The importance of cybersecurity has grown exponentially. As individuals, businesses, and organisations we have become increasingly reliant on digital tools and platforms, however the risks associated with cyber threats have intensified as well. The first line of defence against these threats is not a matter of implementing security solutions alone, but rather a well-informed and vigilant human element.

According to Expert Insights, almost 90% of data breaches are not caused by cyber-attacks or hackers. They are caused by simple human error. So, in a business landscape riddled with phishing attacks, ransomware incidents, and data breaches, it's no longer enough to entrust security solely to IT departments and cybersecurity tools. However, when an organisation creates a culture of security awareness, both within the company and among its employees, the chances of a successful cyber-attack happening can be greatly reduced.

A security awareness programme can act as a shield against cyber-attacks by equipping employees with the knowledge and skills they need to deal with potential threats.

What are the concerns that need to be addressed?

The essence of Security Awareness Programmes

At the heart of any robust cybersecurity strategy lies a comprehensive security awareness programme. Such programmes are designed to educate and empower employees to recognise, respond to, and prevent security threats effectively. They serve as an essential bridge between your organisation’s cybersecurity policies and the end-users who interact with systems and data daily.

Security awareness programmes encompass a range of activities aimed at fostering a security-conscious culture within the organisation. These include online courses, quizzes, tests, and simulated phishing campaigns, all of which cover a wide spectrum of cybersecurity topics. From the basics of identifying phishing emails to best practices for creating strong passwords and safeguarding sensitive information, these programmes ensure that employees are well-versed in the essentials of cybersecurity.

Customisation is an important feature

When you choose a security awareness programme it should be unique to your organisation. One-size-fits-all approaches on their own rarely yield the desired results. To truly engage employees and foster a sense of ownership in cybersecurity, you need to tailor the programme to suit your organisation’s industry, culture, and specific needs. If the content is relevant and relatable, employees will pay attention and you’ll have succeeded in driving home the importance of their role in protecting sensitive information.

Continuous learning and adaptation

A security awareness programme should be a living, breathing entity. Regular updates are essential to ensure that employees are equipped with the latest information about emerging threats and best practices. This not only keeps their knowledge current but also demonstrates the business’s commitment to their ongoing development in the realm of cybersecurity.

Data-driven insights for targeted learning

An effective security awareness programme should offer insights into the strengths and weaknesses of your employees’ cybersecurity awareness. Data and analytics play a pivotal role in identifying high-risk users who might inadvertently open the door to a potential data breach. Armed with this information, administrators can provide targeted assistance and training to those who need it most, thereby creating a stronger line of defence against cyber threats.

Align with the business’s goals

If you want to have a lasting impact, whichever programme you choose must be closely aligned with your overall cybersecurity strategy and policies. It should be driven by senior management, and they need to communicate the programme's importance and encourage participation.

A collective effort

It’s not enough to simply inform employees about cybersecurity best practices; the goal is to instil a proactive and vigilant mindset. By fostering a sense of responsibility for cybersecurity among all employees, you create a collaborative effort that significantly reduces the business’s susceptibility to cyber-attacks.

Security awareness programmes are more important than ever. While some may see it as an expense because it does not contribute to the bottom line, a robust programme is an investment in your employees, their security knowledge and the addition of another layer of security against cyber threats. If one data breach or phishing attack is stopped in its tracks, then you will have more than recouped the investment.

Reach out to us today through the below form to learn more about security training for your organisation.

October is celebrated worldwide as Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a time to refocus our attention on safeguarding digital assets and promoting cybersecurity best practices.

In this blog, we look at nine important things that businesses can do during Cybersecurity Awareness Month to enhance their cyber defences and foster a safer digital environment.

Conduct a Cybersecurity Discovery Assessment

Start the month by performing a thorough cybersecurity risk assessment. Identify your most valuable and sensitive assets - such as data, systems, and networks - and evaluate potential threats and vulnerabilities that could compromise them. Click here to learn more about BMIT Cybersecurity Discovery tool.

