Clearview South March 2014 - Issue 148 - Page 82

businessNEWS APEER GETS Are you Prepared for a 2014 OFF TO CryptoLocker Attack? FLYING START Listers recently endured a cyber attack from the dreaded Last year’s surge in sales continues. Apeer Doors has added a further CNC machine to its rapidly expanding Ballymena production facility, making a total of seven milling machines available for the manufacture of its technologically advanced composite doors. Representing a five figure investment, the new machine is the latest move to support Apeer’s booming order books: the company experienced a phenomenal surge in sales during the second half of 2013 and has enjoyed a flying start to 2014. “The January to March period is traditionally a fairly steady time but the New Year got off to an incredibly busy start,” said Apeer marketing manager Linda Tomb. web virus“CryptoLocker”, also known as “Ransomware”. When Listers staff switched on a computer and the Cryptovirus screen appeared they initially thought it was a joke but then quickly called over the IT expert who immediately recognised what it was, promptly unplugged and disconnected the laptop from the network. This took just over five minutes from laptop on to disconnection but by then the Cryptolocker virus had destroyed 38,200 files and jumped to 11 other computers in the business. How should you prepare your business to stay safe? Firstly ensure that you enforce a companywide policy of NOT opening Email attachments or links from senders that you do not recognise or expect. In Listers case a single individual failed to do this and the virus attacked. Secondly, ensure that you have a secure, offsite backup system updated regularly so that when you’ve destroyed the virus (and that may need professional advice) you can restore any destroyed files from the backup. Listers had this in place and were able to restore the 38,200 files destroyed., GGF Conservatory Association Elects New Chairman “We wouldn’t normally expect to be this busy until nearer Easter so our production managers have been working hard on our lead times and a lot of IT-based procedures have been put in place to further improve our efficiencies.” The growth in business follows the launch last year of Apeer’s latest Diamond Doors and all-new MODO collection. It led to a major recruitment drive with new staff taken on at all levels to support a doubling of production capacity. Said Linda: “Our investment in production capacity remains ongoing. There is an incredibly upbeat feel to the business at the moment and we have a number of exciting new initiatives in the pipeline for 2014.” 82 MAR 2014 The GGF Conservatory Association Members has elected Mark Hanson of Ultraframe as Chairman of the GGF Conservatory Association. In his 18 years at Ultraframe, Mark has been instrumental in the development of the company’s brand to its market leading status today. His appointment comes as the Association continues to lobby on two major campaigns: the “Cut the VAT” campaign aimed at reducing the VAT on home improvements, maintenance and energy efficient glazing from 20% to 5% is gathering real momentum while the other is the removal of the burden imposed on conservatory installation companies by water companies asking for ‘build over’ agreements when homeowners are building over or within 3m of sewage pipes, sewers and lateral drains, following their transfer of ownership to water companies. Mark commented, “The sector faces increasing scrutiny on many issues from the thermal (and in-service) performance of roofing systems to the way retailers sell to the general public. The group’s work is highly collaborative and I look forward to working on initiatives that will bring about improvements for the entire sector.” To read more, visit