The University of Reading is one of the leading universities in the UK (ranked in the top 30 UK universities in world rankings). With over 18,000 students and 4,500 staff spread over three campus locations, a relatively small team of about 20 is responsible for keeping all student and infrastructure systems running and secure. They manage on-premises data centres, networks, cloud services in Azure, telephony, Microsoft 365 and more.
Many business systems are supported externally by vendors/partners. The University used to grant access to these suppliers via Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections, but that didn’t provide visibility and control over who could access which systems and what they did while connected.
When Kevin Mortimer, Head of Operations, Digital Technology Services Department, joined the University in 2017, he prioritised getting control over vendor access.