Announcements

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

StaySafeOnline has published the following weekly themes and topics for the month:

Week 1: Oct. 1­–5: Make Your Home a Haven for Online Safety

Every day, parents and caregivers teach kids basic safety practices ‒ like looking both ways before crossing the street and holding an adult’s hand in a crowded place. Easy-to-learn life lessons for online safety and privacy begin with parents leading the way. Learning good cybersecurity practices can also help set a strong foundation for a career in the industry. With family members using the internet to engage in social media, adjust the home thermostat or shop for the latest connected toy, it is vital to make certain that the entire household ‒ including children – learn to use the internet safely and responsibly and that networks and mobile devices are secure. Week 1 will underscore basic cybersecurity essentials the entire family can deploy to protect their homes against cyber threats.

Week 2: Oct. 8–12: Millions of Rewarding Jobs: Educating for a Career in Cybersecurity

A key risk to our economy and security continues to be the shortage of cybersecurity professionals to safeguard our ever-expanding cyber ecosystem. Raising the next generation of interested and capable cybersecurity professionals is a starting point to building stronger defenses. There are limitless opportunities to educate students of all ages – from high school into higher education and beyond – on the field of cybersecurity as they consider their options. In addition, veterans and individuals who are looking for a new career or re-entering the workforce, should explore the multitude of well-paying and rewarding jobs available. Week 2 will address ways to motivate parents, teachers and counselors to learn more about the field and how to best inspire students and others to seek highly fulfilling cybersecurity careers.

Week 3: Oct. 15–19: It’s Everyone’s Job to Ensure Online Safety at Work

When you are on the job – whether it’s at a corporate office, local restaurant, healthcare provider, academic institution or government agency ‒ your organization’s online safety and security are a responsibility we all share. And, as the lines between our work and daily lives become increasingly blurred, it is more important than ever to be certain that smart cybersecurity carries over between the two. Week 3 will focus on cybersecurity workforce education, training and awareness while emphasizing risk management, resistance and resilience. NCSA’s CyberSecure My Business will shed light on how small and medium-sized businesses can protect themselves, their employees and their customers against the most prevalent threats.

Week 4: Oct. 22–26: Safeguarding the Nation’s Critical Infrastructure   

Our day-to-day life depends on the country’s 16 sectors of critical infrastructure, which supply food, water, financial services, public health, communications and power along with other networks and systems. A disruption to this system, which is operated via the internet, can have significant and even catastrophic consequences for our nation. Week 4 will emphasize the importance of securing our critical infrastructure and highlight the roles the public can play in keeping it safe. In addition, it will lead the transition into November’s Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month, which is spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Stay tuned to the ITS Twitter account (@SFSU_ITS) for more information on Cybersecurity Awareness Month!

The SF State Mobile App has an all new look

Your SF State experience, Persona-fied!

Information Technology Services (ITS) is excited to announce the latest release of the SF State Mobile App. User research provided the basis for this dramatic new look. The Mondrian design adds colorful tiles, bringing the high-demand and most popular features to the top. This allows users to be more active and engaged with the SF State campus juggling their busy schedules. Students (future or current), faculty, and staff will now have persona-lized highlighted features, which means a tailored experience of the app based on your on-campus role. 

Screenshot of the newly redesigned SF State mobile app, featuring jewel toned square panels for navigation, and featuring a hero image at the top of a female student in SF State attire.

Haven't downloaded the SF State Mobile App yet? You're missing out! Download the SF State Mobile App for free from your device's app store by searching for "SF State Mobile". If you already have the SF State Mobile App installed on your mobile device, the new design will be pushed to your device automatically.

This redesign is the direct result of user feedback. Your opinion matters! Help us continue to improve the app so it meets your needs by providing feedback through the app's feedback option.

ITS’s Artificial Intelligence Chatbot launches! Chat Online with Alli!

Information Technology Services (ITS) is excited to announce the launch of Alli, our new Artificial Intelligence (AI) Chatbot. Alli is an online assistant designed to help you get answers to your IT questions at any time of day or night. Alli is expected to create service efficiencies and provide immediate response for customers.

When you go to the ITS website (its.sfsu.edu), Alli will be in the lower right-hand area of your browser window.

ITS homepage with chatbot in lower right-hand corner. Need help? Chat with Alli.

