2nd February 2015

Does your business need a visit to the sexual health clinic?

Odd title granted, but there are striking similarities between biological viruses and computer viruses which business owners and IT managers need to make sure they are taking precautions against.

Take a look at how these compare below

Biological viruses and cyyber viruses parasitise on their host and can only replicate when inside that host.
Like a biological virus entering via the mouth or through contact a computer virus will also enter the host passively via an infected USB device or email attachment. Like a human virus causes pain, suffering and also death in some cases a virtual virus will slow down computers, lose data and completely damage the host’s hard disk drive.

Worms and viruses
There are different strains and a virus is something that when implanted can modify and spread with user interaction. A worm can spread without user interaction throughout networks and a Trojan horse is a program that makes a computer available to malicious or non-authorised users.
Either of these can be latent (like HIV) and become active after a certain period of time.

Spreading
How biological and virtual viruses spread are similar too, a worm can spread like the common flu bug but viruses spread through infected disks or email attachments much like an STD.

As with biological viruses you can protect your business through simple hygiene standards. Having good anti-virus protection is an absolute must but in today’s world of global attacks and high-profile security risks it is simply not enough. Well-configured, business-grade Firewalls plus good, secure business Policies and advice and guidance from IT professionals all helps to ensure your business stays protected..

If you’d like to find out whether your business is doing enough to protect itself please contact our team on 01494 444065 who would be happy to guide you.

20th December 2013

Getting IT right at Christmas and the holidays

With all the many arrangements that need to be made at this busy time of year, there are a few things worth thinking about when it comes to your business IT systems.
Many offices close down or go to a skeleton staff over the Christmas period, though work often needs to carry on in many ways. Below are some points that will ensure a trouble free holiday.
Backup System
It’s important to remember that a backup system that requires manual assistance should be planned for. If the dedicated person for changing the backup tape/disk happens to be on holiday it’s a good idea to request to find someone who will be in the office during this period who can take on the role.
Offsite Data Storage
If your usual place of business will be closed or not as well populated over the festive period it is a wise precaution to ensure that a recent full back up in the form of a backup tape or hard disk is taken offsite. This will give you peace of mind if the worst should occur that your company’s data is safe.
Remote Access
There are many reasons why during this time, business may need to continue as normal but is hindered by outside factors. The weather can turn and create havoc with our business plans, we may be traveling as so many people do over this time or simply wishing to spend as much time with the family as possible. If you are not located near your office during this time it might be an impossibility to achieve your needs without a considerable journey. We recommend thinking about who might be required to perform urgent work over this period that doesn’t usually have remote access to office resources. We can assist in configuring or providing this facility and discuss your options. Whether this is remote email facilities or access to the company database.
Securing Devices
If the office is to be less used or closed entirely, it’s worth ensuring that any easily removable devices are locked away and secured with emphasis on laptops and tablets). Server rooms and cabinets should be locked and secured whilst backup devices stored in secure places.
Emergency Response
If there was an emergency at your regular place of business, do you have to hand the require contact details of your suppliers to ensure a quick recovery? Flooding, fire, theft can cause large business disruption so it is best to be prepared with at least the information you may need to address the issue.
If you would like assistance or to discuss any of the above Epoq IT are at hand and here to help.

13th November 2013

Could your business continue without its data?

Data loss is common place in any sized business. At Epoq IT, we regularly take service requests to restore deleted files, folders and emails due to accidental loss. These are the simplest of recovery requests but are only made simple when there is a working backup procedure in place. Imagine therefore, increasing the severity to a complete loss of server or computer holding all company data and then imagine that there is no working backup procedure. It is surprising how many businesses are at risk of exactly that, as you can see from the stats above.

Whenever we take on the support of a new customer, this is always the first thing we review and we will implement an adequate backup procedure as a matter of urgency if required.

