At Rise we are truly lucky to be immersed within a community of experts. Each individual has their own talent, opinion and knowledge. We decided that instead of writing what we thought of the world and the industries we all work in, why don’t we ask them?

This has part of our series of Q&A style articles that we hope will inspire you, educate you, and or empower you.

Gordon Fong – Co-Owner of Kimcell Ltd.

 

We spoke with Gordon Fong the Co-Owner of Kimcell Ltd about hosting, servicing and the security of your networks.

 

 

RISE: What is your name and your role?

Gordon: Gordon Fong and I’m a co-owner of Kimcell Ltd as well as director of other X-Net consultancy businesses.

 

RISE: Tell us more about Datacenta Hosting?

Gordon: Datacenta is a Managed Hosting Provider that works with local businesses and government agencies.

Whilst we provide most things when you think of a traditional Internet Service Provider (ISP), such as ADSL lines, domain name registration, email hosting and web hosting, we actually focus on businesses that want to work actively with a technical partner. Datacenta takes on the routine management of their servers and applications 24 hours a day, so they are freed up to work on their business.

 

RISE: What should someone look for in a web host i.e. reliability, speed, storage, clarity?

Gordon: It comes down to getting the realistic level of service for what your business really needs. We are all different, but very few of us reading this are Amazon and have that level of budget. Nobody should be oversold to though. Are you happy to deal with a web portal, or do you want to talk to real people?

I know that was not a technical answer to the question, but service means a lot more. Competing in the commodity space is not for me.

 

RISE: What do you see as the main difference for a company that is driven purely by price i.e. happy to pay £50 a year on hosting, as opposed to company that is looking for a much more robust hosting solution?

Gordon: The value of the website and sales that it might bring has to be proportionate to the service spend.

If it is there to provide some contact details, then you don’t need to spend a lot as your Google Business listing will give that if all else fails. You’ve got your Google Business listing, right?

If it is a full e-commerce website that is pulling in tens of thousands of pounds per month, then even paying a few hundred pounds per year hosting doesn’t match the importance of it to the business.

Things fail. Google fails, Amazon fails, Facebook fails, there is a risk of failure no matter how large that business is. Microsoft’s Azure platform failed that then took out a load of high-profile websites.

With that in mind, be prepared, have options with different suppliers.

 

RISE: How do you look at website security today? Do you see the UK in a vulnerable space?

Gordon: I don’t see the UK as especially different to anywhere else. I will say that security is an on-going process and needs continual attention just like updates your desktop computer or your smartphone. Don’t assume when you have taken delivery of a website or have set it up yourself then that is it.

Installing an SSL Certificate so you get a nice green padlock when visiting your WordPress website makes it no more secure if you have left a load of old plugins around that you were trialling but decided not to use. That padlock counts for nothing if your admin password is weak or the software is out of date.

Someone has to spend the time to sign up to and read the alerts from the software suppliers that form part of your system. If there is an update, you need to take a backup, apply the update, test it and accept it or rollback if there is an issue. Either you do it, your website supplier does it, or your managed hosting provider does it but there is a time and cost associated with that.

A plain web hosting provider will rent out some infrastructure space but will not know what you do with it or care less, unless it impacts other customers.

 

RISE: If there is a website that is behaving slowly and loading takes a long time, how much could be down to where it is hosted?

Gordon: It could certainly be down to the hosting infrastructure. If you are on a shared server with tens or hundreds of other customers, then you take your chances and hope they don’t have busy websites at the same time.

It could be that you pay for a guaranteed level of network traffic and computing resources. Or, it could be something with your website application and plugins playing up.

I’ve had instances where one of our own websites was slow at returning pages. We rewrote a database query in a different way and that improved things massively. It’s easy to blame the hardware or throw more CPU at a problem but it’s just as common that developers make mistakes or have room for improvement.

 

RISE: What is your one tip you would give to a growing company who is looking at a hosting company that is more than just paying a monthly fee to a place they have no idea where they are being hosted?

Gordon: I would say consider what your increasing needs might be as you grow and consider who is going to manage that. It might be someone in-house who performs a pick-and-mix from the Internet every couple of years, or do you want to build a relationship with a supplier that you can have a conversation with, who will gain intimate knowledge of your business and systems, who can then propose more efficient and more cost effective approaches.

 

RISE: What would your advice be to anyone looking to get into the technology industry like you have?

Gordon: There are plenty of free online services that you can use to create websites and online services. Do it for a personal project or local community that you are part of. Learn some things along the way, no doubt you will make a few mistakes along the way. That all adds to your back story in your job interview.

