1. Home
  2. /
  3. 2017

How can technology drive your business forward?

Technology is incredibly vast term, branching into almost every modern industry and business, empowering users to experience improved productivity, connectivity and specialist expertise. But how can you use relevant technologies within your enterprise to drive your business forward?

Exploring new opportunities

One of the most significant benefits of a technology driven business environment is the range of new opportunities that technology can open up for your business. Thanks to the internet, there are an infinite range of information sharing sources available, so developing your understanding and expertise within a field is easier than ever, breaking down the barriers for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

This allows businesses to build a niche market, becoming an industry leader in a specific field and delivering innovation that drives their business forward whilst propelling the whole technology sector to new growth, expanding the already vast range of opportunities and opening new doors for you and your customers.

The advantages of improved connectivity

Connectivity is key in business, empowering you to communicate effectively with customers, suppliers and prospects to deliver a more personal and innovative service. Technology plays a huge role in business connectivity, allowing for a range of simple communication tools, from emails to instant messaging. This is important as it means that individuals and business centres around the world can share information and data to improve the service and ensure your business is performing to its full potential.

Driving your business forward

As technology continues to develop and innovate, and cloud technology and super-fast Wi-Fi become commonplace in business throughout the developed world, the corporate environment is always changing and adapting to new trends, developing new apps and programmes to take advantages of these opportunities. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you’re taking steps to future-proof your business and equip your staff with the technology they require to deliver the best service possible.

To find out more about how you can equip your business to experience increased efficiency and drive your business forward, get in touch with one of our friendly IT consultants today on 0207 653 9780.

What could have been done to prevent the WannaCry ransomware attack on the NHS?

Last week, the NHS saw one of the biggest cyber-attacks to date, encrypting over 230,000 computers in almost 150 countries. Although the attack was stopped, the ransomware was able to drastically impact the operation of many NHS Trusts, including GP surgeries, hospitals and more. There is no denying that the rapidly spreading WannaCry has shaped the future of cyber-security across the world, but the question is knowing what we know now, what could have been done to prevent the attack and how can we ensure we are protected in the future?

What is WannaCry?

WannaCry (or WannaCrypt) is a ransomware programme that targets Microsoft’s Windows operating system, usually infecting computers through a phishing email or by targeting vulnerabilities in unpatched systems as a computer worm. Although it is not clear who was behind this attack, the ransomware encrypts data on the computer, demanding ransom payments in the form of cryptocurrency Bitcoin, which can be incredibly difficult to track.

What can be done to prevent ransomware attacks like this?

Investigations suggest that the WannaCry ransomware software first entered NHS systems through a vulnerability in the outdated Windows XP operating system, of which Microsoft ended official support in 2014. These means that computers still operating on Windows XP or early Windows Server operating systems did not receive the recent patch that was released for current operating systems, which could have prevented the wide-spread infection.

Microsoft has since taken steps to prevent the spread of the malware by releasing a fix for versions of Windows that it had previously retired, including the once highly popular Windows XP. It seems that this vulnerability served as the main entry point for the ransomware, suggesting that, had the systems been kept up to date and had the proper security software in place, the breach could have been avoided.

Learning from the attack

In light of the attack, the NHS are working with cyber-security firms to increase their cyber-security and remove vulnerabilities like this to prevent future attacks. Microsoft have also taken steps to protect all users against threats by releasing updates for the majority of current and retired systems which removes this fatal flaw,    but they advise that all users take extreme caution with emails from an unknown sender, especially those containing suspicious documents or links. The best practise is to protect your computer with an up-to-date antivirus, and making sure that your computer is running the latest version of a supported operating system.

Protecting your business

If you’re in a business environment, the best option is to consult a cyber-security expert who will be able to work with you to establish security procedures and implement protection software, backed up by a secure back-up solution to ensure that you are protected in the event of a disaster.

To find out more, speak to a member of our cyber-security team on 0207 653 9780.

Tips for schools regulating internet use to get the right balance

Most of us rely on the internet heavily in our day-to-day use, and schools are no exception. The internet allows for quick and effective communication amongst staff and gives teachers access to an endless pool of resources and ideas to craft inspired lessons that keep students entertained and engaged. However, this does not come without risk. Schools are sensitive environments, and it’s important to find the right balance where teachers, students, and members of staff can access the vast range of inspiring educational resources that the internet offers, but are protected from any dangerous, explicit, and harmful content. Here’s our advice on finding the right balance of internet access in your school to ensure you can optimise performance without putting your students or staff at risk.

