The New CISO Podcast - Episode 38 | Exabeam

The New CISO Podcast Episode 38: Building a Student-Run SOC to Meet Threats Head-On


On this episode, Steve speaks with Aaron Baillio, CISO of the University of Oklahoma, about his move from the Department of Defense to higher education.

They discuss why he built a student-run SOC and how that’s helped students find great jobs and contributed to the university’s overall security posture.

The Move from the DOD to Education

Before working for the University of Oklahoma, Aaron spent 11 years at the Department of Defense. He reflects on how your day-to-day at the DOD is primarily about keeping secrets, whereas the higher education space is ultimately about giving away all the secrets. Listen as Aaron shares his love for how open the community is to the free exchange of ideas.

Aaron and Steve also hit on topics like:

  • Working in the private sector vs education
  • Securing changing environments
  • Stepping into a leadership role
  • Centralizing your tech stack and operations
  • Bringing students into the fold and,
  • The importance of internships

More about Aaron, in his own words:

“I’ve spent the first 11 years of my career with the Department of Defense. With them I traveled the world and supported both in garrison and deployed network operations. My primary missions were information assurance and security engineering. I am currently the Chief Information Security Officer for the University of Oklahoma and have been with OU since 2015. We support 45k faculty/staff and students across three campuses including a Health Sciences Center. Security at OU is supported by three pillars: Security Operations, Governance, Risk and Compliance and Training Awareness. We currently have around 20 security professionals including 3 students who support Tier 1 operations in the SOC.”

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