How we helped iSIGHT Partners take the lead in cyber threat intelligence

Getting your voice heard in an overcrowded and buzzword-ridden market is no easy feat. But with our help, this threat intelligence consultancy’s story echoed through the newsrooms of Fleet Street and into the boardrooms of leading enterprises the world over.

Since 2007, iSIGHT Partners has emerged as the leader in cyber threat intelligence. Through its established team made up of hundreds of intelligence experts in 16 countries, tracking about 16,000 adversaries, iSIGHT focus exclusively on analysing and understanding the global threat ecosystem.

In January 2016, iSIGHT had caught the attention of global threat prevention specialist FireEye, leading to an acquisition and the bringing together of two of the world’s most prominent cyber security firms.

But it wasn’t always this way…

When iSIGHT began working with Cohesive, the company had found some initial success with a customer base of large organisations, and government and financial institutions. But, despite having a unique security play that included operatives embedded across the world, iSIGHT’s market strength lay predominantly in the US. iSIGHT was a global organisation in need of a global client list.

Distinguishing ourselves from the noise

Much like the now ubiquitous banner of cloud computing, Cyber Threat Intelligence risked becoming a watered-down phrase, hijacked by security vendors looking to align their solution to the latest buzzword. UK press needed an education on what real Cyber Threat Intelligence was all about from the company that had written the book on it.

Our iSIGHT campaign war chest consisted of one very powerful weapon; highly intelligent and well-informed opinion.

Allow me to introduce…

A classic influencer campaign, Cohesive set about creating a hit list of cyber security influencers, spanning journalists, analysts, bloggers and even academics. iSIGHT needed to become not only an avenue for news but more a trusted source for all matter of cyber security stories.

“When we engaged Cohesive to support our expansion in the EMEA region, we interviewed a long list of potential partners and their approach, their experience and connections to the press community and their vision of acting as a true partner in our efforts found them standing above the rest.” – Stephen Ward, Director of Marketing and Communications, iSIGHT Partners

Our execution

Armed with our list of key influencers we now needed to produce compelling news angles that would capture their attention. In the US, iSIGHT had already released a number of Threat Disclosures (dissection of either a specific hack or new threat to an industry sector) as part of its marketing efforts.

The first that Cohesive took to UK press came in the form of a hack on Forbes.com. There were heroes, villains and victims – we had a significant opportunity to begin conversations with influencers, introducing press to our spokespeople, and kicking off our media engagement with a bang.

This activity was closely followed by a UK press tour with iSIGHT’s CEO, where face-to-face introductions were facilitated with the BBC, Financial Times and Forbes, to name a few.

iSIGHT Threat Disclosures would become a cornerstone of the campaign, helping to forge strong relationships with leading journalists, generate extensive press coverage over the course of the year and engage with key audiences.

The Result

Our success with the disclosure of the hack on Forbes.com and subsequent press tour started to put iSIGHT’s name on the map among leading journalist circles, with coverage in the likes of the Financial Times, BBC and Computer Weekly, but that was just the beginning…

Our influencer engagement mission continued by using iSIGHT’s daily ThreatScape Media Highlights newsletter. Utilising this deep-dive analysis of the validity of the cyber security stories hitting the media, Cohesive placed regular commentary around key cyber intelligence related issues within the national and IT trade press. Having earned the respect of our influencer contacts, iSIGHT became a trusted source of comment and consultancy for some of the UK’s most preeminent cyber security experts.

Festive cheer

As UK consumers looked forward to the festive period, iSIGHT and Cohesive were opportunistic with a new Threat Disclosure in the form of ModPOS; the most sophisticated point of sale malware ever analysed, which was targeting retailers in the run up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The Register, BBC and the like, helped iSIGHT sound the alarm to the global Retail community. Find out more about iSIGHT’s media engagement surrounding the ModPOS disclosure here.

The Register highlights the MODPOS Threat Disclosure
The Register highlights the MODPOS Threat Disclosure

Cohesive then kicked off 2016 in style following the news of a cyber attack on the Ukraine’s energy grid. As a multitude of vendors fought to give their opinions, iSIGHT was the first to go to press with tangible intelligence around attribution of the attack. Extensive coverage within the national and IT trade press was again achieved including The Independent, V3, InfoSecurity and CBR, with the highlights being the BBC and Financial Times.

“Cohesive delivered solid results for us from the very first day of our partnership and never disappointed at any turn.” – Stephen Ward, Director of Marketing and Communications, iSIGHT Partners

We worked with iSIGHT to win over its key industry stakeholders, with closely targeted PR, media relations and advocacy, so they enthusiastically spread the word on its behalf, opening doors and building brand awareness.

145 pieces of coverage later, the leading role we’ve played in making iSIGHT famous enabled the company to captivate the UK and European market in a relatively short period of time. This, in turn, played a part in helping to make them an attractive proposition for FireEye, who acquired iSIGHT for $200m as part of a wider strategy to build a fully integrated approach spanning detection, analysis and response to attacks.

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