How to maximise value with azure infrastructure

How to maximise value with Azure infrastructure

Darren Howells

Eight ways to save money and maximise value with Azure infrastructure

COVID-19 has transformed the way we work and live. Businesses around the globe have been adjusting IT priorities to enable remote work and optimise costs and efficiencies while investing in smart ways to prepare for recovery and future growth. Accelerating the adoption of cloud computing and taking advantage of modern cloud infrastructure with Azure will help you achieve these goals.

1  Enable productivity from anywhere

Provide a consistent work experience with desktops and apps – accessible from virtually anywhere – with Windows Virtual Desktop. Give employees secure access to any resource they need through Azure VPN Gateway.

74%

of companies plan to permanently shift some employees to remote work following COVID-19

Deploy and scale in minutes with a cloud Virtualised Desktop Infrastructure solution and take advantage of all the cloud benefits.

Significantly reduce operational costs with the only virtualised multi-session Windows 10 desktop optimized to deliver the best Office 365 experience.

Migrate Remote Desktop Services (RDS) environment with simplified management and deployment experience on Azure.

Ensure secure connectivity for remote workers so they can access business apps and data in Azure or on-premises from any device—all with an improved user experience.

2  Maintain business continuity

Deploy simple, cost-effective, and efficient cloud backup and disaster recovery solutions with Azure Backup and Azure Site Recovery to minimise business disruption. To ensure always-on connectivity that sustains remote work, consider using Azure Virtual WAN, along with supported partner SD-WAN devices.

66%

reduction in average data recovery time

76%

faster backups

Reduce infrastructure and management costs by eliminating the hassle and expense of secondary datacenters. Plus, only pay for the compute resources you need.

Minimise downtime with dependable recovery that complies with industry regulations, such as ISO 27001, by enabling disaster recovery between separate Azure regions.

Protect your data against ransomware attacks and human errors with multifactor authentication and default encryption.

Scale existing networks and achieve high availability by taking advantage of the Azure global backbone and highly scalable connectivity services.

3  Help secure workloads from cyber attacks

Help secure your hybrid workloads and networks with industry leading intelligence and built-in security controls like Azure Sentinel, Azure Security Center, Azure DDoS Protection, and Azure Firewall.

$1B+

annual Microsoft investment in cybersecurity

3500+

security experts at Microsoft

Get AI-enabled threat protection with Azure Sentinel—a cloud-native solution for security information event management (SIEM) and security orchestration automated response (SOAR).

Continually improve security postures with vulnerability assessments, security risk alerts, and threat prevention recommendations that comply with industry standards.

Protect your web workloads with Zero Trust security, which includes verifying identities on every access attempt and ensuring your networks are correctly segmented.

Defend against distributed denial-ofservice (DDoS) attacks with always-on traffic monitoring and real-time mitigation of common network-level attacks.

4  Manage and govern hybrid environments

Extend Azure management to any infrastructure across on-premises, and multi-cloud. Bring Azure data services to any cloud and any Kubernetes clusters, with Azure Arc enabled data services.

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Centrally organise, govern, and secure IT resources across hybrid environments with a single control plane, including Windows and Linux servers, Kubernetes clusters, and applications.

Deploy and manage Kubernetes applications at scale across hybrid environments using DevOps techniques and consistent developer tools.

Run Azure data services anywhere and get the latest Azure innovations, elastic scale, and unified management for data workloads with or without direct cloud connection.

Implement Azure security anywhere with access to unique Azure security capabilities such as Azure Advanced Threat Protection. Set security policies, resource boundaries, and rolebased access control for your workloads.

5 Increase return on investment by migrating to the cloud

Accelerate cloud migration to Azure to reduce capital expenditure, realise cost savings, and speed up time to value.

478%

average 3 year return on investment

Achieve cost savings and more performance with Windows Server and SQL Server with Azure Hybrid Benefit and free extended security updates. SQL IaaS has the best performance on Azure.

Get performance, flexibility, and integrated support for Linux. Azure supports common Linux distributions, including Red Hat, SUSE, Ubuntu, CentOS, Debian, Oracle, Linux, and CoreOS.

Scale business critical workloads on Azure without compromising performance. Increase operational agility and take advantage of compliance and security certifications for your most critical applications.

