The hidden cyber threat of COVID-19

security protection padlock

We, at Matrix, have had an increase of tickets in the last week identifying potential phishing or fraudulent attacks delivered via email.

The aim of this article is to provide you with the best practice in minimising these attacks for you and your staff and more importantly retraining users on what to look out for.

If we can be of any more assistance in training, implementing the following technologies please contact us at [email protected].

Multi Factor Authentication (MFA)

MFA put simply is something you have (your phone) and something you know (your password).  By combining the two, Microsoft can better authenticate your logon.  Most phishing scams extract your password and then hackers emulate your logon accessing emails, data or to carry out fraudulent activity.

MFA is very simple to implement and use.  The only additional requirement when logging into the system is to click ‘Approve’ on your phone.  Consequently, if you phone asks you to ‘Approve or Deny’ a login randomly then it is likely someone else has your username and password.  If this is the case, then call Matrix immediately and we will disable / change your logon credentials for you, ensuring your data remains safe and secure.

Email filtering – Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) / Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Most phishing and fraudulent activity is typically driven through an email scam. We provide two products, the first carries out ATP and scans attachments and links detecting zero day and known threats.

The second is our Sentinel product, usage Artificial is our Intelligence (AI) we are able to scan your email accounts and create known interactions identifying the most complex of subsequent scam emails.

What it means in plain English is you will vastly reduce suspect email in your inbox, removing user interaction and the potential threat.

 

The biggest threat – you

The biggest threat to a data breach is – the person reading this post.  Users pose a threat to systems as they/we use the systems.  Despite minimising risk if that email lands in your inbox you need to think ‘SETH’ first.

 

Stop – Take 5-10 seconds and look at the email, don’t skim over and click on the instruction – PAUSE

Evaluate – Are you expecting an attachment, email, shared document, parcel from China?

Think – Do you know the sender? Does it look suspect? Is something not quite right about it?

Hover – Move your mouse over the link, does it go to ‘http://somewhere.random.com or to your company Microsoft link – check it against your SharePoint link.

By spending 30 seconds considering whether the email is legitimate could save the business £1000’s in lost revenue or data leakage. If in doubt, contact us for a second opinion, better to be safe.

Matrix can offer simulated phishing email attacks, providing your users with real life examples and training on future prevention.  Each simulation will identify a user training requirement and provide them with suitable courses for improvement dependent upon their interaction with the simulation.

What to look out for

Below are two examples of emails received this week.

 

 

 

Have any more questions or interested in the above products?  Let us know by email [email protected] or call us on 01329 888 444.

Matrix exceeds expectation

Our team have managed to support, deploy and enable a staggering 2156 users to work from home last week.  Whilst amid arranging VPN’s, remote desktops, ironing out the odd person who took their workstation home, we too have been deploying our remote working strategy.

remote office

With the enablement of cloud adoption, we can use the tools needed to support our clients from anywhere (subject to having internet!).  I want to personally thank our team for their commitment in providing this level of service without complaint.  Juggling working from home with children, cats, dogs and a 98% support ticket increase can’t have been easy but we work together, even remotely.

Upon returning to the office we will be reviewing our clients’ remote working needs and have set an R&D budget aside to build a remote access platform for your business.  This will harness the power of Microsoft Azure and allow businesses to benefit from a robust on demand subscription-based model.

The speed of cloud and hidden danger of data compromise

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This week has shown just how agile the cloud is for small and medium businesses, allowing staff to pickup their belongings and move into their home office, kitchen table or lap.  Most SMB’s will be using Microsoft Office 365 suite and as a Microsoft Gold Partner we, at Matrix, have put together the following security considerations to help you combat data theft and meet GDPR compliance.

Multi Factor Authentication (MFA)

If there’s one thing you can do today, more important than ordering your morning cup of coffee, it is to enable MFA. MFA is simply something you know (password) and something you have (app on your phone).  This prevents phishing attacks (hacking attacks) from gaining your login details and using them to compromise your account giving access to all email and data.

Click here for the Microsoft how to: https://bit.ly/2U6RNgK

Secure Score

KPI’s are key to an optimal business in measuring success.  Microsoft provide a security scoring portal for your Office 365 environment.  This portal provides a benchmark against the industry and global averages versus your security score.  It details improvement actions that you can apply to help add extra layers of security around your data.

Click here to login to your secure score portal: https://securescore.office.com/

secure score

We will be working closely with Microsoft and other vendors in the coming months to build a remote access platform for your business.  This will harness the power of Microsoft Azure and allow businesses to benefit from a robust on demand subscription-based model.

 

Hampshire-based Matrix achieves Microsoft Gold Partner status

Hard work, dedication and having a great team around you are the key principles to gaining Gold.  This week we are therefore proud to announce that the South Coast’s favourite IT company based in Fareham are now a Microsoft Certified Gold Partner.

Microsoft Gold Partner

What does it mean to be Gold-Certified?
It means as a company Matrix have agreed to collaborate and work closely with Microsoft, have undertaken rigorous training for staff to prove we have the depth of knowledge and ensure our solutions fit with the Microsoft product stack.

What does this mean for our clients and potential clients in an around Hampshire?
Everybody we work with will benefit from accredited, qualified staff who have access to the best level of support within Microsoft for escalating issues.  New products and changes that affect businesses are available to Gold partners.  This ensures that, as a business, we have the tools to migrate clients systems into new technology stacks.  For example using Microsoft Teams and how this will change our communications within business.

‘We feel that obtaining the highest certification Microsoft offer shows our commitment to building competent, best practice solutions and ensuring that we research and adopt emerging technologies that will empower our clients’ Gareth McQuaid – New Business Director.

