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April Technology Update Newsletter

Welcome to our first edition our monthly round-up of the world of Tech and Telecommunications.

The Tech industry develops quickly, so why run the risk of being left behind when you can have a (free!) round-up of the evolution of new products, services and how to avoid being left behind.

ISDN Switch-off 

Waaaay back in 2015 BT announced they were stopping the sale of ISDN lines by 2020 with a a target switch-off date 2025. This means only VOIP Lines will be functional- but there are many advantages to this kind of telecommunications service and changing before you're forced to can bring your company many benefits. 

  • Portable phone number connected to you IP address- meaning not only can you take it if you move but you can ensure your number to be local no matter your actual location.
  • Save Money- No need for rental on separate IP and Telephony lines as awell as cheaper calls
  • More control- add and remove internal connections as needed
  • VOIP devices have a range of specifications, call holding, transfer and personalised hold music and voicemail messages which can be changed as needed.

Coincidentally...we happen to specialise in VOIP Systems. We can provide you with more information or hassle free (and cost free!) quotations on installing VOIP systems into your business. Fee free to contact us on office@integratetechnology  

5G Rollout

5G superfast internet is being trialled around the world this year with compatible mobile devices being released next year-great news for streaming music and TV but also an opportunity for businesses to maximise their telecoms and other services. So far the trials are showing that 5G can be up to 100 times the speed of current 4G downloads as they use part of the electromagnetic spectrum not currently used by other kinds of network( a fancy way of saying less traffic on a different system). However whilst devices are in the pipeline the network provides are being more cautious in their approach to introducing new tech- so don't expect super-fast internet by the end of next year.

What does this mean for businesses? Well firstly your website (and all the wonderful add-ons, videos etc) will load much faster, and ordering should be quicker for customers. Also businesses which use the sims like Taxi Text-back services, customer Wi-Fi in coaches  or in vehicle cameras will have a much quicker connection. 

 

GDPR Law coming into force April 2018

The past decade has witnessed a drastic increase in the amount of digital information we create, capture and process; but it has been nearly 20 years since the UK’s data protection laws were last updated, and it came in the form of the 1998 data protection bill. Fast forward 20 years and these laws have become obsolete; no longer fit for purpose.

The GDPR ensures that companies process and capture only relevant information and allows for companies and individuals to be able to find out what information companies have retained about them. It also ensures that companies are held accountable for data breaches from hacking or from incorrect processing procedures by enacting fines.

Any company that is not investing in security, training and data compliance about how to work securely is an easy target for hackers or to fall foul of incorrect data processing procedures- no matter the company size. SME's may not have huge amounts of valuable data but are easier targets for hackers- and also may not have robust procedures in place for data management.

Once GDPR swings into effect from the 28th of May 2018, they could be fined anywhere between €10 million or 2% of your global turnover or €20 million or 4% of your turnover depending on the extent of the breach. Put these exorbitant fines together with the cost of the time you will be out of business, add that to the loss of earnings, customers, confidentiality breaches, damage to reputation and most companies would be out of business for good. 

It’s important to keep in mind that the GDPR is not just primarily about data security; but also an incentive to encourage correct use of data by processors.

WAY FORWARD FOR COMPANIES?

The introduction of the new regulations may see a tremendous challenge for enterprises, but it also presents an opportunity for change. It represents a chance to take the appropriate steps to prepare for the new rules which according to Zach Thornton, External Affairs Manager from the DMA should be viewed as a chance for digital transformation. Hence, companies should endeavour to get the ball rolling in making the necessary changes before the May 2018 deadline.

INITIATE A THOROUGH AUDITING.

 

Any data which identifies an individual including email addresses, IP addresses etc is counted as personal data and should only be held in accordance to the reason it was gathered and then removed when no longer necessary.

INCLUDE EVRY PART OF YOUR BUSINESS;

 A recent study by PWC revealed that over 30% of small businesses suffer data breaches due to the carelessness of their staff. This includes external storage devices as drop-box or google drive. Is your data secure? Only staff who necessarily need access should have it. 

GET RID OF EXCESS DATA.

You should take care to delete any data that you don’t need; it’s better to be safe than sorry. Also, It is risky to hold anything you don’t use or is out of date. Saving data that you are not sure will be useful someday doesn’t help anyone, least of all your business, in fact, the idea here should be; if you don’t have a specific purpose for it, throw it out.

DO NOT ASSUME

Educate yourself properly on the appropriate guidelines for what is obtainable in regards to the general Data Protection Regulations. Also endeavour to understand the nitty-gritty of the regulation, especially as relates to being able to provide justification and permission for customer records. The policy includes a “right to be forgotten” which enables an individual to request the deletion or removal of their data when a company has no convincing reason to hold it.

 

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