I write a blog almost every week on a different aspect of Cyber Security and threats to our data and digital lives. I wanted to write this article aimed more at the personal user with 5 things which you can implement today (for hardware you may need a couple of days for delivery) to improve your security. Please remember that there is No Silver Bullet for Cyber Security and that this is all about mitigating the risk and reducing the impact of Cyber Attacks.

Read more ...

Backup to Move Forward- Scenario 1

As mentioned during a previous article “Someone’s Going to Have to Pay” we mentioned that we would go into more detail about secure backups in a future article. Well, welcome to the future.
Backups for a lot of people are just a copy of their information, and they’ll use cloud-based services such as Microsoft’s OneDrive, Apple’s CloudDrive, Alphabet’s Google Drive or DropBox to achieve this. However, a study from 2016 highlighted that it’s an even 36/36 split for those who backup their business data entirely as opposed to not at all (the remaining 28% would fall somewhere in between).
We have mentioned some products before in a previous article “Backups, Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery and Other Small Animals” in which we alluded to the value and utility of cloud services in backing up your data. With data playing a greater part in business than ever before and with cyber-crime threats growing in variety and severity it’s time for everyone to start thinking of backing up their data.
Read more ...

2016 has been an interesting year for Technology and technology-based industries. We’ve seen the rise of mainstream 3D printing, the Internet of Things, the “As A Service” model, Computer Merging and Cyber Security. It’s been a wild ride, and I’d like to take you through a few of the most prominent changes which have affected the way we work in 2016.

Cyber Security

Cyber Security has been one of the most prominent topics of 2016 with end users becoming more aware of just how vulnerable they can be online. Yahoo! have only recently learned that the 500 million user accounts which were discovered to have been leaked in September was in fact only half of the total 1 Billion accounts which were affected. TalkTalk were hacked in 2015 by a teenager “just showing off”. And the European Union have passed legislation to encourage companies to take ownership of their data and security on a greater level. Now most of this happened before 2016 but it’s only come in to the light of day in 2016.

So what has happened in Cyber Security?

In a nutshell: with more devices being connected more of the time there are more vulnerabilities, and with more companies and services requiring more information from us to personalise experiences, our personal data is more vulnerable. It’s a dangerous trade-off between convenience, privacy and security.

It’s a lot easier for hobby hackers to be able to compromise machines and data to extort money from the owners and end users. With forums, marketplaces and repositories devoted to “how to’s” and resources for malicious individuals on the dark web, hobby hackers are able to deploy increasingly more complicated and devastating attacks without having advanced knowledge of what they’re doing or even how they’re achieving it.

I’ve been posting a lot about Cyber Security and the fact that Cyber Security is now everyone’s priority, not just businesses and IT managers. The only way in which we can reduce the impact of this is by realising that the weakest link in any Cyber Security policy is the end user.

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things or IoT as its commonly abbreviated to is when everyday devices are connected to a network for remote access and manipulation such as lighting, billboards, sound systems and heating. There are IoT enabled appliances as well such as fridges, kettles, ovens and washing machines as well. This has all been achieved through seeking more convenient and innovative ways to improve our lives.

Imagine being able to check on your fridge’s stock levels from work before you stop by the supermarket on your way home or place an order online for delivery. Imagine setting the temperature for your house so that it’s just right for your return. Want to get the kettle boiled for your morning coffee without having to leave the warm confines of your bed? No Problem.

The first generation of IoT products which we have access to just now is the first step towards a “Jetsons” future or for the pessimists out there a “Cyberdyne” future. I am really excited to see how this progresses.

3D Printing

I love Star Trek and their “Replicator” technology: Any physical object (or food) that you want can be created from simple base components by a machine wherever you need it. That’s where this first generation of consumer-based 3D printing is advancing towards.

3D Printing on an industrial scale is fairly commonplace for the production of consumer goods, but with consumers and end-users now able to “build” spare parts and products in their own home with nothing more than a lump of plastic and a schematic replicators are looking more realistic day by day.

