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Innovation Excellence Awards 2023

BAI Security Beating cyberthreats to the punch with cutting-edge assessments

BAI Security Beating cyberthreats to the punch with cutting-edge assessments

The business world is rapidly changing and becoming more data-driven and technologically advanced. Whether it’s hardware or software, organizations must leverage information technology to improve their operational efficiency, gather more data for analytics and empower their workforce.

New industry standards and regulations regarding data and cybersecurity have made compliance more challenging for organizations. However, cybersecurity compliance is a driving force behind any organization’s success.

We introduce you to BAI Security, a 2023 Innovation Excellence Award recipient. A nationally recognized cybersecurity & compliance assessment firm, BAI Security specializes in innovative, yet cost-effective offerings for high-stakes industries with the most at risk, including Healthcare & Pharma, Bank & Finance, Energy & Utilities, Manufacturing, Retail, Government, and more.

We interviewed Michael Bruck, President and CEO, for a better understanding of the organization.

Q. Why was BAI Security established? What impact has the company had on the IT security landscape?

In 2007, I was driven to solve a serious problem: Organizations with particularly valuable data – the ones most coveted by cybercriminals – often lacked access to high-quality security audits. I saw firsthand how vulnerable this left them and how devastating a breach was for owners, customers, operations, and reputation.

So with decades of security consulting under my belt, I founded BAI Security to provide truly expert, yet affordable security assessments for industries with the MOST at stake. Regardless of size or budget, we set a course to make robust assessments accessible to organizations across bank and finance, healthcare and pharmaceutical, energy and utilities, education, government, transportation, and other at-risk industries most targeted by hackers.

For 15 years since, we have innovated our way to the forefront of IT security, continually pioneering cutting-edge methodology that stands as a model for the entire profession. The industry accolades and client testimonials earned along the way are a reflection of the security and compliance experts we’ve assembled – all working tirelessly to secure critical organizations in a cost-effective manner.

Q. The IT security landscape changes constantly. How does BAI Security stay on the cutting edge?

As a rare pure play IT security firm, we deliver uncommon specialization in the most highly regulated and at-risk sectors. Unlike generalist consultants and MSSPs with a mishmash of priorities, we live and breathe IT security assessment. This allows us to be fully focused on innovative audit methodology, which the current cyber climate requires, as well as ensuring true objectivity in our evaluations of client environments (which MSSPs, who provide both solutions and assessments, simply cannot be).

We also invest in a 100% in-house expert team, with specializations, certifications, and experience in the high-risk sectors we serve. Our auditors and engineers continually challenge assumptions, re-test methods, and iterate proactive solutions to keep our clients ahead of emerging threats and on top of expanding regulatory requirements.

Q. How is BAI Security uniquely positioned to be the market’s most dependable provider of IT security assessments?

Our methods are intentionally far more comprehensive compared to other providers. We stand in deliberate contrast to traditional ‘bare minimum’ assessment approaches that may satisfy government examiners, but which are not nearly sophisticated enough to stop modern-day hackers. We also commit to investing in best-in-breed tools, which garner far deeper, more accurate results than providers who rely on open-source or freeware tools.

Our forward-thinking team also continually researches present-day hacking techniques, then reverse-engineers assessment processes that mimic the expertise and tenacity of today’s cyber criminals. This keeps us on the front lines of IT security, right where our clients in high-risk industries need us to be.

And ultimately, our results do the talking. For example, regardless of prior audit by other firms, our IT Security Assessment reveals serious, previously undetected issues in 85% of our new client environments, while our Red Team Assessment successfully breaches 93% of client environments.

Q. BAI Security is a 2023 Innovation Excellence Award winner. What are the most innovative services the company provides?

To keep our clients ahead of the ever-advancing tactics of cybercriminals, we continually re-evaluate our methods, tools, and service offerings to address new threats. In the past year alone, we doubled our service offerings to respond to what IT leaders indicate are their three greatest concerns today—ransomware, personnel weaknesses, and vendor breach.

  • For ransomware, we developed a Ransomware and Endpoint Compromise Simulation that utilizes actual ransomware code developed at BAI Security for the sole purpose of a simulation exercise, to prove the efficacy of internal controls — but without risk to the client’s environment. We also now offer a Ransomware Preparedness Best Practice Evaluation, which assesses the controls, policies, and practices for the prevention of ransomware attacks, but also evaluates the client’s ability to rapidly react to and swiftly recover from such incidents.
  • For personnel vulnerability, which continues to be the leading risk for all organizations year after year, we expanded upon our Social Engineering Evaluation and Red Team Assessment to develop a Red Team Residency, which is made up of routine real-world cyberattacks (e.g. monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly) against a client organization, spread across varied locations and times (e.g. 12-18 months or longer). Like our Red Team, the Residency serves as a comprehensive assessment of a client’s targeted assets — technical, human, and physical. But with ongoing testing and regular reporting over this residency, clients can pivot in real time. This expedites the maturation of their security program and increasingly reduces real-world risks over the course of the engagement.
  • For vendor breach concerns, we now offer a Vendor Management Risk Assessment based upon the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cyber Supply Chain Risk Management Practices for Systems and Organizations (NIST SP 800-161 Rev.1). We ensure a client’s Technology Service Providers (TSPs) are adhering to the same sound risk management, security, and privacy practices that would be expected if the client were conducting the activities in-house.

Q. What is the difference BAI Security offers to its clients when they seek its services?

It all boils down to our commitment to true partnership over the more typical in-and-out vendor approach you see with other providers. Our clients often comment on exactly what we aim to be—customized, responsive, and concretely helpful. For instance, instead of cookie cutter audit packages, all our services and the many options therein are entirely à la carte. This allows clients to choose exactly what they need for their distinct environment and budget instead of paying for things they don’t need. Our clients also enjoy scoping flexibility year to year, which helps them adjust assessment components to reflect new or changing priorities in their environment. All of this yields a greater ROI on their IT budget.

Thanks to our expert team and best-in-breed tools, we also provide far greater rigor in our assessments, which gives our clients confidence in the results they receive that no stone has been left unturned. Our clients tell us how much they appreciate the customized recommendations we provide based on our findings (most providers just point out what’s wrong, and that’s it). With our guidance, they can take action to improve their security posture immediately and measure year-to-year improvement with the trend data we provide over a long-term relationship with BAI Security.

Michael Bruck, President/CEO

“We have built an industry-leading reputation based upon unparalleled cyber-expertise and exceptional service.”

“With the highest-caliber audit available, BAI ensures organizations receive the most comprehensive & accurate assessment of their security posture, while providing actionable solutions - all within budget.”

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