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
Data is a powerful tool for any organisation aiming for accurate decision-making. Any strategically-minded company will look at the existing data about their institution to make sure that the decisions that they are making are both correct and grounded in real information and evidence.
By ensuring that you have the clearest and most accurate data available, you can better inform your business’s decisions. This is why utilising every tool you can to improve to fully harness the power of data is integral for any business — and why Microsoft Azure is a key tool in the modern business world.
In this article, we’re going to go over how you can use Microsoft Azure to fully take advantage of the power of data throughout your organisation. We’ll also take a look at how you can get started today!
Like anything else in the world, data is a resource which is generated through the application and research of business intelligence. Data is collected and stored for the use of an entity — whether an individual or organisation — when making decisions down the line.
Every single decision that a business makes is based on data. When considering the number of decisions that need to be made in an average day throughout any organisation, it becomes apparent that for any business — data is a highly valuable resource.
Data is, however, getting smarter. With machine learning and artificial intelligence taking over the business landscape, the data that businesses and corporations need to access is getting more and more powerful by the minute.
With cloud-based services such as Azure making AI implementation much easier for businesses around the world, data is becoming one of the key tenets of any successful business.
Without using the modern tools available to ensure that your data is both highly qualitative and accurate, you risk making suboptimal decisions or even poor-quality choices for your organisation.
Azure Data Factory is a data integration service that allows you to make data-driven workflows within the cloud. Its automation tools help with orchestrating and planning data movement and data transformation within your institution.
This means that the tool is completely focused on creating and integrating workflows into the rest of your infrastructure, to orchestrate the movement of your data between data stores. It also lets you monitor and manage workflows using programmatic and UI mechanisms.
You can utilise ADF to —
Azure Databricks is used to build, deploy, share and maintain data solutions throughout your organisation at scale.
With this, you can process, store, clean, share, analyse, model, and monetise your datasets using many different solutions, including machine learning and business intelligence (BI).
Azure Databricks provides a unified interface and tools for the following —
Azure Synapse Analytics is a service that accelerates time to insight across whole data warehouses and large data systems. It unites the best of SQL, Apache Spark, and Azure Data Explorer to create the best solution for warehousing, analysing, and understanding data.
Synapse Analytics allows you to scale faster with limitless analytics, and optimise the performance of your data queries with intelligent workload management, workload isolation, and limitless concurrency.
Synapse Analytics also works with other 365 tools — Dynamics 365 and Microsoft 365 — seamlessly integrating intelligence into your most important data.
Azure Data Lake Analytics is an on-demand analytics service that simplifies big data with ease. Using Data Lake Analytics, you can undertake large data transformation processes and process programs in U-SQL, R, Python, and .NET with ease.
Instead of needing and managing your own infrastructure, Azure Data Lake lets you process data on demand, scale instantly, and only have to pay per job.
This whole process makes debugging and optimising your data far more efficient and simple, while also giving access to everything an enterprise-grade data project needs.
Azure Analysis Services is a managed platform as a service (PaaS) that gives you access to enterprise-grade data models in the cloud.
Analysis Services takes your data analysis and definition tools to the next level, with advanced mashup and modelling features that let you —
Data is only as good as your understanding of it, and so data visualisation is vital to getting the most out of your data. Power BI is the best solution to turn your data into powerful visual intelligence.
Power BI is the strongest business intelligence tool available, giving any business easy access to the most powerful data tools in the world. Power BI allows you to easily connect your data sources — even worldwide — and create strong, unified, qualitative data.
Data is an important tool for any organisation looking to create well-informed choices on the future of their business. Without qualitative data tools to be able to fully harness the power of data in your institution, it can be hard to keep up in the modern business world.
If you’re looking to harness the power of data in your company, we’re here to help. Contact our team of experts to figure out how to best utilise Azure in your organisation to fully take advantage of the powerful data at your fingertips.
Get in touch with us today and see how we can help!
Patch management is crucial for any organisation to improve both quality of life and security throughout their systems, as well as to ensure that they’re able to take advantage of the latest features and innovations available to them.
