Cloud Backup Blog
More and more businesses are discovering the advantages of moving their apps, data and documents into the cloud. The number one reason is cost. Using the cloud can significantly cut business costs, especially if you’re an organisation with 1000 employees or more. But, to make the most of those savings, you need a software suite that’s designed to maximise those savings. One of the easiest ways to do that is through Office 365.
Keeping all your documents and data is the cloud means losing all those on-site servers, which can take up considerable space, as well as resources, such as electricity and man-hours. You’ll also need to hire fewer staff to support, maintain and service that hardware. And, of course, since it’s all in the cloud, data security and disaster recovery are two other things you won’t have to plan for (or pay for).
Clearly, it’s these reduced infrastructure costs that are the most immediate advantages when it comes to introducing Office 365 into your organisation. However, that’s only where the cost savings begin.
The next big win for your organisation is enhanced productivity. Office 365 is designed to help people get things done faster with less repetition, bureaucracy and fewer errors. That’s because, quite simply, it helps you streamline your business processes. A good example of this can be seen in the collaborative features integrated into Office 365. Because employees at every level can work with each other, wherever they are, time spent at, and costs travelling to meetings is significantly reduced.
And if your business grows or experiences seasonal fluctuations in demand, scalability won’t be a costly issue with Office 365. Upgrading or downgrading your subscription can all be done online quickly without the need for any expensive and time-consuming hardware modifications.
A number of research studies show clearly just how much time can be saved as a result of rolling out Office 365 across the organisation. In fact, a 2011 Forrester Consulting study revealed that Office 365 can deliver a ROI of 321% – paying for itself within two months for most mid-sized organizations.
Other surveys give a conservative estimate of 30 minutes of for each typical information worker when it comes to time-savings as a result of using Office 365. In an operation of 1000 or more staff, that can quickly add up over the working week. It also means that those people can direct their time towards accelerating larger organisation objectives.
And that’s just in the short term. Obviously, Microsoft is one of the biggest companies in the world and investing heavily in making sure it’s products stays ahead of the field in term of quality and value for users.
The functionality offered by Office 365 is already comprehensive with Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Skype for Business Online and Office Online, as well as integration with services such as Yammer, OneDrive, Delve and Sway. Yet Microsoft is hard at work developing new applications. Users can expect new initiatives in the near future and beyond that will see even more cost efficiencies and benefits for businesses just like yours.
The new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) legislation, concerning the handling and storage of personal data, agreed by the European Commission on 27th April 2016, is set to come into force next May, following its implementation period. The legislation will replace the existing Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC with substantial changes, including significantly tougher penalties for non-compliance. This means that businesses don’t have much time left to get up to speed with GDPR and make the required changes to their data policies in order to avoid falling foul of the law.
The existing DPA dates back to the 90s, so given the way technology has progressed since then, certainly in terms of the way data is harvested, stored and manipulated, it’s very much due an update. Cybercrime, for instance, is a much bigger concern now for businesses and individuals alike than it was 20 years ago. You only have to look at some of the breaches at well-known companies making the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Unfortunately, since cybercriminals view SMEs as softer targets, compared to their corporate counterparts (which usually have much more resources available to safeguard data and tackle cybercrime), SMEs will should be particularly careful to make sure they’re not in the firing line, especially given the bigger penalties coming in 2018. A lack of resources or ignorance will be no excuse.
One of the biggest changes coming will be in terms of ‘consent’. Companies now must keep records of how and when customers, or end-users, give consent for the acquisition, storage and usage of personal data. That now means ‘active agreement’. A tick-box isn’t enough. Companies must be able to show a full audit trail, including screen grabs or consent forms. Individuals will also be able to withdraw consent at any time and firms will need to show that all data was completely erased and not simply removed from a mailing list.
The new rules are equally stringent should a data breach occur. Firms must inform the relevant authorities within 72 hours and that submission must come with a proposal for mitigating any potential damage resulting from a data compromise.
Fines can be as much as 4% of annual global turnover or up to €20 million for the most serious infringements. Just having inconsistencies in your records could lead to a fine of 2%
For many, just preparing for the legislation will mean a full data audit, followed by a complete overhaul of all procedures concerning the collection, storage and management of personal data.
