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:

Check our similar posts

Spreadsheet Risk Issues

It is interesting to note that the riskiness of operational spreadsheets are overlooked even by companies with high standards of risk management. Only when errors amount to actual losses do they realize that these risks have been staring them in the face all along.

Common spreadsheet risk issues

Susceptibility to trivial manual errors

Due to the fundamental structure of spreadsheets, a slight change in the formula or value in any of their inhabited cells may already affect their overall output. An

  • accidental copy-paste,
  • omission of a negative sign,
  • erroneous range selection,
  • incorrect data input or
  • unintentional deletion of a character,cell, range, column, or row

are just some of the simple errors spreadsheet users frequently encounter. Rarely are there any counter-checking controls in place in a spreadsheet-based activity and manual errors therefore easily go undetected.

Possibility of the user working on the wrong version

How do you store spreadsheet files?

Since the most common reports are usually generated on a monthly basis, users tend to store them using variations of these two configurations:

spreadsheet storage

If you notice, a user can accidentally work on the wrong version with any of these structures.

Prone to inconsistent company-wide reporting

This happens when a summary or ?final? spreadsheet is fed information by different departments coming from their own spreadsheets. Even if most of the data in their spreadsheets come from one source (the company-wide database), erroneous copy-pasting and linking, or even different interpretations of the same data can result to contradicting information in the end.

Often defenceless against unauthorised access

Some spreadsheets contain information needed by various individuals or department units in an organisation. Hence, they are often shared via email or through shared folders in a network. Now, because spreadsheets don’t normally use any access control, any user can easily open a spreadsheet file and view or modify the contents as he wishes.

Highly vulnerable to fraud

A complex spreadsheet system with zero or very minimal controls provides the perfect setting for would-be fraudsters. Hidden cells with malicious formulas and links to bogus information can go unnoticed for a long time especially if the final figures don’t deviate much from expected values.

Spreadsheet risk mitigation solutions may not suffice

Inherent complexity makes testing and logic inspection very time consuming

Deep testing can uncover possible errors hidden in spreadsheet cells and consequently mitigate risks. But spreadsheets used to support financial reporting are normally large, complex, highly-personalised and, without ample supporting documentation, understandably hard to follow.

No clear ownership of risk management responsibilities

There?s always a dilemma when an organisation starts assigning risk management responsibilities for spreadsheets. IT personnel believe users in the business side of the organisation should be responsible since they are the ones who create, edit, store, duplicate, and share the spreadsheet files. On the other hand, users believe IT should be responsible since they have always been in-charge of managing IT infrastructure, applications, and files.

To get rid of spreadsheet risks, you’ll have to get rid of spreadsheets altogether

One remedy is to have a risk management activity that involves both IT personnel and spreadsheet users. But wouldn’t you want to get rid of the complexity of having to distribute the responsibilities between the two parties instead of just one?

Learn more about Denizon’s server application solutions and how you can get rid of spreadsheet risk issues.

More Spreadsheet Blogs


Spreadsheet Risks in Banks


Top 10 Disadvantages of Spreadsheets


Disadvantages of Spreadsheets – obstacles to compliance in the Healthcare Industry


How Internal Auditors can win the War against Spreadsheet Fraud


Spreadsheet Reporting – No Room in your company in an age of Business Intelligence


Still looking for a Way to Consolidate Excel Spreadsheets?


Disadvantages of Spreadsheets


Spreadsheet woes – ill equipped for an Agile Business Environment


Spreadsheet Fraud


Spreadsheet Woes – Limited features for easy adoption of a control framework


Spreadsheet woes – Burden in SOX Compliance and other Regulations


Spreadsheet Risk Issues


Server Application Solutions – Don’t let Spreadsheets hold your Business back


Why Spreadsheets can send the pillars of Solvency II crashing down

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Saving Energy Step 3 ? Towards a Variable Energy Bill

Do you remember the days when energy was so cheap we paid the bill almost without thinking about it? Things have changed and we have the additional duty of reducing consumption to help save the planet. This is the third article in our mini-series on saving energy. It follows on from the first that explored implementing a management system, and the second listing practical things to implement on the shop floor. These open up the possibility of the variable energy bill we expand on as follows.