However, keeping track of what needs to be updated can be a hassle when dealing with lots of integrated systems. A cloud-based tool that automates patching throughout your institution is the best way to ensure that your programs and software are maintained to be up to date.
In this article, we’re going to go over Microsoft’s patch management tool for Microsoft 365 and other Microsoft applications — Windows Autopatch. We’ll also go over how it can solve challenges for your business.
Windows Autopatch is Microsoft’s official automated patch management tool for Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise, Edge, and Teams. It ensures that all of the software included above is updated automatically when new updates are available.
Microsoft apps make up a lot of the day-to-day workflow of any organisation —- even just utilising Microsoft Outlook, Excel, and Teams all require patching to keep updated.
Specifically, according to Microsoft, Autopatch will roll out updates to registered devices to manage several areas:
If you utilise any of the software that Autopatch updates, ensuring to use it is crucial to keep your applications up to date and to make sure that you have access to the latest security updates, quality of life changes, and features and innovations from Microsoft.
Keeping up to date with the latest updates and upgrades is difficult for any organisation. With Windows Autopatch, you mitigate this difficulty — as Windows Autopatch handles everything for you.
Gone is the need to manually find patches and updates, while also needing to ensure that they’re right for your hardware. Windows Autopatch does all of the above automatically, ensuring that your organisation can easily take advantage of the latest 365, Edge, and Teams features and upgrades.
With this, your organisation’s IT department will find it easier to be able to ensure that your updates are deployed correctly and efficiently — meaning that they can put time and resources into other, more important aspects of your institution’s IT infrastructure.
You’ll simply need to register the devices within your organisation with Autopatch and ensure that you’re set up with Microsoft correctly. Once you’ve done so, updating your Windows and Microsoft applications will be simple.
If you need assistance with registering your devices and ensuring Autopatch is set up correctly, let us know and we can assist you!
Installing new patches correctly will take time and could result in errors. Window Autopatch mitigates this, as it will automatically install patches to devices that are eligible for them. With it being automated, Autopatch leaves no room for error.
Unlike other tools offered — including Windows Update for Business, as discussed later — Windows Autopatch automates the whole process with ease.
Autopatch will check that your devices are correctly eligible for the patches that it deploys and will deploy correctly and efficiently, meaning that you don’t have to worry about compatibility or the installation process.
Windows Update for Business is an older Microsoft tool that similarly allows you to manage Microsoft patches throughout your organisation. However, Windows Update for Business requires organisations to plan and operate the update deployment process.
Windows Autopatch makes use of the Windows Update for Business framework but automates the process for you, meaning that you don’t need to worry about the update process at all. Overall, this makes Autopatch far more effective than Windows Update for Business.
Both tools are available as part of Windows Enterprise E3, meaning that you can make use of both tools in tandem if necessary. However, Windows Autopatch is the best way to manage and automate patches throughout your organisation, as it simplifies and automates the whole process utilising the cloud.
Overall, Windows Autopatch wouldn’t exist without Windows Update for Business. However, Windows Autopatch is the next evolution of Windows Update — and will be the new tool for patch management throughout Windows software in the future.
This is why it’s vital to get to grips with Windows Autopatch now — as Microsoft moves further into the cloud, its automation tools will become more important for any business and knowing how they fit within your organisation will be important for successful operations.
Windows Autopatch is a great patch management and deployment tool that’ll help any modern business in ensuring that they stay up to date on the latest improvements — especially those heavily utilising 365 for Enterprise, Teams, and/or Edge.
Patches are important to get the best use and experience out of your software, and using Autopatch is the best way to ensure that your Microsoft software is kept up to date. If you’re looking to implement Windows Autopatch in your business, get in touch with us today!
Our expert team will be able to walk you through the whole process. From registering your devices to ensuring that they’re set up correctly to receive patches, we’re here to lend a helping hand throughout your whole Autopatch journey.
Get in touch with us today, and see how we can help!
Keeping up with the modern business landscape is demanding – particularly with the current world situation and economic concerns. Given this, organisations are finding new problems now more than ever.
One of the many ways to solve this is by working with a managed IT service provider to ensure your business’s IT infrastructure is as efficient as possible.
