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Network ROI enters MSP501 list of top global MSPs
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Network ROI enters MSP501 list of top global MSPs

Network ROI is delighted to announce our inclusion in the prestigious MSP501 list for 2018.  MSP501 ranks the top MSPs from around the World. Network ROI debuted at number 280 in the global standings, positioning us as one of the top 20 MSPs in the UK and the number 1 MSP in Scotland!

MSP501 2018 Winners badge

 

Now in its 11th year, MSP501 recognises the best and brightest Managed Services Providers. At Network ROI, we work to continually improve our service levels, helping our valued clients thrive.

Network ROI Managing Director, Adam Johnson said “I am incredibly proud of the effort the team put in every single day when they come to work. Everyone at Network ROI is encouraged to develop their skills and take ownership of their career and being part of such an exclusive club proves the effort is worthwhile.

We aim to use this incredible achievement as a springboard to further success, growth and innovation. We aren’t competing with other MSPs; we are competing with ourselves to deliver a sterling service to a growing list of clients.”

Network ROI approaches a new milestone as we reach our first anniversary as a wholly employee-owned business. Winning industry awards and recognition is an essential part of generating buzz around the company and maintaining the feel-good factor, we are always aiming to achieve bigger and better things.

The Ownership Dividend
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The Ownership Dividend

Network ROI is proud to be one of more than 100 employee-owned (EO) businesses and advisors who contributed to the Ownership Effect inquiry – the results of which are published today (June 27th, 2018). There is a significant and valuable Ownership Dividend to be gained from more employee ownership in the UK economy.

The Ownership Dividend can deliver a more inclusive and productive economy in three ways:

Improving UK productivity – EO businesses are unlocking higher levels of performance and productivity powered by the increased personal endeavour and discretional efforts of employees acting with greater common purpose once they become employee-owners.

Resilient regional economies – EO provides a viable succession planning option for business owners looking to retire or sell. Selling the company to existing employees protects jobs and provides more opportunities within the local community.

PwC commissioned a ‘Family Business Survey’ which found that two-thirds of all SMEs – 3.4 million businesses – currently don’t have a succession plan in place. The survey also found that only 13% of the £519bn family business sector had a robust documented and communicated succession plan in place.

More engaged employees – via more inclusive, transparent and effective models of corporate governance and employee engagement which better involve, motivate, and financially reward individuals through their ownership stake and other incentives.

Deb Oxley, CEO of the Employee Ownership Association, said:
The ownership dividend benefits individual employees through the delivery of better work and greater financial opportunities and together, employees’ extra discretional effort as owners impacts positively on corporate performance. The ownership dividend also helps businesses to maintain an independent and sustainable model of ownership, and subsequently roots jobs and investment locally and more resiliently.

Employee engagement is historically low in the UK, a crucial factor to increased productivity, higher levels of happiness at work and job satisfaction. Employee ownership provides the perfect vehicle to deliver a more engaged workforce as EO businesses recognise success is driven by their most important asset – their people.

For the UK to benefit fully from the Ownership dividend we are calling on the government to:

  • Invest in ownership capacity building that echoes Scotland’s successful scheme
  • Create a National Strategy for Business Ownership
  • UK regions creating trailblazing pilot projects focused on resilience and succession

Richard Marr, Chief Operating Officer of the The eaga Trust, said: With the employee-owned sector growing considerably over the past 5 years, and at a time when the economy is ready for ways to prepare for the challenges ahead, there is no better time to showcase the results of the most comprehensive study of employee ownership in the UK and look for support to truly realise the Ownership Dividend in the UK.

Employee Ownership in a post-Brexit Britain

As Britain prepares to take a new place on the World stage post-Brexit, it’s a critical time for the UK economy. Employee ownership offers a clear opportunity for UK companies to compete in global markets by delivering exceptional products and services.

10 Benefits of working with a Managed Service Provider
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10 Benefits of working with a Managed Service Provider

Today is a historic day in the IT industry as we celebrate the very first Managed Service Provider (MSP) Day. As the modern economy relies increasingly on technology to fuel growth and productivity, it is only fitting that we celebrate the quiet, unsung heroes of the outsourced IT department.

So, without further ado here are ten benefits SMEs (in particular) can gain from partnering with a Managed Service Provider

1. Access to a large team of experts

Outsourcing your IT function to a Managed Service Provider gives you instant access to a fully trained and skilled IT department. Most MSPs have teams in place to deal with network issues, cloud computing, telephony, software, hardware, consultancy, connectivity and IT security.

2. Working with an MSP can have dramatic cost savings

As the previous point states, employing an expert in every technology discipline is unsustainable for most SMEs. Having a team of experts, you can call on when you need help or advice is a far better use of company funds.

3. High service levels and guaranteed SLAs

Most MSPs work to Service Level Agreements (SLAs). Having tight pre-agreed deadlines provides clients with peace of mind and reduces the amount of downtime when issues arise, particularly useful when critical infrastructure goes down.

