In these remarkable times of commercial and social disruption, business continuity is crucial if UK SMEs are going to pull together and help push the nation on to a post-lockdown future.

And Connectus is no different – we have reprioritised our support and engineering resources to ensure we can meet any increase in demand for our telephony, remote working and cybersecurity services.

If business is to bounce back, service providers, clients, partners and consumers are going to have to keep the wheels of industry turning while the world learns how to absorb the dramatic effects of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

Connectus CEO Roy Shelton said:

“I want to assure all our customers across all our networks that we are not only continuing to provide proactive and reactive technical support and maintenance services, but we are also increasing our capacity and capabilities.

“As more clients move their workforce to home working, we are here to support them with setup, configuration and ongoing access in order to minimise disruption to business.

“We also advise customers and their staff remain extra vigilant from the increase in cybersecurity threats. We are already experiencing a significant increase in phishing scams from fraudsters claiming to be from banks, the NHS and even HMRC in an attempt to gain access to personal and financial information.

“We wanted to reiterate that point to existing and potential clients as the demand for robust, cost-effective and secure network access increases.”

Connectus Service Desk operations are not affected by the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic and clients can contact us at any time using the normal channels. We have a team of qualified engineers available to assist with incidents and service requests. Clients can call us on 0330 440 4848 or login to their dedicated client portal to create a ticket for action.

In the first of a series of special podcasts, Connectus Group Chief Information Security Officer Scott Taylor and Cybersecurity Consultant Leigham Martin explain how cybercrooks have exploited the Covid-19 pandemic and what can be done to keep them at bay.

These are not normal times, but SMEs across the UK are going to have to keep business as normalised as possible if the entire economy is going to bounce back once the current pandemic has passed.

And here at Connectus, we wanted to point out some of the regular, normal services we provide that will help clients keep calm and carry on in such trying times.

These include our no-limits approach to connectivity — all Connectus clients enjoy unlimited data transfer and unlimited users making simultaneous use of the network.

Connectus CEO Roy Shelton said:

“All customers across all of our networks have been able to enjoy unlimited data consumption delivered to an unlimited number of concurrent users and we wanted to reiterate that point to our clients as the demand for robust, cost-effective and secure connectivity increases.”

And it’s also business as usual here at Connectus when it comes to support — our Service Desk operations are not affected and clients can contact us at any time using the normal channels.

Roy Shelton said:

“All of our engineers are working hard to ensure we constantly monitor and maintain our network, telephony and cybersecurity services.”

Contact us today if you’d like to know more about remote working, cybersecurity and effective unified comms solutions during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

We’ve already discussed how businesses can adapt to remote working now that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has recommended UK companies send their staff home during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

But what about employees, how should they approach this new way of working? Here we offer a few points to consider if you’ve been asked to work remotely.

If you use your own devices at home:

  • Make sure your anti-virus is turned on and is up-to-date.
  • Familiarise yourself with the rules your employer has introduced to allow you to work remotely. This may include the ability for the management to remotely delete files on your device, which can include personal content.
  • If working away from your work location, be careful which wi-fi network is being used – is it secure and trustworthy?
  • Be aware of other people around you, who may be looking over your shoulder.
  • Don’t access sensitive company information from a public place.
  • Always close your personal browser sessions before connecting new ones for work tasks.
  • Don’t copy company information onto personal devices unless you have already agreed this with your employer. Without the right approvals and permissions, this may be classed as data theft.

If you are using company devices:

  • Try to keep your children away from your work computers and devices.
  • Don’t leave company devices unlocked when you are away from them.
  • Treat them as a precious resource – they are vital for your company’s continued business viability and your own salary or income, of course.

This week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recommended all UK companies that can send their staff home to work should do so in order to minimise the economic effects of the Covid-19 coronavirus and help restrict transmission of the virus.

So how does a company approach such a potentially jarring change to the way they do business? Here at Connectus, we have many years of creating effective distributed networks for remote teams, so we’re offering a few points to consider; contact us today if you’d like to know more about any of the issues raised.

First of all, don’t panic! Take sensible precautions with an eye on the future – Covid-19 may be an immediate challenge, but its effects will be felt for a long time to come, so poorly-planned responses could simply create additional concerns and issues further down the line.

Take this as an opportunity to rework your entire organisation’s approach to successful and secure remote working.

