June 2017

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IT’s new Academic Computing Team Manager, Ryan Kennedy, heads to Washington DC this week to represent the University of Reading at NEXT; a giant IT conference hosted by Nutanix. He will be speaking about how institutions can benefit from using a self-service approach to research computing. Audience members watching Ryan will include NASA, IBM and Intel.

Ryan is the Academic Computing Team Manager at the University of Reading, responsible for physical and technical infrastructure to support research across the University. In this role Ryan and his team look after multiple compute and storage clusters servicing the ever-expanding requirements of academics.

Ryan’s team is currently working creating a cloud based self-service portal for academics to request research computing. This new self-service system allows for quicker turn around on requests and will allow users to more easily see what is available to them. It also provides IT with a more efficient way to work, saving time and money. Ryan will be talking about this approach in Washington, educating huge companies on how they can use the same technology to improve their work.

“I hope to show people new ways of working and how it can help both the users and the technical teams involved”, said Ryan, “I want to show off all the hard work my team has done on this and get it out there so others can benefit from it.”

NEXT takes place between the 28th and 30th of June at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, Washington DC. Ryan’s talk is titled ‘Self Service Everything’ will be taking place on the 29th of June at 15:05 (20:05 UK time).

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As computers become exponentially more involved in our everyday working lives, security is an increasing concern.

It’s therefore essential for security conscious individuals to keep up to date with the latest news and trends. Twitter has emerged as an excellent way of doing this. By following a subsection of the biggest influencers in security, you can stay on top of the industry and any pressing developments — which is why we’ve compiled this list. Next to each recommended account, we’ve given a brief bio and explained what it is they Tweet about.

The List:

1. @mckeay is a Security Expert and Blogger who is very active on Twitter, his longstanding blog and his podcast. He tends to tweet about cybercrime, with a fair bit of security-based humour thrown in for good measure.

2. @gcluley has been working as a Security Expert since the 90s. A prolific Twitter user, Culey shares lots of industry news and articles of interest.

3. @thegrugq is an independent Information Security Consultant and Anti-Forensics Researcher. The Grugq has worked with Fortune 100 companies, leading information security firms, innovative start-ups and the public sector. The Grugq’s tweets are wide ranging: from the funny to the highly technical.

4. @Luis_Corrons has worked as Technical Director for PandaLabs since 1999. He’s a WildList reporter and sits on the AMTSO Board of Directors too. He shares a mixture of helpful security advice, his thoughts on the Panda Security blog and more.

5. @mikko has received many accolades, among them being voted one of the 50 most important people on the web by PC world magazine. @mikk is often a keynote speaker and has spoken for TED and Google. His tweets are wide ranging and occasionally technical. He shares lots of articles from the F-secure blog, where he has worked since 1999.


You may have seen recent reports of a significant ransomware incident at UCL. A small number of PCs were infected with malware which encrypted files stored both locally on the PCs and on network file shares. UCL’s Information Services suspect that the malware came from a compromised web site. To reduce the impact and risk of lost data, Information Services at UCL restricted their central file store to read-only whilst they dealt with the incident. As the university has backups and snapshots of the central file servers it looks like no data was lost.

To protect yourself from the risk of malware and losing important data:

· Ensure that software updates and patches are applied (if you see a pop-up stating that updates are ready to be installed, install them as soon as is convenient)

· Use central file shares or OneDrive for Business to store information (local files are not backed up and cannot be restored in the event of encryption by ransomware)

· Don’t fall for scam emails or web sites

· Contact the IT Service Desk if you are uncertain about the validity of an email message or web site

IT is providing everyone at the University of Reading with free 1TB cloud storage. Never lose your work files again!

What is it?

OneDrive for Business is a managed cloud storage that allows users to store and share files and folders online. This means that instead of that file sitting on your computer it is held on a server elsewhere, meaning your work is more secure and at less risk to cyber criminals. If someone gets access to your computer then those files are safe and secure on a server elsewhere, protected by Microsoft’s robust server system.

Where to get it

Simply login to Office 365 to gain access to OneDrive for Business:


Useful Links/Guides

Microsoft has provided some user guides to help you get up and running with OneDrive for Business:

Use of OneDrive

Ensure there are no contractual restrictions on use of Cloud Storage for the work you wish to store in One Drive. Use OneDrive for collaboration but be mindful that any documents used by a team will need to be moved should the owner of the document leave. Please read the University of Reading’s usage requirements regarding OneDrive.


Microsoft has a comprehensive support section on their website which will answer most questions and queries.  If not, please use the IT Self Service Portal or call 0118 378 6262.