How To Ensure That Your Remote Employees Are Actually Working

If you operate a business where your employees work remotely, you need to trust that they are performing their tasks as expected. However, it may be challenging to track the remote workers’ activities without reliable data. The good news is that with today’s technology, there are different ways that you can use to make sure that the employees are doing their work. Read on to learn everything you want to know about how to ensure that your remote employees are working.

Set Measurable Goals

It is vital to set measurable goals that are also easy to achieve. You need to involve the workers in the goal-setting process, so they can also share the same vision of the company. Workers who are treated as important are productive. They are also determined to ensure that they attain short and long-term goals. It is essential to see if a worker can complete different tasks assigned to them. If some members are failing to meet their target goals, it means that you may need to make necessary changes. You can easily monitor the performance of remote employees if you set realistic and attainable goals. 

Workers will be more focused on their tasks if they know everything that is expected of them. Make the work simple and also set deadlines. Supervising employees who work remotely is not feasible. Therefore, talking to your employees is vital when you give them feedback and acknowledgment for completing their tasks. You must position yourself as an effective team leader who is ready to listen to the concerns of the members. Define all the processes that can help each member to meet their tasks. Without smart goals, your employees will be doomed.  

Track Productivity

For a purely digital company, it is possible to monitor the activities of each employee every minute. You can achieve this by using employee monitoring software that helps to track the time every employee spends doing different tasks online. For instance, with this software, it is possible to track the time spent by every worker doing productive work or browsing social media. The main advantage of this employee time tracking software is that it helps track the overall productivity of each worker. You can detect people who are doing unproductive things during work time. This will help you contact them directly and remind them to focus on their work. 

You can use the software to evaluate the overall performance of remote workers. If you realize that the majority of workers are not productive, you can discuss with them to address the issues. If the employees know that their activities will be monitored, they will put more effort to increase their productivity level. Even if someone is working in a distant area, they will turn into an active worker.

Schedule Check-ins

Check-ins provide you with real-time data about what each employee is doing at a specific time. For instance, all the workers must check-in their time for short breaks or any other activities that are not job-related. If you get this kind of system, you can track your workers and know what they are doing at any given time. You will also be able to use real data to ensure that all the employees are on track to finish their tasks. It is vital to check if employee productivity is consistent or fluctuates. Every worker needs to put more effort into their work.   

Allow Workers to Make Decisions

When employees work remotely, they rarely interact physically with the managers, who in most cases are decision-makers. However, there are chances that remote workers are likely to encounter some challenges in their job. Instead of waiting for the manager to solve the problems that may arise every time, it is good to give the employees the autonomy to make decisions that can affect their work. This will also motivate the workers to develop a sense of belonging to the organization if they are treated as valuable assets. They will put the optimum effort into their job if they are happy about the treatment they get.    

We are living in changing times that are affecting almost all facets of life. New technology has introduced a new concept of working remotely. With the COVID-19 global pandemic, remote working has spread to several sectors now. To ensure that the workers are paying attention to their work, it is crucial to set realistic goals. You also need to use remote employee monitoring software to track the activities of each individual. It is also a good idea to schedule check-ins and track productivity.

5 Design Tricks That Will Increase Your Workspace Productivity

Do you want to increase your productivity at work? Do you want to get more done in a day? If so, then it is time for you to make some changes to your office.

All the people who have succeeded in business know that office design and layout is one of the most important parts of it. It can help employees organize their work and make it easier to find things. However, not all companies understand how big of an impact this can have on their employees’ productivity. It can get tricky if your employees have to focus a lot of their time on finding which tasks to do. It might lead to difficulties in executing tasks and affect overall productivity. There are some task management tools that can help maximize productivity at work.

It’s not just about how much space you have, but about how you use it. In this lesson, we will explore some of the best office design tricks that will help increase your productivity at work.

1. Consider Your Layout

The most important thing to consider when designing your office is the layout. Company culture is deeply rooted in the office’s design. In order to create a positive, productive environment, it’s essential to have an office layout that employees are happy with.

