Remote Access Tools
Remote Access/Telecommuting Tools from CUIT
CUIT provides technologies that enable all faculty and staff to
accomplish their work-related tasks while working remotely at any
time, whether telecommuting, working remotely during an emergency, or
working remotely off-hours. For information, visit the Email &
Computing page regarding systems and email availability, the HR web
site for employee announcements, and the Columbia University homepage
for additional information.
Important: To be prepared for emergencies, it is important to
be familiar with these remote access tools, download any software that
may be required, and test them in advance of needing to use them.
Also recognize that you must be sure your desktop or laptop is first
safe from computer viruses, worms, bots, etc. Refer to the Columbia
University Remote Access Policy in
Administrative Policy Library for specific requirements and
Primary Remote Access Tools
Email Access via the Internet
Although most people refer to Columbia's email system
as CubMail, the system that manages access to and storage of
email messages for the entire Columbia community is called the Cyrus
Everyone at Columbia can securely access his or her Columbia email
remotely using CubMail or any email client. To start CubMail, visit
UNI logon is required.
Faculty and staff who have their Cyrus email forwarded to their
Microsoft Exchange email accounts can also securely access their email
inbox and subfolders, calendar, contacts and tasks from any
Internet-enabled computer using Microsoft Outlook Web Access (OWA).
For departments with other local email systems, individuals should
contact their departmental IT staff for remote access information.
Again, authentication is required.
University Application Access via the Internet
Faculty and staff with permissions to the following applications can
access these applications from computers with Internet access (UNI
Note: Be sure to log off the application and close the browser window
when access is no longer needed.
- FinSys including WebSAF
- ECRT (Effort Reporting)
- R25 Webviewre
- Federal Work-study
- Data Warehouse
- Apply Yourself
Secondary Remote Access Tools
Virtual Private Network (VPN) Access
Faculty and staff can use Virtual Private Network (VPN) technology to
connect to Columbia's network, systems, file shares, email
servers and all administrative and school applications if they have
been authorized to access this information.
You can access shared drives remotely but not your local desktop hard
drive (unless you have a laptop that you carry with you). Therefore,
if you need to access files remotely, be sure to save them on a shared
drive. Also, make sure that security is set up to enable only
authorized individuals to access the files.
CUIT provides the Columbia community with Cisco's VPN software;
this application provides the highest possible level of security
through encryption and authentication technologies that protect data
traversing the VPN from unauthorized access.
Information on hardware and software requirements, as well as a link
to download and install the Cisco VPN software is available
(UNI authentication required). Contact the CUIT Helpdesk at
email@example.com as soon
as possible if you need assistance downloading or using the Cisco VPN
Note: It is important to log onto the VPN server only for as long as
needed to access applications.
University Application and File-Share Access via VPN
Although faculty and staff can access the applications noted above via
the Internet, certain applications are only accessible via VPN (UNI
logon required). These applications are:
University Administrative Applications NOT accessible via VPN or
- SIS Mainframe via Telnet
- SAS via Telnet
- Business Objects
- SDR - SIS Desktop Reports
The following application is only accessible while on campus:
Other Remote Access Tools
Rolm Phone. During emergencies and/or whenever away from
campus, Rolm phone users can record an outgoing Phone Mail greeting
providing an alternate phone number (home, cell, etc.) and other
Rolm Phone users can forward their phones to other Columbia extensions
Upon request, with a 1-2 business day notice, Rolm Phone users can
contact the CUIT Helpdesk to enable forwarding calls to off-campus
phone numbers. The cost for this service is $75 charged to an FAS
To access Phone Mail voicemail messages or to change outgoing
greetings from off-campus:
Dial your office telephone number (including area code and
full 3-digit exchange, such as 1-212-854-xxxx), press 5, and enter
To learn about other Rolm Phone and Phone Mail features, including how
to change outgoing greetings, visit
During an emergency or while away from campus, a NetPhone user can
record an outgoing message instructing callers to contact him/her at
an alternate phone number (home, cell, etc.). For a full list of
NetPhone features and instructions, please refer to the CUIT
NetPhone Quick Reference Guide.
Many self-service features, including incoming call forwarding to
campus or off-campus numbers, are available to NetPhone Users via a
website. Use CUIT's
MyNetPhone (UNI logon required) tool to forward calls or make any
other necessary changes.
To access your voicemail messages or to change your outgoing message
- Dial 1-212-854-8600
- Enter your 5-digit extension and press #
- Enter your password, then press # again.
Additional Computer Hardware
CUIT does not have additional computers for use by faculty and staff
telecommuting during emergencies. Please consider this when ordering
computers for staff.
Remote Access Policy
Download VPN Software
Rolm Phone Tutorial
Nethone Quick Reference Guide