NEW YORK—FleishmanHillard has forged an alliance with risk management firm Kroll to deliver client services focused on cybersecurity and data breach risk mitigation. Kroll will focus on enterprise network security and threat detection, incident investigation and response, and notification of consumers impacted by a breach. FleishmanHillard will provide strategic communications, crisis management and reputation recovery services.

The alliance was formed to meet what the firms say is a growing demand from companies of all sizes for cyber-related preparatory services. It is focused on serving organizations that have not yet experienced a data breach or cyberattack and helping them prevent one from occurring. In the event of a breach, the alliance will also provide investigation, remediation and crisis management services.

"There's a shift taking place in the way many enterprise network defenders think about data breaches and cyberattacks," says Timothy Ryan, Kroll managing director and head of cyber-security. "The sheer number of breaches that have recently occurred has caused companies to think more proactively about risk and mitigation. In short, it's no longer 'if it happens' but 'when it happens.'

“Companies are now thinking about their levels of risk in proactive ways. Previously, most organizations did their best to protect their network and dealt with breaches when they happened. Today, more executives are being forced to abandon their traditional 'crisis playbooks' as they face a proliferation of cybercrimes that require a more comprehensive yet nimble approach."

Adds Bob Winslow, FleishmanHillard head of global practices and products: "In the wake of a data breach, you can accumulate all kinds of reactive services, including legal counsel, IT assistance, PR support and so on. What you can't buy is time. That is why advance preparedness has become so critical.”