May 2017

0 Commentsby   |  06.05.17  |  Banner, Ellucian, Security

Did you know?

We support teaching and learning by integrating Banner and single sign-on with essential services such as the Canvas learning management system (LMS).  During the Spring 2017 term, 828 courses taught through the main campus used the Canvas course tool, which involved 314 faculty and 3,916 students.

Our Service Portfolio

We maintain a service portfolio of 131 services that support critical operations of the university.  Services include Banner, myACU, single sign-on, CS Gold ID card system, and much more.  We implemented 11 new services and removed nine services during the fiscal year 2017 (June 2016 through May 2017).    Eight out of the 11 new services were data integrations with services like Banner, which continues a multi-year trend where most new projects involve integration work.

Basic Steps to Online Safety and Security

Follow these six National Cyber Security Alliance recommendations to better protect yourself online and make the Internet more secure for everyone.

Google Security Tools

Google provides G Suite users with multiple tools to help protect your account and address potential security issues.  You can use these helpful resources to manage your account and combat phishing attempts.

Banner 9

We will cross the halfway point in the Banner 9 upgrade process for Administrative Banner in June with the upgrades to Banner Finance and Banner Student. Next up is Accounts Receivable 9, which will start this week.  We are refining our project timeline for the remaining Administrative Banner 9 updates, Self-Service Banner 9 updates, and custom form conversions. We are still targeting completion of all Administrative Banner updates by the end of 2017.

May 2017 by the Numbers

  • 222 end-user support requests resolved (new record for month of May)
  • 105 development and administration issues resolved (new record for month of May)
  • 14 projects-in-progress
  • project completed
  • 5 projects requested
  • 99.59% average uptime

Google Security Tools

0 Commentsby   |  06.05.17  |  Security, google

Google provides G Suite users with multiple tools to help protect your account:

  1. Last account activity – When you are logged into Gmail, Google provides a helpful “Details” link in the bottom right corner of the page that provides information about the last activity on your account. The Last account activity help article provides more details.
  2. Report a phishing message – Please use these steps to proactively report a message that you believe is a phishing attempt.
  3. Security Checkup tool – The tool will walk you step-by-step through review of your settings as well as connected devices and third-party applications.  You can follow these steps to use the tool.
  4. New warnings for employees to prevent data loss – Last week, Google released a new feature to help users prevent data loss through unintended replies to an external email address. You can view Google’s post for more details.

Basic Steps to Online Safety and Security

0 Commentsby   |  06.01.17  |  Security

Follow these six National Cyber Security Alliance recommendations to better protect yourself online and make the Internet more secure for everyone:

  • Fortify each online account or device. Enable the strongest authentication tools available. This might include biometrics, security keys, or unique one-time codes sent to your mobile device. Usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts such as e-mail, banking, and social media.
  • Keep a clean machine. Make sure all software on Internet-connected devices — including PCs, laptops, smartphones, and tablets — are regularly updated to reduce the risk of malware infection.
  • Personal information is like money. Value it. Protect it. Information about you, such as purchase history or location, has value — just like money. Be thoughtful about who receives that information and how it’s collected by apps or websites.
  • When in doubt, throw it out. Cybercriminals often use links to try to steal your personal information. Even if you know the source, if something looks suspicious, delete it.
  • Share with care. Think before posting about yourself and others online. Consider what a post reveals, who might see it, and how it could be perceived now and in the future.
  • Own your online presence. Set the privacy and security settings on websites to your comfort level for information sharing. It’s okay to limit how and with whom you share information.

(This content was provided by Educause.)

April 2017

0 Commentsby   |  05.04.17  |  Banner, Security

April 2017 by the numbers:

  • 192 end-user support requests resolved (new record for month of April)
  • 117 development and administration issues resolved (new record for month of April)
  • 126 development and administration issues created
  • 11 projects in-progress
  • project completed
  • 5 projects requested
  • 99.82% average uptime

Step Up to Stronger Passwords

A password is often all that stands between you and sensitive data. It’s also often all that stands between a cybercriminal and your account. Here are tips to help you create stronger passwords, manage them more easily, and take one further step to protect against account theft.

Banner 9

We successfully updated to Banner General 9 on April 7th and Banner Human Resources 9 on May 1st.  In the next seven weeks, we will upgrade Finance and Student, which will move us past the half-way point in the update process.  We are developing a timeline for the remaining Administrative Banner 9 updates as well as Self-Service Banner 9 updates.  We are still targeting completion of all Administrative Banner updates by the end of 2017.

What else is going on?

