The increased digitisation of data offers many obvious benefits to a small business in terms of keeping track of all your valuable information. However it also brings with it a plethora of new risks and potential problems. These can be avoided or ameliorated by simple planning and thinking ahead (and having someone proficient and skilled in charge of your IT systems, of course!), so it’s handy to have a look at just what they might be so they can be tackled before they become a real issue. Remember, data is just as important to your business as profit is – losing your accounts can be as destructive as burning your money.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do in order to minimise further problems down the line is effective staff training. This can’t be overstated – if everyone knows what they are doing and what the procedures are, then the likelihood of problems drastically decreases. And that includes yourself, so make sure you’re completely up to speed on all your IT systems before you start teaching everyone else.
Having an off-site tech team is recommended, but even once you have one of those in place there are things you need to do yourself in order to make your life easier. Little things, the kind of things a lot of people tend to overlook – such as having strong passwords, for example. “1234” is a recipe for disaster, as are passwords anyone with a knowledge of you or your business would have a decent chance of guessing. Birthdays, children’s names – these are essentially an unlocked door. Use a combination of letters and numbers – preferably one that doesn’t actually mean anything in itself, to make it impossible to guess. And whatever you do don’t write them on Post-It notes stuck around the office!
Developing an IT strategy is also invaluable. Your IT support provider can help you with this, but it’s good for everyone in the business to know exactly what the procedures are, and that way a lot of problems can be headed off at the pass before you even need to call your off-site support.
As long as you keep ahead of things, and your systems are in good hands, then you’ll be amazed how many problems can be avoided entirely.
Outsourcing Your IT – Why it’s SUCH a good idea for SMEs
In the small to medium-sized enterprise market, the last few years have seen the once-ubiquitous IT department gradually losing popularity as more and more businesses decide to outsource their IT support and rely on off-site providers for security, storage and networking solutions. According to datacenterjournal.com, IT outsourcing is at his highest percentage for 5 years – and although it seems that the number of functions that are being outsourced is not increasing, the volume of work sent to outside service providers is.
There are many reasons why IT outsourcing can give you an advantage over having an on-site IT department although probably the most important one is financial. Hiring IT professionals as full-time staff can be very costly, especially if your infrastructure is large and you require several people to keep it running. Contracting out means that you can end up paying far less for the same level of expertise over time, as well as saving money on equipment.
And expertise is what it’s all about. Assuming you are not yourself an IT company, chances are that you are far better at running and organising your own business than you are at maintaining its IT infrastructure, and unless you already have someone with that skillset on board, you’re going to have to either hire in or train existing staff, both of which can be costly and time-consuming. Outsourcing allows you to access that same level of expertise without having to increase headcount or retrain large amounts of your own staff.
Basically, unless you already have it covered, IT support is a distraction. You will be far too busy dealing with the actual business end of your enterprise to give it the attention it deserves. If you can rely on a trained professional to be on hand to ensure that the nuts and bolts of the operation are all in functional order, then you can dedicate yourself and your team to ensuring that your business is a success.
Professional racing drivers don’t tend to get under the hoods of their vehicles themselves- their talent is in driving the car, not calibrating the engine. And applying similar logic to your IT needs can similarly allow you to reach the finish line just that little bit faster.
Call us today to discuss your business IT requirements, and we’ll take the tech strain and let you get back to worrying about your bottom line. Call 01279 800039, or fill in our online contact form by visiting our IT support services page here.
‘More Than Half’ of UK Businesses have STILL not addressed GDPR
It has now been over four months since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force on May 25th, unifying the different levels of data protection across the EU and tackling the issue of exporting data outside the EU. With its main focus being to prevent the collection of unnecessary data on individuals (and to protect what data is collected and maintain the subjects’ rights to privacy), much was made at the time on the impact this would have on business, and many man-hours were spent on ensuring that enterprises across the EU were compliant with the new rules.
So what has the impact been, in real terms? At the time there were many horror stories and concerns being raised about the unintended harmful effects that GDPR could have on small businesses. The fear was that as they have smaller IT resources, small businesses would find it harder to ensure they were compliant in time, and that they would therefore be disproportionately likely to face fines, and also disproportionately affected by the amounts of money involved.
Well, the good news is that so far there haven’t been any massive issues. The bigger social media players like Facebook and Google saw the inevitable complaints being sent to the EU Commission, but other than that things appear to be moving smoothly.
Although whether this will remain the case is hard to tell. In the run-up to the GDPR’s coming into force, IT security firm ESET surveyed over 27,000 companies, and found that more than half of them hadn’t performed an internal audit to see whether they were compliant.
Fortunately, and presumably anticipating this very state of affairs, Data Protection Regulators have shown leniency so far in order to give people time to catch up, but it seems likely that this state of affairs will be subject to change as time goes on. So the lesson is that while it’s still not too late to ensure that you are compliant with the new regulation, it may very well be soon.
