ITCS Blog

Case Study

*AT TIME OF PUBLICATION

Bridgend Port Talbot Football League

SERVICES:
Bridgend Port Talbot Football League needed a Logo design, Office 365 Support, Exclaimer e-mail signatures, social media management, website build & CRM system

Scroll through the slideshow below to see screenshots of the site and the ‘Full Time’ section:

Overview:

Following years of discussion regarding the amalgamation of the Bridgend & District Football League and Port Talbot & District Football League, the new league merger was agreed in early 2019 in order to focus on trying to grow the game for juniors within the area.

The Bridgend Port Talbot Junior Football League is the newest league within Welsh Football, hosting 32 clubs and various cup competitions with age groups from Under 7’s to Under 16’s.

The creation of the new league aims to increase the participation of football within the local area, and add to the existing history of its predecessors.

League Requirements:

Bridgend Port Talbot Football League needed a professional image which honoured its’ predecessor’s rich history whilst incorporating a bright, modern and fresh image to appeal to its’ target audience. They required the following services:

  • Logo design
  • A full, dynamic and professional email signature
  • Website design & build
  • Social Media Management
  • Office 365 for all league officers to give them a professional platform and appearance

ITCS Solutions:

Logo Design:

The logo redesign needed to merge the two predecessors’ logos, and also incorporate the original league colours – blue for Bridgend and red for Port Talbot. There also needed to be a clear message of the two leagues moving forward together.

Five designs were created by ITCS incorporating the league’s design requirements. Research was also undertaken to come up with the strapline ‘Onward with Confidence’ – this is the strapline on the Bridgend Town Crest. Elements of the Port Talbot town crest were also used. These five designs were submitted to be voted on by league members and the community, and the final decision was made by them.

Website:

The BPTFL website was designed and built to act as a brand ambassador and showcase for the league, highlighting the exciting merge between Bridgend & Port Talbot with an emphasis on eye-catching visuals and large banner images. The website needed to cover everything any club would need to know in a Junior Football League including real time fixtures, results and league table. In addition to this, it needed to include a profile page for each club.

The front end needed to be bright, fresh, user-friendly and welcoming for all members of the public to be able to use.

Parents and players are able to see results and league tables as well as where upcoming matches are being played – with directions available to venues:

There is also a club directory available. When each club is selected, you are taken to a club profile with club details and contact information:

There is also a search function to find all the clubs in the league that have teams at different age groups:

For clubs, we included a login portal for submission of results, as well as an admin area for use by the league officials for allocating fixture details and referees, as well as authorising submitted results.

Once the site’s design was finalised, the team could get to work on building the functionality of the back end. The aim of this was to streamline the processes of organising league fixtures as much as possible, and make everything accessible across all devices.

A bespoke CMS system was built into the site that would allow admins to see and add clubs and club information, as well as seeing the league tables for each age group. The system also allows users to organise fixtures and tournaments and to allocate referees to games – as well as seeing information on how many games each referee has been assigned to.

Each club is given a login to the Fulltime system and after each game, each club uploads their match results to the system. Once verified, these are displayed on the front-end of the website.

Office 365 and Exclaimer

With a new, fresh, professional image comes the need for a professional email presence. The sporting crest of any football club or league is an integral part of its identity, needing to appear on anything relating to said organisation, from the football kits, club merchandise and official marketing communications. This also relates to the email signatures that are used by its employees. It makes no sense for a club or league to leave email signature management to every single end user, just as it would not for any other professional organisation.

We provided the league with Exclaimer, with Office 365 integration. This provides league officers with a professional email platform that can be used anywhere, as well as ensuring brand consistency through their email signatures.

Client Feedback:

“The league are delighted with the end result. Not only does the new site give us access to our league tables and lots of other information, it gives all of our clubs their own internal information pages to promote their key club details and contact information. Some clubs are actually linking back to their profiles on this website instead of creating their own individual websites! We were very impressed with the level of work and detail that has gone into the design – especially getting the logos of all clubs onto the website. The feedback we have received from the clubs and communities is all very positive. This new website was a perfect way to show off our new league”.

John Phillips, League Chairman
WebCase Study

EasyJet Cyber-Attack: What to do if you’re affected

EasyJet has been hit by a ‘highly sophisticated’ cyber-attack which could have exposed up to 9 million people’s details. Here’s what to do if you’re affected.

