Most common cyberthreats and how to avoid them

Most common cyberthreats and how to avoid them

As we know, there are many types of cyberthreats, all of which can be harmful to your business. Understanding the different types of threats and having the appropriate preventative and reactive measures in place is key for all businesses to mitigate risk.

Cyberthreats are caused by vulnerabilities. Most software will have a vulnerability – a security ‘fault’ or ‘hole’ – at some point in its life due to incompatibility with the operating system for example, or simply the way it’s built. It’s worth noting that the vulnerabilities themselves are not an issue, but it’s these that viruses take advantage of; vulnerabilities allow access to PCs and Servers.

Once cybercriminals have taken advantage of the vulnerabilities and gained access, the results can be wide ranging, from harvesting personal data, usernames, passwords and bank details, to encrypting data for blackmail purposes. Many viruses can run on a machine without the end user even knowing. Human error is typically the cause and starting point of the spread of the infection. Here’s what your end users can look out for to prevent the spread of infections.

Phishing emails

Phishing, or mass spamming, campaigns are emails that appear to be genuine that are sent to hundreds or thousands of different people. They’ll encourage you to click on an illegitimate link or download something that will then cause an infection. These emails are designed to look genuine so can be very difficult to spot. Users can click on the sender email address; if it doesn’t match the person signing the email, then you can safely delete the email.

Spear phishing

Spear phishing has the same aim as phishing – to get the user to open a link or download something which will cause a virus. In contrast to phishing, spear phishing uses personal information in order to create a targeted email. The information they use might be openly available on the web or social media accounts for example.

We’re increasingly sharing more and more of our lives publicly and on social media. Unfortunately, this makes it easier to find the information needed for spear phishing attacks. In a similar vein, each time there’s a data breach, personal information is leaked onto the web. For example, the information of every Yahoo account holder was leaked in 2016. Most of the accounts were dormant so many didn’t take much notice, however the information that was leaked included timeless security questions and their answers (where you were born, your mother’s maiden name etc.). Breaches like this make it easy to construct a convincing spear phishing message.

Ransomware

Last year, we witnessed many ransomware attacks including the WannaCry attack on the NHS. Ransomware encrypts users’ data and then demands a payment to decrypt it. The payment amount generally rises the longer the payment is left and if no ransom is paid, the data will be deleted. The payments are normally made using BitCoin, a virtual currency. When a payment is made, the data will typically be deleted and restored back to its original location, but there is no guarantee that that will be the case. The cybercriminals could demand further payments for example.

Solutions

There are many types of cyberthreats, but just a handful of protective measures can protect you against them all.

We offer IT Support Contracts. For one monthly charge we can provide and manage everything that you’ll need to keep your infrastructure safe. We proactively monitor your entire infrastructure for you, often dealing with issues before users even realise. As part of our IT Support Contracts, we use the following products:

ESET Endpoint Security – an antivirus solution that detects and eliminates all types of threats with low resource usage, and cross-platform protection.

Clunk Click Online Pro – backup your data to secure offsite datacentres. Data is encrypted at source, in transit, and at rest for complete security. Restore your data easily in the event of data loss.

Mako – a network router with a firewall controls the traffic that’s allowed in and out of your network. It allows you to access the internet safely with a low chance of spurious links and traffic.

Office 365 – Office 365 has inbuilt security features to keep your data safe, as well as additional products such as Advanced Threat Protection which detects and detonates any spurious links or attachments.

Why Ilkley IT Services?

We help small and medium-sized businesses who don’t have an in-house IT department maximise and maintain their business IT infrastructure.

We constantly monitor your PCs, network and other IT devices. We’ll often prevent problems from happening without users even knowing, meaning you and your staff continue to work uninterrupted.

On the rare occasions when things do go wrong, we’re ready to respond quickly and efficiently. With our vast experience and investment in the best tools, we are well equipped to get you back up and running in the quickest possible time.

Ilkley IT Services continue to provide us with excellent and prompt computer support. Knowing that any IT issues will be dealt with in a swift manner gives us peace of mind and keeps our busy office running smoothly.

Abbeyfield the Dales
Abbeyfield the DalesGwen

The insight and technical acumen which Warren and his team have brought to the table has been immensely valuable and they’ve made the process smooth and straight forward – highly recommended!

Secret Drawer
Secret DrawerRichard

Cloud Nine Hair is very pleased with the way in which Ilkley IT Services conducted themselves throughout our entire move to new offices and warehouse...We continue to work with Ilkley IT Services who provide us with excellent computer support and strongly recommend them to any future customers.

Cloud Nine Hair
Cloud Nine HairMartin

Ilkley IT have offered great support and advice over the years... Friendly people and a good service. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Ilkley IT Services.

Room To Grow
Room To GrowAnne

Like many businesses, we rely heavily on our IT set up to function. From taking orders to running the warehouse, our computer and information resources are central to how we work.

Harrison Bathrooms
Harrison BathroomsJames

When our IT equipment recently needed refreshing, Ilkley IT Services did an excellent job in providing the necessary materials for our team to perform... I have no hesitation in recommending Ilkley IT Services to other companies requiring professional IT support and consultation.

KineholmeDarren

I would like to express our sincere thanks to Ilkley IT for their excellent technical support, that has on a number of occasions been lifesaving. Computers in our Dental Surgeries are critical, and the fast repairs carried out by Ilkley IT has been vital to our being able to continue to offer a high level of care for our patients.

Ilkley Dental
Ilkley DentalLiz

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Mako

Why you need a Cloud managed router and firewall

Last year we witnessed many huge scale cyberattacks and breaches, including on the NHS; the media was reporting cyberattacks and beaches constantly! Cyberattacks are happening every single day, even when the media isn’t reporting them. Businesses, large and small, the world over are falling victim to cyberattacks. Thankfully, organisations are recognising the importance of cybersecurity and cyberattack prevention more and more. A firewall router is a key method of preventing cyberattacks.

What are Mako Routers?

Mako provides business grade routers to business of all sizes. As well as providing a connection to the internet, they also provide a secure firewall to prevent intrusions into your network.

A firewall grants or rejects network access to traffic between an untrusted zone (the internet) and a trusted zone (your network). It works by analysing data in order to decide which traffic is safe and which isn’t. It’s essentially a ‘traffic cop’ that grants or denies access to different internet traffic. These decisions mean that you can access the internet safely with a very low chance of intrusions.

Firewalls can limit outgoing traffic as well. For example, if a user were to click on a spurious email link which caused spam mail to be sent to all contacts, the firewall could prevent the spam emails from being sent, protecting your contacts and the spread of the virus as well.

How are Mako’s different to other routers?

Unlike most other routers, MAKO routers are Cloud managed. This means that we can manage your router for you through a portal. This is ideal for our customers that have multiple sites, and for those that have a support contract with us. We can set you up, change settings for you, and manage your router easily and quickly. You can view the portal as well to keep track of everything.

The portal means that you can have a lot more control over settings and configurations. For example, you can choose to block certain types of content – adult, gambling sites etc. – you can get reports on how the internet is being used, and you can receive notifications for any potential network concerns as well. You’re also able to prioritise certain uses of the internet if there’s poor connection for example, meaning your most business critical jobs are prioritised.

A huge advantage of Mako over other routers is the automatic firmware updates. New firmware updates are pushed out automatically meaning that there’s no dependence on human interaction, so you’ll always be completely up to date and secure.

Mako is the only network router that is Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliant. PCI DSS is an important standard for organisations that handle card payments. Mako helps companies achieve PCI DSS compliance by having an entirely separate physical port for the internet traffic that handles card payment details. This is then routed only to the payment gateway resulting in a completely secure connection.

Mako and Managed Support

Here at Ilkley IT, we offer Managed IT Support. This means that we can supply and manage various products and services for your business. We can supply you with a Mako router, as well as proactively monitor and manage your network. You can be involved in this process, or you can leave it completely up to us – it’s your choice. If you’d like any more information about Mako routers or Managed Support, please get in touch.

 

Why Ilkley IT Services?

We help small and medium sized businesses who don’t have an in-house IT department maximise and maintain their business IT infrastructure.

We constantly monitor your PCs, network and other IT devices. We’ll often prevent problems from happening without users even knowing, meaning you and your staff continue to work uninterrupted.

On the rare occasions when things do go wrong we’re ready to respond quickly and efficiently. With our vast experience and investment in the best tools we are well equipped to get you back up and running in the quickest possible time.

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What is Microsoft Teams?

What is Microsoft Teams?

