The Benefits of Cloud Computing for Real Estate Agents

Agent Image - Real Estate Agent Cartoon , Free Transparent Clipart - ClipartKey

The estate agency landscape has transformed over the last decade, with home buyers increasingly looking to the internet as their first port of call. This has led to the rise of disrupter startups that have stormed the market with nationwide online platforms and the promise of low-cost selling. To stay competitive and relevant, traditional estate agencies have had little option but to adopt new technologies themselves, a need accelerated by the impact of the pandemic. For those looking for the right solutions to their IT requirements, the answer lies in cloud technology. Here, we’ll explain why.

1. Better customer experience

15 Proven Techniques to Improve Customer Experience (CX)

For estate agencies concerned about competition from low-cost online agencies, it’s worth noting that, according to Gartner, 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for better customer experience (CX). The issue is that many online estate agencies have already begun to provide great online CX themselves. Migrating to the cloud, however, not just enables you to provide excellent CX yourself, but do so swiftly and cost-effectively.

Migrating to the cloud enables you to provide both buyers and sellers with all the information and help they need without having to visit your premises. There are a growing number of cloud-based tools and technologies to help estate agents offer great CX. These include financial calculation tools, virtual tours, online form completion and submission, customer service chatbots, omnichannel messaging and much more. These provide great CX in that they make the buying and selling of property quicker, more convenient, less stressful and highly engaging. Who wants to look at a photo of a house when they can put on a VR headset? Who wants to wait for a phone call when information can be accessed and answers provided instantly?

All these cloud-based technologies make customers more confident about your services, foster strong relationships and lead to better reviews and online reputations.

2. Using data to improve your business

How To Use Data To Improve Your Business | NewsGram

Data is now a critical component of decision making for businesses, providing insights that can help improve marketing, website design, productivity, cost-effectiveness and more. Analysing that data needs cloud technology. Cloud enables you to cost-effectively store and centrally manage your data and provides you with the AI and analysis tools that can find those insights needed to drive your business forward.

It can help you map customer journeys across all touchpoints, ensuring that communications are consistent and that whoever is dealing with a client is always up to date; it can pinpoint weaknesses in your website, such as poorly performing calls to action or quickly abandoned pages; and It can show you whether your communications are being opened and accessed and if not, predict which channels and times of day are most effective. It can even help predict shifts in the market, changes in consumer behaviour and the impact of changes in regulation, such as the return of full stamp duty, all of which can help you react quickly and make gains before your competitors.

3. Cost-effective

Behavioral 'Nudges' Offer a Cost-Effective Policy Tool – Association for Psychological Science – APS

As digital transformation takes place in the housing market, estate agents will face growing IT needs. Developing an in-house infrastructure can be highly expensive, requiring the hiring of IT talent and the purchase of servers. Not just in real estate but across all sectors, businesses large and small have migrated to the cloud in a bid to keep IT costs to a minimum.

In the cloud, you are using the infrastructure of your service provider and this means there is no need for capital investment in hardware. And while there is a monthly fee for your cloud services, this is charged for on a pay-as-you-go basis, so you only pay for the resources (storage, CPU, RAM, bandwidth) that you actually use. This is an exceptionally cost-efficient way to procure your IT.

What’s more, the cloud gives you the flexibility to scale up or scale down on-demand, so if your website gets very busy or you need to carry out a process-heavy data analytics workload, you can be assured that you’ll always have enough IT resources to carry it out without your system crashing. When your period of high demand is over, you can simply scale down again and save money. Doing this in-house would require you to purchase additional hardware which might sit idle except for at the busiest of times.

4. Managed services

A complete guide to adopt successful IT managed services within your organization

As an estate agent, you’ll want to focus on the needs of your business and not spend too much time dealing with IT. With an in-house system, every aspect of your IT will need to be dealt with by your own staff and this includes server management and maintenance tasks that detract IT staff from implementing better services.

In the cloud, server management comes with the service. Your provider will update and patch the operating system on your behalf and ensure that your server is working optimally and remains constantly online for your customers.

What’s more, a good service provider will also offer 24/7 technical support, which means if you have an issue with your cloud services or any of the applications you run on them, you have an expert available, there and then, to help you get it fixed.

5. Remote working

Transition to Remote Working During the Outbreak: 3+1 Strategies | Geekbot

With cloud-based tools at your disposal, the days of telling a customer ‘I’ll check that when I get to the office and get back to you,’ are over. In the cloud, your systems and files are available anywhere with an internet connection and on any device, including smartphones and tablets. This means when carrying out the remote aspect of your job, such as visiting a client’s home, you can access the tools you need and ensure that you have up-to-date information at your fingertips.

It also means you and your staff can work more flexibly and stay productive during disruptions like the lockdown and bad weather days.

6. Stronger security

Why the office of the future will demand stronger security measures | Zimbabwe Information & Communication Technologies (ZICT) Divisions

With the constant risk of hacking, malware, ransomware, DDoS attacks and other threats and a need to comply with regulations like GDPR, IT security is a major concern for all businesses. Putting robust security in place is both expensive and challenging, especially for companies with limited IT budgets.

