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The Hidden Threat: Protecting Your Business from Phone Hacking

When we hear the term “phone hacking,” our minds often conjure images of tabloid scandals involving celebrities and politicians. However, what often goes unnoticed is the alarming trend of criminals targeting businesses by hacking into their phone systems. The repercussions of such breaches can be financially devastating and even have ties to organised crime and terrorism.

The Reality of Phone Hacking

Criminals exploit vulnerabilities in a company’s network to illegally route calls, often to premium-rate numbers, generating revenue at the expense of the hacked organisation. These attacks frequently occur during off-hours, such as weekends or holidays, to evade detection. The financial impact can be staggering, with affected businesses facing average call charges of £10,000 or more.

High-Profile Cases and International Crime Rings

High profile cases cases over the years have exposed the global reach and sophistication of phone hacking operations. In the United States, an international criminal gang illegally routed calls through over 2,500 PBX systems, resulting in losses to the affected companies of $55 million. Even institutions like New Scotland Yard have fallen victim to these attacks, highlighting the indiscriminate nature of the threat.

Legal and Financial Implications

Many businesses are unaware of their liability for charges incurred during these hacks. Reclaiming stolen funds can be a lengthy and arduous process, further exacerbating the financial strain on affected organisations. It’s imperative for victims to report incidents to the authorities, including regulatory bodies like Ofcom and Phonepay Plus.

Mitigating the Risk

While the threat of phone hacking looms large, there are proactive steps businesses can take to reduce their vulnerability:

  1. Strengthen Security Measures: Implement robust password protection for all network access points, including voicemail services. Regularly update passwords and avoid sharing them among employees.
  2. Utilise Call Barring Features: Evaluate your business’s need for premium-rate or international calls and consider implementing call barring features to restrict unauthorised usage.
  3. Stay Vigilant: Monitor call traffic volumes closely and utilise multi-level monitoring systems that can detect suspicious activity and automatically apply outbound call barring when necessary.

Deep Blue’s Commitment to Security

At Deep Blue, we prioritise the security of our customers’ communications. Through strategic partnerships and advanced monitoring systems, we offer additional layers of protection against phone hacking and other cyber threats. Our dedicated support staff are available to address any concerns and provide tailored solutions to safeguard your business.

Conclusion

Phone hacking poses a significant threat to businesses of all sizes, with potentially devastating financial and legal consequences. By understanding the risks, implementing proactive security measures, and partnering with trusted providers like Deep Blue, businesses can mitigate the threat and safeguard their communications infrastructure. Don’t wait until it’s too late – take action today to protect your business from the hidden dangers of phone hacking.

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Connected Kingdom: 10 Fascinating Facts About the Future of Telecoms in the UK

Introduction:

The world of telecommunications is evolving at a rapid pace. As we look ahead to the future, the UK is poised to embrace a new era of connectivity that promises to revolutionise the way we live, work, and communicate. In this blog post, we’ll explore 10 fascinating facts about the future of telecoms in the UK, shedding light on the exciting developments that lie ahead.

1. 5G Is Here to Stay:

The rollout of 5G networks in the UK is well underway, promising lightning-fast data speeds and reduced latency. With the potential to transform industries like healthcare, transportation, and entertainment, 5G is set to be a game-changer in the telecoms landscape.

2. Rural Connectivity Initiatives:

The UK government has launched ambitious plans to improve connectivity in rural areas. The £5 billion “Project Gigabit” aims to provide high-speed broadband to the hardest-to-reach parts of the country, bridging the digital divide. Did you know Deep Blue have been working with remote and rural communities for many years, using the latest innovations to bring faster connectivity to those who need it?

3. Internet of Things (IoT) Revolution:

The IoT is poised to connect everything from smart homes and cities to industrial machinery. This technology promises increased efficiency, sustainability, and convenience, and the UK is expected to play a pivotal role in its development.

4. Quantum Communication Research:

Cutting-edge research in quantum communication is taking place in the UK. Quantum networks offer unparalleled security, making them ideal for sensitive applications like government communications and financial transactions.

