Mac Computer Upgrades: Legacy Software and Catalina

Since macOS Catalina is the first Apple operating system that will no longer support 32-bit applications; Apple has provided a way to identify the software that will no longer run when upgrades.

In order to find these applications follow these steps:

  • Click on the Apple logo on the top left of the screen
  • Select About This Mac
  • Click on the System Report button
  • Scroll down the left pane to the Software section and select Legacy Software

Only 32-bit software that is no longer supported by Catalina will show up in this section. If the software that shows up here is important to you, you might consider postponing your upgrade.

If you have software you know to be 64-bit but shows up on this list it means that the software has 32-bit components that cannot be guaranteed to work or work properly under Catalina.

If you have legacy software that is essential to you, you might consider contacting the vendor to find out if or when they will have a Catalina compatible version and what you should do in order to obtain it.

Security Spotlight: Microsoft Advanced Threat Protection

Information Technology has begun testing a new product that will help protect the University from unknown email-based malware and viruses. Microsoft Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) is an email filtering service that provides the following protections:

  • ATP Safe Attachments analyzes all messages and attachments that don’t have a known virus/malware signature and routes them to a special environment where ATP uses a variety of machine learning and analysis techniques to detect malicious intent. If no suspicious activity is detected, the message is released for delivery to the mailbox.
  • The ATP Safe Links feature proactively protects your users from malicious URLs by dynamically blocking suspected unsafe links while good links can be accessed.
  • ATP Anti-Phishing checks incoming messages for indicators that a message might be a phishing attempt. Incoming messages are evaluated by multiple machine learning models that analyze messages and take appropriate action based on the configured policies.

Stay tuned for more information as ATP gets closer to roll out.

AWS Educate in the Classroom

AWS Educate, Amazon’s cloud-based web services platform geared specifically towards educational institutions, has made its debut at the University of Scranton as part of a pilot for the new Data Science Concentration.

The service, which grants access to virtually the entire suite of services offered through Amazon AWS, enables faculty and students to create and manage their own dedicated virtual environment free of charge from anywhere they have internet access. Through the classroom interface, a Professor can configure which services are available to their students and can connect to and manage each student’s computing environment. Virtual classrooms give students the freedom to operate on their own while still allowing the professor to effectively manage the course curriculum.

In the pilot, Dr. Jason Graham of the Mathematics Department is introducing his students to the R programming language and its IDE, RStudio. With AWS Educate, his students are able to deploy their own dedicated EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) virtual machine with all of the required software pre-configured for its immediate use all in a matter of minutes. Not only does this save the students from having to install complex software on their personal machines, it also saves Dr. Graham from having to devote precious class time to troubleshooting issues caused by disparities in student hardware.

Cloud-based services are becoming more and more common as user and organizational needs change. By having services like AWS Educate available for students, we’re giving them the opportunity to learn valuable skills which will serve them well when it comes time for them to leave the University. After all, the future of IT is in the cloud!

Get Started with AWS Educate

Faculty members can register as an educator using their University email address at https://aws.amazon.com/education/awseducate/. This will associate their email address with the University of Scranton’s AWS Educate institutional account and allow them to create and manage virtual classrooms.

Please note that as you enter the required information, you will be prompted to either enter an existing AWS account or sign up for a “free” Amazon Educate account. If you sign up for the free account, it’s good for a year but doesn’t require any credit card information. We recommend the alternate option where you associate your AWS Educate account with an AWS account, which requires a credit card. This option is permanent and doesn’t cost anything as long as you stay within the credits allocated through AWS Educate.

Downtime Notice and Videos – *New* My.Scranton Design

Information Technology is upgrading the My.Scranton Portal and Single Sign-On. As a result, access to My.Scranton will be unavailable on Saturday, October 12. This update is necessary due to security compliance.

Access to resources through our portal will not be available during this time, this includes D2L, Engage, CMS, Office 365 email and applications. The University website and mobile app will continue to operate.

On Sunday, after the upgrade, you will notice a new portal design.  Here are a few enhancements to look forward to:

  • The cleaner and simpler workspace design introduces collapsible boxes and eliminates excessive text.
  • Existing links have been reviewed and in some cases reorganized. This allows for a simplified and more intuitive navigation that will make it easier to find important information in fewer clicks.
  • Keeping in mind the ever-growing usage of smartphones and tablets, the portal will be responsive – visually appealing and functional on all devices.

Please review the following resources for more details:

 

Security Spotlight: Improved Wireless Security

In the past, the RoyalSecure wireless network was all-encompassing – all users were using the same network and had access to the same services. This differed from the wired network, where classes of users are separated (or segmented) into their own network spaces. This segmentation allows for different services to be allowed on different network segments. In an effort to improve security, we have segmented the RoyalSecure wireless network to mirror the wired network. One of the benefits of this change is that faculty and staff can now access the file shares G: and H: from the RoyalSecure wireless network.

Request Technology Equipment or Support for a campus event or meeting.

Information Technology has moved the Request for Event Technology/Support form (OIT Equipment Request Form in the My.Scranton portal) into our current Royal IT Support ticketing system.

