Archive for the ‘Journalists’ Category


5 golden PR rules for events…

March 4, 2014

By Rosalind Carr @Rosalind_at_O and Rose Ross @Rose_at_O

 ipexpo-exhibitionnewsIn the midst of a busy events period, the O-team have had some tips from Désiré Athow(@desireathow), Editor of TechRadar Pro, and are armed with a trusty event PR checklist at the ready!



Here are 5 handy hints for PRs looking to make the most of event opportunities with the press…

 1.      Timing is key in the run up to events – Do not wait for the last week to invite journalists to briefings- pitch as early as possible to bag a slot in their diary! With an initial conversation in advance, you’ll also have the time to get a sense of what they’d like to discuss, and can prepare accordingly if a briefing is arranged.

2.      Communicating with the press – Each journalist is different in the way they like to be pitched. For instance, we can definitely understand Désiré’s aversion to out of the blue PR calls pitching interviews with unknown companies. However, there are now so many ways of communicating, that over time, you can gage different journalists’ preferences for contact. Read the rest of this entry ?


Congrats to winners of BT Information Security Journalism Awards

November 16, 2012

The Countdown2Infosecurity blog team extends its congratulations to winners of the BT Information Security Journalism Awards:

For more information, check out the announcement on BT’s Let’s Talk Security blog here.


New UK channel publication launches. Will Channelbiz be the biz for the infosec channel?

March 5, 2012

By Rose Ross, @Rose_at_O

Today sees the launch of, a pure play daily online channel magazine that is set to break the mould, from NetMediaEurope – the leading online IT publishing house.


According to NetMediaEurope’s announcement. Channelbiz is a channel title with a difference, because in addition to covering breaking news, the site aims to demonstrate to distributors and resellers the benefits in using emerging and nascent technologies to cut costs and to add those extra points to the bottom line.


The magazine will provide pithy comment pieces, interviews with important senior managers in the industry, and leading edge technology profiles.


The launch editor is Mike Magee, a channel veteran who also founded The Register and the Inquirer – both highly successful tech web magazines. Mike will manage a team of freelancers to produce lively, informative and valuable information for the channel. He continues to be editor in chief of, which has formed a strategic partnership with NetMediaEurope. Mike worked on both Microscope and PC Dealer (CRN) in the past, and also worked as marketing director of a corporate reseller in the 1980s.


Commenting on the launch, Dominique Busso, CEO at NetMediaEurope, said: “We are excited to launch, and believe it will be well received, given the success of the brand already across Europe.


“Through this launch, NetMediaEurope UK now provides the most comprehensive offering to IT audiences.”


At a launch event for, on the 15th of March at the Soho Hotel, NetMediaEurope will present qualitative and quantitative research on major trends in the channel and threats and opportunities that will affect the nature of both distribution and reselling. Interviews were conducted with 100 CIOs, CTOs, IT managers and with 15 vendors, distributors, VARs and end users and topics covered includes SaaS adoption rates, managed services and converged IP data.


The research, conducted by Paul Briggs CEO of Media Mantra Ltd (former editor of CRN, and a reporter for Microscope), and Thierry Hamelin of NetMediaEurope, explores two topics – reinventing the UK channel business model in the cloud era and IT procurement methods in 2012.


After the introduction to Channelbiz at the launch, there will be a lively and interactive panel discussion with panellists Malcolm Penn, CEO of Future Horizons and Clive Longbottom, service director of Quocirca Limited, moderated by Mike Magee.


The Launchpad team will be catching up with the new team at Channelbiz to find out more. Stay tuned!


Q and A with a very likeable and ethical hacker: Steve Mansfield-Devine AKA @contrarisk – Editor of Network Security and Computer Fraud & Security

December 21, 2011

By Rose Ross, @Rose_at_O

Well infosec PR peeps, Christmas certainly has come early this year. If you need a code to crack or a lock to pick. Who ya gonna call? Steve Mansfield-Devine of course….

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself:
I’ve been a journalist for 30 years, freelance for most of that time. I’ve covered all kinds of subjects, from gaming in Nevada to life in the US Marines. I’m a private pilot and so have written for flying magazines. And I do some work in the defence sector. But overwhelmingly my beat has been technology. I started to specialise in infosecurity a few years ago and became editor of Network Security and Computer Fraud & Security about 18 months ago. This year I became a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH).