How will I know if I’ve been affected?

For those EasyJet customers who have had their credit card details stolen, steps have already been taken to ensure all these people are contacted.

On the specific recommendation of the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the remainder will all be contacted by 26 May. If you are not contacted by this date, that means your information has not been accessed, easyJet said.

The airline added there was no evidence that any of the personal information had been misused. However, it is still early days in terms of this incident, that had been brought to their attention in January.

I think I may have been affected (or I’m worried I have been). What can I do?

The first thing you should do is change your password to your EasyJet account. If you need tips on how to create a strong password, see this article: CLICK HERE

We’ve also discovered a neat new tool that will scan the dark web and see if your password has been stolen at all – it’s called ClearScore Protect.

ClearScore Protect

ClearScore Protect is a new free service aimed at tackling online fraud.

The offering from ClearScore, a credit score and credit marketplace, is an anti-fraud dark web monitoring system, which has just been unveiled in response to new figures revealing that a third of adults in the UK have been victims of online fraud.

ClearScore Protect monitors the dark web for any stolen passwords, alerting users to any potential breaches every three months. Once users have been alerted to any stolen information, they will be shown a page containing all of their breached passwords, with simple and easy instructions on how to change them. In performing these actions, the user will prevent cybercriminals from taking advantage of their data for financial gain.

You can find the tool here: ClearScore Protect

Article Sources

conversation.which.co.uk/money/easyjet-cyber-attack-data-breach-advice/

EasyJet company alert: Cyber Security Incident

WebEasyJet Cyber-Attack: What to do if you’re affected

Microsoft 365: 7 Tricks to make you more productive

Mastering the latest Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) productivity tips and uncovering new Microsoft Office 365 hacks are a really useful way to, firstly, get the most out of your Office 365 experience – but more importantly, to work smarter and be as productive as possible when working from home.

Here are 7 tips and tricks to use when using Microsoft 365 for work:

Learn Microsoft 365 as you work:

1. Make use of ‘Tell Me’

Are you feeling like a Microsoft 365 newbie? Then you need to use Tell Me – a text field where you can enter words and phrases about what you want to do next, and quickly get to features you want to use or actions you want to perform.

When editing a document, spreadsheet or presentation in Office Online, you can access Tell me by tapping the light bulb to the right of the tabs as seen in the image below:

Collaborate effectively:

2. Co-authoring in documents

One of the best features in Microsoft 365 online, is the ability to collaborate and edit documents with your colleagues – no matter where you are.

By saving your files to OneDrive or SharePoint, you can instantly share them with your co-workers and track their changes as you work toward a finished project or document. Work together on contracts and Excel Workbooks from the comfort of your home office. Find out more about how you do this here:

3. Attach files with Sharepoint

Rather than going through the laborious process of attaching files via e-mail, use the Share+ function in Sharepoint to add a shareable link to your emails). This saves valuable space in your inbox and shaves minutes off a task – giving you more time for other responsibilities.

4. Create groups

Creating Office 365 Groups allows you to maintain communication with specific departments and colleagues in your business, using the parameters you set. Once you create a group, you can share a calendar between members, exchange files, and of course, conveniently chat.

Continue signing agreements & contracts:

5. DocuSign

Did you know that you can get any document in Word or Outlook signed without bothering with a print-and-scan process? DocuSign allows you to Sign, send, and manage documents anywhere on any device, and they are also secure and legally compliant.

Save valuable inbox space:

6. Scheduling assistant for meetings

Instead of emailing back and forth for half an hour to find a convenient meeting time, take advantage of Microsoft Scheduling Assistant. When you’re sharing your calendars, you can use Scheduling Assistant to come up with a time to get together.

How to do this: Create an event on your calendar and add the people you want to invite. Then, use the Scheduling Assistant time picker to drag and drop to a time on the calendar that turns green. That means everyone’s available. Done!

Teamwork over the internet:

7. Mention someone to get their attention

One of the things that people really miss working from home is not being able to pop over to someone’s desk to get their attention, or when we’re working in the office alongside someone, we can say “Hey, John!”