  • Custom Administrative Banner forms – We must migrate custom forms to Banner 9, which requires a significant investment in work and/or dollars.  A custom form is a form that was created by ACU programmers and is identified by the letter Z in the second place of the seven-letter acronym.  We are gathering feedback from various users to help us determine if forms need to persist or can be retired in favor of baseline functionality in the Banner platform.
  • New Student Orientation (NSO) course – We partnered with the Academic Advising Center to automatically enroll NSO registrants in a Canvas course that will help prepare incoming students for their time at ACU.  Students are automatically added to this course once they register for one of the NSO orientation sessions.
  • Cybersecurity – The security of the services we administer and support is a crucial element of our work.  This includes routine activities, such as proactively addressing vulnerabilities, applying application updates, and monitoring application activity. In the last month, we collaborated with a third-party security audit firm to complete a security audit, which will help us better protect our users and services.

 

Step Up to Stronger Passwords

0 Commentsby   |  05.01.17  |  Security

A password is often all that stands between you and sensitive data. It’s also often all that stands between a cybercriminal and your account. Below are tips to help you create stronger passwords, manage them more easily, and take one further step to protect against account theft.

  • Always: Use a unique password for each account so one compromised password does not put all of your accounts at risk of takeover.
  • Good: A good password is 10 or more characters in length, with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, plus numbers and/or symbols — such as pAMPh$3let. Complex passwords can be challenging to remember for even one site, let alone using multiple passwords for multiple sites; strong passwords are also difficult to type on a smartphone keyboard (for an easy password management option, see “best” below).
  • Better: A passphrase uses a combination of words to achieve a length of 20 or more characters. That additional length makes its exponentially harder for hackers to crack, yet a passphrase is easier for you to remember and more natural to type. To create a passphrase, generate four or more random words from a dictionary, mix in uppercase letters, and add a number or symbol to make it even stronger — such as rubbishconsiderGREENSwim$3. You’ll still find it challenging to remember multiple passphrases, though, so read on.
  • Best: The strongest passwords are created by password managers — software that generates and keeps track of complex and unique passwords for all of your accounts. All you need to remember is one complex password or passphrase to access your password manager. With a password manager, you can look up passwords when you need them, copy and paste from the vault, or use functionality within the software to log you in automatically. Best practice is to add two-step verification to your password manager account. Keep reading!
  • Step it up! When you use two-step verification (a.k.a., two-factor authentication or login approval), a stolen password doesn’t result in a stolen account. Anytime your account is logged into from a new device, you receive an authorization check on your smartphone or other registered device. Without that second piece, a password thief can’t get into your account. It’s the single best way to protect your account from cybercriminals.

(This content was provided by Educause.)

March 2017

0 Commentsby   |  04.05.17  |  Banner, Security

March 2017 by the numbers:

  • 165 end-user support requests resolved
  • 96 development and administration issues resolved
  • 114 development and administration issues created
  • 10 projects in-progress
  • project completed
  • 3 projects requested
  • 99.95% average uptime
  • 162 people attended Banner 9 information sessions in February and March

Don’t Be Fooled! Protect Yourself and Your Identity

According to the US Department of Justice, more than 17 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2014. EDUCAUSE research shows that 21 percent of respondents to the annual ECAR student study have had an online account hacked, and 14 percent have had a computer, tablet, or smartphone stolen. Online fraud is an ongoing risk. Here some tips that can help you prevent identity theft.

Banner 9

We are excited to announce that Phase 1 of major improvements to Administrative Banner are coming this week. Banner 9 (formerly Banner XE) will significantly improve your ability to use Banner, with Java no longer required once all project phases are completed.  You can view more details in a separate post on the Computing Services blog.

What else is going on?

  • Next Banner 9 projects – Much of our work is centered around Banner 9 updates right now.  We are working on multiple projects related to the next phases, which include updates to Finance, Human Resources and Student. During the month of April we will identify timelines to address more of our custom forms as well as Self-Service Banner functionality.
  • Project, projects, projects – Spring 2017 has been busy with multiple projects in-progress and six project requests submitted over the course of March and February.  The next few months will be busy between these requests and our ongoing Banner 9 work.

 

Banner 9 Go-live Summary

0 Commentsby   |  04.02.17  |  Banner

We are excited to announce that Phase 1 of major improvements to Administrative Banner are coming later this week. Banner 9 (formerly Banner XE) will significantly improve your ability to use Banner, with Java no longer required once all project phases are completed.  Here are the important details as we prepare to go live:

  • When will the changes take place? The Banner 9 updates should be in place by the time you arrive to work on Friday, April 7th.
  • What is changing? Phase 1 includes Banner General as well as a new navigation bar that will be visible throughout Administrative Banner.  Banner General includes most forms with a G in the first place of the seven-letter acronym of the form (e.g. GOAMTCH).
  • How will I access Banner 9? The existing short link will be updated on April 7th to send you to the new Administrative Banner home page.  Please contact the Helpdesk if you need the link.
  • What web browser should I use following the update? You will keep using the same browser you use now, since some forms will use Internet Native Banner (Banner 8).
  • Where can I find more information? We have answered the most common Banner 9 questions in a frequently asked questions page that is accessible through the “Banner 9 FAQs” quicklink in myACU.
  • What should I do if I experience a problem? Please contact the Helpdesk at helpdesk@acu.edu or (325) 674-4357.

