Overcoming public sector cybersecurity challenges

Don’t Make It Easier For The ‘Dark Side’: Overcoming Public Sector Cybersecurity Challenges

Andy Riley, Director of Public Sector Sales offers advice on how the public sector can mitigate cybersecurity risk.

Public sector organisations face an ongoing battle to fend off cyberattacks – you only need to read the news headlines to see the latest cybersecurity incident. Hackney Council found out the hard way towards the end of last year, when its IT systems and services were the target of a serious cyberattack. There are no signs that cybersecurity challenges are getting easier either; in October the National Cyber Security Centre revealed a 20% increase in the number of major cyberattacks it blocked in the last year. The financial cost of successful cyberattacks is huge, with figures from the Ponemon Institute revealing the cost to large organisations is on average, £5.3m.
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Daisy SD-WAN and The Case of The Redeployed Doctors [Comic series]

Daisy SD-WAN and The Case of The Redeployed Doctors [Comic Series]

Part of a comic series, our second issue encounters a hospital trust leaning on SD-WAN to redistribute some of its services in a time of national crisis.

A hospital trust which operates from three main sites finds itself tasked with the safe redeployment of some of its secondary care medical workforce during a period of prolonged major incident. Contending with the need to limit the number of staff and patients in clinical locations, as well as ensuring sites remain well-staffed, the speed, stability and security required of its IT infrastructure becomes all the more critical…

Part of a comic series exploring the role of Managed SD-WAN in different working scenarios, our second issue encounters a hospital trust leaning on its existing SD-WAN infrastructure in order to shape and prioritise traffic and redeploy staff to support priority services across multiple sites.

Click the cover below to read the second instalment!

If We Can’t Embrace Each Other, Let’s Get On With Embracing The Cloud

Can the lessons learnt from this year be used as foundations to build a better, more digitised future?

Many public sector organisations are still, despite some pretty encouraging steps in the right direction, hugely reliant on legacy solutions and processes –  even though most are aware of the benefits digitisation can bring. Now that isn’t just an assumption, in UKCloud’s 2020 survey, 87% of participants agree that they’d move all of their IT systems to the cloud IF the perfect solution existed. But what does perfect even look like?
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NHS Orkney

Dr on iPad

Our staff and students can now get access to their email, their Twitter accounts, whatever they need – and that has quite a big impact on morale.

David Cowan, IT Manager at NHS Orkney

The Background

Orkney is an archipelago of over 70 islands which lies off the north east coast of Scotland – but just 17 of these are inhabited, with a population of around 22,000 people. For NHS Orkney, the challenges of being the smallest health board in Scotland are immense. Not only does it have to adhere to the same guidelines as other larger territorial boards, but there are also many limitations on flexibility due to its extremely tight budget and remote location.

Based within the Balfour Hospital in Kirkwall, NHS Orkney also provides services to 10 of the other ‘isles’. The organisation offers a range of care delivery options to these islands including general surgery, general medicine, anaesthesia, obstetrics and gynaecology – all operated via a consultant-led medical model.

The Challenge

NHS Orkney’s main objective over recent years has been to deliver top quality patient care under severe financial constraints. A new CT scanner has just been installed at Balfour Hospital and, despite being geographically isolated, excellent communication links have been developed within the islands and with other centres on the Scottish mainland, as Chief Executive Cathie Cowan outlines: “We are really trying to invest in healthcare on the island. If there is a bad car crash for example, patients will come in to us initially and our team will stabilise, resuscitate and prepare for them to be airlifted off to the mainland. To help with this, we now have digital technology which enables us to actually bring the specialist ‘virtually’ into the room, to support our staff – and also a nurse or a GP can do this as well if they are out in one of the islands.

The management team at NHS Orkney has been working to enable both staff and patients to communicate more effectively, and recently turned to longstanding technology partner Daisy to help them upgrade their WiFi infrastructure. IT Manager David Cowan explains further: “Our most recent issue involved our WiFi network within Graham House, which is a staff residential block. This is a building which is mostly inhabited by student nurses and doctors, but we also have some staff doctors that stay here, and visiting locums. It’s quite an old style building – two floors with two separate wings – so in effect we had four discrete quadrants, separated by fairly thick walls. This meant that WiFi access was limited, as we only had a wireless router that was covering a small part of the building.”

The Solution

At the beginning of the year, David asked Daisy to come in and do a detailed survey of Graham House, and to then make a recommendation for how WiFi access could be improved for both students and staff. After carrying out the survey, Daisy installed a managed WiFi solution which involved re-cabling the entire building and providing Ubiquiti access points, to allow access throughout.

