Are Password Managers Safe to Use?

password manager

Are Password Managers Safe to Use?

We hear more and more about large companies suffering data breaches. And as a result, it is possible that leaked credentials could end up on the dark web.

If you use the same password for lots of different accounts, then these accounts could be at risk too. We recommend using a different password with each online account, so if that account is compromised, none of your other accounts can be accessed with that password.

But how many online accounts do you think you have? Combining personal and work accounts, you could well have hundreds of online accounts. So how can you possibly remember so many unique passwords? That’s where a password manager can help.

What is a Password Manager?

A password manager is a tool that lets you securely store and manage all of your passwords. Password managers can be accessed with a single password. As this is the only password you will need to remember, make sure it’s a secure one! You can add an extra layer of security to your password manager with MFA as well.

Are Password Managers Safe?

In short, yes. And we highly recommend you use one, as they are far safer than reusing passwords or writing them down and leaving them lying around. But there is no way to stay 100% safe online – so there are a few things to be aware of:

  • All sensitive data is in one place: if attackers are able to gain access to your password manager, they will have access to all of your online accounts.
  • Device vulnerabilities: if you access your password manager on a device infected with malware, you could be giving cybercriminals access to your account. Secure your devices before using a password manager.
  • Weak encryption: make sure you do some research. If a password manager has poor reviews and fewer features, its probably best not to use it. Saving a bit of money should not be your priority when it comes to the security of your passwords.
  • Forgetting your master password: if you’re the only person who knows the master password, and your password manager doesn’t offer reset functionality, you might need to start recovering each individual login. Alternatively, you might want to store your master password, or a hint, in a secure space such as a safe or locked filing cabinet.

How Do Password Managers Work?

Good password managers use strong encryption to protect your password vault. As mentioned earlier, you access your vault with a master password. Some password managers will have extra layers of security such as a secure key to go with the master password when logging in on a new device.

The majority of password managers are cloud based. This means you can access your passwords on any of your devices, and quickly enter login credentials in your chosen apps or browsers. Cloud based password managers are generally more user friendly than locally installed ones, such as KeePass.

A good password manager will com with a password generator – where you can set rules such as length and types of characters used. They should be able to generate passphrases as well as passwords – so you can use whichever you prefer.

Choosing a Password Manager

The majority of password managers have similar or the same features. But there will be differences that makes one a better option than another. Here are some features to look out for – some may be more relevant to you than others.

  • End to end encryption
  • Password generator
  • Different vaults for different occasions
  • Password sharing
  • Family or business plans
  • Browser extension
  • Support options
  • Open-source software

From secure sharing to knowing your passwords are unique, there so many reasons to use a password manager. If you’re looking for other ways to improve your organisation’s security, see how ACUTEC can help.

8 Benefits of Business Intelligence

Benefits of Business Intelligence

8 Benefits of Business Intelligence

As a business, one of your most important assets is your data. and the amount of data a business produces is growing significantly year on year. To get more out of the data, many businesses are turning to business intelligence (BI). BI lets businesses analyse, manage and visualise their data.

Check out our 8 benefits of business intelligence.

Advantages of Business Intelligence

Here are 8 benefits of business intelligence. We’ve written previously about what is business intelligence, so be sure to read that article for more information.

1. Increased Efficiency

BI lets business leaders see data and gain a holistic view of their departments, and benchmark results against the entire organisation. With a holistic view of the organisation, leaders can easily see areas of strength, and opportunities for improvement.

2. Increased Customer Satisfaction

Business Inelligence software can help companies understand customer behaviours and patterns. The majority of companies will take customer feedback in real time and this information can help businesses retain customers and reach new ones. BI  tools can also help companies identify buying patterns, which help customer experience employees anticipate needs and deliver better service.

3. Improve Growth Patterns

Similarly, with the help of all the data, businesses can identify market trends and help improve profit margins for the company. Identify new sales trends by leveraging data from the internal and external markets and analysing the data. The market conditions can help spot any business issues that can otherwise go unnoticed.

