Author Archives: Christopher Ternan

Thank You for Attending Our Third Annual Tech Day!

Thank you for attending our third annual Tech Day!

Raffle winners:

  • Claudette Thompson, Apple Watch
  • Mary Jane Curran, ChromeCast
  • Deborah Atobrah, Kindle
  • Colin Fleming, Apple TV
Tech Day 2015

Tech Day 2015


The Department of Information Technology hosted a Fall Tech Day on: Thursday, October 22, 12:00 – 2:00 pm Kresge Atrium.


  • Dell — Representatives from Dell showcased the latest laptop, tablets and other machines available through the Harvard contract.
  • AppleRepresentatives from Apple showcased the latest Apple products on display.
  • HarvardKey — The Identity & Access Management program at Harvard University Information Technology introduced Harvard Key.
  • Office 365 —Our Office 365 gurus offered overviews of new features and answer questions.
  • WordPress — The web team showcased the recently launched Admissions web site and answer questions about WordPress.
  • Canvas — Media and Educational Technology Services (METS) demoed new features and answer questions about Canvas.
  • BlueJeans – BlueJeans video conferencing accounts were created on the fly.
  • Virtual Desktops – The server team demonstrated our new virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).  VDI allows students to access instructional computing lab software from their own computers.
  • Student Information Systems (SIS) — The SIS team provided a sneak peak of the new platform that is coming in the Fall 2016.

Thank you for attending!

iSite Migrations

Do you have a standard iSite that is active?

If so, be aware iSites will be retired in the summer of 2016.

The Harvard Chan School web team is prepared to help you find an alternative solution. Please fill out the following survey to get started:

Why are we retiring standard iSites?

The Harvard iSites platform is a ten-year-old homegrown platform using older technology and is need of replacement. As a result, Harvard University is transitioning to more focused and modern solutions that will meet the academic and administrative needs of schools and departments now and into the future.

What is our status?

Of the 600+ Harvard Chan standard iSites, 427 have already been migrated or retired.  We need your assistance to complete this project!

iSite Progress

What are your options?

Administrative iSites can be migrated over to the following platforms:

  • Harvard Chan WordPress
  • Confluence Wiki (Harvard PIN protected option, custom group option)
  • OpenScholar (Harvard PIN protected option)
  • SharePoint (manage documents in a secure location)

Resources for migrating your Standard iSite to a new platform can be found here:

We’re happy to setup a meeting to discuss your migration options in more detail. Please fill out the survey to get started.

Server and Network Maintenance: Sunday Night, May 17

To All Harvard Chan School users:

This Sunday, May 17th, we will be performing our normal monthly system maintenance to all servers and network gear. The maintenance window will last from 7PM to 1AM. Note – Our normal Thursday window has been moved to Sunday to accommodate the academic calendar

The following services will have one or two small outages:
(You can continue to work, but may have brief pauses while services restart)
– File and Print services
– ICF File services
– ICF Print services
– NetStorage
– Kanaka
– Powerfaids and NetPartner
– Accellion File Transfer service
– Wasabi

There will be a single, 15 minute outage between 7:00PM and 1:00AM to the Virtual Desktop System:
– ICF Physical machines and ICF VDI/Virtual Desktop System
– Staff VDI/Virtual Desktop System

The following services will be unavailable from 7pm – 10:30pm:
– myHarvardChan Portal

The following services will be unaffected during the maintenance window:
– Web Server (main site)
– HUIT ICEmail/O365 (Outlook) system
– ALICE Development/Testing systems

Please contact our I/T Helpdesk at (617)432-4357 or email for any questions or concerns you may have regarding this information.

Upcoming Maintenance dates:

  • 6/11/2015
  • 7/16/2015
  • 8/16/2015 – Moved to Sunday, to accommodate Academic Calendar
  • 9/10/2015
  • 10/15/2015
  • 11/12/2015
  • 12/10/2015

RCC Intern Update: Nick Kashner

Nick KashnerUPDATE:
Nick has moved on to Florida State University and is studying for his bachelors degree in information technology!

He recently accepted a summer internship at JP Morgan as a tech analyst.

We wish him continued success.


Nick Kashner began working as a co-op on February, 2014 as part of his program at Roxbury Community College (RCC).  He is a candidate for an associate degree in web technologies with an anticipated graduation date of June 2015.

Nick is a Pawlet Scholarship Award winner and a member of the Alpha Delta Phi Literacy Society at Northeastern University. He has an impressive 3.75 GPA.

