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  • January 08, 2019 12:48:59 PM

A Little About Us

Onestop IT Solutions provides IT services to your business. Established in 2003, OnestopIT has grown to a staff of 9 with 3 offices covering Edinburgh and Glasgow. The team offers IT support, IT strategy, IT security and IT compliance support. At Onestop IT we care about understanding the specific needs of your organisation and translating these needs into action plans to support and develop your business.

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  • Annual Regular Membership: 1 Year Term 2020-01-08 17:48:59 (195 days left)
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    What Is A Firewall And How To Choose The Right One For You

    When a layperson is asked about cybersecurity, “firewall” is likely to be one of the first phrases that come to their mind. You might well be one of these people. But do you actually understand what a firewall does and how it protects your device and company network? That’s exactly what we’ll Discover more The post What Is A Firewall And How To Choose The Right One For You appeared first on Onestop...

    fire exit

    When a layperson is asked about cybersecurity, “firewall” is likely to be one of the first phrases that come to their mind. You might well be one of these people. But do you actually understand what a firewall does and how it protects your device and company network?

    That’s exactly what we’ll be going through in today’s blog post. While this topic might seem pretty complex and confusing at first glance, we’ve done our best to break down this topic so that anyone can understand the basics of why having a good firewall should be an important part of a good IT strategy. So read on to discover what exactly a firewall is, how it works and what kind of a product is best for you and your organisation.

    What is a firewall?

    Simply put, a firewall is a piece of software or hardware that acts as a gatekeeper for all the data coming in and out of your organisation.

    The way computers communicate across the internet is through small “packets” of code. Your firewall inspects these code packets against a set of pre-established rules to evaluate whether letting it pass poses a security threat to your device or wider network. In this way, it protects your organisation from cyber attacks by acting as a kind of bouncer for access to your data and resources. It does this by managing and controlling your network traffic and recording and reporting on activity.

    Managing and controlling your network traffic means that you can have more confidence over the data that comes in and leaves your organisation. You can set any number of your own rules to block specific domain names, protocols, IP addresses and so on, though your firewall will likely come with some pre-configured rules as well to make sure you have protection from day one.

    The recording and reporting of your network traffic is an invaluable resource if you do ever find your organisation under threat of a cyber attack. This is because having a log of all the data coming in and leaving your organisation’s network can help you locate the weak spot where the leak took place.

    Why does my organisation need one?

    The benefits of having a firewall to protect your company devices are so various that really, we can’t recommend going without one. If you do this, you’re basically leaving your front door open to the entire internet and anyone can get in. When you use a firewall, your IT department can set rules for packet filtering so that only specific ports can transmit and receive data from outside the organisation.

    This lets you tailor your security protocols to meet the needs of your organisation and even provide different levels of access to specific people in your organisation. You could even limit your employees’ access to certain websites to make sure they’re not spending time on something like social media platforms while on the clock.

    More importantly, though, your firewall helps protect the information in your network from data breaches. Based on the rules you set for it, your firewall will give access to information coming through things like email and web browsers, while inspecting the data that comes from ports not specified by your set rules.

    It estimates the risk that a data packet like this poses by scanning its title and comparing it against rules it has for data coming from unknown ports. This is a strict process, and a lot of data coming from unknown ports will be discarded.

    However, we should point out that a firewall is not a complete IT security solution for your organisation. It offers good protection from human intruders to your systems, but they can’t protect you from many common forms cybercrime, such as viruses. This means that your data could still be compromised if, for example, one of your employees clicks on a link in a phishing email.

    This is why you need to supplement your firewall with additional in your cybersecurity strategy, such as cybersecurity awareness training, anti-malware software, frequent data backups and file encryption.

    Discover 15 Ways To Improve Your Cybersecurity

    Different types of firewalls

    There are many different types of firewalls and what is right for you depends on what your priorities are. The two most common types of firewall are host-based and network-based. In short, a host-based firewall is installed onto individual servers, while a network-based firewall is a virtual, often cloud-based service.

