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Blue padlocks on a white background representing cybersecurity

How to respond to the constant threat of cyberattacks

The threat of cyberattacks and data theft in the UK is real – with 39% of businesses reporting a cybersecurity breach in the last 12 months.

Attackers do not discriminate. They target organisations of all sizes, including schools and charities, with the average breach costing a business more than £8,400. At OX IT Solutions we provide market leading cyber security protection to help our clients combat against such threats. This involves a full security review by one of our technicians to provide the right advice on software and cloud managed services to help protect you 24/7.

Cyber risk

The Government’s most recent Cyber Security Breaches Report stated cyber risk to organisations has been heightened because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Remote working presented an opportunity to hackers as digital environments are harder to secure. Cameron ensures our customers are always on top of incoming threats by providing the best software solutions and advice.

Jon Townsend, Technical Manager at OX IT Solutions said: “The threat of cyberattacks against organisations is constant, and monitoring attempts to access or damage network systems has never been more important.

“Successful breaches not only harm safety but can also be damaging to reputation. Our team is here to protect against this issue via our Cloud Managed Service and expert advice and support.”

Acronis Gold Partner

Amongst many other accreditations, OX IT Solutions are a Gold Partner for Cloud Managed Service Provider Acronis.

The Gold Partner status recognises our expertise, advisory service and commitment to providing next generation cybersecurity support, anti-ransomware and back-up protection

Jon added: “We’re here to supply IT products and services to UK-based companies which require an extension to their already busy IT departments.

“Our team is capable of designing, implementing and maintaining network and security solutions, making OX IT Solutions a one-stop-shop for all IT queries which is very powerful. An important part of my role is keeping an in-depth knowledge of our products and identifying which services will benefit our customers the most.”

Penetration testing

A common way to test the effectiveness of your network’s protection is to see if a member of our team can hack into your system, as part of our security review.

This process where ‘ethical hackers’ look to break through your security barriers is called penetration testing. Penetration testing is used to develop an understanding of what software and hardware a customer might require to strengthen their security.

It comes after the National Cyber Security Council warned of a sharp rise in ransomware attacks on schools, colleges and universities since February.

“The education sector is always under the radar of cyber attackers,” said Jon. “We’ll run through all the key questions before onboarding a customer, so we know what their requirements are.

“Penetration testing is an area we find a lot of organisations can invest more in. Understanding your own vulnerabilities makes it easier for us to identify how we can strengthen your company’s overall protection.”

Join our team today!

OX IT Solutions is looking for bright, customer-focused, and friendly people to join our team in the battle against cyberattacks.

We’re currently recruiting for a Business Development Lead Generator, an Account Manager to join our team. Further information about each vacancy is available by clicking here.

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Mobile devices, tablets and laptops surrounded by padlocks representing network security

Why security is the most important IT consideration for your hybrid workforce

Cybersecurity is fundamentally the most important consideration for any hybrid workforce.

Threats of a cyber-attack are real and constant and hackers and cyber attackers do not discriminate when it comes to their victims. Businesses and charities do not think twice about protecting devices in the office from cyber-attacks and viruses and the same rigour needs to be applied to those working remotely.

The issue of protecting remote workers’ devices has been critical since the pandemic sparked one of the most significant changes to work patterns in decades. Since the initial ‘work from home’ orders we have since seen a huge shift in the UK to hybrid working. In fact, of those who currently still work from home, 85% said they wanted a hybrid approach in the future.

This new working model means organisations need to adopt a fresh approach to cybersecurity to ensure data is fully protected across a fragmented workforce, no matter where people are working from.

Endpoint security – The first line of defence

In a world where data is often a business’s greatest asset, every unprotected endpoint is a potential area of weakness. Cyber security threats, and more specifically end point threats, are always advancing.

Endpoint security becomes vital when employees start using their own devices to connect to a company’s network. Whether your company has 10 employees or 10,000 endpoint security is the best way to ensure all your desktops, laptops and mobiles cannot be targeted.

