Message From the CIO

As the semester comes to a close, I thought this would be a good time to share some student, faculty, and staff perspectives about technology at Eastern. Earlier this semester, faculty, staff, and students participated in a campus-wide survey of library and Information Technology Services. The survey was conducted independently by Bryn Mawr College, who has been conducting library and technology survey assessments for hundreds of colleges and universities. Response rates for faculty, staff, and students were 145, 131, and 214 respectively. I thought members of the community would be interested in seeing several of the noteworthy results from the survey.  Continue reading

Changes in Adobe for Faculty and Students

Over the summer, ITS will upgrade Adobe Creative Cloud to version 2019.  With that upgrade comes a change in how students and faculty access the Adobe software. Starting in the fall, faculty and staff will be required to log into the Adobe Creative Cloud App with their Eastern email address and password in order to access the software.  This change is mandated by Adobe.  Additionally, students will have access to Spark Premium for Higher-Ed, providing them with 2GB of cloud storage and access to the Adobe Products anywhere on campus. The Spark application also offers students the ability to create graphics, web pages, and videos on Web or Mobile devices.

Classroom Technology Upgrades

Media Services upgraded six Science Labs with digital projection systems over semester break. An additional six will be upgraded in June. They have also upgraded the Child and Family Development Resource Center AV systems with digital projection capabilities in the activity rooms, and in the Center for Early Childhood Education, they upgraded two classrooms with digital projection systems. Continue reading

Faculty Encouraged to Synchronize their University computers with Planned Classroom Upgrades

ITS invites all faculty to consider scheduling the same upgrades as those in the classrooms and labs on faculty individual University laptop or desktop computers. The Help Desk is ready to schedule upgrades now. When you are ready, please contact the Help Desk directly:
• Email – helpdesk@easternct.edu
• Online – Help Desk Request Form
• Phone – 860-465-4346 Option 2
• Stop by the Help Desk offices at the Library, room 234

Wireless Upgrades

Over the summer ITS will install several hundred new wireless access points in the Mead and Nutmeg residence halls. The new access points will provide improved coverage, as well as much faster connection speeds. In addition, ITS will re-use the existing access points recovered from Mead and Nutmeg in some of the other residence halls to provide denser coverage where needed. This project is phase one of a three year project to upgrade wireless in the residence halls.

Multi Factor Authentication – Be sure you’re set up for travel

Several weeks ago, ITS implemented Multi-Factor Authorization (MFA) for all faculty and staff. MFA requires users to supply a second factor, independent of their username and password. Its purpose is to protect the Eastern community from an increasing number of cyberattacks that had already entrapped several members of the community both in terms of ransomed files that have been encrypted and fake messages that resulted in stolen money. Using MFA makes it virtually impossible for a hacker to take over anyone’s Eastern account. In fact, as long as you do not supply the second factor, even if your password is compromised, the hacker cannot gain access to your account. Continue reading

Security Enclave

Beginning with Counseling Services and Fiscal Affairs, ITS has started implementing a system-wide initiative to improve security by creating a security enclave in which users of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) will operate in special virtual environment that restricts access and use to predefined websites and applications that are isolated from non-secure information and use.  Upcoming offices include Human Resources, Financial Aid, and Admissions.  The project is scheduled to be fully completed by the end of summer 2019.

Identity Finder and Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is data that contains personal information such as Social Security, Driver’s License, Passport or Banking numbers as well as other identifying information. Typical examples of files with PII data are income tax records, personal papers, payment documentation for temporary help, health records, and old student records. Under no circumstances should this type of data be stored on University computers unless it is encrypted, and even in that case the data may not be adequately protected against loss. Continue reading

Media Upgrades in Goddard and Shafer

Media Services has been heavily involved in the Goddard Hall renovation, scheduled to be completed in June. The building will have nine new classrooms, two conference rooms, a performance lab for the Kinesiology and Physical Education department, and several video recording observation rooms for the Psychology department.  Continue reading

CRM Recruit project for the Graduate Office

The Graduate Office went live in March during the Graduate Open House with a new Graduate Office Application process. This process utilizes new Ellucian software called CRM Recruit. This software integrates with Banner and is an enhanced tool for the overall application process. The same software will be implemented over the next year to process undergraduate applications.

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Media Services 

Media Service has upgraded six Science Labs with digital projection systems during the semester break.  An additional six will be upgraded in June.

Media Services has installed a classroom-style AV rack with a fixed computer, two 65” monitors, and DVD player in the Student Center café

Media Services has been heavily involved in the Goddard Hall renovation, scheduled to be completed in June. The building will have nine new classrooms, two conference rooms, a performance lab for the Kinesiology and Physical Education department, and several video recording observation rooms for the Psychology department.

Media Services upgraded the Child and Family Development Resource Center AV systems with digital projection systems in the activity rooms.

In the Center for Early Childhood Education, Media Services upgraded two classrooms with digital projection systems.

Media Services has also been working on the Shafer Hall renovation which is scheduled for completion in June. The new residence hall will have a variety of AV systems including a conference room, multi-purpose room, game room, and café.  Shafer Auditorium will also be equipped with a new digital audio, video and lighting system.

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