All the latest trends and news related to technology in the world of business.
We are thrilled to announce that we’ve won ‘Best SME’ in the Hounslow Business Awards 2014
We are renowned for our high level of Customer Service in the technology arena but this time the focus was on our pro-active leadership, strong financial growth and innovation within the business.
As a finalist, Charlie Wetherall and Andi Page, two of the Company Directors were interviewed by an independent judging panel made up of industry and business experts.
The accolade was collected at a glittering gala dinner hosted by broadcaster James Whale and helped celebrate the great successes within the Borough.
Co-Founder, Charlie Wetherall, said: “The award is a source of great pride to our Company and shows our dedication to our staff and the high level of customer service we focus on.”
Having met while travelling the length of Africa overland in 1995, Charlie Wetherall and Tim Page started providing IT services and support from a tin shack in Kew. The company has since grown to 30 staff and continues to expand by sticking to the same basic principle of exceptional customer service. The majority of our growth comes from customer referrals.
“This award sets out to recognise and acknowledge the ongoing role that all SME businesses play in growing and sustaining our economy” – The Hounslow Business Awards
Speaking about the future of small business IT, Tim Page said “It has long been our vision of a business being able to connect to their network from anywhere with any device. When you consider how Office 365 cloud email is replacing on premise email systems, it’s easy to see how this vision is now becoming reality”.
We are incredibly pleased to have received this honour and would like to Thank all our partners and customers for their continued support and our talented staff for getting us there!
UPDATE (13/10/2015): We are extremely proud to say that Online Support have again claimed the title of ‘Best SME Business’ this year in the Hounslow Business 2015 – As well as winning the overall Best Business Award 2015.
Online Support Computing are delighted to have been named as a Hounslow Business Awards finalist for 2014 in the category of Best SME business.
Customer service has always been a core value of ours and and one that we continually aspire to improve on. Additionally, from humble beginnings providing IT Support with very few staff to today, over a decade later, providing both IT and Business Telecoms Solutions with over 30 staff, our core values will stay the same. This award is a real testament to our staff and the care they show to all our customers – putting them first every time.
And it is our customers who we must thank for this achievement, with so many of our new customers coming through referrals. If you’d like to see what our customers say about us, please view Client testimonials from companies such as Qatar Airways, The Downs’ Syndrome Association and the Internation Bar Association (among others).
The criteria for the Hounslow Business Awards Finalist nominees for 2014 Best SME:
A Pro-active Leadership and Management
A Robust and Fully Integrated Sales & Operational Model
A Strong financial growth performance result
A Significant Sustained Business & Market Growth Achievement
A Clear, Concise and Impactful Plan for Sustained Growth
Innovation and Differentiation Within the Business
Watch this blog closely to see if we make it to the podium. The awards night is Thursday 02/10/2014.
And we’ve won it. No surprise there, officially the Hounslow Business Awards 2014 Best SME!
UPDATE 13/10/2015: Not only were we nominated for four categories in the Hounslow Business Awards 2015 this year, for a second year in a row we took home the award for Best SME Business 2015 and even more impressively the title of overall Best Business 2015! As well as this we also received high commendations for all other categories we were nominated for. A great success and many thanks to all involved!
In an economy increasingly led by aggregation of data sets rather than face-to-face interactions; where consumers are segmented and personas attributed to each segment; information is becoming even more integral to most modern business processes.
Now, we don’t want to scare you, but what if you woke up one day and your data was lost: whole customer databases gone, files pertaining to past work corrupted or even your e-mail account hacked? These are what we would call ‘disaster scenarios.’
Most businesses carry insurance covering their property, stock and staff in cases of unforeseen emergency, but comparatively few carry Cyber Liability Coverage. When disaster does strike, they are left with significant negative effects on their business.
Ironically, it is only after scenarios like those above that one will truly know the value of their data. The monetary value of their data is the difference between your operating revenue pre-data loss and their revenue after the data loss. It need not be a short term effect; the knock on long run change is basically immeasurable as years after any significant data loss you’ll struggle to accurately project where your business would be had it been avoided.
If we study the tech start up industry, most businesses’ entire value is either based on their data (from coding, marketing intelligence to customer networks, etc.) or speculation on future profits based on this data. It is vital to keep this information safe using backups, cloud technology and cyber insurance. This does not just apply to tech-centric firms though: the same can be applied to most businesses using technology to communicate with their prospects or existing customers.
The amount of time and money you spend safeguarding your data will depend on how vital it is to your business and how likely you are to suffer data loss if experiencing one of these dreaded disaster scenarios. To assess the risks, you need to know what data you store and use in your company.
– Establish what data you store in your business.
– Many businesses store information across multiple systems and in different locations.
– Think about data held centrally as well as information stored on laptops, netbooks, staff computers, disks, tapes, memory sticks and online (‘in the cloud’). You may also have created or hold data on customers on social networking sites.
– Build up the most comprehensive list of data possible.
– Make sure you record where data is stored.
