Applications, workloads, and data power your business. But the physical hardware they run on doesn’t. In many cases, it simply adds to the cost and complexity of your end-user computing. That’s where virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) can help. By decoupling software and hardware, you can deliver secure, scalable end-user computing at a much lower cost.And like many parts of the IT ecosystem, VDI is even better in the cloud. Our managed Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) service gets you the security and performance of VDI hosted on Microsoft’s Azure cloud service, combined with world-class support from a Microsoft Gold partner.
Broad device and OS support: connect using Windows, macOS, Android, and Linux devices alike
A familiar, simple user experience: deliver the Windows experience users are familiar with—no updates or hardware upgrades required
Quick, low-cost deployment: onboard new users in under an hour, with no time or CapEx wasted on acquiring and setting up new hardware
While the internet has many benefits for modern businesses, there are also some issues to be aware of within the online space. With this, it’s vital to be aware of the malicious actions that a bad-faith actor can take to, at worst, damage your company.
Emails are one of the most vulnerable points at which your company could be in danger. With many different attacks and vulnerabilities involving social engineering, even a simple click on a link within an email could cause tons of damage. But, some methods are more dangerous than others.
In this article, we’re going to go over the difference between spam emails and phishing emails, and how you can protect your business from them.
Spam email (or junk mail) is a type of email that is quite common online. In fact, you probably have at least some spam within your email ‘Spam’ folder right now.
These kinds of emails are simply just a form of mass marketing, that is used to advertise a service (whether it be a legitimate service or a scam) for sale to a large number of people with ease.
Email spammers tend to acquire their victims’ email addresses from a wide range of sources and constantly bulk-send advertisements to their list of emails, not caring about who’s on there.
Commonly, you’ll see spam emails advertising adult websites, gambling websites, and insurance websites. These are usually scams, though it’s incredibly easy to tell that these emails are spam and will be put into your email client’s spam folder automatically so you don’t have to manually delete them.
However, even newsletters and other opt-in emails from legitimate places are seen as spam. Generally, spam is just unwanted/unsolicited emails, and there’s nothing inherently malicious about another email saying that there’s a sale at a clothes shop — even if they can be annoying.
Phishing is much more dangerous and malicious, however…
A phishing email is an email that is designed to intentionally deceive the recipient into giving access to an account or service. This social engineering scam is one of the most dangerous online attacks, as it takes advantage of unsuspecting or vulnerable people first and foremost.
Unlike low-effort spam mail, these emails are designed to trick unsuspecting victims into handing over sensitive information such as passwords, bank information, and even administrative access to a business system in the worst case.
The key to phishing scams is that they look legitimate at first glance, and are designed to trigger the recipient to panic. They’ll often say something like “Your account has withdrawn £1294.90” and look deceptively similar to an email from a bank — in the example of a bank phishing scam — and will redirect you to a fake login portal to try to get you to enter your bank login.
These emails are easy to spot to the trained eye — as we’ll go over further on — but even those who are experts can be tricked. For example, famous cybersecurity expert and scam exposer Jim Browning fell victim to a very realistic-looking phishing attack that temporarily restricted access to his whole YouTube channel.
This video is his recounting of the scam, and is a great example of the types of high-level phishing attacks that you may encounter:
With these attacks becoming harder to spot every day, it’s important to educate yourself on how to stop them. To do so, you need to know the key differences between general spam and phishing.
Otherwise, there isn’t much of a difference between the two, as phishing is generally considered to be a type of spam email. However, while spam is usually annoying and harmless, phishing is deadly and dangerous.
There are several steps that your business can take to protect itself from spam and (more importantly) phishing.
Phishing attacks will often have some telltale signs that will be able to signal to you that they’re coming from a malicious source.
Generally, when using your judgement, be suspicious of any email you receive in general. Make sure to do the correct research before taking action.
It’s great that you know the signs. But, if your employees don’t, they could fall victim to an attack without knowing.
By ensuring that everyone is prepared and knowledgeable about the risks of phishing, you protect your company.
Even with all of this, humans make mistakes. Sometimes, you’ll click a bad link by accident. Ensuring that there are systems in place for this is important.
With the looming threat of phishing and spam being a serious consideration for any business, knowing how to protect yourself is vital for the success of any business. Knowing the key risk factors and threats that could put your business in danger is important, as acknowledging these risks is the best way to stop them.
Are you looking to implement securities and strengthen your company’s vulnerability against social engineering attacks? Get in touch with us today! Our experts are here to help, and can easily make sure that your company has every base covered.
Whether it’s simply to take calls on the go or to send and receive important information while away from the desk, mobile devices are part of every business’s workflow — and are part of the transition into the hyperconnected, technological future.
