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Case Study of GDPR Cyber Security Vulnerabilities in the Hospitality Industry

Everyone has recently come out of the woodwork to discuss how they can help keep you safe from GDPR cyber security vulnerabilities and threats due to the looming deadline.

But, for most of them, it’s just theory.

After all, GDPR doesn’t become enforceable until May which leaves some room for them to figure it out as they go. With this in mind, we wanted to set ourselves apart and show we know EXACTLY what we are talking about because we have ALREADY DONE IT. By already implementing several successful projects to protect our clients, not just for the sake of GDPR, but for the increasing amount of cyber security threats.

Our Case Study

But don’t take our word for it. That’s why we have created a case study to look specifically at the GDPR cyber security vulnerabilities we have detected in the hospitality industry while implementing IT solutions and GDPR protections. We look at two different cases, a small-to-medium and medium sized organisation and the solution for protecting from internal and external cyber security threats in line with GDPR. Are we giving away our secret formula? No. But, it should give you an indicator of the vulnerabilities to look for to see if you have the protection you think you do.

CLICK HERE TO READ OUR CASE STUDY

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Everything You Need To Know About GDPR & How It Will Affect Your Business

In the world of technology, you may have heard a big buzz recently about GDPR with intimidating phrases like cyber security, penalties, business costs and hackers being thrown around. It’s not as scary as all that but as a business owner you will need to pay attention because if you house any sensitive data at all, you are leaving yourself liable if you aren’t making changes. Here is the low-down on GDPR, what it means for you and your business and how you can get ahead of it to ensure you are protected.

What is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the new European legislation coming into effect that aims to protect user data to enhance data protection in line with the digital age and increasing technological capabilities.

Simply put, it’s a new EU regulation that means if you aren’t protecting personal data effectively, you are liable to be fined.

The European Commission had this to say about the implementation of the GDPR regulation:

“The Regulation updates and modernises the principles enshrined in the 1995 Data Protection Directive to guarantee privacy rights. It focuses on:

  • reinforcing individuals’ rights;
  • strengthening the EU internal market;
  • ensuring stronger enforcement of the rules;
  • streamlining international transfers of personal data and;
  • setting global data protection standards.

The changes will give people more control over their personal data and make it easier to access it. They are designed to make sure that people’s personal information is protected – no matter where it is sent, processed or stored – even outside the EU, as may often be the case on the internet.”

What Counts As Personal Data Under GDPR?

Any information that will allow you to identify a person or that relates to an identifiable person is considered personal data. Examples of identifiers include:

  • Names
  • Identity that can be defined by physical, genetic, cultural or economic factors
  • Location data
  • ID numbers
  • Biometric information (e.g. fingerprints, retinal scans)
  • IP addresses
  • Consumer preferences
  • Pseudonyms – data that has been adapted to try and hide personal data by attributing other elements for example encryptions etc. However, businesses that exercise pseudonyms as part of a way to encrypt personal information will have more lenient fines because it is seen as lower risk for the users and complies with GDPR.

What Does GDPR Now Require?

  • Data is fairly, lawfully and securely handled, stored and exported to meet data protection.
  • That digital data that was once not included e.g. IP addresses or mobile device identification is now subject to the same privacy rights as other personal data.
  • Accuracy and integrity of data

Who Are The ICO?

The ICO are representing the UK as part of the data protection working party for the EU’s Article 29.

Dates of GDPR Implementation

The main date you need to be aware of is the 25th May 2018 when the changes are officially actionable and will come into force. That doesn’t mean that you have an excuse to wait however, because GDPR was approved on April 14th 2016 and introduced in 2017 to give businesses fair warning before the actionable dates.

5 Ways GDPR Is Going To Affect Your Business

  1. Check Current Data – Data that you have collected previously will become umbrella’d under GDPR which means you need to ensure that you have full permission from your users and if you are unsure, contact them.
  2. Train Staff – It is important that staff know how to handle sensitive information going forward, not just your IT staff but also any departments that access personal data e.g. HR, finance etc.
  3. Review Procedures – Check your data collection adheres with GDPR guidelines and has active agreement settings rather than passive.
  4. Security Audit – Who has access to the personal data and should they? How they are able to export the data and whether each employee has business NEEDS to be accessing it. If not, remove them. *Don’t forget employees who no longer work for your organisation or third parties.
  5. Check 3rd Party Software – It is your business’ responsibility to ensure that any software you use to store data is GDPR compliant so you will need to contact 3rd party suppliers and get assurances or proof they are actioning this as well. In the event of a breach, you would also be liable.

