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Cybersec Investments Receives President’s Volunteer Service Award

Cybersecurity Compliance Consultancy Recognized by White House. Credits Florida PTAC at UCF for Assistance with Entering and Succeeding in Government Contracting Market.

March 21, 2022


Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or

Kara Vernon, PTAC Specialist, FPTAC at UCF, 407.420.4890 or

Recognition can be hard to come by for a small business. Given that reality, imagine the pride you would feel if the White House chose you and your business for the President’s Volunteer Service Award. Fernando Machado, Chief Information Security Officer and owner of Cybersec Investments, experienced exactly that honor when he and his company were recognized for their service in developing standards for the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC). Machado will tell you that this achievement would not have been possible without guidance from the Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center at the University of Central Florida (Florida PTAC at UCF), the government contracting affiliate of the Florida SBDC at UCF.

Department of Defense (DoD) contractors have long been responsible for implementing critical cybersecurity requirements, but the CMMC changed this paradigm by requiring third-party assessments of DoD contractors’ compliance with certain mandatory practices, procedures, and capabilities that can adapt to new and evolving cyber threats from adversaries.

Enter Machado and Cybersec Investments, at the urging of the Florida PTAC at UCF. As the new certifications were evolving, both Machado and PTAC recognized opportunities. For Cybersec, it was to contribute to the development of the CMMC standards and to leverage Machado’s over 10 years of DoD cybersecurity experience. For the Florida PTAC, it was the prospect of launching a resource that could help its DoD government contracting clients achieve CMMC compliance. These were clear Win-Win opportunities all around.

“Before working with PTAC, I was not aware of the CMMC initiative. PTAC brought it to my attention, and it was an avenue where our business goals aligned,” Machado recalls. Today, Cybersec Investments is in the business of managed security, risk assessment and compliance services, specifically CMMC assessment, planning and remediation. Thanks to Machado being a CMMC Provisional Assessor and the company being a candidate CMMC Third-Party Assessment organization, he states “We bring value to clients by giving them ‘the answers to the test’ by providing consulting services through the eyes of a CMMC assessor and knowing what they would be looking for.”

Machado and Cybersec benefited from multiple services from the Florida PTAC beyond identifying the CMMC opportunity. They assisted him with obtaining his Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) certification, developing his capabilities statement, and registering for the federal government’s System for Award Management (SAM) as well as with the State of Florida. In addition, PTAC has helped by connecting Machado with valuable networking events and presentations.

“Working with PTAC has been great,” Machado concludes. “When we first started, we were operating at a loss. Since starting with PTAC, we’ve become profitable and have multiple clients seeking us out. My experience with them has been fantastic. Kara Vernon (PTAC Specialist) and Steve South (PTAC Manager) have been amazing. They both are very knowledgeable with years of combined experience. If you are thinking about possibly working with PTAC and feel hesitant, I would say ‘Lose that hesitancy at the door’. I highly recommend them as a resource.”

For information about Cybersec Investments, please visit


About the Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) at UCF

Government Contracting Services offered by the Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) at the University of Central Florida provide high-value, confidential one-on-one consulting at no cost to help Florida businesses prepare, research, and bid on federal, state, and local government contracts. Since 1986, Florida PTAC client businesses statewide have won $9.5 billion in contract awards, helping to create and save almost 215,000 jobs. This Procurement Technical Assistance Center is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the Department of Defense. Government contracting services are offered by the Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center headquartered at the University of West Florida. For more information, please visit

About the FSBDC at UCF

Hosted by the University of Central Florida (UCF), and with its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Partnership & Innovation and the Florida SBDC Network.

The Florida SBDC at UCF provides aspiring and existing small businesses with no-cost consulting, low-cost training, and access to business data and research resources. In addition to its core service offering, the Florida SBDC at UCF also offers specialized services to qualifying companies, including capital access, market growth, government contracting, international trade, business continuation, cybersecurity, disaster planning and recovery, and more. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2020, the FSBDC at UCF served more than 2,800 entrepreneurs in Central Florida with consulting services, resulting in more than 10,000 jobs created, retained or saved; $1.2 billion in sales growth; $92.4 million in capital formation; $92.7 million in government contract awards; and 86 new businesses started. For more information, please visit

About the Florida SBDC Network

For over forty years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.

In 2019, Florida SBDCs provided 114,064 of professional business consulting to over 12,500 client businesses, resulting in almost 38,000 jobs impacted; $4.4 billion in sales generated; $496.5 million in government contracts acquired; and $255.3 million in capital accessed.

A statewide network of over 40 offices, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a 2016 recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862 |