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In 2014 IT Security Guru successfully launched its webcast channel and has so far hosted industry names such as Joshua Corman, Cris Thomas, Brian Honan, Katie Moussouris and Craig Goodwin discussing areas such as Internet of Things, car hacking, major flaws and 2015 predictions.

In January we were joined by Steve Durbin from the Information Security Forum, CISO Amar Singh and Ian Pratt from sponsor Bromium to discuss how best to spend cyber security budget in these times of targeted attacks. Naturally the conversation moved towards the combination of people, process and technology as the best triage for defence, which a live poll of listeners found that 60 per cent agreed with PPT as the best solution, whilst Pratt admitted that “security was not built into code written in the 1980s”. To listen again to this discussion, click here https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/11399/140339

We are already planning many more webcasts for 2015, and will be joined by members of the group Women in Security on 10th March for a discussion on mentoring, so keep an eye out on the website www.itsecurityguru.org

If you are interested in hosting a webinar, please email Dan@itsecurityguru.org or Ella@eskenzipr.com for pricing and lead generation opportunities.

Gov lunch

Following the huge success of our CISO Luncheon Events, we have teamed up with Wired-Gov, the UK’s leading ICT Public sector site with over 63000 subscribers and have developed a new program of public sector luncheons.  Exclusive sponsorship of these CIO focused luncheons are now available for May, July, September and November.  Sponsorship includes:

  • Themes and invitation messaging tailored to sponsors requirements
  • Invitations into sectors such as NHS, Local Government, Central Government and more
  • Event held under Chatham House Rules
  • Minimum 10 CIOs and ICT Senior management
  • 5* venues with private dining facility
  • Regional events available
  • Cost for exclusive sponsorship £8500

If you would like to find out more, please email or call Linda Joynes on 02071832847 or linda.joynes@eskenzipr.com

Every morning we check the news for the hottest stories in information security for our clients to be made aware of and comment on. On 27th January, we spotted the story that Facebook and Instagram had been knocked offline for an hour across much of the world, amid claims that the social media sites had been hacked. A group called Lizard Squad, which has previously claimed responsibility for bringing down XBox and PlayStation online services, posted a message on Twitter appearing to link itself to the outage which affected Europe, the United States and Asia.

We knew the story would make the headlines so we knew it was a great story for our clients to comment on. We immediately sent the story on to all our relevant clients with a request for comment, and MWR Infosecurity came back nice and quickly with some unique commentary and insight. Their comments were picked by the Associated Press and subsequently distributed through their newswire, gaining an unbelievable 900 pieces of coverage in total! Highlights included pieces in The Daily Mail, The New York Post and an interview on BBC radio 2!

In addition to MWR Infosecurity’s success with comments on this story, both our clients ESET and OPSWAT were featured in The Times. A great day at Eskenzi PR and proof there is room for more than one client to jump on a story!

ESET joined the Eskenzi PR roster in May 2014. A few of us had known the guys at ESET for a while and the time finally felt right for both parties to join forces for their PR in the UK.

As it turned out, ESET were the perfect client – responsive, informative and proactive. In the first six months we achieved:

  • An average of 100 pieces of clippings monthly
  • Of those clippings, 77% were Tier 1 publications
  • National coverage including Guardian, BBC, Independent, The Times and Bloomberg
  • TV interviews including BBC, Sky News and ITV
  • A press trip to ESET head office with five journalists.

We have obviously been delighted with the results we have managed to achieve and are even more delighted that Quinton Watts, VP Marketing and Sales at ESET agreed. “Having always believed in the power of PR and its contribution to raising the brand I decided to move over to Eskenzi from one of the largest international PR groups. The biggest worry of continuity moving from a large agency was quickly dispelled with a seamless uptake of the accounts and our existing industry contacts. I have been continuously delighted by their professionalism, fresh approach and above all results they have achieved. Eskenzi have proven beyond a doubt that they punch way above their weight and the measurable uplift in results has led to an immediate increase in PR budget with total confidence that it is money well spent.”

So many elements of great PR can only happen when there’s great teamwork and we’ve certainly got that with ESET. We’re very excited with what else we can do for them!

The week after Infosecurity will see our 8th IT security analyst & CISO Forum on 8th and 9th June.