Since Microsoft Teams was first released in 2017 it’s been adopted by over 200,000 users globally. With a host of functions and tools, Microsoft Teams aids collaboration and efficiency by acting as a central communications hub, pulling in information from other Office 365 products and resources.

A chat-centred workspace

Microsoft Teams is first and foremost a communication space. You’re able to chat easily to different groups of people (your ‘teams’) regardless of whether they are inside or outside your organisation. You might have a Marketing team for example, a Finance team, or a team with some of your external suppliers. The chat itself is an informal IM style with the availability of emojis, gifs, and stickers. This allows for easy communication to groups of your colleagues.

Easy team and channel creation

Creating and joining teams is easy. You can add both internal and external colleagues to your team with just an email address. You can add people after the conversation has started too with the ability to choose how much conversation history they can see – no history, the previous day, or all time.

In order to keep chat organised, users can create channels. These channels are usually topic based, but you can name them whatever you’d like. A new function in Teams is the ability to mute, hide or leave chats. This means that you can keep all your chats and teams relevant to you. If there’s a channel that you’re especially interested in, you can follow it to receive notifications about that chat.

App integration

Teams integrates with both Microsoft and third-party applications. These apps mean that you can present data to your colleagues, send them documents, and organise meetings etc. directly within the Teams space. Not only can you view data and documents, but you can edit them too. For example, if the team is sent an Excel document, you can open up and edit the document within the Teams workspace allowing for easy and efficient collaboration. Any documents shared within the team are automatically uploaded to SharePoint, so all your documents are stored in one, easy to find location.

A new feature within Teams is an app store. This will enable you to search for and integrate apps into your Teams sites quickly and easily. Microsoft are consistently increasing the number of apps that can integrate, so they’ll be something for everything you need!

Communication Hub

Teams is increasingly becoming a complete communication hub. It now has the functionality of Skype for Business integrated into its workspace, so you can make calls from within Teams to anyone regardless of whether they use Teams themselves. You can also receive calls to any Skype for Business enabled device. In addition to this, you can arrange, carry out, and record team meetings easily. Recordings of meetings are automatically uploaded and stored in Stream for future reference, or for those that missed the meeting for example. The integration of Skype for Business and other apps means that users are starting to carry out their entire work day within Teams.

Teams is available in most Office 365 plans for no extra cost. However, there is currently a 12-month free trial available to users that do not have access to Teams in their plan, and even for customers that don’t use Office 365 at all. If you’re interested in starting a free trial, or would like any more information on Teams, please feel free to give us a call.

 

Why Ilkley IT Services?

We help small and medium sized businesses who don’t have an in-house IT department maximise and maintain their business IT infrastructure.

We constantly monitor your PCs, network and other IT devices. We’ll often prevent problems from happening without users even knowing, meaning you and your staff continue to work uninterrupted.

On the rare occasions when things do go wrong we’re ready to respond quickly and efficiently. With our vast experience and investment in the best tools we are well equipped to get you back up and running in the quickest possible time.

How can we help?

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ESET antivirus

Why do you need business grade antivirus?

We all know that the internet can be a dangerous and unsafe place. Unfortunately, anybody can fall victim to malware attacks – even the most tech-savvy of us – which is why it’s so important to have a secure IT infrastructure in place. A fundamental element of this is antivirus. Here at Ilkley IT Services, we only endorse products that we believe to be the industry’s best, and for antivirus that’s ESET Endpoint Security.

With this in mind, today we thought we’d share the top business benefits of having a professional antivirus solution.

  1. Complete network security

Let’s not overlook the obvious: an antivirus solution protects your network from viruses and other threats. Antivirus solutions will block viruses that would otherwise enter your network by clicking on a spurious link or entering a malicious site for example. Viruses can cause a whole host of different problems if they get onto your PC. They could make your PC run slowly, delete your data, record your usernames and passwords, and cause irreparable damage too.

Viruses can self-replicate and spread throughout your entire network as well. Protecting every machine in the network is really important and will prevent your network falling victim to a viral attack.

ESET Endpoint Security eliminates all types of threats including spyware, worms, rootkits, and viruses, so your machine and network has got protection online and off. ESET uses a reputation database to live scan objects and see whether they’re known to be malicious. The database is utilised through the Cloud-powered scanning functionality, ensuring quicker scanning speeds and fewer false positives.

