Archives for posts with tag: information security

… 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?

Last Friday our clients’ comments were published in hundreds of different publications across the UK, US, France and Germany, here is how we did it:

On Thursday morning reports started to surface that Yahoo was expected to announce a huge data breach so we notified our clients straight away and asked them to prepare comments on the information that was available so that we could jump on the story as soon as it broke. Our clients prepared comments and then it was just a waiting game.

Around 8pm on Thursday night the story broke, Yahoo had officially announced the breach. So we immediately told our clients and asked if they needed to update their comments given the new information. As many of them are based in the US, they were still at work so getting a quick response wasn’t difficult.

By 9pm we had issued the comments to national and security press. Minutes later, Al Jazeera asked for a television interview and we managed to get a client on air that same evening.

Before even getting into the office the next morning we were already getting interview requests from the likes of ITN and International Business Times UK, let’s just say it was a very busy day of rushing around trying to get clients to TV studios in ridiculously tight deadlines (it’s situations like this that a private jet would be useful). We also asked our teams in France and Germany to translate the comments and issue them out (these are regions where responding to news like this is not the norm).

200387165-001The results were pretty incredible, the Press Association article syndicated across 447 publications, so the clients that were lucky enough to be mentioned in the article achieved a year’s worth of coverage in one day! Hits included, the Daily Mail, Independent and Huffington Post. In France, Le Figaro (a big national newspaper) even covered the story and other hits included InformatiqueNews.fr and Speicherguide in Germany.

What was interesting was that the few clients who were not quick enough to give us comment on Thursday did not get much coverage at all, even though we had sent their comments out on Friday morning before 10am. This is likely to be because journalists were so saturated with comments that they only used the first batch they received and wanted to push their stories out as soon as possible. So it really paid off that we were prepared to work unsociable hours on Thursday night (although let’s hope this doesn’t start happening too often).

 

IE_Logo_Trash-970x546

So, week two of 2016 here at Eskenzi was most definitely no shrinking violet compared to last week’s phenomenal results!

This week, Microsoft released its final patches for Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10 along with an “End of Life” notice, to encourage users to switch to Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge, currently only available on Windows 10.

These changes were originally announced back in August 2014, and it is estimated that these older, legacy browsers could account for more than 20% of web traffic. Computerworld reported that as many as 340 million Internet Explorer users are still using IE 8, 9 or 10! NetMarketShare estimates that Internet Explorer accounts for 57% of the browser market, compared with 25% for Chrome, 12% for Firefox and 5% for Apple’s Safari – That’s a lot of people using browsers that are now potentially unsafe, and can no longer be patched.

This means that Internet Explorer won’t receive any more security updates, or other patches. Those still using the browsers could be vulnerable to security threats and even hacks; depending on what other (if any) security software is installed.

A story of this type throws open the rapid response doors for Eskenzi clients, many of which had sound advice on what users, who still use Internet Explorer 8, 9 or 10, can do to ensure they stay protected, despite this news.

Four Eskenzi clients commented on this story – ESET, Tripwire, AppRiver and Bromium – and one from our sister agency, SmileOnFridays – Tenable, which resulted in over 250 pieces of coverage across National newspapers, business publications and trade press.  The coverage obtained was truly global, with publications in the UK, United States, France, Germany, Kenya, Japan, Ghana and Argentina (and many more!) reporting on the news with commentary from our clients included.

Hits include the BBC, The Metro, Business Reporter (included with The Daily Telegraph), BT, SC Magazine, Dark Reading and Yahoo! News.

Several journalists reached out to Eskenzi for specific commentary, as we are so well known to those who report in the security and technology space, knowing they would get great quotes to use in their stories, as well as sound advice for businesses and consumers alike.

We’re lucky to work with so many amazing clients who can, at the drop of a hat, pull amazing quotes and advice out of the bag. I wonder what week three will deliver.

2016-01-06-image-6

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

Internet_of_Things

The Internet connects computers around the globe, but these devices have changed massively over the years.  It started with huge systems that would fill a room, before moving onto personal computers (desktops and laptops) and then to Smartphones and tablets. Now, nearly everything is connected to the net and this is called the Internet of Things.

Sadly, as well as providing us with great information and ease of completing tasks – such as our weekly shopping – the internet also has those interested in criminal activity and, like it or not, you will be a target of this activity if you have not already been compromised and just don’t know it yet.

I have bad news, and then really bad news.  The bad news is that we are in a situation whereby there are a growing number of attackers; and the really bad news is that they are increasingly getting access to an even larger amount of targets to compromise.  The 2014 Consumer Electronic Show (CES) was both exciting and horrifying, as gadget after gadget had some Internet enabled feature. Most of these are produced from companies that do not understand the fight and ongoing battle of Internet security.

As it stands at the moment, you may tend to the security of maybe a few computers, your Smartphone (and all those application updates), and maybe a tablet; but with the Internet of Things, you will have to add your car, all of the home automation involving lights, home security, appliances, and even wearable devices used for fitness and diet!  Even if these units ship to you with no vulnerabilities, these talented bad guys will find a way to compromise the systems.

Never before will you have so much of your personal information, information on your lifestyle and everything you do in a 24-hr period, available on the Internet.  If the attackers are targeting you, they now have a multitude of access vectors to explore.  If they are just using you as a resource to target another, your home devices could easily be a part of a nation state sponsored denial of service attack on some targeted country.

The problem is that most people will never update these Internet of Things devices and herein lies the real issue.  Security is a process, and this is where the process breaks.  Securing a system is about constantly being able to adapt to the changing threat environment and we have a hard enough time updating all the applications on our personal computers and Smartphones. Now add 30 more devices from 10 different vendors and you see the problem!

Consumers don’t know how to ask for these security features, so the vendors are not going to prioritize them.  Security standards will be put in place, but they move too slowly when compared to the innovation taking place in the threat environment.  If I sound concerned, I am, and I am not alone.  So what is the answer?  How is this all going to play out?

I don’t think any of the consumer electronic vendors will have the incentive to invest in a secure software development practice. So if devices are not secure, WE will have to secure them and this will involve a birth of services for the home, much like home security services but for the Internet systems.  It is a huge opportunity for service providers to step in and deliver enterprise level security expertise for the home and individuals of that home.

When dealing with the security of the Internet of Things, we are talking about the security of the Internet at large.  There are a lot of new devices coming online that will bring with them new vulnerabilities that will need remediation.  As a consume, your must understand the total cost of ownership here and a device that gets compromised is a device that will require your attention and the ability to update. So, first and foremost, understand how your vendors will be delivering updates to these systems and preferably in an automated fashion.   You do your part and hope that everyone else does theirs, because an insecure system on the Internet is everyone’s problem.

With the Internet of Things being hailed as the next big thing, this will be an exciting time for Eskenzi PR. So many more devices being connected to the internet means more vulnerabilities and attack vectors for our 20 security clients to comment on. Which, in turn, means more coverage!