Michigan IT Newsletter: October 2015

Michigan IT Newsletter from the Office of the CIO

This newsletter is sent to the Michigan IT community to provide updates, answer questions, and spark conversation about campus-wide efforts to improve IT services and invest in technologies that support U-M's current and future needs. Have questions or feedback about the newsletter? Please let us know! Or use our submission form to send us content and story ideas.

In this Issue

Message from the CIO

Laura Patterson

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. This issue of the Michigan IT Newsletter is devoted to this increasingly critical area of information technology and those on campus who are leading U-M's IT security effort.

Do an Internet search on "data breaches 2015" and the resulting list of news stories includes everything from malware on mobile apps, to data stolen from compromised websites, to costly legal settlements resulting from identity theft lawsuits. These are headlines every organization hopes to avoid.

Large research universities like U-M are very tempting targets for cyber crime. We create and store huge amounts of valuable data and intellectual property, much of it of a sensitive nature. We must protect these vast networks of information, not only to ensure privacy and security, but also to stay in compliance with dozens of laws and regulations.

However, our very mission as an institution depends on openness and collaboration. Information sharing is, after all, at the very heart of education and research. It's not an overstatement to say that maintaining IT security in this environment might be one of the most challenging jobs in higher education.

That's why I'm so pleased we were able to bring Don Welch on board as U-M's Chief Information Security Officer this past spring. Don brings an impressive level of knowledge and experience to his role, which includes responsibility for the university's information assurance program (including Ann Arbor, Flint, Dearborn, and the Health System) and as head of Information and Infrastructure Assurance (IIA). Please take time to read the interview with Don in this issue. I'm sure you'll find his plans and vision for IT security at U-M to be instructive and insightful.

Of course, IIA cannot fulfill its mission without the support of frontline Michigan IT staff. Your ability to help students, faculty, and staff store and work with sensitive data in a safe and responsible way is crucial to ensuring cohesive information security across campus. There is always more to learn about this challenging and constantly evolving area of IT. A great way to do that is to attend the 11th annual Security at University of Michigan IT (SUMIT) conference, the university's flagship event for National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

— Laura

Laura McCain Patterson
CIO and Associate Vice President, University of Michigan

SUMIT Preview

by Joel Iverson, ITS Communications


Register for SUMIT_2015 today!

Make plans to attend SUMIT_2015, the 11th annual cyber security conference on Thursday, October 22. Security at University of Michigan IT (SUMIT) is the university's flagship event for National Cyber Security Awareness Month. It is an annual symposium hosted by Information and Infrastructure Assurance (IIA) and U-M to raise awareness and inform the community of timely IT security and privacy topics and issues.

SUMIT is an exciting opportunity to hear nationally recognized experts discuss the latest technical, legal, and operational trends and threats in cyberspace. This year we are honored to welcome Governor Rick Snyder as a keynote speaker.

Thursday, October 22
8:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m.
Rackham Auditorium
915 East Washington Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070

SUMIT_2015 speakers and panelists

SUMIT_2015 brings together nationally recognized speakers from state and federal government, federal law enforcement, the military, civil liberties organizations, higher education, and industry including:

  • The Honorable Rick Snyder, Governor of the State of Michigan
  • Ari Schwartz, Senior Director for Cybersecurity U.S. National Security Council Staff, White House
  • Colonel Jon Brickey, Army Cybercommand and West Point Cyber Center
  • Randy Hegarty, Enterprise Security IT Manager, CISO Office, Penn State University
  • Jen Miller-Osborn, Cyber Threat Intelligence Analyst, Palo Alto Networks
  • David Sobel, Senior Counsel, Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Tom Winterhalter, FBI Detroit Cyber Team Special Agent

Attendance is free, but registration is required. Visit the SUMIT_2015 website for a complete schedule of events. We encourage you to invite others inside or out of U-M to join us. We hope to see you there!

Don Welch: IT Security Priorities and Challenges

by Janet Eaton, ITS Performance Support

Donald Welch

Donald J. Welch, Ph.D., the U-M Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), is responsible for the university's information assurance and identity and access management programs. Those programs include IT security and policy, privacy, compliance, and enterprise continuity, as well as identity and access management. They cover the Ann Arbor, Flint, and Dearborn campuses, as well as the U-M Health System.

