Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Why Cybersecurity Matters during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The current COVID-19 pandemic has lead us to be more dependent on our computers. As a result, this makes us more susceptible to cyber attacks such as phishing, hacking, social engineering, and more.

Why is it important to avoid succumbing to these cyber attacks?

1. A heightened dependency on digital infrastructure raises the cost of failure.

In a pandemic of this scale - with cases of coronavirus reported in more than 150 countries - dependency on digital communications multiplies. The Internet has almost instantly become the channel for effective human interaction and the primary way we work, contact and support one another.

In today’s unprecedented context, a cyberattack that deprives organizations or families of access to their devices, data or the internet could be devastating and even deadly: In a worst-case scenario, broad-based cyberattacks could cause widespread infrastructure failures that take entire communities or cities offline, obstructing healthcare providers, public systems and networks.

2. Cybercrime exploits fear and uncertainty.

Cybercriminals exploit human weakness to penetrate systemic defenses. In a crisis situation, particularly if prolonged, people tend to make mistakes they would not have made otherwise. Online, making a mistake in terms of which link you click on or who you trust with your data can cost you dearly.

The vast majority of cyberattacks - by some estimates, 98% - deploy social engineering methods. Cybercriminals are extremely creative in devising new ways to exploit users and technology to access passwords, networks and data, often capitalizing on popular topics and trends to tempt users into unsafe online behavior.

Stress can incite users to take actions that would be considered irrational in other circumstances. For example, a recent global cyberattack targeted people looking for visuals of the spread of COVID-19. The malware was concealed in a map displaying coronavirus statistics loaded from a legitimate online source. Viewers were asked to download and run a malicious application that compromised the computer and allowed hackers to access stored passwords.

3. More time online could lead to riskier behavior.

there could be hidden risks in requests for credit card information or installation of specialized viewing applications. Always, and especially during the pandemic, clicking on the wrong link or expanding surfing habits can be extremely dangerous and costly.

What can you do to prevent this?

1. Step up your cyber hygiene standards.

In addition to washing your hands after every physical contact to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and using an appropriate alcohol-based cleaning solution on your phone, keyboard, game controllers and remote controls, take the time to review your digital hygiene habits. Check that you have a long, complex router password for your home WiFi and that system firewalls are active on your router. Ensure you’re not reusing passwords across the web (a password manager is a great investment).

2. Be extra vigilant on verification

Be far more careful than usual when installing software and giving out any personal information. Don’t click on links from email. When signing up to new services, verify the source of every URL and ensure the programs or apps you install are the original versions from a trusted source. Digital viruses spread much like physical ones; your potential mistakes online could very well contaminate others in your organization, an address book or the wider community.

3. Follow official updates.

Just as you pay attention to trusted sources of data on the spread and impact of COVID-19, be sure to update your system software and applications regularly to patch any weaknesses that may be exploited. If at any stage you feel that the advice you’re being given sounds bizarre - whether the virus threat is offline or digital - search the Internet to see whether others have similar concerns and look for a well-known site that can help verify the legitimacy of the information.

Google Hangouts Feature Requests and Solutions

As the College has transitioned to online learning, we have been made aware of several frequently requested features for Google Hangouts Meet. As ITS only supports Google Hangouts Meet we have done some research to find solutions for these feature requests. Below please find the resolutions and follow this link for more detailed information regarding these resolutions.

Feature Request
Grid View in Hangouts Meet 
Use this link to download a chrome extension for grid view. 
Breakout rooms
Create additional meeting rooms and share link with groups. 
Whiteboard feature
Use Google Jamboard to create 
collaborative Jams and share your  screen during meeting. 

For more help, please contact ITS at its@manhattan.edu or 718-862-7973

Thursday, March 26, 2020

8 Essential Tips For Recording Professional Quality Videos From Home

If you are looking for some quality tips from an award winning professional on how to record quality video while you are working from home, then look no further!

Laura Meoli Ferrigon is the Assistant Director of Digital Media here at Manhattan College and has shared with us an article that she wrote, listing 8 essential tips for recording professional quality videos at home. Check it out!  