At Rise we are truly lucky to be immersed within a community of experts. Each individual has their own talent, opinion and knowledge. We decided that instead of writing what we thought of the world and the industries we all work in, why don’t we ask them?

This has part of our series of Q&A style articles that we hope will inspire you, educate you, and or empower you.

raina summerson CEO
Raina Summerson, Agincare Group CEO

 

 

We spoke with Raina Summerson the Group CEO at Agincare UK about the care industry, the highs, the lows and moving through the ranks.

 

 

 

 

RISE: What is your title and could you give us a short summary of what your day to day looks like at Agincare?

Raina: Group Chief Executive – covering all businesses within the group of Agincare companies. Due to the number of and diversity of services we provide, no two days are the same really but essentially my days will cover: looking at current business, considering where we are against budgeted and planned performance and looking to future business development. This activity is all set in the context of our vision, mission and values that underpin the business plan and core objectives. All of it involves a lot of liaison with people inside the business and external partners, such as local authorities, the NHS, our teams and other partners. Also, due to our national presence and scope of business, linking in with regional and national policy work in the sector, for example with professional associations, other large providers and organisations such as the Department of Health and Social Care, Skills for Care, Association of Directors of Social Services and the Local Government Association.

RISE: What do you love most about your job?

Raina: The purpose, the people and the variety. Above all the fact that what Agincare and our teams do makes a real difference to peoples’ lives at critical times and the fact that I get to support and influence that and the wider sector in some way. Also, the feeling of satisfaction of being part of a fantastic team building an increasingly successful and sustainable business that gives employment, development, networks and a sense of place and friendship to around 4,000 people. Small moments of interaction with people who use our services or on talking with our teams are often the highlights of my week.

RISE: How did you get to where you are today?

Raina: I started as a frontline care worker when I was 19, working in a variety of roles covering hospitals, care homes and community. This led me to work for Social services where I was seconded to do my social work training, which I completed in 1997; following further development in this role and achievement of my MA in the evenings, I became a social care regulator for what is now the Care Quality Commission. In 2004, I had the opportunity to join a small but growing family business – Agincare – and the rest is history!

RISE: What is it like working within care? Are there highs and lows?

Raina: I have always been passionate about social care and supporting people, challenging injustice and it’s all I know as a career. There are certainly challenges and resilience is needed both in a personal and business capacity. There is a lot of frustration over the lack of understanding, funding and support of the workforce from government and therefore wider society. Fundamental issues that are causing critical shortfalls in care are simply not addressed and there are consequences that everyone in the sector – workforce and people receiving support services and their families alike – are feeling. That can be hard for people and off-putting. As a care provider or an individual within the sector (in any role), there is a great sense of responsibility. Feeling that you have let anyone down on a personal or professional level, even if not your ‘fault’ is the most difficult part of working in this sector. Offset though by those moments of interaction with people where you can see ‘I/we made a difference’ and the fun, camaraderie and commitment shared in daily work. You can always do something right, do what you do well and always make a difference even within such a difficult system. Overall, I feel amazingly lucky to love what I do and still have such an interest in it after all these years.

RISE: If you were going to give advice to someone that was thinking of starting a career in care, what would you say?

Raina: Go for it and don’t let people put you off! The world is your oyster. There are so many wonderful jobs in the sector, so many different paths for development and something for everyone – values, kindness, compassion and personality are key, the rest might be complex at times but can be learned. Some excel at frontline care work and want to remind providing an essential role there but others develop into team leader, manager roles, head office support roles, nurses, OTs, Social workers or into policy or Directorships. As the current Department of Health and Social Care campaign says ‘every day is different’. People don’t tend to come into it for the glamour or recognition or the money and working conditions, though despite what people believe there are actually many well paid career options in the sector.

So many people hate their jobs, it’s a chore and a way to earn a living. Most people in social care don’t feel that, even though their jobs are tough and they may be tired and want to work different hours or earn more money. If they are still there after a few weeks, they usually love what they do and feel rewarded by it. That’s a great charm of the sector!

RISE: When you made the decision to be a sponsor of the Rock Star Awards (our awards show that celebrates young people across Dorset and Hampshire) this year what was your main reason for this?

Raina: Having attended the last awards, I was blown away by the whole event and stories told. It was a brilliant concept, well organised and a great platform to showcase young people and celebrate what they do – sometimes despite very adverse conditions. This aligned with my own personal and professional experience and awareness of many young people in caring roles doing amazing work or personal caring, who simply get no recognition for this. So, Agincare sponsoring this new ‘Young Carer’ category felt right for us, for the Rock Star Awards and to help raise awareness of care and the stories of caring that are around us all every day.