– Remember to include information stored outside of your business. For instance, your website is probably held on a server owned by a third-party hosting company, and you may use an external server.
How Valuable Is Your Data?
Mission-critical data is vital. If lost, it can seriously damage your business. You will want to give most protection to this data. This could include, for instance, your accounts.
Customer records and their accounting and financial data is vital and you must protect it by law. The Data Protection Act 1998 is the key piece of legislation relating to how your business stores and uses data. It applies to any personal information you store about living individuals.
Complying with the Data Protection Act is largely common sense, but you should seek advice if you’re at all unsure about your obligations.
How Do You Use This Data?
Consider who has access to the data and how often it is used or changed. Is it a resource accessed regularly by employees, for example a Customer Database? Or infrequently and by higher management – as would be the case with staff information.
How is it transferred? Do you use memory sticks, e-mails or other technology to transfer data from one place to another?
List Your Business Data
For each type of data, you should know where it is stored, how often it is accessed, and who uses it. You can use this list to pinpoint risks in the way your business handles data.
Threats to your business data.
It is easy to change or erase data accidentally. For instance, a staff member could delete a crucial list of customers by mistake. Use software with undo and rollback functions to minimise the risks posed by human error.
Failed hardware, like a broken hard disk, can result in the loss of crucial files. A natural disaster could destroy the server holding key business information.
Theft of company computers or laptops can result in data falling into the wrong hands, or being lost forever.
Hackers try to break into computers over the internet. This is a serious risk, particularly for companies that hold sensitive data. Some computer viruses erase files, these usually infect company systems via a downloaded file or email.
Other malware (malicious software) like trojans which may read your data and transmit it across the internet, or wipe it completely.
Make sure you follow good online security practice and use security software.
Malicious action by an individual.
Anyone with access to your data could copy or delete it. For instance, a disgruntled employee could sell your customer database to a competitor. Access control is a key way of reducing this risk.
You should consider storing your mission-critical data on a central server. Having data in only a single place reduces the risk of theft, however increases the risk of disaster scenarios.
To guard against this, consider mirroring the information elsewhere; the rapid rise in popularity of cloud technology has been due to the convenience of storing business data at a remote location guarded by robust technology and for a reasonable cost.
Discourage employees from saving important data on their own computers as a single laptop theft or virus infection could be disastrous.
Instead, provide a central filing system and give each employee named folders on your server. A disgruntled employee could transfer your entire customer database to a memory stick in seconds. You can disable the USB ports on your computers to make this impossible.
You And Your Data and how it is affected by disaster scenarios
Protecting your data should be a key aspect of your general business process; whilst insuring your data is wise, taking steps to prevent loss in the first place is essential for keeping control of a valuable asset.
For any queries on more information about protecting your data and if you believe you have suffered from any disaster scenarios, drop us an e-mail via our website and we’ll be happy to help.
If you dread the summer coming round because your staff go on annual breaks and your businesses comes to a grinding halt then perhaps you ought to have a think about getting cover staff in to keep you at full speed.
Many people believe that getting in temporary cover staff can be more hassle than it is worth, after all you have to show them what it is they will be doing, which might take a few days of yet another employees time. You may also have to vet them for experience, and quite often the recruitment agents can just become rather a little pushy.
Well there is another solution. Use an experienced IT company.
We provide fully certified IT Support engineers to companies, who have the ability to walk straight in to the office and get started. Not only that, you get a whole companies worth of support behind that 1 engineer, so there are plenty of people with years of knowledge and experience to back them up all day every day.
All of our engineers are Microsoft Certified, and we have specialists in VMWare, Hyper-V and Citrix as well as telephony specialists meaning that they will have no problems monitoring your servers and network, performing critical updates and minimising downtime. They are also all very personable and happy to offer desk side assistance should it be needed. You can be sure that our engineer will blend straight in to your office and keep everything running for whatever amount of time you require them.
We are completely flexible and can provide short term cover for annual leave as well as longer term cover for maternity, paternity, between staff or extended sick leave. We can even provide you with more than one engineer should you end up with a lack of hands on deck at any point.
For more information please feel free to contact us. We are happy to answer any questions you may have and discuss our pricing for staff cover.
You might have seen or read in the news that companies are getting hit by DDoS attacks, but have wondered about what exactly they are, how they affect a company and whether or not they can be prevented. Well we have put together this article to take you through the basics and hopefully give you a better understanding of something that appears to be on the increase worldwide.
What DDoS attacks are
Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) is a computing attack which has the intent of making a machine or network resource become unusable by its intended users. The simple idea is that a person or persons will make so many requests on the targets website, network or internet connected machine that it cannot cope and either ends up needing to reboot or will end up so slow that it is deemed as unresponsive. Attacks can last for a few hours, or a few days; it is all dependant on the attacker.
A DDoS attack is the same as a DoS (denial-of-service) attack, the only difference being that more than one person will be involved in a DDoS attack where as a DoS attack will come from 1 person or 1 system.