Don served for 25 years in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of colonel and earning the Legion of Merit for his service. He has held executive positions in a wide range of industries, including retail, pharmacy, manufacturing, transportation, and IT services. Before joining the university community in April, Don served as president and CEO of Merit Network, a nonprofit organization governed by Michigan's public universities that provides a research and education network computer and related services.

Now that Don has been at U-M for six months, we asked him to reflect on what brought him here, what he has learned so far, and what he has planned for IT information assurance at U-M.

Why did you decide to come to U-M? What did you find interesting/challenging about this position?

Research universities are facing cyber threats from increasingly skilled and resourced adversaries. The University of Michigan is one of the best universities in the world, but to remain a leader and the best, we must understand and meet these threats. University leadership understands this and wants the university to enhance its position as a leader in IT security. The opportunity to contribute to the university's leadership role in cyber security is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Your career has focused on service through positions in the army and in higher education. How does your work here at U-M help you continue your commitment to service?

Education is vital for the nation to thrive as a liberal democracy. Education empowers individuals, groups and societies. Keeping the university safe while it excels in teaching, research, and patient care is a privilege that I'm grateful for.

What do you think are the biggest IT security challenges facing higher ed in general?

Professional cyber adversaries. National intelligence agencies, cyber criminal gangs, and hacktivists are all attacking research universities with increasing frequency and effect. Research universities have information that is so valuable to all these groups that they are willing to put a lot of effort into breaking our security.

What are the biggest IT security challenges facing U-M specifically?

Decentralized information technology and the university's culture. Security best practices include control and limiting change, but U-M thrives in a culture of agility and innovation. Coordinating our university-wide security program across the entire university without hampering the university's ability to be the best at what it does is a challenge.

What are your top priorities for the coming year?

The first priority is building the university's security team. We are making some key hires, and I am building relationships with security stakeholders across the university. The second priority is deepening my understanding of the university and continuing to build relationships with university leaders. The third priority is developing and implementing our strategy to meet the new threats.

Did anything surprise you as you learned about IT security at U-M?

My experience working closely with U-M and higher education in general while at Merit Network gave me a good sense of the university environment. I believed that U-M had a top-notch security team before I arrived and was very pleased to discover I was right.

What IT security technology are you most excited about? Why?

Multifactor authentication. So many security problems for individuals and institutions come down to compromised credentials (or passwords). With multifactor authentication, U-M and members of our community will all be better protected. (See the Project Updates section of this issue to learn about enhancing and expanding the use of multifactor authentication at U-M.)

What is the most important thing IT staff can do to improve IT security across the university?

Know where sensitive information is located and securely maintain those systems. IT staff should keep doing the basics like installing patches in a timely manner, backing up data, turning off unneeded services. They should also participate in work to improve security, such as feeding logs into our security information and event management system (Splunk), expansion of multifactor authentication, and more.

What will it mean to have one IT security program for the U-M Health System, Ann Arbor, Flint, and Dearborn campuses?

We will become stronger as we work together and support each other. We will be able to "up our game" to better meet our highly skilled adversaries.

How will you know the program is successful? What will success look like?

Success will actually be invisible. Nothing bad will happen, and people at the university will be able to do their jobs unhampered by security restrictions.

What do you like to do outside of work? What are your hobbies?

I coach youth lacrosse, and I play guitar.

Storing & Working with Sensitive Data

by Janet Eaton, ITS Performance Support

Sensitive Data

There's a constant tension in universities between the need to appropriately protect sensitive information and the need to share it with others to foster research and collaboration. You can use U-M's Sensitive Data Guide to IT Services to help you figure out where to store and share your sensitive data using services available at U-M.

What is sensitive data?

According to the university's Institutional Data Resource Management Policy (SPG 601.12), "Sensitive data refers to data whose unauthorized disclosure may have serious adverse effect on the university's reputation, resources, services, or individuals. Data protected under federal or state regulations or due to proprietary, ethical, or privacy considerations will typically be classified as sensitive."

