Some Common IT-Related Business Questions

Magikos IT is often asked for answers to our customers’ business issues. Here are a few of the most common recent questions – if yours is not answered here, please use the contact form to get in touch. Whatever it is, Magikos IT is sure to be able to help you and your business.

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) Law comes into effect from 25th May 2018 and will significantly strengthen data protection law in the EU and UK. All organisations should by now have their GDPR preparation plans in place and under way. The changes encompassed in the new law are many and varied, applying differently in some cases depending on the size of the organisation. For example, there are new roles and responsibilities being placed on all organisations that deal with personal data, including extensions to the need for consent to hold, store, process and share any personal data. The new law will mandate the official reporting to the Information Commissioners Office of any loss of personal data – failure to do so will be a criminal offence. Furthermore, the punishments for being in breach of the GDPR have been extended significantly, making this a major issue for all businesses. Magikos IT can help organisations understand the implications of this new law, keeping you informed and compliant. Use the contact forms or Contact page to request a callback.

In short, YES. Malicious software (also know as malware) can “infect” a computer via infected email attachments, infected USB memory sticks (CD’s, DVD’s etc), scripts embedded into web pages or even simply by connecting to a compromised network (consider that next time you connect to a public WiFi hotspot)! Though the Apple range of computers are far less susceptible to computer viruses, they are still vulnerable to other forms of malware and ransomware. Furthermore, they are capable of passing on infected files to other IT users – therefore there is a serious risk to your business reputation if you or one of your employees is found to be the source of a computer virus outbreak that affects your customers or other businesses. High quality antivirus / anti-malware software is vital to maintain your IT and Data security. Magikos IT can provide clear, unbiased technical knowledge to help you secure your business from the threat of malware, ransomeware and viruses. Use the contact forms or Contact page to request a callback.

It rather depends on what you term as “safe” – the simple fact is that USB memory sticks are very small (that is why they are so convenient) and as a result they are too easily dropped and lost – both within the business premises and (worse still) when on the move. Furthermore, they are often given away free and built to a budget so their lifespan is often short. They have a limited number of write cycles (albeit substantial) and fail regularly, taking your data with them. Loss of data can be both expensive and embarrasing – perhaps even resulting in prosecution if the data is personal in nature and belongs to customers. Worst of all, free memory sticks have been used to distribute a variety of malware – both deliberately and accidentally – so it is NEVER safe to use someone else’s USB data stick! There are far better and safer alternatives to using these USB devices. Magikos IT can help businesses find the best data transfer solution for their needs. Use the contact forms or Contact page to request a callback.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that encrypts data on your computers hard disk and other connected external data sources such as external hard disks, USB keys and network drives. The software works in secret, quietly taking control of the users’ data, including potentially their day-to-day data backups. Once the files have been encrypted, the software makes them unavailable and demands a ransom from the computer user – offering a “decryption key” in exchange for money (normally in the form of “Bitcoins” – used because it is untraceable). However, the decryption keys are rarely provided, even if the ransom is paid, and once the data is encrypted it is usually beyond any form of recovery. If the backups have also been encrypted, even that recovery method may have been compromised. Magikos IT can help organisations avoid the dangers associated with malicious software. Use the contact forms or Contact page to request a callback. 

If your laptop is used to hold any data or files of a personal nature (about you, your family, your business, your employees or customers) then the answer is an unequivocal YES. Laptop PC’s are one of the most readily stolen items of personal equipment and their high value makes them a target object for criminals. You should ALWAYS ensure that any information held on your laptop is beyond any type of unauthorised retrieval – that is the task of laptop encryption. Magikos IT can help you choose the best encryption product for your personal or business use. Better still, we can help you find alternatives to local storage that effectively mean your data does not remain stored on your laptop – keeping it safe and secure at all times. Use the contact forms or Contact page to request a callback.

Microsoft Windows is a resource-hungry operating system. In addition to requiring a reasonable processor speed, it needs to have plenty of RAM memory and spare disk space in order to run smoothly. If your Windows PC or laptop is running slowly, chances are the operating system needs some maintenance or your disk space and memory are running low. Magikos IT has experienced engineers that can help diagnose these issues. Perhaps a change of hard disk or some additional memory is all that is required to give your computer a new lease of life! Use the contact forms or Contact page to request a callback. 

Dropbox is one of a group of online storage solutions along with Box, OneDrive, Amazon Cloud, iCloud & BT Cloud. These are  very useful cloud-based file storage solutions with both free and paid subscription options. They provide an internet-connected disk drive with automatic synchronisation from your computer, allowing you to store static copies of your files, access them on any internet connected device and share them with friends, colleagues and family.

A better alternative is to use, in addition, a dedicated backup online service. This adds the provision of  multiple versions of a file instead of a single static copy. As a document or file is changed and updated, the backup software keeps track of the individual changes and edits being made, giving the user the ability to roll the file back to any point in time since it was created. This type of backup gives the highest level of protection against malware and ransomeware – if compromised, a file can be “rolled back” to a date before it was infected, making it available once more. Simple online storage such as Box or Dropbox cannot do this – in effect, they are NOT a safe backup product in themselves. If you need advice or guidance regarding Backup, Recovery and Archiving of your business data, get in contact with the experts at Magikos IT. Use the contact forms or Contact page to request a callback. 

Disaster Recovery (DR) is a pre-planned (AND TESTED) process designed to help a business recover from any of the most significant risks that the organisation might face in its day-to-day business. The risks themselves are identified as part of a business risk analysis / audit. A disaster might involve loss of internet connectivity, email system, data storage (server or PC hard disk failure, power supply failure), building power, office space (fire, flood, adverse weather) or the staff themselves (such as during a flu outbreak). Each organisation faces different risks, depending on the nature of their business, the organisation size, business location etc and each should have their own dedicated DR plan which is analysed, tested and updated regularly.

Business Continuity (BC) is a pre-planned (AND TESTED) process designed to keep the wheels of the business turning while the a DR is in progress. The BC process might involve paper-based procedures that can record information to be input into the regular IT systems retrospectively. The BC process must consider fine-grain processes and  individual steps such as generating invoice or order numbers and keeping them in synchronisation between multiple staff to enable everything to be matched up and accounted for once the normal business processes are restored.

Magikos IT can help businesses develop and maintain their own plans and procedures for both Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity. Use the contact forms or Contact page to request a callback.


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