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New and Changing: Updates from AIT

Posted April 16, 2021 by Academic and Institutional Technology
Tags: Department News

Changes Coming to Wheaton College Cybersecurity

Effective Date: April 22, 2021

To better protect our campus community, we are making several behind-the-scenes security changes on April 21, 2021. 

Special note: if you are working remotely, be sure to log into Global Protect VPN and stay logged in all day on Thursday, April 22, so these changes will get through to your device. 

AIT will be improving security by doing the following:

  • Changing the antivirus software on Wheaton College computers by removing Malwarebytes and deploying Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (for Windows and Mac users)
  • Requiring that you enter your NetID and password to install software (we're installing a 2021 Windows Security Policy)
  • Pushing an operating system upgrade to Windows 10 users by deploying Windows 10 20H2 (those affected by this change should receive an email about it)

That’s a lot of changes, so let’s break it down.

First of all, as part of the Microsoft Investment Optimization project, we’re looking to better steward our resources by utilizing more of what Microsoft offers (since we’re already paying for Microsoft).  Going forward we will use Microsoft Defender in place of Malwarebytes to protect our college computers.  This change should take place in the background and there is a good chance you will not even notice it has happened. 

Secondly, we’re deploying a 2021 Windows Security Policy.  We were encouraged to make this change when User Access Control came up as a concern in our latest Cybersecurity Risk Assessment with our virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO), GreyCastle Security. Going forward, whenever you want to install a program or update software on your Wheaton College-owned machine, you will receive a prompt asking for your NetID and password. 

An example might be installing Adobe Acrobat Reader or Zotero.  Now, instead of just clicking a “yes” button, the prompt for your NetID and password will act as another security step.  By requiring your credentials, we’ll be able to confirm that you are acting as the Administrator on your own device.

This will affect local administrator accounts on Windows computers.  This will not cause any changes to classroom computers. 

Please note that this is not taking any privileges away from you as the “primary user” of the device.  You will still be able to install programs and update software.  This is simply making it more difficult for a hacker to gain access to your computer. 

Lastly, we’re deploying Windows 10 20H2.  We regularly deploy Windows updates, so this is a common occurrence for us.  Your computer may ask you to restart, but that will likely be the only change you notice for this.

If you have any questions, please contact us at ait.service.desk@wheaton.edu or call 630.752.4357 (HELP).