Residence Halls To Have 100% NUwave Access By Fall 2015

In partnership with Housing and Residential Life, ITS has been expanding NUwave wireless network access within university-owned residence halls. At this time, 28 out of 33 halls have 100% wireless coverage, five of which (10 Coventry, Davenport A, Davenport B, West Village B and West Village F) went live today – May 4, 2015.

The remaining buildings will be completed over the summer and will offer NUwave by late August 2015, in time for Move-In 2015. The NUwave Residential Wireless Expansion Project – Phase II blog post covers the ongoing work and is updated weekly with the progress of the project.

Coming To A Quad Near You – Outdoor Wireless Access
In addition to providing NUwave inside the residence halls, this project includes making the wireless network available outside many buildings on the Boston campus. These new external access points will make it possible to find wifi in the immediate area around more than 15 academic, administrative and residential buildings. Construction will be taking place this summer and details about the new locations will be provided in the September issue of the ITS Newsletter.

Centennial Quad

New Wireless Device Network – NURes-device
Once NUwave is live in your residence hall, you will also have access to a new wireless device network: NURes-device. This network is specifically meant only for devices that do not support 802.1x, and are unable to connect to NUwave – you should still connect your computers and tablets to NUwave for wireless access. It is also important to note that NURes-device is not encrypted, so it is not a secure network.

Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Kindle (first generation), Nintendo 3DS, and Roku devices have successfully connected to NURes-device. Other similar devices may connect, but have not been tested. Wireless printers are not supported, and ITS discourages the use of wireless printers in residence halls, as it is possible for anyone on the network to find and use that printer.

Learn more about NURes-device and how to register to connect to it.

Getting Connected
Wherever there is NUwave access, find it in your available networks, and then enter your myNEU username and password at the connection prompt. You will also need to accept the wireless.northeastern.edu certificate. NUwave only supports WPA/WPA2-Enterprise wireless security. Visit northeastern.edu/its/howto/nuwave/ for details.

No More Wireless Routers!
Once NUwave is available throughout the entire building, students are no longer allowed to set up personally-owned routers and/or wireless access points for three main reasons:

  • Additional non-ITS wireless access points in areas where NUwave is offered degrades the service for both NUwave and the rogue access point.
  • It violates the Appropriate Use Policy (AUP).
  • There are security concerns with the amount of personal information that may be leaked from additional access points. Remember NUwave is a secured wireless network.

ITS recognizes that this maybe be a change for upperclassmen, however this policy will be enforced in all residence halls. Failure to comply with the AUP may result in action by ITS, including: loss of network use; referral to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (OSCCR).

Summer travel in your plans? We’ve got some tips and reminders

Summer is when many people make plans to attend professional conferences, visit the Cape, go out of the country, or decide on an urban adventure. We want to remind you of some things you should keep in mind, and remember to do when traveling this summer.

Can’t Believe Those Deals

As you’re considering places to go, if the deal is too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of discount travel clubs and websites, vacation packages, and “going out of business” deals. These days, it’s incredibly easy to check the web for reviews on a particular company or deal to see whether it is legitimate, and if the service and price is as advertised. Tip: search keywords about the deal with the words “review,” “scam,” or “complaint.”

Keep Your Electronics & Data Safe

Whether you’re in a familiar place or a new one, do not leave your laptop, phone, or bag unattended in public; it only takes seconds for opportunistic thieves to grab your belongings and disappear. Even if you’re with your things, when sitting in public do not leave your bag or purse hanging from the back of your chair or by your feet, and keep your bag or purse zipped with all pockets closed.

For those big trips where you’re checking luggage, never store your valuables, electronics, or medications in anything you’re not carrying with you; every year hundreds of baggage handlers are caught stealing expensive items from travelers’ luggage.

Now is also a good time to make sure you have a strong passcode on your phone or tablet, along with a strong password on your laptop, to serve as barriers should something be stolen. A strong passcode contains more than four digits; a strong laptop password is at least eight characters long, contains upper and lower case letters, and numbers or special characters – this does make them complicated and hard to remember, but it is more effective and you can always use a password manager, such as the ones recommended in this article. And do not keep passcodes or passwords on a piece of paper (or anything else) that you carry with you.

dual-security

If you are traveling for business and have sensitive or personally identifiable data (PII) stored on your Northeastern laptop, please contact the Office of Information Security at ois@neu.edu before you leave. Laws and regulations govern how to store sensitive data on mobile devices while traveling, and the data or laptop may need to be encrypted to ensure its protection and compliance. For more information on PII, see the Appropriate Use Policy.

And even if nothing is nothing is stolen, there is always the chance that something will be lost. So it’s also a good idea to back up your mobile data before you go on a trip. External backup drives are inexpensive, and can also be encrypted for protection if they are ever stolen, and provide an easy and worry free solution to keep your data safe. Make sure to store your backup drive in a safe place.

