Partners

Did you know that 90% of Cyber-Security attacks start with a phishing email?

Posted by on May 16, 2017 in Cloud, Law in the Cloud, Microsoft | 0 comments

Did you know that 90% of Cyber-Security attacks start with a phishing email?

Did you know that 90% of Cyber-Security attacks start with a phishing email? How many times has your business received a suspicious email that looks as genuine as all the others? How many of your colleagues clicked on links in an email and regretted it? If this is something you worry about in your practice it’s time to look at how the Microsoft Cloud can help to secure your business. It’s time to take an approach that is Secure, Strategic and Successful. It’s time for you to talk to AspiraCloud and find out how we can help you just like we helped Howell-Jones Solicitors based in Kingston upon Thames. Legal firm moves to the cloud for greater security, productivity and control Many firms believe that hosting their IT Services on premises is secure and would never consider the cloud.  Truth is that tools and services available in the Microsoft Cloud offer a greater level of compliance and security than you could ever hope for with on premises facilities. The Microsoft Cloud Commitments allow you to know that your data is held securely and fully compliant with SRA and Law Society regulations and guidelines. Even something as simple as data back up is cheaper, quicker and more secure.  Just think, no more tapes. Do you want to find out how AspiraCloud and Microsoft can transform your business? Call our office so you can book a meeting to discuss your options. Call 02476 970550 Watch this video below from Microsoft Chief Legal Office, Brad Smith Ask us for a contact at Howell-Jones so you can find out the...

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Five cloud security tips & tricks for Office 365

Posted by on Apr 10, 2017 in Cloud, Microsoft | 0 comments

Five cloud security tips & tricks for Office 365

In this post I wanted to cover five of my favourite cloud security tips & tricks for Office 365 and Azure.  Of course some of these features depend on the level of subscription you have and if you want to know more then all you have to do is contact AspiraCloud. So here are my top five cloud security tips & tricks for Office 365. Tell me more about Office 365 Enable or disable safety tips Log in to Office 365 as an administrator and click on the Admin tile. Follow the route Admin centers -> Security and Compliance Once in the Security and Compliance Page go to Threat management -> Mail filtering. Select the custom tab. You will see the Custom settings are off by default. Switch this on to allow you to alter settings. Expand the Default spam filter policy (always ON) section and click on the Edit policy button. Open the Spam and bulk actions section and scroll down. Here you will find the safety tips setting.   Using Rights Management Services to protect shared documents First, check your licensing under EM+S to make sure Azure Rights Management is switched on. If not, turn it on, like a light switch. Now you will need to install the Office 365 Add on and register. You must follow some set up instructions to make sure RMS is activated on your tenant. Sign in to Office 365 If the Office 365 admin centre does not automatically display, select the app launcher icon in the upper-left and choose Admin. The Admin tile appears only to Office 365 administrators. Use Search in Office 365 to find the Rights Management Settings portal. It’s not obvious where to find it. Activate RMS Now you can use the Office 365 Add on to protect documents. This will help https://docs.microsoft.com/en-gb/information-protection/deploy-use/activate-office365-preview You can download the Information Protection Client here https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/confirmation.aspx?id=53018   Where is my data? Sometimes you just want to be sure that you know where your data is stored.  Microsoft will have told you the location of your core data based on the data centers online at the time you set up your tenancy. Not really a security feature but certainly an important compliance feature for many customers. To find out: Log in to Office 365 as an administrator and click on the Admin tile. Follow the route Settings-> Organization profile Scroll down the content section until you see Data location. There is currently an option to request that data is moved to the UK data centers if your organization has specific residency requirements. 4. Security and Compliance Reports As a cloud customer, you want to be sure you are monitoring all potential threats coming in to your business. The security compliance dashboard will provide an instant snapshot of potential threats allowing you to dig deeper is you spot a problem. To get to this, assuming you have the right plans, log in to portal.office.com as an administrator. Log in to Office 365 as an administrator and click on the Admin tile. Follow the route Admin centers -> Security & Compliance Now click on Reports at the bottom of the list on the left. Select Dashboard From here you can spot the data category that interests you. Click on the tile to see more detail.   DLP (Data Loss Protection) Your organisation may set policies to protect sensitive data from leaving the business.  You might have rules that warn users if they are sending data that might need a second thought, for example a customer’s National Insurance or Credit Card details. You can set your own policies in the DLP section but much more important that setting the policy, make sure someone is monitoring the rules for transgressions. Log in to Office 365 as an administrator and click on the Admin tile. Follow the route Reports -> Security & Compliance Here you can see all the reports available to you, from spam detection, malware and even a check on the top users.  That might show you a suspect pattern worth investigating further. Now click on the relevant...

