Will CAEN create an "engin.umich.edu" URL for an external website, hosted outside the University?

From time to time, College of Engineering units may have a business need to host website resources outside of the University, while maintaining an “engin.umich.edu” hostname. Whenever an “engin.umich.edu” hostname is used, an explicit affiliation with the College (and the University) is created, and consequently there is an inherent risk to the University. It is each staff member’s duty to provide responsible stewardship of the IT assets, including websites, they provide. (See SPG 601.07.)

CAEN manages the campus DNS namespace for *.engin.umich.edu, and will create DNS records that point to external hosting providers, if a unit (typically a department, center, or similarly large organization) is able to assert their use case and make clear that they understand the inherent risks. CAEN reserves the right to refuse such requests if CAEN determines that a use case is not strong or that risks and long-term stewardship have not been given adequate consideration. CAEN also reserves the right to remove or modify DNS entries in the case of a security incident or if high risk of reputational damage to the University becomes apparent.

Failure to maintain a website responsibly may result in considerable down-time at best, or at worst, a site may be susceptible to hacking, defacement, or other security problems. All of these may cause reputational costs to the College and the University. Any unit sponsoring such a website assumes this risk, as well as responsibility for billing, maintenance, content upkeep, trouble-shooting, and all other aspects of hosting their website.

Before requesting that an engin.umich.edu DNS record be created to point to an external resource, consider:

  • Is there an existing internal service, such as CAEN Web Publishing, that could be used to host your content?
  • Does (or will) your website provide access to (or store) sensitive information? Make sure to follow University requirements for sensitive data.
  • What is your long-term plan for how you will pay for your website?
  • What is your long-term plan for how your website will receive security updates/patches?
    • If your plan is to hire students to create and/or maintain your site, who will maintain your site when those students leave or graduate, and how will you ensure knowledge transfer?
  • When/how will your website be sunsetted? (Please tell CAEN when your site is retired so that we can delete the DNS record.)

Once your unit has given due consideration to the above, if you would still like to host your website using an external provider, contact CAEN.

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Article ID: 7295
Thu 3/3/22 1:05 PM
Fri 4/19/24 10:41 AM