Are There Any Benefits To My Business?

It sounds like a lot of doom and gloom for your business that could turn out quite costly but there are some plus points to the new regulations.

Consistent Legislation – It is no longer a confusing “grey area” that it has been for many years so it is easier to understand what is and isn’t needed and how to implement this.

Universal Standards – Some may feel that larger companies can do whatever they want with data (e.g. selling it on without permission) because the previous fine was more affordable. With GDPR everyone is held to the same standards.

What Sort of Fines Could I Be Facing Under GDPR?

It’s ultimately up to ICO as to the fine amount of breaches and this can depend on how the breach is dealt with, the level of protection that was in place as well as if the business followed GDPR protocols post breach. Here are some fine examples:

  • Failure to notify users of a breach within 72-hours – up to €10 Million (or 2% of your revenue worldwide, whichever is highest.)
  • Failure to gain consent – up to €20 Million (or 4% of your revenue worldwide, whichever is highest.)
  • Transferring personal data internationally without adhering to GDPR – up to €20 Million (or 4% of your revenue worldwide, whichever is highest.)
  • Failure to consider long-term data privacy within project planning – up to €10 Million (or 2% of your revenue worldwide, whichever is highest.)
  • Ignoring data processing principles (i.e. GDPR guidelines)- up to €20 Million (or 4% of your revenue worldwide, whichever is highest.)

Things you need to know:

  • The GDPR is citizen specific not business specific. This means that it doesn’t matter where your company is based, if you are handling the data of an EU citizen you need to be compliant.
  • GDPR consent needs to be deliberate. For example, consumers need to actively give you consent rather than a “pre-selected” or “opt-out” feature.
  • Withdrawal of permission can be done by an individual at any time under the GDPR regulation and this means that the business must erase the data pertaining to the individual as well as tell relevant third parties to delete any copies.
  • Breaches of information need to be notified to users within 72 hours, even before reporting to the data protection authority. If not, you could face fines of up to €10 Million (or 2% of your revenue worldwide, whichever is highest.)

Brexit and GDPR

Some UK businesses may feel that as the UK is leaving the EU, GDPR practices won’t apply to them and while technically true, the UK have been putting forward data protection legislation of its own. This legislation mirrors the GDPR regulations and highlights that any businesses not handling data (in virtually the same way as the GDPR regulations state) will be subject to a fine of 4% of revenue worldwide or £17 million (whichever is closest.) Which is a far cry from the £500,000 limit set by the 1998 Data Protection Act. Plus, if you have any European customers, you are still liable to follow GDPR rules anyway!

How We Can Help

We offer GDPR training and workshops so that your employees and IT department can become GDPR compliant and avoid those massive fines. For more information contact us on:

UK Office: +44-203-637-2404

Israel Office: 972 (0) 74-7036680

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15 Things Your IT Support Wants You To Know

IT professionals can be the number one defence for your business or organisation which means they work hard, even if you don’t always understand what it is they do. Sometimes it can be difficult communicating with your IT support so here are a few things you should know about them the next time you want to interact:

  1. We are on your side

It may feel like we are against you when you feel you need new equipment but we are working within a budget, as all departments do and often new doesn’t always equal the best. We are always there to help you use the equipment you have and listen when you think you need more, we are not against you but don’t forget how expensive tech is, sometimes we aren’t the ones saying no, the budget is.

  1. DON’T CLICK THE LINK

We have discussed Phishing Emails in our previous article, as well as how to spot them, but if you aren’t expecting an email or it seems to good to be true, don’t click the link. Otherwise we have to spend the morning/afternoon/evening performing IT surgery on your devices and checking it didn’t infect the main network to protect everyone else. If you are in doubt, contact the company directly or give one of us a shout, we can spot it a mile away (and if we can’t we have protected environments that we can use to double check.)