    The good thing about host-based firewalls is that they’re highly customisable to each device and protect your organisation’s devices wherever your employees go. Meanwhile, network-based firewalls are easier to scale up to protect your entire network as it grows. They’re also better-equipped to stop hackers from gaining administrator access and turning off your firewall in order to install damaging code on your devices.

    This means that at the end of the day, a network-based firewall offers more sophisticated and comprehensive protection. However, this level of protection isn’t always necessary. For SME’s with fewer devices, a host-based firewall installed on individual endpoints will likely be enough, while larger organisations will benefit from the more advanced security and scalability provided by network-based firewalls.

    team meeting

    What should I look for in my firewall?

    This depends on what kind of protection you need from it, as the differences between host-based and network-based firewalls we went over demonstrate. A firewall is important for all devices that connect to the internet and have access to your company data, but especially so for employees who work remotely, as connecting to public wifi in a place like a cafe exposes your computer networks to more external risks.

    To protect your organisation’s endpoints and data wherever your employees go, you’ll need to make sure their devices have adequate host-based firewall software installed. You can use your organisation’s asset register to help you keep track of where updates like this are needed.  Meanwhile, for larger organisations, relying on host-based firewalls can easily become less cost-effective and need more attention from the IT department than a virtual, cloud-based service would require.

    Ideally, you’d have access to both types of firewall, giving you the most protection possible. Many of our clients use and find value in firewall solutions provided by SonicWall, a company that provides a wide variety of cloud-based network security solutions. For those who need an added layer of security for their individual devices, they also offer a content-filtering service as an add-on to their packages, allowing you to remotely limit access to potentially harmful web content.

    If you’d like some more information on choosing the right firewall solution for your organisation, get in touch with our cybersecurity experts. Make sure to check out our other blog posts on IT security and stay tuned for our next event!

    Contact us

    The post What Is A Firewall And How To Choose The Right One For You appeared first on Onestop IT.

    Oh, What A Night! – Here’s What Happened At Our Tesla Event

    We had a great time hosting our first social business event at the Tesla showroom in Edinburgh on March 27. The evening was full of networking among like-minded business leaders, learning more about the importance of business continuity, data backups and strong business systems while enjoying some live music, drinks and nibbles. If Discover more The post Oh, What A Night! – Here’s What Happened At Our Tesla Event appeared first on Onestop...

    onestop it tesla event entrance

    We had a great time hosting our first social business event at the Tesla showroom in Edinburgh on March 27. The evening was full of networking among like-minded business leaders, learning more about the importance of business continuity, data backups and strong business systems while enjoying some live music, drinks and nibbles. If you were there, thank you again for joining us! We hope you had as much fun as we did.

    If you couldn’t make it, here are some key takeaways and pictures for the evening. It’s almost as good as if you’d actually been there – though sadly you won’t be able to try out the delicious snacks and drinks we were treated to by Private Concierge Scotland!

    onestop tesla event wine
    onestop tesla event sign
    onestop tesla event networking

    Apart from relaxed socialising to the tune of some live music from Ginny & The Tonic, we also had the chance to enjoy a live demonstration from our friends at Datto. The highlight of this was when Steve Johnstone grabbed a sledgehammer and then proceeded to smash up a laptop, only then to immediately recover all the data from it.

    This showed everyone just how important a strong business continuity system is for protecting your company’s important data.

    onestop tesla event datto presentation
    onestop tesla event demonstration
    tesla event onestop demonstration

    We were also treated to a fascinating chat from Alan Smith, Edinburgh’s premier business coach. He shone some light on technology in the business environment and how important it is to have the correct technology partners.

    business coach alan smith onestop it event

    Feedback from our Tesla event attendees

    Thank you for your invitation to your fantastic evening at the Tesla garage – I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    – Neeraj Puri, Integrated Dental Care

    Thank you for last night’s event – it was a really enjoyable evening and with plenty of information available that I wasn’t aware of so definitely well worth going along to.

