New name in fight against hackers

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Most anti-hacker software ads, text-heavy and painfully detailed, are intended for techie geeks. In an effort to reach a broader audience, including CEOs, anti-hacker software developer Perfecto Technologies has changed its name to Sanctum and launched its first marketing campaign.

At the same time, the company is rolling out two new software products.

The campaign, with a budget of $4 million, entails magazine ads, a marketing roadshow, brochures and a new Web site. The effort is meant to spook CEOs into buying anti-hacker software.

"What we're trying to say to them is that you have a responsibility to your company," said Aubrey Balkind, CEO of Frankfurt Balkind, the New York-based agency that created Sanctum's campaign. "You could lose your brand to hacking, and you could be called irresponsible."

Some of Sanctum's magazine ads and literature picture code on a computer screen, with a hole punched through the paper. The image is intended to depict the ease with which one can break into and deface a Web site.

Sanctum is currently running a teaser campaign in Upside. It will be extended to other magazines, though no time frame has been set, said Diane Fraiman, Sanctum VP-marketing solutions.

A new identity

The company's new name, a word the dictionary defines as a place where one is free from intrusion, is meant to convey what its software can create for Web sites, Fraiman said.

Sanctum's backing of its name change with a broad marketing campaign is astute, said Brad Puckey, associate director-brand intelligence at Corporate Branding L.L.C., Stamford, Conn.

"One of the dangers of a name change is when you don't actively support it with advertising," he said. "If you're changing a name, you owe an explanation. Otherwise people will think you've disappeared off the face of the earth."

Puckey, who devises identity changes for companies, said Sanctum is a more apt name given the product. " 'Perfecto' does sound a little generic," he said.

Sanctum's brass decided their company's relative anonymity--at least on a broad, brand-name scale--made the timing as good as any for a name change, according to Fraiman. "We're still small enough. The opportunity to change the name to match the rest of our messaging was now," she said.

Playing to fears

The tagline "Web perversion" is omnipresent throughout Sanctum's marketing. It describes the type of hacking, Balkind said, that can do the most damage to a b-to-b company: the theft of intellectual privacy, for example, or manipulation of prices.

Sanctum's new software is designed to stop hackers before they start. It simultaneously warns hackers that they are being watched, cuts them out and alerts the site administrator of the intrusion. It is designed to snag hackers outside a company, as well as those within.

"It's not always the 15-year-old sitting in the Philippines," Fraiman said.

Undeniably, with hacking and viruses front and center because of the likes of the "Melissa" virus, Sanctum's debut is timely. But this is also its weakness. Other, much bigger companies--PricewaterhouseCoopers L.L.P., for one--are also starting Internet security marketing campaigns. Fraiman contends that Sanctum software's uniqueness will make it stand out.

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