Tag Archives: DTS

True blue service: Tyler Spoon

Tyler Spoon, database administrator with Information Technology Services, was surprised March 4 at a departmental meeting with the Called to be True Blue Award. He was nominated for the honor by the human resources department, which lauded his excellent customer service, proactivity in responding to issues or requests, high level of expertise, integrity, professionalism, willingness to go the extra mile, and unfailingly positive attitude. In their nomination of Tyler, HR department members wrote:

“Tyler is always very willing to assist and will go out of his way to research and find a solution even if it is not technically in his area. I have never had him reply that it is not his responsibility … He has never made me feel inadequate with my lack of computer knowledge. He follows through with every request HR has sent to him. Tyler is our ‘go-to guy’ on campus.”

Tyler received a certificate and gift card, and is now in the running, along with other True Blue Award winners nominated before Friday, March 18, to win top honors for staff accomplishment at the All Staff Council Sapphire Awards event April 19.

Do you know of a staff member or department that has gone above and beyond to exemplify True Blue spirit? Nominate them today!

—All Staff Council Communications Committee

Update to Drake email

Attention: The look of the Drake email log on page is changing! Shortly after 10 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 16, the new look will take effect. An exact screenshot of what the new log on page will look like is below (first photo: horizontal mobile log on page; second: vertical mobile long on page; third: desktop mobile long on page). Drake Technology Services is responsible for this change in an effort to provide secure email authentication. Please contact the Drake Support Center at x3001 for email authentication issues.

Here is the link access your Drake email: https://outlook.com/drake.edu

Mobile email page
Mobile Log on Page (vertical)
Desktop Log On Page






























—Submitted by Chris Mielke, Lead—ISS Infrastructure Services

DTS campus update

As we approach the end of the year and my first semester as CITO, I want to provide you with a status update on some of the DTS accomplishments this fall as well as a sense of our priorities for 2016.

  • We have reallocated funds and returned to a model of direct support for schools and colleges and have hired a new classroom improvement specialist. Searches are also underway for a project manager and a help desk manager.
  • Budget planning has resulted in detailed, itemized information on current and future expenditures and the creation of a high-level infrastructure replacement plan.
  • Technology in seven classrooms and the Legal Clinic have been renewed with plans and funding in place to renew an additional seven to eight classrooms in the Spring semester.
  • We have built a redundant data center environment in Shakopee, Minn., for disaster recovery purposes, which should result in fewer future Internet outages. We have also worked with 24 departments to review their business-continuity plans.
  • In order to improve our Banner system, new, robust hardware has been installed. In collaboration with our campus partners, we have implemented a new campus scheduling system and phases 1 and 2 of an online housing management system.
  • Finally, management of Blackboard was moved off campus to increase reliability and availability.

As we end our calendar year and look towards 2016, we will be focusing on:

  • Building a culture of service excellence
  • Increasing collaboration across campus
  • Improving our accountability
  • Communicating better with campus
  • Ensuring a reliable and robust technology infrastructure
  • Reducing risks related to information technology

Thank you for your warm welcome to campus. I’m dedicated to continuing to improve DTS communication and service. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or any member of my staff to let us know how DTS can better serve you and your area.

I wish you a holiday season filled with happiness, and I look forward to working with you in 2016.

Chris Gill
Chief Information Technology Officer

Important: Changes to merging courses in Blackboard

In an effort to better serve you, DTS is making some changes to how we merge courses in Blackboard. I am excited to report that instructors will no longer have to worry about merging their own courses. I am currently working with our Banner-Blackboard integration to automatically merge courses.

While we work on finalizing this process, I will be merging your courses so you can concentrate on what matters to you the most, teaching your courses. Please email me at maryjane.blystone@drake.edu and include the following information:

  •  Course CRN to be merged (e.g., COUNT-123-4567)
  • Name of the course to be merged (e.g., Accounting Spring 2016)
  • Which content to copy to the new course if any already exists.

Let me reassure you, this is a temporary solution until we are set to have the system merge courses automatically. We will notify you once this process is complete.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me.

