Archive for March 2019

Support for Windows 7 ending

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Please be advised that Microsoft will be ending support for Windows 7 in January 2020.   All CSUCI computers should be running current operating systems for the best user experience and improved security.   Windows 10 Enterprise is the recommended operating system for PC users.  Though it is not yet required to upgrade, users may log a Solution Center request to do so.   The Information Technology Consultant (ITC) assigned to your area can provide advice and guidance on upgrading.


Backup-Backup-Backup!

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What is World Backup Day?  Simply, it is a day to remind us of the responsibility we all have for keeping our important data backed up.  Most of us have a (painful) story of having lost a file or found one somehow corrupted.  Stuff happens.  The best way to protect ourselves from data loss is to make regular backups.  Fortunately, you have several resources available to help.

You can copy important files to Dropbox@CI, CI Docs (powered by Google Drive), or OneDrive, cloud services available for free to CI members.  Log a Solution Center request if you need help with these services.  You can also manually copy files to an external drive, knowing that storing that drive in a different physical location from your computer gives an extra level of protection.  For a more automated or structured approach, Microsoft includes File Recovery software with Windows 10 (or Backup and Restore if the computer is running Windows 7), while Apple’s Mac operating system has the Time Machine program for backup.

There’s more than one way to backup, and using multiple methods is good practice!  

Want to learn more?  Don’t forget that CSUCI members have free and unlimited access to some excellent tutorials that you can access via LinkedIn Learning service (formerly known as Lynda.com).  Tutorials run the gamut from mobile device, Mac and PC desktop backups, to large data set backup strategies often used by researchers and system administrators.  Take a look.

Good backups will give some peace of mind in the event of a natural disaster or when surprises  due to viruses, malware, ransomware, or human error occur.  Please, take a few minutes to celebrate World Backup Day on or before March 31 by doing at least one new thing to improve your personal backup strategy.

Monthly Bulletin - February 2019

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I'm pleased to share our monthly bulletin, which provides a summary of activities & accomplishments for the department of Information Technology Services over the previous month.

User Services

  • Classroom and computer lab standardization. Tips and policies updated and communicated on logon screen/wallpaper to reduce confusion and needs for tech assistance.
  • Testing of Microsoft Teams collaboration platform
  • Purchasing process improvement
  • Developed new Student Assistant onboarding/training process to include: uniform and dress standards, work assignment, communication and scheduling standards, tech mentorship and continuous learning, TeamDynamix technician access, computer inventory training (Zoho)
  • Helped visualize and support “Matlab Day” – Matlab grader
  • Handel Evans conference room loaner, upgrade
  • TeamDynamix technician license for Martha Ferguson to facilitate web directory updates

Application Services

  • Working with Student Affairs on implementation and rollout of Med-Proctor to support the Immunization Records Executive Order from the CO
  • Migration of the Grey Heller ERP Firewall project was successfully completed on Monday night, 2/4.  This project overlaps with Information Security.
  • PeopleTools Upgrade to 8.56 tasks continue with move to production scheduled for April
  • Maintenance packs MP 6.01 and 6.01 were successfully migrated to our production CI Records and CI Personnel instances on February 11
  • Application Services continued supporting the following operations and projects:
    • Via: Watermark
    • Student 1098-T Processing
    • Title IX Interface Re-design
    • LCD Issue Support
    • CSU Learn for CI
    • Financial Aid Setup and Processing
    • Med-Proctor Immunizations
    • Faculty Affiliation Support
    • Migration Operations

Infrastructure

  • Tied in our System Center computer database to the Dell Warranty API so techs can pull warranty information for computers in an easier fashion
  • Worked on and finalized the upcoming email banner to warn faculty and staff users if the email is an external email or not
  • Tested a new Storage Migration Service that will be able to orchestrate migrations from older versions of Windows Server to newer ones. This will help facilitate some of our older servers reaching end of Microsoft support life.
  • Completed installation/termination of data cabling for adding CCTV cameras throughout Anacapa and Santa Cruz Villages
  • Coordinated install of new camera for Anacapa and Santa Cruz Villages
  • Ongoing work to discover options for campus phone system replacement
  • Consulted with campus Police Department for locating temporary cameras for Commencement in new location
  • Ongoing work with Police Department (“SAFE project”) to determine areas of campus safety/security that need enhancement and to gather data and costs associated with these enhancements
  • Conducted site survey with AT&T engineers toward replacement of two campus internet circuits
  • Upgraded Microsoft Identity Management Portal, Sharepoint server (2013 to 2016), and migrated the SQL database that it runs on (SQL 2012 to 2016)
  • StarRez upgrade from 10.4 to 10.5
  • Continued work on Blackboard Transaction Server (BBTS) photo submission project. We had a successful test importing a photo from BBTS to BadgePass.