These powerful devices have significant challenges for any business, however. These challenges are incredibly common, but need to be addressed anyway — some of these issues can be high-level vulnerabilities if left unchecked.
In this article, we’re going to explore these issues — and explain how your organisation can solve these challenges with ease.
By nature, mobile devices can be a risk for any company. This is because of the inherent use of mobile devices to take information outside of the workplace’s system and infrastructure — this can potentially lead to a breach of important information.
This is why it’s crucial to develop thorough security measures to ensure that mobile devices are safe:
Shadow IT is the use of an application or software that’s unauthorised for use within your organisation, and that’s been installed on a device. This can be a major security issue for any company, as it ushers in the ability to install harmful software onto work devices.
Using your MDM solution, blacklist non-essential applications to ensure that no malicious applications are installed onto devices that could be vulnerabilities for your organisation. After all, your institution’s mobile devices should only have work-essential apps on them.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs allow employees to use their own devices at work. While this has productivity benefits, it also comes with a host of challenges of its own:
However, implementing hard restrictions on your employees’ personal devices with MDM software isn’t a good thing either. Instead, utilising an MDM solution that can distinguish different rules between work-issued devices and BYOD devices is a great way to ensure that this isn’t an issue.
For example, Microsoft Intune allows you to implement on-premises functionalities of your security network to your BYOD program, meaning that you can implement security features throughout your company’s BYOD setup without having to worry about over-restricting your employees’ use of their devices.
Software can — and often will — have vulnerabilities that need to be patched by the developers. This is a vulnerability that isn’t exactly in your control, but it’s vital that you ensure to install patches and fixes as soon as they become available for your organisation.
It can be easy to delay or forget to install patches throughout your organisation, but this is crucial to patch up any vulnerabilities and exploits within the software that you’re using.
Using MDM software to manage and deploy patches throughout your organisation means that you can easily stop powerful vulnerabilities from being exploited. If you don’t make sure to keep on top of this, you’re putting your organisation at risk.
Mobile devices are incredibly vulnerable to being misplaced or stolen, which has a few consequences for your organisation:
Internal data breaches are becoming more and more common with the implementation of mobile devices into the business infrastructure. Network access control will mitigate this, and minimise the risk of an internal breach.
The most commonly used control technique is the principle of least privilege (PoLP). This is ensuring that people only have access to the data that they need to be able to work, restricting unrequired access throughout your organisation. With this, you can ensure that data is only available to those who need it.
Privileged access management (PAM) will also help ensure that you can outline the restrictions and authorisations for each unique device on your network. This means that you can ensure that only the devices that are authorised to access said data can access it, instantaneously blocking other connections.
Mobile devices can create some of the worst vulnerabilities and challenges for modern businesses. Ensuring that your organisation is prepared and equipped to deal with these challenges will save significant amounts of time and mitigate stress and strain on your business’s resources and IT infrastructure for the long term.
By implementing the aforementioned security and management solutions that are necessary for your network, and ensuring that the importance of compliance is emphasised throughout your team, the struggles and challenges of utilising mobile devices throughout your organisation will be greatly reduced.
Are you looking to help improve your organisation’s security posture? Get in touch with us today, and see how we can help!
As modern companies look towards the cloud as the future of their business infrastructure, cloud migration is one of the biggest prospects and challenges for any modern organisation.
There’s a lot to consider for any business looking to migrate to the cloud. However, there are several steps that you can take to ensure that your business’ cloud migration strategy is successful.
We believe that the cloud is the future of all business infrastructure. That’s why in this article, we’re going to take you through the nine best steps to ensure success when undertaking cloud migration.
Your business purpose is the reason that your company was originally founded. It sets you apart from other companies and ensures that your company remains on task to achieve what it was created to do.
Ensuring that your business purpose is well-defined when migrating to the cloud ensures that none of the essence of your company is lost when making the move over. It allows you to ensure that your business is still focused on the core tenets it was founded on, even with a new infrastructure.
Understanding why your company wants to move over to the cloud and having a clear vision of what you expect to achieve post-migration is vital to ensuring that the process is successful and beneficial to your company in the long term.
By identifying your specific goals and objectives, your company can know exactly what it wants to achieve. That way, you can ensure that you’re making the right decisions to carry out your vision.
Setting measurable objectives will also help you measure the success of your migration strategy — tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) in the measurable areas that you expect to improve performance in when migrating to the cloud will help you ensure that the process is beneficial for your company and successful.
There are many cloud providers that are available for your company, and choosing the right one may seem tough. The best way of knowing what you need is by getting in touch with a migration provider — like ourselves.
We’ll be able to guide you through the whole process and ensure that your business achieves exactly what you desire from migrating to the cloud, whilst also providing support throughout the process and afterwards.