In addition to this, the Daisy Engage product was configured to enable a customised registration experience and to provide user behaviour information. Daisy Protect was then also installed, to provide safe surfing for all users. David continues: “We contracted Daisy to come in and install the new system in the spring and it’s been working great ever since. Daisy now provides full support for this service, so WiFi is available throughout the building and we have a good strong signal in all of the bedrooms.”

Daisy has also recently installed the Mitel telephony system for NHS Orkney’s new disaster recovery (DR) site, which is a couple of miles away from this main site. This is all linked back to the main Balfour switch, so that users who are working in the DR facility just appear as an extension on the main Balfour Hospital switchboard.

The Result

The flexibility of the WiFi solution which Daisy deployed will allow further parts of NHS Orkney’s estate to be connected in future, allowing additional users to enjoy a similar, consistent experience to those who reside in Graham House – as David continues:

“Our staff and students can now get access to their email, their Twitter accounts, whatever they need – and that has quite a big impact on morale. It also means that staff who are staying there, clinicians and so on, can access the NHS email system from the building, without having to go across the road into the main hospital to do it, as they used to.”

The Future

NHS Orkney is in the process of building a brand new hospital – so Daisy will continue to play a key role in NHS Orkney’s future, as David concludes:

“Daisy has been supporting us with our telecoms system for some time now, and will be doing so for the coming few years – to advise us and to help us to move that system into the new hospital building in 2019.”

“I think we’re definitely a test bed for new technologies – and certainly in the new hospital, we would want to invest significantly in what we call ‘technology-enabled care’. And for inpatients, having access though technology, Skype or whatever, would be really significant. People are at their lowest when they are unwell and it’s really good to keep in touch with family. If you’re a mum coming in to have a baby – and though I know they are not in for a long time – but you might have kids that you want to say hello to, say goodnight to, so I think from that point of view that would be significant, particularly in this location.”

Daisy’s CloudBridge Portal | Cloud Management Made Simple

The simple way to manage your cloud estate

Check out our 60 second video and find out how CloudBridge portal can save you time and give you the visibility and control you need to easily manage your cloud estate.

Manage your cloud services from a single dashboard

With the Daisy CloudBridge Portal, you can easily control your cloud estate from a single dashboard. Add Microsoft 365 licences, allocate them to users, view event logs, analyse billing and reporting, view usage of compute, storage, and network, plus get complete cost visibility including forecasts giving you a view into the future.

Self-serve Microsoft 365 subscriptions at the click of a button

No more requests and time spent waiting for Microsoft 365 subscriptions. With the Daisy CloudBridge Portal, you can add licences in just a few clicks with complete cost visibility, and quickly assign them to users.

Easily add and subtract users and simply allocate licences to each user

You can add users to Microsoft 365 quickly and easily, saving you time and making you more efficient and productive.

View event logs including user history, subscriptions information and subscription changes

View a historical list of events and approval requests, so you are never in the dark and always have an unrestricted view of what’s going on in your cloud estate.

Manage Azure subscriptions and usage

View your Azure usage, costs and reporting as well as all of your subscriptions and users.

Take control with complete cost visibility

The Cloudbridge Portal offers you complete transparency and visibility of your costs. View and export all of your invoices, billing and reporting from one easy to manage location.

View billing and reporting for each service

Dive into each service area for a more granular look at the billing and reporting for each service

View usage of compute, storage, and virtual network

You can easily stay on top of compute, storage, and network to ensure everything runs smoothly and there are no nasty surprises.

See into the future. Forecast future usage and costs

Use predictive forecasting to see into the future to help you make informed decisions without any guesswork.

To find out more about CloudBridge, visit our CloudBridge page or get in touch with one of our cloud experts.

Migrate To Hybrid Cloud [Blog]

Every cloud is unique when you look at them, every one different to its peers. But even in that uniqueness we can group them into types; Stratocumulus. Cirrus. Cumulonimbus and so on. Even more fundamentally, each and every cloud is constructed of water vapour. H2O.

It is the same when you are planning your journey to the cloud. You are unique, your organisation is unique, and your cloud strategy will be too – but that doesn’t mean that you can’t group what you are trying to achieve and distil it down to your fundamental concerns at the same as identifying the benefits and building your business case: organisational agility, productivity, efficiency, scalability and cost-effectiveness.

Every cloud has its silver lining but it is sometimes a little difficult to get it to the mint.