4. Market leadership

When you have the right information to hand, you can respond, transform, and stay ahead of the game. BI reporting streamlines processes and unlocks insights you can transform into actions. Stay ahead of the game by taking opportunities and adopting new technologies before others know about them. Plus, the efficient processes and meaningful information afforded by BI will save precious time and resources which can be spent on growing your business instead.

5. Accurate Decision Making

Competition moves quickly. It’s vital for companies to make decisions as quickly as possible. Not addressing issues accurately and quickly could lead to lost customers and revenue. If you can leverage existing data to deliver information to the right stakeholders at the right time, this will optimise the time-to-decision.

6. Boost Productivity

More and more businesses are finding business intelligence to be a critical tool to ensure competitiveness and productivity.  Management teams are aware of the daily challenges trying to assess raw data manually. With BI solutions, managers can access, analyse and share information across the business. This allows for more intelligent responses to trends in production, material usage, labour, supplier information and more.

7. Improved Margins

Profit margins are, naturally, a concern for most businesses. With BI tools, you can analyse inefficiencies and help expand margins. Aggregated sales data helps companies to understand their customers and empowers sales teams to develop better strategies about where budgets should be spent.

8. Increased Revenue

Increasing revenue is perhaps the most important goal for any business. Data from BI tools can help businesses ask better questions about why things happened through making comparisons across different dimensions and identifying sales weaknesses. When organisations are listening to their customers, watching their competitors, and improving their operations, revenue is much more likely to increase.

Benefits of Business Intelligence to Your Organisation

Your business needs to make informed decisions to improve performance and grow. BI tools can make this happen. See how Microsoft’s business intelligence tools can benefit your business.

How To Protect Your Business From The Dark Web

dark web monitoring

How To Protect Your Business From The Dark Web

For most internet users, most of their time is spent shopping or watching videos. It is legitimate, legal and mostly harmless. But there’s another side of the internet, used for accessing much less reputable content – the dark web. We’ve spoken about what the dark web is in another blog post.

We often hear about companies suffering data breaches, and often the cyber criminals will distribute thousands (or sometimes millions) of users’ details on the dark web. It’s not nice wondering if your personal or critical business information can be found on the dark web. If there is data there, it’s almost impossible to remove it from the dark web completely, but there are still steps you can take to protect your business from the dark web.

Dark Web Monitoring

One of the services ACUTEC offers is dark web monitoring. Dark web monitoring searches the dark web for any information that shouldn’t be there – generally usernames and passwords. If data linked to one of your organisation’s is found, you will be notified, and if details of the account’s name are available, we strongly recommend changing that password.

Dark web monitoring uses technologies to search the dark web in areas information is commonly shared. We often see they appear of ID theft forums, but they could appear on any dark web webpage.

How Can Dark Web Monitoring Help Your Business?

As we’ve mentioned, once data appears on the dark web, it is almost impossible to remove it, and it could be used or sold in the future. Dark web monitoring isn’t designed for this. It is meant to let you know if your information appears on the dark web, so you can do what’s necessary to protect yourself.

Would you rather know that you have compromised data and change any passwords so that the information on the dark web is useless? Or would you rather not know, and potentially leave your sensitive accounts open to attack?

Safety Tips You Should Follow

Here are some safety tips you should follow, to minimise the damage if any of your accounts are compromised:

  • Use unique passwords – make sure none of your accounts use the same password. If they’re all the same, and your email password is leaked, cyber criminals have now got access to all your accounts.
  • Use sophisticated passwords – use a combination of lower and upper case letters, numbers and symbols.

These tips will make it harder to remember passwords though. Fortunately, there’s something you can do about that:

  • Use a password manager – securely store your passwords, so you don’t need to remember the individual ones. You’ll just need to remember one master password – so make it a good one!
  • Use MFA where possible – combine something you know (a password) with something you have. This could be by text message, email, phone call or dedicated authenticator app, such as Microsoft Authenticator.
  • Make sure websites are secure – always look out for HTTPS next to a web address – this adds an extra level of security.

You can’t stop a data leak. Cyber criminals look for vulnerabilities to try and gain access to sensitive information they can use. But we can all make it harder for them to access our data.

