Archive for the ‘Online presence’ Category

Cyber trends for 2019

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

Juniper Research has estimated that cybercrime could rise by as much as 175% over the next 5 years and, of course, as hackers get more sophisticated and determined to succeed, so must we make sure we are doing all we can to make life difficult for them. Why be an easy target? It’s not just large-scale organisations like banks and hospitals that are the targets for cyber crime.

Hackers infiltrate every level of business to add links and diverts to other websites, they compromise your client data (could your business afford even a sniff of that?) and generally cause trouble whilst they are poking around your systems. There is much in the news about wide-spread attacks, one of the latest being the new energy smart meters that we are being urged to introduce to our homes. It is anticipated that these could be a relatively easy target – which brings all sorts of other, mass consumer, digitally connected devices into question. However, many hackers go for the low hanging fruit which means they will enjoy easy pickings and wreak havoc within businesses who aren’t protecting themselves sufficiently.

We are reading about botnets, swarm networks and hive nets to name just a few of the ways our systems are being targeted. The level of complexity is such that it is hard to put into words for a savvy IT business, let alone the man in the street. It’s complicated and, most importantly, it’s not going away anytime soon. We work very hard to make sure that docSAFE is protected under multiple layers of security and this is something we have always done to stay ahead of the game. We are always updating, improving and building the layers we employ – to protect your data and also all the data you hold on clients, suppliers and your staff, for example. This isn’t just for GDPR – it’s for business survival!

“Given the benefits of the networked world, the move to digitalisation isn’t going to slow down. It’s important we realistically assess our dependence upon cyber and the potential consequences of a disruptive attack. Maintaining physical backups or other redundancies, changing operational processes, and even keeping less data can reduce the impact of a successful attack.” says Suzanne Spalding, former DHS Under Secretary, USA.

It is expected we will see more ransomware – malicious software that blocks access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid. Crypto-jacking – the practice of taking over a device or network of devices to operate a crypto mining operation (a digital or virtual currency that is used and operated independently of a bank) and other such attacks.

Talk to us and make sure you don’t fall victim to any cyber crime this year.

Our multi-layered approach to secure comms

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

Our portfolio of services is all based around security and communications starting with our client portfolio, docSAFE. This allows professionals to manage all of their communications from a central place – like a virtual filing cabinet. We have implemented several layers of security which means that your information is safe – and more importantly for your business, your clients’ data is safe.

Mindful of GDPR and its requirements we have included levels of security that mean you will be on the right side of the new government legislation that kicks in on 25 May this year. Regardless of GDPR, it makes good, sensible business practice to protect yourself and your clients from hackers, fraud and misuse of their information so we have been covering these issues for a very long time.

In the spirit of ultimate security we advocate a ‘no email’ rule for any sensitive client communications including messages, data exchange, online signing and anything else that, if it left the docSAFE secure space, could be compromised. Risking email is just not safe enough so we prefer our clients to communicate within the safety of docSAFE.

As part of the importance we infer on your online presence we also build websites for our clients, who are mostly all professional firms. As you’d expect our websites are robust but beautiful! And whilst you may assume your firm wouldn’t be a target for hackers, you’d be surprised – many small businesses are hacked for all sorts of reasons, some random, some planned. However, any breach has the potential to put you out of business so being prudent and meticulous with your data is vital.

Talk to us about any aspect of your secure communications. Our services work in isolation or all together, however you prefer to mange things. We can talk through the implications of change and provide demonstrations of everything we do.

The changing face of websites

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

What a long way we’ve come in the past few years. From websites that invested heavily in words and told the visitor EVERYTHING to a more sophisticated, image-led approach that tempts the user into finding out more. This is a broad overview of how websites have changed but of course there is so much more and, importantly, much more to come…

Design

You’ll know an older website design as soon as you see it – boxy, contained, no scrolling and lots and lots of pages. The new trend is for image heavy sites that have a wonderfully long home page with lots of access points to key places on your site. It will be fluid and not restricted to a box template and, importantly (but still not adopted everywhere), websites that work on every type of device.

Accessibility

Older sites are clunky and hard to navigate. The user experience can be frustrating but equally so for the website owner – you should be able to get in to your own website and make at least basic changes without incurring costs from your web provider. There will be probably always be a need for support at a higher level but the ability to change opening hours, typos and update crucial information should be at your fingertips.

Images versus words

We were crazy for telling the user everything – now you should hold back, create a breadcrumb trail to tempt your visitor to find out more (and preferably by picking up the phone and talking – the basis of all good professional relationships). Images include real photos (avoid stock if you can) and video if you have the resources. Videos are perfectly acceptable at phone video standard and the rawness of an unprofessional film can be charming and honest.

Google’s role

Increasingly Google has started to shape the way we choose websites. It favours websites with fresh, changing content. It likes https to indicate the security level of your site. And it likes websites to have good content, relevant and informative. This doesn’t mean it should be long and unwieldy – just enough to make sense and satisfy a Google search. Also don’t try and outwit Google, we promise they are cleverer than all of us! Duplicated pages, hidden pages or even association with some SEO providers can result in your site being banned from their index.

Websites are amazing, they achieve so much for the businesses they represent but it’s easy to get left behind. Talk to us – we can help with security, visibility and functionality with our client portal and online signing functions.

 

 

Why https is better than http…

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

What is http, let alone https? Well, http – the prefix to your web address stands for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol” and with the additional s? “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure”. The s actually stands for Secure Socket Layer Secure and that extra s makes all the difference for 3 key reasons.

Reason 1:Https helps with SEO – when it comes to a competing Google search, you’ll always outrank any other business with the additional security layer provided by the s in https. Google favours security conscious companies, it’s that simple.

Reason 2: Https adds an additional layer of security so what’s not to love about that? Anyone who is keen to protect their clients’ sensitive data should consider https as essential.

Reason 3: Improved AMP (sorry another acronym). AMP is Google’s way of loading mobile pages quickly – Accelerated Mobile Pages. It needs https to work.

If these 3 reasons aren’t enough – SEO, security and mobile-responsiveness – talk to us and we’ll explain more.

Why all kinds of organisations should be using docSAFE

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

We traditionally provide docSAFE to the professions who demand top security and client confidentiality (among other things). However we are seeing docSAFE rise in popularity with other sectors, almost by accident but with very good reason.

You may have seen a mailer we sent out recently that illustrated how the NHS had suffered a huge breach of data of its junior doctors in the north-east. We researched this and found that the NHS staff use of WhatsApp is also widespread which is really worrying.

Organisations that hold any personal data, especially publicly accountable organisations, should be using systems to communicate that are extremely secure. docSAFE has been designed to be secure on a number of key levels – secure login (using 2-factor authentication), secure portal in which to exchange messages and documents, online signing, to be GDPR compliant, offer automatic backups to secure EU based servers and much more.

By using a portal instead of email, for example, the message sit in the cloud until the recipient accesses it. By return, the responses sit in the cloud until the sender accesses it. Both are notified and know the information is there – but it’s locked away safely, staying put, not flying through the ether.

We are expecting more uptake of docSAFE by schools, colleges, universities, doctors and hospitals and similar organisations where security simply cannot be the weak link. Talk to us if you think we can help with your secure communications.

Take the next step, call us today
0121 794 0685