5. Space-Based Telecoms:

The UK government has committed to investing in space-based telecoms infrastructure, including satellite technology. This will enhance global connectivity and provide broadband access to remote regions.

6. Green Telecoms Initiatives:

Sustainability is a growing concern, and the telecoms industry is taking steps to reduce its carbon footprint. The UK is actively exploring green telecoms solutions, such as energy-efficient network infrastructure and renewable energy sources for telecoms.

7. AI-Powered Customer Service:

Artificial intelligence is increasingly being utilised for customer service in the telecoms sector. AI chatbots and virtual assistants are changing customer experiences and support services. will this be for the better though?

8. Enhanced Security Measures:

As cyber threats evolve, so do security measures. The UK is investing in robust cybersecurity infrastructure to protect against data breaches and cyberattacks, safeguarding both individuals and businesses.

9. Telehealth and Remote Work:

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of telehealth and remote work in the UK. These trends are likely to continue, with telecoms playing a crucial role in enabling remote healthcare and flexible working arrangements.

10. 6G on the Horizon:

While 5G is still being deployed, researchers are already working on 6G technology. This next generation of wireless communication promises even faster speeds, more reliable connections, and new applications that we can’t even imagine today.

Conclusion:

The future of telecoms in the UK is a landscape of innovation, connectivity, and transformation. From 5G networks to rural connectivity initiatives, from quantum communication research to space-based telecoms, the UK is embracing a new era of communication and connectivity that will impact every aspect of our lives. As these technologies continue to evolve, it’s an exciting time to be part of the connected kingdom, where the possibilities are limited only by our imagination. Stay tuned for a future where communication knows no bounds, and the UK remains at the forefront of telecoms innovation.

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Embracing the Future: The Benefits of the Upcoming PSTN Switch Off

As technology continues to advance at an unprecedented pace, we find ourselves on the brink of a significant change – the upcoming Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) switch off. This transition marks a crucial step towards a more connected and efficient telecommunications landscape. So let’s explore the benefits of the upcoming PSTN switch off and why embracing this change is essential for the future.

Transition to IP-based Networks:

One of the primary advantages of the PSTN switch off is the transition to Internet Protocol (IP)-based networks. IP technology provides a more versatile and scalable platform, enabling the integration of various communication services into a unified network. This transition not only enhances voice communication but also opens the door to a broader range of multimedia services.

Improved Reliability and Resilience:

IP-based networks offer increased reliability and resilience compared to traditional PSTN infrastructure. With redundant pathways and advanced failover mechanisms, the new networks can better withstand disruptions, ensuring uninterrupted communication even in challenging circumstances.

Cost Efficiency:

The switch to IP-based networks can result in cost savings for both service providers and end-users. Traditional PSTN infrastructure maintenance and upgrades are costly, and the switch to more efficient technologies allows for a reduction in operational expenses. This cost efficiency can translate into more affordable communication services.

Enhanced Flexibility and Features:

IP-based communication systems bring with them a plethora of features and capabilities that were not feasible with the PSTN. From advanced call management options to integrated multimedia services, users can expect a more flexible and feature-rich communication experience. This opens up new possibilities for businesses and individuals alike.

Support for Future Technologies:

The PSTN switch off is a strategic move to align telecommunications infrastructure with the evolving landscape of technology. By embracing IP-based networks, the industry is better positioned to adopt and integrate future technologies seamlessly. This adaptability ensures that our communication systems remain cutting-edge and capable of meeting the demands of tomorrow.

While any significant change may come with challenges, the benefits of the upcoming PSTN switch off far outweigh the drawbacks. Embracing the transition to IP-based networks promises improved reliability, cost efficiency, flexibility, and support for future technologies. As we bid farewell to the era of traditional telephony, we step into a future where communication is not only seamless but also filled with possibilities for innovation and growth.

To look at your options contact Deep Blue on 0333 240 9100.

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Why Switching to FTTP is no longer just an option

The digital clock is ticking! The world as we know it, especially in terms of internet connectivity, is rapidly changing. If you’re still relying on a traditional landline set-up, you need to know: The switch-off is coming, and this isn’t just about upgrading — it’s about staying connected.

