computer security

Benefits of Microsoft Office365 for your business

Benefits of Microsoft Office365 for your business 1000 450 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

Microsoft Office365 has positioned itself to become ubiquitous in 2017, and it’s doing a great job of meeting almost every business need from home office to enterprise. Office 365 is a cloud-based productivity suite, combining their signature collection of office software with powerful collaborative attributes, allowing your team to work from anywhere, and on any device.

Your company will benefit from business-class professional tools like email, messaging and video conferencing, fully integrated across your network. Enjoy a range of collaborative tools such as calendars, cloud storage and full Skype for Business (S4B) integration – not to mention enhanced security features that give you access to the latest in tech safety.

Installing Office365 is possibly the smartest decision you will ever make

With no up-front costs, it’s an easy decision to make. You’ve got no software to update or maintain, because your apps are backed up and updated automatically as new versions become available. The savings operational efficiency alone would make the ROI worthwhile, not to mention the ability to reduce or eliminate your server load by hosting applications and storing data in the cloud. Deployment is easy and can be accomplished across your entire system without engaging IT support.

Scalability made easy

Being able to scale at a moment’s notice is another benefit of Microsoft Office365. Licences are billed per user/per month, and each user can connect up to five devices. If you experience a sudden growth spurt, you have the ability to add users with a few simple clicks.

Office365 will also help you minimize the time you spend training new hires, as they will likely already be comfortable with the Microsoft environment, allowing them to get to work right away.

Viability can be easily measured through a number of factors, including:

✓ Improved employee productivity and engagement:
o Being able to work from any location frees up your workforce to go where inspiration will find them. Think of what they might accomplish if they weren’t tied to the same old desk all day long!
o Enhanced connectivity through video conferencing, messaging, corporate social networking and integration with various apps and CRMs
o File sharing and other collaborative tools
o Synched access to calendar, email and contacts across all devices

✓ Better business continuity
o Work within one integrated platform
o 99.9% uptime guarantee
o Business-class email hosting
o Conduct on-line meetings from wherever you are
o Enhanced security features to defend against the latest threats
o Disaster recovery support
o Reduces IT support costs

Productivity integrations that you will actually use

Office 365 Groups was introduced in 2016 to enhance productivity for workgroups. Originally developed for educational institutions and other large, collaborative workgroups, it offers integrations with apps that are designed to help you get your work done faster and more efficiently. While Skype for Business might represent the most high-profile connection in Groups, apps like Delve, Yammer, Planner, Power BI, Office Graph and Dynamics CRM add layers of functionality that add even more benefits.

Office 365 Groups is all about collaboration. Within the public or private group that you create, Office Graphs tracks and compiles information related to a specific user for easy access, as does Delve. Delve and Graphs work together to present this compiled content in an intuitive manner, providing personalized and organizational insights that can help your team be as productive as it can possibly be. Yammer is Microsoft Office 365’s private social platform, helping connect your team more effectively.

Today’s cyber threats need today’s cyber security

In addition to the range of cyber threats you know about, there are a world of perils that you haven’t yet imagined. From ransomware to social engineering tactics, on-line thieves are becoming more and more sophisticated about how they access your systems, and nobody, not even the small business owner or solopreneur, is free from risk. One of the ways cyber thieves can access your system is through vulnerabilities in outdated software. Microsoft Office365 is self-updating, so you can sleep peacefully, knowing that your systems are always protected with the latest security patches. This feature is yet another contributor to your ROI, as you will never have to count on contracted IT support (or a random member of your staff) to keep your software and systems up to date.

Your systems and data are always protected

Microsoft Office365 is a key player in your disaster recovery plan. Since applications and shared files are all stored in the cloud, your location could burn to the ground but your data would still be safe and secure, your applications running as usual. Your customers would not notice a thing, and your workforce could pick up where they left off on another device at another location.

What’s already great about Office365 is just getting better

New features that rolled out this January prove that Microsoft is committed to being the only productivity solution for businesses of any size. If you are thinking about moving to a Microsoft Office365 environment and would like to speak to one of Greenlight ITCs Microsoft IT support specialists, call today. We would love to speak to you about the benefits of Office365, and demonstrate more completely what it can help you accomplish.

