November 2017
 
A monthly report to UAB leadership and the IT community about technology projects
designed to enhance the work and lives of UAB staff, faculty and students.
UAB announces an expansion, giving it the fastest supercomputer in Alabama by far
 

Blazing fast

Expansion makes UAB's Cheaha supercomputer the fastest in Alabama

Frank Skidmore, M.D., relies on the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s high-performance supercomputer to help process the brain images he studies to research diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The latest expansion of the UAB supercomputer — named Cheaha after Alabama’s highest peak — increases the computer’s power fourfold and will reduce the amount of time it takes to process one brain image to less than two hours, an improvement that can lead to advanced diagnosis and treatment, Skidmore says. Learn more here.

CAMPUS
 

UAB IT reaching out for feedback from Desktop Services customers

As UAB IT's Desktop Services works to improve its customer service rating, Vice President and CIO Curtis A. Carver Jr., Ph.D., will be reaching out in coming weeks to Desktop customers to seek feedback on the service they receive. Desktop Services is working closely with HDI, an industry-leading customer service consultant who has evaluated the unit's service and will give UAB IT a plan for improving customer engagement. HDI recently worked with the AskIT Help Desk, which improved its rating dramatically — to a 2.6 — in less than six months. Learn more here.

UAB IT recommendation: Upgrade Adobe Acrobat XI
For your security and convenience, UAB IT recommends that anyone using Adobe Acrobat XI and Adobe Reader XI update their software, as Adobe’s support for the products ended Oct. 15, 2017. End of support means that Adobe no longer provides technical support, including product and/or security updates, for those software products. Learn more here.

PGP encryption going end of life on Dec. 29
When you log in to your computer, do you see a gray Symantec login page? If so, you will soon need to have PGP removed from your computer. The Symantec PGP encryption software is going end of life on Dec. 29, 2017 — which means it will no longer be supported. Learn more here.
RESEARCH
 
Research computing vision: Even faster speeds, larger support team
After two years of successful expansion of the Cheaha supercomputer, UAB is not resting in the quest to continue building a faster high-performance computer to power groundbreaking research. Future plans include growing the team of IT experts who assist research; introducing stronger governance to prioritize needs; and adding even more speed and capacity to Cheaha. Vice President and CIO Curtis A. Carver Jr., Ph.D., spoke to researchers last month at the annual UAB Research Computing Day to share the vision for the future. Learn more from the video above or click here for more information.
SERVICE SPOTLIGHT
 
Cloud storage at UAB offers collaboration, accessibility
Cloud storage through UAB Box and OneDrive offers a lot of advantages: collaboration and concurrent editing; large storage size; convenience; and accessibility. And the best part? It's free. Students, faculty and staff can use OneDrive, and faculty and staff can use UAB Box. Learn more from the video above or by clicking here.
 


Office 365 email has default online archive size of 50GB

Did you know that email within Office 365 comes with a default Online Archive size of 50GB? Once that is reached, a user can request it to be increased to unlimited storage. This change will utilize Microsoft’s auto-expanding archive feature. Please note that once the feature is enabled, messages may be moved automatically to the expanded archive storage. Learn more in this knowledge article.
OPERATIONS & ADMINISTRATION

UAB staff: Get a deal on a laptop at TechConnect

Looking for a good deal as the holidays approach? For UAB faculty and staff, TechConnect will be offering $100 off any laptop beginning Nov. 4 — just in time for early-bird holiday shopping. TechConnect, located online and at the Hill Student Center, offers educational pricing on computers, tablets and accessories, as well as service for your devices. 

Revamped, more friendly IT contracts web page launches
UAB IT has introduced a streamlined IT-related contracts web page, with step-by-step instructions for internal UAB IT contracts and tips for submitting a successful IT-related contract. UAB IT is responsible for reviewing any University contract that includes an IT or IT-related component prior to such contract being executed. Learn more here.
TEACHING AND LEARNING

Scholars@UAB launches as public-facing site for faculty
The former Faculty Profiles site got a new name during a soft launch Oct. 2 as Scholars@UAB. This UAB-branded website will pull from Profiles — an internal system —  and provide a public-facing site that can be linked to websites and professional communications to promote collaboration with colleagues beyond the campus. Learn more here.
SECURITY
Data Reduction: If you don't need it, delete it
 
Help us reduce unnecessary data: If you don't need it, delete it
Storing confidential information — particularly information classified as restricted — endangers students, faculty and staff. UAB IT needs the help of everyone on campus to reduce the amount of data, such as Social Security numbers or personal health information, that is stored on local computers or servers. Remember this rule: If you don't need it, delete it. And if you do need it, store restricted and sensitive information according to the Data Classification and Data Protection rules. The video above has more tips on reducing data, and you can click on our new data reduction page to learn more. 

Emails with SSNs, credit card numbers to be blocked starting Dec. 1
Sending credit card or Social Security numbers via email can make you or others more vulnerable to identity theft — and is against UAB policy. Beginning Dec. 1, UAB IT will begin blocking the sending of emails from @uab.edu addresses if the email appears to contain a Social Security number or credit card number. The sender will receive an email from UAB IT’s information security team if the email is blocked. Learn more here.

Free Laptop Checkup sees successful second year
UAB IT's second annual free Laptop Checkup for students kicked off in a sweet way last month — with a free ice cream social at the Hill Student Center. More than 80 students took part in the Laptop Checkup this year, getting their computers checked out by UAB IT staff for viruses and other problems. As one student said of the Laptop Checkup: "This was absolutely perfect and lifesaving. These people went above and beyond to ensure my MacBook was good to go." Both events were part of UAB IT's celebration of Cyber Security Awareness Month.