However, there are certain easy ways to protect your business. Office 365, for instance, comes with several features that can help with GDPR compliance. These include Data Loss Prevention (DLP), Advanced Data Governance and a customer lockbox – all designed to help businesses become fully GDPR compliant.
Microsoft is just one of the first to move to integrate features into its products to protect its business customers and others are sure to follow suit. So when it comes to reviewing your business processes in light of GDPR, it might be seen as an opportunity to update your IT infrastructure in line with the new legislation and the future goals of your business.
UK Backup, one of the UK’s leading providers of Office 365 Backup and Cloud Backup , has been awarded a place on G-Cloud 9 – the Government’s latest cloud-services procurement framework operated by Crown Commercial Service
UK Backup offers a range of services available on the G-Cloud 9 Framework:
UK Backup is already a trusted supplier to public sector organisations including the Department for Transport, The Maritime and Coastguard Agency and a number of NHS departments.
James Chillman, Managing Director of UK Backup said “We are proud to continue our participation in the G-Cloud Framework and offer our Office 365 Backup and Cloud backup services from our solely UK based data centres.”
For more information on the services that we offer, contact us on email@example.com or visit the Digital Marketplace.
In May 2018 the Data Protection Act will be replaced by the General Data Protection Regulation and if your company holds individuals personal data you will be affected by it. One of the common misconceptions is that GDPR will only really affect specific industries but the definition of personal information is broad and will certainly affect all businesses.
The regulation aims to protect individuals privacy and their personal data and comes with hefty penalties for failing to comply. It covers all ‘Personal Data’ which includes any data by which an individual can be identified and introduces new measures and procedures for ensuring this data is protected and used correctly.
The regulation covers all meta data and data held about an individual, opposed to a company. It covers individuals such as your employee’s, prospects, customers, suppliers or anyone else you encounter. So the regulation doesn’t cover an organisation such as ‘Massive Dynamics Limited’ but it does apply to ‘William Bell, Founder at Massive Dynamics’, So if you are storing personally identifiable data about your suppliers or customers you will need to be compliant.
The ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) have been very clear since the UK’s decision to leave the European Union that GDPR will still come into force. When the UK leaves the EU the GDPR directive will still be used by the UK as a base for replacing the directive. But more importantly if you want to trade with EU organisations they will still ned to comply with GDPR.
So don’t expect this all to go away as we negotiate our way out of the EU.
Rob Luke from the ICO recently described GDPR as an evolution of the existing rules and not a revolution with it being summarised in two words : “Accountability and Transparency”. The reach of GDPR is far greater than the DPA and its definition on data breach’s is far clearer. There is an increase in responsibility on the data holder and processor and full control is firmly with the owner of the data.
Whilst there is still just under a year to go very few companies we speak to have started working towards being compliant, and according to Computer Weekly 44% of IT professionals.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of our GDPR series which will cover steps to take to ensure your compliant.
For more information on the how our Cloud Backup service can assist with your GDPR compliance please get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01252750549
Microsoft have announced that customers who would prefer to host their data in the new Microsoft Datacentres in the UK can choose to move from their current EU Locations.
This move could take up to 2 years to take place before the data is finally in London, Cardiff or Durham. The Ministry of Defence, some NHS Trusts and Aston Martin have started moving their services into these locations so for most companies there should not be any issues.
The process of migrating your data to the Office 365 UK Data Centres is extremely easy and only takes a few minutes.
If you are currently using Office 365 in the UK it is likely that your data is already hosted within the EU:
If this is the case you should see the option within your office 365 admin area titled ‘Data Residency Option’ which should look like this:
Simply select the ‘Edit’ Option and you will then be able to switch the migration to the UK Data centre on. Once this is completed you will receive a confirmation message stating the cut off period and the length of migration:
Once this migration is complete your Office 365 data will be now hosted in the UK.
Over the past few years a new breed of exploitation has proliferated in the IT marketplace. It’s called Ransomware, and it’s transformed into big business for the black market. This form of malware encrypts and denies you access to devices, files and data. The cyber criminals then ask for ransom (in the form of bitcoins or some other crypto currency) and won’t release the decryption codes until you’ve created an account and transferred the funds.
With ransomware becoming quite the profitable business in the black market, now is the time to change your IT policies and procedures to ensure you have a reliable, secure data protection solution in place, before a ransomware attack encrypts your organisations files.
Download our Ransomware eBook and learn how to prevent ransomware and protect your business here.