Printing Update from University Windows Devices

 

Thank you for your patience whilst we have identified the next steps in carrying out Microsoft’s resolution.

We are pleased to confirm Microsoft have now made the vital security patches available and have provided information on other required security settings in order to resolve their printing issue.

Whilst we continue to ensure the safety of the University community, printing will only be re-enabled on devices that have the patches installed. We will be routinely running a report to check these and enabling printing for those that have done so. It is vital to ensure your device is patched.

What do you need to do?

Please take a look at this knowledge item in our self service portal https://uor.topdesk.net/tas/public/ssp/content/detail/knowledgeitem?unid=85fada60215f4521acd48954c3d546e4

The University’s VPN will be unavailable on Tuesday 7 September, from 18:00 for approximately one hour for essential maintenance.

This essential work will mean that our VPN will be unavailable during this time. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause and remember to save any work and log out prior to this change.

 

Please see hints and tips for using the University’s VPN on the DTS blog.

 

If you have any further questions or concerns please contact DTS on dts@reading.ac.uk or use the Self Service Portal on reading.ac.uk/dts.

The University’s VPN will be unavailable on Thursday 19 August, from 18:00 for approximately two hours for essential maintenance.

This essential work will mean that our VPN will be unavailable during this time. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause and remember to save any work and log out prior to this change.

 

Please see hints and tips for using the University’s VPN on the DTS blog.

 

If you have any further questions or concerns please contact DTS on dts@reading.ac.uk or use the Self Service Portal on reading.ac.uk/dts.

Eduroam: removal of TLS 1.1 protocol

 

What is TLS 1.1?

TLS is a method of encrypting data that “scrambles” data from one service to another, meaning any attempts to “read” it during the movement of the data are stopped.

Sometimes referred to as SSL,  TLS provides a means of keeping data safe, often used in financial systems but really anything that requires keeping secure. TLS 1.1 has been retired.

 

What’s happening?

In order to ensure the security of the University’s systems and services, we will be disabling the TLS 1.1 protocol on the eduroam Wi-Fi service on 31 August 2021. This change will affect any older devices that are not able to support TLS 1.2, including computers running Windows 7 and mobile devices running older versions of iOS and Android.

The TLS 1.1 protocol is not as secure as the newer TLS 1.2 and is no longer supported for connections to many services, including Microsoft’s Office 365. As Windows 7 is no longer supported by Microsoft since January 2020, security patches are no longer available, and we advise that anyone using Windows 7 upgrades to Windows 10.

For instructions on updating your settings, please see this helpful guide.

We are pleased to confirm Microsoft have now made the vital security patches available and have provided information on other required security settings in order to resolve their printing issue.

Whilst we continue to ensure the safety of the University community, printing will only be re-enabled on devices that have the patches installed. We will be routinely running a report to check these and enabling printing for those that have done so. It is vital to ensure your device is patched.

What do you need to do?

  • Staff working remotely via a UoR device purchased prior to March 2020:

You must connect to the University’s VPN and run all software and security updates pending in the Software Center, instructions can be found on our Self Service Portal. Because of the number of connections to the VPN expected, we would recommend that you connect and run these updates at the end of your working day. Please remember to disconnect from the VPN after you have completed the updates and restart your device.

  • Staff working remotely via a UoR device purchased between March 2020 and March 2021:

These devices do not have the University image yet, and you will be contacted directly regarding this. In the meantime, please follow the instructions on our Self Service Portal to check for and run the required security updates.

  • Staff working remotely via a UoR device purchased after March 2021:

The updates will have been automatically deployed to these devices and when the patches are verified, we will re-enable this printing.

  • On-campus staff devices, PC labs, student printing etc:

This fix has already begun to be pushed out to all University PCs that are switched on and are on the network, and these will be forced to restart to allow the patch to work. We have also carried out some additional security checks, and when the patches are verified, we will re-enable this printing.

Our technical teams are visiting PCs in the Library, teaching and learning rooms and PC labs to ensure these are up to date.

Once your device has the correct security settings, you will need to restart. Please note that from updating, any changes to your printing permissions can take up to 12 hours to take effect.

Printing hubs will remain available, but please be aware that the Library hub will be closed from the end of Friday 30 July to make way for Clearing. The hubs at London Road and Greenland campuses will continue to operate.

Why keeping your device updated is so important

DTS regularly recommend routinely connecting to the University’s VPN when working off campus to allow vital security updates and configurations to be made to your device. This incident affecting Microsoft’s printing services has shown how important it is to ensure you routinely check Software Center and install any updates for your device.

The University’s Mobile Device Management Policy states “University staff issued with a University of Reading owned mobile device shall ensure software updates and patches are installed as soon as practicable to do so to help ensure your device remains compliant. It is the responsibility of the user to ensure that all software installed on the device remains patched and up-to-date.”

The University’s Patch Management Policy can be viewed here.

If you have any issues updating your security settings, please log a ticket directly with the IT Service Desk via the Portal, including the Hostname of your device, where possible.

We are planning to copy the remaining content from home drives (N:drive) to OneDrive for Business between 30th July and 27th August (with the exception of Clearing Week). We are working in batches so every individual will receive an advisory email with their specific date a week before, and we will send out a reminder the day before.