There’s no need to worry about going through the process alone, as we’re here to help guide you through and ensure that everything is on the right track.
There are four types of cloud environments that are generally available for businesses to choose from:
There are also three deployment models to choose from:
With so many options, finding the right choice for your business is easy! Just get in touch with us, and we’ll be able to walk you through the best steps for your organisation.
The next step is knowing how you’ll migrate over to the cloud. This is crucial, as it will define the process that your business will undertake.
Doing so will require evaluation and planning, but there are a number of options that you can take here. Your cloud partner will be able to help you work out which migration method is best for your organisation and help you evaluate and plan thoroughly to ensure that the process is successful.
Your data migration plan is essential to being able to migrate effectively. This is essentially deciding how your data will be migrated, and there’s a host of different options to choose from, some of which include:
Once all of these things are decided, you can undertake your migration plan and finally migrate your infrastructure to the cloud.
Ensuring to follow these steps is crucial, as your migration may be unsuccessful if you don’t strictly adhere to the plan and objectives that you’ve laid out.
After having migrated your business to the cloud, test your cloud deployment against your migration objectives and KPIs. Ensure that the benefits that you expected from the migration are what the migration is actually achieving, and adjust accordingly if not.
Even after this, continuing to test and adjust as your business moves forward is important for the longevity of your institution’s success. As you move forward, you can optimise parts of your business to ensure that your costs are low and your security posture is strong.
Moving over to the cloud can be a tedious and difficult process for any organisation, but a solid plan and a helping hand can help take the strain of the process away. If you’re looking to move over to the cloud, we’re here to help.
Our expert team will be able to guide you through the whole process of cloud migration, and act as your partner — to ensure that your migration is successful. From your migration strategy to the minutiae of your cloud environment, model, and deployment method, our team has your back.
Get in touch today and see how we can help.
As the world moves forward, business intelligence (BI) becomes more important for helping your business keep up with modern necessities and trends. BI can help you track important business metrics and take your business to the next level.
Business intelligence unlocks a whole new dimension for your business to thrive within, so taking advantage of BI is essential for any business looking to thrive in the modern world.
We believe that BI is one of the most important parts of any modern business. That’s why in this article, we’re going to take a look at the importance of business intelligence, and how it can help your business thrive.
Business Intelligence (BI) is the term for the technologies and strategies that companies use to track and analyse their business metrics and turn them into actionable insights to inform business decisions.
These key metrics are turned into insights by tools such as Power BI and can be used to analyse trends and patterns and to make key business decisions with the intelligence to ensure that you won’t be making an incorrect choice for the health of your business.
BI is one of the most important aspects of any modern business — utilising a tool like PowerBI to ensure that your business is able to know how to move forward with a strategy successfully is a vital tool for ensured success.
Analytics such as the ones provided by BI are important for any business, as they allow you to ensure that your business’ key decisions will be successful.
For example, telecommunications provider T-Mobile uses Microsoft Power BI to refine its data quality and use data visualisation to be able to create informed decisions going forward.
With their use of Power BI, T-Mobile can accurately and effectively communicate and report key metrics and data, meaning that data analysis and data reports became both more efficient and effective.
Using the automation tools within Power BI, T-Mobile was able to ensure that the whole reporting process was even more streamlined. With simple but powerful automation, a tool like Power BI can take your BI capabilities to the next level.
BI uses trends and patterns to create insights for your business and regarding your customers. This lets your business make informed key decisions based on the data you have, which is the key way to ensure that your decisions are successful.
The insight visualisation within a tool such as Microsoft Power BI makes this process much easier too. Being able to visualise data will help you analyse and process it better, making your decision-making process much more refined.
This can be useful for any company, as data is key to ensuring that your business knows which steps to take to thrive going forward.
Analysing data and finding trends manually can take time and can easily be missed. BI simplifies the whole process and makes it more efficient for your organisation, as trends and insights are made apparent within a matter of seconds.
Not only does this remove the work that is needed to generate the insights and analysis manually, but it also makes data available as soon as it is needed. This means that the data is accessible without delay, and work can be done much more quickly and efficiently.
Data analysis is important even if not using BI, however not all insights are actionable. BI removes the risk of wasting time with unactionable data by providing insights that are both actionable and have a great impact.
Actionable insights can be a struggle for a lot of companies not using BI. The insights and reporting provided by a tool like PowerBI can be a game changer for any business that is struggling to take action to help their business thrive, as the data analysis options provided by BI mean that you can make more informed decisions.
Data is a very powerful tool and can be used to tell a story and influence key decisions and opinions anywhere. However, to use data in this fashion, it needs to be easy to understand. After all, who’s going to care about your data if they don’t understand it?
