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How can businesses prepare for IT disaster?

The type of IT disaster which concerns our customers isn’t courtesy of Mother Nature, their own health, unanticipated accidents or technology failure – it’s cyber security. How do they keep up-to-date and stay secure as the threat to their business continually evolves? Security as a Service (SECaaS) is the answer.

According to Gartner (June, 2017) the SECaaS market is forecast to grow from $4.8 billion in 2016 to $8.9 billion in 2020 (CAGR 16.5%). The top 3 growth drivers for SECaaS are:

  1. Technology evolution from on-premise to cloud, enabled by globalisation and the Internet.
  2. Increased security threat levels and more sophisticated attack vectors.
  3. Outsourcing of non-core activities no longer deemed necessary to manage in-house.

In the UK, according to research conducted by the DCMS, cyber-security is a very or fairly-high priority for 74% of UK businesses. With businesses utilising the Internet to expand their reach, this raises the profile of cyber security. However, they found that more businesses could still seek information or take further action to protect themselves, with most businesses having suffered a breach with impact.

For most, the impact was small, but for some it was costly, such as that reported by TalkTalk (Annual Report 2017) which cost them an eye-watering £42 million.

Victims remain reluctant to report data breaches. However, with the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’) on 25th Mary 2018, any breach affecting personal data could attract significant brand damage and a substantial fine.

Why invest in cyber security?

Protecting customer data is the number one driver for just over half of UK businesses. Protecting trade secrets comes next (about a quarter of businesses) followed by business continuity (about a fifth).

Protecting customer data is particularly important for medium-sized businesses. Cyber security is most important for education, health and social care, finance and insurance industries.

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How much do organisations typically invest in cyber security?

Different businesses have different budgets, but irrespective of industry, it’s necessary to divert resource to cyber security. The average annual spend varies by sector, ranging from about £20,000 for information, communications and utilities organisations to a mere £600 for hospitality and food businesses.

Amongst large businesses, the spend can be as much as £390,000, reflecting differences in attitude to cyber-security as well as a huge difference in terms of available resources.

How we can help?

As an IT solutions provider, our target is to understand what’s really going on within each customer’s IT estate. Whilst the conversation might start with something relatively straightforward, such as mobiles or landlines, what’s often really troubling them is their cyber security.

We’re renowned for our managed firewall services which we have provided to businesses and public-sector organisations for over 10 years, both directly and via our channel partners. With our latest Touch Secure product, we can now also offer a managed, cloud-based next-generation firewall service.

Cyber security has joined the list of IT disasters for which organisations need to prepare. To find out more about how Intercity can help you keep your business secure, get in touch with us on 0330 332 7933.

Up next

Telemedicine: how technology could save your life

The positive impact technology has on our social and professional lives on a daily basis is clear; we are better connected, we can work from almost anywhere, and we can access information on the go.

At Intercity Technology, we focus on enabling everyone to work faster and smarter. I am a true advocate of people-first technology. But have you ever considered that the device you carry with you could literally save your life?

FaceTime diagnosis

FaceTime can save lives. There’s been a very real and recent example of the power of mobile technology Adumea Sapong noticed her sister’s slurred speech as life-critical whilst on a FaceTime video call. Adumea is based in Manchester and her sister, Opokua lives alone in New York.

Adumea noticed Opokua, was struggling to pick up a glass of water, and her face was drooping as she spoke. She advised her sister to call the emergency services immediately, who later diagnosed the condition as a stroke from a clot on the brain.

There’s no question that video calling technology saved Opokua’s life.

“You hear a lot of negative stories about the internet and technology, but I think this is an example of how technology can be a force for good. If it had not been for FaceTime, then we would be having a very different conversation right now.” – Adumea Sapong

Lifesaving wearables

Wearable technologies, like Fitbits and Apple Watches, also provide life-saving capabilities. James Green, a 28 year old from New York reports owing his life to a mobile app on his Apple Watch. While monitoring his heart rate constantly throughout the day, the app subsequently notified him when it went outside a certain threshold.

On one occasion, alerts advised Green that his heart rate was continually above his resting rate, even when sitting still. After this gave him impetus to seek medical attention, a CT scan revealed a life-critical blood clot on his lungs, and he was admitted to hospital immediately.

The Telestroke Network

While cases such as these are relatively rare, the power of connected technology cannot be ignored. At Intercity, we were eager to harness the power of unified communications and advanced technologies to streamline collaboration between patients and physicians across the country. It’s the reason we chose to dedicate a whole communication service to healthcare — Telemedicine.

Our Telestroke Network uses diagnostic-quality HD video conferencing and high-quality audio technology, allowing practitioners across the UK to carry out initial remote assessments. And in a healthcare landscape of reduced budgets and stretched resources, this technology could mean the difference between a patient’s life or death.

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In the case of a stroke, only specialist clinicians are qualified to make the correct prognosis and prescribe treatment. What’s more, there’s a very critical four hour window between the moment a stroke occurs and administering treatment, in order to save the patient. Often an hour of this life-saving window is lost to identifying the condition, travel and transfers, and admitting the victim to A&E.

Our Telestroke Network, meanwhile gives the clinician high definition video conferencing tools to conduct a full consultation and diagnosis with suspected stroke patients directly from their homes, adding crucial time to deliver treatment.

“The core network underpinning the Telestroke project is quite complex, with clinicians being linked up directly from their own homes into trusts across the region to treat stroke patients, but Intercity has met every challenge it has been set.” – Gus Hartley, programme lead for NHS North of England

HSJ Healthcare Partnerships Awards

Each year, the Health Service Journal (HSJ) presents a series of awards to recognise and celebrate the products and services being used by the NHS. This year, our Telestroke Network has been shortlisted for the Best Innovation in Medical Technology award, alongside other players like Philips UKI and Bruin Biometrics.

In such a demanding, high-pressure industry like healthcare, frontline physicians are facing escalating challenges to meet the needs of our aging population. There’s a need to share information across more locations, ensure provision of care is seamless, and to provide appropriate access to information.

And, as Adumea Sapong recognised when talking to her sister on FaceTime, any form of telemedicine helps increase the speed at which patients are diagnosed. This window is absolutely crucial for patients suffering from critical conditions like a stroke.

Technology might help to streamline our professional lives and simplify our social communication, but I believe it can also do much more. By connecting patients with healthcare professionals, unified communications and HD conferencing solutions like our Telemedicine services can help save more lives, too.