As one of the nation's leading business schools, Bentley University understands the critical role of communicating and sharing appropriate information and ...
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Is Your Incident Reporting System Putting Your Organization At Risk?

How is your incident reporting system working for you?  Or perhaps the question should be – Is your incident reporting system working against you? Lessons learned continue to show that organizations find themselves in ‘reaction mode’ more than they are in ‘prevention mode’.  How can this be when most every ...
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New Jersey Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights – A Step in the Right Direction

Legislators in New Jersey have proposed what may be the toughest anti-bullying law in the nation with a “bill of rights” as its charter.  On the heels of the recent tragedy at Rutgers University when freshman Tyler Clementi jumped to his death, the proposed legislation builds on current laws that ...
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Does Cyber Bullying Exist…Did a Blogger Really Ask This?

I read a couple online articles recently that boggled my mind.  The title of a recent blog from ZDNet was: Does cyberbullying exist, and is technology to blame? My responses: Does cyberbullying exist?             YES Is technology to blame?                NO Blaming technology for cyber bullying is like blaming the ...
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Bullying: Only The Tip of the Iceberg

As we see in the news on almost a daily basis, bullying and cyber bullying are major challenges for students, school leaders and communities.  The bullying school officials see is only the tip of the iceberg and only a small part of serious and escalating challenges.   Lessons learned clearly show ...
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Bullies and Their Bystanders

New data released this week revealed: 17 percent of American students report being bullied 2-3 times a month or more within a school semester. Over 9% of girls and 14% of boys just watch their fellow classmates get bullied. Over 30% of girls and 22% of boys think they ought ...
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The Rising Costs of Deliberate Indifference

Do you know what the legal definition of “deliberate indifference” is? The conscious or reckless disregard for the consequences of one’s acts or omissions. If you are a school leader, school board member or community leader, you might do a quick web search using the words below:                 deliberate indifference ...
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Is Your Janitor Cleaning Out Your Sensitive Information?

One of my last blogs discussed the risks of third-party contractors and their responsibilities for protecting information.  This blog will address yet another third-party risk – your janitors. A janitor was recently arrested for removing boxes of records from a Southern California health care clinic.  Interested only in getting money ...
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Two Men with Assault Rifles….How is your Situational Awareness?

Did you see the story from the San Jose International Airport this past weekend? Just before 3pm on Saturday, an SUV pulled up to the arrival curb outside Terminal A at Mineta San Jose International Airport.  Two men dressed in black got out of the SUV and approached the information ...
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Social Engineering: Need $11K?… Just Ask a Wal-Mart Employee

In a recent incident, a man called a 24-hour Wal-Mart in Ohio and explained to an associate that he was with Wal-Mart’s IT department and needed the associate to activate several gift cards, read to him the card numbers and then provide the authorization codes from the back of the ...
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Third-Parties and the Protection of Sensitive Information: Is Your Organization Lacking Contractual Assurances?

A recent GAO report has revealed that federal agencies utilizing contracted workers are failing to implement contractual assurances with third-parties regarding the protection of sensitive information. GAO auditors examined the contracting practices of three of the largest federal agencies and of those three, only one (DHS) required third-party companies to ...
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If I Knew Then What I Know Now…

Most everyone has heard or muttered these words at some time or another: If I Knew Then What I Know Now…                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The saying is most often used when we look back at our life and we realize that if I knew then (when I was younger) what I know now (with ...
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If I Knew Then What I Know Now…

Most everyone has heard or muttered these words at some time or another: If I Knew Then What I Know Now…                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The saying is most often used when we look back at our life and we realize that if I knew then (when I was younger) what I know now (with ...
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Dissemination Trap vs. Implementing/Building and Maintaining

Dennis McCafferty of CIO Insight recently did a two part overview on Enterprise Security Risks and in part 2 he talked about the hottest security catch phrase of 2010 – Advanced Persistent Threat (APT). According to the overview, an Advanced Persistent Threat is an insidious attack by a well-funded, state-sponsored ...
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Whistleblower Line vs. Hero Line

What is your first thought when you hear the word WHISTLEBLOWER? Whistleblower definitions commonly say a whistleblower is any person that reveals wrongdoing or malpractices taking place within an organization.  And in many cases a whistleblower may face retaliation or other negative ramifications and by law may require special protection ...
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Whistleblowers, Incident Reporting and Incident Management…Is your Health Care Organization Ready?

A previous Lessons Learned Blog mentioned the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and a special bounty program within the Act for whistleblowers.  Did you see it? An attorney at the Healthcare Financial Management Association’s Annual National Institute legal update says healthcare providers may be heading into a ...
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Veterans Affairs: Why Not Implement Data Breach Lessons Learned?