You will probably have already considered the most pressing immediate issue: is home working for staff actually constructive or viable for your company or organisation? Retail companies and those that rely heavily on warehouse-, factory-, or depot-based operations may find the answer is, sadly, ‘no’.

However, for office staff who work at a desk, working from home is a perfectly viable way to keep your business operational in such challenging times.

But companies and staff alike will have to fundamentally rethink their approach to what will become normal day-to-day work. And once the Covid-19 challenge has passed, many employees will push for the option to continue working remotely.

Remote working does not, however, suit all people, so few companies can expect to transform into a fully remote operation in 2020. The fact remains, however, that the office or workspace as we know it is about to change.

Some security considerations:

  • Don’t just open up your network for remote access – never allow direct remote access to files, devices or systems from the internet for anyone.
  • Always place some kind of security boundary around the office network and only allow trusted, secure connections in from the outside. This could be via a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or a zero-trust solution, which assumes every connection is through some hostile network and secures all communication.
  • If you have a VPN on your firewall, use this as it will be more robust than a solution which operates on a computer inside the network. If you are unsure, contact your IT service provider (or contact us here at Connectus to learn more).
  • If you don’t have a VPN, can you use remote access software like LogMeIn, Take Control or Team Viewer, which will allow staff to access their desktop computers on the company network without having to open a hole in the firewall? If so, do.
  • Make sure your staff understand the risks and responsibility of working away from the office; now is the time for your HR department to draw up the communications protocols and paperwork you’ll rely on for years to come.
  • Ensure you have appropriate staff contracts in place to cover data protection and legal responsibilities.
  • Your boundary with the internet will change and no longer be just your office or workplace – it will include every remote worker who can access your systems.

If you use Office365 or Google Docs:

  • Insist staff use web applications on their own devices and do no install software without clear guidance from your IT department. This will allow the business to retain control of its data.
  • Criminals are constantly on the lookout for open networks and systems – don’t make it easy for them.
  • The current situation shouldn’t lead to a technology free-for-all as this will expose your business to bad actors – be responsible and seek advice if in doubt.

If staff are taking work devices away from your premises, ensure that:

  • You have appropriate insurance cover.
  • All your protection systems remain effective when used away from your premises and regular network.
  • Your IT support can still access the devices.
  • Your staff accept responsibility for the safe usage and storage of the equipment.

Finally, also consider that if remote work becomes a long-term requirement, as an employer you will have responsibility for ensuring the adequate working conditions of staff who work from home, including suitable desks, seats and display equipment.

This will also include consideration of remote management of staff devices, improved IT management and audits to know where your organisation’s data is for compliance with the Data Protection Act.

Connectus have agreed terms on a new two-year deal with Sale Sharks following the success of their initial 12-month partnership.

Connectus is the connectivity provider at Sale’s Carrington training ground and AJ Bell Stadium home, where Connectus secured a five-year deal in 2019 to provide a high-speed fibre optical network, as well as telephony, corporate Wi-Fi and managed cybersecurity services to support the stadium management team.

As part of the renewal, which ties the two brands together until 2022, Connectus has also renewed its sponsorship of Sale Sharks’ captain Jono Ross. Twenty-nine-year-old Jono has been one of the Premiership Rugby side’s stand-out players this season and has also worked with Connectus in the local community, recently dropping in on a training session with Chester RUFC.

Mark Cueto, Commercial Director at Sale Sharks, said:

“Connectus has been a great partner over the past year and we’re really pleased they’ve decided to extend that for another two years.

“The team at Connectus have been great to work with over the past 12 months and we have worked closely with them to bring the partnership to life in different ways.

“We’re playing really well on the pitch at the moment, but the commercial partners we have behind us are integral to that success, so it’s great to have another fast-growing local company commit to a long-term partnership with us.”

Alongside its five-year contract at the AJ Bell Stadium, Connectus also committed to the Manchester area by opening an office at the stadium, where eight staff are based.

Connectus CEO Roy Shelton said:

“The past 12 months as a club sponsor have been great and it is brilliant to see the team doing so well on and off the pitch. From a business perspective, it’s fantastic for us to be able to connect through Sale’s Business Club with like-minded companies from across the region who share our passion for sport.