At Rise we are truly lucky to be immersed within a community of experts. Each individual has their own talent, opinion and knowledge. We decided that instead of writing what we thought of the world and the industries we all work in, why don’t we ask them?

This is part of our series of Q&A style articles that we hope will inspire you, educate you, and or empower you.

We asked Jake Moore cyber security expert from ESET Internet Security some questions about keeping informed and getting your company safe whether you are a big or small business.

 

Rise: What is your name, where do you work, and what do you do within your role?

 

Jake: Jake Moore, Security Specialist for ESET Internet Security. I am the spokesman for the company commenting in the national news on a daily occurrence in the field of cyber security.

 

Rise: Can you give me a brief description of Cyber Security?

 

Jake: Wow “brief”?! That’s tough. I would say it’s the imperative requirement to tighten defences on any internet connected device because of the increasing ways in which gremlins get in to try and either steal information, cause havoc, and extort you or all three.  Sadly there is no silver bullet that can do this but with a range of tools to combat it, this risk can be reduced.

 

Rise: Why has there been such a rise in the need for Cyber Security in the last few years?

 

Jake: More and more interaction and human activity now relies on the internet with the ever increasing need for speed when it comes to communications, services and transactions alike. This inevitably means that there will be more vulnerabilities for hackers to take advantage of and compromise. From companies storing confidential data which could potentially be hacked to people using the same passwords for all online accounts, people sadly still need to up their security to stay ahead of the game. It probably feels like there is a new scam or cyber risk in the press on a daily basis and this tends to be because the general public are still slightly behind on the educational requirement to mitigate the threats.

 

Rise: How can we start to take steps to make sure we are safe against safety breaches? Do you have some top tips?

 

Jake: There are some really simple steps we can all take to reduce the chance of getting our own devices or information hacked in to. These steps won’t take you long to set up and once you are used to them, they will actually make your online life easier. Firstly, download a password manager application on your phone and create unique strong passwords for all of your accounts keeping them stored in the manager app. This will save you from most simple hacking breaches. Secondly, implement 2 factor authentication on all applications that hold sensitive information such as your email and social media accounts. All this involves is inputting your mobile number to the application so that when you log in on a new device, it will text you a code to input quickly making it so much more secure as hackers will not have your mobile phone. Even safer is by downloading an authentication app such as Google Authenticator. These generate codes only you can see. And finally I suggest you backup all your data such as photos, music or videos that you could never ever live without. No one wants to experience that feeling of losing those precious moments such as your kids photos or a special holiday should the worst ever happen.  

 

Rise: Do news releases like this mean good news for the industry of Cyber Security? https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-universities-recognised-for-excellence-in-cyber-security-research

 

Jake: Of course good news is excellent when it comes to cyber security. If there is anything that tries to balance out the negative stories we hear and read on a daily basis, then that’s a good thing in my opinion. We are in desperate need to entice new people from all backgrounds (especially more women) into the industry as it has been documented that there still aren’t enough people in the cyber defence world to tackle the ever growing demand.

 

Rise: Are we well equipped for the future with the huge increase in technological advancements? Surely the more tech and digital platforms that are produced the more ways we can be hacked?

 

Jake: We are getting there but it has to be a combined effort and shift in culture to maximise the war on cybercrime. Companies need to understand their own risks and in some cases, employ more people equipped to reduce those threats. Moreover, the public need to understand that burying your head in the sand won’t make the problem go away and in fact, simple cyber security hygiene isn’t too difficult to implement. As soon as people allow computers and cyber awareness training be a part of life, you could potentially eradicate 80% of cybercrime.

 

Rise: What great advancements has there been in terms of security for businesses and your everyday individual?

 

Jake: Simple advancements such as a change in policy, education and verification techniques are the actually the most powerful. Due to the fact that hacking people is far easier than hacking systems, by simply upping staff and the general public in awareness will impact greatly on society. There is still a slight “technophobe” attitude which harpers our future but this is slowly eradicating.

 

Rise: Do you think there is enough public information around Cyber Security so people know how to be safe?

 

Jake: There is a plethora of public information on cyber security. Absolutely tons! However, the issue lies people wanting to access it. If we change the culture or even stigma around the subject then everything will fall into place and we will be a much stronger society when it comes to defending against cyber-attacks.

 

A huge thank you to Jake Moore for being a part of this series and answering all of our questions!

 

If you haven’t seen the first Q&A of this series click here to have a look.