Unsung Heroes Banner 2017Once again Eskenzi PR will run the Security Serious Unsung Heroes Awards in September to celebrate and reward all the great work that’s been done by the people at the coalface in cyber-security. That’s the real people who are daily saving our bacon!  If you know any customers, colleagues or friends who have gone above and beyond the call of duty NOMINATE THEM NOW!  It takes literally 2 minutes and is free to enter, free to attend and damn good fun!  It’s made possible by the kindness of some fantastic companies including Canon, GSK, ISC2, ie, Barracuda, Corero, Firemon, Gigamon, Infosecurity Europe, Lastline, Mimecast, SE Labs, itsecurityguru.org and Smile on Fridays.  These awards are about unearthing new talent and thanking all those incredible IT security professionals who work tirelessly behind the scenes doing great work.  Last year over 150 people attended the awards, we all had a real laugh as the awards weren’t stuffy, self-congratulatory or self-serving – just a fantastic networking event in a brewery (it doesn’t get much better than that), with goodie bags for everyone and great big trophies and fun prizes for the winners!  Go on be nice and make someone’s day:)

The categories can be found at https://www.securityserious.com/unsung-heroes-awards/

Thank you for supporting the awards.

124109-Happy-FridaySo Linkedin and social media is a funny one. I’m always cautious what I can and should write, because you never know what people will think – but I am in PR and I always say to my clients that you should blow your own trumpet when you can because no-one else will ever do it for you! I’m not going to blow my own trumpet, but I am going to do it for my staff!

Show PR is notoriously difficult. Clients always expect loads of press and analyst interviews at shows like Infosec, RSA & Black Hat – and yet in reality it’s a very hard task. In fact, it’s near on impossible with over 450 exhibitors at Infosecurity and everyone wanting to talk to the 80 or so press who are there.

Handling expectations is very important, so we always estimate around 5 interviews for an Eskenzi client but, in reality, we got on average around 7 – in fact one of our clients had 16 press briefings!  I think it comes down to the fact that we start reaching out to the press six weeks before the show, BUT only if we genuinely feel our clients have something to say! We will never waste a journalists time, especially when they’re at a show like Infosec as there are so many great keynotes, tech talks and networking events to attend.  So it’s our job to work closely with our clients to make their stories really compelling.

Well my staff worked tirelessly for six weeks, liaising with our clients on new research, great statistics and pulling in relevant senior people just so that the press felt it was worthwhile making the journey to Olympia which, let’s face it, isn’t in the centre of London. So this is why I’m so proud. I’ve tried for about 10 years to get Rory Cellan-Jones (who is the BBC’s technology correspondent) to come down to meet our clients at Infosec, but he’s never been interested!  Well, this year he did! In fact, alongside the BBC came ITV, Radio 4, LBC, The FT, Mail on Sunday, The Times, New Statesman, The Sunday Times, BBC World Radio and of course all our friends from IDC, Infosecurity, SC, Ovum, PAC and ISMG to name but a few.  In total, Eskenzi clients had in excess of 140 press, radio, TV and analyst interviews during Infosec, and the crazy thing is that the BBC, ITV and a handful of other press didn’t actually meet with anyone else but came just to meet our clients – how cool is that! Now you know why I’m feeling proud and happy! 

Rory CL @ Infosec

 Image: Rory Cellan Jones, BBC interview Giovanni Vigna, founder and CTO, Lastline

I also want to add (not just because the sun is shining and it’s Friday), but I love our industry and every time I go to Infosecurity and this was my 22nd I realise what a great industry we work in and what a nice bunch of people work within it!

 

I’m not going to lie it’s been quite a weekend. It all started just before 3pm on Friday when Conor, one of our newest members of staff, noticed a tweet saying the NHS had suffered a major cyber-security attack.  That’s when our Eskenzi rapid response service ended up on steroids!

We sent out a media alert informing the press that we had various cyber-security experts on standby to answer any questions they may have and help explain what was happening.  Our switchboard lit up and every major news organisation was onto us! Reuters, PA, Sky News, BBC WorldService, Talk Radio, Aljazeera, News Week, ITN, The Times, The Telegraph, The Mirror, The Sun – even GQ magazine (now that made me giggle as they’re a trendy men’s lifestyle magazine with lots of buff men with muscles!)