There are two categories of sensitive institutional data to consider (see Sensitive Data Classification):

  • Regulated sensitive data includes data protected under federal or state regulations. Additional protective considerations may apply to regulated data due to regulatory or other requirements.
  • Unregulated sensitive data includes data that is not legally regulated, but still considered sensitive due to proprietary, ethical, or privacy considerations.

Sensitive data classification is not always an exact science. Determining whether data really is considered sensitive or not requires your analysis and judgement supported by guidance from ITS Information and Infrastructure Assurance (IIA). In the coming year, IIA will work with stakeholders across the university to further refine sensitive data definitions and classifications.

Where you can share and store which data types

The Sensitive Data Guide helps you make informed decisions about where to safely store and/or share sensitive university data using centrally-provided IT services available on the U-M Ann Arbor campus. The guide tells you which services have the appropriate security and compliance controls in place to protect sensitive institutional data and comply with the laws and regulations that govern it.

If you work with sensitive university data, and want to store or share it using centrally-provided IT services, use those services listed in the guide as approved for your data type(s). Send questions about storing or sharing sensitive data using services not listed in the guide to the ITS Service Center. If a service is not listed in the guide, it likely has not been reviewed for use with sensitive U-M data.

Use storage services appropriately

Depending on the type of data you work with, you may need to take additional actions when using the storage service you selected to comply with regulations or contracts and appropriately secure the data. For example, if you use M+Box for storing PHI, you must use a shared account set up specifically for sensitive data, set appropriate folder permissions, keep collaborator lists up-to-date, and more (see Using M+Box Securely with Sensitive Data).

Your ongoing responsibility

Security and compliance are shared responsibilities. You always have a part to play in ensuring that sensitive university data is appropriately protected. For example, you must carefully choose who can see the data, use collaboration and storage services in ways that keep the data safe, and safeguard your personally-owned devices. Ultimately, good security and compliance are good for you and good for the U.

Turbo-Charged Research

by Dan Meisler, Advanced Research Computing and Patty Giorgio, ITS Communications

Research Storage

U-M investigators involved in data-intensive research are getting a new tool to help them store, manage, and analyze large data sets. Advanced Research Computing Technology Services (ARC-TS) recently announced that a new service, Turbo Research Storage, is available to researchers on all U-M campuses.

Turbo allows researchers to access their data in place, making real-time analysis of large data sets possible. Researchers will no longer need to spend time and resources building their own storage or looking for solutions outside campus. Instead, they can access, process, and analyze data with Turbo, allowing them to focus on their research.

Turbo Research Storage provides scalable storage, and is capable of moving data at speeds of up to 40Gbps (gigabits per second). This matches the high performance capabilities of Flux, the shared U-M computing cluster.

Researchers who want to use Turbo for sensitive university data should choose the NFSv4+Kerberos option. Turbo provides a secure environment for most types of sensitive data when using the NFSv4+Kerberos protocol. For questions regarding use of Turbo for sensitive data, please visit the ITS Sensitive Data Guide.

Access to Turbo is limited to researchers, and is available on all U-M campuses. Others should consider the many storage offerings available, including MiStorage, Google, or Box, for their storage needs. The service is funded by an IT capital request specifically targeted for research use.

App Aims to Improve Campus Cellular Coverage

by Ken Caldwell, ITS Communications


Wish there were more "bars" on campus? You can help.

By using crowdsourced data, a new Android application enables the university to inform cellular carriers about locations where coverage needs improvement.

MCoverage, now available on Google Play, surveys network performance to help identify cellular coverage, currently on the UM-Ann Arbor campus. Information and Technology Services (ITS) is developing the app based on technology by Dr. Morley Mao, associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and the MobiPerf research team.

This research project showcases collaboration among a diverse group of U-M engineers from ITS Communications Systems and Data Centers, ITS Application and Information Services, ITS Enabling Technologies, and the Computer Science and Engineering faculty research team.

Install MCoverage and contribute to U-M research

As with all crowdsourced data initiatives, more data leads to better outcomes. If you use Android, please take a moment to install MCoverage on Google Play. The application is limited to Android devices at this time due to technical limitations with iOS devices.

