In the coming months, TechConnect — our technology store powered by UAB IT and located in the Hill Student Center — will be offering some technology products for personal purchase, such as laptops, tablets, limited accessories and fee-based support services, to faculty and staff for personal systems.

UAB IT is looking for feedback from the UAB community related to offering a payroll deduction option for these purchases to make it more convenient for employees.

To be approved to offer a payroll deduction option, UAB guidelines require a minimum of 100 persons to indicate they would utilitize the payroll deduction option. If you are interested, please fill out the survey here.
June CyberSecuritySign

Mobile devices have become one of the primary ways we communicate and interact with each other. The power of a computer is now at our fingertips, allowing us to bank, shop, view medical history, attend to work remotely, and communicate virtually anywhere. With all these convenient features come added CyberSecurityTip Iconrisks, but here are some tips to protect your devices and your personal information.
  • Password-protect your devices. Give yourself more time to protect your data and remote wipe your devices if it's lost or stolen by enabling passwords, PINs, fingerprint scans or other forms of authentication.
  • Secure those devices and backup data. Make sure that you can remotely lock or wipe each mobile device. That also means backing up data on each device in case you need to use the remote wipe function.
  • Verify app permissions. Don't forget to review app specifications and privacy permissions before installing it.
  • Update operating systems. Security fixes or patches for mobile devices' operating systems are often included in these updates.
  • Be cautious of public WiFi hot spots. Avoid financial or other sensitive transactions while connected to public WiFi hotspots.

 
EmpowerUAB campus2
After weeks of input from IT customers across campus — including students, faculty, staff, researchers and IT employees — UAB IT has drafted an IT Strategic Plan designed to empower everyone at UAB.

The draft plan has been published on the IT Strategic Plan web site. Members of the UAB community are encouraged to review the plan and provide additional feedback within a 30-day period ending June 24, after which the final plan will be reviewed by the strategic plan executive committee and published.

Feedback is welcome on the SPARK platform, where there are campaigns for each IT strategic imperative.

“We have welcomed input from across campus as we finalize this strategic plan,” said Dr. Curt Carver, vice president and CIO. “As our partners, you have helped co-author this plan, which will help prioritize the technology improvements worthy of advancing UAB.”

When the plan is published in June, it will provide UAB IT with a roadmap for developing those technology improvements. But Carver noted that the plan is a living document that may evolve as the needs of campus change.

“When we publish the final strategic plan, we will embark on the real work — completing the objectives that will help us support and empower our world-class university with world-class IT services,” Carver said.


ScreenontheGreen web
Help kick off summer with Screen on the Green, a free movie event on the Campus Green, sponsored by UAB IT and TechBridge.

Faculty, staff and students are invited with their families to watch “The Incredibles” on Thursday, June 9. The movie will begin at 8 p.m., but attendees are invited to begin gathering at 7 p.m. on the Campus Green. Bring blankets, lawn chairs and coolers with snacks to enjoy a fun night under the stars. (Please remember that alcohol is not allowed on campus.) Food trucks will also be on hand with a variety of dinner and dessert options.

RSVP for yourself and your number of guests here.

UAB IT is sponsoring the event to celebrate a year of technology-related successes on campus. Partner sponsor TechBridge is a non-profit organization that drives community impact by brining affordable technology and business expertise to other nonprofits, specifically those that are on the frontline of alleviating the causes of poverty. Other partners include SIM Alabama, TechBirmingham, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, Innovation Depot and Infragard.
UAB IT is hosting Microsoft's Education Tech Days event on campus May 18-19.

The event is targeted at technical managers and support personnel from schools and universities across the Southeast and will cover many products and technologies. Sessions will be hosted by Microsoft specialists, partners or peers from other schools and universities in attendance.

Sessions topics will include collaboration for education (Office 365); Microsoft cloud; SQL Server 2016; modern data visualization and analytics; Windows 10; and more.

A data summit will be held Wednesday, May 18, in the same location as Tech Days. This event is targeted for academic and data managers and support personnel from schools and universities across the Southeast.

The event is open to both internal and external attendees, so registration is required. The event will be held in the Hill Student Center, ballrooms C and D.

Registration can be accessed here.
UAB’s 3-year subscription to Adobe’s Creative Cloud product will enter the final year of the agreement beginning in June 2016 and run through May 2017. For that final year UAB IT will be able to offer subscriptions for $150 instead of the current $300. In addition, the $150 pricing for a subscription through May 2017 is retroactive to any customers that subscribed to Creative Cloud since April 1, 2016.

Take advantage of this opportunity quickly to get full value of the price reduction and length of the subscription as the $150 will not be prorated during the year and will be valid only through May 2017. Pricing for any new agreement with Adobe as of June 1, 2017, and subsequent subscription prices to UAB customers, will be based on negotiations with Adobe next year.

Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions include:

·      Photoshop CC, for image editing and composition

·      Illustrator CC, for vector graphics and illustration

·      InDesign CC, for page design, layout and publishing

·      Dreamweaver CC, for web sites, app design and coding

·      Adobe Premiere Pro CC, for video production and editing

·      After Effects CC, for cinematic visual effects and motion graphics

·      Acrobat XI Pro, for creating, editing and signing PDF documents and forms

·      Adobe Muse CC for web site design without coding.

To learn more about Adobe Creative Cloud and place an order, click here.


Over the past three weeks, UAB IT customers have taken an active part in shaping the IT Strategic Plan — voicing their opinions in 14 town hall meetings and eight committees, even jotting ideas on Post-It notes. low techideas

As the next phase of strategic planning begins, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to continue sharing their ideas on the SPARK platform, where there is a campaign for each of the seven strategic imperatives.

Getting campus feedback through the strategic planning period has been essential to shaping a plan that will empower UAB students, faculty, staff and researchers through technology. 

By the end of May, an executive committee will approve the draft of the plan before it is shared with the campus for a 30-day review period.

Hundreds of people participated in IT town halls in April, providing feedback that will be incorporated into the draft plan as committees continue to shape IT strategy and priorities for the next three years. Committees are made up of faculty, staff and students from across campus disciplines and departments.

"This is not our strategic plan; this is your strategic plan," Vice President and CIO Dr. Curt Carver said. 

During the 30-day review period, UAB IT will host two town halls to showcase the strategic plan, which will be published in June.

But while the plan will guide IT strategy and priorities for the future, Carver noted that the IT Strategic Plan will be a living, breathing document that will evolve as campus needs change.

Details about the plan, committees, strategic imperatives and town halls can be found at uab.edu/empoweruab.
A phone scam targeting college students across the country is spoofing the FBI's phone number, threatening students and parents that they will be arrested if they do not pay thousands of dollars for such alleged debts as tuition, student loans or parking tickets.

The FBI has warned consumers to be on alert for such scams. Similar scams — in which malicious callers pretend to be law enforcement — have targeted UAB students in recent months, even costing them and their parents money.

The FBI will never call private citizens requesting money.

Often, callers in such scams appear to have students' personal information, but it is important to note that there has been no breach of personal information at UAB. Malicious callers often try to solicit more personal information from their victims over the course of the call.

If students or parents receive a call that seems suspicious, they should disconnect immediately and notify law enforcement.

If you receive these calls, do not follow the caller's instructions. Instead, the FBI advises you should:

  • Notify your banking institutions.
  • Contact the three major credit bureaus and request an alert be put on your file.
  • Contact your local law enforcement agencies if you feel you are in immediate danger.
  • File a complaint through the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.
Blazer Express

Need to log on to WiFi while you're communiting across campus?

UAB IT is working with Parking & Transportation Service to outfit all of the Blazer Express buses with digital signage and WiFi. The digital signs will convey emergency information as well as general content from around campus.

In addition, all buses will have a WiFi hotspot for improved connectivity to the internet. 

The signs and WiFi are in testing currently and will be piloted on two buses over the next four to six weeks. Plans are to roll out to all buses in the coming months.
April CyberSecuritySign
Planning a vacation? People are frequently more vulnerable when traveling because a break from their regular routine or encounters with unfamiliar situations often result in less cautious behavior. If this sounds like you, or someone you know, these five tips will help you protect yourself and CyberSecurityTip Iconguard your privacy.


  • Track that device! Install a device finder or manager on your mobile device in case it's lost or stolen. Make sure it has remote wipe capabilities and also protects against malware.
  • Avoid social media announcements about your travel plans. It's tempting to share your upcoming vacation plans with family and friends, but consider how this might make you an easy target for local or online thieves. While traveling, avoid using social media to "check in" to airports and consider posting those beautiful photos after you return home. Find out how burglars are using your vacation posts to target you in this infographic.
  • Traveling soon? If you're traveling with a laptop or mobile device, remove or encrypt confidential information. Consider using a laptop or device designated for travel with no personal information, especially when traveling out of the country.
  • Limit personal information stored on devices. Use a tool like Identity Finder to locate your personally identifiable information (e.g., SSN, credit card numbers, or bank accounts) on your computer, then secure or remove that information.
  • Physically protect yourself and your devices. Use a laptop lock, avoid carrying identification cards, shred sensitive paperwork before you recycle it, and watch out for "shoulder surfers" at the ATM.
 
UAB IT is committed to empowering the success of the University’s students, faculty, staff and researchers through technology.

To ensure that UAB IT is responding to those technology needs, the University community is invited to become active participants in building an IT roadmap for campus. Visit uab.edu/empoweruab to see a timeline of the strategic plan process, read about the strategic imperatives and see the schedule of town halls.

