Call us on: 02920 887 362
Insights /

IT considerations for your business in 2019

In 2019 IT will be rapidly progressing, so it’s increasingly important that your business is not left behind or left vulnerable to security risks.

 

An easy way to ensure this is to make sure your hardware and software is up to date and regularly checked for weaknesses.

We are always relaying this message to our customers and other businesses, hackers are getting more and more crafty in the ways they can infiltrate and expose IT security and infrastructures, so don’t play into their hands by not equipping yourself properly.

Because we feel this way, we’ve compiled a list of 5 IT considerations for your business in 2019:

1. Say Goodbye to Office 2007

Sometimes it’s hard to say goodbye, but sometimes it’s the right thing to do…

We all know the Microsoft Office packages are globally renowned for their effectiveness and usability, but it’s amazing the amount of businesses are still using the older packages.

It’s no secret that Office 365 is now the preferred system, and it’s not hard to see why. Office 365 is delivered through the cloud and uses Exchange Online for email, ensuring users are connected and accounts are synced.

Alongside this, Office 365 comes with SharePoint for file sharing and online collaboration and comes with a suite of Office web apps which can be used on Desktop too. From a business point of view, it makes so much sense as no longer files will be lost or information not communicated.

If you want to learn more about migrating your team from an older version of Office, head on over to our training pages to see what courses we provide.

2. Advanced email protection

Unfortunately, it’s been widely reported that 2019 could be the worst year in terms of damaging email attacks for businesses. Meaning it’s going to be more vital than ever that your email security is up to the test. Surprisingly, not enough businesses have email protection in place. Or rather, they think they do with basic web security through free software.

For instance, did you know that Hackers Targeted 5 out of 6 Large Companies Using Email Attacks Last Year — an Annual Increase of 40%

It’s vitally important to be protected, even we have email protection in place – from our partners Mimecast. We use their email managing service day to day. We are alerted when a malicious file is detected, and we are given constant updates about potential weakness and risks in our network.

If you’d like to know more about Mimecast and how they can protect your business, get touch and we can give you the relevant information.

3. Office 365 protection

For those businesses who have converted over to Office 365, it’s agonizing to hear that so many businesses think that Office 365 has advanced protection and security built in. Ransomware, botnet, and banking Trojans have all affected Office 365 users, but they are so easy to avoid.

Here are just a few data protection gaps in Office 365:

  • An inability to independently locate review or verify the completeness and accuracy of data stored within Office 365
  • Data loss or damage caused by technology failure or human error could go undetected for extended periods of time
  • Malicious or unauthorized access (stolen credentials) to Office 365 could result in data loss or damage

It’s incredible to think that businesses are potentially left wide open because they simply don’t know the limitations of their package. Our advice? Make sure your data isn’t compromised.

As security experts, we believe in advanced protection. If you need more information about our security services, head over to our overview page.

4. Update and Improve hardware

 

Aside from have processes and regulations in place, it’s just as important to make sure that the software and hardware is up to date and performing at the appropriate level.

“Saving a little now can cost you a lot more later on”

It may seem crazy, but recycling machinery for brand new models can save you a fair bit of money in the long run. Working with SME’s we know the lifespan of a work PC can be shorter than a personal PC due to the nature of what the machine will go through – against an established company with a history of devices.

So, what could be some surefire signs that an upgrade is needed?

  • Hardware is impeding productivity because of crashes or slow performance
  • You are running “legacy” operating systems, such as Windows XP or Windows 7
  • Your systems are “end of life” and no longer supported by the manufacturer

If you do feel it is time to replace your equipment, make sure you’ve read up on how to use the Brexit resilience fund, as you could receive funding for ‘improving processes’

Aside from this, it’s also important to dispose of old computer equipment so your data isn’t at risk. We’ve explained in the past about why it’s vital, but we can advise on the methods of destruction

As much as replacing your IT systems can be beneficial, don’t make your business vulnerable!

5. Eliminate user error, suspicious email training

“…from April 1 to June 30, 36% of all reported data breaches were thanks to human error. In total, there were 305 reported data breaches over the quarter.” Via Smart Company

Finally, it’s down to your employees. Don’t be tricked into thinking that you need to replace anyone, in fact the fix is incredibly simple. And cost effective.

Training your staff to know what to do in a tricky situation is imperative, as it could theoretically save your business from a data breach or office downtime.

The solution? Make them aware of the dangers.

We’ve found that guiding businesses through a Cyber Essentials scheme is the best way to make sure your business is covered against the common threats. It allows us to gain real valuable knowledge of how a client’s network and infrastructure are set up, meaning we can provide solutions that will be most effective.

Following this, there is specific courses that you can put your team through – such as Phishing Awareness Training and Phishing Simulations. Creating situations where employees must decide for themselves whether an email is dangerous or not.

Our partner Mimecast offer specific material for this, if you’d like to explore this option please get in touch or visit our managed security overview.

In summary, 2019 will be a testing year for businesses against Cyber Threats.

If you’re looking to learn more about how your IT systems can be protected. Get in contact with us on 02920 887 362 or send us an email at info@excellence-it.co.uk

← Back to the blog

 

You might also be interested in:

A Quick Intro to Patching

What is patching? And why do IT people talk about it so much?

When should you outsource your IT?

The short answer, and the one you’d expect from an IT support provider, is as soon as you can. But there’s a bit more to it than that.

Excellence on Ice