In the past, one of our customers had a hardware failure within their File Server, upon which all their critical data was stored. We had previously implemented a daily backup procedure which backed up all data on the server every week night. We had also implemented a recovery solution which allowed us to take regular snapshots of the server. With these processes in place, the hardware issue was resolved by replacing the faulty parts under the manufacturer warranty and then using a combination of the snapshot and backup tape to restore the server to its latest, working condition. The business was without their server and data for several hours rather than days. If there had been no working backup procedure in place, the effects would have been disastrous and the business would have struggled to continue trading.

In our professional opinion, having no backup is the greatest risk to any business and we would urge you to seek advice if you have nothing in place.

The disturbing facts:-

  • 99% of businesses do not perform a daily backup
  • 60% of backup jobs are actually incomplete
  • 50% of restore attempts fail
  • Just 25% of backup tapes are stored off-site *

*If tapes are stored on-site at the time of a fire, they will be destroyed along with the server and the data.

The effects of data loss can be catastrophic:-

  • On average, by the 6th day of a major data loss, companies experience a 25% loss in daily revenue. By day 25 it is 40%.
  • 43% of companies that experience a severe data loss disaster and that have no recovery plan in place, never re-open.
  • Did you know that the law insists that businesses take care of their data:-
  • “You must safeguard your own or anyone else’s data, by appropriate precautions against loss, corruption or unauthorized disclosure” – Data Protection Act 1998

 

13th November 2013

Windows 8

Did you hear all that noise in October? That was the sound of Microsoft launching its new operating system, Windows 8.

But what does this actually mean? Here in the Epoq office we believe it really is a massive shift in the way everyone will use Information Technology; with huge benefits for the business user.

Most people already own multiple computing devices and the estimates are that in the future, the average person will own and use 7 devices consisting of phones, tablets, laptops, smart TVs etc.

So what effect will the new operating system have?

Well, at first glance I thought Microsoft had revisited the past and come back with a glossy version of Windows 3.11, if you’re old enough to remember that?! But no; there is so much more to this operating system and I can almost hear business users putting their iPad’s away in their drawers!

Windows 8 is designed to enable us to collaborate and share. Microsoft’s aim is to make our lives easier by providing the same operating system on each of our devices and therefore, replicating the same settings and information. Very importantly for businesses, the operating system is also compatible with all of those classic applications that most businesses use day in and day out, no third party apps required to fit in.

This certainly isn’t a comprehensive review of the new operating system but the noises being made about Windows 8 in the office here are very positive. Windows 8 provides the platform and apps which allow everyone to work, play, connect collaborate and share from any device.

Windows 8 will come in 3 versions: a version aimed at business users, a version aimed at home users and the RT edition for use on tablet devices such as Microsoft’s Surface tablet which is released this month. So the signs are good for the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) revolution and we honestly think the latest offering from Microsoft is a game changer.

Double Award Success for Epoq IT at the Buckinghamshire
Ambassadors Enterprise Awards

Fast growing IT support and services company Epoq IT is delighted to announce that it has won two categories in the prestigious Buckinghamshire Ambassadors’ Enterprise Awards ceremony held at Aylesbury’s Waterside Theatre on May 23rd.

High Wycombe based Epoq IT, were the winners of the Small Business of the Year award and Managing Director Gary Swanwick also won the title of Entrepreneur of the Year 2013. The IT company, which was founded in 2002, is one of Bucks’ leading technology companies and the award nominations are the culmination of a period of sustained growth over the last year.

Managing Director Gary Swanwick says:

‘We are all delighted that the company has won the Small Business of The Year category. Winning both awards we were nominated for is credit to the entire Epoq IT team who have worked tirelessly to provide excellent service to our clients and to ensure the continued success of the company. To have won Entrepreneur of the Year in addition to this is an added bonus and fantastic recognition for the plans we have in place for the future’ Working with customers from a multitude of sectors, including Professional Services, Manufacturing, Education, Environment and Construction, Epoq IT has a particular specialisation in understanding the needs of the Pharmaceutical sector, providing specialist IT processes, security and documentation.

The Awards ceremony was hosted by BBC sports broadcaster David Mercer and Speaker of the House, Rt Hon John Bercow MP was also in attendance.

 

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