How healthy is your cyber-security system?

Even the most well-designed and carefully-maintained cyber-security systems aren’t 100% reliable. As time goes on, they can develop flaws or fail altogether. Businesses often don’t realise that part of their security system is failing until it’s too late. However, as a business owner, you have the power to prevent your cyber-security measures from becoming ineffectual. You can do this by having a security health check carried out by experienced IT professionals.

During a security health check, every aspect of your IT system is assessed to find out how secure it is, including routers, switches, anti-virus programs, firewalls and any other components that might have an impact on your cyber-security. However, if you’ve previously taken a more piecemeal approach to updating your cyber-security, you may be wondering what benefits these health checks offer.

1. Synchronising your security

It’s tempting to simply replace or upgrade each part of a security system as it fails. However, replacing or upgrading your cyber-security system one component at a time can lead to uneven protection and gaps in your security. After all, the individual components may not complement each other properly. Having a security health check allows you to see exactly where the gaps are in your cyber-security so that you can address them all simultaneously and ensure that every part of your security system gels with every other part.

2. Keeping up to date

Viruses, spyware and malware are constantly evolving and changing. So are hacking techniques. You need to stay up-to-date if you want to keep one step ahead of hackers and other individuals who may wish your business harm. Security health checks are the best way to find out whether your security system is equipped to deal with modern threats. Because health checks are carried out by IT professionals, you can be confident that they’ll identify out-dated hardware and software that might be vulnerable to more up-to-date malware or hacking techniques.

3. Lowering costs

Having a security health check can help you save money in the long run. They allow you to anticipate and correct potential security issues, which is a lot cheaper than fixing a problem once it has arisen.

Here at Nimbus CS, we offer comprehensive security health checks to every type of business. Whether you run a one man show, an SME or a corporation, you need to make sure your security is up to date, so get in touch with us today.

Common cloud mistakes your business needs to avoid

Cloud technology’s potential for savings, flexibility, and convenience has made it a staple of almost every modern business. However, as with any kind of emerging technology, there are various common issues businesses can run into, and which can drag down the value of their cloud solutions. Here are a few common cloud mistakes you need to avoid.

Not using role-based access control

Organisations that are new to cloud technology often don’t realise the full extent of risks to their data. Any important resources you’re keeping in the cloud have to be protected via role-based access control. For any business with employees filling different roles, this is a fundamental step towards effective admin security. Take the appropriate steps to keep credentials from being compromised, and ensure little errors don’t turn your cloud infrastructure on its head. Whether the threat is malicious or accidental, always maintain at least two sets of access privileges, or authentication layers, on every single point of access.

Failing to get clued-up on data security and compliance

If the cloud provider you’re using is compliant on PCI DSS, that means you’re automatically compliant on PCI DSS as well, right? Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Though it’s easy to make these kinds of assumptions, the responsibility to secure and encrypt data lies with the company that owns it. Set some time aside to make sure you’re compliant with security standards such as PCI DSS, HIPAA, and so on. Taking this important step will protect your data from being hacked, or compromised through employee negligence.

Overlooking network connectivity

To ensure the security of your cloud data, a dependable internet connection is absolutely essential, particularly if all your company’s data is kept on the cloud. Don’t let price take precedence over performance, and stay away from cheap storage options that don’t guarantee high bandwidth and reliable network connectivity. If you’re just about to integrate cloud tech, consider the impact it will have on your existing network and research any steps you may need to take to ensure good performance and efficient compatibility with the cloud.

For professional and reliable cloud services, cyber security and support, get in touch with one of our friendly agents today.

How to handle rapid growth in your company

How to handle rapid growth in your company

You’ve worked exceptionally hard to get to this point, and when things finally take off it is a great feeling. But don’t book that holiday to the Caribbean just yet – not setting up your IT systems properly can crush your company. When growing bigger, your IT systems need to keep up and scale with you. These mistakes can be critical and lose you much-needed profits and clients

1. Too much to fast

It’s tempting to take on the world and push for all the high-level contracts you can get – but beware. Taking on too many projects at once will place your resources under new and dangerous amounts of stress. Remember that everything has a breaking point, including your I.T., don’t inflate the workload of your servers without making sure they can handle it.

2. Overall IT management

Often overlooked, bad IT management can cripple a company. As a small business, it was easy to fudge the lines and overlook certain aspects. Any errors or viruses that managed to sneak into your system were easily dealt with. But if you have 20+ individual machines, bouncing back won’t be so easy. You need a dedicated IT solution that will protect your company from device failure and cyber attack. Consider partnering with an IT company to avoid future issues.

3. Downtime

Downtime refers to the time that your systems, internet or servers or down. It can be for a quick upgrade or because a server malfunctioned. Everytime you disconnect, your clients will be increasingly unsure about your professionalism. Make sure your systems are set up to scale before you start growing and downtime can be avoided. Moving your data or servers to the cloud is a great way to do this.

4. Centralised data

As a small company, you could get along with an excel spreadsheet and an email or two. Now you need to handle a larger team and make sure everyone is working together. Make sure you are not neglecting interpersonal communications. Consider moving your staff over to a system that supports easy communication and stores vital data in the cloud

What to do?

Moving up in the world can be difficult, but as long as you stay on top of it you’ll be okay. If you need a helping hand, feel free to get in touch and we will hook you up with an IT system that supports your growth.

