Cloud IP Telephony (VoIP) explained in 2 minutes…

Cloud IP Telephony or VoIP uptake amongst organisations is growing due to the movement towards ‘Cloud Computing’ or the Software-as-a-Service model. Cloud has enabled organisations to have access to the latest technology without having to make a large capital investment.

Compared to traditional phone lines, VoIP solutions not only help lower the costs but, it also helps consolidates existing suppliers into one. Watch our 2 minute video to find out more…

For more information on VoIP services and the benefits please contact Netshield today on 0845 603 5552

Remote Working… The Trend of Mobility in the Workplace

Forrester Research suggests 95% of workers are using at least one-self purchased device for work, which can help explain the blurring between work and play, and the growing adoption of BYOD within businesses.

But, when it comes to Workforce Mobility, BYOD is only a part of it, as TechTarget and Computer Weekly IT priorities survey, found 67% of enterprise plan to issue employees with mobile devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones in 2014 – suggesting that employers are also starting to see the benefits of remote working, by empowering employees with the ability to choose where they work.

Remote Working

Working anywhere, anytime…

By offering remote working or telecommuting it can remove recruitment geographic limits, employers can employ the very best and employees can work for who they want without worrying about the location of the offices – the ability to be able to work anywhere and workplace flexibility can help to attract and retain staff. With the amount of communication tools available cross-boarders conference calls can all be cost-effective.

Researchers at Stanford University found that remote workers are 13% more productive and have less sick days. The increase in productivity could be because it provides employees with the freedom of working from a personalised space, a space that can support individual workflow and processes, no compulsory commute (which can sometimes be stressful!!), a space that has no interruptions from colleagues which in turn can increase job satisfaction.

By offering employees the option for flexible working it displays trust (although there will be times where this is abused). Employees would appreciate the flexibility of tailoring their work-life balance = they would be as focused and productive. In theory. But, when working from home there may be distractions due to domestic circumstances which could have opposite effect so, its not something that is suitable for everyone.

Not everyone sees workplace mobility in a positive light – In 2013 Yahoo ended its remote working program and BestBuy quickly followed suit. Both argued employees working together within one building will promote interaction, creativity and the sharing of information – which is a valid point. This idea is supported by Google where Patrick Pichette CFO commented “The surprising question we get is: ‘How many people telecommute at Google?’ And our answer is: ‘As few as possible’”.

The lack of uptake of remote working could be that many organizations lack trust with their employees, they have an innate belief that performance and productivity can be measured within office buildings, as Managers can see physical presence – the question is, just because someone is sitting there, does it really mean they are being productive? The answer can be debatable.

Even though there is a low uptake in remote working currently, as technology and user habits change, ‘Work Mobility’ and ‘Flexible Working’ is predicted to grow. Leading to a popular view that work is something not confined to a particular building, it is an activity that can be conducted anytime, anywhere.

Of course certain jobs are not suited to remote working like manning a production line and there are a number of disadvantages. In short mobility in the workplace can be beneficial

Secure Remote Working Netshield

Working remotely? Make sure its done securely.

for businesses and individuals but, before the decision is made an assessment of suitability is required. If workplace mobility is something that is suited to different roles and organisational culture then, it must be planned, deployed and managed securely.

Netshield to Discuss How Vulnerable Businesses are to Cyber Threats

Managed ICT Services Provider Netshield on the 24th April 2014, will be discussing the issue of Cyber Threats and different types of IT protection methods at a seminar held at the British Embassy in Brussels.

Working with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) in Belgium Richard Carty, Commercial Director at Netshield will discuss why ICT Security needs to be a high priority, the common threats and ways in which organisations can protect their network and data.

The seminar will be aimed at organisations operating in sectors such as legal, financial, recruitment and the service industry and will take place on the 24th April 2014, at the prestigious British Embassy in Brussels from 9.30 – 13.00 (Central European Time).

‘ICT security is a growing concern with an increasing trend of professional services being a target for malicious behaviour, due to the high levels of business data they hold. The seminar will provide insight to the current threat landscape, security risks of current technological trends and protection methods’ commented Richard Carty.

The seminar will also include a live security breach demonstration from our guest speaker Rodrigo Marcos from SecForce and discussions on data security from a Legal perspective by Paul Van den Bulck, McGuireWoods.

‘We are delighted that the British Ambassador Jonathan Brenton, Paul Van de Bulck Partner at McGuireWoods and Rodrigo Marcos at SecForce will be able to join us to discuss the topic of ICT security and examine how exposed are businesses to the cyber threat in the changing workplace environment. With majority of businesses reliant on technology and data to be operational it emphasises why a secure ICT network is essential’ added Richard Carty.

For more information or to register click here

Nearly Time to Say Farewell to Microsoft SBS…

It shocked the community when Microsoft announced the discontinuation of the widely used ‘Small Business Server’ (SBS) range. Windows SBS 2011 Standard will be the final offering within the range and is available through OEM channel until 31st December 2013.

It is a sad time for many, as SBS is a popular solution that enabled many businesses to build a comprehensive platform that is robust and cost-efficient. Microsoft has made this decision based on the computing trend of small businesses, moving in the direction of cloud computing for applications and services such as emails, online backup and business tools. 

Although the trend is moving towards the cloud, not everyone supports it in the business community and many still want their data sitting on a server in a place that they can pinpoint.

Microsoft has released the ‘Windows Server 2012’ range to try and fill the gap SBS will leave in the market. It has 3 versions – Essentials, Standard and Enterprise but, unlike the SBS range it does not include Exchange, SQL and Sharepoint and would have to be purchase separately. Although the product is not necessary as simple to set up as SBS if set up correctly, businesses can still manage an IT infrastructure from one box or you could consider moving to the cloud.

For advice or for more information on the discontinuation of SBS or the cloud please contact us today.

What are Next Generation Firewalls?

Firewalls are a piece of software or hardware that helps to prevent unauthorized access to a computer or an IT network by screening out viruses, worms and hackers. As cybercrime is becoming more sophisticated the traditional firewall are now being replaced by the ‘Next Generation Firewall’ (NGFW).

Next Generation Firewalls

While traditional firewalls looks at IT network protection as a whole, the Next Generation Firewalls have the additional functionality of securing applications and web content. They have integrated intrusion prevention, allowing network administrators to apply controls at the application layer. They also have deep packet inspection, with the capability to detect malicious malware and web content. For network administrators on NGFW devices you can gain more insight on the network usage by adding the reporting and monitoring tools on the device.

Why use one?

It is important for businesses to assess their current IT network for vulnerabilities on a regular basis and whether the current infrastructure would protect the business against the evolving malicious threats.  With the growing usage of social media and internet for work purposes, NGFW will give businesses the extra protection they need. A NGFW device will also provide a cost-effective way adding an additional layer of content and application protection while providing a management system into one device.