It’s the perfect event to attend if you have want to brief 80% of the top IT security analysts in the world who arrive in London for our two day event to meet with just 10 vendors who are flying high with new content, products and interesting plans for the future.  We’ve already have 7 companies signed up but we do have 3 places left.  This year the format has changed, not only will you have 10 one to one analyst briefings and the chance to meet, network and attend the exclusive roundtable debate with 15 of the UKs most influential CISO, but you’ll also be able to use the event for lead generation. We’ll have 70 IT security managers who will be attending to hear the CISOs and analysts debate on the latest hot issues and then during the break-out sessions you’ll have a chance to meet the delegates as each vendor will have a pop-up stand on the seminar floor.  So the event is really aimed at helping 10 thriving IT security vendors to:

  1. Brief 80% of the world’s most influential analysts
  2. Learn what the CISOs really are worrying about and what products and solutions they really need, so that you can approach them afterwards with “just the perfect solution”.
  3. Meet with 70 potential customers and use it as a cost-effective lead generation event.

If you’d like to know more about the IT security analyst & CISO forum please contact Yvonne@eskenzipr.com or call 0207 183 2832.

So Neil and I have returned after two blissful months in San Francisco with numerous trips down to Silicon Valley to see our clients, potential clients, clients-come-friends and analysts.  It was a great trip and very worthwhile and incredibly different to working in London.  Most strange was the realisation that most Californians are health freaks, with a crazy number getting up at 5am to train, eat healthily and then go to bed at 9.30 – great for us who seemed to only want to go out to eat at about 8.30 and rebel against the lycra!

We also met some cool, chilled out folks (not what we were expecting in the Valley)  who surprised us  – as they really were living the life – our girls did an internship at the hippest ad agency in San Francisco Hub Strategy (check them out) and the owner would disappear every lunchtime for 2 hours – not to go down the boozer, but to surf under the Golden Gate Bridge!

There is also this joke that most San Franciscans would rather sell their car rather than give up eating out – and that really is true – the restaurants were superb and it became a daily ritual to find a better restaurant than the one the previous night – so if you need any recommendations you know where to come.

Surprisingly we thought all the IT security stuff was happening in the Valley, but San Francisco is increasingly becoming an IT hub – with these really trendy open planned offices – with mountains of free food, snacks and drinks.  One office had an entire wall filled with every whisky and spirit you could imagine with trays and trays of sushi, chocolate, cakes, sandwiches – all very exciting – but I was rather sceptical about the whole concept behind it – maybe I’m just really cynical!

On the work front it was interesting – in the first week we had 9 meetings cancelled on us, either over the phone or in person – so after thinking it must be something to do with us, we asked around and apparently the Californians are renowned for cancelling on meetings if something more urgent comes up – which it frequently does right – flaky, really flaky (not my wording) but theirs – it’s how they describe their own Californian behaviour.  Here we’d just say it’s “not very British” – but after a while you just sort of accept it and go with the flow.

As for Eskenzi in the US – we’re growing!  We now have 3 clients in the US, all of whom had started using us in the UK first, then expanded to using us in France and Germany and now in the US as we become their global agency.   We have a team on the East and West coast who are providing analyst and press relations and it’s an area we hope to grow as our client base grows – and clearly to enable this growth it’s going to mean many more wonderful days in San Francisco to oversee its success!!!  Rock on Eskenzi San Francisco.

 

– Yvonne

At Roux on Parliament Square, 13 of the country’s top CISOs from various industries and sectors were got together to join one of our CISO lunch roundtables, with Verisign as host. All united over a wonderful and scrumptious lunch and were extremely forthright about their current situations and what the future holds for visibility and cloud infrastructure.

The lunch was sponsored by VeriSign, who power the invisible navigation that takes people to where they want to go on the internet, while also helping to ensure the availability and integrity of internet‐facing networks all over the world. Senior vice president and CSO Danny McPherson set the scene by explaining how VeriSign recognise the current and ever-evolving threat landscape.  McPherson further highlighted the expanding attack surface that users are faced with, and he asked the attending professionals for a perspective on how they control the attack surface and how they protect services.

It was very eye-opening listening to the CISOs sharing similar or not so similar opinions – I learnt an incredible amount in those two hours! Furthermore, it was evident that they are all encountering difficulties, especially with hackers becoming more sophisticated.

They explored and discussed how they protect their sensitive corporate data whilst using multi-tenant cloud infrastructures and the public cloud.  One important theme that continued to crop up was the fact that a lot of employees are not fully aware of security practices and the relevance of them. The CISOs agreed that adequate training is essential in order to stop hackers breaking through another layer.

It was clear to see that the CISOs really appreciated being together and connecting through mutual concerns and solutions. Communally contributing their problems and experiences enabled them to come up with the solutions and answers they may not have considered beforehand. It’s really a learning experience for everyone- as well as great food!

