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Behind the CyberRisk Alliance Launch

Managed security services providers (MSSPs) have a new ally in CyberRisk Alliance, a startup Chicago-based outfit intending to offer marketing services, digital media, events, content and research to the cybersecurity industry.

Doug Manoni

The venture, backed by private equity firm Growth Catalyst Partners and helmed by Doug Manoni, a longtime business-to-business media executive, also plans to connect developers and service providers with cybersecurity pros. Manoni said the company will put together an “inner circle” of industry leaders to discuss key issues and strike collaborations.

If that sounds familiar, perhaps it’s because CyberRisk will face some competitive headwinds in the likes of long-standing media, networking and event firms InfoSecurity, CSO and the channel-centric Channel Company. But Manoni brushed off the comparisons, telling marketing media outlet Folio that CyberRisk “probably sounds like an existing company, but it’s not. We would be the first to assemble a portfolio of these services with a level of diversity and scale that doesn’t currently exist. There isn’t a company that has in its portfolio digital media, research, and other time sensitive information, a diversified event platform, security awareness services, training and certification, and the curation of community discussion. It will make us unique.”

Along those lines, Manoni wants CyberRisk thought of as a holding company formed through a combination of organic product development and a series of targeted acquisitions and partnerships. In other words, look for Growth Catalyst to get involved with some marketing services and media buyouts at some point relatively soon. Manoni figures he can bring together leading brands across several business model platforms shepherded by entrepreneurs, operators and investors. So far, no names other than Manoni’s have been named.

“Cyber-criminal activity is escalating, and intelligence and counter measures are required to advance in parallel,” he said. “Cyber risk professionals have significant information demands and our products and services will support peer collaboration and high-risk decision making with increased confidence. The rapid pace of product innovation also creates a strong requirement for advanced marketing services. We will assist leading technology companies and service providers with the execution of their marketing strategies.” In addition to the Chicago location, CyberRisk also has a Boston area office with further expansion in its plans.

Scott Peters, Growth Catalyst’s co-founder, said the overall “strategy has been validated by substantial research and engagement with industry practitioners, entrepreneurs and academia. We will build CyberRisk Alliance swiftly and aggressively in support of this mission critical industry and community.”

Manoni is a 25-year veteran of the information services industry, who most recently stepped down from his CEO post at SourceMedia, a provider of digital business information, events and performance media. He currently holds a seat as an independent director on digital services provider Innodata’s board.

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