  1. Keep your data safe

Typically, the main aim of viruses and malware is to collect data – hackers want personal details, credit card details, passwords, and confidential documents. The hackers might then sell this on the Dark Web for example. A professional antivirus solution will protect your data from intruders, keeping it safe. ESET has a Host-based Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS) which provides protection from tampering but also protects system registry, processes, applications, and files from unauthorised modification. You can customise the system behaviour down to a granular level and also detect unknown threats purely from suspicious behaviour.

  1. Prolong the life of your hardware

Viruses and malware can gradually deteriorate your computer (especially if they’re not dealt with), making even the simplest of tasks impossible to perform. A slow sluggish computer can be frustrating and hinder productivity. This can cause you to update your hardware much sooner than you’d need if you’d prevented viruses with an antivirus solution. This means that you’ll be getting the most out of your hardware investment as well.

  1. You’re in control

Professional antivirus solutions will provide you with the ability to customise your solution, select policies, and most importantly manage your antivirus easily. ESET Endpoint Security has an intuitive user interface that is customisable meaning that you can easily manage aspects of the solution yourself, or you can leave it completely to us to manage. ESET also has an auto scan of removeable media, removing the risk of autorun or other removeable threats. However, you can customise the parameters for media and devices, giving you complete control of whether your machine will read/write, read, or block devices.

Why ESET Endpoint Security?

ESET’s Endpoint Security has an unmatched record for stopping in-the-wild viruses in VB100 tests. It also has the lowest impact on memory usage and system performance amongst all leading antivirus solutions. This means that you can continue working as normal without the lag that other antivirus solutions can cause. ESET Endpoint Security protects across different platforms too: you’ll be protected regardless of whether you’re interacting with Windows, Mac, or Linux machines.

 

 

Why Ilkley IT Services?

We help small and medium sized businesses who don’t have an in-house IT department maximise and maintain their business IT infrastructure.

We constantly monitor your PCs, network and other IT devices. We’ll often prevent problems from happening without users even knowing, meaning you and your staff continue to work uninterrupted.

On the rare occasions when things do go wrong we’re ready to respond quickly and efficiently. With our vast experience and investment in the best tools we are well equipped to get you back up and running in the quickest possible time.

How can we help?

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What is Mobile Device Management?

What is Mobile Device Management?

Mobile Device Management (MDM) is the use of software to monitor, secure, manage and support mobile devices in the workplace, regardless of whether they are corporate or user owned.

Whether it’s via a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop, employees can access company data from anywhere more easily than ever. Whilst this is great for productivity it also raises security issues that if unaddressed could jeopardise the entire network and impact business data/operations.

MDM keeps your corporate information safe by allowing administrators to push out policies to devices, remotely wipe devices if they are lost or stolen, as well as block certain web/app content.

Which software do we recommend?

At Ilkley IT Services, our chosen Mobile Device Management solution is provided by ESET. Below we discuss the many benefits of adopting ESET MDM for your business.

What are the benefits of ESET MDM?

1. Remote management of users and devices

ESET’s Remote Administrator allows admins to view and manage all devices from a single point. The ability to push out policies in batches and adjust settings remotely is a huge time saver – admins won’t have to go onto every device in the organisation to make changes.

2. Anti-theft protection – Lock, unlock or delete all corporate data on any device

Lost or stolen company devices can contain sensitive information. With anti-theft protection you can remotely lock or unlock devices, or if needed, completely wipe all corporate data from the device, keeping your data secure even if a device is lost or stolen.

3. Application control

Administrators have control over apps too. Apps can be blocked on an individual basis, by type (gaming for example), or by permissions (if they require access to contact lists for example). To add further control, admins can whitelist apps too. Similar rules can be applied to web content as well – block certain types of content (adult sites for example) or specific URLs.

4. Regulatory compliance

With GDPR now in affect it’s never been more important to be in control of your network integrity. Should an unauthorised device compromise or deceive your business’s security your business could face fines for not correctly protecting business information. With ESET Mobile Device Management’s reporting capabilities, remote management, security and permission restrictions this massively boosts network integrity and mitigates risk of data breaches.

5. Controlled Device Updates

Making sure that all systems are up-to-date and patched is a vital component of IT security. With Mobile Device Management, updates can be centrally controlled and audited. This not only protects your devices and data, but is also a requirement for compliance regulations, such as HIPAA, SOX, and PCI.

