X: drive reorganisation

The Shared Departmental X: drive contains critical Departmental data essential to the running of the University.

The University and Information Assurance Services (IAS) asked IT Services to provide a more secure X: drive which gave departments an opportunity to reorganise. IT Services and IAS worked with a team from each department to help to redesign and reorganise X: drives.

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Information is one of the most valuable assets of the University of Leicester, so it's good practice to ensure data is well organised. The University also has an obligation to ensure that it stores and uses information correctly, as laid out in its Information Security Policies. This is particularly important if the information is private or confidential e.g. personnel records or exam papers.

Whilst in volume terms the X: drive is relatively small, only about 13 terabytes (TB), it contains over 18 million files arranged into about 2 million folders. The structure and user access rules are extremely complex. Historically each department’s X: drive has evolved to configure and manage its data in a way that suited its needs at a particular time. These factors combine to make the on-going management of this data by departments and IT Services more difficult and time consuming than it could be.

IT Services recognised the need to provide additional support to departments to ensure that their X: drive was securely managed. This became essential in the light of several serious breaches in security.

For these reasons the University decided to improve the security and the way it organised information on the Shared Departmental X: drive.


The restructuring of each Shared Departmental X: drive enabled:

  • Security of information to be managed by the X: drive coordinator (login required) and carried out by IT Services via the IT Service Desk
  • Permissions to files and folders to be given by group access rather than on an ad-hoc individual basis In future. This enables more efficient ways to provide permissions for new starters and to remove access for leavers
  • An opportunity to review whether files are needed, can be archived or deleted

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