Microsoft’s Power BI’s data visualisation features make your data beautiful, and easy to understand and process. From graphs to charts, Power BI can showcase your data and show off the best parts of it.
Using automation, BI is able to self-report information and data with ease. This means that you don’t have to dedicate time and resources to ensure that data is reported correctly and efficiently throughout your organisation.
Without BI, reporting can be strenuous for your organisation whilst also being incorrect and incomplete. BI removes all human error and bias, meaning that you can easily access the correct information whenever you need it.
BI is an important tool in any modern business’s arsenal and is a great way to ensure the success of your organisation’s strategies and plans going forward. Data is crucial to ensuring that you make the right business decisions and avoid wasting time and resources on a strategy that may not be correct for your business.
Utilising a tool like Microsoft Power BI is a great way to take advantage of automation capabilities whilst ensuring that you have access to the best data analysis tools available. There’s no better way to ensure that your company’s data is used effectively whilst also simplifying the whole reporting process.
Ready to get started with implementing BI into your organisation? Get in touch with us today, and see how we can help!
In the modern business landscape, it can seem difficult to know which technologies are the best to enable your company to prosper. However, Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EM+S) is one of the most essential suites for any modern business.
With its many security features and included tools, EM+S is one of the best packages to be able to help secure your business in the day-to-day aspects of your institution. Its seamless integrations with Microsoft Windows means that EM+S is a must-have tool for any organisation.
In this article, we’re going to go over the ins and outs of Microsoft EM+S for your company. We’ll also take a look at how you can implement EM+S and its key features and benefits.
Microsoft Enterprise Mobile + Security (EM+S) is a suite of tools that consists of five different software tools —
All five of these tools are great for any company, as they protect organisations from any security breaches and malicious forces that want to possibly gain access to secure and sensitive files and data for any number of means.
This means that with EM+S, you’re getting four high-quality tools that all work well together in a package. Furthermore, each of these tools is built to work seamlessly with the Azure and Windows platforms. So, if you’re already using an infrastructure based on Azure or Windows — EM+S might be even more essential for you.
As stated previously, Azure Active Directory is an identity management tool that uses single-sign-on (SSO) to secure your institution. Instead of having to remember a password for each different application that your organisation uses — and therefore an additional breach point — SSO means that you can use one login portal to access all the tools that you need.
Plus, you can use AD to enable the use of other identification factors throughout your company (such as biometrics or a one-time code). With this, you eliminate the need of using passwords — a less secure factor of authentication than biometrics or multi-device authentication.
With Azure Rights Management, you can easily make sure that only those who are authorised to access sensitive data can access it. Using Azure RM, you can block people based on their viewing location, date, identification, employment status, and much more.
This eliminates the risk of data getting into the hands of unauthorised individuals and reduces that vulnerability when working outside of the premises — as is usually the case for remote workers.
The protection of information and data is crucial for any institution. EM+S helps keep your data secure with its ability to limit unauthorised access to your data and its access controls for your files.
Using its labelling and classification capabilities, Azure Information Protection helps you keep your organisation safe from any breaches by letting you classify your data so it’s protected from certain parameters.
All of the tools included allow you to take an ‘identity-driven’ security approach, with Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics. This tool analyses access by users to raise the alarm when something looks suspicious.
Microsoft Enterprise M+S is a great tool for any business’s arsenal. Instead of having to micromanage IT and security throughout your whole organisation, M+S gives you security tools to empower your company’s security posture. The five tools included are some of the best security tools Microsoft has available, and are essential for any modern business — let alone those already running on Microsoft services.
If you’re looking to implement Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security in your business, we’re here to help. Our dedicated expert team will get you up and running in no time and will be there to support you every step of the way. We also provide round-the-clock support, to ensure that we’re there when you need us.
Get in touch today and see how we can help!
Cyberattacks can be incredibly damaging for any company. Even a small-scale attack can cripple certain parts of your organisation, let alone a larger attack that might throw your company into a crisis.
Recovering from a cyberattack can take anywhere from a few weeks to months – and this all depends on how well you prepare your business against threats online.
In this article, we’re going to go over the steps to take to recover from a cyberattack. Even if you’ve not well versed in digital security, familiarising yourself with these steps could be the difference between recovering quickly or not at all.
No matter how much you know about cybersecurity, a trusted advisor will be the best person to consult about moving forward from a cyberattack.
A trusted advisor is a professional organisation who understands cybersecurity at a higher level and can help you take steps to move forward. They can also help strengthen your security vulnerabilities to ensure the same doesn’t occur in the future. Trusted advisors like ourselves can also provide other services for your company.
Getting in touch with a provider who can help your organisation move forward and help you protect yourself from dangerous cyberattacks is a great way to make sure that your business isn’t crippled in the future by an incident.
