Is Your Firewall Protecting Your IT Systems From Remote Logins?

Is Your Firewall Protecting Your IT Systems From Remote Logins?

Let’s set the scene. It’s 2021, and much like 2020, the majority of the UK’s office-based workforce is working remotely.  This dispersal of people and endpoints makes keeping track of and protecting logins to your IT hardware and cloud-based systems almost impossible without the help of a firewall.  

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If You Only Choose 5 Business IT Services for 2021 Make Sure You Pick These

If You Only Choose 5 Business IT Services for 2021 Make Sure You Pick These

2020 has certainly been a tumultuous year for businesses.  With the Covid-19 pandemic forcing many companies to adapt the way they work and home working becoming normal in many industries, it has certainly been a year that has changed the way we need and use IT. Going forward in 2021, and what we hope will be a much more stable year, there will be an increased demand for remote access solutions for businesses that continue to accommodate homeworking, as well as an increased focus on cyber security to protect against the additional threats the pandemic has exposed. With that in mind, if you can only choose 5 of our business IT services for the new year, here are the five we think you should pick. 

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Inviting Guests using Microsoft Teams and iPhone glitch

If you send out an invite and your guest (non-user of Teams) cannot connect then follow these simple steps.

1.       Click on the error (Safari cannot open the page because the address is invalid).

2.       Download and install Teams from the Apps store

3.       When prompted for a login ignore and close the Teams app


Upon clicking on the invite again your iPhone will launch the Teams app and ask for your guest username allowing access to the meeting.

Everyday is a school day

The easiest and quickest way to archive email, instead of deleting it in Microsoft Outlook is to simply press the Backspace key rather than the Delete key.

Personally I didn’t know about this shortcut and estimate it will save me hours over the course of a year.

Hope you find it of use.




If you do one thing today…

Most clients are use Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium daily.  If you are, then you should be taking advantage of the new Microsoft App, by combining the Office suite with some great hacks, this is the app of choice when on the move.

The main features of this app are:

  • Everything in one app, central and quickly accessible
  • Pull in files from other platforms such as Dropbox
  • Word dictation – use your voice to write documents
  • Excel cards view – simplify editing Excel on a smaller screen
  • Outline to PowerPoint – you type, PowerPoint Designer does the rest

Other snazzy features improve common tasks, enabling quick notes, scanning docs into Word / Excel, converting to PDF and signing PDF’s.

Personally, I find the ‘home screen’ invaluable, as it shows my document history, recommended docs, topped with any notes I’ve added. I have found that I am using this app more on my iPad to create documents providing a more fluid experience between devices.  Prior to the app, my go to was my laptop for editing and the iPad for viewing.

As is the Microsoft way, their products improve each version, I for one am looking forward to an even more feature rich app.

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.

Farewell old friend, Windows 7 goes end of life.

windows 7 end of life

Today marks the end of the Windows 7 operating system and potentially poses a headache for business owners.

Windows 7 has been around for 10 years and today marks the official Microsoft end of support for their amazing operating system.  Whilst it will work and function the same tomorrow as it does today, Microsoft will no longer provide patching for any vulnerabilities found, so much so GCHQ have issued a warning not to use Windows 7 for banking from today.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

A NCSC spokesperson said: “The NCSC would encourage people to upgrade devices currently running Windows 7, allowing them to continue receiving software updates which help protect their devices.

“We would urge those using the software after the deadline to replace unsupported devices as soon as possible, to move sensitive data to a supported device and not to use them for tasks like accessing bank and other sensitive accounts.”

“They should also consider accessing email from a different device.”

Remember the WannaCry ransomware attack?

2017 brought new malware attacks through finding vulnerabilities within operating systems, namely Windows XP and Windows 7.  Hacker seek to extract data and encrypt it or sell it on the dark web.  Businesses need to protect against this type of malicious activity to protect their data, comply with GDPR and most importantly ensure their clients data is secure.  A lack of security patching from today could lead to this very problem happening again.

What next?

Our advice is to upgrade your hardware which will normally include the Windows 10 operating system.  This way you benefit from new hardware and the latest operating system.  Windows 10 will provide updates, patches but more importantly closer integration with Office 365 and Azure cloud services.

Additionally, most software vendors will provide support on the Windows 10 platform.