If ?variable energy bill? sounds strange to you, I used the unusual turn of phrase to encourage you to view things in a different light. We need to move on from the ?pie chart? mentality where we focus on the biggest numbers like materials, facilities and labour, and zoom in on energy where we can achieve similar gains faster with less pain. But first, we need to see beyond the jargon that governments and consultants love, and get to grips with the reality that we can vary our energy bill and bring cost down.

As executives we recognise this, although other pressures distract us from accepting it as a personal goal. And so we delegate it down the organisation to a level where it becomes ?another crazy management idea? we have to follow to stay out of trouble. I read somewhere that half the world?s organisations do not have energy as a defined objective to monitor in the C Suite. No wonder commerce is only pecking away at energy wastage at a rate of 1% per year.

Find out where you are ?spending energy? and relate this to your core business. If there are places where you are unable to make a connection, challenge the activity?s right to exist. Following the energy trail produces unexpected benefits because it permeates everything we do.

  • Improved product design reducing time spent in factory
  • Streamlined production schedules reducing machine run times
  • Less wear on equipment reducing costly maintenance
  • A more motivated workforce that is prouder of ?what we do?

As you achieve energy savings you can pass these on in terms of lower prices and greater market share. All this and more is possible when you focus on the variables behind your energy bill. Run the numbers. It deserves more attention than it often gets.

Why integrating your Field Service Management with IoT Applications makes sense

Your customers want a smooth experience when hiring your services. Whether there are pests that have run amok in their homes and you have been called in to exterminate them, there is a leak in the pipes and your plumbing repair business is the go-to for repairs, you’re in charge of a cleaning business with clients spanning across the residential and commercial niches, or even a locksmith making new installations and providing aftercare for their clients ? it is vital to make the process as hassle-free as possible for your customer. The priority is getting the job done in time, and to quality standards. On the other hand, your mobile workers need access to complete and accurate data to approach the task more proactively, get it done right, and increase the rate of first-time fixes.

When you have multiple clients and a huge workforce, things can get messy with all the paperwork involved. Preparing documents and reports, keying in the data, keeping track of your mobile employees, following up on current jobs and scheduling new appointments ? the workload can put a strain on your staff. Field service scheduling software like FieldElite come in to keep your central office staff abreast with all customer details, sending alerts when new issues arise. These are then relayed to the appropriate technician for the situation to be taken care of at the earliest possible time ? directing the right employee to the customer based on the skill-set availability and location. While field service job management software, by itself, is a powerful solution, you can crank things up a notch by having a system that integrates IoT into its operations.

Powering Field Service Scheduling Software Systems With IoT

FSM gives maintenance firms, distributors, manufacturers and other service businesses an interactive platform that optimises the workflow. From the customers booking maintenance work, office staff tracking operations right from their desk, workers interacting with it while on-ground through the mobile app, to the billing and invoicing ? it is all handled through the same system. IoT applications can boost this becoming a critical tool to show the field managers about the precise locations where attention is needed, for accurate worker and job scheduling and improved customer satisfaction. What if you could also have features like auto-scheduling coming on board? Let’s delve deeper into what it means for your FSM system.

Benefits Of Using Service Management Software With IoT Solutions

Its impact of IoT on field management is seen in the transformation of maintenance data into proactive service actions. Research by Gartner shows that in 2020 there will be over 20 billion connected devices, making the reach of IoT really vast. This will fuel the field management industry, unlocking more potential with the mobile workers interacting in real-time with their equipment and headquarters. This speeds up response time to service requests and transforms interoperability across the different devices.

???????? All-round access

The interaction with IoT benefits the technicians, managers, and customers themselves. For instance, while the worker on ground interacts with the FieldElite mobile app, the office staff at headquarters will be engaging them via browser on their smart devices, and even the client gets access to the system through the customer portal.

???????? Linking your different business operations

It doesn’t stop there. Integrating the mobile service management software to the IoT facilitates inventory management, automobile tracking, and even automates accounting, invoicing, and other internal processes of the business, giving you more visibility over your field assets and operations. Here, the sensors that have been enabled in the network will notify you of damaged equipment, and go further to route and dispatch the technician who is most suited to go on-site and repair it.