Information Security

  • Carlos Miranda continues to address campus reported phishing email attempts
  • Information Security held Business Email Compromise awareness training for the Career Center on 2/15.
  • Information Security in collaboration with Technology Infrastructure rolled out the “email caution banner” to ITS staff.  The banner indicates when email is received from outside the CSUCI email domain.  This will assist to better determine if email is fraudulent or not.
  • Neal Fisch completed the following regular audits:
    • Monthly - Segregation of Duties in PeopleSoft
    • Monthly - System Access vs. Terminated EE’s
    • Quarterly Data Center and Oracle Account Audit
  • Information Security continued support of daily security operations and administration. 

Project Management

  • CI Fileflow e-transcript process go-live data has been moved to April 2019, due to a number of critical outstanding issues that our implementation partner and vendor need to address.
  • Coordinated several training sessions for assessment management system (Via by Watermark) with vendor; project appears on track for mid-April go-live.
  • Working with Human Resources and Shared Services Solution Center (SSSC) to deploy pilot for HR service request management in TeamDynamix (employment verification & benefit requests).
  • Coordinated training for ID card online photo submission process with vendor (Blackboard)

Web Services

  • ​A new Web Accessibility Implementation Plan in support of CSUCI’s implementation of the Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) has been published on the CSUCI ATI web site 
  • Launched redesigned Multicultural Dream Center web site 
  • Led demo of Campus.app portal platform for ITS stakeholders as possible replacement of myCI portal platform
  • Led electronic forms and workflow solution demonstrations for Research & Sponsored Programs and Academic Financial Services
  • Resolved 66 support tickets

Administration (AVP’s office)

  • Evaluation of Adobe Sign platform and exploration of Docusign alternatives, and working on action plan for potential migration to Adobe Sign during 2019-2020 academic year. CSUCI’s Docusign contract is up for renewal in June.
  • IT Policy & Planning Committee (ITPPC) met for demonstrations and discussion of several technology infrastructure solutions for the campus: Dropbox Teams, Trumba, Duo, Docusign and Zoom Rooms.
  • Working with campus leadership to respond to digital accessibility inquiries from the Chancellor's Office.  
  • Developed transition plan to support arrival of Dr. Jim August, Associate Vice President for Information Technology Services and Chief Information Officer (CIO) on April 2.
  • Attended IT Guild meeting at VCCF in Camarillo and CSU Information Technology Advisory Council (ITAC) meeting in Sacramento
  • Finalization and submission of initial 2019-20 ITS budget proposal to VP BFA

Amazon Web Services (AWS) webinars from CSU Chancellor's Office

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I'm pleased to share that the Chancellor's Office recently released recordings of recent webinars about how Amazon Web Services (AWS) is being used for research computing, machine learning, and building the CSU Data Lake.

You can watch the videos here:

AWS Research Workflows:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBXbQe7IOS6QP7I_DyGmV1TvtMzw46b7X

Building a Data Lake:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBXbQe7IOS6TIj13nReVzFRUnmUsNLJqU

Machine Learning with SageMaker:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBXbQe7IOS6T7vQB-H760sMXr3BJgFbJa

Any CSUCI faculty or staff that are interested in Amazon Web Services for research computing are eligible to sign up for a CSUCI AWS Account. To learn more or sign up, visit the CSUCI AWS service request page.

Phishing protection and external emails

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As email phishing attempts become more sophisticated, CSUCI is taking additional steps to help protect its users.

On Friday, March 15, 2019, Information Technology Services (ITS) will deploy a new feature that will make emails to University employees from external senders more easily recognizable. A caution message will be added to the body of all incoming external messages. The message in the body of the email will read:

“CAUTION: This email originated from outside of CSUCI. Do not click links or open attachments unless you validate the sender and know the content is safe. Please forward this email to infosec@csuci.edu if you believe this email is suspicious. For more information on how to detect Phishing scams, please visit https://www.csuci.edu/its/security/phishing.htm."

Be wary of any emails that include the above message. An email that includes the above warning is not necessarily malicious; however, it’s a reminder for you that the message originated outside of CSUCI.

The addition of this warning message is part of our ongoing cybersecurity initiative to combat spam and phishing emails, as well as helping you to avoid unnecessary delays in accessing your emails or computers due to phishing emails or viruses.


For more information contact the Information Security Team at infosec@csuci.edu.