In this article, we’re going to go over the potential challenges that any business can face in the modern world. We’ll also take a look at how a managed IT service provider can help you solve these problems.
As costs keep going up throughout the UK and Ireland, the costs of running a business followed the same trajectory. This means that lots of businesses are struggling to reduce their costs enough to deal with the current situation that the world is faced with.
Especially due to other issues mentioned further on — such as the ongoing skill shortage and the considerations of digital transformation — companies are finding less space to be able to reduce their costs overall.
IT is an in-demand profession right now. This is due to the skill shortage — there’s a lot of demand for high-quality IT services and professionals but no supply to match it. This makes hiring IT specialists more costly whilst also making finding them more difficult all around.
Overall, businesses are both finding it difficult in this regard to keep IT professionals whilst also paying them enough that they can reasonably keep costs down.
The world is moving forward in technological advancement, which means that the danger surrounding IT is also ever-expanding. As attacks get more complex and widespread, new security requirements are necessary for ensuring the sanctity of your business.
The security solutions that most companies now have to take are quite costly too. Backing up to another on-prem server is a huge cost, and so is installing a comprehensive security solution.
The morale of your employees is more important than ever. As the world increases focus on well-being, more companies are taking the approach of using the powerful advancements made to further better their employee experience.
However, this can be quite tricky as it requires lots of work in-house from an on-prem system, which also requires hiring personnel to design and operate the user experience.
The cloud is looking more appealing than ever for lots of businesses — between the financial benefits of a cloud-based OPEX system and the scalability and sheer power of the cloud, it’s looking like the way forward for any business.
Digital transformation is the process of upgrading your organisation’s systems to get ready for a move to modern technology — turning legacy apps and systems into modern ones.
While this sounds good on paper, the process takes lots of time and planning and can cost a lot of money, especially for smaller businesses.
By working with a managed IT service provider, you have access to a whole team of expert IT knowledge who can work together to assist your business, for a fraction of the price of hiring in-house IT specialists.
Due to the current IT skills gap and the rising cost of living, it’s getting far harder to attract good in-house IT specialists at a good price.
Working with a managed IT service provider to save on costs is becoming a more and more viable option for the future of business IT, as more IT specialists look to work independently of large corporations and around other specialists and experts.
Furthermore, working with a managed IT service provider is more flexible — rather than paying a wage and having the responsibilities of an employer, you can work with the provider to ensure that you can get what you need to optimise the cost properly.
Your company can easily scale up and down resources as needed, allowing you to save money during less busy periods.
Working with a managed IT service provider will greatly improve your security posture. Having immediate access to a team of IT and security experts and professionals will ensure that you get the maximum security benefits possible.
Also, having your IT staff be off-site and away from any danger of catastrophe or attack is huge, as it means that you don’t have to rely on internal services (that can go down) to ask for support. Instead, your IT support team will be off-site and unaffected by any malicious outages — ready to support you.
With more companies looking towards the cloud as the future of business IT, digital transformation is becoming more and more important. However, the amount of planning and budgeting required is already a massive headache for most key decision-makers.
A managed IT service provider will be able to help you along the way, with an expert team at your fingertips who can easily solve problems, create plans, and look towards the future of your business (for the fraction of a cost of an IT specialist in-house).
They’ll also support you post-transformation and will ensure that everything is going well within your organisation after the digital transformation is complete. All of this without having to hire a dedicated team to pay wages to — which would be incredibly expensive with the amount of demand for specialists with good IT knowledge and skills.
A managed IT service provider is here to help you along the way and ensure that your business prospers. Far cheaper than hiring an in-house team, working with a managed IT service provider gives you access to a team of experienced professionals within seconds.
If you’re looking to partner with a managed service provider, why not get in touch today? Our expert team is here to help you with whatever you require and help your business truly reach its full potential.
Get in touch with us now, and see how we can help elevate your company to the next level.
Two of the biggest names in virtual computing, Microsoft Azure and VMware are both incredibly popular worldwide. With this, it may seem like you’re limited to using one or the other throughout your institution. But, you’re not just limited to the benefits of one.
You can use Azure to make your VMware system even more powerful. Using Azure VMware Solution — which was created by Microsoft and approved by VMware — will allow you to reap the benefits of both VMware and the Azure cloud infrastructure.
