David Cullum wins innovation leadership award

Brock University’s Associate Vice-President of Information Technology Services David Cullum has won an award for leadership from an important organization in Ontario’s education sector.

The Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION) provides the digital infrastructure for nearly every university and college in the province, as well as many school boards, public research facilities and teaching hospitals.

Each year, the not-for-profit hands out awards recognizing researchers, educators and innovators.

Cullum’s award, presented at a conference in Toronto this week, is the result of Brock’s involvement in a two-year pilot project around network security.

Rather than covering the cost of hiring a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) individually, Brock and seven other universities and colleges worked with ORION to share the cost of a single security analyst.

“This was the first time anyone in higher education in Canada had done it, so it was pretty groundbreaking,” said Cullum, who has been in his role at Brock for five years. “Internet security is probably the hottest topic in higher education. We’re all basically getting attacked by the same hackers and the severity is increasing every day. We have to stay on top of it and having these additional resources helps because we’re able to share information.”

With the pilot project now complete, ORION is going to continue the shared CISO program, opening it up to all post-secondary institutions.

“We’re proud to have these extraordinary leaders in our digital community,” said ORION President and CEO Alfonso Licata. “Their ideas and efforts are perfect examples of what can be achieved by partnering on digital infrastructure and services. We are happy to play our part in helping create a more robust digital economy.”

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