Rob Cote

Security Vitals Selected as 2019 Southeast Michigan SmartZone Best Small Business by Michigan Celebrates Small Business (MCSB)

Security Vitals Selected as 2019 Southeast Michigan SmartZone Best Small Business by Michigan Celebrates Small Business (MCSB)

Pontiac, MI Security Vitals has been selected as a 2019 Southeast Michigan SmartZone Best Small Business from Michigan Celebrates Small Business (MCSB), the most prestigious, small-business awards program in the state of Michigan. Michigan Celebrates Small Business recognizes small businesses in a variety of different industries and fields whose growth supports Michigan’s economy. The mission of the program is to honor and recognize Michigan’s small business people as well as those champions and advocates that support them.

Macomb-Oakland Incubator nominated Security Vitals as 2019 Southeast Michigan SmartZone Best Small Business. The designation of SmartZone Best Small Business is awarded for demonstrating a strong relationship with the support organization as well as significant success as a company.

Corporate cyber security is a fast-moving field with many players and diverse requirements across industries. In particular, the cyber-security standard NIST 800-171 became an important compliance challenge in 2017-2018 for the more than 1,000 Michigan-based manufacturers holding contracts with the Federal government. In response, Security Vitals developed and launched its Compliance as a Service (CaaS) program to deliver the hardware, software, and consulting support necessary to help these companies achieve compliance and retain their government contracts. The company has developed a strong track record by driving compliance for organizations ranging from 3-person operations to Fortune 500 firms. Insights gained through data collected for the CaaS program led to the development of a new dashboard solution for vulnerability management. The Vulnerability Management Program (VMP) was released in 2018 to provide executives and operations staff with critical insights that dramatically improve the effectiveness of vulnerability risk management.

Security Vitals was building out the Compliance as a Service offering when it was introduced to the Velocity organization in Macomb County.  The timing was outstanding as a marketing program, pricing configurator, and legal service agreements were items that required external support.  The Velocity team helped organize the application and business plan to obtain a funding award of nearly $15,000.  In fact, the pricing configurator developed for CaaS is being revised to support pricing for the VMP.  

The relationship formed during the planning phase has built a strong foundation for continued synergy between the two organizations.  “We are humbled by this nomination from our colleagues at Macomb-Oakland Incubator through our work with Velocity,” says Rob Cote, President of Security Vitals.

Security Vitals self-funded its initial development of the CaaS program and was awarded a $15,000 grant in 2017 from Macomb OU-Incubator’s Business Accelerator Fund (BAF). The BAF award helped Security Vitals successfully launch its CaaS offering. CaaS has had a big impact on the organization as Security Vitals’ revenues have grown by 60% and staff headcount has increased 30% since unveiling the program offering. The firm has also partnered with Duo Security, a leader in two-factor authentication technology based in Ann Arbor, to support DoD, NASA, and General Services Administration (GSA) supplier compliance programs.

Since receiving the award, Security Vitals has been a guest speaker at Velocity public events, supported other award recipients through an application security test, referred other entrepreneurs for program funding, and provided input for the cyber security intern program.  

Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs), Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), and SmartZones are organizations located across the state that provide support services to Michigan small businesses. Each regional PTAC, SBDC, or SmartZone may only select one company to be recognized as Best Small Business.

Selected regional Best Small Business recipients also undergo a judging process to determine a single statewide Best Small Business of the Year award recipient for each category (PTAC, SBDC, or SmartZone). This business receives additional special recognition. The “Of the Year” recipient is selected by a panel of judges based on the information provided by the region and the business. 

About Security Vitals

Security Vitals is a cyber security solutions firm that helps organizations identify and effectively mitigate the risk of data loss, business disruption, and reputational impact tied to cyber threats. Offering a blend of technology and consulting services, the team applies creative solutions that solve the most challenging elements of compliance and cyber security.


About Michigan Celebrates Small Business

The Best Small Business awards are presented by Michigan Celebrates Small Business. The MCSB awards program received over 600 award nominations in 2019. Michigan Celebrates Small Business (MCSB) is a collaboration of trusted statewide founding organizations who offer resources for small businesses. Since 2005, Michigan Celebrates Small Business awards gala has placed a spotlight on how small businesses positively impact our communities and state. The MCSB organization is focused on supporting, promoting and celebrating small businesses in Michigan.

The Michigan Small Business Development Center is the managing partner of Michigan Celebrates Small Business in 2019.  Michigan Celebrates Small Business was founded by the Michigan Small Business Development Center, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, U.S. Small Business Administration - Michigan, Edward Lowe Foundation, Michigan Business Network, and the Small Business Association of Michigan.

Founding sponsors are the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, PNC Bank, AF Group, and Dynamic Edge, Inc.


