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UCISA Executive Committee Briefing

October 8, 2012
The UCISA Executive Committee oversees the Association’s activities and meets seven times a year. This briefing has been compiled to let you know about projects and activities the Executive Committee is delivering on behalf of the Association. We hope it gives you a view of some of the initiatives taking place across the membership.
UCISA responds to Universities UK’s Cyber security initiative
The UK Government has identified cyber attack as a tier 1 threat in its National Security Strategy published in October 2010, and has now published the UK Cyber Security Strategy. As universities are a part of the UK’s critical national infrastructure the Government wishes to work with the sector to help ensure it has the skills and capacity to deal with the cyber security challenge. Universities UK has convened a round-table discussion which is taking place later this month to discuss the issues and identify actions. UCISA will be represented at the session and will highlight resources, such as the UCISA Information Security Toolkit, that already exist. Although it is recognised that cyber security is not just an IT issue, Vice-Chancellors are aware of the existence of the 20 controls for effective cyber defence as set out by the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI).Refreshing the Top Concerns survey

The UCISA Top Concerns survey is a biennial exercise which identifies the current issues impacting IT service departments in sector. The results from the survey are used by the JISC and Janet in shaping their work, and by member institutions to understand the broad consensus on these matters and develop their IT strategies and plans. The Executive have agreed to adopt a different approach to the survey this year which identifies not only the issues but also the opportunities for IT services in supporting their institutions. It is intended to form a panel from the UCISA membership and beyond to assess the candidate concerns and to rank these to produce a top ten. Clearly the panel will need to reflect both the range of institutions and the interests of our members. To this end, we will be issuing a short survey to members in the near future to identify members’ areas of interest and expertise in order to assemble a balanced, representative panel.

Updating the Model Regulations

UCISA has produced template regulations for use of IT equipment and infrastructure in universities and colleges which have formed the basis for institutional conditions of use.  The model regulations also help to demonstrate UCISA’s commitment to furthering good IT governance to other bodies. The current model IT regulations were last reviewed and updated in 2007. The UCISA Executive Committee has agreed that the regulations should be revised and reissued to take account of significant changes in higher education, technology and its use.

Communities of practice

A number of communities of practice exist within the sector. The Executive Committee is aware that the good practice discussed often stays within those communities and issues identified are not always raised and addressed beyond the immediate membership. UCISA has identified a number of ways of supporting these communities and sharing the good practice more widely.

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