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Central London IT Support

Written by, Ben Hutchings-Mitchell

HPE introduces the new Gen10 ProLiant Microserver last week, the Microserver has been brought back to its G7 origins with the new model. HPE didn’t release a G9 version of the Microserver, however the Gen10 Microserver seems more like G9 than brand new and shiny.

New features:

The new MicroServer Gen10 features AMD processors, Opteron X3000 series with 2 core or 4 core as options and turbo clock speeds up to 3.4GHz.  It scales up to 32GB, double the previous Gen8 model.  The motherboard switches from a socketed Intel design to a System on a Chip design from AMD – meaning the processor cannot be field upgraded.  The new motherboard design adds two PCI slots over 1 PCI slot in the previous Gen8 and G7 models.

For storage, 4 large form factors drive SATA slots are retained in the Gen10 model and the same limit of 4 x 4TB SATA drives in the drive slot.  With SSD advancements, the new model adds the ability to replace the DVD drive with an SSD in a 5th slot near the top of the cube, but complicating things for OS installations with the absence of virtual media through iLO.

For video, the new model includes two display ports, possibly signalling the intended use case for the system around video applications – perhaps video walls and other things.  Upgraded GPU capabilities also accompany the new model, but both of these trade-offs mean that MicroServer is less of a general-use server and more specifically for uses where graphics are needed – so not home-lab users or general ROBO virtualization.

Is there a problem?

HPE are billing the new Gen10 ProLiant servers as the best in the business for security, however this doesn’t include the Gen10 MicroServers as it doesn’t include iLO. The ‘Silicon root of trust’ utilises the iLO 5 silicon to establish that NIST compliant security, so even the inclusion of an iLO4 would not have helped its capabilities.

Why have HPE not included the much awaited iLO in the new Microserver? The iLO inconsistency is not a first for HPE, some of the lower end Gen8 models included iLO3 technologies instead of the up to date iLO4 that was shipped in with Gen8. Also some Gen9 models are missing an iLO all together and the reason for this clearly is to bring costs down but at what expense.

If you would like to find out more information on the new HPE Gen10 MicroServer and if it is right for you, please send us a message and one of our team will be in contact shortly.

Email: enquiries@datapact.co.uk Telephone: 020 7336 7511

Written by, Ben Hutchings-Mitchell

HPE have announced they will be launching their new generation 10 ProLiant servers! HPE claim that they will be bringing a server to the IT world with more advanced security measures and persistent memory and manageability than any other server on the market.

The new security feature is at the firmware level, with an iLO (integrated lights out) offering made from custom HPE silicon and iLO firmware. The aim is to repel firmware attacks and stop servers executing
compromised firmware code. HPE says the iLO chip has an immutable fingerprint in the silicon, which prevents servers from booting up unless the firmware matches the fingerprint.

HPE calls it the “silicon root of trust” protection, it comes with encryption and breach detection technologies and is boosted by HPE’s supply chain security and HPE Pointnext security assessment
and protection services. HPE say that no other supplier offers a server with this level of security. Also, the generation 10 ProLiants will have a scalable persistent memory, and HPE claim it will deliver the fasted persistent memory on the market.

The gen 10 ProLiant servers will be available this summer!

If you would like to notified when the HPR generation 10 servers are launched, or find out more information about what servers we currently offer, please send us a message and one of our team will be in contact shortly.

Email: enquiries@datapact.co.uk Telephone: 020 7336 7511

Written by, Ben Hutchings-Mitchell

Make the switch to business inkjet

There has been a common misconception that laser printers perform the best in business-like environments. The reality is though that inkjet offers numerous advantages over lasers. Much of this can be credited to PrecisionCore, which is a scalable technology that enhances reliability of the printer while reducing waste and the environmental footprint.

 A future with Datapact

Datapact and Epson have been able to implement a cost-saving solution that allows you to spend less time worrying about ink costs and more time focusing on productivity.

Look at the benefits of our solution

Energy saving

With up to 96% lower energy consumption than lasers, not only do WorkForce Pro printers reduce electricity costs, but they can also help your organisation meet envrionmental targets1. Because inkjet printers use no heat in the printing process, they consume far less power than laser printers, which in turn reduces the running costs.

CO2 and electricity calculator

In independent tests, Epson’s WorkForce Pro models used up to 96% less energy than lasers and laser copiers1. See how much electricity and CO2 you can save by using our calculator below

Easy integration into working environments

Easily manage and control an entire fleet of printers and scanners remotely, including the ability to install, configure, monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your devices, all of which make for increased productivity and cost savings.