Alli can provide you with information on how to change your password, how to connect to Wi-Fi, and other questions frequently asked of the ITS Service Desk staff.

Chatbot window. Hey I'm Alli, the IT chatbot. I'm here to help you with basic IT questions. What can I help you with today?

We encourage you to try Alli the next time you have a question for ITS. While Alli is in its infancy, it will continue to be developed and updated based on user feedback, which can be submitted within Alli itself. We look forward to hearing from you!

Alli was developed after ITS received a technology mini-grant through a Chancellor’s Office sponsored program to kick-start innovation experiments across the CSUs. This grant proposal sought to develop a Natural Language Processing Artificial Intelligence Chatbot. Thirty-two technology innovation proposals were submitted across the CSUs. The selection committee awarded grants to nine applicants/CSUs who each received a $10,000 grant sponsored by the Chancellor’s Office.

Don't Take the Bait

ITS SECURITY AWARENESS (PhishMe) 

On October 30, 2017, ITS introduced SF State’s Information Security Awareness program for faculty and staff. The program consists of monthly security advisory training messages and phishing training exercises where simulated phishing messages are sent to employees. The launch of this campaign enabled Exchange users to see a Report Phishing icon in Outlook 2013 and 2016, or a Report Phishing link in Outlook Web Access (OWA).

Outlook Ribbon with Report Phishing icon

Outlook Web Access Report Phishing link

GOAL

The goal for the next training exercise is to increase the report rate (reporting an email as a phishing attempt), and decrease the click rate (clicking on a message link within an email).

RECOMMENDATION TO USERS

Some individuals clicked just to see what would happen. We recommend users report before clicking to receive confirmation that the email is a part of the training exercise.

DON’T SEE THE PHISH ME ICON IN OUTLOOK?

Some individuals were unable to see the PhishMe Reporter icon due to older Outlook clients and configuration settings. Things to check in Outlook:

  • Ensure you are running Outlook 2013 or Outlook 2016 and have run Outlook updates (Help menu -> Check for Updates).
  • Make sure the Ribbon is enabled in the View menu.
  • Make sure the Reading pane is enabled in the View menu.

The ITS Service Desk is available to resolve these issues. Please contact service@sfsu.edu for assistance. To learn more about Phishing, refer to our Security Advisory – Phishing page at http://its.sfsu.edu/guides/securityadvisory_phishing.

SF State Mobile App. Latest Version Released

Information Technology Services (ITS) is pleased to announce the latest release (version 2.6) of the SF State Mobile App. With student success and retention in mind, we have integrated the Campus Solutions Advising Center to enable Educational Opportunity Program advisers, who use tablet devices for both in office and remote advising, to more easily assist students.


As the fall semester approaches, with new students starting to arrive on campus, the app now incorporates links to many campus resources so students can access information and services while on-the-go, including Housing (includes move-in day info.), Bookstore, and the Print Shop. In addition, this release provides easy access to the CalFresh supplemental food program application as well as the ability to sign up for the SF State Food Pantry, a partnership between Associated Students and the SF-Marin Food Bank that was piloted last spring. 

To help new students better navigate campus, we have added indoor maps showing accessible entrances, elevators, stairs, and restrooms for the Student Services Building, the first two floors of the Administration Building, and J. Paul Leonard Library. More buildings will be added in future releases. 

ITS could not do this alone. We count on our campus partners to help prioritize, review, and test each mobile app release. We would like to thank members of the Mobile App Advisory Group: Gabriela Alvarenga, Jill Anthes, Brian Beatty, Avi Chandiramani, Doris Fendt, Heather Hall, Andrew Lok, Dilon Reynolds, Andrew Roderick, Elizabeth Smith, and Sameer Verma. We would also like to thank those that helped review and test some of the new features, including Arlene Bugayong from EOP and Frank Fasano and Russell Kilday-Hicks from Facilities. 

We encourage faculty and staff to help us improve the app by downloading and providing feedback through the app’s feedback option. The app is available for both Android and iPhone and is free to download from the App Store or Google Play by searching "SF State Mobile."

Technology innovation grant awarded to ITS for Artificial Intelligence Chatbot development

ITS received a technology mini-grant through a Chancellor’s Office sponsored program to kick-start innovation experiments across the CSUs for its proposal for developing a Natural Language Processing Artificial Intelligence Chatbot.  Thirty-two technology innovation proposals were submitted across the CSUs.   The selection committee awarded grants to nine applicants/CSUs who will each receive a $10,000 grant sponsored by the Chancellor’s Office. 
 
