Ensuring Connectivity, Security

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Continuing enhancements to wireless access and security upgrades are enabling UGA students, faculty and staff to maximize their efficiency and productivity.

A series of continuing information technology upgrades at the University of Georgia is helping our students, faculty and staff maximize their productivity and scholarly impact while also keeping sensitive data secure.

In his recent State of Technology address to the campus community, Dr. Tim Chester, the University’s vice president for information technology, highlighted how he and his staff are meeting the growing connectivity needs of our faculty and students in an environment where the threat of cyberattacks continues to grow.

Dr. Chester noted that the number of wireless devices on the University’s network has increased dramatically in recent years, with approximately 73,000 wireless devices on the university's network in a given month. To help ensure that students in our residence halls experience the best wireless service possible, EITS partnered with University Housing to increase the number of wireless access points in 11 residence halls last year—and several additional residence halls are slated for upgrades in the coming year.

UGA’s increasing activity in the biomedical sciences and big data research has caused demand for the university’s high-performance computing resources to surge, as well. To help meet that demand, EITS staff delivered training workshops on the Georgia Advanced Computing Resources Center to more than 1,000 researchers last year and also completed upgrades that enhance the resiliency and expansion capabilities of the center’s technology. 

To enhance the security of sensitive and restricted data, the University is expanding the use of two-factor authentication, which requires of the use of a password as well as information from a physical device to access systems. Two-factor authentication initially was implemented at UGA in 2013 and requires a MyID password as well as a code from a phone or tablet enrolled with ArchPass Duo. Beginning this month, remote access to the University’s systems through the virtual private network will require two-factor authentication, and the use of this important security measure will continue to expand in the future.

EITS also is playing a major role in UGA's OneSource project to replace aging finance, human resources and payroll systems with a new, integrated system. The technology underlying the project is Oracle’s PeopleSoft, the same platform used by other institutions in the University System of Georgia. And while technology plays a key role in this project, it is fundamentally about efficiency and the transformation of our business processes to support data-driven decision making. The entire campus community is invited to learn more about the OneSource project at a town hall scheduled for February 2 at 10:00 a.m. in the Georgia Center’s Mahler Hall. 

Our strides in information technology have attracted national attention, including the awarding of the EDUCAUSE Community Leadership Award to Dr. Chester. This annual award recognizes leaders in the higher education IT community, and it is certainly well deserved. In an environment where demands for connectivity must be balanced with ever-escalating security threats, Dr. Chester and his staff play a critical role in making the University’s world-class instruction, research and service possible.