Computer Merging

The line between desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile phones is being blurred. I’m writing this from a tablet connected to two displays, acting as a desktop computer which I can take out to see clients with or scribble notes on. This is less of an impressive feat nowadays with computing devices merging together to complete more functions, you can actually use certain mobile phones as mini-desktop towers when docked in the right setup.

Dedicated computers for specific tasks started dying out a few years ago now, but now we’re seeing laptops being hit by tablets and mobiles being able to complete the same tasks and be docked in the same way whilst still being more mobile. It’s an exciting time to look for devices as you don’t have to carry around several things anymore as most business can be done from a tablet with a keyboard which you can scribble notes on, draw up proposals, email and present from.
We’re seeing more clients not wanting to be bound to one system or setup anymore and looking at the options available to them for a “merged” device.

As A Service

I’ve written about “As A Service” offerings earlier in 2016 in an aim to educate more on the purpose and value of this as an appropriate solution to problems or needs.
As A Service takes leasing and loaned equipment further than we’ve ever known it, but providing Hardware, Software, Infrastructure and various other products and services on a monthly basis allowing regular upgrades without the end user having to worry about ownership and upkeep.

If you’d like to know more about As A Service, what it is and how it could affect you and your business please have a look at my previous article.


2016 for many has been a year of turmoil and change, political upheaval and celebrity mortality. Every year we see change, advances, disruption and innovation in IT, but the end user and consumer might only notice a few of them. I just wanted to highlight a few changes which I’ve had personal experience of within the IT sector this year and I can’t wait to see what 2017 brings!

If you’d like more information on these or any other technology topic, then please get in touch!


When it comes to passwords and internet security, sometimes the simpler solutions are actually the best.

Let’s take a closer look at how to truly safeguard the information you value most.

Choosing your password

We are often told how essential it is to create numerous complex passwords, and that they should be used uniquely across all our internet applications. The logic behind this decision may seem flawed, but it is rooted in real fears.

However, in practice, having too many passwords can be a terrible headache – not to mention a potential security risk. What if you forget your vital passwords? What if you write them down and misplace the note? What if someone else finds your passwords and accesses your accounts?

Memorising your password

Advice for many years has been to simply memorise your passwords instead of storing them. People have been told that storing passwords in any form is inherently a high-risk activity.

While we encourage the use of password managers (alongside recommendations from the National Cybersecurity Centre (NCSC), interest in this tech has remained low. Yet the recommends a refreshed approach to passwords. Would it work for you?

Three random words

NCSC suggests that established thinking around password creation is flawed, because it expects the end-user (us) to memorise numerous lengthy passwords.

Instead of taking this approach, it may make more sense to instead opt for three ‘random’ words – strong enough to work on many different platforms, and to not be guessed by aspiring hackers – but not so obscure that you can’t remember them, either!

The strategy is informed by real-world customer behaviour, making it a little more grounded and practical in scope.

Key areas to consider with this approach include:

  • Length of passwords – this will likely be much longer than single-word passwords.
  • Impact of passwords – the technique needs to be implemented across multiple different platforms to work most efficiently.
  • Novelty of passwords – using three random words can help remove easy guesswork for hackers, making passwords safer and more secure.
  • Usability and user-friendliness – this is a crucial aspect to remember, as it allows for user-error and forgetfulness to be overcome without hindering security protection.

Concerns around three random words

Of course, no password solution is entirely failsafe. There is always the possibility this approach could be seen as weaker than completely randomised password approaches, though the NCSC argues this is not entirely true.

Instead, the randomisation and length of the passwords could in fact be considerably stronger and more targeted than some passwords that are traditionally considered as efficient, but are actually incredibly easy to guess and exploit.

To find out more about the topic, head for the official National Cyber Security Centre website. Get practical help with your cybersecurity by contacting our expert team.