I’m proud to say that our clients who have many of the world’s most experienced and knowledgeable cyber-security experts jumped into action to offer their advice and expertise – together with the Eskenzi team, everyone worked throughout the weekend responding to requests from the press, answering a myriad of searching questions – that clearly the NHS were unavailable to answer.

In fact, it was our clients the press turned to for informed commentary when it would have been better if the NHS had fielded a spokesperson to interview who had insight to offer and intelligence to share – but sadly this didn’t happen! This is why organisations need to have contingency and crisis plans in place that are specifically to respond to a cyber-attack as, sadly, the likelihood is that these occurrences are going to become more and more frequent.  The CISOs or head of Information security in major organisations need to be media trained as these are the guys we want in-front of the camera, on the radio and quoted in the press! We want assurances from the people that know, not ill-informed, ignorant civil servants or ministers who in the NHS’ case hadn’t the faintest idea what they were talking about.

 The corollary of this weekend’s event is really in my mind to celebrate the brilliant men and women in cyber-security who work tirelessly everyday to avert more frequent disasters such as the one we saw this weekend.  When I speak to them regularly, they always inform me of how susceptible we are to legacy systems that are so old they are disasters waiting to happen.  I know that behind the scenes it’s these guys that are stopping disasters happening more frequently.  A bit like the counter-terrorism special unit, who we never hear or see from because they too are regularly gathering intelligence to avert disasters.

We need to attract more people into our industry and fill the skills gap. It’s suddenly become a lot more exciting and events like this, I hope, will make it alluring to students wondering what career to pursue.

Gartner predicts that by 2020 we will have 13.5 billion connected devices, so can you only imagine what will happen when these don’t have security built into them – it doesn’t matter how many fantastic security folks we have working to identify the malware and breaches the manufacturers need to take responsibility for security.

The sterling job that our cyber-security industry display day after day and how a security researcher who goes under the name of MalwareTech together with Darien Huss from Proofpoint who worked through the night to kill WannaCry,  reminds me why we decided to run the Security Serious Unsung Heroes. 

If you know of anyone who should be nominated as a Security Serious Unsung Hero please do nominate them here.

Apart from chasing the story this week, I’m sure we all have some story of how we were personally effected by the effects of the malware. In my case, my mum was cooking dinner for 16 of us and she caught her finger in the blender and had to go to A&E to get it stitched up, but had to wait so long because the effects of WannaCry, she ended up strapping it up herself with the help of my retired GP brother-in-law and a few steristrips.  Saying that my mother, who is a trouper, came back and continued chopping with one hand to finish off dinner.  I helped her chop with one of my spare hands, whilst the other was being used to arrange interviews with the press!!! Oh what fun to be a multitasking PR women.   At the same time my niece who is working as a junior Doctor in orthopaedic trauma ended up having to run around the hospital chasing down the oldest computers as they were the only ones still working to print out patient notes and look at X-rays in the old-fashioned way by holding them up to the light which of course they no longer teach at med school.

So this won’t be the first or the last of these kind of breaches – what next, power stations or water supplies?

RockStarsCybersecurityCircleBadge

working together

So here’s a thing, apparently when you brainstorm most of all the good ideas come out in the first 10 minutes – so DON’T drag it out. If it’s getting boring and everyone is chattering aimlessly forget it – reconvene and do another 10 minutes another day.

I learnt a lot yesterday on my afternoon off at #CASSINNOVATE. It was an innovation and entrepreneurship conference hosted by CASS Business School – now that’s a cool place, in the hottest part of London, just by the Silicon Roundabout in Old Street. I love the vibe there as it’s where all these “youths” call themselves “founders” of “incredible start-ups”. In the coffee break it was quite sweet really – lots of earnest, keen, bearded soles all keen to shake hands and “network”.

