Information Technology Services has procured a Microsoft Campus Agreement to provide faculty and staff access to Microsoft’s operating systems and the Microsoft Office Suite for all university-owned computers. The products covered under the agreement include:
- Microsoft Operating System – for Mac and Windows environments
- Microsoft Office Suite – for Mac and Windows environments
- Core CAL Suite
Technical support staff in units across campus were sent an e-mail with this information and given access to the K-State Online space that provides the media files and documentation about the Microsoft Campus Agreement. For technical support staff who did not receive the e-mail, contact the IT Help Desk, firstname.lastname@example.org, 785-532-7722.
Microsoft will officially end extended support for all versions of Windows 2000 and for Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) on July 13, meaning that they will no longer release security patches for those operating systems. Note that:
- XP with Service Pack 3 (SP3) will continue to be supported beyond that date, so XP SP2 users can simply upgrade to XP SP3.
- Windows 2000 users, however, will need to upgrade to a different operating system before July 13 or disconnect their computer from the campus network. This includes both server and workstation versions of Windows 2000.
Since there is no way to ensure the security of a system that is not receiving security updates, they would represent a threat to the entire campus network if allowed to connect. Therefore, starting July 13, any Windows operating system older than Windows XP SP2 will not be allowed on the K-State network. Continue reading “Windows 2000, XP Service Pack 2 support ends July 13”
SHI, contractor for the State Large Account Reseller agreement for software, has announced that Windows 7 will be available for purchase by K-State departments as of Sept. 1. Note that this is an upgrade license only (a Microsoft Windows or Vista operating system must already be in place on the desktop/notebook computer to install Windows 7).
Pricing is expected to be similar to Vista products, both for the license and the media. License-key distribution will also continue in a similar manner.
Harvard Townsend, K-State’s chief information security officer, urges people to delay putting Windows 7 into production and only buy it now for testing. He cites several reasons: Continue reading “Windows 7 available to departments Sept. 1 from SHI”
Since today (July 14) is the second Tuesday of the month, Microsoft is releasing its usual monthly security patches for the Windows operating system and select Microsoft applications. While it is always important to apply these and other security patches as soon as possible, it’s particularly important this month because at least two of the six patches fix vulnerabilities that are being actively exploited.
One of the patches fixes a critical vulnerability in the Microsoft Video ActiveX Control that has often been in the security news in the past week. Nearly 1,000 websites in China are known to be infected with a malicious script that exploits this vulnerability. Continue reading “Apply today’s Microsoft security patches ASAP”
On March 19, Microsoft released Internet Explorer 8 (IE8), its next-generation web browser. While it has several useful security features, people should talk to their IT support staff before switching to IE8 since it has not been thoroughly tested with K-State enterprise applications like iSIS and K-State Online.
Recalling the application incompatibilities experienced when IE7 replaced IE6; proceed cautiously with plans to upgrade to IE8. Microsoft did try to deal with the IE6-to-IE7 fiasco this time by including a “Compatibility View” in IE8 that should correctly display pages incompatible with IE8, but again this needs to be tested thoroughly.
Continue reading “Use caution when considering Internet Explorer 8”
Have you ever wanted to make your own PDF files? The process has become increasingly simple over the last few years and now there are several free options out there for both PCs and Macs. Think of these solutions as PDF printers but instead of producing a sheet of paper with your document, a file will be saved instead.
While these solutions will create PDF files, they will not create fillable PDF forms. To produce a fillable PDF form, you will need to purchase a solution like Adobe Acrobat Standard or Pro (see Adobe’s Product comparison webpage).
Continue reading “Create your own PDF files”
After an extensive evaluation, K-State’s Security Incident Response Team (SIRT) has selected PGP Whole Disk Encryption (PGP WDE) as the recommended product for protecting data on laptops. Given the propensity for laptops to get stolen (another faculty laptop was stolen out of a K-State lab this week), whole disk encryption is a critical tool for protecting data stored on laptops. Also, a draft data classification policy being reviewed by IRMC this fall will require whole disk encryption on K-State laptops that store confidential data. Continue reading “SIRT selects PGP for laptop encryption; purchase commitments needed”
One of the benefits of the switch to a new format and structure for InfoTech Tuesday is the ability to have much more accurate and comprehensive statistics about the readers. Do you ever go to a website and wonder how many other people have seen the site? Ever wonder what browser other people are using? Ever wonder how people end up on a given website?
Over the first five weeks of this semester’s InfoTech Tuesday there have been
- 5,947 unique visitors
- 9,462 visits to the website
- 20,463 individual page views
- an average of 1,892 visits a week/issue
Visitors to the site stay for an average of 1 minute 49 seconds each visit. Of all visitors, 62 percent are coming to the site directly, 34 percent are being referred to the site from another site (browse/link in), and 4 percent are getting here through organic web searches. Perhaps most interesting is the browser break down: Continue reading “InfoTech Tuesday stat roundup”