IT News

Curative Analysis: ‘Own IT’ for June 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.

Upper Campus Network Connectivity:  Power loss to the Graham building recently cause the failure of network connectivity to upper campus on two separate occasions.  Power was immediately restored, and the network was brought back into operation.  This month, all networking equipment was relocated from the Graham building as part of the Utility Relocation project before the building was demolished.

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. 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.

Mitel Phone Service:  The campus phone system experienced a brief outage on Friday, June 8. 2018.  The vendor reported a fiber cut at Internet2 in New York which resulted in a 15-minute outage for multiple customers.

OnBase:  Recently, OnBase clients were unable to access the system due to storage becoming full.  It was discovered that the logs for OnBase were not being purged on a regular schedule.  Automation was implemented to purge the log files periodically from the drive where they are stored to prevent this issue from recurring.  Also, additional alerts were added to our monitoring system to assist with earlier detection.

Shibboleth:  An ongoing issue is causing the login for Shibboleth applications to become unavailable at 3:00pm each workday.  There are about 10 applications that currently use Shibboleth for authentication, including https://jobs.wcu.edu/hr, Ramses and UNC-SO pages.  An IT staff member applies a fix manually each day.  The Division of IT plans to migrate the 10 applications from Shibboleth to ADFS authentication during the next year.

VCAT:  VCAT clients were unable to login to virtual desktops in the Employee pool.  Working with the vendor, IT staff determined the problem was related to a known issue with VMWare related to caching on the VCenter server.  A monthly maintenance schedule is being setup to reboot the VCenter server and clear the cache on a monthly basis.

June 2018
Global Problems: (Total 7)
ADFS login portal:  1
Mitel phone Services:  2
Panopto:  1
Network Connectivity:  1
Digital Signage: 1
Shibboleth login portal:  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.