—Submitted by Mary Jane Blystone, LMS Technology Specialist

Business continuity & disaster recovery planning

Since project inception in January 2015, the Information Security team within Drake Technology Services’ Infrastructure & Security Services unit has been working to develop business continuity and disaster recovery plans for processes and technologies in use at Drake. An off-site datacenter, designed to hasten and ease recovery of our most critical technology assets, has been leveraged to help reduce downtime in the event of an outage and ensure that data is secured and available for recovery, if needed.

Meanwhile, DTS staff conducted tabletop Business Continuity Planning (BCP) exercises using a potential disaster scenario, designed to help guide conversation around plan updates and potential changes to plans. These exercises help to ensure adequate continuity is in place to maintain University processes should a real disaster occur. Ongoing work throughout the year will help ensure our plans are up to date.

—Submitted by Jeff Sabin, Information Security Officer, Head of Infrastructure and Security

Phishing education

The activity of defrauding an online account holder of confidential information by posing as a legitimate company.

We’ve all been the target of a phishing attack. Whether it’s a warning of an expiring email account or an “urgent message” from a financial institution, these attacks put the confidential information of our students and employees at serious risk, and require significant personnel and technology resources to resolve.

Faculty, staff, and students of Drake are no exception, and the attackers have been making their email attacks even more difficult to spot. Several of the attacks recently spotted have used a forged copy of our webmail login page to convince people to give up their username and password.

The login page below is from an email phish that we received, but there’s nothing on the page giving it away. The page gives the appearance of legitimacy but is designed to steal passwords and information.


However, the URL at the top gives it away. As you can see, pilatesg.com isn’t affiliated with Drake or with Microsoft, our email provider. If you are ever asked by email to take an urgent action regarding your account, go to the page you know and trust rather than following a link.

Drake webmail is located at: outlook.com/drake.edu

Links to safe login pages for Blackboard, blueView, EMS, and more are also located at the following pages:



If you think you’ve received a legitimate email but aren’t sure, don’t take chances! Call Client Services at 515-271-3001 or email informationsecurity@drake.edu. If you think you may have already opened a malicious link, call or email right away to get your password changed.

Drake utilizes a service called PhishMe to provide education on these types of attacks—what attackers are after, how they get through our spam filter, how to spot them, and, most importantly, what to do if you’ve been targeted. For more information on phishing and how to avoid becoming a victim, please visit the DTS Information Security website.

—Submitted by Jeffrey Sabin, Information Security Officer

Protecting your identity—tips for campus

Is it possible to prevent identity theft?

Experts say yes and no.

Think of identity theft like someone attempting to break into your home.

Can you prevent someone from breaking in? You can definitely make it difficult. Door and window locks and alarms, security cameras, even guards are possible deterrents.

Would it still be possible for a break-in to occur with these things in place? Yes, if they are determined enough and had more manpower or better technology.

The same is true for protecting your identity. You can make it more difficult to misuse or steal, but it’s impossible to 100 percent guarantee that it won’t happen. Making some thought-out choices will greatly reduce your chances of being a victim.

Your personal information is a goldmine.

Below are some practical ways to prevent or reduce the chances of identity theft, as well as put a stop to existing fraud that may be occurring without your knowledge.

Minimize exposure of your Social Security and credit card numbers. Do you know how many websites currently have your information on file? Most companies offer to save this information for you, but if the company suffers a breach, information may be disclosed that you’d forgotten was entrusted to them.

Credit cards are still a relatively safe option. Credit card companies limit the liability of fraud victims, often better than banks do with debit cards. Keep the contact information of your financial institutions in a place you’ll remember in case you do suspect fraud.

Watch out for phishing emails and calls. Phishing schemes can take many forms, but have a general theme: coercing you into giving up personal information, whether passwords protecting financial data, or account information via phone. If you’ve suffered from fraud in the past, you are at additional risk. Additional information on how to spot these scams is located on Drake’s information security website.

