Service Alerts

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DIPR File Server Replacement

July 30, 2017 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

ERIS DIPR File Server (fs.dipr.partners.org) maintenance is scheduled on Sunday, July 30, 2017 from 10a.m. to 2p.m. EDT for a full server replacement. During this maintenance window, any applications and systems that have storage associated with this server will be offline for approximately one hour.

Impact

ERIS DIPR File Server (fs.dipr.partners.org) is the nfs file server which provides mounted storage to our DIPR environment. For any systems managed by ERIS, technicians will check and reboot or remount storage.

Action Required

If you are an owner of a virtual machine in DIPR, we strongly encourage you to check the status of your VM once the scheduled work concludes. If you find one unresponsive, reboot or remount the storage. If any issues persist, please contact rcc@partners.org and we'll address the problem.

Please contact rcc@partners.org if you have any questions or concerns about this maintenance.


ERIS provides Discovery Informatics Platform for Research (DIPR), a flexible, secure cloud computing infrastructure designed to meet research needs. DIPR Virtual Machines (VMs) offer IT power and services to research customers without placing the burden of purchasing or managing server hardware on the researcher.

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LimeSurvey: Unexpected Downtime

July 14, 2017 3:11 pm - 6:11 pm

LimeSurvey (https://limesurvey.partners.org/limesurvey) was down on Friday July 14th 2017 from 8:30AM - 10:00AM EST due to database connectivity issues. 

Users are urged to review their projects for any inconsistencies. 

We apologize for the inconvenience. 

LimeSurvey will require a restart at 8:00PM on July 14th. Expected downtime is 10-15 minutes.

If you have any concerns, please email edcsupport@partners.org

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LabArchives: Change to Single Sign On

July 13, 2017 4:00 pm

Updates to LabArchives Secure Login process to use Okta, Partners newest technology, will occur on July 13 at 4pm ET.

The new login link will be posted and updated on our websites. Please be sure to update any bookmarks after the cut over!

The biggest change to note is that when you are off network, you will be prompted for a second factor of authentication.

To register a phone number, or to check to see what number has been previously registered, go to Password self server (myprofile.partners.org). Login and click on the "update my phone number” link.  You can add a phone number or update an existing number.  Make sure you enter all numbers you may wish to use for second factor authentication, you will be able to choose the appropriate number to use when needed.

Please see the article INFO: Secure Log In Overview and FAQs for additional information.

If you have any questions/concerns, please email edcsupport@partners.org

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StudyTRAX back online

July 12, 2017 8:00 am

StudyTRAX (https://studytrax.partners.org/StudyTrax/) experienced an unexpected outage on July 12th from 2AM-1PM EST.

An unannounced change made by ScienceTRAX within their online/in-app help documentation caused the StudyTRAX server to lose connection and behave unpredictably, causing the outage to the system.

If you have any concerns about this downtime, please email edcsupport@partners.org

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Office 2016 is Now Available!

July 11, 2017 12:05 pm

The Office 2016 upgrade for Macintosh, non-standard PC or personally-owned computers used for business is available for self-installation. There is a separate process for upgrading Partners Standard Windows PCs; site-specific information can be found on SharePoint

Steps at a glance

  1. Uninstall older versions of Office
  2. Install Office 2016 
  3. Activate Office 2016

Note: please read the complete Installation Instructions

Visit the Office 2016 training & support site for training and support resources related to the Microsoft Office 2016 upgrade and move to Exchange Online for Windows devices at Partners.

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REDCap Scheduled Downtime

July 11, 2017 12:05 pm

REDCap (https://redcap.partners.org/redcap) upgrades to v7.0.20, scheduled for Thursday July 13th at 6:30 AM EST are complete. REDCap was offline from 6:30-6:50AM EST.

If you have any concerns about REDCap being offline at this time, please email edcsupport@partners.org

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Securing your Computer Connection

July 18, 2017 10:00 am

Partners has embarked on a strategy to improve the computing experience across the breadth of devices used at work to assure productive, clean and stable computers (Windows PCs, Apple Macs, smartphones and tablets). With the recent virus and ransomware attacks, both within our System and Internationally, Partners is accelerating this effort to improve the security of our environment.