The AI Chatbot is expected to create service efficiencies and provide immediate response for IT customers. As an example, users can have a conversation with a Chatbot on how to change their password. The Chatbot will provide the users the steps to change their password. It can be used for repetitive questions that Service Desk staff gets frequent questions on.

Enrollment Management Technology (EMT) joins Information Technology Services (ITS)

On July 1, Enrollment Management Technology (EMT) technical staff joined Information Technology Services (ITS). The EMT team provides campus-wide support for Enrollment Management technologies such as OnBase and Campus Solutions and desktop support to Student Affairs and Enrollment Management (SAEM). The new and existing ITS team members are working hard to minimize impact to customers and critical services during the transition. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding this change please contact the SAEM Service Ambassador, Phil Stilson at pstilson@sfsu.edu or 415-338-1986.

Box at SF State Offers New Features for Departments

Information Technology Services has expanded the Box at SF State service to enhance department's experience on Box.  With Box at SF State Folders for Departments, users can easily share, collaborate and retain files related to their department.  This service provides simple and effective document management that individual Box at SF State users have become accustomed to using including mobile access, versioning, file restoration, online editing and external file sharing.

To learn more about each service, please visit the ITS File Storage Guide.  You can get started with Box at SF State Folders for Departments now by using this folders for departments request form.  If you have questions about these services, please contact the ITS Service Desk at 415.338.1420 or submit a service request.

 

Photo by Rafael Castillo under Creative Commons licenses

May 1, 2017 - Box at SF State Offers New File Storage and Collaboration Features for Departments

Information Technology Services has expanded the Box at SF State service to enhance department's experience on Box.  With Box at SF State Folders for Departments, users can easily share, collaborate and retain files related to their department.  This service provides simple and effective document management that individual Box at SF State users have become accustomed to using including mobile access, versioning, file restoration, online editing and external file sharing.

To learn more about each service, please visit the ITS File Storage Guide.  You can get started with Box at SF State Folders for Departments now by using this folders for departments request form.  If you have questions about these services, please contact the ITS Service Desk at 415.338.1420 or submit a service request.

 

January 12, 2017 – Box at SF State Update

Information Technology Services (ITS) is pleased to announce that we will be rolling out an update to Box at SF State on January 12, 2017. The update includes a more streamlined interface and the integration of Office365 document tools. After the update you will be able to create and edit Microsoft Office documents (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) directly from the Box web interface.

To access Box at SF State, please visit http://sfsu.box.com. More information is available in the Box at SF State File Sharing Guide

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact the ITS Service Desk at 415.338.1420 or service@sfsu.edu.

Nov 22, 2016 – Downtown Center VoIP Telephone Migration Complete

Information Technology Services successfully migrated end-of-life Cisco VoIP phones (120 lines) at the SF State Downtown Center to a new NEC VoIP phone solution. The completion of this project, the migration of the NEC RDS telephone system to a NEC SV9500 (backup system), and the Library VoIP migration makes for three successful Telecom migrations this year.

If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail service@sfsu.edu.

Nov 14, 2016 – SF State Mobile App Launch

Information Technology Services had a successful Mobile App Launch resulting in more than 1,800 new downloads of the app.

The new app features integration with Campus Solutions and allows students to search for, add, drop, and swap classes as well as view grades and edit their personal information. More information about the app can be found at tech.sfsu.edu/guides/sfstate-mobile.

The SF State Mobile app is available today for both Android and iPhone and is free to download from the Apple App Store or Google Play by searching “SF State Mobile.”

If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail service@sfsu.edu.

September 12, 2016 - SF State Mobile App Release

ITS is pleased to announce the latest release of the SF State Mobile app. This release features integration with Campus Solutions and will allow students to search for, add, drop, and swap classes as well as view grades and edit their personal information. In addition, the app also boasts a fresh new look and a more user friendly navigation.

The SF State Mobile app is available today for both Android and iPhone and is free to download from the App Store or Google Play by searching “SF State Mobile”. More information about the app can be found at: tech.sfsu.edu/guides/sfstate-mobile

If anyone has any questions or would like provide feedback about the app, please e-mail mobileappsupport@sfsu.edu.