Manage your passwords effectively. We all use dozens of websites that require passwords. Using a password manager or even a written list kept in a locked drawer is safer than using weak passwords or the same password on multiple sites. Think of your most valuable sites such as online banking, retirement, healthcare, etc., and focus on creating strong, unique passwords for these sites to that they are not at risk if passwords at other sites are stolen.

Upgrade authentication where possible. Some companies are starting to offer two-factor authentication, or “2FA”—a smart phone app or automated phone call used to confirm your identity in addition to a password. It does introduce a layer of complexity and hassle, but it could be a small price to pay to secure your finances and other online accounts.

Protect mobile devices. Your phone and tablet probably have your email account, which can easily give a thief access to other accounts through password resets or social engineering. Using screen locks and encrypting these devices are two easy steps to protecting yourself if they are lost or stolen. Apple and Google both offer a service to remotely wipe the device if it’s ever lost so that your information is safe, even if the device is gone.

If you receive notification from a company that holds your personal information, such as a financial institution or the IRS that your information has been compromised or that they suspect fraud on your account, the following steps can help limit the damage and get your life back to normal.

  • Place a fraud alert on your financial accounts and credit reporting bureaus so they are aware of the situation.
  • Order your credit reports. The credit reporting bureaus provide copies for free once notified of potential fraud.
  • File an identity theft report with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and your local police.
  • Monitor your accounts and dispute any fraudulent charges on your account as soon as you notice them

There is quite a bit more information online about this topic through the FTC and IRS websites. Information security staff within Drake Technology Services can also provide information and assistance; they can be reached at informationsecurity@drake.edu.

—Submitted by Jeff Sabin, Information Security Officer/Head of Infrastructure and Security

From DTS: Blackboard migration

As of Sept. 19, the summer courses Blackboard system is offline, part of our final migration process into the new Blackboard Hosting Environment. This means that you will no longer have access to bb.drake.edu, and will be re-directed to drake.blackboard.com. All summer courses will be moved, with the final courses moved by Sept. 28.

Though we don’t anticipate any files being lost, we recommend that instructors save their files and/or course content on their personal hard drive as a backup. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you!

—Submitted by Chris Gill, Chief Technology Officer

New self-service password reset system

Today, Drake Technology Services will introduce a new self-service password reset (SSPR) system for campus, allowing you to change your own password without the assistance of the Support Center. The SSPR system makes changing campus passwords and setting security questions more intuitive; resetting forgotten passwords is also straightforward.

You don’t need to change your password immediately once the new password reset system is introduced. You can wait until your password is about to expire before accessing SSPR. Passwords will continue to expire one year after being changed, and you will continue to be notified as expiration approaches. However, notices from SSPR will be better identified making it clear that the notification is sent from Drake.

Using the SSPR
Upon logging in to SSPR for the first time, users will be asked to choose and answer three security questions, which you will need to answer if you forget your password. The three security questions are private and cannot be accessed by anyone other than you.

SSPR also introduces a fourth security question that Support Center staff can see. If you need to call in for assistance, Support Center staff can ask this fourth question to verify identity.

You will also be asked to add a personal (non-Drake) email address and mobile phone number, which can be used for additional validation if a password is forgotten.

The new system incorporates characteristics of other online password management systems, such as those for online banking, Apple’s iTunes, and Microsoft’s Live.

When you need to change your password, or to utilize the new system, visit https://password.drake.edu/ and try Drake’s Self-Service Password Reset!

—Submitted by Drake Technology Services

DTS: Summer 2015 changes to Blackboard

Drake’s Blackboard system has been upgraded and moved to a remotely hosted system. The upgrade provides improved performance and a more stable system.

As of August 22, all content (past classes and Fall 2015 courses) will be located in the new remote hosted system located at https://drake.blackboard.com/. The links on blueView will redirect to the new system.

If you encounter any issues or are missing any capabilities or content, please contact the Support Center at extension 3001 or submit a ticket. Otherwise, no action is needed by faculty or staff.

Submitted by Drake Technology Services