6. Supports bring your own device (BYOD)

Historically it’s always been a risk to allow external devices into your corporate network and to access information outside of the office. With MDM you can embrace BYOD and allow external devices to access business information on the go knowing that it won’t compromise security. Have a more productive workforce that can work on the move, improve productivity and help you save on hardware if employees would rather work from their own devices.

Does it matter what operating system we’re using?

ESET has an MDM solution for both Android and Apple Devices. The licensing for both solutions is easy – you can add and remove licenses to ensure you’re only paying for what you’re using. You can also migrate seats from one device to another, regardless of the operating system. For example, if a user switches from an Android to Apple device, you can switch the licence over easily.

Both products, like all ESET products, have low resource usage meaning that it will have a minimal effect on battery and will not cause lagging, both products have a single pane of glass making management easy regardless of OS, and both products benefit from a simple monthly payment model as well.

Why Ilkley IT Services?

We help small and medium sized businesses who don’t have an in-house IT department maximise and maintain their business IT infrastructure.

We constantly monitor your PCs, network and other IT devices. We’ll often prevent problems from happening without users even knowing, meaning you and your staff continue to work uninterrupted.

On the rare occasions when things do go wrong we’re ready to respond quickly and efficiently. With our vast experience and investment in the best tools we are well equipped to get you back up and running in the quickest possible time.

How can we help?

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Backup vs Disaster Recovery

Backup vs Disaster Recovery

Backup is necessary for all businesses. Backup ensures that in an event of data loss, you can restore your data and continue with minimal business downtime. However, in a situation where you’ve lost what you need to restore your data to, you’ll need a full system recovery solution. This blog will explain the difference between backup and disaster recovery.

What is backup?

The backup software we use is Clunk Click Online Pro. This software takes a copy of your files and stores it in our datacentre. The backups are scheduled so happen automatically, meaning no human intervention is required. You choose which data you want to backup and how often.

The backup software scans for three types of data: data that existed during the last backup but has changed, data that existed during the last backup and is the same, and data that is new. Only the new data and changed data are backed up. This is called incremental backup meaning there’s no duplication of data ensuring that you’re getting the most from your storage. This also minimises bandwidth so your backups don’t interfere with your working day.

Clunk Click Online Pro is able to backup all types of data including transactional databases. It also stores previous backups meaning that you can restore backups that aren’t just the most recent one. For example, if a virus goes undetected you’re able to restore data from a time prior to infection – without this feature you’d be restoring the virus back onto your machine.

In an event of data loss, you can access a file through:

  • InstantData allowing you to instantly view your data in a web browser;
  • Single file restoration allowing you to restore a single file; or
  • Multiple file restoration allowing you to restore multiple files, or even all your data, onto your server.

What is Disaster Recovery (DR)?

If your computer or server is inaccessible, you’ll need a different location to restore your data to. This might be your previous server if it’s available, a spare server (if you’re fortunate enough to have one lying around!), or a Virtual Machine in a datacentre. A new server, whether physical or virtual, will require time for configuration and set up. This is where Disaster Recovery comes in.

Disaster Recovery means that we’ll take a copy of your server’s settings and configurations when you initiate DR with us, and install these onto a Virtual Machine (VM) in our datacentre. In a disaster scenario or if your server is physically damaged, you’ll have a pre-configured server ready for data restoration.

There’s two types of Disaster Recovery: Warm State and Hot State.

Warm State Disaster Recovery means that we’ll turn on your pre-configured VM in a DR scenario when you need to restore data.

Hot State Disaster Recovery means that the pre-configured VM is running continuously. After every backup a copy will be placed onto your VM, so when it comes to restoration your data is on your VM ready to go. This essentially shortens the restorative process, thereby reducing business downtime.

What are the costs?

For Clunk Click Backup you simply pay for your storage amount.

For Warm State DR you would pay your backup storage amount and a small retainer fee for the target VM. Your VM will be configured, set up and ready to use, but turned off. If you needed to use your DR solution, you would pay for the use of the VM (CPU/Disk/RAM).

With Hot State Disaster, you pay for your backup storage as well as the costs of running the VM (CPU/Disk/RAM).

Post-disaster, you can keep your VM as a permanent replacement and we’ll set up a new DR VM, or you can move your data back down to a physical machine.

Why Ilkley IT Services?

