Jonathan Kimmitt has been at University of Tulsa (TU) for two decades—starting out as the help desk supervisor shortly after graduating. He moved into security when TU needed help on the Computer Security Response Team. Jonathan worked his way up to Chief Services Officer before becoming TU’s CISO—a role he has held for the 7+ years. His achievements include building and expanding the university’s IT Security Department while protecting students, systems, and 65,000 connected devices from cyber threats.
In this interview, Jonathan talks about the importance of communication and community building as tools for raising cyber awareness beyond security-savvy circles. Topics include his popular “Hacker Tool Show and Tell” where he displays and demonstrates an arsenal of physical hacking tools, such as keyloggers, rubber duckies, pineapples, and raspberry pi, that play an important role in TU’s cybersecurity strategy. He also discusses how to apply lessons from martial arts—improving network defenses by understanding the actual attacks organizations see. Finally, the interview touches on compliance in the context of incident response and recovery responsibilities, as well as insights about the latest spike in ransomware attacks.