Cloud vendors, however, employ security experts and utilise the most advanced tools to protect their datacentres and their customers’ systems. They deploy next-gen firewalls with intrusion and malware protection to keep cybercriminals away from your servers and data. They also provide essential security services, such as SSL certificates, email encryption, VPN, 2FA, data encryption and remote backups.

What’s more, when your data is stored in the cloud, you don’t need to keep copies on removable drives, laptops or other devices that can easily be lost or stolen. This helps prevent the risk of your customers’ personal data being breached.


The shift towards a digital market means estate agents need to digitally transform to remain competitive and relevant. To offer the services that customers want, benefit from the advantages of the latest technologies, stay secure and remain cost-effective, this means migrating to the cloud.

Most Frequently Used Service Names and Their Port Numbers

IPv6 Subnet Cheat Sheet and IPv6 Cheat Sheet Reference | Broadcast | Crucial

Service names and port numbers are used to differentiate between the various services that execute over transport protocols, such as TCP/IP, UDP, DCCP and SCTP. The authority responsible for assigning service names and port numbers is the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). IANA also maintains the registries which store service names and port numbers.

The port registries for transport protocols are divided into three number ranges: those for System Ports, User Ports and Dynamic/Private ports. Their associated number ranges are:

  • System Ports (0-1023)
  • User Ports (1024-49151)
  • Dynamic / Private Ports (49152-65535)

For services to work effectively, hosts that run them and those that access them, together with intermediate devices, such as firewalls, have to agree on which specific destination port is used with the particular service. Often, many services use a default port and it is these that are recorded in the IANA registry.

The growing use of Windows and single-user Linux systems over the years, however, means that the original port model above is not strictly adhered to. It can no longer be assumed that a specific port number necessarily denotes a particular service. For example, if a host runs multiple instances of a service, they cannot all listen on the same port. Similarly, if there are multiple hosts behind the same NAT gateway, they cannot all map the same port on the external side of the gateway.

Today, there are thousands of applications and application-level protocols which have been assigned service names and port numbers and this number is set to rise in the future. Further confusion over port numbers can arise because IANA can de-assign a number no longer in use and reassign it to another service.

Common service names and their port numbers

The most common service names and their ports are listed in the chart below:

Service Name Port Number
FTP 20, 21
SSH 22
Telnet 23
DNS 53
DHCP 67, 68
POP3 110
NNTP 119
NTP 123
IMAP4 143
LDAP 389
AIM 5190

On Linux machines, the /etc/services file stores the information about the various services that client applications might use. The file contains the service name, port number and the protocol it uses, as well as any aliases.

On Windows machines, the service names, port numbers and protocols can be found in the C:windows\system32\drivers\etc\services file. The file tells Microsoft services which ports to use.

Digital Success in 2021: Sustainability and Customer Experience

How Are Companies Aligning Sustainability and CX? – SmarterCX

The online market has radically transformed and businesses need to move with the times if they are going to stay relevant and competitive. In this post, we’ll look at the impact of sustainability and customer experience and explain what you need to do to stay ahead of the game.

The sustainable business

Three Principles of Sustainable Business

Consumers worldwide are becoming increasingly conscious of how their actions have an impact on the environment and society. This affects their choice of brands and the products and services they buy. Ideally, they would like their favourite brands to adopt more ethical approaches to the environment and society, but if not, they are prepared to find new brands whose values better align with their own.

What does this mean for online businesses? First, it means that companies need to be ethical. They have to try and reduce their impact on the environment by cutting carbon emissions, using sustainable resources, ditching single-use plastics and anything else that improves the natural world. At the same time, they will need to implement socially ethical policies: delivering diversity and equality of opportunity, paying fair wages and treating staff, customers and suppliers well.

Of course, ethical businesses should also communicate this to consumers. Getting the message out is important to remind existing customers and to inform potential new ones of the efforts they are making to be a sustainable and ethical business. This should be clearly communicated on websites, in blog posts, on social media and on other forms of communication.

What’s more, consumers expect responsible brands to apologise for and make amends for both historical and more recent mistakes. One of the UK’s major pub chains has recently been commended for apologising for one of its founders profiting from the slave trade and more recently has renamed pubs whose original names might be seen to be racially offensive. Such acts of contrition that show a clean break with the past and a desire to move forward more ethically have helped consumers see the business in a more positive light.

With 87% of consumers having a more positive view of companies that support social or environmental issues, sustainability has become an important battleground on which companies compete for new business. To be a successful online business in 2021, this is an area that calls out for development, not just for the sake of the business, but for the planet and society as a whole.

Customer experience

Does Your Customer Experience (CX) Strategy Have A Blind Spot?

The other key area of competition is customer experience and for online businesses, this is often driven by the adoption of new technologies. In the digital marketplace, customer experience has real value for consumers: over 80% of them are prepared to pay more for products and services if the experience is great.

What do we mean by great customer experience? Today, it means 24/7 accessibility, speed, convenience and seamlessness. Customers expect personalisation, omnichannel shopping and omnichannel communications. They want presenting with the products and offers they are looking for, purchasing to be easy and delivery to be ultra-quick. What’s more, they want to be able to buy on any device (and in-store), have communications delivered via their channel of choice and they want the whole experience to be engaging and rewarding.

