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Washington State University
Information Technology Services News

Tier 1 SCCM service upgrade

Please see the following ITS maintenance notification:

Dates: Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Start Time: 8:00 PM
End Time: 11:59 PM

The following work is being completed: Upgrading the Tier 1 SCCM service

All processes affected: ITS Tier 1 SCCM will be down during the change window, which means Tier 1 server patching and app installs will be offline.

All affected groups: Tier 1 SCCM services

Follow up steps customers need to take: None.

Questions? Please contact Data Center Operations at 509-335-0404

MFA Notice

URGENT: Please only approve multi-factor authentication (MFA) requests if you are actively logging into WSU resources and have initiated multi-factor authentication, prompting an MFA token to be sent.

WSU Cybersecurity relies on MFA as an added layer of protection for our university community to safely access online resources for academic and business needs every day. MFA requires an individual to not only have a valid password, but also the MFA token received via one of several available options including text or Okta Verify phone application.

This week, malicious parties have taken a new approach to try to bypass MFA. They are relying on MFA fatigue causing a user to approve one of numerous MFA requests sent after the attacker obtains a valid username and password.

Once account takeover is successful, the attacker is able to add their device to WSU user accounts for persistent access. The attacker then uses this opportunity to send phishing emails to other WSU accounts via Google form URL’s in the body of emails.

Our Information Security team is resetting login credentials for a number of accounts that appear to be compromised.

If you receive a phishing email, please report it to abuse@wsu.edu.

If you experience a similar scenario with repeated MFA notifications, please contact Crimson Service Desk for assistance by calling (509 335-4357) or emailing crimsonservicedesk@wsu.edu.

Splunk Upgrade

Please see the following ITS maintenance notification:

Dates: Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022
Start Time: 6:00 PM
End Time: 9:00 PM

The following work is being completed: ITS will upgrade the Splunk environment

All processes affected: WSU Splunk users

All affected groups: Although no service interruptions are expected, the upgrade involves two failovers between the active and passive firewalls.

Duration of impact: Upgrade process will take longer than usual in order to resolve directories issues, approximately 2 to 3 hours. Disruption will be minimal, as the searchable rolling restarts will be conducted during maintenance window.

Follow up steps customers need to take: None.

Questions? Please contact splunksupport@wsu.edu or the Crimson Service Desk via email at crimsonservicedesk@wsu.edu or by phone at 509-335-4357.

Firewalls upgrade

Please see the following scheduled ITS maintenance process.

Dates: Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022
Start Time: 6:00 PM
End Time: 9:00 PM

The following work is being completed: ITS is upgrading Palo Alto firewalls to address security and bug fixes:

  • iReach Border
  • TriCities Border
  • Yakima Border
  • SBDC Border

All processes affected:
The failovers will cause a one- to two-second delay in traffic each time, possibly affecting very sensitive jobs.

Duration of impact:
Although no service interruptions are expected, the upgrade involves two failovers between the active and passive firewalls.

Follow up steps customers need to take:
None

Questions? If you have questions or concerns, please contact
Please contact the Crimson Service Desk via email at crimsonservicedesk@wsu.edu or by phone at 509-335-4357, or online.

ITSM RFP Update

Dear Constituents,

I am writing to you to let you know of my decision to pause the RFP for our ITSM procurement. With my transition from WSU to University of Nevada, Reno, it became apparent that this effort would be best not tackled during a change in leadership. Also, the budget situation for the current and the next few fiscal years are on a declining slope. With these facts, the decision to pause the RFP made a lot of sense.

I thank each of you for the time spent in assembling the RFP. We learned a lot from the process, and it can be restarted when the conditions are right.

Regards,
Sasi

Modification of the WSU External Sender Warning

Please see the following scheduled ITS maintenance process.

Dates: Thursday, December 15, 2022
Start Time: 10:00 PM
End Time: 11:59 PM

The following work is being completed:
The WSU External Sender Warning is being modified with respect to what happens when Microsoft can’t apply the text to a message.  If Microsoft can’t apply the message, the default action will be “Do Nothing” meaning that the warning will not be applied.  The specific use case is encrypted messages where the warning creates an attachment out of the original email.

