Cybersecurity for the SMB

By an Executive, for Executives

Changing the Blue Team Dynamic

We Can Get You to Higher Ground


How We Engage

What Makes Us Differant

An Open Letter from Ken Barnhart, CEO and Founder of Highground Cyber

As a successful entrepreneur who has built and sold multiple companies, I am aware of the daunting challenges my fellow SMB executives face. We know that others think being “boss” is a glamourous or privileged position, but those of us “in the big chair” understand the exhaustive nature of this privilege from an intellectual, emotional, financial and very personal perspective. The day-to-day challenges range from fundamentals, like business models and product development to the relationship-based realities of stakeholders, customers, talent management, and nurturing a corporate culture.

The pace and nature of internal and external change pull us across that broad spectrum and demand our best leadership efforts. We actually face similar challenges as our larger enterprise counterparts, but face those challenges with a much more limited resource base. Cybersecurity and Privacy is one of those areas that confront all of our organizations, regardless of our annual revenue. This is a substantial issue to organizations of all sizes, as it has a blistering pace of change that presents a significant threat to both business and personal liability for Senior corporate officers. Fighting these new threats and meeting fluctuating new obligations is an emerging part of our job description that most of us didn’t sign up for.

Taking the necessary steps to understand the scope and consequence of this issue is essential. After all, our SMB companies employ nearly half of the American labor force and account for over 65% of the job growth. We are digitally connected to each other and to our enterprise partners; and not only are they requesting us to participate - they are requiring it, and they need us to both engage and to win.

Over the past three years I have logged over 200K airmiles, delivering more than 150 private keynotes to over 5000 SMB executives. That rigorous schedule provided abundant opportunity for some poignant conversations with owners, founders, and C-suite teams.

I have listened to you carefully and completely: the reasons for the SMB suffering over half of all cyber attacks and over ninety percent of the financial losses has come into sharp focus

  • #1) The Cyber Talent Gap: Less than 27% of SMB organizations have access to a relationship with a Cybersecurity professional, but not for lack of trying. According to an annual report on the US labor market, the SMB was over 600K cyber security professionals short in 2019 with projections exceeding 1.3 million by 2022.
  • #2) The Program Project Management Gap: Over 83% of SMB executives indicated that they lacked their organizational program and project management skill sets necessary to roll out significant initiatives like Cybersecurity and Privacy.

We can’t collectively win the struggle for Cybersecurity and Privacy compliance if we don’t have access to the talent we need or a thoughtful model for how to effectively coordinate their efforts. Highground Cyber built a Virtual Red Team model to help address the first challenge, with our Purple Teaming model and Transformation process addressing the second. Our customers have told us this approach works remarkably well for them and we know it can help you, too.