The surface web – the part of the internet we are all familiar with – sees billions of searches every year, which sounds like a lot. However, this ‘clear web’ only represents around 4% of the World Wide Web. A much larger part of the web lurks underneath the surface and is known as the dark web. It is not indexed by search engines such as Google, but it is equally important for IT professionals to monitor. The anonymous and encrypted nature of the dark web, makes it the perfect place for cybercriminals to carry out their misdemeanours, which is why dark web monitoring services are so important as you never know when it could be your business data up for grabs.
Spring officially arrives in the UK on 20th March and with it comes the concept of spring cleaning and getting everything tidied up, freshened up and ready for the rest of the year ahead. Spring cleaning isn’t just about dusting your office and shredding the paperwork you no longer need, it can also be a great opportunity to audit your IT systems and processes, getting rid of anything that is not working for you and implementing procedures to protect your data and enable you to work more efficiently.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.