FTTP, or Fibre to the Premises, is not just another tech fad. It represents a transformative shift in how we access the internet. Unlike the mixed bag of copper and fibre in traditional set-ups, FTTP provides a pure fibre optic connection directly to your home or office.

Here’s why this is urgent:

The Inevitable Switch-off

It’s not just a rumour. Traditional landline set-ups are being phased out. If you don’t make the move to FTTP, you risk losing your internet connection altogether.

Experience Superior Speed

With FTTP, buffering becomes a forgotten annoyance. Enjoy ultra-fast downloads, seamless streaming, and responsive gaming.

Economical in the Long-Term

Although there might be an initial investment, the maintenance costs of FTTP are significantly lower. Plus, no more spending on speed boosts or add-ons.

Future-Proofing

This isn’t just about keeping up with the times. It’s about ensuring you have a stable and reliable connection for years to come.

Property Value Increase

A direct FTTP connection not only enhances your online experience but also raises your property’s market value.

The switch-off isn’t just a hypothetical future event; it’s a reality we all need to prepare for.

If you’re on a traditional landline, your connectivity is on borrowed time. Reach out to a reputable FTTP provider, understand the migration process, and ensure your uninterrupted digital future.

While change can often feel daunting, this is one change you can’t afford to delay. With the impending switch-off, moving to FTTP isn’t just about superior internet access; it’s about ensuring you remain connected in this digital age. Don’t be left offline. Call our team to discuss your options on 0333 240 9100. Make the proactive switch to FTTP today!

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Full Fibre to help SMEs fulfil their digital potential

As the UK’s small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) adopt more hybrid and flexible ways of working in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is accelerating a move towards cloud-based services like Office 365 and Zoom, a move that also brings with it a greater demand for bandwidth. 

For many businesses however, this currently means putting even greater pressure on their outdated and unreliable copper-based connection, because historically the only other choice available to them has been the leap to a much more costly leased line service that most SMEs are just not able or ready to commit to.

This unenviable choice between poor copper and expensive high-end services has cost businesses valuable time and money, with 38 hours a year on average being lost due to slow or dropped connections…a failure which is costing the UK a whopping £11 billion per annum (or the entire GDP of Mozambique)! 

And the stakes couldn’t be higher, with SMEs making up 99.9% percent of businesses in the UK and accounting for three-fifths of the employment and around half of turnover in the UK private sector, it is their success that is crucial to the country’s economic recovery and long-term success. (Federation of Small Businesses, 2021: https://www.fsb.org.uk/uk-small-business-statistics.html)  

But all is not lost. For SMEs looking for a resilient solution that meets all their connectivity requirements today, but also gives them the foundations to future-proof their business as they look to grow in the future, there is now the option of a Business FTTP service, powered by CityFibre and available via Deep Blue.

The UK’s largest independent digital infrastructure platform is looking to bridge the gap between basic consumer-grade connections and high-end services​.

So why is this service such a game-changer for SMEs: 

  • Incredibly affordable price point 
  • Gigabit-capable, symmetrical speed
  • Quick and easy installation
  • Compared to copper-based services, Full Fibre is less likely to be disturbed once it’s in the ground and doesn’t suffer any variation from poorer weather elements
  • Robust SLAs providing fast response and fix times  
  • Full Fibre service meaning it isn’t impacted by the PSTN switch off in 2025 

If you’re an SME business looking for more information about CityFibre’s Business FTTP product or you simply want to get more help and advice on your connectivity options, please get in touch with us today by email theteam@deepbluetelecom.co.uk or call 0333 240 9100.

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Stop Sell September

Whilst there’s a chance of sounding repetitive, it’s essential to highlight the forthcoming PSTN stop sell. The PSTN, or Public Switched Telephone Network, has served as the backbone of our telephone and broadband connections in the UK for many years. However, its days are numbered, and a transition away from it is on the horizon. Although the complete switch-off won’t occur until 2025, significant changes are just around the corner and these will affect you at the office and at home.

