Managed Services

Well, that was an easy thing to do.  Click on the sign up link and let someone else do the work for you.

Not following me, don’t worry.

Enter-at Managed Services now take all the hassle out of managing your antivirus, firewall, encryption, Office packages (the list goes on, and on and on)

What we have done is set with our suppliers a Cloud where your devices and accounts can be managed Centrally.  You can still control your account the way you want to but why worry when we can do that for you and leave you free to focus on what you need to.

Backups and Sleep

Make it Simple Please

Now if your reading you may have worked out what I’m going on about.  Backups and where to store them.  We all know that you need to back up your data and keep it safe and there are loads of software solutions out there who all say and do the same, they backup your data and store it where you tell it to.

Now from all the options where do you put your faith should you ever need to recover a files, folder or system?  As a sys admin do you sleep at night or do you ask yourself did I set that backup correctly will it run?  Well all I’m going to say a backup can only be classed as working if you can recover a whole system using it without losing a file.  Now I’m not going to make everyone recover a complete system each time they need a file but I am asking when was the last time you checked to see if your backup would recover the system.  Basically can you sleep knowing that when that phone call comes you can get out of bed and work your magic and save the day.

Quick Option Guide

  1. File based backup, each time the backup runs it produces a copy of the file for that data and time
  2. Image Based Backup, this is a complete image of the system so everything is included each time the backup is run.
  3. Replication, not really a backup but to replicate the data on one system to another incase there is a problem.

What to use

Every client has a different need and depending on what the ultimate goal is. I don’t just mean backup the data and hope it works.

Some clients need to be able to fully restore their data and be working in a time frame which seems nearly impossible but there are solutions which can do this.  Others just need to be back up and running as soon as possible.  Depending on how quickly you need your data back and of course the budget you have will tend to lead the decision on what type of backup.

From experience file based backups are a cheap starting point allowing full system restores or individual files even email restores but they can be one of the slowest when doing a full system restore.  Image based backup are quicker at the full system recovery level but the backed up data file is as help full for just digging out a file or email.  It can be done but takes a little more work than file based backups.  Then replication, well my experience is great if you have the budget for a second or third device and the storage and network to copy files over as a direct copy of your system.

Therefore it’s a call between file based and image based as I said everyone if different and only by looking at what your true goals are can lead to an informed answer.  If you want to talk more about backups and your options please call on 01869 220280 as always happy to help.

Where to Store

Once you have worked out what type of backup and the frequency you need to store the data safely and securely if you need it.  Now that being said you have to work out how much storage space to allow your current data and for all the new data you will be backing up.  A good rule to follow is to use a factor of 3.  If you currently have 200GB of data then look at data storage of a least 600GB allowing for three backups.  What I tend to go with is for any backup at least double what you have and add a bit.

Now you have worked out how much storage you need, it’s time to go back to your backup solutions and see what type of storage they support.  e.g. USB Drive, NAS, Cloud.  This will in turn allow you to work out the costs involved for each option.  There are loads of possibilities so I’m not going through them here but again if you want to know more please call on 01869 220280 and we can have a chat about them.

Personally use a local device for quick recovery and then have this device backed up to a cloud location so there is always two copies of your data.  One Local and one Safely offsite.  Just make sure that when you use cloud you know where your data is being stored and you are happy with the provider.

Final Point

Although there is no right or wrong way to go about your backups hence why I have not used any in-depth information above a backup is only any good if it can be used when you need to use it.  In order for you to work the miracle of recovering the data you need to test that the back up works.  This can be from grabbing a single file or by recovering the system and making sure it boots and allows you to use it.  So please what ever method you go with always find time to test your backups as when you need them it too late to save the information you need.

 

Are you being safe online?

It doesn’t matter how much you use the web it is important to remember to always be on your guard.  If we roll the clock back to a time before the internet we had to find out information the hard way.  Researching in the library knocking on doors basically interacting with people.  Due to the social interaction we all had a valued skill, self security.  We could tell if a person didn’t seem quite as they should, we could detect a scam from a distance.

Now let’s roll the clock forward a bit, welcome the internet at first there was a slow up take in its use but as time moved on and search engines became more reliable it was easier to find information.  With a click of your mouse or keyboard information was in front of you.  Now before I go on this is not a bad thing I use the internet everyday but what happened next is alarming.

We became click happy, click it there, click on that it looks good, client code over there not sure if it’s relevant but it can’t be bad it on the internet!  Just what happened to us we no longer question what we are looking at we just click.  This is where the cyber criminals now enter how easy is it to trap a person in a scam who it not really paying attention.  Would a user just click on a link or a picture without really questioning what they are doing? Answer yes and that’s where the criminal has left a nasty bit of code in the form of malware, a virus or even ransomeware.

This is where you hope for their basic concept of security and that they have an antivirus and firewall.  However I have personally had to go and sort out a few machines where there was no security or definitions were so out of date it was truly worrying.  Whilst taking care of the infected system I got to know the user and found out that they are aware of the big bad world and criminals but they never though browsing the internet would cause such a problem.

It was at this time I decided to explain some of the basics when it comes to internet security.

1st make sure you have a firewall or all-inclusive real-time scanning antivirus

2nd keep it up to date if.  If it says it needs to update let it. If it doesn’t force it to at least once a week.

