With rapid digital advancements, it’s no surprise that threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated and persuasive. Due to this, cyber security must be a top priority for businesses and organisations worldwide. Among the various techniques employed to fortify defences, Honeypotting presents a powerful cyber security strategy to safeguard IT infrastructure. Read on to learn more about Honeypotting and its role in preventing cyber attacks.

Understanding Honeypotting

Honeypotting is a proactive cyber security technique that involves setting up decoy servers or systems within your organisation’s existing network to mimic vulnerable resources or systems that would present as a target. These simulated targets, known as honeypots, imitate vulnerabilities within real assets, such as your servers or databases. However, they have no legitimate purpose other than to attract the attacker and deter them from their intended target.

Types of Honeypots

Email, Malware, Database and Spider represent the core types of honeypots, each designed to mirror types of cyber threats and gather information on them. Each type of honeypot serves a specific purpose and should be implemented depending on the required objective:

Production Honeypots

Production honeypots are deployed alongside an organisation’s genuine production systems to monitor and detect ongoing attacks against critical assets. These honeypots function as decoys, diverting the attention of cyber attackers away from legitimate targets.

Research Honeypots

Research honeypots are used for analysing attacker activity, enabling them to enhance protection measures against such threats. They can also unveil hidden vulnerabilities in software systems that would otherwise remain undetected.

High-Interaction Honeypots

High-interaction honeypots offer a detailed environment for the attacker and are designed to lure them in for long periods of time, making them suitable for in-depth analysis. These honeypots often provide different layers of databases and processes for the attacker to penetrate, allowing administrators to observe the attackers intentions, preferred information, and methods behind acquiring it.

Low-Interaction Honeypots

Low-interaction honeypots provide limited interaction with attackers and function to gather fundamental information on the attacker and threat.

A business laptop that is secured from cyber attacks

How Honeypotting Protects Against Cyber Attacks

Honeypotting provides invaluable cyber security insights into the evolving threat landscape, enabling organisations to fortify their cyber security defences effectively. Further advantages of honeypotting include:

Early Detection

Honeypots act as early warning systems by attracting attackers and signalling a potential security threat when an attacker interacts with a honeypot. This early detection enables your security team to respond swiftly.

Information Gathering

Honeypots capture valuable information about attack methods, tools, intentions and even the identity of the attacker. This data helps cyber security professionals understand evolving threats and fortify their defences accordingly.

Diversion Tactics

By drawing attackers away from your actual production systems, honeypots can divert their attention and protect your critical assets. Attackers may invest time and resources in attempting to compromise the decoy, reducing the risk to your genuine infrastructure.


Honeypots create a sense of uncertainty for attackers. They cannot distinguish between real and fake assets, which makes them more cautious and potentially less effective in their attacks.

Training and Research

Security professionals can use honeypots to enhance their skills and conduct research on emerging threats. By analysing honeypot data, they can develop effective countermeasures and stay ahead of cyber adversaries.


Is Honeypotting a Common Cyber Security Defence in the IT Industry?

Honeypots offer a variety of benefits, encompassing cost-efficiency, data collection, insight into internal processes and performance, and improved reliability in cyber security detection.

Honeypotting as a cyber security strategy has accumulated increasing attention and adoption within the IT industry as organisations recognise its value in bolstering cyber defences. While its prevalence varies among companies and sectors, many forward-thinking organisations have embraced honeypots as a proactive cyber security measure. By deploying honeypots as part of your security strategy, you can enhance your readiness to defend against malicious actors in an ever-changing digital landscape.


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At Croft, we’re committed to partnering with businesses to strengthen their defences and protect them from cyber security risks. Read our guide to cyber security for SMEs to learn more, or contact us to discover our range of cyber detection and response services.

In today’s digitally dominated era, it’s impossible to separate technology from business. If you’re looking to grow your business and maintain a competitive edge, you need to ensure that your IT strategies are not just functional, but also in perfect alignment with your overarching business goals. A well-designed IT strategy doesn’t just prevent IT mishaps or protect against cyber security threats – it’s a foundational pillar that can drive business growth, improve efficiencies, and optimise costs. 

