November 2018

0 Commentsby   |  12.10.18  |  Banner, Talisma, xythos

Out With the Old, In With the New

The end of 2018 will include farewells to multiple legacy services that are being retired:

  • Administrative Banner 8 – Our major project to upgrade Administrative Banner to version 9 will conclude soon, once two remaining custom forms are retired.  We are excited to complete this work, which began in Fall 2016.
  • Talisma – Earlier this year, the graduate and undergraduate admissions teams on the Abilene campus moved to Slate CRM, which introduced an improved and modern system for recruiting and admissions.  We officially retired the old CRM, Talisma, on December 10th.
  • Xythos – Those who use Xythos (aka Files, ACU Files, myACU Files, dropbox system) MUST take action before Thursday, December 20, 2018, to avoid losing data.  If you use Xythos, then please review these essential details.  Google Drive will serve as our primary enterprise file service moving forward.

November 2018, By The Numbers

  • 107 end-user support requests resolved
  • 75 development and administration issues resolved (new November record)
  • 10 projects-in-progress
  • project completed (InnoSoft Fusion for Student Recreation and Wellness Center)
  • projects requested
  • 99.98% average uptime

Securing New Devices in an IoT World

The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to expand as more of our “things”—in our homes, our cars, and our pockets or purses—include chips, tags, or sensors that are ready to connect to the digital world. There is no denying that new devices are fun, but while there are more opportunities to interact with people, share information, and stay connected, we also need to be aware of the risks these things may introduce. Here are some tips to increase the security of your Internet-enabled devices.

 

Securing New Devices in an IoT World

0 Commentsby   |  12.02.18  |  Security

Without a doubt, the Internet of Things makes our lives easier and has many benefits; but we can only reap these benefits if our Internet-enabled devices are secure and trusted. Here are some tips from the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign and National Cyber Security Alliance to increase the security of your Internet-enabled devices:

  • Keep a clean machine. Like your smartphone or PC, keep any device that connects to the Internet free from viruses and malware. Update antivirus and anti-malware software regularly on the device itself as well as the apps you use to control the device.
  • Think twice about your device. Have a solid understanding of how a device works, the nature of its connection to the Internet, and the type of information it stores and transmits.
  • Secure your network. Properly secure the wireless network you use to connect Internet-enabled devices. Don’t forget to use a strong password and update software regularly to protect your Wi-Fi router at home.
  • Understand how to keep IoT devices up to date. This includes any software updates that might be needed and passwords or other ways of securing devices.
  • Understand what’s being collected. Most IoT devices require data collection. Take the time to understand what information your connected devices collect and how that information is managed and used.
  • Where does your data go? Many IoT devices will send information to be stored in the cloud. Understand where your data will reside and the security protecting your personal information.
  • Do your research! Before you adopt a new smart device, research it to make sure others have had positive experiences with the device from a security and privacy perspective.

(This content was provided by Educause.)

October 2018

0 Commentsby   |  11.12.18  |  Uncategorized

ACU Files Service Going Away

Those who use Xythos (aka Files, ACU Files, myACU Files, dropbox system) MUST take action before Thursday, December 20, 2018, to avoid losing data.  If you use Xythos, then please review some important details as December 20th nears.

October 2018, By The Numbers

  • 152 end-user support requests resolved
  • 106 development and administration issues resolved (new October record)
  • 10 projects-in-progress
  • projects completed (Banner Student custom forms, Banner Application Navigator 3 upgrade, Chartwells onboarding, SSN management changes)
  • projects requested
  • 99.91% average uptime

Shop Safe Online, Even on Black Friday!

In 2016, for the first time, shoppers bought more online than in stores. All Internet-connected devices are vulnerable, especially when being used for purchases. When you go to the grocery store or local shop, it is a habit to grab your reusable bags, lock the car, and make sure you have safely put away your credit card or cash before heading home with the day’s purchases. Similar precautions need to be taken when you are shopping online from the comfort of your own home. If you make these simple precautions regular online shopping habits, you’ll be protecting your purchases and personal information.

