Modern Networks is a leading provider of IT and telecommunications to the UK’s commercial property sector. Last week, James Tizzard, Managing Director of Modern Networks sat down with Charlie Trumpess to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the company and its clients during 2019. James explained how property companies are increasingly turning to automation, introducing new software and systems, to reduce waste and increase efficiencies. Naturally, as property clients grow larger so their IT networks become more complex, creating new challenges.
Although uncertainty over Brexit remains headline news, it seems that GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) continues to challenge property clients a year after its introduction. From establishing policies to providing data security, Modern Networks is working with property clients to understand and meet their new compliance obligations. GDPR requires you have robust systems in place to protect sensitive data. This means it’s essential that property customers replace outdated and unsupported systems such as Windows 7 and Server 2008.
This coming January Windows 7 and Server 2008 will become obsolete. Microsoft will end all support: new bugs will go unfixed and new security vulnerabilities will go unpatched. Modern Networks have already started a replacement program to ensure our clients move to Windows 10 before the deadline. James explains, “The key thing is to understand how much old technology you currently have on-site. If you are not sure, speak to us, and we can help you identify those assets. The only way to solve the problem is to upgrade old PCs from Windows 7 to Windows 10, which would be a compliant operating system. It’s not very often that it’s financially viable to do that. Instead, it’s better to replace aging PCs and laptops with new devices as the best way forward.”
Cyber attacks and data breaches make headline news almost every day. What is Modern Networks doing to help our clients minimise the risks from cybercrime? “We’re really helping our clients improve the management of their IT networks. There has been a big push around IT governance within our clients’ businesses, so understanding the regulations, what it means for them, what they need to be mindful of when working with their suppliers, customer and employees. Helping to get the right policies in place.” James goes onto explain, “Once those policies are in place, we can help make sure the client meets those requirements by securing networks, making sure operating systems are up-to-date, helping address any immediate risks, and providing the right advice.”
Cyber Security Assessment
For clients concerned about their cyber security, Modern Networks provides a Cyber Security Assessment (CSA). The CSA comprises of an external scan of a network’s integrity and an internal examination of its IT assets and their configuration. Next, Modern Networks offers recommendations about where immediate risks exist and what should be done to manage those risks. The idea is to achieve a minimum recognised standard of IT security such as that required by the UK Government’s Cyber Essentials scheme or ISO27001.
In the first quarter of 2019, phishing email attacks have been a constant cause of concern for Modern Networks customers. Phishing is the use of malicious emails and websites designed to trick victims into clicking dubious links, opening harmful attachments or revealing confidential information. Most clients already use Office 365, which provides good, robust security countermeasures to filter out some of these malicious emails. However, inevitably, some phishing emails continue to get through. James Tizzard explains, “That if you are seeing frequent emails that look like they might be phishing, do call our Service Desk and raise the issue immediately.”
Cyber security awareness
One of our clients’ best defences against cyber attacks and data breaches is its own staff. Modern Networks continues to provide advice, online tools and training to help our clients raise the level of cyber security awareness throughout their organisations. James explains, “This is really about staying up to date, understanding the nature of the technology world, what not to click and what’s safe to click, ultimately. Some clients have spoken to us about formal security awareness training, and that is something we can provide.”
As clients to continue to grow, develop and innovate, Modern Networks provides the technical advice and IT services necessary to fulfil their business goals, help them meet new compliance obligations and defend themselves from cyber threats. To learn more about Modern Networks range of services click here.