How to help your remote workers with IT support

How to help your remote workers with IT support

Whether your company is fully remote or only has a handful of remote workers, you need to insist on IT support for them. A big mistake many businesses make is ignoring the needs of remote workers, who are just like any other employees and require the same support. A remote worker’s computer can be full of viruses or open to cyber attacks; their security systems are usually sub-par and can easily be compromised. Here are a few of the things you need to ensure you offer your remote workers:

1. Their own device

Depending on their title and the amount of computing power they need, you should assess what device would suit them best. A general rule of thumb is: if you would have given them a device as an on-location employee, you should give them a similar package. This allows you to have greater control of their machine. Your IT support will be able to set up various tracking software to log time and monitor the health of their device.

2. System management software

Avoid all risk when it comes to the possibility of your remote worker’s device breaking. Your IT support should be able to install software that tracks the components of their computer. They can then be warned if their hardware is faulty and a part needs to be replaced. This is especially useful when a hard drive is about to fail. All the data can be moved off, with no loss of work.

3. Creating a secure VPN

A VPN allows your remote workers to access internal documents securely. It has the added benefit of helping them stay safe if they are working on an unsecured network. A VPN system should be set up for all of your employees if they access sensitive information outside of the office.

4. Protection

IT support will help you attain high levels of computer security. While your remote workers should be responsible for their own devices, you can still help them by setting up adequate protection. A cyber security attack can wreak havoc on your internal network if a connected computer is compromised.

If you don’t have a dedicated IT support team, then why not outsource it to us? We can work remotely to support both remote and on location workers. You’ll be able to relax knowing that your company is protected from the threats of the outside world.

Pay off – Growing your IT to grow your business

Pay off – Growing your IT to grow your business

You’ve done it – all the hard work and worry has paid off: you’ve managed to expand your small business into a medium-sized business. You’ve got more products, sales are through the roof and you can’t hire new staff quickly enough, but has your IT infrastructure kept up with your profit margins? While it may feel like you’re the same old start-up you were five years ago, providing IT support to a mid-sized business is a different challenge.

Increasing demands and challenges

As a mid-sized company, demands on your flexibility are likely to be great, and you may be faced with new problems out of the blue without easy answers. From the need for multiple locations to the sudden threat of cyber attack, to the demand for remote working, or simply the need for more infrastructure, you’re going to need good IT support that can anticipate these demands and solve them before they start to lose you time and money.

Longevity is a big new factor that you’ll come across. As a newly mid-sized business, you’re planning for ten or even 20 years down the line, so having that IT infrastructure in place early and ensuring it works in the long term is vital. With a proper adoption plan in place administered by IT professionals, taking on new technology and using it properly will be a smooth process rather than a wrench.

Anticipate problems and be prepared

Your newly stuffed order books rely on consistency, and downtime can mean the difference between repeat business and a one-off customer. You can’t be everywhere at once, and you now have more orders than you can track by yourself, so plans to anticipate and combat server shutdowns will avoid fines, and have those orders processed and shipped in no time.

Outsource your IT to maintain connections

Thanks to your growth, your employees are now everywhere – on the road and making sales, in the factory and even out at your foreign office breaking into new markets. Connectivity is vital to keeping it all moving. While you may not have the cash to do your own IT, outsourcing allows you to keep those vital connections up so that you don’t miss a single day or deal.

For more information on outsourcing IT for your mid-size business, contact us at Nimbus CS today.

The benefits of Office 365 for growing businesses

Here’s a quick, get your head round, overview of Office 365.

Office 365 is a great solution for businesses looking to grow organically without laying down massive upfront costs. You can choose between three plans, meaning you can hand-pick features you actually need. Adding or removing users is a simple process that takes a few clicks. With Office 365, you don’t need to go through any complicated procedures or pay massive upfront costs to set the system up.

Packages Overview

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to sacrifice your offline copy of Office for cloud access. Include business-class email and various apps that will help streamline inter-communications within your company. Each package comes with 1Tb of cloud storage to facilitate online workspace environments.

Business Essentials: A bare-bones solution that only operates online. Business class email is included are extra applications such as Skype-for-Business.

Business: Offline office applications are included. Business-class email and extra applications are not

Business Premium: The full monty. Get business-class email and offline applications. A variety of extra performance-enhancing applications are included.

Business-class email solutions

Email is your lifeline to the rest of the world. When you run into problems, it could be devastating to a business of any size. There are three options when looking at email solutions for your business; shared, on-premises and hosted. Office 365 offers hosted email included in two of their business plans.

Shared: When you share a server with other businesses, you can quickly run into problems. The spam filters are generally poor, and your security can be breached. When growing, capacity can be reached, throwing your growth into disarray. If you are working in a cloud environment, remote access to your shared server can be slow and tiresome.

On-premises: Having your own email server on-site can be an expensive process. If managed incorrectly, your security will suffer. In the event of loss of power, or accidental fire, the server will go offline and so will your email.

Hosted: Hosted email is managed for your by Microsoft professionals. Setting it up is simple and hassle-free. Your upfront costs are minimal and included in your office 365 package. Remote access works smoothly, no matter where in the world you are. Hosted email offers the best scalability, safety and remote access – all at a lower cost.

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