Business NBN

Business NBN

The nbn™ Broadband Access Network Switch for Business

Business NBN, Simply put is your business ready to connect to the nbn™ access network?

The network is rolling out across Australia and it is important for a business to be prepared for the transition so that the risk of disruption is minimised by the disconnection of your existing landline infrastructure.

A key strategy is to develop a migration action plan to ensure a smooth transition. This article looks at some of the key checklist points that need to be considered. Computer Troubleshooters Milton Technician has undertaken the training to become a business nbn™ accredited adviser allowing us to help you plan effectively and assist you in the migration process.

What is the scheduled disconnection date for your location?

As the nbn™ access network rolls out progressively across the country, the old copper networks are being made redundant and that requires you to consider what your options are moving forward.

The starting point is to understand when that disconnection will occur in your area. The best way to check this is to visit nbn.com.au/business

It does make business sense that as soon as the nbn™ access network is available that a business does connect to derive the clear benefits of the network.

Why work with a business nbn™ accredited adviser?

There are many decisions to be made in making the switch and this is where the business nbn™ accredited adviser can be of benefit. Questions around who to choose as the internet and phone provider, understanding the services that need to be migrated, or understanding what services might be impacted by switching networks are areas that your adviser can help you.

In some cases, the business nbn™ accredited adviser may be able to provide or connect you to the right people for some of these services.

What are some of the key services and questions that need to be considered?

Service Questions and factors to be considered
Internet Connection: How to stay online during the period of the switch?

What is the best speed and solution for the business?

Phone Systems PABX Equipment compatibility?

VoIP hosted PABX solutions are they appropriate?

If using VoIP what are your data requirements?

Fax machines Will the new service you select to support the use of a fax machine? If yes is the machine compatible?
EFTPOS Terminals How to minimise disruption during the switch? Talk with your provider

Wide area networks such as a VPN What are the data requirements for using the VPN service?

Does your equipment need upgrading?

Cloud Services Identify and list the services you are using?

What are the data requirements?

What is the solution to minimise disruption as the switch occurs?

Unified communications

Video Conferencing

What is the computability of your equipment?

What are the data requirements?

The above checklist has a common theme, compatibility and level of data requirements which feed into what speed and type of plan you need to operate efficiently and effectively.

Other equipment and services areas that need to be considered:

  • Monitored security alarms
  • Fire alarms
  • Lift emergency procedures
  • Medical alarms
  • ATM’s on-site

What is the last consideration?

If a business currently is using copper-based Special Services such as a mega link or an ethernet lite BDSL service, then migrating to the nbn™ access network is likely to be complex and therefore require additional planning in switching these services over. The major thing is to ensure that these services are organised before your disconnection date or you risk losing access to these services and having major disruption to your business.

It is recommended that you have your new services in place and operating early so you avoid such a disruption.

How can Computer Troubleshooters Milton assist you in this transition?

Ensure the Computer Troubleshooter location carries the business nbn™ accredited adviser status. Once this is established then contact the location via phone and request an appointment to discuss your migration to the nbn™ access network. During this discussion, they will also be available to offer you solutions around connections, compatible equipment and specific services such as a VoIP based hosted PABX solution.

Call 0468919399  or visit www.ctmilton.com.au

Office 365 Back Up or Not?

