Siobhan Spillane, Author at HCS
Time to Evolve & Adapt: Technology as an Enabler for Change

Time to Evolve & Adapt: Technology as an Enabler for Change

In a few short weeks back in March the working world changed. Covid 19 turned what was a growing trend into an everyday reality. Workers all over the country set up home offices, requested laptops, network access and headsets to do their everyday jobs from the kitchen table.

Some companies already had remote working policies in place. For others though it was an avalanche.

In the rush to get set up companies used what applications were readily at their disposal e.g. third party file sharing and free video conferencing with no real long term thinking.

Now things have changed. Remote working is set to remain for some time to come and indeed could well become the preferred option for many workers. 83% have indicated they want to keep working from home after the Covid 19 crisis has ended. This week Google announced have pulled out of talks to lease a 7-storey office in Dublin and others will follow suit.

Businesses need to look at their remote working environment with a longer-term strategy in mind.

The Challenge

The greatest challenge facing businesses is a technical one – giving each user the tools for safe and efficient remote working. Delivering laptops to employees is just one part of the problem. Ensuring that they have access to basic applications like email and file sync and sharing through remote desktop access and virtual infrastructures is key. Security is a major concern as cyber criminals take advantage of new inadequately protected devices accessing business networks from many different locations.

IT as an Enabler

IT has a crucial role to play in enabling businesses to operate in this new normal and the early adopters will reap the rewards. Those that move fast to Evolve and Adapt their business will not only ensure continuity but gain a competitive advantage.

  • The cloud is the backbone of remote working. Cloud based applications and services allow employees to access the information they need regardless of their location.
  • Modern communication tools enable remote collaboration in realtime speeding up decision making.
  • Productivity is enhanced through digitally transforming processes via Microsoft’s Power Platform
  • Security is imperative as cyber criminals look to exploit vulnerabilities that the new normal presents.

It is time now to Evolve and Adapt your business.

We adopt a holistic approach to our customers focusing on the current issues but with a forward-looking perspective. Our objective is to solve immediate problems but make sure that your investment is protected into the future. And we always have security at the centre of what we do.

We can help you modernise and evolve into a business that will operate competitively in the here and now plus scale up or down cost effectively in the current fluctuating and uncertain marketplace.

Call us to arrange a review of your business IT with a member of our team.  

5 Common Causes Of Data Loss

5 Common Causes Of Data Loss

Data loss is a serious problem for businesses of all sizes, losing essential files means having to redirect your efforts from your business’ core focus, to recovering data. Data loss can happen when data is accidentally deleted or something causes files to become corrupted. Viruses, physical damage or formatting errors can cause data to become unreadable by both humans and software.

Although data loss can be caused by a variety of factors, each posses a unique problem for data recovery. However awareness of the types of data loss and the risks associated with losing data is essential for reducing the risk of data loss.

5.Hard Drive Damage

If your business does not operate within the cloud and your employees often store documents on their hard drives than damage to a hard drive could lead to a loss of data. To prevent hardware malfunctions work with your device appropriately and keep your device away from excessive dust. You should also review where your data is stored and consider a migration to the cloud. Our Sales team would be thrilled to discuss a cloud migration with you.

4. Hackers

In recent years, hacking and data breaches have become incredibly common. To avoid the problems that hacking can cause, your business must have strong cybersecurity protections. Unauthorised guests to your network can cause serious risks to your data through deleting or stealing data. Common ways hackers gain access are;

  • Servers with poor security
  • Not having adequate firewalls
  • No regular patch testing
  • Using passwords that are easy to crack

To ensure you are guarded against risks, contact our team and we can help you secure your business against data breaches and security risks.

3.Power Outages

Power outages can interrupt business operations substantially, causing software systems to shut down without any warning. Not only can this cause a loss of unsaved data but it can also cause existing files to become corrupted due to improper shutdown procedures. To avoid this backing up recent versions of data to the cloud is essential, in the case of data recovery also being required, we can help too!

2. Human Error

Humans are by no means perfect, mistakes do happen and sometimes they’re big mistakes. For businesses these mistakes can result in the unintentional loss or deletion of essential data or sections of text within documents. Without noticing, employees can overwrite important files or delete information that is essential to your business. One important measure you can take to prevent this is training. Training your team members to understand your business’ data processes and your backup systems.

Human error can often be undone if you have backed up your essential data to the cloud. If data requires disaster recovery, we can often source a previous version of your essential data.

1.Viruses & Malware

Most people automatically think about viruses when they think about data loss. For businesses, viruses can often steal and delete large amounts of data which can bring business operations to a halt. A computer often gets a virus from an email-based attack or through phishing, which tempts employees to click a corrupted link. This link then allows dangerous viruses or malware to enter your network.