We help small and medium sized businesses who don’t have an in-house IT department maximise and maintain their business IT infrastructure.

We constantly monitor your PCs, network and other IT devices. We’ll often prevent problems from happening without users even knowing, meaning you and your staff continue to work uninterrupted.

On the rare occasions when things do go wrong we’re ready to respond quickly and efficiently. With our vast experience and investment in the best tools we are well equipped to get you back up and running in the quickest possible time.

How can we help?

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Cloud vs Server

Cloud vs On Premise Servers

When considering infrastructure changes such as cloud or on premise servers, one aspect that’s often overlooked is the cost of possible downtime caused by hardware failure – most common is RAID failure.

If you use a highly transactional database (a CRM or stock management system for example) and your physical server has a failure, then that downtime will cost the business whilst you wait for your replacement part or installation.

Disk Failure

Single disk failure could put your entire RAID array in danger. If your server is relatively new, and you chose to take a suitable warranty or support agreement from the manufacturer, providing you have no further hardware failures, you’ll probably be okay to carry on working whilst your disk is being rebuilt.

However, there are more issues if you have older tin or tin that’s out of warranty. If a disk fails, you will have to swap it for an identical disk. Finding an identical disk and replacing your old one could take time putting extra load on the other disks. This often causes a domino effect putting your entire RAID in danger of failing. Companies sometimes spend weeks trying to rebuild their RAID array.

Downtime can be crippling

Being out of action for weeks can be financially crippling for a business. Disk failure and subsequent RAID failure can happen at any time and is a risk to your business continuity.

We’ve known companies come to us after being told that replacement parts could take weeks to arrive. Fortunately, we’re able to migrate servers into the Cloud and get organisations back up and running within a few hours.

We appreciate that hindsight is a wonderful thing, but the Cloud has no single point of failure. This means that if a company’s infrastructure was already in the Cloud, and the datacentre suffered hardware failure, their VMs would have seamlessly migrated to a different physical server in the datacentre whilst the hardware was repaired or replaced.

It’s not just RAID array failure that can be a problem. Mother board failures and RAM issues can take days to resolve too. Replacing your entire server could take a week or more to sort as well.

Could your business cope?

There are solutions to the above issues – don’t panic!

A lot of companies have failover kit that they use in situations like the above. The downside to this is that it’s expensive because your upfront costs are doubled (you’ll be buying two servers). It’s inefficient as well because you’ll have idle servers.

You could have your failover kit in the Cloud. This would involve paying a small monthly reservation fee ready for when disaster strikes. You could replicate onsite tin into a datacentre so that if there’s an on-premise failure, the Cloud would take over and your company could carry on working.

We can help

We can help with scoping, building, testing, monitoring, and tweaking resources to ensure you get the performance you require within a budget you can afford.

There are lots of factors to consider when moving your infrastructure. We sell both Cloud servers and physical servers, so we can help you decide which option is best for you and your business. Please get in touch for more information.

Why Ilkley IT Services?

We help small and medium sized businesses who don’t have an in-house IT department maximise and maintain their business IT infrastructure.

We constantly monitor your PCs, network and other IT devices. We’ll often prevent problems from happening without users even knowing, meaning you and your staff continue to work uninterrupted.

On the rare occasions when things do go wrong we’re ready to respond quickly and efficiently. With our vast experience and investment in the best tools we are well equipped to get you back up and running in the quickest possible time.

How can we help?

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Public, Private, Hybrid: Three Types of Cloud

Public, Private, Hybrid: Three Types of Cloud

Understanding the different types of Cloud and in what circumstances they can be used will enable you to pick the option that best suits your business requirement.

Public, Private, and Hybrid are the three main types of Cloud. They work on the premise that users access a combined hardware and software service in a datacentre via the internet, either with or without your onsite server.

Public Cloud

The Public Cloud is a multi-tenant environment. This means that the platform hosts multiple clients or companies, so users are sharing the resources.

A Public Cloud solution means that you’re essentially buying a secure portion of a much larger infrastructure which is shared by lots of other companies.

Because you’re sharing, the cost tends to be more affordable. There’s greater flexibility too, so you can scale your resources quickly and easily.

Is the Public Cloud for me?

The Public Cloud has the most up-to-date technology because it’s the datacentre’s core offering to its customers. For many businesses the Public Cloud is the most cost effective way of accessing up-to-date technology. It can also handle huge amounts of data, and provides great scalability and customisation.

