Group SALUS Launches Cybersecurity Reputation Risk Assessment

(Press release - July 9, 2019)

First Of Its Kind Online Tool Helps Small, Medium-Sized Businesses Determine Readiness To Protect Their Reputations If They Suffer A Cyberattack

Group Salus today announced its online Cybersecurity Reputation Risk Assessment – believed to be the first of its kind – to help small and medium-sized businesses identify vulnerabilities in their abilities to protect their reputations after a cyberattack.

Available on the Group Salus website, the assessment is a step-by-step questionnaire that will be analyzed by Group Salus' team of experts to determine company’s reputation risk from high vulnerability to low vulnerability, as well as provide counsel on the areas of focus for the organization to improve their communications preparation for and response to a cyberattack.

Most experts believe small to medium-sized businesses are the next major wave of targets for cyber criminals. A report by the Ponemon Institute found that 47 percent of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have no understanding of how to protect their companies from cyberattacks.

“Most small and medium-sized businesses are completely unprepared for managing the reputational risk and brand or business damage related to a cyber crisis,” said Scott Marticke, Group Salus founder. “About 43 percent of cyberattacks target small business and 63 percent of those companies are out of business within six months of an attack.“

Marticke noted that since most SMBs lack in-house marketing resources or access to external marketing and communications counsel, they are ill-prepared for a significant cybersecurity event. “What are you going to say to your customers? Marticke asked. “How will you respond to media inquiries? You cannot defend your company in response to a cyberattack unless you have a communications strategy in place; one that works in tandem with your cybersecurity technology plan.”

In addition to the online assessment, Group Salus also offers a range of cyber reputation management plans and tools that can be customized according to the size and scope of a business. “Our team of experts can help any small or medium-sized business with the tools, materials, and training they will need to defend their reputations after a cyberattack at a very reasonable cost, particularly compared with larger marketing and communications consulting firms,” said Marticke.

An Atlanta-based startup, Group Salus is developing the first crisis management software system specifically focused on organizing the response process for SMBs by developing communications strategies and tools to address a cyberattack. The cloud-based platform will enable users to self-audit, generate a step-by-step communications plan, create key stakeholder contact lists and utilize templates to produce a host of materials including press releases, media statements, and more. The company also offers a range of consulting services.

Marticke and his co-founders, Mark Goldman and William Marks, have more than 100 years of combined marketing, branding and corporate communications experience. Candace McCaffery, an Atlanta public relations and marketing agency veteran, serves as the company’s director of marketing and business development.

Marticke has worked for a host of major advertising companies. In 2009, he co-founded online research company Sentiment360. Goldman has held leadership positions at three major advertising agencies and served as the chief marketing officer for one of the country’s leading appliance manufactures. Marks has been the chief communications officer for two technology companies, headed the Atlanta office of a major national public relations firm and served as the deputy managing director of communications for the Atlanta Committee for Olympic Games.

Group Salus’ Advisory Board includes:

  • Benn Konsynski, George S. Craft Distinguished University Professor of Information Systems & Operations at the Goizueta Business School at Emory University.

  • Darrin Reynolds, leads Amazon’s Emerging Regulations program for the corporate Information Security Team.

  • Gary Cooper, Founder and Managing Partner of Aptitude Ventures.

  • Ken Bernhardt, Former Regents Professor of Marketing and Taylor E. Little, Jr. Professor of Marketing, and Chairman of the Marketing Department at Georgia State University.

  • Kelly Caffarelli, first president of the Home Depot Foundation, a position she held for more than a decade.

Group Salus has also established strategic partnerships with the following companies, to provide additional support to the reputation management firm’s clients:

  • BorderHawk Security – Solutions and services to help prevent, detect, and correct information risk challenges affecting an organization’s sensitive or critical information.

  • Edge Theory – Technology company that has developed the first "content as a service" capability designed to create and publish content at scale through proprietary conversation mapping and creation technology to fuel human connection

  • Red Clover Advisors – Helps businesses create a customized, affordable privacy program. Their privacy consultancy designs custom programs to fit the size and diversity of businesses, including GDPR Compliance, operationalizing privacy, digital governance, online data strategy, and more.

  • Water Dragons Consulting – Focused on strategic cyber intelligence and competitive intelligence. Working with a wide variety of high-profile U.S. and international companies, Water Dragons offers unique capabilities through a consortium of highly-experienced scholar-practitioners.

  • Narwhal Digital – Specializes in the creation of engaging digital experiences that enhance brand touch points and enable companies to market better with expertise in strategy and enablement, mobile and emergent technologies, demand generation, and digital product design and implementation.

For more information on the new Cybersecurity Reputation Risk Assessment or a custom cybersecurity reputation management plan, contact Scott Marticke.