A final tip: If you don’t need your electronic devices or valuables, leave them at home. You can’t lose what you don’t have.

Register Your Laptop with NUPD

Northeastern University Police Department will register your laptop free of charge. A small Stop Theft plate will be securely attached to your laptop, and the chances you’ll get it back if it’s stolen go up – just last month, NUPD posted about how they were able to reunite a registered laptop with its student owner.

To set up an appointment to register, please contact Crime Prevention Coordinator Off. John Farrell at 617.373.5402, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

You Have to Make Free and Public Wi-Fi Secure

Free and public wi-fi networks often have little or no security features, unlike NUwave, which is protected by enterprise encryption. What does this really mean to you? Third parties may be able to eavesdrop on or “sniff” your web browsing data, and read your usernames and passwords.

To protect yourself and your information, whenever possible, connect to a virtual private network (VPN) before logging into any website when using a free or public wi-fi network.

Northeastern offers the GlobalProtect VPN to connect securely to Northeastern resources, such as intranet websites, the shared Q:\ drive, and remote desktop connections. Learn more about the VPN and what Northeastern resources you can’t get to without it, and also how to use it.

globalprotect vpn graphic - itsweb

However, that VPN does not protect you when visiting non-Northeastern resources, such as your bank or Gmail – for full security on other networks, consider using a third party VPN service (such as those recommended in this article) to secure all your wireless connections.

Don’t Let the Social Media World Know You’re Gone

Posting your travel plans on open forms of social media lets people know when you will be away from your home or apartment, and criminals could use this opportunity to steal your belongings. Be careful about how many people are aware of your travel plans. Do you really know and trust all the friends or followers that you have on social media? In this case using #latergram may make the most sense.

Faculty/Staff – Do Set Your Out of Office

Whether you’re going on vacation and won’t be checking email, or are going to be traveling for work and you won’t be able to keep up with your smartphone, it’s always a good idea to set an automatic reply on your email. How long are you gone? How often will you be checking (if at all)? Who can they contact in the meantime?

Win-OOO

  • Outlook Web App – Settings gear icon > Automatic replies
  • Outlook for Windows – File > Automatic replies (Out of Office)
  • Outlook for Mac – Tools > Out of Office

Different Countries, Different Rules

And finally, if you are traveling internationally, keep in mind that each country has different laws and practices. Here are some tips for safe international travel at SecureNU.

Training – Make Your Own Excel Class

One Microsoft Office application brings more students to live workshops than any other, and has the most hours of training watched on Lynda.com: Excel.

There is so much that Excel can do, and much of it is not obvious or intuitive, so ITS Training workshops and Lynda.com help to cover a lot of this information. At the same time, because of that depth, there are so many ways people use it – on co-op, someone may be using it while immersed in financial functions, while somebody else is a heavy user because of statistics and building scenarios.

To meet these varied needs, ITS Training has developed a new type of workshop. The Excel Open Lab will be offered monthly, and each session has no agenda other than what you as attendees bring. It’s meant to be a good group think tank to work on Excel problems people are having. So whether it is figuring out internal rate of return, or what do macros do, the workshop is wide open and no two sessions will be alike.

You can see all of the ITS Training workshops on the ITS Training registration site. We can also do workshops for student groups and we welcome ideas for new topics we don’t cover yet. Email training@neu.edu to reach us.

Training – Get The Most Out of Office 365

With the completion of the migration of all faculty and staff email to Office 365, ITS Training would like to point out some new web features that you should take full advantage of to make your work life easier.

For instance, in the Outlook Web App you can:

  • Set your Out of Office message if you didn’t remember to do so in your Outlook software
  • Forward your Northeastern email to any other address
  • Easily search your mailbox by keyword or person

To get all the tips and tricks on these features and more, register for the Outlook/Office 365 workshop through the ITS Training registration site.

Once you’re there, also check out the full calendar of many other training classes for everyone. If your area is looking for a training workshop just for your department (even something customized), or you have an idea for a class, ITS Training (training@neu.edu) would love to hear from you.

Are you as secure as you could be? Get to know (and use) two-factor authentication

Outside of Northeastern, everything you sign into online or on mobile – Gmail, iTunes, PayPal, etc. – is another opportunity for someone to steal your information, and maybe more. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an easy way to add another layer of security to your password.

Most services provide this extra security through a code synced to your phone through an app like Google Authenticator. Others use text messages, or even a USB-based hard encrypted security key. No matter what you use, it all adds up to: Something You Know + Something You Have = More Security.

