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

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.

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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

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