Information Technology

August 2016

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Division of Information Technology
P.O. Box 6888
Radford, VA 24142
Phone: (540) 831-5173
Fax: (540) 831-6217
Email: cio@radford.edu


Banner Tip
Users can customize colors in Banner for up to 9 elements such as background canvas, icon buttons and scroll bars. This feature is especially useful for those users who perform testing in multiple instances and want a visual cue that work is being performed in a particular instance. Navigate to File and then Preferences. Click the down arrow icon next to a particular element and a dialogue box with a color map will appear. Choose your desired color. Repeat for as many elements that need to be changed. When complete, press Save.



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Division of Information Technology
Radford University

Reminder Technology Assistance Center now located in Walker 153

As a reminder, the Technology Assistance Center relocated to Walker Hall 153 in May. Walk-In support is available between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Start of School: Getting started tips for faculty

  • Visit Your Classroom - Faculty members are encouraged to visit the classrooms and computer labs in which they are scheduled to teach in order to familiarize themselves with the room's technology configuration. Classroom computers are now configured with Windows 10, so the user interface is slightly different. For assistance, contact the Technology Assistance Center (TAC) at 540-831-7500.
  • Windows 10 Classroom Computer Desktop Shortcuts In order to simplify the Windows 10 experience in classrooms, several shortcuts have been added to the desktop on classroom computers. The This PC icon provides access to the File Explorer interface for you to locate files on the computer. The Logoff icon provides an easy tool for logging off of the computer at the end of class. The PowerPoint and Chrome icons provide quick access to these commonly used tools.
  • Request Additional Software - DoIT asks that faculty members verify in advance that any additional special purpose software is installed and functional in their classroom and/or computer labs. To have additional software installed, submit a request to the TAC as soon as possible, via ITOneStop http://www.radford.edu/onestop. A complete listing of what software is installed in which lab can be found at the Open Labs webpage.
  • Reserve a Computer Lab - Walker and other computer labs are available for ad-hoc reservations by faculty. The labs fill up quickly, so please make reservations now. To make reservations, simply log into MyRU, click on the Employee tab and then choose the Reservations for Instructional Classrooms link. Detailed instructions can be found on the IT Solution Library from ITOneStop.
  • Communicate with Students Registered in Classes - Course email aliases are available for faculty use. The standard format for course aliases is ru-COURSE-SECTION-fall@radford.edu.
    • Example: ru-engl446-07-fall@radford.edu.
  • Desire 2 Learn (D2L) 24/7 Telephone Support - DoIT contracts with Desire 2 Learn (D2L) to provide 24/7 support to Radford faculty and students. Dial 540-831-7500 and select option three on the support menu.
  • Complete the D2L Start of the Semester Checklist - This resource is one of many helpful articles posted in our IT Solutions Library, covering many of your most common start-of-semester D2L questions.

MyRU gets a mobile facelift

A new version of the MyRU portal was rolled out to campus on Aug. 14. The portal may look the same on the outside, but work has been done behind the scenes to upgrade the security features and overall performance. The new version also brings with it a more mobile-friendly design for use on phones and tablets.


RUMobile version 5 launched

An updated version of RUMobile launched in June. This version brings new features, including a dashboard and improved user interface. It still contains all of the favorite features such as bus routes, dining menus and the Radford University directory. Search for rumobile in the Apple App store or the Google Play store.


Wi-Fi access at Virginia Tech and other universities (eduroam)

Radford University faculty, staff and students can now connect to the Wi-Fi network at Virginia Tech and other universities that support eduroam.

If you are visiting an institution and "eduroam" appears as one of the available wireless networks, you may connect and use this network. You will need to enter username@radford.edu as your username and your Radford password.

In addition, "eduroam" now appears as one of the wireless networks available at Radford. This network is available for guests from other eduroam schools. Please note: Radford University faculty, staff and students should connect to Radford_Wireless.


Is your office moving? Don't forget to update your office location

The online directory and Outlook directory are updated automatically from Banner. If your office has moved to a new location, be sure you update your contact information in Banner. To do this:

  • Login to MyRU
  • Click on the Personal Info icon
  • Under Personal Information, click the "Edit Personal Information" button
  • Select Manage My Addresses
  • Click the "Update HR address" button

Banner 8 upgrades deployed to meet Banner XE requirements

Eighteen Banner modules and the integration to the Commonwealth's eVA procurement system were upgraded, tested and deployed to production in May.

The upgrades set up the infrastructure and application environment to implement the first phase of Banner XE, the next major version release. Planning and discussions are underway for a phased Banner XE rollout to production.