 

A change will be made to Mac desktops and laptops to help secure our environment. On Tuesday, July 18, 2017, the ForeScout SecureConnector Network Access Control (NAC) agent will be installed on all devices enrolled in PEAS.

 

Network Access Control (NAC) is a mechanism that ensures device trust before allowing device access to a secure network. A NAC agent is an application installed on a device to allow visibility into policy compliance of that device when connecting to the Partners network. The current agent used at Partners is called ForeScout SecureConnector.

 

What can I do to prepare?
You can check to see if you have the agent installed on your computer by opening your Applications folder and searching for ForeScout SecureConnector. If you do not find ForeScout SecureConnector in your list, you may visit this website to install: https://rc.partners.org/SecureConnector. Since you are enrolled in PEAS, you can simply open Self Service and install ForeScout SecureConnector.

 

What devices already have the SecureConnector Network Access Control (NAC) agent?
ForeScout SecureConnector is already installed on most Partners standard Windows workstations and some PEAS-enrolled Macs. Mobile devices, such as phones or tablets, and Linux computers are exempt at this time.

 

Since November 10, 2016, those working at or attending meetings at Assembly Row are required to install the ForeScout SecureConnector agent on any computer connecting to the Partners network. All devices must meet the security requirements to gain full network access. Other hospital site locations will implement this compliance check at a later date. The requirements include encryption, antivirus software, and patches. 

 

Please visit the Knowledge Base for FAQ and additional information on device compliance, or our webpage on how to Secure Your Mac. If you have additional questions, please contact the IS Service Desk.

 
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6/01 - PEAS Self Service Upgrade

June 1, 2017 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

The PEAS Self Service application will be unavailable on Thursday, June 1st between 5pm and 7pm to perform a software upgrade

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Wordpress Vulnerability

May 6, 2017 2:00 pm

Updated on May 17, 2017: 

Wordpress 4.7.5. was released.
https://wordpress.org/news/2017/05/wordpress-4-7-5/
 


Applies To: Wordpress <4.7.4

A Wordpress vulnerability in the password reset function might allow attackers to get hold of the password reset link without previous authentication [CVE-2017-8295].
Combined with other vulnerabilities and, depending on the server configuration, a remote attackers may be able to pass extra parameters and consequently execute arbitrary code.
All versions of Wordpress prior to 4.7.4 are vulnerable. Exposure increases if combined with other vulnerabilities (as CVE-2016-10033) so make sure your PHP is running the latest patched version. An exploit is known to this vulnerability.

At the moment this is being written, Wordpress stable version is still 4.7.4. Please stay alert and update it when a patch is available. For now, as a temporary solution, UseCanonicalNames can be enabled to enforce a static SERVER_NAME value. [see link below]

References:
http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.4/mod/core.html#usecanonicalname
https://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.4/misc/security_tips.html
http://php.net/manual/en/function.mail.php
https://wordpress.org/download/release-archive [for when a new version comes up]
https://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2017-8295
https://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2016-10033
--
Note:
As always, other basic server security hardening also applies, as 1) making sure you're logging mail transport (if using local MTA) with proper retention; 2) possibly changing php.ini to log mail functions (improved auditing); 3) log monitoring tools to detect an alert unusual activity (i.e., increased mail traffic); 4) off-box logging, among others.
 

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rc.partners.org Website Downtime

May 9, 2017 7:00 am - 7:50 am

The website was unavailable from approximately 7:00a.m. - 7:50a.m. on Tuesday, May 9 during scheduled maintenance. 

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Single sign-on coming to HealthStream May 16

May 16, 2017 8:00 am

Effective May 16, you will be able to log into HealthStream using your Partners username and password. You will no longer need to remember a separate password to complete your HealthStream learning requirements. 

HealthStream is the online learning system used by MGH and Partners HealthCare to administer required annual and departmental trainings.

If you need assistance with HealthStream, or have questions about single sign on, please contact mghhealthstream@partners.org.

