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IT Security Is Important for Everyone

While alleged cyberspying by the Chinese government to steal corporate secrets has been big news lately, many reasons exist to take information technology (IT) security very seriously right here at the University. 

Millions of pieces of spam are captured before they can hit campus email accounts every day. Phishing schemes, in which websites are made to look like they belong to legitimate organizations in order to cheat people out of their money or steal their identities, are flourishing on the Internet. More sophisticated cyberbandits probe deep into software products to see if there are any vulnerabilities that can be exploited to reveal personal or financial data.

The Center for Information Technology Services (CITS) maintains an IT Security Office to ensure the campus Internet infrastructure is as secure as possible. This proactive work prevents potentially serious problems from being part of our daily work lives. The office also handles audit requirements to ensure that CITS maintains a safe and secure IT environment. 

The IT Security Office keeps up with new threats and informs University users. The office maintains memberships in organizations such as the SANS Institute, which specializes in security and security training. More than 165,000 security pro-fessionals turn to this resource for the latest information. Security updates are shared with the campus often and will continue to be a major part of our security efforts.  

The top vulnerability identified recently by the SANS Institute is a WordPress Web page plug-in tool that allows nefarious actors to cover their tracks after intruding on a WordPress site. Given the popularity of using compromised WordPress installations to host malicious content, this vulnerability is likely to be used widely. 

Every two months, SANS produces a short video to identify threats. The videos can be seen by clicking here

A major part of security begins with an aware user base. The best practices for using computer devices, whether they are desktops, laptops, tablets, or smartphones, are very important to know and to follow. For information, visit the Campus Enterprise IT Policies page on the CITS website.

CITS Bits

UMID-Day is July 15.  Are You Ready for the Changeover?
As of July 15, the UMID will be the ONLY form of authentication accepted by nearly 150 applications and websites used by students, faculty, and staff at the University ... Read more

The Evolution of UMVibe, Introducing Version 2.0
Novell Vibe is a secure web-based tool for sharing information and working collaboratively among groups of people ... Read more

Mediasite Upgrade Planned
As part of our ongoing commitment to supporting academic technologies at the University, CITS is investing significant dollars to replace and upgrade existing hardware infrastructure in order to implement and support the latest release of Mediasite (v.6.1) on campus ... Read more

Coeus Evolving to Kuali Coeus
Over the next year, the University will transition from our current Coeus system to the new Kuali Coeus system for our electronic research administration needs. We anticipate this transition to be complete in early 2014 ... Read more

New Space Inventory System (ARCHIBUS)
Good news for users who were frustrated using the old space inventory system, OSIS:  CITS and the Office of Capital Budget and Planning have replaced OSIS with a new, modern, and easier-to-use system known as ARCHIBUS ... Read more

Converting Academic History to Banner from Legacy Database
CITS personnel, in conjunction with the Office of Records and Registrations (ORR), have worked for over a year to complete a project to convert student Academic History records from the legacy database to SIMS ... Read more

New Process Added for Students to View Immunization Records
A new capability has been added to SURFS (Student User Friendly System), which will allow students to view their Immunization Records online via the student tab/student records link ... Read more

The Institute Launches New Website
The Institute for Innovation and Implementation (The Institute) may not be as familiar to most of us on campus as the School of Social Work with which it is affiliated, but that is about to change. February marked the release of The Institute's new website ... Read more

New Software Product Offerings
The software licensing office has the following new Adobe products available for personal use for faculty, staff, and students ... Read more

COOP Web App Coming Soon
CITS is developing a web application for the University’s Continuity of Operations Plans (COOPs) ... Read more

For more CITS Bits, visit www.umaryland.edu/cits/projects/cits_bits/v7i1.

 

Time to Act on eduroam

Eduroam is available! Part of a worldwide consortium, eduroam allows seamless use of wireless networks by persons associated with member institutions. For example, University of Maryland, Baltimore faculty, staff, or students who find themselves at the University of Maryland, College Park or Baltimore County campuses can use the wireless networks on those campuses by authenticating to eduroam. 

The process is simple. Using the Wi-Fi network tool on your laptop, tablet, or smartphone select “eduroam.” When asked to authenticate, use your @eduroam.umaryland.edu address and your UMID password. Your device will remember this network and will connect to it anytime it is available. 

In order to make the switch to eduroam as easy as possible, the Center for Information Technology Services has kept other campus wireless networks, such as UM Faculty&Staff, UM iDevices, UM Conf, and UM Student, available until members of the University community have had time to switch their devices to eduroam. 

The period of maintaining these other networks is quickly coming to an end. At the end of this semester, they will no longer be available. We urge you to take advantage of eduroam as soon as possible. 

Specific directions for connecting to eduroam are located at: www.umaryland.edu/cits/communications/eduroam

Available: eduroam, Windows 8 Professional 

Some of the recent service offerings from the Center for Information Technology Services (CITS) have received rave reviews, but are being underused. 

