As the use of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones for business continues to rapidly expand, there are growing risks associated with these devices. With more and more information being accessed outside the corporate firewall through line-of-business apps available, it's vital to minimize the risk of information loss or theft.
Symantec wanted to raise awareness of the need for mobile security to drive growth in their mobile division, and, in response, Connect Marketing suggested an experiement to generate media interest in the issue and strengthen Symantec's position as security leaders. We therefore proposed and developed the Symantec Honey Stick Project, to highlight the dangers posed by poorly secured smartphones.
The experiment consisted of specially configuring 50 smartphones to track user actions, and the inclusion of unsecured, dummy business data. The 50 phones were then placed in several busy metropolitan areas of North American cities, as though they were lost. Once the phones were in place, Symantec was able to track precisely what happened to the phones once they were found.
The results proved highly newsworthy. Symantec was able to determine that nearly all the smartphones were accessed once they were found. And, while most of the finders made attempts to access the corporate information (given obvious names such as HR Salaries or Remote Admin), only half of those who found the phones attempted to contact the owner to return the devices.
As a result of this innovative experiement, Connect was able to secure a large amount of media interaction. Within six weeks, Symantec conducted 25 media briefings with media outlets including MSNBC, CNN and NBC Today Show, resulting in several prominent, nationally televised news segments and dozens of local broadcasts. In the same time period, 326 pieces of coverage were generated by publications such as the LA Times, NPR, Fox News, eWeek and CNET. The campaign also generated more than 400 blog posts, including notable blogs such as Boing Boing, Lifehacker and PC World Blogs, as well as over 10,000 social media interactions, with conversations focusing on concern for the safety of devices and the need to implement security features.
The campaign was a significant success, generating significant media interest and leading to thousands of online discussions on the consequences of losing a smartphone, and highlighting the need for increased user awareness of security. The Honey Stick Project campaign enabled Connect Marketing to solidify Symantec's place as a leader in the mobility space, paving the way for future growth.