Ostra Cybersecurity enjoys building relationships with like-minded companies who share our commitment to protecting clients. That is why it is especially rewarding for us to work with Channel Partners like FRSecure, whose focus is crystal-clear: Information Security Experts on a Mission to Fix a Broken Industry.
Launched in 2012, FRSecure is a Minnesota-based consulting and testing company in the information security space. Its award-winning technical team is best known for performing risk assessments, penetration testing, incident response forensics and technical research—as well as regularly taking down hacking challengers at industry events such as DEF CON.
Although they typically work with organizations that employ less than 500 people, FRSecure also serves much larger companies that need to fill a gap in their security expertise. In addition to assessments and testing, clients consult FRSecure for advice on cybersecurity planning, leveling up their current staff, or integrating security into their business.
One of FRSecure’s specialty areas is helping clients identify which security projects they should prioritize—and showing them how to implement those plans in a cost-effective way. With this in mind, becoming an Ostra Cybersecurity Channel Partner made sense for a number of reasons.
How does becoming an Ostra Channel Partner benefit companies like FRSecure? In short, Ostra empowers Channel Partners to better protect the businesses they serve.
Paul Dobbins, Chief Growth Officer at Ostra, explains: “FRSecure is a perfect example of what Ostra’s Channel Partner Program is specifically designed for… naturally adjacent companies in the cybersecurity ecosystem. Together we’re breaking down silos within the industry to make sure companies are protected with holistic solutions.”
“First and foremost, what FRSecure looks for in a partner is culture fit,” shares John Harmon, President at FRSecure. “Are they interested in helping us fix the broken industry? Are they interested in helping us solve the same kinds of problems and serving the same kind of customers that we serve?”
The mission-driven culture at FRSecure resonates with I.S. professionals who want to make a difference in their industry—which has helped the company attract a team of bright, highly committed experts.
This mirrors the Ostra team’s passion for protecting clients from the devastating effects of cyberattacks, which are increasingly targeting small and medium-sized businesses. (A friend’s devastating experience with ransomware is one of the reasons Michael Kennedy founded Ostra—read more about the Ransomware Attack that Sparked Ostra Cybersecurity.)
Another important consideration in any partnership is common values—such as collaboration and truth-telling. Both Ostra and FRSecure are strong advocates for transparency.
“What we liked most about Ostra was their leadership and their willingness to let us look under the hood,” Harmon recalls, “so we could verify what they were claiming to do and who they were planning to serve.” Allowing this level of access to their proprietary solution—which Harmon says is rare in the cybersecurity industry—built trust and empowered FRSecure to refer clients to Ostra with confidence.
Another factor that contributes to the success of this Channel Partner relationship is the willingness of both companies to tackle tough problems together. Being open to feedback and communicating clearly ensures that nothing is lost in translation.
“We’re constantly working through issues, trying to find the best solutions for our clients—and sometimes that can get uncomfortable,” admits Harmon, “But with Ostra, we can speak plainly… and we can move a lot faster to help our clients.”
FRSecure was also drawn to Ostra’s technical expertise in filling the gaps left by other cybersecurity products. The holistic Ostra solution was able to measurably solve security issues for their clients.
Vision & Leadership
How does Ostra typically add value to Channel Partners and their clients? In FRSecure’s view, Ostra’s top strength is being able to identify the client’s real issue, knowing what the gaps are, and having the skill to fill those gaps in the most responsible way.
“Ostra is not trying to shoehorn their solution into things, hoping it works,” John Harmon explains. “Ostra is very good at vetting the issues… customizing their solution to make sure it fits, and [making sure] our customers are happy when they’re through.”
Harmon also admires the way Ostra has been able to package its very high level of cybersecurity expertise into a solution, and scale it in a way that benefits businesses of every size—including FRSecure’s clients.
“[Ostra Founder] Mike Kennedy is a visionary,” Harmon says. “He’s somebody who saw a problem in the industry and, despite all odds and despite hulking competition, created an offering that is going to be viable in our industry… I’m so happy that we are a part of that journey.”
In recent months, there have been dramatic policy changes at cyber insurance companies and at the regulatory level. As a result, both Ostra and FRSecure have seen organizations start to shift their strategies; instead of just relying on cyber insurance, companies are realizing their need to put a proper incident response plan in place.
According to Harmon, “There is now no choice but to take preventative measures and have insight into your network and your security program.”
To meet this need, FRSecure offers several compliance preparation services (such as SOC2 audit, Vendor Risk Management and more) to clients. Ostra is also uniquely positioned to help businesses learn to use insurance in a more responsible way. For example, in a June 2021 webinar presented by Ostra (The Ultimate Reality Check for Cybersecurity), panelists shared tips to protect small business owners from losing everything due to a data breach caused by malware, phishing or ransomware schemes.
Leaders at Ostra and FRSecure agree that when it comes to cybersecurity, nobody likes surprises. That’s why it’s crucial for organizations to account for every potential vulnerability and get a clear view of the situation before moving forward with a cybersecurity solution.
“You can’t secure what you don’t know you have,” John Harmon warns. “One of the first things that we coach our clients is to understand: What are all the assets in your network, in your data pool, even in your staff?”
Whether companies need a risk assessment, cybersecurity program planning, a cyberattack simulation or compliance preparation, FR Secure can provide a detailed analysis of their vulnerabilities as well as options for fixing the problem.
Joe Johnson, President at Ostra Cybersecurity, sheds some light on how Ostra fits in to this equation. “FRSecure helps clients understand their current reality, which is foundational to building an effective cybersecurity strategy.” He continues, “Ostra can offer a Fortune 100-caliber, layered cybersecurity solution to FRSecure clients who are looking for 24/7 threat prevention, management and remediation.”
A layered approach to cybersecurity is vital to helping companies confront the brand-new (also known as “zero-day”) exploits that sneak under the radar, in addition to the known threats that are logged by threat intelligence engines.
John Harmon summarizes: “Make sure that you are protecting yourself against everything… and not just what you can see.”
Partnering for Results
“Partnerships by definition should be a two-way street and FRSecure is a shining example,” stated Mike Barlow, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Ostra. “We are continually evaluating new channel partners including MSPs, vCISO, consulting, assessment and incident response firms. Selected Ostra Certified Partners like FRSecure are partners we trust explicitly in recommending to our clients in need of services outside of our area of expertise.”
Proactive partnerships with cyber allies like FRSecure are worth celebrating. The shared values, complimentary culture, and continuous improvement mindset of our Channel Partners ensures we are creating the best data security outcomes for clients.
About Ostra’s Channel Partner Program: For more information on the benefits of becoming an Ostra Cybersecurity Channel Partner, visit the Partner page on our website or connect with Mike Barlow, Director of Strategic Partnerships, on LinkedIn.
About FRSecure: FRSecure is a full-service information security management company that protects sensitive, confidential business information from unauthorized access, disclosure, distribution and destruction. Ostra is proud to have FRSecure as one of our official Channel Partners. To learn more about FRSecure and its award-winning technical services team (Team Ambush), visit frsecure.com
About Ostra: As a next-generation MSSP, Ostra Cybersecurity combines best-in-class tools, proprietary technology and exceptional talent to deliver Fortune 100-level protection for businesses of all sizes. Visit ostra.net to learn more about our multi-layered, 360° solution.