We’re here to help! Contact us if you want to take the first step to move past a cybersecurity incident.
A Cyber Incident Response Plan is a document that outlines what a business or organisation should do in the event of a cyber incident. They are crucial to any business, especially with the rising threat of cybercrime and an attack being possible at any moment.
A basic Cyber Incident Response Plan should contain:
Ensuring that this plan not only exists but is regularly kept up to date is crucial to any business’s immediate success post-cyber-incident.
A business continuity plan (BCP) is a prevention and recovery system that helps mitigate risks and threats to a company. Any company should have a plan in place to ensure that they’re protected and have the plan to recover from any major incident within their institution.
Ensuring to follow this plan includes training colleagues, employees, and staff on the importance of the plan and how it should be undertaken. This way, everyone knows exactly what they need to be doing and all confusion in the stressful situation is eliminated.
At this point, you’ll want to start restoring your data and infrastructure to get your company back to the point where it was before the attack. With this, you’ll want to restore data from any backups and archives you have access to.
This is why it’s imperative that you back up your company’s data regularly. In the event of a catastrophe, having an isolated backup that’s accessible with ease to restore your organisation’s data is one of the best ways to ensure that you can get your company back up and running as fast as possible.
Ensure that there are no remaining vulnerabilities before recovering your data, to ensure that you don’t leave access for a possible future breach. Ensuring that you’re doing everything safely is essential, to remove any possible future risks.
Any attack is a learning opportunity for your institution. To ensure a breach or attack doesn’t happen in the future, analysing the attack and noting the vulnerabilities and possible causes of the breach is key.
Ensure that this is an honest and clear process. There is no point in covering up mistakes and flaws, as improving on these is the only way to stop a future breach. Learning from any mistakes and vulnerabilities is the best way to ensure that your company is protected going forward, as it allows you to patch up those vulnerabilities and ensure that there are checks and balances to protect the organisation.
Cyberattacks can be incredibly damaging to your business’s infrastructure, but there’s always a way forward. Ensuring to follow these steps to help your company get back to its best shape is vital, and will be the difference between a company that stumbles and a company that doesn’t when faced with such adversity.
Having a helping hand along the way can be one of the most important things to ensure that your company has the support and infrastructure to be protected from the dangers of the modern business environment. We’re here to help, and to ensure that your company can be both protected and provided with the best possible services to help you thrive going forward.
Whether you’re looking to take steps to recover from a cyberattack or to improve your future security against a potential breach, get in touch with us today! We’re a trusted advisor, and can help you patch up any vulnerabilities that could be cause for concern.
Get in touch with our expert team for support today!
Technology is one of the essential parts of the modern business world. As companies look to become more powerful and efficient and unlock their full potential, technological advancements are one of the best ways for them to hit the next level.
With this, businesses implement new technological solutions to enhance and augment their business. This has allowed them to keep up with the rapidly changing needs of the corporate world, and streamline their institution to keep them both efficient and powerful.
In this article, we’re going to explore five different ways that technology can lower your overall business expenditure, while also enabling you to unlock your full potential with ease.
Cloud computing is one of the essential new technologies that is slowly becoming part of the backbone of the business world. With 60% of the world’s corporate data being stored in the cloud, there’s no question that companies worldwide are looking to the cloud as the future.
Moving your infrastructure to a cloud-based system, as opposed to an on-prem one, has many benefits for your expenditure. Instead of having to break the bank on server hardware and running costs, a cloud-based system will eliminate those steep fees. Instead, all you’d have to pay is the cloud service cost.
Automation is key to the day-to-day success of every business. By introducing automation to your company’s key processes, you can easily ensure that the key, mundane, everyday tasks of your organisation are completed without error.
Automating these tasks will let your employees focus on the more important tasks within your company, as completing these small but important functions can otherwise take minutes and hours out of each employee’s day.
The cost of error can be incredibly high, especially in the most vital parts of your organisation. That’s why automating these processes is crucial to ensure that no errors are made in any part of your organisation’s workflow.
Automation can also speed up vital tasks within your organisation whilst ensuring they get completed with accuracy, uniformity, and without the risk of human error. For example, the American Red Cross utilises Microsoft Power Automate to digitise the process for First Aid and CPR instructors to order supplies.
By doing so, their First Aid and CPR instructors can ensure they can access the supplies they need without any problems or cause for delay or error. You can utilise this in your own organisation to increase accuracy and ensure that your employees work smarter and more efficiently.
As the world moves online, the need for physical paper for communication and documentation lessens. Instead of using the archaic mail service and ‘wet’ signatures, email, eSignatures, and Unified Communications platforms such as Microsoft Teams will help save money and boost your organisation’s workflow.