    – Charlie Cumming, Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust

    Thank you for last night. It was very well organised, with a great venue and presentations.

    – Lewis Roden, Mitchell Glass Ltd

    Thanks very much for last night, it was a very well run event and enjoyed the evening very much.  Was great to hear about Onestop and their services. I have a few friends that I will mention the services to.

    – Marcus Weurman, Hub South East Scotland

    A ‘very well done’ to the team who delivered a very professional and informative evening for all in attendance. Presentations were well received at this end and I will have a review of them and see where our challenges lie.

    – Neil Beattie, EVi Charge Points Ltd

    Thanks for the invite to your event. It was great to chat with you and I enjoyed the presentations (and the beer). I would be very keen to get a note of the services Ally mentioned in his presentation. The idea of getting genuine staff feedback seemed like an excellent idea.

    – Nick Laing, Function Control Ltd.

    Thanks very much for the invitation, thoroughly enjoyed the evening and learning more about Onestop.

    – Steve Johnstone, Alliance Creative

    onestop it tesla event catering
    onestop it tesla event networking
    onestop IT event drinks

    Feeling a bit of FOMO? Not to fret – just keep tabs on our events page to check out the details of our next event!

    Contact us

    The post Oh, What A Night! – Here’s What Happened At Our Tesla Event appeared first on Onestop IT.

    Does Your Organisation Need Mobile Device Management?

    We’ve quickly become very dependent on our smart devices. The average Brit checks their phone 28 times a day; that’s almost twice per hour if they get 8 hours of sleep. So it’s no wonder that personal mobile devices - smartphones, tablets and laptops - have become a very common sight in Discover more The post Does Your Organisation Need Mobile Device Management? appeared first on Onestop...

    We’ve quickly become very dependent on our smart devices. The average Brit checks their phone 28 times a day; that’s almost twice per hour if they get 8 hours of sleep. So it’s no wonder that personal mobile devices – smartphones, tablets and laptops – have become a very common sight in the modern workplace. Not only that, but with the rise of remote working, people are doing more and more work on their own devices.

    However, connecting personal mobile devices to secure corporate networks comes with its risks, as personal devices are vulnerable to many cybersecurity threats. To protect your organisation’s private data from unsavoury characters, you need a strong strategy for protecting these devices and the company data they have access to.

    That’s why today, we’re sharing our thoughts and advice on two tools that can help you do just that: personal mobile device policy and MDM software.

    The rise of BYOD culture

    The practice of using your personal devices in the workplace is commonly referred to as ‘BYOD’, or bring your own device. The good thing about BYOD culture is that it supports flexible working. Your employees will be able to work from anywhere: they can finish up a presentation on the train or send an urgent email while out of the office.

    This, in turn, makes for more satisfied, efficient employees. If employees are able to do all of their work on devices of their own, there are also reduced equipment costs.

    However, there are also significant risks that this presents. Even if your employees have gone through extensive cybersecurity awareness training, this isn’t enough to properly protect your organisation’s data. Even the savviest employees can’t always stay on top of safety best practices without guidance. That’s why strong endpoint protection policies when it comes to the use of personal mobile devices is so important.

    What to include in a personal mobile device policy?

    ‘Bring your own device’ culture is already a reality and there’s not much you can do about it: you don’t want to ban people’s own devices from the office outright. This is where a strong personal mobile device policy comes in. Your policy around personal smartphones, tablets and laptops can help you safeguard your company’s intel by addressing issues that aren’t addressed by the antivirus products you use and aren’t supervised by your IT department.

    You should set guidelines around personal device use, for example addressing applications not to use and websites you shouldn’t browse while connected to company wifi. It’s a good idea to make it mandatory that all devices used on the office network have a PIN code to restrict access.

    You could also put rules in place about restricting apps and websites from gathering sensitive material like location data when employees use their own devices for work. Another important thing you need to address is what happens to these personal mobile devices when an employee leaves: is cached business data wiped? Is access to company systems simply blocked?

    people using smartphones

    What is MDM software?

