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IT Security

WORKING TOWARD THE CHAIN—Any graduate of Central New Mexico Community College can currently receive a free online-accessible diploma. By summer 2019, the college anticipates being able to offer transcripts on the blockchain.

Blockchain can help institutions provide academic credentials more quickly and securely. Steps to adoption involve understanding how to make the switch, how the technology will improve service, and how it could disrupt the register’s office status quo.

Kelly Walsh is CIO at the College of Westchester in New York.

Universities accepting Title IV federal aid are expected to comply with federal cybersecurity regulations, which include a greater emphasis on reporting breaches. It’s time to step up cybersecurity governance.

From left to right: Patrick Brown, CIO, Illinois College; Marc Benner, Assistant CIO, Illinois College

A robust network might not be needed for your students to participate in basketball, baseball, or football. But what about esports? The leadership of Illinois College recently upgraded their network infrastructure to improve safety and security while also supporting the launch of the college’s highly successful esports program and Gaming Center.

From left to right: Jacqui Spicer, Chief Operating Officer, Baker College; Gus Ortiz, Managed Services Program Manager and Principal Consultant, Jenzabar

Under pressure to contain costs and improve efficiency, many institutions are turning to cloud-based models for their ERP, HR, finance and other crucial systems. Cloud models create more collaborative, interactive environments wherein critical data is more accessible, making more resources available for institutions to better serve students.

Like many of my peers in higher education IT, we at Barry University support an open, collaborative learning environment. And that means embracing campuswide mobility and a bring-your-own-device policy. To minimize the risks associated with mobility and BYOD, we now use an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) defense. It’s a vital and necessary precautionary measure to protect the university’s network from mobile devices that we neither own nor manage.

From BYOD environments to high bandwidth applications, there is intense pressure on network infrastructures. Upgrading is a high priority for higher education technology leaders. In this web seminar broadcast on September 20, an administrator from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts described how the school faced those challenges head on when it embarked on a fourth-generation upgrade and redesign of its network to meet the changing demands of its users.

Few among us enjoy the prospect of assessment, I think. It can feel like a lonely and difficult endeavor. Some of us shy away after catching a glimpse of an inhospitable landscape pockmarked with huge data craters, thinking “I simply have too much work to do to get dragged into that!”
Others navigate across the shifting sands and craggy outcrops of data collection and analysis with great trepidation. What if I get it wrong? Will I even know if I get it wrong? Most of us are compelled to assess at some level and just try to get through it as quickly as possible. Whew! Now back to my real work.

Our annual surveys provide information on the landscape of ITIT and campus policies. In 2010 we added questions on going mobile. For the category "Mobile apps are an important part of campus plans," we got a very strong response. We see this as very much driven by student expectations - an expectation, if not an entitlement.

For years, Butte College in California put up with an internal IT system that left huge gaps in the ability of administrators, faculty, staff, and students to electronically communicate with each other. Administrators were unable to send memos targeted to, say, faculty members or the public works staff. Professors were unable to communicate with specific classes. And students had to go through separate log-in procedures to access the system's Web Advisor - and Blackboard - functions, as well as their e-mail accounts.

The 53-campus system includes seven state universities and 25 community and technical colleges offering more than 3,500 programs to 374,000 students and 140,000 continuing career education enrollees. With campuses five to six hours apart, Karen Bergmeier, ITS project lead- er and Cisco WebExTM solution liaison, found herself traveling four to five hours two to three times each week to conduct training on the system’s proprietary software.

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