University Technology

University Technology Announcements

Adobe Creative Cloud software now available to WIU students and employees

October 17, 2023

We are pleased to announce that Adobe Creative Cloud is now available to Western Illinois University students and employees. 

Adobe Creative Cloud is a suite of over 20 applications for design, photography, video, web, and more. It includes popular apps like Photoshop, Acrobat, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, and After Effects.

To request access to Adobe Creative Cloud (or learn more), visit and fill out the online request form. After you submit the form, University Technology staff will email you instructions on how to download and install Adobe Creative Cloud. Please be patient, as we expect a lot of interest in the first few days.

We hope you enjoy this new benefit!

VPN multi-factor authentication changes coming soon, action may be required

September 14, 2023

We have an important update from Microsoft (that was just received this afternoon) to share with you. Starting as early as tomorrow, Friday, September 15, there will be a change regarding multi-factor authentication (MFA) for those of you who use SMS (text) or voice methods.  

This change will take place on a rolling basis over six weeks as part of ongoing efforts to improve security.

Here's what you need to know:

New Authentication Method: Microsoft is requiring all users to switch to the Microsoft Authenticator app as their primary MFA method.

Mandatory for VPN: Remember, MFA is a requirement when accessing the University's VPN.

Installation Prompt: If you use SMS or voice methods for MFA, after logging in to the VPN, you will see a prompt that says "Improve your sign-ins." This will guide you through the process of downloading and installing the Microsoft Authenticator App.  

Delay Option: You have the option to delay installation up to three times if needed before being required to install the app.

Enhanced Security: The Microsoft Authenticator app offers stronger MFA security compared to SMS and voice methods. Please note that the use of SMS and voice methods for MFA may be phased out in the near future.

We will keep you updated as more information becomes available. If you have any questions or need assistance, please don't hesitate to contact the uTech Support Center through the various methods listed at

Thank you for your attention to this important update.

Information on ransomware attack that targeted State of Illinois systems

July 13, 2023

As reported by the news media, various institutions across the globe were targeted in a May 31 ransomware attack, including well-known information technology and accounting firms. State of Illinois systems were amongst those targeted and/or compromised in the incident. 

It is important to understand that Western Illinois University systems were not compromised as a part of this attack.

The state Department of Innovation & Technology (DoIT) established a dedicated call center and will provide credit monitoring to approximately 390,000 individuals whose data may have been compromised. Notices are being mailed to all impacted individuals with information on registering for credit monitoring; you may have already received such a mailing.  This letter is legitimate and should be read carefully.

DoIT reports that there is no indication at this time that any compromised information has been used fraudulently. The call center information is being shared only with impacted individuals so that they can receive the full attention of call center staff.

Other third-party providers that possess personal information of faculty members and staff also have been affected by the May 31 incident, including Delta Dental and TIAA. At this time, it is not known how many individuals are affected. Each third-party provider is conducting its own investigation and following its process to notify individuals. 

Prior to receiving any notification, you can take steps to protect your identity. Please refer to the FAQ below.

We understand that these types of situations may be stressful for the individuals involved. We will continue to monitor the developing events, work with other institutions and follow up with additional communications as soon as possible.

It is our intention to let you know as much as we know, without creating unnecessary concern. Thank you for all of your efforts to help keep our systems safe and secure.


Greg Kain
Chief Information Officer, Executive Director
University Technology
(309) 298-TECH | |

What data was compromised?

Cybercriminals stole files that contained personally identifiable information; this information may include names, addresses, and Social Security numbers of employees.

What can I do to protect my identity?

We recommend that you use your right to a free annual credit report from each of the major credit reporting companies. To order your free annual report from one or all the national consumer reporting companies, visit , or call toll-free 877-322-8228. Alternatively, you may contact each consumer reporting agency directly as follows: 

  • Equifax : 1-800-525-6285;; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241 
  • Experian : 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742);; P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013 
  • TransUnion : 1-800-680-7289;; Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790 

 You may also wish to consider contacting the Federal Trade Commission: 

Please be aware that you can obtain information from these consumer reporting agencies and/or the Federal Trade Commission about fraud alerts and security freezes. 

How many WIU employees are impacted? Does this include retirees?

At this time, it is not known how many WIU employees or retirees are affected. All impacted individuals will receive a notification from DoIT, so it is important to monitor your mail for a notification.

VPN Access to Require Multi-Factor Authentication Starting August 2

July 10, 2023

University Technology will soon require multi-factor authentication (MFA) when utilizing the university's VPN. This change will take effect on August 2, 2023. Learn more about what this means for you here.

WesternOnline Email System to be disabled May 22

May 2, 2023

As you may be aware, WesternOnline (, the course management system utilized by Western Illinois University, has its own internal email system. This email system is entirely distinct from the university’s email system hosted by Google.  

