IT News

Curative Analysis: ‘Own IT’ for March 2018

The Curative Analysis team in IT is tasked with finding the causes of significant IT issues that affect campus. In this news update, we draw your attention to some of the problems being investigated or issues handled recently.

PAW Print Printing:  In January, IT began receiving reports that clients were being prompted for a release key when trying to print to PAW Print printers.  A workaround for the issue was temporarily put in place to inactivate the automated push of the Equitrac printing software and manually update Equitrac by disabling the ‘Release Key’ option and enabling the ‘Client Billing’ option.  An investigation into the issue revealed that an older Equitrac installation package was interfering with a new Equitrac installation package, resulting in the installation of the wrong version of Equitrac.  The older Equitrac installation package was removed from the system, allowing the new Equitrac package to install correctly, and the automated push of Equitrac was reactivated.

Phishing Attempts: January 2018 has seen a 250% increase of phishing campaigns coming to WCU.  Several steps are being taken to provide a more secure environment for our users.  The first step was to turn on Multi-factor authentication (MFA) off-campus for all employee accounts by February 28. MFA for student accounts will be turned on in Fall 2018.  Along with requiring MFA for off-campus, we will also be turning on Modern Authentication on April 2, 2018. Modern Authentication, when combined with MFA, provides an additional level of security.  Other research into advanced email security options is currently underway to provide further protection against phishing attempts.

Student Address Book in Outlook: It was discovered in March, that some students were not showing up in the Global Address List in Outlook.  Further investigation identified a synchronization issue between databases in Office 365, resulting in student accounts not receiving an assigned address book.  IT worked with Microsoft to resolve the synchronization issue and updated the affected student accounts to assign the proper address book.

Banner Performance:  Heavy loads to our Banner Production environment have been causing performance issues during peak processing times.  IT Systems personnel have been working with the UNC System Office to have additional resources such as CPU and RAM allocated to the WCU production environment based on the academic calendar.  In addition to added resources, IT personnel have projects slated to alleviate the overutilization of processing by offloading some of the heavier applications from Banner Production such as AppWorx and the Banner Operational Reporting Environment.

March 2018
Global Problems: (Total 6)
Student Address Book: 1
Outlook 2016 for Mac:  1
Cherwell Self-Service:  1
Visio:  1
Blackboard:  1
Faculty Activities Database:  1

The Division of IT is committed to adopting a proactive, process-oriented approach to prevent problems before they arise. We will continue to keep you informed on our progress.