Looking for New Opportunities

My latest role as Project Delivery Consultant / 3rd Line Wintel / Infrastructure Systems Support Analyst has ended. I am looking for a role within a max 50 mile radius of Weldon Northamptonshire, to include Bedford, Corby, Milton Keynes, Wellingborough, Northampton, Leicester, Coventry and Peterborough. If you have something that may be of interest please contact me, Kevin Edwards on 01536 738297 www.edwardsnet.co.uk

Chancellor under immediate pressure to stop IR35 changes

The new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has been welcomed into his role by IR35 specialists who immediately advised him to stop the roll-out of IR35 reform on 6th April.

Chancellor must consider global implications 

The threat IR35 reform poses to UK contractors is one thing, but the wider impact of the changes must also be considered by the new Chancellor, explained APSCo’s Bowers: “The UK labour market is currently ranked fourth for competitiveness globally and is one of the best recognised in the world. However, the roll-out of IR35 in the private sector has the potential to not only impact those individuals who have the entrepreneurial spirit to assume the risks and burdens of self-employment, but also those sectors of the economy which rely most heavily on independent contractors, such as banking, pharmaceuticals and technology.”  Kevin Edwards

IR35 Woes affecting Jobs, Business Continuity, and Livelihoods

Impending amendments to the IR35 taxation class are causing grief for genuine contracting/sub-contracting businesses across the UK. I have noticed that very few contract positions are being advertised and it appears this is due to IR35 changes introduced by the HMRC.

So, what’s happened?

It has become apparent that yet again the HMRC has not thought through their latest piece of legislation which will no doubt have a knock-on effect throughout the UK’s business world. Most UK businesses are reliant upon the smooth running of their IT systems with ongoing security assessment and threat prevention being at the forefront of business development. Consultants and other contractors are brought in from the outside in order to provide their expertise and to carry the businesses forward with their projects. New legislation will render these consultant company roles as untenable and as a result will force the closure of many consultant companies, and as a result cause hardship and increased unemployment. A further result of this would be that there are insufficient resources for companies to call upon for their projects and maintenance of their existing systems.

Permanent Employment ‘no option’

One area we have first hand knowledge and experience of is companies taking on permanent staff purely for the purpose of filling a temporary role, subsequently relieving them of their duties after a 3 month period. This of course is unethical but nonetheless has happened, is happening now, and will no doubt become more regular in the near future.

MP’s responses …

I contacted our MP for Corby Tom Pursglove several days ago and eventually had a response to say that he would respond in full in due course. I am still awaiting the outcome of this but will publish when received. I have also contacted Boris Johnson directly about the issues surrounding the tax legislation and the impact upon businesses both in the public and private sectors to include the NHS who do employ a vast number of contract staff, and guess what? I have received no response from Boris whatsoever. Obviously if I do get a response I shall also publish it here.

Perks of being a contractor

It seems the new legislation is designed to force contract staff to pay the same amount of tax as a permanent employee and yet without all the perks such as regular employment, paid holiday, training (for which a contractor has to pay for themselves), no attendance permitted to staff meetings, business celebrations, paid bank holidays, or even the works Christmas do!

More as the story unfolds ….



TalkTalk’s poor customer service takes further blow

Internet Giant TalkTalk’s attempts to repair its poor reputation for customer service have suffered a blow after it topped the telecoms watchdog’s table of broadband complaints between July and September last year.

Complaints about the company’s broadband service reached the highest level in 18 months as it shut down a call centre after it discovered employees were scamming customers. TalkTalk grew suspicious in 2014 that workers were stealing customer details to convince them to hand over personal banking information. After concluding an investigation, TalkTalk said it withdrew all customer service operations in August. On Friday it claimed that this had caused “temporary disruption” to its customer care process, and was responsible for the rise in complaints to Ofcom. “That move, and a radical shift to self serve is already delivering a material improvement in customer satisfaction and we expect complaint data for 2018 to reduce significantly,” a spokesman said.

TalkTalk has been haunted by a reputation for poor customer service since buying Tiscali UK in 2009. Until the latest set of data, customer satisfaction had appeared to be improving, dropping to second place for broadband complaints between April and June last year. Ofcom’s latest data takes into account the number of customer complaints it has received and found that TalkTalk generated the highest volume per 100,000 customers.


Kevin Edwards

iOS Update will let you stop Apple from slowing down your iPhone

Credit Apple - Kevin Edwards
Credit: Apple

Having apologised and offered replacement batteries at a discount, Apple has now said it will make a major change to iOS to let people disable throttling. Future updates to Apple’s iOS software will include an option to disable throttling on iPhones. The move is Apple’s latest attempt to appease angry users after news broke in December that it had been intentionally slowing down old iPhonnes to maintain battery life. More than 30 lawsuits have been filed in the US and one lawsuit is underway in South Korea. There’s also an official investigation from French prosecutors. Having apologised and offered replacement batteries at a discount, Apple has now said it will make a major change to iOS to let people disable throttling.

