Recent Official Emails Sent By WTS

  • February 19, 2020

    Subject: MFA for Office 365 Email – Invitation to be an Early Adopter

    As we introduced in last week’s email, Western is implementing Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) for Office 365 (inclusive of Email).  Our current roadmap for implementing MFA for Office 365 by groups is students (summer-fall 2020), staff (fall 2020) and faculty (fall 2020/winter 2021).

    Your Western account is your key to many central services.  If unauthorized individuals gain access to it then everything including other Western users, critical infrastructure, sensitive research, financial records, and your own identity is at risk (including intellectual property, reputation and the ability for partners to contact you).  Using MFA for Office 365 is one way we can all help to reduce both the volume of spam and phishing and the associated risks.

    You are invited to be an early adopter of MFA for Office 365.   The opportunity to be an early adopter is available from February 18, 2020 to March 27, 2020.  Please visit to learn more about MFA and then navigate to “Early Adopters – MFA for Office 365” in the left menu.

    If you are already using MFA at Western, you will not need to register for MFA again and how MFA works with the services you are already using it for will not change.   However, you will need to sign up to be an early adopter.

    If you have any questions about being an early adopter of MFA for Office 365 Email, please contact us at

    Thank you.

    MFA for Office 365 Project Team

    Colin Couchman, Project Sponsor
    Karen Chelladurai, Project Manager
    Aaron Eidt, Technical Lead
    Mona Brennan-Coles, Communications Manager

  • February 12, 2020

    Subject: MFA for Office 365 Email

    As you are aware, the amount of phishing emails we receive at Western represents a significant cyber security risk within our institution.

    One of the best ways to protect an organization’s digital assets is to implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) as an augmentative security strategy. Think of MFA as a second piece of “proof” of an individual’s digital identity and can ensure that only you are able to access your account.

    Western’s MFA for Office 365 pilot implementation concluded in December 2019.  The WTS Onsite support team is currently working with Western Senior Leadership to activate MFA for their Office 365 Email.

    Our current roadmap for implementing MFA for Office 365 by groups is now students (summer-fall 2020), staff (fall 2020) and faculty (fall 2020/winter 2021). As we plan for the faculty and staff phases, we will provide updates so that you will know what to expect.

    Overall, the MFA process is straightforward and largely unobtrusive.  The MFA tool being used is DUO, an industry best-practice tool owned by Cisco Systems.

    For more information, please visit

    If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at

    Stay tuned for further messages.

    Thank you.

    Colin Couchman, Ed.D.
    WTS Director Cyber Security and Business Services

  • February 05, 2020

    Subject: Warning from Western Technology Services RE: Spam messages

    Western Colleagues

    Spam messaging in our inboxes continues to be a significant issue, with attacks becoming more sophisticated and challenging to spot. We’ve seen a number of spam (phishing) messages appearing to come from someone within Western, including recent email purported to be coming from President Alan Shepard.  Attackers also use recent news and events as a means to obtain your attention.

    There are a number of ongoing WTS initiatives to help deal with these types of messages. In the meantime, we ask you to be vigilant and cautious - wary of messages that

    • Contain phishing links and attachments meant to trick you into providing your Western username and password.
    • Appear to be from the Canada Revenue Agency or a retailer, with the attacker seeking financial information, including bank accounts or credit card numbers.
    • Appear to come from a Western address but are actually not. These are particularly worrisome. The sender’s email address can usually be spotted as a fake, but well-crafted messages can appear authentic.

    Once a link is clicked, you are usually taken to a website designed to look like a Western page. Once you have entered your credentials, an error message will typically appear. At that point, the attacker has achieved access to your information.

    Differentiating between a malicious and legitimate email comes down to the smallest of details.

    Here are three simple things to look for:

    1. Messages coming from outside the university but purporting to be from someone at Western. A variant of this attack is a message coming from a Western colleague pretending to be
    2. someone else at the university. (A possible sign the colleague’s account has been compromised.)
    3. Messages appearing to be legitimate but with questionable links. (Hover over link to preview).
    4. Wording that appears to be stilted, or atypical within the context of email communication.

    If in doubt, contact the Western Technology Services Helpdesk for validation. If you know something is spam or phishing, please forward to phishing so we can identify and track.

    Remember, “one click can cost you”.

    This message will be posted on the WTS website so you can validate its authenticity.

    Colin Couchman
    Director Cyber Security and Business Services
    Western Technology Services (WTS)
    Western University

  • February 03, 2020

    Subject: Your Office 365 account is changing as of February 28, 2020

    As a former student, you will continue to have access to email & calendar through your email account.

    However, since you are no longer registered as a current student at Western, you will lose the following Office 365 services on February 28, 2020:

    • OneDrive (ALL documents stored within OneDrive MUST be transferred to another location)
    • Access to online MS Office applications.
    • Microsoft Student Advantage (use of MS Office on personal devices)
    • Skype for Business

    As a former Western student, you are still able to access the services offered by the Office of the Registrar through


    • If you return to Western as a registered student at a later date, all student services including these Office 365 services will be re-established.
    • If you are a current employee at Western and your student email account is also associated to your employment record, you may continue to have access to Skype for Business and if eligible Microsoft Office for Home Use. 

    Any questions can be directed to the following offices:

    • Office of the Registrar’s Helpline: 519-661-2100 or
    • WTS Computer Accounts Office: 519-661-3800 option 2 or

  • February 03, 2020

    Subject: Clarification about your Trello account merging with Western Atlassian accounts

    You are receiving this email because you have a Trello account associated with your email address.

    Last week, you may have received a communication from Trello regarding upcoming changes to your Trello account. WTS would like to provide some additional context around how this change relates to Western.


    In 2017, Atlassian purchased Trello. Atlassian has recently announced plans to merge all Trello Accounts into Atlassian Accounts. Please see their announcement page at for more details.

    This change is being made by Atlassian. It was not initiated or requested by WTS or Western.

    Atlassian Accounts will be "managed by" Western University

    In Atlassian's announcement, they explain that Atlassian accounts associated with an email address will be "managed by" Western University.

    Since WTS makes use of other Atlassian services, WTS is able to see and manage Atlassian accounts with an address.

    This allows WTS to:

    • See basic account information, such as the name and email address
    • See which Atlassian services are associated with the account
    • Disable or delete the account – Please note: WTS will NOT manage your Trello accounts in this way

    WTS  cannot:

    • View any Trello content or other sensitive information associated with your account

    How will this affect your Trello service?

    Trello is not a Western central service and we have no plans to manage your account or Trello service. Western does not have a Trello site license.

    In February, Atlassian will be sending you further instruction on how to merge your Trello Account into an Atlassian Account.

    If you wish for your Atlassian Account to not be associated with Western at all, you will have the option to change the email address on your Trello account to a email address.

    Please watch for these instructions from Atlassian which will explain the options available to you. You will have until April to complete one of the options, after which remaining accounts will be automatically transitioned.


    For technical support, please continue to refer to Trello’s support resources as per normal.

    If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact the WTS Helpdesk at

Don't Get Phished!

Verify the authenticity of any email by checking the Official Account Related Emails Sent from WTS. If you do not see the email listed there, do not respond to it before verifying with WTS that it is a legitimate email.

You can make sure that you are visiting the real page posted by Western WTS (and not a well-crafted forgery) by hovering over the link and verifying that the site starts with .

Published on  and maintained in Cascade.