Rogue IT: Your data might be leaking

rogue it

Resource Credit | AccountingWEB

In his first column for AccountingWEB, cybersecurity expert Adam Harling looks at ‘Rogue IT’, and how your business could be at risk without you even realizing it.

Simply put “Rogue IT” is the use of unauthorized technology in an organization. In days gone by this was usually quite simple and often innocuous.

For example, your creatives storing images and assets on a portable hard disk they privately purchased, a team sharing files on local PCs to bypass all the security requirements imposed by IT to create a share on a server, or in extreme cases perhaps a network-attached storage device connected and storing the files for a department with a tech-savvy team member.

While these actions were not ideal and often had all sorts of backup and security implications, they were at least physical, easy to detect and behind the perimeter firewall. Enter the tech-savvy workforce and the death of physical media.

With a large scale adoption of cloud file sharing, and just about everyone in the workspace now not only comfortable with adopting new technology, but also often keen to work quickly and fully aware that they can achieve the result they need by simply bypassing IT approval, we have a real problem.

Once your IT team loses control of the location of data, they lose the ability to secure it, the ability to back it up and monitor it.

The most common way we see data leaking is via unsanctioned and unmonitored cloud file-sharing platforms. It’s not the choice od the platform that’s the issue, it’s that if it is used to store data, it needs to be managed.

A worked example might start out innocently enough. Our keen team member needs to work on the Q3 forecast from home, the files get transferred to a personal cloud storage account, so the file can be opened from the home PC – and there we have it, in that simple innocent action your data is in the wind and at risk.

Possible Outcomes

  • Should that account be breached, your IT team have no control over the passwords or security policies in place on this account
  • Should that employee leave the organization, your IT team have no way of removing access to that data
  • Should the file contain critical data and be lost or corrupted, you likely have no route to a backup
  • The file could be shared with anyone and everyone, inside or outside your organization, even your competition. Your IT team will have zero visibility

What can we do about this issue? Thankfully there are some technologies available that can help, often called “DLP” or Data Loss Prevention.

This technology allows alerts or restrictions on the movement of the data. It can detect sensitive information and prevent it leaving from leaving a network or storage platform.

DLP technology can be found in many modern “UTM” firewalls such as the WatchGuard M series, configured correctly they can be a great aid in keeping your data inside the network.

Microsoft also offers DLP features as part of the Microsoft 365 platform, this can be an involved project to implement but offers probably the most complete technology solution.

As always we need to look at people and process. Make sanctioned tools available to your team. If remote working is required, have a policy and toolset in place before your users “go rogue” and circumvent your IT.

Make it easy for your users to request tools from your IT team, try and remove barriers for adopting new technologies, and should a tool not be sanctioned, ensure your users know why.

Have a robust personal device policy in place, and if you choose to adopt “BYOD” (Bring Your Own Device), ensure you take advantage of MAM (Mobile Application Management) that allows sandboxed access to company data on personally owned devices.

So have you got a rogue? Is your data out of your network and out of control? Contact us to discuss Microsoft 365 solutions to make sure your company data is stored correctly and securely. Contact us on  info@allonline365.com or  +27 (21) 205 3650.

www.allonline365.com

International food business: choosing the right software solutions

Choosing the right software solutions for your global business

Implementing an ERP platform for international businesses can be a challenge. Localization? Compliance? Global expansion? Selecting the right platform is not an easy task and could make the difference in where your business stands in the next 10 years. These are the main features to look for.

One single, global IT solution

Foodware 365 connects all your systems together; finance, management business operations, supply chain visibility and so on. This means that all processes, staff and various locations all work in one system and under the same informational structure. Reporting can be a pretty challenging task that impacts analytics and therefore, your decision-making process. Having a global IT solution creates and up to date and accurate representation of where your company is at, and where it is going. And this system saves time and money for your business.

International compliance for your food business

International compliance creates the main challenge for an international food business. With access to complete food quality and safety and tracking and tracing capabilities, your business needs not to worry about callbacks or missing the compliance mark, which could possibly lead to international fees and a blow to the company’s image.

