Meet Your InfoSec Team: Kevin Hardcastle, WashU Associate CISO

Kevin Hardcastle, a long-time leader in information security has been instrumental in keeping WashU secure. Kevin was first drawn to IT while studying at Missouri State, where he received a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems. He has 36 years of experience in information technology, including 21 years of experience in information security. He began working at WashU in 2007 as an Information Security Officer and served as the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) from 2014 to 2020.  During his tenure as WashU CISO, Kevin helped guide our institution in all matters pertaining to information security.  Today, Chris Shull assumes the responsibilities of CISO while Kevin has taken on a more specialized role as Associate CISO, limiting his scope to information security issues in government regulatory contracts and research compliance. 

Kevin’s favorite part of his job is that it allows him to work with different groups of people at WashU and on varied aspects of security. This has given him a clear picture of people’s attitudes and perspectives on security. One misconception he believes people have about information security is that it is a barrier to productivity. Instead, Kevin contends that security professionals should be viewed as advisors who empower and support individuals to do their best work. Kevin believes that security is best envisioned as a team process, involving multiple cooperating partners to achieve comprehensive security. At WashU, for example, every employee is an important member of the team, taking responsibility for protecting themselves and the institution from security threats.  This evolution of the WashU security culture follows a broader movement of information security “breaking through the noise,” becoming an issue on people’s minds as they make everyday decisions.  As individuals become more aware of and interested in security topics, our institutional defenses get stronger.  

Outside of his work at WashU, Kevin enjoys working with his hands. He is an avid woodworker and has recently started metalworking.