News and Announcements

New Staff Addition: Cassandra Depietro

We are pleased to welcome Cassandra Depietro to the Department of Information Technology. Cassie began a summer internship on June 4 working for the Media and Educational Technology Services (METS) team.

Cassie DepietroShe is currently a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst studying applied mathematics where she maintains an impressive 3.7 GPA. In 2013, she completed her bachelor of science in mathematics at Fairfield University where she was a member of Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honor society.

She will assist the METS team in preparing for our migration from iSites to Canvas learning management system as well with testing statistical software within our virtual desktop infrastructure environment.

Previously, Cassie has worked as a teaching assistant at UMass, a research assistant at Fairfield, and a math tutor at Mathnasium Learning Center. She has also studied abroad at Regent’s American College in London.

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

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, security.harvard.edu.
Sincerely,
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 (helpdesk@hsph.harvard.edu or 617.432.4357) with any questions or concerns.

Thank you,

Bill Mahoney
Director, Information Technology

 

HSPH IT is now supporting Apple OS X Mavericks 10.9.2 for all HSPH-owned Apple computers

To All HSPH Mac Users,

The Department of Information Technology is now supporting Apple OS X Mavericks 10.9.2 for all HSPH-owned Apple computers.  Mavericks contains improvements to the stability, compatibility and security of your Mac.  Unlike other OS releases, Mavericks is free and will eventually become Apple’s only supported OS.

The upgrade process differs based upon whether your computer is a desktop or an encrypted laptop and what OS version you are currently running:

  • Apple OS X 10.9 or Apple 10.9.1 desktops
    Please use your Mac’s automatic update system.
  • All other OS X desktops
    Please contact the Helpdesk at 432-HELP to arrange for an upgrade.
  • All encrypted laptops
    Please contact the Helpdesk at 432-HELP to arrange for an upgrade.  Please do not attempt to update the operating system yourself as a faulty upgrade could result in data loss.

For more information on how to check your current OS and for information on updating Apple operating systems, please see our web page at:

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/information-technology/desktop-computing/information-for-new-apple-os-mavericks-10-9-2/

If you have any questions, please contact the Helpdesk at 617-432-HELP or email helpdesk@hsph.harvard.edu

 

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.

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. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/information-technology/forms-fees/
  • 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: http://security.harvard.edu/heartbleed.  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: http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic731455.files/password_information_41414.pdfIf 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 Helpdesk@hsph.harvard.edu  (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: helpdesk@hsph.harvard.edu.

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 www.hsph.harvard.edu 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

  • ALICE
  • 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 helpdesk@hsph.harvard.edu.