5 Things You Should Consider When Moving to a Cloud Telephony System

What You Should Be Considering When Moving to a Cloud Telephony System.

As technology evolves at an incredible pace, businesses need to evaluate their processes and weigh up their priorities, including their telephony systems and unified communications strategy.
Cloud telephony has future-proofed communication strategies by replacing physical systems with a more manageable and cost-effective alternative online. A flexible platform like this makes perfect sense in the modern business landscape, but if you’re thinking of making the switch, there are still some key things to consider.

1.No Telephony switch/control equipment (hardware or virtual) is required at your premises

With a cloud telephony system, there is no need to have physical phones or equipment. However, you should think about those staff member that might like or want a desk phone as these will normally come at an extra cost to your softphone.

2. Moves, adds, and changes completed quickly

Unlike a traditional phone system, you can normally make any changes at the click of a button, or by talking to your managed services provider. Any additions to the workforce can be quickly and easily added. Likewise, any removals can be just as easy.

3. Hosted telephony is scalable

As mentioned in point 2, there is no limit to the number of users that you can have on a hosted telephony platform. Physical ISDN/PSTN lines or having capacity with your physical PBX, no longer determines how many users and concurrent calls you can have.  Your maximum number of concurrent calls is now only restricted by your Internet connectivity.

4. Users can work from the office, their home, or at any location where they have Internet connectivity

There is no longer a need to be tied to a physical office; all calls can be made and received using an App on their laptop, smartphone, tablet, or simply from a web browser. Users can make a call from anywhere in the world while displaying the office number, still benefiting from live analytics, reporting, and call recording, if relevant.

If integrating with Microsoft Teams, it is as easy as downloading the app to a device to get started.

5. The call quality is dependent on your Internet connection

You can only benefit from the freedoms of cloud telephony once the right infrastructure is in place. A reliable Internet connection is essential to making sure everything runs smoothly.  Most new Internet lines use fibre-optic today and this is recommended for anyone who wants the best call quality.

It is important that your Internet connection has appropriate spare bandwidth available, has low latency, and is error-free with zero packet loss.  Whilst these requirements may sound technical, your managed services provider will be able to help you validate the suitability of your connection.

Lunch and Learn Registration

The BT Openreach 2025 PSTN and ISDN Switch Off – What is it?

The ISDN Switch Off – What’s Happening?

In 2025 BT is switching off their Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) services. This change will affect all residential and business customers and aligns with the Government’s promise to see 15 million premises connected to fibre by 2025. 

For businesses, it will not only mean that your phone services are affected but also services that run on your phone lines using the PSTN network. This will include services such as EPOS machines, alarm monitoring services, fire monitoring services, and lift emergency phones.

It is not only in the UK that the migration to digital is taking place. As technology evolves, phone companies around the world are adapting. The switch-off is already underway in countries like Germany, Japan, and Sweden, with Estonia and the Netherlands already having completely switched off their networks. 

Why is it happening?

Technology has evolved significantly and quite simply the PSTN network has become outdated and costly to maintain.

What are the alternatives?

Of course, the retiring of the telephone network as we know it would not be happening if there was no new technology to replace it. Over the last several years, telephone systems have been developed to use IP.  This allows telephone systems to use standard Internet connections.  Along with this new technology are many new terms and technologies including:

VoIP: stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and allows you to make and receive phone calls over the Internet. 

SIP: stands for Session Initiation Protocol and rather than just sending voice data like the VoIP phone system, SIP will send and receive any multimedia data such as video calls.

4G & 5G: With the development of 4G and 5G networks across the UK, another alternative is to use your mobile phone as your main point of contact rather than having a traditional landline.

What are the benefits?

Moving to this newer technology offers the same benefits as we see now and some new ones, including:

  • Lower costs
  • Mobility – greater choice of telephone hardware.  You can continue to use a telephone handset as well as mobile phones, tablets, laptops, PCs and Macs.
  • Scalability – telephone systems can easily scale along with your requirements.  Whether it is simply an additional user, or a brand-new office location.  At its simplest form, you simply require Internet connectivity
  • Call statistics more easily accessible
  • Changes can be implemented quicker e.g. call routing and diverts

When do I need to act?

