Tag Archive | "UM Information Technology"


UMIT’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month Tip: Back Up Your Data

boxAs part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, UM’s Information Technology (UMIT) department would like to remind you to back up your data. In the event of a natural disaster or IT downtime, critical data can get lost, so it is important to store data in a secure location. Backing up data is one of the most vital steps in protecting your data, but most people are unaware of where to store their data.

The University of Miami offers all faculty, staff, and students a cloud-based data storage and file-sharing solution named Box, which has recently been upgraded to unlimited data storage. Box enables people to easily store and manage content in a secure online environment, while being able to share files and collaborate with individuals and teams. This service is available at no cost.

To log in to Box, and for more information, please read below:

Benefits of Box:

- File Space: Unlimited free storage.

- Collaboration: Files can be stored in one secure place online, so you and your team always have access to the latest version.

- Special Benefits: Recommended solution for the storage of secure data; highly encrypted. Password protect links, set permissions, and get access stats; automatic backup with 30-day file recovery.

More information about Box:

– Sign in to your Box account at: box.miami.edu

– To learn more about Box, visit our Box Learning Center

– If you have additional questions, a comprehensive FAQ is available here

If you have any questions about Box file-sharing and storage solution, please contact the UMIT Service Desk: Coral Gables/RSMAS Campuses: 305-284-6565, itsupportcenter@miami.edu, or Medical Campus: 305-243-5999, help@med.miami.edu.



Posted in For Your Benefit, NewsComments Off


UMIT’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month Tip: Mobile Devices – Connecting on the Go

Mobility has become a way of life for many in their personal and professional lives. Wi-Fi hotspots are becoming increasingly prolific, and more and more devices are built for life on the go. Remember that as you travel, your data travels with you. Find out how to make sure cyber security travels with you as well:

You and Your Device

  • Don’t leave your device unattended. Theft and pickpocketing can be an issue in some places, but leaving your device in a restaurant or on a park bench can be a tempting find for anyone passing by.
  • Be prepared in case your device does go missing. Have contingency plans in place: back up important files to the cloud, use an app(s) that can remotely lock/locate your phone.
  • Password protect your device. Even if your company doesn’t require it, having a password on your device can be the best first-line defense to keeping others out of your data.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Remember that those in close proximity could see you input your password or read a bank account number.
  • Turn off Bluetooth when not in use. Bluetooth is an open connection into your phone.

You and Your Connection

  • Don’t connect to unfamiliar or unsecured Wi-Fi. If you must connect, most businesses will have a browser log-in at minimum for their unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Look for this to ensure you are connected to a legitimate hotspot.
  • Be wary of random texts. Do not click on links from unknown numbers. Even texts from friends can contain malicious links if your friends have a virus on their phone.
  • Run an antivirus program on your mobile devices. A good mobile antivirus program will scan all downloads for malware, regularly check your device, and even lock your device if lost/stolen.

You and Your Apps

  • Only download apps from trusted sources. Apps in trusted stores (via the Play store (Android) or App Store (Apple) have to meet certain requirements to be featured and are much less likely to do damage to your phone or spy on your data.
  • Double-check app permissions before downloading. Make sure that app permissions make sense for the type of app you are downloading before agreeing.
  • Delete apps you no longer use. Old and out-of-date apps can serve as a security weak point in your phone. Delete apps that are no longer in use.
  • Don’t use the same password and username for every app. If you use the same password on all your apps, it could be obtained from a less secure app and used in a more sensitive setting – such as your email or bank account apps.
  • Think twice before rooting/jail breaking a device. Granting the wrong application superuser access can lock your phone and potentially send off all your sensitive data. “Hacked” phones also do not get regular updates, which can pose another security risk.

Our mobile devices often carry as much or more of our personal data than our computers. Failing to keep your mobile devices secure can be just as dangerous as carrying around an open sack of money. Remember to always STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Keep an eye out for new articles about cybersecurity topics the whole month of October.


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Get Connected at UMIT’s Wi-Fi Tune-Up Stations October 19-20

In response to feedback regarding issues with wireless connectivity on the Coral Gables campus, the University of Miami Information Technology (UMIT) department will open a Wi-Fi Tune-Up Station this week and another in two weeks where faculty, staff, students, or anyone with a valid ’Cane ID can have their wireless device(s) updated for optimal performance and report any connectivity problems they are experiencing.

UMIT will review all reported issues closely and analyze wireless connectivity in problem areas as part of its ongoing efforts to improve service and provide fast, high-quality wireless connectivity to the UM community. Wireless connectivity issues include difficulty connecting to and remaining connected to SecureCanes, slow performance, and the availability of SecureCanes campus-wide.

