Information Technology Services
Information Technology Services

Introducing Denise: Queen's new Information Security Officer

Denise Ernst, CISSP, Information Security Officer, ITS.

Information Technology Services (ITS) welcomes Denise Ernst, who joined the Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Associate Vice-Principal as the new Information Security Officer in April 2016

Denise is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). She brings 25 years of IT experience to Queen’s, with 15 years specialized in information security. Before coming to Queen’s, she designed a suite of IT security standards for the Bank of Canada and previously she was the Director of Corporate Risk and Security at the Canadian Payments Association where she oversaw the Information Security and Enterprise Risk Management programs.

Denise understands the importance of striking a balance between security risks and the day-to-day operational needs of the University.

“Safety in the digital world is not as advanced as it is in the physical world. There are no data cops, cyber-demerit points for bad behavior, no traffic lights letting us know when to stop, take caution, or go. Until more advancements are made in the digital world, it is important for everyone to know they have a responsibility to think about and apply security practices in their day to day activities,” says Ms. Ernst. “In the short time I’ve been at Queen’s, I’ve discovered there is a strong desire to help increase the security of university data and information. A focus of mine will be to work jointly with the communities within Queen’s and to continue to advance information security practices.”

When asked what it was about Queen’s that attracted her to the position, Denise responded, “I’ve always had the greatest respect for Canada’s higher education community. Being part of the Queen’s ITS department and helping to secure information such as research data and educational resources that may aid in making advancements in their respective industries is an amazing opportunity for me.” In her spare time, Denise enjoys physical activities, “A surprise I’ve had since arriving is the amount of walking I do each day. Staying active is important to me and I’ve had no problems achieving my daily goal of 10,000 steps.” 

Not only will Denise be a great asset to the university, but to the Kingston community too. She coaches Bantam boys basketball and volunteers for the Heart and Stroke Foundation and enjoys spending time with her Yorkshire Terrier, Rocky. She is also an instructor for the Safe and Secure Online program, which educates elementary school children about safe cyber practices.

Welcome Denise!

If you have any questions for Denise or would like to discuss cybersecurity at the university, please contact Denise by email.

For more about Queen's information security policies, please see the Information Security Office on the Office of the CIO website.

Further information regarding Information Security Services and Best Practices is on the ITS website