Case study: F-Secure CSS Tour

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 F-Secure is a global cybersecurity provider selling its products and services through more than 200 providers and thousands of resellers worldwide.

 

 

Challenge

F-Secure is a market leader in the cybersecurity sector. The company has built its strength primarily on consumer-grade software products that safeguard IT assets and protect online privacy. However, F-Secure’s portfolio also includes a suite of advanced services and solutions for businesses.

F-Secure has a dedicated division called Cyber Security Services that develops tools to detect and prevent cyberattacks and provides B2B services. F-Secure’s experts perform a variety of tasks that include penetration tests: controlled attacks intended specifically to improve an organization’s security.

The planned efforts were mainly targeted at giving F-Secure more exposure in the B2B marketplace by showcasing the CSS business unit and positioning the brand as a 360° security provider. Another objective was to present F-Secure as a company that attracts some of the best talent in the industry.

Solution

To kick-off the preparations for the campaign, consultations were held with the F-Secure team to identify aspects of CSS operations which could potentially attract media attention. While cyberattacks increasingly make the headlines, the behind-the-scenes workings of cybersecurity often remain unknown to the general public. As a result, the decision was made to demonstrate advanced IT threat detection and prevention methods and to put the focus on members of the CSS team, which comprises leading industry experts.

The best way to achieve the intended objectives was to organize a study tour of the F-Secure CSS location in Poznań. During the tour, journalists were able to get an inside look at how and where our professionals work to protect F-Secure customers against attacks from cybercriminals. By using this approach, it was possible not only to demonstrate the full capabilities of the tools F-Secure has developed, but also to introduce the visitors to the staff at the office and their working environment.

Ten journalists from key media outlets were selected and invited to take part in the tour. The journalists were provided with comfortable shared transportation from Warsaw to Poznań. On the site, their host was Leszek Tasiemski, head of the Polish branch of F-Secure CSS.

Leszek Tasiemski shared some “war stories” associated with the group’s penetration testing activities. The visitors were also shown a short film based on the accounts of F-Secure penetration testers from several countries, collected over the last few years: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_ZfuMlNJk8.

The schedule included a Q&A session and face-to-face interviews with F-Secure’s representatives in Poland. In addition, the attending journalists received exclusive material on the work of F-Secure’s Polish pentesters. After the tour, the staff kept in touch with the journalists to provide individual support in preparing the publications.

To expand the coverage beyond the invited media outlets, two press packs covering F-Secure CSS operations were prepared for distribution, including a story on the most popular cybercrime targets in Poland and the countries from which the attacks typically originate.

Effects

As a result of the campaign, there were 124 publications, 29 of which came as a direct outcome of the study tour. F-Secure CSS and the work its professionals are doing were mentioned by media outlets including Newsweek, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, RMF FM, Polish Radio 4, wp.pl, next.gazeta.pl and spidersweb.pl. Gazeta Wyborcza, Rzeczpospolita and businessinsider.com.pl also ran extensive interviews with Leszek Tasiemski.

The concepts of “white hat hacker” and “pentester” and the idea of penetration testing were successfully popularized in the mainstream media in the context of F-Secure (previously, they had mainly been covered by vertical media).

The study tour helped strengthen the company’s relationship with the media thanks to personal, face-to-face interaction between the journalists and the CSS staff (and their stories). The journalists who visited the F-Secure CSS location published photos from the tour on social media.

By showcasing the F-Secure team’s high level of specialization, it was possible to attract greater media interest, including requests for interviews and expert commentary from the company’s personnel. As a result of the campaign, the number of comments made for the media increased twofold.

Few months after the event its second edition was organized.
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