Petra launches Artisanal Small Scale Mining in Koffiefontein - IOL

Petra launches Artisanal Small Scale Mining in Koffiefontein - IOL

Petra launches Artisanal Small Scale Mining in Koffiefontein - IOL

Posted: 31 Oct 2019 11:00 AM PDT

File picture: Stefan Wermuth

RUSTENBURG - Petra Diamonds Limited on Thursday, launched an Artisanal Small Scale Mining (ASM) initiative in Koffiefontein in the Free State.

"Petra believes that there is a space for artisanal small scale miners to co-exist with formalised, large-scale mining, since ASM can often profitably recover diamonds from resources that would be unprofitable, or at best marginal, for a larger operator due to the capital and overhead costs involved," the diamond mining group said. 

"A decision was taken to make available some of the Tailings Mineral Resources (TMR), notably the resource generally referred to as the 'Eskom dump', for the benefit of the community of Koffiefontein. The intention is that properly regulated artisanal mining, which would comply with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, as well as other standards for such operations set by, inter alia, the United Nations, will be conducted on this resource."

The aim of the initiative was to create a framework within which ASM could be conducted by community members in a legal and regulated manner.

This was the second ASM initiative put in place by the company, further to Petra's efforts involved in establishing the ASM sector in Kimberley. 

What is cyber insurance and why your business needs it - Fox Business

Posted: 31 Oct 2019 03:38 PM PDT

Data breaches are an intimidating fact of life for businesses big and small. Being a victim of one can not only have embarrassing consequences, but it can hurt an establishment's credibility, which in turn means less business.

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Just this month,, Yahoo and Bed Bath & Beyond disclosed that they were hit by cyber-attacks that compromised sensitive customer information. Even social media giant Facebook has taken a hit over the hundreds of thousands of users who had their personal information leaked to Cambridge Analytica's Strategic Communication Laboratories through a third-party app that posed as a personality quiz.

"We didn't take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during a 2018 hearing on Capitol Hill.


Businesses have taken notice of these online threats and have increasingly sought out cyber insurance to protect digital files and databases.  A report from insurance broking and risk management company Marsh revealed that U.S. clients buying cyber insurance has doubled, from 19 percent in 2014 to 38 percent in 2018.

"It's a pretty new form of insurance. In the last 10 years, it's really been more prevalent," Robert Morris, president and broker at Rampart Insurance Services explained to FOX Business.

He added, "We're seeing an increase every year in excess of 30 percent of our clientele are buying cyber insurance."

Regarding what cyber insurance actually is, Morris said the following:

"Cyber insurance is a product that you buy and a policy is issued by an insurance carrier that's pretty much based on the risks inherent in the use of the internet. It's also related to information technology. So, for example if there is fishing and hacking or phony bank alerts, suspicious phone calls, stolen wired money to identity theft – it all falls under cyber."

Having a policy that covers cybercrime allows an insurance company to assist with payouts for the restoration of stolen services, credit monitoring for clients, notifying affected individuals, state penalties, record consolidation and public relations hiring.

Diane McNally, senior vice president and principal of Segal Select Insurance told FOX Business that cyber insurance can be coupled with liability insurance for full-fledged protection.

"The value of cyber insurance is to provide coverage that can help pay for the expenses associated with discovering and rectifying a potential incident or actual attack, along with liability insurance for costs associated in defending your firm and employees if your company gets sued as a result of a cyber-breach," she explained.


"When a breach is not directly caused by the company, but by one of its third-party vendors, it can have a ripple effect no matter how small or large your company size," McNally pointed out. "There are increasing numbers of breached healthcare records where a vendor's breach impacted their clients' information due to hacking or IT Incidents."

One such example she cited can be found on the Office for Civil Rights website. There, users can see an active list of all the reported healthcare providers under investigation for having cyber breaches. Through this portal, it can be seen that hundreds of thousands of Americans have had their information compromised.

Although cyber insurance policies can provide an assortment of services that prevent or proactively repair the damage done by cyber-attacks, it's not as expensive as some would think. Morris said cyber insurance policies start for "as little as a $1,000 and on up."


He noted that the cost will go up incrementally depending on how big a business is. There are also more requirements for larger IT departments or firms.

Any business that is new to cyber insurance, Morris advises them to meet with a knowledgeable broker who can go through a policy line-by-line to avoid dissatisfying exclusions.


For some independent business owners, cyber insurance may not be a top priority purchase. Industry experts believe to be a mistake, however.

"It's not a matter of if, but when a hacker will attack. When a hacker perceives an organization does not have sufficiently sophisticated systems they are likely to strike —again and again," McNally warned.

A smaller-scale business can be significantly hurt or risk bankruptcy if legal action is pursued and there are not enough funds to cover the cost of litigation.

"How a company responds in handling a cyber-attack makes all the difference to the financial impact, and the toll it takes on the organization's brand," McNally said. "In some cases, businesses [have] suffered severe repercussions and had to lay off employees."


McNally referenced a ransomware attack that took place in May against the City of Baltimore. According to a report from The Baltimore Sun earlier this month, the city purchased $20 million in cyber insurance to cover potential disruptions in local networks over the next year.

In her own words, "The perils of not having cyber insurance in place, or delaying the purchase, can prove to be even more costly than buying it in the first place."

How to Use Process Automation to Boost Your Small Business - G2

Posted: 30 Oct 2019 09:52 PM PDT

If you own a small business, you know how difficult it is to get everything up and running smoothly. 