In this article, we’re going to go over Azure VMware Solution and the benefits of utilising Azure to strengthen your organisation’s VMware setup. We’ll also take a look at some ways businesses are using Azure VMware Solution to their own benefit.
Azure VMware Solution (AVS) is a method of utilising VMware in tandem with Microsoft Azure.
Instead of utilising VMware in your own data centres, AVS is a way of utilising Azure’s cloud servers to host your VMware systems and integrate them into Azure native services.
This gives you the benefits of a completely cloud-based solution while also allowing you to use the same VMware systems that a lot of companies worldwide have built their infrastructure upon — modernising your organisation while also not moving over to something completely new.
Unlike migrating to a new cloud system, AVS is seamless for those already utilising VMware. All of your processes and systems will migrate over too, meaning that the process is far easier than having to start from scratch.
With AVS, you can utilise VMware environments and integrate them with Azure, enhancing your VMware systems and taking your company infrastructure to new heights.
The whole process is seamless, and the transition is far easier than migrating to the cloud completely independently. With cloud migration looking more and more essential for any modern business, the benefits of migrating with systems already in place speak for themselves.
By still having a familiar system and infrastructure in place when implementing Azure, the familiarity of VMware will allow you to leverage existing skill sets in your organisation and will mean that you don’t have to do lots of training on a new system.
Especially when working with a service provider like ourselves, the Azure part will be out of the way — meaning that for the most part, everything will be the same at the very least.
With this, you don’t need to hire experts in Azure either! Reach out to our Azure expert team and see how we can help!
IT administration can become quite complex, with lots of systems set up to support your business infrastructure. Azure simplifies this process, with lots of tools and settings available to make IT administration far easier and more efficient.
This ultimately means that resources won’t be wasted on inefficient administration requirements, as Azure simplifies the whole process.
Moreover, having a great provider and partner to handle all behind-the-scenes administration for your organisation is a great way to ensure that you’ve got the best support available.
On-prem solutions are costly, with lots of capital expenditure and lots of costs regarding maintenance and staffing. Scaling is difficult and expensive, and making upgrades means buying new hardware.
Azure turns all of this into an operational expenditure, meaning that costs are reduced monthly and that you don’t need to spend as much on hardware and maintenance, as that will be handled by Microsoft as part of the operational cost that you pay them.
The environment is an important consideration for any modern business. Datacenters are a large factor in any company’s environmental considerations, as their contribution to a company’s carbon footprint is sizeable.
Azure solves this, as you won’t have to rely on your own physical infrastructure for your organisation. Instead, you’d be using Microsoft’s data centres — which is better for the environment as a whole, as those data centres are also used by lots of companies worldwide.
As time goes on, the requirements for modern applications do too.
The hardware of the past is no longer suitable for the level of complexity that a modern application requires. In fact, a lot of modern applications use cloud-based systems to take advantage of the newest technologies available.
Utilising AVS to bring your VMware infrastructure to the present lets you integrate modern technologies and cloud features into your business applications, meaning that you can modernise your existing applications within your VMware systems as well as create new, modern applications.
In the event of a disaster, having all of your data on-prem can be a huge risk. Without a backup on the cloud or away from your main infrastructure, you can lose tons of data and put your business in an irrecoverable position.
The only real solution for this is the cloud, as it’s far too expensive to rely on physical hardware to be able to prevent disaster and catastrophe. Azure lets you ensure that everything is stored far away from where it can go wrong or be accessed by bad-faith actors, meaning that your data is well and truly safe.
Azure VMware Solution is a great way for a business to migrate from on-prem VMware solutions, and to the cloud. This has many benefits to your business whilst also being a way to be a step ahead of the curve and keep up with the needs of being a modern company.
If you’re looking to get started with AVS, we’re here to help. Our experts are incredibly knowledgeable about the Azure platform and how to best implement the AVS system into your organisation to reap the most benefits. There’s no need to worry if you have no clue about the ins and outs of Azure and AVS, as we can handle all of that for you.
Get in touch today and see how we can help!
