Matrix exceeds expectation

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.

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 email [email protected]

Apple announce fault in MacBook Pro hard drive

Apple announce fault in MacBook Pro hard drive

Do you have a potentially faulty MacBook Pro hard drive?

Apple have announced that some MacBook Pro owners are losing data due to hardware failure.  Any 128GB/256GB, non-touch bar, 13-inch MacBook Pro purchased between June 2017 and June 2018 are susceptible to this problem.

To prevent data loss Matrix has compiled three easy steps:

MacBook Pro Hard Drive Fault

1. Check on the Apple web site to see if your MacBook needs repairing.  Your serial number can be found in the top left corner of your menu bar and go to ‘About this mac’.  Once you have the serial number click here and check –  https://goo.gl/iNa9aN.

2. BEFORE YOU REPAIR, ensure that you have a backup of your Mac (https://goo.gl/CYBwjh).

3. Arrange for Apple to repair (free) and then upon receipt of your fixed MacBook Pro you will need to restore your system from the backup (https://goo.gl/cgCs6F).

 

If you need assistance establishing whether your device is at risk – or advice on backing up or restoring your data please contact a member of the Matrix team on 01329 888444 or email [email protected].

Educate Employees on Cyber-Security

Educate Employees on Cyber-Security

It is very important to involve your employees in cyber-security threats as in the battle against cybercrime, they can help stop data, systems and reputation being compromised.

What your business can do:

  • Make your employees aware of the responsibilities they have within the company and explain how their actions can assist cyber-criminals.
  • Have a contingency plan in place so that if your company does get breached, your employees know exactly what actions to take.
  • Make sure to clearly communicate. Working together can help reduce the effects of the hack rather than panicking.

For more information on cyber-security, please contact us via email at [email protected] or phone at 01329 888444.

World Backup day

Get ready – World Backup day is March 31st!

If you didn’t know, Friday the 31st March, is World Backup day.

Ok, so maybe it is just yet another made up “day”, but it does come with a serious message, supported by some alarming statistics…

  • 30% of people – have never backed up their data.
  • 113 phones – are lost or stolen every minute.
  • 29% of all data related ‘disasters’ – are caused by accident.
  • 1 in 10 computers – are infected with viruses each month.

 

What would you or your business do if you suddenly lost important files / documents?

Think about the files you have open on your PC right now. If you lost them, would you or your business be in trouble?

How much data would you have to lose before it began to hurt your business? The answer is not very much. Depending on what files are lost, it could only take a file or two to cause you serious problems.

Not losing critical data is an easy business reason to make sure that you’re backing up your files. But as the statistics indicate, most people aren’t.

Don’t wait for it to happen to you. Matrix IT Solutions can help you and your business with a tailor made Backup and Data recovery solution.

To find out more, simply contact a member of our team to discuss your requirements:

T: 01329 888444

E: [email protected]

HP Envy– big and shiny — we loved them

HP Envy– big and shiny — we loved them

Over the past week we’ve installed All-In-One Touchscreen PC’s for a company based near Guildford, Hampshire.

We all thought that they were a lovely piece of Kit, BIG and functional, all of us liked the touch screen.

At 34 inches in screen size, these are the equivalent of running your desktop on a good sized living room television.

If you require a quotation for either one of these machines, or any IT equipment, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.hp-envy

Is VoIP for you?

Have you considered the advantages of using VoIP for your business?

VoIP services offer functionality that many businesses overlook.

We just wanted to let you know about some of the main advantages of VoIP technology, and how they can help your business.

 

  • VoIP can allow you to dramatically reduce the cost of communications, especially for interstate or international communications, since everything can go through the Internet instead of having to go through expensive long distance toll charges.
  • You can make and receive calls from multiple devices for instance, on a dedicated phone, your PC via a software-based phone, or even a mobile phone with VoIP capabilities.
  • You can use VoIP as a tool for real-time collaboration along with video conferencing and screen sharing.
  • You can employ intelligence into how your calls are handled, such as: providing automatic call routing based on the number, time of day, etc; providing an interactive voice response when a call comes in, such as voice prompts that guide callers; call reporting; and more.

