JT helps Autism Guernsey expand its coding club

More young people on the autistic spectrum in Guernsey will have the opportunity to learn about computer coding following a donation by JT to Autism Guernsey.

The donation of 5 laptops and 5 Spheros (mini coding robots) from JT will make a huge difference to the Coding Club run by the charity. This welcome addition allows children who don’t own a laptop to take part and has meant five more people have been able to join the course.

Working with Spheros encourages exploration, imagination, and perseverance using computer science. They help to empower people of all abilities to discover their interests and passions.

Pip Carpenter, Head of Commercial Market at JT, said: “The Coding Club gives young autistic people the chance to learn in a stress-free environment. I’ve loved hearing about how some of the children come back to help new group members, providing a sense of purpose that is so important for self-esteem, confidence and motivation. We’re really pleased to be able to give another group of people the chance to take part in the Club, these education kits are brilliant for teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) subjects by creating activities that help put all they have learned about coding into practice.”

Martine White, Wellbeing and Enablement facilitator, from Autism Guernsey, added: “The Children’s Coding Club is often the only social activity that many of the young people we help engage in. Anxiety makes it very difficult for a lot of our young people to participate in group activities, but coding works well because the experience is completely structured from the second they arrive to the moment that they leave. They are focusing on set tasks which takes the emphasis away from social engagement. It means that the engagement that they do experience within the group is based on sharing a common interest and intention. It takes the mystery out of socialising and is a much more comfortable environment. They are all very interested in computers, gaming and coding, and are so excited about the Spheros, we are very grateful to our partner JT for taking our learning to a new level.”

Les Quennevais welcomes the leaders of the future – meet the class of 2027

Later this week Les Quennevais School will host a two day transition programme for the largest cohort of new students they’ve ever had.

For over five years JT has partnered with the school to support Year 6 pupils as they experience a taste of life at the state of the art school, seeing for themselves where the next step on their learning journey could take them. The aim of the two day experience is to overcome those first day nerves for pupils, making sure they are familiar and happy with their new surroundings and the new faces that will greet them.

Pip Carpenter, Head of Commercial Market said: “When we started working with Les Quennevais School, we made a long-term commitment to support its students and teachers. At JT, we are genuinely passionate about nurturing the next generation. One of our ambitions, and a big part of our Sustainability Strategy, is to champion and support digital education and inclusion projects for everyone.

Technology has introduced revolutionary changes in all areas of our lives, from communication to the entertainment industry, but most especially in education. We believe that it’s really important our young people learn to harness all the potential of digital technology while still at school, and at Les Quennevais they are lucky to have that opportunity.’’

Over the summer, the Year 6 leavers will be asked to work on a project set by the Assistant Headteacher, Pete Jones. Students have the option to use a wide range of technology in their final project. This can be using digital photography, coding, animation or videos to present their work.

Sarah Hague, Headteacher of Les Quennevais School, added: “Transition to secondary school is such an important rite of passage. It opens doors and prepares students for the next stage of their school journey. I hope that this intake of students will come away from their transition days feeling excited as they embark on the next chapter in their lives. I am delighted that JT continue to support our future students who will be joining hundreds of other amazing young people, all making the most of the excellent facilities and teaching we have in our school.

We have a full programme of activities and experiences planned for their introduction to the school which I hope will be memorable, useful and fulfilling. I’m also hoping it will fuel them with inspiration that they can then use on their summer project.”

Ransomware Considerations for Microsoft 365

Paul Gray
Portfolio Manager, JT Enterprise

Most of us are familiar with Microsoft 365 (M365), an ecosystem that includes an entire workplace suite of applications such as; collaboration tools, email, cloud storage and much more. As attacks continue to plague businesses of all sizes, it’s not only natural to ask where the risks might lie within M365, but also prudent.

If you use M365 and don’t understand or take advantage of the security tools within this ecosystem, your business runs the risk of being exposed to ransomware attacks. The bottom line with ransomware today is that you will be targeted, regardless of your size or turnover, it’s a matter of when not if. Jump straight to our tips for prevention.

In this piece we look at some of the areas in M365 that cyber criminals could gain access to, and some ransomware prevention steps to improve the security status of your M365.

