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BYU Security Operations Center wins prestigious industry award

Industry organization CSO recognized the BYU security team for their innovative framework that allows BYU to manage security on multiple campuses, all while saving costs.

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BYU's Cybersecurity Operations Center is housed in the Information Technology Building in Provo.
Photo by Madeline Mortensen

BYU’s Security Operations Center, which manages cybersecurity for all three BYU campuses, has been named a CSO50 award winner for 2020. An industry organization, CSO recognized the BYU team for their innovative security framework, selecting them as one of 50 winners from a highly competitive pool of nominees.

“Our CES security team is very deserving of this prestigious award that highlights their leading-edge, cost-effective and timely security solutions,” said Tracy Flinders, BYU’s vice president of information technology and chief information officer.

In their unique approach to cybersecurity, the BYU team created their own modular services to beef up security in programs BYU employees and students use regularly, such as Duo, Box and Canvas. The modules can be easily integrated across the multiple BYU campuses.

“Cybersecurity tools are typically incredibly expensive and largely monolithic—when they are missing features you need, usually you either have to live with it or purchase more products,” explained John Payne, BYU’s chief information security officer. “By instead building smaller programs to supplement our security, we can quickly add a lot of capabilities to our system even if vendors don’t provide what we want.”

The achievement is all the more impressive, Flinders added, because it results from a partnership between full-time staff and BYU students. “Our talented students have made meaningful contributions to our security solutions and gained real-life skills that will serve them well in the future.”