Nick is our seventh co-op in the HSPH-RCC partnership coordinated by the HSPH Office of Human Resources.

Please join us in welcoming Nick to the Harvard School of Public Health!

Upcoming replacement of email filtering system

UPDATE, December 12: Proofpoint has been implemented and is fully operational.

To All SPH Faculty and Staff Email Users:

During the week of December 8th, Harvard University Information Technology (HUIT) will be implementing a new virus and spam filtering service called Proofpoint,  to replace the current service running on the Harvard email systems (ICEMail, O365, Outlook).  The goal of this upgrade is to provide you with spam filtering that balances protection from harm or annoyance, while allowing you to receive the messages that you want and need.  While the recent increase in spam is not just a Harvard problem, the existing message hygiene service has not been able to achieve these objectives, and the new service offers more features and robust filtering from phishing scams and other email security threats.

More information on the new service can be found at:

As we approach the SPH transition,  you will receive additional emails indicating your actual transition date and instructions on how to access new features.  Please be assured that you will still receive all email during this transition

If you have questions or need assistance, please contact our SPH Helpdesk by phone at 432-4357 or by email at:

Happy National Cyber Security Awareness Month

National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) – celebrated every October – was created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online.

Cybersecurity begins with a simple message everyone using the Internet can adopt: STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Take security and safety precautions, understand the consequences of your actions and behaviors online and enjoy the benefits of the Internet.

Tips & Advice

Keep a Clean Machine

  • Keep security software current: Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats.
  • Automate software updates: Many software programs will automatically connect and update to defend against known risks. Turn on automatic updates if that’s an available option.
  • Protect all devices that connect to the Internet: Along with computers, your smartphones, gaming systems and other web‐enabled devices also need protection from viruses and malware.
  • Plug & scan: USBs and other external devices can be infected by viruses and malware. Use your security software to scan them.

Protect Your Personal Information

  • Secure your accounts: Ask for protection beyond passwords. Many account providers now offer additional ways for you verify who you are before you conduct business on that site.
  • Make passwords long and strong: Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password.
  • Unique account, unique password: Having separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals.
  • Write it down and keep it safe: Everyone can forget a password. Keep a list that’s stored in a safe, secure place away from your computer.
  • Own your online presence: Set the privacy and security settings on websites to your comfort level for information sharing. It’s ok to limit how and with whom you share information.

Connect with Care

  • When in doubt, throw it out: Links in email, tweets, posts and online advertising are often the ways cybercriminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it’s best to delete or, if appropriate, mark as junk email.
  • Get savvy about Wi‐Fi hotspots: Limit the type of business you conduct and adjust the security settings on your device to limit who can access your machine.
  • Protect your $$: When banking and shopping, check to be sure the sites is security-enabled. Look for web addresses with “https://,” which means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information. “Http://” is not secure.

 Be Web Wise            

  • Stay current. Keep pace with new ways to stay safe online. Check trusted websites for the latest information, share with friends, family and colleagues and encourage them to be web wise.
  • Think before you act: Be wary of communications that implores you to act immediately, offers something that sounds too good to be true or asks for personal information.
  • Back it up: Protect your valuable work, music, photos, and other digital information by making an electronic copy and storing it safely.

Be a Good Online Citizen

  • Safer for me, more secure for all: What you do online has the potential to affect everyone – at home, at work and around the world. Practicing good online habits benefits the global digital community.
  • Post only about others as you have them post about you.
  • Help the authorities fight cybercrime: Report stolen finances, identities and cybercrime to (the Internet Crime Complaint Center) and (the FTC).

Visit for more information.

Tech Day will be held on September 25

Tech Day 2014Do you have technology questions and don’t know who to ask? Have you ever wondered who all these “IT” folks are and how they can help you? Do you like free stuff? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re in luck!

The HSPH Information Technology department is hosting a Tech Day on:

September 25th from 12:30 to 2 in the Kresge Cafeteria Atrium

We’ll be showing off the latest tech from tablets to video conferencing, hosting mini-talks, and raffling away prizes.

Come join us, meet the team, and have a great time.


