Banner Downtime for “Cloud” Hosting Move

Guilford College Banner

Who: Students, Faculty, Staff and Affiliates who use Banner
What: System downtime for 2 weekends
When: Fri., 12/3 @7p thru 12/5; Fri., 12/17 @7p thru 12/19
Why: Migration to “Cloud” (remote) Hosting

Update 12/5/21:

Banner is now available following this weekend’s downtime for Banner “cloud” (remote) hosting preparations.  ITS thanks the Guilford community for your patience during this process. We are especially grateful for the staff in offices across campus who worked many hours over the weekend on this important project.  The results were positive overall. ITS is continuing to work through remaining issues in advance of the Dec. 17th move.

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The Banner system used for functions including course registration and work time entry will be unavailable the weekends of 12/3 and 12/17 as ITS moves Banner to “cloud” (remote) hosting. This move will reduce costs of operating Banner and provide additional security features. On both weekends, Banner will be unavailable from Friday at 7p through Sunday for all except approved testers. ITS will make an announcement when regular Banner service is restored following the downtime.

Third-party systems with live connections to Banner may appear to be available during these weekends, but should not be used by anyone aside from approved testers. This is due to the risk of data loss or retrieving inaccurate data. Specifically, only approved testers should use the following systems during this time:

  • CampusLogic Forms (for Federal Financial Aid data verification)
  • CourseFinder and other Argos reporting applications
  • Housing Application System (THD)
  • Microsoft Access reports connecting to Banner
  • OneCard ID Card System – issuing new cards or adding Quaker Cash
  • Parking System
  • Touchnet bill payment system

Note: This list will be updated based on initial testing results.

Regarding the Slate online application portal, prospective students will be able to apply and check applications during the dress rehearsal weekend. New applicant data will not, however, appear in Guilford’s production Banner until Banner and Slate are synchronized following the dress rehearsal.

If you have questions or require technology support, open a ticket at https://webhelpdesk.guilford.edu or contact the ITS Help Desk at its@guilford.edu or 336-316-2020.

Banner Web Issues with Chrome and Microsoft Edge Update

Note: This article was updated 9/7 to reflect that the issue also applies to Microsoft Edge.

ITS discovered on the morning of Sept. 2nd that the current Google Chrome web browser update (version 93) is not compatible with Guilford’s version of Banner Web. Banner Web will not work if your Chrome browser has auto-updated to v. 93. Please use a different browser, such as Firefox, until the issue is resolved.

ITS is researching this issue and will provide an update when a solution is identified. We apologize for any inconvenience.

CourseFinder Replaces Gnosis Course Search

CourseFinder icon

Who: Faculty and Staff who use the Gnosis Course Search Tool
What: Gnosis to be replaced by CourseFinder
When: Gnosis to be removed Fri. 7/2 at 4p

ITS recently announced plans for replacement of the Gnosis Course Search Tool with “CourseFinder,” a web application running on current technology. Due to substantial issues with Gnosis that cause slow performance and affect operation of other systems, ITS will take down the Gnosis site on Friday, 7/2 at 4p.

CourseFinder is currently available to faculty, staff, and students when on campus (other than on GC-Resnet). Faculty and staff may also access CourseFinder via VPN from off campus using the instructions for installing and using VPN.

You’ll find the link to sign in to CourseFinder at its.guilford.edu/coursefinder. That page also includes instructions for Using CourseFinder.

ITS is currently working to address the following:

  • term selection and display issues on iOS devices such as iPhones, and display usability on Android devices
  • VPN software installation requirement which prevents students from using the tool when off campus or on GC-Resnet (note: VPN installation is required for security and ITS is exploring security alternatives)

A second phase of CourseFinder development is planned to add the following features:

  • direct links to course material information on the campus bookstore site (feature is broken in Gnosis)
  • links to current course syllabi (Gnosis does not have syllabi links newer than 2020)

We know Gnosis has long been of value to many faculty and staff when searching for course information. If you have questions or need help regarding CourseFinder, please submit a ticket at https://webhelpdesk.guilford.edu or email its@guilford.edu. As a reminder, students will continue to use Banner Web as their primary system to find course information and as the sole system to register for classes.

