Ag IT Matters
The College of Ag Sciences Web Services team recently made some changes to the format of College websites. These changes have enhanced the consistency of all Penn State related sites. Some users have experienced a few issues with the layout of some pages since the update, but those issues can easily be fixed by clearing your web browser cache.
An updated version of the Identify Finder (IDF) software is now available. Version 6.3.1 will provide significant scanning enhancements and allow for more thorough searching for personally identifiable information (PII). This version of IDF will scan additional types of documents and will utilize Optical Character Recognition (OCR) for scanning. All county Extension and research center computers will be updated with the newest version of IDF beginning the week of June 11th.
Computers and other IT equipment that have reached the end of their useful life need to be disposed of properly, to secure any confidential data that may be stored on them. Ag IT has gathered recommendations that should be followed when disposing of IT equipment.
Users leaving the College of Ag Sciences are required to ensure that all work-related data has been appropriately transferred/shared with necessary colleagues and to notify Ag IT for account closure. We want to make the transition (to another job or retirement) as seamless as possible for all involved. Ag IT Consultants are available to assist users in making sure all work-related data is appropriately transferred and secured and also to assist users in collecting data that will need to be taken with them to their next job. To request assistants, please submit a Help Desk Request.
Do you use Ag “My Documents”? If so, we need your help! College storage space is quickly becoming an issue as we approach critically low levels of available storage space. Current reports show that there are hundreds of gigabytes of movies, music and pictures that are consuming network server storage and server backup resources. While some percentages of these files are work-related, Ag IT is asking you to remove non-work-related files from your “My Documents” directory.
Ag IT will be installing the TeamViewer software, used for providing remote computer support, on all Extension computers currently running Tivoli Endpoint Management (TEM). This install will not require any user intervention and is intended to assist users in launching the TeamViewer application when remote support is required.
Considering a new mobile device to connect to the College email and calendaring system (Exchange)? If so, please be aware that Blackberry devices may not be a viable option. When shopping for a new device, look for one that supports ActiveSync technology.
Recent changes to password complexity rules will require you to take extra care when selecting College of Ag and PSU user account passwords.
All faculty, staff and students at Penn State have access to up to 10 GB of free, secure file storage space where they can save files. This space is called PASS and can be accessed from anywhere an Internet connection is available.
For the past several years, Ag IT has been able to work with staff in county extension offices to remotely “image” new and troublesome computers. In the interest of utilizing the greater IT resources offered at Penn State, Ag IT is starting to implement a new technology called the Sysman BuildKey to simplify and streamline the process of imaging computers.
In the past, computers set up for use in the College were configured so that the primary users were machine administrators. As administrators, users could install their own programs and make system-wide changes. Unfortunately, the increased threat of computers becoming compromised by malware (malicious software), has required us to make changes to the way users operate their computers and necessitated the implementation of a User Least Privilege model.
The PSU eBuy system has been updated to reflect the Spring bundles that Dell has discounted for PSU purchases.
Ag IT has recently changed the process by which Cooperative Extension computers will be purchased. Buyers will now be required to use Penn State’s eBuy system to generate quotes for desired computer configurations.
Ag IT is in the process of replacing all ACE clients with Wyse Terminals. Wyse Terminals offer many advantages over ACE clients, including faster boot time and greater ease in securing the devices. All ACE clients should be decommissioned by March 31, 2013.
In early February, Identity Finder (IDF) will automatically be scheduled to run scans on all computers in County Offices and Research Centers. You will no longer be required to create schedules or reminders to manually scan your computer.
Meeting@PennState will be upgrading Adobe Connect to version 9 over the holiday break.
Security Operations and Services (SOS) plans to release version 6.2 of Identity Finder (IDF) in mid-December. This release will fix many of the glitches that we have experienced with the previous version. In preparation for the new IDF version, Ag IT will be implementing changes to the way the software functions, to make it run more smoothly in our environment. For more information on the changes Ag IT is implementing to help with IDF scanning, continue reading.
In January, Security Operations and Services (SOS) will release version 6.2 of Identity Finder. This version performs a more comprehensive scan of computers, to ensure machines are free of Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Due to the changes in what and how documents are scanned, scans may take significantly longer than with the previous version. For more information on the changes Ag IT is implementing to help ease this transition, continue reading.
In January, Ag IT will begin notifying users by email when their Ag Account password is about to expire. Users will be notified 30 days before their password will expire, again at 15 days before password expiration and then daily when the account is 7 days or less before password expiration.
The Ag IT unit has developed this eNewletter as a method to communicate relevant IT issues and projects to keep you informed of the work we are doing and future directions of IT in the college.