“We ultimately want to get our brand known and spend more time with all of our valued customers who are regular guests at the games. Sale Sharks is a great club for us to be connected to in that sense – it has wide-reaching national appeal.

“Collaboration is central to everything we do at Connectus and that’s exactly what we get from our partnership with Sale. We are very excited for the next two years and can’t wait to see what we can achieve together.”

Unified communications and cybersecurity industry leader Connectus Business Solutions has announced it has achieved total gigabit coverage of networking services provided to Doncaster Sheffield Airport’s business park.

Occupying more than half a million square feet of office, warehousing and manufacturing space, with outstanding rail, road and air links, the business park is home to over 160 businesses who now benefit from the superfast connection.

Finningley-based Connectus is an approved supplier under the UK government Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, which provides grants to businesses for the installation of the gigabit connection. Connectus has already delivered work for more than 130 Gigabit Vouchers, providing installations to SME customers.

The gigabit capability not only allows businesses to improve productivity and efficiency, it also enables them to take full advantage of emerging technologies like VoIP and new cloud applications, all with the added protection of cybersecurity managed services.

Connectus Group Business Development Director Andy Marsden said:

“Doncaster Sheffield Airport Business Park is one of the most exciting developments in the region and offers unrivalled access to the UK’s newest airport as well as the Sheffield City Region.

“The 62-acre business park has planning consent for over two million square feet of commercial space and is the perfect location for office developments, warehousing and distribution units.

“As the park continues to grow, we are ideally situated to now extend our coverage into these areas along with additional business parks across the Northern Powerhouse region.”

Connectus — which also has an office at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford to service clients in the North West — provides full-fibre business connectivity, VoIP Telephony, cybersecurity audits and accreditations, penetration testing and data/IT governance solutions to over 250 businesses throughout the UK.

More information about the Gigabit Voucher Scheme is available at

Businesses can learn more about how they can collaborate with Connectus and benefit from the Gigabit Voucher Scheme by calling them on 0330 440 4848 or emailing

Unified communications and cybersecurity industry leader Connectus Business Solutions has announced its consultant Leigham Martin has secured the globally-recognised CREST Registered Tester certification.

Leigham is now part of an exclusive group of cybersecurity professionals and ethical hackers who can prove they are highly skilled, knowledgeable and competent when it comes to protecting businesses against cybercrime.

CREST is a not-for-profit certification body that provides internationally recognised accreditations for organisations and individuals who provide penetration testing, cyber incident response, threat intelligence and Security Operations Centre (SOC) services.

The UK-based organisation helps introduce businesses to “trusted service organisations utilising highly skilled, knowledgeable and competent individuals”.

CREST Registered Tester certification — usually known more simply as CRT — requires applicants to have at least 6,000 hours of “relevant and frequent experience” in the cybersecurity industry. Leigham, who joined Connectus in 2018, has previously attained Offensive Security Certified Professional accreditation.

Leigham said:

“It is a privilege to now hold the CREST Registered Tester certification, it has given me a great sense of achievement. The journey that both CREST and Offensive Security have provided for me on both qualifications has been fantastic, but also appropriately tough. Having both of these certifications allows me to give our clients the confidence they need when considering Connectus to take care of their security testing.”

Leigham’s role as a Connectus Cybersecurity Consultant sees him work with clients and partners to identify and assess the gaps in their IT infrastructure. He helps educate business owners about the crucial importance of information security, and to emphasise those areas most susceptible to attack.

Connectus Group Chief Information Security Officer Scott Taylor said:

“Now more than ever, cybersecurity is a huge part of IT, but there are still lots of businesses oblivious to what can happen. This is where CREST-certified professionals such as Leighan can help address that challenge by translating the technical unknowns into layman’s terms and help businesses stay safe.”

Connectus CEO Roy Shelton said:

“We are totally committed to the ongoing personal development of our team and quality outcomes for our valuable clients. We continue to enhance our capabilities to meet the growing demands we see in the market place as cybersecurity becomes more of a real threat, especially given that 32% of UK companies reported a breach in 2019. We are ideally placed to help our clients mitigate cost, complexity and risk from their businesses.”

More information about cybersecurity services offered by Connectus can be found at Businesses can learn more about the company by calling them on 0330 440 4848 or emailing

Salford Red Devils rugby league club has selected Connectus as its new connectivity, telephony and cybersecurity provider.

As part of the new support service, Salford-based Connectus will provide the Red Devils with ultrafast broadband connectivity, comprehensive IT support and a new, cloud-based telephony system.

Connectus and the Red Devils — both based in the AJ Bell Stadium — are also exploring a range of sponsorship opportunities to add value to the new relationship.

The Red Devils are the second rugby club to join forces with Connectus as the communications and security specialist already provides connectivity services to Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford.

Salford Red Devils director Paul King said:

“This partnership with Connectus across our IT, communications, and cybersecurity, is another example of how we have strengthened the club’s structures. Their bespoke approach will allow us to operate at a higher level and — working with one of our fellow tenants at the AJ Bell Stadium — reemphasises our status as a community club.”

He added:

“Working directly alongside each other at the Stadium has ensured our service is specifically catered to the environment and getting to know their members of staff during the process has been a pleasure. It’s important we embrace innovations as a business and remain forward-thinking in our technological approach. This partnership will help us guarantee that continues to be the case.”

Connectus Business Development Director Andy Marsden said:

“It’s very rewarding to see our expertise and experience recognised by another major sporting brand. Every day, we continue to enhance our capabilities in this area of a constantly evolving unified comms and connectivity market, so it gives us a great deal of satisfaction to welcome new clients who can make use of our unique range of services and applied technical knowledge. We’re looking forward to introducing more stadium-based brands to the ever-growing Connectus family of clients and partners.”

Connectus provides a full spectrum of superfast, cost-effective business broadband solutions and ultrafast dedicated full-fibre connectivity. In addition, the company also offers cutting-edge collaboration tools and VoIP telephony, expert consultation for legal compliance, and managed cybersecurity services.

Telesales and lead generation industry innovator Sales Bond has secured Cyber Essentials accreditation with Connectus, an important milestone in the Birmingham-based telemarketing company’s expansion plans.

Sales Bond provides telemarketing and lead generation services to a broad range of national clients. In addition to telesales, the company also offers support for conferences and seminars, research and surveys, as well as training and data cleansing.

The UK government-backed Cyber Essentials scheme is based around a set of technical controls to help organisations protect against online security threats. The business community is being urged to make accreditation a top priority; suppliers bidding for government contracts involving personal information have been required to be certified since 2014.

The scheme was developed in association with the Information Assurance for Small and Medium Enterprises (IASME) consortium and the Information Security Forum (ISF).

Aimed at companies in all sectors and at any size, Cyber Essentials is also backed by industry bodies including the Federation of Small Businesses and the CBI.

Cyber Essentials certification is designed to educate business stakeholders about a number of key requirements regarding cybersecurity, including:

  • How to secure Internet connections
  • How to secure devices and software
  • How to control access to data and services
  • How to protect operations against viruses and other malware
  • How to keep devices and software up to date

Business benefits of Cyber Essentials certification include the ability to reassure customers that proactive defences against cyber-attack are in place, which can attract new business from clients who share this focus on making appropriate preparations.

Sales Bond Managing Director Nicole Markham said

“As one of the UK’s most innovative providers of telemarketing and lead generation services, effective and secure telecommunications are at the heart of our fundamental business offering. And we understand how important it is to not only ensure we have the in-house knowledge and abilities to make this work, but also to demonstrate this to the broader business community so they can have total confidence in our abilities as a trusted commercial partner.”

Connectus CEO Roy Shelton said:

“We’re delighted to have helped Sales Bond attain this accreditation which is an essential part of business today. Companies of all sizes have to treat cybersecurity with the respect and attention it deserves if they aren’t going to be left behind by competitors or even actively exploited by a growing number of bad actors. It’s very encouraging indeed to see Sales Bond show the way forward in this respect, and we’d urge other companies to follow their lead.”

  • More information about Sales Bond’s services is available online here and details of Connectus’ cyber services can be found here.

Connectus also sponsors the club’s captain, Jono Ross.

Sale Sharks’ AJ Bell Stadium has a new connectivity, telephony and cyber security provider as part of a new sponsorship deal struck up with leading business solutions group, Connectus.

The Salford-based firm, which supplies a range of managed services including proactive cyber security solutions, is the latest partner to join Sale’s growing business club as it eyes a successful Gallagher Premiership and Heineken Champions Cup campaign in 2020.

