I’m sure the title of the blog has given you a clue about the content of this blog, but we are delighted to finally be able to share with you our news, that we’ve been keeping under our hats (or perhaps crowns may be more fitting in this case) for a few weeks …

Eskenzi PR & Marketing has won a 2018 Queens Award for Enterprise!

The Queens Award is an incredible accolade, celebrating the outstanding achievement by UK businesses across a number of categories, from innovation to sustainable development. Eskenzi has been recognised for its contribution to the UK’s economy, and we are one of just 152 companies that have received the honour this year for overseas trade and International growth.

Having worked within the cybersecurity space since the very beginning, we are proud to be part of a sector that has grown from something very niche, where only those ‘in the know’ really understood its importance, to an industry which continues to dominate mainstream news headlines, and is discussed at everything from dinner parties, student union gatherings, board meetings and government debates across the globe.

We work tirelessly to do our bit in highlighting the challenges of cybersecurity, and bringing them to the attention of the masses; from DDoS attacks, phishing and Ransomware, all the way through to Nation State Hacking, GDPR and the Skills Gap, you can be sure that Eskenzi are there, finger on the pulse and ensuring our clients are in the right place at the right time to be positioned as the thought leaders they are. We couldn’t have done it without our fabulous clients, both past and present- so we extend a big thank you to all of you.

Our services span across the globe from the US, to France, Germany and Benelux- and of course, our headquarters in High Barnet, London. We are a tight knit, PR family, and we really do pride ourselves on delivering only the best. Each achievement we reach for our clients spur us on to aim for bigger and better the next time, and so as you can imagine, The Queens Award really does have us all pretty electrified here at Eskenzi HQ (and beyond!).  We have lots of exciting things in the pipeline, from a trip to the Palace and the presentation of the award at our offices – which we will of course, keep you all posted on.

For now, however, thank you all for joining us in whatever capacity you have on the incredible journey that Eskenzi PR has been on (so far). We’re almost certain our next chapter is going to bigger, better and even more wonderful than we can even begin to imagine.

 

–  Queens Awards Winners 2018, over and out!

 

 

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The European Cyber Security Bloggers Awards has returned in 2018 to recognise the best blogs and podcasts in the industry, as voted by peers. Nominations have now opened until midnight on the 30th of April.  Individuals, companies and cyber enthusiasts can nominate their favourite blogs here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/eubloggerawards2018

This year will see the third European Cyber Security Blogger Awards hosted by Brian Honan from BH Consulting and Eskenzi PR. Bloggers and podcasters can vote for their favourite blogs that must be focused on information security issues from around the world as well as Europe. The awards will take place alongside the Infosecurity Europe event to be held in London from June 5th to June 7th.

The winners of the awards will be announced at the security bloggers meetup on Tuesday the 5th of June at The Crown & Sceptre 34 Holland Road, London W14 starting at 18:00. Bloggers and podcasters can register here to attend: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/european-cyber-security-blogger-awards-tickets-43660782576

We’re delighted to be able to host the European Cyber Security Bloggers Awards as we know how much time and dedication goes into writing a truly insightful and balanced blog. As these awards are judged by the general public alongside a team of independent judges, we’re intrigued to find out who everyone agrees is the vocal player out there, making a difference to the cyber-security industry!

Good luck everyone!

womens day

Today at Eskenzi HQ there was cake- we had our own ‘International Women’s Day’ celebration, and joined millions of others around the world recognising the need for gender parity. First implemented in 1975, International Women’s Day is a global celebration identifying the achievements of women; 2018 has already seen huge campaigns like the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements dominate headlines, challenging issues such as sexual harassment, equal pay, education and femicide (to name but a few), and the conversation is far from over (Hooray!).

Looking beyond just Eskenzi, PR is renowned for being inclusive of women- in fact, according the Holmes Report, women make up 70% of PR staff. However, when it comes to looking to the top, women only hold 30% of management positions in the sector- a figure which drops to 25% when looking solely at 20 of the largest PR companies. Of course it doesn’t stop there- the gender pay gap is all too apparent the industry, with PR Week reporting earlier this year that it can reach a huge £75,000 difference between men and women, at senior corporate levels. Unreal, right!?