Office 365 Back Up or Not?
Moving from an exchange environment to a Microsoft Office 365 Solution can free a lot of resources and reduce stress around potential business disruption due to server failure. Why? – because Microsoft is responsible for ensuring uptime of the 365 service through effectively managing and maintaining the infrastructure.
But what is the situation with email and the associated protection of data against loss? Microsoft make it very clear that it’s your data, and you alone are responsible for protecting it. Yes, that’s right. YOU and not Microsoft.
What does this mean for a business?
Essentially a business needs to ensure that they have a backup procedure and process in place so they can recover data as quickly as possible in the event of an incident. Imagine the impact on a business that cannot access their email today. It’s costly and almost certain to damage your reputation with your customers who expect immediate and quick responses to questions.
What are the key motivations for backup?
Key motivations are:
• Human error is a major cause of data loss incidents. Humans are prone to make mistakes and accidently delete users, delete attachments, delete emails etc. Such common errors that we all have made. Often the error is discovered beyond retention period set. Now it’s a real problem as you need that data.
• Internal threats this is where for whatever reason we have a situation where a disgruntled staff member wishes to do damage to an organisation by getting back at them. Imagine somebody made redundant but their access to email is not terminated, then they can maliciously delete data and cause much harm to the business. Or perhaps you have an internal user who works outside your policy framework and downloads by mistake infected files that cause data loss. There are so many internal threats that can cause serious disruption to the business.
• External/Hacking threats where the threat sneaks in through email attachments and staff are not educated enough to determine there is a threat. Malware, Viruses like ransomware have caused significant disruption to organisations. Remember that there is a big focus on small to medium businesses because they are seen to be less sophisticated and prepared. Nearly two thirds of attacks are small to medium business, the lesson here is not to think will I get attacked but when will I be attacked and do something now to prevent it.
• Legal and Compliance requirements is a reason as to why you need to make sure you can restore your data if your business is attacked. Many industries have specific legal and compliance requirements. An example would be the need to produce emails within a specific period related to say an unfair dismissal case. It’s costly if you cannot produce the emails that may have been accidently deleted.
• Retention gaps if your Office 365 has been set up with certain policies and timeframes around retention then it is possible that certain data will be deleted and lost forever. Office 365 is not intended to be the prime source of a data backup solution.
What is the solution?
The simple answer is that as a business you end to feel comfortable that you can restore and recover all your data as required. This in effect means ensuring you have a backup solution for Office 365. There are many solutions in the market. Why not allow for your  Computer Troubleshooters Milton to deal with the technical complexity of the solutions and you deal with the issue of making sure there is a backup solution in place.
For further information contact  computer troubleshooters Milton on 0468919399

Painful Password Management Tips

Yes, that’s right you know what this is. It’s a reminder that without the right password management practices in small business there is a significant increase in the chances of a cyber security intrusion. This article will outline some hand tips on password management practices that any business should implement immediately.
If you’re not sure, then ask an expert for help and that’s where you should contact your local Computer Troubleshooters expert. Go to our locations page.
Why is this such an important topic for any business but Small to medium businesses?
The Notifiable Data breach scheme was introduced in February 2018 and since its introduction 964 notifiable breaches have been reported and the leading cause of breaches has been phishing. People being tricked into revealing information such as passwords. This represents around 16% of all breaches 153 in number. Human error was a third of all notifiable breaches.
Passwords are the first line of defence to the valuable information on your computers and electronic devices. It makes sense to be vigilant and ensure that you have the right practices in relation to password creation and management.
What are some basic password principles?
• Create Strong Passwords
By having a strong password makes it so much more difficult for a hacker to crack.  A strong password will be at least 10 characters long, not contain a complete word, a place, name or pet name that can be linked to you. The password is a mixture of numbers and letters and special symbols. Spread the numbers and special characters through the password.
• Avoid writing passwords down
Writing a password down on paper or in a notebook is not a smart move as if you lose the notebook or it is stolen then somebody has your passwords. Yes, it is hard to remember all the passwords so make sure your business is using a password management tool.  Train your staff on how the tool works make certain they understand so they don’t start writing the passwords down.
• Different applications, accounts = different passwords
Research has indicated that 73% of online accounts use duplicated passwords. What this means for the hacker is that if they crack your password, then they are likely to have all your information at their fingertips. Overcome this by using different passwords across various accounts. It is another reason to ensure that you have a password management tool for staff.
• Two factor authentication
Easy to implement and a highly effective safety measure in keeping your data safe and hackers out of your system. It enables you to verify the access by asking the person who is logging in to verify they are who they are by sending a code via text for example.
• Change passwords regularly
Have a policy about the frequency of change and if necessary, force the change by using technology solutions that ask staff to reset their passwords before being allowed back into the system. Too often people keep the same passwords for year’s, so they don’t forget the password.
• When an Employee leaves change passwords
Not all employees leave on good terms and often they are disgruntled and therefore potentially are a business worst enemy. Make sure you have an IT person who can immediately change passwords, remove access to email and your network for ex-employees.  Think about what is at stake and for a simple management fee per month with your IT Support provider you can overcome this.
• Safety first mentality
Would you leave the front door unlocked when your away on a holiday for six weeks? Guess not and it is the same for your business Instill a Safety first mentality across your organisation. Passwords are not safe if a hacker has already installed some monitoring software, so they capture what you key on your keyboard, so ensure you have installed up to date anti-virus software with regular scans scheduled across your network of computers. Make sure your IT support provider can demonstrate that your anti-virus is up to date with the latest virus definitions.
Cybersecurity is broader than password management and it is highly recommended that a business completes an initial cyber security assessment so they can understand all the elements involved and potential areas of risk.
Computer Troubleshooters  Protection Plan service are directly aimed at small to medium businesses which is aimed at allowing you to focus on your business while we focus on your IT security giving you the confidence and peace of mind on this business issue.
Call 0468919399

