Why do I need a contract or Service Level Agreement?

You outsource your IT help desk, your email services and your website but do you know what protection you have and what you get for your money in the contract? I have many conversations with clients about the risk profile of their outsourced IT service contracts that offer critical business dependency. In some cases the discussion happens before a problem but in many cases it is after some unplanned downtime when their Service Level Agreement (SLA) contract was found to be wanting. In this article I will discuss some common problems that I find and what you can do to protect yourself and this is targeted to customers and service providers alike.

Cyber Security, what should I do now?

We have all seen the many recent news items with high profile and large business related Cyber Security attacks but when talking with clients of all sizes and across all sectors, they all share a concern for the threat at varying levels. When talking further with these clients, they generally feel confused as to what they can do to protect themselves but commonly feel that ‘IT have it covered’ so they are protected and as a result do not need to do anything about managing this risk.

Backups are still a necessary pain!

The number one problem that I discuss with clients is backup and recovery with this initiated by both of us in equal quantities. It constantly surprises me that businesses of all sizes have inadequate backup processes for their business systems. Many businesses, whilst having implemented a backup strategy, fail to monitor and test it often resulting in them finding out their backup strategy doesn’t perform adequately when they need it most. In this article I will be covering data protection through backup and recovery to meet clear business, rather than technically, defined objectives.

Feedback from IT Health Checks

I have worked with a number of organisations over the last 2 years from the very small micro business to large multi‑national organisations purely in a consultancy role. What has struck me during these engagements is that, since I am no longer selling any hardware, software or solutions, client discussions cover much more and get deeper into the business quicker than in any previous role that I have held and feedback suggests that this is better for the client.

Inverness Chamber of Commerce

The Apprentice Store features in the Executive Magazine

In our first press outing The Apprentice Store has featured in the Executive Magazine. June’s edition features the IN-Business supplement by Inverness Chamber of Commerce and is also being distributed at the AMM Scottish Open Golf Championships being held at Castle Stuart.

“FOR a small business, hiring apprentices sometimes is not as easy as it could be.

Inverness Chamber of Commerce

The Apprentice Store joins the Inverness Chamber of Commerce

We’re now Chamber of Commerce Members

We’re delighted to announce that we have joined Inverness Chamber of Commerce. Inverness Chamber provides so many great ways of connecting with other local businesses including networking opportunities and events.

We’re looking forward to our first networking lunch on Wednesday 15th June and having the opportunity of chatting to fellow members about what we’re doing at here at The Apprentice Store.

The Apprentice Store receives seed funding from Firstport

Firstport awards £3,200 in seed funding to new shared apprenticeship programme

We are delighted to announce that The Apprentice Store has been awarded seed funding from the Scottish Government’s Social Entrepreneurs Fund. This means that we can start making a difference to young people sooner. We have been fortunate enough to benefit from £3,200 to help our shared apprenticeship venture grow. The Apprentice Store will help young people and those from disadvantaged or challenging backgrounds into employment. The funding has allowed us to concentrate on launching our website and begin marketing The Apprentice Store to local businesses in Inverness.

Headshot of David Massey

David Massey

David specialises in IT Consultancy and Cyber Security (amongst many, many other things!) and is the Managing Director of The Apprentice Store.

Surprisingly, David does not like computers, but loves what you can do with them.

He also doesn’t like technology being used badly.

However, he does like squash, so much so that he has ended up playing squash for Scotland.

Article published in Insurance Day December 2015

Insurers need to find a better way to assess cyber risk

Due to the ever increasing utilisation of digital technology and the volume of data being processed and stored electronically, every business needs to become much more aware of the risks that they face. We have all heard of the high profile data leakages by Sony and Ashley Madison but how many data leakage events have occurred in the last 12 months that we have not heard about? In both cases it is thought that the leakage was caused through a socially engineered attack or weak internal systems control but this is now outside the interest of mainstream media and forgotten about. It is often the case that the reputational costs of a data breach are higher than the monetary value of the data leaked and, as a result, businesses should not focus purely on data that has a perceived high value.

Cyber Essentials arrives in the Highlands and Islands

We are very pleased to announce that we are the first business in the Highlands and Islands that has achieved the UK government backed Cyber Essentials scheme badge for cyber security. The Cyber Essentials scheme was released in June 2014 and today just over 1,000 businesses have managed to achieve this accreditation and given the very recent media coverage of the Talk Talk data breach it is ever more important that UK businesses implement controls and policies to protect against this threat. In addition to achieving Cyber Essentials, we also achieve ACE Practitioner status and are able to offer assistance to businesses that wish to achieve Cyber Essentials.