Vaco Memphis has added Brian Prentice as managing partner of Vaco Risk Solutions, a national consulting firm that works with organizations that have IT security, risk or compliance needs; have had a recent breach; are moving data centers; require a penetration test; or have any other project-based risk management needs. Prentice is a member of the leadership team, which sets the firm’s strategic vision and oversees business operations.
Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee
Experience: I have more than 25 years of experience in information technology, including 15 years as an entrepreneur in consulting and staffing.
Prior to joining Vaco, I worked on Wall Street, held several executive positions in the entertainment and health care industries, and founded a successful IT consulting firm. I earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Business Administration in finance and information systems from Fordham University in New York City.
I am a former board member at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and support the local chapters of ISACA, a nonprofit, independent association that advocates for professionals involved in information security, assurance, risk management and governance; and the Project Management Institute. I am also involved with the Memphis IT Council, Nashville Technology Council and the Nashville Chamber of Commerce.
What talent do you wish you had?
I wish I could write as well as my 13-year-old daughter! She has written a personal book of poems that is way beyond my writing abilities.
Who has had the greatest influence on you and why?
My grandfather taught me so many life and business lessons that I couldn’t possibly list them all. But I will share two. He instilled in me that I should always surround myself with the smartest people I know and that everything in life is earned.
What attracted you to Vaco Risk Solutions?
The team is made up of smart, entrepreneurial-minded leaders. What an awesome team to work with.
A ransomware attack in recent days affected companies around the world, including FedEx. How do massive security breaches happen? There are several reasons, but it’s essentially resource-related. This may include competition for top security specialists, lack of budget or time, and outdated systems. It is a very common problem, as evidenced by the significant results of this latest attack. This was not a zero-day vulnerability. It’s a result of less than adequate resources and focus on addressing risk. As ransomware attacks continue to increase in number, it’s important that we all remain vigilant.
What steps can businesses take right now to better protect their data?
Make well-informed investment decisions. First, understand your risk by conducting an in-depth risk assessment. Then analyze the impact each risk may have on your business, along with the cost and the effort required to address it. The most critical risks should be addressed first. It is also important to educate and train your staff. Make sure employees understand the importance of cyber security in protecting your customers’ data or your intellectual property.
And what would you tell business owners who have experienced a recent breach of some sort?
Your first priority is to stop the breach from spreading. Then, piece together what happened, the extent of the breach and whether or not your customers have been impacted. You may need to contact a lawyer, hire a forensics team or notify any affected parties.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
I’m fortunate enough to be trusted by so many people to coach our children’s baseball, softball, basketball, golf, soccer and flag football teams. I hope I covered them all.
What do you most enjoy about your work?
I enjoy the fellowship, tenacity and drive that our people bring to work every day with the common goal of helping our clients achieve great results.
If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be?
Never be afraid to take a chance. Be adventurous. You’re more likely to regret the chances you didn’t take, the decisions you waited a little too long to make and the relationships that you may have been nervous to build, rather than the ones you did.
Simone, Kate. Wed, 24 May 2017. “Vaco Risk Solutions’ Brian Prentice Talks Data Breaches, Safety” memphisdailynews.com. Article Retrieved from: https://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2017/may/24/prentice-joins-leadership-of-vaco-risk-solutions/