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Leading robotic manufacturers are addressing device security. Are you?

Temi is disrupting the robotics market. Recently, the New York-based personal robot manufacturer deftly distinguished itself from its competitors with its ground-breaking cybersecurity capabilities which they effectively leveraged in their go-to-market strategy.

temi with a yellow car

Born out of rising market demand for robots that are secure and protect the user’s privacy, temi is at the lead of this new market frontier.  Their approach to security is unique, partially because of the way they are securing their robots, selecting to secure the entire device, rather than just the data. But temi is also breaking new ground in the way they’re educating their customers, encouraging them to be more cyber-savvy when purchasing a smart robot whether that be for their home, school, shop or factory. 

Securing the entire device, not just in patches

Having effectively created a new playing field for connected robots to be just as secure as they are smart, temi have chosen to protect their robots with a security agent that automatically detects and mitigates new threats. 

Most robots, if they have any security at all, have a patchwork of security that is focused on different user interfaces. So for example, some connected robots may have good user controls that use multi-factor authentication (MFA) to ensure the right person is logging in. Other robots may be encrypting all the data collected that is being sent to the cloud. However, this patchwork approach to security doesn’t actually protect the entire device. Security needs to be comprehensive and ensure all potential windows for attack are closed and sealed. It’s like putting a lock on your front door and keeping your back door wide open. Addressing one method of attack does not equate to a secure device.

The security capabilities provided in temi’s robots are unique for the way it protects the entirety of the device. Using built-in technology from Firedome that automatically detects, prevents, and responds to anything that may be identified as suspicious. This means that whether an attack is coming from another device in the network, a scan of open ports to intercept data, or through the user’s credentials being leaked, the attempt will be detected and blocked in all of these circumstances. 

Driving the Value of Security to Market

Temi has leveraged the value of their more secure smart robots in their marketing communications. For customers who may be operating in environments where data security is a major concern, such as a hospital, addressing cybersecurity in their communication has worked to expand their market share to these data-sensitive buyers by demonstrating their advanced data privacy and safety mechanisms.

For customers that are in the consideration stage of the purchase journey and have a clear preference for a more secure product, this messaging works to meaningfully differentiate temi from competitors, as it directly addresses this buyer concern.   

The website page for one of temi’s North American distributors provides detail on the comprehensive level of protection

The website page for one of temi’s North American distributors provides detail on the comprehensive level of protection.

For the purpose of developing brand trust and a sense of performance reliability, temi chose to incorporate the Firedome security label into their box packaging. Customers and end-users who would like to have more information on the security profile of their device and the range of protection provided can access this on the user dashboard.

The temi user dashboard details the security and privacy status of each robot deployed.

The temi user dashboard details the security and privacy status of each robot deployed.

The strategic move towards emphasizing security and privacy has enabled the product team at temi to build devices that are more resilient to cyber-attacks.  This has multiple business benefits, which include ensuring the device’s performance reliability and avoiding brand reputational damage. They expect these outcomes to have a direct impact on improving customer lifetime value, as customer loyalty and trust is maintained. 

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Staying Ahead of Legislative Requirements

Applying security and privacy mechanisms are set to become a bar to market entry with the passing in December 2020 of the Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act. Standards directly address implementing cybersecurity controls in IoT devices, where for example, devices must be uniquely identified logically and physically within a network.

Complementing the Act is the Cyber Shield bill that aims to educate shoppers with a security labeling program. The intention is for it to work in the same way that smart energy labels are used for household appliances, where an A+ rating entails the highest level of energy efficiency. Providing more than just certification, the labeling provides a protection profile of the security functions that have been built into the connected device. A higher cyber protection level could be used for competitive differentiation against other similar products that only meet a baseline of security. 

Firedome is uniquely positioned to help brands of smart connected robots develop their cybersecurity capabilities and leverage this as a feature in their marketing communications. As an IoT growth enabler, we’re dedicated to helping them overcome purchase hurdles around security and privacy and at the same time differentiate their product through communication that deepens customer trust.

Other retailers in the smart robotics market would be wise to take note of the strategy employed by temi. Knowing the security and privacy status of a device is becoming a priority in the minds of buyers and this is a trend that is only going to become more ubiquitous. The time is ripe for product managers to develop a strategy to meet this growing demand, and ensure they keep their competitive advantage.

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