Archives for category: cyber security

cupOk, so you’ll be lucky if, this year, 30 good tier one press even come to Infosec. Gone are the days when 300+ would show up and cruise the show openly interviewing exhibitors to see what was new (and I’m sure that’s got nothing to do with the fact that we no longer do the PR!!).

Boy oh boy – if you want to get  interviews, you’re going to have to think long and hard about what it is you’ve got that’s going to make a hard working journalist want to see you, especially as it’s only humanly possible for them to see a maximum of 7 vendors per day. This year you’re going to have to think outside of the box and work harder and smarter than ever before to get PR from the show, and it may not even be from the press you rely on to get it. You’re going to have to be your very own content machine. Think like Graham Cluley, Carole Theriault, Ken Munro or Javvad Malik – these are all self styled security content kings & queens who inform us smartly with humour, intelligence and considered rhetoric.

It’s a new exciting world out there, where you no longer have to scratch your heads wondering how on earth are you going to entice the media at a show like infosec. You can make your own news by producing riveting, exciting, original commentary through a blog on what you see as new interesting products and solutions. Spend your three days at Infosec tweeting, blogging and videoing the unusual, quirky human interest stuff that’s going to resonate with people! Become your own PR machine and offer considered thoughtful opinion – the human side or your expert take on what’s emerging that’s new and worthwhile.

Here is our advice on how best to PR yourself at Infosec, based on 22 years’ experience of doing the PR for the show for hundreds of clients, plus the knowledge of the extended Eskenzi PR team who have spent the last 4 weeks on the phone to those very press attending Infosec this year!

If you have the following, Infosecurity will be a runaway success from a PR point of view!

Have you got some original research to release at this year’s show that will grab the attention of the press?

Have you got a topical take on a news related story? E.g. are you working on the first GDPR blunder?

Has your team discovered a new malware or breach?

Have you got a Guru or leading expert in town?

Do you have a new product that’s got something truly original that’s going to make a difference?

Have you got an unique spin on a new topic?

Is your speaking slot going to give some smart, original insight?

Do you have a product that’s not just threat intelligence?

If you answered yes to any of the above, then great; your PR is going to be awesome. If you answered no to all of the above, then you can still take advantage of being at the show by doing some of the following.

  1. Press releases – there’s still a press office so put your news releases in there and visit it frequently to see which journalists are there that could be interested in your company.
  2. You need to attract journalists’ attention in the press office, so put something bright and eye catching in there. How about giveaways? Do you have any bags, pens etc.? – journalists love freebies!
  3. You still have a week to get people to your stand, so get blogging, send out email shots, mention Infosec at the bottom of your email signature.
  4. Produce a good handout that people can read there and then.
  5. Network and use the show to make new partnerships, use it for recruitment and to educate and impress new clients.
  6. Make sure your stand has words that sum up eloquently what you do.
  7. Get bright, smart, alert people to work your booth. Not tired old sales guys no longer hungry for leads.
  8. Do not let anyone on your stand who is hungover, has smelly breath from the night before and doesn’t want to be there.
  9. Think how you will stand out from the crowd. Giveaways, uniqueness, messaging, enthusiasm, desire to help?
  10. What’s your objective? To scan every lead or focus on a few qualified leads? How will you filter them out?
  11. Remember to follow them up immediately – don’t hang around!
  12. Don’t waste time talking to the wrong people. Qualify them quickly and move on.
  13. Can you use this opportunity to do some market research?
  14. Can you do a survey to get original content for press releases or an opinion piece?
  15. Do not allow your staff to talk to each other – they should be outwardly looking to catch every passing visitor.
  16. Smile at everyone and ask people as they walk past your stand “ are you looking for a so and so solution then come on in – you’ve come to the right place!”
  17. Make it easy for every visitor to feel comfortable to approach you.
  18. Don’t overcrowd/clutter your stand.
  19. Do not eat on your stand.
  20. Have enough literature and plan to have back up if you run out
  21. Wear comfy shoes
  22. Take pictures and videos and make sure you use these after the show in whatever way you possible can as Content, Content, Content is the PR mantra that works!

GOOD LUCK!

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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?