To help with this, use Outlook’s @ mentions. If you @John in an email message, the recipient will see they’ve been called into the conversation and are expected to pay attention or respond. Not only this but when other people @ mention you, the inbox displays the relevant sentences around your @ mention directly in your message excerpt. This feature lets you know at a glance what you need to heed.

These tips will help you adapt to being as productive as possible whilst working from home. Do you have any Microsoft 365 tips and tricks? Let us know!

WebMicrosoft 365: 7 Tricks to make you more productive

Office 365 becomes Microsoft 365 – What you need to know

Starting April 21, Office 365 will be called Microsoft 365. More than just a name change, this is a move that illustrates the company’s desire to shed the stuffy image of the Office branding, and position it as a people first suite of apps.

The changes come at a time when Microsoft apps are more important than ever as the coronavirus outbreak forces people to work from home wherever possible. Apps that aid productivity whilst people negotiate this ‘new normal’ are fast becoming vital for SMEs.

The good news for small and medium sized businesses is that there are no price or feature changes for the subscriptions and there are no changes to the Office 365 for Enterprise or Education product names.

So, what do you need to know?

Microsoft Teams for Everyone:

In the blog post announcing the rebrand, Microsoft said the new names were meant to indicate that Office is more than Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; it also includes new apps like Teams, Stream, Forms and Planner.

Teams has seen significant growth over the last year, with Microsoft announcing a burst in popularity – the app went from 20 million business users in November to 44 million in April this year. Approximately 12 million users joined the service between March 11 and March 18 as more people around the world began working from home due to coronavirus lockdowns.

Microsoft’s move to bring more functionality to its productivity suite of apps comes as the company’s software is forced to contend with more competition – such as Google, and Slack.

Word and Powerpoint get an AI Boost:

The company will also be significantly expanding its AI-powered editors in Microsoft 365.

The Editor software will help you improve your writing by offering suggestions to make your text more concise and grammatically correct. There will also be a plagiarism checker in this software that will let you know if what you’re writing is a duplicate of content that is already out there – as well as a feature that will eliminate by potential bias by, for example, changing the word policeman to police officer.

PowerPoint also gets an AI boost, with a feature that listens to your voice before you give a presentation and can offer suggestions for how to adjust the pitch to ensure you don’t sound monotone.

Excel’s new ‘Money’ feature:

Excel is also gaining a new financial feature so it can rival online apps like Plum and Cleo: the Money feature will give users means to track spending in the spreadsheet app. Money will allow you to import your financial data from participating banks and credit unions, and provide you with information including how much you spend on certain categories like groceries, and whether recurring payments for services have increased.

You will see the new name for the services start to appear on your invoices after April 21st and all name changes in the service will be delivered by Microsoft, there is no need for you to do anything.

WebOffice 365 becomes Microsoft 365 – What you need to know

The Do’s and Don’ts of Digital Marketing during Lockdown

Digital marketing during lockdown: do you invest time into it, or pull back?

It’s true what they say – when it comes to your brand, out of sight is out of mind. According to a survey carried out by Kantar, just 8% of 35,000 respondents thought brands should stop advertising.

Just 7% of consumers think we should stop advertising due to the coronavirus outbreak

Marketing Week

However, there is a clear expectation that companies should be communicating in a different way: 78% of respondents thought brands should be helping them in their daily lives, 75% said brands should be informing people of what they’re doing and 74% have a belief that companies should not exploit the situation.

It’s time for businesses to adapt their digital marketing during lockdown:

The coronavirus has caused drastic shifts in both consumer needs and business goals. It’s important to adjust your marketing strategies and messaging accordingly—not just to stay relevant, but also to prevent coming off as insensitive. Here are the do’s and don’ts of marketing through the Covid-19 crisis:

DO – Communicate:

Contact all existing customers to demonstrate strength, partnership and availability. Adapt your spending from in-person marketing/sales events to digital channels and let everyone know 2 things:

  1. How you will be operating during this period – will hours be changing? Will there be a shift in services offers? You may want to think about updating your Google My Business page to reflect this.
  2. How you will be helping – listen to your customers and empathise with what they need from you during this time. What are the crucial ways in which you can help them?

