vCISO Advisory Services Lead Ceros to SOC 2, ISO Audit, and 200+ Closed Deals

June 23, 2021 | Cybersecurity Consulting, ISO 27001, SOC 2

The best way to understand how, what, and why we do what we do here at BARR is to learn about our work through another company’s experience. We’re proud to share client experiences that showcase how BARR helps leading SaaS providers simplify the path to security and compliance.


For more than a decade, Ceros has empowered some of the largest brands to share their stories and engage their audiences by unlocking a world of creative possibilities. By offering an end-to-end, cloud-based platform built to design and publish immersive digital experiences, Ceros gives marketers and designers complete control and flexibility to collaborate, create, and iterate content in real-time—no coding required.

The Ceros platform has helped companies in a variety of industries achieve their bottom line by standing out amongst the competition, cutting through the noise, keeping audiences engaged longer, and increasing the quality (and quantity) of leads.

The Challenge

Now more than ever, a strong digital presence is critical to any successful business. With the increase in demand for engaging and experiential content, Ceros found itself struggling to keep up with a key part of its sales cycle—the security assessment process. At the end of each quarter, the sales team had a difficult time closing deals on time due to the overwhelming demand for security assessments and questionnaires.

“I was spending 50 to 70 percent of my week completing security assessments and questionnaires for prospective clients, all of whom are large enterprises,” said Dan Wash, director of engineering. “I knew we needed help filling out the assessments so we could spend more time on the business.”

As a fast-growing startup, Ceros’s business infrastructure wasn’t in a place to organize a dedicated security team. With all of its expertise in equipping marketers with on-demand content creation, Ceros was missing an in-house security resource.

Outsourcing a security team who could create a comprehensive security program was the solution. Ceros found a partner in BARR Advisory’s virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO) advisory services.

The Solution (The BARR Approach)

By partnering with BARR, Ceros offloaded the security questionnaires workload, established a systemized security process, demonstrated their commitment to protecting customer data, and ultimately, attracted more enterprise clients.

“Engaging an outside consultant was two-fold. First, to ease the pain in the security assessment process within the sales cycle. Then, to put a formalized information security program in place and let BARR take the lead,” said Brian Abent, chief technology officer.

Settling for a firm that would function as an extension of the team wasn’t enough—Ceros wanted the firm to be part of the team.

“We knew we could trust BARR to speak on our behalf to our customers. BARR has to know enough about our product, where we fit in the market, and where we stand from a security standpoint,” said Abent. “BARR knows security best practices, which was really helpful in going through the audit process. Being able to look at issues through the eyes of an auditor and having the ability to make impactful minor adjustments to meet controls is something we needed.”

The Results

BARR got to work by starting with a gap assessment, which led to a SOC 2 audit. After working through the SOC 2 audit with BARR, security process improvements were made seamlessly and SOC 2 certification was issued last year.

“Initially, we didn’t even realize how impactful working with BARR would be. They just feel like part of the team,” said Tori Belkin, head of revenue enablement. “At Ceros, our core value is to ‘find a way.’ BARR consistently finds a way and fits into our company culture. I know they have other clients, but it never feels like that to me.”

Providing the highest level of security has not only achieved Ceros’s goals of easing the burden on its sales process, ultimately making it shorter, it has also helped Ceros close more than $10 million in annual recurring revenue from 200 deals just since they started working with BARR Advisory two years ago. But they are not stopping there. This year, Ceros is in the process of an ISO 27001 audit with BARR to further raise the security standard for Ceros and their customers.

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Watch this video about the BARR-Ceros partnership or contact us to learn more. Already a BARR client? Ask one of our associates how you can begin creating a case study with us based on your experience.

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