MSU IT Council discusses security, email, campus licenses

This is the first of what will be regular updates by the MSU IT Council. These updates are intended to keep the MSU community informed about the topics being tackled, progress made, and recommendations to MSU administration. News updates will contain high-level topic summaries.

The MSU community is encouraged to seek out their IT Council representative or visit the IT Council website for more information on topics of interest.

Image of IT staff member with a laptop

The IT Council serves as a primary IT advisory body. Membership is open to the primary IT leader from each of the degree-granting colleges, core academic units, major academic support units, and other major business units.

September 12 meeting synopsis

To kick off the meeting, the new Vice President for Information Technology and CIO Joanna Young was introduced to the council.

Security Summit Task Force update

Rob McCurdy, Chief Information Security Officer, and Steve Kurncz, IT Audit Manager, provided an update on the Security Summit event scheduled for Tuesday, October 14, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. A variety of topics will be presented, including vulnerability management, incident response, and current threat trends.

As a side note: is now limited to the campus boundary as a security measure.

Communication Task Force update

Anne Phillips, Infrastructure Planning and Facilities, discussed the IT Council website that continues to be updated with news and links. Regular updates from IT Council meetings will be posted on the News section of and on the IT Council site.

Email & Collaboration Tools Recommendation Task Force update

Cynthia Ghering, IT Services, and Mike Walters, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, updated the council on the initial email survey results. Surveys were sent to IT staff across campus in August.

Preliminary email survey results from 30 respondents clearly indicate the need for a hosted solution to limit redundancy and provide the level of service needed by faculty and staff at an acceptable cost. Further follow up with units who haven’t responded to the survey will now take place.

Microsoft Licensing summary

Rachel Zakhem, MSU Computer Store, discussed the cost and service differences between current licensing structures spread across units and what a Microsoft campus licensing agreement could provide.

Council members were asked to provide feedback on the number of full-time employees who support licenses now and the software they’d like to see as part of a campus license agreement.

Research Data Storage summary

Bill Punch, Computer Science and Engineering, presented on the strong need for research data storage and collaboration. He said it will require not only the file system itself, but a strategy for backup and the network to support these things.

In order for this to succeed, likely a shared funding model will need to be proposed and ongoing operational costs will need to be identified.