It’s all change

The initial phase of the PSTN switch-off involves the stop sell of services that rely on the network. This means traditional analogue telephone services (landlines) and broadband services like ADSL and FTTC will no longer be available.

You might think, “We’ve heard this all before,” and you’d be right. However, as the PSTN stop sell date approaches, it’s essential to grasp the implications.

No New Sales

For those seeking a new broadband or telephone connection, whether you’re changing providers, renewing your contract, or relocating, you’ll no longer be able to purchase any service that utilises the copper telephone network. This includes standard broadband and fibre to the cabinet options, as well as landline telephone connections.

No Changes

Even if you’re already using copper-based broadband or telephone services, making changes to your existing plan will become impossible. That means no speed upgrades or switching to a different provider. Furthermore, repairs on the copper network will decrease, potentially leaving you without service in case of a significant fault.

What else could be affected?

If you’re relying on services tied to the PSTN, such as connected alarms and CCTV, be prepared for potential disruptions. These services will need to be transitioned to the new all-digital network infrastructure.

Thankfully, service providers like Deep Blue have been diligently working to make the transition from copper services as seamless as possible. Our advanced connections utilise the UK’s fibre network and will keep you connected long after the PSTN is retired. Additionally, you’ll have access to a new form of telephony known as Digital Voice, which leverages VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology for internet-based phone calls.

If you haven’t received information about upgrading your services or want to explore your options further, call our team on 0333 240 9100 and explore Deep Blue’s broadband and Digital Voice pages. Embracing the transition now will ensure you continue to enjoy reliable and up-to-date communication services.

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Openreach announces launch of Optical Spectrum Access

What is Optical Spectrum Access (OSA)?

Optical Spectrum Access (OSA) uses wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) to efficiently send multiple signals along an optical bearer (fibre optic cables and equipment). Each optical signal is given its own wavelength, they are sent through the fibre at the same time before being separated out once they reach the destination. Each wavelength can be configured to carry different data or be allocated to specific tasks.

What Options will be available?

OSA 100G single comes as a symmetrical 100GE option or a 10 channel 10GE option. It has a limited number of product options to make it straight forward and accessible.

OSA Filter Connect gives you direct access to the optical path, allowing you to connect your own wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) equipment using the spare filter ports (OR will still manage at least one wavelength).

What are the benefits of OSA?

Being a dedicated fibre connection it offers low latency, high service quality and high levels of security. It also has the shortest lead time of Openreach’s DWDM products.

Because it is designed and planned to the end users brief you are able to customise with multiple wavelength, chassis and interface options.

The option to have direct access means you can tailor and manage the service to how you use it.

OSA for the Market

Openreach have aimed to price OSA to make it a competitive and viable option as the need for data becomes ever greater.

The launch of products like OSA along with the continued roll out of the full fibre network are going to be essential to allow UK businesses to continue to compete in a global market. Especially as more and more of the things we do rely on data and fast connectivity to underpin them.

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Maximising Sales for Estate Agencies

In the highly competitive real estate industry, estate agencies rely on a dependable telephony system to meet their sales targets effectively. With the fast-paced nature of property transactions, swift and reliable communication is paramount to secure sales. Deep Blue offers comprehensive telephony solutions tailored specifically for estate agencies, empowering them to optimise their operations and maximise profitability.

The Challenge:

Estate agencies face numerous daily pressures, demanding a telephony system that can rise to the occasion. Whether it’s buying, renting, or selling properties, seamless and rapid communication is critical. In a market where potential buyers and tenants are actively searching for properties, missing a call can mean losing a valuable opportunity. Similarly, delayed contact with sellers could result in them choosing a competitor, directly impacting your bottom line. For larger agency networks with multiple offices, centralised call management becomes essential to efficiently handle call plans. Additionally, when multiple office locations are involved, ensuring clients can reach the appropriate office promptly becomes crucial to maintaining a competitive edge. Furthermore, call recording is indispensable in this sector, enabling accurate documentation and avoiding costly delays caused by miscommunication or inaccurate fee quotes. As estate agents are often on the move, attending appointments and viewings, the ability to make and receive calls while remaining mobile is vital for maximising efficiency and securing sales.