Aug. 16, 2016 - Network Access Control (NAC) in public spaces

On August 16, 2016, Network Access Control (NAC) will start requiring devices that connect to the campus wired network in public spaces to authenticate. Current employees will use their SF State ID and password to login. NAC will not affect classrooms, labs, or offices. NAC is needed to resolve an audit finding that identified access control was missing from wired outlets in public spaces.

Users of wired devices in public spaces will need to install software to configure their computer to prompt for login credentials. The software can be installed in advance, or from a Web page browsers will be re-directed to when connecting to a wired network connection that uses NAC. The software requires administrator access to install.

For more information about NAC, including a list of affected locations, please visit: http://tech.sfsu.edu/guides/network-access-control-nac

If you have any questions or need assistance please contact the ITS Service Desk at service@sfsu.edu or 415/338-1420.

August 12, 2016 - SF State Global Login / Shibboleth Upgrade

Information Technology Services (ITS) will upgrade the SF State Global Login used by Single-sign-on (SSO) from Shibboleth Identity Provider (IdP) version 2 to 3 on August 12, 2016 at 7:30am (previously scheduled on August 15). The upgrade is necessary for SF State’s Shibboleth Identity Provider to receive patches and security updates.

UPDATE: Following the upgrade some users are seeing a Single-sign-on (SSO) Global Login Error when they try to access SF State services that use Shibboleth. This is caused by cached browser data and can be resolved by clearing the browser cache. Instructions to clear browser cache can be found here: http://tech.sfsu.edu/guides/clearing-your-browser-cache.

If you have any questions or need assistance please contact the ITS Service Desk at service@sfsu.edu or 415/338-1420.

Aug 16, 2016 - Virtual Private Network Upgrade

Information Technology Services is upgrading its Virtual Private Network (VPN) service on August 16, 2016 to improve the reliability and security of this system. Key benefits include:

  • Controlled access through group membership
  • Secure, two-factor authentication for users with access to Level 1 data (a requirement from recent Information Security audit finding)

The new VPN service can be accessed at https://vpn.sfsu.edu. Users will be required to select their respective VPN group when logging in. Users with access to restricted services will additionally need to use Duo two-factor authentication.

To learn more about this upgrade, please see the Virtual Private Network (VPN) Guide and Duo Authentication Guide.

If you have any questions, please e-mail service@sfsu.edu.

Aug 1, 2016 – SF State Drupal Websites Migrated to Pantheon Hosting

Information Technology Services (ITS) has successfully migrated approximately 200 websites from Acquia hosting to Pantheon container based hosting. The primary intention was to move away from multi-site architecture which presented several roadblocks for scalability and maintainability. The migration was done with minimal to no disruption for the site owners and was completely transparent to the end-users. Key benefits of the move to Pantheon:

  • Reliable – Eliminates single points of failure
  • Scalable – There is no technical limitation on scaling
  • Flexible – Gives colleges the ability to do custom work without impacting the shared Drupal code base
  • Less maintenance – Eliminates the need to host local demo – everything has moved to the cloud

 
To learn more about Drupal at San Francisco State University, please visit Drupal at SF State.
 
If you have any questions, please email service@sfsu.edu

 

Jul 15, 2016 - Library Voice Over IP (VoIP)

Information Technology Services (ITS), has successfully migrated the VoIP phones (197 lines) and voicemail services in the library from CENIC to NEC system. 

Staff in the library are encouraged to contact ITS Help Desk at service@sfsu.edu or 415-338-1420 if they experience any phone and voicemail issues.

Campus Telephone System Migration Scheduled for Thursday, June 23, 2016

The VoIP phones (197 lines) and  voicemail services in the library will be migrated from CENIC to NEC on Thursday, June 23, 2016 from 06:00 AM to 06:00 PM. Phone and voicemail services in the library will be down/interrupted and restored gradually as the phones are migrated. Public Safety will have security coverage in the library during those hours.  

For More Information, please contact ITS Help Desk at service@sfsu.edu or 415-338-1420.

Jun 4, 2016 – Back-up Telephone System

Information Technology Services (ITS) has successfully migrated the NEC RDS telephone system, which has served the campus for 32 years, with the NEC SV9500 (back-up telephone system). Included in the migration are 2600 single line phones in classrooms, elevators, blue-light emergency, courtesy, parking lot, alarm, and fax lines.

