Message from the CIO

This fall Eastern has been the target of an inordinate number of phishing exploits. These attacks are becoming more and more sophisticated both in terms of appearing to be legitimate email messages and becoming more difficult to block them. The most recent spate of attempts do not come from the same email address (some even come from a compromised Eastern email address). Additionally, the content of the messages varied, making it difficult to automatically block them.

While ITS employs a wide range of virus, spam and phishing protections, more and more of these messages will get through. In addition to urging caution and vigilance when responding to email messages, I wish to reiterate two basic guidelines that should ensure no one becomes a victim.

First, as always, never provide your Eastern password to anyone no matter the circumstances or the perceived identity of the requestor. This can take the form of an email from what appears to be a trusted source that links to a webpage that, while fake, appears to look like an Eastern page. One recent example of this type of phishing attempt appeared to have come from an Eastern account that included a link to a fake web page asking for your Eastern password in order that a file could be shared with you. Examine such requests very closely and call the ITS Help Desk or contact ITS Security if you have any doubts.

Second, never send anything of monetary value such as credit card numbers, gift card numbers, or bank account numbers. Legitimate email messages will never ask for such information. If you believe the request is somehow legitimate, telephone the individual supposedly making the request before responding.

In order to further protect Eastern accounts and information, ITS will be implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) this Spring. ITS will provide details on the exact launch date in later communications. Many of you already are familiar with multi-factor authentication as it is now commonly used by banks and credit card companies. It involves registering a second method of authentication to receive a verification code whenever you log into your account.

So, in addition to providing your Eastern password, you will be prompted to enter a six digit verification code sent to the secondary authentication method you setup. Only by entering both factors, will you be able to successfully log in. This authentication enhancement provides two levels of security. First, if your password is compromised, the person will not be able to log into your account because they will not have the second factor (the verification code) which is only sent to your secondary destination. Second, if you get a verification code number sent to you and you hadn’t entered your password, you will know immediately that someone has compromised your password. In that event, change your password immediately and then contact ITSecurity@easternct.edu.

Safe computing!

1  Wireless in the Eastern Residence Halls

Students experiencing wireless difficulties in the residence halls should first try using BYOD5. BYOD5 works in many locations and mitigates the interference prevalent with BYOD. EduRoam may select 2.4 GHz as the stronger signal, but the 2.4 GHz signal strength changes often and the connection may deteriorate. For the best performance, it may be necessary to select a different SSID at different locations. Continue reading

2  Center for Instructional Technology

The Center for Instructional Technology continues to provide one-on-one consulting sessions with faculty again the semester. These office sessions are designed to provide faculty with custom one-on-one consulting on any CIT related topics or questions of interest. These sessions are intended to be held in the faculty member’s office using their own computer, although faculty can, of course, still visit the CIT if that works better for them. Continue reading

3  Stop Spamming Ourselves

The Information Technology Advisory Committee recently discussed the issue of members of the Eastern Community sending email messages to global lists (such as faculty@easternct.edu or admin@easternct.edu) to which individuals, usually unintentionally, reply to the entire list with their responses by using “Reply All”. This tendency leads to many unnecessary email messages sent to the entire university community, effectively spamming ourselves. Continue reading

4  Media Upgrades

As part of the Communication Building renovation, several classrooms have been upgraded with new projection systems. These rooms are configured with same control systems as other classrooms in Webb, Eastern, Science and the Sports Center. The new rooms have laser-based HD projectors and HDMI cables for connecting auxiliary equipment. Continue reading

6  Planned Media Upgrades

Goddard Hall is currently being renovated and is expected to reopen next summer. The building will have nine classrooms equipped with AV technology, two conference rooms, a specialized projection system for the Kinesiology and Physical Education Department, and several video camera-equipped observation rooms for the Psychology Department. Continue reading

7  Banner 9 Transition

The Applications Development team is working on transitioning our current Banner 8 environment to Banner 9, also known as “BMS – Banner Modernization and Standardization”. This environment introduces new technology to our team and also a Single Sign On methodology that is key to using the new functionality introduced in Banner 9. Continue reading

8  Stop That Phish…

Email and messaging services (such as Skype, Twitter, or Snapchat) are one of the primary ways we communicate. We not only use these technologies every day for work, but also to stay in touch with friends and family. Since so many people around the world depend on these technologies, they have become one of the primary attack methods used by cyber attackers. This attack method is called phishing. Continue reading

9  eWeb Degree Evaluation tool replaced with DegreeWorks

In September 2018, the DegreeWorks tool was implemented for Students and Faculty to use for the upcoming Spring 2019 registration. This tool replaced the eWeb Degree Evaluation. This project was co-managed by the Registrar’s Office and ITS. In addition to a more user friendly interface for degree evaluations, DegreeWorks will eventually also provide an integrated four-year academic plan with a future benefit of the ability to register for classes directly from the plan.

