Archives for posts with tag: AlienVault

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The Mail on Sunday this past weekend saw an anonymous whistleblower hand a journalist a memory stick with the personal data of 2,000 Barclays customers, saying information on a further 25,000 was also available.  

 

It has the security industry conflicted on  where the responsibility ultimately lies, with many citing that Barclays be liable and pay large fines.  However, others such as Dominique (DK) Karg, chief hacking officer for AlienVault commends Barclays for not burying its head in the sand and actually thanking the Mail on Sunday for bringing the leak to its attention. He said:  

 

“… it all comes down to organisations sharing this kind of intelligence openly so that others can learn from it. At this point, the damage to Barclays image is huge, but in this case, it is clearly the work of one or two people that had legitimate access to the data. What the authorities need to do is go for these guys and make an example of these malicious insiders.”

 

And I tend to agree.  All Barclays can do now is go back and launch a full investigation and take the appropriate steps after the fact.  I think the point is that people will always be the weakest link in an organisation’s security.  Without a doubt,  it is a slippery slope when we start losing the ability to make individuals accountable for their own actions – it’s all too easy to put blame squarely on an organisation. 

 

– Beth

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The golden rule is to produce lots of great content and be very focused about where you place that content.  However there’s a bit more to it than just producing great content – so in a series of blogs I’m going to share with you some golden rules on succeeding in PR.

Firstly – Why use a PR agency?

People employ the skills of a PR agency for many reasons.  In our industry it’s usually about building a brand, raising awareness for vendors from the US or Israel as they enter new markets or regions and want to create a buzz in the media.  Other companies are keen to raise their name to the top of the Google rankings and beat their competitors with publicity, or they could be preparing for an IPO or desire to be noticed by venture capitalists or potential trade buyers. Whatever the reason it always comes down to companies wanting to ensure that more people see them in the right media, so more people come knocking on their door.  I’d say that’s a good enough reason to employ a PR agency.

They say that editorial is worth 5 times more than advertising because people believe what they read whereas with advertising they know it’s contrived to make them buy the product or service.  However with PR the agenda is hidden as the editorial has been written by a journalist so it’s got to be true – hasn’t it?

The other reason why it’s worth employing a PR agency is that they can reap dividends for you and are much cheaper than using an advertising agency.  Often even the smallest of ads can amount to two or three thousand pounds.  If you take a retainer with a PR agency it may only cost £3,000-£7,000 a month but you could get 50 to 100 pieces of editorial which is incredibly valuable in increasing your brand awareness and building your market share.  I’d say if you have the budget a mix of both advertising and PR is the perfect combination.

A good PR agency that is specialised and experienced in your space can also add a great deal of industry insight and help with all sorts of management issues – many of our clients use us as a sounding board for many a creative idea.  We’re often called into management meeting so that we can offer an objective point of view as we can see the company from the outsider’s perspective.

Also companies reach out to PR agencies because they just don’t have the man hours to do the PR themselves or they don’t have the contacts with the key press.  If you’re working with a specialist PR agency they are on the phone or emailing the key journalists every day and have a rapport with them, which is something that takes a very long time to build up and is worth its weight in gold if you’re trying to get decent coverage in tier one publications.

PR is time consuming and you need to be on the case all the time – in our business, stories are breaking throughout the day so you have to be following twitter feeds and newswires constantly to make sure you’re not missing any opportunities – often PR is just one of the many functions of an in-house marketing department so the in-house PR person just doesn’t have the bandwidth to follow all the potential stories that a PR agency does.

If you do want to build your profile and you are a company that is on the up or even a company that’s on the down and needs to make sure they reverse that process a PR agency can help to build your profile and be noticed.  There’s nothing nicer than getting those Google alerts with your name mentioned in them or even better when your PR agency rings you to tell you you’re going to be on the BBC – it’s those days you reflect on and look forward to telling your kids or even grand-children about!

In my next blog I’ll be talking about how to go about choosing the right PR agency for you.

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Here at Eskenzi PR, we like to have our fingers firmly on the pulse of cyber security news and trends.  We have noticed recently announcements from the likes of HP and CrowdStrike that companies are now starting to jump on the “crowdsource” bandwagon and are beginning to realise that the best way to combat cyber security threats is to share information.

Crowd source / open source, whatever you want to call it – this is a message that our client, AlienVault has pioneered since the company’s inception.  In fact, it is the basis of its business.  AlienVault’s Open Threat Exchange (OTX) is an open and collaborative platform that has become the largest threat information repository with over 8,000 contributors from more than 140 countries that share threats every day.  Barmak Meftah, CEO and president of AlienVault commented:

“We welcome [these] announcement[s] and see [them] as further validation of what we’ve known for a long time: Crowdsourcing or open source threat intelligence is the only way organisations have any hope of combating the ‘bad guys’.  We’ve learned first-hand that being open and collaborative are the essential requirements to sharing and disseminating the comprehensive threat intelligence that no one company could ever collect in isolation.  The era of closed systems and proprietary enterprise solutions to address the security concerns of organisations around the world is over.”

It is great to see this openness in the security industry catching on with more and more companies; after all if we all work together, it will go a long way towards furthering our goals.

– Beth