Why not test out our solution?

Datapact is offering a FREE printing service this summer, so you can realise the benefits of unlimited printing for a stress-free, rain-free, payment-free summer. Between 2nd July and 1st October 2017 your business can print for FREE with no hidden charges. Your payments have gone away on holiday, so relax and enjoy FREE printing.

If you would like to purchase/Print for free or find out more information about our printing services, please contact us and one of our team will be in contact shortly.

Email: enquiries@datapact.co.uk Telephone: 020 7336 7511

Written by, Ben Hutchings-Mitchell

Ben at Datapact asked me a simple question. ‘When does GDPR apply to an organisation?’ In case you are time poor, and cannot read on, the answer is almost always. Unless the organisation is a family business selling to family members in the family home. This is only a slight exaggeration. Any organisation, of any size, that processes personal data (the wide GDPR definitions are below) will fall under GDPR.

This blog will deliberately not reference any of the 99 Articles or 173 Recitals that make up the GDPR. It will not mention case law or the guidance issued by the ICO and Article 29 Working Party. It doesn’t have to.

Popping in the odd reference to articles and recitals might add a gloss of credibility but I have spoken to many business leaders and stakeholders who have been misled into thinking GDPR didn’t apply to them because of seeing a reference to an Article that only applied to a small subset of GDPR. In doing so, they have been given a false reassurance that organisations, in particular those with under 250 employees, are somehow exempted from GDPR. They aren’t.

So, what are the most basic core components of GDPR:

Personal Data

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies to ‘personal data’. Personal data is data from which an individual can be identified, whether directly or indirectly. The most obvious example would be a name and address held in an Employment Contract or customer database. The definition provides for a much wider range of identifiers however, and can include such things as photos, CCTV footage, IP addresses, location data, or factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of an individual. That list is not exhaustive, the key element is being able to identify an individual. This expansive definition is intended to reflect the changes in the ways in which organisations can collect, process and analyse information about people in the digital age.

Processing

Processing of Personal Data has a wider definition than can sometimes be assumed. It can include any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data. This can include processes such as the collection, recording, organisation, structuring, storage, alteration, transmission, use, restriction, erasure or destruction of personal data. This applies whether it is automated or a paper based manual filing system. It is not only big data processing where a thousand data points are analysed to build a personal profile. Processing under the GDPR is everything from putting paper files into storage, having an exchange server, keeping a contact database, having employment contracts or using cloud services. Put simply, if you use, hold, transfer, change or destroy data you are processing it.

When does GDPR apply to an organisation?

If an organisation processes personal data outside a purely domestic context then GDPR will apply to some extent. If an organisation has less than 250 employees they are let off keeping certain documentation (in certain circumstances). But, GDPR still applies. It will touch organisations differently but my strong recommendation would be that all organisation find out well in advance how much preparation work they need to do, what are the risks and how to pragmatically mitigate them.

How it applies to organisations is the better question. This would require a much longer blog however, and to be truly useful would need to consider the specifics of a single organisation. As organisations need to understand what types of personal data they process, how they process it, whose personal data it is, where it is processed and when it is processed. From this starting point, they will have the context to begin to understand how the regulations will apply.

A final note is to cover Brexit as this is another area of some confusion. The UK government has already confirmed GDPR will apply, perhaps with very minor changes, post-Brexit. It was in the first drafts of the Great Repeal Act and mentioned in the Queen’s speech. If Brexit doesn’t happen, GDPR continues to apply directly anyway. GDPR applying within the EU means that if we are to allow the free flow of personal data for reasons of trade, we need an ‘adequate’ data protection regime with equivalency to GDPR. Theoretically, there are circumstances where this might not happen but no major political party in the UK has suggested they would be in favour. There would be bigger things to worry about if that was the outcome of Brexit.

If you would like to purchase or find out more information about the GDPR changes, send us a message and one of our team will be in contact shortly.

Email: enquiries@datapact.co.uk Telephone: 020 7336 7511

Written by, John Payne @ Cybercrowd

Apple have announced that they are launching a voice activated loudspeaker, which will be powered by everyone’s favourite nonhuman helper friend Siri!

Apples new device is predicted to make a storm amongst its competitors, the ‘HomePod’ is a music player with the integration of Siri, allowing you to ask the device questions and control appliances around the house.

