Columbus State University in Georgia announced its new Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Nicol Lewis and Chief Information Officer (CIO), Theodore Laskaris. Columbus State University is a public institution in the University System of Georgia with two campuses about 100 miles southwest of Atlanta.

The two positions will work in tandem to serve and secure the university’s network services, which daily meet the computing, communication and data needs of 10,000-plus students and employees.

“A reliable and secure technology infrastructure is critical in today’s higher education setting,” said Dr. Deborah Bordelon, CSU’s provost and executive vice president. “The roles of a CIO and CISO differ in their focus, but collaborate in ways that underscore the ever-growing importance of highly functional, highly secure computing networks to universities like Columbus State.”

Theodore Laskaris will serve as CSU’s CIO — a position he has held on an interim basis since July 2019. Through this role, based in the university’s Office of the Provost, he is responsible for the overall management, direction and security of the university's information technology assets. The CIO develops an organizational technology growth and renewal strategy that drives digital adoption, transforms business processes, and optimizes the digital user experience.

During his 35 years of industry experience, Laskaris has overseen enterprise-level computing and network infrastructure programs, as well as managed technical teams and processes, in a variety of banking, investing and higher education settings — including his previous appointment at Champlain College in Vermont. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Babson College.

Nicol Lewis joins CSU as its CISO. Based in CSU’s Office of Legal Affairs, Ethics and Compliance, the CISO ensures that all of the university’s academic and operational data is protected and made accessible within the bounds of CSU and USG information security policies.  A key element of the CISO’s role is working with executive leadership to mitigate risk by establishing and maintaining a university-wide information security management program.

Lewis’ 20-year career has included progressive duties in data security and cybersecurity, enterprise-wide IT risk management and compliance, and business continuity. In addition to her previous role as the CISO for the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services, she has held similar positions with both the Georgia Technology Authority and Georgia Public Library Service. Her education and training background includes the Georgia Cybersecurity Academy and a Master of Information Science degree from Valdosta State University.