Take the Food Bank Challenge!!

 

Information Technology Services and Financial Services are in a dead heat to collect the most donations for the U of L Students’ Union Food Bank.

Care to join us??

In the spirit of giving and competition this holiday season, they are challenging other departments to attempt to beat them with the number of items. Now, you need to understand that an open box of granola bars only counts as ONE item – not EIGHT. And also, the Food Bank reps do the counting so they will be fair and consistent. In addition, and although not counted as items, cash donations are gladly accepted in lieu of food.

Last year, Financial Services donated 693 items and $136.05 in cash. IT Services donated 505 items and $613. 25 in cash.

Mark Humphries, CIO, has thrown down the gauntlet to all Deans and Executive Directors. How can your department participate, you ask? He says there are three ways:

  1. ‘The Hard Way’: Ask your department to donate items to the Finance donation box located in the A7 area of University Hall.
  2. The Easy Way’: Ask your department to donate items into the ITS collection boxes that we will provide and deliver (just let us know how many you would like and where you would like us to put them by early next week so your faculties have time to donate).  Let us know when they are full and, on the afternoon of December 12th,  we will collect any donation boxes so that items can be consolidated for counting on December 15th.   As this is a collaborative effort, we will give full credit to all those that participate with ITS in the Food Bank Challenge. Alternatively you can bring any donations for the Food Bank (or Toys for Tots, too! see below) to D570.
  3. ‘The Other Way’: Your department can collect its own items and join the challenge.

Food Bank coordinator Shelley Tuff has some recommendations. “All donations are welcome, but we always seem to be short on breakfast items. Some of the items on our wish list include granola, cereal, juices, peanut butter, jelly/jam, canned fruit and vegetables.” She adds they currently have an overstock of soup and beans, but anything they don’t need can be donated to other food banks.

Food bank helpers will be collecting donations on December 15th and 16th and participation updates will appear in UWeekly.

The prize? Well, bragging rights, of course!

For more information on the ULSU Food Bank, please contact Shelley at 403-329-2039 or at food.bank@uleth.ca.

Last year the Salvation Army distributed gifts to 1,300 children, but had to spend $24,000 on gift cards to make up the shortfall. Toys for Tots donations will be picked up in D570 the morning of December 12th by Country 95/B-93 radio.

Contact Diane Boyle at (403) 382-7180 or diane.boyle@uleth.ca for more information.

 

The coffee’s on Leslie – just in time for ‘phishing season’

 

The next time you see Leslie Gatner, Financial Analyst in Financial Services, the coffee’s on her. Gatner’s name was drawn to win the $25 Starbuck’s gift card for completing the online Phishing and Identity Theft course last month.

“We had a good response to the online course, but in my world, 100% completion would be ideal,” says Kevin Vadnais, IT Services Information Security Manager. He says he realizes it may not be realistic but it’s his goal nonetheless, especially with the holiday season looming.

“We’re coming into one of the busiest ‘phishing’ seasons with the upcoming holidays, so I would like to advise the University community to be vigilant.” Vadnais says the Christmas season logically lends itself to shipping scams by the bad guys. “Typically you will see emails from which you’re invited to download a .zip or .exe file that claims to have tracking information on a shipment. The email uses high-quality logos from companies like Canada Post, FedEx and UPS and, in addition, the grammar is far better than the usual phishing emails we see. Once the user clicks on the attachment, what it actually does is download malware on the user’s machine. The malware can contain a variety of threats: for example, Crypto locker is one that holds a computer hostage until a significant ‘ransom’ is paid, and there’s the threat of data theft. The bad guys can capture passwords when doing online banking, find personal data like social insurance numbers in tax returns, and both can lead to identity theft.”

As in all cases, Vadnais advises users to stop and ask themselves if it makes sense to simply click on an attachment, or go to the sender’s website instead to find tracking information. “Use common sense, if you’re not expecting a package, don’t click on a link that says you have one. One of the easiest clues is to hover your cursor over the link provided and compare it to what url shows next to it, or in the bottom of your browser. If it’s phishing or a malicious file, the destination in the link or image which pops up in the hover will not match what the browser text or image is showing. When that happens think twice about proceeding.”