Now, looking at the industry we work closely with, gender diversity in the tech has long been a talking point. Research shows that, despite industry growth, over the last 10 years’ female representation in the industry has stagnated- only 17% of those working in the industry are female and when looking higher up the ladder, things aren’t that much better – only 1 in 10 are IT leaders. With only 7% of students taking Computer Science at A-Level being female, there is a clear need for action to encourage young women to pursue a career in the field of technology.

It has been 100 years since women in the UK gained the right to vote, yet The World Economic Forum estimates it will take another 170 years to reach gender equality (shocked faces all round). Equality should know no bounds, yet we have reached 2018 and women of all ages, across every industry and in every country, are still having to fight twice as hard to be heard and to achieve.

As Hilary Clinton said- ‘“I believe the rights of women and girls is the unfinished business of the 21st Century.” The time for change is now- together we can break every glass ceiling.

By Michelle Marriott 

hiring

It’s gone bonkers at Eskenzi PR since the New Year winning some awesome clients, selling out our IT Security Analyst & CISO Forum, being shortlisted for a UK Government award (I’m not allowed to say any more until it’s announced in April). So, we need to recruit for a wonderful, talented and brilliant account manager who can fit into our happy, dynamic and friendly agency!

We are looking for someone with:

  • Proven PR experience
  • Ambition and drive to progress
  • Prior B2B or technology sector experience would be ideal
  • A team player
  • Self-starter with the ability to inspire juniors
  • An interest in writing articles, blogs and press releases
  • Experience in social media as well as traditional media
  • Experience of developing and running impactful campaigns
  • An interest in cyber security
  • The ability and ambition to build strong productive relationships with clients and help them raise their profiles and grow their businesses.

Most…

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hiring

It’s gone bonkers at Eskenzi PR since the New Year winning some awesome clients, selling out our IT Security Analyst & CISO Forum, being shortlisted for a UK Government award (I’m not allowed to say any more until it’s announced in April). So, we need to recruit for a wonderful, talented and brilliant account manager who can fit into our happy, dynamic and friendly agency!

We are looking for someone with:

  • Proven PR experience
  • Ambition and drive to progress
  • Prior B2B or technology sector experience would be ideal
  • A team player
  • Self-starter with the ability to inspire juniors
  • An interest in writing articles, blogs and press releases
  • Experience in social media as well as traditional media
  • Experience of developing and running impactful campaigns
  • An interest in cyber security
  • The ability and ambition to build strong productive relationships with clients and help them raise their profiles and grow their businesses.

Most importantly, you’ll be brimming with ideas, have a creative mindset and keen to develop your PR career with us.

In return you can expect:

  • Competitive salary, based on experience
  • Bonus opportunities
  • Pension scheme
  • Flexible working arrangements
  • A dynamic agency
  • Opportunities to progress and develop
  • Plus many more!

If this is you or anyone you know, please email a CV and covering letter to Yvonne Eskenzi yvonne@eskenzipr.com.

 

DATA PRIVACY DAY LOGO

 

Data Privacy Day – or Data Protection Day if you’re in Europe – is upon us once again on Sunday January 28th. If peanut brittle can get its own day (yes, it’s true and if you’re reading this in real time then you can just make it), then why not data privacy and protection?  Data is serious business, and with more attention than ever before on data breaches and the resulting consequences, it seems right to take this opportunity to think about the data we make available online.

One of our clients, Tripwire, a leading global provider of security and compliance solutions for enterprises and industrial organisations, conducted a poll that asked “who are you most concerned about collecting your private information? The government, corporations, identify theft criminals, or online stalkers/harassers?”. Of the 315 who participated, the majority (40%) said they would be most worried about corporations stealing their information. Nearly a third (27%) said they were most concerned about the government gathering their critical data, whereas only a fifth (21%) voted for identity theft criminals as being their main concern. Only 12% were concerned about online stalkers and harassers storing their private information.

It says a lot that the overwhelming majority 315 people are more concerned about governments and corporations collecting their private data than criminals and online stalkers. It also strengthens the use case for the upcoming GDPR, as it shows that people are indeed concerned about how organisations are treating our personal information.

Tripwire experts have shared the following tips to keep your data private:

Tim Erlin, VP of Product Management and Strategy at Tripwire:

“Nearly the entire economy is geared to convince you that your data really doesn’t need to be private, and that you should freely share it. From social media, to loyalty programs, to smart home devices; all of these trends are built on the back of your data. Remember that it’s yours, and it’s valuable and you have a right to protect it and keep it private. That leads you to making explicit choices to share, rather than sharing by default. And maybe, that awareness changes a few of those choices.”