For those of you don't know Laura, she is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker with 10 years experience creating multimedia for organizations, brands and individuals. She has written a book and also won various other awards! Visit her website to find out more about her and her work.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Top 5 Reasons Why Google Hangouts Meet Is Best For Remote Learning/Working

Google Hangouts Meet and Google Hangouts Classic are two very useful tools to allow live interactive meetings. However during this time, ITS would like to recommend that you use Google Hangouts Meet for all of your remote working/teaching sessions. ITS is only supporting Google Hangouts Meet issues. Please consider the following when you are setting up a large online video conference meeting.

meet.google.com looks like this when you type in the url:

1. Google Hangouts Meet is the preferred meeting option because it allows you to invite up to 100 people to a meeting where Hangouts only allows you to invite up to 10 people. Using Google Hangouts Meet ensures that every invited participant in your meeting will be able to join without getting kicked out due to capacity.

2. You are able to record your meeting so that you can review it later and/or share it with others. This recording is downloaded into your Google Drive once the recording is complete.

3. Google Hangouts Meet allows you to share your screen and still keep your shared frame at the same time. This means that your participants will be able to see your screen and you or whatever you have in the frame at the same time.

4. You can turn on on Captions using Google Hangouts Meet. This means people will be able to both see and hear what you are saying.

5. Additionally you can also change the layout of your screen during the video conference to adjust to the type of screen you need. This means that you can change your layout to show Questions and Comments on the side or make your frame the large one and others who have joined smaller. This can be a useful tool if you are in a meeting with more than 5 people.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Client Services Coverage for the Rest of the Spring Semester [Online Only]

As the college is experiencing some disturbances to its normal routine, ITS would like to take this time to update you about our support plan for the duration of this disruption to normal operations. We are striving to keep our support as smooth and regular as possible. We are also asking you to understand that we are taking precautions by practicing social distancing, to keep everyone safe and healthy. Please keep this in mind as you are reading our updates.

  • All physical Client Services office locations will be closed for the duration.  There will be no physical on campus support resources.
  • You will need to submit tickets either via email at its@manhattan.edu or, for more rapid replies, use this request form. We will not have anyone answering phones, but will reply to voicemails. The fastest way to reach us is to use this request form.
  • We are striving to maintain our normal staffing coverage remotely. As per usual, coverage is reliant on student availability.
  • Please also keep an eye on our blog posts and announcements as the situation changes minute by minute, we will update the blog to communicate any changes to operational status. Please follow these instructions to subscribe to the blog.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Director of Client Services & Operations and IT Training Coordinator to participate in nationwide webinar on remote teaching/working!

On Friday March 27th, 2020 from 11:00AM- 12:00PM Richard Musal, Director of Client Services & Operations, and Susanne Leavey, IT Training Coordinator, will be participating in a nationwide Webinar titled, “Higher Ed IT Leaders Share Insights for Managing Remote End-Users & Teamwork” hosted by TeamDynamix.

They will be discussing how ITS has been managing and coordinating the transition to remote learning and working on campus using our online ticketing system and knowledge base. If you are interested in learning more about this please use this link to register.

RESOLVED: Hayden Hall Network Outage

RESOLVED: As of 1130am, the network outage in Hayden Hall has been resolved. If you continue to have any network issues in Hayden Hall, please contact ITS.

ITS is aware of a network outage that is affecting Hayden Hall.

At this time, only the wired network is affected in some offices. The wireless network should not be affected at all. No other buildings are affected by this outage as well. We are currently troubleshooting the issue and will update the community as soon as we can.

If you have any questions, please contact ITS at its@manhattan.edu or by calling 718-862-7973. We apologize for this inconvenience.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

COMPLETE: MCS, ProDev, and LMSCourseDev Moodle Maintenance - Friday 3/20/2020 8AM-12PM

UPDATE:  As of approximately 9AM Friday 3/20/2020, Moodle Community Service, ProDev, and LMSCourseDev updates are complete and the systems are back online. 