URL hover image

 

 

 

Vadnais says the Information Security website is a good resource to check out if you’re wondering about an email. It contains some of the most current and common threats. He strongly encourages people to take the Security Awareness and Phishing and Identity Theft courses online, and more than once if required – just to refresh the memory. “They are excellent sources of information for everyone.”

Also contained on the site is a form users can complete to report a phishing attack. “The phishing messages we’re concerned about are those that appear in our inboxes, or slip by filters without the ***PHISHING MESSAGE*** alert in the subject line. We can take a lot of those sites down if we report them to the company whose image is being falsely used and alert organizations when we see one of their accounts being abused. This provides us an opportunity to take preventative measures to stop our accounts from being compromised.”

For more information, or to arrange a security session for your unit or department, please contact Kevin Vadnais at kevin.vadnais@uleth.ca.

Cyber Security Awareness Month wrap-up – it’s not too late to get your gift!

 

The IT Services Information Security Office and University Privacy Office extends a huge thank-you to the U of L community for its support of the recent events held in support Cyber Security Awareness Month.

About 150 students, faculty and staff stopped by the information booths set up in the UHall Atrium and Students’ Union building during the weeks of Oct. 14 and 20th, says Kevin Vadnais, Information Security Manager. “Everyone who took the 10-question quiz was awarded with a light-up yo-yo or pocket flashlight, and we still have more for those who didn’t get the chance at the booths.”CyberSecurity

Vadnais is encouraging everyone to take the online quiz, and they simply need to send him the answer to the bonus question via email at kevin.vadnais@uleth.ca to request one of the gifts. He adds that test-takers need to enter their name in the title of the screen to be eligible.

Earlier in the month, consultants for PricewaterhouseCoopers presented on Security Trends in Today’s Market at CASA which piqued great discussion among University and Lethbridge community members.

“We had a good response from the community both in the public and private sector. I think most were engaged in the topic and took away valuable information. This kind of event sets the stage for more related sessions in the future and promotes collaboration within the Lethbridge community. It’s everyone’s problem and everyone’s responsibility to educate and protect themselves, and those they may serve,” Vadnais adds.

Everyone is reminded to take the 10-minute phishing and identity theft course in order to be entered into a draw for a $25 Starbucks gift card. Completion of the course must occur by 11:59 PM on Oct. 31 to be eligible for the draw.

Faculty, staff and students are also strongly encouraged to take the security awareness course that is now a permanent feature on the Information Security website.

For more information, contact Kevin Vadnais at (403) 332-4056 or kevin.vadnais@uleth.ca.

Attention Mac users – Follow-you Printing issues with OSX Yosemite upgrade

 

Please be advised that Follow-You printing will not work with Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10) and you should avoid upgrading at this time.  Printing Services is aware of the concern and is working with the vendor to resolve the issue. There is no ETA yet for a resolution.  We will provide an update when the issue has been resolved or an effective work-around is put in place.

For more information or if you have questions, contact the Solutions Centre at (403) 329-2490, or help@uleth.ca, or in E610 University Hall.

Free cyber security seminar – Security Trends in Today’s Market

When was the last time you changed your password(s)? How secure is your company’s network – or your client’s data? Can you recognize a phishing scam?

October is Cyber Security Awareness month in Canada. In our highly connected world, awareness about faceless bad guys – or bad actors, as they’re known by IT security professionals – is as important as looking before crossing a busy street.

“Information security is everyone’s business,” says Kevin Vadnais, the University’s Information Security Manager. “Our organizations expect us to protect the data over which we have been given responsibility. Educating ourselves about the risks in our internet centred environment protects us as workers, clients, and citizens, as well as the businesses we operate.”

