9 Cloud Security Questions you need to ask Service Providers

Companies in Ireland and the UK who are considering cloud adoption might already have a general idea of the security risks inherent in cloud computing. However, since different providers may not offer the same levels of risk mitigation, it is important to know which providers can give sufficient assurance on cloud security.

Here are 10 cloud security questions to ask service providers vying for your attention.

1. Where will my data be located?

There are a variety of reasons why you will want to ask this question. One big reason is that there are certain countries that don’t have strict legislation (or any legislation at all) pertaining to cloud computing. In that case, the provider won’t be as motivated to apply high levels of risk mitigation.

So if your data is hosted off shore, then you might want to reconsider or at least conduct a deeper study regarding the security conditions there.

2. Do you have provisions for regulatory compliance?

Certain standards and regulations (e.g. PCI DSS and possibly the EU Data Protection Directive) have specific guidelines pertaining to data stored in the cloud. If your organisation is covered by any of these legislation, then you need to know whether your provider can help you meet requirements for compliance.

3. Who will have access to my data?

In a cloud environment, where your data is going to be managed by people who aren’t under your direct supervision, you’ll have to worry as much about internal threats as you would with external threats.

Therefore, you need to know how many individuals will have access to your data. You also need to know relevant information such as how admins and technicians with data access rights are screened prior to getting hired. You also need to determine what access controls are being implemented.

4. How is data segregated?

Since there will be other clients, you will want to know how your data is going to be segregated from theirs. Is there any possibility of an accidental or intentional data breach due to poor data segregation? Find out if your data is going to be encrypted and how strong the encryption algorithm is.

5. How will you support investigative activities?

Sometimes, even if strong cloud security measures are in place, a data breach can still happen. If it does happen, the provider should have ways to track each user/administrator’s activity that can sufficiently support a detailed data forensics investigation.

Find out whether logs are being kept and how detailed they are.

6. Are we protected by a Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity plan? How?

Don’t be fooled by sales talk of 100% up-time. Even the most robust cloud infrastructures can suffer outages too. But the important thing is that, when they do fail, they should be able to get up and running in the soonest time possible.

Don’t just ask about their guaranteed RPOs and RTOs. Find out whether your data and applications will be replicated across multiple sites. Unless the provider says they will be, you need to find a provider with a better infrastructure.

7. Can I get copies of my VMs?

In a cloud infrastructure, your servers are actually in the form of files known as virtual machines (VMs). Because VMs are just files, they should be easily copied. There may be issues though, like the VMs might be stored in a not-so-popular proprietary format. Another possible issue is that the provider may simply not allow copying.

Having copies of your VMs can be useful should you later on decide to transfer to another provider or even duplicate your cloud infrastructure on your own.

8. What will happen to my data when I scale down?

One outstanding benefit of cloud computing is that when your business demands drop, you can easily scale down computing resources and reduce your cloud spending. ?But what will happen to your data when you decommission virtual servers? Will they be discarded?

You might want your data to be retained up to a certain period. On the other hand, you might also want them to be deleted immediately. Ask about the provider’s data deletion/data retention policies and see if they are in line with yours.

9. What will happen to my data if I decide to close my account?

There might come a time when you’ll want to terminate your contract with your cloud provider. Just like in issue #8, you’ll want to find out more about data deletion/data retention policies.

Although some providers can give you detailed answers, many of these answers can include a lot of technical jargon that can leave you totally confused. If you want someone you can trust to:

  • simplify those answers;
  • help you pick the right cloud service provider, and
  • even make sure cloud security is really upheld once your cloud engagement is ?under way

Contact Us

  • (+353)(0)1-443-3807 – IRL
  • (+44)(0)20-7193-9751 – UK

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5 Ways To Grow Your Business | How Field Service Management Software Helps

Building up any business is already hard, more so when it involves providing field services.

A field service business owner has to manage the usual tasks, like scheduling jobs efficiently or inventory checks, and you have to do it while your employees are scattered about on various locations.

It’s the reason FieldElite was created, to provide companies with a much better way to manage and monitor their field workers.

Aside from effective management for your workforce on the move, field service management software can also help your business grow.