We understand that this is just a logical step for Apple, to begin moving into the market of Smart devices for people’s homes the same as its competitors. However, Apple always like to stand out from its competitors, and the clear difference between products is the price! The Apple ‘HomePod’ is double the price of the Amazon Echo starting at a whopping price of £270! “It’s a logical step for Apple, to ensure that they don’t miss the opportunity to get a smart device right in the centre of people’s homes,” said Ben Wood, an industry analyst at CCS Insight. Analysts say Apple has been slow to improve its Siri virtual assistant and launch a smart speaker, after Amazon launched its Echo in 2014. The company is once again banking on its reputation as a creator of intuitive, luxury products that justify a hefty price tag.

As an Apple user, we all know that Siri is not the most reliable piece of technology, I am always having problems with Siri understanding me and I have a stereotypical London accent, so I am wondering if this is the most expensive Bluetooth speak!

If you would like to purchase or find out more information about the ‘Homepod’, send us a message and one of our team will be in contact shortly.

Email: enquiries@datapact.co.uk Telephone: 020 7336 7511

Written by, Ben Hutchings-Mitchell

If you are finding it hard to generate new leads, GetProfiles have designed the ultimate tool.

GetProfiles is prospecting tool that automates list building from professional social networks, with distinct search filters to precisely match any target audience and push the leads back into your CRM or Marketing Automation Systems in just a few clicks.

GetProfiles is specifically developed to help our customer’s biggest challenge of finding relevant prospects information instantly in their daily Sales and Marketing activities.

GetProfiles helps businesses find relevant prospects with Full Company, contact with business email, Social Profiles, web & enterprise technology information to improve sales preparation and lead generation process.

 Features:

-Find new prospects within seconds

-Advanced search functionalities to customize your niche audience

-Capture full information about company, contact and social profiles

-Instant access to web technologies & installed enterprise applications

-Push leads back in to your favourite excel, CRM or Marketing Systems

Using GetProfiles for the first time was like rolling back the clock; It took me less than 10 seconds to find all the relevant job titled people i was looking for in a whole region. This is a salesman’s GPS which keeps directing me at more leads.

If you would like to find out more about GetProfiles, check out their website: getprofiles.net

Written by, Ben Hutchings-Mitchell

GDPR, the reformed version of the out-dated EU Data Protection Directive is coming into action in under 12 months, all EU member countries must comply with the new law or face devastating consequences.

What are the consequences?

It would be a huge mistake for businesses to ignore the GDPR before it is enforced in May 2018, it may seem like a benefit for customers and a threat for businesses, Eduardo Ustaran, partner and European head of data protection at law firm Hogan Lovells said “Whether we see the GDPR as a blessing or a threat – or something in between – it is not only wise, but a necessity to pay attention to what this ambitious framework is trying to achieve and has delivered,” he said in a blog post.

GDPR is aimed at the digital economy, and in the modern world it is at the forefront of everyone’s attention, following the recent ransomware attacks data protection security has never been such a moral panic.

If you are not prepared to follow the increased compliance requirements, be expected to face heavy financial punishments! If fined you will be expected to pay €20m or 4% of annual worldwide income, whichever is greater.

Speaking to many decision makers over the last couple of months, it is astonishing the amount of responses I get when I ask the question “are you ready for the GDPR changes next year?” and they reply “I think so”. In business, it is key to plan ahead for longevity, so why would you ignore the early signs of an impactful threat.

If you would like to find out how to become GDPR compliant, send us a message and one of our compliance specialists will be in touch shortly.

Email: enquiries@datapact.co.uk Telephone: 020 7336 7511

If your supplier can’t or won’t fulfil that small and unusual request, why don’t you challenge us?

We are specialists in finding the unfindable!

Datapact doesn’t just supply typical IT solution services, we also supply the extra mile! You would be surprised how far we will go to keep our customers happy, to ensure the excellent service we have been delivering for over 25 years continues.

These are some of the questions we are asked:

CAN I HAVE A WALL MOUNTED
THERMOMETER FOR MY COMMS ROOM?

CAN I HAVE AN TONER
CARTRIDGE FOR MY 5 YEAR OLD LASER PRINTER?

CAN I HAVE A SCSI CABLE
FOR MY OLD TAPE BACKUP DEVICE?

CAN I HAVE ANY SPARE PARTS
FOR MY LEGACY SERVERS?

Working with some of the leading companies in the U.K such as, Vivienne Westwood, CBRE, ITV and UPS, you can imagine the random item requests we receive and fulfil every day. It is our job to provide a seamless solution to allow our customers the peace of mind to know that these difficult and time consuming requests will be fulfilled time after time.