It’s a big ask – but one which many companies have already adopted and are benefitting from. Implementing digital transformation today will not put companies head of the field, but it will ensure they stay relevant to the modern consumer and help them catch up with and compete with their rivals.

It’s almost impossible to offer great customer service today without adopting cloud technology. The cloud is needed to analyse the data essential for generating customer journey maps, without which it’s impossible to offer truly personalised product recommendations or provide seamless experiences. It’s also needed to carry out data analytics to gain insights into new opportunities and ways to cut costs.

The cloud is also vital for making use of technologies such as AI, machine learning and automation, that help deliver improved customer experience. It lets companies deploy 24/7 website chatbots, send instantaneous automated messages via multiple channels, maintain control of inventory and delivery so that products remain in stock and arrive quickly.

The cloud also provides the ability to integrate various key services, such as websites, apps, social media channels, communications channels, in-store services, marketing services, production infrastructure and more.

Of course, the cloud is also the most cost-effective way to run all these services. There’s no need to purchase hardware, it provides the flexibility to scale up or down resources in line with demand, there are fewer security and IT management demands and businesses will be assured their apps remain available at all times.


In the 2021 marketplace, sustainability and customer experience have become the main areas on which businesses compete. These have become more important to consumers than price or products. To stay relevant, online businesses need to be more environmentally-friendly, socially ethical and deliver better customer experience. This may mean a shift in direction for the company and in how it markets itself. With customer experience, it also requires digital transformation and the adoption of cloud technology.

Reasons Home Improvement Service Firms Need a Website

Web Design for Home Service Companies | Contractor Websites

The home improvement service sector provides essential services to homeowners and landlords, covering everything from building and gardening to bathroom and kitchen installations. It’s a sector that includes interior design, decorating, window replacement, flooring installation and more. The demand for home improvement service also means that there is considerable competition, not just from other local companies but from national DIY chains that are adding design and installation to their retail services. This, together with the change in how consumers now shop for home improvements means its more important than ever for local suppliers to have a website. Here, we’ll explain why.

Online convenience

Complete Guide to Starting an Online Convenience Store Selling Groceries

The reality of the modern market is that everyone looking for a home improvement service wants a convenient way to find it. This means they will begin by looking online. Some may find you in local printed directories or the classifieds, however, even if they do, they’ll want more information than the ad can deliver. The most convenient way to find out more is to visit your website and they will expect you to have one.

Having a website, first and foremost, means your business will appear in search results so more new customers can find you. From here, they can visit your site where they can easily access all the information they need to decide whether you are the right company for their project. Without a website, you make finding this information inconvenient, increasing the likelihood that customers will simply find a competitor that does provide that information.

An online showroom

The Virtual Showroom: The New Normal of Customer Engagement

Customers with home improvement projects want to be able to visualise the finished product and see the standard of installation work that your company can deliver. What’s more, they want to see this from the comfort of their own homes and before getting in touch.

A website enables you to provide a portfolio of your previous work and if you sell products like kitchens and bathrooms, a gallery of the items you offer. This will give them a clear idea of the standard of your services and the quality and design of your products. Such portfolios play a vital role in establishing leads with potential customers or in convincing them to visit your physical showroom.

Offer other online services

online: 6 online services that are worth paying for - The Economic Times

The modern website can do so much more than provide information about your products and services. There is now a multitude of website tools and add-ons that can be installed to provide exceptional customer experiences, such as price calculators, design and measurement tools and virtual tours of previous work. Indeed, virtual and augmented reality tools are increasingly used to help customers create the designs they want to achieve.

Customers also want the ability to book services online, such as reserving a slot for you to visit their homes or schedule the delivery of products. They also want the convenience of being able to pay online and have access to user accounts where they can see the progress of their order.

All these things can be achieved with a modern website. What’s more, they are available 24 hours a day, even when your physical business is closed, so that regardless of when a customer is looking, everything they need is always there.

These additional online services can make your business far more competitive in today’s market where 82% of consumers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.

Build your company’s reputation

How a Business Can Create and Maintain a Good Reputation

Online reputations play a critical role in purchasing decisions. Customers no longer take a company’s marketing at face value and will look to verify what they say by checking out reviews and asking for recommendations on social media.

The star ratings, reviews and recommendations you receive are solely down to what your previous customers think. However, many companies getting excellent feedback fail to take full advantage of it. Although they can be found on Google, Facebook and sites like Trustpilot, these independent reviews that have so much influence on customers can also be linked to and displayed directly on your website.

If you have great reviews, let your visitors know by displaying them prominently on your site and providing a link to the independent site where they can read them for themselves. Here’s what we display on our website.

Such a move can immediately put cautious customers at ease and ensure them that your company and the work it does is highly regarded by its previous and existing customers.

Dispelling myths about websites

Dispelling 5 Common Myths About MS - Multiple Sclerosis News Today

Some of the reasons business owners don’t have a website include the expense of building and running a site and the belief that they need highly technical skills to run one. This, however, is definitely not the case.

A business domain name (e.g. can be registered for around £10 – £20 a year, web hosting can cost from just a few pounds a month and the software used by the vast majority of the world’s websites is free. Such software, like WordPress, has been created to be used by those with only basic computer skills. Indeed, building a professional website is no more difficult than creating a PowerPoint presentation.