As modern technology advances, more bad-faith actors are finding new ways to get around the latest security features.
One of the new attacks is a multi-factor authentication (MFA) fatigue attack, a strategy which is used to gain access to an account through the new MFA technologies that are widely available.
However, if you know what to look for, you can easily protect yourself from attacks like these. In this article, we’re going to go over the ins and outs of the MFA fatigue attack, and how you can protect yourself today.
A multi-factor authentication (MFA) fatigue attack is an attack to attempt to circumvent the MFA security features that are built into most modern applications.
Also known as MFA bombing, the attack is a social engineering attack where attackers constantly push MFA authentication requests to the victim. The aim of this is to force the victim to accept the notification — and therefore gain access to the platform.
This attack is used after having acquired the password for the target account, which can be done using other social engineering attacks. Usually, the attack will lead to data exfiltration or a malware attack, such as ransomware, which will take your business’s data hostage until a ransom is paid.
For an MFA fatigue attack to work, the credentials of an account have to be initially compromised. This is usually done through social engineering attacks or through a previous breach of a third party.
At this point, it’s assumed that the attacker already has the credentials. After all, you can’t start an MFA fatigue attack without already having password access to the account.
Essentially, the attacker will send MFA push notifications constantly to the victim’s devices. These prompts will essentially ping on said devices, which will be a hassle for the victim anyway.
A lot of these push notifications will have a simple ‘Yes’ button to click, while some platforms have more complex authentication options.
Eventually, the goal is to have the victim click yes to give access to the account — after getting frustrated with the number of MFA notifications they’re receiving.
This is why MFA fatigue attacks are known as social engineering attacks. They’re not hacks or anything super technical and instead, rely on human nature and the victim making an error.
Once the victim clicks yes on their device, the attacker will have complete access to the account that they’re trying to access utilising the attack — making the attack a complete success.
Rather than utilising MFA that uses the ‘Is this you?’ and ‘Yes/No’ systems, utilising OTP-based MFA will be an extra barrier between possibly allowing attackers in and not.
A one-time password (OTP) will be sent to your device to be entered within the login portal that you’re using. This will naturally mean that the attacker will need to gain the OTP from you, making this attack far less effective.
Single-handedly, this is the best way to stop MFA fatigue attacks — the OTP-based MFA methods all make MFA fatigue attack useless.
Utilising a tool such as Azure Active Directory, you can utilise conditional access to ensure that your organisation can only be accessed on certain devices as well as with certain login methods.
This means that you can easily control which devices are able to have unfiltered access to your organisation’s most sensitive areas. This is great as it ensures that anyone trying to access your organisation from an external device will just get blocked from being able to do so.
As with any social engineering attack, increasing awareness of it is a great way to warn people of the danger of this attack. By ensuring that everyone in your organisation knows what an MFA fatigue attack is, there’s a far lower chance that it will happen to anyone within your company.
This should be a basic part of any cybersecurity or security training, as it’s essential for everyone within your organisation. Therefore, make sure people know of the risks that they’re facing and the potential attacks that they can face.
The catalyst for an MFA fatigue attack is having access to the first factor of authentication, which is usually the password for the account. By ensuring that attackers can’t access those details, you cut off the risk at its root.
Enforcing good password hygiene and educating on password hygiene is important for this. This includes complexity, repeating passwords, and ensuring that the passwords used aren’t reused passwords from other platforms — that could possibly have become breached.
The principle of least privilege is a concept that maintains that a user should only have access to the specific data and resources needed to undertake a task. This means only giving access based on the specific task at hand, which reduces the amount of risk to your organisation.
By implementing this concept within your organisation, you ensure that sensitive parts of your organisation’s data only go out to those who need it.
MFA fatigue attacks can be worrying for any organisation. With the sheer number of cyber threats to keep track of, such an easy form of social engineering is easy to overlook. However, by implementing these changes and educating your organisation, you ensure that everyone throughout your institution is protected.
If you’re looking to take further steps to protect your organisation from the wide range of attacks that you could be facing, get in touch with us today! We’re here to help, and to ensure that your institution is safe from any malicious attempts and bad-faith actors looking to damage it.
Contact us now and see how we can help!
