Our ongoing Improvement Plans
Just over a year ago, Cutler IT started a program of updating and modernisation to ensure we, and our customers, are equipped to move into any future that the post pandemic world presents us.
For all companies these days, IT is the area where they continually seek efficiencies, and there are many benefits to gain from this. However, there are people who are constantly seeking opportunities in IT that relate to your company, but not for your benefit!. They are hell bent on breaking into and compromising you. Sometimes for gain, but other times – just for the hell of it!
As we move forward and modernise, (or just keep up with the times), we need to keep security constantly in our mind set.
If we do not – we risk very serious consequences to our businesses and potentially to our trusting clients. If your data gets compromised – what data do you keep on your clients?
So – what have we at Cutler IT been doing in our upgrade program?
Let’s look at just a few:
We have moved nearly 100% from on-premise, expensive email servers to Microsoft 365 email systems. MS365 is more than just email however, it is a complete raft of Apps and opportunities which clients are discovering every day. More of this in a later post.
We now encourage our clients to go fully managed with Microsoft InTune. This allows us to monitor PCs and Laptops and Manage mobile phones as well. This is a major improvement in managing your IT as it monitors compliance, performance, Operating System Updates, Security and can be used to train users in cyber security awareness.
Windows defender continues to grow in capability. It is now a major player within the AV community and for the paid services allows advanced threat detection to show any patterns of attack against your organisation.
Sharepoint – is the underlying tool that allows us to replace the on-site server for smaller clients and emulate drive storage (Shared Drives) via the One-Drive Sharepoint features.
In addition to this Sharepoint is a hugely important tool for collaboration between you and your clients when used in the correct way.
Continuing the theme of collaboration; MS Teams is the de facto standard for Video collaboration and meetings with dispersed or home workers. It has a huge feature set associated with it for managing projects and people teams.
The new “Teams Meeting Room” product is now much more sophisticated. Meetings can be setup through dedicated Teams meeting room hardware. With great audio, high definition TV display screens and speaker tracking by the cameras. With voice recognition, you can automatically takes notes of who is speaking, what they are saying and raise the voice of the speaker above the others in the room. It can even detect when a meeting guest walks into a room and automatically set his laptop to be “in the room”.
Cloud Hosted Servers
The cost of hosted servers on the Azure platform can be pricey compared to an On-Premise server. For our Medium to smaller clients, we have invested in a presence in the Node 4 Wakefield Tier 4 data centre to bring you an affordable Cloud hosted server offering.
We have built and commissioned our own cloud hosted program for client servers. If you have an on-premise server it can be expensive to replace and has, in itself, a cost of ownership. You can now seamlessly migrate your existing server to it.
Azure Hosted Servers
We now have clients using the full Azure hosted server services of Microsoft. These servers have high availability, can be throttled back when not in use, thus reducing costs and in addition we can provide hosted desktops to work along side them when heavy processing power is required, such as CAD/CAM software.
Security remains our top priority. We have reviewed where our security offerings sit and our entire approach. We are Cyber Essentials Accredited and now working towards the full ISO27001 Security accreditations. We have introduced some key improvements in our security offerings and are encouraging clients to decide where they wish to position their Cyber Security policies.
Some clients require an accreditation, some just want to be more secure and raise their Cyber Security awareness. Some are being told they have to by insurers or clients.
Make no mistake – being Cyber Essentials Certified will become a must for more and more client industries.
We have improved and upgraded our security to cover the following key areas:
We have revisited all our clients firewalls and where required we have notified them that they need upgrading.
We have moved from our old anti-virus threat protection to ESET. A major player in the AV threat market. All clients have access to full PC protection and cloud email protection.
We have rolled out our internal Workflow system agents to all our clients devices and have a full register of their assets, the software on them and their protection status. Information about your company’s assets can be obtained through your new company portal. Details have been sent to you on how to access this.
Our most important improvement to security lies in constantly monitoring threats and vulnerabilities within your devices. With an estate the size of ours, we cannot do that manually. We have now rolled out a new Cyber threat analysis tool that scans each and every supported device. This gives us a complete breakdown of every program, device and driver and whether it is out of date or vulnerable.
Of course, security is not our sole responsibility and we require you as a client to engage with us and if you desire to be a security conscious business, then you need to create at the very least, a security policy for your business. We are now encouraging all our clients to upgrade their Microsoft licence to the business premium to provide all the services that are outlined above.
We know, as a business dealing with security, we need to communicate more. We are determined to improve our communications and relationships with you, our clients over the coming months.
Operations Director – Cutler IT limited