If you’re interested in our dark web monitoring, talk to one of our consultants to see if your data is at risk.

How Microsoft Surfaces Can Empower Your Staff

microsoft surface

How Microsoft Surfaces Can Empower Your Staff

As the UK workforce has headed home to work in 2020, being away from the office has shown just how important it is to have reliable computer equipment. Slow devices unable to handle multiple programs, let alone multiple tabs in a web browser, can seriously impact staff’s productivity.

A lot of workers have had to use personal devices for work. In many cases, their work laptop wasn’t performing as well as they would have liked, or they may have used a desktop in the office.

If you’re thinking that some of your staff need an upgraded device, you should consider Microsoft’s Surface range. Surface devices were made for business, and work seamlessly with Microsoft 365 applications, to maximise productivity and minimise downtime. Here are five benefits of Microsoft Surface devices.

Range of Surface Options

One of the best things about Microsoft Surface is the number of different options available. The two main designs are the traditional laptop and the tablet with a keyboard. And there’s even a powerful all-in-one option. If you’re looking for a more traditional laptop, with keyboard and screen that can’t be detached, then the Surface Laptop 3 is ideal. Or if staff are on the road, and need something more portable, the Surface Pro 7 can be used in laptop mode or as a tablet.

Surface Performance

Staff complaining about their current setup? Do they find it too slow? Chances are they’re using a low spec device, not capable of supporting their work. ACUTEC’s recommended spec is an i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB SSD. Staff who need to use high performance applications such as video editing software will need higher spec devices, but our recommendations should be enough for the majority of workers. The majority of Surface devices can be configured to have these specs, so there are plenty of options available.

Take Your Surface Anywhere

Surface devices are great for working anywhere. All devices, with the exception of the Surface Studio, are available with screens smaller than 15”. To be able to work anywhere, whether you’re in the office, at home or working remotely, Surface devices are ideal. But if you are fixed to one location, and would prefer to work on a bigger screen, you can easily connect your Surface device through a compact docking station. Some of the newer models come with USB-C connectivity, ideal for universal accessories.

Use the Surface for Different ways of working

Using a Surface device means you’re not tied to your desk. There are a number of different ways to work – depending on what suits you. Want to take meeting notes? Why not detach your keyboard, hold the screen in portrait mode and write notes with the Surface Pen. And if you use OneNote, you can turn handwritten notes into text. Surface devices were designed for flexibility, so you and your staff can work in a way that suits them best.

Surface Security

Securing devices and data is crucial. Surface devices come with Windows Hello, which lets you sign into your device without a password, relying on biometrics instead. Surface devices have an infra-red camera with facial recognition. This is one way to prevent reusing the same password, and it is much harder for cyber criminals to access an account protected by facial recognition than a password.

We love Surface devices. A number of our staff benefit from them, being able to achieve more every day. If you’re thinking about making the switch to a Surface, get in touch with one of our consultants, to discuss the right option for you.

A Beginner’s Guide to Microsoft Azure Backup

azure backup

A Beginner’s Guide to Microsoft Azure Backup

As businesses evolve, the amount of data produced has increased significantly over the last few years. And a significant amount of this data is crucial to daily operations. So, what would happen if this data were lost? Few businesses could survive substantial data loss, and could face financial and legal consequences as a result.

To avoid data loss, there are a number of backup solutions you could consider. Recently, Cloud backup solutions have become more popular. With Cloud backup, your data can be accessed from anywhere, so your business can remain operational if disaster were to strike. One of our recommended Cloud backup solutions is Azure. So, how does Azure Backup work?

What is Azure Backup?

Almost half of UK businesses report having cyber security breaches or attacks in the last 12 months. That’s a lot of data. Azure Backup is a Cloud-based system that lets users create, manage, and deploy applications in Microsoft’s datacentres. It’s accessible – users don’t need to be tied to the office and can be customised to suit. You’ll mostly be working in the Azure Security Centre – which has a three-fold method of detection, prevention, and response to cyber attacks.

What Can Be Backed Up With Azure Cloud Backup Services?

There are three main types of Azure backup. Each serves a different purpose.