Dissemination vs. Implementation The Veterans Affairs Department recently announced they will be publishing monthly online accounts of data breaches and lost BlackBerrys and laptops in order to improve accountability and increase transparency. What was shocking to me was that from April through July of this year, the VA has lost ...
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SEC Creates Bounty for Whistleblowers?

According to a recent Washington Post headline, law firms are gearing up for new whistleblower reward program. The new program was included in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act signed by President Obama in July 2009 has created a bounty program that rewards individuals who provide “original ...
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Are Your Security Cameras Mobile, Capable of Making Incident Reports?

I met some really outstanding people this month while presenting at the NASRO national conference and I deeply appreciate how school resource officers (SROs) and school security officers (SSOs) are striving to make a difference with students and with schools. Before and after my presentations I had some interesting conversations ...
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Rite Aid – HIPAA Violation – Lessons Learned Not Implemented

Did everyone see this ultimate lesson regarding lessons learned but not implemented? Remember back in February 2009 when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a settlement against CVS Caremark?  According to the settlement, CVS Caremark violated the HIPAA privacy rule and the FTC Act when some of its stores improperly ...
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Blueprints Do Not Build Skyscrapers

In my previous blog I suggested that building a successful preparedness campaign is like building a skyscraper…and in some cases it seems like building a skyscraper may actually be easier than building a successful campus-wide or organization-wide preparedness effort. I mentioned that building a skyscraper and building a campus-wide or ...
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Building A Preparedness Program…like Building a Skyscraper?

I attended the Virginia Governor’s Campus Preparedness conference last week and had an interesting discussion with one of the attendees.  We were talking about how building preparedness across an organization or an entire campus is becoming more complex and more difficult due to escalating challenges, regulations, obligations, liabilities and much ...
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Is Your Company Vulnerable to Social Engineering?

Lessons learned from a recent hacking competition at Defcon revealed yet again that your employees are the biggest threat to your organization. With just two phone calls, a hacker posing as a Louisiana-based employee handling claims involving the Gulf oil spill was able to trick a computer support employee at ...
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Perceptions of Campus Safety – Are You Helping Your Students Feel Safe?

While tragic incidents like Columbine and Virginia Tech have created an increased awareness of campus safety and security, most college students reveal they still feel fairly safe on campus.  A recent study by three Southern Illinois University scholars has revealed most students are not particularly worried about encountering an active ...
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Siemens Lessons Learned: The Dangers of Default Passwords

One of the first things security professionals recommend when you install new programs, systems or hardware is that you change the default password immediately.  And, if a system has been breached or is vulnerable to a potential breach, most security professionals recommend your Users change their passwords as a precaution ...
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CFOs Have Responsibility To Break Down Risk Management Silos

Last week financial executives received some valuable advice on ways to significantly reduce costs associated with an expensive non-budgeted item – cybercrime. Greg Schaffer heads up DHS’s Office of Cybersecurity and Communications and his comments on cybercrime included: “Cybercrime is not a problem that is growing, or coming, or off ...
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SEC Provides Lessons Learned on Policies and Porn

A recent follow up article in Federal Computer Week (FCW) highlighted the porn scandal at the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and suggested this was a dramatic wake-up call for any government agency who doubted the need for and importance of an airtight security policy. Good for Teri Robinson… who wrote ...
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Improving Campus Safety – Prevention and Intervention – Part 2

If you did not read Part 1…you may want to do so before reading Part 2. During my EduComm presentation,  I identified numerous school related incidents and lessons learned and multiple new ways to improve campus safety, reduce costs, protect reputations and save lives. Then after reviewing multiple lessons learned ...
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Improving Campus Safety – Prevention and Intervention – Part 1

Just recently, I had the honor of presenting at the EduComm 2010 conference in Las Vegas. The title of my presentation was ‘Connecting the Dots to Improve Campus Safety’ and was selected as a featured presentation. Presenting at conferences is definitely one of my favorite things to do. I get ...
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Improving Campus Safety – Prevention and Intervention – Part 1

Just recently, I had the honor of presenting at the EduComm 2010 conference in Las Vegas. The title of my presentation was ‘Connecting the Dots to Improve Campus Safety’ and was selected as a featured presentation. Presenting at conferences is definitely one of my favorite things to do. I get ...
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You Have an Emergency Notification System…OK, Then What?

I recently came across a blog in Emergency Management Magazine discussing the need to use multiple forms of emergency notifications.  Lessons learned and recent studies reveal that the public won’t likely take action unless they receive their directions from at least two trusted sources.  A study on evacuations during the ...
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Are You Aware of TSA’s Bad Attitude and Bad Flyers List?

Did you see the article in the USA Today last week regarding TSA keeping a database of pushy flyers? The pushy fliers program was launched in 2007 to help prevent the nation’s 50,000 airport screeners from being attacked or threatened.  TSA officials voiced concern about passengers disrespecting screeners so they ...
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Study Finds Rise in Lone Wolf Terrorism – Empowering Individuals to Identify Red Flags

A recent report from the University of Maryland’s National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) has revealed that since 1995, a much higher percentage (33%) of terrorist attacks in the United States were conducted by unaffiliated individuals, rather than by organized groups. From the Oklahoma ...
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Mounting Challenges with People and Processes…Do you need a Tractor?