  1. Turning it on/off again is an actual thing

It is an ongoing joke that most of the world is in on and it sometimes seems like IT support are messing around when they ask you to try turning your machines on and off again, however the action has merit and is the first, in a long line of troubleshooting that could solve a variety of issues. This is partly because sometimes when a computer error or glitch happens it’s because the software is becoming end of life and needs updating, or your computer has been on for an entire month and could do with a little break to start and refresh. If something is going wrong, close and save your applications and try turning it on and off again before calling tech support, you may find you can deal with it on your own.

  1. Everything needs power

It’s surprising how many calls we get when something isn’t working, only to find that it either isn’t plugged in or it’s been switched off at the switch and no-one has noticed. Always make sure you are plugged into an outlet, your device is charged and the switch is turned on.

  1. We aren’t miracle workers

If you haven’t saved your work in 10 days and your computer dies or you have lost an email from 1992 that you want us to retrieve, it’s not always possible. There are a lot of sneaky tricks that we can try and we can delve into the depths of a computer log, but if the data isn’t there, we can’t give it to you. Sorry!

  1. It’s not an exact science

Unlike actual science there isn’t always a definite fix for everything and as technology advances, your IT support has to adapt and advance with it. This means that we can’t always jump straight onto a solution and fix it straight away. Imagine you get a new phone, it takes a few days for you to learn the new keyboard or layout, it’s the same for us with new software or tech, even updates for things we have been doing for 10 years, it’s not that we don’t know what we are doing, we just need a moment to get used to things. Also, different users have different settings on their devices which means we need a minute to adapt to your way of thinking.

  1. You don’t need to diagnose the problem, that’s what we are here for

It’s fantastic when users have a bit of understanding on their machines because it means you are able to use them effectively, however when they go wrong and you can’t fix it, that’s our job. We just need to know the symptoms of the problem, anything you have tried and what you were doing when it occurred and we can get to work. We know you are trying to be helpful by suggesting what you think is the problem, but we have a system and commonly it’s not the same thing.

  1. Stop illegally downloading

We know you do it, you are on our network, we then have an obligation to follow this up and potentially report it. Don’t download illegally, particularly when you are at work, we can see it, it’s awkward and 9 times out of 10 we can trace it back to you and everyone has to have a discussion, it’s not worth your time or ours. This goes for watching “those sites” too.

  1. The Slow Computer Dilemma

It is a phrase that IT support and professionals are used to hearing, a LOT, “my computer is slow.” However, this is not always the case and can actually be the way it is being used, for example, do you have a ton of tabs open or have you updated recently? Are you trying to do something it wasn’t designed to do or using software that requires more processing power than you have. Speak to your IT professional about what it is you are doing with your computer before going down the slow route, there are plenty of things they can do to help speed it up that may not be the computer at all.

  1. Give us credit

It sounds self-indulgent however there is a lot of time and energy that goes into IT support and you don’t necessarily see the out of hours work or the morning weekend server re-boots that go into ensuring your systems are as stable as possible. But the Wi-Fi in unavailable for 5 minutes and we get a hundred phone calls immediately about us not being able to do our jobs. When you pass them in the halls or at work, thank your IT support guy, particularly when everything is going well, it means he’s been putting the hours in and going above and beyond.

  1. We don’t get the final say

Many IT support staff don’t have the authority to buy you a new laptop or okay the latest tech in the office, event IT managers have to discuss things with finance or other departments but we can be powerful allies. If you can prove a business need for your new tech and convince us, we can help persuade others that it is necessary, plus we are the ones who will have to set it up, maintain it and implement any solutions you put in place so it’s good to get us on board beforehand.

  1. We hate printers too!

They are the bane of our existence, need replacing, are naughty on networks and a lot of them are stuck in the 90’s but they are essential for offices, the hospitality industry and pretty much everything, so until they invent something better, we are all just stuck with them!

  1. Communication is key

How are we supposed to know something is wrong or how long it has been doing it if you don’t tell us? We can appreciate that a malfunctioning computer is frustrating (we definitely know this!) but we need you to explain everything so we can diagnose and fix it as quickly as possible without adding the unnecessary guesswork of trying to understand what you need doing to it.