Many businesses have already adopted a digital model, moving their communications to the cloud, making calls over the internet and embracing video conferencing. If you have the supporting infrastructure, then there is no reason why an educated and planned migration to digital lines cannot be considered now.

It is important to start to think about your move sooner rather than later as there could be a lot to plan for and resources to do this will become limited nearer the deadline date. For more information on TruStack’s hosted telephony system, TruStack Voice and TruStack Unified Communications, why not join our Lunch and Learn on Thursday 19th August 2021.

Lunch and Learn Registration

Talk to TruStack – Week Two Recording

‘Talk to TruStack’ is here and we will be sharing a session recording with you each week. 

Every Tuesday in July we will be opening our virtual doors to talk to subject matter experts. 

Although these events are not strictly IT-focused, we know that many of you either manage a team or work within a team and we feel that it is important whilst working remotely that we talk through important issues that others may be able to help with. 

Week Two

Insight – Mental Health and the COVID-19 Pandemic – Avoiding Burnout

Sara Woodhead – Clinical Lead Insight Healthcare IAPT

  • What impact has COVID-19 had on mental health in the workplace?
  • Signs of burnout
  • How to help with burnout
  • How can we help colleagues and employees?
  • TruStack open forum – ask the experts

Join us next week where we will be discussing business support with Sunderland Software City!

Talk to TruStack – Week One Recording

‘Talk to TruStack’ is here and we will be sharing a session recording with you each week. 

Every Tuesday in July we will be opening our virtual doors to talk to subject matter experts. 

Although these events are not strictly IT-focused, we know that many of you either manage a team or work within a team and we feel that it is important whilst working remotely that we talk through important issues that others may be able to help with. 

Week One 

Muckle LLP – Employees in the remote working environment

Chris Maddock – Muckle LLP

Chris Maddock heads up a team of 10 employment lawyers at Newcastle-based commercial law firm, Muckle LLP. Chris will join us to talk about the work that he and his team have done during lockdown for employers across all sectors and will consider a range of issues including:

  • Hybrid and homeworking and the related legal issues
  • Managing performance remotely
  • Where employment law and health and safety law interrelate
  • What the future working world looks like
  • TruStack Open Forum – Ask the Experts

Stay tuned for week two recording with Insight Mental Health talking about burnout and how to avoid it.

Lunch and Learn – VDI with TruStack and VMware

In the modern world of remote and flexible working, IT needs to be able to make them available to everyone, on any device, while still ensuring security.

VDI, or virtual desktop infrastructure, is appropriate when you need remote workers to access multiple applications typically on their work computers. VDI delivers virtualised desktops – which include the operating system, apps, and their documents – to remote devices with the same experience as a PC at the office. Workloads are processed at the on-premises virtualised server instead of your employees’ laptop, tablet or smartphone so your workers don’t experience lags and your data stays secure.

Learn in this webinar how VMware can help you solve device issues by virtualising desktops and applications for greater choice and flexibility.

For more information on our VDI solutions, please head to the Contact Us page.

Penetration Testing

Penetration Testing – What is it and why?

Penetration testing takes an offensive approach to security by mimicking techniques and methodologies that would be used by a real-life malicious attacker. It is often required to satisfy insurance and policy requirements.

Penetration tests take a simulated approach to finding vulnerabilities, weaknesses, and misconfigurations in Network, Web Application, Mobile, and Physical security.

The purpose of a Penetration test is to identify any vulnerabilities before an attacker does.
Penetration testing is not the only step in a strong security posture, but it should be used regularly alongside defensive management strategies.

Penetration testers need to know every way an attacker can get into a network, an attacker just needs to get lucky with one.