You may visit a Coral Gables campus Wi-Fi Tune-Up Station on the following dates and times:

  • Monday, October 19 and Tuesday, October 20, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the School of Business Administration, Storer Auditorium Lobby

Get Connected, Stay Connected

UMIT encourages faculty, staff, and students to continue utilizing SecureCanes for wireless connectivity to ensure secure online activity. For more information on SecureCanes, its features, and how to successfully connect your device(s), visit the following sites:

Your Opinions are Valuable to Us!

If you are experiencing wireless connectivity issues on your device(s), please let UMIT know by:

  • Filling out the easy and mobile-friendly WiFi Feedback and Trouble Reporting Form at: http://miami.edu/securecanes.
  • Posting on Twitter: hashtag#SecureCanes and including a description of the area where you are experiencing wireless connectivity issues.
  • Contacting the UMIT Service Desk at: 305-284-6565 or itsupportcenter@miami.edu.

UMIT’s goal is to remedy wireless issues on campus and­, through greater interaction with the UM community,­ improve the experience for all.

Posted in For Your Benefit, NewsComments Off

President Obama Honors Analyst for His Other (Volunteer) Job


President Obama Honors Analyst for His Other (Volunteer) Job

By Diamari Torres
Special to UM News


Terry Helmers

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 30, 2015)—By day, Terry Helmers is a senior systems analyst for the University of Miami Information Technology (UMIT) department. But on weekends, he’s usually paddling or diving in Biscayne National Park, where his decades-long dedication to preserving and sharing South Florida’s unique ecosystems has earned him President Barack Obama’s President’s Volunteer Service Award.

As Obama told Helmers in the award letter, “Your volunteer service demonstrates the kind of commitment to your community that moves America a step closer to its great promise.”

Helmers, who has been a National Park Service (NPS) volunteer and diver since May 1987, has spent countless hours cleaning up national park shores and lands; replacing, maintaining, and installing buoys; removing invasive species—like the lionfish—from local waters; and photographing (and sometimes discovering) shipwrecks. Likened to South Florida’s own Lewis or Clark by The Miami Herald, he also leads canoe expeditions to remote wilderness areas where visitors can see the changing environment up close and learn more about protecting it.

Over the years, he has won various awards for his volunteer work, including the 1999 University of Miami Vice President’s Service Award, the 2006 NPS Regional Superintendent’s Volunteer of the Year Award, and the 2007 NPS George Hartzog Regional Volunteer Award.

As he humbly notes, “We stand ready to take on any park task that needs to be done.”

This year, his NPS colleagues nominated him for the nation’s premier volunteer award, which was established in 2003 to honor and thank citizens who dedicate their lives to service. Brian Carlstrom, the superintendent of Biscayne National Park, presented the White House award to Helmers at NPS’s annual volunteer picnic in April.

“It was a surprise to me,” said Helmers, who accepted the honor by telling a story “that reinforces why we work—paid or volunteer —for the park service.”

Among his most enjoyable tasks, he says, is working with NPS’s “enthusiastic, energetic, skilled, trained, and extremely intelligent” interns, many who are master’s or Ph.D. candidates from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. Not surprisingly, he had a hand in establishing the intern program.

“Back when Biscayne National Park was younger, we discussed how to promote this relationship between a top marine school and a living laboratory in their backyard,” he said. “It took a number of years, but now it’s a very well-established program benefiting both UM and the park.”

To learn more about the National Park Service, visit: http://www.nps.gov/.


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UMIT Security Alert: Beware the Heartbleed Bug

Dear Colleagues,
As many of you are aware, a serious security vulnerability has been exposed that is affecting websites worldwide. This security problem, called the “Heartbleed Bug” (see http://heartbleed.com for technical details) is a way for hackers to potentially see information when you browse a secure website. It can create situations where hackers gain access to passwords, credit card numbers, and other personal information.
UMIT is in the process of assessing our vulnerability throughout the institution. We have focused our attention on our most critical infrastructure. For example, we have confirmed that our central identity management systems are not vulnerable. We are working diligently with IT staff throughout the University as well as our vendors to detect and remediate the vulnerability. While we work to ensure the security of our systems, we have implemented additional protections to limit exposure. 
We are in close communication with our peer institutions and following the guidance of authoritative security experts such as the SANS Institute. We are considering what the best approach may be for future remediation activities. Our guidance at this time is to pay attention to the information you receive from financial institutions, retailers, and other organizations you do business with personally and be sure to follow the instructions they provide. As new information becomes available, we will keep you informed. 
If you are a system administrator or have additional questions regarding Heartbleed, please contact: ciso@miami.edu.
Steve Cawley
Vice President for Information Technology and CIO

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