Top 10 Tips to keep your Passwords Safe and Secure

Top 10 Tips to keep your Passwords Safe and Secure 1000 450 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

As IT professionals, we are fighting a never ending battle to keep our customers networks secure.  Here are our top 10 tips that end-users can undertake to help keep your systems secure.

1. Don’t give your password out to anyone

Be very mindful when a colleague or IT professional asks you for your password. Wherever possible type your password for them, or get them to use their own.  The IT security industry uses the term Social Engineering  to describe a process where bad guys pose as an IT professional to get regular users divulge passwords or other security related information.

2. And Watch out for web “phishing” attacks

Phising   is when you get an email that pretends to be from a bank or other reputable institution, that leads you to a false website that prompts you to enter your account information.  Banks will never send you such an email, and if you do think it is legitimate, give them a call to confirm.  A commercial anti-spam filter will block a lot of these emails, but you still need to be vigilant.

3. Use different password for each account

We all do it.  We all have one, or even a number of favourite passwords that we use (or rotate) on different systems. If even one of these passwords gets compromised, it leaves the door open to a multitude of systems.  Once you are aware of a breach, you have to go and reset your passwords everywhere you can think of.  Better to keep the passwords different from the start.  Password management software can help track these passwords, and even generate unique passwords for you.

4. Change passwords regularly

Some systems and websites, such as banks, require you to change your password on a regular basis.  For any system that has potentially sensitive information, it’s best practice to take a pro-active approach and initiate the change yourself.

5. Put a password on your mobile and tablet

If you use your mobile or table for work emails, or file sharing through dropbox or one drive then it goes without saying that you should have a password or pin to access your mobile device.  Losing your mobile is bad enough.  Allowing thieves enough information to gain access to your bank accounts would be disastrous.

6. Create passwords that include Capital letters and special characters with numbers

And avoid common passwords and dictionary words.  A brute force attack is where an attacker uses software that goes through a list of common usernames and passwords to see if they get a “hit”. So don’t leave you password blank, or use “password” or “12345”

7. Don’t leave passwords on sticky notes

You never know who is looking around the office when you are not there, so keep you account details and passwords out of plain sight

8. Update your anti-virus and anti-malware software

A current subscription for anti-virus software may help detect and prevent some phishing and key logger attacks.  The software is cheap compared to costs of rebuilding a compromised PC, let alone the cost of lost data

9. Use password management software

There are a number of free and commercial password management solutions available that will store your passwords in a “vault” on your PC or in the cloud, depending on your preferences.  Talk to your local IT support  company if you need guidance on this.

10. Spread the word

Pass these tips onto your colleagues and staff.  A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.  Even if a low level users account is compromised, hackers often use this as a stepping stone to get access to an entire system.

How to Improve WordPress Security

How to Improve WordPress Security 150 150 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

wordpress-securityAs the most popular content management system, WordPress is also subject to a higher number of security risks than other content management systems. These security risks have the potential to your website and your entire business at risk. With sensitive data such as banking information or employee records, it’s important that those managing your WordPress site take care to protect this information from nefarious sources. Thankfully, it isn’t all doom and gloom – there are things that you can do to protect your WordPress site, reputation, and your business. Here are a few tips on keeping your WordPress website secure:

A secure web host

Ensuring that your web host has a good security plan is the first and one of the most important steps in keeping your website secure. Website hosts are the most frequent way that WordPress sites are hacked, with an estimated 41% of WordPress websites being compromised due to web host security issues. This is because the web host is often the first in line to be attacked as hackers try to access up to thousands of accounts that may be located on each server. Therefore, it is of course important to ensure that your website host has a high level of security to protect your business in case of attack. Questions such as how your host handles security breaches and what methods they use to scan for security vulnerabilities should be asked of your web host before making a final decision.

