News

Changes to Windows Updates for ITS-Managed Computers

May 5, 2022

This June, ITS will begin a new method to update Windows software on ITS-managed computers. This new update method will be accompanied by a pop-up message giving the user the option to "snooze" the installation for a limited amount of time in the event that it is not a convenient time. The update will eventually install on its own once the max number of delays has been reached. This new approach to updates will prevent ITS-managed computers from falling behind in security updates, as many have done over the past two years. ITS will be sharing more information about this program as June approaches.

 

World Password Day - May 5, 2022

May 5, 2022 is World Password Day and ITS would like to remind everyone that increasing the security of your passwords is one of the most important steps you can take to secure both your digital information and online accounts. 

Did you know that the vast majority of cybersecurity breaches are the result of weak or reused passwords? On this World Password Day, upgrade your passwords and lockdown your login. Check out our guide on making strong passwords and then enroll in LastPass, a free password manager that securely stores your passwords - one password to remember them all. You can create separate accounts for work and personal use to separate your professional and personal digital lives. Along with creating strong passwords, consider adding two-step authentication for accounts to enhance your security. To learn more, contact ITS Security at security@brandeis.edu.

Workday Wednesdays

February 10, 2022

Noon - 1 p.m.

The Workday Team is pleased to announce Workday Wednesdays, a 60-minute session held on Wednesdays from noon - 1 p.m., that provides faculty, staff, and students (topic dependent) an opportunity to meet with members to learn more about a given topic, task or process in Workday. Upcoming sessions topics include Managing Programs of Study, Managing the Hiring Process, and Using Class Rosters and Enrollments Reports. Visit the Workday@Brandeis website for session dates, corresponding topics, and Zoom link (registration not required). March topics will be announced soon. To submit a suggestion or request a specific topic, please reach out using the suggestion box.

For more information or questions about using Workday, please contact help@brandeis.edu.

Employment Scams Targeting Students

March 10, 2022

College students seeking lucrative, flexible jobs can become targets of employment scams. Scammers advertise phony job opportunities on college employment websites, and/or students receive emails on their school accounts recruiting them for fictitious positions. A job offer that seems too good to be true could be a scam. Do not engage with any suspicious company websites or email addresses. 

Some employment scams targeting college students try to access your bank information. If any job asks for an upfront payment or personal information, do not give it to them. You should never need to pay for employment. This "employment" results in a financial loss for participating students. More information is available on the SFS website

In a local example, an adversary recently emailed a large number of Brandeis students offering a paid research assistant position within Brandeis’ Economics department. The adversary signed the name of a Brandeis professor and made it look like a legitimate opportunity. Ultimately, the adversary asked students who replied to them to purchase Amazon gift cards and email the barcodes to the scammer to “lock in” the job, with promises of repaying the money after employment begins.

Don’t Let Tax Season be Taxing: IRS Scams

March 10, 2022

With tax season well underway, ITS Security wants to remind the community to be aware of tax-related scams. Please note that the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages, or social media channels to request personal or financial information. As a reminder, never give out your social security number, credit card, or other personal information to telemarketers or in response to emails or text messages requesting this information. Learn more about tax-related scams on the IRS website

Additionally, beware of any emails related to your W-2. Brandeis employees can download their electronic W-2 (login required) from Workday. Please report any unsolicited emails claiming to be from the IRS or an IRS-related function to phishing@irs.gov. For more information or questions, contact the ITS Security Office at security@brandeis.edu.

Course Retention Policy

March 10, 2022

The Course Retention Policy has been updated following faculty feedback so that best practices for saving course materials may be found on a separate site. As a reminder, the policy went into effect in January 2019, and the retention period is six academic terms, as many courses repeat every other year. Courses older than six terms are archived, after which they are recoverable for one additional year.

For more information or questions, please contact help@brandeis.edu.

New Digital Media Content Platform: Kaltura Coming Soon

February 24, 2022

Kaltura has been selected as the university’s new digital media hosting platform to replace Ensemble Video, which will be retired in fall 2022. Kaltura is a full-featured digital media hosting platform that can be used to deliver videos on Brandeis websites and in LATTE. Kaltura offers tools to help make videos accessible, interactive, and collaborative. Starting in the spring, Kaltura will be available to current students, faculty, and staff. If you are an existing Ensemble user, your videos will be transferred to Kaltura for you. In order to ensure a smooth transition from Ensemble to Kaltura, Media Technology Services and the Office of Communications will be reaching out to users directly in the upcoming months. Additional updates about the initiative and timeline will be shared with the community in upcoming InBrief articles. Visit the Kaltura page on the ITS website to learn more about the transition from Ensemble to Kaltura. For questions, please contact Media Technology Services.