Paul Norris, senior systems engineer for EMEA at Tripwire:

“As everyday interaction with the world around us is becoming more reliant on computer systems, it’s even more vital that you should care and take action around your data privacy. These days, personal identifiable identification (PII) data can be stored at a lot of places ranging from local drives on laptops, through to portable media and cloud providers storing data online. It’s imperative that you maintain individual strong passwords for all your online accounts, so if one account is compromised, other accounts do not suffer. And as you will have so many passwords to manage, consider using a password management piece of software and enable two-factor authentication to add a layer of security to your solution.”

Tyler Reguly, manager of security research and development at Tripwire:

“Accept that your data is not private. Once you do that, you will find yourself less stressed when your data is inevitably breached. I have three rules that I try to live by:

-If they don’t utilize Amazon/PayPal for payments, place your order elsewhere.

-If you wouldn’t get it developed at the store, don’t take the picture.

-Don’t take risks with your primary PC. Restrict social media browsing to cell phones, tablets, and secondary PCs.

In the distant 1978, the world witnessed an extraordinary event – the birth of the first spam email. If you already knew that, I’m impressed. If you didn’t and you’re quite shocked, I’m with you. Although it wasn’t referred to as spam at first, the email was sent by Gary Thuerk, a marketer for the Digital Equipment Corporation, to several hundred users presenting information about open houses where people could check out or purchase the computers. And now, forty years later, our inboxes are heavily bombarded with spam emails promising great holiday offers, informing you that you’ve won the lottery or simply asking you to “click here”.  However, far from being a rather innocent, email marketing tool, spam emails have transitioned into a dangerous attack vector for cyber criminals, aiming to hijack your device and extort money, information or sensitive data.

The Evolution of Spam Emails

Spam hardly needs an introduction. It encompasses everything from ads for products or services, money scams, malware, phishing and so on. Nowadays, everyone who owns a smartphone or computer has experienced the frustration of receiving one of these random, sleazy and quite often weird emails. However, even though spam emails have been around for so long, they still seem to work. Spammer techniques have evolved to avoid new spam filters and thus, those messages still reach hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, many of whom fall for the them.

With the growth of the Internet and online platforms, spam has evolved from email messages to mobile texts and social media spam. Indeed, back in the day, email addresses were easy to harvest from website subscriptions and people were more willing to give them away. Eventually people got sick of irrelevant messages. And as email filters became more and more sophisticated, spammers had to find new targets and creative ways to get their messages across. Moving on to texts messages, spammers plagued mobile phones with unwanted ads or texts – the last one I got was about collecting my tax refund. What’s yours?

Nowadays, it harder than ever to obtain someone’s email or mobile number (unless they willingly give it, of course), so the prime targets for spam are social media accounts. Many of us have been followed by a fake account – a fake online identity used for purposes of deception – which send us texts and automatically comments on our posts (e.g. “Nice photo. Please check out X by following this link [link] or Please check you DM when you can).

How to Handle Suspicious Messages

Spam is cheap to send and it still works, so cyber criminals will continue to use it. Therefore, it’s important to understand how to recognize a suspicious email/message and approach it with caution. Here are some of our tips:

  • DON’T CLICK ON ANY LINKS (unless you’re 100% sure they are legit)
  • Use caution when opening any email attachments (attachments are often used as part of phishing scams).
  • Avoid downloading any programs/software on your computer
  • If the email is from someone you know (e.g. colleague or friend), but it still looks suspicious, make sure you double-check they actually sent it (by giving them a call).
  • Make sure you turn on the privacy mode on your social media accounts, so you can control who’s following you. This can help to shield you from fake accounts and their dodgy messages.

By Elizabeth Nikolova

Over the past few weeks, news of Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency, has taken the world by storm. Its valuation continues to smash through price barriers with the value of one Bitcoin rising as high as $18,000. Those who were lucky enough to be in the know and invested during the currencies infancy are said to have made fortunes since its dramatic rise. “For the love of Money” by the O’Jays will certainly be ringing out for them.