  1. Full backups: with a full backup, a copy of your data is made and stored in the Cloud. it is an effective backup method, but can take up a lot of storage space – especially if you have a lot of data to begin with.
  2. Differential backups: differential backups identify data that has been added or changed since your initial backup took place. It will only take a backup of this new data. It needs less space than a full backup, and prevents multiple copies of the same data. Some of the data can still be backed up multiple times though.
  3. Incremental backups: this is the most popular type of backup. It requires the least storage space and keeps systems running efficiently. Incremental backups backup data that has been added or changed since the last backup took place – unlike the differential backup which compares data to the initial backup.

Can Azure Backup On Premise Hardware?

Put simply, you can have Azure backup on premise Windows servers and machines. To do this, you will need to install the Microsoft Azure Recovery Services (MARS) agent on the server you wish to backup. The Azure backup agent interfaces with your Windows Server System State to ensure that files and folders are protected. Businesses who have not fully transitioned to the Cloud can benefit from a comprehensive backup solution for important files on shared drives.

Benefits of Azure Backup

If you are not using a Cloud backup solution, this is one we would definitely recommend. Still need persuading? Here are some top benefits of Azure backup.

  • Scalability: Azure offers unlimited, real-time scaling of server resources. You won’t need to worry about monitoring or maintenance.
  • Centralised monitoring and maintenance: these are built into Azure and don’t require additional infrastructure.
  • Unlimited data transfer: Azure Backup doesn’t limit the amount of inbound or outbound data you transfer, or charge for the transfers.
  • Data encryption: storing sensitive data in a public Cloud is a worry for many businesses. Data is fully encrypted in Azure, and encryption keys are not stored or saved anywhere.
  • Pricing: Azure Backup used a pay-as-you-go pricing method, and you’re charged for storage consumed at billing time, unlike other backup providers that charge a flat rate.
  • App specific backups: avoid the need for additional fixes while restoring data from a virtual machine, file server or SQL servers.

Azure Cloud Backup services are an ideal backup option for your important business data. You can find out more about our Azure Backup services, and why not give us a call to see if it’s the right fit for your business, and find out how to setup Azure Backup.

5 Reasons You Need Microsoft 365 Backups

microsoft 365 backup

5 Reasons You Need Microsoft 365 Backups

So, you’ve moved to the Cloud. Working remotely has never been easier, with collaboration and productivity at an all time high. If your organisation is using Office 365 or Microsoft 365, like millions of businesses across the world, we know you’re feeling the benefits. Increased productivity, reduced costs, access to company data anywhere in the world and greater flexibility for staff. What’s not to like?

But when an organisation move to the Cloud, they don’t always think about backups. If data is in the Cloud, it is backed up, but Microsoft can only guarantee 90% of your data for 30 days. And data loss can happen – we’ll be looking at the top 5 causes of data loss in the Cloud – and why you need to back up your Microsoft 365.

Reasons for a Microsoft 365 Backup Solution

1. Human Error

Here’s a scenario. You’re working on an important document, making a considerable number of additions and deletions. Then, for whatever reason, you realise you need to start over. As you’re closing the document to reopen it, you accidentally hit save instead of cancel. When you reopen the document, you see the changes you’ve just made and realise you need to start over.

If you’re using the AutoSave feature in Microsoft 365 applications, then you can roll back to a previous version. But if it’s turned off, then there’s no way of restoring a previous version. With a Cloud backup solution, you can recover your original file in minutes.

2. Cybercrime

Cybercrime is on the rise. With most of the UK workforce working from home, there’s been an increase in phishing scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic. If there’s not been an attack on your organisation, or an attempted attack, it’s only a matter of time. What happens if someone in your organisation clicks on a malicious link or in an email? Chances are files are encrypted and there’s a ransom demand.

Without suitable backups in place, there’s no guarantee of file recovery. And even if files can be recovered, it could take a considerable amount of time. If your files are backed up to the Cloud, they can be recovered as if the cyber attack never took place.

3. When Employees Leave

Employees leave companies all the time. In many cases, when they leave their Microsoft 365 account is deactivated. But some time later, you discover that you need to retrieve an important email or document from their account. Under normal circumstances, files from a deactivated account are held for 30 days before deletion. If you’re beyond that 30 day period, they can’t be accessed.

