December 2016

0 Commentsby   |  01.05.17  |  Uncategorized

December 2016 by the numbers:

  • 107 end-user support requests resolved
  • 55 development and administration issues resolved
  • 57 development and administration issues created
  • projects in-progress
  • project completed
  • 3 projects requested
  • 99.92% average uptime

2016 by the numbers:

  • 1,803 end-user support requests resolved (84 more than 2015)
  • 950 development and administration issues resolved (96 more than 2015)
  • 1,144 development and administration issues created
  • 51 project completed
  • 99.9% average uptime

Keep What’s Private, Private

You exist in digital form all over the Internet. It is thus important to ensure that the digital you matches what you are intending to share. It is also critical to guard your privacy — not only to avoid embarrassment, but also to protect your identity and finances!  Here are specific steps you can take to protect your online information, identity, and privacy.

What is going on?

  • New Systems Analyst –  We are excited to announce the hiring of a new Systems Analyst, Titus Vesel, who started on January 3rd.  We look forward to training and on-boarding Titus in the coming weeks.
  • Student Life communication – Student Life is introducing a new event communication site that will be integrated with myACU.  The new site will replace and enhance the “On the Hill” area in myACU (aka login ads). The new site and functionality will go live soon.
  • Spring 2017 term preparation – We are busy preparing for the start of the Spring 2017 term, which includes installing ACU Blogs updates, configuring meal plans, and setting up ID card access for campus buildings.
  • Banner updates – We are working to upgrade the administrative side of Banner (aka Big Banner, Internet Native Banner and INB) to the new Banner XE web interface.  The first update, targeted for February, will provide an enhanced interface to Banner General forms that is completely web-based.  Use and support of Banner will improve significantly as a result of the removal of the Java client requirement. We intend to upgrade all of the Banner modules to XE by the end of 2017, which will require significant work in the coming months.

 

Keep What’s Private, Private

0 Commentsby   |  01.03.17  |  Uncategorized

You exist in digital form all over the Internet. It is thus important to ensure that the digital you matches what you are intending to share. It is also critical to guard your privacy — not only to avoid embarrassment, but also to protect your identity and finances!

Following are specific steps you can take to protect your online information, identity, and privacy.

  • Use a unique password for each site. Hackers often use previously compromised information to access other sites. Choosing unique passwords keeps that risk to a minimum.
  • Use a password manager. Using an encrypted password manager to store your passwords makes it easy to access and use a unique password for each site.
  • Know what you are sharing. Check the privacy settings on all of your social media accounts; some even include a wizard to walk you through the settings. Always be cautious about what you post publicly.
  • Guard your date of birth and telephone number. These are key pieces of information used for verification, and you should not share them publicly. If an online service or site asks you to share this critical information, consider whether it is important enough to warrant it.
  • Keep your work and personal presences separate. Your employer has the right to access your e-mail account, so you should use an outside service for private e-mails. This also helps you ensure uninterrupted access to your private e-mail and other services if you switch employers.
  • There are no true secrets online. Use the postcard or billboard test: Would you be comfortable with everyone reading a message or post? If not, don’t share it.

(This content was provided by Educause.)

November 2016

0 Commentsby   |  12.06.16  |  Uncategorized

November 2016 by the numbers:

  • 124 end-user support requests resolved
  • 58 development and administration issues resolved
  • 78 new development and administration issues created
  • projects in-progress
  • project completed
  • 1 project requested
  • 99.92% average uptime
  • 20% of myACU sessions were from mobile and tablet devices for Fall 2016

Did you know?

The type of information shared on social media can provide fodder for phishing attacks and even identity theft, or allow people to make assumptions about you based on the groups that you are affiliated with. As a result, keep these dos and don’ts in mind when sharing online.

What else is going on?

  • Personnel changes –  We are in the final stage of hiring a new Systems Analyst to replace Brennan Turner, who is moving into a programming position.  We intend to have someone hired and ready to start in early January.
  • Student Life communication – We are working with Student Life to implement a new event communication site that will be integrated with myACU.  The new site will replace and enhance the “On the Hill” area in myACU (aka login ads). The new site and functionality will go live in early January.
  • Banner improvements – We have successfully deployed multiple Banner XE applications to production this year, including Employee Profile, Student Advising Profile and Faculty Grade Entry.  All of these self-service applications are available through the Banner link in myACU and provide a glimpse of enhancements that are on the horizon.  Our next set of applications include Banner Student Registration XE as well as the first part of Banner administrative forms (aka Big Banner, Internet Native Banner or INB).

See November 2016 – Resolved Issues for more details.

 

Managing Your Online Reputation

0 Commentsby   |  12.02.16  |  Security

You should understand how to present yourself on social networking sites and how to safeguard your information. What many may consider temporary or fleeting will most likely remain on the Internet forever. As a result, keep these dos and don’ts in mind when sharing online.