As technology continues to advance, businesses are increasingly turning to cloud computing to streamline their operations and reduce costs.
This can be seen as 75% of organisations that use cloud services indicate they have a cloud-first strategy and 70% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2024.
However, cloud technology is not only for enterprises. It is feasible for businesses of all sizes and industries to migrate to the cloud, with it being one of the most transformative projects a business will undertake.
This eBook aims to provide a comprehensive guide to migrating to the cloud, covering everything from the benefits and challenges of cloud computing to the steps involved in planning and executing a successful migration. Whether you are a small business owner or an IT professional, this eBook will give you the knowledge and tools you need to make the transition to the cloud with confidence.
Migrating to the cloud can transform the way your business operates and enable you to gain a competitive advantage, whilst future-proofing your growth. However, a poorly planned and executed migration can cause ongoing problems, increased spending, and a poor user experience. We can help you with all stages of cloud migration, as well as the ongoing support and management of your cloud resources. If you want to find out more about the services we offer, contact us today.
As more businesses look towards the cloud as the future of business infrastructure, many companies are choosing Microsoft Azure as the perfect cloud solution for their business needs — with Microsoft Azure being the second biggest cloud infrastructure services vendor in the world.
Especially for SMBs, Azure is the best option available for migrating to the cloud. The options available with Azure are the most suitable for the needs of an SMB in the modern business environment.
We believe that Azure is the best choice for any SMB looking to make use of cloud infrastructure. That’s why in this article, we’re going to go over what Azure actually is, and why you should be using it today.
Microsoft Azure is a public cloud computing platform that provides cloud solutions for companies and organisations around the world. Originally named Windows Azure, it has been providing cloud solutions since 2008 and is incredibly popular worldwide.
Azure primarily provides three kinds of services — Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) — and has many integrations within the wider Microsoft ecosystem, working well with Microsoft 365.
As an SMB, making a capital investment (CAPEX) is a much larger investment, as you typically won’t expect to see a return on your investment for 3 to 5 years.
However, utilising Azure for your business’s cloud infrastructure allows you to turn that investment into operational expenditure (OPEX). This means that you can start small and scale appropriately as your business grows, without having to make a large investment that you’re stuck with for the foreseeable future.
Azure also lets you turn off anything you’re not using, allowing you to manage costs much more effectively. With a physical infrastructure, you’d still have that expenditure and the costs associated with it.
All around, Azure is the best way to help SMBs looking towards the cloud effectively budget and use their money most effectively and appropriately for the needs of their business.
As stated previously, Microsoft operates three primary services — IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS:
With access to all three of these types of services, your business has flexibility and can easily use the service that provides what you need without paying extra costs for things that you don’t.
If you wanted to be flexible with an on-prem system, you’d have to have the infrastructure to do all three of the above — which means more CAPEX and more infrastructural upkeep costs in the long term.
Security is important for any business, and utilising Azure as your cloud infrastructure solution over an on-prem system is the best way to secure your information from any malintent.
By utilising Azure for your cloud infrastructure, all of your data is stored within their servers. This means that it’s safe and that it’s not going to be open to a breach from any attacker looking to destabilise, harm, or even cripple your business.
This means that by using Azure, you can rest easy knowing that your data is in good hands and that you’re not leaving your system vulnerable to attacks.
Scaling a physical infrastructure is difficult, costly, and requires lots of planning and action to do properly, without any issues. It can be a real pain, and scaling physical infrastructure is usually only limited to scaling up.
Azure allows you to freely scale your business. This means that you can easily increase the number of resources in your system, or decrease them, with a few clicks. No added expenditure other than the service cost, and you don’t have to worry about buying new hardware.
Digital transformation is pushing forward the business industry around the world, and making companies everywhere more innovative and agile.
The benefits of digital transformation — innovation, agility, efficiency, and so many more — mean that there’s never been a better time for moving your business to the digital space.
Azure’s online, cloud-based solutions enable this and allow your business to reach new heights in today’s world.
The possibilities available with the digital world and the cloud are enabled fully by Azure. From machine learning and AI to smart analytics and data strategy, Azure is part of why industry leaders worldwide are able to keep at the forefront of pushing the envelope.
