Press Releases

ORION launches shared CISO to improve security for Ontario education institutions

(Toronto) —ORION is proud to announce the launch of a shared Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) pilot initiative together with eight Ontario higher education institutions.

Introduced in response to  demand from the research and education community, this two-year pilot project will establish and further a security framework in order to address the current information privacy and cybersecurity challenges.


Farooq Naiyer

ORION welcomes Farooq Naiyer to this role. Farooq will also help direct and advance ORION’S security initiatives on behalf of customers.

Farooq brings rich experience of more than 15 years in the area of cybersecurity, privacy, technology compliance and assurance.

“I’m excited to have Farooq join the team. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will build even stronger links within our communities and assist with ORION’s efforts to provide each user with the best service partner possible,” says Alfonso.

Prior to joining ORION Farooq was part of the Cybersecurity and Privacy team at PwC in Canada where he led several cybersecurity engagements.  Prior to that, Farooq led IT assurance teams for a leading Canadian retailer. He has also held leadership roles in leading financial institutions in the Middle East and South Asia as well as Big Four consulting firms in South Asia.

He has strong academic background with BSc (Hons) in Computer Sciences from the University of Huddersfield. He holds various leading certifications in the area of Information Security and IT assurance which includes CISA, CRISC, ISO 27001 Lead Auditor, COBIT, PCI – Quality Security Assessor, and PCIP.

“With decreasing enrollment and yet more demands on technology, funding for a CISO is challenging at best,” says Laurentian CIO, Luc Roy, one of the members of the pilot. “With a shared CISO, Laurentian has a senior security officer guiding us with best practices, developing strategies, leveraging common policies and frameworks, recommendations that best suit higher education sectors, and more great things to come.  The collaboration only means that we share the same challenge and that we will conquer collaboratively instead of individual silos.”

More than a hundred universities, colleges, hospitals and research institutions, as well as the majority of Ontario’s school boards, have been part of ORION’s shared private network since its inception 15 years ago. “I look forward to working with Alfonso and the ORION team to build an even stronger future. I hope to help continue the growth of this fundamentally important organization that connects communities with technology to support our research, education and innovation customers throughout Ontario,” says Farooq.



ORION is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to empowering Ontario researchers, educators, and innovators. We foster a community of more than two million users at more than a hundred universities, colleges, hospitals and research institutions, as well as the majority of Ontario’s school boards. We enable ground-breaking discoveries and cutting-edge education by connecting institutions and regions through our network, facilitating collaboration, and providing our community with the digital tools and expert support they need to make the world a better place.

For further information:

Cathy Bogaart
Director, Marketing and Communications, ORION
416.507.9860 ext. 250