Educate staff and pupils on how to stay safe online

The internet is a powerful tool, and it’s important that your staff and pupils understand how they can stay safe online. Take the time to train your staff on the best practices when using the internet in a school environment and develop a staff policy regarding the appropriate use of the internet in a professional setting.

As with most things, education is an effective preventative measure. Make sure your pupils know the risks that the internet can present and the best way to deal with them. Consult an expert on the most appropriate way to teach internet safety in your school and develop a training programme that teaches students the dangers of irresponsible internet use and advises them on the best methods for staying safe. Your goal should be to allow students to protect themselves against threats whilst making the most of the resources that the internet has to offer.

Monitor and regulate internet use

In a school environment, effective network monitoring is essential. All school computers should be monitored and controlled by an IT manager who can ensure that all pupils are using the computers responsibly. Your IT manager should also be in charge of regulating internet use so that the computers are only used for research and work purposes and that pupils are not able to access explicit or harmful content.

If your school’s internet offers Wi-Fi as well, this should be regulated in the same fashion and should be fitted with a secure password which should be changed regularly, increasing the wireless security of your network. It is also worth considering whether you or not you actually need Wi-Fi, as disabling wireless networks is a great way to remove a whole host of vulnerabilities.

Restricting access

The chances are, there is no reason that any device on your school network should be able to access any form of explicit or harmful content. This is why schools use strict browsing filters to block any websites that are deemed to be suspicious or unsuitable. There are many ways in which this can be implemented, the best choice is often to employ a specialist to install this on your behalf, which will ensure that pupils are protected and the school is not liable for any potentially unsuitable material. This way, you are not only keeping students safe, you are also keeping them focused by removing access to distracting, or non work-related sites.

Reporting and recording incidents

Encourage students and staff to inform someone if they come across an unsuitable site and keep a detailed record of incidents. Every student and member of staff should know what to do if they have any concerns about their safety online. This ensures that you can work quickly to resolve the issue and take the necessary steps to deal with the incident appropriately and sensitively. This also ensures that, in the event of a complaint, you can recall exactly what happened and why, and you have evidence to support the preventative measures you had in place and show how you responded.

To find out more about how you can ensure security in a sensitive environment, speak to one of our IT consultants today at 0800 043 4448.

What benefits can a bespoke IT infrastructure offer your business?

Every business has different requirements when it comes to their IT. From storage solutions to catering for necessary processes and backup requirements, off-the-shelf solutions are not always applicable to the needs of companies, and can often result in them paying for unnecessary components. If your business hasn’t considered bespoke IT solutions, then there are numerous benefits that are worth bearing in mind.

Bespoke solutions increase security and flexibility

Security is one of the most major concerns for many businesses, since it has significant legal implications and data protection regulations must be adhered to. In many cases, a bespoke solution can offer much greater security than standard solutions, since they can be tailored to your exact requirements.

Faster data restoration and RTO times

Certified processes can be put in place to ensure that data is backed up effectively. This means that you can guarantee a faster RTO time and reduce the negative effects on your clients and in-house when downtime occurs. Data can be stored and backed up using a private or [public cloud solution depending on what best suits you. This structure can also give you better overall services due to large bandwidth pipes.

Cuts costs and reduce your carbon footprint

Ultimately, choosing a bespoke solution means paying only for the things your business setup requires, and cuts out costs of things that will not be used. It gives you full control over your IT infrastructure and the features that it has, meaning you also have control over the way you work –this can include flexibility to work remotely. Some options such as using the cloud can also reduce operational costs and reduce your carbon footprint.

A solution to suit you

The most important thing about your IT infrastructure is that it allows you to complete day-to-day processes efficiently and meets your requirements. Although standard setups can be suitable for some businesses, a bespoke solution is often much better at directly addressing these needs, and ensuring the best possible infrastructure that is tailored exactly for optimum performance.

Find out more about bespoke IT support solutions by giving help4IT a call today on 0800 043 4448.

Close Button

Contact Us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Contact Us scroll