If you need any advice or a quote for upgrading your systems call us today on 01329 888444 or Click here to email us

Staff Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

This months bio is our Helpdesk member Joseph. One of our latest editions, that joined us this year. We hope you enjoy learning a bit more about our front guy!

  • What is your name, age, place of birth, job role and length of service at Matrix IT?

Joe Nicol, 24, Pompey born and raised! I’m a Second-line Support Engineer and joined Matrix in March this year.

  • If you could do one thing in life what would that be?

Bring people together.

  • What are your hobbies and passions?

I’m a bit of a guitar enthusiast, I’ve played since I was 9-10 and still like to practice every day. Yes, my neighbours do love me! I enjoy anything outdoorsy I can do with the pooch – hike, camp, cycle etc. but I enjoy nothing more than socialising with my loved ones.

  • How would you describe yourself?

Conscientious, philosophical & driven.

  • Do you have any pets and children?

I have an incredibly sassy 7-year-old Siberian Husky called Luna, she’s my world.

  • What is your favourite possession?

My guitar.

  • What is your favourite quote?

“Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today” – Dr Jordan Peterson

  • What motivates or inspires you?

Family, friends & vision.

  • What are your goals for the future?

I want to do as much as possible whilst I can; I’d like to visit as many countries and experience as many cultures as possible. I also have plans to start a new band in the next year or two, or at least play with others more frequently.

  • What do you love most about your job?

There are lots of things I love about my job – the constant learning and self-development, the challenges and rewards of overcoming them, my extremely witty and amusing colleagues. But If I had to choose what I loved the most… the answer is a resolute and unwavering “Bill’s Burgers”.

  • Describe your biggest achievement to date

I toured mainland Europe for two weeks with an old band when I was 19. My stage-fright at the time was abysmal and I was close to dropping out and giving up days before leaving. It taught me that tackling my fears and anxieties head-on is the best and only way to grow!

  • Who is your idol, mentor or someone that inspires you?

My Dad – when I was young, he worked as a Postman in the morning, studied during the day and delivered Pizzas at nights to support 5 children and put himself through Uni. He’s now comfortably retired and a constant source of motivation when things get rough.

  • Why Matrix?

I like to believe that things happen for a reason and the opportunity to join Matrix came at the perfect time. It was a big move for me, but everyone was so welcoming and encouraging I’ve not once looked back. It’s great being part of such a close-knit team who all work well together and help each other out. I also really enjoy getting to know our lovely clients and being able to help wherever possible. I’m excited to continue growing with Matrix and look forward to what the future has to offer.

Staff Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

This months bio is our Helpdesk member Sam. Sam is one of the newest members to the team and has joined us as a Level 1 Helpdesk Apprentice. We’re sure you’ll hear him buzzing on the phone soon if you haven’t already!

What is your name, age, place of birth, job role and length of service at Matrix IT?

Sam Searle, 19, I was born in Portsmouth and I’m a Level 1 Helpdesk apprentice. I started at Matrix in July 2019

  1. If you could do one thing in life what would that be?

If I could do one thing, I would like to be able to help those in need

  1. What are your hobbies and passions?

I have a passion for music, sports and messing around with new tech

  1. How would you describe yourself?

I would describe myself as a creative, independent and honest person

  1. Do you have any pets and children?

I do not have any pets nor do I have any children

  1. What is your favourite possession?

My favourite possession is my first PC that I ever built. I still use and upgrade that desktop PC to this day

  1. What is your favourite quote?

“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr

  1. What motivates or inspires you?

I am motivated and inspired by the people around me from what they have been able to achieve

  1. What are your goals for the future?

My goals for the near future is to be able to move out and live in a house of my own and to see what happens from there

  1. What do you love most about your job?

I love being able to work within an environment with outstanding people and to be able to learn something new every day

  1. Describe your biggest achievement to date

My biggest achievement so far is that I played semi-professional gaming for a team called Mouse Sports for roughly 2 months

  1. Who is your idol, mentor or someone that inspires you?

The people who inspire me are my parents and friends as they have been able to help my personality grow over the years

  1. Why Matrix?

I would not ask for a different place of work. I get to work with passionate people who have the same interests as me and a place of work which can offer a chance of progression