  1. Data Protection is a legal requirement

Secure passwords, two-form authentication and other policies that your IT department put in place aren’t only there to protect your data, it’s to protect the information companywide. With new GDPR regulations, not taking the proper precautions to protect your own, business or client data can result in huge fines and data protection leaks. Not to mention the spyware, ransomware or nasties that can corrupt your own data. As annoying as it is, please follow our protection protocols, they help everyone.

  1. Karma’s a beautiful thing

IT support help an array of users, businesses and keep networks running, all while dealing with any little issue (or the printer…again) that you have. So be nice, respectful and appreciate that we are doing the best we can and are working on elements that you can’t see, rather than sitting in a basement and gaming all day (some of us do that too.) But ultimately, if you are looking to skip the queue or get something done ASAP, you can catch more flies with honey.

At the end of the day, IT support is there to help you, just try to remember that we are human as well!

Find out more about our IT Solutions here.

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12 Warning Signs Of A Phishing Email

The importance of online security is bigger than ever and with criminals coming up with new and inventive ways to catch you, we must remain vigilant. Previously we have discussed how to defend yourself against phishing but with increasingly clever tactics we thought we would highlight some 10 ways you can sniff out a potential threat and detect signs of a phishing email.

As you probably already know, phishing is the act of misleading you into giving away your sensitive information, from login details to your credit card information there’s a wealth of data you don’t want falling into the wrong hands. The most popular way of phishing is via email so we will be looking solely at this, but remember that cyber thieves can masquerade in a variety of different ways so keep an eye out.

Here are the 12 signs of a phishing email that should throw up an immediate red flag.

  1. Email Address

Why is PayPal emailing you from [email protected]*? The correct answer is they are not and if a reputable company is not using their own server email or a recognizable email, then it’s definitely not them. If you are genuinely concerned and are expecting a similar email, do not reply to this one, go to the company’s website and find an email address or contact number of someone you can speak to and you can deal with the quiery directly. Also, contacting the real company helps to raise awareness that someone is using their name to steal data which they can then act upon by contacting customers legitimately and this avoids anyone else getting duped.

  1. Unsuspecting Urgency

If something was really happening with your account then chances are you would have heard something rather than a strange email out of the blue claiming that you MUST ACT NOW. If you aren’t expecting an email, then chances are it’s false and again, you can always contact the company and check. This also stands for unrealistic threats that are suddenly imposed in the email, stop and think about this company and what they are LEGALLY allowed to do, if the threat doesn’t line up it’s because someone is trying to use fear and intimidation to get you to click.

  1. Poor Language

In many instances phishing emails will have poor grammar or language and this could be because they were thrown together quickly with minimal spellchecking, because an automatic translator was used to quickly send to a variety of different countries or alternatively because the writer was writing in their second language. Although businesses can make mistakes, professional business emails are usually written by someone from your own country or at least spell checked and proof-read so this can be a major giveaway.

  1. Asking For Money

Email marketing is strong for a lot of businesses or charities and although you may find you get newsletters and emails drawing your attention to the latest products or services, when was the last time a company asked you for a specific figure to immediately hand over? Even if they are sending you an invoice, most of the time this will be in the form of an attachment, with a legitimate invoice, reference number and contact details so you can always check it out. Asking for money is one of the telltale signs of a phishing email!

  1. Wrong Child Domains

A favourite trick is to create a child domain which involves having a domain underneath an original, meaning that the parent domain details are in the URL which is how they catch you out. For example, Information.Security.TowerWatchTech.com would be a child domain of our own website and this is clearly indicated if the parent domain is on the RIGHT-hand side due to the way DNS naming works. However, a spoof version of this would be TowerWatchTech.com.phishing.com but because the brand name is in the URL, you get confused into thinking it is legit. The best way to remember it is:

On the LEFT, I’m LOSING money

On the RIGHT, everything is all RIGHT

  1. It Asks You To Log In

Be wary of any email that asks you to log into an account direct from their email. Most companies will ask you to log in but will not provide you with a link, or will provide a generic link to their own website that you will recognise. Links are often disguised as a dummy website which records your login data! If you think it is from a reputable company the easiest thing to do is manually go to their website and log in the same way you usually do, the extra minute it will take you to do this is better than the hassle if you don’t.