Survey responses indicate a sense of confusion about the two different email systems. This confusion often leads to missed messages between students and instructors and makes the learning experience more complicated than it needs to be.

On May 22, 2023, WesternOnline’s internal email system will be disabled. WesternOnline will instead be configured to utilize WIU’s primary Google-hosted email system, available at This will ensure that students and instructors need to utilize only a single university-provided email inbox going forward.

Actions Required Before May 22

Unfortunately, the WesternOnline email data cannot be moved in an automated manner. Therefore, any users with data they want to keep within their WesternOnline mailbox will have to move the items themselves before May 22; on that date, email messages within WesternOnline will no longer be accessible.   Find instructions for moving your WesternOnline email data here.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the uTech Support Center via a method listed at

Call for testers of new VPN solution

April 24, 2023

University Technology is moving to a new VPN solution (Palo Alto GlobalProtect) on May 30, replacing the Cisco AnyConnect products currently in use.  To provide a successful transition for the university community, we need volunteers who would like to test the new solution before it is implemented university-wide.

What is a VPN?

The VPN (virtual private network) provides secure access to campus resources that would otherwise only be available to users directly connected to the WIU campus network.  If you have ever been off-campus and needed to complete your timecard or otherwise access WIUP, you used a VPN solution to gain access to this system.  

How do I access this new VPN solution?

Instructions for installation, as well as a project timeline, can be found on

We need to hear from you if you experience any issues using the new VPN!  Please email us at or call (309) 298-TECH to report your problems or request assistance.  Your help in identifying issues during this testing phase is integral to the success of this project.

Requesting software approval from University Technology

October 21, 2022

As mentioned in previous announcements, University Technology is in the process of removing local administrator rights from all WIU-owned Windows workstations this semester.  Per a recent cybersecurity audit, this change is necessary in order to be compliant with federal mandates. For more details and a timeline of this project, please refer to the uTech announcement here .

This change will require that all software that needs administrator access for installation, updating, or usage be reviewed and approved by University Technology going forward.  

We understand that this is a fundamental change to how software installations have historically occurred at WIU.  Up until this point, software has largely been able to be installed at the discretion of the user of the computer. This practice has serious security ramifications, and as such, is the primary impetus for removing administrator access from computers. 

If, after local administrator access is removed from your WIU-owned Windows computer, you find that you are unable to properly use a piece of software necessary for your job duties, please complete a Software Approval Request Form . The University Technology Software Review Committee will evaluate your request as soon as possible in order to determine whether it is appropriate for installation on WIU-owned equipment. 

A complete listing of the software that has already been reviewed (or is pending review) can be found at .  Note that software listed as "approved" does not mean that it is available to be installed without purchase or adherence to licensing requirements. It also does not mean that the software will be fully supported by University Technology (other than installation assistance).

If you have any questions, we are happy to answer them.  Simply contact us via a method listed at .

Cybersecurity Awareness Training

October 10, 2022

It is important to be security minded so that not only our personal data remains secure, but the data and resources of the University are protected. As part of an ongoing cybersecurity initiative, University leadership approved an updated Technology Use Policy requiring all faculty, staff and individuals who have access to University data to participate in security awareness training. New employees will be required to take the training when they are hired, and existing employees will be required to take the training annually. For more information about the policy, please see

October is the perfect time for cybersecurity training because it is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. For more information about cybersecurity and some tips on how to stay safe, please visit the University's website at

To facilitate this training, the University is using the company KnowBe4 ( KnowBe4 provides training modules, the ability to do simulated phishing tests, awareness posters and materials we can use across our campuses.

When it comes time to take the annual required training, you will receive an email from University Technology that will contain information about how to log in and complete the course.

You should receive an email with the instructions for taking your training early October. If you have any questions, please contact us by emailing University Technology at

Administrator rights on Windows workstations to be removed starting in October

September 19, 2022

In order to improve the security posture of Western Illinois University, University Technology will be removing local administrator rights from all WIU-owned Windows workstations this semester.  

This is a fundamental change to how workstations are used at the University, but a necessary change. As such, please take note of the following:

  • Specialty software may not be able to be installed or upgraded without contacting the Support Center. 
  • New printers may not be able to be installed without contacting the Support Center
  • Users of the QWS3270 client (MVS) will need to install a new version of the software. We will be leveraging the Microsoft “Software Center” application to provide this new version of QWS3270 (and other software) for installation.  Watch a short video on using Software Center to install applications.