If you would be interested in sponsoring the CISO lunch club and have your CTO or team involved in presenting at the lunch then please contact us on +44 (0) 207 1832 832, linda@eskenzipr.com

 

– Ella

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It’s always exciting when a new client comes on board, and our newest client certainly didn’t disappoint! On 19th January, OPSWAT joined the ranks as the latest Eskenzi client. OPSWAT is a provider of solutions to secure and manage IT infrastructure.

We had an initial kick off call with the team we’ll be working with and gleaned all the information needed to start off our working relationship on the right foot. It didn’t take long before the opportunities started coming in and, luckily, the OPSWAT spokespeople really got stuck in and responded quickly and, more importantly, with a concise, easy to understand response. When it came to the end of January, and time to do their end of month report, it really showed that having a client who is responsive and knowledgeable is such a great asset.

In just two weeks, they had:

  • responded to 4 out of 5 rapid responses given
  • contributed to 4 different feature opportunities across a variety of different publications
  • issued 2 press releases
  • issued a research report

They also managed to obtain 37 pieces of coverage in two weeks, with 24 being in tier 1 publications and even included one national newspaper – The Times.

Here’s to another successful month with OPSWAT. Onwards and upwards!

Steve-Gold-NOV-2012
As I write this memory to Steve I’m smiling, because I knew him for 20 years this year and he always left me smiling, laughing and a feeling a whole lot better.  He was a great confidante and trusted ally to everyone at Eskenzi PR.  Whenever we needed an interview done for a client, Steve would stoically do it, even if there wasn’t really a story to be had, he would find one and turn up no matter what!  Where the hell did he find the energy!  He worked every hour G-d gave him and somehow found a few more, so although he was taken from us decades too early he had probably worked decades harder than most of us and packed in what 5 people do in a lifetime!  Steve did not stop working, he was tirelessly there for everyone, no matter what the time of day.

For ten years Steve worked behind the scenes at Eskenzi. No-one would have had a clue that behind many of our articles and rapid responses was the eloquent hand of Steve and he did that on top of his trillion other gigs (as he would call them)!

I always remember it was Steve who taught me the expression “Yvonne when a client jumps you say how high”!  And at the beginning of every interview with a client he’d introduce himself and say I’ve been a journalist for over 20 years and “shock, horror a journalist whose done their homework!”. Steve, you said it at every single interview!! Hilarious!

We would normally hear from Steve every single day with a request for something and recently during his latest gig at SC he’d request comment from our clients almost daily! boy oh boy was that man a loyal and trusted mate to each and everyone of us at Eskenzi.  Steve was so much a part of our Eskenzi family that he even came to our tiny staff Xmas party in 2013 and boy did we have some fun! I wonder what that clairvoyant told Steve!

Steve wasn’t just a work colleague, our kids knew that they could rely on him for every new film that came out, their wish was his delight, and the next day the postman would deliver a beautifully DVD of the very latest film that would make them the envy of all their friends at school.

It didn’t stop there, when Neil and I had any telecoms related enquiries from rolling out a new office phone system or buying a new mobile, or needing an international SIM card it was Steve we would call on and without doubt he’d have the answer.  Invariable before a trip to some far flung place Steve would also send over a chip or Sim that would mysteriously work wherever we were.

Whenever I was stuck for a fact or needed to brainstorm a new idea I’d phone Steve. Even if he was on deadline he’d always make time for me and since reading what others have said about him, it wasn’t just me he seemed to be able to make time for it was everyone! I also would call Steve when I wanted the inside track on a new client, deciding together whether or not I should work with them and he would always be there if something went wrong with a client cussing and swearing with me to console me if they’d be horrid!

Where oh where did Steve find the time to do so much and be so damn understanding.

I guess it was the nurse in him that never left him!

I marvelled at the time he’d found with Sylvia his wife to do up a house they’d bought and rented in Wales which they turned into the most luxurious holiday rental, and Steve also owned an art/interiors shop which l also couldn’t get my head around, because running a shop must have taken a huge amount of time too!

It seems strange that Steve has slipped so suddenly from our lives and it’s going to be very lonely and empty not to have him with us anymore, he was a dear and much loved colleague that went over and above what was ever expected of him. He was a also a true and loyal friend to me and Neil and during the ten years he worked for us and was truly instrumental behind the scenes in helping to grow our business. Boy oh boy are we all going to miss his humour and his mischievousness, his silly jokes and his just his being there for us at all times. Yes Steve, we’re all going to miss you, oh so very badly as there sure isn’t anyone else out there like another Steve Gold!