We look forward to introducing Banner 9 and helping you successfully serve our campus.

Don’t Be Fooled! Protect Yourself and Your Identity

0 Commentsby   |  04.02.17  |  Security

According to the US Department of Justice, more than 17 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2014. EDUCAUSE research shows that 21 percent of respondents to the annual ECAR student study have had an online account hacked, and 14 percent have had a computer, tablet, or smartphone stolen. Online fraud is an ongoing risk. The following tips can help you prevent identity theft.

  • Read your credit card, bank, and pay statements carefully each month. Look for unusual or unexpected transactions. Remember also to review recurring bill charges and other important personal account information.
  • Review your health insurance plan statements and claims. Look for unusual or unexpected transactions.
  • Shred it! Shred any documents with personal, financial, or medical information before you throw them away.
  • Take advantage of free annual credit reports. In the US, the three major credit reporting agencies provide a free credit report once a year upon request.
  • If a request for your personal info doesn’t feel right, do not feel obligated to respond! Legitimate companies won’t ask for personal information such as your social security number, password, or account number in a pop-up ad, e-mail, text, or unsolicited phone call.
  • Limit the personal information you share on social media. Also, check your privacy settings every time you update an application or operating system (or at least every few months).
  • Put a password on it. Protect your online accounts and mobile devices with strong, unique passwords or passphrases.
  • Limit use of public Wi-Fi. Be careful when using free Wi-Fi, which may not be secure. Consider waiting to access online banking information or other sensitive accounts until you are at home.
  • Secure your devices. Encrypt your hard drive, use a VPN, and ensure that your systems, apps, antivirus software, and plug-ins are up-to-date.

If you become a victim of identity theft:

  • File a report with the US Federal Trade Commission at IdentityTheft.gov.
  • Use the identity theft report to file a police report. Make sure you keep a copy of both reports 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), Experian (888-397-3742), or TransUnion (800-680-7289).

(This content was provided by Educause.)

Phase 1 Banner 9 Update Scheduled

0 Commentsby   |  03.16.17  |  Banner, Ellucian

What is changing?

The first phase of major improvements to Administrative Banner are coming in early April.  Most know “Administrative Banner” by one or more of the following names: Big Banner, Internet Native Banner, INB, Banner-Banner and Oracle Banner.  The next generation of the Banner platform, known as Banner 9, will significantly improve your ability to use Banner.  Once all phases of the project are completed, Banner will be completely web-based with no Java requirement. The Phase 1 update includes:

  1. Application Navigator – This new navigation component will help users navigate between Internet Native Banner and the new Banner 9 forms.
  2. Banner General – Forms that begin with the letter G will move to the new web-based interface with Banner 9.

We plan to upgrade all of the Banner modules to Banner 9 by the end of 2017, which will require significant work in the coming months.

How can I learn more?

Here are some actions you can take to learn more about the upcoming changes:

  • Information sessions – If you haven’t already, please attend one of the remaining Banner 9 information sessions that are highlighted in the weekly myACU News emails for employees.
  • Frequently asked questions – We have answered the most common Banner 9 questions in a frequently asked questions page that is accessible through the quicklinks in myACU.

 

February 2017

0 Commentsby   |  03.07.17  |  Uncategorized

February 2017 by the numbers:

  • 161 end-user support requests resolved
  • 84 development and administration issues resolved
  • 99 development and administration issues created
  • projects in-progress
  • project completed
  • 3 projects requested
  • 99.97% average uptime
  • 146 people attended Banner 9 information sessions

Security Tips for Traveling at Home and Abroad

We all like to travel with our mobile devices (smartphones, laptops, or tablets) — whether it’s to the coffee shop around the corner or to a café in Paris. These devices make it easy for us to stay connected while on the go, but they can also store a lot of information — including contacts, photos, videos, location, and other personal and financial data — about ourselves and our friends and family. Here are some ways to protect yourself and others.

Banner XE is Banner 9

Ellucian announced in early February that Banner XE, the next major update, has been rebranded as Banner 9, which is the version number associated with the new release.  Our first set of updates for Banner have been delayed as a result of critical issues that we identified in late February.  We hope to announce a go-live date in the next few weeks.

What else is going on?

  • Banner projects – We are in the midst of multiple projects related to the Banner 9 updates, including finalization of the first phase of updates as well as planning the next phases (Finance, Human Resources and Student).  We are also working on multiple development projects to migrate some of our custom Banner forms into the new Banner 9 interface.
  • Data integration maintenance – We have been working on multiple data integration maintenance projects, which includes Activity Insight (Provost’s Office), Reeher (Advancement), and Follett (ACU Online).
  • Financial Aid – We are working with our colleagues in Student Financial Services to prepare for personnel transitions as well as tasks related to the 2017-2018 financial aid awarding cycle.