Consociate Media is pleased to announce it has been named the marketing and public relations firm for Sera-Brynn, a Virginia-based cybersecurity firm recently named 16th in a global list of the top 500 cybersecurity firms to watch in 2015.
Consociate, a marketing, media, public relations and management consulting firm, based in Gloucester, Va., has developed a multi-pronged approach to assist Sera-Brynn educate more of the consumer and business community on the importance of cybersecurity, prevention techniques and evaluation of insurance options to best protect companies and individuals’ private information.
“There is nothing that touches all of our lives more deeply than technology,” said Stephanie Heinatz, Consociate’s Founder and CEO. “To have the opportunity to help Sera-Brynn educate the community on what they can do to protect themselves is an honor. In many ways, we consider what they do a public service.”
Sera-Brynn offers cybersecurity expertise
With headquarters in Suffolk, Va., Sera-Brynn works with companies as small as 15 to 20 employees to Fortune 500 firms with thousands of workers. The company assists clients in securing their computing environments, ensuring their cybersecurity insurance plans adequately cover their needs and meeting mandatory industry and government compliance requirements.
In addition, Sera-Brynn’s services include penetration testing, incident response, security consulting, managed security and other assistance. The company focuses on prevention to keep clients, their businesses, customers and lives safe from cyber-related threats.
Certain types of cybersecurity threats can occur nonstop, said Sera-Brynn co-founder and Chief Operating Officer John Kipp.
“Your jaw would drop,” Kipp said. “Scanning is a perpetual thing. It’s just nonstop.”
Targeted cyber-attacks are highly frequent, as is phishing and other threats. The attacks can even come in the manner of people impersonating tech support workers or showing up as repairmen to gain entry to businesses.
“There are more and more compromises,” Kipp said.
He personally empathizes with victims of cybercrime; not only was he notified recently that his credit card had been compromised but his family was also among the 80 million victims of the recent cybertheft of data from Anthem.
Sera-Brynn educates companies on these types of threats, conducts test threats and offers solutions to ensure cybersecurity.
Kipp drew an analogy of a burglar casing a neighborhood. If you have one or more dogs and home security features but your neighbor doesn’t, which house will be hit?
“He could still break into your house, but it’s a lot more trouble,” Kipp said.
Credit card payment security
Another service offered by Sera-Brynn is as a Payment Card Industry Qualified Security Assessor. Companies that accept, process or transmit credit card data, no matter how small, are required to meet PCI Data Security Standards.
Sera-Brynn helps any size organization or business achieve compliance with these standards. Ignore them at your own risk, Kipp said.
“If you ignore them the bank will usually assess a monthly non-compliance fee,” he said. “And, when you get breached, you can expect legal action against you.’”
Kipp said smaller companies can be devastated by cybercrime because they don’t have the resources to recover from attacks.
Companies such as Target or Home Depot, both of which have been the subjects of well-publicized cyber breaches recently, can tap lines of credit, liquidate assets and take other measures to recover from the crimes.
“A Congressional study found that 60 percent of the smaller businesses that were breached went out of business within six months,” Kipp said. “Why don’t we hear about it? A small company doesn’t make headlines because the consumer impact is less. But collectively, all those small companies add up.”
Branding and promotion
The Sera-Brynn executive team, including Kipp, comes from backgrounds of working with classified information for the federal government and contractors, so self-promotion is a foreign concept.
“You don’t talk about work,” he said.
And some companies they work with to avert cyber threats and assist following breaches don’t exactly want it publicized how Sera-Brynn has helped, he said.
But Kipp said Sera-Brynn executives recognized they needed to get the word out about what they do and how they can help protect businesses and individuals from the growing threat of cybercrime. Using social media, graphic design, advertising and publicity, Sera-Brynn has seen immediate benefits of working with Consociate, Kipp said.
“We had no social media presence before contracting with Consociate, but in a matter of days they were able to get us everywhere we needed to be — and they’re doing an awesome job at keeping it all fresh and interesting,” Kipp said. “We’ve definitely seen an increase in web traffic and direct calls due to their continued support.”