Don Marquis

Don’t think of the uniqueness of your organisation as being a barrier to adopting a cloud strategy – the bespoke nature of hybrid cloud architecture means you won’t be hammering a square peg into a round hole but creating an environment that fits your organisation.

So how do you mint that silver lining of a hybrid cloud strategy?

Which kind of cloud are you?

Firstly, it sounds simple but is often missed, we need to make an inventory of your current state. Identifying all the workloads, your user base and rate of usage for each of these workloads, calculating the cost of compute, storage and networking, defining the security, recovery and continuity needs and finally researching the all legal and compliance implications for these.

Sounds a lot but without this baseline we won’t be able to accurately assess what you have, what you need and what you want to change. Below are some pointers to help evaluate each of these areas and begin to build a picture of your estate.

Sound daunting? Our experts are on hand to help you with as little or as much of this process as you need. Get in touch to find out how we can help.

Make an inventory of workloads

The best place to begin? Making an inventory of all of your organisation’s applications and workflows, such as email systems, finance applications, databases, and CRM systems. Starting from the top and working down.

Next, we determine which workloads are business-critical, whether there is any sensitive data, which of these are prime candidates for public cloud, and which need to be highly available.

It’s a good idea to estimate the effort to move each workload to the cloud and the advantage of doing so; even a simple classification of high effort/low effort, high value/low value will give an idea.

High Effort/High Value Contact Centre High Effort/Low Value Dev/Test
Low Value/High Value Data Warehouse Low Effort/Low Value

Once a birds-eye view of these workloads has been established, the task of planning where each workload should reside becomes easier. This is something your internal teams may want to undertake or we can assist and help produce.

daisy cloudbridge consultation hybrid cloud

Identify User Base & Rate of Usage

Once we have mapped out all of your workloads, their importance to your organisation and where you can gain the most benefit from migrating them to the cloud, the next step is to identify the rate of usage and user base. This is important in order to know how you can go about executing a migration with as little effect on your users and customers as possible as well as what kind of configurations are needed.

Calculate costs

An essential part of any business decision is, of course, costing it out. What kind of level of compute is necessary? How much storage do you need? What are the networking costs? As we know the level of storage required is likely to grow and change, our cloud experts think ahead to minimise future storage costs and other hidden costs that may arise.

Define security & recovery needs

Identify your businesses appetite for risk and requirements to meet industry or customer standards is a vital part of the process; what kind of SLAs need to be in place? What sort of failover and business continuity considerations need to be taken? What are the security implications of the planned migration so far?

With more than 30 years’ experience in business recovery, we have experts on hand to assist with these critical considerations which can have some grey areas and intricacies.

Research legal

Just like for when you are assessing your security and recovery needs, make sure you are aware of the compliance and legal guidelines that your organisation must adhere to. What about future considerations? Getting all information available together at this stage is vital for planning your next steps.

Choose a type of migration

Do you need a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) where the virtual machines (VMs) are configured by the service provider? Or is this something you can do in-house with infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS)?

What about considerations like rolling back from Public Cloud? Is there a path back? Make sure you have a strategy that includes optional paths in the future means that you won’t ever paint yourself into a proverbial corner.

Got some silver already?

If you are already utilising a hybrid cloud architecture and are interested in changing things up, this may still help. If not, get in touch with one of our cloud experts and we can talk through your requirements and advise you on the optimal path and how we can help.

Thinking of starting your cloud journey, or just need advice on your current cloud architecture? Get in touch today with one of our experts, and we can help talk through your requirements.

CX Whitepaper | Delivering a Digital Customer Experience (CX) for Today’s Mobile Consumer [Whitepaper]

In this customer experience white paper, we discuss the digital customer experience (CX) and how it has shifted from a “nice to have” to an essential service.

More than ever, customer experience (CX) is shaped and delivered through digital interactions. While the majority of customer communications are still voice-based, consumers now rely more heavily on digital methods, such as email, SMS, web chat and social media. They expect the flexibility to interact through the medium of their choice, wherever they are. And, they expect to be able to switch between one medium and another while they are on the move.

The latest market research puts this reality into perspective. 9 out of 10 consumers want absolute omnichannel service – they expect a seamless experience when moving from one communication method to another, such as phone to text or chat to phone. 57% of customers would rather contact companies via digital media such as email or social media rather than use voice-based customer support. At the same time, consumers are now empowered by social media. Over one third of the world’s population has active social accounts. These consumers are comfortable posting their opinions and observations about their experiences on social media. In this environment, a negative customer service story can easily go viral.

This whitepaper provides more stats like this, discusses the digital customer experience and how it has shifted from a “nice to have” offering to an essential service, before providing an overview of the digital expectations and habits of today’s consumer and offers practical next steps for transforming customer experience from dated to digital.

Care UK


The technical teams at Daisy are very knowledgeable and the team on the Care UK account fully understand the environment, from inception to implementation and for me, this is very important going forward.

Jason Wells, Group IT Infrastructure Manager at Care UK

The Background

Care UK is a leading independent provider of health and social care services. The organisation works in partnership with NHS commissioners to deliver a range of healthcare services including general practice and walk-in centres, 10 treatment centres that specialise in elective surgery, offender health, out of hours and the NHS 111 service.

It also manages 113 care homes, provides 150,000 hours of homecare every week and supports people with mental health conditions and learning disabilities. For more than 30 years Care UK has been helping people to live happier, healthier and more independent lives.

The Challenge

Operating in a fast-paced environment and having grown annual revenue from £80m to £700m, it was crucial that Care UK worked with a partner that was able to support the planned growth and play a key role in supporting its IT provision, which is a particularly vital function of the organisation.

Care UK had a small selection of servers, all of which were managed in-house. The main objective was to move from a small communications room and find a stable, resilient and fully managed solution which could be accommodated away from the business in a data centre.

Due to considerable growth, Care UK also required a more robust and secure solution with the added support coming from a reliable business partner. On becoming a Daisy customer, Care UK’s main priority was to ensure business continuity and to avoid any potential disruption to business when Daisy acquired its previous IT provider. Daisy ensured this transition was successful and provided the reassurance Care UK needed.

In addition, Care UK’s IT team wanted to retain control over a small selection of servers and so required a flexible solution that allowed them to focus on its business and wider organisational operations, while Daisy took active control of key parts of the Care UK infrastructure.

The Solution

Care UK has grown and in turn its estate has expanded within the growing provision of the service Daisy now offers. Whereas previously the services were only for the back-office systems, the majority of Care UK’s line of business applications are now fully managed with Daisy – with application support provision in place with providers AHC, Unit 4, System C and IMS.

To cater for Care UK’s requirements, Daisy provides resilient data centres that offer disaster recovery capabilities, in addition to the redesign of the application stack and presentation layer responsible for running the daily applications of Care UK. Daisy also provides Care UK with a fully managed service for all its business divisions, including end user and technical service desks, account management, design authority and hosting and management of the infrastructure in a dual site 250 server estate.

The Result

The biggest results Care UK has experienced relate to cost savings and benefiting from the expertise and knowledge of the Daisy team.

Having previously used a multinational company for application hosting, Care UK was not achieving the best value for money. Jason Wells, Group IT Infrastructure Manager at Care UK, said: “Moving away from our previous supplier and utilising Daisy’s virtual platform has reduced our total cost of ownership.”

Daisy has developed key business relationships across service, account and project management which provides Care UK with the confidence that Daisy can implement services quickly, efficiently and cost effectively to meet its evolving requirements. The organisation has also benefitted from the ongoing technical support and the personal touch Daisy provides.

Care UK is confident that the longer term benefits will include improved performance and stability.

Jason added: “The technical teams at Daisy are very knowledgeable and the team on the Care UK account fully understand the environment, from inception to implementation and for me, this is very important going forward.

“Often in larger organisations, the personal knowledge is lost when the support and project teams are too big and different people are involved all the time. Having the same key technical teams on all my projects is a huge benefit to Care UK.”

Because of the positive experience Care UK has had with Daisy, the organisation has regularly endorsed services to fellow businesses.

The Future

As a result of the long-standing partnership and having worked together through a continually challenging and changing environment, Daisy continue to support Care UK going forward, ensuring cost efficiencies are identified.

Daisy will work to introduce new services and upgrade applications and operating environments throughout the recently renewed five year contract, in turn maximising the business decision by Care UK to outsource to Daisy.

Palo Alto: Securing NHS Data in the Digital Age

In this guest blog, Palo Alto discuss the benefit of public cloud in the NHS.

The NHS has a long history of innovation and advancement, both within clinical care settings and within the services that support the delivery of modern medicine to the public. With the announcement earlier, this year endorsing the use of public cloud within the organisation, we can expect these technological advancements to continue, with many trusts, CSUs and ALBs now in the early phases of cloud adoption strategies.
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