Security Vitals Secures Contract with Haymarket Media, Publisher of SC Magazine

Security Vitals Secures Contract with Haymarket Media, Publisher of SC Magazine
Security Vitals will be collaborating with Merit Network, Inc.’s cyber range to conduct product reviews for SC Magazine

Pontiac, MI - Security Vitals has been awarded a new contract with Haymarket Media, publisher of SC Magazine. After an extensive search and review process, Haymarket Media selected Security Vitals as the firm to conduct SC Magazine product reviews beginning in 2018. This latest venture reinforces Security Vitals’ thought leadership in the InfoSec community.

“We have a great opportunity to validate the value of information security technology, and our alignment with Merit Network provides an outstanding framework for ongoing testing,” said Rob Cote, President of Security Vitals.  

Reviews will be conducted through collaborative efforts between Security Vitals and Merit Network, Inc. Security Vitals will utilize Merit Network’s Cyber Range to conduct the monthly product reviews. By leveraging Merit Network resources, Security Vitals will have access to leading-edge technology for security product evaluations.

“The Cyber Range is always looking to partner with innovative organizations, so we're excited to partner with Security Vitals and especially proud that they came to us with the idea of helping test equipment and inform the public about technology,” said Dr. Joe Adams, VP Research and Cybersecurity at Merit Network.

The first Group Test, covering offerings that help address ransomware, will be published online as part of SC Magazine’s April coverage.

“The SC Media team and I look forward to working with Security Vitals, as well as Merit Network’s Michigan Cyber Range, to continue providing readers with critical insights into cybersecurity solutions,” said Illena Armstrong, VP, editorial, SC Media. “Since 2006, our former Technology Editor and current Editor-at-Large Peter Stephenson and I have worked tirelessly to ensure that our independent and unique Group Tests, First Looks, and Innovators of the Year profiles meet the needs of security professionals who seek guidance in their buying decisions. Through this new partnership, we expect to not just uphold our lofty standards, but surpass them as we evolve and enhance our Product Review offerings.”

Security Vitals believes that this new partnership will leverage its team’s experience to evaluate a wide variety of security product categories. Through this process, they will gain additional exposure to evolving technologies that could ultimately benefit their clientele.

“This is a great opportunity to leverage our team’s experience and background to add clarity around the evolving mix of security products,” commented Cote. “We look forward to reviewing the different product groups and providing insights that will help security professionals determine what products will best meet their specific needs.”

SC Magazine has a great reputation, and its product reviews reach a broad audience base. By being involved with this widely known organization, Security Vitals further expands its own brand and capabilities. Through the initial work on the product reviews, Security Vitals anticipates that there will be future opportunities with Haymarket Media and Merit Network as needs evolve.

In seeking a new partner, SC Media sought the advice of close industry contacts and members of their editorial advisory board, which ultimately led them to seek out RFPs from several organizations. After much consideration, Security Vitals was determined to be the best fit -- not only because of their industry knowledge, technical/product acumen, and adherence to a strictly vendor neutral stance, but also because of past work that Security Vitals’ President Rob Cote performed with us for a few previous Group Tests.

As it stands today, the new SC Media Product Reviews team is composed of a formidable group of seasoned industry experts who add experienced, robust, and knowledgeable perspectives to our existing editorial crew. SC has retained our long-time Labs Manager Judy Traub, and, of course, added Rob, who as SC’s Program Director, brings 30 years of experience in the tech industry. Michael Diehl, whose 18 year of industry experience includes work with multiple MSSPs and various private enterprises, has been named Technology Editor. Matthew Hreben is our Security Technologist, and Dan Cure will serve as Technical Writer.

The product review contract is an annual agreement. Reviews will be completed monthly, and will include anywhere from three to 15 products. Security Vitals will be expected to conduct group tests and emerging product category reviews, one-off first look stand-alone reviews, the annual Innovators Product Review special, and the Hall of Fame that is a part of the annual Product Review.

About Security Vitals
Security Vitals is a cyber security solutions firm that helps organizations identify and effectively mitigate risk.  Offering a blend of technology and consulting services, Security Vitals helps clients address the many challenges related to ongoing compliance and IT risk.

About SC Media
SC Media is cybersecurity. We've lived it for more than 25 years, sharing industry expert guidance and insight, in-depth features and timely news, and independent product reviews in various content forms in partnership with and for top-level information security executives and their technical teams.

About Merit Network
Merit Network is a non-profit, Member-owned organization governed by Michigan’s public universities. Founded in 1966, Merit owns and operates America’s longest-running regional research and education network. After 50 years of innovation, Merit continues to provide high-performance services to the educational communities in Michigan and beyond.