Wi-Fi Network installed in Hampshire School

Matrix IT Solutions recently undertook an installation of a Wi-Fi solution that was necessary at a local school in Portsmouth, Hampshire.

The school itself has students from Nursery, right through to Senior School age. This is a grand total of 450+ students plus staff. Therefore, a large infrastructure was needed to handle the traffic that the school would produce.

The product was deemed best for this was the Unifi Access Point. In total, 16 of these were installed around the premises over a two-day installation period (including trunking and neatening of cabling). With minimal cabling in mind, the access points were powered using a POE Switch, so only one cable was necessary to each adapter, rather than the 3 that would be used with a standard POE Injector.

With Zero Handoff (enabling users to move from one Access Point to another, without experiencing any connection interruptions), this is an ideal option for any ‘multi-user’ business.

 

Employee sends damaging computer code to old company – could your company cope?

Employee sends damaging computer code to old company – could your company cope?

Fist on computer keyboard

This may sound far-fetched but it happened recently in the US. A former IT manager of Smart Online, a company creating mobile Apps, left the company and then sent damaging computer code causing $5,000 worth of damage to computers. The code also deleted much of the company’s intellectual property. He will be sentenced in December this year.

Although justice has been done, it doesn’t help the company – they still have to pay for the damage and retrieve lost data.

How safe are your computers?
Have you changed your passwords recently? What do you do when someone leaves your company? Could they sign in and access or delete company files?

What you don’t want is an ex-employee to still have access to your company data. Imagine the damage that could be inflicted. Website content could be changed, email accounts hacked, social media accessed. The entire reputation and security of your company could be jeopardised in two hours from someone’s bedroom.

Changing passwords – is this enough?
The simple answer is no. It is good practice to have new passwords but, at the very least, you should back-up your data every day and install a ‘disgruntled-employee-proof’ security firewall.

Don’t leave it to chance or be spurred into action by someone leaving. Sort it out now. Call Matrix It Solutions, IT support in Fareham on 01329 888444 or email us on [email protected] and we can talk you through the options to ensure that this never happens to your company.

Source: https://www.fbi.gov/charlotte/press-releases/2015/information-technology-manager-pleads-guilty-to-sending-damaging-computer-code-to-former-companys-servers https://www.fbi.gov/charlotte/press-releases/2015/information-technology-manager-pleads-guilty-to-sending-damaging-computer-code-to-former-companys-servers

Beware – ransomware is still out there! CryptoLocker, CryptoWall and CryptoVirus

Beware – ransomware is still out there! CryptoLocker, CryptoWall and CryptoVirus

Beware - ensure you have safeguards on your computerDo you regularly back up your data? We hope so, because there are some nasty viruses out there, finding new and innovative ways to encrypt your data. If you don’t back up your data then a vicious virus may put a halt to your business.

CryptoLocker was, and still is, a ransomware Trojan. It targets computers running Microsoft Windows and infiltrates itself via infected email attachments or existing botnet. As soon as it is in, it works its way through your documents encrypting files so that you will be unable to open them.

Can CrytoLocker be removed?
Yes

What about my encrypted files?
This is altogether trickier. When you try to open your files, a message will appear asking you to pay via Bitcoin or a pre-paid cash voucher by a stated deadline. It threatens to delete the private key (that is the only way to decrypt your files) if the deadline and payment requests are not met. Some companies paid the ransom, others did not and were unable to access their files.

Screenshot of CryptoWall
Cryptowall image
 What has happened since last year?
CryptoLocker has been isolated and the security company involved in this process managed to access the private keys and set up an online tool for recovering files without paying the ransom.

How much money was extorted?
It is estimated that the group behind CryptoLocker received $3 million.

Are there other ‘nasties’ out there?
Yes – CryptoLocker may have been isolated and a way found to decrypt files for free, but CryptoWall and CryptoVirus are both alive and kicking and cutting a swathe through computers the world over.

If you want to find out more about the viruses that are attacking computers then contact us.

What should you do?
Install anti-virus software and regularly back up your data. Call Matrix It Solutions, IT support in Fareham on 01329 888444 or email us on [email protected] and we can advise you on the most effective software to stop this happening to your computer.