Why Hackers are targeting businesses in Essex

Your business is at risk right now. Hackers are targeting all businesses in Essex  all day every day.

They look for any weakness they can exploit to get in and do damage. Or steal your money.

How do we know this? We’re local IT security company 39D Services.

And we see the devastating effects of hacking. Every. Single. Day.

It’s happening to business owners and managers just like you.

So we’ve written a new guide: Beat the Baddies – How to win the war against hackers.

The guide is free for business owners and managers in Essex. Fill in your details here to get it emailed to you immediately.

Outsourcing Your IT – Why it’s SUCH a good idea for SMEs

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.

why outsourcing IT is a good idea for smes

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.

tech support small business

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.

I need help with my IT, Essex

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.




Did You Know We’re Based On A Former RAF Airbase?

In 2017 we outgrew our previous office based in Harlow and relocated to our current workplace in North Weald Bassett in the Epping district of Essex which is located in the industrial area of North Weald Airfield.

North Weald Airfield was formerly known as RAF North Weald, and is most famously recognised for its service during the Battle of Britain in WW1. The airfield was first opened in the summer of 1916 – later becoming Royal Air Force North Weald Airfield in 1918. As well as its duties in WW1, the airbase also played an important role in the air defence strategy of the UK in WW2. This century-old airfield is no longer the fighter station it used to be – but is still active for both aviation and non-aviation activities.

Now being owned and operated by the Epping Forest District Council, North Weald Airfield is now the place of operation for the Essex Emergency Services and the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance. Visitors of the airfield may also witness classic aircrafts such as the Spitfire, Invader and Mustang – as they land and take-off of the runway.

Aside from the loud and emphatic planes, the airfield hosts a range of sporting and leisure activities, including cycling, archery, model aircraft flying and various motorsports, as well as the North Weald Market – that is in fact the largest open-air market in the country. The market occurs every Saturday and Bank Holiday Monday of the year, and entry is free.

Also based on the airfield is a high-performance driver training company, which is considered the most exciting attraction on the airfield. Every day we hear and experience the action of several high-performance supercars as they speed around the circuit. As the airfield is not a public road, there are no speed restrictions. However, the airfield does have a maximum noise limit of 105db.

Many of the hangars on the airfield are used for non-aviation purposes, with some owned and used by local businesses. One aircraft hangar was by Channel 4 as the studio to film series 2 to 6 of The Crystal Maze – back in late 1990. Part of the airfield was also used as the music video set for Will Young’s single ‘Joy’ in 2015.

As you can imagine, the airfield is a busy place – and there are many different things all going on at once. Whilst the airfield may come across noisy and inconvenient, we believe the location of the Ghost office is what makes us unique.

The team here at Ghost are growing and we feel that the airfield is the perfect place for our development. We have recently appointed two Digital Marketers, an Office Manager and a further Technician who have become part of the fundamental team that are committed to meeting the IT needs of your business. You can expect to see some new faces and hear some new voices over the next few months. You can see the members of the Ghost team on our Meet The Team page.

You have the opportunity to meet the 39 Degress team on Sunday 23rd September 2018, when we host our Summer BBQ at our office in Runway House. We will have food and beverages available, courtesy of the airfields Double Decker Bus Bar, and there will even be an ice-cream van. Tickets are FREE and you can register your interest on our Facebook and Eventbrite pages.

We Love Essex – Chelmsford

We’re loving Chelmsford at the moment – and as we find out more about the business community, we find ourselves hearing a lot of interesting facts about the town and its history…

  • Chelmsford is deemed to be the birthplace of radio: inventor Guglielmo Marconi opened the world’s first wireless factory there in 1899. Chelmsford was also the venue for Britain’s first public radio broadcast – in June 1920, Australian opera star Dame Nellie Melba took part in the show, which was apparently received as far afield as the east coast of Canada.
  • The first witch trial happened in Chelmsford in 1566. In the dock was Elizabeth Francis, who described hearing voices from her cat encouraging her to curse people. The cat bore the worst possible pet’s name for that era – Satan. Elizabeth got a year in jail after telling the court that she had given the cat away – but thirteen years later she was executed on a different count of witchcraft. As it happened, Elizabeth had actually swapped Satan the cat for a cake, the baker of which was also executed as an alleged witch.
  • Crompton of Chelmsford manufactured and developed electric light components, many of which were installed in Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.
  • Danbury Common, near Chelmsford, is home of the largest adder population in Britain. As if poisonous snakes weren’t enough, European Scorpions have apparently been sighted near the station in Ongar, sixteen miles down the road.
  • We love Chelmsford, but novelist Charles Dickens would disagree. In 1835, he grumbled to a friend that the town was “the dullest and most stupid spot on the face of the Earth.”

We Love Essex – Buckhurst Hill

Not just a great place to do business (and a bit of shopping…), Bucky-H is a very historical place in its own right. Here are some of the little-known facts we’ve discovered about one of our favourite towns in the district:

Buckhurst Hill

  • Dick Turpin had a short period of “going straight” before he became a professional thief – he spent 1733-4 working as a butcher in Buckhurst Hill.
  • Turpin and his cohorts were such a menace that security-minded residents of this area invented anti-burglar devices called ‘Turpin traps’, – wooden trapdoors positioned over a stairhead and fixed by a pole wedged against the upstairs ceiling.
  • Buckhurst Hillwas originally known as “La Bocherste”, and later “Bucket Hill.” The meaning of the name is “hill of beech trees”
  • In neighbouring Chigwell, Ye Olde King’s Head, which was run as a pub until 2011, is said to have been the inspiration for the Maypole Inn inCharles Dickens‘ Barnaby Rudge
  • Chigwell School numbers among its former pupils Ben Shepherd, Ian Holm, Ken Campbell and William Penn who founded the American state of Pennsylvania – and the music for the hymn Abide with Me was written by WH Monk who once taught there.