I attended the national ACUTA conference last week and one of the speakers mentioned Philip Quigley’s quote regarding ‘farmers and building tractors’.  If you are not familiar with his quote, see below: Philip J. Quigley, former CEO of Pacific Telesis said, “If we were to go back in time 100 ...
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What is a “Failure to Implement”?

Recently, Awareity’s CEO, Rick Shaw, was asked to present at the Infotec conference in Omaha.   During his presentation, “The Truths (and Myths) About Assessments, Planning and Implementing”, Rick discussed the three-legged stool each organization is sitting on, and the importance of all three legs (Assessments, Planning/Developing and Implementing). Most organizations ...
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Lack of Awareness Kills…

If you have been following the bullying case in Massachusetts, you know all too well that lack of awareness can kill. Lessons learned clearly show a lack of awareness kills: People Careers Credibility Confidentiality Bottom Lines Reputations Strategies And more… Lessons learned in schools, banks, hospitals, manufacturing, government and most ...
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Free Solutions vs. Negative Cost Solutions

I recently received an e-mail from a school safety organization that explained, although the services we were offering seemed very important and addressed critical needs for schools, they only provided free services to schools and therefore they were unable to “look at” our solutions since they were not free. The ...
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Workplace Violence – “Don’t Get Caught in the White Zone”

awareness and preparedness efforts. While we have done a considerable amount of research on this topic, there were a few items in this presentation that grabbed my attention: 1) Zero reports of violence do not equal zero violence This is a critical statement for employers to understand and address.  Over ...
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#1 $800,000 – Will Your School be the Next to Face a Bullying Lawsuit?

I blogged a few weeks ago about the parent suing the Ottawa Catholic School Bard for $325,000, alleging the school failed to protect her child from repeated acts of bullying.  Two more lawsuits have recently made the headlines and school leaders are probably wondering, “Will we be next?” In Australia, ...
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Warren Buffett and Lessons Learned Point to CEOs

According to a recent article at JournalStar.com, Warren Buffett used his letter to Berkshire Hathaway stockholders to bring attention to corporate responsibility and the government bailout of financial institutions. Warren Buffett wrote: “In my view, a board of directors of a huge financial institution is derelict if it does not ...
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Identifying Red Flags, Warning Signs and Indicators

Have you noticed recently how the media, safety experts and government leaders are focusing on the failure of organizations to connect-the-dots and the failure to identify red flags prior to emergency and crisis situations occurring? And have you noticed these failures have been going on for years?  Virginia Tech administrators ...
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Safety and Security Programs: Right Information vs. General Information

Safety and security programs depend on getting the right information to the right people in the right place at the right time so individuals can make better decisions. Recently, a story involving several schools in Missouri provided multiple lessons learned involving safety. The situation started when a national alert from ...
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Social Media Policies…Does your Organization Have One?

Did you see the FINRA news release last week announcing guidance for securities firms and brokers regarding the use of social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs to communicate with their investors? Securities firms and brokers are now required to develop their own customized policies and procedures to ...
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Lessons Learned from WMD Proliferation and Terrorism Report Card

Reviewing the bipartisan Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism report card reveals lessons learned have not become lessons implemented. The report card included an ‘F’ grade in Biological Risks due to the nation’s capabilities lacking to:  Coordinate and deploy rapid response to prevent biological ...
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National Transportation Safety Board Installing Cameras – “We need to nip this in the bud”??

I re-read this NTSB story a couple times and it still left me scratching my head…installing cameras will prevent what? The USA Today article stated: The NTSB found that the Sept. 12, 2008, crash between commuter and freight trains that killed 25 people was caused by an engineer who sped ...
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Norfolk Sheriff’s Office – Reducing Accreditation Costs and Improving Accountability

MOAT Provides Critical Awareness and Accountability Tools for Law Enforcement As part of the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission (VLEPSC) requirements, standard ADM.09.02 requires all Norfolk Sheriff’s Office (NSO) employees to review and acknowledge new and revised policies and procedures. With nearly 150 organizational procedures, NSO realized that outdated ...
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New Year’s Resolutions for Cutting Costs, Cutting Spending and Cutting Weight…

If you made resolutions to lose weight, which of the following options would you choose? Option 1 – cut off an arm or a leg or both. Option 2 – change your eating patterns and identify new ways to burn calories. Both options will help you cut weight, but… Option ...
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House Ethics Committee Standards Breach – Lessons Learned Part Two

Teachable Moments vs. Ongoing Awareness Reminders As a follow up to the previous blog regarding the sensitive ethics document from the Committee on Standards that ended up in the hands of The Washington Post, I wanted to take a look at teachable moments vs. ongoing awareness reminders. If you go ...
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House Ethics Committee Standards Breach – Lessons Learned

Low-Level Staffer Blamed for Committee on Standards Breach In case you missed the story last week, multiple lessons learned and teachable moments have emerged from an incident involving a sensitive ethics committee document that ended up in the hands of the Washington Post.  The ethics document exposed numerous ongoing investigations ...
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Ohio Storage Bins Stolen – One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s….

