Tag: media

Consociate Media Earns Contract With Cybersecurity Firm Sera-Brynn

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.”

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Meet Matt Sabo

Matt Sabo. What can we say? His way with words. His style as a reporter. Quite frankly, we’re inspired by him. We’ve read his work for years and now he’s part of the Consociate team!

This introduction is proof of his talents. Read on.

Matt was born and raised on the mean streets of east Bend, Oregon. It’s an old mill town hard along the Deschutes River where the big skies of the central Oregon High Desert meet the piney eastern slopes of the Cascades mountain range. In Bend, Matt became a dead-eye with a BB gun shooting targets in the patch of juniper trees and sagebrush next to the cemetery across the street. He also honed his craft of blowing up tree stumps with bombs manufactured out of packs of tricolor sparklers duct-taped tightly together that truly elevated the fun at the Fourth of July get-togethers with friends.

He became an accomplished long distance runner, eventually competing in the 1992 U.S. Olympic Trials in the steeplechase. Matt credits his very large older brother with developing his running abilities by virtue of the fact that after ambushing his mountain of a brother, typically with a dart or other sharp projectile delivered expertly to the backside, Matt would peel out the back door squealing like a banshee knowing that if he made it to the cemetery, he would probably live because his brother would run out of steam.

Matt earned a track scholarship to the University of Portland, thanks to his large, older brother, where he dabbled in journalism studies while running lots and lots of miles through the Rose City. In short order he met his soon to be wife, Julie. He actually was introduced to her by friends on the track team the night before she gave birth to a son, Brenton, becoming a single mom. After a 16-month courtship, Matt and Julie married and he pretty much has kept her pregnant ever since. Over the next 24 years of wedded bliss, the two would yield 13 offspring, if our math is right. We’re happy to report that during that time, Matt and Julie have only on two occasions driven off after losing count of the kids. Thankfully, they were only brief abandonments and the kids were quickly recovered and required little in the way of counseling.

In 2004, Matt and his family —  we believe at the time he and Julie had around nine kids, maybe 10 at the most — left Oregon for Gloucester, Va. A newspaper reporter, Matt took a job with the Daily Press and worked out of the Gloucester bureau covering all the major news of the county. Like the rogue non-native oysters from an experiment gone awry that managed to slip away and grow to be the size of dinner plates. And he covered other big stories, such as how long it takes to be here before you’re no longer a `come here.’ (It turns out that your mother has to be born here before you’re no longer a ‘come here.’)

Not content to take the easy path of life and just work and raise 14 kids, Matt would also plant and pastor a non-denominational church in Gloucester — Calvary Chapel Gloucester — and become a missionary with Serving In Mission. He would quit his job at the Daily Press and spend his time pastoring and in missions, traveling to Africa and Haiti to work with an organization called the Transformational Education Network to help church leaders and educators in those countries start Bible-based computer training schools. He continues his pastoring and missions work, though Matt and Julie appear to be holding steady (as of today) at 14 kids.

With Consociate Media, Matt is totally stoked to tell stories of entrepreneurs and successful businesses, through writing, editing, blogging and on social media. Writing has been a lifelong passion and Matt and looks forward to meeting great people, connecting with them and helping them grow their business.

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