Was it worth it?

May 26, 2017 by

“There’s always something in the game you wish you would have done different. That’s why players improve, because they learn from what they did before. They might have been guessing before, but now they know.” – Gordie Howe, hockey legend


Looking back at the past few months, I am blown away by what #TeamMSUIT has accomplished and what we have learned from our efforts.

When we first began improving digital security here at MSU, we crafted a careful path to protect our systems without causing disruptions to the MSU community. As you all know, we dramatically accelerated our plans to rapidly protect the institution at the end of last year. Unfortunately, these actions caused disruptions across our community.

MSU persevered through those growing pains, allowing MSU IT to significantly reduce many of the critical security risks facing our systems. While it wasn’t easy, we understood that the longer we waited the more painful and disruptive the changes would have been for the university.

Looking back, we recognize that in several areas we could have done a better job rolling out changes. We cannot improve the past, but we can, and have, learned from our missteps to improve the future.

MSU IT continues to be thankful for the partnership of the MSU community and appreciative of the patience everyone demonstrated while we remediated threats. It may be cliché, but it’s amazing what Spartans can accomplish when we all raise our shield together.

The discomfort and added workload the MSU community endured while we rolled out rapid changes has allowed us to grow as individuals and as a team. We gained valuable experience as well as the knowledge that we can count on each other and our improved systems to prevent digital threats.

We recently saw our success in action when the WannaCrypt virus spread globally. The standards and protocols we put in place protected thousands of Spartans from this ransomware attack. Our improved ability to provide accelerated patching and vulnerability detection kept, and continues to keep, many other viruses, malware, and attacks from reaching MSU systems.

Weeks before WannaCrypt was in the news, MSU IT stopped a massive distributed denial of service attack before it could impact the MSU community. It’s these invisible protections, often unnoticed, that best demonstrate our successes.

We continue to build MSU’s digital security strength through collaborative initiatives such as IT Governance, which has significantly helped to unify and streamline our approach to IT projects and new technology initiatives at MSU. We also are improving our communication to help ensure the MSU community stays informed. Should we be in a position to make a disruptive change again, we are better positioned now more than ever to engage our community and better limit the impact.

Thank you #TeamMSUIT for all of the hard work, and thank you to the MSU community for partnering with us and helping us improve MSU. #SpartansWill

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