Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things is a network of devices, usually found in a house or other building, that are connected to each other and the internet. This includes devices such as smart lights, smart locks, smart plugs, and much more. You can use smart assistants such as Siri and Alexa to control these smart devices from anywhere. While it is great that technology has advanced to the point where we can create these devices to make our daily lives easier, there are also security risks that come with this. Skilled cyber criminals can use these smart devices to their advantage to gain access to the local network that they are on if they are not secured properly. Some time possibly in the last year, for example, a casino was hacked through its internet-connected fish tank thermometer. If you are planning to add devices from the Internet of Things to your home, you should make sure that you are careful and ensure they are as secure as possible. Some things that you can do to secure your Internet of Things is place them behind a firewall and try to keep the software as up to date as possible as there could be security updates for well-known vulnerabilities. Many of these devices can be used to track location, eavesdrop on conversations, and communicate with the user if they are hacked into, so security is something that should be taken seriously if you care about your privacy.

-Jackson Lear

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Plain Language in Interior Design

I think plain language is important in my profession, interior design, because you could be proposing a design to the city board who may not know much about design.

As designers we have to think about not only the design part, but the construction, emergency routes/egress, etc.  I think it is important to always keep in mind the audience doesn’t always know what goes into interior design.

Also, when presenting your project you have to communicate your design in a way that is easy for someone else to understand because they obviously haven’t been working on the project with you so they don’t know your intent.  You can communicate the design in a way that uses the correct terminology but translate that to be able to understand to someone not in the field.

Final Blog Post

Something I learned in this class that I will use in my field is info-graphics.  This not only helped me learn about how people read things, but how to layout something with just important information.  I will use this in the way I layout my design boards in the best way for people to understand the project.

NIS cyber-security regulations

The technology landscape is ever-evolving. There have been numerous cyber-security breaches over the last couple years. Equifax, Target, Panera Bread, and Atlanta ransomware attack are just a few that have had rippling effects. Cyber-security laws are more important than ever. The threat landscape keeps evolving and more attacks keep happening. According to a Symantec report, the amount of malware has grown from just above 300 million to over 430 million between 2014 and 2015. The following is an example that shows we are moving in the right direction and how important cyber-security is in today’s world.

The Directive on Security of Network and Information Systems (NIS) is the first cyber-security legislation passed by the European Union. The aim is to achieve a high standard of network and information security across all EU member states. The NIS directive is the first of its kind in that it affects the entire European Union to boost the overall level of cybersecurity. NIS sets a range of requirements that apply to operators of essential services and digital service providers. Essential services, in this scenario, refers to energy, transport, banking, financial market, health, and water supply. These institutions have until May 2018 to meet the requirements.

At least 432 businesses are expected to be affected by these regulations. These regulations aim at improving infrastructure resilience for UK critical infrastructure providers. One important thing to notice is that not all of a companies’s operations are affected by the NIS directive. Companies will need to do their own evaluation to determine what’s considered essential services. The UK government identified 14 high-level security principles that companies will need to comply with.

References:

https://digitalguardian.com/blog/what-nis-directive-definition-requirements-penalties-best-practices-compliance-and-more
https://www.scmagazine.com/at-least-432-uk-businesses-to-be-affected-by-nis-cyber-security-regulation/article/760985/
https://www.itgovernance.co.uk/nis-directive

 

— Smayan Daruka

Helpful Class

This semester I had the privilege to take a course at RIT in Technical Communications taught by Professor Woelk.  During this course we have had to read several different articles ranging from levels of edit to how to interview a professional tech com writer.  A lot of what we covered I had an idea of from what my job is at RIT.  I understand the issue of writing to the audience you intend, not to technical or it doesn’t work for the people that will read it, and to not be too wordy.  However, there was one thing that stood out for me in our instruction that is definitely assisting me in my en devours to write better manuals and letter and memos and that is the levels of edit.

I knew to look over my work in the past and I usually would look for word errors and punctuation issues but the levels of edit allows me to put it into a better procedure to go through my documents to ensure they are correct.  During the course we had an exercise to take a document, of our choice, and run the levels of edit on it.  I figured I would use one of the many manuals I have written over the years here at RIT and check it thinking there wouldn’t be too many issues.  After going though all the levels I found that we had been writing our manuals incorrectly for years and I have now need to revise all of them to flow correctly.  Part of out issue was that after looking them over I see that we have things out of sequence.  The information is there, and correctly written, but the placement is incorrect.  Since finding this we have incorporated the levels into our normal procedures.

The other thing that I have since incorporated after taking this course is the “Hallway Testing”.  This was something that I learned during an interview with the professional technical writer.  During our discussion she had mentioned taking people that had no idea of what she was writing for to look over her directions.  this allowed he to get input,  from people that were not in her industry, and revise, if needed, so that anyone could use her manuals.  This is something that is helping us here at RIT as well.  I have had students from different departments go through manuals that we have written to see if they can make sense of them.  So far this has worked very well, and we are using it from here forward.

Overall, I would recommend that everyone who needs to write anything should take the time and go through a technical communications class.  There is something in this course that will apply to any type of writing.  Not everything may be of help, but the parts that are were a great assistance to allowing me to do my job better than before I took this course.