Read on to learn about what makes a robust IT strategy and how it can be perfectly aligned with your team and business objectives.

What is an IT Strategy?

An IT strategy is a comprehensive plan that outlines how technology will support and drive the business goals of an organisation. It encompasses decisions related to the deployment, management, and optimisation of IT resources, including hardware, software, data, and human resources. 

A well-crafted IT strategy goes beyond just tech procurement; it delves into how technology will be used to solve your business challenges, tap into new market opportunities, and deliver value to your customers.

Writing on paper between two laptops

Why is a Robust IT Strategy Crucial?

As technological innovations continue to emerge, businesses face a dual challenge: keeping up with the latest tech trends while ensuring that these technologies bring real value to their operations, teams and customers.

Competitive Advantage

Technology can help businesses scale up, reach more customers, and improve their product or service delivery. When your IT strategy is aligned with your business objectives, you can streamline your operations and surpass competitors who might still be grappling with outdated systems.

Operational Efficiency

With the right strategic IT plan, you can identify areas within your business that can be made more efficient through technology. This might mean automating repetitive tasks, refining data analytics processes, or better utilising cloud solutions. A more efficient team is a happier one; by making the most out of the latest tech – teams can automate or speed up processes.

Cost Optimisation

Investing in technology can seem expensive at first, but a solid IT strategy can lead to long-term cost savings. For instance, moving to cloud services can cut down on physical infrastructure costs, while implementing AI can reduce labour-intensive tasks. 

Investing in cyber security initiatives, such as intrusion prevention services and dark web monitoring could save you a great deal of financial and mental strain if there’s a cyber breach in your company.

Steps to Align Technology with Your Business Goals

Building a robust IT strategy isn’t just about picking the right technologies. It’s about creating a clear plan that ties these technological choices back to your larger business objectives. Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to achieve this alignment:

Define Clear Business Objectives: This is the starting point. What do you wish to achieve in the next year, five years, or a decade? This may be: 

Whatever your objectives are, these need to be clearly defined for yourself and the team.

Assess Current IT Infrastructure: Examine your existing technology landscape. What are its strengths and weaknesses? How does it support or hinder your business objectives? This assessment can help identify gaps and redundancies.

Prioritise Technological Investments: Not every emerging technology is worth your money. Based on your business objectives and IT assessment, prioritise which technological investments will offer the maximum ROI.

Engage Stakeholders: Remember, an IT strategy isn’t just an IT department’s responsibility. Engage various stakeholders, from marketing and sales to HR and finance. They can provide invaluable insights into how technology can further their departmental goals, which in turn align with the overall business objectives.

Regularly Review and Adjust: The world of technology is in a constant state of flux. Regularly review your IT plan to ensure it remains aligned with your business goals. Be prepared to adjust and pivot as new technological solutions emerge or as objectives evolve.

Partner with Experts: Consider engaging with IT specialists, like Croft, who have the expertise in developing and refining IT infrastructure. Our experience can provide you with insights, tools, and frameworks that are tailored to your unique needs.


Create your perfect IT strategy with Croft

A robust IT strategy is more than just a roadmap for technological adoption. It’s a critical instrument that can propel your business towards its objectives in the most efficient and innovative way possible. 



At Croft MSP, we are dedicated to helping businesses navigate the intricacies of IT strategy, ensuring alignment with their unique objectives and challenges. To find out more and speak to our experts, please contact us today.

When it came to choosing an acquiring company, Boldfield Computing had a number of options. So what made them go with Croft? We sat down with Boldfield’s Managing Director Andy Irvine, to find out what made Croft stand out, how the acquisition process went in practice, and what advice he would give to other companies considering an acquisition.

What were the benefits of choosing Croft as the acquiring company? 

Well, we had a number of suitors if you like. One reason for choosing Croft was just about the warmth of the organisation, the welcome we got. The acquisition process is never entirely financial – it’s got to be about people and human beings too, and they ticked that box. 

Croft also wanted to keep some elements of our company intact. They wanted to keep our office, our staff, our approach to customers. I thought there was a large degree of fit in terms of how we wanted to treat customers and I felt that they had a much wider portfolio than us in terms of UC connectivity and mobile. 

I felt that the Croft approach was about building for the future, rather than just purely asset stripping or cost cutting.

How was the acquisition process?

Every acquisition process is quite long and there are a lot of things like due diligence to carry out, but I felt that the process was very constructive. With Croft, it was very much “what you see is what you get”. If the directors said they would do something, then that is what happened.

There are times in any significant change or big process, where you have some misgivings and need a bit of reassurance. I felt that Phil and Mark were very available and responsive to any questions we had. 

Some of the things you want to ask for during an acquisition are purely business points. They’re very cut and dried. And other things are dear to one’s heart or somewhat emotional. And I felt that they covered off both of those, and that was very reassuring that they would listen to people’s concerns and deal with them rather than just making it a financial transaction.

What was the reaction from your team?

Well, I think that they were very surprised at first. But I think they could see the logic of it. 

A lot of Croft people have been to our offices, from Nikki the sales director to Mark the CEO, so they have been visible and interactive, and they have all said to us that there’s a fantastic team spirit here. 

I still think it’s early days and people are nervous a little bit. But on the whole I think the team feels positive about the change.

We have really tried to make the integration work. One of the things that makes it work is a bit of enthusiasm and trying to get to know people in Croft, inviting them to our offices, going to some of the social things that we’ve already been to.  

What advice would you give to other businesses considering an acquisition?

Look at everything, and have in your mind what a good result looks like for you. 

At the beginning of the process we wrote down what would be good for us, and obviously what would be good for us is we got the right amount of money for our shareholders. But our director Ian and I also wanted a bit of ongoing involvement in the company. We wanted our staff to be looked after. We didn’t want our office to be closed, we wanted our finance director to be hired. So we had a predetermined list of what would be a great outcome. 

And I think, really, you’ve got to make a hard and a soft list. And the hard stuff might be, “I won’t sell for less than X amount of money”, or “there’s got to be 60% upfront”. You can write that hard list, but you also need a soft list that outlines the human side of the process. You’re not selling a second hand car, you’re selling something that you have loved and created over the years. And I think you need to think what is going to be the ideal solution for you? Different companies will have different answers to that question

It’s one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make in your life. And we felt that Croft had the best fit for all the items that are hard and soft. Of course it’s about money, but also we feel comfortable, we feel happy, we feel valued.

Any final comments?

I think it’s sometimes hard for a business owner to change because they’ve spent ten years trying to be the king of a small castle. And now you’ve got to understand you’re a prince in a federation. 

You need to make that transition. That’s my advice. And it can be fun because moving into a bigger company it’s stimulating to have a lot of very motivated, very clever colleagues with different skills.

We are excited to announce the acquisition of Blackstar Solutions. This acquisition has led to a significant step in enhancing and expanding our business communication expertise across the UK.

With a wide range of well-known, trusted clients across the UK, the Croft team is enthusiastic about joining forces with Blackstar. The team brings with them a wealth of specialised knowledge in various business communications and telecoms areas, including:

Blackstar Solutions CEO, Nick Smith, said:

“My team and I are really excited to be part of Croft, from our initial interactions and throughout the deal, Mark and Phil have been really honest and open about how we will integrate and the skills we can bring to the group. There is a great cultural fit which is really important to me as it’s one of the things that sets Blackstar apart as a great place to work and for our clients to partner with.  We are looking forward to being able to add even more value to clients with the full MSP offering and developing and growing the business.”

We’re delighted to have the Blackstar Solutions team onboard!

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As one of the most common causes of data breaches, malware is a cyber security threat every business owner should be prepared for. It can be easy to install anti-virus software and assume everything is taken care of, but some malware can slip past these defences and put your confidential information at risk.

Read on to discover the top three malware types targeting your business and offer tips on how to prevent and remove malware attacks.

What is malware?

Malware is any software that has been developed with malicious intent, by cybercriminals, in order to steal data or cause system disruption and damage. Critical data may be held hostage for ransom.