4. Proactive support and maintenance

MSPs typically don’t work to the traditional break-fix model of IT support. Reputable firms will have invested in Remote Monitoring & Maintenance tools that continuously scan and resolve a large number of network issues on the fly.

5. Simplified budget and cost management

MSPs usually charge a set monthly fee for core service provision. Knowing you will receive excellent levels of service during business hours with no interruptions such as staff illness, holidays or personnel changes offers a great deal of reassurance.

6. Economies of scale

Leveraging vendor relationships to receive competitive pricing and the inside track on latest hardware and software deals is another advantage of partnering with a Managed Service Provider. Managing the IT estate for multiple client organisations enables companies like us to achieve economies of scale when purchasing equipment and services from trusted providers.

7. Strategic planning support

Managing relationships is central to a successful MSP/client partnership. Our Technical Account Managers visit clients to ensure they are informed and have a regular point of contact to provide feedback, plan projects and manage future IT strategy & budgets.

8. Better IT security

MSPs work with a wide range of trusted vendors who provide different security products and services. Network ROI, for example, partner with companies such as My1Login, ZoneFox, Mobile Guardian and Fortinet among others, to cover the varied network security needs of our clients.

9. Eliminate HR headaches

Partnering with a team of outsourced IT professionals eliminates HR issues such as annual leave, pension contributions, sick pay, cover, bonus payments and more. Let your IT provider worry about paying tax, National Insurance and everything else while you carry on regardless.

10. Focus on what you do best

When you started your business you probably didn’t take your future IT strategy into account. On the contrary, you probably stuck to the things you know to be a success. When you work with a professional Managed Services Provider, you can focus on the things you do best and let your IT provider worry about the technical issues your business may face.

Technology has become an integral part of our lives. Small organisations now have access to the kind of tools previously only available to larger enterprises, creating a much more level playing field.

There are of course many more benefits to be had working with a trusted IT partner. As a Managed Service Provider, we especially love it when a client ‘gets it’ and trust us to manage their network. So, the next time you contact your outsourced Managed IT Provider, remember that they are working to ensure your business is a success and your technology is working as it should.

Happy #MSPDay to all the hard-working and dedicated outsourced IT teams out there and as the Internet would say, “not all heroes wear capes.”

Eliminate the insider threat.
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Eliminate the insider threat.

In our rapidly evolving technology landscape, the insider threat is a growing problem. Collaboration tools, cloud and mobile computing have significantly increased the risks faced by organisations. A report by Cybersecurity Insiders and CA Technologies recently stated that ninety percent of organisations feel vulnerable to insider attacks.

Not all insider threats are malicious, though. Accidental data breaches caused by careless employees or negligence account for more than 50% of all data loss incidents from inside the network. Organisations storing or accessing confidential data must take action to reduce the risks of losing data from within the confines of company systems.

So, what can you as a business leader do to protect your most important information? The short answer is you need to take a holistic approach to information security. The soon-to-be-implemented GDPR will force organisations to get their data protection house in order, presenting opportunities to do better business.

We are gearing up to attend Scotland’s largest Cyber Security event, ScotSecure at Edinburgh’s Dynamic Earth next week. Two of Scotland’s security software powerhouses, Zonefox and My1Login will be joining us as we aim to help business leaders protect their networks from the inside and the outside.

About Zonefox and My1Login
In case you have been out of the country with no access to the Internet for the past few years, Zonefox and My1login are two of Scotland’s leading lights in the cybersecurity software space.

Protect your network with Zonefox

Zonefox has developed award-winning insider threat protection software that provides a 360-degree view of your network by monitoring every endpoint and every user 24/7. So, whether your employees are working remotely or third parties are accessing and sharing information they shouldn’t be, you will know about it.

Zonefox’s Augmented Intelligence automatically detects when a users’ behaviour changes and it can quickly spot when compromised user accounts are being used to harvest valuable IP and confidential data.

With Zonefox, network administrators have access to detailed forensics, enabling them to answer critical questions about an incident: Where did the incident take place? Who was the perpetrator? What did they take? Where did the data go?

Having answers to these questions not only helps find a quick resolution to data loss incidents, but it also helps organisations comply with data breach notifications – a significant element of GDPR obligations.

Protect your applications with My1Login

Glasgow-based My1Login is a European leader in Identity and Access Management (IAM) and Single Sign-On (SSO) solutions.

The security software provider has won multiple awards, including Identity and Access Management Solution of the Year at the recent Computing Security Awards. They are also an approved UK Government Supplier through G-Cloud 9.

My1Login is the UK’s most secure and most widely-compatible IAM solution that enables organisations to mitigate password-related cyber-security risks, strengthen identity assurance and meet critical compliance obligations such as GDPR. Its Single Sign-On solution integrates with all app types – web apps, mobile apps, flash apps, virtualised apps, and even legacy, thick-client apps and mainframes. Passwords can be updated automatically without revealing credentials, and the IT department can provision new users and manage My1Login via Active Directory (AD), simplifying user management at a stroke.