3rd As you browse keep an eye out on the bottom of your browser screen.  As you hover over a link it identifies where it’s going to take you.  The biggest thing to keep an eye out for is for the link to end .exe or .dll as these can download malicious software to your computer.  Should you see anything. Like this and you’re not downloading a program don’t click on it.

4th Only download programs from trusted sources such as online stores like Microsoft, adobe, be careful of software sharing sites.  Not only can the content be dangerous but also illegal.

5th Any link on a website can be dangerous so can images.  Should you end up on a website full or random ads be careful how you move around the screen. If in doubt get out.

These are just 5 basic rules to keep you out of trouble but there are more skills you can adopt but they all come down to having sense and questioning your own actions before you click.  So are you being safe online?

Connections

Hows your connectivity?  Do you need an upgrade or want to move provider?

Contact us for our latest pricing and availability of products available to your premises.

01869 220280

 

Connection Voucher Scheme – suspended

News recieved about the Connection Voucher Scheme

The funds available to the Scheme are close to being fully committed and it has now become necessary to suspend the Scheme.

If you are still intrested in connecting your business then please get in touch, although the scheme is suspended there are still connectons available at prices everyone can afford.

Ofcom Mobile Coverage Checker

Ofcom has created an online tool that lets people see what kind of mobile coverage they should be getting.

The coverage map is based on data provided by mobile operators as well as Ofcom’s own testing of signal strengths around the UK.

The webpage has gathered data about the quality of voice calls as well as 3G and 4G data.

The watchdog said it was seeking feedback to fine tune the map to make it more accurate.

Data congestion

“Access to reliable mobile phone coverage used to be a ‘nice to have’,” said Steve Unger, Ofcom’s chief technology officer in a statement. “Now it’s essential to many people’s lives.”

The map-based system can be searched via postcodes, or visitors to the page can simply zoom in to a location.

Coverage strength is given for both indoors and outdoors. In addition, the map provides information about geographic features, such as valleys or hills, that might mean signal strengths are lower than expected.

Ofcom said the coverage the map showed might not be the same as that seen on operators’ websites because it amalgamated data from phone firms – each one of which used slightly different methods of measuring signal strength.

If a phone was being used in a busy area this might also affect a person’s experience as congestion might limit data rates to an individual handset.

Ofcom added signal strength and available services can be changed by the handset that someone uses.

If people were getting very a different service to that seen on the map, Ofcom said people should provide feedback so the data can be updated.

Summer Holidays – Competition Time

At the start of the school summer holidays we are all looking for activities to keep our children entertained and adults to keep their sanity.  So here’s a chance to keep everyone busy.

From Monday morning until 11pm Friday 25th July submit your entries for a completely new website.

You don’t need to let us know the content just an outline of what you want to achieve and a domain name you would like to use.

From all the entries received the best idea will be offered Free Web Hosting for a year and of course the domain name for their idea (should it be available). All Hosting packages come with IMAP and POP email to get you started.

Go on keep those minds busy and creative.

For more information on some of our hosting packages go to https://www.enter-at-hosting.co.uk

All entries should be from the UK.

At the time of being offered the prize any additional items such as hosted Exchange or SSL Certificates will need to be purchased at the cost to the winner via their account management page, which will be set up for them at the point of being notified of winning.

Entries to info@enter-at.co.uk

With your Name

Idea Outline

Domain Name

Contact Details so we can get back to you

Mozilla disables Flash by default in Firefox

Mozilla disables Flash by default in Firefox after Hacking Team documents reveal the 37th and 38th flaws in plug-in this month

Firefox now blocks Adobe Flash by default following the discovery of yet more zero-day vulnerabilities in the browser plug-in.

Two ‘critical’ flaws (CVE-2015-5122 and CVE-2015-5123) have been uncovered in files retrieved during the attack on controversial surveillance tools developer Hacking Team and have yet to be patched by Adobe, which expects to make updates available later this week.

Mark Schmidt, head of Firefox support at Mozilla, announced on Twitter that all versions of Flash were now blocked by the browser until a fix is made available.

Read more at http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/security/firefox-flash-mozilla-block-172462#Yg4cDo98YZCQMqxR.99

Keep Your Computer up to Date

It has recently been in the news that a piece of software on Samsung computers stops Windows from automatically checking for Windows Updates.  This has highlighted a number of concerns from some of my clients and so here’s a checklist I would recommend you do at least once a month regardless of the built-in automatic settings.

  • Windows Updates – these are normally released on a Tuesday but may not have been available when your computer checked for any one ones.  On Windows 7, Vista go to your start menu and all programs and Windows Update should be in the list of programs.  If you can’t fins it try searching for Windows Update or its program name wuapp.exe.  Windows 8 users use the charm bar and PC settings, Update and recovery, Windows update.  Or again search for Windows update or wuapp.exe
  • Anti Virus Software – check antivirus has a different update frequency of when new virus definitions are released but if you open the Anti-Virus program window Update Now should be clearly visible.  I have also found right clicking on the protection icon allows an update now option.
  • Adobe Flash Player – used in a number of internet browsers and if prone to attack as it is so widely used.  Adobe do keep their product up to date and I find the quickest and easiest way to check to see if you are up to date is to go to get.adobe.com/flash

Hopefully this will keep you more secure, as always if you are in need of help please get in touch.