We have all heard the wise old saying….’One man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ and potentially we have yet another lesson learned for organizations who are obligated to protect their client’s personal information. In this lesson learned from Ohio, three large storage bins were stolen from outside of three different ...
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Common Elements of Failed Financial Institutions (FDIC)

Yes, I admit it…I was surfing the FDIC web site this past weekend and I was spending some time reviewing past Financial Institution Letters that the FDIC releases to advise the banking industry of supervisory changes and guidelines. I came across a Financial Institution Letter for Newly Insured FDIC-Supervised Depository ...
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HHS Strengthens HIPAA Enforcement

If you were busy getting your costume ready for Halloween, you might have missed the news release from HHS on October 30, 2009.  This news release should be taken seriously by all covered entities and organizational leaders that have responsibilities for protected health information (PHI) The news release announces that ...
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Fact or Fiction with Tweets and Web Sites

The battle of the megaphones…it’s on! The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) has launched a web site to target misinformation and offers a way to let its members, employees, employers and others keep up with issues in national health care reform, pension investments and security. CalPERSResponds.com is the new ...
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E-mail Spoof Defeats Technology…Are Your People Prepared?

According to news reports, a spear-phishing experiment conducted over the past few days has revealed some disturbing new risks for organizations using enterprise e-mail products and services:  Most major enterprise e-mail products and services were unable to detect a fake LinkedIn invitation that looked like it was from Bill Gates ...
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UCLA Stabbing Puts Focus on College Students' Mental Health

Could stabbing have been prevented? A recent article discussing the brutal stabbing of a UCLA student in chemistry lab has raised difficult questions asking why disturbed students are allowed to remain at school despite red flags and obvious warning signs.  Since Virginia Tech, campuses across the Nation have been working ...
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Does Your Organization Send PII and PHI Through the Mail?

Did you see the story today involving CalOptima (a Medicaid managed care plan) who has notified 68,000 of their members of a potential loss of past medical claims information?  According to CalOptima, the information includes substantial identifying information, such as member names, home addresses, dates of birth, medical procedure codes, ...
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30,000 Hotmail Passwords Posted Online…and growing

Did you see the headlines…10,000 webmail passwords were posted online? Did you see the headlines…20,000 webmail passwords were posted online? Did you see the headlines…30,000 webmail passwords were posted online? Where does this end? The headlines offer valuable lessons learned that every organization should be utilizing to help their people ...
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Dr. Phil's Anti-Bullying Pledges

I recently caught a Dr. Phil segment focusing on bullying in schools…yes, I was watching Dr. Phil! Bullying in schools is a serious problem that has escalated to include verbal and cyber harassment, physical beatings, social humiliation and death threats.  In several cases, the bullying victims have even resorted to ...
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Rocky Mountain Bank vs. Google

In this Network World article, a US District Court Judge in California ordered Google to deactivate the Gmail account of a User who accidentally received personally identifiable information.  An employee of Rocky Mountain Bank sent an e-mail to the User’s account in error containing names, Social Security Numbers and loan ...
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AITP, HRAM, ARMA and more…Connecting the Dots Across Nebraska

Awareity’s CEO/President, Rick Shaw, is planning to share his knowledge and expertise at several upcoming events in the Lincoln/Omaha area.  October 13 – HRAM Omaha October 15 - AITP Omaha November 19  - AITP Lincoln March 17 - ARMA Lincoln Previous blog posts and every day headlines reveal organizations are ...
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Customers vs. Banks – Failure to Implement Adequate Security Procedures?

Two recent headlines caught my attention: Construction Company Sues Bank for Money Lost in Cyber Scam Couple’s Lawsuit Against Bank Over Breach to Move Forward In both of these cases, banks are being sued for not taking adequate precautions that could have prevented cyber thieves from stealing money from the ...
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Radford University Improves Security Awareness with MOAT

Awareness and Accountability Critical for Faculty and Staff Nestled in the New River Valley of Virginia, Radford University (RU) enrolls over 9000 students and offers a vast array of academic opportunities. Recently named one of Princeton Review’s “Best in Southeast”, the University is always looking for ways to connect the ...
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Weekly Update: Implementing Lessons Learned

