Specialized Security Services, Inc. (S3 Security), is a woman-owned, global cybersecurity firm based in Dallas. For 25 years, their expert team has successfully assisted organizations with the design, implementation, and ongoing testing of their cyber and information security programs, providing professional guidance with clarity and assurance.
A Conversation with S3 Security's Senior Vice President, Hank Edley
Hank Edley is the Executive Vice President, Cybersecurity Services at Specialized Security Services, Inc. Hank utilizes his decades of experience in consulting and assessing complex networking environments for Fortune-ranked companies to lead his talented team of Cyber Security Assessors. Together, they assist clients of all sizes and with multiple payment channels in completing cyber security assessments across many frameworks.
In an interview with CIO Bulletin, Hank spoke exclusively to CIO Bulletin about how his company has excelled in helping organizations implement and manage their information security, privacy, and regulatory compliance programs.
Below are the highlights of the interview.
WHAT IS THE STORY OF SPECIALIZED SECURITY SERVICES, INC?
At Specialized Security Services, Inc. (S3 Security), our story began with our founders’ vision to unify the best talent in the industry to fight against the global threat of cybercrime, secure business, and protect privacy.
Mitchelle and Scott Schanbaum founded S3 Security in 1999 to address the increasing cyber threats that emerged with the rapid expansion of the Internet and digital technologies.
S3 Security has expanded to include a team of passionate cybersecurity experts nationwide. Together, we have established ourselves as a trusted security partner, helping organizations of all sizes navigate the complex landscape of compliance regulations.
HOW HAS S3 SECURITY DISTINGUISHED ITSELF AS A TOP SUPPLIER OF COMPLIANCE SOLUTIONS?
S3 Security is more than just a company that ticks off boxes on a compliance checklist. Proactive security and compliance require a comprehensive and adaptive approach in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape. Here’s what sets us apart:
Holistic Solutions: We don’t view cybersecurity and compliance as separate activities. Our integrated approach ensures that security measures are seamlessly woven into compliance strategies. This not only keeps data secure but also safeguards against emerging threats.
Customization: We understand that each organization has unique needs. Our highly customizable services allow clients to tailor their security and compliance strategies to their specific industry, regulatory environment, and risk tolerance.
Expertise: Our team consists of top-tier experts in cybersecurity, privacy, and compliance, including former industry regulators, CISOs, and experienced IT professionals. This depth of knowledge allows us to provide insightful guidance beyond basic requirements.
Continuous Compliance: Compliance is not a one-time achievement; it’s an ongoing process. We help organizations maintain compliance by providing regular updates on regulatory changes and offering guidance on adapting security measures accordingly.
Educational Resources: We believe that an educated client is more secure. Our organization provides regular resources to inform clients about the latest threats and best practices.
Partnership Approach: Partnership is at the core of who we are. We are an extension of our clients’ teams. We work closely with them to align our strategies with their business goals, ensuring security and compliance efforts support their overall objectives.
Client Success: Our dedication to customer success is unwavering. We provide exceptional support and training to our clients, enabling them to maximize the benefits of our compliance solutions and maintain a strong security posture.
Proven Track Record: Our success stories speak for themselves. We’ve helped hundreds of organizations navigate complex compliance landscapes and bolster their security posture, resulting in fewer breaches and improved customer trust.
”We go beyond the checkboxes to provide a comprehensive, forward-looking approach to cybersecurity and compliance. Our focus on innovation, customization, expertise, and ongoing support sets us apart as partners in safeguarding our clients' digital assets and supporting their business goals.
HOW HAS THE RAPID GROWTH OF GLOBAL DATA LAWS AND COMPLIANCE SOLUTION PROVIDERS BENEFITED S3 SECURITY, AND WHAT CHALLENGES HAS IT POSED FOR YOUR COMPANY?
The global proliferation of data laws has boosted the compliance services market for our company, bringing both advantages and challenges.
Increased Demand: Stricter data protection regulations like GDPR and CCPA have driven organizations to prioritize compliance, leading to high demand for our services and fueling our company’s growth.
Global Reach: Diverse data laws across countries created a need for compliance experts who can navigate these complexities. Our expertise in handling various regulations has expanded our global client base.
Innovation: Adapting to evolving compliance requirements has pushed us to innovate. Our forward-looking strategies have attracted clients seeking innovative solutions.
Partnerships and Alliances: Collaborating with incident response providers, forensics teams, tech firms, and industry associations has bolstered our credibility and allowed us to offer comprehensive solutions.
Fragmented Landscape: Numerous data laws across jurisdictions make compliance complex, requiring constant monitoring and updates.
Resource Allocation: Rapid market growth necessitates scalable solutions and careful resource allocation for operations, infrastructure, and staffing.
