FBI and Homeland Security advice on trumping cybersecurity attacks

Posted by John Kleeman

There’s a lot in the news recently about possible cybersecurity attacks on the political process. Here are some thoughts on how we can learn from this and apply it to assessment security.

One of the most interesting documents I’ve read on this subject is the Department of Homeland Security and FBI’s joint analysis report  JAR-16-20296 titled GRIZZLY STEPPE – Russian Malicious Cyber Activity.  This presents evidence on how a cybersecurity attack was made on a US political party in 2016 and gives some practical advice on how others can set up their systems to avoid such attacks.

Whoever the attack was performed by (and there has been some debate about this), the practical advice is useful to anyone who wants to improve their security. I was particularly struck by a section in the report which offered questions to ask your organization to see if they have good cybersecurity practices. I’ve taken the liberty of including the questions in the graphic below:

See Grizzly Steppe report for text here

I’ve shared various sets of security questions in this blog, including Eight ways to check if security is more than skin deep and 24 midsummer questions to ask your assessment software provider, but here are some questions from a very credible source!

I’d encourage you to pose these questions within your organization and with your suppliers to check that you are well protected in case of a cyberattack. Questionmark, like all sensible organizations, believes in continuous improvement in our security, and listening to sources like this analysis informs our improvement.

I hope highlighting the report and these questions helps strengthen your defenses against cybersecurity and acts as a guide in choosing your vendors.

Hurry! Early-Bird Registration Ends Today

Posted by Julie Delazyn

Today is the last day to save on your registration for Questionmark Conference 2017… And seats are going fast!

Take advantage of the early-bird discount and save $200, if you sign up by the end of the day!

Aside from some fantastic social events that are designed to assist you in networking with other assessment professionals, we have a jam packed agenda covering topics such as:

  • Avionics: A hands-on, performance-based certification using Questionmark at SpaceTEC
  • Assessments as Career Development Tools at Caterpillar Inc.
  • Explore the Advanced Editor in Next Gen Authoring
  • Why Use Performance-Based Testing? Why Test at All?
  • Test Security for Grown-Ups: Enhancing exam integrity through proctoring, recording and monitoring

Bring your colleagues! Group discounts are available. Save up to $200 for additional registrants.

So meet us in enchanting Santa Fe, New Mexico March 21-24 leap into the future of assessment and authoring!

Book your room at the boutique Inn and Spa at Loretto at our special rate, while they are still available. Rates expire February 17, 2017.

2016 Recap: 12 million+ assessments; 99.98% uptime

Posted by Julie Delazyn

Every day Questionmark customers around the world are deploying high stakes assessments – in 2016 alone, more than 12 million assessments were delivered through Questionmark OnDemand’s platform. 12 million + assessments is HUGE—that’s like saying every 2.5 seconds for 365 days someone is finishing an assessment. But when the stakes are high and the demand is even higher, the number one priority is making sure that your system is up and running.

Keeping up with demand has been Questionmark’s #1 priority, and we set high standards for ourselves. That’s why we’re excited to announce that in 2016, we exceeded our 99.9% uptime target on both our European-based and US-based services – averaging over 99.98% uptime for our assessment delivery service throughout the year.

And we believe in transparency— You can check out the current performance and availability status of Questionmark OnDemand at any time here: http://status.questionmark.com/

We know that obtaining optimal availability at all times is peace of mind for our customers and their test takers, and we look forward to protecting that uptime in 2017.