June 19, 2019

19 JUN, 19 Keeping the bad guys out!

One of the biggest challenges facing the Sun West Information Technology Department is protecting the Sun West network and its hundreds of devices from attacks by internet hackers and viruses. Sun West is literally bombarded by thousands of these attacks every day. Fortunately the IT Department has numerous protections in place to protect our network and most importantly protect our students and staff from these nefarious efforts.

Individuals using Sun West devices outside of the Sun West system create some of the greatest risks to the Sun West network. This is because they provide a potential entry way into our network for hackers and viruses. To significantly reduce the chance of this happening, Sun West IT is implementing Microsoft Multi-Factor Authentication registration and implementation. What that means in lay terms is simply that when you access Sun West webmail through a browser outside of the Sun West network you will be required to authenticate that this is your account in two separate ways before you will be given access. If you are accessing webmail from our schools or the division office you will continue to only be required to enter one password. Logins from outside of North America (Canada, Mexico, and the United States) will be blocked entirely. If you plan on travelling outside of North America and still need access to your Sun West webmail you will need to notify the helpdesk in advance to make arrangements.

Industry research has proven conclusively that multi-factor authentication is a very effective way of protecting systems, which is why Sun West IT is implementing it.

Currently Sun West users can opt-in to multi-factor authentication voluntarily but it will become compulsory for all Sun West webmail users. A communication will come out to all staff indicating when it becomes compulsory. To sign in go to this website:

https://aka.ms/MFAsetup

As part of signing up, users will have the option of adding an authenticator mobile application for their mobile device. This is recommended by Sun West IT as most users will find it easier and more convenient to use. The mobile device application is available from iTunes and Google Play.

The Sun West IT Department appreciates the cooperation of Sun West staff in implementing this important security upgrade.