MCoverage collects data in the background about cellular coverage within buildings at the University of Michigan. ITS will analyze the coverage data, visualize it for users, and communicate its findings to wireless carriers. At the same time, faculty partners acquire additional data for academic research. ITS and the MobiPerf research team will further develop the application to add functionality and improve the user interface.

For more information, visit the MCoverage project website. Questions or comments? Send feedback or email mcoverage@umich.edu.

Group Spotlight

This occasional column profiles campus units or teams and the services they provide. Suggest a group to be profiled.


Mike Lowry, Information and Infrastructure Assurance, ITS

What services does Information and Infrastructure Assurance (IIA) provide?

IIA's mission is to direct university-wide information IT security, IT policy, compliance, privacy, and enterprise continuity efforts, as well as provide operational security services that enable the university to excel in its research, teaching, and patient care mission. IIA's operational services include essential services that are provided to the the entire university, shared security services associated with the MiWorkspace service, and fee-based security consulting services. Examples of essential services include IT policy development and guidance, IT system security hardening guides, education and awareness, IT security incident response, network protection, risk assessment and analysis, and vulnerability scanning.

Who can take advantage of your services?

IIA's essential services are made available to the entire university as well as fee-based consulting services. IIA's Unit Security Services team provides specific security support to units using the MiWorkspace service.

What is the best way to reach your group for services?

IT Security Essential Vulnerability Scanning, IT Security Consulting, and Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity planning services can be found on the Michigan IT Portal for Security Services. General inquires or concerns can be submitted through the ITS Service Center. Suspected IT serious security incidents should be submitted to security@umich.edu.

Can you tell us about a recent project that you worked on that you are particularly proud of or one that you feel has a big impact in the Michigan community?

IIA is working with ITS and Ann Arbor campus units to implement an Intrusion Prevention System (IPS). An IPS provides advanced threat detection and allows the university to extend protection to its wireless networks. It is one layer of protection in a multi-layered approach to security. With the exception of specialized networks, such as those used by researchers with high bandwidth needs and the U-M Health System, our goal is to provide IPS protection to all areas of the Ann Arbor campus that are not already protected by firewall technologies by the end of 2015. Protection for MWireless was implemented in September. (See the Intrusion Prevention System entry in the Shared Service Updates section of this issue to learn more.)

What are some interesting uses for your service, or what are people in your area doing that you'd like to highlight?

As part of MiWorkspace adoption, trained IIA security staff work directly with units to provide consistent, reliable information security services. These Information Security Leads (ISLs) provide education and awareness activities, log and access reviews, facilitate development of unit-specific policies and procedures, assist with the evaluation of proposed technologies, support unit risk assessments and incident response, and much more.

Who else is a part of your team?

Our IIA team is led by U-M's Chief Information Security Officer, Don Welch, and consists of information assurance professionals focused on a broad range of information security operations, privacy and compliance, and information security incident response.

Are there other units on campus that you regularly partner with or build relationships with?

IIA has many partners across the university, including the Office of Research, the U-M Health System, the Office of General Counsel, and the Institutional Review Board. IIA provides security services for the entire university, including the Ann Arbor, Flint, and Dearborn campuses and the U-M Health System. We work directly with U-M units through their designated Security Unit Liaisons (SULs).

Does your team have tips for other Michigan IT groups to make their partnerships/relationships more successful?

Michigan IT encompasses a broad spectrum of IT services supporting U-M's diverse academic, research, and clinical computing needs. Gaining an understanding of other organizations' unique computing needs and concerns through collaboration and communication is key to successful partnerships and relationships across the university.

What is one thing you get to do regularly in your work in this group that makes your job rewarding?

Working with IIA's team of talented information assurance professionals and U-M's information security community to foster security awareness, mitigate potential security vulnerabilities, and enhance U-M's information assurance posture as our part in enabling teaching, learning, research, and healthcare across the university makes my role in IIA very rewarding and fulfilling.

Kudos & Campus News

Got some news to share or know someone who deserves a shout-out? Let us know!

SCinet SC15

Diversity scholarship award

ITS staff member Amy Liebowitz was one of five women IT professionals awarded a Diversity Scholarship that provides funding to attend the SCinet Conference in Austin, TX this November, and participate in the SCinet buildout of a high-capacity network while there. The award program aims to expand the diversity of the SCinet volunteer staff and provide professional development opportunities to highly qualified women in the field of networking. Congratulations, Amy!

