According to Cloud Industry Forum research, 82% of public sector organisations have adopted cloud services, up from 38% in 2010*. It’s a move that makes good business sense for the public sector, as it’s a smart way to workaround legacy IT systems. But it does come with a health warning. Public sector organisations need to choose their partners carefully. Cloud computing relies on a network of remote, distributed, virtual servers connected on the Internet to store, manage, access and process data as well as run applications. Cloud providers do it all for you, rather than your organisation needing to run these services in-house. But it means you need to trust your valuable data to a third party and their virtual machines, so of course, there’s risk involved. And we need no reminder of what can happen when our public sector is left exposed.
Not even 18 months ago the WannaCry ransomware attack left the NHS vulnerable, affecting 80 out of 236 trusts, as well as a further 603 primary care and other NHS organisations. It resulted in 6,900 cancelled patient appointments. And all because infected organisations didn’t manage their firewalls. NHS Digital found that most of those affected had unsupported or unpatched Windows operating systems. It sounds so simple doesn’t it? But we’re talking about organisations under huge stress and time pressure. Some things are bound to fall to the wayside, right? Wrong. Risk is something we all face every day. But in the public sector especially, why leave yourself exposed?
As more and more public sector organisations move into the cloud our message is a simple one. Don’t take a chance on an unvetted provider. We are the UK Cloud Service Provider of the Year. We own the UK’s Best Cloud Telephony Product. And we’re very proudly a Queen’s Award winner for Enterprise in Innovation. That’s what you’ll find when you Google our name. But behind the scene we’re doing even more.
Just this month we were awarded our Cyber Essentials certification – a government-backed scheme that helps organisations shore up their IT systems against cyber attacks. For three months, our team has been checking and double checking that our client-facing environment would pass extensive vulnerability testing by CREST – a leader in the field of Cyber Security. Cyber Essentials reassures our customers that we take cyber security seriously. It tells you that we have secure Internet connections, devices and software, that we have controlled access to our data, that we’re protected from viruses and other malware, and that our devices are kept up-to-date.
This certification comes hot on the heels of our successful G-Cloud application. The G-Cloud Framework was set up in 2013 to provide a digital marketplace to promote carefully vetted cloud providers within the public sector. It means public sector organisations can now purchase our software in a faster and more cost effective way, than entering into an individual procurement contract, with the added reassurance that we’re a company they can trust. And you should trust us. We’ve been doing this a long time.