Kansas State University


IT News

Author: Information Technology Services

Phishing scams asking for a text or cell number

This past week, K-Staters may have received an email that appeared to be a note from your boss, your bosses’ boss, an administrator, colleague, or even a friend with the following,  “text your available number”  or send your “cell phone number”.

These are scams. If you responded to the email, do the following:

  • Send the scam with headers to abuse@ksu.edu . How to send headers is available from here.
  • Alert your technical support staff that you didn’t send the email
  • For any scam if you have give out your eID/password, immediately change your password.

Example of phishing scam involving texting cell phone number.

If you didn’t respond, good for you for remaining vigilant. The Federal Trade Commission recommends four steps to protect from phishing:

  • Protect your computer by using security software. Find K-State’s recommendations for antivirus software on the K-State Antivirus Software page
  • Protect your mobile phone by setting software to automatically update
  • Protect your accounts by using multi-factor authentication
  • Protect your data by backing it up. File storage options for safely backing up your data is available here

Stressful times provide a perfect opportunity for scammers to catch us off guard. Don’t fall prey.

Reminder: May 30 is the deadline to update to Zoom 5.0

On April 27, Zoom released Zoom 5.0 which provides enhanced security for meeting data. It is required to update to this version by May 30. After May 30, you will not be able to join meetings until you run the update. Zoom releases updates frequently. As of May 26, the latest update is 5.04.

It can be installed from your desktop client or from the Zoom Download Center.

Follow the instructions below to install the update from your desktop client:

  1. Open Zoom and sign in.
  2. In the upper-right corner, click your profile.
  3. Click Check for Updates.
  4. On the Update Available window, click Update and then click Install. 
  5. Follow the installation instructions and click Close when finished.

Continue reading “Reminder: May 30 is the deadline to update to Zoom 5.0”

IT Update


In May, we honor our graduates, especially poignant this year, as our ceremonies are virtual and vary with each college. Congratulations to our K-State graduates. To our graduating seniors who have worked in Information Technology Services and seen it all, disruptions due to the fire on the roof of Hale and COVID-19. Hats off to all of you!

Staff changes in the Business Intelligence, Analytics, and Enterprise Applications unit under the direction of Deputy CIO Jan Elsasser are:

Darci Pottroff was named Director of Application Services. She will provide strategic and operational direction for the enterprise and administrative application systems.

Nick Austin was named Senior Director of Data Operations. He will provide strategic and operational direction for data operations and content services applications.

From March 23 – May 8, here are some quick statistics on the use of tools for remote teaching, learning, research, and outreach.

MS Teams

  • 339 K-Staters completed the training
  • 3,386 meetings were held
  • 6,217 calls were made
  • 355,487 private chats


  • 9,521 presentations were authored
  • 9.82 TB of storage was consumed
Zoom Usage Statistics – March 23 to May 8
New Users 5,115
Meetings 65,528
Participants 496,963
Meeting Minutes 23,164,661*

*May 7-highest usage Continue reading “IT Update”

Availability of Adobe Creative Cloud extended to July 6

Adobe is extending the end date for the temporary at-home access to Adobe Creative Cloud through July 6, 2020. There is no action required on your end. The access will continue automatically. For more information, view the Knowledge Base article provided by Adobe and adapted for K-State.

For additional information about software available to K-Staters and provisions extended due to COVID-19, visit the ITS Software page.

Help resources

AnyConnect VPN client to be retired June 30

Time is winding down for those of you still using the AnyConnect VPN client. As of June 30, AnyConnect will be turned off and no longer available.

Please install GlobalProtect. Once you have tested the GlobalProtect VPN and can use it, then you should uninstall AnyConnect.

For step-by-step instructions on how to install GlobalProtect, go to K-State’s VPN webpage.

Need help? For self-help, view the IT Knowledge Base articles. Need more help, contact the IT Help Desk 785-532-7722 or your local IT support staff.

Nick Austin accepts position as Senior Director of Data Operations

Information Technology Services is pleased to announce that Nick Austin has accepted the position as Senior Director of Data Operations. Austin will provide strategic and operational direction for data operations and content services applications,  reporting to Jan Elsasser, Deputy CIO for Business Intelligence, Analytics, and Enterprise Applications.