Romance Scams: Falling in love or falling victim

February 10, 2022

Falling in love or falling victim? They could be one and the same. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, the ITS Security Office would like to educate the Brandeis community on an increasing phishing scam—targeted at those seeking love—known as romance scams.

Millions of people turn to online dating sites and apps (e.g., Match, Bumble) or popular social media sites (e.g., Instagram, Facebook) to meet someone. Instead of finding romance, many find a scammer posing as a potential suitor who’s trying to trick them into sending money. Romance scams have become more complex and difficult to recognize in recent years. In the first half of 2021, the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received over 1,800 complaints related to online romance scams, resulting in losses of approximately $133.4 million. Learn how to spot the red flags of a romance scam from the National Cybersecurity Alliance or the FBI’s article on Beware of Romance Scams. If you have encountered a possible romance scammer, report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov

For general questions about security best practices at Brandeis, contact the Security Office at security@brandeis.edu.

Zoom: New Features and Learning Center

January 27, 2022

Zoom has released a series of new features with a focus on online learning that can also be used for virtual meetings. Be sure to keep your Zoom client updated to ensure you can access these great new features!
  • Enhanced Polling Features to help make virtual classes or meetings even more interactive. Polling and quizzing features have been expanded to include eight different question types, plus the ability to add images, which gives instructors even more flexibility with how they design their lessons.
  • Focus Mode is a great feature to help reduce distractions by requiring all students to turn their camera ‘on’, but they will only be able to see the instructor and not each other. This feature is designed to promote educational equity by allowing students to feel comfortable having their camera on, while also reducing visual distractions. 
  • Virtual Seating Chart enables instructors or meeting host(s) to rearrange the Gallery View. The customized view can be used as a virtual seating chart in future classes. 
Want to learn more about Zoom’s new features? Check out the recently released Zoom Learning Center, a great resource for both new and experienced users who want to see the latest features in action through short videos, live training and more. For questions or assistance with using Zoom, contact help@brandeis.edu.

Technology Help Desk - Spring 2022 Schedule

Feb. 1

Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m., Weekends, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Brandeis faculty, staff, and students should continue to direct all tech-related inquiries by submitting a help request, sending an email to help@brandeis.edu, or calling 781-736-4357. Starting next Tuesday, Feb. 1,  the team will resume regular support hours (Mon-Fri, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Sat-Sun, 1 pm. - 5 p.m.) with in-person support available by appointment only. Visit the ITS website to view the complete Help Desk schedule for Spring term 2022. A knowledgeable team of technology support specialists is ready to help you and will continue to adhere to university and health guidelines to ensure the safety of both the team and the community.

Classroom and Technology Upgrades & Assistance

January 13, 2022

Over the winter break, Media Technology Services commissioned 14 additional classrooms with HyFlex technology to accommodate remote learning. HyFlex technology-enabled classrooms include both cameras and microphones that connect directly to the computer for use with Zoom. Select classrooms also include integrated Echo360 automated lecture capture systems for recording class sessions. These recent upgrades bring the total number of Brandeis classrooms with upgraded HyFlex technology to 78.

As we prepare to return to in-person learning on Tuesday, Feb. 1, MTS is available to meet faculty individually or in small groups in classrooms to assist with technology questions. To request assistance in a classroom, please contact Media Technology Services at mts@brandeis.edu.

Data Governance Program Update

November 18, 2021

The Council of Data Trustees met monthly from March through August to discuss our Data Governance Program’s goals, objectives, roles and responsibilities, and the approach moving forward. As part of their work, they drafted a foundational Data Governance Policy which includes guiding principles and policy statements to ensure university data is accurate, accessible, and secure. The Policy is currently being reviewed by the University Policy Committee and will be shared with the community once approved. 

The Data Trustees also identified Data Stewards within each of their domains, and a Data Stewardship Council has been formed to lead the definition and classification of data within their domains. They will continue to meet regularly throughout the fall and spring semesters.

For questions or more information about the program, please contact Anne Marando or Ian Rifkin.

Workday@Brandeis - Support Update

Dec. 1

Starting Monday, Dec. 1, all Workday-related support inquiries should be directed to help@brandeis.edu or 781-736-4357. The Workday@Brandeis team and Technology Help Desk will continue to collaborate on issue resolution to ensure timely response and service. Please visit the Workday@Brandeis website to view the full library of resources for HR/Finance and Student including job aids, instructional videos, and FAQs.

