What's Happening at Evergreen?

[intro]

- Cyber security

- VOIP

Security improvements

This year we are looking to make security improvements to your system. This is not only to protect you and your data from the outside world, but also from [ .... ]

  • long passwords, with one-way strong encryption
  • IP locking
  • 2FA by text, email or Google Authenticator
  • integration with Google sign-in or MS Outlook sign-in
  • The use of passkeys 

 

Version changes

Your system will now be on the our new platform, with PHP upgraded to version 8.3 and improvements made to the database server as well.

This version of PHP is actively supported until the end of 2025 and will still receive security support until the end of 2026. However we will be looking at any changes when they occur and whether we need to make any tweaks to the underlying code.

If you would like to find other hosting arrangements, we are happy to assist you with any transition (at a fair and reasonable cost to cover our time) but we would remind you of your obligations to keep your business data secure.

Big changes in the Telephone market

In 2025 all ISDN and PSTN telephony services will be switched off. This basically means the old analogy service is going away. I'm sure you're aware of this and have plans in place, or like the vast majority of UK businesses, you've already switched to a digital or VOIP (Voice-Over-IP) system.

We have partnered with a local telecoms company, Bytes Digital, to help make this process easy for those that haven't made the switch yet.  Even better, their VOIP system can easily integrate with your bespoke software system. Let us know if this would be of interest.

Energy and other costs

This is an ongoing problem and our hosting provider raised their prices by 20% at the end of November 2022.

We also experienced significant pressure on salaries for our experienced developers as the marketplace for software development is still very strong.

And of course there was general price inflation throughout the rest of society causing other suppliers to increase their prices.

We did our best to shield you and our other clients from the worst of these rises through 2023 but there still may be slight rises in our own fees through 2024 to compensate.

New improvements

We've been completing some interesting projects recently and some parts could be of benefit to your business. We've listed a few below, but if you have an idea about something else then please feel free to contact us.

Security and Two-factor Authentication

This is something we've been increasingly asked about and is being used more and more often by companies that are serious about keeping their data safe. 

Two-factor Authentication or 2FA offers increased security to everyone who logs into your system. There is a cost for sending an SMS or notification to the second device, but this is usually only a couple of pence. It can offer more security than other factors, such as a memorable code.

We can also link your system login to an existing account, such as your Google, Microsoft or Facebook account. This can improve the speed and ease of access without compromising security, and is best combined with 2FA.

Office 365

We're integrating an increasing number of systems with Office 365 products, this can be two-way integration with Outlook, Calendars or even Sharepoint. It means that your system can send/receive emails, create calendar items, and a lot more.

 

What happens next?

We will contact you about your system to talk through potential security improvements on your system and your own Security Policies for your staff.

There are good standards to check your policy against, Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus. You don't have to pay another company to take you through the questions, but it can be useful to use their advice.

Here's the link to the Gov website: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/cyberessentials/overview

Even just reviewing the "getting ready" section is a handy guide for things to get right within your organisation: https://getreadyforcyberessentials.iasme.co.uk/questions/

Any questions or thoughts?

Please call me or Andy Pegg on 01454 269087 for a chat.

 

Yours faithfully,

Managing Director
Evergreen