DRI’s Christopher Ipsen awarded 2015 Chief Information Security Officer of the Year by SC Magazine

RENO – Christopher Ipsen, Assistant Vice President for Information Technology, Chief Information Officer for Nevada’s Desert Research Institute’s (DRI), has been awarded SC Magazine’s highest individual honor for Information Technology (IT) security industry professionals in the US.

Ipsen was awarded 2015 Chief Security Officer of the Year during the 16th Annual SC Magazine’s Awards US held in San Francisco in April. Ipsen is an expert on cyber security and previous to DRI, served as Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) for the State of Nevada for seven years.

SC Magazine empowers information security professionals with the in-depth, unbiased business and technical information they need to tackle the countless security challenges they face and establish risk management and compliance postures that underpin overall business strategies. As part of the IT security industry's leading global awards program, SC Awards U.S. honors the professionals, companies and products that help fend off the myriad of cyber security threats confronted in today's corporate world.

“To be successful, the information and cybersecurity disciplines require a new type of practitioner: one driven by innovation, leadership and passion,” said Greg Bell, Principal of KPMG and U.S. leader, KPMG Cyber, and Co-Chairman of the SC Magazine Awards US Judging Committee, in the official award announcements. “We require information security leaders who can efficiently navigate through the political and fiscal challenges that must be continually faced at the organizational and governmental levels.”

“The 2015 SC Awards U.S. are here to celebrate those players who help us play this new game more effectively every day,” Bell added. “They represent the very best of innovation, of leadership and of passion.”

chris ipsen itcio

During his time as CISO for the State of Nevada Ipsen successfully proposed legislation in Nevada on four occasions and was appointed by two Nevada Governors to serve on the State Commission on Homeland Security. He also serves on the Nevada Public Safety Communications Steering Committee, and the Nevada Cyber Security Committee.

In his role as Nevada’s CISO/Chief IT Manager, Ipsen provided direction and leadership to a team of 12 full-time IT Managers and IT Professionals, and 20 indirect information Security officers. He pioneered desktop management solution through Symantec, including Altiris desktop management suite, creating an enterprise system that saved the state $2.5 million over four years and improved the user experience. He also manages a $2.2 million annual budget.

In his time as CISO of the state of Nevada, Chris Ipsen has used a multifaceted approach to address the difficult challenge of workforce within a state government – where pay is lower and responsibility is high. With clear objectives mapped to national strategies and focusing on the long-term needs of the state, he incrementally selected a diverse core security group from varied technical backgrounds: WAN, Unix, Windows, programming, database, mainframe and compliance.

“Christopher Ipsen has earned the support of senior leadership within the state and with corporate partners by having a well-defined plan focused on business solutions rather than technical problems,” said the SC Awards US Committee statement. “In developing solutions, he works with technical resources to understand the problem to be solved and the possible solutions. He then works diligently to negotiate the correct solution to achieve the most efficient enterprise outcome based on technology, context, opportunity, human resources, risk and cost. Although he has a high technical competence and is active with key standards bodies like NIST, he carefully avoids tech speak when dealing with business leaders. With a pleasant, passionate and calm demeanor, he assists leaders to understand the business decisions needed for effective risk avoidance.”

SC Magazine Awards US – CISO Professional Award Finalists 2015


Desert Research Institute

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