Paper accrues lots of costs for any company. Having to buy it is already a cost, let alone the costs associated with printing and sending it. In fact, moving online and ushering out paper for your business could save your company money on not only paper costs but ink and toner costs, printer maintenance and running costs, and energy costs all around.
Unified Communications also allow you to get work done much more quickly and efficiently when collaborating with others. After all, time is money — and your employees might be wasting hours in the week switching between different communication platforms or even sending out physical mail.
This is where an application like Microsoft Teams comes in. Everything you’ll need to communicate with teammates and external recipients is in one application. There’s no need to waste time switching between applications at all.
Consolidating your licenses through Microsoft 365 is a great way to cut your licensing costs by over 60% and help reduce feature redundancy throughout your organisation. By consolidating your licenses, you can easily make sure that you’re only paying for what you need to be for your company to thrive.
Taking advantage of this feature will ensure that you’re not wasting money on feature sets that parts of your business — or your organisation as a whole — won’t require. This money can be used elsewhere to augment your company through other means, without having to dedicate money to IT licensing costs.
Hiring in-house IT staff can be incredibly expensive. Working with a service provider to outsource your IT team and resources can save lots of money whilst also preserving the quality and level of service throughout your organisation’s IT infrastructure.
By outsourcing your IT support, you not only remove the need to hire an in-house IT team but also have access to expert service at all hours of the day. A service provider will be there for you in any case, and you can count that the provider supporting you is knowledgeable and able to fix any problems much more quickly and efficiently than on-prem IT staff
Technology is rapidly changing the business industry. As companies are finding better and more cost-effective solutions to unlock their business’s full potential, there’s no reason your organisation shouldn’t be a step ahead of the rest.
By implementing some or all of these solutions, you’ll be able to ensure that your company is as cost-efficient as possible. Instead of wasting money on solutions that are just going to haemorrhage more important money from your business in the long term, these solutions are easily implemented and are a solid way to ensure your business prospers in the long term.
If you’re looking to start implementing these solutions in your business, look nowhere else. We’ll be able to give you a helping hand and guide you through the whole process. Our expert team is here to ensure that your business gets the best support possible to enable it to thrive.
Why not get in touch today and see what we can do for you?
For companies looking to undergo a cloud migration, it can be quite confusing to navigate the different types of cloud models.
The three different types of cloud models — Private, Public, and Hybrid — all see use in different places in the modern business world. However, you may be wondering which solution is best for your business.
In this article, we’re going to go over the different types of cloud infrastructure deployment models. We’re also going to look at which is the right model for your organisation’s needs and requirements.
A public cloud-based deployment is the most common cloud computing deployment model. With this model, the resources and hardware are owned and operated by a third-party service provider and used over the internet. All of the cloud services are owned and managed by a provider, such as Microsoft Azure.
With this model, you are essentially sharing the same resources and hardware with other organisations. You’re doing this through a provider or operator who will manage the system on behalf of the organisations operating from it.
This model is useful for organisations that just need the cloud to operate their business on a functional level and to enable their infrastructure.
Private cloud deployment is the complete opposite of a public cloud deployment. Instead of being based on a public server, a private cloud system is based upon hardware that is used exclusively by one organisation. This system can either be on-premise or hosted by a third-party service.
The major difference here is that the hardware used for private cloud infrastructure is yours, and is suited to your needs specifically. This is similar to an on-prem infrastructure but comes with the added scalability and benefits of a cloud-based system.
This system is mainly used by organisations that handle sensitive and secure data, such as government institutions and banks. These systems need to remain secure and allow the administrators to have full control over the storage of their data but aren’t really required for most businesses.
A hybrid cloud platform is a mix of both public and private cloud deployments. This infrastructure combines the best elements of the public cloud with private/on-prem infrastructure. This system allows businesses to use public, cloud-based hardware to scale their private cloud/on-prem system with ease, without having to publicly share the whole system.
This saves companies lots of money as it allows them to remove the capital expenditure required to account for short-term spikes in demand and volume. With a hybrid system, there’s no need to acquire more hardware as the cloud solution will ensure that you can scale with ease.
The hybrid model has the benefits of both public and private cloud implementations. You still have the control benefits of the on-prem solution, whilst also gaining the scalability of the public solution.
The other benefit of a hybrid solution is that you don’t need to store any data on a public system that may be sensitive, meaning that you ultimately have more control over the sanctity of your data.
For most organisations, the public cloud is perfect. It saves costs and also allows you to work with an established provider to ensure that your system remains stable and reliable, with great scalability.
However, a private or hybrid solution may be a better option for larger institutions or government organisations that handle sensitive data. These solutions are more expensive than public solutions, but ultimately give more power over your organisation’s critical data.
