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CEN Member UNconference

Please join us for the CEN 2020 Member UNconference!

Although apart, this is a perfect time to come together, learn, and share solutions. CEN's UNconference will include monthly member focused sessions, and it will provide a space for discussion on the topics that matter most to our community right now.

No-Cost Cybersecurity Tools and Resources with the MS-ISAC
Wednesday October 21, 1pm - 2pm
Presenters: Brian Calkin, Kyle Bryans

In this session, we will seek to provide an introduction to the free services and resources offered by the MS-ISAC to assist the public sector, including a deeper dive into our new no-cost MDBR solution. In a connected world, cybersecurity is the responsibility not only of our IT leaders and specialists, but everyone within an organization. The MS-ISAC is the focal point for cyber threat prevention, protection, response and recovery for the nation's state, local, tribal and territorial (SLTT) governments. Collaboration and information sharing among members, private sector partners and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are the keys to success.

Goodness Gracious, Great Walls of Fire: CEN's Border Firewall for Advanced Protection
Friday November 13, 1pm - 2pm
Presenters: Stephen Shaw, Rick Cheung

CEN’s Firewall Service provides increased protection with enterprise grade, high availability Fortinet technology and a level of service choice, Virtual (co-managed) or Managed, to fit the needs of each subscribing member. Both services offer the same technology and security features and benefits. This session will provide members with a better understanding of how this firewall will work in their architecture, and how CEN's Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP), Foresite, can help streamline the migration from an on-premises firewall to the hosted model. Additionally, Foresite provides the expertise to help members build a more rigorous and thorough base of rules and policies to improve their security profile, and they will provide the ongoing support to effectively protect members from the barrage of threats.

Using Personas for Accessible Design
Thursday September 30, 1pm - 2pm
Presenter: Kathryn Weber-Hottleman

There are a few steps that developers and designers can take to incorporate accessibility from the beginning of a solution’s design. One way of doing this is to create additional personas that are users with disabilities. Having a primary persona with a disability means that disability will never be far from developers’ and designers’ minds. Another way to keep accessibility present is to include it in scenario design.

Effective Vulnerability Management
Thursday August 13, 1:30pm - 3pm
Presenter: Kevin Hayes

Vulnerability scanning is a keystone necessary to stabilize your organizations’ security posture. This webinar is divided into equal portions learning, demonstration and FAQ session to clearly outline and highlight the benefits most applicable to your specific organization. In this webinar we will cover: An overview of risk management concepts; The current threat landscape; A live demo showcasing vulnerability exploitation; Key vulnerability scanning and management concepts; Practical examples of vulnerability scanning; Open Q & A Session

Data Privacy and Contact Tracing
Wednesday July 22, 1pm - 2:30pm
Moderator: Karen Warren
Presenters: Doug Casey, Sebastian Zimmeck, Mike Newcomb, Chris Sette
Click here for presenter bios.

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc in many areas. Education institutions are particularly hit hard as there will be a need to re-open campuses safely. It will be extremely important to bring back students and ensure safety at the same time. Hesitation is likely, as the classroom is not an easy place to practice social distancing.  In addition to promoting personal hygiene, regulations will likely include the ability to track potential outbreaks early and isolate affected students and staff. “Contact tracing” is a key method that will help to mitigate a major outbreak on campus. Contact tracing is a process that is activated when you have a confirmed case of COVID.   This process involves tracking down everyone who has had close contact (within six feet over for more than a couple of minutes). Join representatives from Wesleyan University, Meriden Public Schools, The State of Connecticut, and Juniper Networks as they discuss the technologies emerging in the space, the challenges of implementation and the implication of using them.