???????? Nip things in the bud ? A proactive approach

Updates from sensors on the remote equipment are sent over a dedicated network. This is intelligently interpreted by the IoT platform to decide the next course of action, depending on a predefined set of rules. This course of action can be assigning and dispatching the technician through the FieldElite app to fix the equipment before permanent damage occurs. This whole process is automatic, shifting the company from a reactive mode of operations to a proactive and preventative model, resulting in better utilisation of assets.

???????? Minimise time wastage

Less time is spent going checking for flaws in the systems. Take management at a wastewater treatment plant for instance. Simply place IoT sensors on the different pumps, mortars and valves to give you this data. In case of leaks or damage, the appropriate operator is alerted, taking away the need for manual monitoring. Monitoring is done remotely. Hazardous situations such as in the oil and gas industry where workers are faced with issues like flare stacks are handled better, where the IoT sensors minimise downtime and ensure that only necessary visits to the plat equipment are done.

???????? Interactions at the palm of your hand

The field service workers are also equipped with effective communications through aspects like the chat feature on the mobile app, and reporting abilities where they can make notes, take photos and relay this to the headquarters during the course of the job. Information on the system is readily available to the customer and future technicians who will be handling jobs at the facility.

How does the FSM work with other systems? FieldElite’s core role is to manage the mobile workforce. How do you keep track of the sensors of the different equipment, in order to know when maintenance is needed?

Enter ecoVaro: IoT In Energy Management

The 2018-2025 Global Building Energy Management System Analysis and Forecast showed energy consumption in residential buildings accounts for close to 40% of the world’s energy consumption.? Commercial buildings like shopping malls, hospitals, retail stores and hotels take 30%. IoT tools aid in collecting and analysing the real-time data consumption in these falsities, to improve maintenance and reduce down times. It’s a holistic view that is achieved through a network of smart devices monitoring the ventilation, humidity, air-conditioning and lighting systems.

Home automation tools like smart thermostats and bulbs are already becoming popular. Here, they bring savings to the consumers without them having to use up much effort. For broader energy management, these systems will include units like sensors, controls, meters, data analytics tools, and user-friendly applications that the consumers access all this from. It cuts across the board, from households and commercial establishments, to utility firms and government bodies keen on effectively monitoring and managing their energy resources. Industrial and commercial users need data analytics tools to maximise their productivity and reduce costs, while residents in households want to reduce their monthly bills and take a more proactive role in their energy management.

From Smart Devices To Accurate Loggers

The first step in saving energy is cutting down wastage. Smart light, humidity, temperature and air conditioning controls come in to maintain optimal indoor conditions. Lighting units, smart thermostats, sensor-based HVAC control systems are part of the IoT, taking centre stage in automatically maintaining the perfect indoor environment that will keep the building?s energy use at optimum levels. They have been designed with different sensors that check the humidity, light, motion and even CO2 levels, dynamically adjusting the conditions in the facility. Here, you have situations like smart lights dimming when there is more daylight getting into the room, and then automatically turning off when people leave the room. The smart thermostats can precool the indoor space before the day gets warmer, so that during that scorching midday sun there will be less energy spent by the HVCA to bring down the heat levels.

The whole set up ? from the LED lights adjusting to user preferences and routines, learning thermostats that reduce consumption during peak load times, sensors and data analytics that give the user more control over their consumption, creates a smart energy infrastructure, be it in homes or industrial spaces, from retail stores and factories, to entire cities. This is all geared at cutting down energy costs, with the systems automatically adjusting the building?s lighting, temperature and ventilation, to reduce the energy consumption without compromising the comfort of the building?s occupants. LEED bulbs already record 20% lower maintenance costs than the typical commercial buildings.

Adopting IoT Applications For Your EMS System

How can you take advantage of this? With the EMS loggers, you monitor your facility’s consummation in real-time. Platforms like ecoVaro enable both the utility companies and end-users to access this data. The utility firms will be in a position to tailor the power supply in response to changing demand and also adjust their pricing. The end-users, on the other hand, will be in a position to control their usage at a granular level ? responding to changing environmental conditions, power consumption, and reducing energy waste.

