News and Announcements

New Helpdesk Ticketing System Implemented

As one of our steps to improve customer service, the IT Department is moving to a new ticketing system to process your requests for IT assistance.

Starting tomorrow, Wednesday, April 16, we will be transitioning all new IT service requests to Harvard University IT’s (HUIT) Service Now ticketing system. This will replace our current Origin ticketing system.

Some of the new features that will allow faster response time on tickets are:

  • Integrated communication with a customer through built-in email, so all questions or requests are easily captured in the ticket.
  • Automated ticket creation using our IT web forms, such as new account request or new computer requests.
  • Full integration with other HUIT departments that support our email and networking systems allowing quicker turn-around time for those related service requests.

On the customer side, the major change you will see are the emails you receive when a ticket is opened or resolved will have a different look than the current emails from the Origin system.

Tickets that are currently open in our Origin system will be resolved in that system and will not move to the new system.

Please contact us if you have any questions on this new ticketing system.

Thank you,
Taso Markatos, CIO
HSPH Department of Information Technology

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.

Netstorage Restored

This is an update to inform you that the problem which occurred yesterday with our Netstorage system (used for offsite access to your P: and S: drives through a web browser), was completely resolved last night by 8:30 p.m.    We delayed this notification to be certain that there were no issues with the corrective action.

If you should encounter any anomalies in using Netstorage, please contact the Helpdesk at 617-432-4357 or email:

Taso Markatos, CIO

Scheduled Maintenance on Sunday March 16

UPDATE: All updates were successful and systems are fully operational.

Sunday night, March 16th, we will be performing our normal system maintenance to all servers.

The maintenance window will last from 5PM to 1AM.

Note – Our normal Thursday window is being moved to Sunday to accommodate the academic calendar.

There will be a school-wide Network outage between 5:00PM to 7:30PM:

  • ALL ACCESS to Servers will be interrupted
  • ALL ACCESS to the Internet will be interrupted

The following services will have one or two small outages between 7:30PM to 1:00AM:
(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
  • Web Server (main site)
  • Accellion File Transfer service
  • Wasabi

The following services will be unavailable from 7:30PM to Tues (3/18/2014) at 3:00PM:
NOTE – Extended outage due to system upgrade

  • MyHSPH Portal

The following services will be unaffected after 7:30PM:

  • HPCC system
  • HUIT Icemail (Outlook) system
  • ALICE Development/Testing systems
  • HSPH Wireless Access

Future maintenance dates:

  • 4/10/2014
  • 5/18/2014 (Moved to Sunday)
  • 6/12/2014

If you have any questions or concerns about this message, please contact our Helpdesk at 432-HELP or email

Celebration with the Stars Honorees

The Department of Information Technology congratulates its staff members honored at HSPH’s recent Celebration with the Stars

Honorees included:

  • Sarah Bearse for 5 years in service
  • Alex Garcia for 15 years in service
  • Deane Eastwood for 20 years in service
  • Brian Pedranti for 20 years in service
Alex Garcia-Rangel, Brian Pedranti, Deane Eastwood and Sarah Bearse

Left to Right: Alex Garcia-Rangel, Brian Pedranti, Deane Eastwood and Sarah Bearse



Update Your iPhone and iPad!

IPHONE_5S_BLKDue to the recently exposed security flaw in Apple products, we recommend that users upgrade their iOS devices (iPhones, iPads) to release 7.0.6 as soon as possible.

If you are already on iOS 7.x, the process takes a couple of minutes to complete.  If you haven’t upgraded recently and are still on iOS 6.x, the process may take 10 or more minutes.

Prior to beginning the upgrade, we strongly recommend backing up your device using iTunes.

For an explanation of the security flaw, please visit recent articles from Reuters and The New York Times:

If you have any questions, please contact the HSPH Helpdesk at 617-432-HELP.

Thank you,
HSPH Department of Information Technology

Wireless Network Now Available at Landmark Center

We are pleased to announce that Landmark 3 and 4 are now on the Harvard Wireless Network.

Ariadne Labs at Landmark Center

The conference room at Ariadne Laboratories now has Harvard wireless coverage.

Please see our Wireless Network page for information on which network to join.

If you have further questions on accessing and connecting to the network, please contact the HSPH Helpdesk at 617-432-HELP.

A site survey is underway to evaluate feasibility of adding additional wireless coverage to remaining locations without wireless on the HSPH campus.


New Staff Addition: Nick Kashner

Nick Kashner

Nick Kashner

Nick Kashner began working as a co-op on February 5 and will be working 10 hours each week through June 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!

Responsive Design Now Live on HSPH Website

If you are looking at the HSPH website with your smartphone or iPad, you may have noticed that the site is a bit easier to read and navigate today than it was last week.  This is thanks to a major effort by the Department of Information Technology and the Communications Group within External Relations to make the site more “responsive” to the vast variety of devices large and small that are now used to access websites.  Depending on the size of the screen you are using, the HSPH website now will display in a way that makes the type easiest to read and the site navigation easiest to use on that particular screen.

The HSPH website now adjusts based upon screen size optimizing the mobile experience for users.

The HSPH website now adjusts based upon screen size optimizing the mobile experience for users.

With nearly 30 percent of people now accessing the HSPH website each day through smart phones and other devices other than desktop computers, it was important to make the School’s internet presence more responsive to the global internet environment.  Meetings were held over the past couple of months with individuals in HSPH departments who manage portions of the HSPH website to alert them to these changes in the site’s design so they would have time to make adaptations if necessary. We thank all who have been involved in this project for their help in making it a reality and thereby improving the quality of user experience for the millions of individuals who access our website each year.

New Design on iPhone

New Design on iPhone

While we have tested the new designs on literally dozens of devices, we would appreciate hearing from anyone who experiences a glitch on his or her particular smart phone or other device so we can address any problems quickly.  Please email with any problems you identify.

Many thanks to the Web Team and staff in the Communications Group for their hard work on this project!

Julie F. Rafferty
Associate Vice Dean for Communications

Deane Eastwood
IT Director