Reminder: UAB IT has a new security awareness site
UAB IT's new information security awareness page gives you practical tips, guidance on UAB policies and even a security awareness toolkit so you can help spread the word. 

Protect your devices from KRACK WiFi security flaw
Devices that use WiFi are vulnerable to a recently discovered and serious flaw, dubbed KRACK, in a commonly used wireless security protocol, WPA2. Click here for tips on how to protect your devices.

Report a phishing email, get a chance to win some fish
If you missed the candy Swedish fish tossed from UAB IT's homecoming parade vehicles this year, you have a chance to win some in coming weeks. From those students, faculty and staff who submit a phishing email via PhishMe Reporter, UAB IT will be choosing random names for some special deliveries. Be on the lookout on our Facebook and Twitter pages for more.
COMMUNITY

UAB IT employees help build annual Habitat for Humanity house

Members of the UAB IT team took part for the third year in a row in the annual Habitat for Humanity build sponsored by the UAB Benevolent Fund. Click here for more photos. If you are interested in volunteering to help with this year's build, visit the UAB Benevolent Fund web page.



Homecoming: Crash and Reboot gurney race, Swedish 'phish'
Homecoming 2017 was filled with fun for UAB IT, whose Crash and Reboot team took part in the Gurney Race for the first time. UAB IT also had its dragon-decorated Desktop vehicles in the parade again this year — with some fun treats tossed to parade watchers, including Swedish fish with instructions for faculty, staff and students to report phishing emails.



Carver recognized as Birmingham 'Veteran of Influence'
Vice President and CIO Curtis A. Carver Jr., Ph.D., a U.S. Army veteran, was recognized last month by the Bimingham Business Journal as a "Veteran of Influence." The annual awards were created to honor military veterans or active members of the Armed Forces who have made an impact on the Birmingham business world. “Today’s honorees have made our state a great place to live, work and play," speaker Leroy Hurt said of the veterans at a breakfast in their honor.
TECH CORNER

Security liaisons hear updates on UAB IT security projects 
UAB's Information Security Liaisons learned about upcoming security projects in UAB IT at their recent meeting last month. Among the topics discussed were policy and rule updates; email data loss prevention; Duo 2-factor authentication; sharing data on UAB Box; security awareness training; and the new exception request form, which is now located in the IT Service Portal.

Column from Carver highlights crowdsourcing benefits
The Enterprisers Project published a new column by Vice President and CIO Curtis A. Carver Jr., Ph.D., on crowdsourcing to develop an IT strategic plan. The article gives advice using the approach UAB IT took to its strategic planning, using the SPARK crowdsourcing site to develop ideas from the campus community. Read the article here.

ON THE HORIZON

UAB extending 100G network to Birmingham's Innovation Depot
UAB is expanding its 100Gbps network to Innovation Depot, a move that will provide greater opportunity for entrepreneurs as they seek to start a new business at the technology incubator site. The expansion is part of a plan to think holistically about UAB graduates' access to resources after they leave campus — with access to storage and email as well as access to the high-speed network and high-performance computing, said Vice President and CIO Curtis A. Caver Jr., Ph.D. 

Enhancements for UAB app coming soon
New features in the UAB mobile app, including a quick way to report problems with WiFi and enhancements to the student section, will be coming soon. Download the UAB app in the app store for iOS and Android. Learn more here.

DID YOU KNOW?

New digital signage web site:
UAB IT offers an inclusive digital signage solution to campus departments and schools. Digital signage offers dynamic, vibrant messaging with easily adaptable, branded content. With proper hardware, signs can even be interactive. UAB IT has a new digital signage web page with details on how it works and how to order. And by the way, UAB IT lowered the cost of digital signage earlier this year.
 
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For your security and convenience, UAB IT recommends that anyone using Adobe Acrobat XI and Adobe Reader XI update their software, as Adobe’s support for the products ended Oct. 15, 2017.

End of support means that Adobe no longer provides technical support, including product and/or security updates, for those software products.

You can order Adobe products in the IT Service Portal here.

If you are not familiar with using Microsoft OneDrive, refer to the tutorials.

  1. Log in to OneDrive at http://office365.ad.uab.edu/ using SSO, and click the OneDrive Icon.
    Dropbox1
  2. Navigate to the file you wish to share in your folders. If the file is not in your OneDrive folder, drag and drop it onto the OneDrive window in your browser.
  3. Select the file to share by clicking in the left column.
  4. Click “Share” in the top ribbon.
  5. If the file is to be shared with someone outside UAB, click “Only people in UAB – The University of Alabama at Birmingham with this link can edit this item."
  6. In the “Who can access this link” dropdown, select “Only people in the To: line” and click “OK”
  7. Type the email address of the desired recipient, and a message if desired, then click “Share”
    The recipient will receive an email like the one below:

When the recipient clicks the link in the email, “File to share.docx” in this case, they will be prompted to login to office 365. If they do not have an Office 365 account, they will need to create one by following the on screen instructions. Once logged in, they will see and be able to download the file you shared with them.

If you are not familiar with using Box, refer to the tutorials.

  1. Log in to box at uab.box.com using your BlazerID and password.
  2. Navigate to the file you wish to share in your box folders. If the file is not in your Box folders, drag and drop it onto the Box window in your browser.
    Box1
  3. Click on “Share” to the right of the file name.
  4. Click on the “People in this folder” text and select either:
    • “People in your company” if you want someone else with a BlazerID to be able to retrieve it.
    • “People with the link” if you want to make it available to someone or some group of people outside UAB.
  5. Enter the email addresses of the people you want to be able to see the file in the space provided. Follow each email address with a space or ENTER.
  6. Enter a custom message in the space provided, or leave the default.
  7. Click “Send.”
    An email will be sent to the address(es) you entered similar to this one:

The recipient clicks on the “View File” button in the email to see or download the file.

