Microsoft’s new browser, Edge

Microsoft will be making it’s next browser much safer by removing ActiveX and BHOs.

Avast update quarantines vital DLL

A recent update to Avast antivirus cause a critical DLL to be quarantined for some users.

Google goes after Chrome extentions with ad injectors

A recent study showed  extensions that perform ad replacement/injection replacing legitimate ads on web pages.  Google has new policies to help prevent this.

Safari Updates

Apple has released critical updates for Safari.  If you use it, you should patch.

No More Microsoft Patch Tuesday

New policy changes coming with Windows 10 may get rid of Patch Tuesday.

THEITS-Digital Student’s

THEITS was proud to allow three UTC seniors this year to present the results of the first full year of the DIGITAL student program. Thomas Anderson, Laura Flack, and Allison Quintanilla offered their unique perspective on spending a full year rotating through the IT department and getting an inside work into the importance of technology in the modern campus setting. These three students were selected for the new program and spent time learning from mentors in Media Resources, GIS, and Networking. They were encouraged to get involved in everything from pulling fiber optic cables to using GPS mapping. Their midterm project focused on a Digital Badge system that they developed called “Badger” and which was submitted into a competition hosted by the School of Business. The students who experienced the apprenticeship program and gained knowledge from a wide variety of disciplines and fields, as well as compiling a portfolio of work.

THEITS-Susan Lazenby and Jeffery Wetheril “Digital Student Program

Susan Lazenby and Jeffery Wetheril a mentor’s perspective on the Digital Student Program last week at the THEITS conference. According to Mrs. Lazenby “We really wanted to give students from a wide variety of majors the opportunity to get to know how IT works and also to provide the with an experience that would be useful in any job they went to in the future.” Mr. Wetheril continued with an explanation of how the program was set up. “We met every week with the students and assigned them projects to work on. They could call us, email us, or even drop by our office. We assigned them mentors within other departments for their rotations too.” The Digital Student program was developed last year and from about twenty applicants only five were selected, two of which had to drop out due to scheduling issues. The remainder spent a full year, ten hours a week, in hands on learning or working on assignments. The three students in the program submitted a presentation to THEITS as part of the program as well.

THEITS-“IT Asset Visibility”

IT security on campus is a omnipresent concern, and one that is only growing as the number of devices on campus increases. One of the methods used to help IT security deal with looming threats is Asset Visibility. The concept is a simple one, know what devices you have and what vulnerabilities those devices have. Kevin Watson and Ammar L Ammar from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center gave a brief introduction into Asset Visibility at THEITS last week, highlighting the importance of both active and passive scanning and vigilance. “If it has an IP address, you should know about it.” According to Mr. Watson. The information an IT department should be able to acquire should be the Network or IP of the Device, Hostname, Function or System, the owner, and if the device is personal/portable.

THEITS-UT Helpdesk Training

Rose Parker and Travis Gorden of the UTK Helpdesk offered insight into their institutions training program at THEITS last week. They started with a simple issue, how do you keep employees current with a wide range of incredibly specific services offered? Their answer was to create a system to help student workers keep current on everything offered by their helpdesk through the use of quick weekly tests, a comprehensive services catalog, and extensive training by the team leaders. Utilizing Blackboard the Helpdesk set up a bank of questions on the current services offered and how to provide them which the student employes would be briefly tested on weekly. Each test was designed to be no more than 5-10 minutes long. At the same time trainers would utilize a hidden blog to communicate the status of the student workers to keep each other updated on which students needed more training or were in difficulties.

THEITS-Tom Hoover “Putting it all Together”

Last week at the Tennessee Higher Education Information Technology Summit CIO Tom Hoover spoke about the changing role of IT on campus at UTC and some of the challenges the university will face in the future. “Expectations are increasing, students want better services and for their professors to better utilize technology.” he said “We have to learn how to provide better service without increasing costs, because in the long run that’s not sustainable. What we are looking for is synergy.” Mr. Hoover went on to talk about plans for upgrading  laser projectors in the classrooms while letting professors use their own devices to present from instead of utilizing podiums filled with redundant technology.