Infrastructure Penetration Testing
A company’s infrastructure, external or internal defines a group of computers that store sensitive data about employees, clients and often host business-critical software. If this information is stolen and released it can result in a serious loss of reputation, fines, and potentially criminal charges.
What are the benefits of Infrastructure Penetration Testing?
• To assess the infrastructure for security vulnerabilities that allow attackers to obtain sensitive information or compromise entire systems
• Improving the overall security posture, reducing your overall threat landscape
• Many regulatory bodies require Penetration testing

Consultant-led Penetration testing should take place every six months to ensure that all of your applications and infrastructure are in good shape and do not present any vulnerabilities or security misconfigurations.

If you would like more information on our Penetration Testing services, please contact us by clicking here. You can also find more out about Penetration Testing via the Government website, National Cyber Security Centre by following the link https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/penetration-testing

TruStack Lunch and Learn – Datto SaaS Protection

In 2020, businesses everywhere pivoted to remote working styles. As a result, we saw an increase in the adoption of cloud software and services for increased efficiency and collaboration. What many businesses may not know, is that just because data is created or stored in the cloud, doesn’t mean it’s protected. Cloud migration is set to accelerate in 2021, which could put valuable data at risk to cyber attacks without solutions in place to keep it protected.

A big thank you to all those that joined us on the webinar last week, you can find a copy of the recording below.

For more information on Datto SaaS Protection, or backup, please follow this link to take you to our Contact Us page!

Cisco Umbrella – protection from dynamic cyber threats

Cybercrime never stands still. In January this year, four zero-day exploits were discovered in on-premises Microsoft Exchange Servers, giving attackers full access to user emails and passwords, administrator privileges and access to devices on the same network1. And on 12 March, Microsoft announced that “a new family of ransomware” had been deployed to the compromised servers that were left unpatched2.

This just goes to show that cyber criminals are relentless in looking for vulnerabilities and new attack vectors. And they target organisations of all types and sizes. Right now, many organisations are finding their IT resources stretched thin due to competing priorities.

But security has to come first. Organisations have to be certain they are protected. Attacks are disruptive at best and devastating at worst. Remediating after an attack is far more time-consuming and expensive than preventing it. So, what dangers do businesses need protection from?

Threats are ever-more complex and stealthier

At TruStack, we manage cyber security for customers across multiple sectors and we’ve seen how quickly the threat landscape is evolving. Without doubt, security is getting more complicated. Commonplace threats are still prevalent, but as the attack on Microsoft Exchange Servers shows, the first attack is often no longer the end of the story. Let’s take a look at the key trends that have emerged over 2020, as these indicate the threats we’ll be facing over the coming years.

Trend 1 – Trojans and droppers have a new role

Trojans and droppers remain popular with cyber criminals, but they’re now being used as new forms of malware delivery in multi-stage attacks.

Trend 2 – Orchestrated, multi-staged attacks are rising

Multi-stage, evasive cyber attacks are becoming standard. They use new methods to evade detection by antivirus software, hide data exfiltration actions and coordinate multi-staged manoeuvres through command-and-control (C2) infrastructure.

Trend 3 – Cryptomining invites trouble

It’s been argued that cryptomining isn’t an attack that businesses need to worry about. But in the context of software-based cryptomining where mining software operates anytime the machine is on, there is much higher risk of damaging hardware and it could leave a door open to other attacks.

Trend 4 – Propagating attacks through pandemic-related content

With millions of people desperate for information, malicious actors set up countless sites to phish for credentials and drop malware, often mimicking content from official bodies.

“Will it happen to me?”

The answer is likely to be “yes”. Data from thousands of Cisco customers shows just how prevalent threats are. In the first nine months of 2020, 91% of customers saw a domain linked to malware. 85% saw a domain linked to phishing. 68% saw a domain linked to cryptomining. 63% saw a domain linked to trojans.

It’s clear that cyber security is growing more challenging all the time. And we’re definitely past the point of simply increasing the headcount to fight off multiplying threats. To effectively defend businesses against cyber criminals, you need a security solution that uses the full power of technology to deliver market-leading protection.