The University has enhanced its wireless network by implementing eduroam, a new secure, worldwide roaming access service developed for the international research and education community. 

Eduroam allows students, faculty, and staff to obtain Internet connectivity across campus—through any wireless system regardless of the building they are in—and when visiting other participating institutions. 

Users can log in on their laptop or smartphone with their UMID added to the new eduroam domain name @eduroam.umaryland.edu. Once you have successfully connected to the eduroam network, your user credentials will be stored on your device and will not need to be entered again until you are required to change your password in the UM Account Management system. 

For information on how to join eduroam and a list of places where it can be used, visit http://umaryland.edu/cits/communications/eduroam

(Note: The older University wireless system will continue to be available through the spring 2013 semester. Faculty, staff, and students can still use that system’s wireless SSIDs or choose to join eduroam at any time before the end of the semester.) 

Also available and underused is the Windows 8 Professional upgrade from Windows 7, which you can purchase through the Software Sales Office. 

Faculty and staff, and registered students, can buy the software online at http://cf.umaryland.edu/software_sales and pick it up in Suite 540 of the Health Sciences and Human Services Library. Alternately, you can have it mailed for a $5 fee. 

The Year in Review

2012 was another productive year for the Center for Information Technology Services (CITS). The following is a summary of some of the more notable new tools and services we offered.

Snippets—video tutorials that provide quick and easy solutions to common problems—were created for users of Blackboard Collaborate, Google Apps@UMaryland, the UM Portal, and the Emergency Notification System, and for use while establishing a UMID, managing an Outlook inbox, and enrolling in CITS Enterprise training courses. Many more Snippets will follow as needs are identified.

The campus computer network has been upgraded in several ways. The network core capacity was enhanced to 10 gigabits per second, connection to the Internet and research networks such as Internet2 and National LambdaRail have been upgraded to 10G, tools for intrusion detection and for anti-spam and anti-virus protection have been upgraded, and connections to school networks now have the capability to connect at 10 gigabits per second with the acquisition of contemporary network equipment. The Blackboard Collaborate Web-conferencing system, which became available in 2012, provides the entire campus community with a standard and cost-effective means to conduct video and audio conferences. And the Google Search Appliance that is being deployed will improve the speed, reliability, and relevance of Internet searches.

Use of UMID was expanded to include authentication for additional enterprise systems and many school and departmental systems. And with eduroam, the same log-on credentials can now be used to access wireless services at UMB, the University of Maryland’s Baltimore County and College Park campuses, and at hundreds of participating institutions around the world.

Blackboard Mobile, made available in the fall, provides students and faculty with access to the Blackboard Learn system from all mobile devices. And finally, UMVibe, launched late in the year, makes it possible for groups to collaborate electronically by privately sharing and editing documents, using a common group calendar, creating discussion boards, managing paperless processes, and performing many other functions.

CITS looks forward to compiling a list of new tools and services this time next year.

Windows 8 Professional 32 & 64 bit - Limited Time Pricing

Faculty, students and staff can now purchase Windows 8 Professional 32 and 64 bit for a limited time price of $70. Windows 8 is available for upgrade only. Faculty and staff can purchase work-at-home licenses; students can purchase personal-use licenses.

To purchase the software, go to https://cf.umaryland.edu/software_sales.  Use your UMID and UM Password to log in. Payments can be made with either Master Card or VISA.

If you have any questions, contact the Software Licensing Office at 410-706-8166 or software@umaryland.edu

New Computer Application Makes Group Work Easier

The UMVibe application, now available to faculty and staff, enables users— regardless of their location on- or off-campus—to share documents and work in teams on projects that require writing as a group, sharing calendars, and conducting private online discussions among team members. UMVibe has been thoroughly tested for these and other capabilities. 

Initially, each user is allocated 25 gigabytes of storage. Content can be uploaded in files as large as two gigabytes. Exception procedures are being developed to go beyond these allocations if needed. 

For security, files can only be accessed with a UMID and password. 

Support is available across campus, as it is with other applications such as Blackboard. Administrators in each area can help with setup and use, including meeting of requirements specific to a school or department. The University’s IT Help Desk can assist with routine issues such as access, and will triage highly technical problems through a network of UMVibe support specialists within the Center for Information Technology Services. 

Self-paced training materials have been developed to allow users to learn about the application on their own schedule. A support site with step-by-step instructions for various tasks, videos demonstrating procedures, and links to other resources are available at www.umaryland.edu/vibe/

Tools incorporated in the rollout to help make the application easy to use include a Microsoft Office add-in and a desktop tool that allow users to securely access files on their desktop, edit them with Office products, and save the files back to the UMVibe server without having to log in. A mobile application allows users to securely access UMVibe with a smartphone or tablet computer. 