 
August 2017
 
A monthly report to UAB leadership and the IT community about technology projects
designed to enhance the work and lives of UAB staff, faculty and students.
UAB Network: Stronger than Ever
 

Stronger than ever

UAB has invested in the campus network, will reach out to community next

Over the past year, UAB IT has been following a strategic roadmap to strengthen the UAB network, with a stronger backup, faster internet and greater capacity. The result empowers researchers, faculty, students and employees to do their work with greater efficiency — and we'll be taking that network to the community of IT entrepreneurs next. Click the video above to learn more about how we have co-authored these solutions, what we have done and what is planned in the future.

CAMPUS
 
Try out the new interface for UAB Box; it's easier to search and share
Improvements to the Box.com web interface will make it easier for UAB employees to search for and share documents when using UAB Box. If you are using UAB Box, you can switch to the new interface now to try it out. Box will automatically switch the interface for all users on Sept. 8, 2017. Learn more here.

Customer survey results will help improve campus engagement
UAB IT engaged the campus community in a 60-Second IT Customer Survey to improve our engagement with our customers by learning more about their technology and communication preferences. Survey results were used to develop IT customer profiles, which are a component of the UAB IT Voice of the Customer Strategy. 

Mobile app undergoing brief maintenance upgrade Aug. 5
To ensure UAB's mobile app can continue to deliver easy access to campus systems, the app will undergo maintenance resulting in a brief outage from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 5. The UAB mobile app offers a seamless mobile integration with Canvas, BlazerNET, the campus map, directory and other necessary campus systems. Download it today to stay connected.
RESEARCH

New matching program boosts investment in UAB supercomputer 

Would a share in UAB’s supercomputer help you with groundbreaking research? UAB IT is offering a unique opportunity for UAB faculty and researchers to invest in the UAB research computing infrastructure by providing a dollar-for-dollar match toward the purchase of compute resources. UAB’s research computing cluster is one of the fastest in the state. The matching program effectively enables the researcher to get priority access to twice the compute resources in which they invest. Learn more here.
OPERATIONS & ADMINISTRATION

Office of Annual Giving launches crowdfunding web site

UAB's Office of Annual Giving has launched a new crowdfunding site, FIRE, to help ignite big ideas and foster creative thinking through donations and resources. UAB IT assisted the Office of Annual Giving by building the interface for the platform behind FIRE and helped make sure the system can accept credit card payments. At the FIRE site, students, faculty, staff and alumni can browse the current campaigns and even submit applications for new campaigns.
SECURITY
 
Two-factor authentication helps protect your information
Two-factor authentication — which requires you to validate your identity before logging in to a web site or system — helps you protect your password and information from intrusion. UAB IT is planning to launch two-factor authentication in coming weeks. Learn more from the video above about how two-factor protects you.



Don't send Social Security numbers via email

Sending Social Security numbers or medical record numbers via email can make you or others more vulnerable to identity theft. UAB IT will soon implement policy tip warnings via email if it appears you are trying to send a Social Security number or medical record number via your UAB email account.

Job vacancy scam email targets UAB students
A number of UAB students and employees have received scam emails tempting them with potential job offers. The emails, with the subject line “job/internship vacancy,” come from multiple senders who are impersonating legitimate companies or brands. Learn more here
COMMUNITY
 
IT employee, Innovate Birmingham grad featured on WBRC 
One of UAB IT's newest employees, Tristian Scarborough, appeared on WBRC last month to talk about his achievements since graduating from Innovate Birmingham's first class. Scarborough and Allante Jowers are the latest additions to UAB IT after their graduation. Scarborough appeared on a segment about Innovate Birmingham and its efforts to train young adults for technology jobs. Click the video above to see Scarborough's segment.



photo courtesy Gov. Kay Ivey's office
Governor visits Innovate Birmingham, introduces STEM initiative
Ahead of an announcement at Innovation Depot last week introducing her new education initiative, Gov. Kay Ivey visited with Innovate Birmingham students to learn more about the program. Innovate Birmingham trains unemployed or underemployed young adults in the area for high-demand technology jobs. UAB IT hired two of the first graduates from Innovate Birmingham and has plans to hire more from future classes. Ivey’s new education initiative includes “CS for AL,” or Computer Science for Alabama, which would focus on ensuring middle and high school students have opportunities in STEM classes and computer coding.

UAB IT takes part in second annual SlossTech
Several UAB IT employees enjoyed attending SlossTech, a daylong event focused on showcasing Birmingham as the new tech hub of the South. More than 2 million social media messages with #slosstech were posted. Take a look at the hashtag here.
TECH CORNER



Migration of UAB sites to SharePoint Online continues
UAB IT is in the process of migrating existing SharePoint 2010 content to SharePoint Online, a transition that will offer SharePoint customers new features and functionality. About one quarter of the sites have been migrated or are in the process of being migrated, and the bulk of the migrations will be occurring throughout the summer. Learn more about the migration, how you can prepare, and the new features, click here.

Voice of the Customer strategy offers best-practice guidelines
The UAB IT Voice of the Customer Strategy provides UAB IT employees with best practice based guidelines, tools and customer profiles in order to foster opportunities for co-authoring and community engagement. This strategy will assist IT in recognizing our customers and determining how best to involve them in designing changes to existing IT services and in the implementation of new services. IT employees can access the VOC Strategy here.