Accelerate cloud migration to Azure with our Cloud Pleaser and Azure 360 migration solutions. We’ll structure your data to ensure you get the best value from your investment.

6 Simplify and accelerate SAP migration

Bring the intelligence, security, and reliability of Azure to your mission-critical SAP applications. Accelerate cloud migration of SAP ERP and SAP S/4HANA workloads through a well-defined path.

Take a look at TiG’s quick-start Cloud Transformation solution – Cloud Pleaser

Run on the cloud platform optimised for SAP with the performance, scale, and agility you count on.

Gain unmatched security, compliance, and business continuity for your SAP workloads in the cloud and on-premises.

Access continuous innovation and insights, tapping into Azure services, SAP Cloud Platform, and integration with Microsoft 365, Teams, Power Apps, and Power BI.

7 Modernise on-premises infrastructure

Bring the cloud to your on-premises datacenter with Azure Stack Hub to build and deploy consistent hybrid applications. Use Azure Stack HCI to consolidate on-premises applications on cloud-connected infrastructure—and get the best price and performance.

Build and run cloud-native applications on-premises in connected or disconnected scenarios. Use consistent tools, experiences, and app models across Azure and Azure Stack Hub.

Take advantage of efficiencies for highly virtualised compute, storage, and networking on industry-standard x86 servers and components.

Easily manage virtualised applications with your choice of command-line automation or Windows Admin Center to access cloud management services.

Deploy the most affordable HCI solution to branch offices, retail stores, and field sites with a minimal hardware footprint and enjoy benefits such as high availability and resiliency.

8 Continuously optimise the cost of your workloads

Get clear visibility into cloud resource usage, identify new opportunities to optimise usage, and increase cost savings with TiG’s Cloud control dashboards

Monitor and forecast cloud spending, set budget, and allocate costs to teams and projects with Cloud control dashboards

Optimise cloud resources and architecture with Azure best practices.

Save with Azure licensing as we’ll identify the best options for your business

TiG Data Intelligence have partnered with mid-sized businesses from a range of industries to improve their ability to work remotely and securely. If you would like to learn more about what we can do to help your business, contact us. Our Cloud Pleaser solution also offers a fast-track ticket to cloud transformation.

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welcome to tig Data Analytics and Insights

Welcome to TiG Data Intelligence

Darren Howells

MMR IT acquired by TiG in March 2020

Welcome to TiG

TiG Data Intelligence, an award-winning cloud transformation, data analytics and managed services company, is delighted to announce the acquisition of MMRIT, a London based Managed IT services provider delivering solutions and services to clients mainly in the financial services and legal sectors.

This acquisition is the second for TiG since receiving investment from BGF in July 2018 to accelerate growth and take advantage of a consolidating UK IT managed services and digital transformation market.

The combination of TiG and MMRIT creates one of the largest IT Services providers to the London Alternative financial services market sector, providing additional capabilities and scale to serve its customers in other sectors, such as professional services, logistics and retail. The enlarged business has over 150 employees, of which over 75% are technical with expertise in public cloud transformation, data analytics, cyber security and service management.

Des Lekerman, TiG CEO, commented “It’s a great time to have the capability and expertise to provide these services, as the need and appetite for digital transformation, and for data insights, has never been greater. We are proud to welcome everyone at MMRIT to TiG and I look forward to the next phase of our journey together”.

Take a look at our core solutions:

TiG MMRIT
productivity modern working

M20:20

The first step to modern working for just £20k

It’s faster and easier than you think to implement a modern working platform. Launch the full Microsoft 365 suite in your business in 20 days for £20,000 for a more connected team working securely, remotely from any device.

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data-analytics

Octopus

The Business Dashboard for just £20k

Interpreting and analysing data from multiple sources in your business needn’t be complicated. TiG Octopus frees your business from the tyranny of complex manual spreadsheets and gives you real time business intelligence in a configurable dashboard.

Have a look
Secure managed services

Guardian

All round security for just £10k

With Guardian, our cyber security gateway solution, we not only respond to an alert, but we are also able to accurately implement a change or changes that stop the potential threat from causing disruption in the shortest possible time.

Have a look
Intelligent data platform

Cloud Pleaser

Painless Azure Migration for just £20k

Managing security and meeting compliance requirements is actually easier in the cloud. Applications are more secure and costs are managed on a per user per month basis which makes forecasting, planning and scaling easier.