Q. Tell us a little bit about the titles you write for and their interest in data security.

Network Security and Computer Fraud & Security are monthly, subscription-only journals aimed at infosec professionals and institutions. They focus mostly on technical issues, although we do cover infosecurity strategies and policies. We assume a high level of knowledge on the part of our readers and run in-depth features, typically starting at 2,000 words and often running as long as 6,000.

Q. What’s hot in IT security this year?

People can’t seem to stop talking about comsumerisation, which is clearly an issue. And the cloud is making a lot of people very obsessive – to an exaggerated degree, I think. There’s been a lot of talk about ‘hacktivism’ too, of course, but I think that’s also over-hyped. The likes of Anonymous and LulzSec are media-friendly – especially to those parts of the media that don’t understand infosecurity. But from both a technical standpoint and a business impact perspective, it’s fairly trivial stuff. That may change if the volume of hacktivism increases. There’s an associated issue, which isn’t hacktivism per se, but which I think is far more significant, and that’s how people are using communication networks in support of genuine activism, as in the case of the Arab Spring. And there’s the dark side of that, too, with the attempt by various authorities to kill thse networks as an act of oppression. That’s going to be a very interesting area to watch.

Q. How many security events do you attend each year?

I try to get to three or four. Being based in rural France makes it a little difficult sometimes. But InfoSecurity is a must, and RSA is high on my priority list.

Q. Which one are you most looking forward to?

SecurityBsides London. Last year was the first time it was held in London and I found it invaluable. I got to meet a lot of people who actually do security – rather than selling it or talking about it. I got to talk to a number of pen-testers and security professionals who were able to give a very different picture to the glossy products that tend to dominate trade shows.

Q. What types of stories or companies are likely to attract your attention this year?

The mobile market is getting very interesting. When it comes to malware and other exploits, Android is starting to look like the Windows 98 of the 21st Century. With smartphones outselling PCs and the rise of tablets, mobile networking is where the action is going to be from a security perspective. That, of course, is why so many people are focused on consumerisation. But that’s just about Bring Your Own Device issues: mobile is a hot topic that extends well beyond the problems of securing smartphones within the corporate perimeter.

Q. What’s the best way to pitch a story to you? Email? Phone? Twitter? By mail?

Definitely email – smd[at]contrarisk[dot]com. You may be lucky and get my attention via Twitter (@contrarisk), but I can’t guarantee it. Never by phone.

Q. Who is worth listening to (about IT security)?
Pen-testers. They know where the bodies are buried. Strangely, that saying is usually metaphorical…

Q. What is your favourite piece of technology?

My iPhone. Sometimes I even use it as a phone.

Q. What do you think is the most important development in IT security to date?

That’s a very broad question. What strikes me as the most significant issue in security is what hasn’t happened – and that’s to do with our inability to get to grips with the Layer 8 problem. For all our fancy new technology – next-generation firewalls, IPSs, Security as a Service – we still continually fall prey to our inability to adopt secure habits. That affects everyone – from software writers who don’t build security into the development lifecycle, and still produce code vulnerable to buffer overflows or SQL injection, to individuals who re-use weak passwords and fall victim to even the most blatant social engineering tricks. Computers and the Internet are now such an intrinsic part of the fabric of our lives that it’s time we put some real effort into raising awareness.

Q. What is the best piece of advice for companies pitching stories?

Make them technical. I want details, facts, figures, examples and practical information — not opinion. We get offered way too many high-level opinion pieces.

Q. What was the best press trip you’ve ever been on? Worst? Why?

Oh well, that goes way back (as I do). It would have to be the NATO press trip to watch an amphibious assult exercise in the Med. Doing a catapault launch from the USS Eisenhower was definitely a high spot.

Q. Are you a social media lover? Which ones are you on? FB? LinkedIn? Twitter?

I use Twitter, though I can’t say I love it. I’m on LinkedIn, which is genuinely useful. I also use Facebook and definitely hate that.

Q. Tell us something no one knows about you. Do you have any unusual or unexpected hobbies/interests? Do you have a claim to fame?