The first step in deciding where your office should be is figuring out what type of business you’re operating and the amount of space you’ll need. Whether it’s a simple laptop setup or a large warehouse, the type of business will dictate what type of setup is needed. If you’re just starting up, then we recommend looking for an affordable place that has enough space for all your equipment and furniture. If you know exactly what kind of office space you want, then there are websites that can help provide these quotes from facilities.

2. Keep Things Comfortable

One of the most important things for your employees is a comfortable office space. To keep your employees happy, you should make sure they are comfortable in their work environment. It is important that they are protected from environmental factors that could impact their performance and productivity at work.

There are many factors that make a comfortable office space. Temperature, lighting, noise levels, proximity to coffee shops and lunch spots and more all need to be taken into account when you’re designing your office layout.

You can also increase work quality and employee happiness in your office without spending a ton of money. Here are some simple tweaks you can make around the office that will do just that:

  1. Keep the mood light with bright colors that suit your company culture
  2. Allow employees to listen to music, as it increases focus and productivity
  3. Offer food options for employees who need them
  4. Encourage breaks by giving them plenty of space for their lunch breaks or coffee breaks
  5. Set up a designated workspace for naps
  6. Offer ergonomic chairs and desks

3. The Psychology of Color

The colors that we design our office spaces with are not just for aesthetics; they can have a major effect on the productivity of our employees. For example, when the color blue is used, it stimulates employees and helps them focus. On the other hand, red stimulates people to move and be more active.

Studies show that people feel safer, more creative, and more productive when they are in an environment with warmer colors (like reds and oranges). For example, one study found that participants who were in a room painted in red were more productive than those who were in a room painted blue.

There are many ways to implement color into the workplace: changing the office colors, adding accent colors to certain furniture or objects, or painting the outside of the building.

4. Improve the Lighting

Improving the lighting in your office is one of the easiest things you can do to boost productivity. A study found that those who spent their entire day under artificial lights were twice as likely to experience depression and anxiety as those who had access to natural light all day long.

There are a number of ways you can do this, but most have a similar effect. You could move your desk to a room with more natural light, use lamps or soft light bulbs that mimic natural light, or by some form of daylighting system. The benefits of these changes are clear and well documented.

5. Nail Your Desk

The ergonomics of a workstation can dramatically affect your mood and productivity. Proper ergonomic setups are essential to long-term success in the workplace. A study by the Ergonomics Society found that over 30% of office workers experience lower back pain, while 25% experience neck pain. These adjustments can help alleviate some of these symptoms and make co-workers more comfortable in their workspace.

Employers should consider these quick ergonomic checks to make sure their employees are comfortable and not distracted by discomfort. You should have a desk set up that is appropriate for their needs and takes into account their body type. This includes height and depth adjustments, placement of monitors in the correct position, chair height and armrests if they use them, as well as adjusting monitor tilt angle to avoid glare from lights or windows.

Final Words

Effective workspace setup and organization can make all the difference to one’s productivity. The way that your workplace is set up could be affecting how productive you are on a day-to-day basis. Minimizing distractions and maximizing space can help increase workplace productivity.

If you have any concerns about this guide or have more ideas for a new space, feel free to comment below. We’ll be happy to hear from you.

Useful Asset Management Tools and Software for The Energy Sector

In this digital era, there is a high need for businesses to manage and track their assets. With everything technology has brought about, tracking and managing assets have become a bit complicated. Furthermore, there is high insecurity of data with the employee turnover. There is a lot that a company can cost from mismanaged and misplaced assets. Companies tend to spend more than they need without proper tracking of their assets. They need to have an accurate picture of their assets and where they are located. This is very crucial for the energy sector that provides utilities such as water, electricity, and gas to businesses and households. This sector faces a lot of challenges in asset management and areas like equipment maintenance.