Information Security Liaisons learn about IP address management
Information Security Liaisons, who have partnered with UAB IT to reduce risk and create a secure computing environment, learned more this week about IP address management, a new initiative that UAB IT will be launching to better secure the University network.

DID YOU KNOW?
 
DATA CLASSIFICATION: The updated Data Protection and Security Policy will help better protect university data and student and staff information. The updated policy, which went into effect earlier this year, is supported by the Data Classification Rule, which establishes three levels of classification for data, and the Data Protection Rule, which establishes roles and responsibilities for protecting data.



TECHCONNECT DEALS: Visit the TechConnect store or its web site to get great deals for back-to-school. Students are eligible for a $150 rebate on a Dell computer purchase, or you can get free Apple Beats headphones with the purchase of an eligible Mac or iPad Pro
 
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July 2017
 
A monthly report to UAB leadership and the IT community about technology projects
designed to enhance the work and lives of UAB staff, faculty and students.
Dissecting a Phish
 

Dissecting a phish

Learn the signs of a phishing email — and how to report it

Fake emails are more than just an annoyance — they can try to steal your password, your bank information or other data, and then try to get you to spread the threat to others. Click the video above to learn more about the different types of phishing emails, how to recognize them and how to report them at UAB.

CAMPUS

Migration of UAB sites to SharePoint Online under way

UAB IT is in the process of migrating existing SharePoint 2010 content to SharePoint Online, a transition that will offer SharePoint customers new features and functionality. About one quarter of the sites have been migrated or are in the process of being migrated, and the bulk of the migrations will be occurring throughout the summer. Learn more about the migration, how you can prepare, and the new features, click here.
 
Office 365 migration completed; all email now in the cloud
The migration of the majority of faculty and employee email accounts was completed at the end of June. Office 365 is a cloud-based system that offers new tools and continuous upgrades to improve the service and environment. Office 365 offers several advantages for users, including new tools and continual upgrades to improve the service and environment. And because email is in the cloud, it is not dependent on UAB facilities being available when the user is off-campus.  
OPERATIONS & ADMINISTRATION

Leading customer service consultant to evaluate Desktop Services

On the heels of improvements in the AskIT help desk, UAB IT has engaged HDI, a leader in customer service consulting, to evaluate Desktop Services. Desktop Services contracts with academic departments and business units across campus to provide computer support. HDI's assessment, which will engage customers for their opinions, will give Desktop Services tools to improve the customer service experience.

Streamlined IT-related contracts page offers more tips for success
UAB IT has introduced a streamlined IT-related contracts web page, with step-by-step instructions for internal UAB IT contracts and tips for submitting a successful IT-related contract. Learn more here.
TEACHING & LEARNING

UAB IT employees happy to welcome new Blazers at orientation
UAB IT is greeting new Blazers and their parents at orientation sessions throughout the summer. At both the student activities fair and a UAB IT-sponsored parent reception, UAB IT employees are happy to meet new students and share information about the services UAB IT offers — and the money students and parents can save on free or discounted software and on computers and equipment. Students and parents can learn more at the TechConnect web site.
SECURITY
Be aware of new ransomware attack spreading globally
A new ransomware cyberattack called “Petya” is spreading globally and infecting computers, allowing malicious attackers to demand ransom payments to restore data. The attack is similar to the WannaCry ransomware attack that spread a few weeks ago. Experts believe the initial infection comes from an email attachment, possibly a Microsoft Word attachment. Learn more here.

Offer feedback on proposed vulnerability management rule
UAB IT is introducing a vulnerability management rule intended to represent a minimum baseline for managing vulnerabilities on UAB systems pursuant to the Data Protection and Security policy. Business units may implement stricter standards for their systems or for systems making trusted connection to theirs. The standard may not address every requirement for remediation. Read the proposed rule here and contact UAB IT if you have feedback on the proposed rule.

Scammers use stolen credit cards, students to steal electronics
Scammers looking to steal electronics are using a new scheme targeting university stores across the country, FBI officials said. Law enforcement agencies are warning higher education institutions about potential credit card scams involving electronic purchases. The FBI said the scams, which began this spring, target campus bookstores and students with valid campus identification. Scammers use students to help purchase high-end electronics, particularly Apple products, using students’ valid campus IDs and a stolen or cloned credit card. Learn more here.
COMMUNITY

Splunk interested in education partnership in Birmingham

Technology leaders from the Birmingham area met at Innovation Depot June 29 with officials from Splunk to explore ways to coauthor future educational programs. Splunk is the leading platform for real-time operational intelligence. Their technology is a standard for security professionals, and having people trainined in Splunk is exponentially beneficial. Learn more here.

Carver among CIOs featured in Harvard Business Review report
UAB Vice President and CIO Dr. Curtis A. Carver Jr.'s experience leading UAB IT and other organizations is part of a new Harvard Business Review report titled "Revenue-Generating CIOs: Smart Strategies to Grow the Business." Carver is among 15 CIOs represented in the report. Learn more here or download the report here

TEALS offers unique IT volunteer opportunity
For the past year, UAB IT’s Alexandra Fedorova has been spending several days a week helping to teach a new generation of potential IT employees through the TEALS program, which places tech experts in high school classrooms to give students basic computer science skills. Learn more here.
TECH CORNER
 

IT professionals encouraged to try new UAB Box interface
An improved UAB Box interface is available for Box users and will be mandatory in September. Changes include better search capabilities using metadata, simplified sharing options and improved tile view. Notifications will also be renamed “messages” and will be accessible from the new left sidebar. IT professionals across campus are encouraged to try the new interface to become familiar with it. To try out the new interface, click here. Learn more about the changes in the video above.