Skills Shortage: High demand for skilled cybersecurity and compliance professionals poses a talent acquisition challenge, which we’ve addressed creatively and strategically.
Complexity: Diverse data laws may have conflicting requirements, making a one-size-fits-all strategy difficult. Flexibility, staying updated, and adaptability are crucial for effective client service.
Our ability to navigate these complexities reflects our commitment to providing tailored services that meet our clients’ unique compliance needs.
HOW DOES S3 SECURITY ASSIST CLIENTS WITH NAVIGATING COMPLIANCE, GIVEN THAT BUSINESSES ARE SUBJECT TO A WIDE RANGE OF COMPLIANCE LAWS?
S3 Security excels at guiding our clients through the intricacies of the compliance segment.
One-size-fits-all solutions don’t work in compliance. We collaborate closely with our clients to design strategies that align with their unique regulatory landscape, risk tolerance, and business objectives. We have dedicated teams of compliance experts who stay at the forefront of regulatory changes, enabling us to provide up-to-date guidance tailored to each client’s specific industry and location.
Our comprehensive suite of compliance solutions covers various areas, including data privacy, cybersecurity, industry-specific regulations, and international laws. Utilizing the latest technology, our team meticulously maps out the regulatory requirements for the client’s business. We identify overlaps, conflicts, and compliance gaps to ensure nothing is overlooked.
Our assessors provide clients with a clear overview of their compliance status and generate comprehensive reports, helping them maintain transparency and accountability. Our goal is to help clients achieve compliance and to empower them to maintain a robust security posture that aligns with their industry’s best practices and regulatory demands.
By leveraging our expertise and advanced technology, clients can confidently navigate the compliance landscape while focusing on their core business operations.
IS S3 SECURITY PREPARED FOR THE CHANGE?
Absolutely. At S3 Security, we have always taken a proactive approach to staying ahead of compliance trends and changes. Here’s how we’re prepared for the evolving compliance landscape:
Continuous Education: Our experts stay informed about regulatory updates, industry trends, and emerging technologies. This knowledge allows us to anticipate changes and provide timely guidance to our clients.
Agile Solutions: Our solutions are designed to be agile and adaptable. We are prepared to modify our strategies to accommodate new compliance requirements and address emerging challenges.
Innovation: We invest in research and development to create innovative tools and strategies that help clients address evolving compliance needs. This ensures that our clients are well-equipped to navigate new compliance landscapes.
Global Expertise: Our team comprises professionals with diverse backgrounds and international experience. This enables us to understand and address compliance requirements across various jurisdictions, positioning us well for potential global harmonization.
Collaborative Approach: We maintain partnerships with legal experts, regulatory bodies, and technology providers. This collaborative approach allows us to gather insights and resources that keep us at the forefront of compliance changes.
Client-Centric Focus: Our personalized approach means we build strong relationships with our clients. This enables us to understand their unique needs and adapt our services to align with evolving compliance landscapes.
Scalability: Our solutions are scalable, allowing us to support organizations of all sizes as they navigate changing compliance requirements without compromising the quality of our services.
By remaining proactive, adaptable, and well-informed, S3 Security is fully prepared to assist our clients in navigating the shifting compliance landscape, helping them stay compliant, secure, and resilient in the face of regulatory changes.
WHAT ARE S3 SECURITY’S PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
As we stride confidently into the future, S3 Security remains steadfastly dedicated to the three foundational pillars that shape our vision: innovation, client empowerment, and global impact. These pillars guide our strategic initiatives, ensuring we adapt and excel in the ever-evolving cybersecurity and compliance landscape. Here’s a closer look at how each of these initiatives supports our core values:
Global Expansion: As compliance requirements continue to evolve worldwide, we plan to expand our global footprint. This expansion will include building partnerships with local experts and tailoring our solutions to address the specific regulatory challenges of different regions.
Industry-Specific Solutions: We recognize that each industry has unique compliance demands. Our plans include developing specialized solutions for healthcare, finance, retail/hospitality, and more sectors. These tailored offerings will provide precise compliance guidance for each industry’s specific challenges.
Ethical AI and Privacy: With AI’s increasing adoption and data privacy concerns, we plan to lead discussions on ethical AI practices and privacy considerations. We aim to guide organizations in deploying AI responsibly while respecting individuals’ privacy rights.
Thought Leadership: We will continue contributing to thought leadership in cybersecurity and compliance. We aim to influence best practices and regulatory developments through research papers, industry presentations, and collaborative initiatives.
Overall, our plans for the future include leveraging technology, expanding our reach, tailoring solutions, and maintaining a client-centric approach to ensure that S3 Security remains a leader in delivering top-tier cybersecurity and compliance solutions in a dynamic and ever-changing landscape.