You could encourage staff to save files to a personal folder in a shared area like SharePoint. Files would be untouched, but this wouldn’t help with access to emails. That’s where a Cloud backup solution comes into its own – you can recover all files in minutes, and even search backups at a granular level.

4. Employees Gone Rogue

You trust your staff with company data, and in most cases, your trust is well placed. An employee could maliciously delete a selection of files, and you may not realise until after they’ve left the company. There could be any reason for them doing this – but you want to be sure that if anything like this happens in your organisation, it won’t do serious damage.

If any files are deleted, maliciously or not, they can be easily recovered with a Microsoft 365 backup. As if the deletion never happened.

5. App Issues

Apps can be incredibly useful. Apps can, however, start to misbehave and be unpredictable. One of the most common causes of data loss in the Cloud is third-party software overwriting data. It can happen to any business, at any time. Like the other causes of data loss, there’s no guarantee the data can be recovered under normal circumstances.

Cloud backups can recover any data that has been overwritten. This is particularly useful for mishaps out of your control.

Backup Microsoft 365

You shouldn’t have to worry about data loss. Accidents can happen at any time, so its good to know that there’s always a way to access important data quickly and easily. If you’re concerned about data loss in your organisation, get in touch with ACUTEC today.

4 Security Risks of Remote Working

Security Risks of Remote Working

4 Security Risks of Remote Working

As technology has advanced over the last few years, the number of people working remotely or working from home has steadily increased. In 2020, the number of remote workers has skyrocketed. The advances in technology have made this possible for many businesses, with cloud applications and VoIP phone systems letting staff work from anywhere.

But remote work offers security challenges you may not necessarily get from working in the office. It is important that your staff are aware of the different security risks of remote working.

Security Risks of Remote Work

Unsecured Networks

Businesses will go to great lengths to make sure their IT infrastructure is secure. This includes networking monitoring tools designed to prevent threats from reaching networks and other solutions designed to limit approach vectors. While most remote workers are spending most of their time on their home network, there may be instances where they take their work to public workspaces, for a change of scenery.

Security tip #1: To keep devices, and the data that can be accessed from them, safe – we’d recommend that remote workers connect to a VPN. The VPN will create a virtual tunnel between employee devices and the company’s network, and any data sent back and forth through it is protected by encryption and security protocols.

Phishing Attacks

One of the biggest security risks of remote work. The majority of successful cyber attacks are done by phishing. These could be from somebody pretending to be an organisation many people have an account with, such as Amazon, asking for personal information. You may also be sent more personal, targeted emails. In a business setting, you might get an email seemingly from your Managing Director asking you to pay a bill, or with a malicious attachment. With this example, if you work in finance, you may receive legitimate emails like this all the time.

Security tip #2: Learning to spot the signs of a phishing email is vital. If you’d like to know how your staff would deal with a phishing email, talk to us about a phishing simulation. It will test their skills in a safe environment against different types of spoof emails.

Shared Devices

It can be difficult to avoid sometimes, but sharing a work device with family members can be a high security risk. Children may need access to online resources for school, or another family members might need to quickly print something from a work laptop. This should be avoided if possible. Your staff might be cyber aware, but their family might not be. Encourage staff to keep work devices strictly for work.

Security tip #3: You should also avoid accessing personal files and documents on a work device. It can be confusing if you’re logged into multiple Microsoft 365 accounts, and form auto-fills might pick up on your personal accounts instead of work ones.

Out of Date Software

We’ve spoken before about how important it is to keep software up to date. If developers discover bugs in their software, they will release updates that should fix them. Generally, if you don’t update the software, you will encounter performance issues. Occasionally, developers will need to patch vulnerabilities in their software that have security risks. If you’re not keeping the software updated, you could be at a greater risk of cyber threats.

Security tip #4: In many cases, you might find that cloud solutions are your best bet. With Microsoft 365, applications are automatically updated with the latest features.