This can lead to devastating consequences on an organisation, including:

image of a laptop with malware

What are the top three malware types?

The top three malware types with the potential to cause harm to your business are ransomware, banking trojans and Advanced Persistent Threats (ATPs).


As a business owner or director you may be wondering, which malware is most dangerous? One of the most notorious and financially damaging forms of malware, and among the most concerning, is ransomware.

Ransomware works by encrypting valuable data on the victim’s systems or locking them out of a device, rendering it inaccessible until ransom is paid to the attackers. The malware spreads through malicious email attachments, phishing websites or by exploiting software vulnerabilities and is usually aimed at businesses rather than individuals, due to the higher profitability.

Protect your business against ransomware through proactive measures. These should include regular data backups stored offline, network segmentation to limit the spread of infection should it occur, robust endpoint detection and response, and employee training to increase awareness and prevention of phishing attempts.

Banking trojans

Banking trojans are a type of malware attack that can lead to financial losses. These malicious programs are designed to steal sensitive financial information, such as login credentials and banking details. This malware spreads through deceptive email attachments, fake websites or software vulnerabilities. Once inside, they silently monitor and intercept sensitive data, leading to financial fraud and potentially severe consequences for businesses and customers alike.

To defend against banking trojans, Croft can help businesses leverage strong endpoint protection, multi-factor authentication (MFA) and conduct regular security audits to identify and patch vulnerabilities. Again, employee education is also crucial to avoid falling victim to social engineering tactics often employed by banking trojans.

Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs)

APTs are highly sophisticated and stealthy types of malware attacks typically launched by skilled cybercriminals. Their objectives are usually highly specific, such as stealing intellectual property or spying on an organisation for extended periods. Their ability to remain undetected for long periods can make them one of the most dangerous types of malware attacks.

Defending against APTs requires a multi-layered approach, including next-generation endpoint security, network monitoring and segmentation, intrusion detection systems and regular threat hunting exercises.

Protecting your business: best practices and countermeasures

To safeguard your business against the top three malware types, comprehensive cyber security practices are essential. Some critical measures include:

man working on a cyber secure laptop

Stay protected against malware, with cyber security services from Croft

Croft provides a customer-oriented approach to enhancing cybersecurity measures for businesses through our managed cyber security services. We offer expertise, 24/7 monitoring, threat intelligence and incident response support, allowing you to focus on your core business activities while staying protected against evolving threats.

Remaining vigilant against the top three most dangerous malware types targeting your business is crucial to safeguard your reputation and finances, as cyberthreats become more advanced and aggressive. Ransomware, banking trojans and APTs pose significant risks to financial security, data integrity, and intellectual property. Understanding these facts about malware, implementing proactive cybersecurity measures and fostering a culture of cybersecurity awareness among employees can help strengthen your business’s defences against different types of malware attacks.

Contact us

Get in contact to find out more about how Croft’s managed cyber security services can protect your business against malware attacks or support you to remove malware.

We have another exciting acquisition to announce… ClearLink Telecoms and Data, a leading provider of cutting-edge telephony technology for the private and public sectors, are joining forces with Croft.

Based in London Colney, ClearLink Telecoms and Data brings with them a wealth of knowledge and expertise within the education IT sector and beyond. Their range of services includes traditional hardware telephone systems to hosted telephony, as well as line rentals and calls.

Director of ClearLink Telecoms and Data, Nick Marks, announced:

“Merging with Croft has provided us with a great opportunity to offer our customers additional services and support”.

The teams at Croft and ClearLink Telecoms and Data are excited about this collaboration. By combining forces, the new partnership fosters innovation, improves efficiency and increases our breadth of services to provide even better white-glove services to our clients.

Keep up with all the updates from Croft by following us on social media:

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LinkedIn: Croft

We are thrilled to announce that Croft has acquired business communication experts, Direct Line Communications (DLC).