Training for information security liaisons to begin soon
Campus IT professionals in academic and business units have partnered with UAB IT's information security team as liaisons to help reduce risk and create a secure computing environment.  An important initial step of the liaison program will be to reduce the number of sensitive records and/or servers under his/her purview. Information about the information security liaison program can be found here.

DID YOU KNOW?

SAVE ON STUDENT LAPTOPS: TechConnect's Laptop Program has a number of new options for students — and through the summer, those computers qualify for a $150 rebate for students through Dell. Learn more here.

DATA CLASSIFICATION: The updated Data Protection and Security Policy will help better protect university data and student and staff information. The updated policy, which went into effect earlier this year, is supported by the Data Classification Rule, which establishes three levels of classification for data, and the Data Protection Rule, which establishes roles and responsibilities for protecting data.
 
 
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August 01, 2017

IT Update archive

 
June 2017
 
A monthly report to UAB leadership and the IT community about technology projects
designed to enhance the work and lives of UAB staff, faculty and students.
 

Prioritizing ideas

IT governance makes IT work effective, efficient for best value to UAB

IT governance allows UAB to determine how to prioritize technology ideas to create the best value for UAB. UAB IT is establishing a new committee structure to provide strategic supervision over IT projects, involving members from across the campus community. Check the UAB IT web site for meeting dates, times, and locations.

CAMPUS

UAB IT welcomes graduates of Innovate Birmingham

Two new staff members joined UAB IT last month after graduating from the Innovate Birmingham Workforce program, a unique grant-funded program designed to connect young adults in the Birmingham area to high-demand IT careers. The inaugural class of Generation IT students graduated from the Innovate Birmingham Workforce program on May 5 during a graduation ceremony held at Railroad Park. Learn more here.


TechConnect Laptop Program offers new options
TechConnect's Laptop Program has a number of new options for students — and through the summer, those computers qualify for a $150 rebate for students through Dell. Learn more here.

UAB IT evaluating how to replace Dropbox tool
The current UAB Dropbox is nearing the end of life, or end of sustainability, and UAB IT will be evaluating options for replacing it or encouraging use of current cloud collaboration services. Please take our survey regarding the replacement options for Dropbox
EMAIL

Migration of staff, faculty email to the cloud wrapping up this summer
UAB IT is migrating UAB employee and faculty email to Office 365, a cloud-based system that offers new tools and continuous upgrades to improve the service and environment. Migrations for all of campus will continue through early summer. Moving email to Office 365 will save UAB about $400,000 per year. Office 365 offers several advantages for users, and because email is in the cloud, it is not dependent on UAB facilities being available when the user is off-campus. Office 365 is also the email system that students use. Learn more here.

Beware of risks associated with email forwarding
Automatic email forwarding to a non-UAB IT account is permissible, but be sure you understand the risks and policies that affect you. Storage or forwarding of Restricted/PHI data is not permitted in uab.edu email.  However, if you receive an email containing Restricted/PHI information and you have configured your mailbox to forward to a third party; this will lead to a breach of this information. Learn more here.
OPERATIONS & ADMINISTRATION
Pilot for electronic signature tool DocuSign ongoing 
The internal UAB IT DocuSign pilot is ongoing. In future months, groups that have expressed interest will be invited to participate in an extended campus pilot. All DocuSign users will be required to participate in a brief training session that will familiarize users with the basic features of the tool as well as guidelines on using e-Signatures at UAB. DocuSign will allow electronic signature of documents, one of the most popular ideas in UAB IT's SPARK crowdsourcing campaign.

Athletic Department debuts digital ticketing system
UAB’s Athletic Department has implemented a digital ticketing system for athletic events in partnership with UAB IT.  The project will allow the UAB Athletics Department to track customer attendance, mobile ticket delivery and purchases, and ticket transfers. The project implementation will also decrease ticket printing distribution and labor expenses with the use of a digital ticketing technology. Learn more here.
TEACHING & LEARNING

Faculty: Automated Canvas messages improve student engagement

Faculty at UAB have begun using a new automated communications tool in Canvas that allows them to send messages to students who have missed class or who have not logged in to view information about the class. Instructors across campus have found that the tool not only benefits the students, but also the faculty in the classroom. Learn more here.

New interactive classrooms set up for UAB INTO program
UAB IT has worked with the UAB INTO program to install new technologies in more than a dozen classrooms in the Mervyn H. Sterne library. Instructors are now able to use control panels to operate the classrooms. These dashboards give instructors the ability to start and control presentations. Projectors in the classrooms are interactive that can also be used as a smart display when projected on to a whiteboard. In addition to typical classroom technologies like normal video sources, computer, Blu-ray, and document camera, these classrooms also have wireless projection capabilities. 
SECURITY
 
Take these precautions to stay safe online
You can take many precautions to stay safe and secure online. Follow our recommendations to better protect yourself online and make the Internet more secure for everyone. View the video above and learn more here.

UAB IT security protections ward off WannaCry
UAB’s cybersecurity protections have warded off “WannaCry” ransomeware. To date, this malicious software has had little effect at UAB because of security protections put in place by UAB IT. However, the UAB community should remain on guard to protect from future threats. Learn more here.