  1. TGTBT

Too good to be true. At the end of the day, if someone randomly wants to send you a £million then it’s probably not your lucky day. Do you REALLY think that if you had come into that much money they would contact you via email? No, they would use several points of contact, (as unlikely as it is anyway) or official channels. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

  1. Embedded Links

Linking content can be beneficial in an email but it is also an excellent way to hide nefarious links! Many people don’t realize that embedded links can be checked by simply hovering over them (on a desktop) computer and seeing the actual link (rather than clicking on it!) Ask yourself if the link is reflective of the company you’re expecting, if it isn’t then DO NOT CLICK ON IT, and definitely don’t click on it to “see what it does.”

  1. Lack of Personal Info

This doesn’t always work as some criminals are getting more sneaky but a lot of the time, legitimate brands or businesses with your email address will use at least your first name, if not your first and second. “Valued customer”, “friend” or “client” are all ways of saying “I don’t know your name but I am going to pretend to anyway” and should be avoided, particularly if they are asking you to share personal information.

  1. Naked Signature

A business, brand or professional will sign an email with more than just a name at the bottom, even if it is a generic email it will still have “The Team” with contact information or website addresses underneath because it’s a marketing tool. Giving out as much information so that customers can contact you and potentially turn into a sale is good business practice so be wary of any “business” who is not willing to share that information and a name-only signature is a good way of doing this.

  1. Header Name

The header name can be inputted, the email address cannot be changed so ignore the header name and go straight to checking the email. Always check the little arrow to look at the email as a first point of contact. A lot of the time people don’t realise you can and that is why few emails will actually cover this up so you can save a lot of time and heartache by dealing with this first.

  1. Unexpected Attachments

Always double check before you click on an attachment, particularly those that you aren’t expecting, have strange names or aren’t mentioned in the email itself. This tactic plays on curiosity to see what it is and that is how they will get you! Normally, the sender will tell you what is attached, why and how it is relevant to you so that you know what you are looking at, the first warning signs of a phishing email is when they don’t tell you and the second is when they tell you it contains irrelevant information or info they could have just written in the email. If something sounds suspicious, don’t open it.

Find out what to do if you accidentally click on our “Defend Yourself Against Phishing” article or check out our Information security services to see how we can help you protect your business’s data.

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8 Reasons Why The Hospitality Industry Needs IT Management

We are going to answer the common question on why IT management is essential for the hospitality sector because it is one that is frequently asked! Simply put, the hospitality industry needs IT management. Firstly, you need to remove the mindset that IT needs are exclusively in an office environment and consider the technology used to run a business in the hospitality industry. From restaurants to theme parks, the dependence on technology is increasing and therefore so does your need for IT management, for example, let’s look at the amount of technology used in a restaurant and set aside the service element for a second, you have:

  • EPOS (Electronic Point Of Sale)
  • Databases with staff and client information
  • Ordering systems (for customers)
  • Stock ordering and management (in-house)
  • Tablet managements system
  • Security systems
  • Online ordering
  • Websites
  • Employee computers/laptops
  • Internet Accessibility

And this doesn’t even consider the advancement of technology such as smartphone payments, new apps and ongoing changes in security regulations. A business in the hospitality industry is still a business and needs to be treated as such because the industry as a whole is years behind on tech, partly because what is available it isn’t managed or maintained. This is where an IT manager comes in and here’s a few of the things they do to prove why you need them:

  1. Online Security

Whether it’s customer data, sensitive documents and emails or your employee databases, your information needs to be kept secure and changing your passwords regularly won’t cut it (although it’s an excellent place to start. With the new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) legislation coming into effect, your business can face massive fines regardless of whether you are in finance or hospitality, you have a responsibility to keep data secure. An IT manager can provide safety protocols and security measures to safeguard your data as well as train you and your staff on how to avoid lapses in security for the business. Technology is advancing and your security needs to go with it.