IIA in the news

U-M CISO Don Welch discusses key strategies for keeping students safe online in a podcast (20:22) from Internet Advisor's Campus Cyber Security and Anchors Away Detroit. Sol Bermann, campus privacy officer, describes some of the privacy challenges that colleges and universities face with regard to "big data." Read his article in the Summer 2015 issue of Leadership Exchange.

Device security brochures

Brochures with tips for securing personally owned devices are available from ITS for distribution in your unit. For more about the brochures and how to order, see Device Security Guide Brochure.



ITS was a proud sponsor (for the second time) of MHacks, the university's student-run, 36-hour hackathon. This year's event, which took place September 11-13 on North Campus, drew over 1,500 participants from around the USA and other countries, making it one of the largest hackathons in the world. See the list of winners and submissions.

Grant opportunity

Do you have an idea for an app, game, or other innovative technology that could improve the lives of young people with disabilities? U-M's Competition Space is accepting proposals for small grants that will provide up to $10,000 in funding for a one-year project. All members of the U-M community are eligible to apply, including students, fellows, staff, clinicians, and faculty. Deadline is October 14. Learn more.

Help Me Now

Help Me Now, again

MSIS held a grand opening on September 16 for its second Help Me Now location at the Taubman Health Sciences Library (THSL). Help Me Now are IT drop-in centers where UMHS or Medical School faculty, staff, and students can configure and troubleshoot devices, consult on purchases, get referrals to other MSIS services, and borrow equipment. The NCRC also has a Help Me Now center. Read this story in UMHS Headlines to learn about other MSIS services and support activities at THSL.

Shibboleth 101

If you want people to use their uniqname and UMICH (Level-1) password to log in to your service or application, consider using Shibboleth. Here are a couple great resources that can help you get started:

Big Data

Big plans for big data

  • U-M plans to invest $100 million over the next five years in a new Data Science Initiative that will help student and faculty researchers tap into the enormous potential of big data. Application areas will include transportation, health, social science, and learning analytics. Read the story in the University Record.
  • Multi-Institutional Open Storage Research InfraStructure (MI-OSiRIS) is a new $5 million data storage and networking project that aims to speed up discovery and revolutionize the research cloud. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the regional project includes U-M, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, and Indiana University. Read more in the University Record.

Data governance resources

Data governance establishes decision rights with respect to university data for the purpose of ensuring accountability, and defining processes and standards associated with their proper use. The CIO site recently added a section on data governance with useful information related to:

  • Roles, responsibilities, and policies affecting data stewardship
  • Who to contact about data access and classification
  • Responsibilities and policies for managing and classifying sensitive data at U-M

In the coming year, IIA will be working with stakeholders across the university to review and revise the Institutional Data Resource Management Policy (SPG 601.12). This policy is the foundation of university data governance.

Training & Events

Contact us to get your event listed.

Cyber Security Awareness Month

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month! Check out this Safe Computing page to find out what's happening at U-M and around the country.

U-M Google Apps Developers

Thursday, October 1; 1-3 p.m.; 2001 LSA Building. This month's speaker is LSA student Adrian Rakochi. Rakochi, along with his intern cohort, wrote a PHP application that allows users to self-migrate content from their AFS space to either Box or Google Drive. The project uses the Google API PHP Client and Google's OAuth Implementation. Desserts, workshop-style discussion, and problem-solving will follow the presentation. Join the U-M Google Apps Developers G+ Community or MCommunity group to get notifications about upcoming meetings and to participate in group discussion.

BI Fall Event: Focus on BusinessObjects BI4

Monday, October 5; 1-3 p.m.; Great Lakes South, Palmer Commons. Includes demonstration, Q&A with expert BusinessObjects users, and a hands-on session. Bring questions and your laptop. Registration required.

Learning Analytics

Practical Learning Analytics

Monday, October 5 to Monday, December 7; Online. U-M and Coursera are offering an eight-week course on using traditional student record data to address questions raised by campus leaders, faculty, staff, and especially students. Each analysis will be supported by realistic data and sample code. Learn more and enroll.

