Making a US cyber firm go viral


Original editorial articles


Impressions in 72 hours


Press mentions across all media in April

Our challenge

US Cybersecurity company ExtraHop was looking to change its European coverage from small mentions against big competitors to a leading voice in the market. The challenge? Several well-funded rivals and a local media darling, Darktrace, which IPO’d, raising millions, the year we started working with them.

Positive was chosen after a competitive selection process with a clear target: earn coverage in high-value titles while increasing overall coverage volume to help its sales team compete fairly in the field. In effect, the ultimate task of achieving quality and quantity in the right places.

ExtraHop plays an important but very specific part of the cybersecurity market, Network Detection and Response, or NDR. Its technology is too ‘deep in the weeds’ for many business journalists and is also hard to convey to generalist tech journalists. Pitching requires forging a ‘Goldilocks’ approach, neither too tech-heavy, nor too simplistic and all the time with ambitious coverage targets to hit.

Our response

Almost every week sees huge cyber attack stories break. Many well-known brands and organizations like the Red Cross hack, Toyota, NVIDIA, Microsoft, NHS, Twilio, Sephora become caught up in these negative news cycles.

One ongoing trend is identifying and exploiting open source code, a topic Extrahop is well-qualified to comment on, as seen with severe vulnerabilities in Argo CD, Lapsus$, Spring4Shell. In addition the Ukraine-Russia War made clear that the nation state cyber attacks are very real and present dangers. The devastating impact of such attacks, was dramatised in C4’s The Undeclared War. As with other major attacks, ExtraHop was there to offer pithy informative advice which often went against the grain.

But ExtraHop didn’t limit itself to discussing live or past attacks, its experts shared their knowledge on wide-reaching stories like The Computer Misuse Act. And then we spotted a news story that could deliver the jackpot: Musk’s acquisition of Twitter.

The results

Once Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover was approved by its board, key technical changes he proposed stood out to the Positive team as having serious cybersecurity implications, which other commentators missed.

Initially Extrahop comms team wanted to steer clear of the story. Positive challenged ExtraHop to think outside the box, commenting on key elements of the story: the open sourcing of Twitter algorithms and the attempt to eliminate bots. The resulting comment avoided the status quo sentiment on the impact on free speech, explaining instead, how Musk’s proposed changes affected cybersecurity.

Our comments went viral, landing in almost every regional and national newspaper in the UK, as well, importantly, as major tech and security publications including a major byline in IDG Connect.