Companies’ efforts to protect their businesses from cyber attacks have been thwarted by employees, as a new report shows that about 9 out of 10 employees intentionally breach their employer’s data policies. 60% of businesses are likely to have experienced a security breach without even knowing.
The CEB report revealed that despite security measures taken to adapt to the recent influx of devices at work, the loss of a company mobile phone or tablet has proved to be the biggest threat.
The company also conducted a survey involving 165,000 employees, and reported that 93% of workers intentionally disregarded security policies, with senior executives revealed to be the worst offenders.
CEB senior research director Jeremy Bergsman explained that people outside IT departments often have a poor grasp of the risks involved, and that correct processes were often too complicated for employees to carrying out.
“In order to get employees to do the right thing you need to make it as easy as possible to do,” Bergsman explains. “Most people are just trying to get their jobs done, that’s why they break policy.”
Around a third of the surveyed staff also confessed to writing down important passwords on post-it notes and scraps of paper, allowing them to be lost or stolen easily. Other frequent errors included saving copies of confidential documents onto USBs as well as sharing passwords with colleagues.
Mobile trends such as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) allow employees to use their own phones, tablets and laptops for work, making it more difficult than ever to protect company data, despite revised security policies that reflect the changes in the way staff work.
Do these findings ring true in your organisation? Let us know below.
Image: QUOI Media
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We are excited to announce that Gradwell has been shortlisted for ‘Best Internet Telephony’ once again. The Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA UK) has today announced the finalists for the 15th ISPA Awards, the UK’s longest running internet industry awards. Over 40 companies have been shortlisted, with winners for all 15 categories unveiled at the prestigious awards ceremony on 11th July at the Park Lane Sheraton Hotel in London.
Entrants in the broadband and hosting categories underwent two months of rigorous testing by ISPA’s technical testing partners, thinkbroadband, while Malden Electronics carried out the testing for the Internet Telephony category. Using these results, and the written entry forms, an independent panel of industry veterans will decide the winners.
ISPA Secretary General Nick Lansman said “Congratulations to all those shortlisted for the 15th ISPAs. The two new categories again demonstrate the innovation of our industry and the diversity of the internet sector in the UK. The ISPA Awards are now 15 years old and it’s still great to be able to celebrate successful British businesses. To be nominated is a big achievement, with rigorous technical testing and written entry forms analysed by expert judges or votes from customers. I look forward to the ceremony and best of luck to all entrants.”
The 15th ISPAs shortlist:
Best Superfast Broadband
Best Consumer Fixed Broadband
Best Business Fixed Broadband
Best Fixed Wireless
Metronet UK Wireless
Best Large Business Hosting
4d Data Centres
Best SME Business Hosting
4d Data Centres
Best Internet Telephony
Best Consumer Customer Service
Best Business Customer Service
Managed Service Innovation
Media Service Provider
Internet Safety & Security
Internet Watch Foundation
South West Grid for Learning
Digital Inclusion Award
Southern Housing Group
Customer Choice Award
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Many small businesses have been resistive, or at least indifferent, to cloud services. For the first few years of its life the cloud just seemed like a buzzword, which promised so much but delivered very little in terms of real benefits for small business owners. The last few years have seen more and more providers delivering some or all of their services on the cloud, and based on Microsoft’s huge push on a business and consumer level for Office 365 we can see that the big boys are betting a good chunk of their future business on cloud services.
So, what should small business owners think about when faced with so much cloud stuff and so little clarity?
Firstly, it’s worth looking at accessibility. Up until 2010 the majority of homes and offices had a relatively slow broadband service via traditional ADSL. In January 2010 a shake-up of the UK’s internet services started when BT launched its Infinity product range and suddenly connectivity speeds (and reliability) previously only available on expensive leased lines were made available to millions of homes and offices.
This factor alone has made running some or all business applications in the cloud much more viable, and year by year we’re seeing increased speeds and decreased costs for connectivity.
So, how does the cloud aid accessibility? Well, at its core the concept of cloud computing is that the data is stored on the internet and is accessible from any internet connected device, at any time, from anywhere. Companies with numerous remote workers, branch offices or international/roaming staff can let their staff access everything they need to work, via the web.
Smaller companies can also benefit as they can improve access to their systems for suppliers, get data on the move, and in some cases can run their entire business from their iPad or mobile phone.
Secondly, a huge plus for small and big business alike is reduced costs. For big companies, moving to the cloud means they can get rid of in-house or hosted servers and pay a lower cost to a bigger organisation to manage these items. They can also shed IT staff – once your email is hosted on the cloud you no longer need that Exchange Server specialist in-house.
