News

IT Services March 2021 Update  

This update is a summary of several of the projects IT Services will be working on over the next few months. Many of these initiatives are IT security focused and will help to further protect the institutions systems and data. Some may require updates to the software and configuration on your computer and other devices. Please watch for additional communication on these projects as they get closer to completion.  For more detailed information on any of these please contact IT Services. 

 

Skype for Business Online Retiring 

Microsoft has announced that Skype for Business Online will be retired on July 31, 2021 and after that date the service will no longer be accessible.  Skype for Business Online users should transition fully to Microsoft Teams for chat, meetings, and direct Teams calling.  If you have any questions please email itservices@stfx.ca, or visit mystfx.ca/services for help with transitioning from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams.  

Network Infrastructure Upgrades Ongoing 

IT Services will be performing a series of upgrades to core network hardware and services on campus over the coming weeks. The upgrades will increase network capacity and improve redundancy and reliability.   Work is typically performed before 6AM and we will work to minimize service disruptions. Planned outages will be communicated in advance where possible.  

Moodle Upgrade  

Lambda, our Moodle hosting provider, completed an upgrade to the Moodle environment from version 3.7 to 3.9 on December 22nd, 2020.  The upgraded version contains bug fixes, updates to security, and includes some new features. Full documentation for version 3.9 can be found at moodle.org. 

Changes to Computer Ordering Process 

Effective April 2021 most computers on campus will be included in a new refresh program. Computers will be replaced on a 5-year cycle; you will not need to process a purchase requisition.  

Some systems, including those purchased for research, will not be part of this program. Ordering for those will now start with a ticket to IT Services rather than by submitting a purchase request to Procurement Services. IT Services will work with Procurement Services to order, configure, and deploy new computers. This will allow faster and more accurate service and support from IT Services for new computer deployments, as well as better lifecycle management of computer devices for all users across campus. To order new computer equipment, please use the “New Computer Equipment Request” form on the Services@StFX portal available at mystfx.ca/services 

Security Awareness Training 

The security awareness training platform, Beauceron, is now available to all staff, faculty and students. Everyone should have received an email invitation to log in to the system and take advantage of the content. If you haven’t received an invitation, please contact IT Services to get one. Most cyber-attacks target individual users using phishing emails and similar strategies. This training will help you identify those threats and keep your information safe. ITS will be encouraging use of the system and running promotions with some great prizes for students over the next few weeks. 

Millennium FAST/mesAMIS Project 

The process of replacing the mesAMIS system is underway. Some of the functionality and reporting has already been transitioned to other platforms. Most of the remaining mesAMIS reports will be migrated to a new system called Millennium Fast. The system is up and running and report building has started. It is anticipated that the migration of all mesAMIS reports to the new system will be completed by the end of May. 

Multi-factor Authentication Rollout 

ITS is finalizing the build of Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) technology and the roll out to campus will begin soon.  MFA is a technology that requires users logging in to a system to prove their identity using a second verification step.  A typical configuration would require a username and password plus another piece of information such as a code from an app on your phone. The system will significantly improve user account security, particularly in the case of a compromised password. More details will be communicated in the coming weeks.