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Moving complex legacy applications into the cloud

As more businesses move to a hybrid cloud model, we are increasingly coming across organisations that need to take complex legacy applications with them into the cloud. These can range from the database that has been used by HR for the past 15 years to that clunky application that nobody really likes but is integral to day-to-day operations. In most cases these applications are holding the business back, ensuring that it keeps one foot in the past and never really escapes the physical environment. In some cases the legacy application can actually block further progress, preventing IT from even considering the cloud. There are plenty of products in the market today that can host and wrap these troublesome applications, such as Microsoft App-V and VMware ......Application streaming with Numecent
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The importance of people and process in the fight to secure NHS data

The computer virus which affected Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust in November is a further reminder that NHS organisations need to remain constantly on their guard against security breaches. As no ransom was demanded, it’s likely to have been a random attack, but reports suggest that 28 trusts have been hit by ransomware attacks in the last year. Additionally, the NHS was the UK’s biggest victim of data breaches in 2015 according to the Information Commissioner’s Office. To help Trusts tackle these threats, the National Data Guardian Review was published in July 2016. The results of the public consultation into its recommendations are still to be published, but the key points made in the Review are relevant to across all sectors. It points out th......nhsdata
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Beware cloud shock!

Have you been tempted by the falling costs of public cloud services? The big players are improving their offers all the time, and with some also setting up UK data centres to meet forthcoming GDPR requirements, server/instances of a few pounds per month can look like a very good deal. And for many organisations and many services, it is. However, as with any offer, the devil is in the detail, and you need to know exactly what you’re buying if you don’t want a nasty shock when your first bill arrives. Once you’ve made the move, you’re stuck with whatever the provider offers unless you migrate again, which is likely to be time consuming, risky, and will disrupt your business. A useful analogy is creating your org......Beware cloud shock
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Creating a baseline of your IT security

With security breaches and stolen user credentials almost constantly in the national headlines, no organisation can consider itself safe from cyber attack. The revelation of the medical records of Olympic athletes demonstrates that even organisations which know they are likely to a target can be penetrated by a determined hacker. Fortunately, most of us are not high profile athletes and therefore unlikely to be of interest to the ‘Fancy Bears’, but with organisations from Lincolnshire County Council to Bournemouth University reporting ransomware attacks, there are clearly are lots of people out there with malicious intent. One baseline security posture that should be in every organisation’s cyber security portfolio is Cyber Essentials. This is a scheme set up by the Government that aims to help organisations implem......Cyber Security Image
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Moving a datacentre using Cloud Intermediation Services CIMS

Moving a server into the cloud is an easy process both technically and commercially, but a great deal of understanding is required when you look to move your whole datacentre to the cloud. The first thing that you must address is your organisation’s business drivers for moving to the cloud and their associated timelines. There are two main drivers: Compelling event: Your existing datacentre facilities need to be physically restructured (i.e. merger or acquisition) or will not support the levels of availability that the business demands (i.e. constant underperformance and business continuity requirements). Strategic plan: Your organisation needs to restructure its costs to a new model for greater efficiency in its consumption of services and/or the flexing of capacity to allow more agility to bring services t......
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Is the plan for a paperless NHS in danger of missing the point?

The ambition for the NHS to be ‘paperless at the point of delivery’ has already been revised from 2018 to 2020, but a recent survey found that almost half (46%) of healthcare directors and CIOs polled said they were unsure over whether they would meet this deadline. We’ve already seen one failed project to create a single, secure system of electronic patient records for every GP and hospital in the country – the ill-fated National Programme for IT (NPfIT). Will NHS trusts facing the challenge of digitising vast quantities of historical records fare any better? The problem is that the project seems to be primarily about digitising existing processes. But as Dave Coplin from Microsoft said at our recent Customer Forum, using technology to make old working......
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Developing a data security strategy

Government research published earlier this month found that two-thirds of large businesses had been hit by a cyber breach or cyber attack in the last year. Security has now become a strategic risk management issue and needs Board level support. Mobile working means that the nature of security has also changed. It’s no longer about protecting the network perimeter but about protecting business data, which is regularly accessed from, stored and sent outside the organisation. We suggest a four step process to develop an effective data security strategy: Work out and define what level of security controls your organisation requires. You will almost certainly need a policy and some controls. You need to ensure that these controls and enforcement are commensurate with the value of the d......
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Practical tips to protect your organisation against ransomware

Encryption-based ransomware such as CryptoLocker or CryptoWall are on the rise. Fordway has been made aware of these emerging attacks on personal computers, servers and even network-based storage devices. Because of its stealthy nature and disastrous effects, ransomware is commonly perceived as a sophisticated, highly destructive and unstoppable malware threat. Here are some tips to help you protect yourself: Make sure you have a good backup policy and test it regularly Update your Operating System and keep it updated and patched Install a reputable security suite (AV, firewall, web filtering etc) Check your network security permissions and disable RDP access where possible Educate your staff to think twice before opening email attachments or clicking files from unknown sources. Get them to watch out for suspicious files......
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Planning your cloud portfolio using Fordway's Cloud Intermediation Services

You can only map where you are going if you know where you are. This is a basis steering requirement in most walks of life - not just for planning your organisational development into the cloud. But understanding and baselining your organisation is fundamental in moving it forward in the direction you want to go. So what do you need to know about where you are? All you need is a fully defined CMDB (Configuration Management Database) with all the relevant attributes that fully describe all of the components of Service Delivery within your IT environment and their relationships to each other. Sounds simple enough..... However, most organisations are not mature enough in their service management to have this tool, and even the most accurate CMDB will......
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The Brexit debate: a good reason to ensure your cloud data resides in the UK

Many British companies are thinking about the trading and financial implications of the upcoming EU referendum on June 23rd. Few, however, are considering the impact that the vote may have on their major asset, their business data. Fordway operates out of Tier 3+ UK Data Centres, meaning our customers’ data is held securely in the UK – so it’s in the right place whatever the outcome of the referendum. All our Managed Cloud Services offer this level of assurance. In December 2015 the EU ratified two new data privacy laws: the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which governs the use and privacy of EU citizens’ data the Data Protection Directive, which governs the use of EU citizens’ data by law enforcement agencies. All organisations need to consider ......
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