Have a look

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Missed wimbledon AI covered

Missed Wimbledon this year? AI has you covered

Darren Howells

Wimbledon, like many other major sporting events, was cancelled this year. Although that meant many of us missed out on our strawberries and cream, a group of researchers from Stanford University have created an AI driven programme that offers a controllable synthetic version of Wimbledon tennis matches.

Create your own match

By combining a model of player and tennis ball trajectories, pose estimation, and unpaired image-to-image translation, the technology allows users to create a realistic controllable tennis match between any players you wish.

That means you can recreate famous matches and alter the outcomes, or combine players for never-before-seen matches. You could set up a match between Serena Williams and Roger Federer, or even set up Federer vs. Federer to see what happens.

Interactive control allows the user to specify shot placements and recovery positions, based on a library of player video footage. The technology uses points from the video collection to model a player’s court positioning and shot selection decisions during points. Then these behavioral models select video clips that reflect actions the real-life player is likely to take in a given match play situation, yielding video ‘sprites’ that behave realistically at the macro level of full points, not just individual tennis motions.

What does this mean for the use of AI in business?

Although this use of AI is niche, it shows that technical capabilities have come a long way in a short space of time. 44% of leaders recognise AI is a skill that will help secure their future prospects and more than half of UK organisations (56%) are now using AI to some degree. The TiG Data Analytics team has created business intelligence dashboards which put decision makers in the driving seat, giving them all the information they need in one place to enable quick decision making. We’ve done this for a wide range of businesses, from Private Equity firms to manufacturers.

TiG Data Intelligence have partnered with mid-sized businesses from a range of industries to implement AI solutions that provide positive business results. Our Octopus solution is quick and easy to implement, giving business leaders the insights they need to make the right decisions. If you’re just starting to consider using AI in your business, download our free ‘AI guide to world domination’ to get an overview of how other businesses are using AI to get ahead of the competition.

The study referred to in this article is ‘Vid2Player: Controllable Video Sprites that Behave and Appear like Professional Tennis Players‘ by Haotian Zhang, Cristobal Sciutto, Maneesh Agrawala, and Kayvon Fatahalian, 2020.

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The most important thing IT leaders need to consider

The most important thing IT leaders need to consider

Darren Howells

As we head towards the final quarter of 2020 it’s important for IT leaders to review the last six months. There have been unprecedented challenges that have required a great deal of focus and determination to get past, so you’d be forgiven for not wanting to dwell on things for too long. However, putting aside some time to review your business’ response to these difficulties now will improve your ability to take on further challenges in the future.

The pressure operational teams have been working under for the last few months has been huge. Every process, every system, every relationship, every way of working, communicating and delivering has been brutally tested.

The task for IT leaders now is to consider:

What kept working and no changes necessary – That’s resilience.

What required a failover or “Plan B” – That’s business continuity

What required a last minute scramble to get working – That’s bad planning, how can we turn that into more resilience?

The scale of the challenge currently being faced has all operational leaders thinking about new ways of working. However, those who had already completed a digital transformation and moved the majority of their operations to the cloud had a significant head start on the competition.

A cloud based modern working environment brings with it the resilience required to tackle sudden changes. Having the ability to login from anywhere, maintain access to all your data, and collaborate with your entire team means that you can maintain control over the situation. While it’s impossible to predict what might happen next, maintaining control over every day processes puts you in a much more powerful position.

Business continuity is about having a plan to deal with difficult situations, so your organisation can continue to function with as little disruption as possible. No matter how resilient you have designed your operations to be, it’s likely that most of us have looked to our business continuity plans over the last few months. Reviewing this now gives you the opportunity to iron out any problems which arose and make amendments to the plan for the future.

Analysing your business’ initial response to the challenge of working during 2020 will show you exactly where you need to fill in the gaps and become more resilient, or at least have a business continuity plan in place. Having an action plan to prevent any further last minute scrambles will put you in a much stronger position as we navigate further challenges to come. No one can predict exactly what will happen next, but everyone can plan a response to it.

Whatever’s at the root of the current business transformation, one thing is for sure; we still have many more months of uncertainty and turbulence ahead of us. Putting yourself and your business in a position to be able to respond to these challenges is the most positive action you can take.

