The Impact of Telemetry on Industrial Processes and Cyber Security

Telemetry has revolutionized data collection systems by using sensors to collect and transmit data using special signals and receivers. Typically, telemetry is used in remote or difficult to access locations. Data is captured and stored by servers, then made available via advanced web-based software applications.

Modern telemetry systems use wireless data transfer systems, such as radio, ultrasonic or infrared systems. Data can be transferred using other systems such as a telephone or computer network, optical link or other wired communications. They may also use digital cellular networks to send texts via short message service (SMS).

Telemetry is increasingly being leveraged by the industrial sector to collect and analyze massive amounts of data. The industrial Internet of Things (IoT) connects thousands of different types of sensors, providing web-based access through a simple web-browser, visible on a computer, table or smartphone. Continue reading “The Impact of Telemetry on Industrial Processes and Cyber Security”

Watch Out For Price Gouging Scams During Hurricane Florence

As Hurricane Florence approaches our coast this week, all of North Carolina is under a state of emergency. This means that our state’s price gouging law is in effect as well. Price gouging occurs if businesses or vendors charge excessively high prices in a time of crisis. If you notice businesses in your area charging too much while under a state of emergency, report them to our office by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or by filing a complaint online at http://ncdoj.gov/pricegougingcomplaint. The price gouging law took effect when the state of emergency was declared on Friday, Sept. 7, and will remain in effect until the state of emergency is lifted.

As we track the storm’s progress over the next few days, please be sure to follow readync.org for state weather updates and safety alerts. You can also read more from Attorney General Josh Stein on how to prepare for natural disasters and their aftermath.

This message brought to you on behalf of North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein.

Preparing You for Hurricane Florence

HURRICANE SEASON: PREPARATION AND RECOVERY TIPS

AT THE BEGINNING OF THE HURRICANE SEASON

  • Establish an Emergency Preparedness Plan (EPP) that takes prevention, emergency response, and disaster recovery into consideration. If an EPP is already in place, review and update it as needed for hurricane readiness.
  • Designate an Emergency Coordinator and an EPP Team.
  • Assign responsibility to specific employees for advance arrangements to initiate the plan.
  • Insure that your insurance carrier claims reporting information is up to date.
  • Brace outside storage tanks and outer structures.
  • Inspect all battery powered equipment and backup power.
  • Inspect sewers and drains.
  • Check all drainage pumps.
  • Inspect the roof and flashing for serviceability.
  • Check the landscaping; prune dead branches.
  • Have a supply of plastic or tarpaulins on hand ready to cover water-sensitive equipment.

AT THE APPROACH OF THE HURRICANE

  • Secure and duplicate vital financial records; determine who will be responsible for claims filing/handling in your organization; determine how you will maintain a record of expenses associated with a loss, etc.
  • Review your property insurance policy to familiarize yourself with coverage, deductibles, and your obligations/duties under the policy as coverage can be impacted negatively if those duties are not followed.
  • Inspect roof drains and piping; are they clear of debris and fully functional?
  • Check floor drains and sumps; are they clear of debris and fully functional?
  • Check all storm water catch basins and grates to be sure they are clear of debris.
  • Be sure that roof flashing is secure.
  • Make sure that doors and windows will remain latched.
  • Protect windows from flying debris.
  • Walk the grounds; move objects inside that could become missiles in high winds.
  • Anchor any equipment stored outside that could be moved by high winds.
  • Move supplies stored outside to inside storage.
  • Assemble supplies for the emergency crews and for emergency repairs.
  • Protect vital records against flooding and wind.
  • Secure backup records.
  • Inspect fire protection equipment.
  • Top off fuel in the emergency generators ; test run.
  • Evacuate non-essential personnel.
  • Have remaining personnel take shelter.
  • Check the supply and serviceability of sandbags.