Please take a moment to consider how these Lessons Learned could be implemented by managers within your organization to avoid expensive and embarrassing situations… FBI Investigating Mystery Laptops Sent to Governors The FBI is investigating five laptop computers sent anonymously to West Virginia Governor Joe Mahchin a few weeks ago, ...
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Disconnect Between Legal Team and Corporate Culture

The headline of a story caught my eye last week – Marriott Disowns One Hotel’s Defense in Rape Case. It seems Marriott International is seeking to distance itself from a Marriott franchise hotel’s legal defense tactic and released this statement: “This incident is not reflective of our corporate culture or ...
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Weekly Update: Implementing Lessons Learned

Please take a moment to consider how these Lessons Learned could be implemented by managers within your organization to avoid expensive and embarrassing situations… U.S. Government Advises Businesses on Swine Flu. Government officials are calling on U.S. businesses to help manage the H1N1 flu this fall by developing customized plans ...
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HHS Has Busy Week and HIPAA Strikes Again!

Health and Human Services (HHS) issued new regulations this week requiring healthcare providers, health plans and other entities covered by HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) to notify patients if their electronic health information has been breached. The regulations were developed by HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) and ...
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HIPAA Alert! And Congratulations to HHS Secretary Sebelius

In case you missed it, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has delegated the authority for the administration and enforcement of HIPAA Security Rule to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR).  In the article Secretary Sebelius commented: “Security and privacy of health information are increasingly intersecting as the ...
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Weekly Update: Implementing Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned Review…Keeping You Out of the Headlines and out of this blog… Please take a moment to consider how these Lessons Learned could be implemented by managers within your organization to avoid expensive and embarrassing situations… Research Finds PCI DSS Awareness High Among Small Retailers, Lack of Understanding Remains ...
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To Do Lists and Got To Do Lists…

Every manager I talk to has a long To Do List and they all say the list is getting longer. Then I ask them a question about their GOT TO DO LIST?  Their responses usually include groans, moans and terribly painful looks on their faces. As I talk to more ...
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Article Cites "Dingbat Data Leaks"

A title to an article in SmartMoney caught my attention because it read “Dingbat Data Leaks”. I think it caught my attention because over the last 27+ years or so, I have worked with my share of IT and IS department managers, as well spending many years working with end-users ...
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Weekly Update: Implementing Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned Review…Keeping You Out of the Headlines and out of this blog… Please take a moment to consider how these Lessons Learned could be implemented by managers within your organization to avoid expensive and embarrassing situations… DDoS Attacks On Twitter, Facebook Result Of Massive Attack On One Person A ...
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Please Don’t Ban E-mail and Phones…

Will Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY) introduce a bill to ban e-mail and phone software next? I was reading an article in the Washington Post that reported that online data-sharing technology has led to the disclosure of sensitive government and personal information.  According to the article some of the sensitive information ...
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PCI Needs A New Three Letter Acronym and Focus

Another data breach involving more than 500,000 records and Network Solutions is yet another organization that claims they were PCI compliant.  How can this be happening?  How does an organization know if they are PCI compliant with all 12 sections of PCI Security Standards which include hundreds of processes, roles ...
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Weekly Update: Lessons Learned…Lessons Implemented?

Keeping You Out of the Headlines and out of this blog… Please take a moment to consider how these Lessons Learned could be implemented by managers within your organization to avoid expensive and embarrassing situations… Secret Service Information Revealed in P2P Data Leak On July 29th, it was revealed that ...
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H1N1 Could Hit Up To 40% of US This Year…

Not sure if most people saw the article in USA Today, but health officials from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention made a disturbing new projection that up to 40% of Americans could get H1N1 (swine flu) this year and next….and several hundred thousand could die if a successful ...
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Curiosity Killed…Your Organization’s IT Security?

According to a recent survey released by the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG), about 1 in 6 consumers have at some point acted on a spam message.  Those who admitted to opening a spam message said they “were interested in a product or service” or “wanted to see what would ...
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Strained Budgets Cut Funding for Technologies…Blessing in Disguise?

According to a recent article, because of tight budgets, many organizations plan to cut funding for technologies that would help to mitigate the main security threats they face. The article went on to say that 72 percent of respondents have seen an increase in e-mail borne malware and phishing, but ...
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School and Campus Safety Training Forum Highlights the "Whats"

I am attending the 2009 Virginia School and Campus Safety Training Forum in Virginia and the speakers have been very informative providing the attendees with a whole lot of “what you should dos”…also called recommendations. The “what you should dos” and recommendations are targeting serious challenges and obligations: Legal Gotchas ...
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Twitter Lawsuit is Lesson Learned

Did you see the $50,000 defamation lawsuit filed by an organization against a “tweeter”? The lawsuit is a lesson learned that you may want to use to better prepare your people and your organization about the potential legal liabilities associated with sending a tweet about someone else or about another ...
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Lessons Learned…Lessons Implemented?