You want things done and you want them done right, but sometimes you end up moving so fast that processes seem to work on a case-by-case basis. You might find yourself wondering, "How do big businesses do it?" If your answer to that question is "money," you might be right—CRMs can be pricey after all. But what you might not know is that process automation doesn't have to be so expensive. 

There are a variety of tools that help you scale at your own pace. If you start with automating just one process, you'll see how quickly it helps streamline your team's tasks. Just think of the possibilities! Manual processes are expensive and create hefty office supply costs as well as the potential for human error. They lead to a lower return on investment (ROI) as contracts and other documents slowly move through all the manual steps.

TIP: It can be hard to find a CRM that fits your small business needs and budget. Let us help—check out these CRMs for SMBs.

In a recent economic impact study on workflow automation at businesses, the study found that over three years of automation, ROI was 176% with a payback period of 10.5 months. 

Automation tools expedite business processes, reduce paper costs, and put money into your pocket faster. Process automation can help your business compete with big competitors that have the staff numbers you don't. Let's talk about how you can do this on a budget. 

Implement and execute standard processes

As your business grows, operating on a case-by-case basis will get more and more difficult. Having a standard process in place helps every project move from start to finish more efficiently. While many organizations have processes that are undocumented and difficult to duplicate, there are ways to map, replicate, and update your business processes with ease.

It starts with documentation and analysis of your team's usual tasks and processes. Once you understand the commonalities between specific processes, you can begin to map out your project's workflow. Standardized processes are the key to taking the guesswork out of completing mission-critical tasks and alleviating your company's growing pains.

Create and automate forms 

No matter what industry you're in, forms are always a critical piece of an organization's business. Whether it's an application, contract, or final approval, you need a way to digitally manage form data and streamline approval processes. Why print, scan, or fax paper forms when you can easily create digital assets

Static PDFs and paper forms make data collection tedious and time-consuming. Even emails, spreadsheets, and chat logs often fall short when it comes to collecting and syncing data to other systems.

Organizations can collect data faster and more accurately with mobile-responsive web forms. Designed to support today's on-the-go teams, process automation tools give you the freedom to complete tasks from the field, office, or wherever you may be.

Manage and track approvals with digital e-signatures 

While ink and paper are tried and true, your John Hancock is not what it used to be. In today's digital age, there's a more secure and efficient way to approve official documents. Digital signatures ensure documents get signed and returned quickly from any device. With wet signatures, there's no audit trail or encryption, not to mention the hassle of printing, scanning, and emailing.

Small and big businesses alike are experiencing the growth of mobile workforces. Whether your team is spread across a county, state, or country, process automation tools help keep your documents from getting stalled in the document-signing process. Rather than waiting for the signer to see the hard copy waiting for them, get an encrypted e-signature tool for secure, trackable transactions. 

See the Highest-Rated E-Signature Software →

Small business mindset, big business aesthetic  

You might be asking what tools offer all this without the hefty big business price tag? While some CRM solutions can be rather pricey, others offer unique pricing models that make it much more affordable for small-scale clients.

Automating your business processes can seem like a daunting and time-consuming task, but it doesn't have to be. Start with just one process and begin mapping out what steps your team takes every day. You might be surprised to see what documentation and automation can do for you. 

Eliminate manual processes and streamline your document-based workflows with a process automation tool.

See the Highest-Rated Process Automation Software, Free →

Sriperumbudur to get large technology park for small businesses - Times of India

Posted: 30 Oct 2019 09:55 PM PDT

CHENNAI: The Union micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) ministry will set up a technology centre at Sriperumbudur spanning 10 acres with 200 crore in investments, exclusively for SMEs and MSMEs, to help small businesses embrace latest technologies.
The proposed centre will have high-end design units and facilities for reverse engineering, testing and consulting, besides tie-ups with central laboratories. "We have already zeroed in on land for a large technology centre in Vallam, Sriperumbudur, and are on the lookout for space in Coimbatore," Sudhir Garg, joint secretary of ministry of MSME, said.
The Sriperumbudur region is among the most industrialised belts in India with a host of engineering and automotive companies running factories. Most of the suppliers to these companies are small scale businesses.
The ministry planned to set up 120 more technology centres across the country for the MSME sector so that units could access and adopt latest technologies. Currently, the MSME sector has 18 technology centres (or tool rooms), and 15 more with 3,000 crore investment have been announced.
"These testing facilities will aid manufacturers who need accreditation to export their products. Of the 15 centres, 10 are functional now, including one in Puducherry. Expect more business from Railway's announcement of 11 lakh crore investment for the next five years and with more upcoming Smart City projects," Garg said.
Given the growing requirements from a market being driven by artificial intelligence and internet of things, Garg said, the industry must make maximum use of expert help offered by these tech centres.
"Setting up these centres will be part of our technology outreach to industry. Manufacturing units must be very vigilant of the quality of their products, since a few bad reviews on e-commerce websites will lead to fall in demand for products and ruined reputations for brands," Garg said.
Tamil Nadu was one of the largest contributors to the MSME sector with more 13 lakh registered units, providing employment opportunities to about 81 lakh people.
The MSME sector, which contributes 29% to the nation's GDP, has 6 crore players across industries employing 11 crore people, producing over 8,000 products ranging from traditional to high-tech precision items. Export share of the sector stands at 45%.


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