IT News

Curative Analysis: ‘Own IT’ for May 2019

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.

Multi-Factor Authentication Text Messages: Several clients are reporting issues receiving text messages or failure of the authentication code when using text as the MFA authentication method. Clients can use their security questions or refresh the page to receive another text message as a workaround. Many times text messaging is outside of WCU’s control as it is provided by Microsoft and/or cell carriers (Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, etc.) Text messaging may be especially unreliable in the mountains. The Division of IT is working on a campaign to encourage the use of the Microsoft Authenticator app as an MFA authentication method instead of a text message. For more information on using the mobile app, please contact us or visit https://multifactor.wcu.edu.

Extranet Lockouts: Malicious cyber attacks sometimes target WCU accounts. An added security feature, the Extranet Smart Lockout (ESL) helps protect WCU accounts from off-campus malicious activity. After multiple failed login attempts to a WCU account from off-campus, the account is locked for protection. Unfortunately, this security feature has caused repeated lockouts for some of our accounts. To help reduce the number of recurring lockouts, IT staff have blocked thousands of known hacker IP addresses and will continue to block as they are known. Additional steps are also being taken to help reduce the number of recurring extranet lockouts and improve the customer experience for employees and students traveling or off-campus.

Mercury Access Issues: Recent issues with the share drive Mercury (H:/ drive) have caused the Mercury server to reboot, causing employees to lose their connection to the shared drive until the server comes back up. The issues are related to the age of the physical server, and the Division of IT is planning to migrate the Mercury server to a new virtual server on May 29, 2019.

Touch Panels in Classrooms: A recent firmware update resulted in an issue with approximately 30 of the touch panels in campus classrooms, causing them to lose the ability to control the AV equipment in the rooms. IT staff have worked to apply a workaround on all touch panels that have experienced the issues and are expecting an update from the vendor, Extron, to correct the issue.

PeopleAdmin and JobCat: PeopleAdmin was recently purchased by a new vendor, PowerSchool.  Select suite intermittent outages were experienced during the vendor transition.  Division of IT staff have worked with the new vendor to correct issues with certificates and to move authentication from the old Shibboleth method of authenticating to the new modern authentication service InCommon which is the university’s standard authentication service to most web and cloud based applications.

  • May 2019 Problem Tickets: (Total 9)
  • PeopleAdmin: 3
  • JobCat:  2 
  • RightFax: 1
  • Bounty File Share: 1
  • OneDrive:  1 
  • VCAT:  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.

Contact the IT Help Desk
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Closed weekends and university holidays
Call: 227-7487 or 866-928-7487 (toll free)
E-mail: ithelp@wcu.edu
Log in: http://help.wcu.edu
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For walk-up technology assistance for faculty, staff, and students
See our hours at tc.wcu.edu