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A recent study revealed that within 5 years almost 80% of small businesses will have fully adapted to the cloud.

Currently, a lot of small businesses only use the cloud for email, online banking & social media. However, this is changing and many in the small business community are beginning to utilise the diverse range of cloud applications & tools now available to them.

Why is The Cloud the way forward for Small Business?

The cloud is flexible and offers scalability, this greatly improves a business’s ability to control, manage & secure its data. A cost-effective and agile solution, the cloud caters to the changing requirements that most small businesses encounter.

The top 4 reasons the cloud is improving Small Business Productivity:

Security (Online Backup)

The security provided by the cloud decreases vulnerability to hacking and gives you almost real-time data backups so your business is protected from the latest cybersecurity threats. Having this security infrastructure in place allows you to keep your their data safe and streamline your operations while providing 24-hour operational safety.

Collaboration (IaaS)

Collaboration is key, it drives business results. Properly deployed cloud technologies improve everything from daily operational efficiency to quality customer service. Simplicity is paramount when it comes to collaboration and the advances in cloud technology have made it easier than ever for employees to collaborate and drive better business performance. With the correct cloud solution in place, small businesses can schedule, track and manage tasks 24 hours a day, just as easily as the multi-nationals can.

Data Control (SecureFile)

With all data stored in a central location and accessible by authorised employees at any time, businesses can analyse ongoing tasks and projects with ease and if necessary streamline the process. This allows employers and managers the ability to coordinate everything in order to better meet their goals. Meaning small businesses will no longer have projects unexpectedly halted by important documents being forgotten on desks or in other locations as all data can be accessed at any time from any location.

Disaster Recovery (DR)

If disaster strikes, be it natural or otherwise, it causes massive disruption and financial burden for businesses. In fact, it’s widely claimed that 70% of small companies that experience a major data loss go out of business within a year. With a well-designed disaster recovery plan in place companies can reduce much of this, in fact, some disaster recovery solutions offer a near-zero Recovery Time Objective (RTO).

 

For more information on how the cloud can improve your business productivity call 091 511 444 or email info@sleepless.ie

Almost 250,000 computers worldwide have been infected with CryptoLocker since it emerged in April and it has so far been used to extort payments of more than €27m, according to the FBI. Industry experts have been quick to back up the stern message from the National Crime Agency, whose advice to visit internet awareness group Get Safe Online’s website led to the site going down for 15 hours.

Below are some methods experts recommend to protect yourself from GameOver Zeus and CryptoLocker, and remove it if you suspect your computer is infected:

Update your computer programmes – especially anti-virus software

The NCA has advised that people ensure their security software is installed and updated, and that they run scans. Users should also check that their computer operating systems and applications, in general, are up to date.

Microsoft users can do this by using the ‘Check for Updates’ function on Windows Update, while Mac users can choose ‘Software Update’ on the System Preferences menu.

Beware of suspicious emails

Do not open email attachments unless you are certain they are authentic. Potentially harmful emails generally have some or all of the following characteristics according to Get Safe Online:

  • You don’t know the sender.
  • The message contains misspellings (for example using a zero instead of an ‘o’) designed to fool spam filters.
  • It makes an offer that seems too good to be true.
  • The subject line and contents do not match.
  • Contains an urgent offer end date (for example “Buy now and get 50% off”).
  • Contains a request to forward an email to multiple people, and may offer money for doing so.
  • Contains a virus warning.
  • Contains attachments, which could include .exe files.
  • Contains a request from a Bank to fill out forms or provide information.

Change your passwords

If your computer gets hacked, your original passwords may have been compromised by GameOver Zeus and CryptoLocker, and could be used to harvest any important information you store or access on your computer.

Back up your files

All of your files, including photos and documents, should be regularly saved to an online backup provider such as www.sleepless.ie and not stored on a connected external piece of hardware, such as a USB stick or an external hard drive. This means it will not be lost if your computer is attacked, or if it breaks. Any devices connected to your computer during an attack will also be compromised.

Remove Viruses

The US Government has recommended a number of remediation tools which can be used to remove GameOver Zeus.  These include F-Secure (for Windows Vista, 7 and 8 or Windows XP), Heimdal (for Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1), and Kaspersky if you fear your computer is infected.