Staff are encouraged to contact the ITS Help Desk at service@sfsu.edu or 415-338-1420 if they experience any issues.

Campus Telephone System Migration Scheduled for Saturday, June 4th, 2016

Information Technology Services (ITS), Telecommunications team will replace the NEC RDS telephone system, which has served the campus for 32 years, with the NEC SV9500 (back-up telephone system). The system migration will start at 8:00am and is expected to be completed by 10:00am. During the transition, a majority of the single-line phones on the main campus will be impacted and a planned outage is anticipated. Included in the migration are phones in classrooms, elevators, blue-light emergency, courtesy, parking lot, alarm and fax lines. Alarm lines may produce an audible sound during the migration and the condition may continue intermittently throughout the weekend as ITS conducts post migration testing. 

On Monday, June 6th, user should test dial tone, call forwarding, and voice mail and contact ITS Help Desk at service@sfsu.edu or 415-338-1420 should they experience issues.

Users will continue to use the same commands to set up call forwarding, initiate conference calls and call transfers.

Campus WiFi Enhancements

Information Technology Services (ITS) has completed all phases of a multi-phased project to upgrade campus WiFi.

To date, over 900 new access points have deployed throughout the campus.

If you have any questions, please e-mail service@sfsu.edu

Wireless Performance Issues

September 3, 2015

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff --

I am writing today to acknowledge our continuing wireless performance problems and to let you know what we are doing about this issue.

The Aruba Networks (our wireless technology) technical support engineers are on-site and have escalated our wireless issues to the highest possible level within their organization. Even after significant data collection and analysis, the Aruba engineers have not yet been able to replicate the issue in their development labs. We are using all available resources to resolve wireless connectivity issues as quickly as possible.

In the interim if you are having any issues connecting to SF State wireless please report the same to us via:

Web: http://tech.sfsu.edu/content/submitservicerequest
Walk-in: Administration 110
E-mail: service@sfsu.edu
Call: (415) 338-1420

Please Note: ITS Help Desk walk-in and call hours are Monday-Thursday 8:00am-6:00pm and Friday 8:00am-5:00pm

As a point of interest, a project to build out SF State wireless network has been approved and is in implementation phase. This project will significantly improve SF State’s network performance and capacity.

I apologize for the inconveniences caused. Please know that it is of importance to us that the services we deliver support faculty and students in their academic pursuits. I will keep you updated on progress and let you know when a definitive resolution has been reached.
 
Sincerely,
 
Robert Moulton
Interim Associate Vice President & CIO
Information Technology Services
415-338-6964

August 24, 2015 System Performance Problems

September 1, 2015

Dear Faculty and Staff –

I am writing today to apologize and follow up regarding the service interruption for PeopleSoft Human Resources and Campus Solutions (Faculty Center and Student Center) on the first day of class, Monday, August 24, 2015.

On that morning the Chancellor’s office reported that the system was running slow across various CSUs because of the heavy load on the servers. SF State compounded the issue by having programs (batch jobs) run during business hours that took additional resources, which bottlenecked our system. We were able to recover the system after programs completed around 10:45am. The system continued to be slow till about 10:00pm. To prevent this from happening again we have taken the following measures:

  • Programs that were assessed as potential problems have been scheduled to run after hours
  • Monitoring system performance round the clock to identify programs that could cause contention
  • Implement tools and services that will assist with automated monitoring of the system

Post Monday there have been no observed repetitions of performance problems though general slowness was observed across the CSUs.  It is my view that we must continue to make strategic decisions, including in some cases making new investments, to advance our technology priorities and keep this University moving forward. I will keep the University community informed about the progress made.

 

Sincerely,

 

Robert Moulton

Interim Associate Vice President & CIO

Information Technology Services

415-338-6964

Test Drive the New Wireless Network

 

SF State is testing a new wireless network named "SFState" that provides encrypted connectivity for wireless users. To use this network, enter the SF State login credentials and accept the "netauth.sfsu.edu" certificate when prompted. Once a device is registered, users will not need to reenter the login credentials for subsequent use.

For device configuration information, go to How to Connect to Secure Wireless Network “SFState”