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The Risks of Using Outdated Hardware in Business

As a business owner, you understand the importance of staying competitive. While many companies focus on software and digital strategies to maintain their edge, the hardware that supports these operations often gets overlooked. Using outdated hardware can pose significant risks and challenges that can impact the bottom line. Here we look at the risks of using outdated hardware and why it’s essential to keep your technology up-to-date.

The consequences of outdated hardware

Decreased Productivity – Outdated hardware can significantly decrease employee productivity. Slow computers, constant crashes, and long loading times for applications can lead to frustration and wasted time. In today’s business landscape, every minute counts. When employees spend valuable working hours waiting for their machines to respond, it results in decreased efficiency, reduced output, and lost opportunities.

Security Vulnerabilities – One of the most significant dangers of using outdated hardware is the increased vulnerability to security breaches. Cybersecurity threats evolve rapidly, and older hardware may lack the necessary features and updates to protect against these threats. Outdated systems are easier targets for hackers, and they may not receive critical security patches, making your business data and sensitive information more susceptible to breaches.

Compatibility Issues – As software and applications continue to advance, outdated hardware may struggle to run new versions or, in some cases, may become incompatible altogether. This can limit your ability to take advantage of the latest tools and features that could enhance your business operations and customer service. Additionally, it may lead to complications when collaborating with partners and clients who rely on updated technology.

Costly Repairs and Downtime – Old hardware often requires more maintenance and repair, which can lead to unexpected costs and downtime. Businesses may find themselves frequently investing in repairs and replacements, resulting in a drain on resources that could have been better spent on growth and innovation. Frequent downtime can also impact customer satisfaction and erode trust.

Energy Inefficiency – Outdated hardware tends to be less energy-efficient, contributing to higher electricity bills and a larger carbon footprint. In an era where sustainability and environmental responsibility are highly valued, using outdated technology can harm your company’s image and increase operational costs. As the electricity is more expensive you may find yourself having to review budgets to cover unexpected business expense hikes. Old hardware can add hundreds to your bills.

Limited Performance and Scalability – To make it in today’s competitive world the ability to scale and adapt quickly is crucial. Outdated hardware may not be capable of handling the demands of a growing business, limiting your ability to expand, adopt new technologies, or adapt to market changes. This can stifle innovation and potentially lead to missed opportunities. According to Scottish Business News, almost 9 in 10 UK businesses struggle with basic daily tasks due to outdated systems.

Poor User Experience – Your employees are your most valuable assets, and their user experience matters. Outdated hardware is frustrating to use, resulting in reduced job satisfaction and increased turnover. To attract and retain top talent, it’s crucial to provide the tools and technology that allow employees to perform their best.

Keeping your hardware up to date

Keeping up with your competitors requires staying up to date with the latest hardware. The dangers of using outdated hardware, including decreased productivity, security vulnerabilities, compatibility issues, costly repairs, energy inefficiency, limited performance, and a poor user experience, can have a profound impact on your bottom line and reputation.

Investing in up-to-date hardware is an essential part of maintaining a thriving business that can adapt to changing market conditions and emerging technologies. While the upfront costs of hardware upgrades may seem daunting, the long-term benefits far outweigh the risks of using outdated technology. Your business’s efficiency, security, and ability to innovate all depend on it.

If you’d like to learn how you can optimise your IT systems and expenses related to your IT operations, we’d be happy to advise and assist. Contact us for help optimising your hardware.

Data Acquisition and Sharing Practices in UK Businesses

In the age of information, data has become the new gold. The value of data is undeniable, and businesses worldwide are continuously seeking ways to harness its potential. In the United Kingdom, this is no exception. Here we dive into the world of data acquisition and sharing by UK businesses, exploring the methods they employ, the challenges they face, and the benefits they reap.

The Role of Data Acquisition

Data acquisition is the process by which businesses collect information from various sources to gain insights and make informed decisions. From e-commerce giants to small local enterprises, organisations are employing tactics such as customer surveys, online forms, and website analytics to acquire valuable data.

One common method used is Customer Relationship Management (CRM), which allows companies to collect, organise, and analyse data about their customers. This data includes contact information, purchase history, and even social media interactions. With this information, businesses can better tailor their marketing efforts and improve customer experiences.

Data Sharing Practices

Sharing data within an organisation is often as crucial as collecting it. Collaboration between departments can lead to more informed decision-making and improved customer service. UK businesses are increasingly turning to cloud-based platforms for secure data sharing. This facilitates easy access to data by authorised personnel, regardless of their physical location. A survey by Gov.UK shows that 83% of businesses use standalone devices to store and process collected data. 34% leverage cloud providers and 14% use servers they own to store data.

Data sharing extends beyond an organisation’s borders as well. B2B data sharing has seen significant growth in the UK, with companies entering partnerships to share data for mutual benefit. This is particularly common in industries such as healthcare, where sharing patient data can lead to better treatment outcomes. According to Gov.UK 17% of UK based organisations share data outside their organisation and 31% acquire or collect data from other businesses and organisations. A staggering 66% share data with other businesses.

Challenges in Data Acquisition and Sharing

While the benefits of data acquisition and sharing are undeniable, there are challenges that UK businesses face. Data privacy and security are paramount concerns, given the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Businesses must ensure they handle customer data in compliance with the law. This includes obtaining informed consent for data collection and implementing robust security measures. 47% of businesses found the ICO guidelines clear to follow and implement. However, 18% found them unclear.

Additionally, data silos, where different departments store data separately, can hinder effective data sharing within organisations. Breaking down these silos and ensuring data accessibility is a challenge that many businesses are striving to overcome.

Benefits and Opportunities

Despite the challenges, UK businesses stand to gain immensely from effective data acquisition and sharing. Data-driven decision-making leads to more targeted marketing efforts, improved customer retention, and better product development. It can also help identify emerging trends and areas for business growth.

Moreover, the data-sharing ecosystem in the UK is fostering innovation and collaboration across industries. The exchange of knowledge and insights is driving improvements in various sectors, including healthcare, finance, and technology.


Data acquisition and sharing are integral components of modern business operations in the UK. Businesses are leveraging various strategies and technologies to collect, organise, and share data securely. While challenges, such as data privacy and silos, persist, the benefits are undeniable, ranging from better decision-making to enhanced customer experiences and industry-wide collaboration.

As technology continues to evolve, UK businesses are poised to unlock even more insights from the valuable data they acquire and share. With responsible data handling and a commitment to data-driven practices, the future of business in the United Kingdom looks bright, promising increased innovation and efficiency.

In this data-rich era, one thing is clear: businesses that effectively acquire and share data are better positioned for success in a rapidly changing world.

