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Zingbox: Tackling IoT Security Challenges to Keep Smart Devices Safe

One command to Siri or Alexa and a user can have a wealth tasks accomplished, with smart devices communicating with each other instantaneously. Such is the power of the Internet of Things (IoT), an innovation that has spread through homes, businesses, and even hospitals. But these IoT devices are also highly susceptible to hacking, malware, and cyber attacks. For businesses that handle countless bytes personal information from customers, the Internet of Things security has become crucial. Thankfully, there’s Zingbox and its IoT Guardian, a security solution developed specifically for IoT devices. While hackers may be able to exploit vulnerabilities in certain devices, Zingbox’ IoT security can shore up those defenses.

After all, smart devices need smart protection.

Zingbox IOT Security protecting a cellphone from theft
Zingbox Protects IOT Devices Like Smartphones

A New Kind of Hacking for a New Kind of Internet

From synced chat apps between smartphones and laptops, X-ray machines in hospitals, smart speakers, and HVAC systems in hotels, the world has grown dependent on IoT devices. But those devices need to operate continuously and without fail.

With cyber attacks increasingly shifting from identity- and information theft to ransomware and service disruption, Internet of Things security has become a priority.

Unfortunately, the innovation behind the creation of smart devices has outpaced the steps taken to protect them. Consequently, most devices just have to make do with security software designed for desktops and laptops. However, these are not compatible with IoT devices and are therefore ineffective in protecting their users. These are especially ineffective to the newer, sophisticated methods of hacking and cyber attacks.

It’s a new kind of hacking for a new kind of Internet. Therein lies the crux of all IoT security challenges.

“IoT security today is similar to what IT security was in the 1990s. As we learned with IT security, it is important to involve IoT security from the design phase of product development.” – Dan Regalado, Zingbox Security Researcher

ZingBox IoT Security

The Zingbox IoT security system Guardian discovers, detects, and defends against all sorts of suspicious activities.

The company developed a personality-based approach to IoT security issues, one that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to define a device’s baseline behavior. It then identifies deviations, like malware or ransomware, and apprehends them as soon as they appear.

Zingbox CEO Xu Zou Discusses IOT Security in Healthcare
Zingbox CEO and Co-Founder Xu Zou

Guardian provides visibility between all connected devices. It works on each device, discerning their trusted behavior, and ultimately identifying and classifying connected devices. It also eliminates the need to install and manage anti-virus software programs.

Using deep learning algorithms, Guardian continually monitors the communication among all connected devices, and profiles each one. This provides a comprehensive analysis of each device. It will also thoroughly conduct a risk assessment to determine any irregular communications, which will then prompt alerts for any anomalous behavior.

When Zingbox detects a risk, it isolates the activity in real-time, which helps prevent an outbreak among all connected devices.

The Zingbox IoT security is the first cloud-based Internet of Things security solution that leverages the analysis of numerous characteristics of each connected device. Because of Zingbox’s revolutionary service, it provides Guardian to healthcare organizations, manufacturing plants, schools, and businesses. There are no disruptions or negative impacts when using devices, and no personal or sensitive data ever leaves the network. Zingbox truly protects the privacy of its users.

Internet of Things has grown with the growth of smart devices, and so too has the need for IoT security grown.
Smart devices have created an abundance of IoT security challenges, but Zingbox’s Guardian provides a solution.

The Promise of IoT Security

There is a disproportionate adoption of IoT devices and Internet of Things security, given that devices have been given more attention for development. Security only becomes a concern to IoT devices after a cyber attack.

But soon Internet of Things security will be a prerequisite before deployment to the consumer market. Tech companies will also periodically supply consumers with security patches, the way users are alerted when updates are available.

Zingbox helps streamline the security process and elevates users from the chaos of vulnerability to the safety of security. With Guardian, IoT devices can be used with confidence, knowing that it prioritizes the Internet of Things and security and that all personal data is safe.

Nielsen at 90+ Years is a Corporate Icon, However Its Future is Unknown

In 1923, A.C. Nielsen, Sr., founded Nielsen Corporation in an effort to provide reliable information for marketers so that they could make informed decisions. Nearly a century later, the company continues to perform these services as a global measurement and data analytics leader. Nielsen ratings provide valuable insights about what consumers watch, listen and buy in over 100 countries throughout the world. As a result, businesses, and marketers are able to set advertising rates and programming determinations. The landscape, however, is changing — and it’s changing quickly. Today, the company finds itself amidst a variety of new technologies that demand a change in its traditional approaches. The business is now exploring a number of new strategies to stay on top, as a result of this.

James A. Attwood Chairman Nielsen Discusses Company's Strategic Review
James. A. Attwood, Jr.  Chairman Nielsen Holdings and Managing Director The Carlyle Group

The Nielsen Way – How Nielsen Ratings Became a Household Name

Who hasn’t heard of Nielsen ratings? Beginning in the 1950s, and continuing today, the company pursues its measurements and data analytics in a very scientific manner. In the latter part of the 20thcentury, Nielsen ratings offered media businesses valuable information about what viewers watched and listened to on television and radio. Using TV meter boxes and consumer surveys, Nielsen ratings quantified consumer patterns. As a result, Nielsen ratings provided a snapshot of the percentage of consumers engaging in a specific media program.