5 Ways Using Field Service Management Software Grows Your Business

1. Management Integration

You replace manual field service processes. If your business also uses other management apps, like CRM, payroll, industry-specific software, etc., make sure to integrate them with your chosen field service management software.?

Make those software work side-by-side with your field service management app to achieve streamlined business management.

Integration also removes the possibility of duplicate input on the regular system used and your field service management software, maximising your efficiency and business growth.

2. Improved Tracking

Utilising a field service management software gives you better tracking of every aspect of your field service business.

  • Track your inventory numbers in real-time ? know exactly how much stock is on hand for parts, and when it’s time to order more
  • Constant updates on Key Performance Indicators ? ensure your business is running smoothly
  • First-time fix rates tracking ? avoid wrong rate application
  • Monitor your technician?s performance ? ensuring quality work, in turn, profit.

Grow your business by having improved tracking on meaningful data and analytics produced from your field service management software.

3. Cost Cutting

Cutting costs can improve your bottom line and a lot of businesses turn to laying off technicians to cut costs. With a field service management software, there?s no need to go this route.

You cut costs through no manual processes needing to be completed. No need to hire back-office staff to field service calls or produce paperwork orders.

Your field service software should have all your automated needs met for efficient field job management.

An example of cost-cutting using field service app:

Track how much your technicians drive and find alternate routes for them to take.

  • Reduce gas expenses
  • Reduce repair bills for the truck
  • Finding better alternate routes can give more time to get to more jobs
  • Increased efficiency for the field technician

4.? Mobile Adaptability

Field service companies are focusing on mobility to grow their business. With a field service management software, technicians have on hand the tools and information needed to complete their job.

Field technicians can utilise the following field service software features:

  • Limit how much time they spend completing administrative work with the automated work-order management
  • Complete checklists on their mobile device and follow step-by-step instructions
  • Check service history
  • Close job orders/calls, collect signatures and start the invoice process

With a mobile app, technicians can complete a call faster, increasing the number of job order scheduled each day, giving additional revenue and that helps to grow your business.

5. Automation

What good is a field service management software without automated features??

Automation, in any industry, is an important factor in managing and growing your business.

Here are some examples of automation features and tools that your software needs in field service:

  • Create and convert quotations into work orders
  • Schedule/Reschedule jobs
  • Accept jobs in the field
  • Convert jobs into invoices
  • Preventative maintenance service
  • Customer updates
  • Automated job reports

Business Growth with your Field Service Management Software

Field service management software is growing businesses through automation, tracking and workflow management.

Your operation can run smarter and more efficiently, all while empowering your field technicians to do their job smoothly.

If you haven’t turned to a field service management software yet, you’re missing out on chances to grow your business.

Check out FieldElite to help grow your field service business today!

Mobile Security

Today’s advanced enterprises make extensive use of mobile devices in order for team members to exchange information, collaborate, and carry out business whenever and wherever they need to. BlackBerries, iPhones, Google Phones, and other smartphones as well as PocketPCs and PDAs are now allowed wireless remote access to the enterprise network.

As a result, they introduce additional vulnerabilities into the system.

  • Bluetooth exploits and unencrypted passwords can allow malicious individuals to gain access to private information.
  • Various wireless technologies that have substantially simplified the task of transferring data have provided openings for malicious code. In addition, the diversity of these wireless technologies combined with the constrained environments of these devices have made it difficult to come up with an all-in-one solution.
  • All PocketPCs, PDAs and smartphones can be synchronised with PCs and laptops, giving malware an entry point into computers and networks. Memory cards are guilty of this too.
  • VoIP, which are usually unencrypted, allow other people to perform unauthorised capture and recording of private conversations.

Mobile security is still an emerging discipline. Because of this, many organisations that allow members’ mobile phone access into the network don’t actually have a specific security policy for such devices.

That’s why we’re here to help. We’ll conduct a thorough evaluation of your security policies and systems in relation to mobile devices and seal gaps we spot along the way. If you don’t have the needed policies or if what you have needs an overhaul, we’ll set everything up (including the needed applications and infrastructure) for you.

