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Think Like a Hacker: Taking the Path of Least Resistance

How One South Dakota Company is Combatting Cyber-Crime

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Cybersecurity can be intimidating to think about …unless you’re Dr. Kevin Streff, CEO and owner of Secure Banking Solutions (SBS), based in Madison, South Dakota. For this Dakota State University professor, cybersecurity is what makes him tick.

In the late 1990s, Streff began developing a cybersecurity program to address the concerns of small-and medium-size banks in the region. “Soon after, I was approached by more bankers in South Dakota that needed help understanding and implementing comprehensive security protocol in their banks. And in 2004, I founded SBS at the request of bankers seeking assistance to meet regulatory needs,” Streff said.

SBS has experienced continual growth and has appeared on the Inc. 5000 list of Fastest Growing Companies in America for the past four years. What began as at two-man show has grown to 57 employees in Madison and 78 company-wide, with a service area including 36 states.

“The best part of SBS is our people,” Streff says. “Our consultants, engineers, auditors and developers hold a multitude of degrees and top certifications in Information Systems and Cyber Security.”

Streff says members of the SBS team hold master’s degrees in information assurance, technology, or systems; doctorates in computer forensics and information technology, and numerous industry standard certifications.

While consulting with financial institutions, SBS saw the need to empower employees in the financial industry to be better prepared to confidently handle cybersecurity threats, create and manage strong information security programs, and understand ever-changing regulations at their institution.

“The SBS Institute is a leading provider of information and cybersecurity training and education in the financial industry,” Streff said. “Cybersecurity is evolving daily, so continuous and constant training is critical at SBS. Training our employees and our clients is at the forefront of everything we do,” he added.

And is it true everyone is affected by cybersecurity? According to Streff, you better believe it.

“Hackers look for businesses with valuable data and inadequate security protocols. Nearly every business, large or small, retains a significant amount of data, which provides great value to criminals,” said Streff. “Criminals know that data is critical to a business and cyber theft is much easier and less risky to access than a criminal who walks into a bank or small business to rob it at gunpoint. If you think about it, would you target someone with strong security or someone with basic or no security? That’s how the ‘bad guys’ think—they follow the path of least resistance,” Streff added.

SBS gets into the mindset of cyber criminals and works diligently to help businesses be more proactive when it comes to cybersecurity.

“Cyber criminals don’t know who the business owners and employees are and they don’t know where they’re located, either. A business is simply a target to hackers—all they care about is the volume of data they can hack into,” Streff said.

That’s why Streff says it’s the company’s mission to prepare financial institutions and their business customers for those kinds of threats. SBS is constantly evolving and is ready to fight criminals who seek to cripple or destroy businesses and exploit data.

“Over the years, cybersecurity has become a valid and growing concern for banks, credit unions and businesses alike—no matter the size,” said Streff. “The increasing demand for industry leading cybersecurity products and services like those provided by SBS has allowed the company to grow our business and employee base. The quality of our team and the dedication of each individual to the success of our efforts to protect our clients is the reason for SBS’ success.”

SBS continues to grow and expand its efforts in Madison and beyond. Streff says he hopes to create 14 jobs in the next three years.

For more information on SBS, visit its website at www.protectmybank.com.


Media Contact

Members of the media requesting more information should contact Natalie Likness at natalie.likness@sdreadytowork.com or (605) 773-3301.