Prevent, Protect your Business Today

Prevent, Protect your Business Today

If you own or manage a business,

the significant challenge facing you is the prevention of a cyber incident or a data breach through a malicious or criminal attack. This article looks at how you can minimise this risk proactively with a managed protection strategy.
The Human Factor
One of the greatest vulnerabilities for an organisation is their staff. Humans are often targeted by the criminals through email. The criminals are wanting your staff to unwittingly click on a malicious link, provide sensitive information such as passwords or in some cases payroll information.
The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) for instance has reported that they have received a wide range of reported incidents covering things like:
• Fake emails from the Australian taxation office requesting tax file numbers.
• Scammers that fake themselves as being ICT service desk providers asking for employee multifactor authentication credentials.
• Payroll fraud email asking payroll to change bank account details for the next payroll run.
• Fake invoices delivered by email.
One key strategy is to make sure you conduct some awareness training for your staff. Include the topic regularly in any staff meeting so people can share their stories and educate each other.
What to Consider?
The first element to consider is identifying which of your systems are likely to be targeted and identifying what level of protection is required. The protection may include enabling two level authentication processes, monitoring of all connections by your IT provider, ensuring all systems have all the latest patches. (Patches are when you receive a notification to update your software with the latest patch, many people ignore it, however it is best to have your IT provider to monitor this and carry out the patch updates at a time when nobody is at work. This way you have peace of mind)
Check to see what is visible to internet scanning tools. If its visible, then it becomes a potential target.
If you have Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) connections, then either restrict those connections to authorised networks, or even better, disable all external RDP and make those users first connect via a VPN and then use RDP.
The Essential Eight
The following eight mitigation strategies have been identified by the Australian Govt Cyber Security Centre as being essential in minimising the risk to a business. If you’re a business relying on an external provider, then the monthly activities performed should include actions around the essential eight strategies to minimise risk.
Application whitelisting, this is the practice of specifying an index of approved applications that are permitted to be present and active on a computer system. The aim is to protect the computer and the networks from harmful applications. Tasks are to identify and create the whitelist rules and then maintain it monthly.
Patch Applications and Operating Systems is the process of updating your software applications with the latest updates from the supplier. Often these updates are addressing vulnerabilities that have been identified by the software developer. The most common patch you would be aware of is Microsoft when you shut down your system. The next most common is your anti-virus software updating its virus definitions database. Not all staff will update, and your external provider should always monitor and update where necessary, so all devices are up to date.
Office Macros are programs that allow users to perform task much faster and efficiently. They are an excellent target for a hacker. They will often populate documents that appear normal but upon opening will run code inside the macro giving them control of your system. Mitigation involves only allowing the macros to run from documents in trusted locations with controlled write access.
Restrict Administrative Privileges in effect only give access based on a user’s duties. This should be reviewed regularly and remove un-necessary system privileges. This also involves managing access to your networks and managing email access, password resets etc.
Harden User Applications this is where you tightly control applications that can perform unwanted or potentially vulnerable actions. Examples are blocking flash applications, java plug ins etc.
Multi Factor Authentication this is essentially the introduction of additional methods for verifying the user’s identity. They will not be given access if they cannot provide the second level of authentication. This is becoming increasingly popular and effective in managing access.
Backup Daily this minimises the level of disruption to your business in the event of a system crash or a cyber -security incident. Plans between businesses will vary but as a minimum backup should be retained for three months and be disconnected to your system. Your IT provider should develop a backup process with you, and they should always be talking in terms of business continuity. There activity includes monitoring that the backup has occurred and ensuring the restoration process works.
How can Computer Troubleshooters Milton help you?
Firstly, they can provide an initial assessment of your current situation and based on that assessment recommend a solution that will involve a monthly fee based on the activities and the number of devices to be managed. To start the ball rolling call 0468919399 and request that chat.

