D Ongoing Activities Update

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1 Knowledge Strategy Committee 23 January 2015 Ongoing Activities Update escription of paper 1. An update on various University-wide projects that fall within the remit of KSC. Action requested 2. KSC is asked to note this update on ongoing activities. Recommendation 3. KSC is recommended to note this update on ongoing activities. Background and Context 4. At each meeting of KSC an update is provided on projects falling within the remit of KSC which do not fall into any additional agenda items. Updates Agenda Item: 10.1 IT Security 5. There have been two security incidents of note since the last KSC meeting: 1. an that should have only been sent to a single student was sent in error to about 30 individuals. This kind of user error is not something that we can prevent at a system level. 2. a virus infestation that has had significant and serious consequences that are still ongoing. As a result we have changed our anti-virus recommendations, settings in the University supported desktop and some of our network monitoring. We need to further review the situation once these initial measures have had time to bed in. The following text is a more detailed description for information/interest. 6. On around the 28 th November an attachment was opened by a user triggering a virus. This did not come through the University system but once triggered was able to read the user s address book and ed itself to a large number of University users. These s, containing the virus attachment, appear to come from another University user therefore are much more likely to be opened, hence spreading the virus further, than an from an external source. This led to a significant number of infected machines in the institution. Once this was reported a block was placed in the relays to prevent it spreading further. 7. This particular virus is particularly difficult to detect as it is built to constantly change its signature. This means that there is always a possibility of the virus getting activated before the anti-virus software has been updated to detect the signature. A review was made, however, of our anti-virus procedures and a decision taken to

2 change to forcing a full scan on all supported machines on a weekly basis instead of the previous quick scan. 8. This provides reasonable security for our supported desktops. However, users still have to be educated to not open attachments on s unless they are sure of the originator. What we cannot give any protection against, apart from advice which has recently been completely updated are virus infections on unsupported machines in the institution. Our estimate is there are about 50% of unsupported machines and for which we are dependent upon the users themselves being far more vigilant than those who run a supported desktop. 9. This particular virus also has a further feature which has significantly increased the damage caused. On activation, it calls back to a home (of which there are many) and downloads further Trojans or spambot software. In this case a banking Trojan called ridex was downloaded onto at least 5 desktops. In four of those cases there is no evidence that the Trojan was actually activated. In the fifth case, in a desktop in Informatics, the Trojan would have appeared to have activated and stole a name and a password which was then used in an attempt to cause a fraudulent transaction. The normal finance safeguards stopped the transaction and the University was alerted to the incident by Santander. 10. This Trojan also changes its signature, to the extent that it is believed that it creates a signature that is unique to the system it is on. Thus, the anti-virus software is not capable of picking it up and at the time of writing this report new incidents are being picked up by monitoring the network traffic as it attempts to call home. 11. IS will perform a further review to see what new lessons can be learned and whether new steps need to be taken though within the constraints of the University environment our controls have kept the incident within reasonable bounds. Brian Gilmore, Chief IT Security Officer Agenda Item: 10.2 istance Education Initiative 12. All EI funding has now been distributed, totalling 34 projects across 17 schools. Monitoring of project progress will continue until early 2016 as a minimum, the projected date by which all academic projects should have launched. 13. A bid will be submitted to the next funding round in February to request funding for sustained investment in OL provisions, although not likely to the same levels of EI annual investment. 14. The EI Steering Group will remain active but parked until the outcome of the funding round is known. 2