Introduce or revisit basic cybersecurity practices

Everyone in your business should understand the importance of basic cybersecurity hygiene. This includes using strong and unique passwords, enabling multi-factor authentication, keeping software and devices up to date, regularly backing up data, encrypting data both in transit and at rest, and being careful when opening emails or attachments.

Educate employees on cybersecurity best practices:

Most security breaches are the result of human error. In many cases, providing comprehensive cybersecurity training can greatly reduce the risk of a breach or cyber-attack. Educate them about various threats, such as phishing, ransomware, malware, social engineering, and data protection. See how BMIT can help you boost your first line of defence.

Cybersecurity policy and Incident Response plan

Having a robust and updated cybersecurity policy that outlines rules and guidelines for your business is paramount and it should cover key areas such as access control, password management, data classification, encryption, remote work, and third-party vendor management. You should also have a detailed incident response plan to ensure your team knows exactly what to do in case of a cyber-attack or breach.

Are your defences in good shape?

Configurations and baselines created a year or more ago may prove useless if your business is a target. Use this month to audit and assess your cybersecurity controls and processes. For example, have you implemented multi-factor authentication company-wide? Do you adopt a Zero Trust model? Is Shadow IT an issue for your business? Conduct tests to gauge the effectiveness of your security measures and identify areas for improvement. Is penetration testing something worth investing in?

Invest in cybersecurity tools and solutions

Depending on your business’s needs and budget, you need to invest in basic cybersecurity solutions. Are you filtering traffic, do you have VPNs for your remote workers, email security to filter spam, malware and myriad threats, intrusion detection on your network or hosts? What about vulnerability management? How do you manage employee devices on the network? Do you have a solution in place? Data leakage protection is another area you should be looking into.

Do you need help?

Not every business has the resources to manage cybersecurity in-house or the skillset to implement so many solutions. You may not have the security expertise either. In that case, you need an IT partner, an organisation that can help design, implement and manage your security needs. Unless you have the budget and resources for an internal team of experts, working with a managed service provider (MSP) should be at the top of your list. Don’t skimp on security!

Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility

Cybersecurity is not just a technical concern but a cultural one. Encourage a shared responsibility for security from top management to frontline staff. Help your employees understand their role in defending the business.

Install and forget does not work with cybersecurity

With the volume and sophistication of cyber threats evolving constantly, your policies and strategy need to be updated regularly. Just as your business strategy and goals change, you need to align your cybersecurity strategy with those changes, it must address current risks, incorporate the latest technologies and best practices, and address any gaps that may arise.

Secure Your Digital Future with BMIT

October's Cybersecurity Awareness Month brings to the forefront the ever-growing threats in our digital world. From human lapses to intricate cyber-attacks, the risks are real and on the rise.

Don't wait for a cyber incident to dictate your next move. Prioritise cybersecurity today. With our experience, tools, and customised approach you can ensure your business stays resilient and secure. Together with our team of experts you can navigate the complexities of cybersecurity with confidence, knowing that your valuable assets are protected!

Secure your business today, fill in the form below to get started.

BMIT to invest 47.1 million euro in approximately 280 rooftop sites, as it creates a high quality and diversified technology company, with an improved long-term financial profile

28 September 2023 – Leading cloud, infrastructure, and cybersecurity provider BMIT Technologies plc (“the Company”) today announced that its shareholders have resoundingly approved the Company’s acquisition of GO plc’s passive (tower) infrastructure, used for the hosting of its cellular telecommunications equipment.

By way of this transaction BMIT will be acquiring approximately 280 sites and ‘towers’, in the process taking over the ownership and management of the rooftops on which GO have installed or will be installing, active equipment to run their mobile services to subscribers.

Once under BMIT’s ownership, BMIT will oversee maintenance and upgrades, while allowing GO continued access for their operations and provision of mobile services on their network. As part of the agreement, GO plc will be required to install and deliver to BMIT an additional 30 sites by the end of 2030.

The Company said it will be acquiring these sites / towers for a total consideration of approximately 47.1 million euro.

Ing. Christian Sammut, CEO at BMIT Technologies plc, said: “The Board of Directors and I are very happy that this transaction, called Project Sky, has received the full backing of our shareholders. Project Sky will have an immediate impact on our revenue and performance, strengthening the company while further diversifying and improving our growth profile and revenue base.

“Project Sky will also have a positive impact on our longer-term margins and help us reduce our dependency on specific sectors. By creating this new vertical, we are building on years of experience in our core infrastructure and data centre business, whilst continuing to pave the way for our transformation into a hybrid IT solutions provider. Moreover, it ensures a stable and guaranteed revenue which will help us achieve our objectives for the years to come.”

The acquisition or ‘Proposed Transaction’ was approved by 99.99% of the Company’s shareholders during an extraordinary general meeting on Monday, 25th September 2023.

About BMIT Technologies plc 

BMIT Technologies plc is a technology company providing infrastructure, hybrid cloud solutions, and advisory, implementation, and management services. The company helps design, build, modernise and manage the systems that clients rely on for growth, security, and success. By applying their extensive expertise, experience, and excellence they enhance customer experience, provide true value, and increase efficiency. Backed by a robust and trusted organisation, best-in-class infrastructure and a talented team of experts across various technology platforms, BMIT Technologies offers an unparalleled technology experience to any business.  

Microsoft has announced important changes to some of the Microsoft 365 and Office 365 plans in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, which will come into effect on 1st October 2023. 

First change to the following products:

Beginning October 1, 2023, Microsoft will unbundle Teams from Microsoft 365 and Office 365 Enterprise suites. For the enterprise suite of products (M365 E3/E5 and O365 E1/E3/E5), customers buying a new subscription will not have Teams included, however, they will be purchasing it at a lower price and will still be able to purchase Teams as a standalone.

Due to the above changes Microsoft have introduced Teams as a standalone product. This will give customers the opportunity and flexibility to add Teams to specific users as needed.

Second change to the following products:

For our small business and frontline workers, Microsoft will continue to bundle Teams, keeping their current offering. However, Microsoft will also be introducing new adjacent plans “without-Teams” which will be offered at a lower price giving customers the flexibility to mix the plans to lower the cost and enable Teams to specific users only.

FAQs

Why is Microsoft making this change?

Earlier this year the European Commission announced that it had opened a formal investigation regarding Microsoft’s bundling of Microsoft Teams with Microsoft 365 and Office 365 suites for business customers. Microsoft stated that they will continue to cooperate with the Commission and remain committed to finding solutions that will address its concerns.

How will these changes affect existing customers?

Existing customers who are already subscribed to any of the above products can choose to stay with their current plan which includes teams. Such customers can continue to renew and even add or decrease user seats upon renewal.

Can existing enterprise and business customers change to the new plans without teams?

Yes, customers who are already enrolled in an enterprise plan with Teams included can change to a “No Teams” plan when they renew.

How will these changes affect new customers?

Starting October 1, new enterprise subscription orders or plan upgrades (example E3 to E5) will not contain Teams. Should a customer wish to have Teams included they have to purchase two subscriptions – one for Microsoft 365 enterprise product and one for Microsoft Teams.

New small and medium business customers will be able to choose between the existing Microsoft 365 Business with Teams or without Teams plans. This also applies for the Frontline plans.

How is the new Microsoft Teams different from Microsoft Teams Essentials?

Microsoft Teams is an enterprise offering available to customers in the EEA and Switzerland that provides meetings, chat, calling (VoIP), and collaboration without any limitation on seat numbers.

Microsoft Teams Essentials remains unchanged; it provides meetings, chat, calling (VoIP), and collaboration for customers with fewer than 300 users.

Can customers outside the EEA and Switzerland purchase the new EEA (no Teams) suites and/or Microsoft Teams EEA?

The new EEA suites and Teams standalone are intended for purchase by customers with enrolments in EEA countries and Switzerland, from EEA/Switzerland pricelists, for deployment on EEA/Switzerland tenants out of data centres in the EEA and Switzerland.

Technology has transformed the concept of the workplace. The hybrid workplace, a blend of remote and on-site work, offers unparalleled flexibility and productivity.

However, it has also created a new set of cybersecurity challenges that organisations must confront to safeguard sensitive information, maintain operational continuity, and protect their reputation. Let’s look at nine threats and how organisations can mitigate the risk.