From soft drink giants PepsiCo to fuel company Shell, Microsoft Azure has fully allowed large and small companies around the world to utilise new technologies to innovate and take their businesses to new heights.
The cloud-based future is here. Companies that utilise the cloud to their advantage are the ones that are staying ahead of the curve — innovating and allowing their business to stay flexible and efficient, while also saving costs all around.
For SMBs, the benefits of cloud solutions allow you to save costs and avoid CAPEX whilst also giving you the tools you need to grow your business. Instead of having to worry about buying hardware to ensure on-prem flexibility, Azure lets you scale freely with a few clicks — as well as offering multiple services to ensure maximum coverage of your needs.
Are you looking to make the move to the cloud with Azure? Our expert team is here to help! We’ve got you covered, and will help you throughout the cloud migration process — and further.
Increasing interconnectedness has made cybersecurity knowledge essential for individuals and businesses alike.
In the United Kingdom, the Cyber Essentials scheme is a Government backed project that exists to help organisations become more aware of the modern problems of the cyber world. This is a certification that you can receive which will be able to help you protect your organisation going forward.
However, in April 2023 a new set of requirements for Cyber Essentials Certification will be introduced, with a new set of requirements necessary to be certified in Cyber Essentials. In this article, we’re going to go over these changes and how they could affect your business.
The Cyber Essentials Certification is a certification achievable in the United Kingdom.
The goal of this certification is to help educate organisations and businesses on the risks and dangers of the modern, virtual world — and to ultimately help companies protect themselves against possible cyber attacks and threats.
Created in 2014, this plan has been part of the UK government’s strategy to help organisations protect themselves from malicious threats and other virtual risks.
However, this certification is also relevant to private sector businesses as it offers a robust framework for approaching cyber security.
While the last — quite major — update was only a year before this new update, the scheme is again being updated to help keep up with new risks, threats and other new information that has become relevant within the past year.
Here’s an overview of the changes and clarifications that are made to the guidance within Cyber Essentials in 2023 —
These updates are not as large as the updates that came about in 2022, but still are part of the strategy to improve this scheme and make it even better for modern businesses to utilise to their advantage.
In fact, these changes are all based on feedback from applicants and assessors, meaning that they’re all generally quite important changes that improve the scheme significantly.
Cybersecurity is valuable, which means that it has become quite expensive. The Cyber Essentials Certification is a great way for any company — especially SMBs — to ensure that you’ve got the basics covered to protect your business, without having to spend lots on dedicated cybersecurity personnel.
This certification takes you through the basics of cybersecurity and helps sure that you stay protected from the majority of the attacks that you’d otherwise face. This is why it’s crucial to ensure that you at least use this scheme to ensure that you have the basics covered.
A transaction has two involved parties, and any business wants to make sure that the other party is trustworthy and comfortable to work with.
This certification shows that your company not only takes security seriously but also has the knowledge required to take steps to protect itself (and therefore your customers and prospects).
With this, you can build better relationships and have customers and prospects rely on you more confidently, ultimately resulting in better business opportunities for your organisation — which could be the stepping stone to the pinnacle of success for your company.
As mentioned previously, the UK government will allow businesses to work with them if they have the Cyber Essentials Certification.
This is also true for contracted work from the government. The government handles a lot of sensitive data and information, so not investing time and effort into this certification could be a complete hindrance to your business’s chances of working with the UK government.
Whether big or small, a government contract is a huge deal for a large number of companies across the United Kingdom. This means that failing to do such an important prerequisite for this can have large consequences for even bidding for government contracts, let alone obtaining one.
Cybersecurity is essential in the modern day and age, and so doing anything to help your business face the risks and dangers of the modern virtual world is important to the long-term success of your organisation.
The Cyber Essentials Certification is the best way to learn all the essentials that you need to know when it comes to cybersecurity and is a must-have for any British company looking to ensure that their company prospers in the future. These changes truly help the scheme become better and more informative for every applicant.
If you’re looking to get started with cybersecurity and look into Cyber Essentials, why not contact us today? We’re here to help you through the whole process. Get in touch now!
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!