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Network Systems Maintenance November 20-22

System engineer works on a network router

The Office of Information Technology will upgrade Boise State’s network Monday through Wednesday, November 20-22.

Monday, November 20

Riverfront Hall network and internet access will be unavailable 6:00 am – 6:30 am.

Tuesday, November 21

Wi-Fi will coverage may be spotty between 3:00 am – 5:00 am.

Monday, November 20 – Wednesday, November 22

Intermittent network outages of 5-20 minutes will occur during normal business hours in the following buildings:

  • Charles P. Ruch Engineering Building
  • Communication Building
  • Environmental Research Building
  • Ron and Linda Yanke Family Research Park
  • Science Building

For additional information, contact the Help Desk at (208) 426-4357, or email


Max’s Minute: The OIT Strategic Plan

Boise State University CIO, Max Davis-Johnson, talks about the Office of Information Technology (OIT) strategic plan, governance partners, and the continuous evolution of technology in relation to the OIT strategic plan.

You can view the OIT strategic plan on our website. You may comment on the plan by emailing Max Davis-Johnson, CIO, at

Video Transcript

[inspirational music]

>> MAX: Today I’m going to talk a little bit about our strategic plan.

TITLE: Max’s Minute November 2017

Hi, this is Max Davis-Johnson, Boise State University Office of Information Technology.

TITLE: How often does OIT review its strategic plan?

We do an annual update. We try to take a five-year view and layout a framework for where we want OIT to go.

TITLE: What informs the Office of Information Technology (OIT) strategic plan?

We have our mission, our values, our core beliefs. We have our core objectives.

We try very hard to align those with the University’s strategic plan.

The University strategic plan has been relatively stable over the last number of years, so these parts of our plan have been stable too.

What we try to do, especially within each of our objectives, is identify projects and initiatives, short-term and long-term, long-term being five-year view of what we see, of what we think we need to accomplish in each in these core areas.

And all this is based on our mission, our values, our vision, and sort of our core tenets.

TITLE: Do campus partners review the strategic plan?

We work with ITGC, IT Governance Council. We work with the ITPC, IT Planning Council to sort of help affirm, confirm these that we’re on the right track, that we’re doing the right thing.

TITLE: Does the plan change to accommodate new technology?

The very nature of technology: it’s changing, it’s evolving, and it’s one of the reasons we need to continue to evolve our strategic plan.

Technology is a core part of what we do at work. It’s a core part in our personal lives at home.

Our goal is to make technology so it’s not, it’s an enabler, it’s a tool, but it doesn’t get in the way of you doing your job.

TITLE: Does the strategic plan provide a framework for decision making?

Each of us, not just OIT, but all other departments and colleges on campus, we’re continually being asked to do more. And we’re being asked to do more and we don’t necessarily have more money, i.e. resources, to get this done.

So it’s very important that we have a framework that we can continually go back to and say, you’re asking, we’re trying to do this, is this part of our plan, our strategy moving forward?

It helps us balance and bring some framework, some consistency, to what we do as a department for the University moving forward.

TITLE: Can I view and comment on the OIT strategic plan?

This plan is posted on our OIT website,

I encourage you to go out and look at it. We’re always looking for feedback on this. We want to make sure we’re on the right track. It’s important that we do hear from anybody that’s interested in the plan. If there’s adjustments we need to make, if there are things we aren’t focusing on, again, we want to know this.

We’ll continue to review this with our guidance councils, our governance council, our priority council, and other constituents on campus as we go forward.

This plan is important to us. I want it to be important to you too. So, take a look when you get a chance.

VPN Client Software Upgrade


On Tuesday, November 7 the Office of Information Technology will update Cisco AnyConnect software used to connect to Boise State’s VPN service.

The software will automatically download and update when an individual launches the Cisco AnyConnect software and attempts to connect to the university’s VPN.

If you use Boise State’s VPN service and have any issues with the software update, contact the Help Desk at (208) 426-4357, or email

All University faculty and staff have access to Boise State’s VPN. For more information, visit our VPN web page.

Accessing Higher Ground Virtual Conference November 13 through 18

Accessing Higher Ground Virtual Conference

The Office of Information Technology is pleased to host the “Accessing Higher Ground” virtual conference in the Student Union Building the week of November 13 through 17.

Free registration is available for Boise State faculty, staff and students.

Sessions cover a variety of accessibility-related topics, including:

  • Access Technology
  • PDF and Document Accessibility
  • Organization and Planning
  • Evaluation and Testing
  • Legal Requirements
  • Educational Materials and Faculty Development

Join us for sessions of interest to you.

Visit our Training website to view the conference schedule and registration information.

Web Accessibility at Boise State

Web Accessibility

Natasha Williams, a student employee on our Web Accessibility team, has created a brief video explaining Boise State’s approach to helping ensure our public-facing websites are accessible to everyone:

The Office of Information Technology’s Web Accessibility team provides resources, training, guidance, monitoring, remediation and consultation for Boise State web administrators and authors.

For more information about web accessibility, visit WebGuide, contact the Help Desk at, or call (208) 426-4357.

Today’s Predictions for Tomorrow’s Internet – National Cyber Security Awareness Month

national cyber security awareness month

Smart cities, connected devices, digitized records, as well as smart cars and homes have become a new reality. Your sensitive, personal information is the fuel that makes smart devices work.

While there are tremendous benefits of this technology, it is critical to understand how to use these cutting-edge innovations in safe and secure ways.

Privacy Will Be a Major Concern

The United States government recently repealed internet privacy laws allowing internet providers to share user information with third parties and advertising firms without user consent.

The bill, which had not yet gone into effect, would have made it so Internet Service Providers would have to obtain permission to collect and share their data from users.

In the future, we will continue to see arguments over the degree of privacy users can expect from internet service providers and other businesses. You must be aware of the data you share online by reading privacy statements that are posted on company websites and forms. It is imperative to understand how your data will be used once it has been surrendered.

As a consumer, you cannot assume your data will not be shared or sold to third parties.

A Continued Shift to the Cloud

An increasing number of organizations are moving to the cloud because of the benefits it affords them. In the future, we will continue to see both commercial and government infrastructure migrate to cloud platforms.

Spending on public cloud computing is expected to rise from $67B in 2015 to $162B by 2020. However, when shifting from traditional infrastructure to a public cloud deployment, companies give up their data to cloud service providers who are then responsible for the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of that data.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Cars, medical devices, and other products will continue to be produced with network capabilities, increasing potential vectors for cybersecurity threats.

There are expected to be 20.4 billion IoT devices connected to the internet by 2020.

Part of the problem with these IoT devices is that patches are not regularly rolled out like they are for regular computer systems.

Patches for IoT devices are an afterthought, leaving devices vulnerable to attack. After purchasing an IoT device, consumers should download any new patches that exist and change the default password if they can.

Patching will help remediate known vulnerabilities that exist, while changing the default password to a complex password will defend against password guessing and password-cracking software.

Incorporating security into the design of components used in the Internet of Things (IoT) is essential for securing the cyber-physical infrastructure upon which our society depends.

 – Information provided by

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Visit the StaySafeOnline website to learn more about National Cyber Security Awareness Month and access helpful resources to protect your personal and work data.

For additional information, visit the Office of Information Technology’s Cybersecurity website.

Cybersecurity in the Workplace: National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Creating a culture of cybersecurity is an essential and a shared responsibility among all employees. Cybersecurity in the workplace is everyone’s business.

Computer security at work used to be IT’s problem; IT set the rules, and that was that.

But there are two problems with that approach: it’s inefficient (IT can’t predict everything that might go wrong), and it’s unbalanced (if IT doesn’t block a website, for example, that doesn’t automatically make it safe to use).

It’s a bit like speed limits – they’re statutory maxima, so you’re never allowed to exceed them, no matter how important you might think you are; at the same time, they’re not entitlements, so it’s often necessary to drive slower, perhaps much slower, than the posted limit.

Cybersecurity at the Workplace

Your company could, and should, have software security in place to protect against data breaches. But, the biggest risk in company security is spear phishing through social engineering.

The means that criminals are using personal data to target specific people (spear phishing) and then using that data to convince other people to hand over information. This can be done through fake sign-on pages sent through email or via phone calls to coworkers. All with enough background data to be convincing.

Top Safety Tips

You Should Know

If you are using a device provided by your company, such as a laptop or phone, your company owns the device and thus the data. They have rights, and usually the ability, to access that data whenever they want to. Be wary of that before using it for personal pictures, searches, or apps.

Visit OIT’s Cybersecurity website for additional security tips and information.

Google Calendar Gets a New Look

Google Calendar

Google is rolling out a refreshed look for Google Calendar with a handful of new features.

All the basic features you’re used to are still in the same locations, but now have a more modern color palette and design.

New features include:

  • See conference room details when booking a room.
  • Add rich formatting and hyperlinks to Calendar invites.
  • Manage multiple calendars side by side in the “Day” view.
  • Hover your mouse over meeting participants to view contact information.

For additional information about these changes, visit Google’s blog on their website.

You’ll see these changes available to you beginning mid-November at Boise State. For questions about Google Calendar, contact the Help Desk at, or call (208) 426-4357.

Spotlight on Web Accessibility: Images Links and Alternative Text

Web Accessibility

Do you have images on your website? Chances are pretty good you do. Have you checked recently to see if those images are linking to anywhere? If they are, then you should also have a descriptive alternative text describing the purpose of that link.

When an image is linked, then it has a purpose for being on the webpage. Alternative text should describe that purpose.

If alternative text is not present, this can create accessibility issues for people using access technologies, such as screen readers.

Sometimes, by default, WordPress adds a link to the image file when a new image is uploaded to the Media Library.  If the link isn’t needed, removing it from the image is a way to improve the accessibility of the page.

Another area where links are sometimes added is in image sliders. If a slider link isn’t going to a new webpage, you can remove the link from the slider image.

If possible, try adding a text hyperlink near the image instead of linking the image itself. If you can’t avoid using a linked image, or want to use the linked image in addition to a text link, make sure to include a descriptive alternative text that describes the purpose of the image link.

For more information about image links with no alternative text accessibility error and how you can use Siteimprove to find and repair them on your site, see the Priority Issues page on, or contact our Web Accessibility Team for consultation and assistance through the Help Desk at, or (208) 426-4357.

Update Your Google Drive Client With Google File Stream

Google Drive File Stream replaces Google Drive Desktop App

Google recently released the next generation of Google Drive called Google File Stream. Google File Stream provides us the same great features of Google Drive, the added features of Google Team Drive and improved file management over the Google Drive desktop app (also known as a desktop client or plug-in).

Pop up window explaining that Google Drive client is going away and to install File StreamIf you downloaded the Google Drive desktop app that allows you to view your Google Drive files as a window on your Windows or Mac computer, visit the Google support site to download and update to the new Google File Stream client. You may see the pop-up window on the right if you have the Google Drive desktop app installed.

If you have any questions, or would like assistance installing Google File Stream, contact the Help Desk at (208) 426-4357 (HELP) or