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Now for IIoT in Africa

The manufacturing sector is set to evolve thanks to the rise of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) specifically focused on industries with machinery and production processes, says Jeremy Potgieter, Eseye, SADC regional head.

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IIoT will significantly enhance manufacturing: “By enabling the acquisition and accessibility of far greater amounts of data, at far greater speeds, and far more efficiently than before, IIoT, will bring immense benefit to an industry that needs to find better ways to streamline processes and the use of data.”

Potgieter says that IIoT is part of a larger concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) and will greatly improve connectivity, efficiency, scalability, time savings, and cost savings for industrial organisations: “Companies are already benefitting through cost savings due to predictive maintenance, improved safety, and other operational efficiencies. IIoT networks of intelligent devices will also enable industrial organisations to break open data silos and connect people, data, and processes from the factory floor to the executive offices. Business leaders can use this IIoT data to get a full and accurate view of how their enterprise is doing, which will naturally improve decision-making.”

Industries ahead of the curve, which have already embraced IIoT, include supply chain management as well as various manufacturing entities. “More CIOs are including an IoT component in their strategies, so we can expect a higher uptake across all verticals, albeit at a marginal introductory level,” says Potgieter.

He says that there are challenges when implementing IIoT and that interoperability and security are probably the two biggest ones: “A major concern surrounding the Industrial IoT is interoperability between devices and machines that use different protocols and have different architectures.”

In terms of security, Potgieter says that companies need to know that their data is secure: “The proliferation of sensors and other smart connected devices has resulted in several security vulnerabilities. Mitigation of this lies in the planning phase. Companies need to understand the objective of their IIOT journey and which systems and processes it will impact. This approach ensures that a secure layer is placed on the connectivity component, enforcing that devices are secured pre–implementation, making security part of the solution.”

The Eseye Anynet Secure connectivity solution, as an example, addresses just this. In partnership with AWS, Eseye has streamlined the connectivity security aspect by encrypting hardware at the source with authentication certificates and keys, which are synchronised at startup to the AWS cloud environment.

Potgieter says that designing the correct connectivity solution for an industrial client requires a detailed insight into the expected outcomes of the IIoT solution and the client’s information technology environment: “This enables the correct level, quality and price of connectivity to be determined to suit the backend systems and analytics platforms.”

Eseye has provided its IIoT connectivity services in Africa for many years, and its local presence has seen it gain new business in markets it traditionally serves, including fleet management, cross-border logistics, cold-chain logistics and asset monitoring and management.

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Legion gets a pro makeover

Lenovo’s latest Legion gaming laptop, the Y530, pulls out all the stops to deliver a sleek looking computer at a lower price point, writes BRYAN TURNER

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Gaming laptops have become synonymous with thick bodies, loud fans, and rainbow lights. Lenovo’s latest gaming laptop is here to change that.

The unit we reviewed housed an Intel Core i7-8750H, with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. It featured dual storage, one bay fitted with a Samsung 256GB NVMe SSD and the other with a 1TB HDD.

The latest addition to the Legion lineup has become far more professional-looking, compared to the previous generation Y520. This trend is becoming more prevalent in the gaming laptop market and appeals to those who want to use a single device for work and play. Instead of sporting flashy colours, Lenovo has opted for an all-black computer body and a monochromatic, white light scheme. 

The laptop features an all-metal body with sharp edges and comes in at just under 24mm thick. Lenovo opted to make the Y530’s screen lid a little shorter than the bottom half of the laptop, which allowed for more goodies to be packed in the unit while still keeping it thin. The lid of the laptop features Legion branding that’s subtly engraved in the metal and aligned to the side. It also features a white light in the O of Legion that glows when the computer is in use.

The extra bit of the laptop body facilitates better cooling. Lenovo has upgraded its Legion fan system from the previous generation. For passive cooling, a type of cooling that relies on the body’s build instead of the fans, it handles regular office use without starting up the fans. A gaming laptop with good passive cooling is rare to find and Lenovo has shown that it can be achieved with a good build.

The internal fans start when gaming, as one would expect. They are about as loud as other gaming laptops, but this won’t be a problem for gamers who use headsets.

Click here to read about the screen quality, and how it performs in-game.

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Serious about security? Time to talk ISO 20000

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By EDWARD CARBUTT, executive director at Marval Africa

The looming Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) Act in South Africa and the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union (EU) have brought information security to the fore for many organisations. This in addition to the ISO 27001 standard that needs to be adhered to in order to assist the protection of information has caused organisations to scramble and ensure their information security measures are in line with regulatory requirements.

However, few businesses know or realise that if they are already ISO 20000 certified and follow Information Technology Infrastructure Library’s (ITIL) best practices they are effectively positioning themselves with other regulatory standards such as ISO 27001. In doing so, organisations are able to decrease the effort and time taken to adhere to the policies of this security standard.

ISO 20000, ITSM and ITIL – Where does ISO 27001 fit in?

ISO 20000 is the international standard for IT service management (ITSM) and reflects a business’s ability to adhere to best practice guidelines contained within the ITIL frameworks. 

ISO 20000 is process-based, it tackles many of the same topics as ISO 27001, such as incident management, problem management, change control and risk management. It’s therefore clear that if security forms part of ITSM’s outcomes, it should already be taken care of… So, why aren’t more businesses looking towards ISO 20000 to assist them in becoming ISO 27001 compliant?

The link to information security compliance

Information security management is a process that runs across the ITIL service life cycle interacting with all other processes in the framework. It is one of the key aspects of the ‘warranty of the service’, managed within the Service Level Agreement (SLA). The focus is ensuring that the quality of services produces the desired business value.

So, how are these standards different?

Even though ISO 20000 and ISO 27001 have many similarities and elements in common, there are still many differences. Organisations should take cognisance that ISO 20000 considers risk as one of the building elements of ITSM, but the standard is still service-based. Conversely, ISO 27001 is completely risk management-based and has risk management at its foundation whereas ISO 20000 encompasses much more

Why ISO 20000?

Organisations should ask themselves how they will derive value from ISO 20000. In Short, the ISO 20000 certification gives ITIL ‘teeth’. ITIL is not prescriptive, it is difficult to maintain momentum without adequate governance controls, however – ISO 20000 is.  ITIL does not insist on continual service improvement – ISO 20000 does. In addition, ITIL does not insist on evidence to prove quality and progress – ISO 20000 does.  ITIL is not being demanded by business – governance controls, auditability & agility are. This certification verifies an organisation’s ability to deliver ITSM within ITIL standards.

Ensuring ISO 20000 compliance provides peace of mind and shortens the journey to achieving other certifications, such as ISO 27001 compliance.

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