Resolving Challenges in Energy Sector with Asset Management

The energy sector relies on heavy usage of assets and asset management tools have become important. Companies like Neara provide asset management software for a power line. You can also get the best power line design for pole compliance and efficiency. Assets management tools such as CMMS and AMS provide many benefits to organizations. Some of the benefits reaped from these tools include;

  • Creation of an active preventive maintenance program
  • Real-time tracking of assets and their performance
  • Generating RIO for individual assets
  • Managing inventories accurately
  • Tracking the life cycle of assets
  • Scheduling and prioritizing work orders

The main benefit of using asset management tools in the energy sector is to collect data in real-time with a centralized system. When this data is accessible to managers, technicians, and workers, it speeds up operations and provides an overall overview of all assets that still hold value. IoT tools are best for collecting real-time performance details of an asset. IoT devices can be used to:

  • Assess the condition of an asset
  • Assess the usage history of an asset
  • Check for the latest compliance and permit history
  • Check the repair and maintenance history

CMM, AMS, and IoT devices are the best for asset management. With the data collected from these, it is easy to work on important assets like towers and transmitters. The utility sector has technicians employed specifically for repairing and maintaining aging infrastructure to minimize the chances of outage or failure. That means that these experts must have accurate data for active response. Accurate data provides more visibility and a connection between the technicians in the field and the workers in the office.

Real-time collection of data using assent management software helps in the proper calculation of asset RIO. A company in the energy sector can get a rough idea of the value of its assets. Calculating asset RIO is done by calculating the cost of maintenance and operation. Through this calculation, it becomes easy to decide if the equipment or asset will be worth replacing or throwing away at the end of its life cycle.

IoT devices can be used to minimize the costs of maintenance and avoid failure. IoT makes it easy for companies to collect accurate data on the performance of assets. Devices like trackers, sensors, and barcodes interact and pass the information to the central management system where the data is stored. Asset management tools can help companies in the energy sector in different ways as follows.

  • Reducing risks and safety issues of their assets
  • Approaching maintenance proactively
  • Reducing impact on the environment
  • Improving the use of renewable sources of energy such as solar systems, and wind and hydronic turbines

Conclusion

These are important asset management tools and software suitable for the energy sector. When finding one, you need to identify the gaps in your assent management and maintenance. You can also compare software based on the company’s needs for asset tracking and management.

The Best Apps for MS Teams Free and Paid

As Microsoft’s Teams application becomes an ever-increasing staple in the work environment and Microsoft’s conscious decision to allow third-party developers to contribute to the workplace has seen a flood of apps to supplement your workflow. Here is a list of the top free and paid-for apps that will boost your productivity.

VirtoSoftware

VirtoSoftware offers both free and paid-for apps laser focus on improving workplace productivity. The free MakeSomeBreak is great for those who realize too late they should have scheduled some break time for a coffee or to get some fresh air. Taking a break every now and then is now being seen as vital to a successful endeavor. The app allows users to schedule break times with a click of a button and to the user’s preferences. 

The developer’s paid-for apps for MS Teams like the Kanban Board App are a godsend for those who follow Agile methodologies. The app acts as a task management interface specifically designed to include a scrum board allowing for better visualization and management of tasks.

MindMeister

This app has been around for some time but the importance of mind mapping for professionals has never dissipated. Offered as both a free tier package and a monthly pro subscription with superior features, the app allows for the quick and legible creation of mind maps that can be used by an entire team at a moment’s notice. MindMeister’s true selling point is that it is a one-stop mind map creator without the need to rely on other third-party messaging apps.

GitHub

For those working on digital projects being able to track any changes to the development’s codebase is vital. GitHub enables exactly this eagle-eyed approach to be readily adopted. GitHub now offers many of its core features for free. There are paid-for packages, but teams will only need to consider those when they cross certain generous usage thresholds.

The GitHub app for Teams allows team leaders and developers to see all changes without having to open new browser tabs and login pages. Another great advantage of the app is that code snippets can be shared by team members with ease in-app.

Trello 

Trello is a complete project management solution in app form capable of MS Teams integration. Trello functionality means that projects and tasks can be updated without even needing to leave the Teams Chat service. All information is presented in an easily digestible way, preventing things from becoming a mess.

Offered in both free and paid versions as is the typical business model of today, the free version is incredibly feature-rich for the price tag of zero. 

The apps provided above were picked for their usefulness to an incredibly broad scope of businesses. The apps above are also apps that can put productivity into high gear. More specialized apps exist for specific needs that are equally as good as those mentioned above but have a smaller target market.