How do I submit my request for technology equipment or support for a campus event, meeting or class?
You can access the system in two ways. Please note that you will need to log into the system with your my.scranton credentials.
• Go directly to scranton.edu/royalitsupport OR log into the my.scranton portal, and on the Home tab you will see a Royal IT Support link. You will also find the Request Event Technology Equipment/Support link under University Links (Home tab).
• Select the third option on the menu (once you have logged into Royal IT Support): Request Event Technology Equipment/Support.
• Complete the form.
• Select Submit.
• You will receive an email that confirms that we have received the request, and a second email when the equipment/support has been scheduled.

What happens to my existing tickets?
We will start using Royal IT Support for all requests beginning on August 19. If you already have an open request, our Technology Support Center will transfer these to the new system.

Will I still receive updates through e-mail?
Yes. You will continue receiving email updates. You can also view request statuses and updates through the Royal IT Support portal.

Click here for complete information on our event technology equipment or support services availability and processes.

If you have any questions, please contact the Technology Support Center at 570-941-4357 or techsupport@scranton.edu.

Two Step Required in remote.scranton.edu

Two Step (through DUO) will be required when using our remote (VDI) environments. This does not apply to VDI in classsrooms.

What does this change mean?

After August 19th, when you log into remote.scranton.edu and you enter your credentials (Royal ID and Password), you will receive a push notification on your mobile device. As soon as you authenticate by selecting the green checkbox, you will be able to access remote. If you are using a token, you will be prompted for a temporary code on the login page.

Video Instructions

Stop Unwanted SPAM and Robocalls

Your Caller ID may include “SPAM?” for known robocallers since December, 2018. This is an attempt by telecommunications carriers to help their customers determine if the call is valid or not. Scam calls made up a large share of the estimated 4.7 billion robocalls to mobile devices in May, according to YouMail, an app that helps block them. That’s more than double the amount from two years ago. The Federal Trade Commission receives about 10,000 robocall complaints per day.

“We’re all fed up with the tens of billions of illegal robocalls we get every year,” Andrew Smith, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. Fighting “this scourge remains a top priority for law enforcement agencies around the nation.” Carriers are always improving the algorithm used to determine which calls match the SPAM criteria. However, we will still continue to receive unsolicited calls from spammers/scammers.

The University’s Information Technology Division frequently receives requests to block SPAM or other unwanted calls but we are faced with determining if the phone number is actually valid. The spoofed number may belong to someone who justifiably needs to contact the University so we cannot just simply block all requests for unwanted calls. Normally, the calls cease within a few days.

In an attempt to help, you can register your phone numbers with the “Do Not Call” list by calling 1-800-382-1222 from the phone number you wish to register or by adding the number through www.donotcall.gov. You can also register your personal wireless number to the “Do Not Call” list.

However, if your department is receiving an influx of calls, please contact the Technology Support Center at 570-941-4357 in order to immediately block the number and cease the interruption to your business day. If we determine the spoofed number is valid, we will need to unblock the number after a few business days and set up a time to test to see if the calls begin again.

For additional information on Caller ID Spoofing, visit https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/spoofing-and-caller-id

Sources

“FTC, Law Enforcement Partners Announce New Crackdown on Illegal Robocalls.” Federal Trade Commission, 5 July 2019, https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2019/06/ftc-law-enforcement-partners-announce-new-crackdown-illegal.

 

 

Business Improvement: New RoyalSync Platform by Presence

The Center for Student Engagement is proud to announce that RoyalSync, the University’s co-curricular campus engagement platform, will be relaunched this fall powered by a new platform, Presence. Presence is a web and mobile software platform that helps campuses identify ways to increase student engagement, enhance assessment practices and promote opportunities, ultimately improving outcomes and retention. Presence will allow the Center for Student Engagement to simplify processes with student organization and event management, track student involvement with card swipe technology, identify student involvement trends and behaviors with real-time analytics, and help students make progress toward skill development through a co-curricular transcript.

When OrgSync, the previous platform that powered RoyalSync, was scheduled to be retired, the Center for Student Engagement, along with partners across the Division of Student Life and the Kania School of Management, began to search for a suitable replacement product, with the support of the IT division. The IT division helped us navigate the Third-Party Software Evaluation Lite assessment process to help us evaluate potential replacement products. After several rounds of demos from potential vendors, we selected Presence as the replacement platform for RoyalSync.

Over the spring semester, the Center for Student Engagement and the IT division have worked with Presence to build out the platform for our campus needs and attended web-based training to learn all the essentials of the platform. Undergraduate students will be the primary audience that RoyalSync will serve, providing information about student organizations and events all in one place, while student leaders with support from faculty/staff moderators can plan club/organization campus activities.

The new RoyalSync will be launched at the start of the Fall 2019 semester with in-person and web based training being offered to students and faculty/staff users. Please feel free to check out the new RoyalSync at royalsync.scranton.edu. For additional questions, please email cse@scranton.edu.

Written by Michael Ritterbeck, Director of the Center for Student Engagement at The University of Scranton