Tag Archives: Post for MiddPoints

@MiddInfoSec: Stay Safe and Secure when Online

When you are reading e-mail or browsing online, be on the lookout for suspicious links and deceptive web pages, which are major sources of malware. Also be careful of downloadable files since they can introduce malware. And remember that additional browser plugins and unused applications require additional patching to remain secure. Here are some suggestions to make your day-to-day computing more productive, safe, and secure.

  • Keep your software up-to-date. Be sure to install antivirus updates and regularly check for and install updates for any applications or browser plugins you may run on your computer. (e.g., Adobe Flash and Java)
  • Be more secure! Don’t enter sensitive or personal information into a URL unless you have verified the address and you have ensured its security by checking that it includes HTTPS.
  • When in doubt, ignore. Don’t click on pop-up windows or extraneous ads. And, don’t click on links in emails or web sites until you have verified their destinations by hovering your mouse over the link.
  • Keep your private information safe. Use a strong, unique password or passphrase for each account, and avoid storing account information on a website. And consider using a digital password wallet such as 1Password or LastPass to secure your passwords.
  • Segregate your browsing activities. Consider using separate browsers for sensitive logins and general web browsing.
  • Use private networks for sensitive transactions. Avoid checking your bank account, making purchases, or logging in to other websites that include sensitive information when using public Wi-Fi.

Go stealth when browsing. Your browser can store quite a bit of information about your online activities, including cookies, cached pages, and history. To ensure the privacy of personal information online, limit access by going “incognito” and using the browser’s private mode.

Al-Manhal Arabic e-books and journals (trial ends August 16, 2016)

Through mid-August, our Middlebury and Monterey campuses have trial access to this database from Al-Manhal, the only provider of full-text searchable databases of scholarly and scientific publications from the Arab and Islamic world. AlManhalAl-Manhal’s over 13,000 e-books and 300 peer-reviewed journals can be searched through the user-friendly platform linked above. The full-text content is also fully indexed in Summon. (Allow a few days after this post for all Al-Manhal content to be find-able in Summon by Middlebury and MIIS users.)

Let us know what you think – email eaccess-admin@middlebury.edu or your liaison.

Notes for Google Apps and OneDrive Project Presentation

  • Cloud Services: Google and Microsoft
    • Goal: provide better (cloud-based) services to the community
  • Infrastructure
    • Storage
      • Available from anywhere
      • Private, secure, encrypted
      • Scales to demand
    • Access to info
      • Collaboration and sharing
    • Familiar and consistent
  • Why are we doing this?
    • Better consume our resources
      • Home directories on middfiles are 25TB
      • Grows a half TB a month
    • Enhance service offerings
      • Available anywhere on most any device
      • Scalable and efficient use of eresources
      • Cost effective
      • Highly available
      • On demand automatic provisioning
  • What we can provide
    • Google apps for edu
      • No longer in beta!
      • Online collaboration
      • Drive
    • 365
      • Online collaboration suite – word, excel
      • Software distribution (local office install)
      • Onedrive
      • More nuanced levels of licensing and access – differences between MIIS and Midd College, working through those issues
    • Email in the cloud!
      • Fully hosted or hybrid model
  • Where we are now
    • Groundwork has been laid
    • All midd users automatically have GAfE account
      • Including access to apps, drive, and youtube
    • All midd users automatically have an O365 account
      • College students can install local copies of Office through O365
        • Only for residential students, MIIS students can access cloud-based Office suite
      • Everyone has accounts but they don’t have access yet
    • All active directory groups exist in both GAfE and O365
  • Still to come
    • A series of projects as opposed to one big unveiling
      • Documentation and education project
      • Microsoft’s online collaboration apps
      • OneDrive and GoogleDrive
      • Home use software distribution Faculty/Staff
      • Everyone currently has access to Google Apps (but most people don’t know)
      • Everyone does not currently have access to OneDrive – still to come
      • Cloud-based email still to come
  • Decisions that still need to be made
    • Which service do we recommend to people?
    • How do different groups collaborate effectively?
    • Do professors choose one or the other?
      • Will students need access to both?
    • Others?

 

