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DEVCON Announces Protect Elect 2020: Providing Free Access to Security Software For Media Companies

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Industry-Leading Influencers and 10 Major Fortune 500 Media Companies to Launch Public Research Initiative to Defeat the Weaponization of Marketing Technology

DEVCON, the industry leader in online client-side security, announced the launch of its “Protect Elect 2020” program providing publishers with free cybersecurity software in advance of the upcoming 2020 US presidential election. This first-of-its-kind initiative will combat cyberattacks on media sites and their readers by granting national and local news publishers protection against ad exploits, malware, misinformation, influence campaigns and data collection by foreign nations.

The weaponization of marketing and advertising technology continues to be a growing threat which is expected to reach new levels of concern during the 2020 U.S. election. Under the Protect Elect 2020 program participants will receive a free community license  to the DEVCON platform through December 31, 2020 – after which time access will continue to be provided for free or at subsidized rates for many local, niche, and/or independent media organizations.

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The threat is more than just financial and reaches beyond publisher concern. John Montgomery, EVP of Global Brand Safety, GroupM and an advisor to DEVCON, notes that the risk extends to brand advertisers: “The battle to ensure that our clients’ ads are kept safe and delivered to consumers in trusted, malware-free environments is a perpetual challenge. As the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election approaches, we need to be super vigilant of this risk.”

“The 2020 U.S. Presidential election represents a massive opportunity for bad actors to exploit the martech (marketing technology) and ad tech ecosystems,” said Maggie Louie, CEO and Founder of DEVCON. “The media industry has been under attack from many sides. We know that during political cycles exploits increase exponentially, creating widespread distribution of malware, nation-state tracking pixels and influence campaigns. Journalism is essential to democracy. The Protect Elect 2020 mission is to protect these news outlets from cyber threats that would compromise their sites and readers.”

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10 top-tier media conglomerates and industry leaders in local and national journalism across the country will provide valuable insights around the importance of security culture and digital transformation. Researchers agree security is a top priority across all industries.

“Security leaders are striving to help their organizations securely use technology platforms to become more competitive and drive growth for the business,” said Siddharth Deshpande, research director at Gartner. “Security and risk management has to be a critical part of any digital business initiative.”

The Protect Elect team will be releasing quarterly white-papers and will also present at several industry conferences in a panel format with open Q&A.

The 2020 U.S. election is likely to generate unprecedented coverage and with it comes an expectation for weaponization of the advertising and marketing tech sitting on and being delivered to news sites across the country. DEVCON’s Protect Elect 2020 Initiative is designed to give journalism and America freedom from cyberattacks forecasted to rise throughout the year. DEVCON will be sharing their latest Protect Elect findings in a webinar series through the end of 2020 with the first event scheduled to air in February.

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