The Right IT Support for Business

The Right IT Support for Business

Business today relies on technology more than ever. As a result, there is more and more potential for frustration for everyone in the business, when something is not working or goes down.

When a computer issue causes a disruption to an employee’s ability perform daily tasks, not only is productivity impacted but also employee frustration. Very Often this leads to an impact on the employee’s perception of the business.

When an IT problem hits a business there is no such thing as a convenient time.

How does a business overcome this challenge?

To overcome this inconvenience and the associated cost of disruption a business needs to have in place a proactive support option, or the ability to seek support quickly. A proactive support option is where the business has entered into a relationship with their IT provider to monitor their IT systems and perform regular maintenance and associated tasks as defined by their managed services plan for a monthly fee for the term of the agreement. As a general rule the proactive nature of regular maintenance and monitoring provided under a basic level managed services plan eliminates 65-85% of disruptive downtime.

A secondary option is to have a plan of purchased hours that is then supplied by the IT provider under a remote support plan.  An example could be 3 hours. The business can call upon the provider to support them at any time through the month up to the time allowed under the plan.

Under either of these options, the IT provider would generally provide first line response by accessing the businesses network and devices through a remote connection tool such as TeamViewer.

What are the key benefits of such a plan?

Time and speed of response is a key benefit for the business. Remember that when something breaks, every minute of downtime is costing the business in terms of staff productivity. It’s not hard to see how not only it is costing the business in employees time, but it can mean not being able to earn revenue as you may not be able to create invoices or even collect the cash from the sales you have made.

By being able to connect remotely, an IT provider can immediately start diagnosing the issue and start fixing it, rather than have people sitting around waiting for the technician to arrive on site before they can commence working on the issue. This means the most important and urgent problems can be addressed quickly.

The second benefit is that the mode by which you are remotely supported is simple and not confusing for your users. As the user, you receive from your provider an invitation that requires the user to give access permission for the IT provider. Computer Troubleshooters use Industry leading highly secure remote support tools such as TeamViewer, LogMeIn, Screen Connect etc. Once access is given then the IT provider may take control or you the user may describe the problem by showing your support technician what is happening. The outcome of this is faster diagnosis and faster resolution meaning the business is back to being productive sooner.

Access is another benefit because it does not matter where you are or what time it is providing you have an internet connection then the Computer Troubleshooters Milton technician can access your device.

The depth of issues that can be remediated is significant. Issues like malware, removing viruses, patch updating on software, clearing disk space, printer issues, backup, email issues, office 365, password rectification/management of users and general testing of performance are just some examples of what can be supported remotely.

How can Computer Troubleshooters help your business?

At Computer Troubleshooters Milton we can provide remote support on demand. This means if your business is not on a managed plan then you can still get immediate help and assistance and be able to minimise the period of disruption to your business. Under this “on demand” model the normal hourly rate of the provider is charged.

Remember, today it is all about prevention and minimising the disruption to your business.

What to do next?

Call Computer Troubleshooters Milton on 0468919399

STAY SAFE ON PUBLIC WIFI

STAY SAFE ON PUBLIC WIFI

Public Wi-Fi – 6 Stay Safe Tips.
You’re at the airport, a coffee shop or in a hotel, and you need to meet a deadline. To achieve this deadline, you need to access Public Wi-Fi. It is convenient, but it comes with risk. This article provides some tips to reduce your risk.

Tip Number 1: Use Commonsense.
It seems logical, but a good starting point is to think about the type of data you are sending and receiving when connected to public Wi-Fi. Aim to avoid sending or receiving valuable or sensitive information when connected.
Checking your social media, reading articles are generally safe activities, but think twice about accessing bank accounts, using credit cards and downloading sensitive documents. Limit what you do.
Choose wisely when connecting to a public Wi-Fi. Connect only in places where the organisation is known and established. For example, connect at the hotel in preference to the small café across the road.