TiG Data Intelligence have partnered with mid-sized businesses from a range of industries to improve their ability to work remotely and securely. If you would like to learn more about what we can do to help your business, contact us.

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will ai steal my job

Will AI steal my job?

Darren Howells

The fear factor

One of the biggest fears people have about artificial intelligence is that it will render their job obsolete and steal their livelihood. This is certainly not the case currently, and even looking to the future it seems fairly unlikely for the majority of people. In fact, according to PWC’s 2019 Economic Outlook report, there is a very real chance that ‘AI will create as many jobs as it displaces.’

If anything, the parts of your job that AI might steal away from you are the parts you most likely hate anyway – it has the ability to augment most boring working practices – searching through documents for crucial information, arranging data to make it more readable, and sorting information into things you should concentrate time and energy on vs. those you can ignore.

Using AI to improve your prospects

What’s more AI it can help you get the right job. TiG have collaborated with a UK-based health recruitment firm to implement AI technology. In this case AI is used to cleanse databases and quickly find people who fulfil the right criteria for a role. In addition, AI analyses data on people who have either accepted or rejected a new position, therefore narrowing down the criteria in the future and shortlisting candidates who are more likely to accept. It can then offer these shortlists to the recruitment consultants, and as a result their time time is freed up to concentrate on forming human connections with their prospects.

‘The successful organisations will be the ones that transform both technically and culturally, equipping their people with the skills and knowledge to become the best competitive asset they have. Human ingenuity is what will make the difference – AI alone isn’t enough.’
Clare Barclay, Chief Operating Officer, Microsoft UK

Still worried? Calculate your chances

Will robots take my job? (https://willrobotstakemyjob.com/) is a fun website into which you can enter your job title and in return receive an overview of the likelihood of being replaced by AI. Projections range from ‘Totally safe’ (which includes computer and information systems managers), to the slightly more pessimistic ‘You’re doomed’.  Not to be taken too seriously, it still gives an indication of the industries most likely to be impacted by AI in the coming decades.

TiG Data Intelligence have partnered with mid-sized businesses from a range of industries to implement AI solutions that provide positive business results. Our Octopus solution is quick and easy to implement, giving business leaders the insights they need to make the right decisions. If you’re just starting to consider using AI in your business, download our free ‘AI guide to world domination’ to get an overview of how other businesses are using AI to get ahead of the competition.

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underwater data centre

Microsoft's underwater data centre resurfaces after two years

Darren Howells

Two years ago, Microsoft sank a data centre off the coast of Orkney in a wild experiment.

That data centre has now been retrieved from the ocean floor, and Microsoft researchers are assessing how it has performed, and what they can learn from it about energy efficiency.

No humans, few failures

Their first conclusion is that the cylinder packed with servers had a lower failure rate than a conventional data centre.

When the container was hauled off the seabed around half a mile offshore after being placed there in May 2018, just eight out of the 855 servers on board had failed.

That compares very well with a conventional data centre.

“Our failure rate in the water is one-eighth of what we see on land,” says Ben Cutler, who has led what Microsoft calls Project Natick.

The team is speculating that the greater reliability may be connected to the fact that there were no humans on board, and that nitrogen rather than oxygen was pumped into the capsule.

microsoft server

“We think it has to do with this nitrogen atmosphere that reduces corrosion and is cool, and people not banging things around,” Mr Cutler says.

Orkney was chosen for the trial by Microsoft, partly because it was a centre for renewable energy research in a place where the climate was temperate – perhaps even chilly. The idea was that the cost of cooling computers would be lower if they were under water.

The white cylinder emerged from the cold waters with a coating of algae, barnacles and sea anemones after a day-long operation. But inside, the data centre was functioning well – and is now being closely examined so that the research team can learn more.

As more and more of our data is stored in the cloud, there is growing concern about the vast energy demands of data centres.

Reliably green

Project Natick was partly about working out whether clusters of small underwater data centres for short-term use might be a commercial proposition, but also an attempt to learn broader lessons about energy efficiency in cloud computing.

All of Orkney’s electricity comes from wind and solar power, but there were no issues in keeping the underwater data centre supplied with power.
“We have been able to run really well on what most land-based data centres consider an unreliable grid,” says Spencer Fowers, one of the technical team on Project Natick.

