Category Archives: IoT

New Guidelines for the Internet of Things

Internet of Things

As you may have heard, the Internet of Things (IoT) became the Internet of Things That Go Beep In The Night last month, when a massive US Internet attack was aided by comprised IoT devices.

Now the digital giants have stepped in. Android Authority reports:

The Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group – an alliance formed by Google, Microsoft, Intel, Verizon and others in the tech industry – has laid out guidelines for improving security on Internet of Things devices.

The group, also known as BITAG, was formed in 2010 to produce best practices for broadband security and published its recommendations for IoT manufacturers yesterday.

In the document, BITAG warned that “the nature of consumer IoT is unique because it can involve non-technical or uninterested consumers; challenging device discovery and inventory on consumer home networks,” adding that IoT devices can be hijacked to create “Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, perform surveillance and monitoring, gain unauthorized access or control, induce device or system failures, and disturb or harass authorized users or device owners.”

To avoid such exploits, BITAG makes a number of recommendations for manufacturers, including:

  • Shipping products with up-to-date software
  • Including a mechanism for automated and secure software updates
  • Providing “Strong authentication”, such as password protection, by default
  • Conducting security tests on a number of configurations
  • Following security and cryptography best practices
  • Ensuring devices remain functional even if the cloud back-end fails

BITAG also suggested that, when possible, IoT devices should not be reachable via inbound connections by default. As an advisory group, however, BITAG can’t legally enforce any of its recommendations on IoT device manufacturers.

IMPLICATIONS FOR MARKETERS

So why should you care? How does the IoT matter to marketers? Try these for size:

(a) The relationship between consumer and marketer deepens as the data grows. Here’s how Marketo explains it:  more connectivity leads to more data, leads to smarter data, leads to more relevant campaigns, leads to more customer engagement. (Forbes)

(b) With IoT, the degree of target marketing has grown in specificity. Effective marketing will not only cater solutions to demographic and psychographic targets, it will also predict solutions for the individual users of products. In other words, if your car is connected to the Internet and the brakes are wearing out, wouldn’t it make sense for your car to direct you to a local brake shop? (Forbes)

(c) 51% of the world’s top global marketers expect that IoT will revolutionize the marketing landscape by 2020.

Here (per i-Scoop) are some of the ways marketers will use IoT (mainly in a data-driven marketing view):

Analyzing customer buying habits across the platforms customers use.

More and previously unobtainable data regarding how consumers interact with devices and products (the “connected devices” themselves).

Getting a better insight into the buying journey and in which stage of it the customer is.

Real-time interactions, POS notifications and of course targeted (and even fully contextual) ads.

The customer service field whereby issues can be quickly resolved.

(d) Easy Exchange of Sales Data. One of the most valuable commodities to any business is its sales data. By having access to information regarding how, where, and why your products are being purchased and used, you’ll be able to better tailor your marketing efforts towards your specific clients. Smart devices that can gather this data and supply it back to you in real time, without the need for IT professionals to direct or monitor the interaction, will allow businesses to to create informed marketing strategies and improve ROI on future sales. (Salesforce)

(e) Automatic altering of marketing campaigns to suit changing needs. Gaining access to powerful customer insights will give marketers the ability to swiftly change marketing approaches to suit the changing needs of customers. Essentially marketers will be more proactive in their approach to marketing instead of reacting to results after the fact. Predictive analytic tools will be able to make stronger predictions and automatically adjust campaigns based on consumer trends and changing market demands. (business2community.com)