So look through the chart below for any online or mobile service you use, and if it’s on there, go set up the two-factor authentication. Do it now. Don’t leave yourself open in any way to hackers, criminals, or someone just messing around. It’s also a good idea to check for a two-factor authentication option any time you sign up for something new that requires a password. And if you use online or mobile banking and they haven’t required it already, ask your bank how to set up extra security for your login.

We’ll keep this chart as updated as possible. If there’s anything you think should be added, let us know @NortheasternITS.

For up-to-date information on computer security at Northeastern, and more safe computing policies and tips, make sure to check out our Office of Information Security’s site and follow them @SecureNU.

 Service Two-Factor Name Options How To Turn On & Use
Apple ID (including iTunes, iCloud, etc.) Two-Step Verification  Virtual See the information and directions in these Apple FAQs
Amazon Web Services Multi-Factor Authentication
  • Virtual
  • Hardware Key Fob
  • Hardware Display Card
Sign up at Amazon Web Services
Box.com Two-Step Verification/Login Verification Virtual Follow the directions here
Dropbox Two-Step Verification Virtual Follow the directions here
Ebay Symantec VIP Security Key
  • Virtual
  • Hardware Credential
Learn more about the mobile, desktop and hardware credential options here
Etsy Two-Factor Authentication Virtual Follow the directions here
Evernote Two-Step Verification Virtual Learn more in this Evernote blog post
Facebook
  • Login Approvals
  • Third Party Authenticator
Virtual
  • Login Approvals – Follow the directions here for your platform
  • Third Party Authenticator – Follow the directions here for your platform
Google Services (including Gmail, Youtube, Google Wallet, etc.)
  • 2-Step Verification
  • Security Key
  • Virtual
  • Hardware Key
  • 2-Step Verification – Set it up here
  • Security Key – Follow the directions here
  • Learn more about both here
LastPass Multifactor Authentication Virtual Follow the directions here
LinkedIn Two-Step Verification Virtual Follow the directions here
Microsoft (personal accounts only, NOT Office 365) Two-Step Verification Virtual See the information and directions in these Microsoft FAQs
PayPal Symantec VIP Security Key
  • Virtual
  • Hardware Credential
Learn more about the mobile, desktop and hardware credential options here
Tumblr Two-Factor Authentication Virtual Follow the directions here
Twitter Login Verification Virtual Read about the options and how to enable them here
Venmo Multifactor Authentication Virtual Read more here
WordPress (this applies to sites hosted on WordPress.com only) Two Step Authentication Virtual Follow the directions here
Yahoo Two-Step Verification Virtual Follow the directions here, and read about other available protection measures

 

Things you may have missed…

The never-ending winter is finally gone! While you were buried, shoveling (and shoveling), or sitting back with hot chocolate, you may have missed some of our important stories in January 2015.

New VPN and Remote Access Requirements

A new Virtual Private Network (VPN), Palo Alto’s GlobalProtect, is part of our continued efforts to enhance the security of Northeastern’s network. The VPN provides secure off-campus access to all students, faculty, staff and sponsored accounts at Northeastern. Use it to connect to secure resources, such as the shared network drives (Q:\), certain library databases, personal workstations and data centers.

More precisely and based on audit recommendations, ITS has defined a new standard for remote desktop access. Individuals using certain remote desktop applications – such as Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), PC Anywhere, and Apple Remote Desktop – must use the VPN in order for those applications to work properly. This requirement also applies to non-Northeastern researchers and/or contractors.

Learn more about the VPN, when you must use it, how to install it and more here.

Want more free Microsoft? Go to DreamSpark

ITS negotiated to add Microsoft’s DreamSpark Standard offering to the software available for all faculty, staff and students through the myNEU portal. This provides access to more than 50 of Microsoft’s more advanced products – including Visual Studio, Visio, SQL Server, and Windows Azure – for installation on your personal computer. In addition, several groups around Northeastern have their own licenses for the expanded Premium version of DreamSpark, which includes Project and more than 500 other software titles.

Find out what’s available and how to get it here.

New name, same great security service

Office of Information Security logo

In order to more precisely reflect the office’s core focus – protecting both computing and information assets of the university community – Information Technology Services’ security unit has been rebranded to Office of Information Security. This change is in name only! You will still receive the same great service you’ve come to expect, and OIS will continue to be a resource to the Northeastern community for all information security matters.

Remember, security is a shared responsibility. Do your part to help promote a safer and more secure computing environment by observing and supporting secure practices in your academic or business unit. If assistance is required, please contact ois@neu.edu.

For more information, please visit the Office of Information Security website.

Northeastern guests now get even more wireless time

Almost a year ago changes went into effect for the NUwave-guest network in order to make it more secure. Parents, vendors, friends and anyyone who is not already part of Northeastern can register to get hours of free wireless access at the university without needing to find the nearest Starbucks.