You should allow 24 hours for the migration, with the N: drive being switched to read-only at 9am, and files being available on OneDrive by 9am the following morning. You should copy any files locally which you need to access during this period. Once we are certain there have been no issues, the home drive for that user will be moved into archive storage (retrievable via a ticket to the IT Service Desk).

FAQs have been updated: https://www.reading.ac.uk/digital-technology-services/service-catalogue/onedrive/home%20drive%20faqs

Any questions? UoR-HomeDrives-OneDrive@reading.ac.uk

Further to our update on Friday, we are still awaiting Microsoft’s fix for their critical vulnerability issue and as such general printing from University devices and UoR devices at home will continue to remain unavailable.

 

As advised on Friday, there are a number of Printing Hubs available on all three of our campuses for urgent staff and student printing requirements.

 

Printing is now available via PCs* located at the following locations:

 

  • Whiteknights Campus: 1st Floor, University Library, near the IT Service Desk Counter. Please note that all Library access must be pre-booked as per the Covid-19 Code of Conduct, and bookings can be made here: www.reading.ac.uk/booksd or via the DTS homepage. Please choose “DTS Printing” from the drop down menu.
  • London Road Campus: L16 IoE staff hotdesk room – L16 105, no bookings required
  • Greenlands Campus: GRN Quiet Study Space, no bookings required

 

*In order to print, you will need to log into these Printing Hub PCs with your University username and password.

 

If you have a critical business requirement for printing, please continue to escalate these to the IT Service Desk citing this email. They will be able to escalate this appropriately for you. Our teams have been working incredibly hard to respond to business critical requests across the whole University, and in implementing vital workarounds

 

We will meet again to review this decision on Monday and will provide further updates then, unless we have any developments before then. Once again, please accept our thanks for your ongoing patience.

We are very pleased to confirm that Microsoft have released a patch to fix their security vulnerability in printing services, this was released late last night. This is a worldwide issue affecting all Windows devices, and we know other universities that are also affected by Microsoft’s issue.

 

 

What do you need to do?

 

Our teams have prioritised implementing this fix, and have been able to test and add the vital security patch to our University’s Software Center. This fix has already begun to be pushed out to all University PCs that are switched on and on the network, and these will be forced to reboot to allow the patch to work. Our technical teams are visiting PCs in the Library, teaching and learning rooms and PC labs to ensure these are up to date.

 

For our colleagues working on a UoR device off-campus, you will need to connect to the University’s VPN and run all software and security updates pending in the Software Center, instructions can be found on our Self Service Portal. Because of the number of connections to the VPN expected, we would recommend that you connect and run these updates at the end of your working day. Please remember to disconnect from the VPN after you have completed the updates.

 

 

Printing

 

Our print servers will remain disabled at this stage, and as such you will still be unable to print until these are restarted.

 

Since yesterday, we have taken exceptional measures to support critical business areas, including Campus Commerce and the University Postal Services. We would ask that if you require urgent printing capability, based on exceptional legal requirements, please contact the IT Service Desk citing this email. They will be able to escalate this appropriately for you.

 

 

Many thanks for the extraordinary patience shown. We have not taken this decision lightly, and have acted to ensure the safety of our network and our University community.

Please be advised that we have taken the difficult decision to disable all printing on the University’s network, and from UoR devices printing at home.

 

This decision has been made due to a worldwide critical exploit in all printing services, and will remain in place until a fix (patching) has been released. We are expecting this patch to be made available in a few days but there has been no timeline advised at this stage, Microsoft are working urgently on this. We will prioritise our print servers when the services has been restored.

 

If you require urgent printing capability, based on a legal requirement, please contact the IT Service Desk citing this email. They will be able to escalate this appropriately for you.

 

Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience this will cause. We have not taken this decision lightly, and have acted to ensure the safety of our network and our University community.

On Tuesday 13 July 2021 – DTS will be retiring dfs.rdg.ac.uk – all shares will now redirect to rdg-home.ad.rdg.ac.uk (rdg-home). Our Operations team is carrying out this work to consolidate our systems and remove a layer of complexity, making it easier and quicker for you to access support in the future.

 

This change will impact your use of collaborative, home, research and research-nfs drives if not updated, please check and update any saved or “favourited” paths.

 

What do I need to do?

 

  • Drive Mappings:
    • Any mapped drives will be updated on your behalf by DTS, any drives you have manually created will need to be changed now or replaced with Quick Access.

 

  • Quick Access:
    • Please check and update your Quick access drives as they may also be pointed at dfs.rdg.ac.uk not rdg-home.
    • We would recommend using Quick Access to save and access your drives, and you may find these easier and quicker to use. Instructions to do so can be found on our Self Service Portal.

 

Why are DTS making this change?

 

Retiring dfs.rdg.ac.uk allows our DTS teams to consolidate space in our Data Centre; reducing the amount of cooling and power required which will subsequently reduce our carbon footprint further. This change will also allow out teams to continue working to consolidate systems and eventually retire the Lyle Building Data Centre.

 

Further to this, dfs.rdg.ac.uk is a “standalone solution” hosted on legacy hardware, rdg-home provides a “distributed solution” – meaning that in the event of a systems failure, service can be maintained. Using rdg-home will also allow us to utilise the cloud when it is the best option, providing greater flexibility for DTS systems and services.

 

If you have any questions about how to map your drives, please check out our helpful guides in the Self Service Portal. Please contact the Service Desk if you have any issues.

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