Tip Number 2: Connect Securely.
Avoid hotspots when you are unsure if they are legitimate or not. Remember, one tactic commonly used by hackers is to create fake Wi-Fi hotspots. If you join such a fake hotspot then the hacker can gain access to your personal information and they can possibly access your files through file sharing.
Ensure once connected, that you turn off File sharing as this will limit access to your files. Remember tip #1 Commonsense. Why would you share your files in a public space?
If you’re visiting sites, then make certain that they have encryption and are using the HTTPS// protocol. To do this check the hyperlink in the browser and be certain you can see the HTTPS.

Tip Number 3: Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network).
If you’re in business, then you should always be using a VPN solution. A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel that allows data to pass securely over Public Wi-Fi networks. This will protect you from outsiders attempting to spy on your online activity. This VPN makes it a lot more difficult for a hacker to track your movements and steal your information.

Tip Number 4: Disable Auto Connect.
To avoid automatically connecting to a Wi-Fi network and perhaps an unsecure one at that, disable the auto connect feature on your device. In addition, always when you have finished using the Public Wi-Fi network it is suggested that in settings you proactively select the option to “Forget this network”

Tip Number 5: Keep the Firewall Enabled.
Turning on a Firewall can prevent hackers gaining unauthorised external access to your system. A firewall does not provide complete protection, but it is a setting that should always be turned on.
A Firewall actively monitors the data packets that come from network and checks whether they’re safe or not. If the firewall detects any malicious data packet the Firewall will block the delivery of that data packet thereby safeguarding your data from attacks

Tip Number 6: Take extra precautions to secure your devices.
No matter what device you are using (laptop, tablet or phone) ensure the device has a reputable anti-virus installed. Ask your local Computer Troubleshooter solutions expert about the latest options available.

Ensure your software has been patched with the latest updates and version of the software. Today we are living in a world that is facing multiple new threats daily. Consequently, software providers are always releasing patch updates to protect you and to avoid costly security incidents.
Consider the usage of two-factor or multi factor authentication. This makes it very difficult for any hacker as they need access to your second level authentication device such as your phone or your SMS inbox. This is gaining strong acceptance as more services are delivered through the cloud.
Conclusion:

The above tips are the basis for ensuring that you reduce the risks of using a public Wi-Fi and just may result in you not falling a victim of data theft. Most of these tips are simple, easy, relatively inexpensive and reduce the chances of cyber criminals gaining access to your valuable data.
The underlying aim is to make life very difficult for the Hackers, Crackers and Virus Attackers that lurk about looking for victims.
To understand more, please contact Computer Troubleshooters Milton on 0468919399

2019 = Scam Watch

2019 = Scam Watch

Welcome to 2019 = Scam Watch.  Scams continue to grow rapidly, and they continue to evolve to elaborate making it more and more difficult for people to recognize and avoid. The Australian government through Scamwatch.gov.au continues to report that Scams are costing the broader community significant amounts of money. Not only consumers but business as well with Small to Medium businesses being a very specific target.

Not all scams are related to the internet but the radar watch on scams reports that YTD October 2018, there was 15,195 reported incidents of which 9% involved a financial loss and $4.966 million had been lost. The key methods for delivering a scam are phone, email, text messaging, the internet and mobile applications.

As the variety of scams continues to grow, and the best form of defense is education and ensuring your IT systems are up to date with virus protection, that your data is backed up and that you are effectively managing access to your systems and email.

The criminals have continued to become more sophisticated with their ability to make an email to appear it is from a legitimate company. This hack involves a company receiving an email re the payee’s bank details have changed and that their invoices for services/goods should be paid to this new account.

In January there is an expectation that more scams involving online shopping, donations to fake charities and investment scams will have been reported over the Xmas period.

Understanding the Scams

Hacking is when the scammer gains access to your personal/business information by using technology to break into your computer, mobile device or network.

Some examples are to trick the user into installing some malware (software application) onto your computer and then that software works in the background to collect personal information such as banking records, passwords, credit card numbers etc.

Once they have this information, they use it to commit fraudulent activities such as identity theft or credit card theft or even directly transfer money to their accounts from your account.

