An IT Support Blog from London

Read the latest IT news, tips and insights from IT Support pros at HTL Support

Cloud Versus On-site: The Undisputed

Cost advantages of Cloud Computing Solutions

Cost analysis reveals the indisputable truth

Today, boxing is a questionable sport. To many, the risk of serious injury and death to its participants simply makes it unacceptable. To some, it seems anachronistic and it does perhaps belong to a different time because it harks back to the gladiatorial spectacles of an older human civilisation.

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‘Support’ is more important than ‘IT’ in IT Support

'Support' is more important than 'IT' in IT Support

Greater emphasis on Support rather than IT skills

That’s a slightly provocative title for this blog. After all, there are two elements here. ‘IT’ refers to the technical bit, the ‘hard’ skills, while ‘Support’ speaks to the ‘soft’ skills of dealing with people, the context of any problem and managing it through to resolution.

For any given problem to be resolved within an acceptable time-frame requires the support person to be able to deliver on both counts equally well.

So why do we make the assertion that there is a greater emphasis on Support skills rather than IT skills?

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Ransomware: Increasing threat requires greater preparedness, common sense and resolution

Ransomware: Increasing threat requires greater preparedness, common sense and resolution

National publicity for council ransomware attack

In January it was nationally reported that Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) had fallen victim to a ransomware attack which rendered it unable to access systems and data for a week. Across the authority, as many as 5,000 staff had to revert to manual processes using pen and paper.

The cybercriminals had performed data ‘kidnapping’ by infecting LCC systems and encrypting the data. The data remained on the organisation’s infrastructure but was rendered inaccessible. The ransom demand for its safe release by providing the decryption key was set at the princely sum of $500 (£350).

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Can you run your business from a tablet?

IT Support for businesses in London

Tablets conquer the world in less than 7 years

Today’s tablets are powerful, flexible and handy computing devices. It’s hard to think that the first tablet to gain popular mainstream acceptance, the original Apple iPad, only debuted on April 3rd 2010.

Since then the market has exploded with devices from the big hardware manufacturers as well as those from hundreds of new market entrant brands. There are a lot of size options and the smallest 3/4G capable ones blur the line between the phone and the tablet – quite literally where does the tablet end and the smartphone begin?

Tablet computers are ubiquitous and seem to have conquered practically all markets. But can you run a business from one?

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The perils of IT support from a one-man band

IT Support for IT Problems

IT staffing ratio - how do the numbers stack up?

In a company of perhaps 20 people or so, many will have taken the view that staff numbers mean there is enough work to recruit an IT manager. However, what do you do before you reach this size?

Many small companies choose to engage external consultants to provide hands-on support. Often these are solo operators, one-man bands. While they may be competent and well-intentioned, there are a number of inherent problems which may prevent them from responding with the appropriate service levels you need to run your business.

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Privacy Shield: Wrangle over Safe Harbour and US Government access to EU data appears finally settled

Serviced Cloud ensure privacy and UK data sovereignty of the data of British businesses

Privacy Shield a more formal compliance framework

Disagreement over the Safe Harbour, which let American companies use a single standard for consumer privacy and data storage in both the US and Europe, appears to have finally ended. Safe Harbour was rejected by the EU following leaks by Edward Snowden which discredited it because US Government security agencies were revealed to have flouted the rules.

Safe Harbour let US companies self-certify they protected data about EU citizens appropriately; however, the US National Security Agency practiced widespread surveillance through accessing data which was supposedly protected by Safe Harbour.

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Why your IT manager needs our backup and support

IT Support for IT Managers in London

The need for vital skills and expertise

One of the key HR concepts in business is to avoid person dependence. Many businesses have experienced difficulties resulting from the inability to access vital skills and expertise, from specific individuals, relied on to deliver services to clients and customers.

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3 of the best: Reasons for business users to upgrade to Windows 10

Best reasons to upgrade to Windows 10

The free Windows 10 upgrade has ended on 29 Julay 2016. If you choose to upgrade an old Windows PC, you'll now have to pay. 

Clock is ticking down so don’t miss the chance

Windows 10 was rolled out last summer to the relief of many Windows PC, laptop and tablet users. The previous versions 8 and 8.1 had not gone down well with many users. To placate the disgruntled and to restore some faith Microsoft decided to offer the Windows 10 upgrade free to Windows 7 and 8/8.1 users.

Many of those eligible for the upgrade will have seen the regular pop-up reminding them to take the plunge and get on with it. The latest version of this pop-up actually specifies the upgrade for a scheduled date and time, unless the user interacts with the pop-up and cancels the upgrade.

Microsoft ends the free upgrade offer on 29 July 2016, so the clock is ticking down. After this date upgrade pricing is £100 per devices.If you use Windows 7/8/8.1 on a personally owned computing device it’s your choice whether to go ahead; however if you are a business user, the decision will be down to your IT manager, department or service providers.

From the perspective of businesses, here are what we consider to be the 3 best reasons to upgrade to Windows 10.

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13 ways HTL supports practice and helps the accountancy profession obtain more value from technology

Exemplary support for the compliance mission in the finance sector

13 ways Serviced Cloud supports practice of Accountancy Profession

Businesses operating in regulated sectors need access to technology that supports the compliance mission. When it comes to Professional Services organisations, technology and service providers need to be exemplary in helping to discharge regulatory obligations. Here we highlight how HTL Support provides the solutions to help accountancy firms get the best from technology while meeting compliance and following best practice.

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10 ways to avoid phishing scams tricking you into revealing personal or financial information to cybercriminals

Email Security solutions to avoid phishing

Don’t fall victim…

One of the most serious risks originating from the Internet to businesses and domestic users is the threat of phishing. Phishing is a form of fraud where a cybercriminal attempts to trick the recipient of a message into revealing information such as login credentials or account information by masquerading as a reputable entity or person, typically in an email, but it can be attempted through other communication channels.

A victim receives a message that appears to have been sent by a known contact or organisation. An attachment or links in the message may install malware on the recipient’s device or send them to a malicious website designed to trick them into divulging personal and financial information, such as passwords, account IDs or credit card details.

You then find your personal or business bank account has been raided or your credit cards used to purchase luxury goods. Here are 10 ways to prevent users in your business from being tricked by phishing emails.

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