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Your IT needs a spring clean

Much like spring cleaning a home, COLIN THORNTON, Managing Director of Turrito Networks and Dial a Nerd, believes that companies need to ’spring clean’ their IT infrastructure to reduce the chance of security breaches and vulnerabilities in old apps.



With the carefree promise of spring, many of us are turning our attention towards cleaning out those overfull wardrobes and cluttered rooms. While this is all well and good, the place that probably requires our most dedicated spring cleaning strategy is the office – and not because it’s almost buried in paperwork. Old files, irrelevant backups, out-of-date permissions and apps and excess data bog down many IT networks. These could represent security risks at worst, and at best are slowing your IT down and hampering your efficiency. Time for a reboot!

1 – Assess Your Connectivity Solution

You may have had enough bandwidth to meet your requirements one year ago, but business needs change quickly – particularly as our use of Cloud services increases. Fibre is very widely available and has dropped in pricing enormously.  Certain highly useful (or even critical) applications like Cloud backup or VoIP require fast connections.  If you’re still on ADSL it’s definitely time to switch.  

2 – Remove old accounts and permissions

This is a common problem when IT isn’t managed regularly. Employees come and go but their accounts remain.  It’s possible you have ex-employees still accessing their mail or even worse, your network.  Even if they aren’t they might have had simple passwords and someone else can.  Do an assessment of user accounts and clean them up.  Sometimes temporary accounts are created for office automation devices like printer/scanners and these are very common entry points for hackers.  

3 – Rethink Your Security

With ransomware and other cyber threats now a daily reality, it’s time to take security very seriously. For a start, make sure that you have strong passwords, with different passwords across platforms. Also, use multi-factor authentication for key applications such as your banking. Always be aware of suspicious emails/communications and never open links within unwanted emails.  Firewalls and top-quality anti-virus programs used to be nice-to-have and they’re now have-to-have.  Don’t cut corners here – make sure you have industry leading hardware and software and make sure it stays up to date.

4 – Implement Critical Updates and Patches

Again, given the high risk of cyber-attacks and malware today, updates and patches are equally important to your overall security plan. More than one-half of all breaches occur because the organisation/user failed to patch a known security vulnerability.

5 – Be Ruthless with Network Traffic

One good way to ensure that your network is not cluttered with junk traffic, which will slow it down, is to filter with firewalls or specialized software.  Certain firewalls do this automatically and others need to be configured.  

6 – Check your backups

It goes without saying that you have backups in place but have you checked them lately?  Are they backing up the correct data?  Have you performed a restore?  Do you have backups of your backups?

The price of good backup software and Cloud backups has dropped substantially and if you’re still not doing it properly this should arguably be the first Spring clean task you undertake.

Welcome to a new dawn of more efficient computing (and working!). 

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Here is 2019’s tech

From AI to flexible displays, this is the tech that will shape 2019, writes CY KIM, MD of LG SA



2018 was incredibly exciting for the technology sector which has seen myriad advancements. These include the fundamentals of artificial intelligence (AI) being established, robots helping around the house and consumer electronic innovations such as TVs that are so thin, they might be mistaken for windows, or paintings.

2019 promises to be another significant year as people’s attitudes are changing and technology becomes embedded in our lives. Smart electronics manufacturers will ensure their plans for the future match evolving consumer needs with suitable technology.

We take a look at the biggest innovations for 2019 from AI to lightning-fast internet speeds and flexible viewing surfaces, and we shed some light on how these evolving technologies will impact on how we live and work.

AI will come of age

AI has experienced a marked increase in investments and according to Forbes, 80% of enterprises are investing in AI while 30% are planning to expand their AI investments in the next three years. It’s estimated that during 2017, venture, corporate and seed investors put about $3.6-billion into AI and machine learning companies.

This investment trend has given rise to innovation in deep learning products that have the potential to change the world for the better.

Yes, AI has been around since the 1950s, but its consumer benefits weren’t visible until recently and 2019 will be the year when AI starts to really take off and become a necessity, not just in the home, but in every facet of our lives.

The potential of AI is endless as this technology goes into everything from small watches to cars and even gigantic, connected smart cities. AI is also starting to find its way into TVs, washing machines, refrigerators, speakers, mobile phones and even air cons as products adapt to human behaviour.

Lightning-fast internet speeds

Faster internet speeds enable quicker response times for business tools that we all rely on to get the job done. It will increase the efficiency of workers and will provide reliable communication tools for companies that rely on remote workers.

