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Issue 18

Issue 18, July 6, 2021

This communication was generated by UTHSC Information Technology Services to educate and inform our campus community about available technology tools, training opportunities, news, and events that will help you and the university achieve excellence in patient care, education, research, and community service.
In this edition
  1. New UTHSC TechConnect Site Coming on July 26!
  2. Microsoft Announces Windows 11
  3. MATLAB and Simulink by MathWorks, Inc.
  4. Microsoft Training
  5. Microsoft Planner
  6. How to Increase the Font Size While Reading Mail in Outlook
  7. The Parking Lot
  8. Ransomware Definition
  9. ITS Spotlight: Micah Hubbard

New UTHSC TechConnect Site Coming on July 26!

We’ve talked about it for weeks now – the new IT service site where you can report a problem, explore and request new services, and find answers to your technical questions.

You voted to call it UTHSC TechConnect, and it will be at your fingertips 24/7 in less than a month, on Monday, July 26!

Visit our TechConnect introduction page to see the logo, meet our friend Veronica, and learn more.

Thanks for taking the time to help us give the TechConnect site a name that is meaningful to you.

Microsoft Announces Windows 11

Last week, Microsoft announced their new Windows 11 operating system would be available later this fall.  The new Windows 11 is advertised to have a cleaner design and new features.  ITS customer service specialists will be testing the new operating system in the coming months, and we will contact you about updates in early 2022.

ITS does not recommend immediately upgrading to any new operating system until the vendor has had a chance to address early software deficiencies and you have confirmed that your current applications are compatible with the new system.

MATLAB and Simulink by MathWorks, Inc.

MATLAB and Simulink are computational software environments used to perform various tasks applicable to engineering, science, mathematics, statistics, and finance. The UT system-wide Total Academic Headcount (TAH) license includes MatLAB, Simulink, and most of the toolboxes listed on the company product page. The toolboxes are collections of functions for solving particular classes of problems, such as signal processing, image processing, control systems, curve fitting, etc. Simulink and the toolboxes require MATLAB.

Learn more about MATLAB and Simulink on OIT's Research Software website. Learn when to use it, where to run it, how to learn, and where to get help.

Microsoft has some excellent training courses we recommend:

Microsoft Planner

With Planner on your PC, Mac, or mobile device, you can:
  • Create new plans, assign tasks, and share files with others.
  • Organize teamwork and collaborate on projects in a simple, visual way.
  • Chat with others to make sure you're on the same page.
  • Keep track of your team's progress and stay on top of your work—from anywhere, on any device.

How to Increase the Font Size While Reading Mail in Outlook
Tired of straining your eyes to read an email? You can easily increase the font size of an email with these simple steps!

Windows Users:

  1. Double click on the message to open it in a new window.
  2. Make sure you are viewing the Message toolbar.
  3. Click the Zoom option on the right.

Mac Users:

  1. Double click on the message to open it in a new window.
  2. Click ⌘ + to zoom in and ⌘ - to zoom out.

Web Outlook:

  1. Click CTRL + to zoom in and CTRL - to zoom out (Windows users) or ⌘ + to zoom in and ⌘ - to zoom out (Mac users).

Lean 6 Sigma
The Parking Lot

Have you ever led a meeting where things just completely went off the rails? You scheduled an hour to knock out three or four things, and someone went on a tangent, usually because they genuinely wanted their voice to be heard. 

The problem is, if you don’t recognize their idea, many people will keep bringing the conversation back to it. So now you have lost complete control, and the meeting is unproductive.

Enter Lean’s beloved Parking Lot. A parking lot helps you recognize everyone’s ideas by placing them in an area (usually on a whiteboard or in meeting notes), so you can discuss these ideas in a future meeting. Sure, it is a bit of a meeting deflection tactic, but it helps keep the discussion focused on completing your scheduled tasks.

And many ideas that come to people in meetings ARE relevant and helpful, so you want to record them. A parking lot helps you keep control of your meeting while also recognizing ideas to be addressed later.

Learn more about the parking lot and how to use it to your advantage in meetings by reading Quick and Dirty Tips’ How to Use the ‘Idea Parking Lot’ in 4 Simple Steps article.

Ransomware Definition

Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts a victim's files. The attacker then demands a ransom from the victim to restore access to the data upon payment. 

Users are shown instructions for how to pay a fee to get the decryption key. The costs can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands, payable to cybercriminals in Bitcoin.

How Ransomware Works

There a number of ways ransomware can access a computer. The most common is through phishing, with attachments that come via an email, masquerading as a trusted file. Once they are opened and/or downloaded, they can take over a device. Some more aggressive forms exploit vulnerabilities in applications or even operating systems never needing a human's intervention.

There are several things the malware could do once it has taken over, but by far the most common occurrence is to encrypt the user's files. The files cannot be decrypted without a key, which will only be given after a ransom is paid.

Who is a Target (Why Should I Care)?

Everyone and every organization is a target. National and global news have made ransomware stories major headlines. Recently in the U.S., we have seen our fuel transportation industry, mass transit, and meatpacking industries hit. But the bad guys aren't just in it to make headlines, they want MONEY. The average payout for ransomware in 2019 was $115,123 but increased 171% in 2020 to $312,493. The healthcare industry makes up 11.6% of the industries targeted by ransomware attacks.

How to Prevent Ransomware

There are a number of defensives to take to prevent an infection, which is all good security practices in general. 
  • Keep your operating system patched and up-to-date to ensure you have fewer vulnerabilities to exploit.
  • Don't install software or give it administrative privileges unless you know exactly what it is and what it does.
  • Install antivirus software, which detects malicious programs like ransomware as they arrive.
  • Back up your files, frequently and automatically! That won't stop a malware attack, but it can make the damage caused by one much less significant.

If Your Device is a Victim of Ransomware

For UTHSC Devices

If your UTHSC device is under attack by ransomware, IMMEDIATELY power off the machine by pressing and holding the power button until the computer turns off then contact the ITS Service Desk (901.448.2222). Do not try and fix the device yourself. 

For Personal Devices

While your personal device is not the responsibility of UTHSC, we do want to help keep you secure. CSO created a videowith step-by-step instructions on recovering from ransomware. However, if you don't have a backup of your data, there may be no recovery.

Micah Hubbard
In each issue, we feature one of our amazing ITS team members. We learn more about Micah Hubbard with our Customer Technical Support hardware team in this segment.

What is your role and how long have you been in ITS at UTHSC? I lead the Customer Tech Support Hardware team and have been with ITS at UTHSC for almost 3 years.

What is a day in the life of Micah like? My day is typically a mix of computer troubleshooting/repair, new computer configurations, and supporting the Hardware team.  Away from work I enjoy indoor and outdoor sport climbing, spending time with my wife, Jenny, and traveling (though not so much recently).  I’m also a sucker for a good video game, board game, or book.

What is your favorite thing about working at UTHSC? It’s a tie between the sense of satisfaction knowing that my work helps make UTHSC’s education, research, clinical care, etc. possible AND the wonderful work-life balance that I enjoy here.

What’s something most people don’t know about you? I am an ordained minister and help lead a small house church that meets weekly around the dinner table.

May 26, 2022