Identity theft is where a person uses someone else’s identity to steal money or gain other benefits.  A common method is Phishing, which is where you are contacted either by Phone, email, text, social media and then without suspecting anything you provide personal details.

This method equally applies to businesses but is referred to as Whaling or spear phishing. The scammer targets the business to gain confidential information for fraudulent purposes. Usually done by email that is sent to either a group of employees or a specific senior executive. The design of the email looks like it has been sent from a trustworthy source, with a subject that captures the eye as it is critical business issue that the requires the recipient to act by going to a fake website and prompting them to enter key confidential information.

 What are some of the scams?

The following list is not exhaustive, but they give you an idea of where you might encounter a scam.

Holiday accommodation scam: this is where scammers are asking for a payment for something that does not exist. Means fake online websites, fake vouchers unusual practices like paying everything in total (especially bigger trips) with no deposit.

Flight booking scams: same approach using online techniques through fake websites you pay turn up at the airport and you do not have an authentic flight ticket

Online shopping scams: the scammer   tricks through fake classified ads, auction listings, and bogus websites. You purchase but never receive the goods and the website is often only there for a very short period.

Celebrity endorsement scams: these types of scams involve a loss of between $100 and $500. This scam involves signing up for a free trial and providing credit card details from fake websites where they use celebrities to endorse the product without the celebrity’s knowledge.

False Billing: They request you or your business to pay fake invoices for directory listing, advertising, domain name renewals, or office supplies that you did not order. This type of scam has grown by 33% in 2018. It is a sophisticated scam created through email compromise (BEC, Business Email Compromise). Losses of up to $2.8 million have been reported in 2018.

What are the key things you should do to protect yourself or business?

The following items are not listed in any order, but you should at least implement these items to mitigate the risk.

  1. DO an annual Security IT assessment and act on the recommendations.
  2. Do ensure your Antivirus software is up to date and is maintained weekly. Ensure you have a weekly maintenance schedule where this is checked and updated
  3. Do have a person responsible for maintaining and regulating your user profiles for your computers and email services.
  4. Have IT security as a regular point of discussion at your team meetings Share stories and examples so your team become more educated at identifying possible threats.
  5. Ensure you have backup and that it is checked regularly that it worked at the last scheduled backup time.
  6. Install a password manager for all staff

How can Computer Troubleshooters help you?

As a small business you probably won’t have the time or the resource to undertake all the above, which is why are joining forces with Crest Australia to conduct IT security assessments that have been backed by the Australian Government with rebates on the fees. Learn more on this Federal government program.

Our Protection Plan service is directly aimed at small to medium businesses which is aimed at allowing you to focus on your business while we focus on your IT security giving you the confidence and peace of mind on this business issue.

Call 0468919399 for Computer Troubleshooters Milton

What You Need to Know About Office 2019 for Windows and Mac

Washington-based tech giant, Microsoft, recently launched Office 2019 for Windows and Mac, the direct successor of Microsoft Office 2016. With this new on-premises suite comes new versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, Publisher, Access, Project, and Visio. Determine whether or not it’s time for your organisation to upgrade by reviewing commonly asked questions about Office 2019

.

Common Questions:

About Office 2019 for Windows and Mac

Many Office users are apprehensive to make updates to their computers, and understandably so. From Office 2019 to Office 365, it can be difficult to stay up-to-date on Microsoft’s latest products. To help your organisation make a more informed decision on which version of Office to use, review the following FAQs.

Who should upgrade to Office 2019?

According to Microsoft, adopting the cloud is a journey that not every user is ready for. To accommodate those businesses and individuals who aren’t prepared to move to the cloud, Microsoft developed Office 2019.

Commercial volume license users can enjoy Office 2019 in September 2018, and all other users– both commercial and consumer– can upgrade in October 2018.

What will Office 2019 include?

Office 2019’s new features allow users to manage work more effectively and develop more impactful content. Some of the most notable Office 2019 features include updates to the following Microsoft programs:

· Word: New text-to-speech and learning features, improved accessibility, enhanced inking capabilities, and black theme

· Outlook: New focused inbox, updated contact cards, and @ mentions support

· Excel: Enhancements to PowerPivot and PowerQuery, new functions, funnel charts, timelines and 2D maps

· PowerPoint: Roaming pencil case capabilities, enhanced zoom, and 3D image management.

