July 2019

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IT have been improving the Universities protection against phishing and spam, most recently with an enhanced e-mail protection feature to the University e-mail service. (called Zero-hour Auto Purge – ZAP!)

‘ZAP’ significantly reduces harmful emails making it into your inbox.

In order for this product to work, all users must have the default junk mail settings.

IT have made an automatic change to your Outlook. We ask that you do not change this setting from where it is. Doing so will make you more vulnerable to malicious emails.

We have changed the option Off to On.

This improvement comes directly from Staff requests in the IT Feedback Survey we conducted in 2018. Staff asked for a reduction into the amount of spam and phishing emails they received.

Protecting our staff from phishing and spam is one of the IT departments biggest priorities. Malicious emails you receive have the potential to make you lose work or financial details.

This new change will help us further reduce the impact of these malicious emails on the University of Reading community.

 

We have been receiving reports of a recent phishing email making it into University inboxes. The email claims to be from the Vice Chancellor and has the subject line “Vital Awareness”.

It contains a PDF attachment that should not be opened.

We have provided a screenshot below (click the image for a larger version):

 

Do not open this email or any attachments as it could damage your work and computer and may make your private details vulnerable.


If you are concerned about this email or other similar emails then please call ex.6262 or go to reading.ac.uk/it

If you are a member of staff whose students are reporting this to you we strongly recommend that they change their password via the https://password.reading.ac.uk website.

If you go to https://password.reading.ac.uk/reset/ you can reset your password; provided that you know your University Username, Student Number and PIN. These can be obtained by filling out the form at https://password.reading.ac.uk/reminder.

For tips on keeping yourself and your information safe online, visit the IT web page on Cyber Security.

Due to graduation week some Staff may be working from home. Some University systems require the use of the VPN but many do not. In the interest of keeping the VPN below its maximum and capacity and to ensure that those that need access to the VPN have it when needed, please consider if the use of the VPN is essential for the work your are doing.

OneDrive for Business and Microsoft Teams do not require the use of the VPN to access them and are a great place to store your work.

Please consider the below guidelines when working from home and using the VPN:

  • If you don’t need to use the VPN to access N Drive/Collaborative Fileshare etc then please don’t. Use OneDrive and Team sites wherever possible.
  • You can access Office 365 apps (Word, Excel etc) by logging into https://www.office.com using your University email. Once you enter your details you will be directed to a University of Reading login page which requires your username and password. Once logged in you can access all your apps in a browser or download them on up to 5 devices.
  • If you need to access files then you should copy them to your OneDrive and then log off the VPN. This will free up connections for those who really need it.
  • You don’t need a VPN connection to access your email. You can do this via Outlook on a laptop or via the O365 portal.
  • Log out of the VPN as soon as it is not needed.

We have been receiving reports of a recent phishing email making it into University inboxes, with many reports being from the Henley Business School. The email claims to be from John Board, Dean of the Business School, and has the subject line “Required Annual Notices”.

It contains a PDF attachment that should not be opened.

We have provided a screenshot below:

Do not open this email or any attachments as it could damage your work and computer and may make your private details vulnerable.


If you are concerned about this email or other similar emails then please call ex.6262 or go to reading.ac.uk/it

If you are a member of staff whose students are reporting this to you we strongly recommend that they change their password via the https://password.reading.ac.uk website.

If you go to https://password.reading.ac.uk/reset/ you can reset your password; provided that you know your University Username, Student Number and PIN. These can be obtained by filling out the form at https://password.reading.ac.uk/reminder.

For tips on keeping yourself and your information safe online, visit the IT web page on Cyber Security.

Cyber security threats can cause you to lose work or financial information but installing antivirus software can help avoid this.

Unless you forget to update it that is!

Luckily, University owned PCs and Macs have Sophos antivirus software installed and updated automatically by the IT department; but what about your personally owned devices?

See the IT Knowledge base article for further information on installing/updating to the latest free version of Sophos antivirus (available for Windows and Mac):

KB: Antivirus software for personally owned Windows PCs and Macs

Keeping Sophos up to date on your personal computer will help avoid the consequences of Cyber Security threats like Phishing and Removable Media.


What is Sophos?

Sophos is a University of Reading approved antivirus software.

Why do I need anti-virus software?

Just in the same way immunisation injections help your body fight off unwanted diseases, antivirus software keeps your computer and its digital contents more safe from cyber security threats.

Without antivirus software your computer could more easily get infected with a virus or malware program, install it today to reduce the chance of this happening.

Help keep your computer healthy!

Why do I need to update my antivirus?

University computers come with Sophos installed and are automatically updated centrally. However, Sophos on your personally owned devices must be updated manually.

To use the same analogy, the flu immunisation injection has to be updated often as the flu becomes more complex and resilient to previous methods of avoiding it. Cyber Security threats are getting larger and more advanced everyday and so antivirus must be updated regularly in order to keep up with these ever changing threats.

We experienced and fault yesterday (3rd July 2019) with our storage infrastructure that affected access to storage for some users. While fixing the fault the University website was unavailable for a brief period of time. We are working with the supplier to determine the root cause of the problem.

Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience this outage has caused.

A group account is a Windows log-on shared by a number of people.

We know group accounts are useful but they are problematic from a security and licensing perspective and we need to move people to more modern solutions.

What’s changing?

  1. If you require a generic account i.e. a shared log on, this will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.  E.g. for specialist systems administration access where there are no other options.
  2. If you require shared storage, please request a collaborative network share or Microsoft Teams via the IT Service Desk.  A group account for this purpose will no longer be granted.
  3. If you require a shared mailbox, a group account will be granted in the short term, until an alternative solution (currently being tested) is implemented.