Workday Student Go Live Event

November 4, 2021

On October 13, Brandeis staff including the Workday Student project team, key partners from across campus, and representatives from Workday and Huron Consulting Group came together to celebrate the launch of Workday Student. The event was sponsored by the university and project leadership to bring everyone together in person after hundreds of hours spent in virtual meetings and across time zones. On the unseasonably warm and sunny fall day, Jim La Creta, University CIO, shared the executive team’s appreciation for the team’s contribution in bringing a modernized student information system to the campus community. The new system introduced streamlined processes and an improved student experience. Visit the Workday@Brandeis project events webpage to view photos from the go-live celebration. For additional information and resources about Workday Student, please visit the Workday@Brandeis website.

Technology Purchase Procedures & Policies

November 4, 2021

ITS and Finance would like to remind the community that all computers and computer hardware that are used for university-related business should only be purchased using the proper Procurement channels. Faculty and staff should refer to the Computer Purchase Policy and the Brandeis University P-Card Policy for established purchasing procedures.

Purchases can be made via Punchout Catalogs through Marketplace+ (contact Procurement Services for access). On the Marketplace+ homepage, select the vendor logo under Additional Stores. Dell items should be purchased via the Dell punchout and Apple products should be purchased through either the SHI punchout or by requesting a customized quote from Apple by working with Information Technology Services (ITS) and Procurement. Computers and computer hardware should not be purchased independently using either the P-Card or personal funds and requesting reimbursement. Computer peripherals such as monitors, keyboards, mice, and headsets can be purchased from Amazon or GovConnection through Marketplace+; they do not need to be exclusively purchased through Dell, Apple, or SHI. 

For purchases that may fall outside these policies, community members must work with ITS and Procurement to ensure compliance with the policies noted above. In addition, the use, distribution, and disposal of computer equipment (regardless of age or value) should only be done so with the knowledge of ITS in accordance with the University's Written Information Security Policy. Please contact Procurement Services (procurement@brandeis.edu) or ITS (help@brandeis.edu) for additional information or questions.

Computer Health Check

October 21, 2021

With the change in season, it’s a good time to conduct a computer health check to ensure your laptop or desktop is up to date with the latest and greatest software updates and security patches. The Technology Help Desk would like to remind everyone to check their machine for updates and recommends starting the updates at the end of the business day to help minimize any downtime. Don’t forget to restart your computer after applying an update - in fact, a weekly restart is a must to keep your machine updated and running smoothly! Visit the ITS website for helpful back-to-school technology reminders. For questions or assistance, contact the Help Desk in person in the Goldfarb Library (Mon-Fri, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. or Sat-Sun 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.), submit a ticket (help@brandeis.edu), or call 781-736-4357.

LATTE - New Features

October 21, 2021

LATTE, the university learning management system, recently updated the Quickmail feature. Quickmail is a block within LATTE that provides instructors the ability to do selective, bulk emailing within courses. When using Quickmail, users will now see a new user interface. In addition, there are new features such as attaching files, adding email signatures, and scheduling messages for delivery at a later date. This update addresses an issue with the delivery of messages to recipients with course shells that have 150 or more enrolled users. Learn more about the new features in this Learn LATTE article. Visit the ITS website to view a more detailed list of recent changes. For questions or issues, please send an email (include screenshots, if applicable) to library@brandeis.edu.

Saving a Brandesian Hawk: An Unexpected Rescue

October 7, 2021

It’s likely that many of you have seen a hawk soaring overhead - their wings spread as they glide through the sky. It’s less likely to see the majestic raptor up close and perched atop your car and taking up residence behind Goldfarb Library. Last month, many staff from ITS and the Library had this very experience as they gently tried to nudge the bird off their vehicles and to take to the skies. The seemingly uninjured hawk’s presence lingered from one day to the next and its unusual behavior prompted staffers to seek help.

Carroll Hardin, Sr. Desktop Systems Specialist in ITS, and avid animal lover shares her story of the unexpected rescue and how the AnimalHelpNow mobile app put wildlife assistance, literally, in the palm of her hands. Read the full story, view photos of the hawk’s journey from library stacks to a treatment facility, and learn more about how you can help a feathered or furry campus visitor.

Workday Mobile App - Supported Versions

October 7, 2021

The Workday@Brandeis team would like to inform the community that Workday has announced requirements for minimum operating systems as follows:

  • Apple iOS - starting Oct. 25, the mobile app will only be supported on iPhone and iPad devices running iOS 14 and higher. Future updates and support will no longer be available for iOS13 or lower.

  • Google Android OS - effective Aug. 30, the mobile app will only support devices with Android 7.0 or higher. Future updates and support will no longer be available for Android 6.0 or lower.

