Why do you need network support?

Why do you need network support? Critical to the stability of your systems, hardware and IT infrastructure, the team at CANS answer your questions.

Maintaining the performance and stability of your network has never been more vital for your business. A comprehensive  IT support and maintenance service designed to keep your network, IT systems and software operating smoothly and virus-free is essential to ensure your business operates efficiently.

Profitability and brand trust are directly and negatively impacted by a drop in network function, so preventing such issues is paramount.

Our specialist network support and maintenance solutions will relieve you of the burden of internal network management, allowing you to continue doing what you do best – running your business – without any interruptions.

Signs that you need network support

There are several signs that your systems are in need of network support. Look out for:

  1. Poor latency – including delays in the storage and/or retrieval of data communications
  2. Reduced throughput of your network – the maximum amount of data transferred by your network in a second or other unit of time measurement
  3. Packet loss, where packets of data moving across a network do not reach their destination due to transmission errors or congestion

You’ll also benefit from outsourcing your network support if:

  1. Your business growth is predicted to exceed, or is already beginning to exceed, the processing ability of your current network
  2. You feel as though you are impacting your employees’ resources with network support tasks
  3. Your employees lack the necessary skill set and knowledge of network best practice to perform network support management to your satisfaction

The benefits of outsourcing your network support

In smaller businesses, it’s common to delegate the responsibility of network maintenance to an employee with a degree of IT competency. Although this often seems like a cost-effective option, there are downsides to doing so. Your network may suffer as a result, as your employee will struggle to balance the demands of specialist network support with those of their original role.

Dedicated in-house network support may be a viable option for larger, well-established companies, who have the financial capacity to allow this.

Outsourcing your network support is beneficial for your business in a number of ways. Our experienced team of IT professionals will provide bespoke network support solutions tailored to suit your business, making the outsourcing of network management tasks cost effective and straightforward.

The advantages of outsourcing your network support to a specialist company include:

  1. Cost savings – you can opt for flexible support which suits your business
  2. Time saving – your employees can focus on their specific role, without having to devote time to network maintenance
  3. Specialist skills – our experienced team will be able to solve any network issues promptly and with minimal disruption to your business
  4. 24/7 support – you’ll be able to access support as and when you need it, without having to rely on standard 9-5 office hours to fix any issues or outages

Network support options

Any reduction in network speed – or worse, periodic or total network failures – can have an considerable impact on your business – both financial and reputational.

If your server speed drops, productivity will be impacted. Continued server or network outages lead to a negative effect on employees’ work speed, efficiency and morale.

We know that no two businesses are the same, so our flexible network support service can be tailored to the requirements of your company.

We can manage a range of different network support tasks on your behalf, including:

  1. Broadband management

Our bespoke broadband management service takes into account the individual requirements of your business to provide the best possible network support solutions. We partner with premium suppliers to produce ADSLs, MPLS devices and everything in between.

  1. IT audits

Our comprehensive IT audits include services such as:

  • IT infrastructure checks
  • Security solutions
  • Expected future requirement predictions
  • Collecting and collating information about network servers and workstations
  • Providing comprehensive reports for your business
  • Assistance with short, medium and long-term network management and planning

To discuss which network support option is right for your business, please just get in touch with us – our specialist team will be happy to discuss your individual requirements.


The clock is ticking for GDPR compliance

On 25 May 2018, GDPR – General Data Protection Regulations – will come into force, impacting every business that processes personal information for EU citizens.

The legislation will protect the general public and the information that people provide and expect to be protected. GDPR is the biggest shake up in data protection law in over 25 years.

Facebook has rarely been out of the news recently with Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, directly in the media spotlight. Zuckerberg is being publicly reprimanded for his past business decisions, involving sharing personal information about members of the public with

out their knowledge. This included private information that they wouldn’t choose to share or even voice with others.

GDPR is therefore set to make sweeping changes to companies like Facebook in forcing them to make changes about how they collect and store data – giving more power to individuals about what personal information is in the public domain. GDPR will regulate what companies can do with personal data from the biggest corporate giants to the smallest start-up businesses.