    A personal mobile device policy can be very helpful for a wide variety of organisations. However, it’s not foolproof, and some organisations would benefit from strengthening theirs with software. This is where mobile device management (MDM) tools come in.

    Your organisation’s asset register allows you to keep track of your company-owned devices and similarly, your MDM can make sure personal devices are kept as safe as possible. These MDM tools usually come in the form of a cloud-based suite that offers a centralised platform that helps manage personal devices that are used on secure corporate networks or to access sensitive company data remotely.

    An MDM suite usually includes tools like hardware inventory, the ability to deploy, update and delete certain apps and mobile content management. Actions can be executed remotely, meaning that the admin of your MDM suite can remotely wipe devices that have been lost or stolen and view and control devices for troubleshooting. This makes MDM software a very useful resource for remote teams where employees largely work on their personal devices.

    MDM software also controls employees’ access to content repositories where they can pull files from and onto their device. It can put limitations on the amount of data that can be downloaded onto a personal device when data roaming is turned on and track who is opening and downloading files. This can help you pinpoint the source of the leak if your data ever ends up being compromised.

    Your employees usually also get access to a secure storage app with an MDM suite. This is a secure folder they can download onto their device to add a layer of protection around company information stored on their personal device.

    Limitations of MDM software

    However good the tools included in it are, no MDM suite is absolutely foolproof, and all of them come with their limitations. For example, some VPN tools only partially protect a device’s network communications, meaning that MDM software can’t fully protect company data on these VPNs.

    When it comes to mobile phones and tablets, MDM tools installed onto a device can’t provide foolproof protection. This is because OS manufacturers don’t give full access to their code to MDM vendors, which means they can’t take full control over these devices. As operating systems evolve very quickly, MDM vendors also often struggle to keep up with these changes.

    Do I need mobile device management for my organisation?

    So what should you do with all this information? Do you need a personal device policy, MDM software or both? Having some basic rules in place is definitely a good thing, though you need to consider if you have the ability to actually make sure they’re being followed and whether having guidelines in place is enough to discourage risky behaviour even if you’re not actively checking for it.

    An MDM suite can help you make sure that these rules are actually being followed. That being said, not every organisation necessarily needs a software product like this. If you’re on the fence about whether your organisation needs MDM software, try to estimate how much a data breach could potentially cost your organisation and compare this to the price of an MDM software you’re considering.

    Under GDPR, the responsibility for data losses is on individual organisations and the failure to safeguard sensitive data could lead to some pretty harsh financial penalties. Because of this, especially organisations in the healthcare and banking industries might find MDM software a very useful resource worth the investment.

    man working on laptop

    BYOD culture and remote working are realities that organisations shouldn’t try to ignore or suppress. That’s why having some kind of a strategy for the use of personal mobile devices is definitely advisable. This could mean anything from mobile device use guidelines to a more robust set policy that is inspected regularly through something like spot inspections. You might also find that an MDM software suite would benefit your organisation.

    If you would like some help in figuring out what your organisation needs from its personal mobile device management strategy, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts. We can advise you on policy and help you get to grips with our preferred MDM software product MaaS360 if we find that it would be beneficial for your organisation.

    Contact us

    The post Does Your Organisation Need Mobile Device Management? appeared first on Onestop IT.

    What Is An Asset Register & How To Get The Most Out Of It

    Today, we’ll go over what an asset register is and how to set one up or optimise your existing system. This will help you make the most out of this resource that offers greater visibility into your business. Discover more The post What Is An Asset Register & How To Get The Most Out Of It appeared first on Onestop...

    Today, we’re breaking down the pros of having an asset register for your IT resources and how to optimise it so that you’re never left in the dark. We’ll go over what an asset register is and how to set one up or optimise your existing system. This will help you make the most out of this resource that offers greater visibility into your business.

    As we’re drawing closer to the end of life date for Windows 7 (January 14, 2020), an asset register becomes a very useful tool for keeping on top of which company devices still need to be upgraded to Windows 10. Check out more articles in our series on Windows 7 end of life here.

    What Is An Asset Register?

    Simply put, an asset register is a resource that details different assets owned or managed by a company. This asset management tool could be used to keep track of things like company equipment, buildings, money in the bank or digital files.

    You can also use this register to keep a record of your company’s IT assets, both hardware (computers, tablets and smartphones) and software (applications and operating systems). This is what we’ll focus on today.

    Why Does My Business Need An Asset Register?

    Ideally, companies should keep asset registers for accounting and taxation purposes to make sure that their financial information is up to date. An asset register can record the purchase value of any particular asset and depreciate it over time in accordance with its lifecycle.

    This makes sure you remain compliant with tax regulations and always have a clear picture of your company’s financial standing when it comes to the assets you own in case HMRC comes to breathe down your neck. You’ll also be able to answer any difficult questions that might come up as part of business tenders.

    An asset register is also useful for keeping track of who is currently using things like company cars and computers and whether these need any servicing or updates. This can help you make sure that these assets are kept up-to-date and running optimally.

    person working on laptop

    Why Does My Business Need An IT Asset Register?

    When you use it to keep track of things like computers your company owns, your asset register can act as a key part of your IT strategy. By monitoring the technology you own, its capabilities, warranties and when it needs replacing, you can budget for your IT department better.

    In addition, if one of the devices your company owns is faulty, runs slow or gets stolen or broken, you can find crucial details like its value and warranty information quickly and assess the problem without any delays.

    This is helpful for any organisations that are computer-reliant, especially those organisations working in engineering, professional services, architecture and the creative industries. An asset register that keeps track of your organisation’s hardware makes sure that you can get your device fixed or replaced quickly.

    An asset register is also helpful for maintaining a good level of cybersecurity within your organisation. It can be used to keep track of the operating system, firewall and any other software on all company devices so that you can make sure these are kept up to date to protect your organisation’s sensitive data.

    This is especially important now that Windows 7 is coming to the end of its life. Your organisation’s devices that are still running on this operating system need to be updated so that they stay protected against cyber attacks after Microsoft stops offering updates for it in January 2020.

    You can use your IT asset register to identify computers with operating systems that still need to be updated to Windows 10 and offer reminders to their users to make the switch.

    So, whether you already have an asset register set up or want to create one, read on for some best practices that can help you get the most out of this resource.

    sticky notes on wall

    Tips For Creating & Optimising Your Asset Register

    While creating a new asset register or optimising an existing one is a large task, it’s not a very complex one, and when you need the information you track with it, you’ll be thankful you took the time to make it the best it can be. Below are a few best practices to make sure you get the most out of your asset management system.

    1. Use the right tools

    Depending on the size of your business, what you want to track and the complexity you need from your asset register, a spreadsheet might be enough for your organisation. You can create several sheets for different categories of assets, like devices and software products that you’ve bought.

    You can also choose to invest in an asset management software that updates records automatically based on barcodes and minimises the chance of human error due to logging things improperly.

    We recommend this to most organisations because using an automated asset register makes sure it’s always up to date and the information in it can be trusted to be accurate. This obviously saves lots of time too: with an automated asset register, you only need to check in every now and then to make sure it’s running properly.

    Get in touch to discuss your asset register options

    2. Simplify your naming conventions

    The names and numbers you choose for categorising your asset register should be memorable and easy to understand. You should also break down the assets you want to track into categories and subcategories where it’s appropriate to make your register easy to search.

    Take for example the way Swedish furniture giant IKEA catalogues their products: their founder Ingvar Kamprad was dyslexic, so making product classifications clear was important so he could understand them. Product names in each category are grouped around a specific theme: for example, all IKEA’s beds and wardrobes are named after Norwegian places and all bed linens are named after plants and flowers.