What’s more, at eukhost, you’ll be able to install WordPress with a single click and our 24/7 technical support team, knowledgebase and customer forum provide all the help you need to overcome any challenges. Our cPanel control panel also means you’ll be easily able to carry out any website management tasks and even automate many of them.


In the digital economy of the 2020s, having a website is essential for home improvement service businesses that want to stay relevant to today’s consumers and remain competitive. Hopefully, the points raised here will have convinced you of the benefits of creating a site and shown you that doing so is not an overly difficult or expensive process.

Tips for Consultancy Firms on Developing a Website

How to Become a Consultant: 11 Steps to Doing it Right

There are consultancy firms in all sectors but the one thing they have in common is that they are experts in their field. Indeed, as a consultancy firm, your expertise is your product. When it comes to landing new contracts, it’s vital that potential customers can find out everything they need about your business, the expertise within it and the different services you offer. In the digital age, not only do you need a website; you also need to make sure it does the right things. Here, we’ll offer some tips designed to improve consultants’ websites.

Promote your uniqueness

How To Promote Your Business: 20 Proven Strategies - BuildFire

You know better than anyone what makes your company unique and why that uniqueness makes you the best choice for your customers. With many consultancies offering similar services, this uniqueness is your key value proposition and something you need to communicate quickly and clearly as soon as a visitor arrives on your homepage.

To improve how well your website works for you, your USP should be clearly shown, above the fold, on the homepage. It should encapsulate, succinctly, what your company does, who you provide services for and why your business is the right choice.

Doing this right at the start of a visitor’s journey drives potential customers to other parts of your website where you can convince them you are the best company for their needs.

Think carefully about website design

19 Website layouts that will make your users come back for more

When thinking about how to design or redesign your consultancy website, don’t start with the premise ‘what do we need?’; instead, think about what the customer needs? Putting yourself in the position of a potential customer can help you create a site that has the right design and organisation to help you generate more new business.

It will end up being more user-friendly, mobile-friendly and useful. Not only will its design be better suited to the needs of the user, so will the way information is organised across the site and how it is presented. The more user-friendly it is, the better experience customers will have and this will give them an indication of the quality of the service you offer in your consultancy, too.

The benefits of a blog

Why Your Students Should Blog: 6 Powerful Benefits | Emerging Education Technologies

Not all businesses need a blog, but for consultancies, they can be invaluable. A blog, essentially, is soft-sell content marketing. Each post should be created to solve a problem that your customers may face. In doing so, you can showcase the unique expertise within your company and subtly mention and link to the services you offer that solve these problems.

Such blogs also have other very useful benefits. Firstly, the use of specialist content can be very helpful for SEO, enabling your website to rank much higher in search engine results so that it attracts even more visitors. What’s more, as each blog post is searchable on the internet, potential customers who may never have heard of your company before might get introduced to your expertise and choose to partner with you as a result.

Of course, blogs can contain a variety of different content: written text, images, infographics, video, etc. – a mix that makes it more engaging and which appeals to different audiences. Blog posts on your website can also be published on social media so that anyone who wishes to read them is brought straight back to your website.

Simple interaction and communication

Communication Interaction Icon, Simple Vector Sign Stock Vector - Illustration of concept, interactive: 141989921

The easier you make it for website visitors to interact and get in touch, the more likely they are to do it. At the top of the list here, is getting in touch. You need to provide clear and obvious calls to action that anyone will find simple to follow. If there is a ‘call us now’ CTA, for example, use a link that immediately dials your number on mobile phones, saving the user the trouble of having to type it. You can do the same with email links or provide an easy to fill in contact form conveniently located in the footer of every page. Increasingly, businesses are making use of online chat to answer queries in real-time and advanced chatbots are being used to offer this service 24/7.

When it comes to engagement, make it easy for users to bookmark pages and share information with colleagues or on social media. Also, make it easy for them to like your content by providing social media buttons – especially on those blog posts.

A reliable and trustworthy website

Why Single Page Websites Are Bad For SEO

If you want your website to be taken seriously, it has to be reliable and trustworthy. Partnering with the right web host and selecting the most appropriate hosting type for your needs ensures your site will always be available, load quickly and respond effortlessly to customer interactions. This all boosts the confidence that customers have in your business.

Also important is choosing a web host that can provide the web security you need to protect you and your customers. You’ll need an SSL certificate to have your site labelled as secure on browsers and which encrypts user data; spam filters to prevent malware and phishing; email certificates to verify your emails are genuine and to encrypt content and attachments; a robust firewall, together with intrusion and malware protection, to keep your server secure; and a backup solution that enables your site to recover quickly from cyberattacks and data loss.


As you can see, your website can play a vital role in promoting your consultancy firm and in generating new business. Hopefully, the tips provided here will show you where you can make improvements to your site and your web hosting .