“UAB is a world-class educational and research university that deserves a world-class IT organization,” Vice President and CIO Curtis Carver said. “We want our students, faculty and staff to help co-author the IT Strategic Plan to help us prioritize technology improvements worthy of advancing UAB.”

Seven committees — one for each of UAB IT’s strategic imperatives — will begin meeting April 4 to preview the draft strategic plan. The following week, UAB IT will begin hosting 14 open town halls, with two scheduled for each imperative. Click here to view the schedule for town halls.

Students, faculty and staff are invited to attend the town halls to provide input on the plan. After those meetings, the committees will review and incorporate feedback before a series of review poster sessions.

Students, faculty and staff will then be able to review the draft strategic plan and make comments before the final strategic plan is published in June.


Oracle users have the opportunity to add a new layer of security to the system that houses employees’ financial and personal information at UAB.

UAB has deployed a security challenge, a series of questions for which Oracle users will provide unique answers. Each time a user logs in, he or she will be presented with a random question. 

The security challenge is part of a series of improvements to make the Oracle system more secure, which have been made with the support and endorsement of the President’s Risk Cabinet. The Security Challenge will be mandatory as of June 7.

If users opt in to the security challenge, they will also have the option to click a “Remember Me” box, which will skip the security challenge using cookies in the user’s browser. If a user switches to a different device or a different browser or clears the browser’s cookies, the user will be prompted to answer a security challenge question again.

Last month, Oracle changed its login page to match the Central Authentication System screen used on other UAB systems. And last year, UAB introduced a new Oracle RedFlag notification system that uses the same technology as the B-Alert system to notify employees if changes have been made in their personal information, direct deposit accounts or tax withholding forms via Oracle Self Service.
UAB’s Oracle login page has changed to match the Central Authentication Screen used on other UAB systems.

The change is part of a larger plan to make the Oracle system that houses employees’ personal and financial information more secure.

“This is one of the first steps we need to take to implement greater security measures for UAB employees,” said Dr. Curt Carver, vice president and chief information officer.

In coming weeks, employees will be able to opt in to an extra layer of security in Oracle, a security challenge that uses employees’ unique responses to ensure greater safety when they log in to the system. When the security challenge function is implemented, it will be optional for employees at first, then required after an introduction period.

“These measures will provide enhanced security for all of our employees and their personal information,” said Alesia Jones, chief human resources officer.

Last year, UAB introduced a new Oracle RedFlag notification system that uses the same technology as the B-Alert system to notify employees if changes have been made in their personal information, direct deposit accounts or tax withholding forms via Oracle Self Service.

“With the support and endorsement of the President’s Risk Cabinet, these security measures help protect the data and payroll information in our system of record,” said Stephanie Mullins, interim chief financial officer.

TechConnect, UAB IT's storefront at the Hill Student Center, will host a Dell showcase Wednesday, March 16.

Dell representative Kyle Amos will be on hand from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to demonstrate Dell products and answer questions for students, faculty and staff. Amos will demonstrate several Dell machines, including the Precision 5510, which is geared toward engineering students, as well as the XPS 13 and Inspiron 15 5000.

All students, faculty and staff are invited to stop by TechConnect, located near the dining area on the first floor of the Hill Student Center, to meet Amos and learn more about Dell.

TechConnect is a storefront and web site that gives UAB students, faculty and staff a chance to take advantage of educational pricing on computers and other technology from partner vendors Dell, Apple, CDW-G and Microsoft.
AskIT tickets can now be viewed in UAB IT's new customer service portal, which launched last month

The portal allows customers to shop for IT services, search for knowledge articles about IT services and report problems with services.

You can access your tickets by clicking "Check ticket status" on the IT service portal homepage. When you access your ticket in the portal, you can chat with an AskIT agent or send a message about your service request or your problem.

UAB IT will be making ongoing improvements to the service portal as we receive customer feedback.
UAB IT wants to hear the voices of students, faculty and staff as it plots the future of technology at UAB.

Beginning March 24, committees will be formed around each of the department's seven strategic imperatives, and a series of 14 town halls will be scheduled from March 24 through May 3. A preview town hall will be held for each strategic imperative, followed by committee work and a review town hall. UAB IT will publicize the dates of the town halls in coming weeks.

Students, faculty and staff will then be able to review the draft strategic plan and make comments before the final strategic plan is published in June.

"Input from campus is essential as we plan a strategy to implement technology improvements worthy of advancing our world-class university," said Dr. Curtis A. Carver Jr., vice president and CIO. 