We will be rolling out this change slowly across the University according to this tentative schedule:

  • Monday, October 3
    • Division of Student Success, Division of Enrollment Management, Athletics, Office of the President & direct reports
  • Monday, October 10
    • Business Services, Purchasing, Facilities Management, Human Resources, OPS, Printing/Mailing Center, Auxiliary Services
  • Monday, October 17
    • Alumni Association, Foundation & Development, University Communications, University Marketing, Photography & Design Production
  • Monday, October 24
    • Libraries, UTV, CITR, Advising, Graduate Studies, Office of the Registrar, Sponsored Projects, Global Studies, IIRA, Faculty Senate, Preschool Center, Small Business Development Center
  • Monday, October 31
    • College of Fine Arts & Communication
  • Monday, November 7
    • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Monday, November 14
    • College of Business and Technology
  • Monday, November 21
    • Quad Cities
  • Monday, November 28
    • College of Education and Human Services and all remaining areas

After this change, faculty and staff must make a conscious effort to test software with plenty of lead time prior to needing to use it for instructional or other purposes.  For the short-term, attempting to install new software the same day that it is needed to be used may not necessarily be possible.

University Technology is committed to resolve issues related to this change in a timely manner.  If you find yourself unable to perform a required action on your workstation, please contact us via phone at (309) 298-TECH (for most prompt assistance) or via email at

Thank you for your attention and cooperation.

Google Unlimited Storage Ending July 1

May 10, 2022

Beginning July 1, Google will end unlimited storage that was previously granted to Google Workspace for Education customers. This change will require that all users of Western Illinois University Google services have storage quotas applied to their accounts so that the University can stay below the storage limits provided by our contract.  Please review our FAQ for more details on what this means for you.

Technology Policies Updated

April 4, 2022

To further enhance technology initiatives at WIU, while also implementing greater security measures, 10 technology-related policies have been further refined to meet existing needs and user demands.

The following policies have been revised/updated and will be implemented incrementally. According to Interim CIO Jeremy Merritt, there will be no noticeable changes immediately and as the revisions and updates are rolled out, these will be communicated to the University community.

  • Technology Use Policy (formerly Appropriate Use Policy) -
    • Added requirement for annual security awareness training for all employees, and phishing remediation training for employees who fail random phishing tests.
  • Password Policy -
    • Passwords will be required to be a minimum of 12-characters in length (as opposed to 8-characters), wherever possible.
  • Electronic Mail (Email) Policy -
    • Clarifies that University email is to only be used for University business or academic purposes.
    • Retirees and alumni will be permitted the benefit of retaining email addresses, but with an altered designation of,, or These accounts will be disabled if determined to be inactive for more than 180 days. View frequently asked questions for retirees and alumni here.
  • Data Security and Handling Policy -
    • Clarifies that personal use of university provided technology resources (i.e. email, web space, computer, etc.) is strictly prohibited.

For more information or questions regarding the policy changes, contact the uTech Support Center at

Recording Google Meets No Longer Available

January 27, 2022

A reminder - as previously mentioned in the December 13 announcements email newsletter, Western Illinois University's license for Google Meet no longer supports the recording of Google Meet sessions. In the spring of 2020, Google provided temporary access to this premium feature for free to help the transition to remote learning during the onset of the pandemic.

Previously recorded Meet sessions will remain in Google Drive.

Please utilize WIU's Zoom license if you wish to record virtual meeting sessions. You can access Zoom by visiting and logging in with your ECom credentials. If you need assistance with Zoom, please contact the uTech Support Center via a method listed at

Zoom Pro accounts available to all WIU employees and students on July 14

July 7, 2021

University Technology is excited to announce that, effective July 14, all WIU employees and students will be able to take advantage of an enterprise version of Zoom. This will provide a pro license to all active employees and students.

How will this change my use of Zoom?

  • Everyone will be able to set up Zoom meetings for greater than 40 minutes in length.  Shared accounts will no longer be necessary. 
  • Individuals will log in to Zoom using WIU’s Central Sign-On, the same process used to log in to Gmail and WesternOnline.
  • Everyone can now serve as an alternative host of Zoom meetings.
  • Recordings of meetings, including classroom/lecture recordings, will be stored on Zoom’s servers.
  • On-demand Zoom video training for WIU employees and students will be available within WesternOnline.

How will I sign in to Zoom?

  • Simply visit and click the “Sign In” button.  Provide your personal ECom username and password when prompted.  

How can I access on-demand training?

I already have a Zoom account associated with my email address. What do I do?

  • The only thing that has changed is that you will now log in with your ECom username/password to access your account. 

Do I need to reschedule the meetings/classes I already have set-up in Zoom?

  • No.  All existing meetings/classes, configurations, etc. will be retained.  Nothing inside of your account will be changed.

My office has always used a shared Zoom account to schedule meetings.  What do we do now?