 

ACU Files Service End-of-Life

0 Commentsby   |  11.06.18  |  xythos

Xythos (aka Files, ACU Files, myACU Files, dropbox system) will be removed from service on Thursday, December 20, 2018.  Here are the essential details to be aware of:

  • Who does this effect? The change impacts those who use Xythos for classes, personal web space, personal home space, and departmental shares.  
  • Why are we turning Xythos off? Xythos is no longer being enhanced and regularly causes support issues. We have better tools to address your file management and instructional needs.
  • What do I need to do? If you want to retain the files you have stored in Xythos, then please move your data to Google Drive by December 20th.  Please consider moving to Canvas and Google Drive for future course needs.  Google Drive addresses most functionality that Xythos offers, as well as additional functions for file management. Students prefer Canvas as a more integrated tool to share instructional content, manage assignments, and give grades.
  • What should I do if I need help preparing for the change? Please contact the Helpdesk at helpdesk@acu.edu or (325) 674-4357 for technical support.  Please contact Berlin Fang or Amy Boone from the Adams Center for Canvas training or instructional design consultation.

Shop Safe Online, Even on Black Friday!

0 Commentsby   |  11.02.18  |  Security

The holiday season is the perfect time for cybercriminals to take advantage of unsuspecting online shoppers. When you go to the grocery store or local shop, it’s habit to grab your reusable bags, lock the car, and make sure you’ve safely put away your credit card or cash before heading home with the day’s purchases. Similar precautions need to be taken when you’re shopping online from the comfort of your own home. If you make these simple precautions regular online shopping habits, you’ll be protecting your purchases and personal information.

The National Cyber Security Alliance recommends following these basic steps, so you’ll be ready to cybershop safely and securely.

  • Lock down your login. One of the most critical things you can do in preparation for the online shopping season is to fortify your online accounts by enabling the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics, security keys or a unique one-time code through an app on your mobile device. Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts like e-mail, banking, and social media.
  • Keep clean machines. Before searching for that perfect gift, be sure that all web-connected devices—including PCs, mobile phones, smartphones, and tablets—are free from malware and infections by running only the most current versions of software and apps.
  • Shop reliable websites online. Use the sites of retailers you trust. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
  • Conduct research. When using a new website for your holiday purchases, read reviews and see if other customers have had a positive or negative experience with the site.
  • Personal information is like money: value it and protect it. When making a purchase online, be alert to the kinds of information being collected to complete the transaction. Make sure you think it is necessary for the vendor to request that information. Remember that you only need to fill out required fields at checkout.
  • Get savvy about Wi-Fi hotspots. If you are out and about, limit the type of business you conduct over open public Wi-Fi connections, including logging in to key accounts, such as e-mail and banking. Adjust the security settings on your device to limit who can access your phone. If you must use open Wi-Fi connections, connect to a virtual private network (VPN) first.
  • Check the address bar. Look for the green lock icon and https:// in the URL before using your credit card online.

(This content was provided by Educause.)

September 2018

0 Commentsby   |  10.08.18  |  Monthly Report

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which is a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure that people have the resources they need to stay safe and secure online.  Here are two ways you can increase your awareness:

  1. Check out the tips in the weekly employee myACU News messages sent out each Monday.
  2. Attend one of the cybersecurity awareness training sessions on October 10th, October 16th, or Oct 24.  All three sessions will be held in the Innovation Foundry (Library 3rd floor) and will run from noon to 1 pm.

If you have questions about cybersecurity topics, please feel free to contact us at cybersecurity@acu.edu.

Don’t Let a Phishing Scam Reel You In

Cybercriminals use phishing—a type of social engineering—to manipulate people into doing what they want. Social engineering is at the heart of all phishing attacks, especially those conducted via e-mail. Technology makes phishing easy. Setting up and operating a phishing attack is fast, inexpensive, and low risk: any cybercriminal with an e-mail address can launch one.  Here are some things you can do to guard against phishing attacks.