“We are hopeful that we can look at our findings and say maybe we don’t need to have quite as much infrastructure focused on power and reliability.”

Microsoft data centre

Underwater data centres might sound an outlandish idea. But David Ross, who has been a consultant to the data centre industry for many years, says the project has great potential.

He believes organisations facing a natural disaster or a terrorist attack might find it attractive: “You could effectively move something to a more secure location without having all the huge infrastructure costs of constructing a building. It’s flexible and cost effective.”

Microsoft is cautious about saying when an underwater data centre might be a commercial product, but is confident that it has proved the idea has value.
“We think that we’re past the point where this is a science experiment,” says Ben Cutler.

“Now it’s simply a question of what do we want to engineer – would it be a little one, or would it be a large one?”

The experiment on Orkney is over. But the hope is that the result will be more environmentally friendly data storage, both on land and under water.

This article was originally published by the BBC on 14th September 2020. You can read the original article here. To learn more about the work TiG do moving businesses to the Azure cloud, contact us.

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defend against phishing attacks

How to defend against phishing attacks from trusted partners

Darren Howells

When a business is targeted by a phishing attack that seemingly comes from a trusted partner, it can be much harder for the recipient to spot the attack. The attackers use the initial victim’s real email account and existing long-established relationships with years of built up trust to as a way to more easily compromise additional victims. This means that the hacker is far more likely to succeed in tricking the recipient into losing their own credentials, or convince them to make a fraudulent financial transaction.

Steps to creating a strong defence against third-party phishing attacks

Defending against trusted third-party phishing attacks takes all the standard security awareness training, plus a few extras; designed to fight threats coming directly from legitimate, trusted partners. They include:

1. Awareness of the possibility of phishing attacks from trusted partners

First, and foremost, you need to make people aware of the growing threat of trusted third-party phishing. People can’t fight and defend against a threat they don’t know about.

When you make people aware of trusted third-party phishing attacks and how they must be skeptical of ALL emails, even those coming from current business partners and friends, they can begin to better defend themselves. You must give them the relevant facts so they can begin a new way of thinking to fight all phishing.

2. Notice any email that asks you to take an action

Trusted third-party phishing means that receivers must be particularly skeptical of ANY request for an unusual or unexpected action, even when coming from a trusted business partner. Employee training should include that any request that can manipulate financial transactions or confidential actions must be reviewed.

3. Phone the trusted partner for verification

The quickest and simplest way to verify a request and avoid becoming a victim is to simply call the person or business who sent the original email, using a phone number that you already have or can get from a verified source. Do not verify a request by replying to the original email, or by calling a number listed in the email. Emails sent back to the trusted partner may be intercepted by the hacker, and new hard-to-trace phone numbers are easy to set up.

4. Understand that a lot of effort goes into making a fake company look real

The most successful scam artists have actually created real, incorporated companies which have names very similar to the real companies they were impersonating. They can have articles of incorporation, bank accounts at legitimate, recognisable banks, invoicing, staff, payroll, and whatever else they needed to be seen as a real company.

Interestingly, the owners of these fake companies are more likely to be caught, arrested, and jailed when the scam comes falling down because they have a long legal paper trail that follows them. They know it, but it doesn’t seem to stop them from doing it. The key point here is that existence of a real, verified, company with a physical mailing address, an ongoing relationship, and so on, doesn’t mean the company is legit.

5. These attacks take place over a long time

It’s unlikely the first communication you receive will be the one asking you to take an action. Many of the more elaborate scams start out with seemingly innocent conversations. For example, an email will arrive from a business partner letting you know they will be changing banks and updating routing registration information in a few days or next week. The idea is they want to lull the victim and prepare them for the coming real, bigger ask that comes later on.

The criminals behind these types of scams will go to great lengths to fool you. Dozens of emails, multiple phone calls, and lots of legal documents are often involved in these scams. The length of the scam and the multiple other forms of legitimate communication over time can lull the victim’s early suspicion.

6. Involve the police

As we’ve learnt in our Business Security Briefings with the police, getting law enforcement involved rarely helps arrest the online scammer, especially if they are originating in another country. However, the long-term nature of these scams and the involved legitimate, legal paper trails can assist law enforcement with prosecutions.