Actually, that was the best bit of my afternoon – the session on “leveraging the power of reciprocity” – what the hell does that mean we giggled to ourselves – as my oldest daughter Jazzy and I wondered nervously into the session. Infact, she was the real reason I was there, one of the head lecturers David Gauntlett, who is Professor of Creativity & Design at her University  – Westminster University, and sadly who she’s never actually had a lecture from, invited her to hear him speak at another University – weird that!

Anyway, we gingerly entered this weird sounding lecture on reciprocity and got handed tons of yellow post-it notes – now I am a bit partial to a post-it note so I was really excited as to what was about to happen. Well the gentle and very animated Dr Santi Furnari asked us all to start writing requests such as “anyone know of a creative graduate that has exceptional writing skills” or “I’m looking for an app designer” and “can anyone give a talk on exporting”. These were put on the white board and then the room was asked to offer their help.  Incredibly 3- 4 people could help per request.  Dr Santi said that this is what happens normally, for every request you put out there amongst your network you’ll find that 3- 4 people will be able to help you.

Now that’s pretty AMAZING. It was incredible to watch total strangers offer tangible and real offers of help.  So I think we should all try it – LinkedIn is the perfect networking platform to give it a go.  He said it doesn’t fail, it’s scientifically proved.

It’s all part of the Reciprocity ring and there are Reciprocity events – I’ll have to google them now because I love that idea of my network helping me and me helping my network more when someone needs something. So let’s try his theory – does anyone know a good hotel in Greece this summer?

And more importantly I’m now ready for next afternoon off!

 

A look back at my first week at Eskenzi PR

Starting any new job can be a daunting experience, particularly when starting in a junior position in a niche industry such as cybersecurity. When I arrived last Monday for my first day at Eskenzi, I had a multitude of questions about the tech and PR industries respectively, but very few answers! Thankfully, my new team proved more than helpful in getting me up to speed as quickly as possible. First, I was introduced to the office properly, learning everyone’s job titles and the associated responsibilities. This allowed me to gain direct examples of how a PR agency is structured, and the work associated with each role, from Account Executive right through to Director.

Secondly, I was introduced to our clients. Account Director Lara took me through each of the accounts I will be working on, offering me a brief and useful overview of the specific role of each within the Cybersecurity sphere. I found out as much information about these companies as possible, and immediately found myself excited at the prospect of working with major players such as Alert Logic, who lead the industry in Cloud security systems, and NuData Security who specialise in using passive biometrics to identify users, I’ve relished the opportunity to research these companies, improving my understanding of each of their unique places in the wider industry.

Next up was getting to grips with Eskenzi’s methods of monitoring and pitching to the media. Securing and recording coverage gained for our clients is a top priority for Eskenzi as in any agency, and an understanding of how to do this is fundamental. I was given step by step instructions of how to track and record media coverage of our clients, and compare it with the coverage gained by their competitors. This is useful as it provides me with real-world examples of PR in action; being able to show our clients their share of the media voice, coupled with analysis of the type of coverage is crucial when feeding back our progress, and thinking strategically about the future.

Wednesday evening gave me an opportunity to experience a more casual aspect of the role. Eskenzi had organised an informal evening of drinks and food for some of the journalists we work closest with. This was an opportunity to put faces to the names I was going to spend a significant amount of time emailing! The event was a great success, and provided an opportunity for me to get to know some of my colleagues at Eskenzi, and in the wider technology industry that bit better.

By Thursday, I felt ready to try my hand at some writing! I was asked to draft a pitch for an article regarding cloud security for Alert Logic, and how businesses can adapt their security solutions in line with moving to a cloud computing system. This was a particularly enjoyable experience, as it was a chance to use my natural passion and academic experience of writing, in a professional capacity. As an English graduate, chances to use your writing  skills outside of personal hobbies or essays are far and few between, so to have found an industry where writing is necessary, not just encouraged, is fantastic.

I was also given the opportunity to write a piece of content from scratch for one of our clients NuData Security. This again was a fantastic opportunity to try my hand at writing to a house style, and about an area I was not an expert in. This content was designed to support Fraud Prevention Month which runs throughout March, and detailed how individuals and businesses can take simple measures to counteract the ever-increasingly ingenious ways fraudsters will attempt to target and access your assets.