As an example, it might suit an organisation that sells tickets to sports or music events. These types of organisation require huge computing resources for very short periods of time. The Public Cloud is suitable for all businesses from start-ups right through to established businesses.

Private Cloud

In contrast to the Public Cloud, the Private Cloud is a single tenant environment. This means that the computing resources – software, hardware, Virtual Machines – are exclusive to one organisation. This setup means that you know exactly where your data is stored, and you have control over that environment. This is held in the datacentre in the same way as the Public Cloud.

Is the Private Cloud for me?

Private Cloud, just by its nature, has enhanced security compared to the Public Cloud. It’s suitable for organisations that have specific security or compliance standards to meet. Organisations that deal with sensitive data would benefit from this – organisations working in finance, legal and public sectors, or healthcare for example. Using Private Cloud means that you know exactly where your data is being held, which is important for companies that need to prove data sovereignty.

Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid Cloud, as the name suggests, is a hybrid of computing models. It might refer to a mixture of Public or Private Cloud, but more often than not it means a mixture of Cloud-based and on-premises servers. The blend of resources means that you can meet nearly any computing requirement easily.

Is the Hybrid Cloud for me?

Hybrid Cloud excels as a method of overcoming challenges.

You might have sensitive and non-sensitive data that needs to be stored separately for example. Hybrid enables you to store your sensitive data on-premises if you wish to, and your non-sensitive data in the Cloud.

You could use it as a way of transitioning to the Cloud. You can continue using your existing on-premises servers to ensure you get the most from your investment whilst simultaneously using the Cloud.

Alternatively, if your organisation needs scalability or flexibility that a physical server can’t provide on its own, then Hybrid might be ideal for you. You might have spikes in traffic for example; you can use Hybrid to ensure you have the additional resources available to you when you need them.

We’re ready to help you

We understand that no two businesses are the same and that there are many different factors to think about when moving to a Cloud infrastructure. We can help from scoping, building, and testing, through to monitoring and management. We can ensure that you get the ideal solution for your business. Please get in touch with us to discuss your options.

Why Ilkley IT Services?

We help small and medium sized businesses who don’t have an in-house IT department maximise and maintain their business IT infrastructure.

We constantly monitor your PCs, network and other IT devices. We’ll often prevent problems from happening without users even knowing, meaning you and your staff continue to work uninterrupted.

On the rare occasions when things do go wrong we’re ready to respond quickly and efficiently. With our vast experience and investment in the best tools we are well equipped to get you back up and running in the quickest possible time.

How can we help?

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password Security Ilkley

How to secure passwords

‘Hacking’ is a term that is now firmly associated with 2017. Last year was littered with numerous cyberattacks, data breaches and hacks. From the NHS WannaCry attack that affected over 7000 appointments, to the Petya/NotPetya attack that lead to the manual monitoring of Chernobyl’s radiation levels, right through to Uber who paid their hackers $100,000 to delete their hacked data and keep quiet. Fortunately, 2018 has not been littered with these huge scale attacks in the same way as last year (and fingers crossed it stays that way!).

These attacks did have one positive outcome: it encouraged conversation about cybersecurity. Many businesses are taking measures towards safeguarding their data and keeping their IT systems secure. Whilst having a secure IT infrastructure in place is essential, having secure passwords is equally important; you could have the best security measures in the world but if your passwords are poor, your data is still at risk.

With this in mind, we thought we’d share a few tips for secure passwords.

Don’t use ‘123456’

You’re probably not surprised to hear that ‘123456’ and ‘password’ have topped the list of the worst passwords for 6 years running. The list uses data from 5 million leaked passwords from North America and West Europe. Variations such as ‘123123’, ‘12345’ and ‘123456789’ are also culprits on the list. Despite this, people continue to use these passwords.

So, you shouldn’t use any of the above, but how do you actually create a strong password? Ensuring you use a range of uppercase and lowercase letters as well as numbers and special characters is essential.

Adopt Passphrases

Passphrases are a great alternative to passwords. It’s been proven that length is a key way to make your password more secure. Passphrases enable you to have a long password that’s easy to remember.

As an example, if you take the road name Victoria Drive Ilkley and replace characters with upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters, it would turn into ‘V1ctor1A+Dr1v3+1lkl3y’ – a very secure passphrase.