It is important to note that while Office 2019 is equipped with a subset of features available to Office 365 ProPlus users, it is not part of Office 365. Additionally, Office 2019 will not receive feature updates aside from security updates and bug fixes.

If you’re looking for a productivity suite that offers more features and delivers updates on a regular basis, consider upgrading to Office 365–a subscription service powered by the Microsoft cloud. Microsoft boasts that Office 365 is the most secure and productive option for users.

Does my organisation have to upgrade to Office 2019 for Windows and Mac?

Originally, Microsoft announced that as of October 13, 2020, all users would need Office 365 ProPlus or Office 2019 in order to connect to Office 365. The company has recently revised that policy and will continue supporting Office 2016 with Office 365 services through October of 2023. That being said, your organisation doesn’t have to upgrade immediately, but be sure to do so before the support deadline.

Will Microsoft release on-premises versions of Office after Office 2019?

Although Microsoft is focusing on cloud-based innovation, it acknowledges that customers are at different stages of the cloud adoption process. In order to support all customers until their move to the cloud, Microsoft will continue to release on-premises versions of Office.

For more information on Office 2019 for Windows and Mac, please review Office 2019 FAQs or contact Computer Troubleshooters Milton for consultation services.

Your local technology experts can help you or your business make a decision that best fits your needs and budget. Plus, we can help you plan and execute an upgrade strategy to ensure your data is backed up and secure.

Cybersecurity Training for Employees

Cybersecurity Training for Employees

Educating and training staff on cybersecurity within a Business is a key strategy in reducing the risk of a cyber-attack. Staff need to be able to detect potentially suspicious email messages and the steps to take when confronted with a suspicious message.
Email continues to be one of the most popular mediums for criminals to target unwary business with scams, phishing and malicious software (malware). Between April and June of 2018 ACORN (Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network) reported that email is one of the top three targets of cyber criminals.
Understanding how it works?
There are several different threats that utilise email for their success this includes phishing and malware. These threats work as follows:
1 An employee receives a message that contains an appeal or threat and tries to convince the recipient to do something like clicking a link.
2 The employee assesses the characteristics of the message and decides it is a legitimate email and then undertakes the requested action.
3 The employee performs the required action – which might be clicking a malicious link, opening a malicious file or even sending sensitive information such as Credit card details. The impact is that the sender of the message has an illegitimate gain as the sender and the receiver has a negative consequence because of undertaking the action requested.
With social engineering it is becoming harder to spot malicious emails, which only increases the importance of having regular discussions with staff about how to detect suspicious emails and sharing their knowledge of scams that they have become aware of.
Social engineering is a way of manipulating people using misinformation, which means that the natural defences against deception are lowered. Criminals are investing in time, effort and money to research targets to learn names, titles, responsibilities and any other personal information they can find. Applications such as Facebook Linkedin are extensively used to locate this information. This raises the topic of Identity theft online.
Discuss simple things with employees like the information they might be sharing and how that can be used to make an email seem real and accurate. For example, a senior executive indicates he is travelling and as result the scammer sends an email from the senior executive asking for an urgent payment. Employees in financial and administrative positions can be targeted re changing banking details, transferring funds or a request for sensitive financial information.
Spam and Reducing It
Spam is the receipt of electronic messages that you have not asked for that are sent to an email account.
Some steps that can be employed to reduce email are:
1. Don’t share your email address.
2. Use multiple email addresses for a different range of actions E.g. an address specifically for online forms.
3. Have separate emails for Business and Personal use.
4. Ensure your email system has a spam filter to catch emails before they get to an inbox.
5. Have a whitelisting/blacklisting policy for email addresses.
6. Ensure that your Anti -Virus solution does not allow people to download files without a release policy.
7. Do not open any emails contained in the spam folder.
8. Clean and empty the spam folder regularly.
9. Do not subscribe for regular email when signing up for an online account or service.

