Jeremy Hitchcock, Founder & CEO
The smart home market is exploding. One-third of U.S. homes now own a smart speaker, an exponential growth trajectory from 2016, according to a recent Consumer Technology Association (CTA) study. While smart home devices promise convenience, they also, with little or no built-in security, open homes to a multitude of security threats.
Many will recall the cautionary IoT security tale of Mirai, but it’s a very personal story to Jeremy Hitchcock, Cofounder and former CEO of Dyn, the targeted internet infrastructure company in the massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. In October 2016, the MiraiDDoS attack exploited thousands of web cameras to take down Dyn and huge swaths of the internet, including Twitter, Netflix, and Reddit, with it.
“Mirai was a wakeup call for me - that the edge of the internet in everyone’s home is an easy cybersecurity target. The event inspired me to develop a security-first Wi-Fi management platform for the home which we call Minim,” says Jeremy Hitchcock, founder and CEO of Minim. In today’s era of billions of connected devices, exponential cybersecurity threats, and evolving wireless protocols, Minim’s AI-driven cloud platform enables ISPs and consumers to secure and manage the smart home. The company has incorporated many network traffic management techniques from the enterprise security space into its platform, as well as machine learning techniques to identify, profile, and invisibly monitor devices for suspicious behavior.
With the rising number of devices and increasing over-the-top media streaming, Minim is on a mission to strengthen the connectivity, usability, and security of home WiFi
“In our founding principles, we knew Minim needed to be comprehensive. There are plenty of companies focused on securing single devices— a.k.a. endpoint security,’” said Hitchcock.” But, the Dyn attack showed a significant percentage of devices involved couldn’t receive firmware updates; many had reached the end of life. With loads of insecure devices in the wild and plenty of device makers who won’t be regulated, consumers need holistic, network-level security, starting at the home gateway.”
ISPs manage the majority of home gateways in the U.S., and the Minim team quickly uncovered a related pain point— service providers have bloating support strain from increasing smart home network complexity. In response, the company has built usable apps for both the ISP and the consumer.
For the ISP, Minim offers a Care Portal, Security Center, and Operations Center that collectively shorten support call times, reduce on-site visits (“truck rolls”), and improve customer satisfaction. With these applications, ISP care reps have unprecedented visibility and tools to assist the subscriber remotely. “Minim understands the unique challenges service providers face supporting our customers’ increasingly complex home networks,” said Stephen Barraclough, GM of Burlington Telecom, a Minim customer. “Their tools are improving our interactions with customers and reducing truck rolls.”
For the subscriber, Minim offers a self-care app with guided workflows for access point setup, SSID credentials management, device speed tests, network activity history, parental controls, and security alerts. Furthermore, ISPs are finding that they can capture more value from the enhanced services. “This cuts down the number of customer support calls dramatically while also boosting my revenue,” reports Forbes Mercy, CEO of Washington Broadband, a Minim customer.
Being able to accurately blueprint the home network in real-time is the key to bridging the gap between the subscriber and ISP. To that end, Minim is driving forward on its proprietary device profiling capabilities. “With the rising number of devices and increasing over-the-top media streaming, Minim is on a mission to strengthen the connectivity, usability, and security of home Wi-Fi,” concludes Hitchcock.