DoS attacks come in many forms and variations but generally they can generally be classed into five main categories:
- Using up all of a computers resources such as bandwidth, memory, processor time or disk space
- Obstructing communications between the victim and the intended users
- Disrupting configuration information such as routing information
- Disrupting the physical network components
- Disrupting state information such as unauthorised resetting of TCP sessions
We won’t go in to all the details about the various attacks in this article. You can however read all about the different types of attacks, such as Smurf Attack, Tear Drop, Ping Flood and Ping of Death by following the relevant links. Be warned that there is a lot to read, but it is very interesting.
How they can affect a company
A recent survey in May 2014 by Vanson Bourne found that half of UK organisations that responded had been attacked for more than six hours straight in the last year. That was an increase of 35% in 2013. It is also worth noting that estimated losses due to DDoS attacks were averaged to be around £240,000 for any attack lasting over 2 hours. Whilst for many companies it is unimaginable that any downtime could cost so much, you must remember that during downtime all your normal costs will continue to occur even if you cannot make any revenue to cover them; you still have to pay staff, and you still have overheads.
Companies that are attacked once are also finding that they become repeatedly attacked. 48% of the surveyed companies that had been attacked, had been attacked between 2 and 10 times.
Can DDoS attack be prevented?
There are certainly ways to improve your chances against attack by using a combination of detection methods such as network and server monitoring, and editing the rules within firewalls switches and routers.
Another still large issue is the number of vulnerable servers still in operation. If you are using a Network Time Protocol server (NTP) then you are at risk of being attacked. The same is also true if you are still using Windows XP as your operating service. If you compare the cost of upgrading your out dated hardware and software to the cost you could incur should you be attacked, then the choice should be quite clear cut; it’s time to upgrade.
For more information on this and other issues from our team, contact us on 0208 232 1190 or drop us an email.
Cryptolocker has been in the headlines now for quite a few months.
As an IT Support company we are well aware of how easy it is for any person or company to become infected by it.
That is why one of our engineers has put together a set of cryptolocker detection scripts that will run constant checks across a whole network. The video below explains what you need to do to install the scripts and get them running. Best of all, they are completely free, and we are not even requesting your details in order for you to download the scripts.
So with no further fuss, here is our short 3 minute Cryptolocker detection scripts instruction video
As explained in the video, all of the files are available below either as the individual files or all zipped up in one handy file. Please note that you may need to change your download options within your browser in order to be able to access the files.
If you have any further questions then please feel free to leave a comment, send us an e-mail or give us a call on 0203 232 1190
As companies get larger they tend to feel the need to bring in their own departments for all aspects of the business. IT Support is definitely one of these areas. By having an in house IT department you would expect that you are going to get a much faster and more personalised response. Your staff will know who they are dealing with, and the IT staff will understand the priorities that occur within the company.
Some of this may be the case, but it is also a preconception which when working with an excellent IT Support company like Online Support. We are a company that prides itself in being big enough to deal with corporate companies, but still small enough to forge strong relationships with our customers.
IT support works best when there is a strong two way relationship in place. Our account managers become someone you can trust and rely on to get things done; someone who will budget and prepare for the future; and someone who will give advice on latest technologies and whether they are necessary for your business.
Where you may have to wait for your engineer to get to your job on the list, we have a team of fully qualified engineers at you disposal. Our helpdesk is quick to respond to incidents that you deem as urgent or critical, meaning that any downtime is kept to an absolute minimum. Our engineers are all personable so that whether on the phone or onsite they are approachable and will be tenacious in completing the task at hand. We have experts in image backup, the cloud, Office 365, exchange migration, and antivirus to name just a few areas.
So here’s why it’s a good idea for companies to have to option to outsource their IT Support
By outsourcing your IT support your capabilities of moving forward smoothly with technology increase which should be a benefit to productivity. Whilst your in house team might be true experts at how your business runs, they gain no other outside world experience and effectively become shut off from being able to see other technologies at work and the benefits that they can bring.
If you don’t want to down size your IT department completely, we can also provide the option to outsource individual members of our engineering team to supplement your own team and help work through projects. This is where you can use our knowledge to increase your own, and perhaps benefit in some free training along the way.
The biggest advantage in outsourcing your IT comes when you look at it from an HR point of view. All of a sudden you do not need to worry about hiring, replacing, training and annual leave. These are all areas of expense and stress for companies that can be passed on to us.
Finally, an out outsourced IT services company like Online Support will also be able to look after your connectivity, including Broadband, Landline and Business Mobiles. We are not aligned with one specific telecoms company or network and neither do we have favourites preferring to have the option of the best deals available for our clients based on the criteria they specify. We do the hard work for you, without it affecting the cost, including checking on a regular basis to make sure that you have the best speeds at the best price.
If you’re based in London and have been thinking about outsourcing get in touch, we’d love to discuss the benefits and can put you in touch with some of our clients to let them tell you. So for the best IT London Support advice and information, call us on 0208 232 1190 or send us an e-mail.
Our Office Address
Online Support Computing Limited
67A Boston Manor Rd
0208 232 1190
Want to be listed here? Contact us