International Software as a Service (SaaS)

Foodware 365 has a number of apps in the works at the moment, being served as Software as a Service (Saas). Software being accessed online via Microsoft’s AppSource and directly installed in one’s computer, anytime and anywhere. These bits of software identify and respond to certain needs or challenges of the food industry. The first six Foodware 365 apps for Business Central will be available soon in Microsoft’s AppSource (Advance Attributes, Customer Item Catalog, Extended Vendor Item Catalog, Packaging, Expiration Management, and Inspection Status).

Standard food specific software

Your business is going international and growth is steadily happening. To support your businesses’ future vision, when choosing your ERP system, you need to consider the modular, systematically expandable approach. Standardization or customizable functionalities are rolled out and integrated in no time in your software platform.

All data at your fingertips in one system

Having multiple data inputs from multiple sources can hinder your overview of analytics. With having all data under one software system, you centralize all information under one platform, in a single system. So you don’t have to worry about how these systems “talk” to each other. Increase the effectiveness of reports without needing external experts to collect and interpret data.

All locations in one system

Foodware 365 for Microsoft Dynamics 365 can help you optimize your business processes so that your food company can fully benefit from growth opportunities. Are your locations spread out throughout the globe? We’re guiding you through all the steps of the implementation systems, from business scan implementation, training, and support. This ensures one system, with localized options for all locations.

You can contact us on  info@allonline365.com or  +27 (21) 205 3650

www.allonline365.com

Resource Credit | Foodware 365

Handling NOOS in fashion: key items for retailers

NOOS

All retailers are looking for the balance in stock which ensures goods to never be out of stock before it’s the end of the season. Nobody wants to sell ‘no’ because of an out of stock situation. For seasonal products, this is inevitable, though, especially because all aim to keep stock levels as low as possible. Never out of stock (NOOS) products, however, are special for fashion retailers. Most of them sell goods marked as NOOS, next to the seasonal collections, continuously. The NOOS season is extraordinary and NOOS items have their own challenges and advantages but are very important for all. They often drive a large portion of the total revenue.

What is the difference between NOOS and seasonal items?

Everyone plans and analyzes their NOOS separate from the seasonal collection, even though these goods are part of the realization of the overall merchandise plan. They always need to be kept on hand and are therefore sourced over and over again, whereas seasonal items usually have one purchase and production period only. This means the inventory and OTB need to be monitored all year long and the goods need to be available in an isolated query for the buyers.

Because the items remain the same, raw materials and maybe production capacity can be purchased more economically. Costing considerations are different, and the calculation can be based on a different logic than the seasonal items. NOOS have a lower investment anyway because they have a very long product life cycle. After the first launch, you can skip the design and sampling phases, which are still very expensive for seasonal items despite some very good digital initiatives of some brand owners.

The exception to the rule in the business of fashion

NOOS items are the exception to the rule that fashion is mostly impossible to forecast. You take less of a gamble when cutting to inventory based on historical sales. Sales are realized across seasons, but therefore also during the same period as the new seasonal items. This can be a challenge. Sales figures for NOOS need to be monitored separately and finance also needs this in their analysis.

Because Never Out Of Stock items are less trendy and can be sold over multiple seasons, and attract a different customer next to the customer who is focused on the seasonal products. In this way, they help to differentiate the appeal to customers. In this era in which customers have a short time span of interest and low brand loyalty, it is important to relate to as many customer groups as possible.

A consistent value proposition for customers

NOOS products also have a higher percentage of returning customers than the seasonal items, because of the appeal of the consistency. Even though the modern customer is easily distracted, we have seen sufficient proof that consistent quality and excellent value proposition is a very strong factor to attract new customers and maintain their loyalty.

Take a closer look at K3 Business Technologies K3 Pebblestone | Fashion for how to identify challenges and what solutions are available for the fashion industry. If you would like to get in touch with one of our consultants about our software solutions you can call us on  +27 (21) 205 3650 or email  info@allonline365.com

www.allonline365.com

Resource Credit | K3 Business Technologies 

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