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Mobility, Security And Your Business

Nowadays it’s not practical or desirable to ask that employees check their mobile devices at the office door. Mobile is the new way to do business – and it is not risk-free. It is critical that company owners introduce basic security measures so they can safely take advantage of this trend.

Tony Koutakis

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Particularly for small and emerging businesses, encouraging employees to use their own devices – smartphones, tablets and perhaps even laptops – for work purposes is a way to keep the hard costs of going-to-market down.

The problem is that when devices are not company owned, it’s more difficult to ensure that proper security measures like anti-virus software, secure internet settings and firewalls are installed, properly managed and regularly updated.

Even when employees use devices that belong to them, not on loan from a friend or relative, it is unlikely that a business owner can exercise complete control over devices not company-owned.

Giving away control of company information is not a fair price to pay for the use of employees’ devices because the fact is that hackers are not the greatest risk to a company’s security.

Whether inadvertently careless or intentionally destructive, it is employees that are the greatest threat.

Related: 5 First Technology Buys For Your Brand New Business

These mobility-related security measures will keep your on-the-go business protected:

Your IT policy must be mobile too

Include specific guidelines regarding the use of company- or employee-owned mobile devices in your IT policy. Everyone from top management down must be held to the same policy for it to be taken seriously, and because top management can also be responsible for security breaches.

Security basics are not negotiable

Insist on anti-virus and malware software on all mobile devices used on the company network, and don’t expect your employees to pay for it. Chances are that staff won’t remember to update their software on their own so automate the process as much as possible.

Related: How Internet Access Is Changing Africa

Take advantage of built-in security

All modern mobile devices have a degree of security built into the operating system, so use it. Password-protect devices, use lock-screens and consider remote access options that allow you to wipe machines that are lost or stolen.

Apple devices offer ‘Find My iPhone’, and ‘Android Device Manager’ similarly allows users to locate misplaced smartphones and tablets before company data on the devices is misplaced too.

Don’t forget to protect your network

As a minimum, protect your network with a managed virtual private network (VPN) and a dynamic firewall to encrypt network communication.

A VPN is a gatekeeper that verifies permissions when data is transferred between mobile device and business IT network. 

Ask if employees have to be mobile

Consider the degree to which employees need access to company information to do their jobs, and manage their access to sensitive data accordingly.

For example, consider whether new employees require full access to your network immediately, or whether you can delay access to the completion of a probation period. By limiting access to your valuable data, you limit the fallout from a security breach.

Related: The Internet of Things

Disconnect ex-employees

Even when employees leave the company under the happiest of circumstances, it is important to disconnect them from the company network, and prevent access to company data timeously. Consider retaining the ability to remove company data from a device remotely just in case an employee leaves the company involuntarily.

Taking risks may be in an entrepreneur’s DNA, but a cautionary approach to IT security – mobile or otherwise – is good business practise that allows SME owners to take full advantage of trends like business mobility to manage and grow their companies.

Tony Koutakis is the Executive Head of Ignite – an internet and communication technology services provider specifically focused on South African SMEs. He is convinced that with the correct business and technical support to connect, run and grow their businesses, South African SMEs have the potential to transform the economy. Ignite offers fast, easy, and affordable access to services and digital tools in four areas essential for SME growth - Communication, Connectivity, Cloud and Business Applications.

Company Posts

English: The Language Of Oppression Or Opportunity?

We offer a wide range of courses specifically aimed at professionals who want to enhance their professional English communication skills. Some of our most popular courses are.

Wits Language School

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Having to communicate professionally in English sometimes strikes fear into the hearts of many South Africans irrespective of their gender, age or business field; the mere thought of presenting to a group of colleagues in English or submitting a report to your manager is daunting and nerve wracking. If you are one of the many, do not be embarrassed; you are in good company.

Despite South Africa’s recognition of 12 official languages and its embracing of multilingualism, English continues to be the dominant language within schools and workplaces and competence is considered a pathway to upward mobility and professional opportunities. While it is evident that one requires good English skills to excel academically and professionally, little attention has been paid to improving the English proficiency of South Africans. This may in part be because English is an official language and it is assumed that all South Africans can speak English well. However, the differences in the type of English one is exposed to and the difference between fluency and accuracy are overlooked.

South Africans are unique; we are multilingual, vibrant and dynamic individuals who utilise a wide variety of linguistic resources when we communicate. It is not odd to find us communicating in multiple languages at the same time; we code switch when we cannot remember the correct English word or when we want to express a thought accurately but cannot find an appropriate English word and we do it effortlessly and automatically. These skills set us apart as innovative language users as we mesh and blend languages in our common goal to communicate accurately.

Related: Knowing The Basics Is Not Good Enough Anymore

Unfortunately, these skills do not hold us in good stead in the workplace where standard and ‘proper’ English is required and suddenly we lose confidence and nerve. We become more conscious of how much we do not know and question what we do know. It is easy to feel overwhelmed and paralysed by fear when you have to communicate solely in English and are suddenly evaluated against monolingual, Western, middle class norms. Furthermore, it is easy to assume if we incorporate more complex words and use lengthy phrases as well as adopt an American or British accent, our English language skills will suddenly improve. This is a myth; do not believe it!

