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The Need for Multifactor Authentication

Hackers count on people being lazy with their passwords. It’s a problem with organizations of every size and type, including industry giants like Google. People who find it too much of a hassle to toss an aluminum can into the recycling bin right next to the trash bin have no problem recycling the same password across multiple accounts for years.

Reducing risk involves combining authentication processes in such a way as to ensure that only the user can get to their data.

Facebook, Google, and other services do this by having users confirm authentication from their phones every time their account is accessed from an unrecognized device. This requires hackers to have physical access to the account holder’s phone, which is unlikely. The password as a sole form of identity verification is dead, or at least on life support. Multifactor authentication (MFA) is taking over as the new normal.

What is MFA?

MFA requires additional credentials beyond username and password for gaining access to an application, site, or data. There are three basic elements that can be used in multifactor authentication:

• Something the user knows (like a password or PIN).

• Something the user possesses (like a smart card or mobile phone).

• Something the user is (as represented by, say, a fingerprint).

MFA requires the use of different elements. In other words, requiring two different passwords isn’t MFA. A common technique is a website sending an access code to the user’s phone, which the user has to enter in addition to her usual password to gain access.

Benefits of MFA

Social engineering is still a critical technique hackers use to gain access to people’s data, accounts, or financial information. Talking someone out of a password or other identifying information (like a Social Security number) is easier than talking someone out of a password and the special code sent to their phone. More people are suspicious enough to not allow that level of manipulation.

One of the biggest benefits of MFA, however, is that it allows organizations to use advanced security options like single sign-on, which is easier for end users but harder for hackers. With single sign-on, the user performs an initial MFA process. Once that’s done successfully, the end user is admitted to their single sign-on software and can gain access to all of their required apps and data without having to enter passwords or credentials each time. Taking a tiny bit of time up front every day lets end users avoid entering passwords multiple times a day.

Campus Response to MFA

The Center for Information Technology Services (CITS) has been preparing the computing environment for this new technology since last year. CITS also has been coordinating with each school and department to plan the implementation of MFA across the campus. The first phase of this rollout will cover the systems that contain our University’s most sensitive data and the users that can access that data. As each of these systems is integrated with MFA, the impacted users will be contacted individually with relevant timelines and instructions to set up and use MFA in their daily computing operations.

When will MFA be available?

CITS has implemented MFA for a number of groups within Central Administration and many of the schools that use Virtual Private Network (VPN) software. MFA also was implemented with Sunapsis when it was implemented in late 2016. From now through spring 2018, CITS will be integrating MFA with the rest of the systems that contain the University’s most sensitive data and the users that can access those data.

In parallel, CITS is working on making MFA available to all users on an opt-in basis by late 2017/early 2018.

The username-password combination is inadequate and outdated. Despite major headlines recently about data breaches (P.F. Chang, Target, eBay, etc.), organizations continue to use password security and expect it to be sufficient. The campus shift to MFA will allow us to better secure our sensitive systems and the data they contain.

Fred Smith Bulletin Board, Technology, University LifeJanuary 17, 20180 comments
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Nursing’s Wiseman Leads Work Group in Revising State Nursing Articulation Plan

Rebecca Wiseman, PhD ’93, RN, associate professor and chair of the School of Nursing at the Universities at Shady Grove, served as project coordinator for the recently revised Maryland Nursing Articulation Plan. The original Maryland Nursing Articulation Plan, which dates back to 1985, set the stage for several other articulation plans in the state of Maryland.

“The articulation model serves as a road map for colleges and universities as they plan and provide academic progression models for registered nurses. It allows us to adequately address the barriers encountered by registered nurses as they continue their education, which is crucial as we strive to adhere to the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Future of Nursing recommended goal of 80 percent of registered nurses prepared at the Bachelor of Science level by 2020,” Wiseman said. “The revision to the Maryland articulation plan reflects the current practices in transfer of credits, prerequisite requirements, and dual-admission/dual-enrollment programs.”

Maryland is one of four states predicted to experience a shortage of 10,000 registered nurses or more by 2025. Through the Maryland Action Coalition (MDAC), formed in 2011 in response to the IOM report, the state has been promoting seamless academic progression to baccalaureate programs as a solution and top priority. In response, the dual-admission articulation model was created, allowing students to apply and be admitted to a Bachelor of Science (BSN) program while in an Associate Degree in Nursing program at a community college. These new approaches and commitments to academic progression models needed to be reflected in the articulation plan to assure consistency across colleges and universities.