COMPLETE: MCS, ProDev, and LMSCourseDev Moodle system maintenance has been scheduled for Friday 3/20/2020 from 8AM-12AM and will be OFFLINE. The main Moodle system (lms.manhattan.edu) will not be affected.

COMPLETE: Moodle Scheduled Maintenance to Friday 3/20/2020 6:30AM-9:00AM

UPDATE: As of 7:20AM Friday 3/29/2020, the Moodle scheduled maintenance and updates have been completed. Moodle is now AVAILABLE

The Manhattan College Moodle system will be OFFLINE for system maintenance starting at 6:30AM on Friday 3/20/20 to implement important system updates. We anticipate that the maintenance will be completed between 6:30AM - 9AM during which time the Moodle system will be UNAVAILABLE.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

RLC Help Desk Closure

The ITS Help Desk located in RLC will be closed until further notice. 

As of Wednesday March, 18th the ITS Help Desk located in RLC will be closed until further notice. The Jasper office will remain open with very limited staffing. 

Please be mindful of this when you are submitting tickets and requesting consultations. ITS would like to encourage you to search our Knowledge Base to try and troubleshoot problems independently. Additionally please use this link to reference Remote Working resources.

ITS is thankful for your patience during this challenging time, stay safe and healthy everyone! 

For additional information, please contact ITS at its@manhattan.edu or 718-862-7973

Monday, March 16, 2020

Susie's Tech Tips #1

In light of all of the disturbances and changes in routine that the COVID-19 virus has caused, I thought it was important that the first Tech Tip be a helpful recommendation related to these changes and disturbances. 

Tech Tip # 1 

ITS understands and sympathises with the uncertainty and uncomfortability surrounding working remotely and we want to make sure you have the resources and tools that you need. This tip is a good place to start if you are unsure of what you will need, technology wise, to work remotely.

Before you request VPN or a Remote Desktop connection- try to do the things you would normally do at work from home, first. This is important because it will allow you to see what you can and cannot do from your home computer/connection. 

There have been many measures taken by ITS and the college to make working remotely as seamless as possible, including removing some VPN requirements from certain services to ensure those who use them regularly can access them easily. 

If you have tested this at home and are still having difficulties accessing what you need to, please reach out to ITS as soon as possible so we can help you resolve the issue quickly. 

If you have a moment it would be greatly appreciated if you could fill out this form to provide feedback or ask questions about this tip!

For more help, please contact ITS at its@manhattan.edu or 718-862-7973

Introducing: Susie's Tech Tips!

ITS is introducing a new weekly blog post called "Susie's Tech Tips"! 

Our new Tech Trainer, Susie Leavey, will be publishing a weekly blog post with helpful tech tips. You can expect to find tech tips related to current campus initiatives, technologies, softwares, and other related fields. In addition to this each tech tip that goes out will also include a link to a Google Form where you can ask her tech related questions to the tips. 

Be on the lookout for the first tip! 

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Broadband Resources for Students during COVID-19 Emergency

ITS has compiled a list of free or low-cost broadband resources being made available to students during the COVID-19 emergency.

COVID-19 Broadband Resources for Students

Mobile carriers and ISPs are offering help to students during school closures and during a time when classroom work is being delivered remotely or online.

Friday, March 13, 2020

ITS Spring Break Office Changes

ITS would like to make you aware of some office changes during the Spring Break.

Over the break the campus will undergo a  thorough cleaning. These cleanings will cause some disruptions in the way the RLC and Jasper IT offices operate. Please be aware of the following: 

1. On March 17, 2020 (Tuesday) RLC will be cleaned and the RLC help desk employees will be operating out of the Jasper office on main campus. Please be aware of this when you are submitting tickets and be prepared for potential delays in service.

2. On March 19, 2020 (Thursday) Jasper offices will be cleaned and the Jasper help desk employees will be operating out of the RLC office on south campus.  Please be aware of this when you are submitting tickets and be prepared for potential delays in service.