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Busting the Myths around Cloud Security

Posted by on Apr 4, 2017 in Cloud, Law in the Cloud, Microsoft | 0 comments

Cloud services: A view of legal sector guidance I recently enjoyed a visit to one of the UK’s largest legal event specifically designed for lawyers and ambitious law firms seeking ground breaking innovations.  As you would expect the Cloud and Digital Transformation and Business Improvement were topics under discussion in every theatre. I did hear one speaker say “There are too many questions relating to Safe Harbour for commercial law firms to trust Office 365”.  I’ll be fair to the speaker in case I heard the line out of context, and just say that, without said context, this is #fakenews. Spend some time listening to Brad Smith, Microsoft’s President and Chief Legal Officer to know that there may be questions around trusting the cloud, but there are answered in detail in his many conference speeches readily available online. The Law Society of England and Wales and the Solicitors Regulation Authority have separately issued guidance setting out requirements and recommendations for solicitors using cloud computing solutions. Microsoft offers its approach to such guidance in this white paper. The paper articulates their view of how, as a cloud service provider, Microsoft enables firms to meet the standards and recommendations set out in such guidance and their compliance obligations. I’ve listed some of the top #fakenews items and myths surrounding the use of Cloud for commercial law firms. For each myth I have written a response and is followed up with chapter and verse from the Microsoft material with links to the relevant sites for further reading. But don’t just take my word for it.  If you want to speak to some of our customers who are already benefiting from a move to the cloud, email us and I will put you in touch. Microsoft will use your cloud data for advertising to customers. In fact… your data will never be used for anything other than the stated purpose defined by you. You are the data controller and you maintain ownership always.  Microsoft will not use your data for anything other than the purpose you define. Microsoft obtain third party audits and certifications so you can trust that their services are designed and operated with stringent safeguards. To address the requirement for processing only to be undertaken in accordance with a written contract, a data processing agreement and the EU Model Clauses are included by default in Microsoft’s Online Service Terms. The EU Model Clauses are prescribed by the European Commission for use when transferring personal data from within the EU to a country outside of the EU which does not have an “adequate” data protection regime. In their Online Services Terms, Microsoft expressly commit to process your data only pursuant to your instructions and not for any other purposes. Microsoft and the EU Model Clauses                    Microsoft Online Services Terms The Safe Harbour Regulations mean that foreign government and particularly the US authorities can access the data even though it is hosted in the UK.   In fact… in terms of compliance, Microsoft Cloud Services already meet the requirements of the EU GDPR and did so long before the courts ruled on Safe Harbour. Office 365 and Azure are available today and already help you meet the requirements of the EU-US privacy shield.  Microsoft is certified under the EU-US Privacy Shield framework which imposes stronger obligations on US companies to protect Europeans’ personal data and reflects the requirements of the European Court of Justice which ruled the previous Safe Harbour framework invalid. The Commission has formally adopted the EU-US Privacy Shield for transatlantic data transfers from the EU to the US. The new EU General Data Protection Regulation will apply form May 2018 and will cover UK data protection. Microsoft and the GDPR                            Microsoft and the EU-US Privacy Shield Microsoft can see all our data and read client confidential documents In fact… your data is encrypted at rest in the data centre and in transmission from the data centre to your PC.  Only if you give permission to a support engineer as part of a service request could they view data and that would be on your PC under your...

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AspiraCloud Earns Distinction Through Commitment to Academic Customers.

Posted by on Apr 16, 2016 in Cloud, Microsoft | 0 comments

AspiraCloud today announced it has renewed its status as a Gold Microsoft Authorized Education Partner (AEP), demonstrating its ability to meet Microsoft academic customers’ evolving needs in today’s dynamic business environment. To earn a Microsoft AEP authorization, partners must complete a test to prove their level of academic licensing and market expertise. The AEP program is designed to train participating resellers on Microsoft’s Academic licensing, authorize them to purchase and resell Microsoft Academic licenses, and demonstrate to potential customers that they are approved and knowledgeable academic partners. AspiraCloud is Microsoft Gold Cloud Platform Partner based on the South Coast of the UK with an office in the West Midlands.  Formally known as SharePointEdutech we now offer the same great services with a strong alignment to the ever changing IT landscape. We specialize in SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure for the education and small business sector. We have experience working with clients who want to make the most of using Office 365  who enjoy the flexibility cloud hosting using Microsoft Azure and with customers who prefer SharePoint as a hybrid or in-house hosted solution   We work with a variety of SMB clients, education customers and local authorities in the UK, but also in Europe and the United States.  Our smallest client is a primary school with twenty users and our largest to date currently is a multi-tenant environment for an LEA, currently at 175000.  “This Microsoft AEP authorization shows our commitment and specialism in the academic IT marketplace and demonstrates our knowledge of Microsoft and its academic products,” said Adrian Edgar. “We are pleased to offer high quality services to support our academic customers’ successes by serving as technology advisors for their IT requirements.” “By becoming AEPs, partners show themselves to be committed and trained in providing discounted Microsoft academic products to the education market,” said Anthony Salcito, vice president of Education for Microsoft Corp.’s Worldwide Public Sector. “This authorization, along with our other education partner initiatives, gives our partners recognition of their areas of expertise and our academic customers the confidence that they are buying from academic IT specialists.” The Microsoft AEP Program is designed to authorize and equip organizations that deliver academic products and services through the Microsoft platform with the training, resources and support they need to provide their customers with superior experiences and outcomes. For more information, Adrian Edgar, AspiraCloud, +44 (0)2476 362712, adrian@aspiraclod.com...