How Google’s New Ranking Factors Will Affect Your Website Page Experience

6 Tips to Improve Your PPC Landing Page Experience (& Quality Score)

Changes in the way consumers behave mean customer experience (CX) is now the major battleground over which businesses compete. While this will affect your company directly, in the sense that you’ll need to improve CX to stay competitive, from May 2021, you’ll also need to improve the CX of your website to rank well with Google. Under pressure to improve their own CX, Google has now decided to add ‘page experience’ as one of its ranking criteria. Here, we’ll look at what this will mean for your website and individual web pages.

1. Largest Contentful Paint

What Is Largest Contentful Paint? | Page Experience SEO

How will Google measure loading times going forward? One of the main ways will be the ‘Largest Contentful Paint’ metric. Basically, rather than looking at the loading time of a whole page, it will look specifically at the loading time of the largest element of that page, usually the largest block of text or image. With Google expecting these to load in less than 2.5 seconds, it means you will need to optimise images and break large sections of text into smaller chunks.

2. First Input Delay

Experimenting with First Input Delay in the Chrome UX Report | Web

While Largest Contentful Paint looks at loading times, First Input Delay focuses on response times, in other words, the time it takes your website to respond to any user interaction, such as carrying out a search, clicking a link or inputting information. The response time is a measure of how long it takes the user’s browser to start processing your website’s response to those interactions. With Google expecting this to be less than 100 milliseconds, not only is the speed of your hosting important, so too is the location of your server. To overcome latency, having servers located nearer the user will speed things up. For customers further away, websites might need to make increasing use of content delivery networks (CDNs).

3. Cumulative Layout Shift

Optimize Cumulative Layout Shift

As websites load the elements of a page in stages, it can cause the layout to shift slightly. A common problem is when a user sees a menu, goes to click on it and by the time they have done so, the menu has been pushed down by an advert or privacy banner and they click on this by accident.

Cumulative Layout Shift is a metric that measures the visual stability of a page, looking at how it changes layout during loading and how this impacts the experience of a user. In future, website owners will need to minimise this as much as possible, especially in the ‘above the fold’ layout.

4. The mobile experience

The Importance of Mobile Experience | Resource Techniques

The mobile experience is the area where Google has to put most of its effort. Today, we carry out the majority of our internet searches and spend most of our online time on smartphones. The key difference between desktop and mobile for Google is that with a desktop, we predominantly use Google to find things; on mobiles, much more time is spent on apps. Google needs to claw back some of its lost ground by making its mobile search just as smooth and seamless as using an app.

While Google has got things working effectively at its end, the Achille’s heel in its mobile customer experience is the websites it displays in its search results. What’s the point of having the world’s most advanced search engine if half of the websites that users visit don’t work well on mobile devices? The solution is simple, it will stop ranking websites that are not mobile-friendly, at least on searches carried out on mobile devices – which is most of them!

The solution is a mobile-first website design. Instead of creating a website for computers and then using a responsive theme to convert it for mobile devices, work the other way around. Create the site specifically for mobiles first (the biggest audience). This will improve the way a site looks and responds on mobile devices and prevent common issues that can occur with responsive themes such as text being too small and links or buttons being so close together that users frequently tap the wrong one.

Loading speed also has to be improved on mobiles. While laptops generally connect only to broadband, smartphones are taken everywhere, often where connections, both network and wi-fi, vary in strength and stability. Regardless of connection strength, a good website should still load quickly.

5. SSL, safe browsing and intrusive interstitials

Navigating Google's new page experience algorithm | Cobiro

Other key ranking factors to be aware of are the installation of SSL certificates to provide secure HTTPS connections and encrypt the sending and receiving of payment data; ensuring your website is free from malware and links to malicious websites; and the removal of ‘intrusive interstitials’, the jargon term for popups and other intrusions that affect the users’ browsing experience.


From May 2021, Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Delay and Cumulative Layout Shift will become ‘core web vitals’ in Google’s algorithm. At the same time, there will be increased importance on mobile-friendliness and security and far less tolerance of intrusive features, like popups.

Steps to Improving Data Security

11 Smart Ways to Make Your Data More Secure | Mental Floss

As Clive Humby famously said, ‘Data is the new oil.’ It’s a commodity so valuable that cybercriminals go to great lengths to get their hands on it. And when they do, they use it for extortion and to sell to other criminals on the dark web. If that isn’t worrying enough, the means by which they try to acquire it can also cause havoc. They will infect entire systems with malware, take systems completely offline with ransomware and use sophisticated techniques to steal login credentials or brute force their way in. Today, it’s every firm’s business to keep their data secure. Here are some of the ways to strengthen yours.

The impact of a data breach 

Data breaches can put companies out of business. 60% of those that suffer a cyberattack go under within six months. For the rest, there are significant repercussions. According to IBM’s 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report, incidents involving data security, such as malware, phishing and device theft, cost UK companies almost £3 billion to recover from. It’s a prolonged process, too. The average company took around nine months to discover and recover from an attack. On top of all this, of course, are lost income, reputational damage and the potential of large fines from the ICO.

1. Use tech and training to prevent phishing

What is phishing? Everything you need to know to protect yourself from scam emails and more | ZDNet

Phishing attacks, usually sent via email, are one of the main ways that cybercriminals will try to steal login credentials or infect a system with malware. Making sure that you have a robust spam filtering tool, such as SpamExperts or Mimecast, will help filter out the vast majority of phishing and malware containing emails.

Of those that manage to get through, statistics show that around a third are opened and clicked on by recipients. This is often because cybercriminals go to great lengths to make these emails look genuine. The key to reducing such incidents lies in training staff to spot the tell-tale signs of phishing emails: poor English, lack of addressee name, email address not matching up with the name of the sender, dodgy-looking logos, etc. Employees also need to know how to deal with these emails: not to open them or any attachments or click on any links, how to report them and safely delete them.

2. Two-factor authentication

Is two-factor authentication (2FA) as secure as it seems? - Malwarebytes Labs | Malwarebytes Labs

Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds another layer of security to the login process, usually asking employees to input a six or seven-digit security code sent to their phone. The advantage of implementing 2FA is that even if a cybercriminal gets hold of the username and password, they won’t have access to the additional code unless they also have the employee’s mobile phone. What’s more, as security codes are only valid for a few minutes, it doesn’t give criminals the time needed to crack them.

3. Virtual Private Networks

What Is a VPN? - Virtual Private Network - Cisco

A virtual private network (VPN) provides employees with a secure environment in which to work. It does this by securing the connection to the network and encrypting data sent over it. It is particularly vital for those working over wi-fi networks, especially the significant number of employees now working remotely.

4. Automated software updates

Simplify software updates with automated patching - 5 IT automation examples that ops teams should implement today

Vulnerabilities in outdated applications are one of the biggest threats to data security and are actively targeted by cybercriminals. Updating applications as soon as a patch is released is essential to minimising the risk of a data breach. Unfortunately, too many businesses have paid the price of being slow to update their software.

There are several ways to automate updates. With a managed hosting solution, for example, your provider will automate the patching of your operating system, while you can use tools like Patchman to carry out patching on CMS websites like WordPress. Auto-updates can also be implemented using cPanel and Plesk and from within the admin panel of some website platforms.

Another way to keep applications up to date is to use Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions, such as Microsoft 365, instead of having standalone software installed on the network. Here, the provider will update the software automatically for you whenever they release a new version.

5. Encryption

What is PGP Encryption and How Does It Work? | Varonis

If your data is encrypted, no-one can access it even if it is stolen. Encryption makes it useless to any cybercriminals and ensures that your important information and customer data isn’t used illegally. You can encrypt data in multiple situations. For example, your host can encrypt data stored on your servers, SSL certificates encrypt data transferred between your customers’ browsers and your website and email SSL certificates will encrypt your emails and attachments while verifying the authenticity of your email address to the recipient.

6. Remote backups

Remote Backup - Computer Systems Plus, Inc.

If in attempting to steal your data a cybercriminal deletes, corrupts or encrypts it with ransomware, the effects can be devastating. However, it’s not just cybercrime that can result in data loss, so too can hardware failure, human error and various other problems. The solution to not losing your data permanently and getting your systems back up and running quickly is to have an effective backup solution in place.

While there are many ways to do this, one of the most effective is to use the services of your hosting provider. At Anteelo, our backups can be scheduled and automated to take place at the frequencies you need, are stored remotely from your server, encrypted for security and integrity checked so you know they will be uncorrupted if you need to use them.

7. Secure hosting

Most Secure Web Hosting Services in 2020 - SecurityLab

A good web hosting provider will help keep your server and the data stored on it secure by using advanced security tools. At Anteelo, for example, we use powerful next-gen firewalls with intrusion detection and prevention tools to stop hackers and malware from getting access to your server.


Data is increasingly sought-after by cybercriminals and their modes of operation are getting more sophisticated. Companies need to put cybersecurity at the top of their priorities to prevent attacks that could potentially put them out of business. Hopefully, the measures mentioned here will help you increase the security of your firm’s data.

Cloud computing in construction industry: Benefits

What does cloud computing do? - CompuVisionThe cloud is already widely adopted within the construction industry; however, for companies that are still considering it and for those whose use is limited, here, we look at seven important benefits it provides.

1. Cost savings

These Cost Reduction Initiative Examples Could Help Prevent Layoffs Prevent Layoffs With These Cost Reduction Initiative Examples

Every penny matters in the construction industry, so the cloud’s ability to help companies work more efficiently and effectively is one of its chief attractions. Savings come in multiple forms. From an IT perspective, the move to the cloud and to a vendor’s infrastructure reduces the company’s need to run in-house datacentres that require expensive cap-ex investment in hardware and the ongoing datacentre costs. The scalability of the cloud, together with its pay-as-you-go charging model provides further opportunities for efficient usage.

Additional savings also come from using the cloud to monitor operations. Combining data analytics with artificial intelligence yields insights into business processes that invariably throw up more efficient ways to run businesses and thus reduce costs without affecting quality.

2. Access information from anywhere at anytime

Access your work device anytime, anywhere

In the cloud, all your data is stored centrally and is available online, regardless of where your teams are or what time. This makes it incredibly easy for employees to collaborate and access the most up-to-date, synchronised files.

This is highly beneficial for construction companies as the very nature of their projects means they are working on sites away from the office. It also makes it much easier for employees working on large sites or projects with multiple sites to get hold of the information they need.