Martin Goddard – IT Purchasing Manager – CBRE Group-  “Having had association with Datapact since, 1994 I have found the full range of services offered second to none – A true independent tailor made IT solution provider with real faces and a personal touch. Excellent value for money”.

If you are looking for a specific piece of IT equipment or having problems with your current suppliers, get in touch and a member of our team will be in contact shortly.

Email: enquiries@datapact.co.uk Telephone: 020 7336 7511

Written by, Ben Hutchings-Mitchell

Warning: Ransomware attacks are gathering pace!

As reported in the national news, on Friday the NHS and many other organisation’s were hit by a large ransomware outbreak, the outbreak has affected over 100 countries, German train stations, and many hospitals access the U.K. The ransomware strain in question is called “Wanna”, although most customers will refer to it as “Wanna Decrypter 2.0” due to the ransom note left on the machine.

How much money would it cost your business, if you could not access your network or use your telephones?

Your anti-virus product is unlikely to be capable of stopping the prolific volume of ransomware being released by cyber criminals. In simple terms, your organisation’s data is at serious risk. So, what can I do now to protect myself?
We recommend the following steps:

  • Advise users Not to click on suspicious links
  • Do not open suspicious attachments
  • Update all Operating Systems
  • Update all Anti-Virus
  • Ensure backup is in place and operational
  • Use minimal user permissions where possible
  • Consider implementing solutions that utilise sandboxing technology
  • Install anti-ransomware software
  • Run phishing simulation campaigns to your users to educate them

If you would like to find out how to improve your security system or would like any further information, please get in contact with one of our team.

Or furthermore, check out our security services and cyber-security workshops.

Written by, Ben Hutchings-Mitchell

Is my printer putting my business at risk?

Businesses across the U.K are beginning to invest in their security efforts as it is more apparent than ever to ensure you are secure internally and externally. Most businesses are set up with a designated printer per desk or team, but owners are unaware of the dangers this can cause them. It is very common to have a printer for each department as it makes sense, however it can also be an easy target for a data breach. Let it be known that modern printers now contain a substantial amount of confidential data, in both electronic and hard copy format, making your printer vulnerable to attack and a target to attack.

One internal problem is, leaving confidential documentation around for unauthorised persons to view, this could be considered a negligent action; businesses must therefore put processes in place as early as possible to support employees in remaining compliant.

One way to prevent reams of paper sitting in the printer’s output tray is to secure the device with an extra level of security at the printer itself. This requires users to input a PIN or swipe a key card to release the document.

If you are looking for a more secure printer I would recommend the new Canon i-SENSYS range, the new models feature a new high-yield all-in-one toner cartridges with up to 85% more toner capacity than previous models, also Canon’s impressive security credentials with advanced features such as Secure Print and PIN-protected printing. new additions are compactly designed to support flexible working in home offices, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Packed with intelligent features to help streamline document workflows, the new devices ensure maximum efficiency and productivity while reducing the total print cost, allowing companies to invest more time in core business activities through smarter working practices.

If you would like to find out more information about the Canon I-SENSYS range, send us a message and one of our specialists will be with you shortly.

 Email: enquiries@datapact.co.uk Telephone: 020 7336 7511

Written by, Ben Hutchings-Mitchell

Fibre optic London and the comparative solution!

Looking at the new government stats, Central London is among the worst in the country for broadband coverage.  London is still struggling to access super fast connections despite government projects to improve under-served areas which are filled with businesses that need high speed coverage on demand.

‘Data shows that just 31% of homes and businesses in The Cities of London and Westminster parliamentary constituency can access speeds of above 24Mb. Inner London areas Bethnal Green, Bermondsey, Westminster North and Old Southwark, Bow and Poplar are also among the least connected areas in the country.’

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has invested a huge £1.7 billion to expand the fibre optic reach across the UK, but has admitted that competition rules preventing intervention has made it difficult to improve coverage in inner-city locations. The programme is expected to bring superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by the end of 2017.

So what can you do if it is vital that you have superfast broadband?

Well, if you’ve got the budget and it is vital that you have a superfast connection, you can purchase a fibre line installation, there are many companies offering this service for the right price, however you should know what you are purchasing before you buy it. You should know what your requirements are e.g. 10Mbps or 30Mbps.

Here at Datapact we have specialists who can advise you on the best solution for your business needs, comparing packages, features and prices from different providers to ensure that you are getting the most for your money.