You can create a passphrase from anything that is memorable. Remember to keep it random though – you don’t want to use your name, your business name or the name of the account you’re logging into for example.

Don’t reuse passwords

So, you’ve created your strong password or passphrase. The most important part is not to use this for multiple sites. Using the same password over and over is a sure-fire way to provide hackers with a quick way to take you to the cleaners! Using the same password for everything means that if you’re hacked on one platform, those hackers then have your login credentials for everything else too, meaning you’re totally exposed.

Consider a password management tool

Remembering all of these different strong passwords can be a challenge. We’d recommend using a password management tool such a KeyPass or LastPass if you’re struggling. This way you only need to remember one password – the password that allows you to access your passwords. This is obviously much more secure than writing them down or keeping them in a word document for example.

Keep your password to yourself

We’ve heard some horror stories of organisations where every employee has the same computer password, users are given passwords to use, or all the company passwords are written down somewhere for ‘safekeeping’. It goes without saying that this is not best practice; you should pick your passwords yourself and they should be different to your colleagues’ passwords. Lastly, change your password every few months – the longer you have a password for, the more time there is for it to be hacked.

Why Ilkley IT Services?

We help small and medium sized businesses who don’t have an in-house IT department maximise and maintain their business IT infrastructure.

We constantly monitor your PCs, network and other IT devices. We’ll often prevent problems from happening without users even knowing, meaning you and your staff continue to work uninterrupted.

On the rare occasions when things do go wrong we’re ready to respond quickly and efficiently. With our vast experience and investment in the best tools we are well equipped to get you back up and running in the quickest possible time.

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7 Reasons to move to the cloud

7 Reasons to move your infrastructure to the Cloud

There are many reasons to move to the Cloud – increased scalability, flexibility, collaboration, and a change in payment terms to name a few. More and more businesses are taking advantage of the benefits of moving to the Cloud. Here’s 7 reasons why you should join other businesses and move to the Cloud.

  1. Monthly Payment Model

Buying hardware is costly but is essential for on-premises solutions. You’re able to spread this cost over the server’s life, but you’ll still need to make a hefty upfront payment. By moving your infrastructure to the Cloud, your payment model changes from upfront to a monthly model which enables you to free up your cashflow and invest elsewhere within your business.

  1. Make the most of hardware

On-premises servers will nearly always result in unused capacity. This leads to unnecessary expense. The shared server infrastructure of the Cloud means that it’s scalable meaning no unused capacity and no unnecessary expense.

  1. Staff resources allocation

Cloud-based solutions can free up your staff’s time. IT staff will no longer have to spend time maintaining and monitoring hardware – this would be the responsibility of the Cloud Service Provider. This leaves your IT staff with more time to spend on tasks that will drive your business forward.

  1. Save power

Cloud Service Providers are experts at utilising their hardware. Optimisation results in the best use of energy and resources, and lower costs for power usage.

  1. Flexibility and Scalability

Cloud services are flexible and scalable – as your business grows, your Cloud services can grow too. This is why Cloud computing is referred to as ‘elastic computing’. You’re able to scale up and down dependant on demand, whilst only paying for what you’re using.

  1. Collaboration

Cloud solutions makes communication easier for businesses. You’re able to share documents in real time regardless of your location and time zone for example. Increased collaboration increases your agility too, you’ll be able to respond to new and changing situations with ease.

  1. Cloud helps all businesses

Cloud solutions can help all businesses from start-ups to Enterprises. Start-ups’ immediate access to low-cost, enterprise-grade IT infrastructure means that future growth is accommodated for from the off. SMEs can access a huge range of computer storage and network resources enabling them to operate in a way that would be impossible on-premises. And for Enterprises, Cloud drives down costs, increases operational efficiency, and allows them to meet complex hosting requirements.

Why Ilkley IT Services?

We help small and medium sized businesses who don’t have an in-house IT department maximise and maintain their business IT infrastructure.

We constantly monitor your PCs, network and other IT devices. We’ll often prevent problems from happening without users even knowing, meaning you and your staff continue to work uninterrupted.

On the rare occasions when things do go wrong we’re ready to respond quickly and efficiently. With our vast experience and investment in the best tools we are well equipped to get you back up and running in the quickest possible time.

How can we help?

Please complete the following information

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