EMERGENCY RESPONSE: DURING THE HURRICANE

  • Patrol the facility continuously, as long as it is safe to do so.
  • Check for any damage to the structure.
  • Check for leaks and fire systems impairment.
  • Complete any emergency repairs that are possible and safe to perform.
  • Shut off any valves where pipes have been broken.
  • Watch for flooding. Use sandbags when necessary.
  • Watch for reverse winds after the eye of the storm has passed. They will affect different areas and perhaps break trees that had been blown in the other direction.

EMERGENCY RECOVERY: AFTER THE HURRICANE

  • Conduct a roll call of all personnel on the premises.
  • Check for safety hazards (downed trees, branches, downed power wires, leaking gas, blocked roof drains, reptiles).
  • Assess the damage.
  • Promptly report the loss to your insurance carrier, contact your MMA Mid-Atlantic Risk Services team for assistance.  Visit www.mma-midatlantic.com to get detailed information on claim reporting.
  • Make temporary repairs to protect the structure and supplies.
  • Photograph and document any damage before making repairs.  If temporary repairs are needed, remember to keep all receipts for materials purchased or costs incurred.
  • Prepare a list of damages in preparation for discussion with an adjuster.
  • If possible, do not discard damaged items before discussion with an adjuster unless that may cause further damage.  If that is the case, take whatever photos you can prior to discarding materials.
  • You may be contacted by various vendors (contractors, public adjusters or restoration firms) asking you to enter into contracts for work.  As always, due diligence should be utilized when deciding which vendors to utilize and/or what contracts to sign.    If emergency work is necessary and authorization is required before an adjuster can respond, any scope of work should be limited to that which would be to reduce the potential for additional bodily injury or property damage.
  • Begin salvage operations.

Here are some helpful links to help you prepare:

We sincerely appreciate your business and are committed to doing everything we can to assist you in the event of a loss. If you have any questions, please contact us.

For more information on Hurricane Preparedness, you may want to visit:
https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/ready.php
https://www.osha.gov/dts/weather/hurricane/preparedness.html

Technology Disrupters Driving Greater Value and Measurable Impact

The pace of change in technology today is truly astounding. Consider how rapidly technology has changed even in the last twelve months. The headlines that we would have thought were from science fiction a year ago are now reality.

Here are a few:

  • NASA Tracks SpaceX Tesla Roadster Starman’s Journey Through Space
  • NeuroLink Symptom Self-Assessment Software
  • 5 Examples of AI Dominating Humans in the World of Gaming
  • AlphaGo Zero Shows Machines Can Become Superhuman Without Any Help

Today’s challenge for the technology industry translates into the need to create practical, actionable and profitable solutions for business. How do technology companies decide which revolutionary technologies are selected for development?

A broader pattern is emerging to help us make sense of the macro forces and macro changes that are occurring. The combination of the latest technologies continues to redefine IT and business. Ideally, technology should work harmoniously with strategy and operations, across boundaries and domains to move beyond vertical or horizontal approaches. Continue reading “Technology Disrupters Driving Greater Value and Measurable Impact”

Arm Your Employees With the Knowledge They Need To Stay Safe in Confined Spaces

Knowledge is power when it comes to keeping your employees safe on the job. That is especially important when it comes to situations with confined spaces. Entering a confined space presents special hazards. If these hazards are not controlled serious injury or even death can result from asphyxiation, exposure to toxic or flammable gasses, mechanical hazards and electrocution.

A confined space is defined as a space that has limited or restricted means for entry or exit and is not designed for continuous occupancy. Confined spaces include, but are not limited to, tanks, vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults, pits, manholes, tunnels, equipment housings, ductwork, pipelines, etc.

Continue reading “Arm Your Employees With the Knowledge They Need To Stay Safe in Confined Spaces”

Customer Service a Key Role in Smart Home Business Success

The demand for smart home connected devices is exploding and early adopters are taking notice. Sales in the connected home retail space are growing and big brands are paying attention. But after the “cool” factor wears off, consumers have expressed skepticism about the true value that smart home devices will bring their lives.

