News

22nd December 2017
Switch2IT looks towards a green future

As we sky-rocket towards 2018, the Switch2IT team is looking to the future of the technology sector and the many UK businesses it impacts. Do you not think it is time that the big tech brands started to think more about the world we live in and its ecological future, not just the now and the money-making opportunities available? Likewise, is it not time that UK businesses started to think about how to secure their future growth by making cybersecurity a priority and an investment rather than thinking of it as an extra expense?

Major tech brands should be eco-friendly 

With as many televisions as people in the US and evidence that the smart technology required to make our modern entertainment all singing and dancing has a short shelf-life, something must be done to make technology longer lasting in an accessible and more eco-friendly way.

The green credentials of the biggest names in devices – including Apple with their iPhones and iPads, Microsoft with Surface Pro, and Samsung with their various phones and tablets – are seriously lacking. The big boys are stifling innovation to extend the life of devices by hiding the vital service information required to make repair an option and guaranteeing that it is far too expensive and difficult for consumers to pursue the fix-it route. According to an article by Kyle Wiens of iFixit and Gay Gordon-Byrne of Repair.org, they want us to throw out the old and replace with the new – an option that is far more costly to the planet. Whether you need a repair manual for your MacBook, GoPro or Toshiba laptop – good luck! 

Did you realise that when you buy and own computerised equipment that you do not own the embedded software that makes that device function? The US law Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) allows manufacturers to digitally lock the code to stop consumers from accessing it. But the problem is not just stateside with the European Union’s Copyright Directive creating similar barriers for UK consumers. Though first designed as a cybersecurity measure, the tech giants are now taking advantage of the power these legal loopholes provide.

A movement in the US is at least righting some of these wrongs. Repair.org aims to make sure that consumers can source the information and parts needed to fix digital equipment that is kaput. But with 12 states already recognising the “right to repair” legislation, large tech companies are putting up the blockades to make these bills into laws. This revolution also led to the founding of iFixit; a company that dismantles popular models to reverse-engineer repair instructions and make them readily available online. But the location of replacement parts for the likes of smart phones and tablets remains an issue. Not that we are advocating you attempt to build your own iPhone from parts bought in China, or anything!   

Also, last year, a study compiled by the US Copyright Office concluded that repair is legal under copyright law and that federal copyright law cannot be claimed by manufacturers to prevent consumer repairs. Now, as long as the UK adopts a similar right-to-repair legislation and tech companies start playing ball to satisfy their customers and improve their eco-credentials, the Switch2IT team thinks the future could be positively green.  

Cybersecurity is vital for business growth

Speaking of green, how does your business grow? If an effective cybersecurity strategy is in place, it should be doing just fine. According to Jim Poole, Vice President for Global Ecosystem Development at Equinix:

“Cybersecurity will be a constant concern in a digital world that seems to present unlimited opportunities for both the good guys and the bad guys. But it doesn’t have to be just a cost of doing business. With the right approach and the right tools, including cloud and interconnection, cybersecurity can both protect and create new levels of business growth.”

As reported in Information Week, Jim suggested a number of ways that cybersecurity enables a business win:

  • Better than the rest – Businesses that earn trust by upholding their customers’ data protection will go far.
  • Better collaboration – Those businesses with solid IT security strategies will earn trust from their contemporaries and go further.
  • Better advancement – Good cybersecurity helps businesses to save money. Not having to spend on the clear up of hacks and data breaches leaves money in the pot to invest in company innovation.

Switch2IT agrees with Jim that as more data moves to the cloud and facilitates innovation, a more proactive attitude towards cybersecurity is paramount for business success and our Managing Director, Daniel Piggott, comments:

“IT security should not be considered as a ‘money pit’, it should be viewed as an integral part of any business strategy that can help to procure successful change. Speaking from experience of working with SMEs throughout Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire, I know it’s possible for all businesses to have affordable and effective cybersecurity practice in place and for lost hours owing to inconveniences such as cyber-attacks to become a thing of the past.”  

And for those concerned about the safety of using outside cloud services, Switch2IT recommends that a hybrid cloud infrastructure is the way to go. While the Equinax VP claims that interconnection’s provision of “direct and secure connections between applications, data, networking and security controls locally, regionally and globally” is the key to a secure business. 

From Equinax to Equifax

Still on the data protection warpath, and quite rightly so, Switch2IT believes that the infamous Equifax cyber-attack makes a mockery of all regulators. Why are we paying for these “regulators” with our taxpayer pounds when they fail to achieve purpose? Not only that, the UK is built on a foundation of poor data protection that seems stuck in a loop that is more toxic than a vicious circle.

How exactly do UK government recommended forms of ID and so called security questions differentiate you from others and keep you safe when everything from dates of birth and mothers’ maiden names to National Insurance numbers and passport numbers are so easily accessible to the wrong people and so often compromised? We ask why the government does not issue new security codes by post to replace the NI numbers allocated at birth in an effort to enable improved identification checks and provide greater protection. It is just good sense!

Make a positive change with Switch2IT

Give Switch2IT the green light to take your cybersecurity in hand and you will soon reap the rewards. A small monthly spend on a technical support contract that suits your specific business needs with the added benefit of a dedicated engineer, secure cloud management and excellent remote IT support – so we can help you wherever you are, whenever you need us – is just a phone call away. Contact us today on 0800 083 3416 and start 2018 with a positive outlook for your business. 

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