Have you noticed that your car is becoming integrated with mobile devices? It may be as simple as a patch cable to take media off your mp3 player or as integrated as Ford’s Sync that recently announced integration with Android and Blackberry phones through its Applink. Already mobile apps such as Pandora, Stitcher and OpenBeak are coupled with Ford’s system for voice and in-dash controls. The implications are that the marketing opportunities offered by a traditional app can now extend to the captive vehicle environment. If you would like to learn more about this, please check out http://computimesinc.com/3-smartphone-apps-to-use-with-your-next-rental-car.
What does this mean in a practical sense? Are we going to be seeing indiscriminate ads popup while we’re in our car, much like what’s become accepted when watching network TV? Could be… but that’s missing the point for a smart and shrewd marketer. In car apps have the unique ability to leverage exponential mobility (the car) with location and interest based assistance (the marketer and their offer).
Imagine that you’re looking to buy a flat screen tv and have set out for the neighborhood big box location – previously you had used one of many smart shopping apps to determine the best value for the best price. But as with all information, such is time dependent and literally rendered of less value the second after consumption. So you’re along on your journey… but your app is integrated with your vehicle and just before you make the turn into the store’s parking lot… wait for it… the competition let’s you know of a price drop on a competing but acceptable flat screen TV to bring you into their store location – which by the way is only minutes from where you are and they’ve courteously included directions. Would that kind of information be worth it to you? Would you change your behavior as a result? That such behavior changing potential exists, shows the power of the mobile app integration initiatives being adopted by major manufacturers such as Ford, Audi, Mercedes, Kia and others.
“Look, it’s cool to connect. But it’s past cool,” said Alan Mulally, the chief executive of Ford Motor Co. For Ford, your car as an extension of mobile apps is a reason to buy, as can be seen from his additional comment in the April 2010 issue of Fast Company, “We’re going to be the coolest, most useful app you’ve ever had, seamlessly keeping you connected.”
Your car is going to be transformed into a powerful smartphone that extends your digital world. Marketers are realizing the power of integrating into this world that includes social media channels, mobile devices and engaging content deliveries. Marketers that embrace this technology will have a unique and targeted distribution channel, with a potentially captive audience at least for the duration of their trip. So seek to use apps to connect seamlessly into your prospects lives, when and where they can use your information, your offer, your brand, and you will be greatly rewarded.
A look at how the cyber security landscape has played out this past year, the online community has had to deal with a great deal of threats and attacks. Perhaps those who have felt them more have been the organizations and businesses. Away from these, espionage has seen the targeting of government networks and other installations of national interest in countries in the Middle East as well and the American government. 2012 has also been an year in which the apple brand was rattled by the flashback Trojan which affected the Macs. The invincibility of the Macs in the face of malware and cyber threats was shattered and this changed the security landscape for good. BomberJacket Networks is one of the authority sites on this topic.
A review of the past year will point out to the numerous attacks which have been aimed on Google powered android platform. The open source nature of the platform has seen the exploitation of the feature by malware writers who worked to develop malware infected apps and these have been unleashed to the android app market. Unsuspecting android users have fallen for the cyber crime tactic. Mobile security and the debate surrounding android security will be a factor which cannot be ignored at all. The happenings this past year where the android malware attacks have increased by over 600% of what was reported the previous year. These figures give credibility to the fact that android security is needed and will be a big talking point in the coming year in a bid to stem the malware and attacks seen on the android platform.
It has been noted that cyber threats are now serious crimes and necessary steps and measures need to be done to confront this challenge. Cyber threats are no longer just an economic bottleneck but recent activity indicates that cyber threats are becoming a political, a security and a national issue. Hacktivism and espionage have been disturbing developments that now plague the cyber community. Predictions for the coming years outline that some of these threats will continue to increase in scale and further plague the cyber world.
In the current state of the world, the cyber space touches and impacts on about all facets of life. Cyber security is then the responsibility of all stakeholders in this field to work towards defending against the known threats and working towards preventing the further escalation of the cyber crime status. The unfortunate scenario has been that the attacks have taken a non discriminatory approach seen in the fact the cyber criminals and their rings do not spare anybody. Cyber attacks on individuals, on schools and learning institutions, government installations, military, businesses and any other establishment which can be added to this list have been reported. These attacks show the extent to which cyber crime affects many facets of life and how this monster is here to stay even in 2013. The sad scenario is that the cyber crime monster is nowhere near being tamed. There has been a steady rise in the number of threats identified each year. This means that the cyber security niche will remain on its toes to remain abreast of the happenings related to cyber crime. It culminates in the use of resources financial or otherwise. As a matter of fact, the budgets of businesses and other organizations continue growing in a bid to keep safe from cyber criminals.
The three major interventions which can be important in the quest to improve cyber security are; improving the ability to prevent the cyber threats which are both agile and sophisticated, improving on systems and the ability to recover from cyber crime incidences and improvement of infrastructure to ensure that it is resistant to penetration. These efforts cannot be done in isolation but require that cooperation is enhanced between parties who may be online users themselves, government which helps with the formulation and enactment of policies and laws, cyber security experts who research on cyber crime, trends and come up with measures including software and patches to keep away the cyber criminals and finally the cooperation from private sector and allied national governments.