3. More competitive bidding

Tips for Being Competitive on Construction Job Bids

While cost savings help improve the bottom line, they also help construction companies to be more competitive when bidding for new projects. By using cloud-based business intelligence, they will have a more detailed prediction of the project’s costs, a better understanding of component availability and can give a more accurate indication of other influential factors, such as the environmental impact of their work or how energy efficient the completed project will be. All these can help make the bid more attractive to potential customers.

4. Manage growth better

5 Ways to Manage Rapid Business Growth - SevenTech

Opportunities are everywhere in the construction industry, but the nature of the sector means companies need to be clear about those which are right for their business. Today, when researching new market segments or territories, organisations are increasingly making use of cloud-based analytics to evaluate a wide range of internal and external indicators that give them a clearer picture of the challenges and advantages of these potential expansions.

5. Building Information Modelling (BIM)

BIM - Building Information Modelling in the construction industry

Today, the construction industry is making far greater use of Building Information Modelling – a process that results in the development of a centrally stored project model that can be accessed, shared and updated by all parties. Based in the cloud, the BIM enables the company to collaborate with all stakeholders, including planners, designers, suppliers, those from other disciplines and other construction companies taking part in the project. By clarifying the exact project for everyone, this removes uncertainty and thus helps overcome budget, timescale and supply challenges while reducing the potential for conflict between the different parties.

6. Improve employee safety

Workplace Safety: Importance, Benefits and Ways to Create a Safe Workplace

Construction sites and the materials and machines used can be inherently hazardous and this makes employee safety one of the chief concerns of any company. Increasingly, organisations are looking at how cloud-based solutions can help minimise risk even further. Using the cloud enables companies to simplify and centralise the reporting of incidents over the internet, share data with collaborators and suppliers and then analyse that data to provide safety insights and develop new safety procedures and equipment more speedily for use on sites.

When predictive tools are used, this can then help companies better understand the safety risks of each new project, enabling them to put improved measures into place during the planning stage rather than as a reaction to an incident that happens once construction work has begun. It also helps factor safety into the price and timescale of the project.

7. More effective communications

14 Best Practices for More Effective Communication |

The number of people involved in a construction project can be vast and includes not just the company but the customer, architects and planners, suppliers, sub-contractors and other construction companies. Keeping everyone in the loop and up to speed is vital to keep the project on schedule and budget, and to ensure that issues are dealt with swiftly and effectively.

Cloud-based communication systems make this far easier and quicker to do and ensure that communications can be accessed and traced more effectively. What’s more, rather than having to send copies of files in email attachments that can quickly go out of date, attaching links to files stored centrally in the cloud means information accessed will always be synchronised and up to date.


Construction companies have a lot to gain from using the cloud and there are many ways in which it can benefit. The biggest advantage, however, for those who have yet to adopt, is that doing so will put you on par with the majority that have already begun to make the leap as part of their digital transformation.

Which is Better for You: Managed or Unmanaged Hosting?

Managed VS Unmanaged Hosting - Hosting Plans Compared

If you have been looking for a hosting plan, you’ll no doubt have seen some packages described as ‘managed hosting’. If you are unsure what managed hosting is, how it differs from unmanaged hosting and whether it’s the right choice for you, this post will hopefully provide the answers you need.

The difference between managed and unmanaged hosting

Managed vs Unmanaged VPS- Which is The Right Choice For You?

Web hosting is the act of installing your website software and content on a web server so that it can be found and accessed over the internet. The web servers belong to your web host and are housed in a datacentre. Keeping your website or applications online is, therefore, a joint venture between the host and the website owner. The host takes care of the physical hardware and infrastructure and the website owner looks after the website software and content.

There is, however, a middle ground that can either be undertaken by the host or the site owner. This includes actions such as making backups, monitoring and optimising the performance of the server, installing and updating the server’s operating system and setting up and maintaining server security software, such as firewalls and malware and intrusion detection.

Managed hosting is when these things are carried out by the web host. Unmanaged hosting is when they are carried out by the customer.

It needs to be understood, however, that not all managed services are the same. Web hosts can offer different managed hosting solutions to each other and provide different managed services for different types of hosting. At the same time, some of these managed services are included in the basic price of a package while others can be purchased as an add-on service. Some enterprises even choose to work with their hosts to create bespoke managed services that are tailored around their specific needs.

When to choose unmanaged hosting

Web hosting 101: managed vs. unmanaged hosting | Tom's Guide

Choosing unmanaged hosting can be less expensive than managed hosting, but its biggest attraction for businesses is that it gives them far more control over their hosting. Apart from keeping the machines running, they take responsibility for everything else. Companies that have very complex IT infrastructures and which often rely on legacy software can find it easier to manage their applications when they have this level of oversight and control.

Of course, to do this, these companies need to have the extensive IT expertise to undertake all these management tasks themselves. This is usually achieved through a combination of employing experts and buying in third-party technical support.

When to choose managed hosting

Managed Hosting Services: How Can Customers Benefit? -

The vast majority of companies choose managed hosting because it is more convenient and because they lack specific server management skills. While running a website has got easier, thanks to the development of user-friendly admin panels in platforms like WordPress and through the wide range of functions offered in control panels like cPanel and Plesk, the workings of a web server have, for many companies, remained an area over which they have little knowledge. If you have never had an in-house server and employed someone who can run it, unmanaged hosting can cause real problems.

With managed hosting, you can forget all about the more complex issues, such as installing PHP modules, load balancing, database optimisation or troubleshooting a server issue when something goes awry.

Indeed, today, even companies that have the in-house expertise in place to manage their own hosting choose to opt for a managed hosting solution. With a shortage of IT expertise available in the recruitment market and those that work in the sector demanding high salaries, it is far more cost-effective, productive and convenient to hand server management to the web host so that IT staff are freed up to work on more business-focused projects.

What to look for in a managed hosting plan

7 Best Managed WordPress Hosting Compared [2021]

What you need to look for depends upon the type of hosting you choose. If you have shared hosting, for example, the simple fact that multiple customers share space on a single server means no individual customer could be responsible for server management – it’s always carried out by the web host. However, even with shared hosting, you should look for other server management solutions being included in a managed package – these include website backups and 24/7 technical support.

For more advanced forms of hosting where users have their own operating system, you’ll need to look for automated backup solutions, real-time performance monitoring, updating of OS, control panel and other server software and security software management.


Today, the advantages and convenience of managed hosting make it the number one choice for businesses. It removes all the burdens of managing your server and the calamities that can happen when a lack of know-how causes issues. At the same time, it allows smaller companies to get on with running their websites and larger organisations to put their IT expertise to more productive use.

What Are App Containers, and Do You Really need Them?

What are Containers and their benefits | Google Cloud

App containers have helped transform the way companies run their software, but despite being around for almost a decade, for many people, the term ‘app container’ remains one of those obscure pieces of IT jargon. Here, we aim to give you a clear understanding of what app containers are, what they’re used for and whether they might be a solution that’s useful for your business.

What are app containers?

What is a Container? | App Containerization | Docker

An app container is like any other form of container, it’s what you put something in to keep it separate from what’s around it and to move it from place to place. In IT, what you put in a container is software. The idea is that putting an application in a container prevents it from conflicting with other applications or not working properly when move to a different environment.

How are containers useful?

One of the biggest benefits of a container is that they enable the software within it to work independently from the environment in which they are located and this prevents issues from arriving when they are moved from one environment to another.

A typical example is an app developed using one version of an operating system (OS) and then moved to an environment with a different version. Without a container, the app might work flawlessly in development but when moved might hit problems that prevent it from working as expected. It’s not just operating systems that can have this effect, so too can programming languages, PHP versions, SSL libraries, network structure and various other differences.

A container prevents this from happening by placing the software in a self-contained environment of its own where it can be moved without issue. In other words, a container is a complete runtime environment for the software and contains all the other things it is dependent on to run. In a sense, it works like a submarine or a spacecraft, supporting the life inside regardless of what alien environments they travel to.

Additional benefits of containers

5 Benefits of Using Containers

Virtualisation can be used as an alternative to containers as applications and their operating systems running on virtual machines can also be easily moved across different hardware. The key difference is that containerised applications usually require smaller storage, enabling a company to host more containers than virtual machines on a server. This can help reduce the costs of running applications in a cloud environment. Another advantage containers have over virtual machines is that they can be booted almost instantaneously, whereas a virtual machine takes several minutes.

From a development and management point of view, another benefit is that applications can be separated into their individual parts (microservices) and each of these placed in their own container, for example, the front-end in one container and the database in another. This approach is useful as it enables each microservice to be modified independently without the developer having to rewrite the entire software. It also means companies can save money as they don’t need to run the full application at all times. By providing instant availability, containers can be used to turn different microservices on and off as and when the application needs them.

A well-established technology

Automating Business Processes in a Well-Established System - Clever Solution

After almost a decade, containers have become an established part of the IT landscape and some prominent organisations are helping to develop them. The Open Container Project (OCP), run by the Linux Foundation, is the key initiative in the field, with the aim of standardising container formats and runtime software across different platforms so that they can benefit everyone. In addition, this open-source approach has led to improvements in container security and management systems and the development of freely available container management systems, such as the well-known Kubernetes that was kickstarted by Google. The OCP is supported by industry giants like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, VMware and many others.

Would app containers be useful for my company?

Can container/docker benefits apply to client apps too? - Hysolate

The fact that containerised applications tend to use less storage and because individual microservices can be turned on and off as needed so they use fewer resources means their adoption could help companies reduce the cost of their cloud services – especially because cloud services are charged for on a pay per use basis. Whether this could be a significant saving depends, of course, on the size of the overall application and the extent of the resources it uses.

Another value is that containers help prevent vendor lock-in. In the past, companies have felt tied to a vendor because they have been concerned that moving their application to a new provider with a different environment might cause their applications to falter. Containers prevent this from happening. They also make it far less problematic to move applications across environments for any other reason and make it easier to modify microservices in isolation from the rest of the application.


Today, many companies use containers to house their applications in the cloud and, with most platforms being free to use and their formats standardised, they look certain to remain part of the cloud landscape for the foreseeable future. Hopefully, from reading this article you’ll now be aware of what app containers are, what they are used for and how they could benefit your business.

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