An Open Letter from Ken Barnhart, CEO of Highground Cyber

The pace and nature of these internal and external challenges pulls us from the macro to the minutiae, demanding our best leadership. While these challenges confronting us within the SMB are comparable to the enterprise space, we lack the same resources and talent pool in addressing them. The rapid pace of change with regards to CyberSecurity and Privacy poses a significant threat to both our organization and our personal liability as Corporate Officers. Fighting these ever-evolving threats and fulfilling additional obligations has become an emerging portion of our job description, which most of us didn't signed up for. However, taking the necessary steps to understanding the scope and consequence of the problem is essential. After all, our companies employ nearly half of the American labor force, and they need us to engage and 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 enlightening conversations with owners, founders, and C-suite teams. As I listened to their stories, the two primary reasons for the SMB’s falling victim to more than half of the reported cyber-attacks and over ninety percent of the financial losses came into 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.