Keeping You Out of the Headlines and out of this blog… Please take a moment to consider how these Lessons Learned could be implemented by managers within your organization to avoid expensive and embarrassing situations… NYPD…New Typewriters? The New York Post reported that the New York City Police Department had ...
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Poorly Kept Secret in Commercial Banking

An article in The Washington Post and comments from Avivah Litan, vice president at the market research firm Gartner Inc, regarding fraudsters targeting commercial business accounts caught my attention….and if you run a business, you should pay attention too. Apparently the bad guys have figured out yet another way to ...
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Worst Phishing Attempt Ever…

Received e-mail below this week...Wouldn’t it be great if all phishing attempts were this obvious? How are you doing and your family? I shall require from you , your  full names, address and phone numbers to start the process of claim in this regard. Do send me these details to ...
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Seeing the Light in Dark Reading Report

I was reading a report the other day (The Evolution of Data-Centric Protection) from InformationWeek Analytics presented by Security Dark Reading (requires registration) and written by technology expert Joe Hernick.  The report includes a survey of 384 business technology decision-makers at North American companies and the purpose of the report ...
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Law To Require Implementation of School Security Plans

Great news! A pending New Jersey bill would mandate that all public and nonpublic schools conduct monthly school security drills for non-fire evacuation, lockdown and active shooter response.  Why is this great news? Currently, most schools probably have emergency security plans in place, but due to lack of implementation many ...
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Weekly Update: Implementing Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned Review…Keeping You Out of the Headlines and out of this Blog… Please take a moment to consider how these Lessons Learned could be implemented by managers within your organization to avoid expensive and embarrassing situations… Law would require monthly school security drill A new New Jersey bill would ...
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Would you rather manage Lessons Learned or manage Data Breaches?

As People continue to accumulate numerous passwords for their online social networking sites, personal e-mail and online banking, most People seem to have no problem logging in with different passwords for different applications to protect THEIR PERSONAL information. So we know People can handle passwords!  The key then for Managers ...
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Kansas Audit Reveals Questions and Lack of Implementation

A new Computer Security Audit Report was released by Legislative Division of Post Audit State of Kansas in July 2009 providing an overview of computer and network security for five state agencies.  The audit found weak password controls and missing security patches for servers and 39 percent of one unnamed ...
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New OSHA Program Targets Lack of Implementation

Recalcitrant.  That is the word the Acting Assistant Secretary of OSHA used in her recent testimony before the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections to describe organizations being targeted by a new OSHA program that is under development. Recalcitrant can mean obstinately defiant of authority or difficult to manage or operate.  Either ...
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Lack of Implementation = Disturbing and Outrageous Security Failures

You may have seen the scary story reporting investigators were able to carry liquid bomb-making materials past security at 10 federal building in 10 cities. Members of Congress blasted “disturbing” and “outrageous” security failures in the nation’s federal buildings.  According to the article, Sen. Joe Leiberman blamed the Federal Protective ...
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White House Provides Lesson Learned – Lack of Implementation

A recent story made headlines in The Washington Post, providing an excellent example of how a lack of implementation can lead to embarrassing headlines and illegal and costly results. This story came up because of a previous story The Washington Post (and other media outlets) reported involving Obama officials being ...
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The Achilles Heel of All Managers

Numerous lessons learned reveal the Achilles Heel for most managers (and organizations) is the Lack of Implementation Tools.  The lack of implementation tools has become THE principal weakness for all levels of managers that eventually will lead to their downfall. So let’s discuss some of the details surrounding implementation. First, ...
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Employment Lawsuits on the Rise: Could Your Organization be Next?

As more workers are let go in corporate layoffs and cutbacks, many disgruntled workers are taking legal action out of desperation.  Age and sex discrimination allegations are rising as workers claim they have been unfairly or improperly dismissed.   Class actions and individual claims are both increasing at alarming rates.  At ...
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Safety on Campus: Improving Accountability with Enhanced Crime Reporting

On June 12, 2009, New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo issued a letter informing every college and university in New York State, that underreporting crime statistics violates state law.  In a landmark case, AG Cuomo required Dominican College to reform their current system of reporting on-campus crimes, as well ...
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Is Event Training Going Away?

There seems to be a real transformation taking place across all industries…lower turnouts at trade shows and conferences and cutbacks with training.  With trade shows and conferences, I am seeing more and more discounts being offered to attract attendees and some trade shows and conferences are even offing reduced rates ...
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President Obama’s 10-point Cybersecurity Action Plan – Part 10

Step 10 is: Build a cybersecurity-based identity management vision and strategy that addresses privacy and civil liberties interests, leveraging privacy-enhancing technologies for the nation. Step 10 is definitely needed.  Step 10 mentions privacy which is generally more about collection and dissemination of sensitive and personally identifiable information (PII) than securing ...
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President Obama‘s 10-point Cybersecurity Action Plan – Part 9

