Not enough hours in the day? Don’t worry Microsoft are here to help you Find Time

Managing a business is tough and can leave many of us questioning where all of our time goes. This is where ‘Find Time’, an add-in from Microsoft, comes to the rescue. Find Time works with Outlook and Office 365 and allows for you to send an email a link to people that you would like to meet with that takes them through to a list of your available meeting dates and times.

Find Time is incredibly easy to use, the people that you contact don’t even need to be using Office 365, and if they do then they don’t need to log in to be able to select the meeting time that they would prefer.

 

So what are you waiting for?…Find yourself some time!

All you need to do is sign in to http://findtime.microsoft.com  Once you are logged in simply click and install the software for free.

See our walkthrough below for more information on how use Find Time:

Create a new email and click the new add-in ‘New Meeting Poll’ then select ‘Link Now’ to connect Outlook to the FindTime system. This only needs to be done once.

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Now select the duration, specify if it’s an online or an in-person meeting and select several dates you are available. Once you have selected all your chosen dates click Next.

 

FindTime will list your chosen dates for confirmation and click ‘Insert into email’

 

The email will now contain the meeting options and this is how it will look to the recipients.

 

Once the recipients receive the email they simply click ‘Select Options’

 

They click on their name from the list of attendees.

 

A web page will open and the recipients can choose Prefer, yes or no to specify which dates they are available or not. Once the selections have been made they click Submit.

For more information on how to use Find Time for your business, contact us today on 01323 287828. We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Don't ask your mates...

Browsing through LinkedIn recently I've become rather alarmed at the number of people asking for advice, on a serious business issue.

'What can I do with my social media contacts when GDPR comes in force' or 'How do I get started with GDPR Compliance' are valid questions, but to put it out to Social Media is not the way to get the answer, but what worries me more is the replies these people have been getting.

'I'm just going to wait and see' is an alarmingly common one. The General Data Protection Regulation is a serious law with fines of up to £17 million or 4% of turnover, and if you are subject to a breach and have taken the approach of 'we'll wait and see what happens' in my opinion you are going to be hit with a bigger fine than if you'd show you've taken your responsibilities with personal information seriously.

Why am I writing this from an IT company?

We are increasingly being asked to 'sort out' the GDPR compliance for businesses, and whilst technology plays a role in protecting personal data, and we will certainly be involved in your GDPR Compliance, so will the rest of your business. From HR to Sales and Marketing you'll be needing to involve all those that access personally identifiable data. It is not just an IT compliance issue as many people seem to think.

Whilst your IT department are responsible for keeping systems running providing solutions to make data accessible, they will have almost nothing to do with the actual data stored in them. Some data may be completely off-limits (HR or Finance for example). Which means that they do not fully understand what they are trying to protect, and those working with it need to understand the new regulation and how it might affect the data they work with on a day to day basis.

Don't just wait and see.

A good starting place is the ICO's website, head over to sitn.it/gdpradvice to get there. Take the time to understand the basics and then if you need, seek expert help. Like most regulations, GDPR is not prescriptive, but guidance that is open to interpretation. We and many other companies run whole day workshops on the subject and personally for me was an excellent starting point.

Yesterday the ICO also published this blog 'Sorting the fact from the fiction' which may dis-spell some myths

If you've started on your journey to GDPR compliance, what are your biggest headaches with IT. Let me know, as we all think it's very simple in our own little silos, but bringing it all together can be a challenge.

We are running a practical introduction to GDPR full day workshop with, click here for more details

2017 – Time to get Defensive!

Protecting Your Businesses Digital Property

The best visual analogy for the digital walls of defence that are needed for businesses today is that of a mediaeval castle. Imagine that your business is at the centre and your varying levels of security defence being the Moat, Outer and Inner defence measures. The more levels of defence, the more difficult it is to get through to the centre (your valuable businesses data).

Firstly, your business will need to identify its most valuable property that is held within the digital realm. This form of information could be the identity (i.e. social security number, Postal Address, Email Address) of yourself and anyone that you employ and the data that you use remotely through devices that could be stored via cloud services.

Once highlighted, these forms of data need to be mixed into your cyber protection plan. You will need to ensure that these assets are defended at all costs because after all, cyber criminals are mainly after personal details and valuable data.

Where to start?

Each level of defence is going to need an individual means of defence. The levels of defence should be protecting data in value order. The first level should be defending data that your business sends and receives digitally, this is used by criminals to send misleading emails under false pretence that seem genuine and result in the victim giving away their details directly (i.e. asking for payment of an ‘outstanding’ invoice).

This best forms of defence for this initial level are Firewalls, Anti-Malware / Virus / Spyware software.

Keep your head in the Cloud

Don’t worry, you can still use cloud services as you usually would. But do not use them as an ‘excuse’ not to vet the service provider and the security measures they take with your data, or indeed back it up! You are most probably going to want to enabled additional security services, such as 2 Factor Authentication for Office 365 to protect the data that you have stored there.

For data residing on your internal systems you must be using support systems and automatic patching, as well as ensuring users have the correct privileges to only access the data they need. Ensuring you meeting the Cyber Essentials standard is a great method of ensuring you

The Final line of defence

Backup is there when all else fails, and should have a copy automatically stored off-site. Remember that data that can get encrypted by cyber criminals? Well some of that data could be your backup, and if you only have a single copy, held onsite, well you’ve just lost all that data.

Cyber Essentials

By meeting the government backed Cyber Essentials accreditation you are taking a practical first step in taking cyber security seriously, one that stops 80% of all common cyber-attacks.

Southern IT Networks are certified to be able to assess against the Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus standards, if you want to learn more call 01323 287828.