3 15. A working group has been set up to explore the requirements post EI for OL support across the University which the EI is supporting. This group is being led by Erin Jackson and will report within the calendar year. 16. We currently have 2,210 students studying on our OL programmes. Amy Woodgate, Project Manager istance Education Initiative Agenda Item: 10.3 MOOCs 17. The University has a portfolio of 21 live courses and a further 3 soon to be announced. In autumn 2014, we achieved an impressive 1million learner enrolments and with new courses now available, this figure is likely to grow substantially. 18. Edinburgh hosted the recent FutureLearn Academic Network and various events with our platform providers. The community is growing and we have engaged more than 80 academic staff directly with mooc development and trained over 70 teaching assistants. 19. There will be Edinburgh representation at the Coursera annual conference in March 2015 and panel proposals have been submitted (awaiting outcome shortly). 20. The U21 pilot ran successfully in November with 1,360 participating students from more than 7 U21 institutions. The pilot will run again in March 2015 for southern hemisphere colleagues and the steering group will report on the success in May 2015 to the U21 Board to identify longer-term online learning collaborations across the partnership. Amy Woodgate, Project Manager MOOCs Agenda Item: 10.4 Business Intelligence/Management Information Project 21. Craig Middlemass started as the new BI/MI Programme Coordinator on 5 th January. Craig will be coordinating the initiatives and acting as secretary to the ata Governance Group. 22. Members for the ata Governance Group have been selected and apprised of their first meeting which will be held on 26 January This meeting will focus on a discussion of an outline of the planned work; the group s roles and responsibilities; and agreement on participation in each of the initiatives. Following this scoping meeting a report will be provided to the BI/MI Programme Board to seek approval of the membership and remit of the ata Governance Group. 23. Guidance provided by the ata Governance Group and the work completed to date is being used in the IS Applications planning round to establish which proposals have a BI/MI implication. This guidance can be used to help look at the University s proposed projects across the board, in particular those that directly develop and improve reporting solutions; and projects that will produce information that may be valuable to the whole institution. 3

4 24. The first few months will be crucial in laying the foundations for the next 2-3 years of collaborative working and engagement, to build the University s capacity in relation to Business Intelligence and Management Information. Craig Middlemass, BI/MI Coordinator Agenda Item: 10.5 Student Systems Roadmap 25. The Student Systems Roadmap was approved by the Student Systems Board in October 2013, following a period of development and widespread consultation. The roadmap can be accessed at: https://www.projects.ed.ac.uk/webfm_send/2566 Student Systems Priorities 2014/ Attendance & Engagement Monitoring: Further work required to support schools, look at more effective ways to use data from other systems (LEARN, Personal Tutor; SMART) to avoid manual effort and more effective ways of capturing data within Schools. 27. Assessment & Progression: medium term project which will ultimately replace SMART system. This year the focus is on providing tools which will support schools in the communication of progression decisions, and the management of the student record. This will be followed through the roll out of tools which will support the overall communication and administration of the students summative assessment including exam boards. 28. Research Postgraduate Administration: this year a focus on short-term enhancements to provide tools to support key administrative processes and MI extracted from the system by Schools. This work will ultimately feed into the Postgraduate Researcher Experience Project (PREP) which is being developed by Prof. Jeremy Bradshaw and the REC. 29. Programme & Course Information Management: developing the system to support the implementation of the project which is looking to enhance the quality of and presentation of course and programme information presented to students. This year the focus is at course level. 30. Use of student data: aligning activity with the MI/BI Project, developing central reports to support key processes (admissions, progression, attendance and engagement monitoring). Looking at opportunities to enhance the use of external data, internally (KIS, HESA and HEII) and work with Schools to understand what key roles need from the student data set a focus on roles and tasks. Medium Term 31. The Student Systems Board had an initial look at priorities for 2015/16 and subsequent years at its meeting in ecember. ecisions on priorities will be made in March

5 32. The Student Systems Board identified a number of areas where further research and recommendations are required to help set the strategic direction of student systems. These include: 33. Task & Tools: Student, Personal Tutor, School Administration. In turn focus on the tasks and processes that users engage with and prioritise the areas where enhancement of the systems and MIBI will enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the tasks undertaken. 34. Use of data/student use of data: Linked to MIBI Project, the way student data is used to support students, key processes and key roles within Schools and Professional Services. Review our approach to open data and our approach to communication and sharing of data with students. 35. Scenario Planning: undertake some scenario planning in light of the emerging learning & teaching vision mean, student experience vision and the future size and shape of the University. 36. Measures/Metrics: enhance use of student systems data to measure and improve our processes and systems and understand needs of users. 37. A broader review of the Student Systems Roadmap will be undertaken in June 2015 as it approaches the end of the second of the three year period it initially covered. Barry Neilson, irector of Student Systems Resource implications 38. There is no additional resource implication not considered within the project remits of the projects listed in this paper. Risk Management 39. There are no additional risks not considered within the project remits of the projects listed in this paper. Equality & iversity 40. There are no additional equality and diversity impacts not considered within the project remits of the projects listed in this paper. Next steps/implications 41. There will be a further update on these activities taken to the next meeting of Knowledge Strategy Committee. Consultation 42. Knowledge Strategy Committee is the location for any discussions based on this paper it has not been circulated to any other committee. Further information Author Siobhan MacInnes 5

6 Information Services 12 January 2015 Freedom of Information 43. This paper is open. 6

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