The Future of Data Science

Tuesday, October 6; 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Rackham Amphitheater. Join top data scientists for an inaugural symposium to mark the launch of the U-M Data Science Initiative. The event, sponsored by the Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS), will focus on the future of data science and highlight current research, trends, and emerging issues in the field. Space is limited. Learn more and register.

Hadoop Workshop

Friday, October 9; 1-5 p.m.; B250 East Hall. Sponsored by ARC-TS. Learn how to process large amounts (up to terabytes) of data using SQL and/or simple programming models available in Python, Scala, and Java. Computers will be provided to follow along with hands-on examples; users can also bring laptops. Space is limited. Get more information and register.

IT4U 52: Creating Reports in BusinessObjects BI4

Tuesday, October 13; 9-9:45 a.m.; Online. Learn how to create and format your own reports in BusinessObjects BI4 using data from Student Records, HR, and Financial, with Jeanne Mackey (ITS). Level: Introductory. Registration is required. If you missed the September 15 IT4U webinar on BusinessObjects BI4, here's the 31-minute recording.

Apple in Medicine

Monday, October 19, 12-1 p.m.; Med Sci II, South Lecture Hall, Room 3699 and Tuesday, October 20, 12-1 p.m.; NCRC, Building 300, Room 376. MSIS and MCIT are hosting two seminars presented by Dr. Lina Lander, Higher Education Development Executive with Apple Inc. Get more info and register (PDF).

ITS Innovation Lunch

Wednesday, October 21; 12 p.m.; Boyer 111 and Thursday, October 22; 12 p.m.; Arbor Lakes Building 1, room 1412. This month's topic is using digital signage to display live data. For more info, join the ITS Innovation Lunches MCommunity group and read the ITS Innovation Lunches blog. If you have topic suggestions, would like to give a presentation, or want to help plan the lunches, email the planning team.



Thursday, October 22; 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Rackham Auditorium. The Security at University of Michigan IT (SUMIT) conference is an annual free symposium hosted every October during National Cyber Security Awareness Month to raise awareness and educate the community about cyber security and privacy issues. See the agenda and register.


Friday, October 23 to Sunday, October 25; Time TBD; Language Resource Center, North Quad. The Language Resource Center is hosting the annual Translate-a-thon. Everyone interested in translation and the technologies that enable it is welcome to join this crowd-sourced weekend of translation work.

Michigan IT Symposium

Michigan IT Symposium

Monday, November 23 and Tuesday, November 24; Michigan Union. The Michigan IT Symposium is an event highlighting the expertise, innovation, and personality of the U-M IT community. Registration will open on October 20.

Safe Computing

Keep Up with IT Security and Privacy News

Interested in the latest updates about IT security and privacy? U-M's Safe Computing site offers several ways to stay on top of what's happening:

Project Updates

Working on a project you'd like share with the Michigan IT community? Let us know!


Based on the successful results of the Canvas learning management system pilot and a faculty advisory group recommendation, all course sites will be moved from CTools to Canvas by fall 2016. More than 150 instructors and 10,000 students piloted Canvas, the first major component of the Unizin consortium, this past academic year. Today, more than 1,700 U-M courses (about 35% of all U-M courses using a learning system) and 28,700 students are already using Canvas. Learn more about the transition from these articles in the University Record and the Michigan Daily.


What is MiWorkspace and why are we doing it? This is one of the questions asked most frequently by the faculty and staff the project team has met with since 2012. You can find the answer to this and other real world questions from campus in a newly revised FAQ section. With more than a dozen schools and colleges and all administrative units in the service as of this fall, the project is nearing its end, but for those still wondering what it's all about it, Real Questions, Real Answers is for you. Just want to know what the technical changes really mean for a MiWorkspace computer? Take a peek under the hood of the Mac and Windows builds:

For additional details, view the MiWorkspace project website and academic unit implementation status.

Multifactor Authentication

Multifactor Authentication

Vendor demos for an expanded multifactor authentication solution wrapped up in September. A group of representatives from ITS, Medical Center Information Technology (MCIT), the School of Dentistry, and the School of Information are working together on a Multifactor Authentication project to select a vendor in preparation for implementing multifactor authentication more widely across the entire university.