There are also those appliances that come with sensors, from boilers in the household, to heavy production machinery in industries. The EMS systems allow you to continuously monitor the load on the sensor-enabled assets, predict when overheating will occur and pinpoint risks of outages or damage on the line. Maintenance can then be immediately carried out to vent damages to the equipment. That way components like motors are protected from damages that would have ended up costing the firm lots of funds to replace. The data analytics from the EMS platforms enable the energy manager to strike that balance to optimise performance and reduce wear, thus prolonging the life of the equipment.

Even the heavy hitters in the energy sector get to benefit from the IoT. Take power production for instance. When you’re dealing with stations, solar farms and wind fields ? as they provide that much-needed power, they also consume energy and need plenty of maintenance. These are resource-heavy stations and as a manager, you want to keep a close eye on things. This involves a complex approach, from the sensors at the facilities, data analytics, to predictive maintenance. EMS software comes in to continuously monitor the equipment and wiring through the sensors. This enables you to prevent issues like overloads, and ensure that a balanced load is maintained on the line. The EMS goes a step further by enabling you to undertake predictive maintenance, for the timely repair of the equipment on the power grid, minimising accidents, preventing blackouts, and averting the costly down times.

Electricity utilities connecting their power plants and grids to available IoT solution networks get to be more transparent to their consumers, by showing them where the energy they use comes from. This empowers the consumers with the information needed to select the cleanest energy source during that period, which is particularly beneficial for those keen on adopting greener practices. For instance, you can have a system monitoring a network of grids, and dynamically shifting to power sources that have the least amount of emissions at the moment ? what’s gaining popularity as “automated emission reduction”. These lead to utility firms that produce clean energy getting more consumers and growing their revenue base.

Field And Energy Management: How FieldElite and ecoVaro Work Together Through IoT

So, on one hand, you have the energy managers following up on the consumption trends at their facilities, keeping an eye on their equipment.? On the other hand, you have field workers needed to carry out repair and maintenance works at different locations.? How do you join them together to ensure a seamless flow of operations?? The IoT.

This can be seen with ecoVaro and Field Elite interaction. Here, you have two independent systems that are interlinked through the internet and secure cloud systems, bringing more convenience on board for the users.

Picture this: Loggers collecting data from the meters and sensors on-site detect an anomaly, which you will immediately be able to view through the ecoVaro platform. This can be a myriad of issues, from plumbing to electrical systems that need to be worked on, and they are at multiple locations. How do you get them resolved? Dispatch your technicians through FieldElite.

Here’s a snapshot of how this works:

FieldElite and Ecovaro Working Together

This way, you get to optimise your operations and cut down on coasts ? taking advantage of the data analytics tools brought to you by ecoVaro, and streamlining your workflow through FieldElite. IoT powered workforce and energy management systems thus become key in reducing operational expenses, scheduling repairs and maintenance, and planning for peak hours

Accessing real-time data has the welcome benefit of cutting down on the hours spent on energy management processes. Jobs like meter reading that would have taken lots of time are handled by the system. When it comes to field management, operational efficiency is increased by taking away the manual processes involved with all the paperwork.? The sensors monitored via ecoVaro alert the field service manager about equipment that needs to be checked, and FieldElite shows the field manager issues that are on queue to be resolved. In both cases, you get accurate data that will inform the decisions made ? from the maintenance measures required, to scheduling the jobs for the technicians to handle them. It’s a win-win situation.?

Building Blocks For A Brighter Tomorrow

What’s more, this sets you up for the future. Adopting IoT solutions for your field and energy management operations will score you higher ROIs going forward. The global community is working towards enhancing the efficiency of its operations and putting in place sustainable practices in line with their Social Corporate Responsibility (CSR). This is from service providers like plumbing and electrical repair businesses, to utility firms and power generation plants. Lighting systems, homes, office buildings, factories, communities, transportation and whole cites are getting connected through the internet and more control done via smart devices. This is further accelerated by cloud systems enabling real-time, reliable and secure access to the information. By incorporating these setups into your business structure, you will gain a competitive advantage in your niche. After all, we’re still in the early stages of IoT across the industries.

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