More >>>

Kevin Edwards

Firms buy insurance ‘in mad panic’ as cyber-attacks soar

Many firms are panicking as cyber-attacks and regulatory fines threaten profitsMad Panic over Insurance as Cyber-Attacks soar.

With cyber-attacks increasing in frequency and severity, many companies are turning to insurance to cover their mounting losses. But can insurers quantify the risk accurately and could insurance lead to corporate complacency? Many firms feel like they’re under siege. Cyber-attacks are coming thick and fast and the tools at the hackers’ disposal seem to be getting more, not less, powerful.

Estimated annual losses from cyber crime now top $400bn (£291bn), according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies. And the cost in lost productivity of last year’s WannaCry ransomware attack alone was estimated at $4bn.

So many businesses are buying cyber insurance “in a mad panic”, warns Charl van der Walt of SecureData, a cyber-security company.

“Unfortunately this will mean that businesses of all sizes will seek out the minimum cyber-security investment laid out by insurers, government, and regulators, rather than going above and beyond to protect their own, and their customers’, data.”

Ransomware attacks, whereby criminals break in to your network, encrypt all your data, then demand money in return for the decryption key, are particularly virulent. Firms have even been stocking up on Bitcoins – the hackers’ cryptocurrency payment of choice – to pay the ransoms.


IT & Business Consultant in search of new contract

Kevin Edwards, currently seeking new contract opportunities in IT Services / Management arena.

Kevin Edwards - IT & Business Consultant - Seeking new opportunities
Kevin Edwards – IT & Business Consultant

Last role as Consultant IT Manager / 3rd Line Wintel Systems Support has now come to a close. I am looking for a role within a 50 mile radius of Kettering, Northamptonshire, to include Bedford, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Leicester, Peterborough.

Please download my latest CV from http://www.edwardsnet.co.uk/index.php/kevin-edwards-cv/

Thank you

Kevin Edwards

Ransomware Business Cyber-Attack

Ransomware Attack

These kinds of cyber attack are very simple to avoid in business and yet the basics of information security management have been ignored. To get the ball rolling just ask yourself these 2 simple questions:

  • Why is our business critical/sensitive information connected to the internet and is it really necessary?
  • Why are the same computers that are connected to the internet also used to connect to business critical/sensitive data?

Generally speaking the answers to these questions are the root cause of your issues. It’s as simple as that. The answers are pretty much irrelevant because if your business critical data and/or sensitive information is connected to the internet, it shouldn’t be. A prime example of a major security risk here I spotted whilst in A&E recently where I watched a nurse shopping for a new handbag on line using an NHS computer. Ouch! Why do they have internet access anyway … and on a computer used to access patient/sensitive data?

This has become a critical issue and yet one that makes CEO’s and top management within organisations a joke. Simply bacause something in the IT arena is possible does not mean it should be implemented. Just because the top brass say ‘we must do it’ does not mean it should be done. Obviously employees do not generally hold the right to question the managements decisions and so they execute their requests. So, this puts the ball of responsibility farely and squarely at the feet of the top management.

The very basic risk assessments are not being carried out or are being ignored and projects are being executed just because the management say it must be done. I have seen this so very often and it is painful to see. Systems are forced into an organisation often with neolithic incompetence.

So, whilst you are blaming attacks such as this latest Ransomware issue on the ‘criminals’, ultimately as CEO, it’s your fault/responsibility. Furthermore, as CEO ‘exposing’ private sector operational data to the internet, you are offering systems and data to attackers. Should this not be a criminal offense?

In preparation for BREXIT I suggest UK organisations step up their competencies and I don’t mean with qualifications, common sense, otherwise they are preparing to fail BIG time.

www.titanatlas.co.uk www.edwardsnet.co.uk

Complaints prompt Windows 10 update change

Windows 10 update change

Microsoft is to offer “clearer options” for users upgrading – or not – to Windows 10. The move comes following months of criticism that Windows 10 was being forced upon users using what has been described as a “nasty trick”.

This week, a Seattle woman successfully sued the company for $10,000 over disruption caused by the software installing without, she said, permission. In recent months, in an apparent bid to accelerate adoption of Windows 10, Microsoft altered the way it asked users if they wanted to upgrade. It gave the Windows 10 update “recommended” status, normally reserved for critical security updates.



Seeking new opportunities

I am currently seeking a new contract/opportunity in Business/IT Consultancy. My last role which ended a couple of weeks ago was supporting a Sainsbury’s Bank hosting project providing Wintel Administrative / PCI Compliance functionality for FIS.

Please see my personal website for further details of my skillset at www.edwardsnet.co.uk

If I can help with your IT requirements please contact me through my website.

Thank you

Kevin Edwards

We are finally leaving the EU!

We are finally leaving the EU!

After the long debates and slanderous accusations yesterdays poll displayed an overwhelming majority for the leave campaigners and for Great Britain to leave the EU.
Now Great Britain can once again hold it’s head high and rebuild it’s standing in world leadership of skilled workforces, quality manufacturing, R&D and exports.