As of April, access has been extended to 12 hours at a time. This means that anyone who is here for a short visit should only have to register for the unsecured wireless network once a day.

So if you have people visiting, either familiarize yourself with the steps in How To: Register for NUwave-guest access, or point them there. This page will walk them through the process, whether they are on the Boston campus, or another Northeastern location.

Reminder! If you are a Northeastern faculty/staff member, student, or Sponsored Account with myNEU credentials, you must sign on to NUwave with your myNEU username and password for secure wireless access. That will get you access not only to the Internet, but also to all of your Northeastern resources. NUwave-guest is intended to provide limited, Internet-only access for people without a myNEU username and password.

There are, of course, other types of visitors. If a guest is going to be with you for an extensive period of time – such as a visiting scholar or researcher, or a lecturer, contractor, or other longer-term guest – please get them a Sponsored Account for on-campus Internet access. If you’re running a conference or event, please read our post Getting wireless access for your conference attendees.

Partnering for technology innovation

As part of the Northeastern community, Information Technology Services is a key player in providing technology innovation that will enhance the university. Starting this May, we are highlighting a selection of the solutions that we offer in partnership with faculty, staff and students.

The Strategic Initiatives slideshows cover the four areas of ITS’s mission – Teaching & Learning, Enterprise Solutions, Research & Discovery and Global Collaboration. Together they walk you through a selection of the work ITS is doing to enhance the student experience, increase organizational effectiveness, extend the university’s global presence, and more.

Visit the Strategic Initiatives under About Us on the site menu to learn more about each and what it all means to you.

New Software Available – Summer 2015

New and the latest versions of software are now available to the Northeastern community in ITS-managed labs, on Faculty/Staff Northeastern-managed computers and for local install. Software availability is based on the Summer 2015 image.

If you are on a managed computer and are not seeing the latest software in Start or Software Center on Windows, or in Applications or Self Service on Mac, you may want to consider having your machine reimaged. You can do this by contacting the ITS Service Desk at 617.373.4357 (xHELP) or help@neu.edu.

Also check out the Spring 2015 new software for anything you might have missed, including:

  • Microsoft Project and Visio 2013
  • Palo Alto GlobalProtect VPN
  • Dreamspark
  • New local install options for Northeastern-owned, unmanaged computers

Mathematica 10

The latest version of this program introduces a number of new features, including machine learning, computational geometry, geographic computation, and device connectivity.

  • Windows – Available for all ITS-managed lab and faculty/staff Northeastern-managed computers through Start > All Programs > Statistical and Computational > Mathematica.
  • Mac – Coming soon to all ITS-managed lab  computers under Applications, and faculty/staff Northeastern-managed computers in Self-Service. This post will be updated to reflect when the software is available.

Storyline2, Replay and Character Bundles

This software, previously only available in the Digital Scholarship Commons lab, provides a PowerPoint-compatible interface to help create engaging and interactive online course materials that blend instruction, audio, video, and optional assessment.

  • Windows – Available for installation on faculty/staff Northeastern-managed computers through Start > All Programs > Microsoft System Center > Software Center. Also available in the Digital Scholarship Commons lab.
  • Mac – Not available.

SketchUp Pro 2015

The architecture and design software latest version provides new capabilities – from faster rendering to entirely new tools.

  • Windows – Available for all ITS-managed lab and faculty/staff Northeastern-managed computers through Start > All Programs > Design & CAD > SketchUp Pro.
  • Mac – Available for all ITS-managed lab computers under Applications.

FileMaker Pro 13

This new version of this relational database application includes new design, development and security features for all platforms, along with an improved client for both iPhone and iPad.

NOTE: As part of this update, ITS will be retiring FileMaker Pro 12 and 10, removing from all faculty/staff managed computers and ITS-managed lab computers in mid-May 2015. Faculty/staff who need to use the application, please follow the instructions below for how to install a local copy of the new version.

  • Windows – FileMaker Pro 13 is available for installation on faculty/staff managed computers through Start > All Programs > Microsoft System Center > Software Center.
  • Mac – FileMaker Pro 13 is available for installation on faculty/staff managed computers through Self-Service.

Aspen Plus 8.6

This version of the chemical process optimization software includes advances in modeling, analysis and reporting.

  • Windows – Available for all ITS-managed lab and faculty/staff Northeastern-managed computers through Start > All Programs > AspenTech > Process Modeling V8.6 > Aspen Plus.
  • Mac – Not available.

Stata 13

This version of the data analysis and statistical software provides enhanced capabilities in many areas, from new treatment effects and models to greater options for sample sizes and forecasting.

  • Windows – Available for all faculty/staff Northeastern-managed computers through Start > All Programs > Statistical and Computational > Stata.
  • Mac – Stata 13 is available for installation on faculty/staff managed computers through Self-Service (Stat & Comp).