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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.

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.

Returning to Campus: PC and Laptop checks

 

Connection to University Networks

We are aware of a number of devices across campus that are at risk of login issues due to time logged off the University’s network.

This will apply to:

  • PCs on campus that have been switched off for more than 3 months
  • University laptops that have not connected to the VPN for more than 3 months, and have not accessed Eduroam for more than 3 months

 

This is part of the University’s IT policies and ensures the safety and security of our community. It is  important to routinely connect to the University’s VPN when working off campus to allow vital security updates and configurations to be made to your device.

If your device has not connected to the network within this timeframe, you may see the error message “There are no logon servers available” when you next access the network on campus, and a technician will need to visit to fix this. Please note on-campus PCs at London Road and Greenlands campuses have been manually updated by our User Support team.

 

Details and further information on how to arrange a technician visit, as well as an app that can detect if your University laptop is affected, can be found here.

 

Laptops purchased during the period March 2020 – present: DTS will contact you

If you have received a University laptop between March 2020 and now, delivered to your home address, this will need to be configured with our University image. This ensures you have the correct access to University systems and services, and also ensures important security patching can take place.

DTS will be in touch with you directly if this applies to you, you do not need to log a ticket.

 

Health checks are available

If you are aware that your device has not been connected to the network for a long period of time, or you have rescheduled/not run any updates as requested by the device, please contact our User Support technicians via dts@reading.ac.uk or our Self Service Portal to request our help.

Update:

We are pleased to confirm that the power supply is back and wired and wireless network access is restored. We will continue to monitor our systems and services.

If you continue to experience any issues, please don’t hesitate to contact the IT Service Desk.

 

We are aware of the power supply issues affecting our Whiteknights campus. This is affecting wired and wireless network connections in these areas.

Estates and Facilities are working hard to resolve and we will provide further updates as these become available.

 

Colleagues are working to determine the exact impact but the power – and quite possibly, water supply – are affected in Miller, Whiteknights House, Archaeology, Russell and Wager buildings. The Wessex and Bridges Halls are also affected by the ongoing problems, as is the Telephone Exchange.

 

Earley House, Enterprise Centre, Harry Pitt, Agriculture, JJ Thomson and Life Sciences building are also at risk of disruption to the power supply.

Adobe support for Flash Player ended on 31 December 2020.  Adobe have also blocked Flash content from running in the Player with effect from 12 January 2021.  Further information is available from Adobe, see https://www.adobe.com/uk/products/flashplayer/end-of-life.html

As the software is no longer being updated, it needs to be removed from University computers to ensure that it does not pose a security threat.

Where possible, DTS will remove the software automatically but it is possible that we will need to remotely connect to computers to remove it.

Please note the following advice from Adobe in the web page above and do not install third-party Flash players:

 

IF I FIND FLASH PLAYER AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD ON A THIRD-PARTY WEBSITE, SHOULD I USE IT?

No.  These versions of Flash Player are not authorised by Adobe. You should not use unauthorised versions of Flash Player.  Unauthorised downloads are a common source of malware and viruses.

 

If you use Flash content in your teaching, or have other requirements for Flash, please contact DTS via dts@reading.ac.uk.

PCs and laptops that have not connected to the University’s networks in over 3 months will be at risk of login issues.

 

We are aware of a number of devices across campus that are at risk of login issues due to time logged off the University’s network. This will apply to:

  • PCs on campus that have been switched off for more than 3 months
  • University laptops that have not connected to the VPN for more than 3 months, and have not accessed Eduroam for more than 3 months

 

You will see the error message “No Logon Servers Available” and will require a technician visit. Due to the numbers of our colleagues returning to campus over the next few months, we plan to contact individuals directly and arrange a bookable time for our User Support technicians to visit you and apply essential settings to your device.

 

If you expect to be on campus soon and believe your device belongs to the above categories, please let us know when you plan to return to site by emailing dts@reading.ac.uk and that you will require technician support.

 

 

 

On Tues 16 Feb, a change was made to the University’s email system so that email coming from outside the University now goes directly to Office 365.  This improves the availability of staff email – we have had a few instances where incoming email could not be delivered – and brings the benefit of additional malware checking from Microsoft.

Since the change, we have been made aware that some staff have had issues due to email being sent to “@rdg.ac.uk” instead of “@reading.ac.uk”.  The “@rdg.ac.uk” format addresses have been deprecated for many years and are no longer supported.  However, if you have a vital requirement for this format of address, please raise a TOPdesk ticket via the Self-Service Portal stating the details of this. Our team will investigate and liaise with you.

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