No matter how big or small your business, it is your responsibility to make sure your website is secure. Fear not though! A local caped avenger is here to protect you from online baddies, Wiltshire-based hosting and cloud-computing providers Cloud Heroes is armed with the super powers of clever tech; digital padlocks, website encryption, storage back-up and much more.

From TalkTalk to Ashley Maddison, data security has got to be one of the most scandalous digital crimes. Don’t be fooled into thinking that super-clever-geek hackers are only interested in credit card information. No, a simple web search offers four easy steps to hack any website and get access to your entire address book including email and phone numbers.

And with its track record of going out of its way to engage with both massive companies and startups, not to mention its involvement with the South West tech scene, it’s worth getting to know those who know how to protect your online business.

“We want the web to be a safe place for banking, shopping and browsing alike, regardless of resources”

 

Cloud Heroes has been around for 22 years, and has always been an advocate of a secure, online presence, and over this time has developed some very useful technical capabilities and security measures. These include two-factor authentication – where users are sent a text before login to ensure they are who they say they are – or locking down access to a specific location or computer, and encrypted backups.

cloud heroes tech team

The Cloud Heroes tech team: outside their Trowbridge headquarters

What’s more, if you use its services, Cloud Heroes has just announced, as part of their cyber security policy, it is becoming one of the first companies in the UK to offer free SSL certificates to its hosting customers. SSL certificates ensure all communication between the sites and visitors is encrypted and safe from eavesdropping and protected websites will display a visible padlock in the address bar.

“Smaller businesses can protect their customers online without compromising limited IT budgets”

 

andy grant“It’s an ambitious policy,” director Andy Grant (pictured right) says, “but it will have an enormous effect on our customers, and it means smaller businesses can protect their customers online without compromising limited IT budgets. We want the web to be a safe place for banking, shopping and browsing alike, regardless of resources.”

What’s the cost of being hacked?

Cloud Heroes has seen many cases of websites under siege, and not just in corporate land, small businesses are easily peter wordleyhacked because they become complacent and fall into the little-old-me psychology. The problem with this hands-over-the-eyes approach is explained in Cloud Heroes’ blog written by chief executive officer Peter Wordley (pictured left), ‘Worried about your website? you should be!’ Check out this excerpt: “If the amount of SPAM is very large, then many servers hosted by the service provider can be blacklisted. This can affect hundreds or even thousands of companies, causing massive disruption and significant financial losses. Mary Poppins springs to mind – remember when there was a run on the bank over tuppence? Well this is a similar situation.”

In terms of cost to your company, the clever peeps at Cloud Heroes explain the damage a security breach can cause using the calculation below:

loss to company calculationCloud Heroes calculation: (Yearly turnover/ Number of working days) x Number of days outage

But as Andy explains, “You would be losing £1000 per day for 5 days, on top of the IT hardware and support costs. However, this would not include the loss of faith in your business and potential loss of customers or repeat business.”

Andy Grant and Pete WordleyTo keep up with the fast-moving pace of web security, Andy tells us: “We’ve been keeping an eye on market developments and believe Google’s recent announcements will lead to a greater push towards encrypted website communications, which could have serious consequences for non-secured websites.” This was a driving factor behind their decisions to offer free SSL certificates.

Saved!

One of the most exciting clients the Cloud Heroes team have worked with is Bath-based digital media business Digitalbox and their ContentClick platform. Andy says, “We came in at the very start and supported their massive growth (half a billion monthly hits), and they were recently featured in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100! Supporting such fast growth and being able to scale at short notice is always a challenge, but our infrastructure means we can adapt very quickly to our clients’ needs.”

“The South West has everything you need to run and grow a successful business”

 

Local heroes

With the heart of their operations based in Trowbridge for over 2 decades, they have been involved in the South West tech scene in numerous ways. Andy explains, “We’ve been hosting events for the Bath and Bristol Marketing Network for the last year and we used to hot-desk at The Guild in Bath so we could drop into local events. Last year was our first time at the SPARKies Awards, which we absolutely loved, and we’re working on some exciting plans with Bath College’s Futures at the moment.”

For anyone looking to set-up tech shop in the South West, Cloud Heroes wholly supports the activity in the cluster, “The South West has everything you need to run and grow a successful business, especially within the tech industry. Wherever yCloudheroes at VRWCou turn there’s an incubator, networking opportunity, mentoring scheme or support clinic, and the events in the region are spectacular. We recently sent team members to the VR World Congress, and before that our developers attended the Bristech Conference – both times they’ve returned full of ideas and inspiration and it’s right on our doorstep!”

“Our first Code Club starts in Septembers – if it all goes well we’ll probably be looking to start more clubs in the local area”

 

In keeping with their do-gooding they are starting their first Code Club with local primary schools to encourage more children to code. As Andy explains: “Our first Code Club starts in September and we’re really looking forward to meeting the kids – if it all goes well we’ll probably be looking to start more clubs in the local area.”

Other ways they are giving back to the local area are: working with local charities, Trowbridge in Bloom and Trowbridge Community Area Futures; and actively looking for new ways to do-good through tech, so they’d love businesses to get in touch if they have a great idea and are looking for a partner!

“We see TechSPARK as the perfect place for us to be – right at the heart of Bath and Bristol’s thriving tech community”

 

SPARKies Cloud Heroes team photo2The team generally is very interested in the developing virtual reality industry, in particular the hands-free virtual reality controller VRGO captured their attention. They also give special mention to other tech companies who have caught their eye including meal-deal finder app Wriggle and its achievements, and there is SPARKies winner Open Bionics who develop affordable and open source 3D-printed bionic hands for amputees.

For all these reasons and more, TechSPARK is delighted to announce our partnership with Cloud Heroes who tells us: “We see TechSPARK as the perfect place for us to be – right at the heart of Bath and Bristol’s thriving tech community – where we can connect with others who are passionate about tech and innovation to learn and collaborate.”

Thank you to Cloud Heroes for supporting us, and we urge any business looking to collaborate on innovative tech projects to get in touch with its team. You can hold on to their cape tails as they fly across the South West by following them on Twitter @CloudHeroesUK or on LinkedIn

Natasha Baer