Vulnerability management rule intended to protect UAB
UAB IT is introducing a vulnerability management rule intended to represent a minimum baseline for managing vulnerabilities on UAB systems pursuant to the Data Protection and Security policy.  Business units may implement stricter standards for their systems or for systems making trusted connection to theirs. The standard may not address every requirement for remediation. 

New security tool helps protect against phishing and malware
In an effort to better protect the UAB community from cyber threats, specifically the increasing number of phishing and malware attacks that students, faculty and staff are experiencing, UAB IT is enabling URL Filtering at the UAB internet connection. Learn more here.

Updated policy protects university data, student and staff information
The updated Data Protection and Security Policy will help better protect university data and student and staff information. The updated policy, which went into effect earlier this year, is supported by the Data Classification Rule, which establishes three levels of classification for data, and the Data Protection Rule, which establishes roles and responsibilities for protecting data.
COMMUNITY

CIO event showcases how UAB is advancing IT excellence 

Keeping information technology at the forefront of strategic planning helps advance not only UAB but also the Birmingham community, UAB and city leaders told members of the Alabama CIO Leadership Association Thursday, May 25, at a meeting of the group on campus. “There is no question that IT is at the center of everything we do,” said UAB President Dr. Ray L. Watts said, noting that to achieve a world-class health system and provide resources for ground-breaking research, a strong IT infrastructure is key. “The role of IT is advancing our mission. Continued strategic planning around IT is vital for our organization.” Learn more here.



GoodGames receives donation of two monitors for eSports
The gift of two monitors for Good Games UAB will help the student organization with growing eSports activities on campus — activities that help foster innovation. Windstream donated the two monitors to the group on Wednesday, May 24. Learn more here.
TECH CORNER


PlaudIT program gives UAB IT employees chance for applause

UAB IT has launched a new peer-to-peer recognition program that gives special attention to employees who live UAB IT's values: trust, excellence, accountability, service, collaboration, innovation and gratitude. The PlaudIT program gives employees a chance to give a round of applause to colleagues who exhibit one or more of the values in a project or just in their everyday work. Employees who receive a PlaudIT are entered into a periodic gift card drawing and are recognized on digital signage in the UAB IT workspaces.

Training for information security liaisons to begin soon
Designated IT professionals from UAB’s academic and business units have begun working with UAB IT’s Information Security team to better safeguard university data. The new information security liaisons for each unit held their first meeting UAB IT representatives last month and will soon begin training. ISLs will serve as a primary contact for each department, managing network access authorization, assisting employees with conducting University business in a secure and compliant manner, participating in computer security incident response and other security issues. 

ON THE HORIZON
NEW IT BUILDING: The University of Alabama Board of Trustees has approved a preliminary budget and plans for a new $25 million, 36,000-square-foot information technology building at UAB at Ninth Avenue and 17th Street South.
DID YOU KNOW?

DIGITAL SIGNAGE PRICE DROP: UAB IT has dropped the cost of maintenance for digital signage from $45 to $30 a month. There will also no longer be an upfront license fee.  Learn more here.

EMAIL POLICY TIPS: UAB IT has implemented a new system to help prevent credit card information from being transmitted via email. UAB IT's information security team will be notified of attempts to send a credit card number from a UAB email account.
 
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May 2017
 
A monthly report to UAB leadership and the IT community about technology projects
designed to enhance the work and lives of UAB staff, faculty and students.
AskIT: We're there for you
 

'We're there for you'

AskIT working toward customer service improvements

In just six months, UAB IT has improved its customer service rating from a 0.4 to at least a 2.2, according to HDI, an industry-leading customer service consultant. Since summer 2016, UAB IT has made significant improvements in the AskIT help desk a main priority. New leadership, additional staff, new training, standard knowledge sharing and process improvements have helped AskIT's technicians deliver a better customer experience for faculty, staff and students at UAB. Improvement plans don't stop there. Learn more from the video above or by clicking here.

CAMPUS

UAB IT has reduced the monthly cost of digital signage by 33 percent

UAB IT is now dropping the cost of maintenance for digital signage 33 percent, from $45 to $30 a month. There will also no longer be an upfront license fee. These changes are to ensure that UAB IT is doing its part to provide a consistent, cost-effective digital signage solution for campus. Learn more here.

IT SPARK campaign wraps successful run; more campaigns coming
UAB IT's SPARK campaigns have been retired, but new, more targeted campaigns will be coming soon. UAB IT launched a SPARK site to crowdsource ideas to improve technology on campus. "We wanted to make sure your voice was heard and that you helped set our priorities for the future," said Vice President and CIO Dr. Curtis A. Carver Jr. "You responded with 64 ideas, nearly 400 comments and more than 2,500 votes on ideas from email storage size to network speed to desktops." Many of the ideas submitted to the site were incorporated into the IT Strategic Plan, if they were not solved quickly. "UAB IT strives to empower the students, faculty, staff and researchers at UAB to change the world. Thanks to the ideas you have provided, we’re able to see your needs and priorities and align them to the  UAB Strategic Plan," Carver said. A SPARK campaign for UAB app ideas has also just ended but will return in the fall so that UAB IT can co-author new ideas for the UAB app.

Cell phone office moving to TechConnect at Hill Center
UAB IT's office for institutional cell phone service and support is moving to the TechConnect store, located at the Hill Student Center, effective Monday, May 8. The cell phone office has been located in Cudworth Hall. The new location is a better fit with the services already offered at the store, which provides sales and service for personal technology purchases for students, faculty and staff.