Network Recommendations in the Age of COVID-19
Thursday July 16, 1pm - 2:30pm

Join Craig Holland, Director of IT for Newington Public Schools, and Ryan Kocsondy, Director of CEN, for a session dedicated to “Network Considerations in the age of COVID-19”.  This discussion will review important considerations for IT Professionals, Institutional Leaders, and Policy makers to be aware of in preparation for Fall 2020 activities and beyond.  Topics include: Broadband Speed Guide, Video Requirements by platform, Network Load Calculations, COVID Realizations on Network Performance, General Guidance for hybrid environments, and Public Policy Recommendations.

Keeping Students Safe at Home - Featuring iboss
Thursday June 25, 1pm - 2:30pm

Protecting students while on-line learning at home and ensuring CIPA compliance are primary and urgent requirements for CEN’s K-12 IT community. CEN has partnered with iboss to provide members solutions at no additional cost. This session will provide information on the features and capabilities of the iboss cloud product, how and why your member colleagues migrated to the cloud from hosted or on-prem school appliance solutions, and it will offer a forum for questions, answers, and sharing.

Keeping Students Safe at Home - Featuring Securly
Wednesday June 17, 2pm - 3:30pm

Protecting students while on-line learning at home and ensuring CIPA compliance are primary and urgent requirements for CEN’s K-12 IT community. CEN has partnered with Securly to provide members solutions at discounted pricing. This session will provide information on the portfolio of Securly student safety products and how they protect students at school, at home, and elsewhere. The session will include first hand feedback from your member colleagues and a forum for questions, answers, and sharing.

Upcoming Events


Annual Member Conference - 2021 CEN Member Conference 

For 20 years, CEN has been Connecticut’s premier provider of high-performance Internet services for all Connecticut’s communities. Join us, May 11-12, 2021, at the 2021 CEN Member Conference to celebrate this major milestone and to participate in an expanded two day event featuring more training, collaboration, education, and networking than ever before!  You can also expect an enjoyable look at CEN’s founding, growth, and future plans.

Since 2000, CEN has been accelerating the progress of our members by providing reliable, low latency, high-speed networking and security services. CEN is the provider of choice for organizations that demand exceptional value, performance, and highly personalized service.

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Annual Member Conference - 2020 CEN Member Conference CANCELED

We have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Annual Member Conference scheduled in Hartford on October 6-7.  

In light of the continuing challenges and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the unpredictability of travel restrictions, budgetary challenges, and the ongoing health and safety concerns of our membership, the EDAC in conjunction with CEN leadership felt holding the event as scheduled is unrealistic and impractical. All conference registrants will receive a full refund.

Past Events


CEN Town Hall Meeting

Join us for a CEN Town Hall meeting on May 15 or 22! We are excited to meet virtually with our members from across the state to share important and timely CEN updates, to hear your feedback, and to learn more about how we can work and grow together.

The meeting agenda will include:

  • Cloud Services Updates
  • Network Enhancements
  • Support for 1:1 Initiatives
  • Filtering & Student Safety
  • Advisory Councils Update
  • Member Conference Plans
  • Open Forum

We hope to see you there! Please register here to select your preferred date.

Webinar - Important and Time Sensitive E-Rate News - Category 2 Enhancements
Friday, 1/31, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Category 2 E-Rate rules and budgets have been recently changed providing increased benefits to K-12 districts/schools and libraries. There are applicable changes to the current E-Rate Funding Year 2020 (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021) and to future years. This webinar provided by CEN and E-Rate Provider Services included a description of those changes and an explanation of how your organization can benefit.

Topics covered included:

  • Additional budget for Funding Year 2020
  • Districtwide budget and rule changes for Funding Year 2021 and beyond
  • Example budget calculations
  • Eligible CEN services

Strategic Planning Workshops - CEN Town Hall Meetings

The CEN Team invited our members to join us for Town Hall style meetings. We met in-person with our members from across the state to share important CEN updates, to hear your feedback, and to learn more about how we can grow together. Last year, we had great success with similar meetings to collaborate on the development of CEN’s 5-Year Strategic Plan. At our upcoming Town Hall meetings, members heard more about the goals of that plan and what it means for you and your organization. 