These different cloud deployments are all popular in the modern business world, as more companies take a step into the cloud. If you’re looking for a cost-effective cloud-based solution to help your organisation get rid of the on-prem shackles, then a public-based system is great for you! Otherwise, you might want to consider a private or hybrid system to fulfil your needs.
In any case, you’re not alone. We are here to help you figure out what your company needs to truly thrive and prosper. Instead of having to try to work out the ins and outs of the post-cloud landscape yourself, our expert team is here to assist you in figuring out what your business needs to truly unlock its full potential. So, why not get in contact with us today and see how we can help out?
Get in touch with us today and see what we can do for you!
Cybersecurity is the most pressing concern for businesses operating in our modern, digital landscape. This is especially true for the finance and accountancy industry.
Financial data could be compromised due to data breaches, and operational downtime caused by cyber-attacks could be costly for accountancy firms. In fact, IBM estimates that the average cost of a data leak stands is an eye-watering $4.24 million.
Why are accountancy firms such a lucrative target for cybercriminals? What cyber threats should you be aware of? How can accountants protect themselves from threats online?
In this article, we’ll tell you all you’ll need to know about cybersecurity for accountants. Let’s go!
Cybercriminals target accountancy businesses for two reasons: money and financial data.
Firstly, accountants and finance officers handle large sums of money – providing many opportunities for criminals to intercept lots of cash. Secondly, criminals want to steal sensitive financial data from your clients, including tax returns, financial statements, and confidential business information.
This information can be used to commit fraud, fuel insider attacks or even blackmail your firm by threatening to release sensitive details.
Here are some common cyber threats that your accountancy firm should watch out for:
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that encrypts a victim’s files and demands payment in exchange for the decryption key.
How do these attacks start? There are three main entry points for ransomware attacks:
Once a computer is infected, the ransomware can spread to other systems on your network. Once your system has been infected, the software will encrypt your files. Attackers will then ask for payment – usually by cryptocurrency – in exchange for unlocking your files.
Is it possible to decrypt ransomware files? It depends on the type of encryption algorithm the attacker uses – and it’s extremely difficult to determine the type. Some decryption tools exist for common attacks, but it’s usually much safer to restore your data from a backup.
We strongly advise against paying a ransom. There’s no guarantee that your files will be decrypted once you pay up, and your systems will still be infected with the malware. If you do fall victim to a ransomware attack, get in touch with a security expert as soon as possible.
As mentioned previously, accountants are targeted by cybercriminals as they handle financial data. This information could be used to defraud your clients, steal money and cause reputational damage to your partners.
Data breaches can occur through several means, including:
The increase in remote working has caused more data security issues for accountancy firms. Accountants may be accessing client data from unsecured networks, making it easier for hackers to steal sensitive information.
Another issue is the use of personal devices in the workplace. A study by Yubico found that 43% of employees use their personal devices for work without permission from their employers. Personal devices may not have the same security tools and measures as work devices, and can more easily be lost or stolen.
Phishing attacks are fraudulent attempts to steal sensitive information, such as passwords and credit card numbers, by pretending to be someone you trust.
This is typically done through emails or messages that appear to be from a reputable source, but contain links to fake websites or contain attachments that install malware on the recipient’s computer.
Accountants can fall victim to these attacks if criminals pretend to be clients, colleagues payment providers or banks.
To reduce the risk of falling for a phishing attack, accountants should be trained to recognise scams, avoid clicking on suspicious links or downloading attachments from unknown sources, and verify the authenticity of emails or messages before taking any action.
To keep your accountancy firm safe, you’ll need to implement a complete cybersecurity strategy that keeps you prepared for any attack.
Here are some great best practices to get you started:
By taking these steps, your firm can reduce the risk of falling victim to a cyber attack and protect its client’s sensitive financial information.
Cybersecurity is a long & complicated process, however, the potential ROI in avoided costs is astronomical. Investment in your security infrastructure can help keep your data safe and avoid costly attacks.
We highly recommend working with a trusted security expert when planning out your cybersecurity strategy. Need some help protecting your accountancy firm?
Our security experts can run a full security audit on your network to find vulnerabilities, configure firewalls, antiviruses and other security software and even help you train your staff to be aware of potential threats.
Get in touch with us today and see how we can help!
In the last year, 82% of businesses have allowed employees to work using their own devices, as part of a BYOD program. Such a program has benefits for businesses and employees alike, with businesses saving £280/year by not offering work-issued devices, and allowing employees to carry a single device.
However, when considering the array of devices that are used within a business, the number and variety can be staggering.
From phones to laptops, to tablets, each with its own models and operating systems, this creates a challenge for businesses to manage these devices and the applications they are running.
