IT News

Curative Analysis: ‘Own IT’ for April 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.

Outlook 2016 for Mac:  Clients using Outlook 2016 for Mac may have noticed that appointments or meetings are one hour ahead when viewing the Week View in the calendar. This issue has been fixed in the latest version of Outlook 2016 for Mac (version 16.11, released on March 13, 2018). To get the latest update, open Outlook for Mac, go to the Help > Check for Updates menu, and follow the instructions in the AutoUpdate app. You can use Work Week or Day view in the calendar as a workaround.

Phishing Attempts: Spring semester 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 turned on Modern Authentication on April 9, 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.

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.  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.

Safari 11.1 with Blackboard:  Apple pushed out an update to the Safari browser which broke the capability for students to submit assignments and for instructors to add certain content to their courses.  The workaround was to use a different browser such as Firefox or Google Chrome.  On Saturday, April 21, 2018, during the Blackboard maintenance window, Blackboard applied a patch to correct the issue with the Safari 11.1 browser.

April 2018
Global Problems: (Total 5)
SafeAssign: 1
Safari for Blackboard:  1
Catamart:  2
Network Connectivity:  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.