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Digital Beachhead - Cyber Security Risk Management

Every business that uses the internet risks a catastrophic data breach. 

Cybersecurity is more critical than ever—and yet only 14% of small businesses are prepared for an online attack. Nearly half of all businesses hacked are small businesses. 

It costs an average $200,000 now to recover from a hack. Can your business survive this?

It would be better not to find out. So what can we do about it?

How do you protect what you’ve built when small business owners like you are getting hacked every day?

Hi, I’m Mike. I’m the CEO of Digital Beachhead.

I’ve always been enthusiastic about what technology can do to strengthen teams and accomplish our missions.

During my time in the United States Air Force (USAF), I spent 12 years in Europe leading the implementation, security compliance, and management of networks. To secure this emerging technology, my team developed the ground-breaking USAF Barrier Reef defense in depth concept. 

I also helped champion and design the USAF first ever Network Security and Operations Center (NSOC) at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. The principles we pioneered were eventually adopted by the entire Department of Defense.

Later, when I was stationed at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, I was responsible for the operations and security of the $50 Billion Air Force Satellite Control Network. I managed multiple iterative network upgrades and security reviews of this mission-critical resource. 

A few more things I’m proud of:

  • I was named the 50th Space Wing Information Assurance Professional of the Year for a record 6 years in a row from 2005 to 2010
  • I was named the Air Force Space Command Information Assurance Professional of the Year for 2005 
  • I was also named 14th Air Force Outstanding Information Assurance Program Manager of the Year for 2010


I have provided Cybersecurity expertise in deployed environments  throughout my 20 year military career, from Operation Desert Storm to Kosovo to Afghanistan. 

After retiring from the Air Force in 2010, I completed an MBA of Information Technology Management. I have also held a Certified Information Systems Security Professional credential since 2006. My post-military career started with a position at a large government contractor as their Director of Operations. I was responsible for over $30 Million in contracts around the globe and increased margins by over 5% during my tenure. 

Finally, in 2015 I combined my diverse technological and organizational experience to create my dream company, Digital Beachhead.

Like many small business owners, I treat my work as a means to provide for my greatest achievement: my family. I enjoy traveling and spending quality time with my lovely wife Kathryn and children Andrew and Kassandra. I also enjoy golfing and watching my favorite sports team Manchester United of the English Premier League.

In today’s economy, data is literally as valuable as gold. And on that note, consider the example of a jewelry store.

Perhaps this jewelry store won’t be robbed. But it’s a real—and disastrous—possibility. What might the owners of this store do to protect themselves? They would likely install a security system with cameras, contract out for bonded and armed guards, purchase insurance that met or exceeded industry best practices, and many other measures. 

It’s clear in this example that strong preventive measures deter would-be criminals and establish compliance with insurers. Cybersecurity may still be developing as a risk management discipline, but while preventive measures are not explicitly required, it’s clear that the cost savings of not protecting yourself simply can’t offset the risk of being victimized.


​Consider that in the jeweler’s example, there are designers and wholesalers making deals with that  business owner to sell their pieces at that store. Don’t you think they’d rather do business with someone who has secured their store and put the necessary measures in place to protect all of their investments?


This is exactly why your business needs to be protected. It’s not a matter of “if” your small business will be targeted at this point, but more a question of “when?”

And more importantly, as the threat of hacking looms larger in all our minds, your security posture determines whether or not others will risk doing business with you. If you’re still reading, you’re not the type to risk everything just to save a few dollars.

Enter Digital Beachhead.

Our CEO, Mike Crandall, coined the term Digital Beachhead in 2005. In 2008, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn III used Mike’s term in reference to a breach of DoD information systems. While a beachhead in conventional warfare refers to a specific point in physical space, the Digital Beachhead is everywhere Information Technology exists.

Digital Beachhead is a Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) providing Cybersecurity, Systems Integration, and Digital Logistics. Our management approach is proven through over 25 years of Information Technology support to command and C-level decision makers in mission critical environments.

That’s why our team can help businesses like yours with our Virtual Chief Information Security Officer service (vCISO).

As awareness of Cybersecurity risk exposure increases, so do both the government regulations requiring your data to be secure and the preferences of your customers. You won’t be able to do business unless you are protected. This may seem abstract, but the benefits of proactive cybersecurity measures—and the costs they prevent—are as real as they would be with physical assets.

“I’m worried. What do I do about it?”

The best way to keep pace with the threat is to retain a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). The CISO is a specialist who combines subject matter expertise in the security requirements of different IT systems with comprehensive understanding of the business cases behind each IT design and operational choice. While previous generations of IT management were “generalists” with regards to Cybersecurity among other skill sets, the CISO is an independent executive-level stakeholder driving a robust and pragmatic Information Security program through both executive leadership skills and technical savvy.

However, we understand that the cost of an internal, full-time CISO is prohibitive for many small and medium businesses. Even when cost is not a concern, the talent gap in today’s ultra-competitive Cybersecurity job market means that the right person may not be available. 

Enter the vCISO.

The Benefits of a Virtual CISO

Your business would benefit from a high-level Cybersecurity expert. The Digital Beachhead vCISO service manages critical business functions and maintains regulatory compliance while sparing the full-time, physical presence and expense of a traditional CISO.

Our expert vCISO team is ready to oversee your Cybersecurity infrastructure; liaise between your IT team, procurement staff, and senior management; write and integrate network policies, and provide detailed cost and schedule reporting for user compliance. Just as many businesses already outsource core specialist functions from human resources to marketing, Cybersecurity is the next frontier for leveraging expertise and transferring risk.

An outsourced vCISO provides three key benefits for a small business:

  • Greater expertise. Even the best traditional CISO is only one person, seeing one organization. The vCISO curates the expertise of a full team of experienced Cybersecurity professionals, across diverse projects, and aligns their technical approach with your organization’s key activities and needs. 
  • Radically lower cost. Top information security talent demands (and deserves) a high salary. vCISO services circumvent the ancillary costs of compensation for a traditional CISO. Rather than a salary model, a vCISO allows you to pay only for what you need. 
  • Reduced business risk. vCISO services can be very low-risk, as you can choose the optimal service level from a range of offerings. Quickly engaging a vCISO service eliminates the risk incurred when the search for an unfilled senior leadership position takes several months or more—while your organization faces threats every day. 

Digital Beachhead

Certified Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB)

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Digital Beachhead - Cyber Security Risk Management
Digital Beachhead - Cyber Security Risk Management

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