What are the Common File Storage Options for Small Businesses?

For most businesses, data ranks high in the list of most valuable assets. It follows that every small business owner must have a good strategy for data storage to ensure its safety and ease of accessibility. The good news is that there are plenty of secure storage options for small businesses. 

Before we look at some of the common data storage options for small businesses, let us first understand why security is vital when choosing a storage option.

Security is critical when considering a storage option for your business.

As many businesses shift to remote working, the question of data security has become a big concern. 

Many businesses turn to virtual private networks, often referred to as VPNs, as a way to minimize data security risk. Unfortunately, this storage option may not be as secure as most people think and may be somewhat overwhelming, especially if your employees are not quite tech-savvy. 

Luckily, you can find better alternatives to VPN, such as a file server, which is a simple and secure way for remote and in-office workers to share daily work.

Common data storage options for small business

On-premises

As the name suggests, an on-premises data storage solution involves having servers owned and managed by the data owner themselves. 

For larger organizations, the servers could be located at a private data center facility. However, a data storage system could consist of only a few machines in a dedicated room or closet for small businesses. 

Whatever you choose to work with, the defining factor of an on-premises storage option is that the data owner will have full responsibility for the premises on which the infrastructure holding the data is located. That way, you have greater control over the security and the accessibility of the data. 

However, on-premises storage may be a bit costly to set up compared to other file storage options for small businesses.

Colocation 

In the initial stages of your business, you may be content with an on-location data storage solution. But you may soon realize that your storage could be more demanding as your business begins to experience growth.

Fortunately, colocation may be a good option to help continue enjoying the control that is almost equal to an on-premises solution without having to deal with managing your equipment. In other words, you will collocate your equipment with a data center facility, which allows you to enjoy the features of the data center’s network infrastructure, such as equipment management and comprehensive security.

Cloud storage

Cloud storage is another excellent option for file storage for small businesses. Much like in colocation, the physical environment (or servers) is typically owned and managed by the hosting company.

One of the biggest advantages of using cloud storage is that it is cheap in that it does not require much in terms of investment. Additionally, cloud solutions provide for easy scalability, and your business can always source more storage space as needed without the need for extra hardware.

The main drawback to a cloud storage solution is its security risks due to its open nature. However, that doesn’t mean you could never use cloud storage for your business. 

For greater security, you may opt for private cloud deployments, which are implemented through vitalized infrastructure and offer better levels of security.

Final words

File and data storage is critical for any business. That is why you shouldn’t wait until you run out of space to create more. Instead, always plan ahead of time to avoid inconveniences that could cost you time and money.

Want To Lower Your Business Electricity Bill This Summer? Find Out How

Every business aims to increase production and reduce operating costs to the barest minimum. Electricity usage plays a crucial role in every business operation irrespective of the company’s sector. So, the higher the electricity utilized by a company, the higher the payment for the electricity bill.  

However, energy cost payable varies, and usage is subject to weather conditions. For instance, during winter, when the weather is cold and snowy, air-conditioning, refrigerators, and other cooling appliances usage drop drastically due to the cold weather, thus reducing the electricity bill. But the situation changes inversely during summer due to a high level of heat. 

To reduce your business electricity cost during summer, here are some tips to help you achieve your goal.

1. Install Daylight Control 

Daylight control is a technological device that uses sensors to adjust electric lighting in response to available daylight. This device reduces electrical bulb energy consumption, and it is suitable for a business situated in areas where sunlight is prevalent. With daylight control installed within your business premises, you will be able to minimize energy usage and cut down energy costs payable by at least 20% – 80%. 

In addition, if you newly install daylight control, ensure you check if it is compatible with your bulbs. However, if you have previously installed one before, check them out to see if they are still in good condition. 

2. Change The Air-conditioning Filters

When the weather is hot during summer, your air-conditioning needs to be in good shape due to rising heat. To minimize the cost of air-conditioning, always prioritize maintenance by changing the filter when the need arises. The continuous usage of a damaged filter usually causes the air-conditioning unit to overwork, leading to increased energy usage to power the appliance. In addition, if your business is situated in an area prone to dirt or dust, ensure you change the air-conditioning filter at least once per month.