Dos

  • Ask questions about who can access the information you are posting online, who controls and owns the information, and what is shared with third party.
  • Maintain a backup of the content you post on professional networking sites (e.g., LinkedIn).
  • Understand the default privacy settings on the social networking sites you use and how to change them to match your comfort level.
  • Keep your personal information private. Assess whether it’s necessary to share sensitive information such as your birthday, mailing address, phone number, e-mail, mother’s maiden name, or Social Security number.
  • Be cautious about accepting requests to connect online. Connect only to people you trust who will not misuse the information you post.
  • Check the location settings on photos and videos you post to social networking sites.
  • Avoid joining online groups where you don’t know all the members or what they stand for.
  • Use passphrases to protect your social media accounts. A passphrase is a set of words that create a phrase that is 20 to 30 characters long.

Don’ts

  • Don’t share too much information that could be used to complete a profile about you. For example, share your birthday, but not the year you were born. Or share your hometown, but not the address where you live.
  • Don’t share any information that is being used for verification purposes such as your mother’s maiden name, the name of your first pet, or the street where first lived. Consider making up alternate answers to those questions that only you would know.
  • Don’t post when you are traveling or going out of town on vacation. It’s an open invitation letting criminals know that you are in a different location and that your home is vacant.
  • Don’t post photos of inappropriate or illegal activities.
  • Don’t click on attachments or links without checking the source.
  • Don’t “check in” to every place you visit. That information could be used to identify you in a vulnerable location.
  • Don’t use weak passwords, and never share your passwords!

(This content was provided by Educause.)

October 2016

0 Commentsby   |  11.07.16  |  Uncategorized

October 2016 by the numbers:

  • 151 end-user support requests resolved
  • 104 development and administration issues resolved
  • 97 new development and administration issues created
  • projects in-progress
  • projects completed
  • 99.99% average uptime

Did you know?

The threat of identity theft (ID theft) is real, and it can take months or years to recover once you become a victim. Recent statistics show that each year approximately 15 million U.S. residents have their identities used fraudulently. In addition, nearly 100 million Americans have their personal information placed at risk of theft each year when records in databases are lost, stolen, or accessed by unauthorized individuals.  Here are some tips to help prevent ID theft.

What else is going on?

  • Personnel changes –  We are moving one of our Systems Analysts, Brennan Turner, into the open programmer position, which means that we are searching for a Systems Analyst.  We are currently reviewing applicants and will start interviews soon.
  • ACU Dallas campus projects – We are working on multiple projects for the Dallas campus, including improvements to student billing and integration with a new textbook vendor.
  • Travel and expense management – We are in the final stages of data integration work for our new travel and expense management system, Concur.  Select employees will start piloting the new system soon.

See October 2016 – Resolved Issues for more details.

 

Identity Theft—It Could Happen to You

0 Commentsby   |  11.07.16  |  Security

The threat of identity theft (ID theft) is real, and it can take months or years to recover once you become a victim. Recent statistics show that each year approximately 15 million U.S. residents have their identities used fraudulently. In addition, nearly 100 million Americans have their personal information placed at risk of theft each year when records in databases are lost, stolen, or accessed by unauthorized individuals. EDUCAUSE research shows that 21% of respondents to the annual ECAR student study have had an online account hacked, and 14% have had a computer, tablet, or smartphone stolen. Here are some tips to help prevent ID theft:

  • Read your monthly statements carefully. Review bank, credit card, and pay statements, as well as other important personal accounts (e.g., health care, social security). If a statement has mistakes, charges you don’t recognize, or doesn’t arrive when expected, contact the business.
  • Shred outdated documents. Make sure you shred any documents that show sensitive financial or medical information before you throw them away.
  • Be careful when sharing personal info. Avoid responding to pop-up ads, e-mails, texts, or phone messages that ask for personal information such as your Social Security number, password, or account number. Legitimate companies don’t ask for information in this way.
  • Protect your online accounts. Create strong passwords or passphrases that are at least eight characters long and include a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters. Don’t use the same password or passphrase for multiple accounts.
  • Limit use of public Wi-Fi. If you must use a public wireless network, make sure it is fully encrypted before sending sensitive information. Use HTTPS (for websites) and SSL (for applications like e-mail) whenever possible, and use a VPN (virtual private network) if you have access to one. Save your most sensitive browsing and work for when you are in a place where you know the Wi-Fi is secure.
  • Use secure devices. Whenever possible, encrypt your hard drive, make sure operating system and application software and plug-ins are up-to-date, and install antivirus software (and keep it current).
  • Keep personal information private. Limit what you share on social media. For instance, don’t share your vacation pictures publicly until you return home (so thieves don’t target your empty home).
  • Review your credit report every year. You can request a free annual credit report.

If you’ve been a victim of ID theft:

  • Create an Identity Theft Report by filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission online (or call 1-877-438-4338).
  • Use the Identity Theft Report to file a police report. Make sure you keep a copy of the police report in a safe place.
  • Flag your credit reports by contacting the fraud departments of any one of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax (800-525-6285); TransUnion (800-680-7289); or Experian (888-397-3742).

(This content was provided by Educause.)