Step 9 of President Obama’s 10-point action plan is: In collaboration with other Executive Office of the President entities, develop a framework for research and development strategies that focus on game-changing technologies that have the potential to enhance the security, reliability, resilience, and trustworthiness of digital infrastructure; provide the research ...
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President Obama’s 10-point Cybersecurity Action Plan – Part 8

Step 8 of President Obama’s 10-point action plan is: Prepare a cybersecurity incident response plan; initiate a dialog to enhance public-private partnerships with an eye toward streamlining, aligning, and providing resources to optimize their contribution and engagement. Keywords in Step 8 include: Prepare, Initiate, Dialog, Partnership, Streamlining, Aligning, Optimize. Preparing ...
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Most Dangerous Search Terms; Most Dangerous Management Terms

A CNN article recently caught my attention regarding a new study by antivirus software company McAfee that identified the most dangerous Internet search terms that can lead users (your employees, vendors, contractors, business partners, etc.) to web pages with a higher likelihood of cyber attacks. The study examined more than ...
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Twitter, Your Employees, Hackers and Awareness?

Lessons Learned continue to identify new and changing threats, but are organizational managers helping their organization’s personnel keep up with ongoing awareness or are they falling farther and farther behind? For example, a recent article highlighted an attack that hit Twitter and may be one of the first time hackers ...
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President Obama’s 10-point Cybersecurity Action Plan – Part 7

Step 7 is: Develop U.S. Government positions for an international cybersecurity policy framework and strengthen our international partnerships to create initiatives that address the full range of activities, policies, and opportunities associated with cybersecurity. Wow…this is a very complex step when you consider the Cyberspace Policy Review described cybersecurity policy ...
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SPAM and Junk Mail Jump to 90%

As May ended, the percentage of SPAM and junk mail jumped to 90.4 percent of e-mail.  Are your people aware and prepared to avoid and prevent risks and threats associated with SPAM? To make matters worse, the spamming techniques are successful because the e-mails are being sent from valid accounts ...
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President Obama’s 10-point Cybersecurity Action Plan – Part 6

Step 6 of President Obama’s Cybersecurity plan is a great idea and it states: Step 6 – Initiate a national public awareness and education campaign to promote cybersecurity. Lessons Learned from national public awareness and education campaigns show that they can work very well with “simple and straightforward” issues such ...
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President Obama’s 10-point Cybersecurity Action Plan – Part 5

Ok, now we are starting to get into the action points that have a lot more complexity and will absolutely require an “intelligent playbook” and innovative tools to implement appropriate mechanisms, priorities, processes, policies, roles, responsibilities, activities and more across the federal government.  Based on Lessons Learned, Inspector General Reports ...
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President Obama’s 10-point Cybersecurity Action Plan – Part 4

As I mentioned in previous blogs, the new Cybersecurity Adviser will essentially be the “Head Coach” and he/she will need to create an “intelligent playbook” to lead the offense and the defense and to ensure all appropriate individuals are aware of their roles and responsibilities. Action Step 4 in President ...
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Social Networking – Good News and Bad News…

The good news is that Social Networking is experiencing explosive growth. The bad news is that Social Networking is experiencing explosive growth. According to the third annual Deloitte LLP Ethics & Workplace survey, organizational leaders have some decisions to make when it comes to employee beliefs and management beliefs regarding ...
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President Obama's 10-point Cybersecurity Action Plan – Part 3

So the new Cybersecurity Adviser (aka Head Coach) will be announced this week…and as I mentioned previously regarding Step 1 and Step 2, the Head Coach will play a vital role in coordinating people, entities, policies, activities, strategies and ongoing updates as strategies and threats change.  We reviewed how the ...
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President Obama's 10-Point Cybersecurity Action Plan Part 2

Part 2 of several to come... Looking over President Obama’s 10-point action plan, there is no doubt that the key to successfully protecting, deterring, preventing, detecting and defending our digital infrastructure and strategic national assets will be the “playbook” and the “execution of the playbook” by all appropriate individuals. Step ...
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President Obama’s 10-Point Cybersecurity Action Plan Part 1

Part 1 of several to come... Thank you President Obama! As you probably saw in the news, President Obama presented a 10-point action plan aimed at securing federal government’s critical IT infrastructure. I missed the President’s live press conference that day, so when I returned to the office I found ...
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Identity Theft: Will bank customers be held liable?

In 2007 the Swedish Bank, Nordea was stung for $1.1 million, in the “biggest ever” online bank heist.  250 bank customers were affected by the fraud after falling victim to phishing e-mails.  The e-mail contained a trojan horse that redirected customers to a false home page where they entered important ...
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Lost Laptop…Lost Reputation

Lost or stolen laptops and other digital media are the cause of more than 40% of data breaches. Business travelers lose more than 10,000 laptops per week in U.S. airports. An estimated 11,300 laptop computers, 31,400 handheld computers and 200,000 mobile telephones were left in taxis around the world during ...
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Are Fines Becoming a New Revenue Source for States?