DON’T – Hard Sell:

As the economic cost of the coronavirus outbreak continues to rise, businesses and consumers alike are anxious and uncertain about the future. If you didn’t like a hard-sell approach before, how do you think people are going to react to it at the moment? The answer? Not well.

Instead, educate about your topic: are there any resources or tips you can provide on your services/products?

DO – Empathise:

If there is one good thing that is emerging from this crisis, it’s that we are seeing the humanity at the heart of many companies. This is a scary time for many people, and you should take that into consideration when planning any external communication.

DON’T – Bury your head:

It is true that there are many companies that got this very wrong when this all started, but it doesn’t mean that you should bury your head and remain silent throughout this period. If your company refuses to adapt its company messaging throughout this, you will immediately come across like a tone-deaf business.

Instead, find the sweet spot between silence and storytelling by communicating things like what you’re doing to help, how your company is coping with working from home, and providing consistent transparency around your brand and its services.

DO – Be authentic:

There seems to be a new definition for professionalism developing across digital channels. Video conferencing at home with children running around and partners proffering coffee becomes a natural element of work, and corporate suits get hung up for when all this is over. Embrace it in your messaging and communicate honestly as a brand. Now is not the time for lifeless, impersonal messaging – avoid corporate talk and bring a personal, yet positive approach to your customer communication.

A great example – Heinz:

The maker of Heinz ketchup has created its first advert that was directed and shot by plant employees. The video shows workers in plants in Fremont, Ohio and Champaign, Illinois, with voiceover work by Dana Cockrell, a line operator at that Illinois plant:

We got you America

DON’T – Overlook the bigger picture:

Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and look at your business changes from their perspective. Is your online customer journey leading them to pages that now seem outdated? Are you promoting your products/services in places where they might find them?

Summing Up:

Make no mistake, this is a tough time for almost everyone. But there are three valuable opportunities through digital marketing available due to the coronavirus lockdown.

First, there is a long-enforced pause in the tactical minutiae of daily business that allows you to see the big picture. Second, the virus presents you with the time to remedy some of the long-standing issues that your moment of reflection has subsequently revealed. And finally, the pause in trading enables you to fix those issues once and for all, before the wheels of commerce grind into motion again.

WebThe Do’s and Don’ts of Digital Marketing during Lockdown

COVID-19 Business Continuity

Prepare for Remote Working: Phones – Emails – Data Files

COVID-19 Business Continuity: A number of small and medium size businesses are undoubtedly considering the effects coronavirus may have on your business.

Ensure Business Continuity: Plan ahead and engage with us now before the situation concerning corona virus forces your team work from home. We are here to support you and your business.

If your staff need to work from home, do they have the correct equipment and resources to do so? Are they able to forward office calls to their mobiles? Can they access work files? Are their systems secure? See our checklist below to ensure you and your business are prepared:

Preparing for remote working:

PHONES | EMAILS | DATA | FILES

Time needed: 6 minutes.

  1. Phone Number Failover: Ensure your office phone system has capabilities to divert calls to designated numbers.

    ITCS Cloud Phone Systems are ideal for COVID-19 Business Continuity. Along with a PC/Laptop soft-phone and mobile app, the system will let you connect your office phone to your preferred business device. Your PC/Laptop or Mobile becomes an extension of your desk phone, allowing you to make and receive calls, transfer to colleagues, view any missed calls and record call statistics, just as you would from the office.

  2. Emails and Calendars are available with Office 365: View and edit files on Windows Phones, iPhone®, and Android phones with Office mobile apps.

    Office 365 and Outlook work wherever you are. Outlook mobile delivers a connected experience across email, search and calendar and deeply integrates with Office apps, files and teams to power your productivity and collaboration. Protect your data without compromising productivity with security, with the world’s leading email solution.

  3. Files and Data are accessible and secure from home: Sharepoint enables staff to work as normal from wherever they are. Ensure you have this software, or similar, on employee devices.

    Share your files from anywhere with SharePoint: Get more done with secure access, sharing, and file storage at home, or on the go. Microsoft file storage and sharing products are designed to help you store, access, co-author, and update files from anywhere, and easily share files inside and outside your organisation. 

    OneDrive gives you anywhere access to all your files, seamlessly integrated with Office and pre-installed with Windows. Automatically sync your files to your desktop so you can work with files offline. Access files on Windows, Mac, or mobile devices.

