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Omaha Magazine


Jan 05, 2016 09:37AM ● By Daisy Hutzell-Rodman

From Target to Lowe’s to mom-and-pops, no company, large or small, is safe from a data breach.

When a company’s website is hacked or its customers’ financial information is stolen, it doesn’t just leave companies with angry comments in online posts—it opens up companies to lawsuits, layoffs, loss of revenue, and often irreconcilable damage to the brand.

When Target had personal information on 70 million of its customers stolen in 2013, the popular retailer experienced lawsuits from banks and lost over $200 million, which led to the resignation of CEO Gregg Steinhafel.

But there’s a solution for smaller businesses in the form of Cosentry, an IT solutions company headquartered in Omaha. Cosentry takes on the complex task of addressing its customers’ every IT problem, from data recovery after a lightning strike to preventing security hacks. Rather than just selling a software solution, the company independently manages its customers’ IT systems, freeing them up to focus on other areas of their business.

So far, its hands-on approach has paid off. Founded in 2001, Cosentry has more than doubled in size over the past three years alone and now operates nine data centers across the Midwest.

The critical role of IT infrastructure and managing those resources, Coesntry CEO Brad Hokamp says, has fueled the company’s explosive growth.


“Let’s say you were running a website back in the late ’90s,” Hokamp says. “Your website was important to your business. It was kind of your brand image, but there wasn’t a lot of business being done there. The applications that we’re hosting or putting in our data center, on top of our cloud platforms, are today mission-critical to our customers’ business success.”

The way Cosentry’s services work is that the company can take on as much or as little of a customer’s IT management as the client desires. Cosentry can simply take over the day-to-day management of a business’ IT system, or it can replicate another version of a company’s data center in a different location so operations will continue seamlessly in case of a data center disaster.

Being in charge of other companies’ digital livelihoods means that Cosentry constantly has to stay up-to-date on possible security threats and performance issues with a customer’s IT system, according to Vice President of Product Management Craig Hurley.

By keeping up with the increasingly frequent stream of operating system updates, for example, Cosentry delivers value in an area that could otherwise be vexing and time-consuming in a smaller company’s IT department, which is often defined as “Joe, the guy who handles IT, accounting, payroll, and ordering office supplies.” Cosentry assumes end-to-end patch-management so the process is transparent to their client.

“We’re able to mitigate customer risk,” Hurley says, “and do it in a way that most organizations can’t do. They’re just not able to keep up with all of the potential breaches out there or employ and train individuals that are capable of really staying on top of this.”

“There’s a lot of companies that are focused on security-only issues,” Hokamp says, “but we aren’t seeing a lot of them that can provide the set of comprehensive capabilities that we offer.”

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