With a customer base in both England and Wales, the Croft team looks forward to expanding their services across the UK. The DLC team brings with them a depth of knowledge in:

Managing Director of DLC, Paul Wood, said:

“IT support has become more and more important in the telecom space, so our customers were asking more about reputable IT companies they could use. It was a natural fit for DLC Ltd to embed with Croft, due to your brilliant reputation in the IT space and us being the Gateway to Wales. We are excited and look forward to all the opportunities this will bring”

Based in North Wales, DLC have been providing communications and IT services for 30 years. With their ethos, “complicated communications made simple”, we knew they were going to be a great fit for Croft.

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Before Croft acquired Kiwi IT in February 2023, Steve Priest wasn’t looking to sell. After a conversation with his Business Partner, Rob Green, whose business (Cloud9) had also been recently acquired by Croft – he decided to meet with Mark and Phil to discuss the possibility of an acquisition. We sat down with Steve to discuss the acquisition process and becoming part of Croft. 

What were the benefits of choosing Croft as the acquiring company? 

When I first spoke to Mark (CEO) and Phil (CFO / COO) from Croft, I was impressed by their approach. I’ve had a number of other companies over the years contact me about selling, but I found Croft particularly easy to deal with – so I was happy to start a conversation. I had a preference for Croft because I liked what they had to say. One of the key factors for me was that the Kiwi team in the Midlands had a very low staff turnover, and most of the team had been with me since the beginning. I didn’t want redundancies, and Croft has been true to their word in preserving the whole team.

How was the acquisition process?

The process was extremely easy and straightforward. From the initial conversation to the completion of the deal, it took only three months – and I know that some of Croft’s acquisitions have been even quicker than that. We went through the due diligence process, and we were able to reach an amicable and sensible decision. There was a degree of leniency and acceptance in how we worked out the transition plan which worked really well for us. 

What was the reaction from your team?

Naturally, there were some concerns among the team as they had been working in a small business environment for years. They were worried about what would change, and how this change would look. But Phil and Mark from Croft came and spoke to the whole team to provide support and reassurance. The team were also supported by Tania – Croft’s People and Integration Manager who helped them adjust to the change in the business. Fortunately, there were no redundancies, and the team responded positively to the merger.

Did the acquisition bring about any changes in career opportunities for employees at Kiwi IT?

Absolutely! The acquisition opened up new career opportunities for the Kiwi IT team. We went from a team of 28 to now being a part of a larger organisation with 200 employees. There’s a much larger ladder to climb in terms of career growth for employees, so we’ve seen a number of promotions within the business since the acquisition. 

What advice would you give to other businesses considering an acquisition?

It’s an extremely easy process. From the first conversation with Mark and Phil to completion, the process took less than three months. We managed to achieve a solid agreement – and it’s clear that Croft did their due diligence. I also liked how there was a degree of flexibility in the acquisition / transition plan, to help integrate how we worked at Kiwi IT. Through conversations, all of my concerns were relieved. Croft was understanding and addressed the concerns I had, especially regarding staff retention, so I’d say that the process was smooth and efficient.

Any final comments?

As the former Managing Director of a small business, I’ve now found myself on the board of a larger organisation, thanks to the acquisition. (It has been a promotion for me!) Kiwi IT was never on the market, but I’m really pleased with my decision to sell. It’s been encouraging to witness the high level of engagement, support, and involvement of Phil, Ben, and Mark from Croft in most decision-making processes. Despite the inevitable unsettling period that happens during significant business transitions, the Croft team has consistently demonstrated active engagement and encouragement throughout. Ultimately, the acquisition was a painless, efficient process and I’d recommend Croft to other businesses interested in selling. 

We’re excited to announce the acquisition of expert IT Support and Service specialists, Boldfield Computing.

Based in Cambridge, Peterborough and London, the company has established itself as a reliable and esteemed partner in the field of IT support and cloud services, with almost 41 years wealth of experience. 

Boldfield Computing provides an extensive range of smart solutions, IT support, and cloud services to a diverse client base. Their clientele spans from small to medium-sized businesses with as few as 5 employees, to large corporations with multiple sites across the UK, encompassing over 300 employees.

Through this new exciting collaboration, Croft MSP broadens its array of IT, telecommunications, connectivity, mobile collaboration, and security expertise.

