November 04, 2021
Cybersecurity firms woo clients with creativity
It might be a corporate space, but their brand videos truly stand out.
Cybercrime, ransomware and other hacking attacks terrify CEOs globally.
While there are many providers to choose from, they essentially offer the same thing. ‘We will protect your business from cybercriminals.’
One way they differentiate themselves though, is through creativity.
So, creativity in crafting the right video is crucial. As a result cybersecurity videos are pushing the boundaries of branded content.
By releasing the right video, their brand can be memorable and stand out from competitors, resulting in better brand recall. A video also has a wider reach as it can be played on television or social media.
These videos go beyond your standard talking heads or animated explainer videos; let’s take a look at a few of them, shall we?
Having a cybersecurity solution is like having a security guard in your building. This is why ExtraHop took a unique approach by depicting your network as the lobby of a building as various bad actors try to get in.
The video focuses on three types of attack; ransomware, Advanced Persistent Threat (APT), and supply chain compromise. These attacks tried to get past the lobby multiple times but failed as ExtraHop can identify them in real-time and eliminate them on the spot.
What is more interesting, ExtraHop also provides several behind-the-scenes videos where the bad actors are interviewed in character and spill the secrets on how the cyberattack is executed and that ExtraHop can handle them with ease.
Unlike other videos above that show all the digital components needed for a cyberattack, Akamai, a company that focuses on cybersecurity networks and the cloud, decided to use sports as an analogy in today’s complex digital world to promote its edge computing platform.
To demonstrate its ability to prevent attacks, it uses a goalkeeper preventing goals. When a goal is prevented, it then disappears into pixels. However, it is important to keep in mind that producing and shooting such a simple video might not look expensive, but the reality can be otherwise.
3. HP Wolf Security
The video starts with a statistic that shows cybersecurity has risen a whopping 400% during the pandemic, a reminder to us all. Afterward, it opens in a suburban neighborhood. A working mom is frantically juggling her work phone calls, not noticing that her work laptop is being used by her son to play video games, a gateway for an attack.
The opening is something that all working mothers know too well during this pandemic 一 adding relatability to the audience. Once the security threat gets into her mobile device, excellently embodied by Christian Slater, dressed in black, it ultimately infects her network and spreads to the network in the office.
Christian Slater speaks to the camera to break down the worst-case scenario that may happen with just a single wrong click. No, it does not explain in detail how HP Wolf Security works. It emphasises the importance of having the right endpoint security that can prevent such catastrophe from the beginning. In this case, by using HP Wolf Security.
The choice of Christian Slater to star in this ad might be because he acts as ‘Mr. Robot’ in the TV series of the same name, where he recruited an engineer and hacker to be a part of his group whose goal is to destroy all debt records by encrypting the financial data of E Corp, the largest conglomerate in the world.
We have discussed the need for creating humorous content. Not only will it make your audience feel good, but it also makes your video much more memorable. This approach was chosen by Norton when promoting their latest security solution, “Norton 360 with Lifelock.”
We are all guilty of sharing private information in exchange for freebies or using a service at least once in our lives. Norton highlights this from the beginning of the video, when a customer in a coffee shop asks for the Wi-Fi password, which is revealed to be “hackme.”
Afterward, the video shows daily activity, such as shopping or playing video games, where they ask irrelevant information, such as social security number, address, or hair colour so that users can continue playing a game. This tongue-in-cheek video to reminds us how gullible we are so we can avoid this in the future.
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about a hacker? Perhaps, someone who is wearing a hoodie in front of a computer in a dark room. This is what is often portrayed in movies and commercials. The truth is, it’s far from it. Cisco, one of the leading cybersecurity providers, tried to dispel this by showing a day in the life of a hacker.
In a mini-documentary style, the video shows us how a hacker thinks and how ransomware is executed from the comfort of one’s living room. A laptop is essentially all you need to begin an attack. The hacker shows a step-by-step way to perform an attack, ranging from a thorough research of the target company to creating believable phishing emails with fake addresses and the ransomware attached.
Once the attachment is downloaded, the files will be encrypted and not opened until the company pays the ransomware. Even then, there’s no guarantee if the data will be returned or not leaked to the public; something that happened in this video. All in all, the video is not an overt sell of Cisco solutions but rather an awareness of how a ransomware attack is executed.
Yes, we have mentioned a Cisco video above, but this video here was made by us, so let us crow a little bit! In 2018, Cisco approached us to make a series of videos to introduce their multi-layered cybersecurity solutions and how it works to help businesses avoid cyber attacks.
We know that most people who are not in the IT industry (us included) don’t know the jargon in the IT world and so are not well-versed in the cybersecurity world. We are challenged to make a fun and easy-to-understand video explaining the multi-layered Cisco ecosystem. In the end, we came up with animation videos illustrating how prairie dogs are protecting their burrow (home) when it’s under attack (before, during, and after), similar to the capabilities of Cisco.
What’s fuelling creativity?
It might be worth noting that these videos are emerging in a very corporate and risk-averse space, vying for the attention from the same audience.
CIOs and CSOs are the most sought after leads in the world, and you have to cut through the dozen or more pitches they get in their inbox every day. What better way than to win them over with some creativity?
Not to mention, it might be hard to grasp the exact features of the latest cybersecurity products that these firms are trying to sell. There’s lots of technical jargon and sometimes the explanations about how they can protect data are not immediately understood.
While we’re assuming these cybersecurity firms are going after big corporations, they shouldn’t alienate the smaller firms — some of whom might not have an entire IT department at hand to dissect the technicalities and figure out exactly what value these solutions can provide.
This is where metaphors and parallels come in, especially for product explainer videos.
And the urgency is mounting — there have been an increasing number of software and data breaches in recent years. To those in the business of maintaining cybersecurity, such crises are only windows of opportunity.
Large-scale cybersecurity breaches over the past decade
In November 2014, Sony Pictures was hacked by a group that identified themselves as “Guardians of Peace”. They obtained confidential information, such as emails between higher-up executives, and even the social security numbers of employees.
The hack was allegedly state-coordinated by North Korea in response to the then-upcoming release of “The Interview”, a film starring Seth Rogen and James Franco. The movie plot follows them as they play the role of journalists who are tasked to interview and kill Kim Jong Un — as tasked by the US government.
More notoriously, Anonymous — a group of hacktivists formed in 2003 to expose the misuse of power by corporations and individuals — reemerged during the Black Lives Matter protest of George Floyd. They successfully shut off the Minneapolis police department website by using an alleged distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.
Such attacks attempt to disrupt normal traffic to a website by flooding it with superfluous requests in an attempt to overload systems. This prevents some or all legitimate requests from being fulfilled, making the site unavailable to its intended users. Such incoming traffic originates from many different sources, which makes it even harder to stop the attack.
And even when you think you won’t be a victim of a cybersecurity breach, think again.
In 2014, Target, one of the largest retailers in the US, experienced a breach into its point-of-sale machines that left compromised credit card and personal data belonging to up to 110 million customers. As it turned out, hackers managed to gain access through the network by inputting relevant credentials obtained through a heating, ventilation and air conditioning company that works for Target.
As these hackers get craftier, targeting points of entry that might be overlooked, it makes sense for cybersecurity companies to be smarter not just in their solutions, but in the way they market themselves to their audience as well.