If you want to learn how you can optimise your data storing and ensure compliance in your organisation, we’d love to help you. Contact our IT support team for an informal chat.

Avoiding Pitfalls- Common Mistakes Charities Make With IT

Charities are dedicated to making a positive impact on society. To achieve their goals, they often rely on Information Technology to manage their operations, reach donors, and deliver services. However, just like any other sector, charities can make IT-related mistakes that hinder their ability to fulfil their missions effectively. Here we explore some common errors that charities make with IT and show you how they can be avoided.

Neglecting cybersecurity

One of the most significant mistakes charities make is neglecting cybersecurity. Charities often collect sensitive information, such as donor details and beneficiary data. Failing to implement robust security measures can put this data at risk. Charities therefore need to invest in firewalls, antivirus software, and staff training to mitigate the risk of data breaches. Regular security audits are also essential to identify vulnerabilities. According to Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport report, 24% of charities fell victim to cyber-attacks in the past year. A staggering 19 of them reported being targeted once a month by hackers.

Ignoring data backups

Data loss can be catastrophic for charities. Whether it’s donor databases, financial records, or important documents, losing this information can disrupt operations and damage a charity’s reputation. Some charities neglect to set up proper data backup and recovery systems. It’s essential to regularly back up data and test the restoration process to ensure it works when needed. One efficient way to mitigate the risk of losing data is to store it both in the cloud as well as offline.

Underestimating IT budgeting

Charities often operate on tight budgets, which can lead to underinvestment in IT. This mistake can result in outdated technology, unreliable systems, and increased operational costs in the long run. Charities should create a realistic IT budget that accounts for hardware, software, and ongoing maintenance. Investing in IT can reduce operational costs by increasing efficiency. By performing proper audits regularly and consulting an IT support service provider who specialises in assisting charities and other non-profit organisations, you can optimise your IT budget without sacrificing quality and operational efficiency.

Failure to plan for scalability

Charities grow and evolve, but many fail to plan for IT scalability. This can result in systems that do not accommodate the organisation’s changing needs. It’s vital for charities to ensure their systems are scalable, making it easier to add users, devices, and services as the organisation expands. Inefficient systems slow down operations causing headaches for staff and customers.

Not embracing cloud solutions

Some charities resist moving to the cloud because of concerns about data security and cost. However, the cloud can provide cost-effective, scalable, and secure IT solutions. It allows remote access to data and applications, making it easier for remote or distributed teams to collaborate. Charities should consider the advantages of cloud solutions for their specific needs. However, it’s advisable for you to turn to an IT provider who specialises in charities to find the best cloud solution for your charity’s needs as there are multiple options with different features to choose from.

Poor vendor management

Charities often rely on external vendors for IT services. While this can be a cost-effective strategy, poor vendor management can lead to operational problems. Charities should ensure vendors meet their service level agreements (SLAs) and provide adequate support. A lack of vendor oversight can result in unexpected downtime and operational disruptions that affect not only the charity but also customers.

Insufficient IT training

Charity staff don’t have to be IT experts, but basic IT training is essential. Many IT issues arise from user errors. Charities should invest in training programs to ensure that employees can use technology effectively and securely. This training can reduce the risk of data breaches and system failures. Regular training improves satisfaction among the staff and mitigates risks that can have devastating consequences for charity, its customers and donors.

Lack of a comprehensive IT strategy

A strategic approach to IT is vital for charities. Some charities lack a cohesive IT strategy, leading to disjointed systems and inefficiencies. A well-defined IT strategy should align with the charity’s mission and include plans for security, data management, and technology adoption.

Require assistance with IT management for your charity?

Effective IT management is crucial for charities, just as it is for any other organisation. Avoiding common IT mistakes can help charities operate more efficiently, protect sensitive data, and better achieve their mission. By addressing these mistakes and investing in IT as a strategic asset, charities can make a more significant impact on the communities and causes they serve. If you’d like to learn more about improving your charity’s IT and security, the help4IT team are happy to assist you and answer any question you may have. Contact us today for assistance.

How IT Can Help You Retain Talent in the Hybrid Working Era

In this era of hybrid and remote work, talent retention has become a hot topic and an issue for many businesses. Communication, collaboration, and security are vital when you want to keep your employees happy and productive. Here we explore ideas for leveraging tech in employee retention.


It’s vital to ensure that your IT infrastructure supports hybrid and remote work. Provide your staff with laptops, secure VPN connection, and quality collaboration and communication tools to ensure seamless and effective collaboration across the organisation. Ensure your staff has robust and reliable internet connection available to minimise disruptions.

Collaboration tools

To ensure the productivity of your team, you need to implement and optimise the collaboration tools such as video conferencing (Microsoft Teams, Zoom), messaging platforms, and project management software to facilitate teamwork and communication among your remote and in-house team members. You need to provide proper training and support on these tools so your team can leverage them properly and maximise their productivity.

Cyber security

Have proper cybersecurity measures and tools in place to keep sensitive company data and remote work setups secure. Multi-factor authentication, regular software updates, and staff training on cyber security are integral parts of a secure hybrid and remote working environment. You also must implement secure remote access protocols to protect company networks from threats.

Cloud-based solutions

Use cloud-based solutions for data storage and application access so your remote team can access files and applications anywhere. Implement cloud-based backup and data recovery solutions to safeguard your critical data.

Remote support and IT helpdesk

Establish a responsive IT helpdesk to assist your remote team with potential technical issues promptly. Remote troubleshooting and support should be available when you provide hybrid or remote working opportunities to your staff. Provide self-service IT support resources that your team can use to solve common technical issues they face independently.

Remote onboarding and training

Develop remote onboarding processes that effectively integrate new hires into the company culture and help them become productive while working remotely. Offer your remote team ongoing virtual training and upskilling opportunities to help them stay engaged and advance in their careers. This helps you stand out and turn your team into loyal employees.

Performance monitoring and analytics

Implement tools for monitoring employee performance and productivity, focusing on outcomes rather than micromanagement. Use data analytics to gain insights into remote work trends and identify areas where there’s a need for improvement.

Employee well-being and engagement

Use technology to foster a sense of belonging and engagement among remote teams. This can include virtual team-building activities, social chats, and online forums. Encourage regular check-ins and one-on-one meetings between managers and remote employees to address concerns and maintain a sense of connection.

Flexible work solutions

Implement flexible work solutions that allow employees to choose when and where they work, within reasonable constraints. This can help improve work-life balance and job satisfaction.

Feedback loops

Collect feedback from your employees on their remote work experiences and use this input to make continuous improvements to remote work policies and IT infrastructure.

