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Mobile employees the biggest threat to business?

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There is a global threat to the finance sector, and it’s not one that has to do with the stock market, bust cycles or a sudden drop of ten points. It is the Generation X employee who wants to use a personal device at work. MATTHEW BARKER at Aruba Networks offers some advice on how to eliminate any threats posed by these employees.

The finance sector is in agreement: there’s a major global threat to the success of the banking and finance industry, one that ignores boom and bust cycles, doesn’t care about stock market fluctuations and wouldn’t bat an eyelid if interest rates suddenly jumped ten points.

But this threat is also an essential and highly successful ingredient in the revival of the finance industry’s fortunes.

What is this unwitting, non-malicious threat? It’s your mobile-tech carrying employees themselves.

Which ones?

You’ve heard of Generation X (you might be one yourself), Generation Y (you probably employ a few of these) and Generation Z (the Internet’s digital natives); but there’s another category to add to the list: #GenMobile.

Brought up in a world where mobile devices are an integral part of everyday life, #GenMobile is defined by a productivity-focused attitude that finds it as easy to share a status update as it does a password or mobile device with a colleague. And this is why your #GenMobile workforce is both an asset and a threat to your business.

To identify the true nature of this new type of employee, Aruba Networks surveyed 11,500 workers in 23 countries, asking them detailed questions about their work, their approach to data and their take on corporate and personal security in a technological landscape dominated by mobile devices.

Who are they?

#GenMobile are generally young (18-35), highly effective and mostly indifferent to computer security. Given the finance sector’s risk-averse take on data security, you’d be forgiven for dismissing the idea of a ‘threat’ from your own highly trained staff. But with an alarming four out of every ten finance organisations admitting to having lost data through the misuse of a mobile device (25% higher than other industries), you might want to read on.

Ok, so what are they doing?

#GenMobile, as the name suggests, are 100% comfortable with mobility, flexible working and using multiple mobile devices to get the job done. #GenMobile will stop at nothing to get their work tasks completed, and 51% say that mobile technologies enable them to be more productive and engaged at work.

This fervent need to get things done means 57% of South African #GenMobile’rs will disobey their managers to get complete a task — while more than three-quarters are happy to take IT issues into their own hands without getting in touch with their IT department.

Sharing is also a risk factor, as 32% of South African respondents reported being happy to let others use their work mobile devices at least once a month, while just under a fifth don’t have passwords on their mobile devices at all, in part to make sharing easier. You won’t be surprised that security only limps into the top five of office tech concerns for #GenMobile.

Five tips to turn a threat into a safe bet

So what do you do? Lockdown all mobile devices? Implement a highly restrictive password policy? Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater just yet — this new generation is already contributing to the overall health of the finance sector. They bring big-thinking creativity, better collaboration and new ways of doing things; priceless in an era when consumer behaviour is changing at an incredible speed. Yet the impact of a security breach is both seismic and often irreparable.

Here’s five ways to make sure your organisation is prepared for #GenMobile:

1)      Over a third of businesses don’t have a basic mobile security policy in place. Make sure you have a policy covering roles, devices, locations and other contextual attributes.

2)      Create enforcement rules that extend from applications to devices to the network.

3)      Make sure your security measures and policies map back to your organisation’s business objectives.

4)      Training is vital: all staff should have needs-assessed training to help them understand why policies are in place and how they can help.

5)      Take heed of feedback — it may improve your IT workflows and performance.

* Matthew Barker, regional manager for Sub-Saharan Africa at Aruba Networks

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AppDate: Shedding light in our times of darkness

SEAN BACHER’S app roundup highlights two load-shedding apps, along with South AfriCAM, NBA 2K Mobile, Virgin Mobile’s Spot 3.0 and SwiftKey.

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Load Shedding Notifier

With all the uncertainty about when South Africans will next be plunged into darkness by Eskom, the Load Shedding Notifier tries its best to keep up with Eskom’s schedule. The app is very simple to use. Download it, type an area in and click the save button. The app automatically tells you what load shedding stage Eskom is on, the times you can expect to start lighting candles and for how long to burn them.

Multiple areas can be added and one can switch between the different stages to see how each one will affect a certain area.

A grid status is also displayed, showing how strained the country’s electrical network is.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

EskomSePush Load Shedding App

EskomSePush does much the same as the Load Shedding Notifier, but allows multiple cities to be tracked. However, they may just want to rethink the name of the app if they want wider respectability.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

South AfriCAM

South AfriCAM enables users to add branded stickers and frames from popular lifestyle magazine titles to their posts, including Huisgenoot, YOU, Drum, Move!, TRUE LOVE, Women’s Health and Men’s Health. 

In the process, they can earn JETPoints for their social influence: through the app’s built-in JET8 social currency, users are rewarded for their engagement. For every in-app like, comment, and share, users earn JETPoints, which can be used to redeem products online or over the counter across more than 2 500 retail stores in South Africa. Users are additionally awarded JETPoints for cross-posting onto external social media networks.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

Click here to read about console quality graphics on a mobile phone, Virgin Money payments made easier, and an app that redesigns the keyboard.

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Drones to drive
Western Cape agritech

Aerobotics is set to change how farmers treat their crops by using drones and machine learning, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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The Western Cape is poised to be a hotbed of innovation in the agritech sector, with drone piloting set to playing a major role in in the tech start-up scene.

This is the view of Tim Willis, chief operating officer of pioneering drone company Aerobotics, a Cape Town drone company recognised as a world leader in agritech.

“Drone piloting is a key skill that feeds into the value chain of the budding 4th Industrial Revolution,” said Willis. “Cape Town and the Western Cape is uniquely positioned to be the melting pot for innovation in the agritech sector, as a leading agricultural exporter and a hub for creative tech start-ups.”

He was speaking at AeroCon, a drone expo organised by Aerobotics and held in Johannesburg this week aimed at providing opportunities for drone pilots to apply their skills in South Africa, and to show how drones are being used to collect data on crops. 

The event was supported by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), Wesgro, PROMMAC, MicaSense, and Rectron, among other

“We’re starting to sign up farmers across the country,” said Willis. “It’s exciting because farmers are starting to use drone technology on their farms. When a farmer wants a drone flown, they want it flown [now] so it’s important for us to capture that data as quickly as possible to show that drones are fast and effective.”

According to aerobotics, drone technology can help farmers reduce pesticide use on their crops by up to 30%. The result is environmentally friendly farming, reducing stressed crops and a healthier harvest. 

“We use aerial imagery from drones to recreate a 3D model of every single tree on a farmer’s orchard,” said Willis. “We’ve done this for millions of trees and it starts to give the farmers metrics of what they’re doing. We provide them with the health of the trees, the height, the volume, the canopy area, which enable the farms to make decisions on what to do next.”

Click here to read more about AeroCon and what it offers to those wanting to get into the drone industry.

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