For smaller business, the cost saving is based on a reduced need to replace outdated hardware and the reduction in downtime caused by not being able to afford multiple servers or a high availability set-up. Once your email is cloud based, on something like Office 365, the back-end systems running this are being managed and patched by Microsoft. They are highly available (there are numerous backup servers ready for if something fails) and you don’t have to worry about replacing or updating your in-house server. The cost also becomes scalable – as you add an employee to the business, you pay a little bit more per month for their extra cloud services/licences.
So, what is holding smaller businesses back from taking more cloud services from suppliers?
Mainly, it’s a fear of losing touch with their data and the worry that poor internet connectivity may hamper their ability to work, as their core services are all on the internet.
Both of these points are valid, but easily managed. For organisations with sensitive data that must stay in the UK, speak to your IT team or a specialist about a private cloud. This can be your own dedicated cloud set-up that is UK based, and that is solely provisioned for you.
For connectivity, the money saved by moving to cloud services will usually justify the purchase of either a second back-up internet connection (make sure it’s with a different provider) or at least the purchase of a firewall that can use the 3G mobile network as a failover.
Also, with mobile devices and mobile internet, you can work from a phone/tablet if the office has an issue. Or just work from home. It’s much more flexible than the old ‘server in the corner’ which, should the office become inaccessible or the server fail, stops the whole business from working.
Author Bio: Craig Atkins is a Gradwell partner who runs 1-Fix Limited, an IT support company that specialises in services for small businesses, including private cloud, VoIP, Office 365 and fixed priced IT support.
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Research reveals that businesses operating online are thriving despite the difficult economic climate, according to a study by the Technology, Media and Telecoms division of Barclays. Half the participants divulged that they have produced double digit growth in the last three years.
The study suggested that the online sector it growing 57 times faster than the UK economy. The online businesses surveyed experienced an average of 11.4% compound annual growth over the last three years, with the UK economy growing just 0.2% in the same period.
64% of online businesses are optimistic about their own growth prospects for the year ahead, while 48% state that they are optimistic about the UK economy in 2013.
More than a third (35%) name a rise in competition in their sector as the biggest threat they face this year, a surprisingly low number if you consider that more and more businesses are moving into online trading.
The Barclays research also explores online companies’ relationship with mobile sales, and the attitudes towards this area of the market.
64% of online businesses in the UK believe a mobile strategy is an important factor in their 2013 business success, yet almost the same percentage (60%) admit they are yet to plan and implement this. Online businesses that have developed mobile sites or apps generated 27.8% of their revenues from mobile in 2012.
It’s clear that businesses should be taking advantage of trends such as mobile sites and apps in order to harness the growing market. Do you have a mobile website? Share your experience below.
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For many companies, having customers all over the world isn’t a possibility unless you’re big enough to afford expensive equipment and a large workforce. VoIP makes all your phone calls over the internet, making international calls cheap and taking away many of the complications of location. Here’s how.
Low cost international calls – International calls using VoIP are significantly cheaper than traditional phone calls. With a traditional phone line an international call can be expensive, as you need to pay to use the wires from one exchange to the next, including underwater cables and satellites. With VoIP, your call travels as data over the internet, up to the nearest telephone exchange where we are able to convert your VoIP call into a traditional landline call. This is significantly cheaper, with calls to international landlines from just 1.5p per minute. See our website for call charges to specific countries.
Have an international phone number – A huge advantage of choosing VoIP to help your business work internationally is that you can have a number from another country. For example, if you’re UK based but most of your clients are in Cyprus, you can change your number to be local to them. Your clients will pay the local rate to call you, and won’t be put off by the thought of international call charges. Our international number selection can be viewed on our website.
A location independent communications system – VoIP is ideal for a business where a lot of travelling is involved, as your phone system isn’t confined to the office. Going on a business trip to another country? No problem. You can access your phone system from anywhere with an internet connection, including your smartphone. Receive and make calls from your hotel room in Italy seamlessly – your number will show on caller ID as the one in your office. You can just use a headset plugged into your computer if it’s easier.
24/7 technical support – If you’re planning a conference or phone call with an overseas client, there’s every chance that it’ll take place outside usual office hours to account for the time difference. For example, a 7pm call from your office in London to your client’s office in Los Angeles would be at 11am for them. If there’s a technical problem of any kind, you want to be able to speak to someone straight away. Our team are based in Bath, UK, and are on the end of the phone 24 hours a day to assist you.
If you’d like to know more about what Gradwell VoIP can do for you, book a callback below or email email@example.com
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