No matter what your company does, almost all businesses are now reliant on PCs, mobile devices, cloud services or locally stored data. Regardless of its size, imagine if your company suddenly lost access to those devices or the data. That’s why any business needs to think of itself as a digital one, and protect those assets as it would cars, tools and other equipment.
Managing IT assets
Most SMEs start out managing IT in an ad-hoc fashion, but soon need professional help managing their assets. At this point, it is easier and less expensive to turn to outsourcing than it is to hire an expert. One IT person in your company creates a weak link – they may not understand the business, and what do you do when they go on holiday? Or, if they leave the company, they will create a void that is hard to fill and may take key knowledge with them.
Outsourcing is the solution
A professional IT outsourcing solution can provide constant IT support, improved networking, cyber security, managed services and other essentials that will keep your business running. We can provide accessible backups of all key data, improve productivity and efficiency by providing mobile working solutions and other benefits, and can grow with your business as its IT footprint expands.
Growing your business
We can also help plan your future IT expansion, saving your business money by providing hardware, software and cloud solutions at lower cost. Outsourcing may still sound scary to some businesses that have grown organically, but, when it comes to IT, you need independent advice away from shark-like vendors and expertise that is very costly to have in-house, especially for businesses with a modest range of PCs.
As your business expands, moves to multiple sites or acquires other businesses, our advice and services will be essential when it comes to wider networking, integrating different types of software or database, and other issues that will crop up as companies change.
Whatever your business size, low-cost, professional IT support is available to all and will help the company remain protected and running through any IT disaster or typical failure. We can also help your company grow smartly, and efficiently use its IT assets, which can be of immeasurable value. Get in touch with Nimbus CS today.
Having multiple offices is a great way for a company to expand and increase its global outreach, particularly if they span a number of countries or even continents. Inevitably, however, there are a number of challenges that come with operating across a number of offices, and they are not limited merely to difficulties with differing time zones. Running such an operation requires meticulous planning, up-to-date technology and a near flawless IT support department to help it run smoothly and efficiently.
Video or phone meetings
Possibly the most common problem faced by office workers employed by global companies is in regards to how they can keep communications with colleagues in other offices efficient and swift. Indeed, there is nothing more frustrating or stressful than being unable to reach the one colleague with the document you need or being unable to communicate key aspects of a project adequately. To combat this barrier, businesses should provide employees with the tools to set up meetings via video or phone link, and instruct them on how to use such applications. Many professionals are now familiar with applications such as Meetupcall and Join-Me, which even allow for screen-sharing sessions in which employees are able to watch what is happening on their colleague’s screen in another office. Getting workers up to speed with this technology can work wonders.
IP phone systems
An IP phone system is another great way for employees to get in touch with each other. Purchasing such a system will save a business money on international calls and offer extra capabilities such as chat and conferencing, meaning employees do not have to go through the rigmarole of digging out colleagues’ numbers and punching them in the phone every time they would like to make a call.
Web-based management tools
Finally, it is most likely very important that a global business should take advantage of a web-based sales management tool such as Salesforce so that it can keep track of the activity of all of its salespeople. Purchasing this kind of programme will provide complete visibility in regards to the degree to which salespeople are benefiting the company and help business owners to develop strategies based on the data they draw out of it.
In the last of our IT insights for businesses we discuss how smart hands can help your business.
As a mid-sized business, you’re always looking for ways to grow the company. What can you do to expand your reach? How can you attract major clients? Well, part of that could come down to time. By simply having more time, and by keeping your business operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you can plan effective ways to grow your business. A smart hands service can provide you with eyes and hands on for custom installations and troubleshooting in your remote locations. Here are some ways smart hands could help you take your company to the next level…
A smart hands package provides vital assistance to your company by reducing the amount of downtime and interruptions to your service throughout the year. You can get someone to your systems quickly should issues arises with them. It also heightens the chance of the problem being resolved quickly, sometimes it can be fixed even before there’s a significant impact on your operations. Having minimal downtime is vital to growth, because employees can complete tasks knowing there won’t be any interruptions.
Frees up employees
It’s counter productive for a business to have trained and talented members of staff performing maintenance tasks that don’t really have much to do with their core duties. Smart hands can take care of this by carrying out maintenance, letting the employees you have in-house get on with their core tasks, which can lead to you improving the business and even creating innovative new services or products.
If you have a roll out that requires systems installed in multiple location then a smart hands service can help. You systems can be installed in your satellite locations while your core tech staff are freed up to do what they do best, your bespoke configurations. The smart hands service can access locations, transport equipment, install equipment and get it up and running to hand over to your tech staff .