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Whether you’re interested in information security or tabloid gossip, you’re likely to have heard about the recent Sony hack. Hacker group Guardians Of Peace (GOP) have revelled in taking responsibility for the hack, which has uncovered personal details of clients and staff, internal email communications and financial details galore. The revelations have been making daily news for nearly three weeks now; and it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop any time soon, with GOP warning Sony that there will be more leaks in time for Christmas.

The technical details of the hack are still unclear, as is the attribution of and reasoning behind the attack, despite a lot of accusations. As a reader though, the news is in the leaks. Internal emails slating very high profile stars, the wage discrepancies between male and female actors and even some casual racism are just a few of the surprises the GOP have served up for us to feast our eyes on. Yummy.

It has already been said that this hack makes for a PR disaster for Sony. As with any high profile hack, the element of trust in said company’s systems and operations is left in the balance. In this case, as a production company with relatively limited direct customer-interaction, you could argue that this could be overcome in time. However, the seemingly never ending list of moral wrong-doings are tough to shake off. Sony has quite a list going so far – an internal culture of racism, sexism and downright rudeness are claims that can be levelled against the organisation with some conviction.

Whilst no one can (or should) blame a company for being hacked and humiliated as a result, they can comment on the actions they choose to take afterwards. Sony had kept a relatively consistent line of ‘no comment’ besides from the odd apology and a statement from Kevin Mandia, who is now looking after their security systems. Other than that, things had been kept rather quiet from the Sony side.

This was until 15th December, when Brian Krebs detailed a letter he received from Sony lawyers demanding that he “cease publishing detailed stories about the company’s recent hacking and delete any company data collected in the process of reporting on the breach.” Analysis of the legal implications of this from Krebs’ own blog and The Washington Post suggest that publication of very specific data from the Sony hack might lead to a successful lawsuit; but really, the company doesn’t have a leg to stand on in demanding that reporters do not report on the hack.

It is an interesting approach to take, not least because it is the most literal interpretation of ‘shoot the messenger’ that I have ever seen. Aggressive threats to reporters doesn’t sound comfortable even when it is 100% legally sound. As this has come from their legal team, one can only assume (and hope) that the PR team had no say in this latest development.

There are a few good reasons as to why this violates traditional rules of crisis communications, with the obvious few being:

  1. Journalists are not your enemy or your colleague. As the company that is sometimes centre to the content of their stories, you are there to be an informative, open and reliable source of information, from a safe distance. There needs to be acceptance that journalists have ultimate editorial control and you are there simply to supply content that helps them create the most informative and balanced version of that story as much as you possibly can. The more closed off and aggressive you are, the more creative license you give them. In this case, sticking to Freedom of Press rules and regulations is the job of the reporter, their editors and publishers.
  2. Don’t try to deny or hide what cannot be denied or hidden. This mistake can sometimes be made as a pre-emptive action (as in this case with Sony) but it will not work. Being honest will avoid future crisis because the truth always comes out eventually. Acknowledging your mistakes and faults will increase trust and respect in your company and brand. People are generally more willing to forgive and forget an error in judgement or action, than they are to forgive a lie.
  3. Consider all your audiences in your line of communication. Any statement or treatment you make to press, you are also making to your enemies, employees and customers. Does an aggressive statement threatening legal action increase trust and respect from any of the three parties mentioned? I’m not so sure.

It is hard to say what the best line of practice would be for a company like Sony in its current situation. The revelations have crossed a line from corporate to very personal and these require different managerial tactics. However, basic rules of acknowledgment, honesty and information-sharing could still be applied. Whilst these disclosures are potentially damaging and certainly interesting, they are not all-too surprising. Wage discrepancies between men and women is a well-known fact by now and the film industry has been revealed before to be brutal and superficial. Maybe a well thought out piece from someone at Sony addressing these issues that exist within their own industry could be a considered next step. Once they’re readily available, more information on how this happened to them could remove some of the question marks that still exist.

Of course Sony is angry and embarrassed that this has happened and it is unforgiveable that the hackers have leaked private information on employees, actors.  But the press are not the villain here and should be given a little more credit as, though they might report on the fact that it has happened, they are yet to report any specific details that might endanger those individuals.  Instead, Sony is opting to shoot the messenger in a weak attempt to save face. As more revelations appear, it will certainly be interesting not only to see the contents of the hack but also to see how Sony continues to handle it from a technical, business and PR perspective.

 

– Katie

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