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Environment monitoring delivering benefits to farmers and suppliers across their value chain

Business and Enterprise

Posted on July 16, 2019

3 min read

Ensuring food availability for Australia’s future is a top national priority.  Making sure the country can feed itself well into the future is vital for our children and their children. When CSBP Fertilisers came to us with a desire to help their customers manage key resources in the growing of crops, we knew that our Internet of Things network could help.

Using more than 3.5 million square kilometres of coverage offered by our leading Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) network, we’ve saved key water resources in Western Australia and helped keep costs down while freeing up time for patient care in Victorian hospitals. Bringing our leading IoT network and monitoring solutions to farmers for CSBP’s agricultural supply chain presented a fresh new challenge.

In partnership with Wesfarmers subsidiary CSBP Fertilisers, we wanted to apply the NB-IoT network and Telstra Environment Monitoring to remotely measure the volume of liquid fertiliser product, Flexi-N, stored in tanks on farms. CSBP was interested in finding a cost-effective way to implement this technology. We were able to work with them to develop a commercially viable approach.

Together we developed a solution that uses technology to collect data on the levels of fertiliser in the tanks and can alert CSBP when levels are low so the resupply process can commence automatically. More than 150 of our Telstra Captis Environment Monitoring IoT sensors were quickly deployed onto tanks around Western Australia, with 26 growers taking part in the pilot during the 2019 growing season.

Before the deployment of IoT sensors, CSBP’s challenge in managing its supply chain was the sporadic and manual nature of orders coming from farmers. They needed to be able to meet the demand for fertiliser and reduce lead times to supply the fertiliser during peak periods. In order to remain competitive, CSBP wanted to offer farmers an automated solution that removes the need for them to manually read fertiliser level readings on a tank gauge then telephone CSBP to order another load of fertiliser.

The company is now looking at a further deployment for this tank measuring solution to be used in water tanks, diesel tanks and weather stations across Western Australia.

The way we have adapted the standards of its NB-IoT network specifically for extended coverage for solutions in more regional areas is one of the reasons why we have just won a prestigious industry award.

Together with technology partner Ericsson, we are honoured to have been recognised at this year’s GSMA Asia Mobile Awards with its ‘Best IoT Innovation for Mobile Networks in Asia Award’ for this deployment. The Telstra IoT Network is one of the largest in the world and we are the only carrier in Australia to offer both Cat-M1 and Narrowband IoT technology. Our customers can now connect a range of IoT solutions in more places than ever before on Australia’s largest, most reliable and most secure ready-built LPWA Network. Our work with CSBP Fertilisers has proven NB-IoT network technology and devices are a modern and cost-effective way to optimise the efficiency of agriculture operations and supply chains.

The last year in cyber security: insights from the experts

Cyber Security

Posted on March 8, 2018

5 min read

Our director of security solutions Neil Campbell and Stephen Dane, Cisco’s managing director of security for Australia Pacific and Japan, reflect on the last 12 months of cyber security.

Organisations across the globe recognise that getting security right from the outset is a critical success factor to do business in today’s world. As global leaders in security, Cisco and Telstra have been partnering to provide security services to customers for over a decade. Today at Cisco Live, Neil Campbell, Telstra’s Director of Security Solutions and Stephen Dane, Cisco’s Managing Director of Security for Australia Pacific and Japan got together to reflect on the last 12 months in the cyber security world.

What was your biggest learning within cyber security in the last 12 months?

Neil Campbell: In the past 12 months, there’s been a noticeable shift in industry mindset, with many business leaders moving to an ‘expectation of breach’ mentality and implementing a wide range of programs to support this view, including security audits, risk assessments and compliance tools through to continuous end-user training.

However, ransomware is continually on the rise and is becoming increasingly targeted. With events such as the WannaCry ransomware, NotPetya malware, the Equifax breach, and the leaking of hacking tools by a group called the Shadow Brokers, the past year has seen large-scale cyber events dominate the headlines. Criminals are also increasingly using social engineering to hijack accounts and trick organisations into wiring large amounts of money into their accounts.

Stephen Dane: Similar to the previous 12 months, the adversaries are just as tenacious that this is not just a big enterprise issue. Cyber security is an issue for every organisation, big and small, here in Australia. The key learning over the last 12 months, as outlined in our recently released 2018 Cybersecurity Report, is that adversaries are taking malware to unprecedented levels of sophistication and impact.