  • Dell — representatives from Dell will have the latest laptop, tablets and other machines available through the Harvard contract.
  • Harvard TPC — representatives from Harvard’s Technology Product Center will have the latest Apple products available through the Harvard contract.
  • Office 365 — User Services Team will demonstrate Office 365, a cloud-based email that HSPH will be migrating to in 2015.
  • WordPress — the HSPH web team will demonstrate and explain the School’s site-wide responsive design on a variety of devices.
  • Canvas — Media and Educational Technology Services (METS) will demonstrate Canvas, the learning management system that HSPH and Harvard are rolling out over the next year.
  • MediaSite — METS will demonstrate MediaSite, HSPH’s new course capture system that was launched in September 2014.
  • BlueJeans – BlueJeans video conferencing will host a remote session to demonstrate their video conferencing bridging service.
  • Virtual Desktops – The server team will be demonstrating our new virtual desktop, which will allow you to work on the same desktop from anywhere…


  • We will offer quick 10 minute tours of the two new distance learning studios in Kresge LL and the HSPH server room.
Tech Day 2012

Hundreds of people stopped by a previous tech day to view new products and services.

Mini-talks (15 minute Q&A talks in Kresge 110):

  • Apple support: What do we offer?
  • Personal security (HRCI, Encryption, Privacy, and Virus Protection)
  • Digital signage
  • Google analytics
  • General Q & A

Vulnerability in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer

Updated: Wednesday, April 30th
Dear Members of the Harvard Community,
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommends that all users temporarily discontinue the use of Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) due to a critical security flaw.
Harvard Information Security recommends that all members of the Harvard community use another browser, such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, until a fix has been issued for IE.
If Harvard internal sites require the use of IE, please limit use to those specific sites.
For more information about this flaw, please visit the Harvard Information Security website,
Christian Hamer
University Chief Information Security Officer


Tuesday, April 29th

Many of you may have heard or read in the news of the recent vulnerability in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Microsoft has released a work around until a patch is designed to fix this issue. SPH IT is now pushing out this work around to SPH configured Windows 7 PCs. Once this is done the risk is mitigated until the patch is released fixing the vulnerability.

For those not using a Windows PC configured by the SPH IT department or using any Windows XP PC (which is no longer supported by Microsoft and will not be patched at all) we recommend not using Internet Explorer but use a more secure web browser, such as Firefox or Chrome, for all non-Harvard web sites.

Please contact the Helpdesk ( or 617.432.4357) with any questions or concerns.

Thank you,

Bill Mahoney
Director, Information Technology


New Policy on Access to Electronic Information Posted

Harvard University has posted a new University-wide policy on access to electronic information.

The policy on electronic information is grounded on six important principles:

  • Access should occur only for a legitimate and important University purpose.
  • Access should be authorized by an appropriate and accountable person.
  • In general, notice should be given when user electronic information will be or has been accessed.
  • Access should be limited to the user electronic information needed to accomplish the purpose.
  • Sufficient records should be kept to enable appropriate review of compliance with this policy.
  • Access should be subject to ongoing, independent oversight by a committee that includes faculty representation.

Read the full Harvard Gazette article.

Guidance on the “Heartbleed” Internet security vulnerability

To All SPH Faculty, Staff, and Students:

Last week, a security flaw dubbed “the Heartbleed bug” was discovered in a common Internet security protocol (OpenSSL) that protects credentials, such as usernames, passwords, and credit card numbers. An explanation of this flaw can be found on the Harvard Information Security website at:  Harvard IT professionals across the University, and our own server team, web team, and Andy Ross our security manager, acted quickly to assess and patch any websites or applications that may have been vulnerable.  The Harvard PIN system and other enterprise applications were not affected as a result of Heartbleed, and Harvard Information Security currently has no indication that any information has been compromised.

Although there is a low risk that your Harvard account credentials were compromised, you are at greater risk if you use the same password for your Harvard accounts as for your personal accounts, such as personal email, social media, and other websites. We strongly recommend that you change your Harvard password immediately if you have also used it for external non-Harvard accounts.   Furthermore, it is important to not use the same password for Harvard and personal accounts going forward. It is always good practice to periodically change all your account passwords, and this may be a good opportunity to refresh your Harvard passwords even if you believe you are at low risk of being affected by Heartbleed.

You can find full instructions on how to change your Harvard passwords on our I/T Dept. website at: you have an SPH encrypted laptop,  pay close attention to the instructions under section 2.2 and 2.3.   Also, BEFORE changing your OUTLOOK Email password (see section 2.5), be sure to turn off all your portable devices (iPhone/iPad/Android/Tablet), to avoid your email getting locked out on that device.

If you have any questions or concerns about this security issue or need assistance to change your passwords, please contact the Helpdesk at 617-432-HELP or  (Mon-Fri: 8 a.m.-6 p.m.)

Taso Markatos
CIO, SPH I/T Dept.