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Since the transition to these alternative ways of working, DTS is pleased to confirm that the release of a new VPN solution available for all staff is working reliably and with plenty of available capacity. This new VPN has a larger capacity meaning that more people can make use of it at the same time. It also increases security when making a connection to the University network, keeping your work and important documents safer.

In order to help University of Reading to stay secure, we will be removing access to the old VPN (webvpn.reading.ac.uk) from 8am on Monday 6 April. After this time, any existing connections will be disconnected and you will need to access the new VPN using the instructions below.

The VPN allows you, when working remotely, to access internal systems that require a connection to the University network.

Who can use the VPN?

All staff are able to make use of the VPN. However, only those who need to access systems that require a connection the University network need to use it. Most of the tools you use day to day do not require the VPN, such as your Email and Calendar, OneDrive, Teams and Office 365 apps. A full list of what systems require the VPN is available on the VPN knowledge base guides.

How do I get access?

DTS have provided 2 knowledgebase guides on connecting to the VPN:

Important: you will need to authenticate your connection

When using your University account to login to the VPN you will need to verify yourself using Multi Factor Authentication, either via the Microsoft Authenticator app or a phone line. Full details and guides can be found on the Remote Services Access page.

Need help?

If you have questions or want help connecting to the VPN, please contact the IT Service Desk on dts@reading.ac.uk or using the IT Self Service Portal. If you find you do not have access to any applications that you previously used on our old VPN connection, please contact the IT Service Desk who will be able to raise an access request on your behalf.

 

We take the safety and security of our staff and students very seriously.

If you log on to the University network from your home or a location outside our campuses, you will be asked to complete a Multi-Factor Authentication before you can use many of our applications, including Office 365 and Me@Reading.

This would generally involve either saying ‘Approve’ to a login notification on your smartphone or entering a unique code available on your phone.

We recommend that you download the Microsoft Authenticator App on your smartphone to help you do this. This app is available for AndroidiOS and Windows smartphones.

Instructions on how to set up the app are available on the Remote Services Access Guide.

If you do not have a smartphone, the authentication works through an SMS sent to your mobile phone or through a call on a landline.

These changes are part of our work to make the University and its IT systems secure. Every week, around 40 University accounts are hacked – requiring urgent work to secure those accounts. We need your support to facilitate a secure infrastructure that colleagues can use to work flexibly.

If you have any questions or concerns about this change, please email IT Service Desk.

Many thanks for your patience whilst the DTS teams have worked hard to get all areas of the University set up to work, study, teach and research remotely over the last week. This has been an incredibly busy period for our whole community and we are grateful for your ongoing support.

In order to assist you in working remotely, we have pooled our guidance and advice into several areas and we wanted to share these with you:

 

  • Remote Working webpage – Our DTS communications team have worked round the clock to gather as much of our Remote Working information on to one handy webpage for your reference. This includes advice on when you might need the VPN and how you might access specialist systems. This page also links to the Working from Home policies and guidelines which we would recommend taking a moment to read over.

 

  • Our IT Self Service Portal – We have created an area within our IT Self Service Portal for you to access all of the relevant information and forms regarding Remote Working called “Coronavirus and Remote Working Information”. This also includes advice about remote working, and University webpages. Our Self Service Portal is available 24/7 and we would always recommend logging any queries or faults via this route if not urgent. You can also use the service to access our help and guidance pages and check the status of your existing tickets. (UoR login required)

 

  • For quick updates and information, as well as hints and tips, please consider following DTS on Twitter@UniRdg_IT

 

  • Our IT Service Desk are set up and working remotely, and able to use our remote tools to access your devices at home to provide you with support. Our phone lines remain busy and we would ask if your request isn’t urgent, please log via the IT Self Service Portal or by emailing dts@reading.ac.uk

 

The above information is not exhaustive but we hope provides some signposting. Please do share this with those who might find it useful.