Once we’ve got everything in place, you won’t have to worry about the vulnerabilities mentioned earlier. In addition to that, your organisation will already be capable of preventing the following:

  • Access to company information when the phone ends up in the hands of anyone other than the authorised user.
  • Being billed for phone usage due to virus activity
  • Unauthorised phone activity monitoring through spyware
  • Other disruptions caused by mobile-based malware

Other defences we’re capable of putting up include:

Proactive Preventative Maintenance: How IoT and Field Service Management Software Helps

FieldElite, our mobile workforce management software, has been key to several industries? return on investment. Whether it’s for plumbing, electrical, property management, cleaning, and maintenance, FieldElite has provided data centralisation for efficient management of these business activities. 

Field service management software is important to utilise current workload, and also helps resolve future issues. We’re talking about a proactive approach to preventative maintenance. 

How exactly do field service managements help in preventative maintenance? 

The answer lies in how field service management is interlinked with IoT in predicting future jobs for the mobile service industry.  

What is IoT? 

Simply put, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of devices and sensors connected to the internet. These ?things? (e.g. your smartphone or smartwatch) enable data to be sent and be received without human intervention.

Fundamentally, IoT is about devices being connected to the internet to allow remote monitoring

For many years now, remote monitoring for IT infrastructure has been widely used. 

What’s new that we’re experiencing right now is even the smallest devices ? individual light bulbs and sensors ? can have a network and internet connection, allowing entire systems to be monitored in great detail. 

Implementing IoT and accessing data can be challenging for most service organisations. However, when combined with predictive analytics and field management software, it can have a huge potential impact on individual businesses and the service industry as a whole. 

What is Preventative Maintenance? 

Preventive maintenance refers to regular, routine maintenance to help keep equipment up and running, preventing any unplanned downtime and expensive costs from unanticipated equipment failure. 

The goal of preventative maintenance is to decrease the likelihood of a machine or an equipment’s failure by performing regular maintenance. 

Preventative management can be very complex, especially for companies with a fleet of equipment or customers. It requires careful planning and scheduling of maintenance on equipment before there is an actual problem. 

Also, preventive maintenance is evolving. It’s not just about scheduling the same work every month to prevent failure anymore. Today, working smarter with better information about equipment conditions is critical to ensure maintenance is effective.

That’s where IoT and field service management software, like FieldElite, comes in. Together, they organise and carry out preventive maintenance needs for service industries. 

How IoT and FieldElite Helps in Preventative Maintenance

With FieldElite and IoT technology, you get the best in preventive maintenance management.

  • Evaluation of equipment or machines ? the condition of machines or equipment is evaluated in order to predict when maintenance needs to be performed. 
  • Automated work order ? automated time-based work order creation
  • Full condition-based plans allows you to do the following:
    • Right-size your maintenance work
    • Lower costs
    • Extend the life of your or customer?s assets 
  • Quicker reporting ? due to its efficient and automated nature, IoT and field service management software can reduce a field technician?s average report time from two weeks to two days, therefore boosting your cash flow! 

That’s the most important result a mobile service management software can produce (in connection with preventative maintenance). It’s cost-saving! This can be achieved over routine or time-based preventive maintenance, as tasks are only performed when they are needed. 

The Internet of Things (IoT) and field service management software is changing field service as we know it. 

Companies who adapt and utilise these technologies will benefit the most from the resulting competitive advantage of preventative maintenance. 

Start elevating every field service experience now!  

Our field service software, FieldElite helps you: 
  • Accepts jobs in the field
  • Automate appointment scheduling
  • Manage scheduled jobs 
  • Get real-time visibility into all operations
  • Have a clear and easy viewing of job locations 
  • Resolve field service calls faster 
  • Enable mobile workers to get the job done right
  • Keep customers updated at every step 
  • Create quotations and accept payments 
  • Analyse efficient reports from field technicians
  • Helps in proper preventative maintenance management. 

Learn how to schedule jobs to field workers with ease. Check out FieldElite

CONTACT US

  • We seek to understand your technology and business challenges
  • We tailor a demonstration of our platform and solutions to align to your specific needs
  • We answer any questions and make sensible recommendations
  • (+353)(0)1-443-3807 – IRL
  • (+44)(0)20-7193-9751 – UK

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