For this reason, many businesses implement a Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Mobile Application Management (MAM) solution, such as Microsoft Intune
If your business is looking to do so, or considering migrating from another solution to Intune, this guide will answer all your questions and explain how we can help you through the process.
Mobile Device Management, or MDM, are a category of software solutions that monitor, manage and secure mobile endpoints, such as phones, tablets, laptops and even IoT devices.
Using an MDM solution gives IT administrators the ability to enrol devices, control device configuration, protect data and manage the compliance of devices. As the majority of MDM solutions are cloud-based, these mobile endpoints can be managed remotely, and therefore are beneficial for any businesses that have remote or hybrid employees.
Mobile Application Management, or MAM, are a set of software solutions and features that allow businesses to manage the applications on end-user mobile devices.
MDM and MAM work together to enable IT administrators to control and secure organisational data, which is essential for any business with a BYOD program. MAM solutions also simplify update and patch management, which greatly reduces an organisation’s cyber risk.
Microsoft Intune is a cloud-based Mobile Device Management and Mobile Application Management solution from Microsoft, which is part of the endpoint management product family.
Manage Users and Devices
With Microsoft Intune, IT administrators can manage users’ identities and their devices remotely. This functionality is essential for any business’s endpoint management strategy as it enables them to authorise and authenticate access to company resources, manage user identity settings and protect them from cyberattacks.
Microsoft Intune is particularly powerful as it is compatible with nearly all on-premises, cloud, mobile, desktop and virtualised devices across all common operating systems.
Automate Policy Deployment
Microsoft Intune helps protect company data by ensuring that users and devices compliance requirements through policies. Some of these policies include:
This feature saves businesses time and money, especially as the policy deployment can be completed remotely.
Integrate with Threat Defense Services
Intune is most effective when it is used with a Mobile Threat Defense (MTD) solution, as the alerts from the MTD solution can block access to corporate data, and allow access after the threat has been remediated.
Microsoft has a powerful MTD solution, Defender for Endpoint, which connects flawlessly with Intune, but there are also connectors for most common MTD solutions, such as Check Point Harmony Mobile, Sophos Mobile and Symantec Endpoint Protection Mobile.
Mobile Device Management is only half of the story, as IT administrators also need to be able to manage applications to ensure all users have the applications they need to work effectively, and they are up to date to decrease the risk of a cyberattack.
Microsoft Intune has tools to add and assign apps, configure app settings, update apps and more.
Improve Security Posture
Using Microsoft Intune gives businesses the tools required to improve their security posture and protect corporate data being accessed by personal and work devices. The ability to connect Intune with Mobile Threat Defense solutions also increases functionality to scan devices and detect and remediate threats.
The use of Intune is also helpful for businesses that need to prove compliance, as it enables IT administrators to view data and reports that measure compliance with security settings.
These features are essential for any business that has a remote or hybrid workforce, as without a Mobile Device Management and Mobile Application Management solution, devices could be compromised or not secure and the business would not know.
Microsoft Intune can maximise productivity for employees through a variety of features and functionality. One way is through the Mobile Application Management features, as this functionality ensures that all employees have the applications necessary for their role, from day one.
Many features within Intune improve both productivity and security posture. For example, employees can use Windows Hello for Business instead of passwords. This allows employees to use a PIN or biometrics, such as fingerprint or facial recognition to sign in to devices and applications more quickly and easily.
Similarly, with Intune, IT administrators can enable Single Sign-On (SSO) using Azure Active Directory. SSO can save employees significant time as they only need to authenticate once and they have access to all applications and systems necessary for work.
Enable a BYOD Program
BYOD is commonplace in many businesses in 2023, but with a comprehensive MDM and MAM solution, such a program can carry significant security risks. With Intune, employees can use their personal devices for work, without putting the company at risk of a data breach.
Similarly, Intune can be set up on personal devices in a manner that ensures that employees retain their privacy, whilst giving IT administrators enough control to protect the company.
There are several Mobile Device Management and Mobile Application Management solutions on the market. Some of these include Hexnode, Jumpcloud, Miradore and NinjaOne.
For many businesses, Intune has more than enough features and functionality to meet all requirements, however, some other solutions have fewer features but also cost less. Similarly, some competing solutions, such as NinjaOne, work well as an addition to Microsoft Intune, rather than a replacement.
Whilst Microsoft Intune is one of the market leaders in the MDM and MAM space, it may not be the right solution for your business. That’s where the expertise of a Managed Service Provider (MSP) is helpful. Working with an MSP, like ourselves, gives you access to a team that can assess your requirements, and select and implement the right MDM and MAM solution for your team.
We can also provide ongoing support to ensure your business is getting the most out of the solution.
If you want to find out more about the MDM and MAM capabilities of Microsoft Intune and other alternatives, contact us today and we will be happy to help.