GDPR will ensure companies show their customers transparent and concise guidelines about how personal data is stored and used. Companies will also need to give customers prompt access to their personal data if they request this.

With just a month to go until GDPR becomes law, even the smallest companies need to ensure they are compliant as soon as possible. Research shows that 90% of small businesses are not ready for GDPR.

There are businesses who will be exempt from GDPR, but it is not down to the size of the business, its resources or capabilities, but rather that they pose less risk. However, even if your business is exempt and even if you only process a small amount of data, it’s advisable to maintain a high level of control over your personal data procedures and keep proficient records.

Some tips to ensure GDPR compliance include:

  1. Tick off a GDPR checklist

 Businesses who fail to show that they have the correct data protection procedures in place may face fines so it is important to have proof of the measures you are taking, including:

 ✔ Research the legal framework that surrounds GDPR

✔ Keep a GDPR log or diary

✔ Classify your data – who has access to it? Where is it stored? Who is it shared with?

✔ Make sure the data user’s privacy is protected

✔ Determine and document any potential future risks

✔ Put a procedure into place for what will happen when a customer requests their data


  1. Pass the government approved Cyber Essentials Scheme

The Cyber Essentials Scheme helps businesses protect themselves against the threat of cyber attacks. Upon completion, your company is awarded with a certificate to demonstrate that cyber security is paramount to your business. The scheme is backed by the government.

Alongside this scheme, we can also help you assess any other requirements that you need to complete to ensure your business is GDPR compliant such as:

  • Assessing business risks
  • Training staff
  • Dealing with incidents
  • Handling operational issues

In addition to this scheme, specialist legal advice is also recommended.For more information please contact us on 0131 541 0020, send us an email info@cans.scot or complete our request via our on-line request form here.

Disaster Recovery in the Cloud

With cyber attacks and cyber crime ever more prevalent and growing more sophisticated over time, a robust disaster recovery plan is essential to secure and restore your data in the event of a compromise.

What is disaster recovery?

Similar to backup, disaster recovery, or DR, is used in larger instances. The process involves taking a complete copy of your drives, serves and files. In the event that a recovery plan is needed, this copy allows your systems to be restored quickly and efficiently, without the need to reinstall an OS or copy files. 

Is disaster recovery the same as a backup?

Whilst taking regular backups of your data is essential, these backups are not enough on their own, as they will be of no use to you if you cannot access them. If a disaster does occur, you should have a robust, tested process in place which will ensure you can quickly retrieve and restore your data.

Building your backup plan

When you are creating your DR plan, it’s important to identify critical data and apps which should be prioritised, as these should ideally be backed up first. You will also need to choose how you wish your data to be stored.

You’ll also need to choose where you wish your data to be stored. Locating it close to your primary location is not advised as, should a disaster take everything in close proximity to you offline, your backup data could be compromised or lost. To protect your data most effectively, it’s advisable to use a Cloud service, which provides storage in locations around the world, keeping your critical data and backups safe.

What is the Cloud?

The Cloud is a network of servers, each of which has a different function. Some provide a service, such as Adobe’s Creative Cloud, whilst others store data, such as Apple’s iCloud. Others allow you to store and access data, such as Instagram and Dropbox.

You are likely to use the Cloud on a daily basis, often without even realising.

Cloud storage is a system whereby data is maintained, managed, backed up remotely and made available to you, should you need it, over a network. The network is usually the internet.

What are the advantages of using the Cloud?

Using a Cloud-based system is financially agreeable, as it removes the need to purchase expensive hardware, which typically depreciates in value quickly.

Businesses can also scale their storage needs up and down as and when they need to, much more flexibly than previously. 

How secure is the Cloud?

Understandably, you may be vary of storing sensitive or business-critical data in a system that you cannot physically see.  However, Cloud storage is, on the whole, more secure than traditional storage systems, providing you follow some basic security and access measures:

  1. Understand your security requirements – don’t under or over complicate access
  2. Be aware of potentially areas that could be breached – place restrictions on who has access to your data and regularly change and encrypt passwords
  3. Test, test and test again – an untested system or service is an unsecured system or service. Regularly test for areas of vulnerability which can then be secured

Can I manage disaster recovery in-house?