In 2015, Wiseman solicited the Maryland Council of Deans and Directors of Nursing Programs (MCDDNP), currently chaired by Nina Trocky, DNP, RN, NE-BC, CNE, assistant professor and associate dean for the baccalaureate program at the UM School of Nursing (UMSON), to form a work group to review the articulation plan. Wiseman led the six-member group in discussing and revising the plan.

“Dr. Wiseman was instrumental in coordinating the Maryland Council of Deans and Directors of Nursing Programs to develop an articulation document that more accurately supports nursing education and, specifically, the attainment of the BSN,” Trocky said. “MCDDNP is committed to developing a competent nursing workforce who provides high-quality care to the citizens of Maryland. This revision minimizes barriers to academic progression, thereby supporting this goal.”

The work group presented a final draft of the revised articulation agreement to the MCDDNP in December 2016, and after review, a subgroup submitted recommendations to MCDDNP in February 2017. In May 2017, MCDDNP members voted on the revision, resulting in 100 percent acceptance. The Maryland Higher Education Commission endorsed the articulation agreement in November.

“Drs. Wiseman and Trocky are to be commended for their forward thinking and tireless efforts in actualizing the 2017 Maryland Nursing Education Articulation Agreement for the Maryland Higher Education Commission. MDAC has focused on ensuring that the state has a well-educated nursing workforce,” said MDAC co-lead Patricia Travis, PhD ’99, MS ’76, BSN ’69, RN, CCRP, senior associate director, clinical research, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “Although the newly released HRSA report for 2014-30 projects that Maryland is no longer in danger of experiencing a shortage of registered nurses, the future is still uncertain. Promoting seamless academic progression is one strategy to meet Maryland’s upcoming nursing demands.”

The effort to revise the Maryland Nursing Articulation Plan was funded through grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and AARP’s Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action State Implementation Plan IV and the Maryland Higher Education Commission’s Nurse Support Program II.

Kevin Nash Bulletin Board, Education, People, UMB News, University Life, USGAJanuary 16, 20180 comments
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Dance Group at Towson U. Offers Discounted Children’s Classes

Towson University Community Dance is offering a 10 percent tuition discount on single-class registrations for children of University of Maryland, Baltimore faculty and staff.

Classes are available for dancers from ages 3 to 18, and the spring semester begins Monday, Jan. 15.

For more information, please visit the group’s website or call 410-704-3495.

Bulletin Board, Community Service, UMB News, University LifeJanuary 12, 20180 comments
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The President’s Message

Check out the January issue of The President’s Message. It includes Dr. Perman’s column on UM Ventures 2.0, an update on the Catalyst Campaign, the Snap! Photo Contest winners, the 2017 UMB crime report, a reminder about our Black History Month event on Feb. 1, and a roundup of student, faculty, and staff achievements.

Chris ZangABAE, Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Education, For B'more, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGAJanuary 11, 20180 comments
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‘Ladies Who Lunch’ Women’s Health Seminar Scheduled for Jan. 24

Harry Johnson, MD, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, will be the featured speaker at the first Ladies Who Lunch: Women’s Health Seminar on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at the SMC Campus Center, Room 210.

Johnson will discuss the latest treatments relating to gynecology and pelvic health concerns.

Lunch will be served, registration is required, and space is limited. You can register to attend at this link.


Erin Rummel Bulletin Board, Education, UMB News, University LifeJanuary 9, 20180 comments
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Cosmetic Vein Treatments Now Available

University of Maryland expert vascular physicians are offering the latest varicose and spider vein treatments.

Tired, achy, and unsightly legs can happen at any age. The University of Maryland’s board-certified vascular physicians are skilled in the latest varicose and spider vein treatments to improve circulation, restore visibly smoother skin, and help you feel your best.

Call 410-328-5842 to schedule cosmetic vein treatment today. Appointments are available within one to two weeks.

Locations include:

5900 Waterloo Rd., Columbia, MD 21045
419 W. Redwood St., Baltimore, MD 21201

Stephanie HuffnerBulletin Board, Clinical Care, University LifeJanuary 2, 20180 comments
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Free Workshops Offered This Spring at HS/HSL

The Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL) offers a variety of free workshops to faculty, students, and staff.

The spring semester’s topics include:

  • Communicating with patients
  • Citation management (RefWorks or EndNote)
  • Introduction to conducting systematic reviews
  • Creating effective presentations using PowerPoint
  • Finding research literature using PubMed
  • Imaging informatics

For the full schedule and registration information, click here.

Emily Gorman Bulletin Board, Education, People, Research, TechnologyJanuary 2, 20180 comments
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Deadline Nears for ATIP Grants Up to $50,000

The Accelerated Translational Incubator Pilot (ATIP) Grant Program provides funds to initiate, implement, and complete a research project that will contribute to the development of new therapies, devices, or approaches to clinical research.

