SIA New Member Profile: Dialog Research & Communications

Kathy Stershic headshot

New Security Industry Association (SIA) member Dialog Research & Communications combines research and analysis, strategic communications, global business experience and technology policy acumen to help organizational leaders move forward with stakeholder engagement and business productivity. The company is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia.

SIA spoke with Kathy Stershic, founder and principal consultant at Dialog, about the company, the security industry and working with SIA.

Tell us the story of your company.

KS: Dialog Research & Communications began years ago when I lived in California and worked in the Silicon Valley. The company was formed to help technology executives better understand their markets and customers’ perspectives to best target their messaging and strategy. Our services cover multiple disciplines, including research, strategic planning, communications, complex content development and policy.

I moved to the Washington, D.C., metro area in 2010 to pursue a master’s degree in technology policy at the George Washington University, transitioning Dialog to the east coast. Along the way, the growing increase in cyber threats and the industry movement toward big data, sophisticated analytics and the accelerating tracking of our digital lives became significant concerns. I worked to earn data privacy certifications and develop subject matter expertise and then began working with cybersecurity and privacy clients to articulate their thought leadership, devise strategic communications and build programs to advance their business. With a passion for policy and a commitment to the mission of advancing data security and privacy, Dialog now serves leaders in these fields for both the public and private sectors.

What solutions/services does your business offer in the security industry? And what makes your offerings/company unique?

KS: Our services include research, strategic planning, communications, complex content development and policy.

Dialog is unique in the deep understanding and subject matter knowledge around privacy and cybersecurity, far beyond what typical marketing or communications professionals would have. That combines with senior-level business acumen and policy savvy, making Dialog an informed, reliable and versatile resource for expressing complex and resonant ideas and information.

What’s something we might not know about your company – or something new you’re doing in security?

KS:Through research, writing and speaking, I started carrying the privacy banner to marketing people seven years ago. At that time, privacy was either a foreign or ludicrous notion to those charging full steam into digital engagement with little thought to the consequences. Today, that situation has changed, and privacy is front and center, although still unsolved.

What do you think are the biggest opportunities in the security industry right now?

KS: Solving the Byzantine General’s Problem.

What are your predictions for the security industry in the short and long term?

KS: Transition to more data-centric cybersecurity approaches.

What do you enjoy most about being at your company – and in the security industry?

KS: Security is an endlessly fascinating field. It changes continually; it’s a journey through an unprecedented time in human history. Given the risks we are presented with, I feel strongly about doing some part to help advance solutions to these threats to our national and personal security and well-being, while still embracing the incredible advances technology has to offer.

What does SIA offer that is most important to you/your company? And what do you most hope to get out of your membership with SIA?

KS: SIA offers the opportunity to affiliate with and learn from leaders and innovators from across the security spectrum. I look to membership to provide an opportunity for some hands-on involvement in influencing policy and educating lawmakers about the risks we face and potential solutions for them. I also hope to develop good relationships with SIA colleagues and perhaps to even find some whose mission I could help to support.

How does your organization engage with SIA? and what are your plans for involvement in the next year?

KS: I am looking forward to actively engaging with the Data Privacy Advisory Board, attending networking events, learning about aspects of the security industry with which I’m not deeply familiar and staying open to other possibilities for engagement.

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts and/or profiles are those of the authors or sources and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Security Industry Association (SIA).