While disaster recovery is often handled in-house, it’s often advisable to seek expert advice. Treating your DR plan as a service ensures you can focus on the day-to-day needs of the business, whilst ensuring you have the peace of mind that your data is safe.

If you are unsure if the Cloud is for you, or you wish to create a disaster recovery plan, get in touch and our team of experts will be happy to assist you. Contact us on 0131 541 0020, send us an email info@cans.scot or complete our request via our on-line request form here.

Business Internet Connection in Edinburgh, Fife, The Lothians and Central Belt

It is almost impossible in this day and age to find a professional business which does not require a fast reliable connection to the outside world via the internet.  Whether this is just to access the internet or email, access services in the cloud or networking sites across the globe into a single secure network,  Cans can provide a solution for you. We offer our internet connection services to businesses in Edinburgh, Fife, The Lothians and Central Belt.


Cans work with multiple internet service providers to ensure you receive the best price and best business solutions for you in your area.  From a simple ADSL connection to a full MPLS network, we will provide you with the solution you require.  Why manage multiple venders when you can ask Cans to look after and manage your broadband lines as part of your Managed Support package?

Do you have multiple offices or sites across the country?  Why not have them on a single secure network?  Cans can provide you with a planned secure infrastructure which will not only improve cross-site productivity but also be a strong component of your network security solution.  Ask Cans to see what MPLS solutions are available for your business needs and budget.

If you are looking into the cloud or to work remotely then access speeds are essential for a smooth productive service.  Let Cans know what internet speeds you currently have and what services you are looking to use and our experts will advise on the best lines available in your area which will meet your needs.

Our business internet connection service is available to businesses in Edinburgh, Fife, The Lothians and Central Belt.

For more information please contact us on 0131 541 0020, send us an email info@cans.scot or complete our request via our on-line request form here.

The Ultimate Disaster Recovery Checklist

Stay One Step Ahead of Potential Disasters

Prepare yourself before disaster strikes. When it comes to  data backup and disaster recovery (BDR), being prepared for  potential disasters is key to keep your business running.

It’s not only important to have a disaster recovery solution  you trust, but to make sure you test it as well.

Keep this DR checklist on hand.


Prior to a disaster ever occurring (and unfortunately it’s a matter of when  and not if) ask yourself the following:
•Do you have a disaster recovery solution in place?
•Do you trust it?
•When was the last time your backup was tested?
•How long does it take to recover from your current backup solution?
•How long can you realistically be down? 1 hour? 1 day?
•What is the financial cost of downtime to your business?
•When a disaster occurs, is there an offsite copy?

The disaster moment has occurred—time to walk through the following steps:

1. Assess the problem and its impact on your business

Every disaster is different. Before doing anything, understand the underlying issue  and how it may affect you.
•Is the issue local to one machine, or does it affect your entire system?
•Have files been deleted or are servers/workstations down?

2. Establish recovery goals

Recovery is what makes a BDR solution different from a simple backup product.  Plan out your road to recovery.
•Restore the system, the data, or both? Should time be spent recovering files and folders before system recovery?
•Identify critical systems and prioritise recovery tasks.
•What date/time should you recover from?
•How long can your recovery take?

3. Select the appropriate recovery type(s)

To get to your “road to recovery”, the appropriate recovery procedure must be  followed. Think about which approach will best get you to your end goal.
•File restore. OR
•Local virtualisation. OR
•Off-site virtualisation.

4. Verify the recovery and confirm functionality with users

Once a recovery is verified, confirm that it interacts positively with users.
•Test network connectivity.
•Ensure all users can access resources and applications in the virtual environment.

5. Restore the original system(s), if needed

If the original system(s) needs to be restored, decide which restoration process  will work best.
•Bare metal restore. OR
•Virtual machine restore.

6. Self-assess afterwards

After it’s all said and done, take a step back and think about it: How well did your  team do? What could you have done differently?
•What precipitated the failure?
•What on going issues need to addressed?
•What can be done better in future DR scenarios?

For more information please contact us on 0131 541 0020, send us an email info@cans.scot or complete our request via our on-line request form here.

Axcient VS Datto – Which is Better?

Technological malfunctions, natural disasters, and human error. All of these can contribute to a server meltdown, and with such a reliance on technology and data, business continuity planning has never been more important. If you want to keep your business up and running no matter what, then you’re going to need a reliable and trustworthy business continuity and critical data backup provider. But who should you choose?

There are far too many providers to mention them all, so today we are going to focus on two of the leading ones: Axcient and Datto.

We will be comparing these two companies on a like-for-like basis, across several key areas, and provide a short, digestible summary on who we feel triumphs.

Backup Frequency

Let’s start with one of the most important parts of any data recovery solution: How often will your data be backed up?

Axcient uses an “agentless system”. This means that once emergency protocols kick in – in other words, if you ever have to use your backup – then it will stop running until it is reconfigured. In most circumstances, this isn’t a massive problem, but if your company resides in a fast-paced industry where your data is constantly being updated, then this does mean you run the risk of losing any important information that is generated between the emergency situation happening, and the backup being reconfigured.

Datto tends to offer faster and more regular data backups and will continue to run during and after emergency protocols kick in. If your business-critical data is regularly updated, then you will want your data backup to keep running regardless.

Key point: Datto offers faster, more frequent backups than Axcient.

Data Security

In terms of physical security, both Datto and Axcient offer physical 24/7 on-premise protection. In other words, whichever provider you choose, you can relax knowing that security guards and alarm systems are protecting the physical servers from theft or vandalism.

It is worth noting, however, that Axcient’s data centre is in California, a place particularly prone to natural disasters, whereas Datto’s data centres are all coastal, and in areas of low risk of disaster. With that said, both providers are SSAE 16 certified, meaning you can equally trust that both of them are compliant with data protection laws and legislation.

Key point: Both Datto and Axcient keep your data physically safe.

Data Storage and Recovery

Axcient stores your backup data in a proprietary format – meaning a format they designed themselves. It’s hard to conclude whether this is a good thing or a bad thing… but it does mean that data conversion becomes a rather drawn-out process if you have to access your backup in an emergency.

Datto uses industry standard VMware VMDK format for storing your data. This means it can be quickly converted into a legible format and restored, should an emergency occur.

So how long might it take to recover your data from each provider? Let’s take a look:

  • Axcient would take approximately 3 hours to re-assemble a backup image
  • Datto is normally ready to restore your data within 30 seconds

One good thing to note for both Axcient and Datto, is that they both allow you to inject drivers for restoring your backup to brand new hardware, helping you to circumnavigate any incompatibilities that might crop up. In other words, if your technology fails, and you want to restore your backup data to a brand new computer infrastructure, both providers are able to help you ensure your old data will run just as well on your new hardware.

Key point: Datto’s storage method makes restoring from a backup much faster than with Axcient

Customer Support

We tested out the customer support quality from both providers, and both seemed pretty responsive. There is a fairly significant difference in availability, however:

Axcient: Support available 9am to 8pm EST, Monday to Friday

Datto: 24/7/365

Key point: Datto is more readily available if you need to contact their team

Operating System Compatibility

Finally, let’s look at a feature that could really determine which provider you choose – operating system compatibility.

To start with, both Axcient and Datto can failover for Windows and Linux. However, Datto can also backup Max, and is compliant with Apple Time Machine.

Linux users might prefer Axcient’s solution as it provides real-time failover for Linux, but Apple users may prefer Datto.

Key point: Both providers are compatible with Windows. Linux users prefer Axcient, Mac users prefer Datto.

Our Short Summary

Both Datto and Axcient are reliable, trustworthy data backup and business continuity solution providers. They are both compliant, and they both have proved that they keep client data physically safe.

Axcient is slightly more favourable for users who need real-time failover for Linux, however, Datto seems to win the comparison in most other areas. For example:

  • Datto backs up your data much more frequently
  • Restoring your data is much faster with Datto
  • Datto’s customer support team are available 24/7/365
  • Datto has better compatibility with Mac users
  • Datto’s data centres are in areas with very low risk of disaster

For more information please contact us on 0131 541 0020, send us an email info@cans.scot or complete our request via our on-line request form here.

Realtime Ransomware Tracking Maps

With ransomware attacks at the forefront of the news recently, most notably the WannaCry attack which impacted 300,000 computers across 150 countries including the infrastructure of the English NHS, we’re all more aware than ever that no-one is safe when it comes to cyber crime.

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is defined as any malicious software which blocks access to a computer system or network until a specified ransom is paid by the target. In the case of the English NHS attack, the ransom demanded for the files to be unlocked was believed to be $300 in Bitcoin.

 What is the impact of a cyber attack?

The Government funded Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017 revealed:

  • A third of ransomware victims lost revenue as a result of a cyber attack
  • One fifth of British companies hit by ransomware were charged more than £10,000 to unlock their files
  • Almost seven in ten large businesses identified a breach or attack, with the average cost identified at £20,000. In some cases the cost reached millions
  • On average, it takes the victim 2.2 days – at a cost of almost £3,000 – to recover from a cyber attack

The need to protect customer data is cited as the top reason for investing by half of all firms who spend money on cyber security measures. Nine in ten businesses regularly update their software and malware protection and two thirds of businesses invest money in cyber security measures.

How likely is an attack?

With three quarters of all businesses saying cyber security is a high priority and 54% of all global businesses targeted with a cyber attack in the past year, it’s advisable to start to plan ahead and be prepared for the worst, in order to help reduce the risk of serious damage to your infrastructure and loss of revenue in the event of an attack.

How to prevent a ransomware attack

Our top tips for preventing ransomware attacks can help you stop cyber crime in its tracks:

  1. Train your employees – ensure staff are vigilant. Knowing what to look out for will help them to avoid falling victim to attacks
  2. Ensure your is network is safe – our team of experts can perform a security audit, looking at your systems and software and identifying any risks
  3. Layered security – protect your systems fully with firewalls, antivirus software and filtering
  4. Automated backups – daily backups are essential to protect against data leaks

Malware tracking maps

With preventative measures in place, you’re well placed to prevent a cyber attack. Should you wish to monitor malware activity, live tracking maps allow you to identify and track attacks as they happen in real time, ensuring you are aware of malicious activity.

Useful tools include:



  • Realtime data monitors internet conditions worldwide
  • Allows you to identify which countries/regions are being targeted with attack traffic 

Digital Attack Map


  • Features realtime and pause mode
  • Displays daily statistics on large attacks around the world
  • Shows which countries are experiencing unusually high attack traffic
  • Allows you to sort attacks by source, destination, duration and type 

Fire Eye


  • Realtime visualisation of global cyber attacks
  • Shows the country attacking and the country/countries under attack
  • Shows the total number of detected daily attacks
  • Shows the five most attacked industries from the last 30 days

Intel Malwaretech


  • Live map identifies whenever an infected computer alerts the tracking server
  • Displays the geographical spread of a malware infection

Kaspersky Cybermap 


  • Detection visualisation shows threats discovered worldwide
  • Shows cyber threat stats for a selected country
  • Displays botnet activity



  • Realtime display of global cyber attacks
  • Shows both attacking and targeted IPs
  • Shows the type of malware used, including unknown

Threat Cloud


  • Shows the total number of daily cyber attacks worldwide
  • Shows worldwide cyber attacks in real time
  • Displays the most attacked countries
  • Shows where attacks are originating from, the target country and the malware used

Threat Metrix


  • Fraud detection map shows the origin of account takeover attempts, payment fraud and identity cloning attempts worldwide

For more information please contact us on 0131 541 0020, send us an email info@cans.scot or complete our request via our on-line request form here.

What is an IT Security Risk Assessment & Strategy?

With internet hacking and cyber attacks on the rise, it’s imperative to make sure your business is as secure as possible in its digital use. A government study found that 74% of small firms in the UK suffered a cyber security breach in 2016, whilst 90% of large firms were hit. Attacks can vary in magnitude, but sometimes these security breaches can cost millions of pounds worth of damage. To help you avoid this fate you should perform regular IT security risk assessments, which will diagnose what the biggest risks are for your business and where you should be focusing your defense.

A lot of IT security comes down to common sense – you wouldn’t leave your front door open or a sign that points to where the keys are hidden, would you? It’s similar online, and a lot of cyber security will depend upon you and your actions. However, when conducting an IT risk assessment it is crucial that you seek professional advice. IT can get pretty complex, and an expert will know the biggest risks and see things where you do not. It’s really worth spending the money now in order to save losing it later, the stakes are just too high. Get your IT security risk assessment right and you will be left with a strong, practical security plan that won’t cripple your bank balance or put your business in danger.

Firstly, assess how important IT is to your business and how you use it. Do your business operations depend upon one or another form of digital programming? By addressing this question you can ascertain what position you will be in should your hardware or software be compromised, and thus how to go forward from there. Identify what the information assets are that you use – all the devices, software programs, servers, extra equipment – and how dependent you are on these. You might be a business that can continue operations over the phone, in person, etc, without too much of a hitch should your server go down, for instance, or maybe your business functions through digital equipment, such as printers and digital design programs.

Once you’ve weighed up what assets are most important to your business you can begin to assess each individually for their specific risks. Put together a list of everything that you use on a daily basis, all the computers, machines, handsets, routers, databases and software, and consider what the threats are to each thing and how your business will be affected should they be compromised. Some of the things you should consider are:

  • Theft or loss of hardware
  • Fire damage
  • Water damage
  • Hardware failure
  • Software failure
  • Data theft or loss
  • Data corruption

How easily could any of these incidents occur? What can you personally do to prevent them? Some of these answers will be simple enough, such as moving equipment away from heat sources and out of direct sunlight, but others will be more complicated, and this is why it is important to get expert advice. It’s hard to know how easy particular software is compromised if you don’t have previous experience or the time for in-depth studies of each program you use. It can be mind-boggling how many unique cases you will have to evaluate, but you don’t have to do it alone!

Make sure your IT security risk assessments are regular and consistently shrewd. The dangers regularly change and new threats develop every week, so keep on top of them. You might choose not to act on particular cyber security threats because it’s just not worth your money, but so long as you are aware of the dangers then you can be ready to face the consequences should they arise. Be smart, don’t leave your business in the hands of fate.

For more information please contact us on 0131 541 0020, send us an email info@cans.scot or complete a request via our on-line request form here.

The Rise and Rise of Ransomware

Ransomware is on the rise. In 2016, 40% of businesses across the globe reported ransomware attacks. That figure is even worse in the UK, with over 54% of businesses being targeted. There’s no denying that ransomware is a threat, but what is it and why are businesses leaving themselves vulnerable to it?

Ransomware is a particularly nasty form of cybercrime. It’s less about stealing data, and more about holding it hostage while demanding a payout. Ransomware attackers will breach a company’s security and take control of important documents, effectively blocking the businesses from accessing them. These documents could be of a sensitive nature (e.g. customer information or confidential data) or could be fundamental to the day-to-day running of a business. Many businesses will pay the ransom just to get back to normal and continue trading.

Part of the reason ransomware is on the rise is its sophistication. As technology improves, so do the techniques used by cyber criminals. In fact, most ransomware these days even has a pre-programmed time delay which enables it to be set-up days or weeks before an attack takes place. This makes the ransomware difficult to find, and its origin harder to determine. That’s why it’s essential that businesses focus more on prevention than detection, a fact that still eludes many business owners.

Ransomware attackers do not discriminate between businesses. From individuals and small businesses to universities, libraries and hospitals, all organisations are vulnerable. If you have important information stored of any kind and your security measures aren’t up to scratch, you’re an easy target for cyber criminals.

Security and business growth

One of the most common mistakes made by small businesses is their failure to adapt their security systems as they grow. It’s one thing to have a good network security solution in place when you start out, but if that system doesn’t grow with your business you’re going to make yourself vulnerable. Often, this is something that’s pushed aside by small businesses as they’re too focused on performance and ambition – it’s only natural – but the risk only gets greater as your business grows.

Neutralising the threat

So how do you stop your files from being held hostage? For starters, it’s imperative that businesses develop a ‘culture of untrust’, which means that all sensitive information on the inside needs to be secured. Having a blanket security measure in place that protects the organisation as a whole is important, but when it comes to ransomware it’s often inside access that gives attackers the edge.  You should ensure that:

  • All sensitive information is encrypted as it is transferred
  • Only employees that need access have access (tiered security)
  • Processes are in place to track and record when sensitive data is accessed

Remember that no company is too small to experience a ransomware attack. Often companies are targeted not based on their size or profitability, but their vulnerability. Cyber criminals are opportunists and will simply go for the easiest and most vulnerable business.

Collateral damage

It’s easy to think that ransomware and its effects exist solely within the business. It’s a consuming and draining process after all. However, depending on your industry there’s likely to be more collateral damage from a ransomware attack than a simple breach. There will be an inevitable effect on the relationship you have with your clients/customers and the way your brand is perceived, not to mention the added friction that can be caused as people start pointing the finger. Whose fault was it? Why did this happen? Who was managing our cyber security?

More than ever it’s important for businesses owners, regardless of size, to ‘own’ their risk. Risk isn’t a tangible thing, but it can be quantified by attributing value to data and putting necessary processes in place to protect it. All business have to balance performance with risk, and owning that risk can have extremely positive effects on the day-to-day running of your business while also making you less of a target for would-be attackers.

No business is immune from ransomware attacks. Own the risk and rise above it.

For more information please contact us on 0131 541 0020, send us an email info@cans.scot or complete our request via our on-line request form here.

Data Hoarding and how it Leaves Your Business at Risk

From on-site data storage to cloud computing, businesses are hoarding more data than ever before. That’s not inherently a bad thing; data is one of the most valuable commodities a business owns and earning that data can take a great deal of time and effort. However, storing large amounts of data can pose obvious security and compliance risks that can leave businesses vulnerable to breaches. So far in 2017, cybercrime has already cost the global economy over 69 billion dollars, and 1 in 10 businesses have experienced a security breach. If you think your small business isn’t at risk, it may be time to reconsider.

Small businesses are just as vulnerable as large ones. A staggering 43% of all cyber-attacks in the last year were aimed at businesses with less than 250 staff.

Many of the immediate problems stem from data structuring, or lack thereof. Businesses know that data is important, but if you can’t assign value to that data or organise it in a meaningful way it quickly stacks up. Poor data is kept instead of deleted, records can be easily duplicated and the governance and management of information start to spiral.  This can lead to immediate issues with compliance, as well as long-term vulnerability to cyber attacks. On average, 80% of a company’s content is unstructured or ‘scattered’ and therefore vulnerable to security breaches and cyber attacks.

Scattered content is surprisingly common in small to medium sized businesses. A cyberattack does not discriminate and will target any business that has vulnerabilities, so it’s essential to have adequate security measures in place. However, those security measures can only work effectively if data sets are organised by their value and sensitivity.  Data should be categorised so that security processes are able to identify, record and, if necessary, encrypt files to keep them safe both inside and outside of your network.

Organisation is the key to data security

The key to solving the issue of ‘data hoarding’ is to take back control of your data. Use business insights to ascertain what data means, how valuable it is and whether it should be kept or deleted. Not all data has long-term benefits, and many problems stem from keeping useless data which congests the system and makes it harder to govern.  Rather than giving complete control of data management to an individual person or department within your business, instead try to take a cohesive approach to spread responsibility and minimise the risk. The potential cost of a security breach or internal error could be enormous, so it’s essential that all departments and employees understand best practice data handling. Of course, data access is also a primary concern. You don’t want a network security solution that’s going to make life difficult for your staff. Data and content should be easily accessible to those who need it (and have the right privileges), and workflows should not be disrupted. In many cases, productivity levels can actually be enhanced by a good security solution – data will be more organised and easier to find as a direct result.

Instead of seeing data as a problem that must be managed, embrace it. Securing your data and organising it will make your business more agile and streamline your operations. What’s more, you’ll be able to focus on the day-to-day management of your business without having to worry about potential cyber attacks.

For more information please contact us on 0131 541 0020, send us an email info@cans.scot or complete our request via our on-line request form here.