April Technology Update

We did it!  We survived the first month of Spring term online! It was a herculean effort for the faculty adapting pedagogy and for the staff rethinking business processes to work remotely. There have been some hiccups, yet the results so far have been extraordinary.  It has been such a blessing to see everyone collaboratively navigating obstacles to keep delivering on SPU's mission. 

There are a few updates this week, primarily focused on working from home safely.  Zoe, who is 2, wants you to stay safe, both physically and digitally.  Please take 3 minutes to watch this summary video about keeping safe digitally while working from home and remember the CIS Helpdesk is here to help if you have questions or need assistance.

Remote Access (VPN) Launched

CIS has finalized the transition to a new virtual private network (VPN) solution that provides a more reliable and faster connection to campus.  You only need to use the VPN to sync your My Documents, access files on Matthew, backup your files, or connect to on-campus systems like Raiser's Edge.  Download and install the Fortinet VPN Client (Windows) to get started.  

Computer Backup

Files on your SPU computer are only backed up when you are on campus or connected to the VPN.  Make sure you regularly connect to the VPN so you can sync recent copies of your documents and backup your files in case of computer failure or theft.  You may also want to move your data from your Documents folder to your OneDrive for Business cloud storage folders.  

MFP Printer in C-Store

A Multi-Function Printer has temporarily been installed in the C-Store. This will provide the campus community printing services while other locations are inaccessible due to building closures.

CIS Training Program

The CIS Training Program exists to spread knowledge across campus about the tools available to them and how they can help in each person's work, as well as showing best practices for use of technology to serve our students in the best ways possible. Don't see what you're looking for?  Reach out to the team and request training on a new topic.  

May Training: Online File Storage

Did you know there are online file storage solutions available to you as an SPU employee that will ensure you and your department always have access to the files you need? RSVP for a link to join CIS’s virtual training on Wednesday, May 13, or Thursday, May 14.

Cybersecurity and Working from Home

As you continue to work remotely, keep cybersecurity in mind. That means protecting your devices and data, just like you would in the workplace.  You can also review last year's Cybersecurity Awareness Month blog posts:   (Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4)

Summary Working From Home Safely Video (3min)

Take a few minutes to watch this short video that highlights the top safety issues you'll encounter working remotely.

Use What’s in SPU's Tech Toolbox

Tools like Google Docs and Dropbox are convenient but do not have many of the protections or regulatory compliance standards of SPU-provided tech tools. Use SPU-provided tools and systems to stay cyber-safe when you work from home. Only use SPU provided computers when working with sensitive data.  See the Technology Services Catalog for a list of University provided tools and see the Regulated Data Chart for information details on which systems are safe for regulated data.

Why it’s important: SPU provided systems and tools are designed to protect data and devices. Cybercriminals have an interest in both, whether you’re working in the office or at home. Additionally, certain types of University records have retention requirements and CIS conducts extensive backups of such files. These include individual work files you manage within your My Documents, as well as departmental files on the Matthew server. If you store files elsewhere, we are not able to retain backup copies for compliance or recovery. Always store SPU data only on SPU managed systems!

Control the Impulse to Improvise

Employees often work in teams, and that can mean using collaboration tools like instant-messaging platforms and video-meeting rooms. If a tool isn’t working right, you might be tempted to download a substitute. Don’t do it! SPU has Desktop Analysts and Business Analysts that can help find the right software and business processes to both meet your needs and comply with business or academic requirements.

Why it’s important: As noted above, SPU has vetted collaboration tools and makes sure they’re secure. You can’t be sure a quick-fix tool you’ve downloaded has the same protections. You could inadvertently introduce a software program with a security flaw or violate a regulatory compliance standard that could breach the privacy of SPU students or expose the University to fines.  

Secure Your Home WiFi

Make sure that your home WiFi has a password and that you have encryption turned on.  Watch this video on Creating a Cybersecure Home (Other Languages).

Why it’s important: Without a WiFi password, anyone near your home can access your home network exposing sensitive data and passwords.

Stay Current on Software Updates and Patches

You might get reminders that software updates are available for your computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile device. Don’t wait. Update. Also, keep in mind you can configure your devices to update automatically.

Why it’s important: Updates help patch security flaws and help protect your data. Updates can also add new features to your devices and remove outdated ones.

Keep Your VPN Turned On

A VPN — short for virtual private network — can help protect the data you send and receive while you work from home. SPU's VPN is only available on University issued computers and provides a secure link between you and SPU by encrypting data and scanning devices for malicious software such as viruses and ransomware.  The new SPU VPN (noted above) provides much faster speeds by using new "split tunneling" technology to only route business traffic to SPU. 

Why it’s important: VPNs help protect against cybercriminals and snoops from seeing what you do online during a workday. That might include sending or receiving financial information, strategy documents, and sensitive institutional data. A VPN helps keep that information secure from cybercriminals and competitors.

Beware of Coronavirus-Themed Phishing Emails and Scams

Cybercriminals are exploiting the coronavirus outbreak to send fake emails with dangerous links to employees. Here’s how it works. The email messages may appear to come from company officials and might ask you to open a link to a new company policy related to the coronavirus. If you click on the attachment or embedded link, you’re likely to download malware onto your device. Don’t click. 

Why it’s important: A phishing email with malicious software could allow cybercriminals to take control of your computer, log your keystrokes, or access sensitive business information and financial data.