Reduce Remote Risks

Remote working has taken a lot of getting used to for a lot of businesses. If your business is planning to continue working from home for the foreseeable, it’s vital your staff have all the tools they need in their office away from the office.

If you’d like to discuss the right remote work equipment, get in touch with ACUTEC today.

October is Cyber Security Month!

October is often seen as a turning point in the year. Summer is well and truly over, the nights are drawing in and it will be Christmas before you know it. This October can be a turning point for your cyber security too.

That’s because October is cyber security awareness month. All over the world, the cyber security industry is raising awareness for security best practices, to keep individuals and businesses safe from new and existing cyber threats.

History of Cyber Security Month

The idea of a cyber security awareness month originates from the United States. In 2004, the department of homeland security and the National Cyber Security Alliance launched the first awareness month. 16 years later, campaigns are stronger than ever. So much so that there are organisations across the world trying to raise awareness, many with government backing.

ACUTEC Are Here For You

Throughout October, we’re going to be sharing tips and tricks to improve your systems’ security, as well as advice on spotting cyber threats to keep you safe. Make sure you keep checking our website and all of our social platforms for advice on:

  • Phishing
  • Passwords
  • Ransomware
  • Malware
  • MFA
  • …and more!

Here are a few tasters:

Phishing

Phishing involves sending fraudulent communications that appear to come from a reputable source. It is usually done through email or text message. The aim of phishing attacks is to usernames and passwords, credit card information or to install malware on the victim’s machine. Phishing is one of the most common types of cyber attack.

Passwords

Passwords give us access to our online accounts. Passwords are difficult to remember, and can cause a lot of panic if they’re forgotten. That’s why lots of people opt for easy to remember words, and use the same few passwords on all of their accounts. You should not do this. If you use the same password for important accounts, and that password is compromised, cyber criminals have access to all your accounts with that email and password combination. You should always use unique passwords for all your accounts.

MFA

MFA stands for multi factor authentication. It is sometimes known as two factor authentication. With MFA, users must provide at least two credentials to prove their identity and access online accounts. Generally, when you enter an email address and password, you will be asked to enter a code – sent via text message or generated by an authenticator app.

Malware

Malware is intrusive software that is designed to damage and destroy computers and network systems. Malware is a contraction for “malicious software.” Examples of common malware includes viruses, worms, Trojan viruses, spyware, adware, and ransomware.

Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware. It encrypts a victim’s data until the attacker is paid – the data is held to ransom. Typically, the attacker demands payment in a form of cryptocurrency such as bitcoin. Only then will the attacker send a decryption key to release the victim’s data – but there is no guarantee that they will actually let you recover your files.

When it comes to cyber security, we’re here for you. If you’re concerned about security and whether your systems or users are vulnerable, get in touch with ACUTEC today.

How to Use Microsoft Bookings

For many, the number of meetings we have seems to have increased significantly over the last few months. And some will feel as though much of their time is taken up by Teams and other online meetings. Finding space in your calendar for appointments isn’t always as easy as you’d like it to be.

That’s where Microsoft Bookings can help. You can avoid the hassle and constant back-and-forth of trying to arrange appointments with colleagues, clients and suppliers. Find out how you can benefit from and how to use Microsoft Bookings.

What is Microsoft Bookings?

Microsoft Bookings allows people to schedule appointments with you, at a time that suits you. As a Microsoft 365 tool, it is linked to your Outlook calendar, so it only offers appointments at times you are free. Trying to schedule a meeting over email can take too much time, trying to sort out a time everyone can do.

By using Bookings, all you need to do is send a link to your Booking page. There, the user can choose a date and time that suits them best. It’s a simple as that! We’ll go through the process of setting up your Bookings page, and discuss some settings you might find useful.

Customise your Microsoft Bookings

To set up Microsoft Bookings, the first thing you need to do is go to office.com and sign in. In all apps, look for Bookings. You’ll be taken to a page with more information. Click the Get it now button and choose Add a booking calendar. Enter your business name and business type. Both can be changed later – the business name will be the name of the calendar.

Once you’ve done this, you’re into the back-end section of Bookings where you can make customisations. There are a number of sections on the left. These are:

Home: add your logo and see some statistics for your bookings over the last few days. Also contains links to other sections.

