Monday, September 18, 2017

Major network maintenance the morning of September 28 at 6am.

ITS will be performing major network maintenance the morning of September 28 at 6am.

Several major services will be affected between 6:00am and 7:00am
Banner 9
The Once Card system and Card Access to doors.
Some Jaspernet Authenticated Services such
25 Live.



Avoiding Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware is a type of malware designed to encrypt users’ files or lock their operating systems so attackers can demand a ransom payment. According to a 2016 Symantec reportthe average ransom demand is almost $700 and “consumers are the most likely victims of ransomware, accounting for 57 percent of all infections between January 2015 and April 2016.”
Similar to a phishing attack, ransomware executes when a user is lured to click on an infected link or e-mail attachment or to download a file or software drive while visiting a rogue website. Sophisticated social engineering techniques are used to entice users to take the desired action; examples include
  • an embedded malicious link in an e-mail offers a cheap airfare ticket (see figure 1);
  • an e-mail that appears to be from Google Chrome or Facebook invites recipients to click on an image to update their web browser (see figure 2); or
  • a well-crafted website mimics a legitimate website and prompts users to download a file or install an update that locks their PC or laptop.



Figure 1. Phishing e-mail with ransomware embedded in a link
Figure 1. Phishing e-mail with ransomware embedded in a link
Figure 2. A fake Google Chrome e-mail
Figure 2. A fake Google Chrome e-mail

To avoid becoming a victim of ransomware, users can follow these tips:
  • Delete any suspicious e-mail. Messages from unverified sources or from known sources that offer deals that sound too good to be true are most likely malicious (see figure 3). If in doubt, contact the alleged source by phone or by using a known, public e-mail address to verify the message’s authenticity.
  • Avoid clicking on unverified e-mail links or attachments. Suspicious links might carry ransomware (such as the CryptoLocker Trojan).
  • Use e-mail filtering options whenever possible. E-mail or spam filtering can stop a malicious message from reaching your inbox.
  • Install and maintain up-to-date antivirus software. Keeping your operating system updated with the latest virus definitions will ensure that your security software can detect the latest malware variations.
  • Update all devices, software, and plug-ins on a regular basis. Check for operating system, software, and plug-in updates often — or, if possible, set up automatic updates — to minimize the likelihood of someone holding your computer or files for ransom.
  • Back up your files. Back up the files on your computer, laptop, or mobile devices frequently so you don’t have to pay the ransom to access locked files.



Figure 3. An example ransomware e-mail message
Figure 3. An example ransomware e-mail message

Friday, September 15, 2017

ITS Service Catalog is Full of Features!

In addition to tracking any tickets you submit to the ITS Help Desk the TeamDynamix Client Portal has many useful services which can be found when you click here:

The ITS Service Catalog shows all the services provided by ITS.  This screen provides a snapshot of IT Services: from Equipment loan, to A/V & Event Setup and Support,  to customized  Google email and calendar services:

Another useful feature: if you follow highlighted instructions, this link offers a quick way to check on your outstanding ITS tickets:


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

COMPLETE: Papercut Printing Maintenance: Thursday, September 14th, from 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM

UPDATE #2:  Printing server maintenance was complete as of 8:45 AM this morning.

UPDATE #1: ITS has postponed this update due to conflicts with major network maintenance.
http://itsblog.manhattan.edu/2017/09/major-network-maintenance-september-14.html

ITS will be performing printer server maintenance on Thursday, September 14th at 7:00 AM. The maintenance is expected to take less than one hour.

In order to improve printing services across Manhattan College campus, ITS will be conducting printing maintenance on the printer server. This maintenance will affect printing throughout the entire campus.

We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause. If you have any questions, please contact ITS at its@manhattan.edu or at extension x-7973.


COMPLETE: Horan Hall: Brief Network Outage Wednesday, September 13th at 10am

UPDATE: The generator test was completed by 1035 this morning.

Physical Plant will be conducting a generator test in Horan Hall today, September 13th at approximately 10am.

There will be two brief outages, one while switching to generator power, the other while switching back to main power.

This will not affect the rest of campus.

Protect Yourself and Your Identity

In light of the recent Equifax breach, ITS wants to remind our campus community to be aware of steps you can take to protect yourself.
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).
Partially reposted from: https://www.educause.edu/focus-areas-and-initiatives/policy-and-security/cybersecurity-initiative/community-engagement/security-awareness

Friday, September 8, 2017

COMPLETED at 9:51 PM - Routine Enterprise Application Maintenance Starting at 9:00 PM Tonight

ITS will be performing several upgrades this evening starting at 9:00 PM. Please see below for a list of the applications that will be affected and for how long each will be affected.