Multifactor authentication means using more than one factor when you log in. For example, using your UMICH password plus your MToken code, or logging in to your bank's website with a password and a security question. Chief Information Security Officer Don Welch says, "The most powerful single thing that we can do to help protect both individuals and University of Michigan systems and data is to expand the use of multifactor authentication."


SiteMaker sites will not be viewable or accessible after October 30, 2015. Sites can only be archived or deleted after that date, and SiteMaker will be decommissioned at the end of November. As the SiteMaker Transition Project enters its final phase, the project team has intensified its communication activities. View the project roadmap and read the latest project updates for more information.


WiFi Upgrade

  • As school resumed in September, upgrades at Bursley Hall, Angell Auditorium, priority classrooms in Chemistry, Angell Hall, Tisch Hall, Mason Hall, and Tappan Hall were completed.
  • Full building upgrades continue in Angell Hall, Tisch Hall, Mason Hall, Haven Hall, Tappan Hall, Duderstadt, Art & Architecture, Dow Building, Bagnoud Francois-Xavier (FXB), Undergraduate Science Building and the Chrysler Center.
  • Meru Replacements were completed in Martha Cook, Betsy Barbour, Fletcher Hall, Helen Newberry Residence Hall, North Quad and the U-M School of Dentistry.

Visit the project site to learn about the most recent progress on WiFi upgrades across the Ann Arbor campus.

Shared Service Updates

If your unit or group provides a shared service to campus, this space is available for short news items and updates to the Michigan IT community. Send us your information.

Intrusion Prevention System

ITS's network Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) is now protecting the entire MWireless network from malicious Internet traffic. The MWireless infrastructure gained IPS protection in the SEB data center on September 2, and in the LSA Building data center on September 20. MWireless infrastructure in both data centers covers access points across the Ann Arbor campus.




  • Do not install Apple's new operating system, OS X El Capitan (version 10.11) from the Mac App Store, on your MiWorkspace Mac computer. Apple released OS X El Capitan on September 30. The new operating system will be available for download in the MiWorkspace Managed Software Center as soon as it is fully tested on MiWorkspace machines. You will receive an email notification when OS X El Capitan is available.
  • Internet Explorer (IE) will be upgraded to version 11 on Friday, October 2 for most MiWorkspace Windows computers. U-M research, teaching, and administration systems are compatible with major browsers, including IE 11. For more information, view the ITS Web Browser and Desktop Operating System Support page.

Service Management

Based on feedback from our users, the ITS Service Management team is working to improve the delivery of service status information to campus. In addition to a redesign of the service status page, we are also looking at ways to make our service status emails more user friendly. On Thursday, September 24, ITS rolled out an updated layout for these messages that improves readability and usability.

UMHS CoreImage

MCIT will deploy Internet Explorer (IE) 11 to UMHS CoreImage workstations in the coming weeks. With the latest version of Internet Explorer, Health System users will continue to receive security updates and technical support. Read the full update in UMHS Headlines.

Virtual Sites

The connection address to Virtual Sites has changed. Virtual Sites is a service that lets you log in remotely to a Campus Computing Sites Windows computer and use the licensed software on it from your own computer or mobile device. If you have used the service, visit virtualsites.umich.edu for instructions to ensure your connection software is updated with the correct address. The previous address to connect to Virtual Sites was disabled in September.


On the first two days of the fall term, central campus and some buildings on north campus experienced intermittent WiFi issues, causing disruptions to students, faculty, and staff during a very busy time. Working with the equipment vendor, ITS learned the problem was caused by a bug in the vendor's code that only reveals itself under heavy load. On day two, ITS created a new temporary network name, Open MWireless, to provide students and staff with alternative WiFi connectivity while ITS worked to address the issue. On day three, the team made changes to hardware configurations, which restored stability to MWireless, MGuest, and eduroam. Open MWireless remained available until midnight, September 18, allowing enough time to ensure that the problem was no longer present. Although these changes returned stability to the WiFi network, ITS continues to work with the vendor toward a resolution.

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