  4. Off-site Backups:  offsite backups to a loan server at your IT Providers’ preferred location


    Ensure you have server hosting off-site, in a secure data centre. ITCS can provide your business with a private cloud service that enables your business to run even in the case of system failures or technical mishaps. Cloud hosting also ensures everyone in your business can access data across multiple offices or different locations on the go. With ITCS, you can be sure your data is stored safely and securely by professionals who care about your business.

  5. Secure VPN for remote working: Ensure your team are working on a secure network, wherever they are

    A VPN (or Virtual Private Network) is an encrypted, virtual “tunnel” between off-premises devices and on-premises information. Connecting to your business files and data through a VPN whilst working remotely prevents data theft between the server and your off-premises device.

  6. Inform Staff and Clients of your Plans: Make sure all relevant stakeholders are made aware of your plans

    Put both employees and clients at ease by letting them know of your COVID-19 Business Continuity plans. Make sure you include key messages, processes, avenues for feedback and updates. If Covid-19 does impact your business directly, let staff know what happens if they need to self-isolate, as well as reminding all staff about policies regarding group meetings, travel and policies regarding remote working.

WHAT ITCS ARE DOING:

As of Monday, 16/03/2020, ITCS will be engaging its own contingency plan so that we can continue to provide emergency support to our customers. We are prepared to support our clients through this situation.
As a control measure to ensure ITCS staff don’t all come down with COVID-19 at the same time, as of Monday we will split the workforce into two working groups. Some of us will work from home, and some from the office. We will not be engaging with opposite working groups in person.
Anyone office-based will be refraining from going into other departments and remaining within their own working areas. Wipes and hand sanitiser will be readily available on premises, along with regular washing of hands.
Site engineers will be using gloves if they are required to attend site, or handle any materials/devices.
WebCOVID-19 Business Continuity

Benefits of VOIP for your Dental Practice

Missed calls, hang ups and poor customer service may seriously impact your practice as each missed call may mean a missed sale.

Missing just two phone calls a day can result in 104 lost sales per year, with more research suggesting that 85% of people won’t bother to call back. This can also have a knock on effect, as this poor experience will result a reduction of potential referrals. Missed calls will have the potential to damage your reputation, and your patients will be unlikely to give you a recommendation if they are constantly unable to get hold of your team

How can your dental practice benefit from VoIP?

Lost revenue due to missed calls is can be mitigated by implementing smart telecommunications systems. Voice-over Internet Protocol (or VoIP) is a cloud based phone system that uses internet connections rather than standard telephone lines. VoIP offers a range of features that help keep customers engaged while being held in a queue and helps reduce the likelihood of a hang-ups. 

VoIP can offer a number of benefits for your dental practice. Better quality calls, dynamic call handling   and more competitive cost per minutes it can help to lower call costs. VoIP phone systems offer increased flexibility and more advanced features such as;

Call Queuing:

Using a VoIP system will place callers into a caller waiting list and automatically estimate their position and wait time. Hold music and pre-recorded messages will keep your callers engaged while waiting to speak to a member of your team.  

Call Redirect:

A call redirect feature means that a caller can be redirected to another line if lines are busy.  This allows you practice to seamlessly transfer calls to the appropriate person with a touch of a button.  There’s no need to physically seek out the appropriate person and avoids sending users to voicemail.

Call Reporting:

In the event that you do miss a call, you will want to contact that caller as early as possible. Call reporting alerts you to any calls that you were unable to take and allows you to call the number back.

In Summary:

Investing in a VoIP telecoms system can help reduce some of your potentially lost revenue. Ensuring that customers receive a good service, and most importantly have their calls answered is one simple way of making sure that potential sales aren’t missed. 

Ready to find out more? Contact us today:

WebBenefits of VOIP for your Dental Practice

Get Started with Collaborate:

Giving you the tools to enable effective remote working: ITCS Cloud System is a complete Unified Communications solution, providing businesses with an easy-to-use and reliable collaborative experience across multiple devices and sites.

ITCS Cloud Phone Systems, along with a PC/Laptop soft-phone and mobile app, let you connect your office phone to your preferred business device. Your PC/Laptop or Mobile becomes an extension of your desk phone, allowing you to make and receive calls, transfer to colleagues, view any missed calls and record call statistics, just as you would from the office.

