Over the past few weeks, you may have noticed an influx of Pitt IT alerts regarding phishing scams. (If you’re subscribed to IT Alerts, that is.) It seems like online thieves are in overdrive these days: From mid-June to early July, two major schemes directed over 70,000 scam messages at the Pitt community. And these were not your “I am a Nigerian prince, please transfer money to me ASAP” emails.
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Researchers in the University of Pittsburgh’s Biomedical Informatics department needed to grant multiple outside researchers access to sensitive biomedical data that would speed treatment to patients in need. With Pitt IT, they collaborated with Microsoft cloud solution architects to deploy a secure research enclave in record time using Microsoft Azure. Now, the University has a blueprint for replicating this secure environment, creating broad, secure access to sensitive data from multiple sources.
In April, the Office of the Provost announced that 2021-22 will be the Year of Data and Society, encouraging the University community to focus on the importance of data science in our daily lives. One project in particular under the Data and Society umbrella has been underway for quite some time. The School of Computing and Information (SCI) is working to educate the broader Pittsburgh community on the importance of data and how we can keep our data secure … and Pitt Information Technology is an eager participant.
While the word “standard” can mean ordinary or generic, it can also be defined as the minimum criteria that something must meet. At Pitt IT, the Computing Equipment Purchasing and Standardization Program is in place to ensure that all staff and faculty are working on high-quality devices at affordable prices, with exceptional support and ease of use.
If you’ve attended or lead a training, staff meeting, information session, board meeting, etc., chances are, a PowerPoint presentation was involved. It looks professional and is easy to use, but it’s a passive experience. A presenter just clicks through the slides and people follow along. Now, Microsoft has released PowerPoint Live and integrated it with Teams. It transforms the PowerPoint experience into an interactive, engaging event with real interaction.
A few good things have come out of spending the last 15 months in our homes. I’ve rediscovered my love of the Bard. And the pandemic spurred everyone into putting their paper-based processes online. Now, I can complete a form, sign it, and submit it … all using my phone from my couch! There are important differences between the many digital signature apps now available, but I’ve found some of Shakespeare’s best quotes to explain why you should use eSignature (DocuSign) at Pitt.
I recently discovered Microsoft Sway, and I have become a believer. I don’t mean to knock PowerPoint, but PP presentations can be static, stale, and boring. Sways, on the other hand, are dynamic, artistic, and engaging online stories that make me look like I have serious design skills, when I most decidedly do not. Here are a few tips I picked up as I was learning the ropes that can help you get started Swaying.
Vincent Concel has one foot in the technical world and the other in the world of clinical research. As the director of research technology services for the School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics, he supports the cutting-edge technology that is the backbone of modern medical research. As his department generated ever larger data files, he found himself managing it on a hodge-podge of storage devices. Finding the right storage solution was critical for supporting their groundbreaking research.
Feels like 6 years since your last summer trip. With the vaccine now available and business and travel restrictions being relaxed, many of us are finally prepping for a real vacation. A little thinking ahead of time can save you a lot of headaches later! While you’re waiting for your plans to launch, take a little time to consider these tech precautions for IT-safe travels.
The only thing standing between a critical computing system and a nefarious hacker is you, a cybersecurity guru. Without your unwavering dedication, the entire system can be breached. The damage can range from data and financial losses to the crippling of an entire U.S. industry. Will you keep us safe?