The Information Security Office at the University of Lethbridge is hosting a free security seminar for the Lethbridge community to help improve awareness of information security risks.  Join security experts from PricewaterhouseCoopers: Neil Karan, Alberta’s cyber security leader and director in PwC’s Risk Assurance Service practice, and Bryson Tan, national threat and vulnerability management practice lead, in a conversation about current and emerging trends in the information security landscape. Brief bios on the featured speakers are below.

“Rarely do we have the opportunity to ask the people on the front lines of information security what they encounter on a day-to-day basis. The presentation is a nice mixture of lecture and an interactive Q & A session,” says Vadnais.

The event takes place at CASA in the ATB Financial Community Room, 230- 8 St. South, on Thursday, Oct. 16 from 1-4 pm.

Attendance is free and anyone interested is welcome, however RSVPs (via ticket download) are required to ensure adequate seating. Light refreshments will be provided and a non-sponsored social event will follow at the Telegraph Tap House (310 6 St S, Lethbridge, AB T1J 0H4).

To reserve your space: https://uleth.universitytickets.com/user_pages/event.asp?id=440

For more info on cyber security in general, visit the the University’s Information Technology Services website. Also watch for upcoming announcements and activities on campus in support of Cyber Security Awareness month.

Neil Karan, PwCNeil Karan is the Alberta Cyber Security Leader and Director in PwC’s Risk Assurance Services practice, working out of the Calgary office.  Neil is responsible for executing threat and vulnerability management programs, digital foot printing, social engineering, security strategy reviews, and breach response initiatives.  

 

 

 

Bryson Tan, PwCBryson Tan is the National Threat and Vulnerability Management practice lead at PwC and is responsible for the development and delivery of services that include Cyber Resilience assessments, penetration testing, vulnerability assessments, source code assessment, platform security diagnostic services, wireless detection and evaluation and enterprise network security.

 

WebEx now offered campus-wide

 

Online tools are quickly supplanting traditional videoconferencing as the preferred method of attending meetings at a distance.

For the past two years, IT Services has offered a WebEx collaboration tool through the cloud with a handful of licenses, the cost of which has mostly been absorbed by ITS or by the department using it, says Terry Kirkvold, Manager of Infrastructure Maintenance and Support.WebEx ball

“We now have a U of L on-site Webex server and are able to provide U of L-branded, on-premises service without requiring individual licenses.”

The benefits are many. Instead of using obscure login credentials, users can log in to the service with their U of L username and password. Instant messaging can also be integrated with WebEx.

“WebEx is an extremely easy tool to use, with the ability to incorporate audio, video, screen sharing and recording for meetings”, Kirkvold adds. “It’s something that can be launched from a desktop, laptop or a mobile device. Smartphones like iPhones and Androids can also support video in a pinch.”

It’s not only travel that prevents people from attending meetings in person, it can be time or simply convenience. Meeting attendees in the Water Building can join a meeting conducted in University Hall via WebEx, for example, particularly if they are sandwiched by other meetings in their own location.

“We’d really like to have the University community use these kinds of tools. Once they’re comfortable with them and the advantages they offer, we expect to see a dramatic increase in their use.”

Watch the Notice Board or contact the Solutions Centre to find out about future sessions. You can also read and/or  print the step-by-step guide here.

IT Services Solutions Centre: (403) 329-2490 or help@uleth.ca

Students – download Office 365 free!

 

Recently Microsoft announced the Student Advantage Program which provides a free copy of Office 365 Pro for students.

This includes the full version of Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, and more) which can be installed on up to five PCs and Macs, and includes Office for iPad and other mobile devices.Student Adv. logo

If you already use the free portion of Office for iPad for reading, viewing and presenting, once you have a valid Office 365 ProPlus license, you can also create and edit Office documents on your iPad with Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

You can download the software here using your U of L username and password. For step-by-step instructions, visit our site.

For more information, contact the IT Solutions Centre at (403) 329-2490 or help@uleth.ca.