We recommend checking the version on your smartphone or tablets and updating to a supported operating system. For detailed instructions, visit the Apple or Google support articles on how to update iOS on iPhone or check and update your Android, respectively. For assistance, contact the Technology Help Desk at help@brandeis.edu.

Workday - New and Improved Features

September 9, 2021

On Sept. 11 Workday will be upgraded to a new version. The system will be unavailable on Saturday from 2:00 - 6:00 a.m. while the system is updated with new and improved features that improve accessibility and overall user experience. Here is some helpful information to prepare you for the upcoming changes. The Search field has moved – it will appear centered at the top of the screen (previously on the top left). You can also choose to search by “people” or “tasks and reports” to narrow down your search results. There’s also a new way to view and select report prompts. After searching for and selecting a report (using the blue hyperlink), the prompts menu will now appear as a separate dialog window. Rather than being directed to a new page, you will stay within the current screen to set up parameters for the report. You can enter or select prompt(s) then select the ‘Ok’ button to run the report. 

Visit the Workday@Brandeis website to view details of these changes and resources for HR/Finance and Student. For questions, please contact workday-help@brandeis.edu.

LATTE - New Features

August 26, 2021

LATTE, the university learning management system, was recently upgraded to increase responsiveness, performance, and accessibility and to ensure reliability and stability. In addition, here are highlights of some new functions:
  • A new activity/resource menu allows for "starring" frequently used activities, sorting activities and resources by type, and viewing recommended options.
  • Discussion forums can now be graded using new settings in the activity configuration.
  • Discussion forums now have a summary report that can be exported based on selected forums and students.
  • Instructors can download all course content from their course shell, including student shared files such as assignment submissions and content uploaded into discussion forums.
For questions about the upgrade, please contact the Help Desk (help@brandeis.edu or 781-736-4357). Contact the Library team with questions about best practices for using LATTE tools and other instructional technologies, such as VoiceThread and Perusall.

Adobe Creative Cloud - New Process

September 1, 2021

ITS would like to inform the community that effective Sept. 1, there is a change in the process for accessing the university license to Adobe-related products including Adobe Acrobat DC (professional). Users will need to download, install and log in to the Adobe Creative Cloud (ACC) application on their computer in order to continue using Adobe products. ACC is a suite of applications that includes Acrobat, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign which supports creation tools for graphic design, photography, video content and editing, and much more. ACC is available for free to faculty and staff; students can purchase directly from the Adobe website. Faculty and staff who use Adobe products should visit the Adobe Creative Cloud website to download and install the desktop application. From there, users can select the specific application(s) to install on their computer. Users can install ACC on up to two computers, including a personal computer.

Visit the ITS website for detailed instructions on downloading and installing ACC (for both Mac and Windows). If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact the Technology Help Desk at help@brandeis.edu or (781) 736-4357.

Workday Student - Resources for Faculty

Workday Student is here! To help you navigate the transition from Sage to Workday, please refer to the following resources: Contact the support team by emailing workday-help@brandeis.edu or calling 781-736-4357.

Brandeis Mailing Lists - Moving to Google Groups

Mailing lists play a crucial role in day-to-day operations at Brandeis, so it’s important that we use a service that’s modern, secure, reliable and dynamic. Beginning Aug.15, any new mailing lists should be created using Google Groups. Due to an outdated platform and security risks, ITS will be deprecating the aging Brandeis mailing list service (lists.brandeis.edu) and transition to Google Groups over the course of the fall semester. There is no impact to existing mailing lists at this time, but ITS strongly recommends that lists owners and administrators review their lists to ensure the membership is up to date and to delete any lists that are no longer needed.  ITS will be sharing more information in the upcoming months about the transition including migration of existing lists to Google Groups and schedule of activities. Visit the ITS website for more information about creating a Google Group. For questions about the upcoming change, please contact help@brandeis.edu.

In addition, the University is evaluating additional efficient ways for community members to build lists based on selected criteria. These dynamic lists would remain current with our community populations in Workday. We will keep you posted on this initiative throughout the fall.

LastPass Password Manager

One password to remember them all!

Are you overwhelmed by having 1,234 different passwords or creating and remembering them for each of your online accounts? Did you know that 81% of security breaches are caused by weak or reused passwords? ITS is excited to offer LastPass, a password management tool to the Brandeis community. LastPass is a secure way to store and manage your login info for your online accounts. You can also easily create a strong, unique password for every online account to improve your online security. All you need to remember is a single (master) password, so when you visit websites, LastPass can automatically fill in your credentials for you.  Learn more and enroll today.