There are many ways to protect against these viruses:

To lean more about how to secure your business visit our website by clicking here or contact our offices in Waterford and Dublin!

Security Risks All Businesses Should be Aware Of In 2019

Security Risks All Businesses Should be Aware Of In 2019

Over the past few years, we have seen a distinct rise in the number of cyber attacks happening to businesses in all industries around the world. These cyberattacks have not only grown in frequency, but also in complexity. Cybercriminals are continuously evolving in how they exploit a business’ weaknesses.

With threats to cybersecurity, continuously growing, we have created a list of some threats to be aware of in 2019.

1.Phishing Attacks

Phishing Attacks can be a cybersecurity nightmare and have existed almost as long as the internet. This type of cybercrime is designed to steal personal information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details.

Often Phishing Attacks can appear to come from a trusted source, such as your bank or a website that you regularly use. Once you reply to a phishing email or follow its instructions, the information is sent to its malicious source.

2. Unpatched Security Vulnerabilities

Cybercriminals often take advantage of known security bugs in business software programs. Usually, security updates/patches are not applied to vulnerable software. This can leave business networks exposed to external threats.

The primary way to ward off these attacks is to create and maintain a rigorous patching schedule.

3. Ransomware

Ransomware has become one of the most prevailing cybersecurity threats in the past few years. In 2019 it is going to be an even more prevalent problem.

Ransomware works by a cybercriminal taking control of a computer or network of computers and inhibiting a business’ use (unless a ransom is paid) by locking the end-user out. This can interrupt business processes, cause repetitional damage and cause a loss of profits. By doing this, cybercriminals can extort large sums of money from victims.

To learn more about how to secure your business against cybercriminals, malware and more, contact our team in our Waterford or Dublin offices, who can help you choose the right services for your business. To contact us, click here.

How mobile technologies are transforming the way SMB’s do business.

How mobile technologies are transforming the way SMB’s do business.

The future of SMB’s productivity is about how our approach to technology is changing, how we are increasingly working on the move and how the idea of the office as the primary work location is no longer accepted as the conventional norm. With mobile technologies it is now possible to be connected anywhere, at any time and we can be as effective at home, at the airport or even waiting for a taxi.

Once a luxury reserved for only large companies, technologies such as cloud and mobility are now available and affordable to even the smallest businesses. In many industries, these types of modern technologies are necessities for those looking to grow and gain a competitive edge.

Some of our mobile technologies tips to make your life easier when working on the go:

  • Get Office 365. The single best productivity software on the Market. Centralised cloud stored email and OneDrive for Business for your documents. It can be accessed from Office applications or any web browser you have access to. Want to always have the latest version of Office? Sign up for an inclusive plan, allowing a single user install Office on up to 5 PC’s. All you need to use any of it is a device with internet access, it’s a no brainer.
  • Don’t travel, Video Conference. Some things just can’t be done without a face to face. Sometimes it’s just a matter of putting a face to the name, but business is always better when the other person is not just a voice in your ear. It’s not always possible though, which is why it’s worth trying a specialised conferencing solution like Skype fro Business.
  • Device Integration. There is nothing worse than having your phone, laptop and tablet that is supposed to sync, but doesn’t, leaving you in the lurch right when you need it. But hardware that shares an operating system, like Windows, has built in interconnectivity which ensures that the information you want is there when it’s needed.
  • Data Safety. Having all your information remotely and the press of an icon is perfect for today’s mobile users, it’s pretty much vital. But the chance lost losing your phone or laptop, and the data being accessible, is a nightmare scenario for most companies. Applications and data should be hosted centrally on something like a Windows 2012 R2 server. Office 365 adds another level of centralised security, and Windows Intune can lock or wipe and devices that are lost or stolen.
  • Schedule Smarter. Using Outlook or SharePoint for scheduling allows for collaboration between everyone who needs it, even across multiple time zones. They could integrate Bing Maps into Outlook calendar entries to show actual locations, meaning appointments can be set in stone rather than having fluid start times.

How HCS can help?

We are a Microsoft Gold partner and have been recognised in 2014 as a Global Partner of the Year Award Finalist. We are experts in delivering Microsoft Cloud Services such as Office 365, SharePoint, Azure and Microsoft’s Unified Communications solution Skype for Business. 1000’s of users trust us to support their Office 365 cloud platform. We have a dedicated and experienced SharePoint Team who will drive your productivity.

Contact our Microsoft certified team on 01-8734120 | 051-595200 or email sales@hcs.ie to find out the best place to start working with mobile technologies.

For more information Office365