UAB IT employees are currently in a pilot program for using Office 365 for email, the same system used by UAB students. The School of Engineering will soon take part in a similar pilot.

If the pilots are successful, all campus employee email will be migrated to the Microsoft cloud system.


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. 

Once the pilot programs are successful, UAB IT will begin migrating all faculty and staff email to Office 365. More information and training will be forthcoming before the switch is made.
In partnership with the Office of the Provost and other departments across campus, UAB IT is introducing a number of new technologies designed to improve students' education — and help them stay in school.

Beginning in the spring semester, a pilot program offering automated communications in Canvas will go campus-wide, giving faculty another tool with which to reach students who have missed class.

The program allows instructors to send automated messages to students who have missed class or who have not logged in to view information about the class.

The intent of the messaging is student engagement and retention: Instructors can personalize the messages, but the idea is to give students a second chance when they might otherwise drop or fail the class.

The new functionality joins other new technologies that will debut in the spring, including a new class waitlist in BlazerNET and a schedule planner that makes it easier for students to register for classes.

Another pilot program likely to begin soon would incorporate eBeacon technology in UAB’s new mobile app to help take attendance in classrooms.

Vice President and CIO Dr. Curt Carver said technology can help boost enrollment and improve the retention and graduation rates for UAB — which in turn helps boost the economic impact in the Birmingham area. Enrollment was up 6.5 percent for fall 2016, and the retention rate increased 3.1 percent.

“We’re going to have to take transformational steps,” Carver said. “These technology improvements and automations make our students’ and faculty’s lives easier — so that they can go about helping to change the world.”
November 21, 2016

Default-Deny Project

FireWall iconUAB IT is embarking on a plan to update and modernize its campus edge protections to limit the impact of intrusions by external attackers. UAB will be modifying the border firewall posture at the end of December to a state known as default-deny, which is a best practice for enterprise environments. All servers or services located on the campus network will need to be registered in the campus border firewall to allow external users to access it.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Any server, service or application hosted on the UAB campus network  AND needs to be accessible to Internet users or external vendors must be registered. This does not affect access to Internet resources from the campus network. Only inbound communication from the Internet to campus resources. 
  • External System  ->  UAB service     (must be registered)
  • UAB System -> External service   (not impacted)
  • UAB system ->  UAB Service  (not impacted)
  • Health System -> UAB Service (not impacted)
  • Campus VPN -> UAB Service  (not impacted)
  • Campus WiFi -> UAB Service (not impacted)


No. The UAB Health System network changed to this type of configuration in the past and is not impacted by this change.


No. The IP space used by the campus VPN and Wireless networks were switched to a default deny state in 2015.  This will not impact those users.


No. These services exist on the outside of the campus network. The forthcoming changes do not affect you.


All communication which stays internal to UAB and UAB Health System will not be impacted by this change. Further, when utilizing the Campus VPN, your communication will be treated as internal.


Check with the server support team and ensure that they have requested all necessary firewall rules to be placed in the border. They are busily working through the current rules in the Data Center VLANs. However, there are customers who have UAB IT maintain a server located within a departmental VLAN which may not be handled without coordination by the VLAN owner.


Please review your current firewall rules and identify any communication which originates from an Internet address with a destination in your VLAN network. Register each of those rules through the firewall rule change exception form on the IT Service Portal located here.
Congratulations on your acceptance to UAB! As your journey is getting started we want you to know that UAB Information Technology is here to provide guidance, support, and technology options that help make your journey to graduation successful and productive. 

Our TechConnect store, located in the Hill Student Center, is your one-stop shop for IT support services and technology purchases. We provide services exclusively to the UAB community, work with the individual schools to provide technology that meets the needs/requirements of their program, and offer pricing advantages through our educational vendor relationships.  

A notebook program that offers a laptop from Dell or a Surface tablet from Microsoft; all with extended hardware and accidental damages warranties, software pre-installed, and a loaner should your purchased device need repairs;

Free or greatly discounted software including Microsoft Office, SPSS, SAS, Endnote and others.

So, now that you’re a Blazer, take advantage of all TechConnect has to offer. Before you buy any technology or software visit the TechConnect store (or online at www.uab.edu/techconnect) for the best pricing and guidance to technology at UAB.

If you are bringing your own computer:

Make sure it meets the overall minimum specifications

See if your school has specific hardware requirements or restrictions

Get your device ready for use on the UAB network

Check-out all of software available for free or at a discount (login required)

Find out what else you need to know tech-wise with our student tech list


Welcome to UAB, and GO BLAZERS!

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Office365 banner


UAB IT is conducting pilot programs to move campus employee email to Office 365. 

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. 

The next scheduled pilot is for School of Engineering employees. The migration is scheduled for Dec. 16.

Some preparations should be made to ensure the smoothest transition.


  1. Activate "cached mode" in your email so that you are not impacted by delayed email delivery. Learn more here.
  2. Confirm or set your user name in the format "BlazerID@uab.edu" for ALL devices.
  3. Close Outlook before the migration.


  1. Refer to the UAB Systems Status page for details on the status of the migration.


  1. At your convenience, verify your email works on all of your devices. You should see a pop-up in Outlook indicating the administrator has made a change and that Outlook needs to be restarted.
  2. If your email does not work, please refer to the self-help steps below, or contact AskIT at 205-996-5555 so that we can help get email working on your devices.


If your email does not work automatically after the migration:
  • On mobile devices, ensure that the user name is in BlazerID@uab.edu format in your email client. Your mobile device may automatically connect to the new service.
  • If it does not, please follow the instructions below. Note that deleting the account on your phone should not result in emails in your UAB mailbox (on premise or in Office 365) being deleted.  If there are unsent drafts on your mobile device, these will likely be deleted.

Note: Adding a new profile will result in being prompted to accept a mobile device policy. This policy makes no changes to your settings but will prevent random popups in the future. Learn more here.

Android devices
  • Open the mail app.
  • Tap "More" > "Settings" > "UAB email account"
  • Tap "Remove."
  • Go to Settings > "Add account" > "Exchange"
  • Enter your full email address, BlazerID@uab.edu. Tap "Next."
  • Enter your password and tap "Next"
  • If prompted for sync options, select the options you want, such as calendar and contacts. Tap "Next" to complete setup.
Note: Android devices vary in how they are configured but the process should be very similar to the steps listed above.

iOS devices
  • Go to your device's Settings, scroll down to Mail, tap Accounts and select your current UAB email account
  • Scroll to the bottom and click "Delete Account"
  • Go to your device's Settings, scroll down to Mail, tap Accounts > Add Account
  • Select Exchange.
  • Enter your BlazerID email address, password and a description of your account. Then tap Next.
  • If you are prompted to enter server settings, enter the following and tap Next.
                Email: Your full email address (BlazerID@uab.edu)
                Server: outlook.office365.com
                Username: Your full email address (BlazerID@uab.edu)
                Pasword: Email account password.
  • Outlook may request certain permissions. To agree, tap Yes. Then choose the apps you want your email account to sync with your iOS device and tap Save.


If your email does not work automatically after the migration:



UAB mail users will no longer use https://mail.ad.uab.edu to access Outlook Web Access (OWA).

Instead you can use this URL: outlook.office.com

UAB IT worked closely with the Office of the Provost to implement a new waitlist option in BlazerNET.

Beginning in spring 2017, many classes will have a waitlist option — noted with the "WL" code — in the class schedule. Students can place themselves on the waitlist for seats that might become available. When a seat does open, an email notification will be sent to the first person on the waitlist for them to register. Prerequisites and registration restrictions will still apply. 

The new function allows UAB to more quickly identify course needs. "This will allow us to stay ahead of the course demands," said Dr. Bradley Barnes, vice provost for enrollment management.

Vice President and CIO Dr. Curt Carver said the new functionality, along with a new Scheduler Planner, is another example of using technology to meet the needs of students.

