Aaron Gurgul And Dan Heimler Shared A Vision Of Prioritizing Cybersecurity When They Launched Watchdog Cyber  

In the depths of what he calls the “worst eight days” of his life, Aaron Gurgul vividly recalls his experience as an IT director for a school district during a devastating cyber event. The district, composed of approximately 2,900 students and 450 staff members, was hit hard, requiring multiple complete network refreshes due to the relentless wave of malicious emails. It was an emotionally taxing ordeal that left a lasting impact. 

However, amidst the turmoil, those challenging days sparked a profound passion for cybersecurity within Aaron. “The work awakened something within me,” he reflects. “I realized that the industry was heading in the direction of cyber services, and I felt an unwavering commitment to contribute to this evolving landscape.” 

Meanwhile, Dan Heimler, a sales director at a company cautiously venturing into IT services, saw the opportunity to help businesses mitigate risk and decided to delve into cybersecurity and compliance sales. His aspirations clashed with the conservative approach adopted by the company owner, however.  

Keenly aware of the misalignment of goals, Dan and Aaron initiated discussions on how they could assist companies in fortifying their defenses against cyber-attacks. As fate would have it, Aaron and Dan’s visions aligned, sparking an alliance that would define their future. “We began discussing our shared vision and decided to forge our own path,” explains Dan. And so, Watchdog Cyber was born, accredited by the prestigious Better Business Bureau, with a steadfast focus on compliance and cybersecurity. 

A Mission To Protect And Empower Businesses 

Watchdog Cyber’s mission is clear—to protect and empower businesses by fostering a culture of cybersecurity and illuminating the inherent dangers of cyber-attacks. Their approach extends beyond software and installations. They seek to educate owners and employees alike, revealing vulnerabilities that often go unnoticed. “The moment businesses become complacent is when they are most susceptible,” warns Aaron, who serves as CSO of the Spring Lake, Mich.-based company. “A single click can bring their business to an abrupt halt. That’s usually the acute pain the business feels, but reputational damages, lawsuits, and fines are often chronic.” 

Each new business they engage with presents an opportunity for assessment and education as they identify potential for breaches and guide owners toward a more secure future. As a former electronics technician in the U.S. Navy, Dan’s technical acumen is a priceless asset that fuels his relentless pursuit of excellence in the ever-evolving realm of cybersecurity. “Conversations with potential clients on the need for comprehensive cyber protection can be tough,” acknowledges Dan, who serves as CEO of Watchdog Cyber. “Many believe they are impervious to cyberthreats. This is especially the case if the business is smaller in size or has an IT staff. Small businesses often believe that their size is their shield against a cyber incident or that their IT staff is handling cybersecurity. But we have firsthand experience of the chaos and embarrassment that a breach can inflict. Our goal is to shift their perspective, to make them see the situation from a different angle. Cybersecurity is a business risk problem that can be addressed with technical solutions.” 

Crucially, Aaron and Dan emphasize that they are not seeking to replace a business’s IT personnel but rather to augment their staff in a comanaged relationship. “We are finding that IT departments are understaffed, overutilized, and often lack the skills to deliver cyber protections to the organization effectively,” explains Aaron. By providing information, support, and an additional layer of protection, they aim to forge a partnership that complements existing teams.  

When speaking to a CEO, president, or business owner, Watchdog Cyber knows it is crucial to help them understand the distinctions between IT support, cybersecurity, and compliance. Many business leaders believe that their IT staff have the proper cybersecurity protections in place. Unfortunately, that is not the case.  

Watchdog Cyber explains that IT support focuses on providing technical assistance and maintaining smooth operations, ensuring employees have the necessary tools and resources. Cybersecurity involves protecting systems and data from digital threats, implementing measures to prevent breaches, and ensuring confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Compliance, on the other hand, ensures adherence to relevant laws, regulations, and industry standards, maintaining transparency and trust. By recognizing the unique roles and benefits of each area, organizations can enhance operational efficiency, secure their digital assets, and mitigate legal and reputational risks. 

Carving A Presence In The Midwest’s Cybersecurity Landscape 

Watchdog Cyber’s commitment to the highest levels of collaboration, education, trust, integrity, and round-the-clock protection sets them apart. They also take pride in crafting customized cybersecurity packages that meet businesses’ needs and budgetary constraints. From comprehensive security consulting to ensuring regulatory compliance, they stand as dedicated allies, offering expert protection and unwavering support. 

With a steadfast focus on the future, this dynamic duo aspires for Watchdog Cyber to carve a meaningful presence in the Midwest’s cybersecurity landscape. Their unique approach diverges from the conventional, emphasizing the importance of securing businesses with a robust cyber stack and maintaining strict compliance. “Our vision aims to build a solid business foundation with ethical practices, procedures, and keeps our clients safe from cyber and ransom attacks,” declares Dan. 

Watchdog Cyber specializes in serving small to medium-sized businesses, typically ranging from 15 to 150 employees that generate $3 million or more in annual revenue. Notably, they have earned a remarkable reputation within their client portfolio, attracting esteemed logistics firms and renowned healthcare facilities that entrust their critical cybersecurity needs to Watchdog Cyber’s expert care. 

“We understand the challenge of helping businesses see and understand their need for cybersecurity, especially if they have never experienced an attack,” Dan says. “But the reality is that a single breach can shutter a business, heavily tarnish its reputation, and invite expensive lawsuits.” 

“I know this all too well,” Aaron adds. “I endured eight days of absolute turmoil during a cyber-attack, and I wouldn’t wish that upon any of our customers. We have lived through the consequences and fully comprehend the implications. That’s why we have made it our mission to protect as many businesses as we can.” 

Driven by an unwavering dedication to their mission, Aaron and Dan passionately endeavor to shield others from the devastating turmoil unleashed by cyber-attacks. Their resolute purpose shines through as they relentlessly pursue the imperative goals of safeguarding businesses, enlightening owners about the perils of business risk, and ingraining cybersecurity deep within their organizational fabric. 

After all, Warren Buffett sums it up perfectly: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” 

To learn more about Watchdog Cyber, go to www.watchdogcyber.com

MSP Success Magazine is a print and digital publication dedicated to helping the CEOs and owners of managed IT services businesses build strong, profitable, growth-oriented businesses. Written and published by Robin Robins, founder of Technology Marketing Toolkit, this magazine is uniquely focused on the topics of marketing, client-acquisition, sales, profitability, leadership and personal development.



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