M365 Ransomware Threat Surface

Phishing emails

Cyber criminals craft and send very convincing emails that can get even the most vigilant of users to disclose their application login information, or inadvertently download malicious files as attachments. These phishing emails are one of the ways attacks can infiltrate a network and without sufficient controls in place, can result in a damaging ransomware attack.

Directory Synchronisation  

It’s common for a company to synchronise Active Directory accounts to their Office 365 tenancy, which will include their administrator accounts.

If an administrator gets phished, the attacker will gain admin access to your M365 or Azure instance, meaning they can delete, exfiltrate or encrypt your data and demand a ransom.

Make sure privileged accounts can’t be abused, and make sure you have the relevant alerts turned on for all admin-level functions. This is available within the product when set-up correctly.

SharePoint Online   

When one local machine gets infected by ransomware, it’s not good, but it’s not game over. The real headaches begin when ransomware infects multiple hosts through lateral movement, eventually leading to a complete business shutdown.

An attacker could compromise a single local workstation and upload a malicious file to SharePoint. If users interact with this file, perhaps as an attachment to an email or a link shared within Teams, more and more workstations become infected and ransomware begins to take hold.

M365 Ransomware Prevention Tips

However, it’s not all bad news, with guidance from JT’s experts we can help. Thankfully M365 has built-in tools to protect against ransomware, but it’s important to know how to configure them to suit your business.

Here are some tips you can implement to help prevent ransomware attacks through M365:

Protect endpoints with detection and response (EDR) software: End-user devices, such as laptops, must be protected with a dedicated EDR solution. Embedded within M365 is Windows Defender, which uses an AI-driven approach to detect anomalies that could indicate a compromise.

Restrict access rights: This security principle helps protect
against a situation where someone compromises an account with excessive privileges and manages to propagate ransomware throughout your network.

Use Multifactor Authentication: Users are the weakest link in your company’s security defences, so you need to protect them with authentication controls. MFA requests an additional layer of verification beyond a user’s login credentials before letting people log in or perform specific actions.

Implement conditional access: Conditional access lets you set controls that only allow access from trusted IP ranges or specific countries. If your people are based in four countries, a login attempt from a new part of the world would be blocked.

Backup your M365 data: As outlined in our blog on SaaS backup, Microsoft operates a shared responsibility model, which means they guarantee the uptime of your platform but are not responsible for your data – this is for you to back-up and manage. Backing up M365 is available through third-party providers.

Take action today

At JT, we offer a range of modern workplace solutions that can improve your M365 ransomware defences:

  • Our JT Cloud Backup solution, delivered in partnership with Ekco, keeps your data safe and ensures its easily recoverable.
  • We also provide JT Managed Cybersecurity Services, under our JT Cyber Advisory, Protection and Prevention framework to protect and secure your business-critical information.

To learn more about using JT Cloud Backup for backing up your Microsoft Office 365 data, and to claim our 30% off + FREE setup offer get in touch with our team using the form below:

** Subject to terms and conditions and a minimum term commitment.

How Mitel’s MiCloud Flex improves team collaboration

Grant Stephens
Product Manager - Cloud & Collaboration Services

As technology advances it is revolutionising how we work, live and learn. One of the biggest adoptions over the last two years has been hybrid working. Born out of need, this flexible approach allows employees to split their time between working in the office and working from home and is fast becoming the standard way of working across the globe.

However, this newfound freedom in where and how we work has presented a new series of problems for businesses. How can companies ensure effective communication and collaboration among teams, when their employees are across the country or even the world?

Unified Communications with MiCloud Flex

Unified Communications with MiCloud Flex 

We’re seeing a new surge of technology-driven communication tools allowing you to connect on any device, seamlessly — from messaging applications to video conferencing solutions, and everything in between.

The sheer volume of solutions and tools now available can be truly overwhelming for even the most competent worker or IT team, not to mention managing, logging into and being contactable across multiple platforms.

What is Unified Communications?

Unified Comms facilitates the flow of communication among devices and personnel, by combining or integrating multiple functionalities into one platform, which eases the burden of managing separate tools individually.

By combining or integrating multiple functionalities into one platform, Unified Comms facilitates the flow of communication among devices and personnel, easing the burden of managing these separate tools individually.