As with all of our services, we’re on hand to offer any support you may need. Nimbus CS has been involved in roll outs across Ireland, so give us a call if you have a project coming up, we’ll be on hand to come up with a plan that will work for your company.
The 5th in our series to mark the launch or our new Nimbus CS company website. Follow our social media channels to keep up to date.
The cyber world is developing at a rapid rate and opportunities abound for those in business who are willing to embrace technology and use it to their advantage. Unfortunately, there are those who seek to exploit companies whose online security is not adequate, resulting in the theft of valuable data and even money.
Here are a few ways of protecting your business from cyber-attack:
1. Always check potential employees’ references
Cyber theft is not just perpetrated by shady hackers in far off countries. You could be at risk from employees, ex-employees and temporary contractors who have access to sensitive information held on your computer systems.
Always run thorough background checks on potential employees to ensure that they are trustworthy.
2. Train employees in data security methods
Hold annual training sessions for your staff to educate them in data protection procedures and why they are so important. Include details of your company policy in the event of a threat and guidance on how to handle such a situation.
Make sure employees understand how to recognise that a computer may have malware and what action they should take, as well as ensuring that they are conversant with the company’s IT security guidelines and internet safety protocols.
3. Data encryption
If you hold personal client data on your systems you must ensure that it is safe and secure. Data encryption is probably the best means of achieving this.
Encryption technology can protect information wherever it is stored: on your network, laptop computers or removable data devices. Statistics show that an alarming 77% of small businesses are not concerned about cybercrime and have little or no structure in place to prevent it. Small businesses are responsible for 90% of all reported computer network breaches – pretty scary, not to mention expensive for those affected.
4. Protect your banking
Payment fraud is a big problem for small businesses, with over half suffering some kind of cyber-attack during 2015 according to research by the Business Banking Trust. To help prevent this, have one computer dedicated to banking which is used for nothing else.
Did you know that, even though the fraudulent activity actually occurs through the bank itself, your business is liable for the consequences? Many small companies don’t survive such attacks and go out of business as a result.
It’s devastating enough when your personal computer is hacked or has a virus implanted through a spam email, but this is nothing compared to the havoc a successful attack on your business can cause. Follow this advice and you will add another level of security to your business that will go a long way to preventing the theft of data or money.
Hacker IT Computer Security by Christoph Scholz licensed under Creative commons 5
In the fourth of our IT insights for businesses we geek out a bit over Petya.
A lot of detailed work has gone into dissecting the latest Petya malware that has struck businesses around the world. Unlike the previous WannaCry attack, Petya was buried in a commercial piece of accounting software called M.E.Doc, from a Ukrainian company. This means that when the attack was triggered, the malware was already installed on over 400,000 PCs undetected by any virus software, even though it was based on some malware first used in 2016.
If you want to learn some of the technical details, Cisco has an alarming but insightful report (http://blog.talosintelligence.com/2017/07/the-medoc-connection.html?m=1). The greatest damage wasn’t done far away, as you might expect, but in the UK, with pharmaceutical giant Reckitt Benckiser having whole factories knocked offline that produce Durex and Neurofen among other products (https://amp.theguardian.com/business/2017/jul/06/cyber-attack-nurofen-durex-reckitt-benckiser-petya-ransomware). The damage to them is estimated at over £100 million.
Antivirus, firewall and email software seems to be increasingly incapable of stopping the new generation of attacks. With this in mind, it is time for companies of all sizes to reconsider their IT protection. For a start, only a few antivirus companies managed to update their protection software the day that Petya struck. Check your IT solutions and see how fast it takes for them to update. If it took a matter of days rather than hours, you should seriously reconsider moving to a more responsive vendor.
The future of IT protection
Increasingly, IT security products will move away from updating after the fact of an attack. Instead, they are operating in a live manner, linked to attack monitoring servers around the world. The technology is generally called “advanced threat protection.” ATP is currently only available for enterprises, but is rapidly being made available for all types of business as new types of attack leave the old software useless.
When an attack starts online, the ATP servers spot and identify the attack, and tell all the protection software what it is and how to stop it affecting your business network. This prevents malware, zero-day attacks, morphing viruses, distributed denial of service attacks and other threats from impacting your business and bringing down your PCs or networks.
Get in touch to find out how improved security could benefit your business. As is evident from past attacks, it is better to take action sooner rather than later.
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