While this information was extremely useful, Nielsen continued to advance its outreach globally.

In fact, Nielsen ratings cover more than 90 percent of the world’s population

Over time, the company combined the proprietary data that it collected with other data services and resources.

Through innovative approaches, Nielsen expanded significantly in both reach and reputation. Thousands of companies and media now use Neilson ratings to help guide key business decisions on a daily basis.

Being on Both Sides of the Digital Revolution

For many industries, the Internet and other disruptive technologies pose formidable challenges that drive transformation. But for Nielsen, not only is the company faced with these challenges, but they also report them to their clients. For example, in addition to Nielsen ratings, the company reports various media and consumer trends. This includes noting a 71 percent smartphone penetration in 2015 in the U.S. It also includes major consumer patterns related to mobile technologies, social media use, and on-demand video viewing. Not only does this data have major effects on an array of media industries, but it also impacted Nielsen.

Nielsen Ratings Five year Stock Price Graph
Five Year Stock Price of Nielsen Holdings

Faced with these issues, the company had to expand beyond its traditional Nielson rating data. As a result, Nielsen has incorporated mobile metering devices that record activity and engagement on smartphones and tablets. Likewise, Nielsen ratings continue to utilize electronic meters, in-home purchase scanners, and frequent consumer surveys and panels. These have allowed the company to expand into the video, mobile, and social media areas of consumption data. However, many experts question whether this will be enough.

According to Brian Wieser an analyst with Pivotal Research group, “Investors are generally frustrated with what has appeared to be Nielsen’s inability to monitor (or manage) warning signs in its businesses.

A Bright Spot – Diversity and Inclusion at the Core

Nielson understood the importance of diversity, but their challenge was how to be an inclusive company. Under Angela Talton’s bold leadership, Nielson set out to enhance the visibility, access, and opportunity for all its diverse employees. How did this Chief Diversity Officer accomplish this? Through her vision of a Diverse Leadership Network Program.

Angela Talton Nielson CDO Discussing Importance of Diversity and Inclusion
Nielsen CDO Angela Talton

As Chief Diversity Officer, Angela Talton recalled her experiences while at Kellogg School of Management pursuing her MBA. Part of her experiences involved a small group of students who interacted and collaborated to solve real-life problems. Using this model, Angela Talton designed a 15-month, mini-MBA program at Nielson entitled the Diverse Leadership Network. The goal? To develop and retain top leadership talent from within. And the program’s impact has been tremendous. The impact of these investments could certainly boost Nielson ratings’ reputation in the current climate of change. Most recently they were featured by Diversity MBA magazine as the best company for women and diverse managers to work.

Facing an Uncertain Future – Bold Moves Ahead?

Over the last few years, Nielsen has faced increasing pressures to evolve and change. Despite having a market cap of over $20 billion in 2016, the company’s market cap is now below $10 billion. Likewise, the company has seen a progressive decline in sales, earnings, and cash flow over this same period.

Nielsen also continues to have significant debt due to a leveraged buy-out in 2006. Recently, Elliott Associates, an activist investor with 8% stake in the company, has requested that Nielsen explore a sale of the company in part or in whole.  Several newer companies are using innovative technologies, like automated content recognition (ACR), to track viewing habits on digital devices.

David J. Anderson Nielsen's New CFO Discusses Go Forward Strategy

Will Nielsen explore a sale in the near future? Or will the historic measurement and analytic company once again find a way to evolve? Some evidence suggests the latter may well be possible as was referenced by Chairman James Attwood in their latest earnings call. For one, Nielsen acquired Gracenote in 2017 in an effort to enhance its ACR capabilities. Likewise, Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience is exploring eye-tracking and biometric technologies to identify consumer viewing interests.

Additionally, Nielsen’s CEO Mitch Barns announced in July he would step down by the end of the year. A search is currently underway for his replacement and the company recently hired David J. Anderson as their new CFO.

Consumer Metrics and Data Analytics of Tomorrow

From gamers to binge-streamers, consumption of media and products are rapidly changing in today’s world. Millennials have notably different habits compared other generations, and new technology threats exist for Nielson. But Nielsen has a global presence, a tremendous brand, and many innovative pursuits. The question is whether these assets will be enough to stay ahead of the curve. Data analytics looks to be a necessity for numerous industries in the future. If Nielsen ratings and other insights can provide these services efficiently and effectively, they may survive and excel. This will be yet another major challenge for the company as it approaches its potential 100-year anniversary.