If you are interested in speaking with a Gold Member, then let us know and we will arrange a 30 min session to explore how our new Gold Microsoft Partnership status can enable you and your Hampshire business to succeed.

Microsoft Gold Partner

Server Virtualisation

Server Virtualisation

What is a virtual server?

The virtualisation of servers is forever increasing in the business industry. Virtual servers are servers that do not require you to have multiple physical hardware servers to operate your business. You do, however, need a host server to accommodate your virtual servers. The amount of virtual servers you can have is dependent on the size, speed and processors of your host.

Here are just a few reasons why we recommend virtual servers.

  • Decrease space usage within the office
  • Reduced capex outlay on hardware
  • Reduce power usage
  • Easily upgradable for future requirements

Here at Matrix we regularly assist our customers in the procurement and set up of physical and virtual servers. Furthermore, we continue in our support through our monitoring system management and Cyber Security services.

At Matrix, we act as your ‘outsourced IT department’, providing help to businesses in Portsmouth, Southampton and across the Hampshire region. To find out on how we can comply with your server virtualisation needs, please contact a member of our team on 01329 888444 or Click here to email us

How to know when you need IT support

How to know when you need IT support

 

When is the right time to seek IT support?

If you’re a small business with a few users or a large company with multiple systems, you may need external support. IT support is about keeping up with capacity so that when you benefit your business, your business can benefit you. Support ranges from help desk resolutions, installation projects, on-site maintenance and support agreements.

 

It’s time to consider IT support when:

  • Technical issues start affecting productivity
  • Staff do not have technical knowledge and struggle to resolve issues
  • Your internal IT can’t span to other technical needs (many businesses have internal & external IT support)
  • You are planning on expanding your business
  • Important documents and information needs reliable security
  • You want to experiment with different technologies

 

At Matrix, we act as your ‘outsourced IT department’, providing help to businesses in Portsmouth, Southampton and across the Hampshire region. To find out on how we can support your technical needs, please contact a member of our team on 01329 888444 or Click here to email us

 

Why does your business need IT Support?

Why does your business need IT Support?

Why does your business need IT support? Depending on your company and its requirements, there are multiple ways that an outsourced IT department can help you. Whether you have 5 PCs and office phones or a whole server room and many users, this could benefit the quality of your network.

Services could include:

  • Emergency helpdesk support
  • Onsite maintenance visits
  • Hardware installation
  • Cybersecurity testing and upkeep
  • Systems, monitoring and patching
  • Office move assistance
  • Fully managed IT services
  • IT strategy planning

Having an IT support agreement can give you peace of mind that you can minimise technical faults and be able to resolve issues quickly.

It is standard for the majority of business employees to not have technical experience; IT Support works to educate employees as well as support them with any internal issues.

Are you planning on expanding your business? Employing more staff and extending your network? When planning your future business goals, IT Support is an important thing to consider.

At Matrix, we act as your ‘outsourced IT department’, providing help to businesses in Portsmouth, Fareham, Southampton and across the Hampshire region. To find out on how we can support your IT network, please contact a member of our team on 01329 888444 or Click here to email us

Christmas Cheers, hacking fears, don’t end up in tears.

As Christmas approaches, amidst sore heads, panic buying for our partners and Brexit being all over the news, we now have to remember more passwords, to avoid our well earned money being syphoned out of our accounts through the internet.

The list below, whilst not exhaustive, gives you a good start at protecting yourself against a malicious attack.

 

 

  • Approval word or phrase– all staff who make payments within a business should have a secret authorisation word. This will ensure that any email asking for immediate payment will be vetted.
  • Beware of urgency – most scams will try and make you commit to payments, logging in, checking payments immediately. Take a step back, think and then decide if this is legitimate or fake.
  • Simple passwords – use something other than Pa55w0rd, Letme1N, or your pet dogs name.
  • Don’t click on links in email – go to the site and login (look for the https: too)
  • Data collection without you knowing it? For example, have you seen the Facebook quiz that’s asks you for your maiden name, middle name and pets name to reveal you hidden screen name.  Ever thought that someone may be collecting vital information that could compromise your login?

Most people use the same password for several accounts, giving hackers access to everything if your password is exposed.

Check to see if your password has been compromised?

Check to see if email address has been compromised?

The safest way to store all of your passwords is by using a password manager, there are several good services for this including 1Password, LastPass, Dashlane and RoboForm. These services store all login credentials in one highly secure vault for which you only have to remember one password. Ensure whichever password manager you use has multi factor authentication when setting up, as this will help prevent unauthorised access to your account and compromising your valuable data.

If you do nothing else this Christmas.

Ensure you have a data backup plan.  This means a copy of all your valuable data somewhere other than on your network.  Having a hard drive connected to your server is no longer a solution as crypto software will encrypt both the server and the hard drive.

Finally…

We, at Matrix Business IT, hope you have found the above of use and wish you a very Merry Christmas.  We sincerely hope that your waist line is your worry at Christmas and not your online security.

Concerned? contact a member of the Matrix team on 01329 888444 or Click here to email us.

What is Go Integrator?

What is Go Integrator?

An integration software connecting VoIP/phone systems to CRM business systems. This software has tools which make quick and easy business calls.

Such tools are:
• PC application showing caller ID with incoming call and address book
• Call presence through BLF
• ‘Tapi’ tool for quick click number dialling
• Activity logging

Go integrator is better used on PC’s and can benefit your phone and PC systems integration.

At Matrix, we act as your ‘outsourced IT department’, providing help to businesses in Portsmouth, Fareham, Southampton and across the Hampshire region. To find out on how we can help your system integration please contact a member of our team on 01329 888444 or Click here to email us