3. Change your energy provider 

A lot of businesses use the same energy provider for many years, without realizing that they may be spending thousands of pounds monthly when there are cheaper options out there. The energy market is highly competitive and each company tries to offer the best price to their clients. Take advantage of this fact using this link and compare the pricing you are currently on with what other companies are offering. You might just be able to save a couple of pounds by just changing your energy provider. 

4. Nothing Compares To Natural Air

The primary purpose of installing cooling appliances such as air-conditioning and ceiling fans is to cool down the hot atmosphere, especially during the summer when the sun is more burning. If your company location is close to areas where the climate is cool at night and breezy during the day, using natural air to reduce heat is not a bad idea to conserve energy.

To reduce your energy cost and consumption, open your windows during the day, using natural ventilation to cool down the atmosphere without relying solely on air-conditioning and ceiling fans. Using natural ventilation is costless and healthier for the body system than air-conditioning other appliances.

5. Check out for insulation

Insulation is when air from outside enters the building, and conditioned air escapes through cracks. If your office space is insulated, it can be challenging to identify, making it difficult to ventilate. Always check through for any form of roof leakages to identify leaking spots. Eliminating the flow of air from outside and inside will keep your electricity consumption and cost at bay.

6. Unplug unused devices 

During working hours or close of business, ensure that devices that are not in use are correctly unplugged from their respective outlets. Depending on the company’s nature of business, only devices needed for daily operation should remain plugged. In a situation where some appliances or equipment will have to remain plugged consistently, you can reduce their energy consumption by using power strips. The use of power strips ensures that power consumption by devices is minimal when not in use. 

Every business needs electricity to sustain its operations. However, as a profit-oriented establishment, there is a need to block loopholes and manage cost-effectively. During summer, the weather becomes hotter compared to spring, autumn, and fall. To make the atmosphere around the business facility cooler, heat-controlling appliances such as ceiling fans and air conditioners must be in good condition. 

Following the tips outlined in this piece, you can effectively minimize your business energy cost all summer and reap the benefits of reduced energy consumption. Apart from saving you so much money, it’s also so much better for the environment. 

Top Tips to Help You Build Your App Faster and More Precise

App development has become a serious industry in the year 2021. It’s difficult to think about any brand or its presence online without using apps. Apps provide an attractive and easy way to connect users to your products and to brand your business. A lot of work goes into building the perfect app for your business. Whether your app will be designed to sell your product, communicate with your customers, or save pictures of cute cats, there’s a lot to think about. 

Developing an app is a great way to keep up with the times and bring your business more income. There are a lot of steps between having an idea for a great app and the final finished product. If you’ve ever wanted to know what you need to craft the perfect app, you’ve come to the right place! Here are the top tips you need to help you build your app the right way and in record time. Follow these tips to build your app faster and better!

Start with a Strong Concept

The first step in any successful business or personal venture is to make a plan. When it comes to creating and designing an app, it can be very easy to get muddled up in all the details. For starters, you need to identify what exactly your app will be providing to its users. Decide on the objectives of your app and what the overall concept is before you start the programming. Create a vision board of all the functions you would like to include to achieve your business goals through the app. Get creative and distill whatever great ideas you come up with into a solid, easy-to-follow plan that has room for improvement.

Who is the App For?

The next step in good app design is figuring out who the target audience is. The best idea in the world for an app means nothing if you don’t have a market for it. Identify your audience by researching the business potential of your app. This step is crucial for constructing both a successful and profitable app. Conduct some surveys, monitor the stats and trends, and ask around. There are plenty of ways to gain intel on who would be interested in your app. Once you’ve identified your target audience, you can begin to work on how to best connect with and provide for them.

How will your App Make Money?

Developing an app can cost a pretty penny. When developing a successful app you need to make sure that it will be profitable for your company in the long run. It’s important to ensure that the app is either lucrative or that development is effective and inexpensive. Outsourcing developers and app designers from flutter app development company is a great way to keep costs low while working. Outsourced professionals can finish the job quicker and better. There are many ways for your app to make money. In-app purchases, pay to download, or advertisements are all great ways to make sure that your app pays for itself. Research and decide on what would work best for your business.   

