What changes will GDPR bring to how businesses must store data?

What changes will GDPR bring to how businesses must store data?

General Data Protection Regulation is set to be implemented in the UK on 25th May 2018, however, far too many businesses seem unprepared for the changes this will bring. One of the reasons for this is that many don’t realise the changes affect companies of all sizes, and that, by not acting, they are putting themselves at risk. To help make sure you are prepared, and your business is safe, here are the most notable changes it will bring.

1. More transparency

One of the biggest running issues surrounding customer data is the way in which it is collected. Individuals feel that they are often unaware of who has their data or how they collected it. More transparency must be given to how you collect data, so, for example, your company can no longer auto opt-in to data collection on forms.

2. Power to the people

If you hold customer data of any sort, then they will now have the power to have it deleted at any point they wish. Similarly, if you offer a service and they wish to switch, then they can transfer that data to the new provider. Once you have used the data for the intended purpose of having collected it, your company must delete it from your system.

3. Clear responsibility

Cyber attacks are on the rise, and the government is making it clear that businesses are responsible for safely storing any customer data. It is your responsibility to make sure it is kept safe and to willingly undertake impact assessments to ensure it is properly anonymised and secure. If a breach does occur, you are responsible for reporting it within 72 hours to the ICO and to any customers who are particularly at risk.

4. Greater levels of enforcement

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), who are responsible for monitoring safe data storage, are having their authority increased. They will be given more freedom to carry out independent investigations and to impose penalties on under-performing firms. Such fines have been increased from a maximum of £500,000 to £17 million, or 4% of global turnover.

Getting IT support from a credible and trusted company is a great way to ensure your customer data is secure, and that you aren’t breaching any upcoming GDPR. Here at Nimbus, we do exactly that, and our highly trained team support businesses of all sizes and across multiple industries. To find out more about how we can help get you ready for GDPR, get in contact today.

Microsoft among first responders to Krack attack on wifi

Microsoft among first responders to Krack attack on wifi

The Krack attack, a weakness exploited in the wifi WPA2 standard, has been high on the news agenda recently. It has massive implications because it impacts every router and device, due to the ubiquity of routers, both in businesses and in homes, using WPA2 encryption. It potentially allows hackers to read any data coming from a device by resetting the wifi encryption key to all zeroes, or revealing the encryption key.

The attack could also inject malware into websites, as previous attacks can bypass HTTPS website encryption or data flows. It is especially dangerous to Linux and Android 6.0 device users. You can read about the vulnerability and the latest from the founder of the exploit.

How have tech companies responded?

The advice is to update router firmware and deploy OS patches to all devices as soon as possible. There is no need to disable your wifi or rip out your router for a new one, as there is little evidence of actual attacks yet. Generally, this latest panic is another reminder that it is a very good idea to have auto update enabled on any machine so you always have the most up to date cyber security. At Nimbus CS we can handle updates for you, using our centralised administration system we can view and control the roll out of updates to your systems.

The good news is that Microsoft, Apple and others have already deployed, or are testing, patches that will protect users running those operating systems against any exploit. However, it may take some time for router vendors to patch their products and some routers don’t update automatically, requiring the user to perform that task. Here’s a list covering the status of patches from key OS and router vendors.

Time to outsource?

If all of this still sounds worrying for your business, then perhaps it is time to invest in outsourced IT support. Having your small business IT support provided by a professional company means you don’t have to worry about the latest vulnerabilities, patching software, or wider business issues like how to migrate to the cloud.

Get in touch to find out how we can help protect your business against the latest threats, and ensure your company data is protected, backed up and your systems are defended against attacks or any IT disasters that could befall a company at any time.

The end of Windows 10 Mobile may change your remote working focus

The end of Windows 10 Mobile may change your remote working focus

Microsoft has stated that from now on, Windows 10 Mobile will only get bug fixes, with no new features on the cards. As more businesses have become increasingly mobile, this means that any company currently reliant on Windows devices for their productivity or remote working may need to think ahead.

Fortunately, Microsoft has been largely device agnostic in recent years, supporting both Android and Apple’s iOS with apps and cloud services. If your office relies on Windows 10 mobile devices, then when it comes to the next upgrade point, a switch to either platform will be the logical way to keep workers happy with current generation devices and all the software they are used to working with.

With many companies now working in the cloud, moving away from Microsoft servers, this is also less of a problem than it would have been a few years ago. Data is more freely available for those working in a cloud-enabled business. The full range of Word, Excel, Outlook, SharePoint and Power BI, plus collaboration tools like Skype and Yammer along with productivity app Lens are available on iOS and Android. And, with no sign of Microsoft losing dominance in productivity or desktops, these apps will be vital for many years to come.

A choice of upgrade path

Whatever family of devices you look for next, you will need to ensure IT support, cyber and computer security, back-up and security advice for those devices too, and advice on how best to manage them. Some companies may look for a bring your own device (BYOD) approach where workers can work using their personal phone, but any data needs to be carefully managed.

Apple’s iPhones can be managed using Apple tools to limit what app and data can be stored, while Samsung Galaxy devices with Knox are designed to protect business data. Other devices can be used with a range of third-party tools helping to keep data secure and manage apps so that all workers are in concert.

Get in touch to find out how we can help manage your next mobile upgrade and ensure that your company gets maximum productivity from whatever devices you choose to use.