1. Endpoint vulnerabilities

With employees working from various locations and devices, the attack surface widens considerably. The diverse range of endpoints, including personal laptops and smartphones, increases the potential entry points for cybercriminals. Weak device configurations, outdated software, and lack of security patches can expose organisations to malware, ransomware, and data breaches.

Mitigation: First, implement a strong endpoint security policy that defines the responsibilities of employees. Second, choose a robust mobile device management solution, combined with endpoint detection and response (EDR) capabilities. Third, regular patch and vulnerability management to ensure that all devices connected to the network are not a threat vector. Set the minimum requirements for non-corporate devices and only allow them to connect to the network if they meet them.

2. Phishing and Social Engineering

Social engineering and phishing (which is a broad sub-category) pose one of the most serious threats to an organisation’s security. Employees are a weak link and considered an easy target for cybercriminals.

Mitigation: Regular security awareness programmes for employees are a must; how to look for signs of phishing attacks and how to respond. Also, technical controls such as mandatory multi-factor authentication can stop an attack even if credentials are compromised through social engineering.

3. Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts the victim's data and demands a ransom for its decryption. Ransomware attacks can cause significant disruption, damage, and financial losses to organisations and individuals. In the hybrid workplace, ransomware attacks can target both personal and corporate devices and networks, as well as cloud services and applications.

Mitigation: Educating staff to be careful when opening emails, clicking on links or opening attachments is an important step to prevent ransomware attacks. All data should be encrypted at rest and in transit and a VPN should be used if connecting from an unsecured network. Up-to-date antivirus and antimalware software should be installed if not managed at corporate level.

4. Insecure Wi-Fi Networks

Unsecured public Wi-Fi networks can become a conduit for cyberattacks, allowing hackers to intercept data or launch man-in-the-middle attacks. Some criminals use fake access points hoping that users will connect to it. This is known as an Evil Twin attack.

Mitigation: Educate and encourage the use of virtual private networks (VPNs) to encrypt data transmitted over public networks. Provide clear guidelines on secure Wi-Fi practices and discourage the use of unsecured networks for work-related tasks.

5. Data leakage and Loss

Hybrid work has made it very difficult for organisations to manage the flow of information between different environments, increasing the risk of data leakage or loss. Whether through accidental sharing, misconfigured cloud storage, or insider threats, sensitive data can fall into the wrong hands.

Mitigation: Every organisation should consider a data loss prevention (DLP) solution to monitor and control the movement of sensitive data. All use encryption for data at rest and in transit and establish strict access controls based on the principle of least privilege. Various forms of access control can be used to prevent leakage at file level as well.

6. Shadow IT and unauthorised applications

Remote work can drive employees to adopt unsanctioned tools and applications to do their work, bypassing IT policies and security controls. Known as Shadow IT, it can lead to unmanaged vulnerabilities and unauthorised data exposure.

Mitigation: As mentioned earlier, only approved devices with approved applications should be allowed to connect to the network. Solutions like Microsoft Entra and Intune allow admins to enforce policies and define the minimum requirements for devices and the applications that can be used when connected to the corporate network.

7. Insider Threats

While remote work empowers employees, it also introduces the possibility of insider threats. Disgruntled employees or those who fall victim to social engineering attacks can compromise sensitive information or disrupt operations. Insider threats are not easy to identify.

Mitigation: Monitor user behaviour, analysing abnormal activities, and maintaining clear exit procedures for employees can help identify and lower the risk of an incident.

8. Human Error

Human error is one of the biggest cybersecurity risks in any workplace, especially in a hybrid one. Human error can include mistakes such as using weak passwords, clicking on infected links, sharing sensitive data with the wrong people, forgetting to lock or update devices, and so on. Human error can lead to various cyber incidents such as data breaches, malware infections, ransomware attacks, etc.

Mitigation: Awareness, awareness, awareness. Prioritise cybersecurity awareness through regular, comprehensive training as part of HR policy. Develop and enforce a cybersecurity policy, alongside implementing security controls and tools to prevent or mitigate human error.

