Taking practical action and doing cybersecurity for good — meet new B Corp Phronesis Security

The ancient Greeks called using knowledge to achieve a practical good ‘phronesis’ (froh · nee · sis), or φρόνησῐς. And newly certified B Corp, Phronesis Security, recognises that this ‘good sense’ or ‘practical virtue’ is as true in their line of work as it is in life. 

While we don’t often think about the Ancient Greeks when it comes to cybersecurity, Phronesis Security is a cybersecurity firm that believes technology is only as effective as its configuration, and policies are just paper without the means to understand them. And just like their fellow B Corps, they know the world’s most challenging issues require immediate, practical action.

Statue of a face broken into three pieces

Image: Phronesis Security

Committed to delivering world-class services to their clients and supporting high-impact charities along the way, they strive to break the mould and ‘do cybersecurity’ for good. We find out how.

‘Doing’ cybersecurity under a name drawn from the Ancient Greek for the wisdom of practical action is perhaps the ‘crossover’ we didn’t know we needed. Tell us more about what Phronesis Security does.

We are a cybersecurity firm trusted by government agencies and technology start-ups alike to help organisations remain secure in our modern online world. We see cybersecurity as a business challenge more than a technology challenge and offer world-class governance, risk and compliance services, cutting-edge penetration testing, innovative security architecture, bespoke cybersecurity awareness and education campaigns, and strategy support through our Virtual Chief Information Support Officer or ‘vCISO’ service.

Cybersecurity event. People sitting in a crowd watching a presenter.

Image: Phronesis Security

And what made you want to use your business as a force for good?

The way we see it — donating wealth is one of the single most effective ways we can help tackle the world’s most serious issues. And, as a business, we pledge to give what we can.

We have also baked in a corporate philanthropy model inspired by effective altruism and the 80,000 Hours Project to donate 10 per cent of our profits (capped at 3 per cent of revenue) to a small number of independently assessed, highly effective charities.

Every billable hour contributes to our social and environmental impact. It is part of who we are and guides us towards staff and clientele who share our values and vision. It’s a feature, not a bug! 

Landscape picture. Grass, hills and forest.

Image: Phronesis Security

How B Corps are striving to ‘leaf’ no trace on the planet

Speaking of bugs, we know that one of the charities you support is Against Malaria Foundation, and that one of the reasons you wanted to become a B Corp was to make your commitment to them, or others like them, ‘official’. Were there other reasons you wanted to pursue certification?

B Corp certification allowed us to get independent assessment and verification of our commitment to doing cybersecurity for good, and to hold us accountable to our impact model.

We also saw an opportunity to join a community of like-minded businesses who believe in doing good and implementing bold strategies that enable them to be the catalysts for change in their sectors. 

The B Impact Assessment and certification process was also a fantastic opportunity to learn how to continuously improve, by amending and updating our policies, tracking our environmental impact, and increasing our corporate transparency.

We’re also hungry to learn from other B Corps. The challenges, solutions and perspectives of others can help us find better ways of doing business in a sustainable and ethical way. Similarly, we hope our own experience and expertise can be of value to other B Corps.

Image: Phronesis Security

You are now part of a movement helping to transform our global economy to one that is inclusive, sustainable, and regenerative. What business practices do you want to see become the norm?

We would love to see corporate philanthropy become the rule, not the exception. We know that our clients choose to work with us because we have an uncompromising commitment to quality and finding pragmatic security solutions, but also because we are committed to doing ‘cybersecurity for good’.

Linking corporate success to impact amplifies the reward of every new deal, every new hire, and every new milestone. The reality is that the power for change in the corporate sector, even for a small business, is immense. 

For example, if you are passionate about animal welfare, attempting to convince friends and families to change from cage eggs to free range may yield you five ‘converts’ over a year (and perhaps even cost you some friends along the way!). If they each ate two eggs per day, that might save 3,650 eggs from being sourced from batteries in a year. 

Image by Naturalcares from Pixabay

On the other hand (or chicken foot), a typical café uses hundreds of eggs per day. If you could convince them to change suppliers, that 3,650 figure would be hit in only a week or two. For a national chain, that time is reduced to a matter of minutes or hours. More importantly, the impact remains the same regardless of whether individual customers care, or even know, about the cause. 

When it comes to tackling the world’s most serious challenges, the corporate sector must be at the forefront of change. 

This is the part where you get to shout from the rooftops about a B Corp that inspired you to certify, or one that you look to for inspiration?

We used to share a working space with Luminary, a B Corp certified digital agency. Their founder and CEO, Marty, shared his experiences of the journey with us and the value he thought it provided his business inspired us to do the same with Phronesis Security.

Image: Luminary

And lastly, do you have any tips for aspiring B Corps about the certification process?

Some aspects of the certification process — like establishing the correct corporate governance — can be far more difficult if they are not considered and managed up-front.

Get in touch with a B Consultant early in the process, and think deeply about how your business creates impact and value, develop a plan, and commit to a timeline. 

We were lucky enough to work with an incredible consultant who talked us through the process, and we were able to put together a really effective strategy for certification. 

A big thank you and congratulations to Phronesis Security on their B Corp certification. If you want to find out more about what they do, or access ‘a free consultation to talk all things cyber,’ please visit: phronesissecurity.com 

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