Newsletter: March 2008
Welcome to the March 2008 State Agency RMO Newsletter!
Daylight Saving Time
Daylight Saving Time began this Sunday, March 9th, so hopefully you didn’t forget to set your clocks ahead an hour on Saturday night. As the saying goes: “spring forward, fall back.”
Workshops and Training
The Archives has made an abbreviated version of its spring training schedule available via the web. All workshops are open to anyone who is interested in attending. To register, go to http://www.archives.nysed.gov and click on "Workshops" on the left menu. Send an e-mail to the address listed on the page with your name, affiliation, phone number, and e-mail address, and include the title and date of the workshop you wish to attend. You will be contacted to confirm and complete the registration. Directions will be sent in the mail within a week of the workshop date. Contact ARCHTRAIN@mail.nysed.gov if you have questions about our workshops. Stay tuned for the full spring workshop schedule coming to our website in a few more weeks. The current State Agency workshops are:
March 26, 2008: Using State Archives Retention Schedules - Cultural Education Center, Albany
April 17, 2008: Managing Electronic Records - State Records Center, Albany
Other Training Opportunities of Interest
Introduction to Web Accessibility, hosted by the New York State Forum
New York State has an IT Policy as well as a Mandatory Technology Standard requiring that State agency web sites be accessible to individuals with disabilities using assistive technology. This seminar will demystify what "web accessibility" is and why it is so important, and will introduce techniques for improving the accessibility of your web site. We will also demonstrate The Forum's validation tool to help test your site's accessibility.
The event will be held on Wednesday, March 26, 2008 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Empire State Plaza in Albany, New York. For more information, please visit the Forum’s website: http://www.nysforum.org/events/webaccessibilityintro-3-26-08/
Assistive Technology Expo
Lieutenant Governor David A. Paterson, a nationally-recognized advocate for persons with visual and physical impairments, will be welcoming attendees at TECHNOLOGY OPENS DOORS, The New York State Governor's Expo on Assistive Technology, to be held on Thursday, May 15, 2008 from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany, New York. At the Expo, hundreds of exhibits and workshops on assistive devices and services will be showcased. In addition, the NYS Forum's award-winning IT Accessibility Committee will present a series of tutorials on all aspects of accessible website development.
For more information, go to www.ATEXPO2008.com or call Michelle Murray, NYS Commission on Quality o Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities (CQCAPD), at (800) 522-4369 (NYS only Voice/TTY/Spanish) or (518) 388-0690.
This month’s security tips from CSCIC highlight the importance of having a secured wireless network to protect the information being passed through it. The following guide steps you through setting up a very simple wireless network.
A standard set up for a wireless network requires two components: a Wireless Access Point (WAP) and a computer with a wireless network adaptor. Properly configuring a wireless device can be challenging and the steps will vary depending on the manufacturer. The WAP connects to your high speed Internet connection or your internal network. This is the foundation for building a wireless network. It provides the ability to use a computer without being constrained by the distance of a wire.
A wireless network adaptor, used for transmitting and receiving information, is required for each computer you intend to connect to a WAP. When purchasing wireless networking hardware from separate vendors, be sure to obtain guarantees that the hardware will conform to defined standards and interoperate properly. The wireless network adaptor is usually built into laptop computers while it is an add-on component inserted into a USB port on desktop computers.
Every wireless network should enable encryption. Encryption scrambles the data in a way that if your signal is intercepted there is reduced risk of someone being able to eavesdrop or monitor your communications. There are several standards of encryption common to most WAPs. Wired Equivalency Privacy (WEP) is the older standard. WEP has a number of known security flaws and should only be used if no other method of encryption is available. Be sure to set the WEP authentication method to “shared key” instead of “open system.” Under “open system” the initial sign-on is encrypted but the data is not. Newer wireless access points include Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2). WPA2 is the stronger and the preferred method of encryption.
When setting up your WAP, make sure you change the settings from the factory defaults. These include your password and Service Set Identifier (SSID) (the name of your wireless network.) Also turn off SSID Broadcasting so that your wireless access point does not advertise its presence. It is similar to having an unlisted telephone number. This is a way to reduce the visibility of your network to others in your neighborhood. The only way to connect to a WAP with SSID Broadcasting turned off is to know the SSID name and password.
And finally, enabling MAC filtering on your WAP allows you to designate and restrict which computers can connect to your WAP. The MAC (Media Access Control) address is the unique ID assigned to your computer’s network interface card. It is referred to as the computer’s “physical address.” If the computer’s address is not listed, a wireless connection cannot be made to the WAP.
That’s it for this month! State Agency Services is here to help you, so please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.