Cisco Umbrella – protection everywhere

One solution that’s up to the challenge of today’s threat landscape is Cisco Umbrella. At TruStack, we’ve had a lot of experience in bringing this cloud solution to customers small and large, giving them the reassurance that they are comprehensively protected. There’s so much to recommend Cisco Umbrella. It’s designed to combat sophisticated threats, detecting and blocking them before a full attack is launched. It protects your entire workforce, no matter where they are. It also sweeps away multiple security tools, so IT teams no longer waste time, energy and resources checking different systems.

How does it work?

Cisco Umbrella protects users everywhere with DNS‑layer security and interactive threat intelligence. It combines multiple security functions into one solution, so you can extend protection to devices, remote users and distributed locations anywhere. It enables secure access to the internet and cloud apps, empowering your employees to work anywhere, maintaining productivity while minimizing risk.

For IT teams, it helps to improve security visibility, detect compromised systems and protect users on and off the network by stopping threats over any port or protocol before they reach your network or endpoints. In addition to DNS-layer security, Cisco Umbrella now includes secure web gateway, firewall, and cloud access security broker (CASB) functionality, plus integration with Cisco SD-WAN, delivered from a single cloud security service.

Protecting again +7 million malicious domains

Cisco Umbrella is effective because it leverages data from Cisco Talos, one of the largest commercial threat intelligence teams in the world. Umbrella uncovers and blocks a broad spectrum of malicious domains, IPs, URLs, and files being used in attacks, and discovers 60,000 new malicious domains every day. This is why Cisco’s threat protection is trusted by the largest businesses in the world, but it’s also affordable for any size of business.

Partner with TruStack to get Umbrella for your business

We’re experts at deploying and managing Cisco Umbrella. How you work with us is up to you. We can help you get up and running fast, then let your team take over. However, many of our customers prefer us to provide Cisco Umbrella as a managed service. It means you have the reassurance of our team of security experts overseeing your network. This also gives your in-house IT team more time to handle other projects. There are three packages available, and we can help you choose the one that’s right for your business.

To find out more about Cisco Umbrella, get in touch with us.


SOURCES

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2021_Microsoft_Exchange_Server_data_breach

[2] https://rcpmag.com/blogs/scott-bekker/2021/03/ransomware-exchange-vulnerabilities.aspx

TruStack Tech Summit Recordings All of the content from the week!

Couldn’t make the TruStack Tech Summit? No problem! 

You can now get all of the recordings by filling out the form below.

From Microsoft 365 to Thales Multi-Factor Authentication there is something for everyone!

  • Keynote – Directors from TruStack, Reflecting on 2020 and Looking Forward to 2021
    Phil Cambers (TruStack) and Russell Henderson (TruStack)
  • Cybersecurity Today and Protecting Your Data – Thales
    Manoj Bhati (Thales) and Ian Sanderson (TruStack)
  • Complete and Connected Cybersecurity with Trend Micro – Stability in a Changing World
    David Byrne (Trend Micro),Ian Sanderson (TruStack) and Steven Maddison (TruStack)
  • Workforce Transformation with Dell – Working Safely and Productively Wherever You Are
    Jason Bone (Dell Technologies) Andy Crawford (Dell Technologies) and Ian Sanderson (TruStack)
  • Microsoft 365 – Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Subscription? The Adoption of 365 in 20/21
    Mark Davies (Microsoft/Westcoast Cloud), Ian Sanderson (TruStack) and Phil Cambers (TruStack)
  • Round Up – Thoughts and Ideas From the Week
    Phil Cambers (TruStack) and Joe Olabode (TruStack)

Webinar Download - TruStack Tech Summit

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Unified Communications Made Simple with TruStack and Microsoft Teams

Gain hints, tips, and inspiration on how your business can adapt better to remote based working through online communication tools.

One of the clear outcomes of 2020 has been a complete shift to a new normal for workplace collaboration, communication and productivity. The idea that remote employees can get their work done and feel connected with the right tools is clearly here to stay.

By downloading this eBook you will learn how to adapt to the shift to remote working through communication platforms and help your organisations to get more from collaborating online.

Our latest webinar covering the benefits of Microsoft Teams and Office 365 is available for you to watch or download below.