We Love Essex – Brentwood

It’s fun, it’s buzzing and it’s the pinnacle of pilgrimage for TOWIE fans – and it’s got a lot of exciting business opportunities going on there. Today we are extending a big hello to our Brentwood contacts both old and new and sharing what we’ve discovered about their town…

  • Gilstead Hall, in nearby South Weald, is apparently haunted by the ghost of Lord Byron who was a frequent visitor.
  • Brentwood was the first place in the UK to manufacture trampolines. To this day, Brentwood has a very enthusiastic trampolining community.
  • The Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker, just along the road from Brentwood town, was intended during the Cold War as a refuge for Government officials as a shelter from nuclear attack. Now decommissioned, it is ia very popular visitor attraction.
  • Brentwood has the peculiar honour of being Britain’s first town to instal and use CCTV.
  • Pioneering computer company Amstrad was founded in Brentwood  by Alan Sugar in 1968. Sky bought it in 2007 for 125 million.

We Love Essex – Loughton

Although Ghost Services is now happily ensconced in Harlow, we never forget our Loughtonian roots. There’s been a settlement in that area since before the Romans arrived – and we are proud to be providing the town’s business community with IT services today in the 21st century.

We found out some interesting snippets about Loughton while we were there…

  • The 19th-century pastoral poet John Clare spent time here –being inspired by the rural setting and recuperating from a bout of mental illness at Dr Matthew Allen’s private asylum. His story is told in “Four Forest Years,” by Loughton author and biographer Pete Relph.
  • The first settlers in the area created an encampment in the forest 2,500 years ago. Their settlement is now known as Ambresbury Banks Fort.
  • Lady Mary Wroth of Loughton Hall was a leading light on the Jacobean literary scene – in 1621 she published The Countesse of Mountgomeries Urania,  the first authenticated full-length novel by an Englishwoman.
  • Loughton was a popular day-trip and mini-break venue for Cockneys in the Victorian times. The locals didn’t always appreciate the visitors, especially when they earned the town the nickname “Lousy Loughton.” This was on account of the lice and fleas the holidaying East Enders brought with them – streets and parts of the forest would be sluiced with disinfectant to deal with the
  • East 15 drama school has a campus in Loughton – alumni include Alison Steadman, Marc Warren, Blake Harrison and Damon Albarn.

We Love Essex – Epping

Thriving businesses, glorious natural surroundings and a fascinating history – our next-door town, Epping, has a lot going for it…

  • The strange affair of the Epping Jaundice happened in 1965: 84 townspeople fell prey to a mystery illness with jaundice-like symptoms, which was finally traced back to a bakery which had accidentally used flour tainted by epoxy resin hardener.
  • Shakespeare is said to been inspired by the area; A Midsummer Night’s Dream premiered at Copped Hall just outside Epping in 1594. It was written for the marriage celebrations of the hall’s owner, Sir Thomas Heneage, when he married the Countess of Southampton that year. Copped Hall, currently under restoration and occasionally open to the public, has recently hosted several open-air performances of Shakespeare plays in its grounds.
  • Epping Forest, as a royal forest, had a special law system called Royal Forest law which operated outside common law and was administered by ”verderers”. The Forest of Dean and the New Forest have a similar system.
  • Epping Market, which is held every Monday in the town’s main street, dates back to 1253. The High Street itself was home to no less than 26 coaching inns in the early 1800s
  • Highwayman of note Dick Turpin started his life of crime in the forest just outside Epping as part of a deer-stealing cartel called the Gregory Gang.

We Love Essex – Welcome to Harlow

As the IT specialist for Essex, we make a big point of knowing our territory as well as our tech and we’ve learned a lot of amazing things about the county, and the towns we are most frequently found in. There’s more to the area than white vans and Estuary English, and we’re proud to be able to keep the computers running and the data monitored in all our favourite areas.

We’ve amassed a lot of weird and wonderful information about Essex which is too much fun to keep to ourselves – but even if we’re not professional historians, we can certainly help you out with anything computer-related…

Harlow – Our new head office and stomping ground
• Harlow New Town was planned in 1947 by Sir Frederick Gibberd, primarily to house people from East London whose homes had been destroyed during the war. So many young families moved out of these disadvantaged areas that Harlow was nicknamed Pram Town.
• Britain’s first pedestrianized shopping precinct, and first residential tower block, were both constructed in Harlow. The tower block – The Lawn – was built in 1951 and is now a Grade 2 Listed Building.
• The pubs in Harlow New Town were named after butterflies and moths – such as Essex Skipper, Poplar Kitten, Drinker Moth, Purple Emperor and Painted Lady – to differentiate them from the more historic inns of the neighbouring Old Harlow.
• Harlow is also renowned as a Sculpture Town, its public spaces as well as its galleries boasting a large collection of sculptures by artists such as Moore, Frink, Rodin and Hepworth.
• Harlow’s MP, Robert Halfon is a founder of the Parliamentary Academy and in 2010, engaged the first MP’s Apprentice in Parliament.

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Best regards
Matthew Southgate
Managing Director
Ghost Computer Services

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