Update regularly

Regularly updating your WordPress site and plugins is important to keep your WordPress secure. Hackers are always looking for weaknesses in WordPress code and plugins in order to find ways into your site. Therefore, WordPress and companies that offer plugins must be constantly correcting any weaknesses found in order to stay ahead of these hackers. By updating your WordPress site and plugins regularly, you are ensuring that you are keeping up to date on the latest security fixes available.

Smart WordPress settings

Certain WordPress settings can also go a long way in keeping your site safe. Here are a couple common ones that go a long way in keeping your WordPress secure:

  • Strong passwords – Do not use common passwords or passwords that can easily be guessed. Weak passwords are a major reason why websites get hacked, with 8% of WordPress websites being compromised due to weak passwords. Popular names, phrases, or simply having a “123” password will leave your website wide open to hackers. Instead, use a mix of numbers, letters, and other characters that will make it more difficult for hackers to easily crack your passcode.
  • Remove admin user – Removing your site’s default administrator account is an important change to make when securing your WordPress site. Having a unique log in account name adds an extra layer of protection to WordPress since hackers also have to figure out your login name. When setting up your WordPress site, make sure that you create a new administrative account for yourself with a unique login name and delete your old admin account.

Backup regularly

Regularly backing up your files is also critical in keeping your WordPress site secure. Since it’s basically impossible to guarantee safety, it is important that in the event that your website or data is compromised and anything is corrupted or has to be removed, that you can restore your website to a recent state. You can choose to back up your site manually and/or use plugins that will allow for automatic backups.

Great WordPress security plugins

In addition to your host having security programs, it’s important that you have your own security software for your site. There are lots of security plugins that will cover security for the different ways that hackers may attack your site. Some of the types of security plugins that you’ll need include:

  • Login Limiter – This type of plugin will limit the number of login attempts that can be made, stopping hackers from trying login names and passwords until they find the right combination.
  • Security scans – These plugins find vulnerabilities in your site and offer tips on how to fix them.
  • Antivirus – These plugins will protect your site from viruses, trojans, and other malware, either stopping them from entering or removing them if found.

The best WordPress security plan involves using a number of approaches in order to reduce the risk of being compromised. By following the suggestions above and adopting a holistic approach to website security, then you can rest assured in the knowledge that your site is as secure as possible.

Malware Attacks – Is Your Business Protected?

Malware Attacks – Is Your Business Protected? 150 150 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

Earlier this month antivirus companies discovered a new and exciting, quite nasty piece of malware on the Internet. Short for malicious software, malware is often used to gather access to sensitive information, or to infiltrate and disrupt computers and networks.

Those pesky cyber criminals have been hard at work, creating a nasty program that will essentially lock all of your files with an uncrackable password. But don’t worry, they will return to save the day with the password and a hefty price tag!

The malware is generally deployed to people via infected websites and via phishing emails. They know how important data is to your business, and that’s why they are targeting small and large companies.

Think of it like this:

  1. A virus infects your computer, generating a public key.
  2. It then scours your computer and network, gathering all the data it can find.
  3. The virus contacts the keylogger’s server, and requests a private key.
  4. This private key is simply a super password that cannot be cracked (unless of course you are the NSA).
  5. Now they have something you need. Something that you would pay to get back.

 

malware-explained

It’s like having two locks on your data, and a criminal organisation wants you to pay for their key to access it.

 

You may have read about some instances of this kind of cyber fraud that have been leaked to the public. One in particular that shocked us the most was a medical practice in Miami, Gold Coast. The malware virus that infected their systems forced them to roll back 1 year of patient records – the virus had even encrypted all of their backups. Scary stuff.

Here are a few tips and tricks I recommend to companies who want to avoid this nasty:

  • Conduct regular Offsite backups
  • Conduct user training on phishing emails
  • Carefully read emails
  • Check all links in emails before you click them
  • Do not open dodgy or questionable attachments

Below are also some handy articles we recommend you read or pass onto staff:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4933

And here is a great article on some examples of this exact attack happening to companies:

http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/security-it/web-hijack-gangs-hold-businesses-to-ransom-20121223-2bsj4.html

Make sure you keep your computers and network up to date with all the latest security patches. If you’d like an assessment of your IT infrastructure, feel free to get in touch with us.