Banner 9 - PROD:


ITS will be deploying the latest round of point releases on the production Banner 9 system. During this time the production Banner 9 application will be down. The maintenance on Banner 9 is expected to take approximately an hour, and will start at 9:00 PM this evening, Sept. 8th.

Workflow, Argos, and Banner Self-Service:


There will be brief service interruptions on the production Workflow, Argos, and Banner Self-Service systems as ITS performs minor maintenance on each system separately. The systems will go down briefly between 9:00 PM and 10:00 PM as ITS performs maintenance on each. The maintenance window on each of these systems is expected to only last a few minutes per system.

- - - - -

Updated at 9:55 PM:

Maintenance and testing on all affected systems were completed by 9:51 PM.

COMPLETED - Major Network Maintenance September 14, 2017. 6am

ITS will be performing major network maintenance the morning of September 14 at 6am.

Several major services will be affected for a very short period of time (10-15 minutes) including:
Banner 9
The Once Card system and Card Access to doors.
Some Jaspernet Authenticated Services such
25 Live.


The Moodle system will be down for a longer period of time while we perform system maintenance, we expect the moodle system to be operational by 8am.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Schedule Meetings More Efficiently with Google Calendar or Doodle

Google Calendar Information:
As part of our ongoing effort to spread knowledge about the productive new Google Calendar Features, our users are able to be more use Google Calendar to schedule meetings.  

The easiest way to access Google Calendar is to click on the Google Calendar app from your Google Apps launcher at the top right of your Google Desktop Home screen:

Click here for detailed instructions from the G Suite Learning Center Get Started with Calendar.
The following instructions include how to quickly and easily schedule a meeting with a group of colleagues who are using Google Calendar:

** Be sure to explore the "Find a meeting time" section **
If the other guests have shared their calendar with you, you can use the "Find a time" feature to schedule an event at a time that works for everyone. You can compare up to 20 schedules at one time.
Note: The "Find a time" feature is only available while using a computer, not the Google Calendar app.
  1. Create a new event, or open an existing event (you may need to click Edit event first).
  2. Click the Find a time tab. If the other guests' calendars are shared with you, you'll see their schedules.
  3. Find a time. Use the arrows at the top to navigate between days.
  4. Once you've found a time, click the area within the calendar grid. The time will update at the top of the page.
  5. Click Save.
Note: You can only edit the event if you created the event yourself, or if the event organizer gave guests permission to modify the event.
All-day events: All-day events are shown at the top of the calendar grid. If a guest has an all-day event, they will appear available in the "Find a time" tab unless their event is set to show as "Busy." To schedule an all-day event, click the Week button and then click the area at the top of a day column.


Doodle: Another Excellent Scheduling App
Great idea to use as an alternative to Google Calendar


What is Doodle?

Doodle is an online scheduling tool that can be used quickly and easily to find a date and time to meet with multiple people.  First you suggest dates and times for your event participants to choose from, then Doodle creates a polling calendar that can be sent to participants for feedback.  As each participant selects the dates and times from the polling calendar that he or she is free, Doodle aggregates the responses and tells you which option works best for everyone.
Getting everyone on the same page is hard enough with just five other coworkers, let alone fifty new volunteers you may have never met.  Doodle can be a valuable tool for coordinating a large event like volunteer training as well as a small event like a monthly meeting with the board.

Doodle in Action

Part of Doodle’s appeal is that it’s so easy to use.  The site walks you through the four steps of creating a polling calendar:
  1. Schedule an Event
  2. Propose Times
  3. Choose Settings
  4. Invite Participants


