With many businesses closing over the festive period and staff taking time off, it’s easy for IT systems to get forgotten about. The last thing anyone needs though, is a problem come January, when it’s back to business. This year there will be the added issue of people working from home, so it is not only workplaces, but also IT equipment and connectivity within employees’ homes that you will need to protect in order to avoid an IT disaster over Christmas.
At Matrix IT we want your business to start the New Year on a high, so we’ve put together our top tips to help you prevent IT disasters during the festive break.
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Remember when logging into something was as easy as pasting in your username and password? So do we, but let’s not be fooled into thinking those were the good old days. Accessing any account that contains any personal or business data, needs to be protected by more than just a username and password, otherwise it is vulnerable to being compromised. Two Factor Authentication (2FA) is becoming a fact of modern life, enabling us to add an extra layer of security when logging into systems and applications. If you don’t have 2FA or Multifactor Authentication enabled for the online services you use, make sure you read on.
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Cyber security is a phrase we often hear in relation to businesses that operate online and the people who buy their products and services. It explains how organisations and individuals reduce the risk of cyber attack, and with cyber crime on the rise, it’s a really important element of the digital age that we simply cannot ignore. So ask yourself, do you have the right cyber security services in place to protect your data? If the answer is no, or you are not sure, please read on to find out what threats you might be vulnerable to and how Matrix IT can help.
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According to the latest statistics, almost half of British workers are now working from home. As businesses continue to adapt to the ongoing threat of the Covid-19 pandemic, homeworking has become the safest and most practical option for many organisations. With the explosion in working from home, however, comes the challenge of how to do so safely, particularly with sensitive data and home workers logging in using their home internet connections, and in many cases, their own equipment.
Remote Access VPNs have long been the solution for remote workers needing to access company networks over the public internet. However, this once trusted solution has grown to be increasingly vulnerable due to the surge in cyber security threats. The sudden shift to homeworking as lockdown was imposed, has increased the use of virtual private networks and thus amplified the threats and vulnerabilities.
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Since March 2020, the world has turned upside down, with the Covid-19 pandemic forcing countries into lockdown, businesses to close and many employees to work from home. This time of turmoil has put a lot of pressure on organisations to deploy home working technology quickly and securely. This added demand for remote working has resulted in a busy time for IT support companies, as we deploy resources and provide guidance to enable people to work safely and efficiently from home.
It has certainly been a productive and responsive time here at Matrix IT, but can you say the same about your IT support company?
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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
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/
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.
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.
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
Money Laundering is the illegal obtainment of money which could include foreign banks and legitimate companies. Money laundering has been on an uprise within Hampshire.
Hampshire police have made findings of cash and cash counting machines from house raids, A corrupt banker has been found by Hampshire police to have laundered by accepting £2 million to accept loan application for the owner of Chestnut Consulting Group, Southampton, Pennsylvania, in the United States.
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 with CVS, please contact a member of our team on 01329 888444. Alternatively, Click here to email us or complete the consultation form on our new website: https://www.mtxit.com.
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:
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 Click here to email us 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