    Obviously, you might need to make your naming conventions a bit more complex than this and add a string of numbers or a barcode to your assets to differentiate and keep track of them carefully. However you choose to name your assets, the key things to keep in mind are consistency and searchability.

    You want to make sure that whoever is using your asset register can easily find what they’re looking for and be able to accurately update it if this isn’t done automatically.

    3. Decide what to track

    There’s no point in tracking information that you won’t use. That’s why you need to figure out what you need to track for accounting and taxes, and what information will be useful for your organisation’s internal use.

    For your IT asset register, this information could include things like computer model, operating system, CPU and memory capacity of a device. You should also track the current user of the device and where it’s being used: does it stay in the office or travel with your employee? Ideally, your asset tracking system should also detail software installed on the device, such as firewall and anti-virus products. You should also add the estimated replacement value of the asset as a field to track so that you won’t run into any unexpected hits to your organisation’s cash flow.

    If you’re tracking software installed on the device, this could be a good chance for keeping on top of software updates and patches. Ideally, this will be done automatically. You should aim to review patches and updates regularly in your asset register to make sure your company devices are kept up to date.

    As it’s common for employees to forget to update their devices, having your asset tracking system highlight where updates haven’t been installed can make for a valuable resource and reduce the likelihood of a data breach.

    4. Keep it up to date

    Your asset register isn’t a ‘set it and forget it’ kind of thing, but a living document that needs regular updating. Make sure that whenever you buy new devices for your organisation, they’re properly logged into your asset management system. The same goes for selling off any assets – you’ll want to mark down details of the sale for your bookkeeper.

    If you’re using your asset register to track software updates on company devices, make sure that your asset register records changes automatically and accurately. You should also automate sending reminders for employees who haven’t updated their devices yet.

    This is increasingly important now that organisations should make sure all operating systems are updated from Windows 7 as Microsoft stops service for it in January 2020.

    Now that you know about some of the benefits of an asset register for your IT department, why not check out some of our other blog posts on IT strategy? Make sure to tune in regularly for more useful articles on our blog and stay tuned for our next event! Check out the other articles in our Windows 7 end of life series here.

    Contact us

    The post What Is An Asset Register & How To Get The Most Out Of It appeared first on Onestop IT.

    3 Reasons You Should Upgrade To Windows 10 Today

    With Microsoft ending support for Windows 7, it’s time to update to Windows 10. Here are three improvements you can expect when upgrading to Windows 10.Discover more The post 3 Reasons You Should Upgrade To Windows 10 Today appeared first on Onestop...

    hands on pc laptop

    With Microsoft ending their support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020, it’s time to start thinking of an update if you’re still using the 9-year-old operating system.

    Here at Onestop IT, we’re big fans of Windows 10 and would recommend updating your operating system to it as soon as possible. In today’s instalment of our series on Windows 7 end of life, we go over three major improvements that you can expect when upgrading to Windows 10.

    Improved speed and performance

    This is what you’re most likely to notice first when you upgrade. Windows 10 simply runs smoother than Windows 7. Powering up your device won’t take as long and launching applications is also much quicker on the newer operating system.

    This obviously makes for less tech-related headaches when you’re trying to pull up those important notes or slides during a meeting or starting up your computer on a particularly busy and stressful day.

    Another way performance is improved in Windows 10 in comparison with Windows 7 is better power management. If you’re an avid user of your Windows 7 laptop, you’ll be very happy to discover that you can get more work you can get done on the go.


    Better usability and tools

    A big improvement you can expect when upgrading to Windows 10 is the improved usability. There are many examples we want to mention here.

    For example, Microsoft’s addition to the digital assistant market, Cortana, can make your life much easier. It works across all your devices and learns more about you over time, allowing it to make more personalised suggestions to you. Among other things, you can use Cortana to turn off, restart, lock and log out of your device using only your voice.

    You can access your files anywhere by connecting all your devices to your computer with a variety of tools. This means that you can easily continue your work while on the go. The Your Phone app syncs photos and text messages across your devices and the Cloud Clipboard tool lets you access copied items from your phone, tablet and computer.