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AspiraCloud Exhibiting at BETT 2016

Posted by on Jan 12, 2016 in BETT 2016, Cloud, Microsoft | 0 comments

This year, for the first time AspiraCloud will be exhibiting at BETT 2016. BETT is the world’s largest IT in Education show held at Excel in London every year.  The exhibition will be visited by nearly 50,000 Teachers and School leaders over four days. We will be there as part of the Microsoft Partner Village, right next to the Microsoft main stand.  Come and meet with Chris McKinley, Adrian Edgar or Seb Matthews and talk about how AspiraCloud can help you  make the most from your investment in IT. The Partner Village Theatre No only will we be on our stand talking about Microsoft Azure and Office 365, but Seb Matthews will also be presenting a thought leadership piece in the partner village theatre. Seb Matthews will be talking about the benefits of moving to the cloud but with a focus on finding the right path for your organisation.  We want schools and colleges to consider a move to the cloud but also look carefully at which option is best for you in order to do more and achieve your strategic goals. At AspiraCloud we want to help your school improve the way students learn, inspire your teachers, engage your parents and empower your school leader.  A wise investment in the cloud can help towards these aims. Seb will be talking at the Microsoft Partner Village Theatre at the following times: AspiraCloud Stand – Right Next to Microsoft On stand C300, we will be talking to schools about the cost benefits of moving to the cloud.  How we can help assess not only the technical benefits and the improvements to teaching and learning, but how you can make real savings to your already tight budgets. With the help of AspiraCloud we think you can make some real term savings and still offer top class services to support your school. We look forward to seeing you there and helping you Head to the Cloud.    ...

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Are You a Cost Saving Super Hero?

Posted by on Dec 8, 2015 in Azure, Cloud, Microsoft | 0 comments

  Everyone has the potential to be a cost saving superhero. Have you thought about how to save costs with your IT infrastructure? How often do you thing about saving money when standing up new server infrastructure in your office or school? When you look through the online catalogue for your preferred supplier to get the best price on the hardware, how often to you thing about the hidden costs associated with your purchase? The cost of electricity The cost of ventilation and cooling Back up infrastructure and media The cost of licensing (and the stress of making sure you have got it right) Support staff costs Environmental costs As your need for efficient workloads increases and we demand more from our server infrastructure, that too puts a strain on other budgets to support this.  But that’s OK isn’t it because someone else has to worry about those additional hidden costs. Right ? In preparation for this blog post it has been incredibly difficult to get some real life figures for you to consider, but I am grateful to Ray Fleming at Microsoft Edu in Australia for this very simple table designed to just start the conversation. Consider why IT managers worry about consuming cloud services like Azure IaaS.  Is it because they imagine an open cheque book or an open charge account against their budget.  What about the open ended cost of simply plugging more servers in.  The table shows below that you can run a server in Azure for about the same cost as a light bulb and that includes electricity, software licenses and maintenance. Description KWh rating Electricity cost Cost per day Cost per week Cost per month Standard On Premises Server 0.75 £0.18  £3.36  £23.52 £94.08 100W light bulb 0.1 £0.18  £0.43  £3.02 £12.10 Azure small server  £0.35  £2.47 £9.90* *Basic tier: A1 Server with 1 core, 0.75 GB Ram and 20 GB Disk This simple calculation looks at electricity alone.  How much could you save if you look at the whole picture.  Even if the cost of electricity doesn’t appear on your budget sheet you are demonstrating to the management team that you can think about the entire organisation.  You’ve just become the cost saving super hero. So now think about the cost of your next project and take a look at the Microsoft Azure Cost Estimator Tool. Click on the image to download the tool. You can: Profile your current environment and estimate the cost of your existing workload Prepare a budget forecast for a new service Scan your existing Hyper V or VMWare environment Follow usage patterns for up to a month in order to iron our peak costs Download the tool here and remember there might be even more savings to be made for enterprise users. Talk to the team at AspiraCloud who can get you some pretty nice discounts for a longer term commitment to Microsoft...

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