Students relaxing in Centennial Common

Take Advantage Of Outdoor NUwave Coverage

Grab a brightly colored adirondack chair and use your laptop or tablet in many more outdoor spaces across campus! ITS has been working hard this summer to install additional outdoor wireless access points across campus, expanding on the work done during the first phase of the residential wireless project in the courtyard areas of Speare, Stetson West, Stetson East, White and West Village (A, B, C).

The new major outdoor spaces covered include:

  • Cabot Court
  • Centennial Common
  • Freshman quad
  • Krentzman quad
  • Snell quad (and the area behind the Curry Student Center)
  • Robinson quad (Mugar/Hurtig/Robinson/the Curry Student Center)
  • Between Churchill & Cabot Center
  • Between Ell and Hayden
  • Between East Village and Mugar
  • Between West Village G and H
  • In front of West Village E
  • Between International Village and Ruggles Station

This extensive outdoor wireless expansion was made possible due to significant cost savings during the two-year Residential Wireless Expansion project, a joint collaboration between ITS and the Department of Housing & Residential Life (part of EMSA). The project team’s cost savings was reinvested back into the Northeastern community and used to bring NUwave coverage to all outdoor community spaces. The overall project was delivered on time and under budget.

Example of an external wireless access point on the exterior of West Village G
External wireless access point on the exterior of West Village G, with close up view.

The map below shows in green and teal the areas that are officially covered by NUwave. The concentrated teal areas offer greater signal strength, due to the proximity to the installed external wireless access points. The strength of your signal will vary based on your proximity to the wireless access points. You may be able to see NUwave being broadcast outside of the green and teal areas below, but these spaces are not considered official coverage areas. The signal may be weaker in these areas because there is too much distance between your device and the access point. NUwave Coverage MapNOTE: Click to enlarge the image.

ITS has tested the main outdoor coverage areas for signal strength. If the signal strength is low and you believe the area should be fully covered by NUwave, please contact the ITS Service Desk at 617.373.4357 (xHELP) or help@neu.edu. Be sure to include the physical location where you are experiencing the issue.

 

East Village

All Northeastern-owned Residence Halls Now Have 100% NUwave Access

Information Technology Services and the Department of Housing & Residential Life are happy to announce that the residential wireless expansion project has been completed, just in time for Fall 2015 Move-In! This means that all Northeastern-owned residential buildings now have 100% NUwave access, as well as access to the wireless device network NURes-device. In total 1,827 wireless access points were installed within the residence halls.

During the 16-month project, 36 university-owned residence halls and 19 outdoor spaces were added to the NUwave network, significantly increasing the presence of the secure wireless network. The completion of this project has essentially provided 100% NUwave coverage across the Boston campus, including outdoor access in many of the popular academic and residential quads (see the blog post More NUwave Outdoor Space Coverage for details).

New Wireless Device Network – NURes-device
All university-owned residence halls also have access to a new wireless device network: NURes-device. This network is specifically meant for devices that do not support 802.1x and are not able to connect to NUwave – any computers or devices that can connect to NUwave will be rejected by this network. NURes-device is not encrypted, so it is not a secure network. A list of supported devices can be found on the NURes-device service page.

Important Notice — Do NOT Set Up Personal Routers
As of August 15, 2015, any pre-existing personally-owned wireless routers and/or wireless access points must be disconnected. If you are moving into residential housing this fall, please do NOT bring your own wireless router. ITS will be regularly scanning ResNet for rogue devices, and any devices that are detected will have the associated ports turned off. Students are NOT 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 (such as credit card numbers, and bank account numbers and PINs) that may be leaked from additional access points. Remember NUwave is a secured wireless network.

Failure to comply with the AUP may result in action by ITS, including loss of network use, and referral to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (OSCCR).

Previous posts about this project:

NUwave Residential Wireless Expansion Project – July 2014
NUwave Residential Wireless Expansion Project – Phase II – January 2015
Residence Halls To Have 100% NUwave Access By Fall 2015 – May 2015
Strategic Initiatives – Residential Wireless Expansion


NOTE: The term “university-owned” refers to both traditional and apartment style housing that the university owns and operates through the Housing and Residential Life department. Leased Properties are not owned by Northeastern, and therefore these apartments are not provided with ITS service.

Meet the new ITS Knowledge Base

There is plenty of technology in play during your daily life at Northeastern, and sometimes you just want to know how to do something with it. The ITS Service Desk staff are available to answer questions, but there is another resource that’s available 24×7, anywhere you go.

The new, enhanced ITS Knowledge Base provides an easy way to find technology solutions developed specifically for the Northeastern community. Whether you are trying to set up faculty/staff voicemail, download and activate Northeastern-licensed software on a personal computer, or even just change your password, the solutions in the Knowledge Base can walk you through each step.

The Knowledge Base now lives within the myHelp customer service gateway, under the Self-Service section in the left menu. There is also a direct link on the myNEU portal. Once you are logged in, you are presented with a screen listing all of the main categories:

  • Accounts & Access
  • Blackboard
  • Classroom Technology
  • Computers & Printing
  • Communications & Collaboration
  • Email
  • myNEU
  • Networks & Storage
  • Software
  • Support & Training
(click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)

It looks like there’s a lot, and there is. To drill down, click on a category heading for a new page with that category broken out into more specific topics.

(click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)

You can also choose to search for a specific term or phrase, using the Search field at the top left. If you do, you will be presented with the top results, and the option to refine those results by the categories and topics from which those results were pulled.

(click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)

In each solution you will see a new feature at the bottom: A section for feedback.

We encourage you to mark solutions as helpful – yes or no – and rate their usefulness. This will ensure that others will more easily find those that are most relevant.

KB_SNOW_05

We also encourage you to leave detailed feedback, comments or suggestions, which the ITS Knowledge Base team will review. Did you follow steps in a solution and they didn’t work? Write in your feedback and let us know so we can fix it!

(click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)

So help yourself, look around, and let us know what you think.

For more information, FAQs, and How To’s, visit the Knowledge Base page.

Residence Halls To Have 100% NUwave Access By Fall 2015

UPDATE – 8/15/2015:
This blog post was originally published in May 2015, detailing the wireless expansion during Spring 2015. The residential wireless expansion project was completed on August 15, 2015. Current information about secure wireless network can be found on the NUwave service page.


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.