Electronics for Imaging is Shaping the Future of Digital Printing

It doesn’t matter if it happens within the boxing ring, or in movies, or in the world of business – everyone loves a good comeback story. And that’s just what’s playing out with Electronics for Imaging (EFI), the Silicon Valley-based company that saw its fortunes decline in 2017. Electronics for Imaging’s stock plummeted to as much as 33.2% in the third quarter of last year. Meanwhile, revenue reached only $247 million, $11 million shy of analyst expectations of $258 million. In response, then-CEO Guy Gecht said the company will be “reallocating budget and talent toward our largest opportunities, in textile and packaging, along with making organizational changes and adding senior positions to improve focus and execution.”

That apparently did the trick. In June 2018, EFI hit a record second-quarter revenue of $261.1 million, a 6% increase from the second quarter 2017 revenue. Then on October 4, 2018, Gecht stepped down as CEO, allowing William Muir – formerly of Jabil – to take the reins.

William (Bill) Muir CEO Electronics for Imaging Discusses Joining Company
Bill Muir’s Focus is on Delighting Customers

The world loves a good comeback story, and like Rocky Balboa training to finally beat Clubber Lang, Electronics for Imaging is back on track.

Analog Printing vs. Digital Printing

Electronics for Imaging’s turnaround has taken place in an industry whose growth hinges on innovation. Specifically, the innovations that arise in the battle between analog printing vs. digital printing.

As the more traditional method, analog printing generally requires the creation of a master image or template. By nature, it’s much less flexible, more labor intensive, and leaves more of a waste footprint.

Digital, on the other hand, allows for the printing to go directly from the computer to the target. Changes can be made instantaneously, thereby giving it more flexibility. In addition, cutting out much of the process needed for analog printing makes digital “greener”.

For this reason, the digital printing space is expected to flourish. And since EFI’s bread and butter is digital printing…

A Change in Management

The digital printing industry has companies like Durst, Esko, and Global Imaging all jockeying for dominance. Since their position was slipping, Electronics for Imaging needed a change in management, and Muir was the best fit.

With a comprehensive engineering and manufacturing background, Muir had over two decades of experience taking branded products to market. One such product was Jabil’s Blue Sky Innovation Center. His successes at Jabil saw Muir assume roles at COO, CEO, and president of Jabil Asia. Jabil’s growth within the span of four years speaks volumes as to Muir’s performance.

Gecht supported his successor, saying, “Bill is going to take EFI to the next level. At Jabil, his experience and track record included scaling multi-billion dollar businesses, driving execution and setting the firm’s strategic direction.”

Despite the change in management, Gecht has stayed on as a member of the board of directors and is an adviser to the CEO.

EFI – New Six Drivers of Growth

Since Q2 2017, Electronics for Imaging identified three key areas for the company. The first was to tap on the immense opportunity for digital, on-demand production in imaging industries. Second, EFI would double down on its largest growth opportunity areas. Third, EFI would address its mistakes, and make crucial changes to return to record-making performance.

Electronics for Imaging knew that there are six drivers of digital printing growth. They are:

  • Online ordering
  • A large number of unique jobs
  • Customization
  • Manufacturing on demand
  • Tight operation and business management
  • Distributed manufacturing.

It is within these specific areas where they aimed to provide breakthroughs. The company also saw long-term opportunities in corrugated, flexible packaging, rigid packaging, and folding cartons.

Electronics for Imaging Five-Point Strategy

As for building materials, EFI knew it had a captured market for ceramic tiles, wood panels, and decorative laminates.

Experts also indicated that, due to textile printing, the digital printing market would soar from $22.18 billion in 2017 to $28.85 billion by 2023. To achieve organic growth, EFI had a five-point growth strategy.

  1. Expand in packaging
  2. Foster textile ecosystem for brands and production
  3. Improve solution footprint growth in customer base
  4. Differentiate services and business consulting
  5. Expand print activity outside North America

EFI also aimed to achieve growth and success through strategic mergers and acquisitions.

The digital printing space is expected to grow, and EFI is poised to grow with it showcasing analog printing vs. digital printing
Electronics for Imaging has made 2018 better than 2017 in terms of revenue, due in no small part to a refocus of strategy.

Electronics for Imaging and Its Vivid Future

EFI has a lot to look forward to.

The ink market for digital printing will have the biggest market share between 2017 and 2023. Consequently, to address the growing demand, EFI debuted eight new products for advanced signage and industrial textile production at the SGIA Printing Expo in Las Vegas on October 18, 2018. This includes entry-level LED printers, a high-end portfolio of automated smart printers, a new version of its printing software Fiery, and EFI Regianni TERRA, a greener and more sustainable printing technology.

“As I’ve started to learn the organization, our customers and our business and I have a great deal more to learn, it is becoming clear to me that for EFI to be at its very best, we must leverage the many capabilities we possess simultaneously and more seamlessly for our customers.” – Muir

While Electronics for Imaging may have experienced a dip in 2017, its innovations will help it continue to shape the future of digital printing. The company isn’t running out of opportunities anytime soon. And as the industry thrives, so too will EFI.

Now that’s a comeback story!!!!

Brad Smith Of Intuit: Leading By Example And With Humility

brad smith of intuit cartoon
Taking the helm as CEO in 2008, Brad Smith recognized the need for Intuit to reinvent itself.