Austin has been with K-State for 20 years, serving in positions of increasing responsibilities. His most recent role has been leading the support team for the Constituent Relationship Management systems (CRM), including the procurement and implementation of Salesforce. Specifically, he will provide oversight for the teams who support WebMethods, Decisions, ImageNow, Sharefile/RightSignature, and he will continue to support the Salesforce integrations currently using Informatica. He is pursuing a Master’s degree in Data Analytics at K-State and completed his undergraduate degree in business administration here as well. Austin begins this position on May 4.

According to Jan Elsasser, Deputy CIO, “Nick brings more than 20 years of technical and leadership experience into his new role. He will be instrumental in moving data operations forward”. Please join Information Technology Services in congratulating Nick Austin in his new role.

Project Governance Group formed to review technology projects

I am pleased to announce that K-State has adopted a new process for reviewing and approving technology projects through the Project Governance Group (PGG).  The PGG consists of representatives from across the University and provide an institution-wide vision on technology projects. The seven voting members of the PGG have a vested interest in the success of K-State and the group reports directly to the President’s Cabinet. The PGG has been meeting monthly since September 2019.

The committee is tasked with ensuring that new technology projects are aligned with University goals and strategy, are adequately funded and staffed (business and IT expertise), have fully assessed project plans, are vetted for security-related issues, and do not conflict with or overlap existing systems or initiatives.

In Phase 1, the PGG will review each project submission and determine if it should move forward for more detailed planning (phase 2).

With Phase 2, the PGG reviews approves, and prioritizes the detailed plans of these projects. This planning consists of a risk and financial assessment and a detailed timeline for the project.

The first step in this new process is to submit a project pre-proposal in ServiceNow, which will be the official repository of record for project submissions, decisions made by the PGG, and the place to track progress of an approved project. The PGG liaison is responsible for reviewing all project submissions and for documenting the PGG decision-making process. Submit a project proposal.

How do I know if I should submit a proposal? A project is defined as any effort over 80 hours of IT work or out-of-pocket expenses exceeding $10,000. Projects that meet this threshold should be submitted for PGG review and approval.

For more information, please see the Project Governance Group website.

I appreciate your support for this new process. If you have any questions please contact the PGG liaison at itspmo@ksu.edu

Gary Pratt, CIO

Zoom update available

On April 27, an update to Zoom was released with enhanced video communications security. Beginning May 30, Zoom will be enabling GCM encryption across the Zoom platform to provide increased protection for meeting data.

The update can be installed from your desktop client or from the Zoom Downlaod Center. Follow the instructions below to install the update from your desktop client:

  1. Open Zoom and sign in.
  2. In the upper-right corner, click your profile.
  3. Click Check for Updates.
  4. On the Update Available window, click Update and then click Install. 
  5. Follow the installation instructions and click Close when finished.

Continue reading “Zoom update available”

Access for software such as SPSS, SAS, MatLab, Mathematica and Minitab available

LabStats Remote Access is available to current students, faculty, and staff providing remote access to some computer labs on campus. The tool gives access to specialty software such as SPSS, SAS, Matlab, Mathematica, and Minitab and was created by LabStats to accommodate online learning for the COVID-19 quarantine period.

Users establish a Remote Desktop connection to the computers in the labs, which natively works on Windows based operating systems, and will also work on Mac, Android, iOS, and ChromeOS devices with the installation of the Microsoft Remote Desktop application. Once connected the user is presented with a window that contains the remote computer’s desktop. This experience mirrors what would occur on the lab computer.

Lab computers are locked down, which resets the computers back to their configured defaults on log-out or reboot. K-Staters who use this software via remote access need to save their data to OneDrive or a preferred cloud storage solution. Data saved on the remote computer will be lost once the remote session is terminated.

To access the tool visit https://www.k-state.edu/its/software/software-licenses/labstats/index.html. For technical assistance or questions please contact the IT Help Desk, (785) 532-7722.

Updating a security feature in Zoom

Information Technology Services is continually updating the security of the tools we zoomprovide and use. A feature that we are implementing is masking the phone numbers of those who call into Zoom.

What change will you notice? When students, faculty, or staff join the audio portion of a Zoom call (meeting) using a phone, only the first 3 digits (area code) and last 3 digits of their phone number will be displayed. For example, 1785****123 will be displayed as the phone number.

This change is being made to avoid unnecessary disclosure of information that a K-Stater may want to be kept private.

NOTE: If individuals want to identify who is in the meeting, the host has the option of renaming the phone caller once they enter the meeting.