Features you Need and Features you Want

The next step in perfecting your app design and function is deciding on what features to add. Features make up a large part of why users like or dislike certain apps. Many businesses make the mistake of adding too many features to their apps which has a negative effect. When deciding on features, focus on the bare essentials. Take inspiration from popular successful apps and make them your own. When developing an app, adding is always easier than removing so think less is more when choosing what features to add. Prioritize function over beauty and your app will surely be a success.

Design and Develop your Prototype 

Now that you’ve answered all the tough questions, it’s finally time to start designing and developing. Get creative and find inspiration for your app design and have some fun with it. Choosing the color scheme, font, and animations is the easiest part. This part requires experienced graphic designers and developers. and After you’ve designed the wireframe, user journey, and user interface it’s time to begin the development stage. This is always the trickiest and most nerve-wracking part of app development. It’s important to not lose hope in your developers. Make sure you have the right team for the job or this stage will take a while. 

Keep your Team on the Same Page

The biggest mistake businesses make when developing an app is a lack of communication. In order for your app development to flow as smoothly as possible, you need to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Coordinating creative projects and projects that require a lot of people working together can be difficult. Remember to send those update emails, hold those meetings and try to stay on top of things. Take the necessary steps to ensure that everyone stays in the loop and that no one is doing their own thing without supervision. This will save you both time and money in the long run while you develop your app.

Review and Debug

After you’ve successfully released your prototype or final version of your app, you are officially done with phase one. Phase two includes reading through, listening to, and taking feedback from users. This phase is crucial if you want to develop a successful and respectable app. Consumer feedback can let you know about any bugs or problems that have slipped by testing. Constructive criticism from consumers can prove invaluable to your app’s longevity and future. Make sure to be open to suggestions from your audience and remember that a developer’s job is never truly done.

App development is a huge undertaking for any business of any size. If you want to make sure the development process goes as smoothly as possible you need to start off with a good plan. Having a strong concept beforehand and asking yourself the right questions is key. Doing the right research and planning ahead will save you both time and money. Finding the right team of expert designers, coders, and developers is necessary to get the job done right and fast. Keep your team on the same page and make sure that everyone is motivated and doing their job. Listen to your users and modify what you can to provide them with the best experience possible and your app is sure to be a success.

Understanding and Preventing Privilege Creep

Businesses are in the midst of a transition. Many are trying to determine what the right path forward is for them after the pandemic, as far as remote work or hybrid work. Some companies are bringing employees back to the office full-time, while others are going to implement more flexible policies.

There’s a lot to think about and potentially reconfigure for businesses right now after they were thrown into having employees work remotely because of COVID-19.

IT teams, in particular, are taking on a lot of that work. The IT teams in many workplaces are trying to figure out how to balance changing needs with cybersecurity risks that can come with long-term remote or hybrid work.

They also have to think about what it might look like to manage day-to-day IT concerns when teams are dispersed some or all of the time.

One big issue that can become more pervasive with remote work is privilege creep. It can go under the radar more if workers are on a hybrid or fully remote schedule, and it creates a significant cybersecurity threat.

With that in mind, the following are some of the main things to know about privilege creep and preventing it from occurring in an organization.

What is Privilege Creep?

Privilege creep is also known as access creep. This occurs when an employee, often gradually over time, gets more access rights than are needed to do their job.

Privilege or access creep can be the result of not revoking access that was granted for temporary or special projects or not making the necessary changes to reflect different job duties or requirements. When someone gets a promotion or takes on a different role in a company and they get new access privileges, but their previous roles aren’t revoked, it also contributes to this issue.

Basically, the overarching idea with privilege creep is that employees have access to data, resources, and applications not needed for their duties, which then puts the system at risk.

The biggest risk with privilege creep is often the potential for insider threats to occur. Also, a hacker may be able to get into higher levels of a company network if they have just one set of stolen credentials.

There are problems with compliance that can stem from privilege creep too. If your organization is one that’s in an industry handling sensitive data, such as health records, and there is privilege creep happening, you may not be in compliance with laws and regulations.