Unified Communications traditionally relied on a complicated network of hardware and cables, which was often costly for larger organisations.

How do you overcome this? Take your unified comms into the Cloud with MiCloud Flex.

MiCloud Flex delivers exactly the same capabilities that you would expect from a traditional telephony system, but without the purchase or maintenance costs of the associated hardware. By combining IM, VC and other now essential team communication features — this system provides unbeatable value for large organisational teams.

The benefits of Mitel Flex for large business teams

Built on Google’s Cloud infrastructure — yes, that very same framework that Google uses to service over one billion users a day — MiCloud Flex utilises Voice over the Internet Protocols (VoIP) to transfer calls and deliver information safely and securely.

What does that mean for the average business? In short, teams of any size are now free to choose where and how they work, and MiCloud Flex’s suite of Cloud Voice services will help foster collaboration.

Here’s just some of the ways that MiCloud Flex can help teams work better together:

Caters to multi-office environments

With MiCloud Flex, users are free to enjoy the same communications experience anywhere, at any time, and on any device.

Because all of the Mitel Flex services run from a single app — and information is stored virtually — communication and collaboration remain seamless, regardless of where your team chooses to work from on any particular day. It's as easy to schedule and host a meeting between colleagues from home as it is in the office.

All applications feature the same advanced security protection, helping sensitive data remain safe, even when your team is not on site.

Collaborate smarter

MiCloud Flex boasts an extensive and robust feature set, fulfilling the collaboration requirements that are essential to your business (and even some that you may not have considered).

With Mitel, communication is instant. Whether instant messaging, making calls or organising a team-wide video conference, it’s simply a case of choosing who you wish to speak to and by what means. Visual voicemails, an attendant console and presence-based awareness also contributes to a market-leading Unified Comms solution.

Maximum flexibility and scale

With MiCloud Flex, your organisation receives dedicated hosting via Google’s secure Cloud data centres. This means your company is free to create its own bespoke communications environment, without the complexity or responsibility of managing it yourself.

What’s more, you can have full control over upgrades and maintenance, or opt for a managed service; either way, your communications can grow with your business needs.

Transitioning your teams to Mitel’s MiCloud Flex

JT has been a Mitel Platinum partner since 2020, the only telecoms company in the Channel Islands to have reached their highest accreditation available.

As the leading provider for Mitel MiCloud Flex, JT has proven experience delivering communication solutions for varied business sizes, bespoke to a variety of requirements. Also supplying, where required, a suite of intelligent Mitel video and audio hardware, we can ensure a complete, collaborative experience in and out of the office for your teams.

For a demonstration of Mitel Flex’s capabilities, or to get started using the service, contact the JT Enterprise Team today.

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Sark test bed for solar powered mobile network

JT has installed six solar panels on Little Sark as part of a trial to see whether further mobile sites in the Channel Islands can be powered by renewable energy.

The panels, which were installed by the Little Green Energy Company, will maintain the batteries that power the antenna which provides JT’s mobile phone coverage in Little Sark. If successful, this model could be used at other JT sites across the Channel Islands, meeting JT’s commitment to reduce the company’s reliance on power from the grid.

Joseph Donnovan, Private Circuit Project Manager, said: “Operating in Sark provides its own challenges, so it’s the perfect place for JT to test equipment that needs to work with minimal intervention and maintenance. This trial will provide an opportunity for our engineers to gauge how well our network will handle calls and data using 100% renewable energy. The mobile site will use the electricity grid to provide the initial charge of the batteries, but after that, it’s the power of the sun that will keep those charged up and working, day and night.’’

Six panels have been set up next to the small mobile radio site, using kit specially designed to run in remote areas that are not connected to the grid. If the trial is a success, it is hoped that more of JT’s equipment and infrastructure can be transferred to sustainable sources of power.

Tom Noel, Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, added: “We have set out to make significant reductions in the amount of carbon emissions our activities generate. Everything we do, from decisions made by JT’s Board to the vehicles our engineers drive, must fit into the strategic goals we have set to become carbon neutral. Our renewable energy initiatives will make a real difference and we are proud to be backing this project in Sark to reduce emissions and our carbon footprint. We’re really hoping that during the summer it will run 100% of the time on solar power, providing a greener way to run our network in Sark.”