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My Visit to the White House & D2L’s Cybersecurity Commitment

  • 3 Min Read

 

John Baker
John Baker

CEO and Board Chair

Today, I’m proud to share that D2L is among the first in the sector to sign the voluntary K-12 Secure by Design Pledge, sponsored by the U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency. Signing the Pledge is part of our commitment to reduce cybersecurity burdens on schools and teachers to help them focus on their core mission of teaching and learning.

Over the coming months, D2L will continue to deliver on these Pledge principles, including providing single-sign-on and security audit log options at no extra charge, enhancing transparency about our security vulnerabilities, and creating a roadmap to ensure accountability from the top of D2L’s leadership.

Signing this pledge builds on D2L’songoing commitments to cybersecurity, including those which I had the pleasure of highlighting when I attended and spoke at the White House for a summit on cybersecurity best practices for K-12 schools, hosted by First Lady Jill Biden, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. Alongside other technology and learning leaders, we discussed ways to better protect America’s schools from cyberattacks.

In her opening remarks, First Lady Jill Biden, who teaches at a community college, remarked that “with each new semester, technology becomes a more indispensable part of making sure that our students’ imaginations can soar – and ensuring that administrators can run their schools smoothly and safely.” However, as she noted, too frequently our students’ school years are disrupted by cybersecurity issues.

I admire the First Lady’s incredible passion and energy when it comes to learning and education, and for her attention to this vital topic. When I started D2L, I set out to transform the way the world learns. We’ve built a learning platform that can break down barriers to engage and inspire people to achieve more than they ever dreamed possible. To do that, we build on a bedrock foundation of security and privacy.

For years, we’ve worked closely with customers to implement strong privacy and security controls, encryption by default, and other layered protections. And we’ve led our industry by achieving key NIST, ISO, and other security certifications. That work never stops. We are continuously working to adapt to ongoing threats and new advances in this field.

John Baker speaking at White House

While at the White House, I was pleased to note three key initiatives D2L is launching.

  1. We’ll extend our information security reviews for our growing number of core technology partners that are integrated into the Brightspace platform to reduce the burden on schools to do it.
  2. Upskilling is at the heart of cybersecurity. To move quickly, we are working with leading security experts to deliver free cybersecurity training to schools and educators and within the D2L Brightspace Community.
  3. We’ll continue to expand our work with third party auditors to validate the security of our software, our people, and our controls against industry standards – to make sure we are evolving to meet new challenges and to ensure our clients and users have the utmost confidence that we’re leading the way on strong security and privacy by design practices.

It’s fitting that one of the most important things about addressing cybersecurity issues is a willingness to learn. An ever-evolving threat landscape requires us to be vigilant, adaptable, and open to solutions and partnerships to help keep learning safe and secure. I’m pleased that D2L can join with our clients and these U.S. federal government efforts to help mitigate cybersecurity threats against American K-12 schools – and together, we will support safer access to schools for students and families across the country.

Written by:

John Baker
John Baker

CEO and Board Chair

John founded D2L in 1999, at the age of twenty-two, while attending the University of Waterloo. D2L is a global software company that believes learning is the foundation upon which all progress and achievement rests.

A strong believer in community involvement, John devotes both his personal and business efforts to supporting young entrepreneurs who are developing and applying technology to improve society worldwide.

He was appointed to the Governing Council of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Member (Entrepreneurs’ Circle) of the Business Council of Canada, Business Higher Education Roundtable, Past Chair of the Board of Communitech, and is a board member of Canada’s National Ballet School.

John was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year (Ontario for Software and Technology), Young Alumni Achievement Medal from University of Waterloo, and Intrepid Entrepreneur of the Year in Waterloo Region Hall of Fame.

John graduated from the University of Waterloo with an Honours B.A.Sc. in Systems Design Engineering, with First Class Honours and an option in Management Sciences.

Twitter: @JohnBakerD2L
LinkedIn: John Baker
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