How to run successful IT across multiple offices

For any company, the chaos that arrives when it opens a first branch office or second warehouse can be the stuff of business nightmares. All of a sudden stock control, staff management, document and data duplication becomes a major issue. Fortunately, it is one that can be easily solved by moving your IT from a desktop-based to a server or cloud-based solution.

Improving productivity

The key benefits of using cloud document systems like Office 365 include allowing anyone in the company to access the latest version of a spreadsheet or database, and that changes can be made in a protected manner so errors or duplications are avoided. For midsize businesses, hosted servers can ensure data currency and access from any location, with customisable solutions to support any growing business.

Managed IT also means that if you do have a computer or connectivity problem, your IT team isn’t dragged from one location to another. Instead, the majority of problems can be fixed without a visit. When it comes to connectivity, business broadband and leased lines between locations can ensure your offices always stay in touch.

Improved communications, no matter how many offices you have

Skype, VoIP or other unified communications systems ensure that teams are always able to remain in contact to see who is available or not turning up for work on time, and your business won’t suffer from out of sight, out of mind problems. It can also help schedule meetings, conference calls and so on for convenient times, and can pass on messages when people aren’t available.

Security support

Whenever there is an internet connection between two offices, there is also an increased threat to a company’s data security. IT support can analyse your organisation’s IT security capabilities and help manage any security, privacy or data compliance issues that may arise, such as GDPR. Using enterprise-class firewalls and antivirus software will protect your systems from whatever your less-aware users or the open internet can throw at it.

An expanding company needs to be carefully managed, and taking on cloud or external IT services will help make some aspects of that growth easier to handle. To ensure your efficiency and communications are not put at risk, get in touch with us today and see how we can help you.

Cloud migration safety tips

Cloud migration safety tips

As more organisations move to the cloud, security gaps, data breaches, and the loss of client and company financial data are becoming more frequent. So, if you do it yourself, how can this happen and what can you do to keep your cloud migration safe and secure?

Too many passwords

A big issue with cloud apps is that they are not integrated well with existing IT systems, and employees do forget the many passwords that are associated with the different apps they use each day. This can lead to a tendency for users to continually reset passwords, sometimes re-using the same ones or writing them down. This effectively undermines the effectiveness of any security intention.

The best way to combat this is to keep access limited to those who need it, rather than allowing blanket access right across the company.

Lack of visibility

Many cloud-based apps do not have an audit of user activity. This means that two users with identical usernames could sign in simultaneously. No alerts would be triggered and a possible security breach could occur unnoticed. To prevent this from happening, it’s essential that the most sensitive client and company data must be locked away securely. One way to achieve this is to auto-delete any highly sensitive information from emails before a cloud app can be used to download them to a remote device.

Data leakage

Lost or stolen mobile devices containing sensitive client information all too often end up in the hands of cybercriminals, and the cloud app used for information storage can’t be blamed for that.

To combat this problem, apply a digital watermark to all corporate information so that your computer support team can track its movements on the web. Placing covert identifiers within your sensitive data will allow your IT department to see whenever the data is downloaded and by whom.

In conclusion

Cloud data is synced across potentially thousands of devices and can be downloaded by users worldwide. There’s no doubt that using the cloud for your data storage needs and email hosting offers many advantages, but you must change the way that your business secures its data via a more data-centric, end-to-end approach to security.

Grow your small business can safely use the cloud, contact the helpful team at Nimbus CS today.

Financial savings for your business with cloud migration

With more and more businesses looking to cloud-based servers, there is growing interest in exactly how cloud migration can save businesses money. Whereas most of the common questions revolve around how much it can save on IT spending both in the short and medium term, the bigger question is how it can benefit the top line revenue and the growth of a business.

The economics of cloud servers

Many businesses have headed to the cloud simply because the cost and performance ratio of a cloud server is superb. This has been put down to the fact that companies no longer have to worry about any breakdowns in hardware that could potentially cost them money. With most companies entirely reliant on their servers, downtime has become their worst fear. In fact, just a few short hours of server downtime could end up costing a mid-sized business thousands upon thousands of pounds.

Another key factor relates to speed. A cloud server offers more resources, which means ultimately it will run faster, which in turn will give you a quicker website. Meeting the expectations of today’s demanding consumer is absolutely critical, and by not keeping them waiting on your site, you’re preventing them from seeking out your competitors. Consumers expect quick results, and with over half of online searches now being conducted on mobile devices, a fast server is more important than ever.

Modifications and scalability

No matter how big your business is, you’re always looking for ways to grow, and that occasionally means making wholesale changes. The cloud is great for allowing that to happen. When the time comes to make a change, many businesses find it to be extremely malleable. It allows them to make modifications quickly without having to wait around for the process to get done. It also makes customising your operating system as well as making changes to your internal software quick and straightforward. This will be particularly handy if you ever find yourself needing to make any last minute changes to keep up with a competitor.

Cloud servers also have easy scalability. Whilst you work on growing your business, you’ll find that you will eventually need to add additional memory as well as plenty of other features to keep up with customer demand. It’s during these times, when you see an influx of visitors to your site, that a cloud server allows you to expand it quickly, meaning you have full control when it comes to preventing a server crash.

If you’ve been thinking about the benefits that cloud migration could bring to your business, talk to Nimbus today about how we can help by seamlessly migrating your workloads with minimum fuss.

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