UAB IT to host town halls on UAB Dropbox service
UAB IT will host two town halls later this month to discuss the UAB Dropbox service and potential options for similar services, including Box and OneDrive. More details about the online town halls will be announced soon.
EMAIL

Migration of staff, faculty email to the cloud accelerating

UAB IT is migrating UAB employee and faculty email to Office 365, a cloud-based system that offers new tools and continuous upgrades to improve the service and environment. Migrations for all of campus will continue through early summer. Moving email to Office 365 will save UAB about $400,000 per year. Office 365 offers several advantages for users, and because email is in the cloud, it is not dependent on UAB facilities being available when the user is off-campus. Office 365 is also the email system that students use. Learn more here.

New security enhancements coming to UAB email
As part of UAB's ongoing efforts to enhance email security, UAB IT will be implementing several security improvements. These enhancements include additional support for data loss prevention (DLP); enabling email encryption; and improving our protection against phishing campaigns. Additional details will be forthcoming when these services are implemented. Learn more here.

Office 365 email users will see better spam digest
As email migrations to Office 365 continue for campus faculty and staff, UAB IT reminds email users that the spam digest will look different in Office 365. Email notifications for items quarantined by Microsoft Exchange On-line Protection (EOP) will be sent to the individual user and come from quarantine@messaging.microsoft.com. Office 365 email users can access their spam digest by logging in here here.
TEACHING & LEARNING

Get a Dell at TechConnect, get $150 back

TechConnect, UAB IT's on-campus technology store, has a new deal on Dell computer purchases: Buy a PC at at least $699, and get a $150 rebate. TechConnect's Laptop Program has new options for your student, with a variety of models to choose from. Learn more here.

UAB IT set to welcome new Blazers during orientation
Along with departments across campus, UAB IT is preparing to help welcome incoming freshmen and non-traditional students during orientation sessions this summer. UAB IT and TechConnect, the on-campus technology store, will take part in the activities fair and for the second year will host a reception for parents. "The services and products offered by UAB IT and Tech Connect in the Hill Student Center are a huge selling point to new students and their families attending Goin’ Green New Student Orientation," said DeeDee Barnes Bruns, executive director for new student programs. "Families see this benefit, students utilize the services and products, and all are reminded and reassured that people at UAB are sincere in their support of students toward success and graduation and their future beyond the time spent on campus."
SECURITY
 
Take care with WiFi when you are on the go this summer
Going on a trip soon? UAB IT Information Security has some WiFi and device security tips that will ensure you make it to your destination and back with no problems. Take a look at the video above.



Data Protection Rule establishes roles and responsibilities
Protecting UAB data — from personal health and financial information to top-notch research — is one of the most important responsibilities at the University. UAB’s Data Protection Rule establishes roles and responsibilities for those individuals and groups who will safeguard and use UAB data.
COMMUNITY

TechBridge Digital Dinner raises funds to help alleviate poverty
On March 23, the 2017 TechBridge Digital Dinner was held to raise money in order to use the impact of technology to alleviate poverty in the community. TechBridge seeks to assess the technology needs of nonprofits and provide the appropriate support needed to ensure their success. The organization has agreements with software companies such as Salesforce and Microsoft that allow them to easily provide nonprofits with much needed software. UAB IT is heavily involved with sponsoring the organization and serves on both the advisory board and the marketing subcommittee. TechBridge is a beneficiary of the UAB benevolent fund. Hundreds of technology, business, and nonprofit leaders attended the dinner and raised more than $16,000, exceeding their goal for the evening. UAB IT contributed by sponsoring two tables at the dinner. To date, TechBridge has raised more than $140,000 towards achieving its mission. Support from TechBridge “transforms organizations," said Vice President and CIO Dr. Curt Carver, who is a member of TechBridge's board. TechBridge’s next event will be their summer outing at Regions Field on June 14.

UAB IT to welcome two new employees through Innovate Birmingham
UAB IT is looking forward to hiring two new permanent team members from the Innovate Birmingham program, a unique training program funded by an America's Promise grant. UAB IT has been involved in the program this spring, helping to set up equipment for the cohort of professionals being trained for technology jobs in the region.

UAB to host "Inside UAB" for Alabama CIO Leadership Association
UAB will host members of the Alabama CIO Leadership Association on May 25 for "Inside UAB." The event will focus on UAB's strategic initiatives and engagement with IT and the University's partnership with the City of Birmingham and Innovation Depot to develop IT talent. UAB President Dr. Ray Watts will also speak about developing leaders.

UAB IT supports ggUAB's annual BlazerCon
UAB's Good Games group — known as ggUAB — held is annual BlazerCon last month, with some support from UAB IT — and even some cookies for refreshments. The event included video and card game tournaments, arcade cabinets, movie screenings and more.
TECH CORNER

New service level agreement implemented for infrastructure
In an effort to provide transparency and measurable results, UAB IT’s Infrastructure & Operations has developed a new Infrastructure service level agreement (SLA) to govern managed server provisioning, maintenance, and support. The new SLA is currently being reviewed by existing clients for feedback and planning sessions and includes topics such as Service Descriptions, Support Procedures, and Standard Maintenance Windows. Learn more here.

ON THE HORIZON
ISL PROGRAM: UAB IT's Information Security team will be working closely with designated IT professionals from UAB's academic and business units to better safeguard university data. The new information security liaisons for each unit will begin meeting with UAB IT representatives later this month. ISLs will serve as a primary contact for each department, managing network access authorization, assisting employees with conducting University business in a secure and compliant manner, participating in computer security incident response and other security issues. 

ORACLE:
Oracle is in the process of undergoing a backend database upgrade. Once begun, the process will upgrade backend Oracle 11c databases to 12g.