Aiming for one of the best-served networks in Alberta

 

Summer months at the U of L provide the best opportunity for Information Technology Services (ITS) to delve into projects that improve efficiency.

A major network upgrade has been launched by the Infrastructure Maintenance and Support team and is expected to be completed over a three-year span. “We’re upgrading the University’s core network from 1 gigabytes (GB) per second, to 10 GBs per second – which means network speed between buildings will be 10 times faster,” says Manager Terry Kirkvold.Network upgrade

Researchers may receive the biggest value from the upgrade because, as the project unfolds, desktop network speeds will be 1 GB per second, he adds.

Piggybacking on the network upgrade, IT Services is enhancing classroom wireless by adding access points. “It’s not news that we’ve experienced a dramatic increase in wireless traffic on campus over the last three years, and it’s not just smart phones and laptops that need capacity. We have a lot of equipment now that requires wireless including vending machines and classrooms, for example. The faster network enables us to provide a greater capacity for this.”

One of the biggest users of network bandwidth is video streaming, such as YouTube and Netflix. These services are becoming a critical tool for teaching and learning, says Kirkvold. The upgrade will boost bandwidth capacity and provide greater access to web resources.

As the project matures, the campus can expect more communication around improvements. “By the time we’ve completed the entire upgrade, the U of L will have one of the best-served networks in Alberta.”

Other benefits of the upgrade:

  • Faster response times for core services such as email and internet
  • Increased capacity in wireless network, providing better coverage in classrooms and student spaces
  • Enhanced technology, network upgraded to provide sustainable growth opportunities (next 5-10 years) as the needs of the University of Lethbridge change and grow
  • Enhanced security: new network design provides a more secure infrastructure in which to model data security practices

Questions can be directed to the Solutions Centre at help@uleth.ca or (403) 329-2490.

Wi-Fi – oxygen for students

 

During the next four weeks, IT Services’ communications technology staff will be busy working on a major $20,000 wireless upgrade to Kainai and Piikani residence buildings which will effectively double the current capacity, says Terry Kirkvold, Manager of Infrastructure Maintenance and Support.

“Each building will have 14 new access points – four per floor. These buildings will be on par with the coverage provided at the newer residence buildings,” says Kirkvold. “Students will see a dramatic increase in the coverage. This wireless upgrade demonstrates our Destination 2020 commitment to continuously improve the student experience at the University of Lethbridge.Maslow's Wifi

Upgrades to the Tsuu T’ina and Siksika townhouses are scheduled in the coming months and all buildings are expected to have increased Wi-Fi coverage by the end of the academic year.

“We’re anxious to provide what they need and I think they’ll be very happy with the improvement,” Kirkvold adds. “As one student eloquently put it: ‘Wi-Fi is our oxygen.’”

For more information, please contact the Solutions Centre at (403) 329-2490 or help@uleth.ca

It’s ‘upgrade’ season for campus classrooms

 

A number of classrooms are getting a technology facelift this summer. Planning replacements for aging equipment and introducing new technologies begins years in advance so that not everything has to be replaced or added at the same time.

“Every year we map out requirements for maintenance checks, replacements and repairs for the coming academic year, as well as for the following year,” says Terry Kirkvold, Infrastructure Maintenance and Support Manager. “We budget what we need to spend, but there’sclassroom generally the odd situation when equipment gives up unexpectedly. Consequently we need to adjust our schedule so that the most critical work is completed.”

Teaching spaces take priority with feedback from the year and report incidents factored in wherever possible to develop the annual plan. LCD display monitors, projectors and Crestron control systems in classrooms and those rooms targeted for a complete refresh are all scheduled into the annual work.

“PE250 has been a challenge to properly introduce audio–mainly because of its shape. We’ve hired a local consultant to introduce an audio system that will compensate for the room’s geometry, Kirkvold adds. “The team is busy working on many other upgrades in classrooms around campus – not the least of which is Wi-Fi.”

For more information, please contact the Solutions Centre at (403) 329-2490 or help@uleth.ca