Each step of the way there are options to make the whole process easier for you and the people you’re trying to meet with.
1. Schedule an Event
The first step in scheduling an event with Doodle is to fill out a simple form with the title, location, and description of the event.  This information will be visible on the poll, letting participants know exactly what the event is.  On this page you will also enter your name as administrator and your e-mail address so that you can receive the link to view, update, or edit the poll.
Notable Features:
  • Easy Directions: The location automatically links to Google Maps, making getting directions a breeze.
  • Your Own Doodle Account: Although you are free to use the site without creating an account, signing in makes checking up on your scheduling polls a lot easier (especially if you have several out at a time).
2. Propose Times
The next screen asks you to choose days and times that you are considering for the event.
Wizard
Notable Features:
  • Time-Zone Support: If you’re scheduling an online event, such as a Twitter chat or a video conference, you can enable time-zone support to keep participants across the country or across the world on the same page.
3. Choose Settings
In this third step, Doodle offers some options so that you can modify the basic poll to suit your specific needs.  These customizable settings allow you to tailor your Doodle scheduling poll to each event.  Among other things, you can use these different settings to transform your scheduling poll into a registration sheet, or to offer extra options to your event participants such as greater privacy.
Notable Features:
  • Yes-No-If need be Poll: In a basic poll, the people you invite can only respond “Yes” or “No.”  This option adds a third possible response, “If need be,” to give you more detailed information on participants’ availability and flexibility.
  • Hidden Poll: Perhaps you are looking to schedule times to meet with donors.  This option allows you to keep each donor’s schedule and availability confidential from the other donors.
  • Limit Number of Participants per Option: For example, setting the group limit to ten people per time slot would be handy if you are looking to conduct feedback meetings with past volunteers.  Once a timeslot has ten names, it will stop being shown as an option.
  • Participant Can Only Choose One Option: This option coupled with limiting the number of participants per option turns the poll into a registration sheet, allowing each participant to sign up for a timeslot on a first-come-first-served basis.
4. Invite Participants
The final step is to send out the invitations.  Doodle has three methods of delivering your poll to participants: email, Facebook, and Twitter.
For smaller or internal meetings, email is the way to go.  But if you are putting together a larger event, like a cookout to thank your volunteers, then a social media platform might be a better choice.  By posting the Doodle poll link on Facebook or Twitter, you can simultaneously advertise your event and find a good day for it.
Notable Features:
Import Contacts: Link your Doodle account to your email account to easily import the email addresses of the participants you’re interested in inviting.
The Poll
For the people you have invited, the finished basic poll will look something like this:
Participation
The people that you invite will enter their name or an ID number in the field that says “Your name” and check the boxes in the time slots when they are free.  In the image above, the best time to meet would clearly be Monday at 1:00pm.
Notable Features:
  • Load Your Calendar: If you do open a Doodle account, you can sync your Google, Outlook, or iCal calendar to Doodle.  This lets you avoid switching between calendars, making it easier to respond quickly to scheduling requests.
  • Comments: There is even a comment section at the bottom of the poll where participants can note dates that they would prefer over others or ask questions about the event.
  • Different Viewing Options: The image shown above is the table view, which allows your participants to see which dates and times are popular.  There’s also an option to look at the schedule on a calendar view, shown below.  The calendar view is helpful if you have loaded your own calendar to Doodle for comparison.



UPDATE 3 1:14pm RESOLVED: September 7 Google Drive Issue

UPDATE 3

Google is now reporting the drive issue as completely resolved. If you are still experiencing issues it may be necessary to restart your browser.

----

UPDATE 2

Google has posted a Service Disruption notification to their G Suite Status Dashboard.

Please visit the following page for updates directly from Google on the status of the disruption:
https://www.google.com/appsstatus#hl=en&v=issue&sid=4&iid=768deb9fad2a675680dbee7e8712bc41

Full G Suite Status Dashboard:
https://www.google.com/appsstatus#hl=en&v=status

----

UPDATE 1

Google is aware of the issue and is working to resolve as quickly as possible.

----

ITS is currently investigating reports of issues using google drive.

We are opening a ticket with google at this time. The issue appears to be within Google, not Manhattan College.


Friday, September 1, 2017

JasperNet SSO Maintenance: Friday, 9/1, 9:00 - 9:30 PM

ITS will be performing system maintenance on the JasperNet Single Sign On (SSO) system starting Friday 9/1 at 9:00 PM.  The maintenance is expected to take less than 30 minutes.  After 9:00 PM and until maintenance is complete, anyone already connected to JasperNet services should be able to function normally; however, any new attempts to login to JasperNet services will not be processed until maintenance is complete.

What is affected?


The SSO authentication system (login) to all JasperNet services will be unavailable after 9:00 PM until maintenance is complete.  JasperNet services will still be online, however, any new attempts to login after 9:00 PM will not be processed until the maintenance is complete.  Services with a longer timeout, such as Google Apps and Gmail, as well as app-based services will largely be unaffected by this maintenance.


Questions or concerns should be forwarded to ITS@manhattan.edu

- - - - -
Update:

Maintenance was completed around 9:15 PM.

Computer Recommendations

ITS often fields questions about which computer we would recommend for purchase:

Should I buy a Mac or a PC?     Should I buy a laptop or a desktop?  If I want to bring an older computer will it be good enough?  What features should I get on my computer?

 Attached find 2 Knowledge Base Articles which address the following:

ITS Computer Recommendations for Employees
These are the standard ITS recommended computers for college purchases.

ITS Personal PC Recommendations

Please forward these links to any interested clients.