IT developments on campus - a review and outlook from the MIZ

2024-01-02

Leuphana's IT landscape has been undergoing a far-reaching transformation since the coronavirus pandemic. The topics that particularly occupied us in 2023 were as follows

 

Cloud transformation
Due to technical developments and fuelled by the pandemic, the MIZ is increasingly using cloud services. ZOOM, Panopto and Microsoft 365 (with Teams and OneDrive) are examples of services that are no longer operated by the MIZ itself. For such services, the MIZ ensures data protection-compliant and appropriate configuration, integration into the existing system landscape and user support.
The trend towards cloud products will continue and accelerate in the future. Specifically, the MIZ is currently preparing the migration of groupware (email, calendar, etc.) to Exchange Online. IT security solutions are also increasingly being offered as cloud services and can therefore achieve significantly better performance.

 

IT security
Universities are particularly exposed to hacker attacks. This is mainly due to the combination of comparatively open structures (bring-your-own-device by students, external users, high degree of cooperation, etc.) and the provision of extensive and high-quality resources (bandwidth, computing power, storage, user accounts, information, etc.). In 2023, numerous attacks on universities in Germany and Lower Saxony once again took place, and the risk of a successful attack on IT remains by far the highest operational risk for the university. For our part, we took various measures to improve our IT security in 2023. For example, we implemented new firewalls, scanned vulnerabilities in all systems and rectified them where necessary, and increased awareness among our users. We will continue to intensify our efforts in this area in 2024, for example by expanding network segmentation and introducing multi-factor authentication for all IT services.

 

IT in the workplace
With ZOOM, M365 and Teams, we have already made progress towards a modern workplace. In 2024, there will be a particular focus on this topic, both with regard to the office workplace on campus and in the context of mobile working and working from home. In addition to the aforementioned introduction of Exchange Online, which has great potential for collaboration in workgroups and departments, we are also focusing on topics such as Voice-over-IP (VoIP) and artificial intelligence (AI). We also expect the introduction of central licence management from 2024 to have a positive impact on productive working conditions at workplaces in science and administration.

 

Data protection
Data protection is and remains an important but also challenging topic for the MIZ. Careful examination and configuration of data processing procedures is of great importance, particularly in light of the use of cloud services, especially from non-European service providers. However, high-performance cloud applications can often achieve higher security and data protection standards than would be possible with locally operated solutions. Together with data protection management, we therefore weigh up with a sense of proportion how data processing is carried out by us and the service providers we commission.

 

Reorganisation of the IT infrastructure
The construction of a new data centre (building C41) has created the basis for secure spatial accommodation of the IT infrastructure. In the new data centre, fire protection, air conditioning, burglary protection and access control are state of the art. Central network components and systems have already been installed in the new rooms. Nevertheless, we are still in the early stages of the spatial reorganisation of the IT systems and will continue this work intensively in 2024.

Of course, there are numerous other important issues that affect the MIZ. These include the expansion of media technology in seminar rooms, the sustainability of IT operations, the recruitment of specialist staff, the expansion of the network infrastructure and much more.

We are happy to remain in dialogue with our users in order to better understand their needs and to benefit from their experiences in the orientation of our services.  Please feel free to contact us at any time if you have any questions or comments, praise or criticism!

 

Timo Leder
Leitung IT und Medientechnik
Medien- und Informationszentrum
timo.leder@leuphana.de
04131 677 1233