Need assistance optimising your IT setup for remote and hybrid workers?

By investing in these IT strategies, organisations can create an environment where remote and hybrid work arrangements are not only feasible but also conducive to employee productivity, satisfaction, and retention. A well-supported and empowered remote workforce is more likely to remain loyal to the company. If you’d like to learn how we at help4IT can assist you and your remote team, don’t hesitate to contact us for further information.

Common IT Mistakes Made by Small Businesses  

When starting a new business or attempting to grow a small business into a larger one, there are many things to think about and the attention of the team is often pulled in multiple directions. Building your product or service offering obviously takes highest priority, as well as marketing it to the right people and managing new clients or customers. For smaller businesses, it can be easy to overlook areas that are essential to your growth and prosperity – IT being one of the most important yet frequently sidelined areas in start-ups and small companies.

If you’re a small business owner or manager, and you’re concerned about the setup of your IT systems, here are some of the most common mistakes made and how to avoid them.

Using obsolete hardware and software

Obsolete hardware and software can jeopardise a small business by making it vulnerable to security breaches, as outdated systems often lack the latest security patches. They can also hamper productivity due to compatibility issues, reduced performance, and frequent crashes. Additionally, the longer a business relies on outdated technology, the more expensive and complex the eventual upgrade becomes. Furthermore, the lack of support for older systems means that when issues arise, resolution can be time-consuming, leading to extended downtimes. In essence, relying on obsolete technology poses significant operational, financial, and security risks for small businesses.

Not having any cybersecurity measures in place

Smaller businesses often lack cybersecurity measures due to limited resources and the perception that they aren’t primary targets for cyberattacks. Many believe that cybercriminals only target large corporations, underestimating their own vulnerability. Additionally, small businesses might prioritise immediate operational costs over long-term security investments. The absence of in-house IT expertise can also contribute to a lack of awareness about the evolving threat landscape and the necessary protective measures. This combination of factors makes them more susceptible to cyber threats, even though implementing basic security measures could mitigate many potential risks.

Failing to adhere to data and security compliance regulations

By not having any cybersecurity measures in place, small businesses inevitably fail to meet compliance standards. Smaller companies that are non-compliant with data and security regulations face significant risks including hefty financial penalties and legal actions. Such non-compliance can lead to data breaches, jeopardising sensitive information and eroding customer trust. The subsequent damage to a company’s reputation can result in loss of clients and business opportunities. Additionally, non-compliance can hinder partnerships or dealings with larger entities that demand regulatory adherence. Over time, the costs associated with addressing breaches, legal repercussions, and reputational repair can dwarf the initial investment needed for compliance, potentially threatening the company’s viability and long-term survival.

Lack of regular maintenance

Another area that can sometimes land smaller businesses in trouble in terms of both compliance and staff well-being is the maintenance of IT systems. Regular IT maintenance is crucial for both small and large businesses to ensure operational efficiency, security, and data integrity. Regardless of size, businesses depend on their IT infrastructure for daily operations. Maintenance tasks like updates, backups, and security checks help in identifying and addressing potential issues before they escalate into significant problems. These preventative measures also ensure that the systems are running optimally, protecting against data loss, cyber threats, and ensuring compliance with various regulatory requirements. Moreover, a well-maintained IT environment can adapt more easily to evolving business needs, thus supporting growth and sustainability.

A DIY approach to IT

Small companies with poorly maintained IT systems are often in such a place because they have taken a DIY approach to its management. For example, it’s common to see smaller companies elect the person with the strongest IT skills to manage the setup of laptops and devices, despite not having any specialist training in IT.  Ultimately, attempting to address IT issues without adequate knowledge will result in longer downtimes, disrupting operations, and diverting attention from core business activities. DIY IT may be ok for companies with just 2 or 3 members of staff, but for growing businesses a DIY approach will lead to higher long-term expenses, reduced productivity, and potential reputational damage from avoidable missteps.

Lack of investment in training

Investing in IT training for employees is vital for small businesses to enhance productivity, reduce operational errors, and safeguard against security threats. Trained employees can make better use of technological tools, improving efficiency and the quality of their work. Moreover, many security breaches occur due to human error or lack of awareness. By ensuring employees are knowledgeable about best practices, risks like phishing attacks or inadvertent data leaks can be minimised. In essence, IT training empowers employees to contribute positively to the business’s technological ecosystem, promoting a secure and efficient work environment.

What are the key steps to improving the IT setup for a small business?

In summary, then, here are some of the most important steps smaller companies need to take to ensure they avoid costly IT mistakes that will likely disrupt operations and the reputation of the business.

  1. Implement Regular Backups – Ensure data is backed up both locally and off-site, allowing for quick recovery in case of data loss or cyberattacks.
  2. Prioritise Cybersecurity – Adopt a multi-layered security approach with updated antivirus, firewalls, and secure password policies. Regularly educate employees on security best practices.
  3. Upgrade to Modern Hardware and Software – Use current and supported systems to benefit from the latest performance enhancements and security patches.
  4. Migrate to the Cloud – Utilise cloud services for scalability, remote access, and efficient collaboration. This also offloads some IT maintenance to cloud providers.
  5. Engage External IT Expertise – Consider hiring or consulting with IT professionals to periodically review and optimise the IT setup, ensuring best practices and identifying areas for improvement.

At help4IT, we have many years of experience in the SME sector, helping small to medium-sized businesses streamline their technology requirements and improve their scalability. Visit our small business IT support page for further details, or contact our team to discuss an audit of your IT setup. 

Why Microsoft 365 is the Ideal Cloud IT Solution for Most SMEs

The team at help4IT is often approached by small business owners looking for advice on migrating to the cloud. For the majority of SMEs that we work with, Microsoft 365 is often the perfect answer to many of the IT challenges that they face. Here we answer some of the most commonly asked questions about Microsoft 365, and why it is ideal for many small to medium-sized businesses.

What is Microsoft 365?  

Microsoft 365, formerly known as Office 365, is a subscription-based service offered by Microsoft that combines a suite of productivity applications and cloud services. It includes popular applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams. Along with the traditional Office software, users get additional features like OneDrive storage, advanced security measures, and regular updates. Microsoft 365 is designed to be accessed online, enabling users to work collaboratively in real time from various devices and locations. Catering to both individual users and businesses, it offers multiple plans to fit varied needs, ensuring seamless integration, collaboration, and enhanced productivity.

Why is Microsoft 365 a great cloud IT solution for SMEs?

Microsoft 365 is a potent cloud solution for businesses because it integrates a range of productivity tools, ensuring seamless collaboration and communication. The platform is built on robust security features, safeguarding sensitive business data from potential threats. OneDrive offers generous cloud storage, facilitating easy sharing and backup of files. Moreover, Microsoft’s consistent updates ensure businesses always have the latest features and security patches. All these factors combined make Microsoft 365 an all-encompassing solution that promotes efficiency, collaboration, and security in a business environment.

How easy is it for a small business to migrate to Microsoft 365?

Migrating to Microsoft 365 is relatively straightforward. Microsoft has designed the setup and migration process with user-friendliness in mind. With the availability of comprehensive guides and support from Microsoft, even businesses with limited IT expertise can undertake the migration, however, it’s advisable to consult with IT experts to ensure that your configuration achieves what you need it to do. Key aspects of the migration will involve setting up user accounts, migrating existing email and files, and configuring settings. For those with existing Microsoft products or email systems, there are tools and services to assist with data transfer. While some initial training might be beneficial for staff to utilise all features optimally, the intuitive interface of Microsoft 365 apps makes the transition smoother for most users.

How easy is it to maintain Microsoft 365 and what sort of maintenance tasks are needed?

Maintaining Microsoft 365 is relatively hassle-free, as most of the heavy lifting, like server management and software updates, is handled by Microsoft. However, businesses should regularly manage user accounts, permissions, and monitor storage usage. They must also configure and review security settings, ensuring compliance with organisational policies and potential threat mitigation. Regular training or refresher sessions can be beneficial to keep staff updated on new features or best practices. You will also need to regularly maintain the hardware used to access Microsoft 365 and maintain network security to protect all devices.

My business uses custom software. How well does Microsoft 365 integrate with custom software?

Microsoft 365’s integration with custom software largely depends on the software in question. Many businesses find success integrating through Microsoft’s Power Platform, especially Power Automate, which can connect to numerous services and applications. Microsoft Graph API provides a way to interact with Microsoft 365 services, offering opportunities for custom integration. Furthermore, Microsoft 365 is built on common standards and protocols, making it more interoperable. However, the ease and depth of integration can vary. It’s therefore essential to work with IT professionals familiar with both Microsoft 365 and the specific custom software to assess feasibility and implement a smooth integration process.

Is it essential to consult with IT professionals when moving over to Microsoft 365?

Yes, consulting with IT professionals when transitioning to Microsoft 365 is essential. While Microsoft 365 is user-friendly, an IT expert ensures a smooth migration, helping transfer data, set up security protocols, integrate custom software and existing systems efficiently. They can identify potential pitfalls, recommend best practices, and ensure your setup aligns with business needs. Moreover, they can provide training to staff, ensuring optimal utilisation of the platform. Their expertise can save time, reduce potential disruptions, and ensure that the transition maximises the benefits of the platform for your business.

Are there any scenarios where Microsoft 365 might not be the best solution for my business?

Yes, there are scenarios where Microsoft 365 might not be the best fit. If your business operates in regions with limited internet connectivity, relying heavily on cloud-based services might be challenging. Businesses with stringent data residency or compliance requirements might find Microsoft’s cloud storage locations unsuitable. Additionally, if your enterprise heavily depends on software that’s incompatible or hard to integrate with Microsoft 365, transitions can be cumbersome. Also, smaller businesses with tight budgets might find some of the advanced features unnecessary and cost-prohibitive. It’s crucial to evaluate your specific needs, existing infrastructure, and budgetary constraints before committing to migrate to Microsoft 365.

What are the key benefits of moving to Microsoft 365 summarised?

In summary, then, migrating to Microsoft 365 offers the following key benefits:

  1. Collaboration and Flexibility – Microsoft 365 offers integrated tools like Teams and SharePoint, allowing employees to work together in real time from anywhere, facilitating a more flexible and collaborative work environment.
  2. Regular Updates and Features – Subscribers receive consistent updates, ensuring they always have access to the latest features, security patches, and software improvements without incurring additional costs.
  3. Robust Security – Microsoft 365 has built-in security measures, including advanced threat protection, data loss prevention, and multifactor authentication, safeguarding businesses from potential security threats.
  4. Scalability – It’s easy to adjust subscriptions based on the needs of the business, allowing for seamless scaling up or down as the company grows or changes.
  5. Integrated Cloud Storage – With OneDrive for Business, users get ample cloud storage, making it easier to store, share, and access files from any device, enhancing mobility and data redundancy.

Need assistance migrating to Microsoft 365?

The help4IT team has been delivering an efficient, frictionless Microsoft 365 migration service to SMEs in a broad range of sectors for many years. For assistance with moving your IT systems to the cloud, or for general small business IT support, contact our team today to discuss an initial audit.

Cybersecurity Compliance for UK Law Firms

Law firms are particularly susceptible to cybersecurity attacks as they store highly sensitive information regarding their clients and their court cases. Cybercriminals target law firms in the hope that they can infiltrate their systems, exfiltrate their data, then hold the firm to ransom for large sums of money. According to the Solicitors Regulation Authority, 75% of law firms have been the target of a cyber-attack. The SRA also found that 23 of 30 cases they analysed involved more than £4m of stolen client money.

Successful cybersecurity breaches are highly damaging for any business, however, attacks like these are particularly costly for law firms. The financial impact can be devastating, particularly for smaller firms, and the reputational impact could result in some firms going out of business.

Reducing the threat posed by cybercrime involves rigid compliance with the regulations, high-quality cybersecurity solutions, and training. For law firms based in the UK, there are various laws they must be compliant with. Here we look at the key regulations and guidelines, together with information on how firms can better protect themselves.  

Regulations and Guidelines for Law Firms in the UK

Achieving and surpassing cybersecurity compliance requires consideration of the following laws, regulations, and industry standards. All firms based in the UK need to consider, create procedures and technical measures around, the following:

  • The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – While the GDPR is a European Union (EU) regulation, the UK has adopted its principles into domestic law after Brexit, with the UK GDPR. This regulation is all about the protection and free movement of personal data. Law firms, which often handle a lot of sensitive personal information, need to ensure they comply with GDPR requirements concerning data protection, data breaches, and the rights of data subjects.
  • The Data Protection Act 2018 – This UK-specific legislation complements and fills in the gaps of the UK GDPR. It provides more detailed provisions on data processing, data subject rights, and enforcement.
  • The Network and Information Systems (NIS) Regulations 2018 – This regulation aims to raise the security standards of network and information systems across various sectors. While primarily targeting essential service providers and digital service providers, its focus on promoting cybersecurity can have implications for law firms as well.
  • Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Standards and Regulations – The SRA sets standards for solicitors in England and Wales. As part of these standards, there are requirements relating to the protection of client money and data, which have cybersecurity implications. Law firms are obliged to report any breaches of these standards to the SRA.
  • Cyber Essentials – While not a regulation per se, Cyber Essentials is a UK government-backed scheme that sets out a baseline of cybersecurity for businesses. Achieving Cyber Essentials certification can demonstrate a firm’s commitment to cybersecurity, potentially providing a competitive advantage and reducing risk.
  • Legal Professional Privilege – While not a cybersecurity regulation, it’s worth noting that law firms have an ethical and legal obligation to protect communications between lawyers and their clients. Failing to maintain strong cybersecurity could compromise this privilege.
  • Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Regulations – For law firms involved in certain financial transactions or advising on them, the FCA’s rules and guidance around data security may be relevant.
  • Other Industry-Specific Guidelines and Regulations – Depending on the areas of practice, law firms may also need to be aware of cybersecurity requirements in specific industries (for example, if they are dealing with healthcare or financial services clients).

For further information on maintaining cybersecurity compliance in the legal sector, this June 2023 report by the National Cyber Security Centre is very useful.

How can law firms ensure their cybersecurity procedures are compliant with all the regulations?

Key steps UK firms can take to improve their cybersecurity postures include the following:

Understand the Regulations

The first step is understanding which regulations apply to your law firm. For all UK-based firms, the GDPR, the Data Protection Act 2018, and SRA regulations are essential. Engage in regular legal and regulatory updates, training, and consultations.

Conduct a Risk Assessment

Identify where personal and sensitive data is stored, processed, and transmitted within the firm. Assess current cybersecurity measures and identify vulnerabilities. Use this information to prioritise areas of improvement.

Develop and Implement Policies

  • Data protection policy – Outline how personal data should be processed and stored.
  • Incident response plan – Detail the steps to be taken in the event of a data breach or cyberattack.
  • Access control policy – Define who has access to which data and systems.
  • BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy – If staff use personal devices for work, outline the security measures they must follow.

Technical Measures

  • Implement Firewall and Intrusion Detection/Prevention Systems – To protect against unauthorised access.
  • Use Encryption – Encrypt sensitive data, both at rest and in transit.
  • Regular Backups – Ensure data is regularly backed up and that backups are stored securely.
  • Multi-factor Authentication – Implement MFA for accessing the firm’s systems, especially for remote access.
  • Regularly Update and Patch Systems – Keep all software, including operating systems and applications, up to date.

Training and Awareness

Regularly train staff on cybersecurity best practices and the firm’s policies. This should cover topics like spotting phishing emails, proper data handling, and password best practices.

Vendors and Third Parties

Ensure that third-party vendors, such as cloud providers or IT service providers, also comply with the relevant regulations. This can be done through contractual clauses, audits, or third-party certifications.

Regular Audits

Periodically review and audit your cybersecurity measures to ensure compliance. This can be done internally or with the help of external experts.

Incident Response

Prepare for potential breaches by having a clear incident response plan. This should include processes for containment, eradication, recovery, and communication with stakeholders (including regulatory notifications if needed).


Consider cybersecurity or cyber liability insurance to mitigate financial risks associated with potential breaches or cyberattacks.

Stay Updated

The cybersecurity landscape, as well as regulations, are constantly evolving. Stay informed about new threats, best practices, and any changes in relevant regulations.

Seek Expertise

It can be beneficial to hire or consult with cybersecurity experts or legal consultants specialising in cybersecurity regulations. At help4IT, we provide a range of cybersecurity solutions that meet regulatory compliance requirements for the legal sector. Book a risk assessment with us today or visit our law firm IT support page for further details.

Why Schools Should Invest in Enhanced Cyber Security and Training

This year alone there have been numerous ransomware attacks on schools in the UK. This has raised a question as to whether schools and other educational facilities invest enough in their cyber security and staff training. The latest victim is UWS, University of West of Scotland who was targeted by a gang called Rhysida.

According to BBC news, Rhysida positioned itself as a cybersecurity team telling the organisation they were doing them a favour by pointing out vulnerabilities in their systems. However, the gang is demanding GBP 450,000 from UWS to prevent them from auctioning all the personal and other sensitive data they have stolen on the dark web.

What consequences can inadequate cybersecurity and training have?

If your school is hacked, it’s not only data that is affected. Rhysida’s attack affected staff laptops, shut down half of the IT systems, and affected student submissions. The university’s website was also down showing an error message due to the attack. This not only caused inconvenience to the staff and students but also put them in danger due to the sensitive data that was stolen. These attacks also impact in the long run the reputation of the school because it shows that there’s a lack of investment in security measures that prevent these attacks from succeeding.

What measures can you take to keep your school safe?

First and foremost, you need to have a proper cybersecurity strategy in place. Having regular cybersecurity assessments performed is the first step in developing a comprehensive strategy that is implemented in your school. Also having regular staff training and keeping your staff and student updated on the regulations and guidelines related to cybersecurity is vital for the overall safety of your school. Keep your devices and systems updated and ensure you have proper cyber security tools available that can detect and react to threats. It’s not enough that you have a firewall and hope for the best. A VPN solution and Microsoft Sentinel are things you will want to invest in to help safeguard your school. Also keeping your staff trained by professionals helps to mitigate risks of data breaches.

Talk to the help4IT cybersecurity team

Schools and other educational facilities have become one of the favourite targets for cybercriminals. If you want to keep your staff and students safe, you need to ensure that your staff are properly trained to spot possible attack attempts, have a robust cybersecurity strategy in place, keep all relevant people informed about regulations and guidelines in terms of cybersecurity, and keep your systems and cyber security tools updated always.

The team at help4IT can assist you with the implementation of all this and more for your school. Visit our Schools, Colleges, and Universities page for details.

Remember, attackers see schools as easy targets for their payday, so they come up with sophisticated and devastating ways to cause damage and extort them. To avoid this potential scenario, speak to our team today for advice on how you can better protect your staff and students.

Empowering Education: Choosing the Right IT Service Provider for Your School

According to Further Education News, 64% of schools are now embedding technology in everyday teaching and learning practices. In such a technology-driven landscape, schools rely heavily on IT services to provide an enriching learning environment that meets the needs of both staff and students.

If you are part of your school’s management team and you are seeking new IT providers to assist with the efficient management of your technology needs and IT infrastructure, you may find the following considerations useful.

Seek IT providers with experience in auditing education environments

A key step to optimising your use of technology is to thoroughly audit it. This includes your current infrastructure, devices, peripherals, and software. Consider areas that require improvement, such as network security, data storage, cloud services, and tech support for teachers and students. IT service providers with experience working in schools will be able to identify weaknesses in your existing set-up and make recommendations that will better meet the needs of staff and students.