    The Continue on PC feature lets you pick up where you left off by opening the webpage you’re viewing on your computer. Cloud-based storage in the form of OneDrive and communication in the form of Skype mean that you’re always working with the latest information.

    You can even log into your computer remotely by using the Remote Desktop feature, which lets you access all of your files even when you can’t get to your physical computer. All of these apps and features help streamline your day and save considerable amounts of time in the long run.

    Another useful feature that Windows 10-enabled devices have is their touchscreen functionality. Devices that have this feature available bring some of the same intuitive functionality that modern smartphones have to your everyday work on your computer.

    Finally, Windows 10 supporting multiple desktops means you can reap the benefits of working across multiple monitors even if you only really have the one screen.

    man working on multiple computer monitors

    More robust IT security

    Windows 10 also comes with improved cybersecurity. This is a given as Windows 7 will no longer offer IT security updates after January 2020 and will become increasingly susceptible to cyber attacks. Still, added features in Windows 10 arguably make it more secure than its older counterpart ever was.

    Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise editions offer BitLocker encryption that helps keep your confidential data secure. Windows Security also offers clear and detailed reports on the health of your device, from your browser and network to ransomware and viruses. These features make sure your organisation stays compliant with cybersecurity regulations like those outlined in the GDPR.

    Because Windows 10 lets you connect all your different devices, you can log into your device by using the same biometrics that you’ve come to expect from the latest smartphones, such as fingerprint or voice recognition.

    Windows 10 also supports PIN codes. This means that you might have a long and secure password to access your files remotely from anywhere, but when you’re logging onto your computer itself, you can simply type in a short passcode instead.

    Which version of Windows 10 is right for me?

    The two main versions Microsoft offers for Windows 10 are the Home and the Pro, the latter being better suited for use by small to medium-sized organisations. Both are also available as 32 and 64-bit versions. Windows 10 Pro comes with useful features such as BitLocker encryption, network domains and group policy management.

    Additionally, Microsoft also offers an Enterprise edition of the operating system with added benefits like bulk licensing for larger organisations. In addition, there are two specialised options available for educational institutions: the Windows 10 Education and Windows 10 Pro Education.

    Between these five versions of the operating system, you’re bound to find one that works for your organisation. If you’re unsure which one is right for you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our IT business advisors.

    Ready to update? Working together with an experienced IT support provider makes sure your organisation’s devices are updated correctly and that your antivirus and firewall are running optimally. If you’d like to discover the best next steps for your business, have a look at our free IT Discovery Workshop or give us a call today.

    Discover Our Free IT Resources

    The post 3 Reasons You Should Upgrade To Windows 10 Today appeared first on Onestop IT.

    Are You Aware Of The Big Changes Coming To Windows 7?

    After January 14th, 2020, Microsoft will no longer offer support for Windows 7. If you’re part of one of the 43% of organisations that still uses Windows 7, you need to understand what this news means for your business so you can make the right choice for what to do prior to January 2020. Discover more The post Are You Aware Of The Big Changes Coming To Windows 7? appeared first on Onestop...

    After January 14th, 2020, Microsoft will no longer offer support for Windows 7. This means that there’ll be no more patches or updates for this operating system, and they’ll no longer offer free customer support for it. If you’re part of one of the 43% of organisations that still uses Windows 7, you need to understand what this news means for your business so you can make the right choice for what to do prior to January 2020.

    To help you with this, we’re kicking off a series of articles that covers everything that businesses still using Windows 7 need to know, starting with today’s blog post focusing on what exactly this change means.

    So what exactly is happening?

    Well, it’s more accurate to talk about what won’t happen after January 14.

    Microsoft will offer no new features or security updates for Windows 7, making the operating system increasingly difficult and unsafe to use after the cutoff date. You can still download and install Windows 7 after January 14, but to make sure you aren’t exposed to unnecessary cybersecurity risks, Microsoft strongly recommends upgrading to Windows 10 by the end of life date.

