SFU Mail Migration: External Apps/Tools Changes and FAQs

Overview

In alignment with What’s Next: The SFU Strategy and SFU’s digital transformation goals, SFU IT Services is strengthening cybersecurity and protecting our research, academic and business data. As part of these changes, all third-party/external tools and applications that connect to SFU Mail must now be assessed for security and privacy and be approved by IT Services.  

To ensure minimal disruptions to your workflows you may need to take action before April 5, 2024.

 

Changes starting Summer 2024

 

Who does this affect?

Any member of the SFU community (faculty, staff, researcher, student, sponsored/role account, etc.) using non-approved external tools or applications that connect to SFU Mail for email or calendar-related activities. For instance, any tools/applications that connect to your SFU Mail account for activities like:

  • Event or meeting booking (e.g. Calendly, Doodle AG)
  • Project coordination (e.g. Asana)
  • Productivity tools (e.g. Notability)  
  • Email add-ins/plug-ins
  • Email clients (desktop or mobile applications)
  • Any other connections that sync with or change your SFU Mail inbox/calendar or Exchange contacts

Not sure if this affects you?

 

Next Steps

To ensure minimal disruptions to your workflows, take one of the following actions before April 5, 2024:

OR

  • Discontinue using the third-party application/tool and switch to an SFU-approved tool/application or find an alternative way to get your work done without connecting SFU Mail to the unapproved app/tool.  

OR

  • Request IT Services approval to connect your external/tool to SFU Mail. Complete and submit this request form by April 5, 2024 to initiate a request with IT Services.
    (Note: Only for tools that are critical for research, learning, or other university business needs. Not applicable to tools used for individual preferences.)

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is SFU updating its IT standards?

As technology evolves, it is crucial to continuously assess and adjust our IT standards in an evolving cybersecurity landscape. The updates to SFU IT standards are aligned with What’s Next: The SFU Strategy and SFU’s digital transformation goals, and are designed to enhanced cybersecurity measures and protect research, academic, and business data across the university.

SFU is upgrading our email system to Exchange Online for better features and stronger security. As part of this change, every third-party application that connects to SFU Mail is considered a “system integration”. According to provincial requirements and the new IT standards, each of these integrations requires a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) and a Security Assessment.

What are the key changes starting Summer 2024?
Starting in the Summer of 2024, SFU Mail will only connect with third-party apps/tools that have received a PIA and Security Assessment and have been approved for use in SFU's business, teaching, or research-critical activities. Any existing connections between SFU Mail and non-approved external tools/applications will stop working when your SFU Mail account is migrated to Exchange Online.
Who will be affected by these changes?

The changes will impact any member of the SFU community (e.g. staff, faculty, researchers, students, sponsored/role accounts, etc.) who currently use a third-party/external tool or application that connects to their SFU Mail for email or calendar-related activities. This includes, but is not limited to, tools and applications that access your SFU Mail information:

  • Event or meeting booking (e.g. Calendly, Doodle AG)  
  • Project coordination (e.g. Asana)  
  • Productivity tools (e.g. Notability)  
  • Email plug-ins/add-ins  
  • Email clients (desktop or mobile applications)
  • Any other connections that sync or changes your SFU Mail inbox/calendar

Not sure if this affects you?

Which third-party tools or applications can be requested for approval?

Any external tool or application that is critical for SFU’s teaching, research, or general business functions can be requested for approval. For example:

  • An application that sends emails using an SFU email account.
  • Software that connects to your advising team’s mailboxes to manage appointment bookings, used for coordinating student advising.

External tools or apps that will not be considered for approval (or for delay to SFU Mail migration) are typically used for personal preferences. For example:  

  • A calendar app on your phone is used for convenience to view all your SFU Mail calendar information
  • A personal productivity tool that organizes and schedules tasks/events on your SFU Mail calendar
How do I know if an external tool/application is approved for university use?
Visit our webpage on Integrations with Microsoft 365 to view approved applications. If your external tool/app is not listed on that webpage, it hasn’t been approved and will not work with SFU Mail on Exchange Online.
What is the approval process?

To have a third-party tool or application approved to integrate with SFU Mail, it should be critical for the university’s teaching, research, or business operations. This process does not apply to tools chosen based on personal preference.

To request approval to use an email client (desktop or mobile):

  1. Submit a request to IT Services by April 5, 2024.  
  2. A Security Assessment will be needed to determine if your Email Client can be approved. IT Services will provide further information after you submit your request.

To request approval for a connection to a third-party app/tool:  

  1. Submit a request to IT Services by April 5, 2024.  This will initiate a review with IT Services, and you will be contacted with more information.
  2. If your request proceeds, you will need to either:
    • Update an existing Privacy Impact Assessment and Security Assessment for compatibility with Exchange Online.
    • Initiate a new Privacy Impact Assessment and Security Assessment through Archives and Records Management. The time required varies; typically, it ranges from 1-6 months, but could be longer due to high demand in Summer 2024.
  3. After your Privacy Impact Assessment and Security Assessments are complete, submit your app/tool integration request to IT Services.

 

Looking for FAQs on SFU Mail Upgrade? See Migration FAQs and Common Issues.

Looking for support? Send a support ticket using the SFU Mail - Report Migration Issue form.

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Details

Article ID: 9107
Created
Wed 3/6/24 5:50 PM
Modified
Wed 4/10/24 11:40 AM