Prioritise experience in the education sector

An IT service provider with experience in the education sector brings valuable insights into the unique challenges and requirements schools face. Look for providers who have worked with educational institutions like yours. Their familiarity with the industry will enable them to offer tailored solutions that align with your school’s goals and values.

Check for a proven track record and references

Research the reputation of potential IT service providers by reading testimonials and case studies from other schools they have worked with. Reach out to those institutions for feedback on their experiences. A reliable IT provider will have a strong track record of successful implementations and positive client relationships.

Evaluate cybersecurity measures

Security is a top concern in any educational setting, given the sensitive data relating to students and their families. In 2022, 14 schools in the UK were hacked and confidential data was leaked online. You will want to be confident that your IT service provider is doing everything they possibly can to avoid attacks like this. Ask them about their cybersecurity protocols, data encryption, and compliance with industry standards. A strong cybersecurity framework will protect your school’s digital assets and safeguard student privacy.

Consider support and responsiveness

Timely technical support is crucial for the uninterrupted functioning of a school. Ensure the IT service provider offers quick response times and a helpdesk that is available during school hours. Efficient support will enable teachers and staff to address tech-related issues promptly, fostering a productive learning environment.

Be prepared for the future demands of your school

As your school expands and integrates new technologies, it’s essential to choose an IT service provider that can scale their services accordingly. A flexible and forward-thinking provider will help your school accommodate future growth and technological advancements.

Review cost and budget compatibility

While budget is a significant consideration, focus on finding an IT service provider that offers the best value for your school’s needs. Evaluate the cost of services relative to the quality and range of offerings. Some providers may offer educational discounts or customisable packages to suit your budget constraints.

Align with your school’s educational vision

Choose an IT service provider that aligns with your school’s educational vision and goals. A partner who shares your commitment to enhancing the learning experience and supporting the academic community will be better equipped to serve your school’s unique requirements.

Find out how help4IT can assist your school

Selecting the right IT service provider is a pivotal decision for schools seeking to optimise their technological capabilities and enrich the learning experience. At help4IT, we have a strong track record in helping schools and colleges implement and maintain IT environments including new technologies, hardware, and software. Visit our IT support for schools page or contact us today for further information.

How to Choose an IT Service Provider for Your Charity

According to the Charities Aid Foundation, most charities embraced digital during Covid-19 and have continued to be reliant on advances in technology to be able to support their missions and make a meaningful impact on their communities.

An essential component in charities being able to maximise the benefits of technology is their partnership with an IT service provider. Choosing the right partner will likely enhance the organisation’s efficiency and effectiveness, whilst choosing one that is poorly aligned with the organisation’s goals will likely lead to unnecessary challenges.

If you are involved in the operations and management of a charity, and you are considering sourcing a new IT provider, you will want to pay some attention to the following areas.

Does your prospective IT provider understand your needs?

To answer this question, begin by evaluating your charity’s specific IT requirements. Consider your current technology infrastructure, future growth plans, and the challenges you aim to address. Are you looking for basic IT support, cloud solutions, cybersecurity, or a combination of services? Understanding your needs will help you communicate them effectively to potential IT service providers.

Look for experience in the nonprofit sector

Seek an IT support provider that has experience working with nonprofits and charities. Nonprofit organisations have distinct technology demands, including compliance, donor management, and fundraising systems. An IT provider with relevant experience will understand these unique requirements and offer tailored solutions that align with your charity’s goals.

Check for proven track record and references

Look for testimonials and case studies from other charities that the IT service provider has worked with. Reach out to those organisations to gather first-hand feedback on their experiences. A reliable IT provider will have a proven track record of successful implementations and positive client relationships.

Assess security and data protection measures

Security is a top priority for charities that handle sensitive donor information and confidential data. Inquire about the IT provider’s security protocols, encryption measures, and data protection practices. Ensure they comply with relevant regulations and demonstrate a commitment to safeguarding your charity’s information.

Evaluate responsiveness and support

Tech issues can occur at any time, potentially impacting your charity’s operations and communication with stakeholders. Therefore, your service provider needs to offer fast response times and 24/7 support. Timely assistance is crucial to minimise downtime and keep your charity running smoothly.

Consider scalability and futureproofing

As your charity grows and evolves, so will its IT needs. Choose an IT service provider that offers scalable solutions and can accommodate your organisation’s future requirements. A forward-thinking IT partner will help future-proof your charity’s technology infrastructure.

Review cost and pricing models

While budget is a significant factor, don’t solely focus on the cheapest option. Instead, consider the value and quality of services provided by the IT service provider. Some IT providers offer flexible pricing models or discounts for nonprofit organisations, making it worthwhile to explore your options.

Align with your charity’s mission and values:

Choose an IT service provider that aligns with your charity’s mission and values. A partner who shares your organisation’s passion for making a positive impact will be more invested in supporting your tech needs and contributing to your overall success.

Get in touch to find out more about our work in the charity sector

Selecting the right IT service provider is a critical decision for charities seeking to optimise their operations and fulfil their missions effectively. At help4IT, we have a long track record in assisting charities with improving their use of technology to help meet their end goals. You can find out more about this on our charity IT support page here. Alternatively, get in touch with our team to discuss how we can assist you today.

The Rise of AI: How AI is Leveraged in IT Services

In the ever-evolving world of IT services, AI has emerged as a driving force behind transformative innovations and improved efficiency. This revolutionary concept has infiltrated various aspects of IT services, shaping the industry’s landscape and unlocking a realm of possibilities that were once only imaginable in science fiction. In this blog post, we will explore how AI is reshaping IT services and propelling us into a smarter, more connected future.

Enhanced automation

AI’s most apparent impact on IT services lies in automation. From mundane, repetitive tasks to complex operations, AI-powered automation systems have liberated IT professionals from time-consuming activities. This newfound efficiency allows IT teams to focus on strategic initiatives, innovation, and providing better customer experiences.

Intelligent IT operations

The deployment of AI in IT operations has given rise to AIOps, a transformative approach that harnesses machine learning algorithms and big data analytics to monitor, detect, and resolve issues in real time. AIOps not only enhance the reliability of IT infrastructure but also predicts potential problems, facilitating proactive measures to prevent disruptions.

Advanced cybersecurity

As cyber threats grow in sophistication, AI has become an invaluable asset in IT security. AI-driven cybersecurity tools can detect anomalies, identify patterns in malicious activities, and adapt to evolving threats in real time. This proactive approach enhances data protection and fortifies defenses against cyberattacks.