The “octuplet mom” story not only created a media frenzy at Kaiser Permanente’s Bellflower hospital , the mom and her eight new born babies also created multiple lessons learned opportunities for every hospital that was paying attention. The lessons learned started in January when the eight new babies were born ...
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Booted Workers Stealing Data

A recent survey revealed that 59% of workers who were laid off, fired or quit their jobs in the last 12 months, admitted to stealing company data.  Many ex-employees are taking information from their organization to help them find new jobs and make them more valuable to competition and other ...
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$500,000 Stolen by ATM Skimming Gang

A recent incident revealed that thieves installed simple card skimming devices and cameras on bank ATMs, stealing customer account details and recording PIN numbers.  Once the thieves gathered the ATM card data, new ATM cards were easily created with the stolen customer information and the new ATM cards were used ...
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Swine Flu Preparedness…White House Megaphone vs. Twitter Megaphones

This past Sunday I was watching and listening to DHS and HHS officials talk about the Swine Flu Alert. During the announcement I found it interesting that Secretary Napolitano made a special point to clarify the declaration of emergency by saying she wished they could call it a declaration of ...
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Swine Flu: U.S. Declares “Emergency of Preparedness”

On Sunday, Secretary Napolitano declared an Emergency of Preparedness, stating, '...we're preparing in an environment where we really don't know ultimately what the size or seriousness of this outbreak is going to be.' I agree that this declaration is needed because most organizations are not well prepared for a Pandemic ...
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Heartland Payment Processor on PCI “Probation”…Compliance is not a Once a Year Thing

In one of the largest data breaches to date, Heartland Payment Company compromised the cards of over 100 million people, almost 1/3 of the U.S. population. In addition to dealing with a damaged reputation, expensive notifications and fallout, and continued lawsuits from affected banks and credit Unions, the latest hit ...
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Leaders Must Learn From Others’ Mistakes Too

Learning from our mistakes is popular advice and I find it interesting that the majority of the advice and the majority of experts' quotes have two common themes: If YOU are taking risks and moving forward, YOU will make mistakes. When YOU make mistakes, the key is not to make ...
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Is Encryption the Panacea? Statistically Better Knowledge is Needed…

I was reading a blog the other day and the question presented to readers was do you believe adoption of end-to-end encryption technology throughout the payments industry is the panacea to protecting personal information?  Some experts have indicated that end-to-end encryption is the way to protect sensitive and personal information ...
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If Tiger Woods Can’t Do It…What makes you think you and your employees can?

As good as Tiger Woods is at golf, even Tiger could not take 8 months off and then perform at the level he needed to be successful and win this past week's tournament. So here's a question... Why in the world would management think their employees can make winning decisions ...
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CVS's Expensive Trash

I recently blogged about the Veterans Affairs and the lost laptop that cost Veterans Affairs (tax payers) $20M to settle a lawsuit against them.  Now we have some very expensive trash. Attention all public and private organizational leaders!  Did you see the FTC charges released last week against CVS Caremark ...
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Customized Knowledge and Accountability is Worth At Least $20M

In case you didn't notice among all the TARP and Stimulus Bill news...the Veterans Affairs Department has agreed to pay $20M to settle a lawsuit filed by veterans due to a VA laptop containing sensitive information stolen in 2006.  (Before I go any further, I want to be clear that ...
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NGKM….Disciplineware, Accountabilityware and Transparencyware all-in-one…

 I was exchanging e-mails with my daughter the other day and she told me about a magazine called Campus Technology and how she thought it might be good for me to review due to Awareity's successful solutions for schools and colleges.    My daughter is a very smart young lady ...
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President Barack Obama’s Inauguration Speech

January 20th, 2009 was great day!  And for many reasons, January 20th, 2009 will long be remembered as a very important day in the history of the United States of America. As USA Today reported, President Obama's speech mixed promises with rebukes of former President Bush. I do not want ...
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Megaphone Management at State Department

I was reading about a "reply all" storm that hit the State Department's e-mail systems and thought I would take this opportunity to point out how "megaphone management" is ineffective and also point out how next generation knowledge management is more effective and more efficient. Megaphone Management 101 - Executive ...
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2008 vs. 2009 and Information vs. Knowledge

One thing you can bet on this time of year is “resolutions”. And now that 2008 is behind us, experts, leaders and politicians are offering all types of information. Some offer top 10 events of 2008 and some provide lists of past and future incidents and challenges that organizations will ...
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Next Generation Knowledge Management

Welcome to my next generation knowledge management blog. My blog will analyze real world incidents and multiple organizational situations and demonstrate why and how “next generation” and “knowledge management” efforts are critical to an organization’s success and how “next generation knowledge management” must replace ineffective “megaphone management”. “Next generation” = ...
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