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GoToMyPC License Renewals due by April 30th

April 30, 2017 8:00 am

Applies to: MGH, BWH, PHS Ergonomics Purchasers (does not apply to DFCI)

All GoToMyPC licenses expire on April 30, 2017.  As the department purchaser, employees will request that you renew their subscriptions before their access expires.    When GoToMyPC users log on to GoToMyPC, a pop-up message reminds them it’s renewal time!

To renew a license, select GoToMyPC -Renewals in the Ergonomics catalog.  Renewal subscriptions costs $84.  You can order for multiple recipients by providing the following information:

  • Name
  • Email Address (Important: Renewals should be placed with the original email address registered with GTMPC)
  • Hospital Site

Exceptions:  

  • DFCI Employees:  This message does not apply to DFCI employees since existing DFCI GoToMyPC licenses are renewed annually by DFCI Network Services.
  • PHS Employees:  VPN (Virtual Private Networking) is the recommended solution for remote access to the Partners network.  VPN provides a secure solution at reduced cost to our organization. PHS employees at Assembly Row should not renew GTMPC and request a VPN account.   

For more information, review the GoToMyPC License Renewal instructions or open a ticket with the IS Service Desk.

 

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REDCap: Scheduled Downtime

April 26, 2017 12:51 pm

REDCap (https://redcap.partners.org/redcap) upgrades to v7.0.14 scheduled for tonight Wednesday April 26th at 8:30 PM EST are complete. REDCap was offline from 8:30-8:45 PM EST.

This upgrade is to apply a necessary patch to address a number of bugs introduced in the upgrade to version 7.0.10. 

If you have any concerns about REDCap being offline at this time, please email edcsupport@partners.org

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Coming Soon: Office 2016

April 19, 2017 11:27 am

Partners HealthCare Corporate employees' devices will begin upgrading to Office 2016, which includes the most current versions of Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access. Office 2016 is part of the Office 365 suite of applications and online services offered by Microsoft.

Here’s what you need to know to get started:

When will I get it?
The date of your upgrade is determined by the last digit of your device/control #:

  • Tuesday, April 18
    • Devices ending in and 1
  • Tuesday, May 9
    • Devices ending in to 9

How does the upgrade work?

What changes will I see?
This new version offers a fresh look and feel, as well as several new features across all Office applications. Outlook incorporates the ribbon throughout, and includes enhanced features designed to help you work more efficiently.  

Where can I learn more?
Training schedule, FAQs, and other resources can be found on the Office 2016 training & support site.

For help with upgrade:

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Windows 10 Creators Update (build 1703) released

April 12, 2017 10:01 am

Windows 10 Creators Update (build 1703) was released on April 11th and will show up as an update for users on their devices. Read more: https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2017/04/11/whats-new-in-the-windows-10-creators-update/

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rc.partners.org Website Maintenance

April 6, 2017 7:00 am - 8:00 am

Research IS & Computing website maintenance took place on Thursday, April 6, 2017 starting at 7a.m. The site was offline for approximately ten minutes. Updates included bug fixes, security updates and feature enhancements. 

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REDCap Scheduled Downtime

April 5, 2017 8:00 pm - 8:38 pm

REDCap (https://redcap.partners.org/redcap) upgrades to v7.0.10 scheduled for Wednesday April 5th at 8:00 PM EST are complete. REDCap was offline from 8:00PM-8:38PM EST. 

This upgradel included a number of new features and bug fixes. These include:

  • Repeating Instruments and Events: REDCap now has the ability to repeat a data collection instrument or an entire event of instruments an unlimited number of times without having to specify the amount needed. This is sometimes called one-to-many data collection, in which a project can have one or more repeating parts. The repeating instruments/events feature can be enabled and set up by clicking the Enable button in the Optional Modules section on the Project Setup page.
    • ​​​Note: A separate Service Alert will be sent next week to fully detail this new feature.
  • Improvement: New interface for Home/My Projects/Control Center pages.
  • Improvement: A zip file containing all uploaded documents (or signature files) for an individual record can now be downloaded from the "Choose action for record" drop-down on the Record Home Page if the user has Data Export privileges.
  • Improvement: File Upload fields that are displayed on reports will no longer display the text "[document]", but will instead provide a "Download" button so that the user can actually download the file from the report.
  • Field name (variable) auto-suggest when typing branching logic, calculations, or general conditional logic (Survey Queue, Automated Survey Invitation, Data Quality rule, report filter’s advanced logic). While typing logic/calculations into the text box, it will auto-suggest a REDCap variable name from your project that is clickable to inject into the text box. If the project is longitudinal, it will also suggest event names to inject unique event names.
  • Real-time validator for branching logic, calculations, or general conditional logic (Survey Queue, Automated Survey Invitation) that allows you to run your logic/calculation on a specific record in the project, and it returns the result. For example, if typing branching logic in the Add/Edit Branching Logic popup in the Online Designer, you can select a record, and it will tell you if the field will be displayed or hidden for that record based upon the record’s currently saved values. When typing calculations, it will return the actually calculated value of the field for a selected record. This makes it easier to formulate your logic and calculations so that you get them right the first time.
  • Preview email - When composing an email on the "Email Users" page in the Control Center and also when composing survey invitations (e.g., the Participant List, Automated Survey Invitations set up), there is now a Preview option for viewing the fully-rendered HTML preview of the email that is being composed. Additionally, there is an option to send a test email to oneself in case they want to actually receive a copy the email being composed before officially sending it to others.

Full release notes available here.

If you have any concerns about REDCap being offline at this time or any questions about these new features, please email edcsupport@partners.org


REDCap v7.0: New Feature Release and User Group Meeting

BWH: April 11th 2017 3:30-4:30PM, Thorn Conference Room

Click to register.

MGH: April 20th 2017 3:00-4:00PM, Simches Building Room 3.120, 185 Cambridge Street

Click to register.

This user group session will review the new feature releases and how best to implement and retro fit to production projects. We will also use the time for users to share their experiences and tips/tricks.

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REDCap Email Notification Plugin v2.0

March 15, 2018 1:39 pm

A new Email Notification Plugin (v2.0) has been released to REDCap.

New Users can access the new feature and plugin URL on our Extensions Page:  https://rc.partners.org/redcap/extensions

Current Users will need to update their Email Notification Project Bookmarks from their current URL to new URL:

https://redcap.partners.org/redcap/plugins/autonotify2/index.php

If you have multiple DETs setup in your project or would like to test the conversion prior to submitting the new configuration on your production project, please contact edcsupport@partners.org.

Please convert your Email Notification Plugin by March 24th. EDC Support will contact you for conversion after this date.

Release Notes:

  • REDCap's "piping" feature can be used to pipe data into the email form, including email, subject, and message fields.
  • Triggers can be designated to fire once per Record or once per Record/Event
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REDCap: Infrastructure/Security Update

March 3, 2018 10:55 am

Service Alert: REDCap Infrastructure/Security Update 

We are continually re-evaluating the security of our servers. As a result, we have disabled support for TLS 1.0 and certain encryption ciphers that are considered weak.

If you notice any issues accessing the REDCap application via API or other, please contact edcsupport@partners.org


REDCap: API and DET User Group Meeting

BWH: April 24th 2017 10:00-1100AM, Thorn Conference Room

MGH: April 27th 2017 1:30-2:30PM, Simches Building Room 3.120, 185 Cambridge Street

Main Objective: Provide support, best practices, and guidance to REDCap End-Users utilizing the REDCap API and DET

Learning Objectives:

-Learn how to access REDCap's API, DETs
-Learn how to best implement the API, DETs
-Review updates to API features in REDCap v7.0
-Understand the current limitations and when to contact ERIS or Research CORE for additional support

Target audience: Researchers that have evaluated and decided to use REDCap and/or have started a REDCap project. Researchers with basic level programming experience.

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Microsoft Windows Patch Tuesday

February 14, 2017 8:00 am

Did you know that Microsoft regularly releases security patches for its software products on the second Tuesday of every month? How frequently do you update your computer? Here is some guidance to keep your device secure and your Microsoft software up to date and running smoothly.

Do I need to make changes on my computer?