Optimising IT-infrastructure

AI’s self-learning capabilities enable IT service providers to optimise their infrastructure continuously. By analysing usage patterns, AI can allocate resources more efficiently, reducing downtime and operational costs. Additionally, AI helps with capacity planning, ensuring IT systems are prepared for future demands.


The integration of AI in IT services has ushered in a new era of innovation and efficiency. From automation and AIOps to predictive analytics and advanced cybersecurity, AI empowers IT professionals to deliver more reliable, personalised, and forward-thinking solutions to their customers.

As AI continues to evolve and become an intrinsic part of IT support services, businesses that embrace its potential will remain at the forefront of the industry, ready to navigate the complexities of the digital world with intelligence, speed, and foresight. The journey to a smarter tomorrow has just begun, and AI is leading the way.

How to Choose the Right IT Services Provider for Your Legal Practice

According to Lexis Nexis, 84% of top law firms have invested in Document Management Systems and 81% in Virtual Data Rooms. With many smaller firms also embracing the digital revolution, firms are becoming increasingly reliant on new technologies to protect their clients’ data. A critical component in ensuring the technology solutions for IT firms meets their requirements is the partnership with an IT supplier. A strong partnership will improve your firm’s efficiency, whilst meeting the robust data and security compliance requirements for your industry.

When choosing an IT services provider for your legal practice, it’s vital that you ensure that the provider is familiar with the software and regulations in your industry. Additionally, you may require your provider to be accessible both onsite and offsite to ensure you get support for any type of issue that may come your way. In this article, we cover what you need to take to account when choosing an IT solution for your firm.

Industry expertise

The legal field is unique with its specific requirements, regulations, and security concerns. Look for an IT supplier that has extensive experience in serving legal service providers. Understanding your industry’s intricacies allows them to offer tailored solutions and handle compliance-related issues with ease.

Security and data protection

Legal service providers handle sensitive and confidential information daily. The last thing you want is a data breach jeopardizing your clients’ trust and your reputation. A reliable IT supplier must prioritise robust security measures, such as encryption, multi-factor authentication, and regular security audits. Seek references and inquire about their track record in safeguarding client data.

Scalability and flexibility

Your IT needs may evolve as you grow and adapt to new challenges. Ensure that your chosen IT supplier offers scalable solutions that can expand alongside your business. Flexibility is essential in accommodating any changes in technology or service requirements.

24/7 support and response time

Tech problems can occur at any time, and you can’t afford extended downtimes in your legal practice. Look for an IT supplier that provides round-the-clock support and quick response times to tackle any emergencies promptly.

Disaster backup and recovery solutions

In the legal industry, even a brief data loss can have significant consequences. Your IT supplier should have a robust disaster recovery plan and reliable backup solutions to minimize disruptions and prevent data loss.

Integration capabilities

A seamless IT ecosystem enhances productivity and collaboration within your legal services practice. Ensure your IT supplier’s solutions can integrate with your existing systems, such as case management software, email clients, and document management platforms.

Clear service level agreements (SLAs)

Transparency in your partnership should be your priority by establishing clear Service Level Agreements. SLAs should outline the scope of services, response times, performance benchmarks, and expectations, ensuring you receive the level of service you need.

References and testimonials

Don’t hesitate to ask for references and testimonials from other legal service providers who have worked with the IT supplier you’re considering. Honest feedback from their current clients can provide valuable insights into the quality of their services.

Find out more

Choosing the right IT supplier for your legal practice is a decision that will significantly impact your firm’s success. By prioritising industry expertise, security measures, scalability, and flexible support, you’ll find a partner that aligns with your specific needs and sets the foundation for a prosperous future.

At help4IT, we provide a range of solutions to meet the requirements of law firms in the UK and overseas. For further information on our IT support for legal practices, please contact our team.

Why is a Multi-Cloud Environment Not Good for Your Business?

According to Cloudways, 94% of all businesses use cloud services and 48% store sensitive customer or business information in the cloud. Businesses, both large and small, are leveraging cloud technology to power their operations. But is a multi-cloud environment the best approach? Here are some of the key issues to consider.

What is multi-cloud?

A multi-cloud strategy is one where a business uses two or more cloud computing services from different vendors. These services can span Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), or Software as a Service (SaaS). While this strategy provides flexibility and reduces dependency on a single provider, it can also present numerous challenges.

How does a multi-cloud environment create problematic complexity for your business?

Complexity is the primary challenge associated with a multi-cloud environment. Each cloud platform comes with its unique set of tools, APIs, services, and interfaces. Operating in a multi-cloud environment means your IT team needs to familiarise themselves with each of these different ecosystems. This requirement can lead to time-consuming training, which could otherwise be spent improving your business operations.

Moreover, integrating and managing these different platforms can be a daunting task. Each has its unique operational characteristics; getting them to “talk” to one another smoothly requires a high degree of expertise and can lead to operational inefficiencies.

What are the security risks of a multi-cloud environment?

The more cloud platforms you use, the larger your attack surface becomes. Each platform has its unique security protocols and settings; configuring them correctly to ensure optimal security is a significant challenge.

In addition, managing and monitoring these disparate systems can be difficult, leading to potential blind spots where cybercriminals can exploit vulnerabilities. Lastly, the need to control user access across multiple platforms can lead to potential identity and access management issues, increasing the risk of unauthorised access.

What are the cost implications of a multi-cloud environment?

While using multiple clouds might seem like a good way to prevent vendor lock-in and potentially get the best deal on specific services, it can end up being more costly. Each cloud provider has its unique pricing structure, making it challenging to optimise costs across platforms.

Moreover, the extra resources required for management, integration, and security for multiple clouds can add to the overall costs. Also, your organisation might miss out on volume discounts that could be obtained by consolidating your services with a single provider.

How does a multi-cloud environment affect compliance and data security?

A multi-cloud environment complicates compliance and data security due to the different privacy and security policies of each provider. Navigating through these different requirements to ensure data compliance across different jurisdictions can be a complex and resource-intensive process.

Moreover, maintaining data integrity across multiple platforms can be difficult, increasing the risk of data breaches and losses, with potential legal and reputational repercussions.

What is the best way to consolidate your business’s use of cloud technology?

Consolidating your use of cloud technology involves identifying and focusing on a single cloud provider that best meets your business needs. This approach reduces the complexity and security risks associated with managing multiple cloud environments.

The key to successful consolidation is careful planning. Evaluate the specific needs of your business, assess the strengths and weaknesses of different cloud providers, and choose one that aligns best with your operational needs, security requirements, and budget.