The deal comes after the firm first watched a Sale Sharks game as guests in the C&C Lounge before agreeing to sponsor the club’s upcoming festive fixture against Northampton Saints on 21st December.

The communications and security specialist are now the official connectivity provider for the home of Sale Sharks, undertaking all network, telephone, and cyber security at the AJ Bell stadium, to boost its efficiency during matchdays and regular business hours.

Connectus has also sponsored club captain, Jono Ross, as the flanker looks to lead Sharks through the domestic and European season in 2019/20.

Mark Cueto, Commercial Director at Sale Sharks, said:

“We’re pleased to welcome another growing Manchester business as a partner, with a deal that started from simply witnessing what Sale Sharks has to offer on a matchday. From watching the game as fans, to getting involved by sponsoring a matchday, we’ve worked closely with the team at Connectus to deliver them a deal that adds true value to their brand week in, week out. The partnership is a perfect addition to our Business Club and we’re excited to see what collaboration opportunities are to come.”

Connectus Business Development Director Andy Marsden – pictured above with with Sale Sharks club captain Jono Ross – said:

“The AJ Bell Stadium is one of the region’s most iconic sporting venues, so we’re delighted to play such an important role in its day-to-day operations. We’re here to ensure seamless end-to-end connectivity for the Sharks, the management team and the many businesses that call the stadium home. Manchester and the broader North West is of great importance to Connectus as we bring our expertise and experience to companies throughout the M62 corridor. We’re looking forward to meeting lots of new friends, clients and contacts through our work at the AJ Bell Stadium.”

Connectus provides a full spectrum of superfast, cost-effective business broadband solutions and ultrafast dedicated full fibre connectivity. In addition, the company also offers cutting-edge collaboration tools and VoIP telephony, expert consultation for legal compliance, and fully-managed cyber security services.

Connectus ingenuity ensures 60 countries view tournament

International rugby 7s enjoys a huge following worldwide, and with teams such as England, South Africa, Ireland, France and the USA all taking part at the Athlete Factory international 7s tournament in Chester, a US production team wanted to film and stream the tournament worldwide.   

Former British Lion and Managing Director of The Athlete Factory, Phil Greening was tasked with securing a robust and secure internet connection to ensure the live streaming of all games and interviews to a worldwide audience of over 500,000 viewers. 

“At first, we were told there was no way it could be done. The tournament was to be  filmed and streamed globally by a US company, and they needed everything in place to be able to deliver the production.”

Phil Greening

With training well underway, the teams, hotels, flights and local transportation all booked,  it was essential the technical challenges be resolved quickly, ensuring a quality production could be streamed in real-time to the hundreds of thousands of viewers worldwide.

The Athlete Factory, which is a world-class training and coaching facility, decided to engage Connectus to see if they could resolve the broadcasting challenges.

On reviewing infrastructure, Connectus designed and deployed a robust gigabit-capable point to point link and business broadband service all within 48 hours of the order being received. This provided the necessary platform for the US broadcaster to stream live from the event.

Phil Greening was delighted commenting 

“ At first, we thought it would not be possible, but Connectus pulled out all the stops to make it work. We streamed live to over 60 countries which were amazing. They are ultra-professional and will always go the extra mile for you. I can’t thank them enough!”

Connectus additionally provided telephone and remote support services for the duration of the tournament with no reported incidents for the entirety of the event despite poor weather conditions and record rain-fall in Cheshire for the time of year.

“We were delighted to help with the event.  We approach every challenge with a “can-do” attitude, and once we assessed infrastructure properly and spoke with all parties involved, we were able to design an appropriate solution so a global audience could enjoy the event.”

Roy Shelton, CEO of Connectus


Managed and owned by British Lions legend Phil Greening, The Athlete Factory is a world-class training and coaching facility for anyone serious about their health, fitness or sport, from the first time gym goer to the elite sportsperson.

Through their elite sport experience, The Athlete Factory, offers a unique approach to body transformation and training goals, with expert programming, conditioning and coaching  delivered in an exciting environment.


Connectus Business Solutions Limited provides innovative technology via collaboration with our clients, enabling them to create a compelling, sustainable and competitive advantage. Via our Full Fibre network, we can provide a full range of connectivity services including GigaBit business and mission critical connectivity to a wide range of SME, Enterprise and Government clients throughout the UK.