AUTOMATED PATCHING: UAB IT is in the process to standardize customers on new operating system and rolling out monthly automated patching and standard patch windows that align with the new VM Hosting SLA.

DID YOU KNOW?

NEW CLASSROOM STATUS PAGE
:
UAB IT's Classroom Technology team has created a new Classroom Status page to let faculty know the technology status of the classrooms UAB IT oversees across campus. A color-coded system will let faculty know if there are any technology issues in each classroom. Access the page from the IT faculty page or click here.
 
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February 2017
 
A monthly report to UAB leadership and the IT community about technology projects
designed to enhance the work and lives of UAB staff, faculty and students.


Desktop dash

UAB IT increases network speed to desktops across campus

Your desktop computer’s connection to the UAB network is now 10 times faster after upgrades last month by UAB IT. Campus desktops now have a 1-gigabit connection, upgraded from a 100 megabit connection which allows faculty and staff to take greater advantage of the 100 gigabits per second internet connection UAB IT debuted last fall. Learn more here.

CAMPUS
What do you want to see in the new UAB app?
What could we add to the UAB app to help make your life on campus easier? A new SPARK campaign seeks ideas for new functionality and features on the UAB app, which launched last fall and is designed to help students, staff and guests get around campus, get hired and get things done.  Learn more here.


New app tile connects you to UAB IT services
A new UAB IT tile connects to AskITTechConnect and the IT News feed to give you quick access to technical help, tech purchases and IT news. Learn more here.

AskIT training focused on improving customer support
New training techniques and a partnership with a leading technical support vendor are helping UAB IT improve its customer service goals in the AskIT help desk. UAB IT has made a pledge to the university community to support their mission as a world-class educational and research institution. Learn more here.
RESEARCH
Feb IT Update   Brats Challenge 2
 
Supercomputer speeds UAB professor to top of competition
UAB’s new supercomputer “worked like magic” as University professor Dr. Hassan Fathallah-Shaykh participated in a world-wide competition to evaluate MRI images of the brain. Learn more here.

Research computing to host spring HPC user forum Feb. 8
UAB IT Research Computing will hold its spring HPC User Forum on Wednesday, Feb. 8. The event will be held from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in Ballroom C at the Hill Student Center. Learn more here.
OPERATIONS & ADMINISTRATION
Contract for electronic signature of documents in final stages
One of the most popular ideas in UAB IT's SPARK campaign was electronic signature of documents. UAB IT is now in the final stages of contracting with INTERNET2 to bring DocuSign, which will allow electronic signature of documents, for Higher Education to the UAB campus community. Upon execution of the contract, detailed planning for the implementation will begin.
SECURITY

Anatomy of a phish: How to avoid falling for a scam

It was an easy phish to fall for: An email that looked like it came from UAB President Ray Watts, with an “important announcement.” But while it looked innocent, the email that went to students, faculty and staff across campus came from a malicious attacker trying to gain access to UAB systems — and your personal and financial information. Learn more here.

PhishMe Reporter gives one-click access to report scam emails
Help us help you! PhishMe Reporter allows you to make one click to send an email scam to UAB IT's information security department to investigate. Learn more here.


Classification system proposes three levels for university data
A proposed data classification system for UAB will make it easier for faculty, staff and researchers to determine how best to keep University data safe. UAB IT has worked closely with information security officials from UAB Health System to develop the proposed classification system. Learn more here.

New security posture dramatically reduces potential attacks
UAB IT’s new firewall posture — known as “default-deny” — has significantly reduced potential outside attacks on the UAB network. Learn more here.
COMMUNITY
UAB IT set to receive national exposure throughout year
UAB IT is expected to be recognized this year with articles in the Harvard Business Review and CIO Review, and at several technology conferences and webinars. "Our partnership with our customers in co-authoring common sense solutions is receiving national attention," said Dr. Curtis A. Carver Jr., vice president and chief information officer.
TECH CORNER

First IT Strategic Advisory Committee meeting set this month
The first meeting for the inaugural IT Strategic Advisory Committee is scheduled for Feb. 7. This committee fulfills the UAB strategic plan’s imperative "Establish Shared Governance."  The committee is made up of 20 individuals from across the campus, including faculty, students, staff and a representative from the hospital. The committee will provide advice and guidance on how the university should prioritize, plan and allocate resources (staff time and finances) to meet the technology needs of the university. The strategic advisory committee will meet quarterly for 90 minutes. Once the committee has been established and the governance process defined, meetings will be open to the campus community.

ON THE HORIZON
NEXT STEPS FOR ERP: UAB IT has entered the consultant evaluation phase of a search to replace the enterprise resource planning system for the University. UAB currently uses Oracle to manage HR and finance systems. During this phase, UAB IT is evaluating possible consultants who will manage the University through the next phase. 
DID YOU KNOW?
UAB SuperComputer
 
DELL VIDEO FOCUS ON UAB: A video starring UAB researchers and UAB IT employees has been made available to the public. UAB was featured at the Dell Supercomputing Conference in November, with a focus on UAB’s work in personalized medicine, genomics, and other ground-breaking research requires equally high-powered computing and UAB’s new hyper-performance computing system makes analyzing crucial data happen at super speeds. The new computing system, the Cheaha cluster by Dell EMC and Intel, not only supports the researchers, but also the clinicians and others at UAB working to change the world. Learn more about UAB's supercomputer.

MOST COMMON PASSWORDS: How safe is your password? Does it include the word “password”? Odds are, yes. Check out the most popular passwords of 2016 so that you can avoid being an easy target for scammers and identity thieves. Learn more here
 
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