Accessing unsecured Wi-Fi networks can pose a significant security risk so a VPN is invaluable. Web filtering, firewalls and email security are also key to keeping your business secure. Internet-based threats are becoming so advanced that you can no-longer rely on perimeter web control alone.

Luckily, we know how to stop the attacks before they even reach your inbox. At OX IT Solutions our go to provider of endpoint security is Watchguard, so much so we use its products in-house.

We offer a wide range of industry-leading network and endpoint security, secure Wi-Fi, multi-factor authentication, and network intelligence products and services. Our expert technical team and strong vendor partnerships ensure we provide cutting-edge cybersecurity technology that is easy-to-deploy and manage to ensure you’re always covered.

Mobile security – More important than you might think

Now more than ever individuals are using their smart phones to contact clients, send emails and access company data. In a hybrid working environment, it’s vital we can do all these things whilst on the go.

Protection for smartphones should be paramount as phishing and virus attacks are more prevalent than ever.In real time, mobile security solutions can scan and block anti spyware and anti-malware. Device and data encryption can protect your private information and effective backup services make recovery simple.

When choosing a mobile security solution, uninterrupted user experience is key. Security should not come at the expense of utility. At OX IT Solutions we understand the importance of this, so we only offer mobile security products that integrate seamlessly with your device.

Cloud based solutions – managing security for you

If part of your workforce is based at home full time getting access to their software can be difficult. Luckily there is a simple solution. A managed service can access the software for you, report on issues or security breaches and resolve any problems quickly.

Businesses with small IT departments or a lack of infrastructure particularly suit cloud-based solutions as they benefit from the economies of scale and efficiency. 24/7 monitoring provides you with real time updates and enables you to take a proactive approach to threat. Permission can be revoked at any time so concerns over confidentiality or data privacy are not necessary.

At OX IT Solutions we can recommend cloud service providers (CSP) that offer network services, infrastructure, or business applications in the cloud. Speak to one of our friendly tech team to find out how managed service can work for you.

READ MORE: Personal Development with OX IT Solutions

Cyber security review – identify and eliminate your weaknesses

Secure your business today and book a remote cyber security review to help identify any weak spots in your cyber defences. We can assess your existing security protocols and advise you on what strategies and solutions to implement to keep your workforce protected no matter where they are.

To receive all our latest updates follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

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OX IT Solutions team photo in the office.

OX IT Solutions celebrates five-year anniversary

OX IT Solutions is celebrating our five-year anniversary – with ambitious growth plans that will create more jobs in the region.

Our team has built a strong reputation for providing networking, infrastructure and cyber security solutions to organisations nationally and are experts in systems, hardware and software and wireless solutions. This makes our service a perfect “one stop shop for IT.”

With our HQ in Oxford we work with major blue-chip companies across the UK, plus NHS trusts, local authorities and SMEs. Our clients include the Royal College of Nursing, NW London NHS Trust and Molton Brown.

Chris Cope, OX IT Solutions director, said: “We are proud to have reached this milestone and our thanks go to all of our clients and vendors and our fantastic team, past and present, who have made us the company we are. The key to our success has been building a team of talented people who are great at what they do and really care for our clients.

“The IT industry is very fast moving, and we always have to stay on top of trends and best practice to make sure we keep delivering. When we launched, cyber security was a big focus and it remains an important issue. But recently there has been major demand to support remote working.

“We have helped a lot of large organisations to switch to remote and hybrid working seamlessly in the past two years. Cloud based software has transformed how businesses can operate and technology has the power to make them very efficient operationally.”

OX IT Solutions was founded with a vision to combine providing a comprehensive service with customer care at its core.

“Everyone is treated as a person, rather than a number,” said Chris. “We predominantly deliver a technical service, but behind every bit of kit is a person, whether it is a customer, a supplier, or a colleague. Providing expert advice and making sure our clients are looked after has been key.

“We’ve found organisations value having an IT company that can handle all of their needs. So, we have built a significant team with a good mix of areas of expertise including IT professionals and technicians. We’ve maintained our founding principles and now have a nationwide business that retains the personal touch.”