Questions

  • Do we want to offer the same level of support for both or favor one?
    • One platform may be better for certain uses than the other
    • We like the idea of a default/one that is better supported
  • Any support requests re: Google to date?
    • A few calendar items, nothing major
    • Most people are using web interface
  • I’m a student with a google account that I use for school work – I graduate and move on. How do I transition my work to my private account?  (Bill)
    • No fee, but there will be some hoops/procedures to go through
  • I’m a student with a Microsoft account that I use for school work – I graduate and move on. How do I transition my work to my private account? (Bill)
    • Currently more complicated than Google
    • Everything that is cloud-delivered is free
  • Do we have an inventory of what’s been turned on by Google Admin? (Joe)
    • Yes, a list can be shared
    • When you’re logged in you can see a list of some applications, but not all of them
  • How does a faculty member associate Google resources with a course?
    • A Course Hub integration would be helpful here; it’s currently tough to find the right group in Google
      • Create the resource, connect with the correct student group
    • With OneDrive, groups can own files/documents – more ownership-based management than Google-drive
      • If group owns documentation, data management is simpler from an administrative perspective. Group membership should be able to shift seamlessly
      • This is a nuance we’ll have to figure out between Google and OneDrive
  • Monterey and Midd campuses have the exact same access to this functionality? (Bill)
    • Yes, only difference is residential component for the College (Office installs)
    • This is an example of “big M” Middlebury thinking
  • For a guest lecturer or auditor, they could be added to a Google folder not a group?
    • Another nuance that needs to be explored/determination needs to be made about what to recommend to faculty
  • In terms of announcements/messaging/role out, does Course Hub integration need to be in place first?
    • We need to have nuances largely figured out before we make an announcement
  • So what’s the rollout timeframe?
    • Timeline needs to include various project teams
    • Probably not reality to have ready for fall 2016 roll out
    • Do we need to roll both platforms out at the same time?
      • It would behoove us to roll out the recommended platform first
  • We need to give faculty clear instructions about procedure change, as they are not accustomed to provisioning folders themselves (Joe)
    • Now they will need a folder with the appropriate permissions
  • What’s the motivation for having both services?
    • We have to have some of each. Google is already pretty ubiquitous in usage across Middlebury. We have to roll out Microsoft because of software distribution. Or do we? We can control what Microsoft functionality is available to avoid too much overlap with Google.
    • Encryption/security implications – Microsoft is superior to Google in this respect
    • Google doesn’t work in China – Jeff Cason currently testing OneDrive in China
    • A potential differentiation could be
      • Academic – Google. Administrative – Microsoft.
        • In reality this won’t happen
  • While Microsoft is in beta, the move to single sign on for everyone seems like a big step (Bob)
    • MIIS users having to sign on with @middlebury.edu account
    • We want to promote access to Google Apps – it would be disappointing if we couldn’t make an official announcement to the MIIS campus this fall even if the Course Hub integration is not in place.
    • What happens when students graduate? Some of our students are only here for a year, some do Peace Corps during their degree – leave campus for 2 years and come back.
      • How do the nuances of those different user needs get managed? We need an exit strategy.
    • Exit strategy for individuals and Middlebury as a whole is important.
  • Where is this project in terms of the ACTT life cycle? (Bob)
    • Should OneDrive be rolled out the same way Google Apps was?
      • Resource constraints
  • Is there a downside to MIIS announcing Google Apps rollout to campus? (Bob)
    • When Microsoft is rolled out, there may be an inordinate number of help desk tickets from people who want to migrate content from Google to Microsoft
    • It depends on when OneDrive becomes available
      • Timelines are not currently known, several different project teams
  • 2,000 Google Apps accounts active before syncing took place
  • There was already a OneDrive instance at MIIS that was being used by 40 people – no administrator
  • There’s nothing stopping any Middlebury user from using Google Apps (they just don’t know about it)
    • We are currently not fully committing or walking away from either

Wireless Login for Windows Computers

One feature that has been requested with increasing frequency of late is the ability to log in to Windows laptops over a wireless connection, i.e. without plugging into a network cable the first time. We have been piloting a way to do this with our Circulation loaners and a wireless lab in MBH for several months now with good results.

We will be bringing this feature to standard College-owned Windows 7 laptops starting this Monday, June 6th. After the change takes effect, you may notice the words “Windows will try to connect to MiddleburyCollege” underneath the normal login fields. What this means is that Windows will first use the credentials supplied to connect to the wireless network, and if successful, will then authenticate over the network, allowing you to login with your current username and password, whether or not you have used that device previously.

If the wireless connection should fail for some reason, for example because you are too far away from an access point for a good signal, Windows will check for cached credentials from a previous login as normal.

Please e-mail zschuetz@middlebury.edu with any questions about this change.

Sincerely,

~Zach Schuetz
Information Technology Services

ACTT In-progress Project Presentation for Canvas

The new ACT Team process includes in-progress project presentations. These presentations are meant to inform the community about how things are going, what has been done and what still needs to be done, what is going well and what are the challenges.

In this meeting we will talk about Canvas.

These are open meetings, please feel free to share the invitation with anyone you feel is interested in the topics discussed.

 

@MiddInfoSec: Information Security’s ‘Security Scout of the Month’

To help raise awareness about community efforts to prevent significant security issues, Middlebury Information Security has launched a ‘Security Scout of the Month’ award.

Highlighting the valuable contributions of community security scouts in an @MiddInfoSec blog post and on Middlebury’s Information Security web site is a great way to show how a cautious and thoughtful approach to computing can protect the College community from cyber risks.

As an example, this past month, an attack against Middlebury’s Banner system was avoided thanks to the contributions of an astute member of our community, Justin Allen, who spotted a targeted phishing attack and raised the awareness around this malicious event.

As Justin Allen describes it:

     “I received an email that started out dear account owner which usually gets my attention and as I read down thru the email I noticed that it said I had signed up for a paperless W-2 which I did not and it wanted me to logon to view it. After that I noticed a couple of another things that did not make sense for my Middlebury account one was the sender of the email which wasn’t from the college at all and we all have been told time and time again if the address doesn’t end with middlebury.edu it’s not from the college. Below is a copy of what was sent to me.”

This astute awareness is why Justin is this month’s ‘Security Scout of the Month’.

We are excited to celebrate the hard work and security conscious efforts of our community. Please watch for the next ‘Security Scout of the Month’ and help us recognize these efforts.

If you would like to recognize an individual for their information security contributions or would like to raise an information security concern, please contact infosec@middlebury.edu.

Middlebury will Adopt Canvas

In January, 2016, the ACTT (formerly CTT) submitted a recommendation for Middlebury to adopt Canvas. We have received budget approval, and will begin the work of moving Middlebury into the Canvas service.

Thank you to all of the faculty and students that participated in the pilot. Your participation and feedback (Midd and MIIS) helped to make a strong recommendation. And thank you to Joe Antonioli, Bob Cole, Bill Koulopoulos, Stacy Reardon, Shel Sax and Heather Stafford for supporting these classes during the pilot.

Also, thank you to all of the schools that provided us with insight and the benefit of their experience with Canvas. We learned a lot from you.

There is a lot of work still to be done to move Canvas from pilot to enterprise, but we do hope that you take a moment to celebrate this milestone and the collective effort to get to this point.