Banner 9 Project Update

We have made significant progress with the Administrative Banner 9 upgrades since April 2017.  As of  September, all Administrative Banner modules have version 9 functionality enabled with many version 8 forms disabled.  We are on target to complete our transition by December.

September 2018, By The Numbers

  • 139 end-user support requests resolved
  • 73 development and administration issues resolved
  • 10 projects-in-progress
  • project completed (Banner Financial Aid 9 go-live)
  • projects requested
  • 99.91% average uptime

 

Don’t Let a Phishing Scam Reel You In

0 Commentsby   |  10.02.18  |  Security

Cybercriminals use phishing—a type of social engineering—to manipulate people into doing what they want. Social engineering is at the heart of all phishing attacks, especially those conducted via e-mail. Technology makes phishing easy. Setting up and operating a phishing attack is fast, inexpensive, and low risk: any cybercriminal with an e-mail address can launch one.

According to Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report, the education sector saw a rise in social engineering–based attacks. Students, staff, and faculty all suffered losses when personal data and research were disclosed to unauthorized parties. Phishing played a part in more than 40% of these breaches. Knowing what you’re up against can help you be more secure. Here are a few things you can do to guard against phishing attacks:

  • Limit what you share online. The less you share about yourself, the smaller the target you are for a phishing attack. Cybercriminals use information you post online to learn how to gain your trust.
  • Protect your credentials. No legitimate company or organization will ask for your username and password or other personal information via e-mail. Your school definitely won’t. Still not sure if the e-mail is a phish? Contact your IT help desk. (Many institutions now offer a “phish bowl” so end users can quickly and easily report phishy messages or view the latest scams.)
  • Beware of attachments. E-mail attachments are the most common vector for malicious software. When you get a message with an attachment, delete it—unless you are expecting it and are absolutely certain it is legitimate.
  • Confirm identities. Phishing messages can look official. Cybercriminals steal organization and company identities, including logos and URLs that are close to the links they’re trying to imitate. There’s nothing to stop them from impersonating schools, financial institutions, retailers, and a wide range of other service providers.
  • Trust your instincts. If you get a suspicious message that claims to be from an agency or service provider, use your browser to manually locate the organization online and contact them via their website, e-mail, or telephone number.
  • Check the sender. Check the sender’s e-mail address. Any correspondence from an organization should come from an organizational e-mail address. A notice from your college or university is unlikely to come from YourIThelpdesk@yahoo.com.
  • Take your time. If a message states that you must act immediately or lose access, do not comply. Phishing attempts frequently threaten a loss of service unless you do something. Cybercriminals want you to react without thinking; an urgent call to action makes you more likely to cooperate.
  • Don’t click links in suspicious messages. If you don’t trust the e-mail (or text message), don’t trust the links in it either. Beware of links that are hidden by URL shorteners or text like “Click Here.” They may link to a phishing site or a form designed to steal your username and password.

(This content was provided by Educause.)

August 2018

0 Commentsby   |  09.06.18  |  Monthly Report

August 2018, By The Numbers

  • 221 end-user support requests resolved
  • 140 development and administration issues resolved (new August record)
  • projects-in-progress
  • projects completed (meal plan system migration to Adirondack, blogs.acu.edu update)
  • projects requested (blogs.acu.edu update, Discover-Cognos transition support, Oracle database major upgrades)
  • 99.91% average uptime

Do you want to Meet?

Hangouts Meet is Google’s enterprise-friendly version of Hangouts, which you can use for video conferencing.  Hangouts Meet provides an improved interface that is designed for HD-quality video meetings and includes a free call-in number for users who cannot participate online.  You can start a new Meet by visiting meet.google.com or adding the Hangouts Meet conferencing option to Google Calendar events.

