Former candidate for Auditor, and cyber security expert, Sheri Donahue and partners launch consulting firm to help local governments, non-profits, and small businesses protect themselves against cyber crime.
FRANKFORT, KENTUCKY: OCTOBER 1, 2020 Since her days working with the FBI, Sheri Donahue knew that local governments were vulnerable to cyber attacks. Still, it wasn’t until she spent a year traveling the Commonwealth of Kentucky while running for Auditor of Public Accounts that she learned just how unprepared some were.
“I was shocked to find out that in many communities they don’t understand the difference between IT (Information Technology) and cyber security,” Donahue, the CEO of Commonwealth Sentinel, said. She went on to say, “With big business investing billions of dollars building in cyber defenses, bad actors are going after smaller, easier targets like local governments, non-profits, and small businesses.”
In 2019, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported 467,000 cybercrime complaints that caused an estimated $3.5 billion.
“With COVID and the increase in people working from home, it’s made it harder for organizations to protect themselves,” added Kim Vanderoort, the Chief Business Development Officer at Commonwealth Sentinel. “Hackers have stepped up their game to take advantage of the circumstance.”
“Almost every day, you hear about another government entity with a breach. The Canadian Government Services, Kentucky Unemployment, and a lot of smaller cities and counties.” Donahue went on to point out, “Lafayette, CO, with a population of less than 30,000, just paid $45,000 in ransom to regain control of their computer systems. That doesn’t include what they will need to pay to secure their systems now. No community, organization, or business is too small.”
“To start, we plan to focus on four main areas,” said Vanderoort. “Vulnerability and Threat Evaluation to find out what’s wrong. Transformation Management to help organizations fix what’s wrong. CISO Management Services so that systems stay safe and Incident Response Management to help those who are victims of cyber attack.”
Donahue added, “Cyber security isn’t a destination; it’s a never-ending process. Smaller communities and businesses can’t afford a large full-time staff of cyber security experts. By leveraging our team’s experience we can bring world-class support to the ‘softer targets’ in Kentucky at a reasonable price.”
The leadership team for Commonwealth Sentinel Cyber Security includes Chief Executive Officer/Co-Founder Sheri Donahue, Chief Busines Development Officer/Co-Founder Kim Vanderoort, and Chief Operations Officer/Co-Founder Leo Haggerty. Their office is in Frankfort, KY, and they can be reached at 502-320-9885.