Friday was an excellent opportunity to take stock of all that I had managed to learn and achieve in my first week. Rohit and I (another new Account Exec at Eskenzi) managed to achieve some fantastic results from our first venture into the PR world. After writing several pitches, we were rewarded with some fantastic placements. I had responses from household names such as The Economist, and BBC News. I was also lucky enough to have placements with trade press leaders such as SC Magazine for NuData Security, and Rohit managed a spectacular first-week result by gaining FireMon coverage on the Mail Online website! For a newcomer to the PR industry to gain coverage on the world’s largest news website speaks volumes about the quality of coverage we at Eskenzi strive for, and the feeling of satisfaction in securing exceptional coverage for a client is not to be underestimated!

Whilst obviously still finding my feet in the industry, I think the outstandingly warm welcome, coupled with wealth of support and advice I was given, means I am in a perfect position to become a key member of the team, and to help Eskenzi’s clients secure the best coverage possible. All in all I would consider my first week at Eskenzi to be a great success, and hopefully by the time my next blog post comes around there is nothing about cybersecurity, or indeed PR that I won’t know!

By Conor Heslin, Account Executive

 

It’s been another fantastic year at Eskenzi PR. The company grew by 25% in 2016 and we brought on some great news clients who have enjoyed becoming part of the Eskenzi family such as FireMon, Synopsys and Nozomi. I think we can genuinely say we have some of the hardest working PR folk in the biz and the proof is in the pudding: a combined total of 14,628 pieces of press coverage in 2016.

Last year was a definitive year for cybersecurity – we saw Newspaper seriesthe rise of ransomware and IoT attacks, and of course there was the Yahoo breach – one of the biggest in history; then there was the Mirai botnet that was responsible for taking disrupting services on some of the world’s biggest ISPs.  It’s fair to say all of these things and more kept us busy!

But it’s not just the news that we jump on, our clients create their own stories and, well, some of them are just utterly interesting in their own right.  We each found different (yet equally valid) routes to success for the year with our clients.

For Lucy, it was working to a target that kept her particularly driven: “As part of our KPIs we were to achieve around 400 pieces of coverage in a special tier of 35 publications which the client selected. It was difficult to achieve, but in the end we met, and surpassed, our target.”  She also achieved over 1200 pieces of tier one coverage for another client.

Dulcie was approached by Universal Studios to create a
mock up of a cyber-security show to use in the 2016 Jason Bourne film. She jumped into action and worked with 15 of our clients to take on the challenge of getting involved by building mock up stands, providing merchandising off their stands such as T-shirts, flashing glasses and logos all to appear on the big screen.  It was a fantastic branding opportunity that many of our clients embraced and just one of those fun opportunities that being an Eskenzi PR client can provide!

Julia found that by jumping on the Brexit train and coming up with a knock out survey that appealed to the UK media in particular was her high point.  “The Brexit survey got more than 40 hits and the client’s coverage levels overall increased by 46% from the previous year.”

Lara was delighted to work with one client who was so responsive and involved in the PR process, that together they achieved over 800 pieces of coverage in just four months, including 20 national news hits.

As media evolves, so must we.we-love-pr
Katie had a super achievement in setting up the first Facebook Live interview with the BBC.  “Just as much effort and time goes into setting these interviews up by comparison to a TV interview and the result is arguably more pertinent,” she said. “It led to the client having a spike in traffic to their website and it can still be viewed
online and has had over 225,000 views to date.”

For me, it was particularly enjoyable to create and sustain relationships with clients and really get involved with their businesses to help solidify their messaging and relay it to the press.  One successful exercise was to identify the thought leaders in the company and get their voices heard within the industry, so it’s not just one spokesperson, but a nice range of advocates.

These are all strategies that we will continue to use and evolve in 2017 and look forward to another stellar year!

… 89 Pieces of Coverage, 13 National Hits and an interview with Reuters

At the beginning of September, Eskenzi partnered up with cyber security start-up, Redscan, for a three month contract to build up momentum in the media. Redscan decided to join us for a trial run to see what we could do, and we were more than happy to show them.