9. Compliance and Regulatory Challenges

Operating in a hybrid workplace model adds complexity to compliance efforts, especially when it comes to data privacy regulations. Data residing in different environments must adhere to regulatory standards, which can be challenging to manage.

Mitigation: Regularly assess and update compliance practices to ensure they align with applicable regulations. Utilise tools that can help monitor and enforce compliance across various platforms.

While the hybrid workplace unlocks numerous benefits, it simultaneously ushers in diverse cybersecurity risks and threats that necessitate attention. A proactive cybersecurity approach encompassing employee training and a comprehensive suite of technical solutions is imperative for every organisation.

Don't leave the security of your organisation to chance. Ensure that you're well-prepared and resilient against the constantly evolving cyber threats. If you have questions, concerns, or need guidance tailored to your specific business needs, we're here to help. Reach out using the form below to get in touch with our cybersecurity experts!

In today's world, the saying "Better Safe Than Sorry" holds even greater significance. The rapidly evolving landscape of cyber threats poses a constant challenge for businesses, irrespective of their size or industry. Cybersecurity has become a non-negotiable imperative for not just survival but thriving in the business realm.

BMIT are pleased to announce that booking is open for “The Cybersecurity Imperative”, a half-day conference, where we are diving deep into the pivotal role that cybersecurity plays in securing businesses and safeguarding profits. Set your calendars for 17 October 2023, because this is one event you won’t want to miss!

Why is Cybersecurity Imperative for Your Business?

Cyber threats are growing in scale, sophistication, and impact. From data breaches to insider threats, no organisation is immune to these threats. This conference is your opportunity to gain insights from some of the best minds in the field.

Meet Our Key Speaker: Lisa Forte

We are excited to announce that the conference's guest speaker is Lisa Forte, a renowned cybercrime and cybersecurity expert. Lisa is an expert in running cyber crisis simulations and helping companies build their operational resilience to cyberattacks.

SM1

What to Expect at "The Cybersecurity Imperative"

Cutting-edge insights: Explore the latest cybersecurity trends and threats, ensuring that you stay ahead of the curve.

Best practices: Learn from industry leaders about the best practices in cybersecurity to safeguard your business effectively.

Innovative strategies: Discover innovative strategies to fortify your organisation against evolving threats.

Networking opportunities: Connect with industry peers, tech decision-makers, and business executives to build valuable relationships.

Who Should Attend?

This conference is tailored for:

Business executives: Those who recognise that cybersecurity is an integral part of business success.

Tech decision-makers: IT professionals and CTOs who play a crucial role in safeguarding their organisation’s digital assets.

Industry leaders: Those who want to stay ahead of the curve and lead by example in cybersecurity practices.

Date: 17th October 2023

Time: 8am – 2.30pm

Venue: Phoenicia Hotel, Floriana.

Registration: https://www.staging.bmit.com.mt/event-the-cybersecurity-imperative/

Reserve your place today! Join us for "The Cybersecurity Imperative" conference and take the first step in securing your business and safeguarding your profits.

Stay tuned for more updates and speaker announcements.

See you at the conference!

Data is the lifeblood of every organisation. Protecting this invaluable asset is essential for business continuity and maintaining a competitive edge but equally important is the ability to recover the data in the event of data leakage or a breach.

Data backup is a fundamental component of an organisation’s cybersecurity and disaster recovery plan. Data backup is not the sole responsibility of the IT team. Senior management must understand and acknowledge the impact that data loss or compromise can have on the business, including financial losses, reputational damage, loss of trust and legal implications.

Why is backup so important?

Sensitive data can be found in many locations, on multiple devices and accessed by numerous employees making it even harder to manage and safeguard.

Volumes of data are also increasing at a fast rate. Rubrik data shows that on average, the growth of data secured in 2022 was 25% (on premises grew 19%, cloud grew 61%, and SaaS data grew 236% last year​). Faced with this reality businesses need a robust data backup strategy designed to safeguard critical data by creating redundant copies and storing them in separate locations.