If you are thinking of going fibre optic or increasing the speed of your current connection, get in touch with one of our specialists who can guide you on making the correct decision based on your business requirements.

Written by, Ben Hutchings-Mitchell

Why you should have regular security audits!

In 2017, Internet security has evolved into the moral panic of business world, it seems that everywhere you turn there is a news article about a leading company being hacked or fined. It seems a rarity to find businesses that consider information security an important duty among all workers and not just a problem for the IT department.

Even with the warning signs, it still seems to be the general opinion of most companies and especially within management, that their computers are protected and fully secure! Why is this assumption made? The only way to find out, is to conduct a thorough security audit on your computer systems. Unfortunately, most companies do not have regular audits and some companies never have. If you have not had a security audit in the last two years, it is time too! As an IT manager, you should want to maximise the longevity and seamlessness of your company, so why wouldn’t you want to have another line of defence!

Facts:

  • Less than 40% of businesses stay open after the first six months of a cyber-attack.
  • Less than 10% of companies have the financial backing to continue business after a cyber-attack.

I would recommend our cost-effective security audit, covering multiple key elements including:

  • Risk Report
  • Security Architecture Review
  • External Vulnerability Scan
  • Firewall Security Assessment
  • Security Policy Assessment
  • More

If you would like to find out more about our cost-effective security audit, please get in touch with one of our security experts.

Written by, Ben Hutchings-Mitchell

Is it time to find out about spanning?

First of all, 86% of companies use cloud storage, however if cloud storage was so secure why was Apple’s iCloud hacked and how can we be sure that we won’t be?

Spanning was created to help organisations utilise the power of their cloud by throwing away the users worry of data loss. It also helps organisations protect and manage their data in the cloud, with enterprise data protection for Google Apps, Salesforce and Office 365. Spanning backup is trusted by thousands of companies and millions of users around the world.

Now that Dell’s acquisition of EMC is finalized and the two companies entwine bodies and technology, it is time to look a little closer at Spanning!

Spanning has been built by Dell to coincide with the channels two biggest trends cloud and cyber-security. Spanning says “it’s the first and only AppExchange backup and recovery solution that supports encryption key management”. From my demo of Spanning at the Microsoft head office in London, I noticed the simplicity of recovering personal data, with a few simple clicks it took less than a minute to restore all calendar history and important emails lost on Outlook. It is time to pause the clock! Using Spanning correctly within your business, will save countless hours contacting support services and heuristically reduce problems within the work place (no more stressing about losing that important document).

If you would like to find out more about Spanning, or you already think it is something that your business would benefit from, get in contact with one of our team who can answer any questions you may have!

Written by, Ben Hutchings-Mitchell

With news of security breaches dramatically rising in 2017, IT is becoming harder for the 90% of people who do not understand online security to simply look away. Many IT decision makers are admonished by the constant reminders of a threat online, or believe because they haven’t been hacked yet, these warning articles do not apply to them. The financial and reputational risks are imminent to any company of any size, as it is no longer a standardised risk management implication, it is now a board game of cyber security with some playing cards you haven’t seen before.

With the new EU data protection regulations, it has never been more important to ensure that you and your employees are secure in and out of the workplace. It might seem like IT providers are just trying to keep to their sales targets but, in the modern business world it’s the new form of insurance and would you go to work knowing you are unsafe?

It’s time to make a decision whether you are at risk of a cyber-attack, or if you don’t fully understand your risks it’s time to learn. We offer a bespoke cyber security training to boardroom level individuals on the measures which can be taken to limit the risk of cyber threats.

 Less than 10% recover from Cyber-attacks, due to data loss or lack of financial backing

  • Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are the targets for some three quarters of all computer crime
  • Many SMBs deploy piecemeal, stand-alone security solutions, such as basic firewalls and antivirus softwarewhich are no match for a hacker
  • phishing attacks target untrained employees largely responsible for the finances of a small business, if malicious email messages are opened it could hijack an entire company’s financial information and gain access to funds and personal information.
  • Most SMBs decision makers are frightened of the expenditure on training staff and upgrading systems
  • 43 Percent of Cyber Attacks Target Small Businesses

It is easy to see how much cyber security should be prioritised.

 Take the correct steps to protect your organisation, by contacting us, or by leaving your details on the form provided and one of our security professionals can advise you on the best way to reduce the risk of your company being attacked.

Written by, Ben Hutchings-Mitchell