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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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What’s your business attitude to risk?

IT governance may not be the most exciting topic but it needs to be front and centre of every IT strategy because it’s fundamental to an organisation’s security. Getting it wrong can be extremely costly – but of course being overly averse to risk is also expensive. Excessive restrictions mean a slow response to changing situations, but too few can put a business at risk. It’s also something that needs to be continually reviewed to keep up with changes in IT and new threats. So where do you start in assessing whether your current governance is fit for purpose? Standards and best practice frameworks such as ITIL, which can be formally accredited to ISO20000 for service management and align to ISO27001 for security management, will provide some of......
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Managing a portfolio of cloud services

One of the greatest challenges in moving to cloud is managing multiple suppliers. Cloud is definitely not ‘one size fits all’ – different providers will be better suited to different services, and so organisations will soon find themselves with a portfolio of cloud services which they need to integrate and manage against the agreed SLAs. To make this type of hybrid cloud environment work, it is important for organisations to get their service management capabilities right. First, they need to define and understand the characteristics of each cloud service that they require. Then they need to map it to the available options and choose the most appropriate service and supplier for their needs. Finally, they need to independently manage each service and monitor it against the agree......
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The IoT needs a strategic vision

The Internet of Things (IoT) has replaced cloud computing as the IT topic everyone is talking about. Analysts are united in proclaiming it as one of their top ten trends for 2015, with IDC predicting that spending on IoT this year will exceed $1.7 trillion. Security is one of the concerns for businesses using the IoT, or M2M (machine to machine) communication. The implications broadly fall into three areas: communicating with all these devices, managing all the data they provide and maintaining security. First, consider the extra traffic that will impact your network infrastructure. A single sensor generates very little traffic, 10,000 collectively a fair amount, while 1 million equals a business issue. The IoT requires seamless integration between many distinct and separate systems, and every......
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Why Fordway moved into cloud

Has the big IT infrastructure transformation project had its day? Perhaps there are a few companies who still have the time and budget for a major change, but for most organisations it’s all about working more efficiently and making incremental changes. We came to that conclusion back in 2010 – which is why today’s Fordway is very different from the Fordway of four years ago. We looked at how we could apply our skills to the changing IT market, and what new technologies were out there. What if we offered cloud services directly to clients, rather than simply being a reseller and integrator of other vendors’ products? We could add value by providing managed cloud services, building on the infrastructure expertise we already had. This meant buildin......
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