September 2016

0 Commentsby   |  10.07.16  |  Uncategorized

September 2016 by the numbers:

  • 208 end-user support requests resolved
  • 118 development and administration issues resolved (new monthly record)
  • 120 new development and administration issues created
  • 10 projects in-progress
  • 5 new projects requested
  • 99.98% average uptime

Did you know?

For over a decade, colleges and universities have promoted National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) each October as part of a collaborative effort to ensure everyone has the resources they need to stay safe online.  Here are some tips to help you be more secure online since information security is everyone’s responsibility.

What else is going on?

  • Personnel changes –  We are in the process of interviewing applicants for our open programmer position and hope to hire someone soon.
  • Banner updates – All pre-requisite updates for Banner XE Registration were installed last month.  The XE Registration production install is almost complete, which will modernize and improve the class registration process for students.  We are working with the Office of the Registrar to implement a pilot to use the new registration functionality during class registration later his fall with the intention of a full deployment in the spring.
  • ACU Dallas campus projects – We are working on multiple projects for the Dallas campus, including improvements to student billing, integration with a second instance of Canvas LMS, and integration with a new textbook vendor.
  • Employee benefits enrollment – We are working with our colleagues in Human Resources to implement data integration with a new vendor for employee benefits enrollment. We anticipate completion of most of this work this month.

See September 2016 – Resolved Issues for more details.

 

Information Security: Everyone’s Responsibility

0 Commentsby   |  10.04.16  |  Uncategorized

Did you know?

  • 93% of Americans believe their online actions can help make the web safer for everyone.
  • However, 28% of Americans say they lack knowledge about ways to stay safer online. [Source]

It is important for each of us to be aware of the increasing security risks of mobile devices, from laptops and tablets to smartphones and wearable technology, and 24/7 access to our personal data.

  • Protect Your Device: Add a passcode to your cell phone, tablet, or laptop right now!
  • Use Strong Passwords or Passphrases: Especially for online banking and other important accounts.
  • Check Your Social Media Settings: Review your social media security and privacy settings frequently. Enable two-step verification whenever possible.
  • Educate Yourself: Stay informed about the latest technology trends and security issues such as malware and phishing.
  • Get Trained: Contact the Helpdesk for additional resources or training opportunities.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) month.  NCSAM is designed to help everyone understand the role they can play in promoting online safety, and it all starts with STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™, the global online safety education and awareness campaign. NCSAM 2016 will highlight STOP. THINK. CONNECT. and provide tips, infographics, videos, social media content, and other resources that you can use and share at home, at work, and in the community.

(This content was provided by Educause.)

August 2016

0 Commentsby   |  09.09.16  |  Uncategorized

Here are highlights for August 2016 as well as our ongoing work:

  • August was a busy month for our group – 96 development issues (the most in a single month this year) and 227 end-user support requests (the most in a single month since August 2014) were resolved.
  • We recorded an average application uptime of 99.98%.
  • Did you know? Google released a new email interface for Google Apps called Inbox for Gmail.  Inbox intelligently categorizes your email, allows you to hide messages until later and highlights the most important information from your inbox.  Inbox is available on the web as well as on iOS and Android devices.
  • Personnel changes – One of our longtime programmers is pursuing other career interests and is leaving us this week.  We are currently reviewing applicants for this position and hope to hire someone soon.
  • Banner updates – We will install multiple pre-requisite Banner updates the next two weeks that are necessary for upcoming Ellucian Extensible Ecosystem (Ellucian XE) projects.  We will install XE Registration at the end of this month, which will modernize and improve the class registration process for students.
  • ACU Dallas campus projects – We are working with our colleagues at the Dallas campus to plan and implement projects that affect many aspects of their operation.  Most of these project center around data integration and automation.

See August 2016 – Resolved Issues for more details.

 

July 2016

0 Commentsby   |  08.08.16  |  Uncategorized

Here are the highlights for July 2016 as well as our ongoing work:

  • 49 development issues and 132 end-user support requests were resolved.
  • We recorded an overall application uptime of 99.97%.
  • Did you know? Computing Services personnel have a combined 120 years of service in the information technology industry and a collective 71 years of service to ACU.  Our highly-skilled team creates, installs, maintains and supports a service portfolio that includes many technologies, hosting configurations, clients, programming languages and vendors.
  • Banner updates – We are working with campus colleagues to install and test a set of updates for Banner that are necessary for upcoming Ellucian Extensible Ecosystem (Ellucian XE) upgrades.  Our current project is focused on the XE Registration upgrade, which will modernize and improve the class registration process for students.
  • Travel and expense management – Work is well under way to implement data integration for a new travel and expense management application that will go live later this fall.  We are collaborating with folks from Finance and Operations as well as our vendor to implement the necessary integration with Banner.
  • Summer maintenance and start of Fall 2016 – We wrapped up updates to the Banner infrastructure, the CBORD CS Gold campus ID card system, and Xythos (myACU Files) last month.  We are working on final updates to myACU and blogs this week before entering a change moratorium from Monday, August 15th, until Tuesday, September 6th.  The next three weeks will be busy as we wrap up summer projects and support faculty, staff and students at the start of the term.

See July 2016 – Resolved Issues for more details.