As Eskenzi specialises in cyber security, we know all the journalists and media opportunities in the industry inside out, so we were easily able to secure coverage from day one. In particular, we found that rapid responses on breaking stories worked well with this client as they were quick to respond and knew how to write snappy, insightful commentary which journalists can use as sound-bites.

The most successful rapid response was on the Dyn cyber attack which caused a huge internet outage. Robert Page’s comment on the attack achieved 28 pieces of coverage including the Guardian, Telegraph and Daily Mail and syndicated across the UK and Spain.

We also had great success with article placements, getting Redscan thought leadership right into the heart of the publications that their customers read, including the finance vertical that they were looking to target; Huffington Post, Finance DigestInformation Age and IT Pro Portal.

Today marks the end of our initial three month contract with Redscan and we are proud to have achieved 89 pieces of coverage for them, resulting in an estimated reach of 433,949,721. This included:

Redscan were obviously delighted with the coverage and we look forward to helping them further their profile in 2017!

If you would like us to do the same for your company, why don’t you follow in Redscan’s footsteps and try us out?

If you’re knee-deep in PR planning for next year, you might be interested in hearing about some of the additional packages that we currently have on offer at Eskenzi PR.

The following services can be purchased as standalone packages or to complement your existing PR programme. If any of these are of interest, please contact Yvonne at yvonne@eskenzipr.com or 020 7183 2832.

  • Social Media (identifying influencers, monitoring services and conversation building)
  • Content creation (brainstorming, strategy, thematic content mapping)
  • Internal communications (weekly or monthly newsletters, ‘brag books’ of PR coverage)
  • Market survey on a ‘hot topic’ (devise and launch a PR survey using external research agencies)
  • IT Security Analyst & CISO Forum (16/17 May, London)
  • CISO lunches (sponsoring a CISO lunch club)
  • Security Serious Conference and Awards (sponsorship and presenting opportunities)
  • Security Serious Awards (sponsorship opportunities)
  • Additional reporting services (detailed reporting over and above regular PR reports)
  • IT Security Guru (utilising the site for lead generation or branding)
  • Visual cartoonist
  • Mercedes Benz Racing Day (standalone event with CISOs, seminars and hospitality)

 

Eskenzi PR is now arranging third-party product reviews on the IT Security Guru by Dave Mitchell, a respected technology reviewer for leading IT publications.

The reviews cost £1,000 and include a PDF for marketing use after the review is published. Reviews are also sent out to the 3271 IT Security Guru newsletter subscribers, tweeted to its 8565 followers, and written about as a news story on the Guru website.

Dana Holway, Director of Corporate Relations at AppRiver, said the following about the recent review of an email encryption product:

 “Third-party reviews are significantly more influential than anything we could directly communicate to potential clients because people prefer independent, expert opinions.  That’s why Security Guru’s 5-star ranking has benefited us tremendously. We’re able to point to a neutral source who has used the service, had the complete customer experience and recommends it to others. We have used the review right across the organization from marketing to sales and it’s proved to be an invaluable, influential and cost effective piece of collateral. I would highly recommend a review in The Guru.”   

Dave requires a minimum of a month to review the product, and we can help you to plan the publication accordingly. For further details please contact Lara at editor@itsecurityguru.org

The first ever Security Serious Week conference took place at the Department for Media Culture and Sport on the 3rd of October to kick off Security Serious Week.  The morning consisted of three panel discussions on topics such as coping with the changing legal landscape, how UK’s top CISOs tackle security awareness and why it’s important to think like a hacker; followed by a presentation from “human lie detector” Jenny Radcliffe on protecting employees from social engineering.

The event was followed by a networking lunch sponsored by Mimecast.

The free conference was open to C-Suite professionals in the UK plc, of which we had 150 register to attend, and the Churchill room at the DCMS was packed to capacity!

Matt Hancock, the UK Minister of State for Digital Culture wrote a blog on the event here: http://dcmsblog.uk/2016/10/getting-serious-cyber-security/

To get involved with conference next year, please contact Beth Smith 02071832843