Project Updates

  • Single sign-on update – Later this month we will update our single sign-on service to a newer release, which keeps us up-to-date and prepares us to implement multi-factor authentication later this year.
  • Slate migration – Undergraduate admissions will go live with Slate CRM next week, which will introduce an improved and modern system for recruiting and admissions just in time to share admissions decisions with next year’s class.
  • InnoSoft Fusion for SRWC – The Student Recreation and Wellness Center is implementing a recreation management system to streamline and centralize processes that are spread across multiple systems.  We are creating the integration with Banner and the ID card system so that data will automatically flow between the systems.

Do You Have a Personal Backup Plan?

Most of us would like to say that we are incredibly diligent about protecting our data and backing it up on a regular basis. However, we know that this is not always the case. Fortunately, backups are easier than ever before thanks to the options available.  Find out more about the importance of backups and the steps you can take.

Do You Have a Personal Backup Plan?

0 Commentsby   |  09.03.18  |  Security

The only way to protect yourself against valuable data loss is through regular backups. Ideally, important files should be backed up at minimum once a week, or every day, depending on how critical they are to you. This can be done manually, automatically, or using a combination of the two methods. (Briefly review this 2017 backup awareness survey to see how often most computer owners backup their data. Do you fall into the daily, weekly, monthly, annually, or never category?)

When it comes to backups, just like security, you want to find a balance between being thorough but efficient. We have all heard disastrous stories about losing homework due to the blue screen of death or a lost cell phone that tragically stored the only copy of family photos. Also, you could fall victim to ransomware or another malicious attack that leaves you with no choice but to reimage your computer. It never hurts to consider your backup strategy and come up with a plan that leaves you feeling safe and secure. Here are some tips to get you started.

  • Data loss happens all the time, but it is entirely preventable. You just need to create a backup plan.
  • Your critical data should never reside in a single place.
  • The ideal backup strategy will typically include both an online backup service (e.g., Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, Google Drive, CrashPlan, iCloud) and an offline backup utility (e.g., external hard drives, flash drives) to ensure your data is secure no matter what happens to your mobile device or computer.
  • Running consistent, automatic backups is a straightforward process that will take little time to set up and will require even less to maintain.
  • Backups can be configured to run in real time when files on your computer are changed.
  • Routinely test your backup solution to ensure you can recover your data if you do actually need to restore from a backup.

(This content was provided by Educause.)

July 2018

0 Commentsby   |  08.09.18  |  Uncategorized

July 2018, By The Numbers

  • 110 end-user support requests resolved
  • 61 development and administration issues resolved
  • projects-in-progress
  • projects completed (Banner Advancement 9, Banner Advancement custom forms, and remote IT services transition)
  • projects requested
  • 99.99% average uptime

ACU Files End-of-life

Xythos (aka Files, ACU Files, myACU Files, dropbox system) will be removed from service on Thursday, December 20, 2018.  The change will impact those who use Xythos for classes, personal web space, personal home space, and departmental shares.  Information Technology personnel are coordinating with individuals and departments to ensure a smooth transition well in advance of the end date.  Users of these services will receive targeted communications with more details soon. 

Project Updates

  • Banner 9 status – With the go-live of Banner Advancement 9 on July 23rd, we only have a few remaining items left in the Administrative Banner modernization project, which includes migration of two custom forms and the Banner Financial Aid 9 go-live.  We anticipate completion of the work later this fall.
  • Dining services change – The university’s transition to Chartwells required our work to integrate Chartwells’ point-of-sale (POS) system with our ID card system, in addition to work by our colleagues in Enterprise Infrastructure for network connectivity and construction projects.
  • Slate CRM go-live – Residential graduate admissions and undergraduate admissions are transitioning to Slate CRM after use of Talisma since 2006. Slate gives the admissions groups an improved and modern system for recruiting and admissions.  We are creating the integration with Banner so that data will automatically flow between the two systems.