Given that the so-called gig economy has grown exponentially in recent years, the expectation is that the evolving workforce will contain a higher percentage of employees, or contractors who do not work in a central office.

5G has the potential to change the world the way the internet did a few decades ago. The fifth generation of wireless technology will take internet connectivity to a new level as the internet of things (IoT), will bring about the potential for everything to be connected to everything.

However, 5G is not just about faster internet speeds. It will create new possibilities in numerous sectors, including medicine, transportation and manufacturing.

A smarter world through IoT and AI isn’t possible without 5G’s speed and capacity as the system is able to carry large numbers of connections simultaneously, and is therefore crucial to the development of smart cities, autonomous cars and smart homes.

Life-enriching smart technology

Much like technological innovations, consumer habits and preferences are changing drastically when it comes to home appliances and particularly, home entertainment.

Most consumers believe that advancements in home entertainment tech is life-enriching and that their life is better with the latest tech at their fingertips as it allows them to stay indoors and enjoy quality time with friends and family.

The value of home entertainment tech lies in how it allows loved ones to share experiences, thereby bringing them closer together, particularly during big events such as major sporting events and holiday celebrations.

The potential of flexible viewing surfaces will not only change home entertainment, but also marketing techniques in shopping malls, city centres and shop fronts. With the ability to curve around any environment, this technology creates the perfect platform for signage and consumer engagement that stands out from the crowd.

LG Electronics is an established market leader in innovation and has already started to incorporate these futuristic technologies into its products, which are designed to make consumers lives more convenient. We will continue to release amazing products that utilise smart tech to connect with consumers while staying ahead of the evolutionary curve.

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AI will power IoT

A simple gesture. A world built from accessible assets that drive human convenience and interaction. This is the future that’s powered by the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), two of the planet’s hottest topic trends right now for a very good reason. They work, says PHATHIZWE MALINGA, managing director of SqwidNet.



They are also the fuel driving digital transformation in 2019. These are the technologies revolutionising performance, process and productivity. They are also transforming industry challenges across agriculture, retail, health and the public sector and are set to continue on this path well into 2019.

IoT has become the central nervous system of technology, allowing users to make intelligent decisions without feeling overwhelmed by choice or technology. Its ability to make life easier on every level – business, consumer, public sector – is the next step of the IoT evolution as it improves quality of life using AI and machine learning to analyse past behaviour and the insights it gleans to change the future.

This is the vision of the perfect IoT and AI future. The two technologies so intertwined and connected that they are influencing one another’s growth, development and adoption. IoT provides the ability to generate data from the changing circumstances of an asset and the infrastructure required to transport that data to where it can be accessed and analysed. Considering the sheer volume of data generated, it is impossible for a human being to analyse it at the speed required for real-time decision making. And this is why AI has become so important.

Today, it is possible to write code that can read the data generated by IoT and identify meaningful patterns at the right speed. This code can also be written in such a way that it can learn from the results it found the last time it ran. It is code that can learn, an algorithm that can self-educate. In this way, AI requires the power of IoT to generate the data it needs to learn and IoT needs AI to ensure that this data can be made meaningful, in time.

Over the next six to 12 months, it is very likely that the potential of IoT will see numerous small players emerge across all industries. They will be focused on servicing those who have yet to experience the full benefits of IoT and they will use technology to deliver solutions that are just ‘good enough’. This could potentially see the more established players being disrupted but most will likely be using the same technology to innovate and to create solutions that don’t just meet customer expectations but transcend them.  Of course, there will be some companies that will remain complacent and they will be the ones battling for customer attention out on the IoT playing field with the small, fresh players.

While on the topic of the customer, the next year is likely to introduce a lot more variety and scalability. The consistent drop in the cost of technology will allow for more choice in solution and capability and this will have a knock-on effect with regards to quality of life and the choices customers make when it comes to solution and service provider.

On the business frontier, the growth of IoT and AI offer an interesting bouquet of choices and opportunities. They allow for investment into solutions that generate better insights that, in turn, generate better products and services. Organisations that ignore this potential or think they can sidle on past what IoT and AI bring to the business are likely to be the ones that are left behind. It’s a cliché for a reason. A single look back at the companies that have emerged as big players in industries previously perceived as impenetrable proves the point. Innovation isn’t optional, it’s an essential part of business DNA and both IoT and AI are critical parts of the ability to innovate at speed, with relevance, and on time.

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