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) will award pilot grants up to $50,000 to investigators at UMB with some awards earmarked for community-focused research. ATIP Grant application deadline is Jan. 16, 2018.

For more information and the forms, please go to the UMB ICTR website and log into ATIP Grant Program using your UMID.

Wanda FinkBulletin Board, Research, UMB NewsDecember 15, 20170 comments
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Ward Given Five-Year, $2.6 Million Grant by National Institutes of Health

Chris Ward, PhD, associate professor, University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON), has been awarded a five-year, $2,589,060 grant from the National Institutes of Health for the research project “Microtubule Regulated Mechanotransduction in Skeletal Muscle.” This research project builds upon Ward and his team’s previous work investigating Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).

DMD is a devastating, degenerative muscle disease caused by a mutation in the dystrophin gene, resulting in the absence or reduction of the dystrophin protein. Through this disease, muscle becomes fragile and easily damaged, which predisposes the patient to muscle loss and respiratory and cardiac dysfunction, leading to premature death.

“Currently there is no genetic cure for DMD. Until effective genetic therapies become available, we are focusing on identifying dysregulated pathways responsible for disease progression,” Ward said. “Our ultimate goal is to design pharmacological interventions to halt or slow the progression of DMD.”

Through examining DMD heart and skeletal muscle, Ward and his team have discovered that alterations in microtubules lead to an excess of calcium and reactive oxygen signals that are responsible for disease pathology. The NIH grant will enable the team to define the mechanisms that alter the microtubules in DMD muscle and determine if pharmacological strategies targeting microtubules are effective in treating this devastating disease.

Kevin NashBulletin Board, Education, People, Research, UMB News, University LifeDecember 15, 20170 comments
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School of Nursing, P.G. Community College Sign Dual-Admission Agreement

The University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) and Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) in Largo, Md., recently signed an agreement of dual admission that will ensure students’ seamless transition from PGCC’s Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program to UMSON’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.

Through the agreement, students can apply and be admitted to UMSON’s BSN program while in PGCC’s ADN program. Students will receive transfer credits from UMSON for completed coursework at PGCC and will be granted special student status, allowing them to take UMSON courses while still working on their associate degree, thereby saving them time and money in completing their BSN degree.

“This dual admission agreement offers a remarkable opportunity for our nursing students to begin the pursuit of their BSN while simultaneously completing their ADN program,” said Angela D. Anderson, dean of health, business, and public service at PGCC. “We value our partnership and look forward to working with UMSON on this and future initiatives.”

An effort to increase qualified nursing candidates, the agreement is helping further the mission of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the AARP to advance comprehensive health care change. The campaign uses as its framework the landmark 2010 Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. The partnership program specifically addresses one of the eight goals set forth in the report: to increase the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80 percent by 2020.

“Our partnership with Prince George’s Community College is exciting for the University of Maryland School of Nursing. It provides ADN students at the community college with a flexible option for obtaining their BSN degree as they work on prerequisites or take UMSON courses while still enrolled in their prelicensure program,” said Linda Murray, DNP, CPNP-Ped, assistant professor and director of the RN-to-BSN program at UMSON. “The partnership will assist with increasing the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses in Maryland.”

To matriculate to UMSON’s BSN program, students must graduate with an ADN from PGCC and satisfy UMSON’s progression criteria.

Kevin Nash Bulletin Board, Collaboration, Education, People, Research, UMB News, University Life, USGADecember 13, 20170 comments
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The President’s Message

Check out the December issue of The President’s Message. It includes Dr. Perman’s column on Medicaid cuts under proposed health care legislation, a holiday greeting, Russell McClain’s Diversity Advisory Council presentation on bias, volunteers helping at Project Feast, CURE welcoming its third cohort of young scholars, seasonal safety tips, and a roundup of student, faculty, and staff achievements.

Chris Zang ABAE, Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, For B'more, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGADecember 13, 20170 comments
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UMBrella Caregivers Group to Meet Jan. 8

The UMBrella Group hosts Caregivers, a support group for members of the UMB community who care for elderly loved ones. Open to all faculty, staff, and students, the group meets once a month to socialize, learn from each other, share resources and information, and hear from experts on a wide range of topics.

The next meeting will be held Jan. 8, noon to 1 p.m., in Room 203 of the SMC Campus Center.



Sonya Evans Bulletin Board, Community Service, Education, People, UMB News, University LifeDecember 12, 20170 comments
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