    Microsoft is ending support for Windows 7 to encourage PC users to upgrade to the more up-to-date and, frankly better, Windows 10. The idea of changing over from an operating system you might have been using for several years might be scary, but it’s a decision you and your team won’t regret.

    Unfortunately, no matter how much you might enjoy using Windows 7, the risks that come with sticking to the operating system after January 2020, which we’ll go into in a bit, simply make it not worth it.

    What should I replace Windows 7 with?

    Here at Onestop IT, we’re big proponents of Windows 10, which provides a faster, more user-friendly and secure upgrade to Windows 7. Look out for the next article in our Windows 7 series next week on reasons we recommend Windows 10 for people moving on from Windows 7.

    An increasingly popular option for software upgrades is opting for subscription-based cloud computing options. This is because subscribing to a solution rather than buying one out of the box offers you more flexibility, while choosing a cloud-based product means that you can access your files anywhere you are. These systems are considered ‘evergreen’ because they have no set end of life dates, but rather, they’re continuously updated.

    However, we strongly recommend upgrading to Windows 10 even if you purchase some of these solutions. It offers many of the perks that these cloud-based systems do, like universal access regardless of your device type, regular security updates with cloud-based storage and communications through OneDrive and Skype. You might even find that these make your cloud-based subscriptions obsolete once you’ve made the switch.

    We should also mention here that Microsoft’s vision for Windows 10 is that it’ll be their last proper operating system which they’ll keep updating as time goes by with no end of life date, making it similar to the ‘evergreen’ cloud-based products out there.

    What if I choose not to upgrade my operating system?

    While this is not advisable, it’s possible to stick with Windows 7 after Microsoft finishes support for it. The major reasons for why this is a really bad idea are the massively increased IT security risks, quickly declining usability and pricy, limited access to customer service after January 2020.

    Security risks

    With no more updates or patches to the software, continuing to use Windows 7 after January 14 next year makes your organisation more vulnerable to cybersecurity risks.

    There’s a reason for why your computer seems to want you to install software updates pretty much every other day: the world of cybersecurity threats moves fast and to keep ahead of opportunistic cybercriminals, software providers have to provide frequent updates and patches to their products to make sure they stay secure.

    After Microsoft finishes up their service for Windows 7, there’ll be no more updates available for the operating system, making it increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks. Organisations who’ve purchased Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Enterprise can purchase extended security upgrades up until January 2023.

    However, with the improvements in speed, security and usability that the newer Windows 10 offers, we’d still recommend taking the plunge and updating to Windows 10 before January 2020.

    No more bug fixes

    Similarly, any annoying bugs that can slow down your work won’t be addressed after January 2020 in Windows 7. So any new issues that arise in the operating system after that won’t be fixed. This means that over time, Windows 7 will become increasingly difficult to work with.

    Basically, after next January, you’ll be using Windows 7 at your own risk: if your computer runs slow or worse yet, falls prey to cybercrime, the responsibility isn’t on Microsoft, but only you and your organisation. Especially under strict GDPR laws, this could mean hefty penalties for your company.

    Pricy customer service

    The only way to continue having access to customer service after January next year is by paying for it. The prices for this vary on how many devices you need support for and these charges will increase the more time passes after January 2020. Even this extended support for those unwilling to upgrade will end after January 2023, and by then, you’ll likely be paying a pretty penny for your organisation’s technical support.

    That’s why it really is better to just bite the bullet and upgrade to Windows 10 sooner rather than later. People who have already made the change have commented that there isn’t a very noticeable learning curve that comes with the update and that the system is fairly intuitive.

    If you’d like to talk about upgrading from Windows 7 with a professional, get in touch with our IT Strategy experts today. Make sure to also check out the other articles in our series on the end of life for Windows 7 over the next few weeks for more advice on how to prepare.

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    The post Are You Aware Of The Big Changes Coming To Windows 7? appeared first on Onestop IT.

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