From every location, using any device:

Users can access the cloud service from wherever they are located – whether in the office, on the move, or at home – using desktops, tablets or smartphones. The service runs on Windows and Mac desktops, and iOS
and Android mobiles.

The user interface is intuitive and similar on all devices, and users experience seamless continuity when switching between types of device (e.g. leaving home or the office and transferring to a tablet or smartphone in real time).

What about meetings with clients?

The guest facility of My Room enables customers to be invited into an online meeting. If they have internet access, they can call directly as an IP call, or use call back. If they don’t have internet access, they can dial in using a pin.

Solve today’s workplace challenges with ITCS cloud-based tools:

FEATURES INCLUDE:

Smart call routing and call handling – as a cloud-based service, whatever device is being used, communications are tied to your business identity (i.e. your business phone number) so call handling features work as usual. For example, if a user is working remotely using a mobile device, any incoming calls can automatically call forward from their desk phone with no disruption to the caller and without call forwarding charges.

SIP trunking extends unified communications – for locations that may have an on-premises phone system not yet fully depreciated, this enables smart team working tools to be extended to all users across a mixed on-premises and cloud communications service estate.

Support for multiple devices smartphones and tablets (Apple and Android), desktops and laptops (Apple and Microsoft, Chromebook and Linux).

Time is of the essence, given the current situation with COVID-19. We are working on a first come first serve basis for remote working setup, but understand the importance and working tirelessly to deliver these crucial services.

WebGet Started with Collaborate:

5 Tips for Developing a Robust Disaster Recovery Plan

A Disaster Recovery Plan is essential to any business. In the past few weeks we have seen the devastating effects that flooding can have on a business – Storm Dennis hit more than 1,000 homes and businesses in Rhondda Cynon Taf alone after heavy rain last week.

From devastating floods to recent growing cyber threats, power outages, hardware failure or human error, there’s a lot that can go wrong in your organisation; much of which is out of your control.

Regardless of the cause, downtime is expensive. Sungard AS’s research found that the average cost to a business of unplanned downtime was just over £1.4m. It also found as many as 70% of managers believe they need to spend more on business continuity. But no amount of spending will be effective unless it is backed by an effective plan. We outline 5 steps you can take towards developing a robust business continuity plan should the worst happen to you.

Tip 1: Always be prepared: Business risk analysis

This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many organisation do not conduct an in-depth risk analysis of their business. The first stage in any disaster recovery project should be to assess the risks facing the organisation. Managers should link risk assessments to a business impact analysis. It is only by looking at risk and impact together that allows a director to scale your organisation’s priorities, and also to decide on the type of protection measures needed.

Some risks will be so great, and the impact so high, that only a formalised business continuity plan will reduce them. For others, a staged recovery plan might be acceptable.

One example in is planning for cyber threats, where businesses have invested in: perimeter security to ensure continuity; a backup and recovery plan to protect data, including against malware; and cyber insurance to cover the most serious incidents. ITCS provide a free IT Security Audit so that you can assess the risks facing your business.

But a really robust disaster recovery plan goes further, and considers threats such a disrupted access to buildings – which can be caused by something as mundane as a burst water main – to disruption to staffing from public transport problems or weather disasters.

You should also consider supply chain risks. A supplier is likely to have its own business continuity arrangements, but its priorities and recovery objectives might not align with your own

You can’t protect against every possible threat, but the key is to have the most comprehensive picture possible of the risks facing the business and an understanding of their likelihood, how deeply they affect the business, and how long it would take to recover from them.

Tip 2: Break down IT Risks

IT failures remain a significant source of outages for businesses. Industry analyst IDC calculates that half of organisations would not survive an outage that takes down their central IT systems “for an extended time”. But it is not easy to predict which parts of a system could fail, and the impact of the failure.

Directors need to adopt a similar approach to IT risks as they do to environmental, human or infrastructure risks. Experts should examine the likelihood of failure across all components of core systems, whether these are on-premise, outsourced or in the cloud.

IT teams should not just look at hardware, but at the risks posed by data loss and data corruption, including through cyber attacks or malware, and of application unavailability. They should then be able to rank systems in terms of how critical they are and how easily they can be restored or recovered.