Along with cybersecurity issues that can come from privilege or access creep, there’s also an impact on productivity. You want your employees to only use what’s absolutely necessary for their job. The more access they have, the more time they might waste on things like recovering passwords.

Preventing privilege creep can have the added benefit of streamlining workflows.

Conduct Regular Access Reviews

One of the most important things you can do on a regular basis is conducting access reviews.

An access review should be part of your overall cybersecurity plan. Access reviews allow you to get a view of who has access to what. Set a timetable when you’ll regularly conduct access reviews to audit existing permissions.

You can analyze all the user accounts that are part of your organization. Make sure that everyone within the organization has access to only what they need.

If you’re part of a larger organization, you might rotate audits across departments.

Each employee should have access privileges reviewed at least biannually. Their current permissions need to be both assessed and justified during an audit.

You also want to take away permissions they don’t need and delve into why they have those permissions and why they weren’t removed.

Formalize Your Employee Change Process

A good way to avoid privilege creep and other cybersecurity risks is to formalize the steps in the process when an employee goes through a change. This might mean a demotion or promotion or any kind of change in role.

The IT department should be in the loop on these changes in addition to human resources.

Always Follow the Principle of Least Privilege

The Principle of Least Privilege or POLP is a reference to best practices to reduce cybersecurity risks associated with privilege creep.

The idea is that any user, process, or program has the bare minimum privileges required.

By adhering to this principle, you’re reducing the likelihood of an attacker getting access to sensitive data or critical systems.

If there is a compromise in the system, it can stay confined to its origin area, or at least that’s more likely what’s going to happen with POLP.

To provide an example, Edward Snowden leaked millions of files from the NSA because he had admin privileges. His highest-level role was creating backups of the database. Now, in the time since that happened, the NSA uses the principle of least privilege, and around 90% of employees have had higher-level access privileges revoked.

Another example is Target. Hackers got access to tens of millions of Target customer accounts because an HVAC contractor had certain permissions. Target allowed itself to have a broad attack surface because it didn’t implement the principle of least privilege.

A few best practice tips to implement POLP include:

  • As was touched on above, you’ll need to do a privilege audit. You should check all the accounts that currently exist and programs to make sure they have only the permissions needed to do their job.
  • All accounts should, as a rule, start with least privilege. Any new account privileges should, as a default, be as low as possible.
  • All admin accounts should be separated from standard accounts.
  • If someone needs elevated privileges, restrict them only to the time periods when they’re needed.
  • Set it up so that you can track individual actions.

Limiting privileges and maintaining principles of least privilege is an important component of modern cybersecurity. It should be one of the biggest priorities for an organization because not doing so creates an enormous attack surface and opportunities for lateral movement at a minimum.

3 Myths that Surround LMS – Learning Management Systems

Over the past few years, Learning Management Systems have become an indispensable part of the corporate world. There is a steady rise in the Global LMS Market. Businesses across a wide range of industries use LMS solutions, like Litmos LMS, to improve their employee efficiency and productivity. In addition to this, many schools, colleges, and universities are now using LMS to impart quality education without risking the health of their teachers and students during this pandemic.

However, the world is full of surprises. One such surprise is that some organizations are still skeptical about LMS. This is the result of business owners putting their beliefs in baseless myths and misconceptions that float in the market.

If you do not believe us, then keep reading this blog! Here, we have curated a list of the 3 most shocking myths or misconceptions that surround LMS

1. LMS Demands a Large Investment

The biggest myth about LMS is that installing or implementing them in your organization will cost you a fortune. It is believed that the burden it casts upon your financial resources far outweighs the benefits it can ever offer you. Unsurprisingly, this is entirely wrong. While integrating new technology like LMS into your business operations requires a considerable amount of money initially, it proves to be the most cost-effective solution in the long run. This is pure logic. Understand that once you implement an LMS, you will be conducting most of your employee training and learning activities online. LMS will cut down your cost drastically by eliminating the need to maintain physical classroom structures or hire external venues. It will also reduce the time and cost involved in paperwork, transportation etc.

Plus, the market is full of LMS that come with unique and affordable pricing structures. For example, Litmos LMS has a subscription-based pricing structure accompanied by a free trial. You can easily compare all the products available in the market and choose the one that best suits your budget.