  • Not if you use a Partners standard Windows computer (those with the asset tag, yellow lock and Partners' screensaver). The updates are run for you and devices are usually patched the Friday following Patch Tuesday. Both Microsoft and Adobe products are typically updated at this time. This can change if there is a significant freeze in place. 
  • Yes, you need to run updates if you use a non-standard Windows, Macintosh or personally-owned device for Partners' business. ​It is your responsibility to keep your device and software up to date. 

See HOWTO: Run Windows Updates for additional instructions.

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Monthly Information Systems Maintenance (ISM)

February 13, 2017 12:00 am - 4:00 am

Applies To: All Users

Information Systems Maintenance (ISM) took place on Monday, February 13th from 12:00 am to 4:00 am.

During that time, planned system maintenance and testing was be performed by IS teams. This routine maintenance reduces the risk of unscheduled outages on our computer network and to the Internet.

Impact to systems and applications

  • VPN was available during the ISM.
  • Sunquest was down from 2:00am – 4:00am.  All data will be queued up during the downtime, and transmitted when interfaces are again functioning.  No data will be lost. Please see your site specific communication for your ordering and result verification processes during this time. During the downtime:
    • Sunquest will not be available for any users 
    • Collection Manager will not be available 
    • Labels will not print for any orders released during the downtime 

Impact to sites

  • Services or resources hosted in the Partners HealthCare data centers may be unavailable during the ISM.
  • Your site's IS Management team will provide more detailed communication about planned outages at your facility and will coordinate with specific groups that may be impacted.

Need help during the downtime? 

View the IS Broadcast Archive for additional details. Please contact your IS Service Desk if you have any questions.

View the 2017 IS System Maintenance (ISM) Schedule in the IS Service Desk Knowledgebase (Partners login required).

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LabArchives Log in Issue

January 21, 2017 10:00 am - January 24, 2017 11:59 pm

Users have reported issues logging into LabArchives starting Saturday, Jan 21 - Monday Jan 23.

Partners IS has determined the issue is likely due to cookies but they've also made updates on their end.

Action Required:  Please clear cookies, close the broswer and login. If you continue to experience issues, please email support@labarchives.com

Error Messages being reported:

"opensaml::FatalProfileException at (https://shib.labarchives.com/Shibboleth.sso/SAML2/POST)

SAML response contained an error.

Error from identity provider:

Status: urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:status:Responder"

 

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Web Proxy Server was offline

January 24, 2017 9:30 am - 10:00 am

The ERIS proxy server is now performing as expected.

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LimeSurvey: Unexpected Downtime on Jan. 6 2017

January 6, 2017 9:49 am - 12:49 pm

LimeSurvey (https://limesurvey.partners.org/limesurvey) experienced unplanned maitenance today January 6th, 2017 due to a PostgreSQL database platform issue. LimeSurvey was down from 9:04AM - 11:13AM EDT. 

We apologize for the inconvenience. 

If you have any concerns, please email edcsupport@partners.org

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An Update Regarding Apple's macOS Sierra

November 16, 2016 12:39 pm

With the release of macOS Sierra 10.12.2 on December 13, 2016, you may now upgrade to this latest version. Please note that if you choose to upgrade, you must update the following applications after upgrading to ensure Partners services will continue to function. These apps are available for download in the PEAS Self Service application. Visit our Knowledge Base article on Self Service for Macs for more instructions.

  1. VPN - Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client Version 4.3.03086
  2. Citrix - Citrix Receiver Version 12.2.0
  3. Java - Java Version 8 Update 111 (in Internet Plug-Ins)

The PEAS team also recommends that you verify any software that you have previously purchased is compatible with macOS Sierra prior to upgrading.

Apple, and therefore Partners, only supports the current OS and two versions prior, so with the release of Sierra, the only compatible Mac OSs are Sierra, El Capitan 10.11 or Yosemite 10.10. If you are running a Mac OS older than Yosemite, please view our webpage on how to Update Your Mac or contact the Service Desk if you need assistance with an upgrade. Outdated Mac operating systems introduce risk to your data and to the enterprise as they are not patched for security vulnerabilities and do not comply with Partners policies.

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