ITS is very thankful for your understanding and patience during this time!

For more help, please contact ITS at its@manhattan.edu or 718-862-7973

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Test Google Meet Before Your Class

As Manhattan College has transitioned to online classes we are encouraging professors to test out Google Meet before their class begins.  

An easy way to test this is out is to ask your colleagues, friends, or family to join you in a meeting. By doing this you will be able to familiarize yourself with this tool as well as test out audio and visual settings. This is important as we have received many tickets from professors who have had some minor problems with audio and visual settings during their online class. This proactive measure will help to alleviate any issues that may arise beforehand rather than during your class time. If you are unable to test this out with a colleague, friend, or family member you can reach out to ITS and we will schedule an appointment to test it with you. 

For more help, please contact ITS at its@manhattan.edu or 718-862-7973

CANCELLED: Horan Hall - Brief Network Outage 3/17 at 10 am


Physical Plant will be conducting a generator test in Horan Hall on Tuesday, March 17th at approximately 10am.

There will be two brief outages, one while switching to generator power, the other while switching back to main power. Both wired and wireless will be affected during this generator test.

This will not affect the rest of campus.

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

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Remote Teaching/Work Resources

With the event of the college transitioning to online classes ITS would like to make you aware of a resource we have put together. 

Please use this link to reference knowledge base articles and tutorials related to using your devices to work remotely.

For more help, please contact ITS at its@manhattan.edu or 718-862-7973

Friday, March 6, 2020

COMPLETED: ISP Network Maintenance - 3/7

ITS will be conducting network maintenance with our ISP on Saturday, March 7th, which will cause campus network outages between 9am and 11am. This maintenance will cause sporadic outages for wireless and wired users as well as certain services, such as Banner and Self-Service.

We apologize for this inconvenience. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact ITS at x-7973 or its@manhattan.edu

UPDATE: This maintenance has been completed as of 10 am.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Campus Wide Network Outage

UPDATE: We have been able to successfully connect to our backup Internet Service Provider and all Internet connectivity has been restored.

UPDATE: Our ISP is still experiencing regional network outages, which has been cascading down to our campus. Services that are online include: Google (to include GMail, Google Drive, Google Chat/Hangouts) and Moodle. Most other sites are currently down, including but not limited to, Duo MFA and Banner. Please note, if you are off campus, Duo MFA will work as intended.

Manhattan College is experiencing campus wide network outages. This outage is due to network routing issues from our Internet Service Provide (ISP). We are awaiting news from our ISP about resolution. You may notice that some sites work (i.e. Google), while other sites do not.

We will update the community as soon as we can. We apologize for this inconvenience.

Network Outage affecting campus connectivity

ITS is aware of a network outage affecting connectivity to campus users.  We are in the process of troubleshooting and will post more information as it becomes available.

COMPLETE: ITS Spring Break Network Maintenance - 3/16 - 3/20

ITS will be conducting planned network maintenance during the entirety of Spring Break, March 16-March 20, which will cause roaming localized network outages. We do this in order to take advantage of a time when there will be no classes and much fewer staff on campus.

In order to improve network reliability throughout campus, ITS will be conducting some upgrades on network equipment that services the campus. This network maintenance will affect both the wired and wireless networks. The Spring Break network maintenance schedule is below:

Monday, March 16th - COMPLETE
  • 8am-9am: DLS, Memorial Hall, O'Malley Library, Miguel Hall, Draddy Gymnasium, and Alumni Hall

Tuesday, March 17th - COMPLETE
  • 7am-9am: Leo Engineering, GPAC (old Mahan building), and RLC

Wednesday, March 18th - COMPLETE
  • 8am-9am: Lee Hall, Horan Hall, Jasper Hall, and Chrysostom Hall

Thursday, March 19th - COMPLETE
  • 8am-9am: Hayden Hall, Garage, Thomas Hall, Kelly Commons, Physical Plant, and Overlook Manor

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. If you have any questions, please contact ITS at its@manhattan.edu or at 718-862-7973.