Authentication and Access Control

Threats to your data can come from external or internal sources.

  1. There are individuals who don’t have the authorisation but are driven by malicious intentions to gain access to certain information. This may refer to individuals who already belong to your organisation (but don’t have the necessary access rights) as well as those who don’t.
  2. There are individuals who have both the authorisation and, unfortunately, the malicious intentions over certain information.
  3. Finally, there are individuals who have the authorisation, no malicious intentions, but have accidentally exposed the information in question to those without the proper authority.

While curbing threats 2 and 3 would require other methods, threat #1 can be countered if the right authentication and access control systems are in place.

Here’s what we can do for you:

  • Work with your key personnel to determine who gets access to what.
  • Help you decide whether a single factor or a two-factor authentication (2FA) is appropriate for your organisation and recommend which factors are most suitable. Login methods may include but are not limited to the following:
    • biometric devices
    • Kerberos tickets
    • mobile phones
    • passwords
    • PKI certificates
    • proximity cards
    • smart cards
    • tokens
  • Install the necessary infrastructure needed for the factors chosen. For instance, if you opt to use biometrics, then biometric scanners will be installed. We’ll make sure that the authentication terminals are situated in places where achieving optimal traffic and work flow has been taken into consideration.

Other defences we’re capable of putting up include:

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Big Energy Data Management

Recent times have seen the advent of cloud based services and solutions where energy data is being stored in the cloud and being accessed from anywhere, anytime through remote mobile devices. This has been made possible by web-based systems that can usually bring real-time meter-data into clear view allowing for proactive business and facility management decisions. Some web based systems may even support multi utility metering points and come in handy for businesses operating multiple sites.

Whereas all this has been made possible by increased use of smart devices/ intelligent energy devices that capture data at more regular intervals; the challenge facing businesses is how to transform the large data/big volume of data into insights and action plans that would translate into increased performance in terms of increased energy efficiency or power reliability.

A solution to this dilemma facing businesses that do not know how to process big energy data, may lie in energy management software. Energy management software?s have the capability to analyse energy consumption for, electricity, gas, water, heat, renewables and oil. They enable users to track consumption for different sources so that consumers are able to identify areas of inefficiency and where they can reduce energy consumption, Energy software also helps in analytics and reporting. The analytics and reporting features that come with energy software are usually able to:

? Generate charts and graphs ? some software?s give you an option to select from different graphs

? Do graphical comparisons e.g. generate graphs of the seasonal average for the same season and day type

? Generate reports that are highly customisable

While choosing from the wide range of software available, it is important for businesses to consider software that has the capacity to support their data volume, software that can support the frequency with which their data is captured and support the data accuracy or reliability.

Energy software alone may not make the magic happen. Businesses may need to invest in trained human resources in order to realise the best value from their big energy data. Experts in energy management would then apply human expertise to leverage the data and analyse it with proficiency to make it meaningful to one?s business.

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:

The Matrix Management Structure

Organizations exploit matrix management in various ways. A company, for instance, that operates globally uses it at larger scale by giving consistent products to various countries internationally. A business entity, having many products, does not assign its people to each product full-time but assign those to different ones on a part time basis, instead. And when it comes to delivering high quality and low cost products, companies overcome industry pressures with the help of many overseeing managers. In a rapidly changing environment, organizations respond quickly by sharing information through a matrix model.

Understanding the Matrix Management Structure

A basic understanding of matrix management starts with the three key roles and responsibilities that applies in the structure.

  • Matrix Leader ? The common person above all the matrix bosses is the matrix leader. He ensures that the balance of power is maintained in the entire organization by delegating decisions and promoting collaboration among the people.
  • Matrix Managers ? The managers cooperate with each other by defining the respective activities that they are responsible for.
  • Matrix Employees – The employees have lesser direct authority but has more responsibilities. They resolve differing demands from more than one matrix managers while they work things out upwards. Their loyalty must be dual and their relationships with managers must be maintained.

Characteristics of a Matrix Structure

Here are some features that define the matrix management structure:

  • Hybrid Structure ?The matrix structure is a mix of functional and project organization. Since it is a combination of these two, matrix management is hybrid in nature.
  • Functional Manager ? When it comes to the technical phases of the project, the functional manager assumes responsibility. The manager decides on how to get the project done, delegates the tasks to the subordinates and oversees the operational parts of the organization.
  • Project Manager ? The project manager has full authority in the administrative phases, including the physical and financial resources needed to complete the project. The responsibilities of a project manager comprise deciding on what to do, scheduling the work, coordinating the activities to diverse functions and evaluating over-all project performance.
  • Specialization ?As the functional managers concentrate on the technical factors, the project managers focus on administrative ones. Thus, in matrix management, there is specialization.
  • Challenge in Unity of Command ? Companies that employs matrix management usually experience a problem when it comes to the unity of command. This is largely due to the conflicting orders from the functional and project managers.

Types of Matrix Structure

The matrix management structure can be classified according to the level of power of the project manager. Here are three distinct types of matrix structures that are widely used by organizations.

  • Weak Matrix ? The project manager has limited authority and power as the functional manager controls the budget of the project. His role is only part-time and more like a coordinator.
  • Strong Matrix ? Here, the project manager has almost all the authority and power. He controls the budget, holds the full time administrative project management and has a full time role.
  • Balanced Matrix ? In this structure type, both the project and functional managers control the budget of the project. The authority and power is shared by the two as well. Although the project manager has a full time role, he only has a part time authority for the administrative staff to report under his leadership.

Successful companies of today venture more on enhancing the abilities, skills, behavior and performances of their managers than the pursuit of finding the best physical structure. Indeed, learning the fundamentals of the matrix structure is essential to maximize its efficiency. A senior executive pointed out that one of the challenges in matrix management is not more of building a structure but in creating the matrix to the mind of the managers. This comes to say that matrix management is not just about the structure, it is a frame in the mind.

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