UAB IT's strategic imperatives state that the department will:

  • Create a secure computing environment for all UAB members through appropriate policy, training and technology.
  • Build an IT shared governance structure with particular focus on partnership with the Health System.
  • Create a world-class IT organization so that if our customers could choose any provider, they would choose UAB IT.
  • Generate business value though reduced costs, process innovation or revenue generation.
  • Innovate UAB through partnerships with institutional business owners, with a focus on academic and research operations.
  • Foster an institutional data-driven decision-making culture that allows UAB to make informed and optimal decisions.
  • Enhance the community of information technology excellence for the economic, social and cultural benefit of Birmingham and beyond. 
Students, faculty and staff can continue to provide ideas through the SPARK initiative, where members of campus can also vote and comment on those ideas.

Partnerships within UAB and throughout the Birmingham community can help UAB IT "enable others to greatness," UAB Vice President and Chief Information Officer Dr. Curtis A. Carver Jr. told members of the UAB community and the Birmingham Business Alliance Tuesday, Feb. 23.

"My job within IT is to partner with our business units to make their lives easier, to take all of those things that get in the way of being great and try to fix those problems," Carver said. "Where we focus is to enable others to greatness."

Carver spoke at a reception sponsored by the BBA and Alabama Media Group. The event, held in the new Hill University Center ballroom, was attended by UAB executives and leaders from key companies from Birmingham and throughout the region. In addition to Carver, honorees included Allen Bolton, vice president for financial affairs and administration; Dr. John Jones, vice president for student affairs; and Dr. Paulette Dilworth, vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion.

Technology improvements such as unlimited email, unlimited storage, a faster network and greater research computing capacity will help UAB IT empower UAB students, faculty and staff in their educational and research endeavors, Carver said.

Leveraging the talents of both the campus and the surrounding community is important, said Carver, who noted he was drawn to UAB and Birmingham despite an initial reluctance because the region is "on a trajectory" to fulfill UAB's motto, "Knowledge that will change your world."

"That's why I'm here," Carver said. "The opportunity to participate in a world-class team and to go about the simple business of working hard every day, trying to change the world."

Ryan Murphy, a sophomore chemistry and biology major, used his artistic and video skills to create a palatable message about how to “connect with care.”

Murphy’s effort not only won UAB IT’s first student cyber security video contest but also offers good advice about avoiding spam emails, choosing secure web sites and using safe WiFi.

Murphy used tips from the Stop, Think, Connect web site to come up with his video idea, which compares food safety to safe internet use.

Video Check PresentationCIO Dr. Curt Carver presents a check to UAB sophomore Ryan Murphy.“I was trying to put a creative spin on (the cyber security tips),” he said, noting he has seen the trend of “draw my life” videos.

That’s Murphy’s own hand drawing the whiteboard artwork for his winning video.

Murphy, a graduate of Randolph High School in Huntsville, is also a member of UAB's Science and Technology Honors Program and has been using his video skills to help produce videos for that program, including a “This Month in Science” online newscast.

Murphy plans to go to medical school in the future, but said he also hopes to keep using and improving on his video hobby.
CloudStorageOptionsGraphicUAB IT has launched two new services to give faculty and staff options for storing their documents and data in the cloud.

OneDrive and UABbox have similar features, but determining which one is best for you often comes down to preference — and to the size of the files you need to store, UAB IT experts said.

The two services have many things in common, including:

  • Collaboration features, such as concurrent access and editing and the capability to share via a link. Students, who use Office 365 for email, also have access to OneDrive accounts, so collaboration 
  • Mobile applications, which allow you to access your files among different devices.
  • Both are offered at no charge to UAB faculty and staff. The services are not currently available to hospital staff.

The biggest difference between the two services is the size of files you can upload.

With OneDrive, you can upload files up to 10GB. On Box, you can upload file sizes up to 15GB.

Box’s storage capacity is unlimited, while OneDrive’s storage capacity is currently 1TB, which will be upgraded to 5TB by the end of March.

Because the file size capacity is greater in UABbox, it is more typically used by researchers. In fact, of the 58 TB currently in use on UAB’s service, most of that is used by two researchers.

UAB IT currently recommends that users not store sensitive data in the cloud. Refer to the Data Classification Rule for more information.

Users who need to store documents on campus servers can get a UABFile account. 

Resources for users:
Log in to OneDrive (use BlazerID and password)
OneDrive help
Log in to UABbox (use BlazerID and password)
Box help
UAB IT presentation about cloud storage services
Emergency Digital Sign
Emergency notifications are now live on all of UAB Digital Signage, allowing more widespread communication of imminent threats to campus.

The notifications are tied to the Blackboard Connect system currently used for deployment of B-Alerts. Any situation that poses imminent danger to campus will take over the entire digital signage screen, with the message scrolling across a red screen under an "Emergency" banner.

UAB IT also plans to include in its digital signage the emergency management alerts that do not pose an imminent threat, such as campus closures. Those messages will not take over the entire screen but will be broadcast in the scrolling feed at the bottom of the signs.

UAB Digital Signage is deployed across campus, including at the new Hill Student Center. Departments interested in learning more about digital signage should contact AskIT.