How to improve your cyber security and why COVID is not the only virus that could disrupt your business. 

To mark national Safer Internet Day, our Technical Director, Luke Whitelock, shares 5 ways to improve your cyber-security and protect your business. Cybercrime has increased significantly during the pandemic. Whatever your business, you will manage large amounts of information that could be valuable to criminals.   It is crucial you take steps, not only protect your clients’ information, but also to avoid costly downtime if something does go wrong. 

1 – Back up your data.  

Regular and thorough back up of all your data is one of the best and easiest to protect your business in the event of a cyber-security breach.  Make sure you are backing up your data to a cloud-based solution on a regular basis.  Check the back-ups.  If your data is properly backed up and something goes wrong, you can restore lost data.  This is essential for business continuity.  There are some great solutions that can act as a temporary bridge for your business systems in case of a loss of service while things are fixed.  We recommend this to all our customers to minimise any downtime which is both costly and inconvenient.  

– Keeping devices safe  

Make sure that all devices used by your staff, whether personal or work, are kept secure by applying all software updates on a regular basis. This can really help stop attacks on vulnerabilities exploited by criminals or in the event of loss or theft of any devices.  Make sure that all devices used for work are encrypted and compliant with frequent updates applied. 

3 – Restrict access 

Limit the access of employees to your internal data.  By reducing the number of people who have access to company information and files, you limit the risk. Use additional passwords for all confidential data as an extra layer of security to make sure only those who really need to access something can. 

4 – Passwords and 2FA 

You should have a password policy and share it with all your employees. Your password policy should advise all staff use a secure password manager like LastPass. 2 Factor Authentication is another essential tool that should be part of your password policy.  There are many different free APPs which enable 2FA and it’s a simple way to add another layer of protection. 

5 – Avoiding phishing attacks 

Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a huge increase in phishing attacks using both ransomware and malware.  The simplest way to protect against these is to train your staff to spot the attack before it happens. We recommend regular training and testing of your staff.  There are some great tools out there to help businesses do this quickly and regularly.  We even use this on our own staff! 

If you want have a question about being safer with your cyber-security please get in touch with [email protected] or book a chat with one of our team here 

03 Feb 2021

Meet our Apprentice

As part of National Apprenticeship Week 2021, we’d like to introduce you to one of our IQ in IT apprentices.  Meet Blake.  Blake joined IQ in IT in 2019 on our IT support team.  Since he started working with us as an IT apprentice Blake has gained extensive technology skills and is a popular member of our team.  As his confidence grew, Blake showed a natural flair for business development. He has recently started management CMDA degree course at Kingston College. We asked Blake for his thoughts on apprenticeships. 


Tell us about your apprenticeship: 

I am doing a Management Degree CMDA Apprenticeship. It’s a 5-year degree course with lessons at Kingston College.  At the end of the course, I will have a University degree and chartered manager status. I get to combine study with a real jobgaining valuable work experience at the same time as getting my degree qualification. 

Why did you choose an apprenticeship? 

At school the focus was on going to University to get a traditional degree. I knew I wanted to study but was worried about graduating with huge debts and no work experience.  An apprenticeship helps me to gain formal qualifications while learning in a real-world situation, and without any financial worries at the end of the course.  

What do you like about the apprenticeship scheme? 

Being able to put theory into practice in real-life work. have to implement all the things I am learning into my job.  This is much more useful than a normal degree where you only learn the theory of something but don’t get to apply it.  

With an apprenticeship there is no learning lag, we study current things and apply them to real work situations.  If I was doing an ordinary degree course, especially in technology, the technology would have already changed by the time I finished my course.  I love that the course content is current and relevant to my job here and now.  It’s much more interesting and useful than just reading about something. 

What do you most like about your job? 

I love that I am always learning something new, and that no day is ever the same. I enjoy the comradery of being part of a great team, we are always sharing ideas and learn from each other all the time.  I like talking to our customers and helping them understand and fix problems.   

What are the benefits for employers of having an apprentice? 

An apprentice can be moulded to be the exact person you need for your business. An apprentice is always ready to learn.  Companies can make sure they get the right staff training to suit their company and its customers.  An apprentice will have more work experience than someone who has finished a normal degree because they have had to work as well and are good at juggling. 


What advice would you give anyone considering an apprenticeship? 

Don’t be put off by teachers who don’t know much about apprenticeships, do your research about the course and the provider. It’s a great way to learn while you earn and get a proper degree. There are lots of different courses depending on what you want to do. It can be demanding with full-time job and studying, so you need to be careful to not burn yourself out.  


To find out about apprenticeships at Kingston College visit here: 

International Fraud Week, November 16-21, 2020 

Why you need to act against cybercrime during the COVID pandemic 


It’s International #fraudweek! Why does it matter? There has been a massive acceleration in cyber-crime since the start of the COVID pandemic, with a 660% increase in March alone according to the Office for National Statistics.  The nature of these cyber-attacks varies, but there are increasing trends in email hacking leading to serious invoicing fraud. Ransomware attacks, phishing and data breaches are also increasingly common resulting in costly downtime. 

With fast-paced changes in workplaces and more staff working from home, cyber-criminals are exploiting vulnerabilities created by the situation.  The increased risk to business is a real and serious threat.  Cyber-attacks can cause both data and financial loss for organisations already impacted by COVID.   

So, what can you do prevent yourself becoming a victim to cyber-fraud? Having a security plan in place to protect your company and employees from cyber-crime is essential.  The most cost-effective way to deal with fraud is to prevent it!  

As a business, knowing where to start can be daunting. IQ in IT uses and recommends cyber-security training tool to train all your employees what to look for.  We use it for our own staff as well. 

Our training platform offers comprehensive and ongoing training for all your staff.  There are quizzes, cartoons, graphics, downloads and even comedy shows to engage your staff in learning.  The platform is fully interactive, allowing managers to track staff engagement, identify risk and any further training needs.   

At IQ in IT, we set this up for our clients and work with you to understand any identified risks and make suggestions on actions you can take to protect yourself.  Avoid becoming a statistic.  

Book your fraud health check up here:

or give us a call on 0330 1224 420 

You might also like to see our free webinar explaining all about cyber-crime and simple steps you can take to prevent it. 






Kat DamcovaFounder and Managing Director of IQ in IT, has been elected President for the Kingston Chamber of Commerce. 

The Chamber is a local business support organisation, IQ in IT have been active members since 2011. Kat was elected to the Board of Directors in 2015 and is a passionate advocate of supporting the local business community. 

Kat was elected as President at the Chamber’s summer AGM.  She is the first president to be elected virtually and during a national lockdown!  Her role as President is to support and represent the Chamber at events and meetings with local stakeholders and partners across the business community. 

On being elected President Kat says: 

“I am thrilled to be President and be able to help the local business community.  With so much economic uncertainty, it is a challenging time for many companies.  I am looking forward to supporting the Chamber and its members in my year as President.” 

“I joined the chamber for networking but have made friends as well as clients.  I’ve gained so much support from other local businesses and this is my opportunity to give something back.” 

To mark her presidency Kat gave a short interview to the Chamber which you can see here: