Security and Backup

OneDrive Data Backup

Computers that are set up by the Helpdesk will be configured so that data syncs with OneDrive through the OneDrive application installed on the computer. The application supports automated file sychonization to OneDrive's online cloud storage and enables users to restore deleted files and also restore to a previous file version. Active faculty, staff, and students have access to 1TB OneDrive space as a part of the University's Microsoft Office365 (M365) subscription. M365 also hosts other key applications like Email, Teams, and SharePoint. For more information on what is available to you in M365 please refer to the ESC Knowledge Base (UTORid login is required). OneDrive is secure and has been approved as recovery tool against ransomware. To learn more about OneDrive, its security, and how it works, including recovery of deleted or changed files, please refer to the IITS Knowledge Base (UTORid login is required). Alternatively, please contact the IITS Service desk: / 416-287-HELP (4357)


Disk Encryption

The University of Toronto's guideline for data encryption requires that personal and other confidential information in electronic form is protected by properly implemented encryption unless it is kept in a secure server environment with appropriately restricted user rights.

View the University of Toronto Provost's Office guideline regarding security and personal information.


Limited Administrative Access

User accounts created by IITS have limited access to minimize the chance for malware infection. Please contact IITS to install required work-related software or updates.


Windows, MacOS, and Software Updates

Computers that have been configured through the helpdesk receive updates for the following software on weekly basis:

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • AlertUs
  • Cisco AnyConnect
  • Cisco Jabber
  • Google Chrome
  • MacOS updates*
  • Microsoft Edge (Windows only)
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Safari (MacOS only)
  • TeamViewer
  • VLC Media Player
  • Windows 10 & 11 updates**
  • Zoom

Windows devices will receive a Kace message that will pop up when a reboot is required to complete the installation of a software update. MacOS devices will receive an Addigy message instead.

*Major MacOS upgrades are not included in the weekly updates and are handled separately (eg. upgrading from MacOS 12 Monterey to MacOS 13 Ventura)
** Windows Feature Updates and Version updates are not included in the weekly updates and are handled separately (eg. upgrading from Windows 10 to 11 or Windows 10 21H2 to Windows 10 22H2)


Advanced Threat Protection (ATP): SafeLinks for Email, Documents, and Attachments

As part of an ongoing initiative of the University to secure email accounts, new advanced security features will be applied to the University of Toronto Microsoft 365 (M365) accounts as part of the rollout of Secure U (of T) advanced threat protections. These new features use advanced analytics to proactively identify cyberattacks in order to protect you and your account. This is a phased rollout and groups/individuals will be contacted in advance to notify them of their enrollment.

What advanced security features will be applied to my account?

As part of this update, Secure U (of T) will apply the following security features to your account.

  • Safe Links for Email and Documents will check URLs found in your emails and documents to verify that the links are safe to view.
  • Safe Attachments will check to see if an attachment is safe to be delivered to your inbox. If the attachment is found to be unsafe, you will receive the email but not the attachment.
  • Safe Documents will help you detect unsafe Office documents. When you open a Word, Excel or PowerPoint file, the file will launch in Protected View and automatically verify the document against the latest known risks and threats before allowing you to leave the protected container (e.g. in order to edit the document).
  • Anti-phishing and impersonation will alert you to possible phishing attempts by displaying safety tips in the body of suspicious emails that you receive. Spoofed messages (where the From address in an email message doesn't match the domain of the email source) will also automatically be moved to your Junk Email folder. 

These features will be applied to your account automatically when enrollment takes place. Once enrolled in the policy, there will be no impact on your account.


UTORMFA (Multi-Factor Authentication)

UTORMFA is the University's multi-factor authentication solution. Provided by DUO, UTORMFA adds an extra layer of security to your login by using a second factor like a mobile device or hardware token to ensure that only you can log into your account. For more information on UTORMFA click here (UTORid login is required).


Microsoft Defender for Identity (MDI)

Microsoft Defender for Identity (MDI) is a Microsoft operated cloud-based security solution that leverages user login signals to identify, detect, and investigate advanced threats, compromised identities, and malicious actions directed at the University. This is part of the Microsoft Defender suite. For more information on MDI click here (UTORid login is required).


Copier/Multifunction Printer Security

Copiers have a built-in hard drive which stores a digital copy of jobs printed, scanned, or photocopied. If you have an end-of-lease copier, please ask the vendor to either secure wipe the hard drive or take it out so IITS may delete the data.
IITS also helps departments ensure that their new replacement copier has all the new security features such as encryption or on-demand secure wipe.