With technology constantly evolving five years is a long time in IT and the team has witnessed a lot of advancements in the industry.

“The speed and agility of IT systems has helped make businesses so much stronger,” Chris continued. “From remote networks to cloud-based storage solutions and project management platforms constantly improving, software and hardware means we can continue to help our clients be more efficient and productive.

“Having partnerships with vendors keeps us at the forefront of the market, which is critical for cyber security. Hackers are incredibly sophisticated and brazen and recently there has been a shift from attacking conglomerates and multi-nationals to targeting SMEs, because they are easier to hack. This means every business, big or small needs to have robust protection and back-up in place.”

A full list of our vendor partners we work closely with can be found here.

With demand increasing across the UK for OX IT Solutions services it is excited about the future.

Chris added: “We’re fortunate that IT is a business-critical service and major organisations appreciate our service. Our team is at the heart of our growth and we will continue to invest in our people and culture.”

To receive all our latest updates follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

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Personal development with OX IT Solutions

Henry Loch is fast-tracking his IT ambitions with OX IT Solutions after making a career change, thanks to effective on-going professional training.

After leaving the hospitality industry in 2020 Henry has flourished at OX IT Solutions. Our in-house training and support have enabled Henry to successfully switch from six years in customer service in hospitality to the IT sector.

He joined us in November 2020 as a business development manager before progressing into an IT technician role, following the successful completion of his training. Henry now supports clients with hardware and software assistance and diagnosis as part of our technical team.

Henry is one of many UK workers moving sectors. According to a study by Aviva the impact of the pandemic has promoted 60% to plan a change of profession. In our latest blog we talk to Henry about his IT journey so far.

Occupation change

Raised in Pembrokeshire, Henry moved to Oxfordshire after graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in philosophy to explore the region’s job opportunities. He worked as a general manager in pubs and restaurants before deciding to pursue his passion for IT with OX IT Solutions.

His career progression continued, and he was offered the opportunity to upskill within our technical team. Henry splits his time between supporting customers and training to provide him with the skills and experience to become a full-time IT technician.

Working in the technical department really interested me,” said Henry. “It was an area I had no previous experience working in, but I knew I had the drive and passion to develop my knowledge.  

“OX IT Solutions understood this and transferred me from my previous role into the technical team. It’s been a great move for me, and each day I’m learning new skills to deliver tangible results for my colleagues and our customers.

On-the-job training

By day, Henry is responsible for solving hardware and software issues our customers may experience and providing immediate support.

This includes installing, troubleshooting and maintaining high level security solutions, fixing broken hardware such as laptops and printers and assisting with cloud-based storage, backup and archiving requirements.

To deliver results to the highest standards, Henry was enrolled onto two industry recognised courses which are providing him with the knowledge and understanding required to deliver results quickly and effectively.

He added: “I started my role in the technical team with no previous experience, but the support of my colleagues has granted me the freedom and platforms needed to explore and develop.

“Through my average week, half of my time is dedicated to training. I’m so grateful for the investment and support of OX IT Solutions to upskilling me and helping me develop.”

Career development  

Henry is one of several new members of the team at OX IT Solutions who changed careers to join us.

He explained how the company’s commitment to personal development ensures everyone can work and achieve their full potential.

There are many transferable skills from a range of jobs which can be applied to the IT sector,” said Henry. “OX IT Solutions understand this and are willing to invest their time into the development of staff.  

“It not only makes it a great place to work, but a great place to develop too. As more people shift to hybrid working, IT support has never been of greater value to employers.

“We’re here to provide around the clock support and expert advice to businesses of all sizes.”

Cyber security

So, what does the future hold for Henry?

After completing his technical training, the 28-year-old would like to join our cyber security specialists who work to protect customers from data theft and cyber-attacks.

OX IT Solutions have opened a development pathway for me to learn new skills and broaden my knowledge of our IT services,” said Henry. “Threat hunting by searching for undetected cyber threats within a network is something that interests me and is becoming a valuable service to our customer base.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time with the team so far and look forward to the challenges ahead.

