Burson-Marsteller Partners with Ridge Global on Cyber Incident Planning and Response

NEW YORK and WASHINGTON, D.C., December 2, 2015 – Burson-Marsteller, a leading global strategic communications and public relations firm, today announced a strategic partnership with Ridge Global – founded by Tom Ridge, the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and 43rd Governor of Pennsylvania. The alliance, which includes Gov. Ridge’s partner Howard A. Schmidt, former cybersecurity advisor to President Barack Obama and President George W. Bush, will focus on enhancing board-level and senior management awareness of the critical need for comprehensive cybersecurity preparation to address any type of cyber risk, offering companies planning strategies and tools to address any cyber incident response.

“Cyber attacks involve costs much greater than the investment required to remediate the incident,” said Governor Ridge, Chairman, Ridge Global. “Cyber attacks have cost companies their reputations and the trust they have built with employees, customers and their communities. Too many executives still see cybersecurity as strictly the domain of the IT department and fail to recognize cybersecurity as a cross-functional risk that requires close collaboration and alignment with corporate communications to protect the organization’s reputation. Howard and I are pleased to join forces in this effort with Burson-Marsteller to help companies better protect themselves and ensure they are prepared to recover quickly after an incident.”

Added Michael Law, U.S. CEO, Burson-Marsteller, “The ever-evolving sophistication of hackers and cyber criminals, and the frequency of attacks, show us that business leaders should adopt a posture of when, not if, they will experience a cyber attack. How a company’s senior leadership responds and communicates after a cyber attack will affect not only the company’s ability to resolve the issue fully and recover quickly, but also its long-term reputation and bottom line.”

Trusted by clients as the standard-setter in crisis management for more than 60 years, Burson-Marsteller is also the industry leader in helping companies successfully prepare for and navigate cyber attacks and other cybersecurity challenges through its Cybersecurity Specialty Group, a centralized resource for clients preparing for or facing cyber-related issues and crises who need smart communications strategies and the tools to execute them successfully. Ridge Global brings significant corporate security expertise as well as proven guidance in leading and effectively managing the complexities of 21st Century risk. The partners’ combined experience includes working with the world’s largest companies in preparing for and responding to cyber incidents.

The partnership provides clients services including: Vulnerabilities and operational risk assessments; incident response plan development; stakeholder mapping and relationship development; spokesperson training; desktop and full-scale training exercises and drills; and corporate governance-related counsel, including the development and structure of cyber programs and cybersecurity briefings to senior management teams and boards of directors. The partnership also offers cyber attack response support for denial-of service attacks, phishing schemes, data breaches, ransomware and other types of hacks.

“Every organization, in any industry – from healthcare and banking to energy, technology and retail – has something of value that can make it a target,” said Sarah Tyre, Managing Director and Chair of Burson-Marsteller’s Cybersecurity Specialty Group. “It is critical that organizations approach cybersecurity as a key component of their broader risk and reputation management programs. Without strong leadership support and advance planning, companies that experience cyber attacks in the future will be judged to have missed the warning signs, and their customers may be far less willing to forgive.”

About Burson-Marsteller
Burson-Marsteller, established in 1953, is a leading global public relations and communications firm. It provides clients with strategic thinking and program execution across a full range of public relations, public affairs, reputation and crisis management, advertising and digital strategies. The firm’s seamless worldwide network consists of 73 offices and 85 affiliate offices, together operating in 110 countries across six continents. Burson-Marsteller is a part of Young & Rubicam Group, a subsidiary of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY), the world’s leading communications services network. For more information, please visit www.burson-marsteller.com.

About Ridge Global
Ridge Global was founded by Tom Ridge, the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and 43rd Governor of Pennsylvania, to help organizations decrease security risks. He has assembled a team of globally recognized experts led by Howard Schmidt, Cybersecurity Advisor to President Barack Obama and President George W. Bush, who offer clients strategic counsel on identifying, preparing for and mitigating cyber risk. Ridge Global offers the latest technology, best-in-class insurance, and is continually evaluating cyber security tool sets in order to make the latest technology available to clients. To learn more, visit the new Ridge Global online at www.RidgeGlobal.com.

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Media Contacts:

Catherine Sullivan (for Burson-Marsteller)
Phone: 212.614.4186
Email: Catherine.Sullivan@bm.com

Steve Aaron (for Ridge Global)
Phone: 717.554.8614
Email: steve@SRAcommunications.com