Early adopters are tech savvy, strive to be on the leading edge, and are generally happy to work with new technology and the challenges which it inevitability creates. Today, early adopters expect to research products online, understand the nuances of the new technology and read detailed product reviews. They are completely comfortable purchasing online, working through the device set-up process – and in many cases don’t need additional assistance.

Mainstream consumers, however, want a seamless, pain-free set up and a guaranteed purchase experience. Many still prefer a retail store experience, seeking to speak with a knowledgeable representative that understands the product and can help them make the best selection for their needs. Continue reading “Customer Service a Key Role in Smart Home Business Success”

15 Best Practices to Protect Your Website from Malware & Cyber-Hacking

As hackers grow faster, more numerous, and more effective, many companies are struggling to protect their websites from cyber-threats. The statistics don’t lie:

  • Over 360,000 new malicious files are detected every day
  • There were 1,188,728,338 known attacks on computers in 2017
  • Damage to businesses by cyber crime is expected to reach $6 trillion by 2021
  • Global spending on cyber security will likely exceed $1 trillion between 2017 and 2021

Website Security is Critical:

These staggering numbers clearly demonstrate why organizations must make website security a critical priority. Various types of cyber-attacks and malicious programs exist. It’s crucial that every IT department understands the following risks: viruses and worms, Trojan programs, suspicious packers, malicious tools, adware, malware, ransomware, denial of service, phishing, cross-site scripting (SQL injection), brute force password attack, and session hijacking.

Read More…

Digital Twin Technology is Transforming the Manufacturing Industry

Manufacturers in today’s economy are leveraging digital technologies to continuously drive greater efficiency, improve customer satisfaction and increase profitability for their organizations. One of the innovative technologies available to help manufacturing companies achieve these goals is digital twin technology.

What is Digital Twin Technology?

A digital twin is a digital replica of something that exists in the real world. With digital twin technology, a physical asset (this could be an object, process or system) is mapped out and a virtual replica is created. The virtual replica – or twin – evolves with and is connected to the original physical asset through the use of smart sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Digital Twin Possibilities in Manufacturing

The potential advantages for digital twin technology in manufacturing goes far beyond the convenience of having a digital twin representative for a particular asset. By creating a network of digital twins, companies can now increase product insight and work more efficiently across engineering, manufacturing, operations and service departments. This enables companies to bridge the physical and digital worlds throughout the entire value chain, driving industry innovation and excellence. Continue reading “Digital Twin Technology is Transforming the Manufacturing Industry”

2018 Report: Managing Cybersecurity

Digital technology, which has made it possible for organizations to amass vast stores of data, has also made it possible for unseen attackers to gain access to that data stealing it, rendering it unusable, holding it electronically for ransom or doing other harm. The term “cyber-attack” only appeared in 1996; by 2017, one study estimated that a typical firm experiences 130 security breaches each year.

Marsh & McLennan Agency surveyed 1,141 executives from small to middle-market organizations across North America, and found that they are clearly concerned about cyber risk — but, by their own admission, they do not have a grasp of how to protect themselves.

Read the full cybersecurity report now…

Growth Trends in Nonprofit Sector Revealed by Performance Data Research

Many nonprofit organizations (NPO) have struggled to scale their organization, according to a research project conducted by Social Finance. Only 200 NPOs have reached the benchmark of $50 million in annual revenues – that’s 0.1 percent of nonprofits that were founded between 1975 and 2008.

Thankfully, a shift is finally happening for the nonprofit sector. Unique fundraising models and best practices have gone a long way to help nonprofits meet donor and customer expectations. In response to the new level of competency and responsiveness, nonprofits are growing their operations and reaching greater levels of social impact.

Every year, Classy, a nonprofit fundraising application, publishes a list of the top 100 growing nonprofit organizations. In order to determine the top 100, a growth score is created based on absolute dollar amounts, factoring in a percentage of growth. Continue reading “Growth Trends in Nonprofit Sector Revealed by Performance Data Research”