7. Warn the original victim company

It goes without saying that you need to let the legitimate, involved partner know that they are compromised. If possible, do it in a phone call to a legitimate, known phone number. You don’t want to give scammers or hackers any warnings in case they are monitoring email, as they often do.

8. Don’t become that compromised third-party

Make sure you and your organization don’t become that original, compromised party that then becomes used to compromise other partners. Make sure your own security is up to scratch, then also make sure you educate your employees and partners about the risks. For financial transactions, tell your partners to be skeptical of any sudden changes in invoicing or billing. Tell them to call you on a legitimate phone any time a change in financial information is requested. Make it a written, enforced policy that your staff do the same for requests from other companies.

Trusted third-party phishing is a growing risk to all organisations. Employees need to be made aware of such scams, given examples, and told how they can defeat them.

Prepare your business to defend against phishing attacks

TiG’s all-round security package, Guardian, offers all the software you need to secure your business, along with advice on strategy and policies that will protect the way you work. Take a look at the Guardian page or contact us for more information.

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digital transformation

Survival and adaptation

Darren Howells

Digital transformation in 2020

Adapting a business strategy in 2020

‘According to Darwin’s Origin of Species, it is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.’ Leon Megginson, Louisiana State University professor, 1963.

Digital transformation

Digital transformation is occurring in every industry and it is the most important journey that any company can embark on today. In recent times, some businesses have had their hand forced by the sudden need to get employees set up to work from home, accelerating a transformation journey that wasn’t due to take place for some time to come. As Megginson stated, the survivor is the one that can adapt and change. This survival and adaptation has never been more necessary than it has this year.

At the beginning of a transformation journey, the most important question to ask is, ‘What are the biggest problems we’re facing today?’ In asking this question, it’s possible to find the issues that are potentially holding a company back from achieving their goals. Once the problems have been identified, suitable technology can be found. This lessens the chances of the business buying into solutions that are not appropriate for their needs, that will then be forgotten about a few months after the project completes. Picking a technology first and then finding a problem it fixes is seldom successful.

A successful digital transformation relies on analysis of the business goals and strategy to reach them, which in turn gives optimum return on investment. Digital transformation is part of an ongoing journey towards continuous process improvement, involving the collaboration of people, processes and assets through the right technology. It’s doesn’t happen all at once, but instead gains speed and velocity over time as these people, processes and assets are fused to bridge the operations and IT gap.

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aligning it strategy with business goals

Aligning IT strategy with business goals

Darren Howells

In every industry, the function of the IT department is changing. IT in the modern workplace should no longer be about ‘keeping the lights on’, but should be a vital supporting infrastructure enabling the business as a whole to reach its targets. This means a major part of an IT leader’s job is in aligning IT strategy with business goals.

Whether this is through cloud transformation, enabling the workforce to be more productive and adapt to new methods of working faster, or through the implementation of data analytics platforms, gathering information from every piece of data the organisation holds, this is the age of opportunity for IT to make a big impact.

Each organisation’s IT strategy needs to act as a gateway to achieving the overall goals of the business. The IT director needs to be involved in Board level discussions, taking active involvement in the future direction of the business and the strategy that will enable it to reach its full potential.

Tips for aligning IT and business goals

  • Before deploying any new technology in your business, ask yourself if it makes sense or where it fits with the overall strategy. Reflect on the principles of what you’re trying to do as an organisation and make sure your technology matches.
  • Along the same lines, ensure you’re making the most out of the technology you already have. All too often businesses end up using multiple systems and software, without using any of them to their full potential.
  • Make sure any external providers you’re partnered with, such as your managed service provider, are on board with the strategy and the results you’re trying to achieve.
  • Maintain a strong understanding of the daily IT operations in the business, while aiming for the bigger business goals. Make sure you have a grasp of what is going on at ground level and solve any problems as they arise.
  • Always consider the security implications of adding new technology.

Know your starting point

In order to thoroughly align your IT and business strategies, it’s important to conduct an assessment of your situation in order to understand where improvements can be made. This is where your IT or managed service provider should be able to step in and help conduct an audit. If they can’t, maybe it’s time to find another provider who can.

The right IT partner will be able to analyse your business needs and suggest the correct technologies to get the results you’re looking for. Being realistic about your goals and communicating them clearly will enable your managed service provider to create an IT strategy tailored to meeting these objectives.