Calendar: syncs to your Outlook calendar. Another place to see your appointments for the day. You can also manually input appointments, and see other staff’s availability – if they’re added to this Booking.

Booking Page: customise the settings for your customer-facing page. Choose how regularly appointments can be booked, how far in advance they can be booked, let customers choose to book with a specific person or anybody available, choose your own colour scheme and much more. We suggest you spend some time tweaking the settings to see what works best for you.

Customers: this will give you a list of everybody who has booked an appointment with you.

Staff: lets you add different members of your team. You can choose the days and times they are available – if everyone isn’t available at the same time.

Services: if you want to allow customers to choose the type of appointment, you can! Add different types, and you can make them online appointments via Teams as well. Again, there are a number of options here you can experiment with.

Business Information: enter your business’ information, including contact details and opening hours.

Once you’re happy with the set-up, you can activate your page from the Bookings Page section. Publish your page and share it via the link, or via Facebook, Twitter or email. You can also embed it as HTML or IFrame.

And those are the basics of Microsoft Bookings. We’ve found that arranging meetings has become much easier, and offers greater flexibility for everyone involved. If you’re interested in Bookings and would advice getting set up, get in touch with ACUTEC today.

5 Signs You’ve Outgrown Your On-Premise IT Infrastructure

Updating your IT infrastructure should not be taken lightly. It can be a challenging time for any organisation, but far more beneficial in the long run than making do with old systems that no longer meet your requirements. As your business grows, you will quickly realise that you’ve outgrown your current IT setup.

New systems can take up a lot of time and resources, but long-term benefits will make it worthwhile. But how do you know if you’ve outgrown your on-premise IT?

1. Too Much Downtime

Downtime has a huge impact on your business. Chances are, if your staff are having technology issues, they’re unable to do their job. If they’re unable to do their job, your business won’t be performing anywhere near as well as it could. You can’t afford to lose valuable time to slow systems. Moving to a cloud-based environment such as Microsoft Azure will allow you to benefit from at least 99.9% uptime, all the time. Minimising downtime will significantly help your team’s productivity.

2. Keeping Assets Updated is a Challenge

We’ve written before about how important it is keeping your systems up to date. And making sure you’ve installed all security updates across your business is vital. A secure IT environment will help reduce the risk of cyberattacks and associated costs.

As well as software updates, you also need to be aware of hardware end of life issues. Earlier this year, Microsoft stopped supporting Windows Server 2008, and the same will happen to more recent servers in the coming years.

3. Difficulty Leaving the Office

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s how important it is to be able to work remotely. Out of date infrastructure can make working from home significantly more difficult. On-premise systems make working from home a greater challenge, accessing files from office servers at home will normally require a VPN, but this won’t be the same as connecting on the same network.

Being less reliant on being in the office will seriously help with productivity, and tools like SharePoint and OneDrive are ideal cloud storage for company files – perfect for accessing anywhere.

4. Scalability Issues

Your systems should have enough space to handle your business’ daily needs. If you find you’re regularly running out of space, and having to delete older files to save space, chances are it’s time for an upgrade. And this doesn’t just include Word documents. One of the biggest culprits for space hogging is email. Having lots of emails stored means your mail server fills up quickly, and users don’t have enough space for all their important messages.

Scalability also becomes an issue as your business grows – especially if growth is quick. If you’re buying licenses for software, you only want to buy what you need, as and when you need them. Cloud infrastructure makes this possible.

5. Increased User Complaints

If your staff are complaining about IT issues more than they have done in the past, chances are something needs to change. The best IT systems will provide solutions for your organisation, and for your staff. When systems fail to provide these benefits, the number of complaints will rise. If staff are constantly moaning about the same issues, whether it’s slow systems or constant crashing, something needs to be changed.

It’s easy to outgrow your current IT infrastructure. While you might be put off by the costs, planning and time it takes to upgrade, the investments will be worth it in the future.

Don’t spend the majority of your IT budget maintaining legacy systems. See how ACUTEC can help you get more from your IT infrastructure.

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