The primary goal of a backup strategy is to ensure data availability and recoverability in the event of data loss, system failures, human errors, cyberattacks, or natural disasters. A well-executed data backup strategy is essential for maintaining business continuity, protecting sensitive information, and meeting regulatory compliance requirements.

A story in numbers

According to Expert Insights, 79% of companies have experienced at least one cloud data breach, and 43% have reported 10 or more breaches in recent years. Given that 92% of organisations are currently hosting at least some of their data in the cloud, that means the majority of all businesses around today have experienced a cloud data breach.

When it comes to backups, data from Statista shows:

91% backup their databases, which are often the most critical and valuable data assets for a business.

68% backup their email, which can contain important communication records and attachments.

However, only 16% backup their SaaS data, which can include cloud-based applications such as Office 365, Salesforce, or Google Workspace. This exposes them to the risk of losing data that is not covered by the cloud provider's backup and recovery policies.

Only 24% of organisations have a mature disaster recovery plan that is well-documented, tested, and updated. This means that many businesses are unprepared for a major data loss event and may face significant downtime and revenue loss.

Defining your backup strategy

There are some questions that you need to ask before you start.

  1. What data needs to be backed up?
    Not all data is equally important or critical. A business must identify and prioritise the data that needs to be backed up based on its value, sensitivity, and regulatory requirements.
  2. How often should data be backed up?
    The frequency of data backup depends on how often the data changes and how much data can be affordably lost in case of a disaster. In this case, the backup schedule should balance the risk of data loss with the cost and complexity of backup operations.
  3. Where should data be backed up?
    The location of data backup affects the accessibility, reliability, and security of the backup data. Costs will also dictate whether to use local storage devices, such as external hard drives or tapes; cloud storage services; or offsite storage facilities.
  4. How should data be backed up?
    The method of data backup determines how fast and easy it is to back up and restore data. Several backup models exist, each offering distinct advantages and suited for various data backup needs. The choice of the backup model depends on factors such as data size, recovery time objectives (RTOs), recovery point objectives (RPOs), budget, and risk tolerance.
  5. How should data be restored?
    The process of data restoration involves retrieving and recovering the backup data in case of a data loss incident. Some factors to consider include the recovery time objective (RTO), which is the maximum acceptable time to restore the data; the recovery point objective (RPO), which is the maximum acceptable amount of data loss; and the recovery service level agreement (SLA), which is the contractual guarantee of the quality and availability of the recovery service.

Creating a robust strategy

As a business grows and its data requirements change, the backup strategy needs to be flexible and multi-layered to allow for changes in infrastructure, storage methods and compliance / regulatory requirements.

That said, a backup strategy as a minimum should:

Have many layers of redundancy, across multiple storage types and in different locations. This increases the ability to recover the data in the event of physical disasters, cyberattacks, or hardware failures.

Automate backups to reduce the changes of human error and improve data recovery time.

Require regular testing and validation ensure that your backups are working and the data can be recovered. Hardware can fail and data can become corrupted. Testing helps to identify problems with your backups.

This may seem obvious, but data backup should go hand-in-hand with strong encryption and security measures. Encrypting at rest, in transit and in use. Access to backups should be restricted.

A robust data backup strategy is an indispensable aspect of a business’s risk management and cybersecurity efforts. BMIT offers a range of backup options, including storage options, offsite and dedicated servers to Backup-as-a-service and Managed Backup.

Fill in the below form to talk with one of our experts today!

BMIT’s David Kelleher took centre stage recently to talk about critical aspects of business security, awareness, and the strategic benefits of security investment, in the latest episode of FinanceMalta’s podcast.

In the podcast, hosted by Vanessa McDonald, David shares valuable insights on a range of security topics. He explains why the sudden emphasis on cybersecurity, how threats have multiplied and the traditional perimeter in security no longer exists. With multiple locations and a remote workforce, businesses are waking up to a reality in which they must take action.

Every business is a target, and size and industry don’t matter anymore. More and more companies are giving importance to cybersecurity and this is no longer driven by IT teams but by senior management as well, he says.

He also talks about BMIT’s role as a cybersecurity provider and how the company has expanded its portfolio to offer an almost full stack of managed security services and solutions.

