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Applied CyberStrategy


In The Boardroom With...

Robin Harris CISSP, CPP
Chief Executive Officer
Applied Cyber Strategy Group

ACSG’s new fast track system for government contractors strengthens cybersecurity and meets industry compliance. Schedule a 15-minute call today and learn how we can help.  Thank you for joining us today, Robin. Before drilling down into ACSG solutions, please tell us about your background. 

Robin Harris:  My cyber security career began in 1999 managing firewalls after a transition from a three-year stint as a network engineer where I was extremely proficient at routing and switching. Equipped with that combination of networking and security I worked in the capacity of a security architect designing and implementing corporate, government and defense agency technology infrastructures. I further explored forensics and cyber threat prevention technologies along with security operations management.  Over the past 20 years I have remained on the pulse of security technologies albeit shifting my career focus to developing full scale corporate security programs to meet technical, business and regulatory compliance. In 2004 I observed a shift in physical security technologies converging with information security technologies.  I began intense study on the complexities of industrial security as it relates to cyber.  This resulted in me developing converged security solutions for global organizations and executives as a certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) addressing cyber security and being board certified in security management as a Certified Protection Professional (CPP) resolving their industrial security matters.  I am often recommended as the “go to strategist to resolve complex B2B cyber security matters swiftly with professional discretion” from leading international forensic investigations to defending a client’s security posture to close the deal.   Garnering the unique technical ability to span both cyber and physical security I have led national cyber-attack exercises, presented preventive recommendations to community leaders and senior government officials and delivered convergence training at ASIS (American Society of Industrial Engineers) conferences.   As the global director of IT Security for Recall, a large multinational corporation, recently acquired by Iron Mountain, I developed a globally compliant security management program to position the company for targeted growth and acquisition.  In my roles an information Systems Security Officer I managed entire FISMA compliance programs and developed system security plans for numerous critical US Federal government agencies that successfully obtained authorizations to operate (ATO).  I am passionate about serving our US military. I spent several years as a security architect and performing Independent Validation and Verification (IV&V) of Dept. of Defense systems.   

As a presenter of cybersecurity information, I make time to speak to international and corporate audiences on data security, privacy, cybersecurity careers, cyber audit preparation, emerging technologies and cloud security.

Cyber security is complex and there is a lot of information on the subject.  However, it requires in depth experience and validated expertise to address the intricate “Not Yet Published on Google (NYPG)” issues that impact organizations today.  My experience and passion for strategic alignment with corporate goals and customized practical security led me to establish ACSG in 2014 allowing me to address the tough challengers and deliver client-centric, vendor neutral cyber security solutions. One will read on that, “Our team of experienced security experts and business analysts learn your business so we can protect it based on the way you do business today and plan to do business in the future.  They customize a plan aligned with your goals for growth and competitive advantage. We have been building security for nearly 20 years from the .com Internet boom of the late 90s through the recent financial crisis and cyber attacks. We’re on the pulse of modern technology and security and have monitored their evolution to inform our own practical approaches—all to provide exceptional solutions.”  Care to elaborate and talk about the journey ACSG clients take with you?

Robin Harris:  Many clients are referred to us for immediate support with onsite impromptu compliance audits from their current customers, teaming partners, business prospects or an industry compliance authority. Several clients are bidding a federal government or international corporate contract and need assistance responding to the RFP.  Yet others are facing a stop work order until they can demonstrate a suitable cyber security posture and compliance with specific regulations. We assist our clients at any stage of their operations and their journey begins with peace of mind upon initial engagement with us.

Cyber security issues can literally keep you up at night. We take time to care.  We listen to understand all the requirements, pain points and urgency our clients face.  Each client is assigned a strategic risk management team consisting of a privacy lawyer, certified cyber security expert, business analyst and program manager experienced in the client’s industry. This core team leads the strategy for the overall compliance and risk management solution. A technical team is assigned to implement various cyber security technologies from device encryption and intrusion prevention systems to threat intelligence and cyber hunt capabilities.  Both teams work collaboratively, engaging necessary resources to achieve success.

Fear and intimidation around audits are real.  It is common for auditors to spend days evaluating an organization’s documents, testing systems and interviewing staff.  Unfortunately, they may have limited security staff to express details concerning the company’s security posture.  We become the buffer.  We educate and prepare our clients throughout the audit process then represent them in person during the audit.  Often organizations will have penetration tests performed and receive a report; but it stops there. Along with detailed reports ACSG will represent our clients as an authoritative resource on the solutions we develop, implement or validate.   Even if we did not develop or implement the cyber security services ACSG will perform an assessment of the security posture then provide a position statement or provide representation based on our assessment. This is so the burden of speaking cyber language with confidence shifts to ACSG and the client can be assured that they are fairly represented.  At the end of the day, Robin, how would you summarize the unique value proposition that ACSG delivers to your clients?

Robin Harris:  The overall value rests upon a combination of industry expertise, solution delivery speed and cost efficiency. Our exclusive value is realized in the speed at which our expert team of certified professionals and lawyers deliver security compliant solutions.  We apply the solution in the shortest amount of time while maintaining quality. Our clients are offered a flat rate investment for unlimited cyber security services. This model controls budget with the assurance of meeting cyber security goals and our ISO 9001:2015 quality processes ensure it.

Without cyber security protections in place companies lose revenue opportunities. Our methodology for enhancing their targeted growth strategy not only meets compliance but yields a significant return on investment.  We help clients win business. 

Each client receives a comprehensive, yet applied, security management solution that includes cyber security, physical security, supply chain and vendor management based on a regulatory compliance foundation, IT modernization and business growth strategy.  We believe value must be quantitative with the investment realized immediately and over time. So, we make it our mission to deliver cost savings and revenue generation along with cyber security protection for our clients. 

Schedule a 15-minute call today and learn how we can help.