We offered meetings at these locations around the state:

CEN Forum - Protecting Our Communities from Ransomware Attacks

We were joined by CEN community members, security experts, and homeland security representatives for an important CEN Forum - Protecting Our Communities from Ransomware Attacks on November, 19 at Central Connecticut State University.

News stories are plentiful of cities and towns paying tens of thousands of dollars to ransomware hackers to get their data back, and this does not include the millions spent in cleanup and in rebuilding a network following an attack. Ransomware attacks are perhaps the greatest current threat to our members' networks, private data, operational continuity, and financial health.

Quarterly Training Sessions - Cyber Defense Clinic

The CEN Engagement and Development Council is pleased to invite you to our next quarterly training event. This event will be a Cyber Defense Clinic presented by Cisco. This training will provide hands-on interaction with the latest tools for IT professionals to hone their cybersecurity expertise. Join us for this unique opportunity to work with an advanced set of automated, integrated, cybersecurity technologies. Participants will experience common cybersecurity attack situations in a virtualized lab environment, including the opportunity to play both the role of attacker and defender.
This event will be held on October 3rd, at Central Connecticut State University, and it is open to all CEN Members. Participants will need to bring a laptop to the training and register prior to the event for a free CCO ID to access Cisco resources. The CCO ID can be easily obtained by following the instructions here: CCO ID Video.


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Quarterly Training Session - Digital Accessibility Workshop

The third quarterly training was held on June 6, 2019. This presentation included an overview of global standards for digital accessibility, the broad and narrow applications of digital accessibility, technology used to address accessibility and accommodations, training and resources available for faculty, staff, and students, and guidance on how to draft a plan for universal institutional accessibility. The training took place at CCSU and was streamed to ECSU, SCSU, WCSU, and UCONN Stamford. Stay tuned for details on the next quarterly training.


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Annual Member Conference - 2019 CEN Member Conference

The CEN member conference is a unique opportunity to join over 500 of your colleagues and industry experts in a one day event geared to educate, communicate and collaborate about common issues in cybersecurity, community best practices, education and innovation, and technology community awareness. Last year's conference featured a keynote by Dr Kate Darling of MIT, 28 parallel sessions to choose from, hot lunch and more! You can view a photo gallery from this event on our Conference page.

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Quarterly Training Session - Broadband Tool Kit Workshop

The  second quarterly training took place February 22, 2019.  The "Toward Gigabit Libraries" project, funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), has created a "Broadband Toolkit" and customized "Broadband Improvement Plan" designed to help public and tribal librarians learn about their current broadband infrastructure and internal information technology (IT) environment. This interactive training took place in at the CT State Library Service Center in Middletown and was steamed live to libraries in Stratford, Old Saybrook, Mansfield, and Litchfield. 

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Strategic Planning Workshops - Fairfield County

The second CEN Strategic Planning Workshop took place on January 25, 2019 from 10:00am- 2:00pm in Newtown. Each workshop offered CEN members, staff, and other stake holders the opportunity to help analyze and create CEN's: Mission and Purpose, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats, and Strategies for the Future.

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Strategic Planning Workshops - Hartford County

The first CEN Strategic Planning Workshop took place January 22, 2019 from 10:00am- 2:00pm at CEN in Hartford. Each workshop offered CEN members, staff, and other stake holders the opportunity to help analyze and create CEN's: Mission and Purpose, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats, and Strategies for the Future.

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Quarterly Training Session - K-12 Student Data Privacy

The first training, K-12 Student Data Privacy session was held at Central Connecticut State University on November 20th and was streamed live to ESCU, SCSU, WCSU, CEN Hartford, and the Ferguson Library in Stamford to ensure convenience to CEN members from all over the state.  211 CEN members registered for the event, and approximately 190 participated.

Do you have ideas you would like to see for a professional development session?  Let CEN know at getconnected@cteducation.net

CEN Event Calendar

Visit this Aurora Calendar guide for information about how to add an event to this calendar.