Victim’s testimonial: `We felt like we were putting the right people on the job’
When an executive at an east coast-based real estate firm got a call from her banker one morning in March, terror set in when she was told the firm’s online banking accounts had been breached.
To protect the firm, it’s not being named. But their story of the breach — a worst-case scenario is that it would have shut the firm down due to financial losses and ensuing public relations fallout — and Sera-Brynn’s incident response underscores how critical and valuable of a service it can be for businesses.
Like many business owners and managers, the firm’s executives had heard about the threats posed by cyber thieves, particularly for national companies like Home Depot, Target and Anthem. But it had never happened to any of them before and besides, they believed they were a much smaller target.
That doesn’t matter to cyber thieves, however. Statistics show small- to medium-size businesses are routine targets for cyber thieves, often because their online operations are often fairly easy to penetrate and their work can go unnoticed for lengthy periods of time.
“There was terror, apprehension,” the executive said of the call from the bank. “They were in our system quite prevalently. The potential loss we could have been up against was ginormous.”
Sera-Brynn was immediately recommended.
“They were there within a couple of hours, which was a relief,” the executive said. “They were sitting down with us, walking us through what they did and what we were potentially up against. We felt like we were putting the right people on the job of helping guide us through this event.”
Although the firm’s executives were initially skeptical, Sera-Brynn gave them ease of mind. Mainly through an honest assessment of the situation.
“They didn’t sugar coat anything,” the executive said. “They let us know what we were up against. We liked being told it was very serious and that we were up for a tough couple of weeks. We weren’t going in with rose-colored glasses. We knew it was a serious matter and we took it as a very serious matter.”
Throughout the response from Sera-Brynn, the firm’s executive said the communication was top-notch, even in the realm of cyber security that they weren’t familiar with. The firm was continually kept abreast of developments, the response from Sera-Brynn and they were always given answers whenever anyone had questions.
“I always got an answer,” the executive said. “I never had to wait.”
Ultimately, Sera-Brynn determined nothing detrimental had been stolen in the breach, believed to have been perpetrated by international cyber thieves. The firm was told where they had gaps in their technology, how to improve operations and steps to implement to protect against future cyber threats.
“It was a hard, but worthwhile lesson to go through this,” the executive said. “I won’t say I’m glad we went through it, but the experience that we learned from it was really invaluable. And the expertise of having Sera-Brynn on our side and how to make our system better was second to none.
“The communication, the one-on-one, no question was ever unanswered by Sera-Brynn. No question I asked ever made me feel like it was stupid. I always was met with professionalism. I feel like I really did have someone looking out for my best interest.”