 

Naturally, this garnered immediate interest with news outlets around the world covering the minute-by-minute trading sessions while many in the general public, many of whom were hearing the term Bitcoin for the first time, wanted a piece of the pie.

 

But what is Bitcoin? How secure is it? Should I be investing? All valid questions that the everyday person on the street is asking… So, here is what you need to know…

 

Bitcoin is a digital currency, which is created and stored electronically. There is no physical form for Bitcoin – they are not printed. The details of any transaction made using the currency is recorded within an online ledger called the blockchain.

 

To generate Bitcoin, people use computer software to solve mathematical problems and in return can produce Bitcoin. This is referred to as ‘mining’. Even though it is said that only 21 million Bitcoin in total can be mined, in theory, anyone can join the online community and ‘mine’. As the software is open sourced, the mining activity and overall network can be monitored and regulated to ensure the network remains stable and secure.

 

To store Bitcoin securely, it is advised that the user acquires a security wallet, with the most common wallets installed either on the user’s desktop or on their mobile device. Each wallet is secured with encryption and accessed with a password.

 

However, like all things in life, there are negatives associated with Bitcoin. Bitcoin has a dark past and is a main currency used for illegal activity on the Dark Web – such as drug trading. In addition, the security methods have been plagued by a sequence of high profile cyber attacks, with the latest striking the Slovenian based Bitcoin mining marketplace NiceHash, where nearly $64m in Bitcoin was stolen.

 

Yes, the currency is increasing in value and yes, it is making a lot of noise but there are some that are sceptical. Many within the digital and financial industries are keeping a close eye on this ‘bubble’, which many believe will inevitably burst.

 

Like any investment, research into a product is always advised and bitcoin is no exception. This is an entry-level introduction to Bitcoin and the information provided should in no way give you the confidence to invest. So, do your homework before purchasing!

Imperva

Okay, so I’m seriously buzzing from the Imperva Israeli Press Tour. Inspirational, energetic, dynamic, humbling and creative are just a few of the adjectives that are swirling around my head when I think back to the trip. I have been surrounded by some of the most brilliant minds in the world – most of whom have come out of the 8200, the elite intelligence division of the Israeli army.

If you can imagine a city of wannapreneurs – a place where it feels like everyone has just jumped out of the starting gates and are in the race to get to the finishing line, and whoever gets their first wins the million-dollar prize money – and that’s not fiction, that’s reality!  Look at the cyber-security companies that have come out of Israel – Checkpoint, Imperva, Cyber-Ark, Trusteer, which was sold to IBM, Tufin, plus many have R&D offices in Israel such as Akamai, IBM Security, Raytheon and RSA.

What happens in Israel is what happens when you throw a stone in a pond and it creates a ripple effect, a chain reaction. For many of those privileged and talented enough to have worked at Imperva, they have gone onto start up their own brilliant innovative cyber-security companies, many of which have been backed by the original founders of Imperva, including the true greats Shlomo Kramer and Amichai Shulman, who have both helped to spawn many successful start-ups.

Amichai, who is definitely one of the loveliest and brightest men I know, took the time to take us down Rothschild Boulevard where all the start-up companies hang-out of the most beautiful restored Bauhaus buildings. Each compete to be funkier and more fun than the next and are jammed packed with eager start-ups bursting with yet another brilliant solution that will hopefully solve the latest cyber-security threat.  The start-ups sit side by side the venture capitalists and angel investors – who incubate, nurture, counsel and invest in the new guys on the block.  It’s what Amichai is now doing after his 15 years building Imperva, now one of the most successful companies in data security and DDoS protection.  He has begun to invest in many incredibly innovative and needed solutions, as well as mentoring and lecturing, which seems to be the way it goes in Israel.  The idea of collaboration and helping one another is key to why Israel is so successful in cyber-security – the older, successful generation go on to help and support the younger generation.

There is an eco-system in Israel where businesses believe in supporting each other. I was told that if you have a new product or idea you’ll never be turned away by a company such as a bank, retailer or pharmaceutical company – their doors are always open as they are happy to trial beta products. It is the Israeli way.

These guys also trust each other emphatically and use their network to build their businesses – most of the founders of the start-ups I met had served alongside each other in the elite 8200 intelligence division of the Israeli army for the super brilliant.  Because they’ve trusted and had each other’s backs in the army, they have grown up like brothers, so it’s natural to continue trusting and working with each other, developing products that they see a need for once they leave the Israeli army.  The same goes for some of the other incredible businesses I met from the OFEK division, which is the intelligence division of the Airforce.  Panorays,a company well worth watching, was one that totally impressed me as they perform automated third party security management – a booming and much needed requirement with GDPR looming.