How the right IT partner can help

  • The right partner will be able to provider you with a strategy that gives you the greatest value from your investment. This doesn’t always mean the cheapest solution, but it does mean your business will benefit in the long term from a solution that is the right fit.
  • They will be able to take a long-term view on implementing a strategy that will bring benefits long after the first year.
  • They will be able to evolve and adapt with you as the business grows, scaling the offering and making sure it’s consistently providing value to the business.
  • By partnering with a provider who has specialist knowledge of your industry they will be able to drive further results. For example, TiG’s specialist knowledge of the financial services industry means we have an understanding of the technology and policies that need to be in place for FCA and other compliance requirements.

TiG have years of experience partnering with businesses to ensure they are getting maximum value from their IT investment. We have specialist business analysts who work alongside our technical specialists to bring together the best possible IT strategy for each business. We begin each project with an in-depth analysis of the business and its long term goals, for more on this download the Compass fact sheet on this page or visit the Compass page.

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cyber security audit

Five reasons to conduct a cyber security audit ASAP

Darren Howells

With an increasing number of cyber attacks on UK businesses being reported every week, it’s likely that a robust security plan is at the top of most IT Directors’ agendas. The serious aftereffects of a cyber attack include financial ruin, reputational damage, and data theft. Putting a security plan in place can protect the business from the worst of these outcomes.

Knowing what security measures and polices need to be implemented is the first hurdle to be overcome, and this largely depends on what the business does and the kind of data it handles. Businesses that handle large amounts of money and confidential data are understandably at a higher risk of attack, and therefore need to invest more in their defences. Other weak points in a business’ security amour may include a high staff turnover, or sudden changes to working practices (as we have seen in recent months as many made the shift to home working).

Conducting a cyber security audit is a good starting point for identifying weak points, along with analysing the way data flows through the business and where it needs to be protected. Regular audits are important as business processes are constantly changing, bringing with them new risks.

Five ways a cyber security audit benefits business

It delivers an in-depth analysis of internal and external IT practices

A cyber security audit provides an in-depth report of potential problem areas, compliance with industry standards, security policies, and the quality of security controls. By compiling every element of the business’ cyber security coverage into a single report, it’s easier to see any gaps that need to be filled to improve defences. Including external contributors, such as Managed Service Providers and any other contracted parties with access to business data, is an important part of the process to ensure data is protected at all times.

It evaluates how data is accessed and moved around the business

Now more than ever, data is a key asset for any business, requiring top security controls. A major part of a cyber security audit determines the type of information held by the business, how it flows around the organisation, and who has access to it. All technologies and processes related to anti-data breach measures need to be reviewed to make sure that no data will be lost, stolen, misused, or mishandled. This has the added benefit of helping the business to avoid legal disputes with customers, regulators or other affected parties.

It identifies vulnerable points and problem areas

The combination of hardware, software, data and procedures in place mean the environment is vast and the potential for problems is high. Taking a systematic approach to auditing the environment means vulnerabilities can be pinpointed and dealt with more easily. In some cases the business may already have all the tools they need in place, but may not have configured them properly. This is simple and low-cost to fix but can make a big difference to overall cyber security.

It recommends how technology can be used to improve security

As we covered in the introduction, the level of security necessary will be different for every business. As organisations increase in size and data capacity they will need extra protection. However, it can also be the case that a business has invested in multiple different security tools and not allocating them in the most efficient way, resulting in overspending on an incomplete security solution. Auditing all the tools in one go will enable decisions to be made about if resources are being allocated correctly.

It determines if the correct policies are in place

Gathering together all policies and procedures alongside the technical side of the audit means it will be easier to spot any updates that need to be made. For example, if a new piece of software has been implemented the data security policy may need to be updated to include this. The correct polices need to be in place for regulatory purposes, which will differ depending on the industry and regulatory body. If a data breach does occur, having security policies and a Disaster Recovery plan in place can make all the difference.

TiG have years of experience conducting cyber security audits and implementing security solutions to protect businesses. We have specialists working within the financial services sector and are able to advise on polices and procedures that meet global financial standards. Our audit process is in-depth and covers every element of business cyber security. For an idea of what it involves and a free template to conduct your own audit download the guide on this page.  For more information contact us.

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