All affected groups:
All, but only in the small number of cases where encrypted messages are being received

Duration of impact:
This change is expected to take less than 5 minutes. This is a permanent change.

Follow up steps customers need to take:
None

Questions? If you have questions or concerns, please contact
Please contact the Crimson Service Desk via email at crimsonservicedesk@wsu.edu or by phone at 509-335-4357, or online.

Zoom updates

Listed below are several relevant Zoom updates.

Beginning this new year, Information Technology Services (ITS) will be sharing relevant Zoom changes and resources in an upcoming quarterly newsletter to ensure all WSU users develop the best experience with the videoconferencing service.

New: Zoom Event Licenses
WSU now offers no-cost Zoom Event licenses. This is a virtual platform for hosting single-session, multi-session, and concurrent session events. For more information, please complete this form: Feature Request Form

Zoom Meeting Security Requirements
WSU requires all Zoom meetings use one of the following security options: passcode, waiting rooms, or required authentication to join the meeting.

While required authentication is highly encouraged as it helps prevent Zoom bombing and helps support teams respond to calls for assistance, participants no longer need to have a Zoom account if the host has turned off this setting for meetings with non-WSU participants. Learn more on how to secure your Zoom meetings.

Cloud Recordings
Zoom meeting recordings are automatically deleted after 365 days for WSU staff, or 425 days for Video Conference (VC) instructors. To retain recordings longer than 365 days, please download them using local storage options.

Zoom Version Updates
To best prepare for Zoom updates taking place on the first Monday of each month, information is posted one week ahead in WSU’s self-service Knowledge Base, Confluence.

Questions?
More instructional Zoom guides are available on Confluence. Please direct questions to the Zoom Support team via email at zoom.support@wsu.edu.

Tony Opheim named interim VP of Information Technology Services and CIO

Tony Opheim named interim VP of Information Technology Services and CIO Associate Vice President and Deputy Chief Information Officer Tony Opheim will begin a new role as interim vice president and chief information officer of WSU Information Technology Services in February 2023 following the departure of Sasi Pillay.

Pillay has accepted a new role at University of Nevada, Reno, but will remain at WSU until February to assist with the transition. Pillay was named University of Nevada, Reno’s new vice president of ITS and chief information officer today.

Opheim brings more than 30 years of higher education IT experience to the position.

“I am quite honored and excited to serve as WSU’s interim CIO and VP for ITS,” Opheim said. “Under Dr. Pillay’s leadership ITS has reached a higher level of maturity and gained the trust and respect of the WSU community. I will work to advance these positive efforts and partnerships through thoughtful dialogue about important topics such as IT roles, responsibilities and shared governance.”

Over the course of his seven years at WSU, Pillay led efforts to overhaul WSU’s online defenses and improve many aspects of the university’s IT infrastructure, including research computing, and telecommunications.

During the pandemic, Pillay and his ITS team were actively involved in the deployments of Workday and the Learning Management System, Canvas, as well as the design and implementation of the loaner laptop program supporting the transition to remote learning and teaching.

“It is with mixed emotions that I announce my departure from WSU,” Pillay said. “Many of the successes we have achieved together here at WSU are a blueprint that can be adopted at UNR and other higher education institutions around the country.”

Windows patches for Tier 1 servers

Please see the following scheduled ITS maintenance process.

Dates: Thursday, November 10, 2022
Start Time: 6:00 PM
End Time: 11:59 PM

The following work is being completed:
Installation of Windows patches for Tier 1 servers

All affected groups:
Pullman campus/Everett campus

Duration of impact:
Patches have synchronized from Microsoft to SCCM. ITS will be installing patches on Production servers.

All processes affected:
Windows Server Patching – intermittent outages are expected for systems without redundancy.

Follow up steps customers need to take:
None

Contact: Data Center Operations at 5-0404