Home working accelerates the death of remote access VPNs

Home working accelerates the death of remote access VPNs

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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The speed of cloud and hidden danger of data compromise

security protection padlock

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.

 

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

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

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