  1. Project Management & Installation

Thinking of expanding, having a site overhaul or changing the way your business looks? We can help with the technology side to liaise with the project managers so that you can still provide the service in the aesthetic that you like. Doing this during the building phases helps to minimise disruption to your business and makes sure that you don’t have any lapses or poor technology issues which can look bad to customers. An extension is great but if your free Wi-Fi doesn’t reach outside anymore your patrons aren’t going to be happy.

  1. Upgrades

An IT manager knows when it is time to upgrade and what you should upgrade to and that doesn’t always mean the most expensive or newest products. Stability and performance are the two key factors we aim to combine and with our insider knowledge we know what is going to work and what software or hardware hasn’t quite worked out the kinks.

  1. Day-To-Day Assistance

The hospitality industry tends to require multi-tasking as processing are different than a standard office, you need day-to-day maintenance and checks as well as someone being on hand to deal with issues that arise. While your go-to IT person can handle some of the problems, you can’t expect them to handle multiple sites and locations as well as any projects, upgrades, repairs and installations all by themselves!

  1. Quicker Resolutions Of Problems

Knowing who to talk to can get a job done quickly and right! Have you ever been passed around from one department to another trying to get support, with everyone claiming nothing is their fault? Cut out the middle man and let us do it for you, not only can an IT manager discuss and organise on your behalf but they also have the contacts to get things resolved swiftly (and escalate problems properly that aren’t getting fixed) This solves problems in half the time and allows you to focus on the other important aspects of running a business.

  1. Translate Tech jargon

Those error messages that you don’t understand, we do! We know what they mean and how to resolve them as well as what’s normal and when to start panicking! Technical language can be confusing and with our knowledge we can provide the translation and help make it easier for users to understand, removing the “fear” of something going wrong.

  1. Back Up Solutions

Have you ever been writing a document, your computer freezes and you have to restart it, then you remember you haven’t clicked save for about half an hour? Imagine this on a larger scale. Sometimes things go wrong, it’s a fact of technology but an IT manager can help provide regular back-ups to ensure you and your employee’s data is safe. We make sure that redundancies are in place so that there is minimal disruption when restoring information and everything is backed up. We offer cloud based solutions which we feel are the most flexible, secure and effective (as well as quick and easy to restore to get you back up and running in the event of a failure.)

  1. Staff Training

Let us teach your staff how to use their technology in the most effective way, from shortcuts to user-guides, IT management aims to create a unified relationship between user and technology so you are using it to its fullest potential for your business. Knowledgeable staff are able to cope with problems without panicking as well as knowing what to do in basic situations and when to call the experts, think first aid training for computers. A handy skillset for your employees.

Ultimately, IT management can streamline processes, boost productivity and improve customer service in the hospitality industry and at the end of the day, it’s the service that matters. For these reasons, hospitality industry needs IT management.

If you’re in the hospitality industry and want more info on what our IT managers can do for you, visit our list of services or get in contact.

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Bandwidth Vs Speed – How to Have Both in Major City Centres

First of all, what is the difference between bandwidth and speed? Is there a difference at all? They are the same, right? The short answer to this is no, so let’s look into this in more detail.

To start with, what do we mean when we say “bandwidth”? Essentially, this is the capacity or the amount of data that can be transmitted over an electronic channel during a specific period of time. Think of it like the lanes on a highway, it allows more traffic to go through at once whilst still retaining higher speeds. A lone car can speed down a single lane road, in the same way a lone network request can function with low bandwidth capabilities.

But what happens when you have multiple requests going through a network simultaneously? For example, one user using a VOIP program such as Skype and a second user requesting to download files from the cloud will suffer slow speeds and poor quality because these requests are held in a queue and completed one after the other. A high-bandwidth connection, on the other hand, can service many users and requests without sacrificing speed which translates into better performance for users, just like a highway has multiple cars moving alongside each other at once.

A lower bandwidth internet connection will not (generally) allow for uninterrupted media streaming, even with smaller audio files. Other processes, such as uploading and downloading files, are also significantly slower than, say, broadband or high-bandwidth connections which negatively affects office productivity, especially in the hospitality sector, where you can expect slower payment processing as a result.

In most major cities’ centres in the UK, including central London, there is a reliance on ADSL due to old copper infrastructure which limits the internet bandwidth. So, how do you work around this? The easiest way to improve bandwidth in this situation is to purchase and install a high speed dedicated leased line – however, this comes with its own set of issues.

