In October 2015, Sharp’s announcement of a miniature robot smartphone called RoBoHoN—capable of walking and dancing, as well as providing telephone, voice recognition, email, photo, and other functions—drew considerable attention.
“The concept movie on the RoBoHoN website was viewed a million times within a few days. We received many inquiries from the media, and various requests from companies that they want to use RoBoHoN in their new services,” says Hideyuki Otokawa, General Manager, Head of Service Development 2 in the Cloud Service Development Unit of the Sharp Consumer Electronics Company.
Otokawa’s Cloud Service Development Unit is in charge of managing Sharp’s consumer electronics products website and the development environment for its application and other value-added services. The unit adopted Amazon Web Services (AWS) as the standard platform for its projects, including the RoBoHoN site.
Even though AWS offers a high level of security, product websites and online services belonging to well-known companies are often the target of cyberattacks.
“If our website were altered with malicious intent, or if any information were stolen, it could damage the Sharp brand. And the spread of false information or rumors can be fatal for an innovative product like RoBoHoN,” says Otokawa.
In order to mitigate these risks, Sharp chose Trend Micro™ Deep Security™ (Deep Security).
The Cloud Service Development Unit uses Deep Security to protect servers accessible from the Internet, along with services on these servers, including the RoBoHoN website.
As Mr. Otokawa explains, “Deep Security defends from the communication layer to the application layer. There is no other software product on the market that offers that depth of protection. If you want solid protection for systems on the cloud, Deep Security is the natural choice.”
Deep Security secures the RoBoHoN website against malicious access and viruses, but its most important function is to protect against malicious content changes. It does this through an auto-recovery mechanism that combines Deep Security’s File Integrity Monitoring (FIM) and an existing content management system.
This mechanism enables the RoBoHoN site to fix unauthorized changes immediately. “In other words, we created an ‘invincible website’ that recovers to its original state if attacked,” explains Mr. Otokawa.
“There were no previous examples of a mechanism to detect website tampering and auto-recover the site, so we anticipated a challenge. But with Deep Security, development was quick and low-cost, and I am convinced that we will see positive results and return on investment.”
General Manager, Head of Service Development 2
Cloud Service Development Unit
Consumer Electronics Company
In the past, responding to a cyberattack required, among other steps, shutting down the server, pinpointing the root cause, recovering files, and restarting the server and service. “At least one day was required for this process, and in some cases it took more than two days. The auto-recovery mechanism drastically reduces this time, and allows us to recover without server shutdown. It effectively renders these attacks harmless — to the site and our brand,” says Mr. Otokawa.
Mr. Otokawa also predicts that the auto-recovery mechanism could deter cybercriminals. “If an attack is neutralized and attackers get only very limited results for their effort, the incentive to attack is removed,” he adds.
The latest RoBoHoN ad campaign asks users to respond to a questionnaire on the website, and Sharp is protecting this personal information with Deep Security as well.
Once RoBoHoN is released in the market, it is certain to draw even more attention, and the risk of cyberattack will also increase. At the same time, Sharp plans to provide new cloud services for its products through AWS.
In anticipation, Mr. Otokawa says, “We are trying to expand the auto-recovery mechanism to make websites and services on AWS more secure and robust. We plan to expand the scope of the mechanism from the application layer to the middleware layer.”
With RoBoHoN, Sharp has created a new category of product, and this revolutionary initiative will continue to be protected by Sharp’s innovative use and application of Deep Security.