New Firewall Services Module Provides Added Security
The Firewall Services Module (FWSM) has been implemented to provide an additional layer of security for Campus resources. As part of the ongoing CITS IT Security Project, two additional sub-networks have been moved to the Firewall Services Module. Additional sub-network migration to the Firewall Services Module will be coordinated and scheduled with individual administrative groups and departments.
New Campus Telephone Billing System Announced
The Center for Information Technology Services (CITS) has launched a new, campus- wide Telephone Billing system. The new web-based system greatly expands the functionality of the current system and provides campus schools and departments with a monthly billing invoice that contains significantly more call detail information than in the past.
A new web page, VOICECOM (http://voicecom.umaryland.edu), has been created to enable campus administrators or department designees to access to their monthly telephone bills right from the web. Telephone billing administrators now have the ability to print, email or archive their monthly billing invoice, thus eliminating the mountains of paper previously generated. The CITS VOICECOM development team is currently working on automating telephone service requests and trouble tickets which will be added to the VOICECOM web site list of capabilities shortly.
Students Get New Identification Numbers
Effective February 16, 2005, the University stopped using Social Security Numbers (SSNs) as the primary campus identifier in the Student Information Management System (SIMS). This was done, in part, to further protect the privacy of students. CITS, working with the Office of Records and Registration, has generated a new ID number for every student and applicant in the student database. The new generated IDs are a nine digit number, beginning with a @ symbol (for example, @00001234). Social Security Numbers will no longer appear on transcripts, loan deferments, bills or other external documents produced from the Student Information Management System, but will be retained as alternate ID for State and Federal reporting purposes.
Students were notified of this change in an email message from the Office of Records & Registration on February 17, 2005. Once a student knows his/her new student identifier the student can choose to use either the new identifier or his/her alternate ID (SSN) to access the SIMS self-service modules and conduct other University business.
Web Development Department – Update
On March 4, 2005 the CITS Web Development Department along with assistance from the Database Administration and Infrastructure Services groups implemented a change in the University web servers from Apache/Solaris OS to Windows 2003. The number of web servers was also increased from two (one for development and one for production) to four (two for development and two for production) so that the Content Management System (CMS) websites could be separated from the custom Coldfusion Applications and non-CMS websites. This change will enable CITS to manage, update, and improve the services, functionality, and security on the UMB web servers as well as provide more services and capabilities to web developers who are using them. The switch was performed in the background so that visitors to the campus website had no interruption of services or functionality during the change. It was successfully completed around around noon on March 5th.
The CITS Web Development Department is now working with the company who developed the CMS in order to upgrade it to the next and latest version. The next release will provide CMS developers with more functionality, styles, stability, and control over their content and websites. The goal is to have the next release available on the production web server for developers to use by May 2005.
New Capability Added to eUMB
The Center for Information Technology Services (CITS), in partnership with Financial Services, introduced a new feature for users of the campus’ eUMB HR/Payroll system on February 28, 2005. Department administrators, business managers and others now have the ability to forecast future commitments for salary expenses, known as encumbrances. This information, combined with reports showing expenses already incurred, enables department administrators to monitor their budgets and avoid unpleasant surprises at the end of the fiscal year. This tool is especially valuable to departments with faculty whose compensation is funded from multiple research grants that are awarded and expire at various times throughout the fiscal year.