First and foremost, the cost in not sustainable for small to medium (or even in some cases larger) non-technology based organisations, and they are not always readily available in the most central areas of bigger cities such as London.

TowerWatch has a way around this – we can implement a combination of solutions to increase your bandwidth with the ability to also manage and control it! Which ultimately means you reduce costs or the need for super-high-bandwidth solutions. Without giving away all of our trade secrets, this is what we can do:

  • Give you multiple cheaper lines combined with a high-grade business router

    • This gives you smart traffic load balancing, making sure your important data is always transferred first!
    • Options for redundancy in case of internet outages
    • Reports on bandwidth usage allowing you to see where your bandwidth is being monopolised
  • A world-class WiFi solution

    • Control – Allowing you the control over all your wireless devices bandwidth usage prioritising business devices over personal ones.
    • Great reliability – some of our clients do not even know where their access points are, having never touched them for a reboot!
    • Super coverage – meaning your employees can work freely without worrying about speed or signal

All the above gives you the full system solution with the correct bandwidth and speed for your business needs without wasting your monthly income on excess IT expenditure. This means you will be able to focus on what your business does best without worrying about how slow your internet is, because let’s be honest, this is the worst!

Written by James Ratcliffe  – Project Manager at Towerwatch Solutions LTD

Visit our IT Solutions page for more information on what we can do for you.

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Wi-Fi – Need or Must? (Luxury or Necessity in Hospitality?)

75% of people say that a week without WI-FI would leave them grumpier than a week without coffee. We are seeing more and more mobile devices needing WI-FI, to the point that it is becoming essential to attract the customer. So is Wi-Fi in hospitality needed?

When was the last time you booked a hotel without Wi-Fi? Hotel Chatter found that 94% of people cite internet access as their most important amenity, yet they found that only 64% of hotels offer it free to their customers. The hospitality industry should take note, as 38% of hotel customers say that they would book elsewhere if there was no Wi-Fi available.

Wi-Fi in the Hospitality Industry

Things to bear in mind when offering Wi-Fi include:

  1. Is it reliable?

    • People are more likely to be put off by bad Wi-Fi, rather than no WI-FI
    • You must factor in capacity as more and more people are carrying more than one or two devices (e.g. Work Phone, Personal Phone, Tablets etc.)
  1. Is it Fast?

    • Can it support multiple devices uploading photo/video as well as voice and video calls simultaneously?
    • Do you have the infrastructure and bandwidth on-site to handle the extra load once you offer Wi-Fi?
  1. Impact on staff/operations

    • When offering this speed for your clients you must also look at:
      • The costs of the bandwidth
      • Allocations of speed and bandwidth to staff, client and business devices
      • Ensure that you are not hindering your own core operational devices and services
    • Permitting and monitoring staff access to Wi-Fi during breaks/out of hours.
  1. Legal

Is your guest Wi-Fi in line with government legislations for your city or country?

  1. Security

Wi-Fi is an easy target.

  • Are you securing your business devices?
  • How are you protecting your clients?
  • Is your current solution taking up valuable IT resources?

So how do you meet these requirements, while keeping your technologically inclined and demanding customers happy?

You will need a Wi-Fi solution that covers the following:

  1. High Quality Business Grade Hardware

    1. Giving software reliability
    2. High Speed
    3. Durable Hardware
    4. Great Security
    5. Regular updates for both security and legislation
  1. Cloud-Based Management

    1. Allowing control of multiple sites
    2. Giving easy “big picture” monitoring and alerting
  1. Fast and Simple Deployment

  1. Easy Multiple SSID Control

    1. Allowing bandwidth control
    2. Allowing Separation of Data

In planning, designing and implementing a Wi-Fi solution for clients that need to tick all of these boxes, I found a solution that handles this and much more. This allows a smooth, non-invasive deployment, leaving a Wi-Fi resolution that is robust, easy to grow and light on IT Management resources.

We had a very positive experience with Meraki (Cisco Meraki) products to deliver best-in-class Wi-Fi solutions.

Written by James Ratcliffe  – Project Manager at Towerwatch Solutions LTD