Deep Blue Solution:

Deep Blue recognises the unique telephony needs of estate agencies and provides the essential tools to drive success. Our hosted phone system offers the following benefits:

Rapid Call Handling

With our reliable telephony solution, calls are swiftly connected, ensuring no opportunities are missed in the fast-paced real estate market.

Centralised Call Management

For agency networks with multiple offices, our system offers a centralised portal to efficiently manage call plans across all locations, streamlining operations and enhancing coordination.

Efficient Office Routing

Clients can easily reach the appropriate office without delay, facilitating seamless communication and improving customer satisfaction.

Call Recording

Our system includes comprehensive call recording capabilities, enabling accurate documentation of important details and preventing potential errors that could disrupt the buying process and impact profits.

Mobile Flexibility

Estate agents can seamlessly make and receive calls while on the go, maximising productivity and responsiveness.

Deep Blue’s hosted phone system equips estate agencies with the necessary telephony tools to operate successfully in today’s competitive market. By ensuring reliable communication, streamlined operations, and enhanced flexibility, our solution empowers estate agencies to achieve their sales targets and drive growth.

Call the team for more information on 0333 240 9100.

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Ofcom victim of third party Cyber attack

Ofcom has confirmed that they were one of the victims of the cyber attack on MOVEit.

MOVEit provides software for moving sensitive files, such as payroll and banking information. Following the attack, confidential data of several companies that Ofcom regulates, as well as personal information of over 400 of their employees was downloaded.

The attack occurred when MOVEit was breached by hackers exploiting a critical vulnerability in their software.

In a statement, Ofcom said:

A limited amount of information about certain companies we regulate – some of it confidential – along with personal data of 412 Ofcom employees, was downloaded during the attack.

The security of commercially confidential and sensitive personal information provided to Ofcom is taken extremely seriously.

We took immediate action to prevent further use of the MOVEit service and to implement the recommended security measures. We also swiftly alerted all affected Ofcom-regulated companies, and we continue to offer support and assistance to our colleagues.

No Ofcom systems were compromised during the attack.

The attack just goes to highlight that any company, no matter the size or job they do, can fall victim to these kinds of attacks.

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Full fibre rollout – an update from Deep Blue

With technology moving at an unprecedented pace, staying ahead of the curve is vital for businesses to thrive. This is especially true of telecoms, where users demand faster, more reliable, and future-proof services. That’s why Deep Blue are working hard to move our customers onto full fibre and SoGEA broadband.

The PSTN switch off

Openreach has been planning to switch off its legacy network, including the PSTN and ISDN, for some time now. The switch-off is currently scheduled for December 2025, and this means that businesses need to start preparing for the change sooner rather than later.

At Deep Blue, we believe that the switch-off presents an opportunity for businesses to future-proof and get the most from their telecoms. That’s why we’ve been encouraging our customers to make the switch to full fibre and SOGEA services. These services not only offer faster speeds and greater reliability, but are increasingly more cost effective than their legacy counter parts.

What are we doing to assist our customers?

We’ve already moved a number of our customers onto these services, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive; with improved performance and reliability, as well as cost savings. They’ve also appreciated the peace of mind that comes with knowing that they have made the move ahead of the rush as we approach the big switch off.

For those still on ADSL and FTTC we are in the process of contacting sites that can move to start the upgrade process. The next batch of upgrades is booked for the end of May and emails for those we hope to move in June will be going out shortly.

Do you need to do anything?

You do not need to do anything as we will contact you to arrange the migration process, however, if you don’t want to wait and would like to request a move sooner then you can contact a member of the team at theteam@deepbluetelecom.co.uk or on 0333 240 9100.

In Summary

The switch-off of the PSTN and ISDN networks presents a great opportunity for businesses. Full fibre and SOGEA services offer faster speeds, greater reliability, and future-proofing, they can also lead to significant cost savings. At Deep Blue, we’ve already moved a number of our customers onto these services, and we believe that they are the way forward for businesses looking to stay ahead of the curve.