21 Mar / 2017
As part of moving to the digital workplace, FIS is investing in desktop virtualization. Virtualization of our workplace assists with increased productivity, agility, and responsiveness. It also extends the life cycle of the desktop and provides the flexibility to adjust resources to each desktop on demand.
FIS Connect 7: FIS is working to upgrade the virtual desktop infrastructure which will increase capacity, optimize performance, and improve reliability for all customers who use a virtual computer.
sConnect: All FIS customers who utilize a virtual desktop with FIS Connect 7 will soon have access to sConnect. sConnect is our Desktop from Anywhere solution. It’s a secure portal that allows you to log into FIS Connect from any web browser with an internet connection, both on or off campus, with no additional software required. This means you can get to your desktop and other resources just as if you were in the office.
- If you’re working from home, use sConnect to connect to your work desktop from your home computer.
- If you are using a conference room computer and need to quickly access your files, you can use the sConnect website.
- If the power goes out in your office, you can relocate and continue to work with all necessary access.
Stay tuned for our announcement of sConnect’s debut!
15 Mar / 2017
Julie Cursi is transferring to FIS Technical Services!
Julie has been with the CFO’s Financial Operations area as their Communication Project Manager since 2010. She has worked with us on many projects over the years. Most recently, she worked with us to redesign the Payroll department’s website which launched in December.
She has accepted the position of Engagement Analyst with our Application Development team. She will be responsible for supporting critical business strategies by managing projects, working on the Business Relationship Management team and providing UX and QA management.
Julie holds a Master of Library and Information Science degree from Pitt as well as a BA in Professional Writing from Carlow University and a BA in English Literature from Thiel College. She also has obtained the PMP (Project Management Professional) certification and is a member of the Project Management Institute.
Julie’s communication/project management experience, CFO background and her genuine willingness to help others will enhance our skilled team of IT professionals.
Julie is originally from Homestead, FL, but now lives in Pittsburgh with her husband, Ray and her ferret, SissieCat. She also loves equestrian sports and owns a mare with several personalities named Emma. If you looked in her refrigerator, you would find carrots and apples for Emma and canned pheasant for SissieCat. Julie’s favorite restaurant is Girasole in Shadyside, she just finished reading Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham, and she would love to meet Barry White Jr.
Julie will join the staff in B-44 CL on April 1 and will report to Carol Zielinski.
Please join us in welcoming Julie to FIS!
06 Mar / 2017
The new Office of Corporate Engagement is live!
FIS has been working with the new Office of Corporate Engagement within the Office of the Provost to produce a new website featuring responsive design using WordPress. The website contains information for companies looking to work with the University, research with faculty, or find an expert. It also includes information for students looking for internships, and information for faculty and staff wishing to start a business or start a relationship with a company.
24 Feb / 2017
The new Panther Express Travel website is live!
The website showcases the new PantherExpress Travel & Expense Management program which is designed to provide service and savings for University travelers. The program comprises a suite of tools and services aimed at delivering exceptional travel-related services, streamlining the expense reporting process and reducing travel costs. Among these tools and services are Concur, Anthony Travel, and the University Travel Card.
The website will be managed by PantherExpress under Maureen Beal.
17 Feb / 2017
Check out our latest website launch!
FIS and the Committee of Research Administration (CoRA) have launched a new website to maintain information and events related to the recertification of research administrators. Features of the website include a calendar of training opportunities and conferences; recertification guidelines and tools; contact information; and the committee charge, members, and objectives.
The site is managed by Jennifer Weaver, Tom Berkhoudt, and Matt Weaver.
15 Feb / 2017
We are pleased to announce that Mathew Bell has accepted the Support Analyst position in FIS Technical Services, effective February 13, 2017. His responsibilities include analyzing and troubleshooting technical support requests, application testing, user documentation creation, customer training, and ITIL process management.
Mathew holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Journalism. He has most recently worked at EDMC as a Support Analyst II where he provided troubleshooting and help desk services to customers and managed their internal knowledgebase. His experience and knowledge will be an asset to Customer Support. Mathew will be located at 1917 Cathedral of Learning and will report to Carrie Armstrong.
Mathew, his girlfriend, Cynthia, and their Akita puppy, Rigby live east of the city, but his favorite restaurant is Meat and Potatoes located downtown. Mat also enjoys the Pittsburgh Pirates, Black Mirror, and Archer. If he could meet anyone he would like to meet Clint Hurdle or Andre the Giant.
Please join us in welcoming Mathew to the Technical Services team!
14 Feb / 2017
FIS is pleased to announce that Sean Estep has accepted a full-time Systems Engineer position in Technical Services effective February 13th. Sean joined FIS as a Systems Engineer contractor on May 5, 2016 and was previously an Infrastructure Engineer supporting various technologies at Expedient. His responsibilities will focus on systems deployments and administration, troubleshooting, and tier 3 support.
Sean has over 6 years of experience performing advanced systems administration, Windows Server management, VMware, storage, and supporting other core technologies. Sean’s experience and knowledge will be an asset to Server Computing. Sean will be located at 1917 Cathedral of Learning and will report to Daniel Mahaven.
Sean has grown up in Pittsburgh, graduated from Point Park University with a Bachelor’s in Information Technology and Management. He currently lives with his dog, Coco. In his free time, he enjoys off-roading, riding his quad and motorcycle, and gaming.
Please join me in welcoming Sean to FIS and the Technical Services team.
10 Feb / 2017
James was interviewed and selected from support analysts across 14 local chapters within the Midwest region. This very prestigious award demonstrates James’ outstanding commitment to excellent service! James will now move on to compete at the national competition, which will take place at the HDI Annual Conference & Expo in Washington D.C. from May 9-12, 2017.
Congratulations James and good luck in the national competition!
02 Feb / 2017
Over the past few weeks, many of us have begun to use Duo Mobile, the new Multi-Factor secure login solution now offered by Pitt through CSSD. This new solution comes highly recommended by Pitt’s information security team. FIS strongly encourages the implementation of this solution and some of our supported departments have mandated its use. We would like to take a moment to answer some frequent questions and concerns that are brought up on Multi-Factor authentication.
What is Multi-Factor Authentication?
Simply put, Multi-Factor Authentication is a method for securing access to computer system which requires users to present different types of evidence to verify who they are before accessing the system. There are three common methods, or factors, used to authenticate ones identity. These are:
Something You Know
This factor includes usernames and password. If you know the proper username and password combination you are granted access to the system.
Something You Have
This factor includes keys and tokens. If you possess the right key you can unlock the door. If you have the correct token you are allowed in the room.
Something You Are
This factor typically includes biometric data such as fingerprints, voice recognition, and retina scans. Once very costly, this factor is now common. Many models of smart phones, laptop, and tablets can now recognize faces and scan fingerprints.
In order to implement Multi-Factor authentication, a method from at least two of these categories must be used. Allowing access after scanning a fingerprint and using voice recognition would not be multi-factor becomes both are from the “something you are” category. Likewise, simply having two passwords would not be multi-factor as both passwords would fall under “something you know”. However, if you first scanned in your fingerprint and then entered a password in order to gain access to a system, you would be using Multi-Factor authentication.
Why is Multi-Factor Authentication Being Implemented at Pitt?
Traditionally, your Pitt account has been protected by a single factor, Something You Know, which is your username and password. While this does provide some level of protection which gets better the more complex your password is, it is susceptible to a social engineering attack which is growing in popularity – Phishing. We have all received suspicious emails informing us that we must change our password immediately or verify some setting with a link that bring us to a fake page asking us to enter our credentials. The hackers are hoping that a few people they attack will enter their credentials, which can then be used to access the Pitt system when the hackers decide to do so.
Duo-Mobile, the new Multi-Factor solution that Pitt has implemented, adds a second factor, Something You Have. This is done by connecting a specific phone number to the account. When the username and password is entered for that account a notification (either a call or an application notice) is sent to a specific phone number. In order to log in, the user must possess the phone associated with that phone number. Even if the hackers know the phone number it does them no good if they do not possess the physical phone. The owner of the phone and account will be notified as soon as any unauthorized access is attempted as well. Then the password can then be immediately changed, making the Something You Know factor secure once again.
Due to the increasing popularity of Phishing and other Social Engineering attacks targeting usernames and passwords, the University has concluded that implementing Multi-Factor Authentication is not only prudent, but necessary. An account with Multi-Factor Authentication applied is exponentially more secure than one without.
How Do I Set Up Multi-Factor Authentication and How Does It Work?
Computing Services and Systems Development provides an excellent set of instructions on how to set up Multi-Factor Authentication for your account which can be found at by clicking this link. As always, FIS Customer Support would be happy to assist with setup and any issues that may arise while using the Duo Mobile Multi-Factor Authentication solution. We can be contacted at 4-FIS1 or via ticket submission at the FIS Support Portal.
Once you have Duo Mobile Multi-Factor Authentication set up it will add an additional action to the login process each time you access a secure service with Pitt’s Single Sign On solution. After putting in your username and password you will either receive a notification on your smartphone or tablet via the Duo Mobile application or an automated phone call from the Duo Mobile service. The application will give you a button to press to approve the log on and the automated phone call will prompt you to press 1 on your phone to approve the log on. Once Due Mobile receives approval via application or phone call your login will complete. Using the mobile application adds 5 to 10 seconds to the login process while using the phone option typically adds about 15 to 20 seconds.
Duo Mobile supports the option to add a secondary authentication device and we strongly recommend that a secondary device be set up. This means that if a smartphone is lost or left at home for the day a second option is available from the authentication screen, such as your desk phone number. You can simple click a button and Duo Mobile with authenticate via your secondary device.
Congratulations to James Van Poolen for being the recipient of the prestigious Pittsburgh HDI Analyst of the Year award! This award recognizes a help desk analyst that exemplifies the best qualities among the practitioners in our region who possess the knowledge and skills required to provide quality service and support for customers.
Brian Samec was also nominated for the Pittsburgh HDI Desktop Support Technician of the Year award. This award is given to a desktop support professional who responds to incidents escalated by the service desk that are related to customer equipment where additional skills, knowledge, tools, or authority are required.
James will now move on to compete for the regional award. Please join us in congratulating and wishing him luck with the regional competition!