Watching TV this morning has demonstrated the poor losers, you know, the ones who wanted to hide behind the EU rather than continue to build our great nation and take it to the heights it reached prior to EU membership and beyond. Remember that status?
Socially I note that there has become quite a large divide between sides but also note that, as throughout the campaign, the Remain supporters have reduced themselves to personal insults, negative connotations, and still lack factual statements to support their beliefs.
Cameron has shot his mouth off again and left himself looking so stupid, but no surprise there. At least he has made it plain that he doesn’t have the backbone of a great leader and hence happy to hide behind our EU membership. We need a proper leader and one who is united with what the people of Great Britain want and need.

Piers Morgan is in a strop this morning because we are leaving the EU. He is being his usual rude self and displaying a level of ignorance I hadn’t expected from him. At the end of the day he is an interviewer only. A good very good one, but just an interviewer. He is not an authority on politics and is certainly not the voice of the people although somehow he seems to think he is. Delusions I believe it’s called.

So, what does this all mean for you and your business?

Despite all the scaremongering that is still going on, nothing has changed at all. well, except for the strength of the pound against the dollar but that was to be expected anyway, and this also demonstrates that the markets and so called statisticians along with the economists, have absolutely no idea of what is going on in this country as they do not listen to what people have to say, hence they made a blunder by hedging their bets on ‘Remain’. Idiots! … and we let these people run our markets? Hmmmm.

Trade will continue as per yesterday ….

… and into the foreseeable future. But make no mistake, things will change and that is what we voted for. As a business owner in this country, it is our responsibility to make our businesses thrive on this move and get us back to where we were prior to EU membership.
So, how do we do this? If you are young enough to not remember our country prior to EU membership it may be worth having a read. Discover the industries that we had, discover these industries with a view to replicating them and couple those successes with the technological advances available to businesses now and you are heading for success. If you are ‘young’ enough to remember what we had in Great Britain, you should already be doing those things and have a thriving business independantly from the EU and not reliant upon EU membership.
There is a huge requirement for business development in Great Britain. This was evident prior to todays result. It is well worth investing in professionals to guide your business forwards, make your business visible and stop hiding behind the EU wall.


Certainly not. What kind of accusation is that, and based on what? Great Britain has a responsibility to British people. By the way, British people does not discriminate by colour or anything else. We all live here, we pay our taxes, and we have a right to control our borders the way we see fit. I personally employ people from other nations. I employ them for their skills and expertise. They name their price and I build that into the cost of my services. That is what we should do I believe. We should not however let everyone into this country under the pretense that we will provide for them unconditionally. We have to be able to control this aspect.

However you may slag me off for my beliefs, we are leaving the EU so get used to it, accept it, embrace it, and build your lives and businesses accordingly. You should be doing this anyway. If you need help to restructure your business to accommodate change etc. Please contact me.

Together we will make Great Britain GREAT again!

The simple truth is, if you are going to wallow in pity (or shame) and not develop and adapt to life changes, you may as well hang up your hat and coat and step away from commerce at least. Ouch ….  but it is true.

Kevin Edwards

Brexit or Not? … Having my say

23rd June is getting nearer and it is begging your vote, but which way are you going to go?

If you are worried about your business success if we exit the EU, you have to ask yourself why? Why worry? If you have done what it takes to maximise your strengths then you should not have to worry about anything. Leaving the EU will certainly not have a negative impact on future trade within the EU. If you are supplying what the EU wants they will continue to trade with us. Other members of the EU want us to remain purely because we plough endless funds into the pot thus helping out other countries to the detriment of the UK people’s hard earned finances.

We do not have a say in how much we put into the EU nor do we have a say in what we get out of it. David Cameron continues to scaremonger over future trade and employment within the UK should we leave, and yet all throughout the campaign he has failed to provide anything whatsoever to substantiate his negative claims. I do not believe that David Cameron should be permitted to comment on whether we remain or leave. He is biased, and should we leave the EU his heart will not be in the reform of Great Britain. He will harp on about ‘if we had stayed in the EU’ and so on.

The UK WILL prosper from leaving the EU….

…. not just by saving the monies we put into the system, but it gives us the opportunity to put the GREAT back into GREAT BRITAIN by encouraging us to rebuild our industries, NHS, and our country. Nothing but good will come from leaving the EU. I don’t personally believe tough times will be ahead should we leave, more so if we remain we will suffer long term and the evidence is clear on that. We need to stand on our own feet and recover what we have given away all these years. The EU members want us to remain. I wonder why!

I never thought Boris had it in him, but I have to say that his arguments for leaving the EU far outweigh the reasons to remain. You know what the benefits are of leaving the EU, it has been made perfectly clear and with evidence. Ask yourself one question … What reasons are there to remain, and I mean based on facts? It is a no brainer. Businesses and Great Britain WILL prosper from leaving the EU.

I won’t hold back, I vote to leave the EU on 23rd June 2016

Kevin Edwards