Ransomware

One of the biggest security threats facing Radford's computers and users is ransomware.

Ransomware is a type of malware that installs itself when a user clicks on a file or URL and it encrypts files on the user's hard disk or mobile device. It then requests payment to unlock the files.

Users can't recover unless they have a current backup of the device to restore. Moreover, if a user's computer is infected with ransomware, the malware will start to infect any network shares the users has access to. This kind of malware can be very destructive.

Anti-virus or anti-malware programs are only partially effective because they rely on signatures for existing ransomware, not new types. User education about not clicking on an unrecognized message or forwarding something (to Security) before clicking has proven to be the most effective defense. Backups are essential, too.

Ransomware with extortion has been around since 2005, but 2015-16 has seen an explosion of different types that use defense-grade encryption and operate silently.

When files are encrypted, a pop-up message may be displayed that directs the user to a special website that can only be accessed for a limited period and requires payment in bitcoins. Most of the websites are on the Tor network, or on random, short-term botnet sites that change constantly.

Ransomware has tended to affect the Microsoft Windows platform, although there are Android variants appearing that are delivered as fake apps. Proof-of-concept versions for the Mac OSX platform also exist.

Companies, hospitals and educational institutions have been paralyzed by encrypted file servers, and some of those stories and the ransom they paid have been made public.

The vector is an individual who responds to an email purporting to be about a password change, a delivery, or some kind of violation, and who clicks on the attachment or website URL. Since these sites change all the time and the attachments are randomly named, it's nearly impossible to block these attacks from inside the enterprise.

At Radford, email administrators have started stripping javascript-embedded attachments from email, and the Security team routinely blocks attack sources in the intrusion prevention system.

However, these preventative measures are not always effective, and we have had a few instances where users had to rebuild and we've restored file directories from backup.

The ISO does not foresee a reduction in these types of infections any time soon. There are a few good comprehensive resources on ransomware:
http://ransomware.phishme.com/
https://www.nomoreransom.org/ransomware-qa.html


Technology training to be offered

Academic Technologies offers a number of workshops each month for faculty and staff. If you need training that is not included on this list or would like to request a one-on-one, group or custom technology workshop, contact Academic Technologies at 540-831-7521 or acadcomp@radford.edu.

You may also visit the ITOneStop Solutions Library for a variety of online tutorials, Quick Reference Guides, "how-to" videos and articles to assist you with campus technologies.

To enroll in one of these sessions, contact Academic Technologies at 540-831-7521 or acadcomp@radford.edu. To find out more details about what session offers and to view a complete listing of training for the entire semester, please visit our training website.

September

Date

Time Location
Windows: Windows 10 Introduction Sept. 1 9-10:30 a.m. Walker 216
Office: Office 2016 Overview Sept. 6 1-2 p.m. Walker 216
Office: Office 365/One Drive Sept. 8 10-11 a.m. Walker 216
D2L: Consulting Sept. 9 2-4 p.m. Walker 216
Banner: Banner Finance and eVA Sept. 20 8:30 a.m.-
3 p.m.
Walker 216

Meet the DoIT Staff

Shannon PhillipsShannon Phillips –
Director, Technology Support Services


How long have you been employed in the Division of Information Technology at Radford University? I began work at Radford on June 26, 2016.

Family: My husband, Jeff, and daughter, Emily, joined me on the journey across the state this June and are thrilled to be back in the New River Valley. Jeff is a member of the 501st Legion, a group of Star Wars enthusiasts using their hobby to support various charities. And, he's an expert model kit builder/painter. Emily enjoys art classes, trumpet and proving her mother wrong whenever possible.

Hometown: I am a lifelong resident of Virginia. I was born in Richmond and have lived in Northern Virginia, Southeastern Virginia and Southwestern Virginia. The majority of my time has been split between Poquoson, a small city on the coast, and Blacksburg. I think of this area as home. It's good to be back.

Education: 1997 - B.A. in Music, Virginia Tech
1999 - MAED (Instructional Technology), Virginia Tech
2015 - Educause Leadership Institute

Interests/Hobbies: Music - Musical theater, choir, recorder
Gardening – I can't say I'm good at it, but I enjoy it. The string beans you see above are the last non-mutant vegetable I managed to grow
.

Favorite vacation destination: My family enjoys both the Outer Banks and Washington, D.C. We're looking for destinations nearby. I'd appreciate any suggestions.

Favorite part of your job: That's an easy one. The people. The favorite part of my job has always been working with the people in IT as well as others in the campus community to improve technology support in our academic environment.