David talks about BMIT’s role in relation to the Maltese government’s Cyber Alt scheme which allocates funds to SMEs to invest in cybersecurity solutions. He encourages businesses to take advantage of these schemes, adding that BMIT can provide assistance during the application process, and also advise on solutions that meet their requirements and ensure spending is aligned with their business objectives.

Here's the full podcast

Finance Malta Podcast with David Kelleher

In today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, ensuring the cybersecurity of your business is critical. We are here to guide, protect, and support you every step of the way. Whether you're considering the Cyber Alt scheme or simply need advice on the best security solutions tailored to your needs, our team is ready to assist. To get started, simply fill out the form below this post, and our team will be in touch shortly. Let's collaborate to safeguard your business's future. Contact us today through the form below!

If you operate an on-premises data centre or lease the infrastructure and hardware from a third-party provider, you understand the paramount importance of maintaining cutting-edge and efficient hardware. The process of hardware refresh entails replacing outdated or underperforming equipment with newer, more potent devices.

Hardware refreshes hold the key to enhancing your data centre's performance, reliability, security, scalability, and energy efficiency.

Unveiling the Essence of Hardware Refresh

The advantages of hardware refresh manifest in various forms:

Performance: Fresh hardware carries the ability to manage heavier workloads, accelerate data processing, and seamlessly support advanced applications. This infusion of power propels your data centre's productivity, responsiveness, and competitive edge.

Reliability: Aging hardware is susceptible to glitches, errors, and downtime. Such occurrences could taint your data centre's availability, quality, and customer satisfaction. The remedy lies in hardware refresh, which minimizes the risk of hardware failures and ensures your data centre's steady operation.

Security: Outmoded hardware might not align with the latest security standards, patches, and updates. This vulnerability opens the door to cyberattacks, data breaches, and compliance lapses. Hardware refresh empowers your data centre's security through the adoption of current and potent security measures.

Scalability: As your data centre evolves, the need for additional capacity, functions, and adaptability arises. Outdated hardware often struggles to accommodate these demands without costly upgrades. Hardware refresh fuels scalability by embracing modular, adaptable, and scalable hardware solutions.

Energy efficiency: Aged hardware tends to consume more power and emit more heat compared to modern counterparts. This spells higher operational costs and environmental consequences. Hardware refresh introduces energy-efficient alternatives, trimming power consumption and contributing to eco-friendliness.

The Optimal Hardware Refresh Frequency

While there's no universal rule for how often hardware should be refreshed, several variables influence the decision, including business requirements, budget, industry trends, and technological advancements. A general guideline suggests a hardware refresh every three to five years. This period aligns with most hardware vendors' three-year warranties, beyond which support costs may spike. Moreover, hardware typically boasts a lifespan of around five years, after which its performance may taper significantly.

However, relying solely on hardware age for refresh decisions falls short. Vigilant monitoring of performance, reliability, security, and efficiency is crucial. Indicators such as sluggish performance, recurrent failures, escalating power consumption, and compatibility issues signal that a refresh is due.

Crafting a Hardware Refresh Strategy: Essential Factors

For a successful hardware refresh you should consider the following:

Business goals: Align your hardware refresh strategy with your overarching business objectives. Define the benefits you aim to achieve, be it heightened performance, reliability, top-tier security, scalability, or efficiency improvements. Evaluate how the hardware refresh resonates with operational aspects such as productivity, customer service, revenue, and profitability.

Budget availability: Determine the financial scope for the hardware refresh and allocate funds judiciously. Evaluate the cost-benefit ratio of different hardware options and vendors, prioritising those that deliver optimal value. The total cost of ownership (TCO) is vital, encompassing not just purchase expenses but installation, maintenance, support, upgrades, and disposal costs.

Trends in technology: Staying attuned to the latest data centre technology trends and innovations is imperative. Examine how these trends can be leveraged to elevate your data centre's capabilities. Embrace best practices and standards while contemplating the integration of emerging technologies like cloud computing, AI, edge computing, or 5G to amplify your data centre's performance.

