Continued expansion of the Cheaha supercomputer, improvements in customer service and enhanced security measures are among the many projects UAB IT has planned with its strategic partners in 2018.

UAB IT is entering the second year of the IT Strategic Plan, which calls for a number of projects to improve technology infrastructure and services through 2019. UAB IT collaborated with constituents across campus to develop the plan.

UAB continues to make security its top priority, with streamlined policies, an expanded Security Operations Center and security awareness measures ongoing. In the coming year, UAB will be adding security enhancements to campus email and seeking help from the campus community to protect sensitive data.

Growing the Cheaha supercomputer, already by far the fastest in Alabama, is planned for the spring. Last fall, UAB added GPUs to improve the supercomputer’s performance to 450 teraflops. The capacity upgrade this spring could bring the research computing cluster’s performance to 1 petaflop.

UAB IT is also in a constant state of improvement with regard to customer service. The Desktop Services unit is undergoing changes sparked by an evaluation by HDI, a leading customer service consultant. Last year, AskIT improved its customer serving rating to a 2.6 and continues to adapt to meet customer needs.

Among the other projects UAB IT will engage in the coming year include updated classroom technology; an updated IT Service Portal; and infrastructure improvements including the beginning of implementation of a new voice-over-IP telephone system.

To see more of the IT plans for the new year, take a look at the IT Strategic Plan wall chart.
Vice President and Chief Information Officer Curtis A. Carver Jr., Ph.D., has been elected to serve on the Advisory Council for the West Point Association of Graduates, the alumni association for the U.S. Military Academy.

Curt CarverCarver will serve from 2018-2020 and represent 11 South Central states as one of six society advisors and a member of the 54-person Advisory Council.

The mission of the West Point Association of Graduates is to serve West Point and its graduates and to further the ideals and promote the welfare of the U.S. Military Academy.

Carver graduated from West Point in 1983, rose through the faculty ranks to professor, and served at West Point for 12 years before retiring from the U.S. Army after 27 years of service.

Carver has served UAB as its CIO since 2015. During his tenure at UAB, the University has expanded its research computing capacity to deploy the fastest supercomputer in Alabama; become the first university in the state to deploy 100Gbps internet speeds across campus; and implemented new services such as unlimited email, unlimited cloud storage and expanded WiFi to help better serve campus needs.

Carver is the former vice chancellor and chief information officer for the University System of Georgia and has received a number of national and international honors and awards for military, teaching and research excellence.
Phishing emails can often mimic the email addresses of your colleagues — making you think that someone at UAB is sending you a legitimate message.

In February, UAB IT will be launching a new feature in UAB email that will alert you when you receive an email from outside UAB. The external sender notice will look like the screenshot below.

ExternalSender screenshot

So if an outside vendor sends you a message or a student emails from his or her personal account, you will receive the notification at the top of the email. If you trust the source, you can disregard the notification.

But if someone trying to scam you fakes a UAB email address — as was the case with a widely-circulated phishing email purporting to be from UAB President Dr. Ray Watts last year — you will be warned to take caution opening any attachments or clicking any links included in the message.

If you do suspect you have received a phishing email, you can report it via PhishMe Reporter or forward it to phishing@uab.edu.

Learn more about phishing and how you can limit your risk of falling for a scam email here.
UAB has enacted new encryption guidelines to give faculty, staff and students recommendations on the requirements and technology solutions for various types of encryption of Restricted/PHI data.

The encryption guidelines are intended to help ensure that the confidentiality and integrity of UAB data and resources are protected in accordance with the UAB Data Protection Rule and other policies, standards, rules and security frameworks.

For example, the guidelines explain the solutions for encrypting Microsoft Office files, Windows desktops and laptops and Apple desktops and laptops.

Restricted/PHI data, as defined by the Data Classification Rule, includes HIPAA information, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers and other confidential information.
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