Adversaries are becoming more adept at evasion and weaponising cloud services and other technology used for legitimate purposes. Finally, adversaries are exploiting undefended gaps in security, many of which stem from the expanding Internet of Things (IoT) and use of cloud services.

What is your number one advice to businesses looking to increase their cyber security operations?

Neil Campbell: While the cyber threat isn’t new, cyberspace allows crime, espionage, and protest to happen at a pace, scale and reach that is unprecedented. When confronting this challenge, it is easy to place a lot of focus on technical solutions. But, as we’ve seen in public breaches in the past 12 months, people are often the weakest link when it comes to cyber security.

Neil Campbell and Stephen Dane speaking at the Cisco Live event in Melbourne.

There’s a need to frame the complex problem of cyber security in a way that everyone can engage in; from senior executives right through to every staff member. Our Five Knows of Cyber Security is a significant shift in focus – from a technology discussion to one where senior management can engage in and contribute to the effective management of cyber security risk.

Stephen Dane: With the new legislation covering Mandatory Breach notification upon us in Australia, organisations need to be prepared for a cyber attack. They need an Incident Response plan that is all encompassing – reacting to a cyber incident “on the fly” is not a workable strategy. Organisations need to understand the value of their data, where it is, who has access and then secure it accordingly.

Organisations will find that making strategic security improvements and adhering to common best practices (such as Telstra’s Five Knows) can reduce exposure to emerging risks, slow attackers’ progress and provide more visibility into the threat landscape.

What is going to be the next big challenge for CIOs/CISOs within the industry?

Neil Campbell: Our research shows that the top two challenges globally with regard to security operations are the ability to timely detect and effectively respond to cyber security incidents; and the impact of new technologies such as cloud, IoT, mobile and software-defined networking (SDN).

Making the situation more difficult is the mobile-first approach organisations are adopting to engage their customers (through their ubiquitous smartphones) and employees. The use of these technologies means that traditional security solutions are no longer adequate. CIOs and CISOs must now look at ways to effectively protect corporate data that resides outside the company premises and secure a wider range of endpoints.

Stephen Dane: Organisations are deploying IoT devices at a rapid pace. However, they often pay scant attention to the security of these systems. Unpatched and unmonitored IoT devices present attackers with opportunities to infiltrate networks. Organisations with IoT devices susceptible to attack also seem unmotivated to speed remediation, research suggests.

Worse, these organisations probably have many more vulnerable IoT devices in their IT environments that they don’t even know about.  So while there is an opportunity to enhance competitive advantage through IoT as its potential continues to be realised, CIOs/CISOs need to apply rigour from a cyber security perspective.

Cisco Live is taking place between 6 and 9 March 2018 at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC). For more information on the sessions, see here.

Telstra Cisco Alliance – Driving innovation in Asia Pacific

Business and Enterprise

Posted on November 9, 2017

2 min read

Telstra Team accepting a Cisco Partner Award

For more than a decade, the Telstra-Cisco Alliance has been helping our customers to leverage technology to deliver on business outcomes.

With our growing network strength in Asia Pacific, the benefits of the Alliance for our customers extends to supporting their success and innovation aspirations in the hotly contested Asia Pacific market.

Our Alliance brings together the strength of our global network and solutions, with the best of Cisco’s solutions, extending across Collaboration, Networks, Data Centres, Cloud and Security technology solutions.

We help our customers modernise their data centre to take advantage of digital capabilities, building workspaces of the future to boost efficiency and create the most effective workplace environments, and building robust, secure and future proof networks that allow a better application performance on any device in any location.

Last week at the Cisco Partner Awards 2017 in Dallas, we were awarded three awards including Australia and New Zealand Data Centre Partner of the Year, Asia Pacific and Japan Service Provider of the Year and the prestigious Asia Pacific and Japan Partner of the Year.

These awards are a result of strong in-market performance in the Asia Pacific region and innovative customer solutions. But none of this could be achieved without a strong Alliance relationship that enables Telstra and Cisco to deliver the best solutions and service offerings to the market.

We are incredibly proud to receive these awards from Cisco. It is a true representation of our partnership, not only in Australia where we are Cisco’s largest partner, but it is also acknowledgement of our rapidly growing engagement in Asia.

We’re looking forward to driving more innovation in Asia Pacific with Cisco in the future.

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