IT @ ISU News
August 2015  
Change is in the air
Soon the campus will be filled with both returning and new ISU students, faculty, and staff and the academic year sports will be in full swing. Change is coming for everyone at Iowa State. A new year brings new experiences, new friends, and new opportunities to all of those in the Iowa State family. In an effort to keep moving forward, the ISU technology team is also making changes.

Blackboard instructor technical support has moved from CELT to the Solution Center. CELT will continue to address pedagogical questions about Blackboard, but the first point of contact for all questions regarding Blackboard technology, such as access problems and storage questions, is now the Solution Center (see the related article below).

A second, larger, technology change is on the horizon for Iowa State as well. The campus community is currently working with the Huron Consulting Group to prepare a request for proposal (RFP) for an enterprise resource planning system (ERP). A new ERP will ultimately replace our business, finance, human capital, and many of our student systems. We will have many communications in coming weeks about the RFP and what it means for campus.

Have a great start to your academic year,

Jim Kurtenbach
Information Security 

Are Flash's flaws finally fatal?
 
Adobe Flash, usually referred to as Flash, is a multimedia system that supports streaming video and animation on certain websites. It is most often used through plug-ins in our web browsers. It has also been plagued for years by security vulnerabilities.

In July 2015, three critical security problems in Flash were discovered, including one that allowed hackers to exploit Flash to collect data could be sold on the black market. This may have signaled a tipping point in the debate about the future of Flash. Facebook's security chief has called for its demise, and Mozilla disabled Flash by default in its Firefox web browser (users can still activate Flash when prompted).

So how do you protect yourself? According to the experts, you should uninstall Flash if you are able to avoid using Flash. Only about 11 percent of web sites still use Flash, according to technology survey firm W3Tech. And new technologies like HTML5 have mostly made Flash obsolete. You can uninstall Flash from your computer by following these instructions. Another less-secure option is to keep Flash, but change its settings to allow Flash to run only when you activate it and only when absolutely necessary to do so. You may view he process to disable and to control the activation of Flash on Firefox on this Mozilla how-to site.
 
"New To ISU" IT web page now available
If you are new to Iowa State - a student, faculty member, or staff - ISU IT has a new web site just for you. The New to ISU web site is dedicated to getting you up to speed on the technology resources you need, including email, AccessPlus, classroom tools, and much more. Make it your first stop to learn about IT at Iowa State.

ISU IT rolls out new communication channels 
We are always searching for new ways to communicate items of interest and importance regarding technology on Iowa State campus. To that end, we have just launched an ISU IT YouTube channel and a blog.

The YouTube channel offers five "Cyber Security Snippets" so you can test your cyber security savvy in quick, entertaining videos. They are now available on a special playlist. Don't forget to subscribe to the channel so you see new content as it is posted.

The IT Blog is also an opportunity to highlight day-to-day news and tips for taking advantage of technology resources on campus.

Be sure to keep connected with our social media account also, in order to keep up to date with what's going on in the technology industry both at Iowa State and across the world. Click on the Facebook and Twitter icons at the top of this newsletter.

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) update 
Last month, the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) team sent out a survey to understand the types and volume of documents being used in business processes and figure out what features users wanted in a new ECM system. Survey results revealed that document owners are storing more than 40 million documents. Respondents ranked compliance support, document sharing, increased security, and easy integration with email and business software as very important features for an ECM system.

Over the next few months, the ECM team will hold workshops to discuss the survey results and facilitate in-depth discussions on the requirements of a new system.

Blackboard instructor technical support moves to Solution Center 
Technical support for instructors using Blackboard moved to the Solution Center. This change offers instructors expanded service hours, including evenings and weekends.

Historically, Blackboard technical and instructional design support has been provided by the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching ( CELT). CELT will continue to address questions that are pedagogical in nature, such as course design or instructional practices.

Instructors have five options to access Blackboard support:
By The Numbers 

In the second quarter of 2015, the university's Gmail accounts as a whole received 20,312,772 emails while users only sent 1,304,372 emails. Therefore, for every 1 email sent, nearly 15.5 were received through ISU's Gmail accounts.