Detection what to look for?
Detection is not easy as scammers are very cunning and careful today. Despite this there are some simple steps to follow to minimise the risk.
Simple rules are:
1 Do not open messages if you do not recognise or know the sender.
2 Emails that are not addressed to you directly or use your correct name.
3 Check the address it is from don’t look at the name look at the actual email address.
4 Don’t forward emails that you are not certain about.
5 Ask somebody what they think if you are uncertain on any links or attachments.
6 With a link hover over it to see the web address if in doubt don’t click it.
7 Ensure your anti-virus software is updated and has the latest virus definitions.
Two Step Verification for Email Accounts
Two step verification is a common process in today’s environment. Effectively the two step verification process makes it very difficult for someone else to sign in to your email account.
Put simply two step verification/authentication is a process where the use must provide more than one type of proof that they are authorised before they can access an account. This is common across many web service providers such as Google, Microsoft and Gmail.
Closing
This topic of staff education on email is often overlooked but it is one that should be discussed constantly across all employees. Simply involve everyone, ask Computer Troubleshooters Milton about how they can help you educate your employees.
The take away is simple be proactive in minimising the risk and reducing the impact of a cyber incident to your business. Call 0468919399 to discuss your needs with Computer Troubleshooters Milton.

VOIP Reshaping Business Communications

VOIP Reshaping Business Communications

Voice communications over the Internet Protocol (VOIP) delivers a range of benefits to businesses when looking at the challenge of Business communications. The key benefits that have driven the growth of VOIP are cost-savings, efficiency flexibility and scalability.
Director of Computer Troubleshooters Milton sees “the biggest factor for clients in deciding to implement a VOIP system is cost effectiveness and the speed with which a system can be deployed minimizing disruption to the business.”
A solution for communication needs to cover smartphones, landline communications and video conferencing, hence the term Unified Communications is often used when discussing a solution.
What are some of the trends impacting communications?
The introduction of modern technologies continually changes the way society acts, expectations and behaviour. Think how the introduction of email has disrupted traditional mail, the introduction of the mobile phone and wireless technologies have all impacted on the way we communicate and act.
Some of these changes are:
• The need to be constantly and immediately available, when we call somebody we expect an immediate response. Expectations are you can be reached anytime, anyplace from anywhere.
• Technology is constantly developing and becoming increasingly available at a value that most businesses can afford. What this means is that more and more functionality and sophistication is available to smaller and medium sized businesses.
• The cloud enables people to be able to access their data (work-related files) and applications wherever they are. This increases productivity and flexibility within organisations it also allows organisations to unify all their hardware and software.
• The usage of chat and messaging tools is becoming more prominent in businesses. These tools are underpinning how organisations think of the customer experience with the aim to be more customer focused. What is important though that these tools become integrated as part of the communication systems and the data is kept for reference. Quicker and easier than email, means less time spent on communications equals increase in productivity
• Voicemail is not quick enough and often you repeat yourself when the person calls you back. In a lot of cases, they have not even listened to the message. Repeating yourself. Often this is where messaging somebody can be more effective.
• Communication capabilities can be integrated rather than having disparate solutions. If its integrated using a simple package, then you can move seamlessly from application to another without loss of time.
• The price and capability of the technology continues to come down meaning it is a viable option no matter what your business size is.
• Improved quality in picture and audio when undertaking virtual conferencing means that more and more meetings across all areas of a business operation are being held. This delivers real and significant savings to an organisation in today’s competitive landscape.
What does this mean for a business today?
It means that if you have not at least assessed the area of VOIP and Unified communications then you may be limiting the capacity and viability of your business to compete against your competitors.
The starting point is to have a discussion with your IT provider about Unified communications and understand what your options are. One consideration in the discussion is the whole issue of security of your networks. Why? Because if using a VoIP then the solution sends the calls through the same path your network used for internet and other traffic. This naturally increases risk hence the conversation needs to cover security.
How can Computer Troubleshooters Milton assist?
Computer Troubleshooters Milton can consult with you about your requirements and then assist you in selecting a provider and then assist in the changeover. Computer Troubleshooters Milton Managing Director Jamie OBrien recommends the Fonality solution because of the ease and speed of deploying the Fonality system. Effectively the handsets are pre-configured and in effect it’s a plug and play system. The costs are clear and the flat fee model of Fonality makes it easy to understand the costs and the returns.
Call 0468919399,

Call Now