Universities wanting better cybersecurity should turn to the cloud, CIO says

For most chief information officers, including those in higher education, cybersecurity is of paramount concern. At Oral Roberts University, CIO Mike Mathews says cloud computing is the answer to addressing that challenge.

“For cybersecurity, my number one goal as a CIO is to make sure we get into the cloud,” Mathews says in a video interview. “The reason is simply this: Very few universities, including ours, can afford the top of the line security methodologies and processes to make sure that we’re that secure.”

For that reason, schools need to turn to cloud products, including software-as-a-service products, he says.

“The quicker I can get to the cloud where there’s hundreds of other universities, the more secure I’ll be,” Mathews says.

Oral Roberts, a private liberal arts university in Oklahoma, enrolls approximately 4,000 students. The university uses Ellucian’s student information system, Mathews says, particularly because of the built-in privacy and cybersecurity regulations.

“It provides all the security to abide by FERPA, the federal aid regulations, the state regulations,” Mathews says. “That really helps us immensely.”

In addition to security on the student information system, Mathews also says he’s thinking about identity management at the university.

“When you think of data governance, cybersecurity and identity, it’s all about good stewardship,” Mathews says. “If I were to go to the court of law, could I honestly answer that we did our very best to be a good steward of that data? We believe we are.”

Mathews on his top priorities:

Mathews on the role of technology in student success:

Mathews on emerging technology:

These videos were filmed on April 8, 2019, at the Ellucian Live conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of a partnership between EdScoop and Ellucian.