May 20 2010

Do you find press releases useful?

Published by at 10:13 am under Blogging,General

I receive 4-5 press releases about security products a day on average and many, many more just before a major event like RSA or Black Hat.  One of the advantages of being a blogger of long standing and a little renown is that PR agencies send me these press releases in the hopes that I’ll write about them, which is natural since it’s their job.  The vast majority of these press releases I scan through for information relevant to my interests then file them in a folder marked “Promotional”.  I hate to admit it, but close to 95% of the of the press releases I receive never make it beyond this point.  And given the sparsity of my writing the last few months, it’s probably more honest to say that 99% of the press releases I receive never get much attention.

I know all too many professional writers take the press releases they’re given, pull a couple of interesting facts from it and write a story.  A few of them don’t even necessarily do that much, they simply write a line or two about the press release and post the whole thing.  I’m not sure if that’s an acceptable tactic in publishing circles, but it seems to work for a lot of the professional blogs I read.

Rather than just let the press releases go to waste, I’m going to start posting some of the press releases that are not interesting enough to result in a full blog post but that are still interesting to the security community.  I figure this helps the PR folks a little in getting their message out and may give you a little piece of information you need.  And I’ll occasionally make fun of all the companies that call themselves “market leaders” or “leading organizations”.  I guess it’s technically true, in the same way that I’m the most popular security blogger who’s 6’4″, of a certain weight, with a wife and two kids, living in Northern California.  Define your market narrowly enough and anyone can be a leader.

The first press release for you is from CellCrypt.  They’ve been granted FIPS 140-2 certification for mobile phone applications.  It’s interesting, it’s important to some people, but it’s not close enough to my main areas of expertise to warrant a blog post.  Maybe you can do something with it.

Cellcrypt Awarded Security Assurance Certification

Achieves FIPS 140-2 Validation for Secure Voice Calling

PALO ALTO, CA, 20th May 2010: Cellcrypt (, the leading provider of secure mobile voice calling, today announced that its cryptographic module (Ccore) has been granted Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 certification (#1310) by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology. Ccore is used in a range of Cellcrypt products including mobile phone and gateway applications.

This certificate provides assurance that Cellcrypt’s cell phone voice calling security is of the highest standard, and allows many organizations and government departments to select Cellcrypt products with the confidence that they meet the purchasing requirement of being FIPS 140-2 certified.

Federal Information Processing Standards are developed by the United States Federal government for use by government agencies and by government contractors. They are used also widely by other entities such as Financial Services organizations globally. FIPS 140-2 covers the secure design and implementation of a cryptographic module, including roles, services and authentication; physical security; operational environment; cryptographic key management; electromagnetic interference/electromagnetic compatibility; self-tests; design assurance; and mitigation of other attacks

This certification is part of Cellcrypt’s policy of transparency in its use of cryptography backed up by independent scrutiny, and is just one of several national certification applications that are in progress with leading governments worldwide.

“When evaluating information security products, certification by a respected, independent standards organization is an important affirmation, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology is one of the leading bodies in this arena,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder, Ponemon Institute. “There is a lot of innovation taking place in security resulting in a lot of new products in the market.  Using a NIST certification as a means of qualifying available products is a prudent approach.”

“This certification is a further validation of Cellcrypt’s leading position in the rapidly growing voice security market,” said Simon Bransfield-Garth, CEO at Cellcrypt, “It comes soon after our Finalist award in the category of “Best Encryption Product’ in the SC Magazine Awards competition, the only voice security product to be honored in this way.”

Cellcrypt provides encrypted voice calls on mobile phones such as BlackBerry® and Nokia smartphones delivering government-grade security in an easy-to-use application that makes highly secure calling as easy as a normal phone call. Utilising the IP data channel it supports all major wireless networks including 2G (GPRS/ EDGE), 3G (HSPA, CDMA/EV-DO), Wi-Fi® and satellite. It also enables secure mobile phone calls to office phone systems to call landlines as well as access PBX features such as voicemail, conference calling and calling out to the public phone network.

# Ends #

About Cellcrypt

Cellcrypt is the leading provider of technology to secure mobile voice calls on everyday smartphones. Founded in 2005, Cellcrypt’s R&D innovation resulted in Encrypted Mobile Content Protocol (EMCP), an Internet Protocol (IP) based technology that optimizes delivery of encrypted data between mobile devices over wireless networks.

Cellcrypt’s products are validated to the FIPS 140-2 standard approved by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), operate over data-enabled networks including 2G (GPRS/EDGE), 3G (HSPA, CDMA/EV-DO) and Wi-Fi®, and are optimized to run on Nokia® Symbian and BlackBerry® smartphones. Cellcrypt is a BlackBerry® Alliance Partner and Inmarsat Connect Partner.

Today, Cellcrypt solutions are used routinely by governments, enterprises and senior-level executives worldwide. Cellcrypt is a privately-held, venture-backed company with headquarters in London, UK and offices in USA and Middle East.

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7 responses so far

7 Responses to “Do you find press releases useful?”

  1. Mike Rothmanon 20 May 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Thank you Martin for giving this useless press release some airtime. Now we will all be subjected to more press release spam from this PR person. Do us all a favor and leave the press release posting to the trade journals.

    Thank you.


  2. The Ashimmy Blogon 20 May 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Are Press Releases Worse Than Useless?…

    Well it looks like Rich’s article and mine have reinvigorated some of the security bloggers out there. At least for the time being anyway. One of my favorites (and by his own admission one of the oldest, I mean longest……

  3. alan shimelon 20 May 2010 at 4:37 pm

    Mike, I just tracked back with the same thoughts (almost).

  4. Darkneton 21 May 2010 at 1:33 am

    Yah I just bin them all, mostly just promotional crap and generally I don’t tend to post about Commercial software anyway…

  5. Jessicaon 27 May 2010 at 7:17 am

    As one of those PR people I can say I agree with Alan’s blog especially when he writes “But the blind distribution list just screams old school to me. There has to be a better way to influence the influencers and get your story out.” To many PR people are lazy and simply distribute releases to large lists.

    So, here is my pledge: I will not spam bloggers with irrelevant press releases. I will not simply create large distribution lists and “blast” releases to every possible person in the hopes that they will reprint the release.

    I do have a question. Is there ever a time when a press release peaks a blogger’s interest enough to ask for additional information?

  6. Martinon 27 May 2010 at 7:47 am


    Yes, there are times when a press release interests me enough to ask more questions, but they are probably not as often as PR folks would like. So much of what I get is either tangential to what I do and write about, or I just don’t have the time to follow up on what was sent to me. I have the day job and a podcast in addition to the blog and I generally can’t spend more than an hour or so a day writing blog posts. So I have to be very, very discriminatory when selecting press releases to ask for more information about.

    I do try to read every single press release I receive, though some days I’m more successful than others. And, honestly, I often get a few lines in and realize the release has nothing to do with anything I’m interested in.

    If it’s any consolation, you’ve done a good job of making it clear when you send me press releases that you’re sending them to me, not just blasting them out. A personal note at the top of the email goes a long way.

  7. Best press release serviceson 26 Aug 2010 at 6:10 am

    Writing quality press releases is a process that requires immense skill and experience, as every single word of a press release may be examined. This is why many companies hire public relation firms for official press releases and other media contacts.

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