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Feb. 12, 2015 Volume 36, No. 19

DoIT blocks flawed Microsoft Outlook application

Employees can still access email and calendar on smartphone

Information security has never been more important. As chair of the Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council, Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin is engaged in information security efforts on a national level, and he’s charged Beth Chancellor, the University of Missouri’s associate chief information security officer, with cultivating responsible cyber citizens on campus.

Information security, also known as InfoSec, are the practices used to keep information and data in the right hands. At the university, this information could be anything from student and patient information to intellectual property to an employee’s performance evaluation.

The MU security staff work to identify and address security threats and risks.  “One risk that was recently identified and acted upon quickly,” Chancellor said, “was the vulnerability in the Outlook application released by Microsoft.”

On Jan. 29, Microsoft released a new Outlook application that puts employees’ data at risk. Employees should not use the app, Chancellor said. The application has security flaws that allow your data — login ID, password, emails, contacts and calendar events — to be stored in the cloud and accessed by Microsoft.

To avoid a security breach, on Feb. 3 the MU Division of IT (DoIT) blocked the app on Apple and Android devices from connecting to the university’s Microsoft Exchange email servers.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t access your email and calendar on your smartphone. Users can use the default email application that comes with their phone, as well as any number of email applications that can be downloaded from app stores.

Questions about information security can be directed to or to IT Tech Support at 882-5000.

­— Kelsey Allen