My phone number was printed in the first edition of the Hacker’s Handbook, back in 1985. That led to some very interesting late-night calls. And my latest hobby, with which I’m currently obsessed, is lock picking…


Your chance to vote in the UK’s tech social media awards – courtesy of @Computerweekly

November 22, 2011

Yes, it is that time of the year for us to try and select our faves in tech social media land

And there are a lot of great ones to choose from in a variety of categories:

But best of all there is an industry knees up for FREE!

Criteria no doubt apply, but go for it and we’ll see you there 🙂

If you would like the chance to attend the event, here are the details:

  • ComputerWeekly Social Media Awards 2011
  • London, Bridge
  • 6pm to 9pm
  • Tuesday 29th November
  • RSVP:



Q & A with Dan Raywood, Online News Editor at SC Magazine in the UK

August 10, 2011

By @Rose_at_O

Q.  Tell us a bit about yourself: 

I am Online News Editor at SC Magazine, been here since September 2008

Q. Tell us a little bit about the titles you write for and their interest in data security. 

SC Magazine is the industry leading B2B title for the information security industry writing for IT security professionals. I cover daily news, blogs and opinion articles for the website and write the occasional piece for the printed magazine.

Q. What’s hot in IT security this year? 

Mobile security and management, cloud, virtualisation

Q. How many security events do you attend each year? 

Probably about ten including shows like Infosecurity Europe, IP EXPO, RSA and one off events

Q. Which one are you most looking forward to? 

Probably RSA, it is more speaker-driven than the others

Q. What types of stories or companies are likely to attract your attention this year? 

Perspectives on policy, new solutions to doing things (as we get so many stories that are doom and gloom)

Q. How many interviews do you do per week? 

Varies on the time of year, but on average I would say at least five

Q. What’s the best way to pitch a story to you? Email? Phone? Twitter? By mail?

Email is always the best as I do read them throughout the day, it is also the least distracting and providing you don’t need an answer immediately (which I don’t often do on the phone) I will come back to you.

Q. Who is worth listening to (about IT security)? 

Some really good vendor spokespeople like Rik Ferguson (Trend Micro), David Harley (ESET), James Lyne (Sophos), Jeremiah Grossman (White Hat Security), Chris Wysopal (Veracode), Mikko Hypponen (F-Secure) as well as too many end users and analysts to mention.

Q. What’s your favourite blog?

As a news resource with a wide range of hot topics covered, Sophos’ Naked Security is very up to date

Q. What is your favourite piece of technology?

Probably the Apple iPad, even though I do not own one yet.

Q. What do you think is the most important development in IT security to date? 

Intrusion detection technology, we rarely hear critical stories or opinions while DLP is crucified. Not suggesting that it is fixed, but it seems far more mature

Q. What is the best piece of advice for companies pitching stories?

Keep it brief, get to the point, don’t bury your pitch at bottom of your email as we are too busy to read between the lines to find what it is you are pitching. Also if you are pitching a survey, always include details on who and how many were surveyed

Q. What was the best press trip you’ve ever been on? Worst? Why?

I spent two days on the beach in Cyprus with Kaspersky last year with one day of work which was interviewing researchers. The worst was a trip to Amsterdam which was in fact an office in Schiphol to be told about a new technology I had been briefed on two weeks previously.

Q. What’s your favourite restaurant?

A. Can I have more than one? I love Gaucho Grill, Roast and Indian food (Brick Lane may not be classy, but the food can be fantastic)

Q. Are you a social media lover? Which ones are you on? FB? LinkedIn? Twitter?

On all of the main ones, use Twitter (@danraywood) and LinkedIn for work.

Q. Tell us something no one knows about you. Do you have any unusual or unexpected hobbies/interests? Do you have a claim to fame?

Not much to say really, I marked ten years in journalism at the start of this year if that is of interest to anyone?


Data Security Standards: Think you have PCI DSS licked? How about Solvency II? (Free BCS Meeting)

February 9, 2011

By Steve Gold, freelance business and IT journalist for over 20 years (@stevewgold)

Now that the electronic dust is settling on the PCI DSS rules and companies are getting used to the idea of regulatory compliance being part of the security landscape, it seems that Solvency II is starting to raise its head in security circles.

The good news is that the BCS is moving forward on the topic and has announced it is hosting a meeting on the evening of February 23 in London’s Covent Garden.

Read the rest of this entry ?