2. LMS Only Supports Online Learning

Another misconception about LMS is that they only support online learning. Now, we cannot entirely blame people who believe this theory as the primary function of an LMS is to facilitate online learning. However, organizations need to realize that technological innovations take place at a very high pace. Thus, the advanced versions of LMS that are available today come with an in-built feature of offline access. This means that now your employees can access training and course material even without an active internet connection. They can download all the required content on their device and access it on the offline platform on the LMS itself and learn at their own pace. This feature is particularly beneficial if you are planning to offer employee training during this pandemic. It will allow your employee who might be working from a remote location to continue with his training without worrying about the stability of the internet. This will also protect such employees from feeling left out or inferior for missing out on the training.

In addition to this, LMS also supports Instructor-Led Training (ILT) by allowing you to conduct live classes using its virtual classrooms. Thus, one can truly say that the current learning management system (LMS) is a comprehensive package that encourages various types of learning and is no longer limited to online training.

 3. One Should Always Choose the Most Advanced LMS

The third most common misconception regarding LMS is that one should always choose the most advanced LMS. This is a very misguided approach because the decision of which LMS to implement should depend entirely on your organization’s needs. It is pointless to choose an LMS with all the latest features and uber-cool aspects if your company doesn’t really require them. Thus, instead of running after the most advanced LMS, you should compare and contrast all the available options to find out the one that best suits your needs.

Conclusion

The eLearning sector, like the rest of the world, is riddled with myths. Thus, you should be cautious and verify the accuracy of any information you receive to prevent these myths from affecting your organization.

What to Look for in a Kubernetes Management Solution

Finding a Kubernetes management solution shouldn’t leave you out of sorts or winded from warding off time-wasters on the attack. When you’re trying to deliver applications on time, you need tools to boost company efficiency, not hurt it. To ensure that your Kubernetes system is operating as planned, you should keep your eyes peeled for the following key features in a management tool. 

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is a container-based system designed to help the development and scaling of applications. Initially, Google developed Kubernetes. Later on, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation swooped in and assumed responsibility for management. Today, both big and small companies use this infrastructure because of how readily the entire system scales. 

This system works by creating containers, which are vessels for applications and their libraries. Virtual machines riding inside these containers deploy across nodes, which is a network of associated computers. Once they arrive, the container renders the virtual machines needed to carry out the application.

Kubernetes suits the purpose of creating databases and accessing application data. By dispersing the containers across many nodes, the computing power for the whole system gets distributed out, keeping any singular node from overworking. 

Key facets for a Kubernetes management solution

While many Kubernetes management solutions have all sorts of features, there are some key things to consider when choosing a management solution:

Production usability

A management tool needs to suit your production needs if it’s going to be useful. Security, accessibility, and native managerial tools are essential factors in making a management solution worth your time. You should also ensure that your management solution can scale well and keep up with your Kubernetes infrastructure. 

Future-Proofing

With the trend of multiple cloud solutions at full velocity, many businesses have rejected all-eggs-in-one-basket mentalities and started relying on several cloud vendors to meet their data and storage needs. For those business owners still searching for a management tool that can keep up with day-to-day business operations, this security trend will be crucial as your data needs evolve. 

Ease of use

Managing a cluster of nodes is a challenge in itself. If your management solution introduces another layer of complexity, your team will have a more challenging time keeping the system running well. 

In many cases, data analysis throws administrators for a loop. Luckily, several management solutions offer ways to analyze data natively, letting your admins work more on maintaining the infrastructure. 

Ongoing support and training

Make sure that your Kubernetes management solution comes from a vendor with solid support and training programs. Getting off on the right foot with training will help you launch your solution successfully, while support will ensure solutions as quickly as possible. 

In summary

A Kubernetes management solution should be ready for use at your business, allow you to grow with it, be easy to use, and have ongoing support from the vendor. Extra features sprinkled on top of those spotlighted above are simply frosting and won’t be the most crucial over the long term. 

So, the next time you shop for a management solution, keep these key things in mind to ensure you have the tool you need for the job.