We’re thrilled to be joining forces with the Boldfield Computing team, and we’re looking forward to sharing their passion for IT and innovation. Their values of trust, professionalism, and communication mirror Croft. 

“With this new partnership, we can develop and grow to provide an even better and more comprehensive service. This is a very exciting opportunity for our colleagues. We are already enjoying working within the Croft family and can see a very bright future ahead.”  – Andy Irvine, Managing Director of Boldfield Computing.

Iain McFarlane, Director of Technology at Boldfield Computing added: “We have been very conscious to ensure that our customers and staff were put first when deciding who to merge with.  The opportunity to combine the best of Boldfield’s responsiveness and ability to react to change with the scale of the Croft MSP Group will ensure all our customers will benefit from continued support as well as open opportunities for more integrated communications and access to a broader skillset.”

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The cyber world is changing at an unprecedented pace. Now that we’re in 2023, your business’s cyber security risk has never been more critical. From ransomware to Crime as a Service, cyber attacks are becoming more frequent, sophisticated, and more expensive for companies to deal with.

Our Cyber Security Experts at Croft will walk you through the biggest cyber security risks of 2023, and steps you can take to mitigate your risk. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in cyber security

Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionising a range of industries. AI can help to monitor and detect threats, but it also poses new cyber security risks in 2023 and beyond. AI-powered attacks can automate the process of identifying vulnerabilities in a businesses security, making them harder to detect and defend against.

This year, we expect to see an increase in AI-powered cyber attacks, including automated malware, botnets, and deepfake attacks. To mitigate these risks, your business should implement AI-based security measures, such as machine learning algorithms and behavioural analysis, to detect and prevent AI-powered attacks. 

Smart Devices creating increasing risks

Smart devices, such as smart thermostats, security systems, and voice-activated assistants are connected to the internet and designed to make our lives easier. However, these devices can also create a range of new cyber security risks. Hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in the software or hardware of these devices to gain access to a business’s network or data:

Unsecured connections

Smart devices are often connected to the internet without any security protocols in place. This can make them vulnerable to hacking attempts, such as man-in-the-middle attacks, where a hacker intercepts and modifies data transmitted between the device and the internet.

Access to sensitive data

Smart devices often collect and transmit sensitive data, such as personal information or location data. If this data falls into the wrong hands, it can be used for identity theft or other malicious purposes.

To mitigate the cyber security risk of smart devices, businesses should ensure that all smart devices are secured with strong passwords and connected to secure networks. They should also regularly update to ensure they’re protected against known vulnerabilities. 

Croft team monitoring the dark web

Crime as a Service

Crime as a service (CaaS) is a growing cyber security risk in 2023. CaaS is a model where cyber criminals offer their services on the dark web, making it easier for criminals without technical expertise to launch cyber attacks. Essentially, CaaS allows anyone to become a cyber criminal without needing any technical skills or knowledge.

CaaS providers offer a wide range of services, including malware creation and phishing campaigns. These services are often sold for a fixed price, or a percentage of the profits generated by the cyber attack.

To mitigate the risks of CaaS, businesses need to take a proactive approach to cyber security. This includes implementing robust security measures, such as firewalls, antivirus software, endpoint detection, and intrusion detection systems, to prevent cyber attacks from occurring in the first place. Businesses should also ensure that employees are trained in cybersecurity best practices, including how to identify and avoid social engineering attacks.

Lack of training and knowledge

As cyber security risks for businesses get more sophisticated, employees need to be kept up to date with the latest cyber threats and possible intrusions. Employees are often the weakest link in a company’s cyber security defences, and without proper training and education, they can unknowingly put the company at risk. It’s crucial for businesses to invest in employee training and awareness programmes to mitigate the risks of cyber attacks.

Our experts at Croft can provide your employees with comprehensive training so that everyone is equipped to mitigate cyber risks for your business.

Protect your business with Croft

Croft can help to protect your business from cyber security risks and attacks. Through a range of cyber detection and response services, we can strengthen your posture and safeguard your business from threats. Read more about how to protect your SME by downloading our guide, or contact us today.