For more information on UMVibe, contact the IT Help Desk by visiting www.umaryland.edu/helpdesk or by calling 6-4357. 

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

From personal computers, smartphones, tablets, and e-book readers, to working, shopping, and social networking, virtually every aspect of our lives touches the digital world. We must protect the resource that makes it possible.

  • STOP: Before you use the Internet, take time to understand the risks and learn how to spot potential problems.
  • THINK: Watch for warning signs and consider how your online actions could impact you and your family’s safety.
  • CONNECT: Enjoy the Internet with greater confidence, knowing you’ve taken the right steps to safeguard yourself and your computer.

The Internet is a shared resource and securing it is Our Shared Responsibility.

For more information on the President’s proclamation declaring October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month, visit www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/10/01/presidential-proclamation-national-cybersecurity-awareness-month-2012.

For a video on how to secure your home network, visit www.securingthehuman.org/resources/ncsam.

Audio, Video, and Web Conferencing Software

Blackboard Collaborate is a comprehensive online learning platform that combines audio, video, and Web conferencing. At the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), Blackboard Collaborate is used by faculty for delivering online curriculum, by students participating in online courses, and by other members of the campus community for hosting and participating in online Web conferencing and meetings. 

Students (and instructors) will be able to participate in live, real-time classes from almost anywhere. They will see and hear classroom remarks, participate in class discussions, and be able to raise their hands in a virtual fashion by clicking on an icon. If the sessions are recorded, they will be able to go back and review content during exam preparation. For schools, Blackboard Collaborate provides a common and predictable solution that can be managed within the constraints of an instructional budget.

Because there is an enterprise license in place at UMB, the product also can be used for administrative purposes as a cost effective method to perform Web conferencing for meetings among geographically separated individuals. With Blackboard Collaborate, the enterprise license allows for unlimited sessions and there is no charge for minute usage. Additionally, there is a toll free number for the continental United States established for phone bridging capabilities.

To facilitate the roll-out of this technology the Center for Information Technology Services has created a Collaborate Training and Support Site Here, you will find tutorials, downloadable documentation, how-to videos, and quick-start guides specifically designed to get faculty and staff up and running quickly.

Also, there is a list of school and/or department-specific Blackboard Collaborate administrators. If your school and/or department are not listed, feel free to contact the Blackboard Collaborate Support Group.

 

Access to Blackboard Courses via Mobile Devices

Blackboard Mobile Learn brings teaching, learning, and the campus experience to the mobile device. Blackboard mobile is a mobile application that allows quick and easy access to Blackboard courses. It is now available for the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus for all cellphone network carriers, Wi-Fi, and IOS, Android, Blackberry, and Palm devices. There is no charge to schools or students for this new service. For more information, visit www.umaryland.edu/blackboard/blackboard_mobile_learn

 

HS/HSL Moving to UMID for Access to Resources

Health Sciences and Human Services Library

The Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL) has long required entry of the 14-digit number on the back of one’s photo ID in order to use HS/HSL resources. Patrons from other campuses had to wait while they were manually entered into “the system.” As part of the movement to reduce the number of IDs and passwords used on campus, the HS/HSL will be adopting the use of the UMID for access to the Integrated Library System, known as Aleph. This is the library management system used at all University System of Maryland campuses.

Patrons will use their UMIDs to access all library resources available to them. This includes access to all electronic databases and electronic journals that are not in the public domain. Part of the project involves adding this capability to all current Aleph users who may or not be part of the University of Maryland, Baltimore enterprise directory. Once this is complete, use of the UMID will be the exclusive means of accessing library services.

 

Discounted Software Available for Purchase Online

The Center for Information Technology Services (CITS) is pleased to announce that Adobe, Microsoft, and Symantec software for use on personal computers can now be purchased online with a credit card

Log in with your UMID and UM password. Employees of the University and currently registered students are eligible to purchase software at a discounted rate using this website.

Software orders placed online can be picked up in the Software Licensing (Help Desk) Office on the 5th floor of the Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL), or orders can be shipped to you. The HS/HSL Circulation Desk will no longer be selling software for the Software Licensing Office.

There will be no change to the way departmental sales are processed.

If you have any questions about Software Licensing, please contact the Software Licensing Office at 410-706-8166 or send an email.

 

New Tutorials Added to the CITS Snippets Page

Have you ever viewed a CITS snippet?  A snippet is a short video tutorial—typically about five minutes running time—that explains and demonstrates, in step-by-step fashion, some procedure that has proved problematic for a significant number of people.  Since links to the snippets are always available, you can view them day or night, as often as you need to, to learn what you may need to know.

Currently, in the CITS collection of snippets:

The creation of new snippets is an ongoing process. If you have a suggestion, please let us know!  Send your idea to Brook Botvin, manager of IT training.

 

University’s New Internet Service Streamlines Access Throughout Campus and Other Institutions  

The University has enhanced its wireless network with the implementation of eduroam (education roaming), a secure, worldwide, Internet access service developed to support wireless networking for the international research and education community. With eduroam, students, faculty, and staff now have Internet connectivity across campus with one login. When visiting other participating institutions, such as the University of Maryland’s Baltimore County and College Park campuses, members of the University community sign onto the local wireless network.

Started in Europe, eduroam is now available in 54 countries. In the U.S., 67 educational organizations have adopted it. Instructions for using eduroam are available on the Center for Information Technology Services website. The instructions include procedures for Apple, Windows, and Android devices. Once a device is linked to eduroam, it will “remember” it for future use. 

The old campus wireless system will remain available as well for several months in order to ensure a smooth transition.

  

 

Enhanced Wireless in Residence Halls 

Fayette Square Residences

In an effort to expand the availability of the campus network for faculty, staff, and students, Fayette Square, the Century Building, Eddy House, and the Lexington House were recently upgraded to provide enhanced network connectivity for the students who live there.

The tremendous growth in the use of portable computing devices by the entire campus community—especially those devices (smartphones, electronic tablets, etc.) not able to connect to the campus wired network—has created an ever-increasing demand for improvements in network services.

Wireless access for students living in the residence halls has been spotty in the past. Work is presently underway to add wireless access to Pascault Row as well as the housing mentioned above. At the completion of this project, all students who live on campus will have enhanced wireless connectivity not only in the academic and public buildings but also in their residential spaces.

 

Internet/Campus Network Upgrade

As the digital campus continues to grow exponentially, with growing requests for data delivery, consumption, and storage, the need for greater network capacity and connective speed between schools and the research networks is increasing as well.  The Center for Information Technology Services (CITS) has developed the University network through various stages over the past ten years, but the current need for schools and departments to connect at 10 gigabit speeds internally, as well as to access Internet2 (I2), the National LambdaRail (NLR), and other research networks has necessitated our greatest incremental change to date.

This core network equipment has recently been updated from its previous 1GPS (Gigabytes-per-second) level to a new high of 10Gbps (Gigabytes-per-second) to facilitate connections from any school or department that requires greater throughput. 

Additionally, our connection to the Internet via MDREN (Maryland Research and Education Network) has been upgraded to10Gbps. In order to accommodate 10Gbps speeds, our border connection devices and all network services located at the campus edge have been upgraded. This includes the routers, firewalls, the packet shaper, and our IPS (Intrusion Prevention Systems).

 

New IT Security Feature

In the dangerous world in which we live, automated tools have been developed that enable hackers to attempt to log into accounts using many password combinations in rapid succession. Fortunately, there also are automated tools to foil such attempts, known as “brute-force” credential attacks. In August, all systems that use the UMID for authentication began using a shared security mechanism to guard against such attacks on the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) system. 

The new security feature locks a UMB account for 10 minutes after six invalid attempts to log into any UMID authenticated application or service. After 10 minutes of no further invalid attempts, the UMB account will automatically unlock itself and be available for use again. Most users will not need six tries to get their ID and password correct, but brute force tools would almost always need more than six attempts. In addition to being sound IT security practice, this new procedure complies with a University System of Maryland security requirement.

If a user locks his/her UMB account accidentally, he/she can either wait 10 minutes then use the correct UMID and password, or use the UM Account Management site right away to reset their password and manually unlock his/her UMB account. Alternatively, users can always contact the IT Helpdesk for assistance unlocking their accounts and/or resetting their UMB passwords.

 

New Collaboration Tool Coming

Vibe, a Web-based tool that allows collaboration among colleagues near and far, is in final testing and will soon be available to University faculty and staff. 

Through the strategic planning process, research faculty said they need to be able to work in virtual teams on projects such as grant proposals, research design, problem solving, and papers for publication. Teams can be made up of colleagues across the campus and/or contain researchers at other institutions or in other countries.

Vibe, a product of Novell, will equip end users to logon with their UMID and create individual and team workspaces. Colleagues from anywhere with Web access can be invited to view and/or edit documents within these spaces, and will be able to conduct secure group discussions. 

Vibe will maintain multiple versions of documents reflecting different input, and then facilitate consolidating them into a final version. More advanced features include the ability to create group calendars and blogs, and track tasks. A particularly impressive function synchronizes encrypted documents with individual desktops to allow team members to edit documents in Microsoft Office without having to log into Vibe.

Training is being developed that will combine materials created by Novell with campus-specific tutorials and videos authored by the CITS Enterprise Training Group. This will allow individuals to practice specific functions before attempting them in the team environment. Rollout will begin this fall. For more information, contact Chris Phillips.

For more information on CITS or for past CITS news, please visit www.umaryland.edu/cits/projects/cits_bits/.

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