OIT News – September 2010

OIT News

Monthly news briefs, information and announcements
Office of Information Technology, NC State University
Issue 35, September 2010

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01: OIT to kick off Cyber Security Awareness Month in October
02: OIT receives award for Computing@NC State newsletter
03: Get ready! Attend the emergency preparedness road show on Oct. 20
04: New Student Advising System is implemented in MyPack Portal
05: MyPack Portal upgrade is coming
06: University academic calendar is available through Google Apps @ NC State
07: IT Student Advisory Group to meet Sept. 21
08: WolfWise team provides update on GroupWise 8 fall deployment
09: OIT Lunch & Learns: “Mobile Devices & Applications” and “What’s New in Facebook”

10: SAR training scheduled for Sept. 28
11: Google’s Postini Message Security protects campus users in the cloud!

01: OIT to kick off Cyber Security Awareness Month in October
In recognition of Cyber Security Awareness Month, OIT is planning a series of presentations in October to “increase the awareness and prevention of online security problems.” Organized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance, National Cyber Security Awareness Month is an annual effort.

Tim Gurganus of OIT Security and Compliance will present the opening presentation, “NCSU Annual State of InfoSecurity,” from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 8 in the Erdahl-Cloyd Auditorium of D.H. Hill Library. An introspective look at the state of computer security on campus, this presentation will cover the major computer security incidents of the past year, the university’s capabilities for dealing with them and the challenges that remain to build a secure computing environment for teaching, applying knowledge and conducting research. Come learn about the viruses that are active on campus, how passwords are phished, what servers are most often compromised and how you might be sending spam and leaking data. Find out what you should or should not do to protect your computer and data on today’s e-campus. Refreshments will be served. Visit the OIT Web site to see upcoming cyber security awareness events.

02: OIT receives award for Computing@NC State newsletter

The 2010 edition of OIT’s Computing@NC State, which is provided to all new students arriving on campus each fall, has been given the Special Interest Group on University and College Computing Services (SIGUCCS) award for “Best of Category in Printed Computing Newsletters.”

Computing@NC State summarizes “all things IT” at NC State, and the judges listed its strengths as being very informative, well-written, well-branded, graphically compelling and consistently designed. An easy-to-read campus map for all audiences was also listed as one of its strengths. While its primary audience is new students, the newsletter also contains helpful information for new faculty and staff at NC State.

03: Get ready! Attend the emergency preparedness road show on Oct. 20

The Department of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery and OIT Organizational Resilience Services invite all faculty and staff to attend one of two open forums on Wednesday, Oct. 20 to learn about emergency preparedness both at home and at work. Sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Talley Student Center Grand Ballroom.

During the forums, you will learn about continuity planning, business continuity regulation compliance, grant opportunities (state, federal and local), emergency planning for the university, disaster exercises, family preparedness, IT resilience and disaster recovery, and more. There will also be a demo of version 10 of the Living Disaster Recovery Planning System (LDRPS), software currently used on campus for creating business continuity plans. You will also meet members of the University Business Continuity Committee and hear a guest speaker. Come prepared to ask questions and get answers.

04: New Student Advising System is implemented in MyPack Portal
NC State students can now take advantage of the new Student Advising System. Available via the MyPack Portal, the Student Advising System replaces the former Automated Degree Audit (ADA) System, and it includes a degree planner and a degree audit. In the new system, students enter the courses they plan to take during their academic careers into the degree planner, and the degree audit matches their transcripts and planned courses against their degree requirements. Faculty advisors can also use the system to advise students on course selections and to clear students for graduation. For more information about the Student Advising System, visit the Registration and Records Web site.

05: MyPack Portal upgrade is coming
The MyPack Portal is targeted to be upgraded from version 8.9 to 9.1 in October. A communication will be forthcoming with the specific date, which will be during a scheduled maintenance weekend. The MyPack Portal will be unavailable during the upgrade. The key user features and benefits of the upgrade include new breadcrumb style navigation across the top of the portal Web pages and a new drop-down menu indicating recently used pages. Branding within the portal will change to conform to NC State Web Guidelines and Standards. Technology components include new servers and upgrades to PeopleSoft Peopletools 8.50 and to Oracle Database 11g. For further information, you may contact Jack Foster of OIT Enterprise Application Services (EAS) at jack_foster@ncsu.edu or Connie Reitfort of OIT EAS at connie_reitfort@ncsu.edu.