Tip 3: Set recovery objectives

Your IT System audit will, in turn, set the key objectives for your Disaster Recovery Plan. This includes an understanding of acceptable periods of downtime, and their cost – something that can only be calculated in discussion with the business.

The disaster recovery plan is likely to consist of resilience, availability and business continuity measures, along with backup and recovery strategies and a degree of managed failure.

This might include contingency plans, such as staff working from home using cloud-based applications and mobile phones, through to access to high-end business continuity locations. Fortunately, cloud-to-cloud backup of application data and backup of on-premise data to the cloud are both helping businesses of all sizes to become more resilient.

Tip 4: Set your response strategy

Disaster recovery is the archetypal “people, process and technology” challenge. Unless the outage is brief enough to get by on cloud-based services and through remote working, the business will need to consider alternative working locations and how to move staff and technology there.

If the outage affects a data-centre and systems fail-over to a secondary site, IT will need to work to restore the primary location or find a new one, as well as ensure that the now single fail-over site is backed up too.

The main way to contain a disaster, and to ensure effective recovery, is to maintain good communications. The business should, in advance, appoint a person to lead the disaster response. This person does not have to be the person who wrote the DR plan, but does need to be familiar with it.

The disaster response team should include experts from outside IT, including HR, as well as representatives from business operations. Crucially, the team should have a way to communicate in an emergency and, ideally, take part in any DR exercises.

Tip 5: Test the DRS Plan

Testing your Disaster recovery or business continuity plan through an exercise can be disruptive, but they are necessary. A DRS exercise will test if the plan needs to be reviewed or updated.

It is only by testing that a firm will know whether the plan works, and whether it is resilient enough to perform under pressure. Simulation, and testing the communications systems, is the best way to expose any weaknesses. Teams can then feed insights gained from the testing phase back into the risk assessment and business impact analysis, fine-tuning the plan as they go.

In Summary:

The unfortunate reality is that it is impossible to prevent every business risk, and that no matter how much you prepare, there are still risks. However, being proactive now also means you, and your business will be better able to react rapidly and intelligently when something does happen.

For more information, guidance, and support on making sure your infrastructure is as secure as possible, get in touch with one of our engineers.

SOURCES:

https://www.computerweekly.com/feature/Five-essential-steps-to-a-sound-disaster-recovery-plan

https://searchdisasterrecovery.techtarget.com/Risk-assessments-in-disaster-recovery-planning-A-free-IT-risk-assessment-template-and-guide

https://www.dynamicnetworksgroup.co.uk/resources/news-and-views/may-2019/what-counts-as-a-disaster%E2%80%9D-in-it/

Web5 Tips for Developing a Robust Disaster Recovery Plan

Cyber-Criminals Cashing in on Coronavirus

IT Security experts are warning of new phishing campaigns designed to capitalise on global fears of the fast-spreading corona virus.

There are a number of campaigns circulating which are spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories.

Mimecast has detected one such campaign, with emails titled “Singapore Specialist: Corona Virus Safety Measures.”

Of course, clicking on the link in the email will lead to a covert malware download.

According to Sherrod DeGrippo, senior director of threat research and detection at Proofpoint, cyber-criminals are also targeting credential theft with their attacks: “Our researchers have seen fake [Microsoft] Office 365, Adobe and DocuSign sites meant to steal credentials linked to coronavirus-themed emails.”

“The most notable developments we have seen are attacks that leverage conspiracy theory-based fears around purported unreleased cures for coronavirus and campaigns that abuse perceived legitimate sources of health information to manipulate users,” said DeGrippo.

Protect yourself against Cyber Threats:

There are a number of simple steps you can take to minimise risk, such as using a reliable IT Security solution and following safe cyber-hygiene practices such as strong password usage and never enabling macros in any attachments if you do open them.

Be vigilant at this time in relation to any emails or electronic communications purporting to be in relation to the support of those affected by the coronavirus.

Sources

https://www.computerweekly.com/news/252478553/Cyber-criminals-spread-coronavirus-conspiracy-theories

https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/coronavirus-attacks-malware/

WebCyber-Criminals Cashing in on Coronavirus