The education system is very much geared towards encouraging kids to go into cyber-security, too.  I met a friend over dinner whose son at 14 had just started a boarding school that specialises in computing and cyber – can you imagine that here in the UK? He is obsessed with computing, coding and hacking, so now he can do it safely and responsibly in the confines of a centre of excellence.  From these sorts of schools of excellence, they all then are conscripted into the military for a minimum of two years, which is where – if they have the aptitude – they are picked for the 8200 intelligence unit.

Ingeniously, this whole system helps sort out any skills shortage problem they may have because they are encouraging the kids from a young age to consider cyber as their career choice.  Interestingly, it’s only after military service do they then go onto University, and even then they have multiple Universities of excellence for cyber-security for undergraduates to choose from such as Ben Gurion University, Be-er Sheba.

During the press tour, we had six journalists from The Times, the New Statesman, SC magazine, Dark Reading, TechTarget and Bloomberg and were privy to a lunchtime discussion about why Israel is a cyber-security hub. We heard from Ofer Schriber, YL Ventures; David Mimran, the CTO of Ben Gurion University, Be-er Sheba; Nir Lempert, CEO of MER Group and a Deputy Commander of the 8200 Unit; Matan Or-El from Panorays and Roi Yarom Head of Policy Planning for the Israeli National Cyber-Security Bureau – here we saw the real professionalism and passion, the inter-relationships and camaraderie.

From this meeting I learnt, too, that the Government has a huge part to play in promoting and nurturing cyber-security in Israel; they have numerous schemes and initiatives to develop this area, plus they send lots of companies of delegations around the world to form partnerships. In fact, another of our clients IRONSCALES were away for part of the week on a funded trip by the Government on a trade mission to Tokyo, where they returned delighted that they had actually closed real business and made some incredible partnerships.  Another very interesting and worthwhile lesson to learn from the Israelis!

Like the rest of us, they do have their fair share of the cyber-skills shortage, but nothing like we see here in the UK or the US. The issue was more that everyone had a burning desire to stay only for a few years at a start-up and then be the founder of the next cyber-security start-up – so the same old retention issue that we’re all so used to seeing on our own turf.

The other remarkable difference about why I think Israeli companies do so well is the fact that everything is so close. Literally, where we spent most of our week, you could walk to every meeting, pop in to the folks next door, meet in one of the many coffee shops or cute, boho chic bars to catch up. Actually, in Israel I’m beginning to think everyone knows everyone else. Each time I mentioned someone they seemed to know them or were happy to make an introduction – everyone seems to be running in the race together – and if you trip up, or need a helping hand they are truly there for each other, to support, mentor and share where they can. I genuinely got the feeling they were in this fight to beat cyber-security threats together.

If you get the chance to visit Israel, then snap it up. It has a buzz about it which I found incredibly infectious and fun to do business there. Plus, where else can you go in December where it’s 80 degrees and you can eat outside in some of the best restaurants and bars in the world?

 

At Eskenzi PR, we believe PR is more than simply achieving press coverage. It’s about staying current in the industry and shouting about news that really matters. By sharing with the world your company’s voice and achievements around various social networks, we help keep you relevant, topical and in tune with the daily news discussion.

For our client FireMon, we send 3 stories in a twitter format (inclusive of hashtags and @’s) on topics relevant to the cyber security industry, which are then sent out periodically on the day from the company’s twitter channel. These can be tailored specific to the client’s own needs. We have also created a newsletter for FireMon to distribute internally which champions the week’s top coverage and the three top news stories from that week. This again helps increase overall viewership, shares of FireMon content and employee engagement.

In addition, any FireMon coverage obtained will be shared across Twitter and LinkedIn from members of the Eskenzi FireMon team to increase circulation and potential viewership. This helps boost FireMon’s overall Share of Voice which regularly pushes FireMon above their competitors. This is measured by our industry leading PR and social media analytics platform, TrendKite.

FireMon Overall Social Share of Voice comparison against competitors 1st January 2017 – October 31st 2017

Firemon case study

*Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Pintrest are measured