10  WebFocus Reporting tool

As of September 2018, Faculty and Academic Departmental Secretaries have been running new reports using the WebFocus reporting tool. WebFocus is browser agnostic and accessible from both the MAC IOS and PC Windows environments. Also available since earlier in 2018 are the ability of Budget authorities to produce their Budget reports using WebFocus. WebFocus replaces the deprecated Hyperion E-Reports tool.

• Media Services is back in the Communication Building and is in the same location it was before the renovation with a new room # 125.

• As part of the Communication Building renovation, several classrooms have been upgraded with new projection systems. These rooms are configured with same control systems as other classrooms in Webb, Eastern, Science and the Sports Center. The new rooms have laser-based HD projectors and HDMI cables for connecting auxiliary equipment. There are also 2 new conference/multipurpose rooms in the building with large format, 90” monitors. These rooms also have rack-based computers, DVD players, and HDMI connections. Push button controllers for these systems are wall mounted above the rack. Eastern’s TV Studio, Control Room and Editing Classrooms have also been renovated.

• Goddard Hall is currently being renovated and is expected to reopen next summer. The building will have 9 classrooms equipped with AV technology, 2 conference rooms, a specialized projection system for the Kinesiology and Physical Education Department, and several video camera equipped observation rooms for the Psychology Department.

• Student Center meeting rooms have been upgraded with digital projection systems including the capability of connecting HDMI based equipment.

• Shafer Auditorium is currently being renovated to include a state of the art digital audio and video system as well as a theater quality lighting system. This system has been designed to support the variety of events including student activities, theatrical performances and musical events. It is also expected that some off- campus groups will be use this facility. In addition to its Auditorium renovation, Shafer Hall will also open as a new 93 bed residence hall, with several areas containing AV systems including a Game Room, Flex/Multipurpose Room, Fitness Center, Conference Room and Gym.

• 13 Science Building labs will be upgraded with digital projection equipment between the semester break and early next summer.

ITS SImple Blue2

Message from the CIO

This semester ITS has improved services in a variety of areas. With the collaboration of the library, the ITS Help Desk has been moved to Room 236 on the main floor of the library. The move enables ITS to provide broader service, including greater accessibility for walk-ins of faculty, students, and staff. The move also frees up space for other uses.

After months of hard work both by ITS and administrative offices, Banner systems were moved successfully to the cloud in February. Those staffs are now hard at work updating the Banner system to 9.0, scheduled to be completed in stages by the end of the 2018 calendar year.

The move to the cloud was not without its problems, however. Despite warnings and recommendations from ITS staff, the cloud provider did not allocate adequate resources for registration resulting in terrible performance for students attempting to register for fall classes. The full text of my apology to students is included in this newsletter for those who may have missed it.

On a more positive cloud note, this summer ITS will be moving all faculty and students from the local Z: drives to O365 OneDrive in the Microsoft cloud. This move will not only provide greater accessibility, flexibility, and more granular recovery of files, it will substantially increase storage for each user.

The CIT continues to offer in-office consultation for faculty. Wednesdays and Thursdays are blocked out for this service but other days of the week can be scheduled depending on staff availability. Times, however, are limited to 9am to 5pm.

Media Services will be moving back to Communications this summer. Despite their temporary location this past year, they have maintained their busy schedule of video editing, upgrading projectors, supporting interactive video classes, and working to upgrade AV in Communications, Shafer, and Goddard.

Finally, I’d like to thank the Information Technology Advisory Committee for their input and suggestions this past year for improving technology at Eastern. As a direct result of their advice, for example, Eastern now supports the eduroam wireless service for students, faculty, and staff. Eduroam provides seamless wireless access at over 500 colleges and universities throughout the United States and in many foreign countries.

As this will be our last newsletter before next semester, I wish everyone a happy, safe, and productive summer.

Garry Bozylinsky
CIO

Help Desk New Location

With the help and cooperation of the library, ITS is pleased to announce the ITS Help Desk has successfully moved to their new space within the library. Staff will be located on the main floor, room 236. The staffing hours will remain the same for this semester, Monday – Friday 8:00 – 5:00, and telephone 860-465-4346 as well as email to helpdesk@easternct.edu will still be handled as before. Continue reading

New Wireless Capability: Eduroam

At the request of the Information Technology Advisory Committee (ITAC), Eastern joined the eduroam consortium. The eduroam wireless SSID is now offered at Eastern. Outside users from other eduroam participating institutions may connect to the Eastern wireless service. Eastern users traveling to another participating institution may use theirs. An ITS staff member seamlessly used wireless at a university in Taiwan this month with eduroam. Continue reading

Z: Storage to Move to O365 OneDrive for Unlimited Quotas

The CSCU system has directed the universities to migrate personally owned data to the O365 cloud service. ITS will be moving all faculty and student storage to this cloud service over the summer (staff storage will remain on Z: drives). The process will be similar to the one moving email messages two years ago. During the period in which the files are actually being moved, users will have read only access. An email notification will be sent to everyone when the exact time period for the move is scheduled. Continue reading