Planning: Plan a meticulous data and application migration strategy, ensuring minimal disruption to operations and data security. Strategise the timing and execution of migrations, perhaps during off-peak hours or phased rollouts. Rigorously test the migration process in advance and maintain a contingency plan in case of unexpected hiccups.

Do not underestimate its importance

Hardware refresh is a critical component for an optimal performance of your data centre. By methodically and strategically refreshing your hardware, you ensure that your data centre is in peak condition, consistently delivering optimal outcomes for your business. Through this continuous cycle of evolution, you have peace of mind that your data centre is operating as it should.

If your data centre is on-premises or the hardware you are leasing is in a data centre and has not been refreshed for some time, you may be adding unnecessary costs and not benefiting in the long term. BMIT’s experience in the infrastructure, data centre and hybrid IT space can prove invaluable to your business if you want to modernise your IT infrastructure, reduce costs and boost performance. Talk to us today!

Hybrid IT combines on-premises and cloud-based IT resources, providing organisations with benefits such as scalability, flexibility, security, and cost-efficiency. Despite its advantages, some organisations may be deterred from adopting hybrid IT due to misconceptions. In this blog post, we debunk three common myths surrounding hybrid IT and clarify why they are inaccurate.

Myth: Hybrid IT is too complicated to manage

Reality: Although managing a hybrid IT environment may present challenges, it is not necessarily too complex. Many organisations effectively manage hybrid IT environments using automation, orchestration, and management platforms. By implementing these tools, IT teams can simplify management tasks, reduce errors, and improve overall performance.

Some people believe that hybrid IT involves multiple platforms, vendors, and technologies, making it complex and difficult to manage. They fear that they will need to hire more staff, invest in more tools, and deal with more issues and risks. However, this is not always the case. Hybrid IT can actually simplify IT management by enabling organisations to select the best solutions for their needs. For example, cloud services can be used for applications that require high scalability and availability, while on-premises resources can be used for those requiring low latency and high security.

Organisations can also utilise a single management platform or service provider, such as BMIT, that integrates and orchestrates their hybrid IT environment, reducing the need for multiple tools and vendors.

Myth: Hybrid IT is more expensive than traditional IT

Reality: Although hybrid IT may require a higher upfront investment, its long-term costs can be lower than traditional IT. This approach enables organisations to select the best combination of cloud and on-premises infrastructure according to their specific requirements, avoiding over-provisioning, reducing waste, and scaling up or down as needed. Hybrid IT also offers redundancy and failover capabilities, which helps avoid costly downtime.

Another misconception about hybrid IT is that it is more expensive than on-premises or cloud-only IT because it demands more resources and investments. However, this is not necessarily the case. Hybrid IT can reduce costs by enabling organisations to optimise their IT spending and usage according to their needs and objectives. They can utilise cloud services for applications with variable or unpredictable demand, reducing the need for overprovisioning or underutilising on-premises resources.

On the other hand, they can utilise on-premises resources for applications with stable or predictable demand, reducing the need for paying for unused or excess cloud resources. Different pricing models and discounts offered by various providers, such as pay-as-you-go, reserved instances, and spot instances, can also be used to maximise their return on investment.

Myth: Hybrid IT is less secure than traditional IT

Reality: Hybrid IT can be just as secure as traditional IT or even more secure. To achieve optimal security, organisations can implement a comprehensive security strategy that includes both on-premises and cloud-based security measures.

This flexibility allows organisations to respond to security threats quickly by moving workloads between environments as needed. Contrary to another misconception, hybrid IT does not expose sensitive data and systems to the internet or third-party providers, as it can enhance security by leveraging the best practices and technologies of both on-premises and cloud-based IT.

Organisations can use encryption, authentication, firewalls, and other security measures to protect their data and systems in transit and at rest, regardless of their location. Additionally, they can use cloud services that comply with industry standards and regulations such as ISO 27001, PCI DSS, and GDPR to ensure their data and systems are handled securely and responsibly.

Hybrid IT is a flexible and powerful strategy to overcome IT challenges and achieve business objectives. Organisations should avoid falling for common myths and misconceptions by making informed decisions and implementing hybrid IT efficiently.

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