06: University academic calendar is available through Google Apps @ NC State
NC State students can now subscribe to the NC State Academic Calendar for Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 within their Google Apps @ NC State account.

Once logged in to the Google Apps Calendar, students can subscribe and overlay the university academic calendar with their personal calendar. They can even copy specific academic calendar entries onto their personal calendars. Anyone using Google Calendar can subscribe to this calendar, even if they do not have an official Google Apps @ NC State account. To learn more and to subscribe, visit the Google Apps @ NC State Web site.          

07: IT Student Advisory Group to meet Sept. 21

OIT’s Information Technology Student Advisory Group will meet from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 21 in Room 356 of Witherspoon Student Center. Started last spring, the Student Advisory Group is a forum for students of all affiliations to share their thoughts and ideas about the way technology is implemented at NC State. As part of his efforts to review and improve governance at NC State, Dr. Marc Hoit, CIO and Vice Chancellor for Information Technology, created this group and participates in all meetings.

 Topics will include the implementation of Google Apps for students, the campus portal, mobile technology, plus whatever topics students bring to discuss. Please encourage students to take this opportunity to have their voices heard and help shape the future of IT at NC State. For more information, visit the IT Student Advisory Group Web site or join the group’s listserv. If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Riehle at jen_riehle@ncsu.edu.

08: WolfWise team provides update on GroupWise 8 fall deployment
The WolfWise Implementation Team has moved the WolfWise domain and post offices 3-10 from the legacy Netware servers to the new WolfWise Linux servers in preparation for the fall deployment of GroupWise 8 (GW8). The team will be moving the remaining post offices (1 and 2) at 8 p.m. today (Sept. 17). Details are posted on SysNews. WolfWise is NC State’s implementation of Novell GroupWise for its single centrally-supported calendaring and e-mail solution.

The team also reported that GW8 baseline testing is complete, and GW8 will be loaded in the test environment within the next two weeks. The GW8 deployment will apply back-end fixes for known bugs, improve IMAP stability, allow for ActiveSync (for mobile devices) and improve the performance of Windows, Mac, Web and Linux clients.

09: OIT Lunch & Learns: Mobile Devices & Applications” and “What’s New in Facebook

OIT’s Brown Bag Lunch and Learn series will present the following upcoming workshops:


  • “Mobile Devices and Applications: Tap Into What’s New” will be held from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28 in 216 Scott Hall. This is a follow-up to the workshop held in March. Harry Nicholos of OIT Infrastructure, Systems and Operations and Everette Allen of OIT Outreach, Communications and Consulting will host a discussion about applications for your favorite mobile devices. Users of iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, Blackberry and other devices are welcome. To register, visit Classmate.
  • “What’s New in Facebook” will be held from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12 in 216 Scott Hall. Twanda Baker of OIT Design, Education and Outreach will highlight recent changes in the Facebook interface, new privacy setting tweaks (including controlling the use of your profile picture in ads) and changes in third-party application support. She’ll also talk about two new Facebook applications: Places and Questions. This event is part of OIT’s Cyber Security Awareness Month presentations. To register, visit Classmate.

10: SAR training scheduled for Sept. 28
Security Access Request (SAR) training for campus requestors and approvers of access to secured university data will be held from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Sept. 28 in the ITTC Lab 2 of D.H. Hill Library. Please visit Classmate to view available classes and to sign up for training.

11: Google’s Postini Message Security protects campus users in the cloud!

On Aug. 9, OIT implemented Google’s Postini Message Security to protect campus e-mail users against spam and viruses. Most e-mail sent to and from campus now is scanned before it reaches the campus network and your computer!

OIT Security and Compliance reported that in the past 30 days, Postini has quarantined more than 1,942,000 viruses sent to @ncsu.edu e-mail accounts. Of the top 10 detected viruses, seven of them were Trojan downloaders. This kind of malware could be a malicious PDF, .ZIP, QuickTime movie or picture file attached to an e-mail. If these attachments are opened, they automatically download three or four viruses to try to infect your computer. In the same time period, OIT Security and Compliance also reported:

  • 48,630 NCSU accounts were sent at least one virus
  • 19,174 NCSU accounts were sent at least 30 viruses
  • 38 NCSU accounts were sent at least 1,000 viruses
  • One NCSU account was sent 6,617 viruses

Postini Message Security uses a combination of commercial antivirus products to remove these viruses from your e-mail. Even so, Security and Compliance warns that the numbers above show the high risk of virus infection to you if you open attachments from unknown sources. Think carefully before you open an e-mail attachment!

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