  • Existing meetings/classes previously scheduled using a shared account will not be disrupted/changed and can continue to be used.  However, now that single sign-on has been enabled in Zoom, we strongly recommend that all new meetings/classes be scheduled using your individual email account in order to avoid the need to share passwords of generic accounts.

During the pandemic, my family has been holding a weekly get together on Zoom using a paid personal license.  Can I cancel my personal account and use my account for personal use?

  • No.  University-provided resources are for official University use only.  Please note, all University resources are subject to monitoring and compliance with the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.

If you have any questions regarding Zoom or how this will affect your particular usage of the product, please contact the uTech Support Center via a method listed at and one of our team members will assist.

Security Patching When Working Remotely

June 16, 2020

If you are a WIU employee working remotely, University Technology would like to provide information to you regarding security patching. If you are working from home using a WIU computer (laptop or desktop), it is important to regularly connect to the WIU network via VPN. While a personal computer will get security patches and updates directly from Apple or Microsoft, University Technology manages our security patches and updates. This means, if you do not regularly connect to the WIU network, your device will not receive security updates and patches. It is recommended that you connect at least once a week. Full detailed instructions on connecting to VPN can be found in the IT Resource FAQ on the webpage under University Resources; however, the basic instructions have also been provided below.

  1. Download the appropriate client for your Windows, Mac, iOS, or Android device at
  2. Following installation, launch the AnyConnect client program.
  3. If prompted, enter as the VPN address.
  4. Log in using your ECom username and password, and keep the AnyConnect program running in the background to maintain a connection to WIU's VPN.

Microsoft Windows support model changed; pop-up notices to appear on unsupported Windows computers

October 14, 2019

In the near future, University Technology will implement pop-up notifications on computers that are known to be running out-of-support versions of Windows. Please take action if and when you see such a pop-up message on your computer after a future login.

Microsoft Changed Support Model

Prior to Windows 10, Microsoft followed a model in which it supported operating systems (e.g. XP, Vista, 7, 10, etc.) for a set lifecycle. With the implementation of Windows 10, Microsoft shifted to a model that discontinues support of operating system versions. This means that some users may be running an operating system that is no longer supported and may not even realize it.

Which Windows Systems Need to be Upgraded?

Any devices running Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10 (earlier than version 1709) will need to be addressed. If you know that you are running one of these, or if you receive a pop-up notification indicating such, please follow the instructions below immediately to schedule an upgrade.

I Need an Upgrade - What Do I Do?

We need you to contact uTech today to schedule a time for an upgrade to a supported version of Windows 10.

  1. Request an upgrade to Windows 10 by submitting a support request at
  2. Note that the upgrade process requires a complete reimage of a computer and deletes all data and programs from that computer.
  3. uTech expects and assumes that users store their University-related data in Google Drive or on their department's or office's S drive. For information about using Google Drive, see "Google Drive File Stream User Guide."
  4. Backup the bookmarks from each of the browsers that you use to Google Drive, S drive, or portable media (such as a USB thumb drive). For information about backing up bookmarks, see "Backing Up Web Browser Bookmarks."
  5. Note all specialty software currently installed on a computer before an upgrade, and include a list of all WIU-owned specialty software in your upgrade request. Locate all necessary installation discs and product keys; uTech technicians will reinstall WIU-owned software during the upgrade process. Users will need to reinstall personally owned specialty software following an upgrade.

Technicians may determine that some computers do not support Windows 10 or that some critical applications do not run in Windows 10. Consequently,

  • Offices and departments might need to replace computers that do not support Windows 10.
  • University Technology might permanently disconnect computers running critical applications that do not run in Windows 10 from the University's wired and wireless networks.

Help to protect your data, the University's network, and the computers and data of others by upgrading to Windows 10 as soon as possible.

Opt-in to receive technology disruption notifications from University Technology

April 25, 2019

In an effort to improve communication to the University during technology disruptions, University Technology now offers a way for University constituents to receive email notifications when such disruptions occur, opting into a notifications list.

To subscribe to this list, simply visit and follow the instructions.

We do not anticipate sending a high number of email messages. During our internal testing of this system, we have found that, on average, we send 6 emails per month for about 3 disruption events. These messages typically involve an “incident notification” alert when we detect a technology issue, and a corresponding “incident resolution” email when the issue has been resolved. During longer outages, we may send update messages as new information becomes available before we resolve the issue.

You will have the ability to opt out of this email list at any time, and the footer of every email you receive will provide instructions on unsubscribing.

uTech also posts incident notifications on our Facebook and Twitter feeds, so you may consider following us there, as well: and

If you have any questions, please reach out to us via one of the methods below.

University Technology
Stipes Hall 126 | (309) 298-TECH |