Information Technology Services Appoints New Director of Information Security

Rich Tener, an Iowa State University alumnus and long-time IT security practitioner, has been named Information Technology Services’ (ITS) new Director of Information Security. 

In his new role, Tener will be responsible for the leadership and strategic direction of the information security arm of ITS, supporting university operations, identifying vulnerabilities, protecting against hacking and phishing attempts, and finding ways to keep the campus community’s information safe in the digital environment. 

Tener succeeds Sunil Singh, who departed from Iowa State in September 2018.

“Having a full-time director of information security is critical to ensuring the privacy and security of university, student, and employee data,” said ITS Director of Enterprise Services and Customer Success Mike Lohrbach. “Filling this position elevates ITS’ ability to safeguard the data of all Iowa State users, protect against cyberattacks, and ensure Iowa State is compliant with security regulations.”

Tener received his bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from Iowa State in 1999. Most recently, he served as the director of security at Evernote, a computer software company located in Redwood City, California. Prior to returning to Iowa State, Tener spent over a decade in the security industry establishing security teams and implementing programs to protect organizations, including Sprint and social game developer Zynga. Tener also spent three years as a security consultant, testing the vulnerabilities of security systems and advising clients on how to better insulate themselves from external threats.

Information Technology Services' new Director of Information Security Rich Tener.

“Universities are uniquely vulnerable to security threats due to the amount of data they manage, and protecting them requires a comprehensive understanding of security,” Tener said. “This position presented a unique opportunity to come back and help secure the university that started my career. This position will provide direction to our security program and ensure that student, employee, and research data is thoroughly protected.”

Tener’s duties will include creating and implementing campus-wide security policies, and ensuring Iowa State is compliant with federal regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Tener will also direct information security initiatives and coordinate with departmental IT units across campus to develop protective guidelines, programs, and procedures.

"[Tener] brings a wealth of experience to this critical position within ITS,” said Interim Vice President and CIO Kristen Constant. “His unique blend of security expertise from the private sector and his strong connection to the Iowa State community will prove invaluable as ITS continues its mission to keep university users safe.”