Zoom Access to Google Calendars Reauthorization

Zoom Icon

Who? Anyone who schedules Zoom meetings with Google Calendar
What? Reauthorize Zoom’s calendar access
When?
Sunday, April 25th
Why? Will stop working if not reauthorized

Zoom calendar integration, enabled through the Zoom for Gsuite add-on, is the feature that allows you to schedule Zoom meetings directly from your Google Gsuite calendar. Due to feature updates, Google will require accounts using this integration to reauthorize Zoom’s calendar access on Sunday, April 25th.

To reauthorize Zoom, select the Zoom icon on the far right sidebar in Google calendar.

Zoom white camera icon with blue background.

You will then see an alert similar to the one below. Select Authorize Access.

Image showing the authorization pop-up for the Zoom add-on to ask for permission to show additional information in Gmail and Google Calendar.
Prompt to reauthorize Zoom access to the GSuite calendar.

After selecting Authorize Access, select your @guilford.edu Google account as the account to authorize.

You will see a prompt similar to the one below. Select Allow at the bottom of the screen to reauthorize access.

Zoom icon with notice that "Zoom for G Suite wants to access yoru Google Account"
Zoom Notice:" Make sure you trust Zoom for G Suite." With Cancel and Allow buttons at the bottom.

Please note if you do not complete reauthorization, you will no longer be able to schedule Zoom meetings directly from your calendar. The word Authorize next to a Zoom meeting indicates you need to complete reauthorization. You may click Authorize on the calendar entry to start the process.

Event Details: Zoom Meeting calendar entry with the word "Authorize" and a small red "i" indicating authorization is needed.

To learn more about the Zoom integration with Google calendars, see Zoom for GSuite add-on in the Zoom Help Center.

Questions? Contact its@guilford.edu.

ITS Recommends OS Upgrade to Big Sur for Compatible Macs

black Apple logo

Who? Anyone with a Mac less than 5 years old
What? Upgrade to Mac OS Big Sur
When? After checking compatibilty with your specialized software & devices
Why? Benefit from the latest operating system from Apple

The latest Mac operating system, Big Sur, was released in November 2020. At that time, ITS recommended postponing upgrades so we could test systems such as VPN and PaperCut printing for compatibility. ITS has now completed testing and applied update needed to support Big Sur. We currently recommend all compatible Macs upgrade to the new OS.

If the hardware on your Macbook or iMac is compatible with Big Sur, you will likely have seen an alert in your notification center. To start the upgrade click the alert, or check for updates in the App Store. Then, follow the onscreen prompts. Unfortunately, devices 5 years or older are not eligible for this upgrade. 

Please note this upgrade may affect certain 3rd party applications and peripheral devices such as personal printers. While ITS has tested software we support at Guilford, we cannot guarantee other 3rd party applications will continue to work with Big Sur. If you have questions about compatibility, we recommend you check with the vendor to verify product support with the new operating system.

If you have questions or need assistance, we are happy to help. Submit a ticket at https://webhelpdesk.guilford.edu, or contact the ITS Help Desk at its@guilford.edu.

IT Security Alert: Exposure of Passwords Worldwide Could Affect You!

Padlock representing IT Security

Alert! IT security experts recently discovered that billions of usernames and passwords from sites such as Netflix, LinkedIn and others have been publicly posted on a hacking site. If you reuse passwords across multiple services, such as Guilford email and social media, your Guilford account is at risk even if not directly exposed.

What Happened?

In this particular hack, called the “COMB Breach”, hackers combined login credentials (usernames and passwords) from many prior data breaches. Hackers then exposed the information by “dumping” it on a website publicly available to other hackers.

How to Protect Yourself

Reset your passwords:
Due to the serious risk of compromise, ITS recommends you reset passwords for all of your accounts, starting with email. Learn how to reset your Guilford account passwords here.

