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Report on Cybersecurity Practices

February 26, 2015 Comments off

Report on Cybersecurity Practices (PDF)
Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

Like many organizations in the financial services and other sectors, broker-dealers (firms) are the target of cyberattacks. The frequency and sophistication of these attacks is increasing and individual broker-dealers, and the industry as a whole, must make responding to these threats a high priority.

This report is intended to assist firms in that effort. Based on FINRA’s 2014 targeted examination of firms and other related initiatives, the report presents FINRA’s latest work in this critical area. Given the rapidly evolving nature and pervasiveness of cyberattacks, it is unlikely to be our last.

A variety of factors are driving firms’ exposure to cybersecurity threats. The interplay between advances in technology, changes in firms’ business models, and changes in how firms and their customers use technology create vulnerabilities in firms’ information technology systems. For example, firms’ Web-based activities can create opportunities for attackers to disrupt or gain access to firm and customer information. Similarly, employees and customers are using mobile devices to access information at broker-dealers that create a variety of new avenues for attack

The landscape of threat actors includes cybercriminals whose objective may be to steal money or information for commercial gain, nation states that may acquire information to advance national objectives, and hacktivists whose objectives may be to disrupt and embarrass an entity. Attackers, and the tools available to them, are increasingly sophisticated. Insiders, too, can pose significant threats.

This report presents an approach to cybersecurity grounded in risk management to address these threats. It identifies principles and effective practices for firms to consider, while recognizing that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to cybersecurity.

2014 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report

February 23, 2015 Comments off

2014 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report
Source: Urban Institute and Association of Fundraising Professionals

The Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute and the Association of Fundraising Professionals established the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) to conduct research on fundraising effectiveness and help nonprofit organizations increase their fundraising results. Piloted in November 2006, FEP collects fundraising data from nonprofit organizations beginning with data for 2004-2005. The 2014 report, the latest in the annual series, incorporates data from 3,576 organizations that contributed data for 2012-2013.

Prosecuting Alcohol-Fueled Sexual Assault (2007)

February 16, 2015 Comments off

Prosecuting Alcohol-Fueled Sexual Assault (PDF)
Source: National District Attorneys Association

Despite the prevalence of alcohol-facilitated sexual assault (AFSA), a n umber of barriers to successful prosecution exist. First, the use of alcohol in American society is quite common. Jurors may question whether the offender actually committed rape or just had consensual, albeit drunken, sex with the victim. Second, jurors may view a voluntarily intoxicated victim with skepticism or dislike, and may assume that she put herself in danger with her behavior. Research has demonstrated that individuals tend to view women who drink or get drunk as more sexual- ly available, and more likely to engage in sexual acts than women who abstain from alcohol. Third, AFSA cases are complicated by the physical manifestations of alcohol. “Alcohol decreases inhibitions, impairs percep- tion, and may cause amnesia and/or loss of consciousness, especially if used in conjunction with other drugs.” Victims may not be able to clear- ly perceive and/or remember the details of the assault.

This monograph discusses the prosecution of AFSA with a specific focus on AFSA when the victim is voluntarily intoxicated. It begins with a basic overview of toxicology. Next, it suggests a three-step process for prosecuting AFSA cases: (1) making the charging decision; (2) analyzing credibility and corroboration; and (3) trying the case. Finally, the monograph provides techniques for overcoming common defenses.

NGA And NCSL Release Recommendations For ESEA Reauthorization

February 11, 2015 Comments off

NGA And NCSL Release Recommendations For ESEA Reauthorization
Source: National Governors Association and National Conference of State Legislatures

The National Governors Association (NGA), along with the National Conference of State Legislatures, today released Governors’ and State Legislators’ Plan to Reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, a bipartisan path for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

Governors and state legislators say the new act should improve the law’s governance structure to provide states greater authority to align and leverage their early education, K-12 and postsecondary policies to increase educational effectiveness. The law should reinforce the principle that accountability and responsibility for K-12 education rests with the states. It also should support state-led strategies to improve low-performing schools and include the ability to empower teachers and school leaders to prepare all students for success.

American Psychological Association Survey Shows Money Stress Weighing on Americans’ Health Nationwide

February 9, 2015 Comments off

American Psychological Association Survey Shows Money Stress Weighing on Americans’ Health Nationwide
Source: American Psychological Association

While aspects of the U.S. economy have improved, money continues to be a top cause of stress for Americans, according to the new Stress in America™: Paying With Our Health survey released today by the American Psychological Association. According to the survey, parents, younger generations and those living in lower-income households report higher levels of stress than Americans overall, especially when it comes to stress about money.

“Regardless of the economic climate, money and finances have remained the top stressor since our survey began in 2007. Furthermore, this year’s survey shows that stress related to financial issues could have a significant impact on Americans’ health and well-being,” APA CEO and Executive Vice President Norman B. Anderson, PhD, said.

Commuting in America 2013

February 4, 2015 Comments off

Commuting in America 2013 (PDF)
Source: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)
From press release:

America is a nation on the move – rarely more so than during its daily commute to work, which comprises approximately 28 percent of all daily trips on U.S. roadways and transit systems, according to a new research paper. Understanding how individual commuters get to work is critically important for transportation decision makers tasked with operating and maintaining the nation’s transportation infrastructure.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has released the final installment in a series of 16 “Commuting in America” briefs that examine a significant and evolving segment of the nation’s traveling public.

The final brief points to slowing growth in commuting due to the aging of the American worker and declines in the number of younger people entering the workforce. U.S. Census Bureau projections suggest the population in the working age group 18–64 will see a sharp decline over the next 20 years—approximately 6 million new potential workers from 2015 to 2030, in sharp contrast to 26 million during the period 2000 to 2012.

The briefs include topics such as worker trends, vehicle and transit availability, vehicle ownership and licensure levels. It tracks population trends and the use of transit services, biking, walking and carpool commuting options.

Sociology Faculty Salaries Appear to Be Better Off 2013 – 2014: Faculty Salary Brief for Sociology and Other Social Science Disciplines

February 2, 2015 Comments off

Sociology Faculty Salaries Appear to Be Better Off 2013 – 2014: Faculty Salary Brief for Sociology and Other Social Science Disciplines (PDF)
Source: American Sociological Association

For the first time since the end of the Great Recession, sociology faculty salaries (across ranks) in current dollars increased faster than the rate of inflation, according to annual surveys by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and surveys by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR). In fact, the average sociology faculty salary in AY 2013-2104 increased by 2.7% from the previous year (AY 2012-2013) in current dollars. This average increase was 1.2 percentage points above the rate of inflation, the highest since the AY 2009-2010 recession years, and was higher than the 2.2% increase in current dollars for all full-time faculty members across disciplines, according to the annual AAUP survey (Curtis and Thornton 2014; Flaherty 2014) and the 2.1% raise as measured by CUPA-HR (CUPA-HR 2014). Although the percent increase in salaries was higher than average, when compared to other social science disciplines, sociology faculty had the lowest salaries, on average.

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