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Are you getting your IoT security message across?

Jan 23, 2017 | IoT, Security

IoT hacks and DDoS attacks make headlines. Marketers will need to work hard to regain consumer trust in IoT security.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is creating a wealth of opportunities, but many applications have an alarming number of security holes. The danger for the nascent industry is that big security scandals will turn consumers off and end up limiting the undoubted potential of the technology.

The IoT industry has not only a responsibility to protect intellectual property (IP), customer data and operational infrastructures and processes, it also must clearly communicate that security is a priority rather than an afterthought.

Ensuring security is an integral part of all solutions sold, will drive trust in the IoT market – and ultimately improve customer loyalty. Loyal customers reinforce your brand and they actively want to tell others about their positive experiences. There is no better endorsement for your product or service.

A riskier world

Delivering security in IoT, however, can be a challenge. Solutions are composed of technology from many different vendors, and can use multiple protocols and networks. We’ve already seen several high profile breaches and no industry is exempt from being a target.

Take the automotive industry. Security researcher Benjamin Kunz Mejri at Vulnerability Laboratory recently discovered flaws in BMW’s ConnectDrive infotainment system, which can be used to, amongst other things, control the heating, lights and snoop on the user’s emails. And experts at Pen Test Partners found bugs that would enabled them to turn off a Mitsubishi Outlander hybrid car’s alarm using its onboard wi-fi, allowing it to tamper with the vehicle’s settings and train its battery.

We’ve seen hacks on everything from connected lightbulbs to fridges. There have even been hacks on children’s toys. Researchers at security company Rapid7 , for example, found a security vulnerability in a Fisher-Price Wi-Fi connected Smart Toy Bear that would enable hackers to steal a child’s personal data, including their name, date of birth and gender. Fisher Price quickly remediated the situation and issued a statement saying there was no reason to believe that customer information was accessed by any unauthorized person.

Weaknesses abound

The truth is there are many IoT devices that are shipped with standard passwords or ones that are really easy to guess. Apps that are used to program or control the devices sometimes contain information about their internal data makeup that are easy prey for hackers.

By zooming in on IoT endpoints and devices hackers can syphon off personal information or create a massive internet outrage by taking over thousands of IoT devices, just as we saw with the attack on internet company Dyn.

IoT manufacturers can put themselves ahead of the game by ensuring security is in the design – and communicating this clearly.

Here are 8 tips on how content marketing can help build a higher level of trust in your product or service:

  1. Define your market – it is far easier to build trust and ultimately sales if your content is reaching the right target groups.
  2. Demonstrate your organization’s commitment to openness and transparency through your content
  3. It may sound obvious – but make sure your content is being published in channels where it can be seen. It can’t help build trust if it isn’t being read and shared on platforms your target groups use.
  4. Highlighting security by design on your website. Include an informative video or animation.
  5. Work with content experts to create email campaigns highlighting the importance of baking security into IoT.
  6. Showcase your current and past customer’ security stories in case studies which you can publish on your website, send in emailers and use in marketing collateral.
  7. Collaborate with content professionals to put together an educational e-book explaining the importance of security in IoT.
  8. Finally, get your CEO blogging on the topic of IoT security; blogging is a platform for discussion and a medium where you can be both informative and controversial. Use it to kick start debate around issues and engage readers.

Here at Futurity Media we have an experienced marketing team who can help you to build trust through engaging content. Contact us to find out more about how we can help you build trust, reputation and recognition through content.


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