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Keeping children safe online in schools

Keeping children safe online in schools

We need to do more to protect children online in education. However, it is not solely the responsibility of the school to manage the content children access during school hours. Parents, teachers and carers need to work together to understand more about the many dangers lurking online.

Blocking and filtering offensive content by keyword is only part of the answer as radicalisation, online bullying, grooming and harassment offer a persistent threat to the safety of young people online. A multi-pronged approach to Internet safety that includes changes to current legislation, recognition of the mental health timebomb facing children and a new way of protecting children online is needed.

Legislation changes are needed to protect children online

The legislative backdrop is changing due to failures by social media giants who are being urged by the UK Government to do more to protect younger members of society against online threats. The UK Government has challenged the leading social media providers, Facebook, Google and Twitter to ensure more is done to protect underage users of the platforms.

Children between the ages of 10 and 12 are facing significant emotional risks due to social media exposure. Increased levels of anxiety and pressures to maintain their image online is affecting children in their formative years, according to a report commissioned by the Children’s Commissioner.

Gaming addiction is a real threat to children’s mental health

The World Health Organisation has listed ‘gaming disorder’ as a mental health condition, and the NHS is now treating children with gaming addiction. Many parents and teaching professionals are despairing as addictive games such as Fortnite encourage children to stay up well into the night to play with friends online. Lack of sleep and disruption to their daily routine is playing havoc with children’s behaviour, learning and development.

Psychology underpins the entire software industry. App developers and hardware manufacturers deliberately design addictive products, as they know the longer we spend looking at a screen, the more profitable we are. But It is not just children who are at risk, many of us are addicted to our smartphones as we turn to our devices to manage more of our day. A recent report published by industry watchdog Ofcom found that on average, adults check their device every 12 minutes.

The fear of missing out (FOMO) is a real problem, and entire industries are flourishing as vanity and anxiety take control of our lives.  An example is the three dots that appear when someone is replying to an iMessage. The dots are designed to heighten anticipation and therefore offer a reward when the reply comes in. The red dots that litter our phone screen are designed to have the same effect, they make us feel good; reinforcing warm and fuzzy feelings of being wanted and liked, engendering a sense of belonging.

In 2015, the BBC published an article citing the Connected Kids report, compiled by Childwise. The report found that children now spend an average of 6.5 hours per day in front of a screen compared to an average of 3.5 hours in 1995. That increase has many experts worried about the detrimental effect on social skills as well as the potential for a future mental health crisis.

Changing online behaviour with Gooseberry Planet

Gooseberry Planet exists solely to protect children in school online. Entrepreneur Stella James founded Gooseberry Planet to address the online security concerns encountered by her children when they attended school.

Based on 50 role-playing games, Gooseberry Planet connects children, parents and teachers via a secure online portal which can be quickly set up and easily monitored. The platform is designed for all children of school age and delivers a holistic approach to online safety. Studies show that providing a one-off assembly is an ineffective method of educating parents, teachers and children about the many dangers that exist online.

Network ROI is delighted to partner with Gooseberry Planet to help deliver a safer and more secure online experience for school children in Scotland and North England. As one of the UK’s top Managed Service Providers, our skilled engineers have years’ worth of experience managing and supporting technology infrastructure for organisations throughout the UK. Our commercial background ensures we deliver an effective and cost-effective service at all times.

The Ownership Dividend

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

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.”

How big a risk is the Insider Threat to your organisation?

How big a risk is the Insider Threat to your organisation?

Meet Team ZoneFox at Infosec 2018 to halt the insider threat in its tracks!

With the recent release of ZoneFox 4.0, the ZoneFox Team will be out in force at Infosec 2018 to showcase our enhanced insider threat detection platform.

InfoSec 2018 is the must-attend show for any security professional. Attending this year? Then head to stand R80 to discover how ZoneFox can mitigate business risk and help you protect business-critical data 24/7.

From identifying anomalous user behaviour, alerting on incorrect access permissions to unauthorised software installs or removable device use – speak to the experts at InfoSec and find out how ZoneFox technology can bring light to the often dark areas of data security.

You can expect to see on the day:

  • Live demo showing threat hunting in action.
  • Witness the advantages and developments of ZoneFox AI
  • Discover all about their latest launch, ZoneFox V4.0, including a number of product enhancements.
  • Understand how to defend against threats, prepare for compliance, and help address the rise of the insider within your organisation.
  • Have the opportunity to ask questions about the product, and how it relates to your industry from the experts.

We know it’s a busy event, so pick a slot and we’ll be ready for you – we’ll be on stand R80. Don’t miss out –

Book your slot now.

Not registered – you still have time – you can sign up for Infosec 2018 here

Not attending but still want to see the award-winning ZoneFox Insider threat detection platform in action? Then we will come to you – book a meeting with us today.

Eliminate the insider threat.

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.