Consider also working with a professional cloud service provider or IT consultant. They can help guide your decision, assist in the migration process, and ensure a smooth transition. At help4IT, our project managers and engineers have extensive experience in helping organisations of all sizes to move to migrate to cloud environments or consolidate their existing multi-cloud set-up. Get in touch with our team to discuss how we can assist you.

In conclusion, while a multi-cloud environment offers the allure of flexibility, the complexities, costs, and security risks associated with managing multiple cloud platforms can outweigh these benefits. Consolidation can streamline operations, improve security, reduce costs, and ease compliance concerns, making it a strategy well worth considering for many businesses.

Choosing the Right IT Supplier for a Financial Services Company

Choosing an IT supplier is a critical decision for any business in today’s digital age, but for those in the financial services industry, this decision is of particular significance. An IT provider’s capacity to support the specific needs of a financial services firm can determine a broad range of its success metrics including its efficiency, scalability, and ability to meet regulatory compliance requirements. In addition, VMWare reported a 238% increase in cyberattacks targeting financial institutions, a burgeoning issue that all providers of IT services to finance companies need to be able to manage and mitigate.

If you are involved in the management of a financial services company in the UK, here are some areas to consider when initiating the procurement of IT services.

How do IT support services for finance companies differ from IT services for other types of businesses?

The financial services industry has unique IT requirements that differentiate it from other sectors. Firstly, financial service companies often use specialised software packages for activities like risk management, portfolio management, trading platforms, and financial modelling. Therefore, IT support in this sector requires specific knowledge and experience with such systems.

Secondly, financial service companies handle highly sensitive information, such as personal and financial data, which necessitates stringent security measures. Lastly, the financial sector is heavily regulated, meaning companies must adhere to a variety of compliance requirements. These factors call for an IT supplier with expertise in data security, regulatory compliance, and financial software applications.

What type of IT solution is best suited to finance companies?

Companies offering financial services are best served by comprehensive IT solutions that encompass system management, cybersecurity, data protection, software integration, and support for regulatory compliance. These solutions should be scalable, adaptable, and secure, helping to meet the evolving and challenging needs of the sector.

Many finance companies find a cloud-based IT solution to be particularly advantageous due to its inherent scalability and flexibility. Cloud solutions can often better facilitate remote work environments, allow for seamless software updates, and provide robust data backup and recovery services.

At help4IT, our team has extensive experience helping financial service companies remain compliant and secure. Want to find out more? Contact our London based team to discuss your requirements.  

The importance of FCA compliance

In the UK, financial services are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This means that IT suppliers for these firms must be adept at managing the FCA’s compliance requirements. Non-compliance can lead to significant fines and damage to a company’s reputation.

IT suppliers should be familiar with regulations regarding data protection, record keeping, and reporting, as well as ensuring systems are secure and resilient to outages or attacks. The right IT supplier should provide proactive compliance support, such as regular audits, risk assessments, and updates that meet new or changing regulations.

The importance of robust cyber security

Financial services firms are high-value targets for cybercriminals due to the sensitive data they handle. A single security breach can lead to severe financial loss and reputational damage. As such, financial companies need an IT supplier that prioritises cybersecurity.

This should involve multi-layered security measures, including firewalls, intrusion detection systems, encrypted communications, and regular vulnerability risk assessments. Furthermore, the supplier should offer regular cybersecurity training for employees, as human error is a common vulnerability in any security system.

At help4IT, we provide a range of sophisticated cybersecurity services, designed to protect all aspects of our clients’ systems and infrastructure. To find out how we can help improve the security of your business, contact us for further information.  

Managing sensitive customer data

Handling sensitive customer data is a crucial responsibility for financial services firms. IT suppliers must therefore offer robust data management and protection services. These services should ensure data integrity, availability, and confidentiality, in compliance with data protection laws such as the GDPR.

Data protection measures should include secure data storage, backups, and recovery procedures, as well as tools to detect and respond to any unauthorised data access or breaches. The supplier should also help firms map out their data flows, ensuring they understand where and how data is stored, processed, and transferred.

If you are currently experiencing any issues in relation to data management and processing, help4IT has the knowledge and skills to assist you. Contact us for further information.

How managed IT support solutions can facilitate growth for financial services companies

Managed IT support can play a vital role in facilitating growth for financial services companies. With managed IT, firms can access the latest technologies and industry best practices without the need to maintain a large in-house IT department. This allows them to focus on their core business operations and strategic growth initiatives.

Furthermore, managed IT support can provide scalability, allowing companies to easily expand or reduce their IT infrastructure as needed. It also offers predictable IT costs, reducing the risk of unexpected expenses.

Talk to us about your IT requirements

Choosing the right IT supplier is a strategic decision that can significantly impact the success of a financial services company. If you are currently in the process of reviewing your IT, cybersecurity, data management, and regulatory compliance requirements, the help4IT team would welcome the opportunity to discuss how we can help you make improvements in all these areas. Take a look at our financial services IT support page for further details.

Remote work is the new normal and here’s how you can make it safe and fun

In the past 3 years, remote work has become the new normal for us. Many employees have transitioned from the office to working from home, enabling them to be more time effective and to have a better work-life balance. IT services are still critical for home workers, as they provide many processes that help you and your team to increase productivity and stay safe at the same time.

In this article, we cover 18 ways you can make remote work safe, productive, and fun.

  1. Take a picture of your computer setup before unplugging to take things to remote work including the computer cable set up in the back unless it’s a laptop.
  2. Install the updates.
  3. Update all antivirus and anti-malware tools as well.
  4. Uninstall unnecessary software from your personal computer.
  5. Use a VPN (virtual private network) always.
  6. Turn off automatic connections on your Wi-Fi.
  7. Separate your network.
  8. Lock your computer.
  9. Create a different user account for family and friends.
  10. Use a password manager.
  11. Ask the IT person in your organization about securing the DNS settings on your personal computer.
  12. Update your softphone software if you have one.
  13. Ensure secure browser configuration.
  14. Use Mozilla, Firefox, or Google Chrome as your browser.
  15. Think twice. Cybercriminals are using more and more sophisticated methods all the time and can sound trustworthy. Check email address and the sender because your CEO or other senior manager may not be the sender after all.
  16. Don’t be click happy. Not all links and attachments are safe.
  17. When in doubt, see something, say something ASAP.
  18. Check with your IT person to make sure that your data is being backed up.

If you plan to switch to remote work, make sure you take care of all the safety measures and have a chat with the IT team to ensure you can work stress-free and optimise your productivity. Remote work brings you many benefits, but it also brings initial challenges in terms of safety.

Need assistance with IT support for your remote working colleagues? Speak to the help4IT team today.

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