My1Login SSO also integrates with multi-factor authentication services, further securing employees’ access to corporate applications.

Heading to Scot-secure 2018?

If you are planning to visit Scot-secure 2018 next week, come over and chat with us about a comprehensive approach to network protection. The lovely folks from Zonefox and My1Login will happily take you through a demo of their innovative products.

Top ten remote working security tips
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Top ten remote working security tips

Severe snow and icy wind have hit the UK  with devastating effect this week. The adverse weather has made conditions treacherous, forcing schools to close as well as having a negative impact on transport infrastructure. A result of the extreme weather is an increase in people taking advantage of remote working.

Fortunately, at Network ROI, we spend a lot of time and effort planning for precisely this type of event. Acting as the IT department for growing businesses in Scotland, England and Wales, it’s important we are able to provide support in all conditions.

We host our critical services and applications in the cloud which provides our team with remote access 24/7. We have equipped our engineers with encrypted laptops for when they need to work remotely, and we use Gamma Horizon, a cloud-hosted telephony system, giving every member of our team the same direct dial number and extension – wherever we are working. Our team use Microsoft Office365, delivering further cloud-based collaboration and communication capabilities.

When working remotely, it is essential to remain secure, especially when dealing with private company information. Follow the tips below to stay secure when working remotely.

If it can be moved, encrypt it!

Before working remotely, ensure your devices and any external hard drives or USB sticks are encrypted. USB sticks, mobile phones, tablets and laptops are easy targets for criminals and are also easy to lose. Losing unencrypted data increases the risk of personal information falling into the wrong hands.  Encrypt all your mobile devices and hardware.

Enable remote wipe

Protecting mobile devices within your business doesn’t need to be taxing. Investing in a mobile device management solution such as Microsoft Intune allows users to wipe devices remotely should the device be lost or stolen, checks devices are encrypted, enforces PIN protection and can allow you to locate lost or stolen devices quickly protecting your company and personal data.

Use a VPN

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) creates an additional layer of security when using private or public networks. It does so by creating an encrypted tunnel between the location you are working from and your company network.  This ensures your data remains private as well as giving you access to your company applications and servers.  VPN technology is no longer the chore it used to be, and seamless VPN technologies make this technology transparent to your users.

Limit the use of public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi is fraught with danger.  You may recall the vulnerability affecting the WPA2 security protocol known as Krack in late 2017. Be wary of connecting to public hotspots, especially those in coffee shops, train stations and airports and use only as a last resort – use your mobile data hotspot on your phone or use a VPN (as above) if using public Wi-Fi as this keeps your data safe.

Limit the use of public computers

In cases where you have no access to a company device or are fresh out of battery, you may need to resort to using a public computer. Although we strongly recommend not using public computers, here are some useful tips:

  • limit the information you send on public computers;
  • never send business-critical information, and;
  • never store passwords in browsers.

If you log into web apps such as Outlook, make sure you log out once finished. Finally, clear browser history and cache before closing down the machine.

Keep passwords strong

We can’t emphasise the importance of strong passwords enough. Cracking a weak password is perhaps the easiest and most common method used by criminals to enter company networks illegally. If you need further assistance to create strong, memorable passwords, see below to download our free password guide.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE PASSWORD GUIDE!

Make weak passwords a thing of the past

Have a clear remote working policy

The current weather crisis should act as a catalyst to implement a remote working policy if you don’t already have one in place. When considering a remote working policy, base it on the needs of the business and identify what resources and processes you will need to implement to enable a secure remote working policy.  Plan, document and most importantly, communicate the policy clearly to all members of staff.

Secure your network

Remote working provides criminals with further opportunities to enter the company network. A dispersed workforce accessing the company network from multiple locations can be a headache to manage and secure. Use only secure remote access methods with 2-factor authentications and consider insider threat detection software such as Zonefox to let you see who is on your system, where they are based and what information they are accessing or downloading. The software also sends alerts whenever unusual behaviour is detected.

Keep passwords and PINs secret

Never email or send password across insecure systems. If you do need to send a password, ideally use an encrypted messaging service such as WhatsApp or a text message.   Make sure never to send username and password using the same service. If you are in a public place such as a busy coffee shop – or even your office – we suggest you don’t divulge personal information such as name, address, date of birth or password information over the phone – always do this privately.

Educate your team

Our tenth and final tip is to make sure your team are well versed in remote working and include training as part of your overall information security strategy. As we have said in previous posts, your people are your main strength, but they can also be a significant weakness if they don’t know how to work remotely in a secure manner.

Need help with business continuity planning?

Business continuity planning takes a lot of hard work, but as we can testify, it is entirely worth it. Our service delivery team hasn’t missed a beat throughout the so-called Beast from the East, and we are proud of our team for delivering superb service in challenging circumstances.

When designing a business continuity strategy, consider core products and services you deliver and think about the infrastructure and training your team will need to perform their duties if and when catastrophic situations arise.

Get in touch with us if you need help planning for business uncertainties.

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