Don’t reuse passwords across multiple sites:
Follow the advice of security experts and use a unique password for each account. While it may seem like trouble to keep track of multiple passwords, this prevents a compromise of one account from affecting all accounts. Make the effort to remember multiple passwords to avoid the trouble of dealing with multiple compromises!

Be vigilant about suspicious messages or activity:
If you notice unsual activity with your Guilford accounts (such as emails disappearing or security alerts), contact ITS@guilford.edu. Be wary of suspcious or unusal messages even if they appear to be from someone you know. That person’s account may be compromised. Before responding to messages that seem unusal, call the person to verify the message is legitimate.

Do not respond to or engage with suspected hackers or spammers:
Hackers who send messages asking for personal information may be trying to verify that an account is active. If you receive a suspicious message to your Guilford account, forward it to its@guilford.edu or simply delete it. Don’t put yourself at risk by responding or clicking on links in the message.

Learn More

The website https://haveibeenpwned.com/ provides a place to enter an email address and check if that address has been part of a data breach. If you have many email addresses, this can help you priortize which passwords to reset first. Keep in mind, though, that this website is not aware of every breach that has ever happened. Also, even if your an account was not directly exposed, it is at risk if it shares a password with an exposed account.

To learn more about the COMB Breach see the article Over 3 billion emails and passwords hacked in possibly the largest breach ever .

IT Security Alert: Beware of Caller ID Spoofing!

Padlock representing IT Security

Caller ID spoofing occurs when scammers impersonate known or familiar-appearing phone #s to steal information. A scammer may impersonate a Guilford College 316 #, local agency, or business.

If you receive an unexpected call requesting personal information, your best response is to hang up. If the you think the call may be legitimate, call back using a phone number you can verify. Search for Guilford office phone #s at https://www.guilford.edu. Learn more at https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/spoofing-and-caller-id .

ITS VPN Upgrade Complete | Friday, Dec. 18th

Who? Guilford Community Members who use GlobalProtect VPN
What? Version Upgrade
When? Completed Friday, Dec. 18th at 5:30p
Why? Upgrade to version compatible with Mac OS Big Sur

To accommodate those running MacOS 11 Big Sur ITS upgraded the College’s VPN software on Friday 12/18/20.

Guilford requires VPN for remote access to systems such as network drives and Banner “Admin” used by many administrative offices on campus.

After the update, when you next use VPN, you will be prompted to download and install the new VPN version which is 5.1.7-20. If you are not automatically prompted to install the update, or run into difficulty, please follow the instructions for Installing GlobalProtect VPN (Guilford Google login required to view).

Need help? Open a ticket at https://webhelpdesk.guilford.edu or email its@guilford.edu.

ITS Recommends Delaying Big Sur Mac OS Upgrade

black Apple logo

Who? Anyone who uses a Mac AND Guilford’s VPN
What? Delay upgrade to Mac OS Big Sur
When? Until further notices from ITS
Why? Patches required to address compatibility issue

Guilford ITS recently learned of a compatibility issue with Big Sur, the new MacOS, and Guilford’s VPN software, GlobalProtect. VPN enables remote connections to secured campus resources such as network drives and Banner “Admin”. If you use VPN, ITS strongly advises you not to upgrade to Big Sur until we announce the availability of required VPN patches. Also, be sure to confirm that any other applications and software you use will work with Big Sur before upgrading. Need help? Contact its@guilford.edu.

Banner Downtime for Scheduled Maintenance | Friday, Dec. 11th

Guilford College Banner

Who: Students, Faculty, Staff and Affiliates who use Banner
What: System downtime
When: Friday, Dec. 11th at 5pm for approximately 1 hour
Why: Maintenance

ITS will perform maintenance on Banner, the system used for functions including course registration and work time entry, on Friday, Dec. 11th. As a result, the system will be unavailable beginning at 5pm for approximately 1 hour. If you encounter difficulties with Banner following this work, open a ticket at https://webhelpdesk.guilford.edu or contact the ITS Help Desk at its@guilford.edu or 336-316-2020.