Start your IT journey today

We are continually expanding our team at OX IT Solutions and are interested in hearing from bright, friendly, customer-focused individuals with a passion for IT.

We are currently recruiting for:

  • Business Development Lead Generator
  • Account Manager

If you’re interested in learning more about the above roles, click here to view our full job descriptions and to apply.

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4-5day working week

Shortened working week

OX IT Solutions are trialling a shortened working week to boost employee wellbeing and improve productivity.

OX IT Solutions has introduced a 1pm finish on Friday afternoons with no reduction to salaries, to give staff a 2.5-day weekend, in order to promote a healthier work-life balance.

The Kidlington based team specialises in systems, cyber security, hardware and software and wireless solutions, providing a ‘one stop shop’ for IT support. As part of the move an on-call rota has been created to ensure a technician will always be on hand if a client requires support out of hours.

Chris Cope, OX IT Solutions director, said: “We have seen the positive impact a shorter working week can have on staff, their overall productivity and wellbeing in companies that have successfully trialled it.

We’re always striving to ensure we are a great place to work and that our colleagues fulfil their professional ambitions with us and deliver for our clients, but also lead a good quality of life outside of work.

By reducing working hours and keeping salaries the same, we feel we’re allowing our team to feel valued, energised and motivated to accomplish their roles to the best of their ability.

The experience so far has been overwhelmingly positive and we hope it will become a permanent structure that inspires other businesses to follow suit.

A recent report commissioned by the Four Day Week campaign revealed shortening workers’ contracted hours would reduce the UK’s carbon emissions by 117,000 tonnes of CO2 per week – the equivalent of removing 1.3 million cars off the road annually.

OX IT Solutions has taken inspiration from Iceland where 86% of the country’s workforce are now working reduced hours for the same pay following a successful trial.

Workers reported feeling less stressed, adding that their work-life balance had improved and they had more time to spend with their families, take part in activities and complete household chores.

Chris added: “We’re continually exploring how we can improve the services we provide at OX IT Solutions.

This includes how we work with our clients and how we look after our colleagues who are centrepiece of our daily operations. The feedback we’ve consumed from other businesses adopting reduced hours is overwhelmingly positive, with many owners stating it enhances productivity rather than hold it back. We hope this is the beginning of a positive journey.

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ox gym photo

Workplace Gym for OX IT

At OX IT, when our staff began returning to the office, we wanted their opinions on what they most liked about home working, and it turned out they’re a healthy bunch!

One of the many views mentioned was the ability to go to their local gym in the mornings and lunchtimes without it eating into their evenings, so we obliged!

Further Office acquisitions at OX IT’s Kidlington HQ to cater for our growing team enabled us to save a bit of extra space and provide this brand-new state of the art Gym equipment from Mark Bowker at Bowker Leisure Ltd T/A Total Gym Solutions (www.totalgymsolutions.co.uk).

Read more about improving mental health and the benefits of a corporate gym below!

The benefits of a gym in the workplace

Exercise helps improve mental health. Fact. Exercising up to three times a week can reduce the risk of depression by 20%.

Having a gym in the workplace means that employees can exercise regularly and have the ‘headspace’ to burn off stress and tension.

And, not only does it reduce anxiety, but regular exercise improves sleep, increases clarity of thought and boosts self-esteem, thereby leading to an overall improvement in mood and resilience.

Here are some reasons why we choose to pay our employees to exercise at work:

  • Social Connections.
  • Stress Relief.
  • Heart Health.
  • More Energy.
  • Weight Management.
  • Productivity.
  • Disease Prevention.
  • Improved Immune System.

https://info.totalwellnesshealth.com/blog/5-reasons-why-a-workplace-gym-is-a-good-idea 

Mental health in the workplace

World mental Health Day 10th October
https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-mental-health-day

National Stress Awareness Day 3rd November
https://mentalhealth-uk.org/get-involved/mental-health-awareness-days/

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