BREXIT of cause makes no difference to compliance. GDPR came into effect before the UK leaves the European Union, which means that UK businesses needed to prove their GDPR compliance before, on and after the 25th of May. In addition, the GDPR rules apply to ANY business that handles personally identifiable information of EU Citizens, regardless of where they are located.
If your company are one of the many thousands who have yet to address GDPR contact 39 Degress today by calling 01279 800039 and speak directly to a Data security expert about your requirements in further detail. Alternatively, fill in our online contact form and visit our website here.
On Tuesday 25th September 2018, Facebook was the victim of a cyber-attack, which has affected over 30 million Facebook users. This attack is the worst security breach that Facebook has been the victim of, with the hackers successfully accessing the personal data of 29 million Facebook accounts.
Facebook has launched an investigation into this cyber-attack, after discovering that the attackers had obtained tokens from the system, which allows them to request certain information from the platform.
The hackers have accessed a range of information from these users, including their personal information and contact details. For around 15 million users, the attackers obtained their usernames and contact details, and this includes their phone numbers and email addresses.
For the other 14 million Facebook accounts, the hackers accessed the above information, as well as their gender, language, relationship status, religion, hometown, current city, birthdate, education and more.
Facebook users can check whether they have been affected by the attack by visiting their Help Centre. Victims should also have received a message from Facebook themselves, informing whether you are 1 of the 30 million, and explaining which information may have been accessed.
Cyber Security for your business
Here at 39 Degress, we believe that cyber security is paramount for running a business. If large organisations are vulnerable to security breaches, it’s important that you are protected from cybercrime.
With our Cyber Security services, we’ll help protect your business against the latest ransomware, malware, hackers and other threats, and ensure that you avoid becoming the victim of cybercrime. Ghost will also ensure that your business-critical data is secure and that your business complies with ISO27001 and GDPR regulations.
Our Cyber Security services include PEN testing, anti-virus and anti-malware, 2-factor authentication, email security and even Certified Cyber Security training for your workforce. To find out more about how Ghost can help improve your cyber security capabilities, call our team today on 01279 800039 and speak directly with one of our experts, who can help you prevent a cybercrime from occurring. You can also find out more by visiting our Managed Cyber Security services page.
The business landscape is, inexorably transforming itself into a digital one. Even the most traditional mum and dad, ‘bricks and mortar’ ventures are busy carving themselves out an online presence, and most of the drudge work of filing and indexing is being replaced by data entry. A few years ago this may have seemed an intimidating change, but these days most of us are au fait with digital communication and cloud storage and are more comfortable about becoming involved in the electronic marketplace.
That said, there are still over two million small businesses who don’t even have their own website – something you’d think would be an absolute base level entry requirement for being a competitive business in 2018. Imagine if we were still living in the 80s, and your business had decided not to bother being listed in the Yellow Pages? When you put it like that, it sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But still over two million people have either made that decision or have still been too scared to put their toes in the water.
While it’s important that your website isn’t off-putting, difficult to navigate or, even worse, unexceptional, it’s neither that difficult nor that expensive in this day and age to either make your own or have one made for you.
Once you have your website up and running you will soon realise how invaluable it is in terms of bringing in business, and how important it is to keep it going. This is where Ghost Services come in – our website hosting service is exceptional, with a fully managed website hosting and technical support service available. We will conduct on-going maintenance to improve your security and keep all your plugins up to date, with full firewall, bandwidth monitoring and SSL certification. Not only do we keep your site safe, we keep a full back-up copy at our second Data Centre, allowing for full continuity if the worst happens. And because we have built our own cloud services rather than just repackaging someone else’s, we can make any required changes or fixes straight away, with no middle men or waiting necessary.
Quality, reliable hosting is fundamental. Contact us today for a quote.
Call us today to discuss your business IT requirements, and we’ll take the tech strain and let you get back to worrying about your bottom line. Call 01279 800039, or fill in our online contact form on our contact us page.
Companies and organisations of all sizes and in all locations have been attacked by hackers. Cybersecurity is still a vitally important consideration as well as a hot topic. Hackers use constantly-evolving automated techniques and tools to raid and misuse data, causing damage to the reputation and livelihood of the companies they target.
Some things such as firewalls and IPS can deflect this damage, and more sophisticated tools can take on more highly-evolved weapons. And there are processes that can stop hackers – defence against cybercrime is an ongoing war for businesses, which is where we can help you.
Changes in EU law demand that you now comply with the Network and Information Security (NIS) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation, which impose new, incident reporting requirements on a wide range of businesses.
The NIS comes into force this year and the GDPR will be phased in over 2015 and 2016, becoming mandatory from 2017: non-compliance could mean fines, plus the misuse of personal data and the loss of reputation and revenue that follows an attack.
Click here for the information you need to know now on what a good cybersecurity solution can do for your business: