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IT security 101: Why SSL certificates are so important

SSL certificates

IT security 101: Why SSL certificates are so important

IT security 101: Why SSL certificates are so important

20 Jun, 2019

If you’re a regular internet user, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the increase in websites with a https address, rather than a http. The S stands for “secure” and shows that the website has an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate.

A few years ago, search engines began cracking down on websites that didn’t have this protection for users, while web protection software also began flagging them as a security risk. Afraid to be penalised and have less website visitors, most companies now have SSL certificates installed.

This is good news for businesses and web users who are at an ever-increasing risk of malware as hackers get smarter and more innovative than ever before.

What is an SSL certificate?

Security certificates establish a secret connection between two parties. They use clever algorithms (such as the Diffie–Hellman key exchange) to encrypt communication, including actions and messages, so others can’t see them.

Certificates can be used wherever there is sharing of information, including via Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).

Unfortunately hackers are also getting better at breaking certificates; including SSL certificates where they attempt to add spy bots to a website so they can harvest data from unsuspecting visitors. This is why the Diffie–Hellman algorithm is often used in conjunction with “Salt” security. Salt constantly changes the “flavour” of a connection, which reduces the possibility that it can get hacked.

How do you get an SSL or other security certificate?

Security certificates for VPNs and apps can be added to your computer by creating a certificate and a private key on the server. This should be done by an experienced IT professional, as it’s not a simple process and can be disastrous when done incorrectly.

SSL certificates for websites are now provided for free by most hosting providers because they are considered an industry standard.

It’s important to know that you are getting a genuine certificate and not one that has been re-issued from another domain. This is a serious issue that has plagued some digital security companies and caused widespread problems for companies and their website visitors alike.

The technical complexity of certificates is not something a user (be it a staff member or web visitor) ever sees, but it does ensure their safety. And keeping people safe when they are using your IT is paramount to building trust, complying with data collection regulations, and protecting your business’s proprietary information.

For more information on how to increase security using certificates in your business, call Empreus IT Support on (02) 6189 1322 or contact us now.

IT security 101: Remote working with Virtual Private Networks

IT for remote working

IT security 101: Remote working with Virtual Private Networks

IT security 101: Remote working with Virtual Private Networks

29 May, 2019

** Please note this is about VPNs for business-related file sharing. Not VPNs that let you use an IP from another country to watch Netflix!

Working the 9-5 in an office is fast becoming a thing of the past, with more people choosing to work from home or a booth in a trendy café than ever before. And with a rise in remote working comes a need for business owners to modernise their IT systems and enable remote working.

To do this, some companies house their work files on a Cloud server so staff can access them from anywhere at any time. Azure, Google and Amazon all offer variations of Cloud servers, which are now the norm in companies that have adopted a Cloud-only or hybrid Cloud approach.

But for companies that aren’t ready, willing or able to move part or all of their private files to a Cloud server, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) offer all the same advantages without some of the perceived disadvantages of Cloud.

What is a VPN?

A VPN extends a local network (i.e.: the network in your office) across a public network (but in a private way) so staff can work as though they were sitting right there in your office.

There are many benefits to adding a VPN to your business, including:

  • Allows remote working
  • Facilitates collaboration
  • Connects offices in different locations
  • Makes it easy to access files in an emergency
  • Provides a secure way to share files rather than by email

Progressive organisations see VPNs as essential, because they make it easy to offer flexible working arrangements. For example, new parents can work from home half a week and spend the other half in the office – allowing them to save on day care while continuing their career (which is mutually beneficial).

How does a VPN work?

When we set up a VPN for your business, we create a new private network by configuring your server. We then provide staff access with their own unique logins.

The staff member can then:

  • Install the VPN software
  • Connect securely to the VPN
  • Connect to their desktop via a secure remote desktop connection

And presto! They are working on the server just as they would be in the office, with access to the same desktop, email and folders they usually work in.

Are VPNs safe?

When set up correctly, a VPN is very safe as it is not front-facing (part of the World Wide Web) and can incorporate a variety of security measures to ensure hackers do not penetrate the network.

For example, if someone tried to logon to the server, the session would timeout and they would have to start their hack attempt again. This double layer of security is essential and acts like a firewall to keep unsavoury characters away from your private data.

You can also add extra security such as “Salt” which could include 2-factor authentication. Like the salt you eat, this clever software changes the “flavouring” of each VPN connection – adding a unique variable that changes constantly so hackers find it incredibly difficult to get in.

To set up a VPN (Cloud or server) in your business, call Empreus IT Support on (02) 6189 1322 or contact us now.

IT security 101: physical security

security to protect your IT

IT security 101: physical security

IT security 101: physical security

17 Apr, 2019

At Empreus IT, we want to help you keep your business and its critical data secure. That’s why we’ve been running a series of articles called IT security 101.

So far in the series, we’ve covered the importance of firewalls and anti-virus, and their roles in defending your business data from inevitable threats.

Using the analogy of your business as a castle, we have explored the idea that:

  • Firewalls are a moat that surround the castle and limit the number of attackers that make it onto castle grounds
  • Your anti-virus is the castle guards that detect and eliminate threats swiftly and effectively

In this third article, we want to explain why it’s essential to have good physical security to protect your IT hardware. In keeping with our castle theme, think of physical security as the heavy duty locks and latches on your castle door.

What is physical security?

Physical security is the tangible barrier you place between people and IT systems. It makes it physically difficult to get to your IT systems and damage, steal or break them.

Physical security can include:

  • Locks
  • Keyless doors (requiring a fingerprint)
  • Security systems
  • Server cages

There are many options to choose from, including revolutionary new Cloud technology systems that monitor and store security data and camera feeds in the Cloud (so they cannot be edited or deleted easily).

Why is physical security important?

Critical IT hardware (such as your server) houses your business’s confidential and critical data.

Whether or not it’s intentional or accidental, if people can touch your IT hardware, they can break it. For example, if your server sits in the same area as your staff and someone accidentally spills coffee on it, it could be destroyed….along with all of your data.

Imagine that – all the documents you have worked countless hours to create, gone in an instant!

Keeping expensive and critical hardware in a separate room and ensuring that room has security is the best way to avoid accidents, protect your proprietary information, and reduce the risk to your business.

How can Empreus IT help with physical security?

While we do not supply locks, bolts, cages or cameras, we can advise you on:

  • The physical security you need for your specific business
  • Where to buy it
  • How to install it (some systems will require an electrician)

We are experienced in mapping camera networks and ensuring full functionality, as well as setting up access rules and monitoring IT systems for integrity and longevity.

For a confidential consultation on adding physical security to your business castle, call Empreus IT on (02) 6189 1322 or contact us now.

IT security 101: anti-virus and web protection

anti virus and web protection

IT security 101: anti-virus and web protection

IT security 101: anti-virus and web protection

14 Mar, 2019

Last month, we talked about the importance of firewalls and how they add valuable security to your IT network. Comparing your business to a castle, we explored the idea of a firewall as a moat – reducing the number of attackers that make it onto your castle grounds.

In keeping with this metaphor, this month we want to explore additional layers of security that help keep your greatest asset (your data) safe.

Most people are well aware of the benefits of anti-virus for their computer or devices. This clever software aims to prevent viruses from penetrating your system that can:

  • Steal personal information
  • Stop your computer from working
  • Lock you out of your own data
  • Force you to pay money to have it released

But how does anti-virus software really work? And how do you know which anti-virus software to choose?

Here’s our low-down on anti-virus and web protection…

What is anti-virus and web protection?

If you imagine your business castle, anti-virus and web protection are the soldiers that stand on the castle walls ready and waiting with their arrows pointed.

They aim to take out any offender identified as foreign and threatening to the ecosystem, protecting everyone in the castle (your data) from danger.

How does anti-virus and web protection work?

If a literal virus were to plague humanity tomorrow, scientists would work round the clock to understand how the virus works so they can develop a vaccine.

Technology viruses are essentially no different. When hackers create a new virus, security software companies such as Norton, McAfee, Symantec, and so on work tirelessly to understand how these viruses operate.

Once they understand them, they can define the parameters needed to identify and block them. For example, if a virus does X then Y then Z, it is a Trojan. With these parameters defined, your computer will quickly pick up on a Trojan’s attempt to get into the system and quarantine it.

Web protection works in a similar way. If a website attempts to run a command or execution that has been identified as risky, the web protection software jumps in and marks it as malware. This stops you from clicking through to the website and unknowingly downloading a virus.

Viruses on websites can happen if the website has been compromised by hackers (unknown to the company that owns it), or if the hackers have intentionally created a fake domain for when people accidentally type in the wrong URL.

How do I choose the best anti-virus?

If you are a home user, a standard subscription to a reputable anti-virus software product should be sufficient, such as:

  • Bitdefender
  • Norton anti-virus
  • Kaspersky anti-virus
  • ESET anti-virus
  • Webroot anti-virus

At Empreus IT, we recommend Bitdefendor as we have found them to be good value for money and superior to other anti-virus products. If you run a company, enterprise anti-virus software will give you faster updates and more support, and occasionally offer cyber security insurance with your subscription.

The reason we do not advise our clients to use free anti-virus software is because they often do not update as regularly as paid software. This means you may be protected from viruses that were current 2 years ago – not viruses that are a risk to you today.

When you do pay for an anti-virus subscription and install it, you need to ensure “automatic updates” are turned on so that it constantly updates with the latest measures to combat the latest threats.

That being said however, new viruses come out every single day. So you should always exercise a high level of caution when clicking links in emails, visiting unknown websites, or downloading files.

Staying on top of computer viruses and malware

As your outsourced IT department, Empreus IT offers a valuable Managed IT Service to keep your company and its data better protected.

We consult to help you choose the right level of anti-virus software, install it onto every device (and server if applicable), and then monitor it 24/7 to ensure it is up to date and working efficiently. If the system flags a virus, we are straight onto it – finding out what has happened, making sure it is quarantined, and helping you implement measures so that it doesn’t happen again (such as better staff training on the dangers of unsolicited emails).

To order your own private security advisor who will walk the grounds of your castle 24/7, call Empreus IT on (02) 6189 1322 or contact us now.

IT security 101: What is a firewall and why should you care?

firewall moat

IT security 101: What is a firewall and why should you care?

IT security 101: What is a firewall and why should you care?

18 Feb, 2019

Knowing the possible devastation that results from malicious hackers penetrating your private computer systems, wouldn’t you be willing to do just about anything to prevent it?

In our last post, 2019 tech predictions you don’t want to ignore, we talked about the increasing threat of malware due to advancements in tech, and the effect this can (and does) have on businesses large and small.

With this in mind, we’re embarking on a series of blog posts to help you understand the main elements that combine to create effective IT security. Implementing each of these elements (properly) will improve your chances of avoiding these hacks.

So without further ado, let’s start with the first port of protection every business needs: a good firewall.

What is a firewall?

A firewall is a little black box that connects directly to the device that connects to the internet. Its job is to filter incoming traffic and prevent unauthorised users from accessing your network.

If you imagine your business as a castle, a Firewall is the moat that surrounds it and provides a first line of defence.

It eases the burden on the second and third lines of defence (archers who stand on the castle wall, and then soldiers inside the castle) by reducing the number of attackers who make it onto the castle grounds.

How does a firewall work?

When you send out a request for information via the internet (i.e.: you “Google” something), the internet sends the information back to your computer via your network port. Think of your network port like a road that leads to your castle.

There may only be one real road in, but there are thousands of other roads (ports) that attackers will try to take to get to your castle. This is why you need a good firewall, or moat, to stop them in their tracks. The firewall basically rejects any user who is trying to come through via the wrong port.

There will be a lucky few who do come down the right road and find a bridge over the moat, but this is where your other defences need to kick in and do their job.

Which firewall do I choose?

This depends on how deep you want your moat to be!

For basic home users, the firewall inclusion in a standard router is usually sufficient. This works in tandem with firewall software included in most anti-virus applications installed on the computer, and will do a reasonable job of preventing attacks.

For a business however, more users spending more time on the network increases the risk. The consequences of failing to protect data can also be more severe from a financial and reputational perspective.

Business users need a strong and intelligent firewall that can adapt to our ever-changing tech environment and pick up on sneaky attackers who are using unique ways to try and get through (such as parachuting over the moat!).

At Empreus IT, we recommend Juniper, Cisco and Watchguard firewalls. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages, depending on the size and nature of your business. To find out which one is right for you, give us a call for a friendly chat and we can discuss your options.

Once your firewall is in place, we can also manage it for you via a Managed IT Services agreement. This is where we take on the role of security advisor for your castle, and walk the grounds 24/7 to make sure all of your defences are working as efficiently and effectively as possible.

To chat with us about getting a firewall or Managed Services for your castle, give us a call on (02) 6189 1322 or contact us now.

2019 tech predictions you don’t want to ignore

2019 tech predictions

2019 tech predictions you don’t want to ignore

2019 tech predictions you don’t want to ignore

21 Jan, 2019

2018 was a massive year for tech advancement, with new developments making communication, collaboration, and systemisation much faster and simpler than ever before.

As we head into a year filled with the promise of even greater technological achievement with AI, blockchain, robotics, Cloud, 5G communications and more, we appear to be edging ever-closer to the futuristic worlds that awed – and sometimes scared – us in movies such as the Fifth Element and Minority Report.

With new changes creating new risks, we wanted to shine a light on a few areas we believe will have a direct impact on SMEs this year.

Here are our top 4 tech predictions for 2019 that you shouldn’t ignore:

Cloud rules…but at what cost?

Cloud was on everyone’s lips in 2018, as business owners looked for any and all ways to jump on the bandwagon and incorporate Cloud into their business.

And while there are numerous benefits to Cloud technology, some businesses were shocked to find that the cost of moving to Cloud storage far exceeded their expectations (and their budget).

The market is dominated by a small number of major players who all offer similar pricing structures, so it can be difficult to find a stand-out deal on Cloud storage. For those businesses that require a lot of storage, the monthly fees can add up to more than the outright cost of a beefy in-house server over just one year.

Does this mean you should do away with Cloud altogether?

No. It just means that before you take a leap into a new technology – even when everyone is touting it as “the next best thing” – you should understand the costs and make an informed decision that’s right for your business.

There are multiple cloud strategies, including staged and hybrid approaches that may be more appropriate for you. If you’re not sure, ask us to do an objective analysis on your business so we can help you make a sound decision.

Hackers will get better

Many people read about the Marriott’s Starwood hotels hack that may have resulted in the private data of as many as 500 million guests across 4 years being compromised. Essentially, the hackers could have obtained enough information about a single person to be able to verify 100 points of ID (allowing them to assume your identity and run up horrendous bills).

Most recently, it was also reported that an incredible 773 million email addresses and passwords were hacked and released to a hacking forum.

With increasingly clever tech at their disposal, hackers are only getting better at finding ways to penetrate systems and steal company data.

If you don’t invest in proper security, you are at risk. If you don’t train your staff on how to be security-conscious when opening emails, visiting websites, or downloading files, you are at risk.

Security management of IT requires diligent monitoring and a dedication to keeping commercial-grade antivirus software up-to-date and working effectively.

Don’t waste money on tech that will quickly be superseded

Before upgrading any devices (phone, tablet, laptop, etc.) this year, first check to see what new technology may be just around the corner.

For example, if you plan to upgrade your phone you may want to hold off until your favourite manufacturer incorporates 5G-compatible hardware. 5G communications will be turned on around the country from as early as 2019, and will allow you to send and receive data faster than ever before.

New phones will likely be 4G and 5G compatible, whereas older phones are 3G and 4G compatible. If you can wait until the former becomes available, you should get a much better return on your investment. 

Anti-encryption laws open the door to trouble

Australia’s new anti-encryption laws require tech companies to give “backdoor access” to government security agencies so they can essentially read any text message or instant message you send over private networks such as WhatsApp, Slack and Facebook.

According to the Bill, companies should only create the backdoor if it doesn’t compromise security – however we know that any backdoor to software is a security risk. Hackers purposefully seek out backdoors to steal private information. So it’s going to be very difficult for these companies to comply with the laws and ensure 100% confidentiality for the messages you send.

If you are a tech company affected by this law, you may want to discuss it in depth with your lawyer or advisor so they can help you be compliant, but also go as far as possible in protecting users’ security.

Stay ahead of the pack

If you want a more proactive approach to IT management and security this year, ask us about Managed IT Services.

Managed IT Services means you’ll always have IT knowledge at your fingertips, plus 24/7 security monitoring, assurance on software updates, and much more.

And if you sign up for a Managed Services agreement before February 15, 2019 we’ll give you the 12th month FREE.

To learn more or to get Managed Services for your business, please call Empreus IT Support on (02) 6189 1322 or contact us now.

Is Cloud VoIP right for your business?

cloud voip

Is Cloud VoIP right for your business?

Is Cloud VoIP right for your business?

20 Nov, 2018

One of the most essential elements of any business are the lines of communication with customers. For someone to buy from you, they need to be able to reach you, ask you questions, and place an order with you.

If they can’t do that, they will surely find a competing business to buy from instead.

If you’re a micro business owner, you probably list your mobile as the main contact number. However as you grow, the need for a landline grows too. It allows you to keep your mobile number more private, and gives your business credibility while helping you appear more established.

To get a landline, you have three options:

  • Standard public telephone network
  • VoIP
  • Cloud VoIP

Option three is the latest addition to the telecoms industry, but is already receiving rave reviews from business owners keen to implement a reliable solution at a low cost.

What is Cloud VoIP?

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. This means that rather than making a phone call though a standard phone line, you are making it over the internet.

VoIP systems are usually managed via a small box that sits in your office and is connected to your internet line. The box allows you to configure your settings, and manage incoming and outgoing calls.

Cloud VoIP, however, allows you to configure and manage your VoIP remotely, so you can access it anytime, anywhere.

Why Cloud VoIP?

It’s cheaper. When you’re building a business from the ground up, you know how important it is to offer a great service while keeping overheads low.

The biggest benefit of Cloud VoIP is that it is a lot cheaper than most other landline options. Cloud VoIP can cost as little as $25 per month, compared to the standard public telephone network (PSTN) which is usually more than $50 per month.

PSTN plans also cost you line rental plus the cost of each telephone call you make in the month. With Cloud VoIP, most plans offer all calls for free – so you only ever pay for the cost of the number and no more.

You can access it remotely. The benefits of Cloud VoIP are the same as the benefits of Cloud technology in general – it doesn’t require onsite hardware, costs less to get started, and allows you to make changes (such as add new numbers, set up a diversion, check incoming and outgoing calls, and so on) from wherever you are.

If you use an IT Support company to manage this for you, the absence of an onsite visit usually means this can get sorted faster and cheaper.

It scales and moves easily. In the case of a standard landline, you pay to rent the line. In the case of Cloud VoIP, you are paying to rent the number. So adding new numbers as you grow (or removing them if you downsize) is simple and painless.

It’s also very easy to scale geographically. I.e.: you don’t need to get a new landline installed if you open a new or second office – you simply setup your phones and can add new numbers whenever you need them.

You can also choose any area code you want – without having to be in that area.

Other benefits that are possible through certain Cloud VoIP providers include:

  • Call centre additions. Some Cloud VoIP providers offer real-person call taking services.
  • Better monitoring. You can quickly and easily view call logs, times, phone numbers, etc. You may even be able to request call to email transcription.
  • Many VoIP services allow users to answer calls directly from their computer, or have them quickly and cost-effectively routed to a mobile. Voicemails can be sent by email, or transcribed to text messages.
  • Some Cloud VoIP systems integrate easily with other software, so you can integrate with other communications platforms, such as video conferencing.

To get Cloud VoIP for your business, or to find out more, give Empreus IT a call on (02) 6189 1322.

Why the right router is critical for your business

computer trouble

Why the right router is critical for your business

Why the right router is critical for your business

15 Oct, 2018

A router is a foundational piece of equipment in any IT environment. However, it rarely receives the respect it deserves when it comes to choosing the right one.

While home users and micro businesses might be able to get away with standard routers, anything larger than a small business with three employees needs to invest in a router that provides much greater security and can handle larger volumes of traffic.

As the device responsible for directing traffic across your network, your router plays a critical role in:

  • Facilitating your internet connection
  • Securing your internet connection
  • Routing internet traffic to devices in the internal network

A bad or insufficient router leaves users with an unstable internet connection, which is often a frequent cause of workplace meltdowns. This is particularly annoying if your users are working in the Cloud or use an intranet.

Worse than this, an insufficient router is also a security risk, because it does not contain the necessary features to block potential attacks.

Choosing the right router

Router specs are hard for non-technical people to understand. If this is you, you can either spend countless hours googling it, or you can hire an IT expert to evaluate your business and suggest a router that will meet your needs.

When we’re trying to determine the best router for a business, we look at:

  • The size of your organisation
  • How many users are typically on the network at any given time
  • Your security needs

Then we compare it with the different capabilities of the routers we believe offer the best value for money.

This includes the speed, range, bandwidth, security, and ability to customise certain features.

Some of the latest routers available through Juniper and Cisco offer benefits such as next generation connectivity, scalability, automation (through the incorporation of AI), and cloud-based monitoring and management.

You may not need all of the latest whizz-bang features. However, you do need features that are going to offer you the right level of connectivity and security to ensure a seamless connection and the safety of your IT environment.

For help choosing the right router for your business, please give us a call on (02) 6189 1322 or contact us.

How protecting your email can save your business

spam

How protecting your email can save your business

How protecting your email can save your business

21 Sep, 2018

To respond or not to respond?

That is a question you’d rather not leave in the hands of human error when it comes to responding to an unknown email.

Email is one of the world’s most used communication and marketing channels in business, so it’s no surprise that it’s also quite susceptible to the likes of spam and malicious hackers.

According to a US research firm, the number of email users worldwide will top 3.0 billion by 2020. This equates to almost half the global population – which is why it’s such an enticing avenue for criminals!

Cybercriminals target email users through:

  • Spam
  • Phishing (pretending to be a business you know or trust)
  • Identity Theft
  • Malware

Taking a proactive approach to preventing an attack on your business is essential.

You could invest time and money training your employees on email security. However, keep in mind that some phishing emails are so cleverly crafted it’s almost impossible to tell that they’re fake. They even include branding and official letterheads for authenticity.

Some email hacking techniques see multiple emails sent that are designed to build a relationship with the user over time before requesting and stealing data.

Clicking on a link in an email can release malicious software onto your entire IT network. It may sit quietly in the background, tracking everything you do. Or, it may make your computers slow and unresponsive. Or, it may lock down all of your files and require you to pay a ransom before they are released back to you.

With almost all staff using email, human error is inevitable. Your data needs more than passwords, training, and hoping staff will be diligent enough to analyse every email that arrives in their inbox.

Email protection software

When you want to protect the integrity of your data, it’s important to take a digital strategy. In the case of emails, this means email protection software.

Email protection software works to identify theft and cybercrime opportunities from the onset to provide 24/7 security support. It also protects your customers’ systems when communicating with them with via email, since most threats are found in unauthorised links and false attachments.

Installed and managed correctly, email protection software filters all of your company’s emails before allowing them to reach their designated inbox. If the email is likely to present a threat, it will be held.

To ensure you get the emails you want, we can help you set up allowances for emails you trust so they always make it through. We will also show you how to login and view held emails, so that you can clear them if they are legitimate.

Importantly, the best email protection software updates regularly so that it’s always protecting against the latest spam or malware outbreaks.

At Empreus IT, we understand the detrimental effects one incorrectly opened email can have on a business, so we’ve teamed up with leading email protection software providers to help protect your business and your clients during every day email transactions.

No business is too small to consider email protection. We can install it for you, or add it as part of a Managed Services agreement, so you are assured of constant monitoring, management and security of all your IT systems.

For more information on security recommendations for your business, or for an affordable quote, please call our team at Empreus IT on (02) 6189 1322 or contact us here.

Virtualisation: invest in what you need, when you need it

Virtualisation Canberra

Virtualisation: invest in what you need, when you need it

Virtualisation: invest in what you need, when you need it

20 Aug, 2018

Despite the fact that it sounds like a new age concept, virtualisation has actually been around since the earlier days of computing in the 1960s.

In order to reduce the need to expand the number of physical machines (desktop computers or servers), the idea was to find ways to maximise the capability of a single machine through clever allocation of its resources (storage, memory and processing).

This has evolved over the past 50 years to become one of the most exciting and useful developments in computing: virtualisation.

Virtualisation basically allows you to create multiple computers inside one computer, or multiple servers inside one server. The virtualisation software (VMware) allocates hardware resources where they are needed most, thereby maximising the use of a single machine.

But virtualisation has many more benefits than just cost and space saving on hardware.

Here are our 4 favourite advantages of virtualisation…

  1. Scale to meet business demand

Finding, purchasing, installing and maintaining a new server can be a time consuming and relatively costly exercise, and is rarely set up to match your exact business needs. I.e.: if you are managing 50 people in your workplace, your server probably has the capacity to handle 100 – meaning that you’re wasting space and not utilising all of your hardware effectively.

Virtualisation, on the other hand, makes it easier to scale by growing the system gradually as you increase resources. If you decrease resources, it will also scale down to match. This elimination of wastage provides a more efficient and affordable way to run your on-premise system.

It’s also faster and easier to test new applications, without making a significant investment in a physical test server.

  1. Recover from disaster

Because your software is not managed directly by your machine (it’s managed by the VMware), maintenance or repairs can be done without disruption to your business. This lack of downtime is essential for most businesses that rely on IT.

If your server fails, or you are hit with a virus, you should be able to continue working while it is being repaired. If your business data is critical to the success of your business, we would also recommend a DATO backup solution. In conjunction with virtualisation, it ensures that all of your data is being backed up regularly, and can be made available in the cloud so you can continue working if the worst were to happen.

  1. Mobility, productivity and collaboration

Today’s workforce is more mobile than ever, and should be supported by an IT infrastructure that allows for remote working while enhancing collaboration between teams.

Virtualisation allows remote logins to virtual desktops, where staff can access all of their files and the software they need to continue working – wherever they are. Used in conjunction with messaging apps and video conferencing, you can easily build a workforce that is empowered to work anytime, anywhere.

  1. Green IT

Most businesses are committed to being more conscious about their energy usage, and virtualisation is a definite step forward in achieving this.

By reducing the need for more physical hardware, you are also reducing the amount of heating, cooling and space that is required to run your computer’s IT system. And this can have further-reaching benefits than just the impact on your business bank account and the effectiveness of your IT.

Please keep in mind that virtualisation and cloud are not the same thing – even though they do complement each other very well. Having a virtualised server can make it easier to migrate certain IT operations to the cloud, which is something we can walk you through if you decide that a hybrid cloud environment is best suited to your business.

To chat with us about virtualising your desktops or servers, and maximising ROI for your IT hardware, give us a call on (02) 6189 1322 or contact us now.