"Students are at the center of what we do at UAB, and we're excited to use technology to improve academic success," Carver said.
Scheduling classes will be easier for UAB students thanks to a new registration tool that will be in effect for spring 2017 registration.

UAB IT worked with the provost’s office to implement the new Schedule Planner, which allows students to add courses, generate all possible schedule combinations and select the set of classes that works best for them.

Students can add their preferred schedule to the shopping card ready for their registration window, and add additional schedule options to their favorites to access as needed. Students can access the Schedule Planner from the BlazerNET student menu.

"The new Schedule Planner uses technology to make students' lives easier," said Vice President and CIO Dr. Curt Carver. "This allows students to quickly plan their semester courses, so that they can achieve academic success — and make plans to change the world."
Did you know that most passwords are easily broken? Have you found it hard to create a good, strong password that you can remember? Creating a strong, but easily remembered, password can be a challenge, but a few "secrets" can help you. Check out the dos and don'ts below.

Dos

  • Do you want to create a strong password? (Your answer should be YES.)
  • Use at least 8 characters, preferably more
  • Use a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols
  • Create an easy-to-remember passphrase by choosing a phrase and adding numbers and symbols. Length is more important than complexity. For example:
  • "It might seem crazy what I'm about to say" becomes "Itmightseem7CrazywhatI'mabout56to$ay"
  • Fairly easy to remember, but far stronger than a typical complex password such as 79RtiO)m^B or something similar
  • Consider using a password safe or manager such as LastPass or KeePass
  • Change your password or passphrase regularly
  • Be sure you're on the correct website before entering your password or passphrase


Don'ts

  • You won't do these things we're asking you not to do, will you? (Your answer should beNO.)
  • Don't include your username or account number in your password or passphrase
  • Don't use the same password for multiple services
  • Don't use a single word, in any language
  • Don't use consecutive repeating characters or a number sequence
  • Don't use your pet's name
  • Don't use your birthdate, address, phone number, or any other type of information someone can easily obtain
  • Don't share your password or passphrase
October 05, 2016

techconnect table test

ContactUsIconContact Us
Email techconnect@uab.edu
Phone 205.934.8333


CompassIconWhere to find us
TechConnect is located
in room 135
on the first floor of the 
Hill Student Center

TimeIcon
Hours
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.,
Monday-Friday


 
 
 
September 22, 2016

Passphrase vs. Password

Passwords are the first line of defense against cyber-attacks.

Creating a safer password
Here are some general rules for creating a safer password:
  • Change your password frequently. People hate to hear this tip, but the fact is, most passwords will not be “cracked” or “guessed”, they will be stolen from an infected machine or a compromised website.  Changing your password often gives a shorter period of time for an attacker to use your compromised password.
  • Make passwords unique. When you change your password, consider it retired; attackers typically keep collections of old passwords that they routinely test in the hopes that someone reused them.
  • Make passwords unique. Add something to your password that customizes it and makes it different for each website or service account you use so a compromised password only works on the compromised site.
  • Create strong passwords. The longer a password is, the longer it takes an attacker to guess it; with current technology, an attacker can guess EVERY combination of an eight character password in 6 hours.  You should use passwords that use different character types including upper/lower-case, numbers and symbols.
  • Avoid obvious dictionary words. Anything related to your normal life (job, hobbies, pet names, etc.) should be excluded from your passwords.  An attacker might build a dictionary that is custom tailored to contain words related to information they gathered about you.

Creating a passphrase

One way to use these rules is by using passphrases versus a password. Here is one way to create one:
  • Start with a long phrase that you'll remember. This can be anything — such as a favorite song, poem or title. For example, we'll use a line from the UAB Alma Mater:
          Praise to thee our UAB
  • Make some memorable changes to the passphrase. In our example below, we removed the spaces, added a symbol, and replaced the word "to" with the number "2."
          praise2theeourUAB!
  • Make the password unique and memorable. Returning to our example, we'll add the first three letters of the web site where the passphrase will be used and something different like the number of letters in the name.
          apple.com = App5praise2theeourUAB!
          facebook.com = Fac8praise2theeourUAB!

Important links: