Michael Ferris, CEOAbacode fills a critical boardroom gap–a failure to fully recognize cybersecurity as a leadership and governance issue, and considering it as a merely an IT or technical thing. Business leaders recognize financial compliance and the independence of audit, for example, but rarely bring the same level of checks and balances to their critical data, systems and IT landscape.
Also, IT leadership or management, especially in small to medium enterprises, do not have the required staff needed to address the subject holistically and are simply not experts in cybersecurity. And, from a governance perspective–nor should they. Most IT departments are experts in other IT domains or provide general IT knowledge about most of the systems, but nevertheless are entrusted with cybersecurity, too.
“Abacode is a pure cybersecurity firm, we don’t do anything else,” asserts Michael Ferris, the CEO, establishing the company’s credentials. Beginning his entrepreneurial aspirations in 1992 after a successful football career at Missouri Southern State University, Ferris has been a Founder, Chairman, CEO and Advisor of several companies throughout his career. Ferris and his team of IT Cybersecurity Experts at Abacode help organizations develop and implement strategy and services to address the cyber risk exposure of their business. The company offers a complete suite of Information Security (IS) related services; including but not limited to: full internal and external vulnerability assessments to determine the level of cybersecurity readiness of an organization, 24/7 proactive SIEM monitoring and remediation that includes software and security operation center professionals–working around the clock, penetration testing (Pen Test) to evaluate how vulnerable to attack a business is, staff training modules and policy and governance services to manage the lifecycle of your IS Management (ISM) program. “We ensure that cybersecurity is a 360-degree view, encompassing every aspect of the IT landscape, and is an independently audited function of a company’s governance and protocols,” Ferris adds.
Consequently, Abacode’s primary focus is on bringing cybersecurity awareness to the C-suite and the Board of Directors, and “walk them down the path” of addressing cybersecurity from the top down. Abacode helps empower business leaders to handle cybersecurity properly– by working alongside leadership, IT departments and their IT suppliers. All enterprises need an independent audit mechanism to check the integrity of systems, specific to their cybersecurity posture. Abacode provides all of these services and more.
“Our task is communicating at the highest level, at the top of the organizational chart,” says Ferris, who is also associated with Occam Technology Group and Cerca Trova Holdings. “What we’re doing is so counter-intuitive to what everybody else is saying that it poses the greatest challenge, but simultaneously offers our clients and us an amazing opportunity.”
Ferris cites the case of a firm with 650 employees and operations in 15 states that had already started implementing a cybersecurity plan when Abacode engaged and asked the question: How do we know if our plan is working? “The company CTO only then realized he didn’t have a mechanism in place to even know if they had and internal or external data breach, or the method to remediate and respond if a breach did occur,” recalls Ferris.
We ensure cybersecurity is dealt with strategically so that we save you time and money–and not tactically, which costs time and money. Abacode is a fully integrated cybersecurity firm and provides every aspect of the cyber spectrum
“They simply did not have the adequate amount of staff or expertise to address the subject…nor should they. We take care of all of this for them–checks and balances. It’s an incredible value and resource for the leadership in IT and their department,” says Ferris.
In another instance, Abacode helped a small company write code, on the fly, as it was performing forensics analysis for them. In a third, a company asked Abacode to contact them back within three to four months because it was in the middle of an enterprise IT infrastructure (hardware and software) and systems transition. “Time-out”, Ferris says he told them because cybersecurity is “even more important and necessary prior and during a transition. A company should address cybersecurity on the front end and as they go through any IT transition and not bolt it on at the end and because it simultaneously addressed a critical problem without having to start over.”
“We create what I call a win-win-win situation because we align our services to strategically meet the needs of everyone in the IT and non-IT ecosystem. It’s a win for the client, a win for their IT department and a win for their IT vendors and suppliers– which include insurance and legal. Simply because we start with addressing cybersecurity from a governance perspective of having a checks and balance mechanism in place first and not the other way around,” says Ferris.
Abacode, which works primarily with small to medium (SMB’s) enterprises with revenues ranging from $5 million to $1 billion, is planning to open an office in London, January of 2017, as it seeks to establish a global footprint. “Today, any business needs to have global awareness, a global perspective and diversity, and that is what we are aiming for,” Ferris says.
“We challenge ourselves to be incredibly responsive to our clients and partners. And, we believe that, collectively, all of us are smarter than any one of us,” Ferris adds, outlining his philosophy. “Constant research, development and learning is in our DNA which is important to the success of our people and clients. Abacode is fortunate to have the ability to do what we do and give back to the communities we serve. I love what we do,” says Ferris.