In order to communicate effectively and appropriately, one needs to be cognisant of the following factors:  the audience, the purpose of the message, the message itself, the grammatical accuracy of the message and the tone of the message. Simply put, one has to ensure that the meaning of the message is always concise and coherent and is phrased in a manner that can be easily understood by the reader or listener.  Secondly, one has to ensure that the grammatical accuracy of the message is maintained; editing and proofreading are essential in order to win the reader’s or listener’s confidence in what you are communicating.

Here at Wits Language School, we are passionate about improving the language skills of South African second language learners and our courses are especially designed to help you improve your English language skills. We offer a wide range of courses specifically aimed at professionals who want to enhance their professional English communication skills. Some of our most popular courses are:

Communicative Grammar Are you interested in improving your editing skills and English grammar knowledge?

Join our Communicative Grammar course.

English Speaking and Pronunciation Do you want to improve your pronunciation and gain more confidence speaking in English?

Join our English Speaking and Pronunciation course.

Business Writing Are you interested in improving your proposal or minutes writing skills?

Join our Business Writing Skills course

Presentation Skills Do you want to give presentations that are dynamic and interesting?

Join our Presentation Skills course.

Report Writing Do you want to write reports that are coherent and well organised?

Join our Report Writing course.

English for Critical Thinking in Business Are you interested in improving your critical thinking skills and becoming a strategic thinker?

Join our Critical Thinking in Business course.

 

Climb the ladder to success and apply today. Applications for 2019 are now open. Wits Language School, changing lives and opening doors.

Read next: Tips To Becoming Fluent

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Company Posts

Call For Applications: Young Entrepreneurs Global Exposure Trips

Closing Date: 30 November 2018

Investec Specialist Bank and Asset Management

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Investec CSI’s Young Entrepreneurs Programme provides South African entrepreneurs from various sectors with global exposure.

Every year Investec, in partnership with En-novate, sends a group of young entrepreneurs from various sectors to specifically selected countries in order to gain global exposure. Each itinerary provides them with opportunities to network and engage with venture capitalists, funders and captains of their specific industry. The aim is for them to gain learning and exposure to innovation, technology and process advancements. The programme also offers networking with subject and sector experts.

Applications for the Global Exposure trips are now open to ALL entrepreneurs – regardless of sector – who meet the criteria. Closing date is Friday 30 November 2018.

Applications link:

https://www.investec.com/en_za/welcome-to-investec/corporate-responsibility/our-community/Entrepreneurship.html

The programme itinerary and each trip is customised according to the profiles of the candidates, stage of business and specific sector.

By way of example, Investec recently sent 14 entrepreneurs from South Africa to Berlin to meet people doing Out of the Ordinary things in textiles: https://www.investec.com/en_za/focus/young-entrepreneurs/sa-entrepreneurs-return-inspired.html

Related: En-novate Goes Toe-To-Toe With The Best In The World

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Company Posts

Buy Or Invest In The Next Futuredev Properties Sandton Development

Looking to buy or invest in the next up and coming Sandton residential development? Futerdev Properties are currently developing Full-Title Free standing units, perfectly located just a few km’s away from the hustle and bustle of Sandton’s Central Business District.

Futuredev Properties

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Nearly half of all the office development taking place in South Africa right now is happening in Sandton. Sandton Central is the epicentre of this development, which includes many of the most cutting-edge, exciting and innovative new buildings on the continent.

Sandton Central is well established as Africa’s financial and business capital and continues to grow with developments that embody its vibrant, high-energy ‘live, work, play’ environment. It also currently holds the title of Africa’s Riches Square Mile.

With more people looking to be part of this live, work, play environment and the number of foreigners travelling to Johannesburg for business and work, the demand for residential property around Sandton Central has grown exponentially.

Live, Work And Play: Your Home Away From Home

Futuredev Properties specialises in developing Full-Title Residential Homes in the Sandton Area – Morningside and Bryanston to be specific. The most recent surveys have listed Bryanston as one of the better performing suburbs in terms of Capital Growth.

Our properties offer family living and a home-away-from-home feeling for those working in and around Sandton on longer or shorter assignments.

FutureDev Properties was founded by Akbar Hassim. We have established ourselves not only as an independent, but also a Turnkey Developer – being able to buy Land, Finance the Real Estate Deals, Create, Control and Orchestrate the process of the Development from beginning to end.+

“Our approach to Property Development and Investment therein involves thorough financial and delivery risk analysis, thereafter followed by focused and efficient delivery.”

This approach is underpinned by many years of experience, and an impeccable entrepreneurial spirit.

Buy And Invest In The Latest Residential Developments

We have a number of Residential Developments currently underway, each at various stages. These Full-Title Free standing units, afford residents space and comfort within the security of cluster/ estate living. Perfectly located just a few km’s away from the hustle and bustle of Sandton’s Central Business District, and within close proximity to all major Malls & Shopping Centres, Schools, Hospitals, Gyms and places of worship.

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We afford buyers and investors an opportunity to buy or invest in Prim Residential Real Estate, that provide the perfect balance of Excellent Capital Growth and Steady Income Yields.

Our Offering For Investors & Buyers

  • Full-Title Free-Hold Residential Cluster Developments
  • Prime locations, close to all essential amenities
  • Perfect balance of high Capital Appreciation and Steady Income Yields
  • Investor buyers can purchase with Rental Guarantees

*Limited number of investor units available

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