Should I Authorise Payments by Email

Over the past few weeks we have started to see hackers use many different means to try get people to authorise payments via email.

We have seen some really good impersonation attacks that go like this. The accountant in a company gets an email from say the managing director asking her to pay an invoice. It turns out that it was not the managing director who sent the email but it was someone who either

  1. Sent an email that made it look like it was from the managing director but it was from a different email address and just had the name the same as the managing director.
  2. Someone was able to send a spoof email that was made to look exactly like the managing directors email.
  3. The managing director had his email hacked and someone was able to read his email and then send emails from his account.

There are means to address all of the above three seniors but they go beyond this post just make sure your Managed Service provider has things in place for the above scenarios.

The first simple thing you can do is not to just pay invoices that you get from someone in your company without a quick phone call to confirm that it is an actual invoice.

iPing provide managed services and business level email services so if you need some help with the above please contact us.

The most important thing is to-be vigilant!

Our First Server

It was a momentous week here in iPing this week as we decommissioned the first ever server that we had installed for our first ever client. See the picture below.

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Over the years this server has had quite a few upgrades to keep it working and even up to being decommissioned, it was still working well which is something the boys in the office are very proud of!

You might wonder then why was this server decommissioned now. We decided with the customer that even though it  was still working it made far more sense to replace it before it stopped working.

It  makes sense to replace computers and servers before they fail as the time lost and inconvenience caused by a failure usually outweighs the cost of replacing a server.

It is much easier to replace a server or PC when you get to decide when and you can pick a time that works with your schedule.

If you are looking to get a new server or replace an old server, contact the team in iPing.

The importance of e-mail to your business!

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Cast your mind back thirty years into the business world of the 80’s to have a view of how business people communicated then and you will find that the main modes of communication were.

  1. Letters
  2. Faxes
  3. Phone calls

Now shift on to the present day and you can see that the computer and e-mail has pretty much got rid of the FAX and it has demoted the letter to a service that usually is used to follow up a series of emails with.

For me the two mail factors email has played are

  • Speeding up the communication cycle from one communication per every day or two to being able to shoot emails over and back every ten minutes. This means the business cycle can be speeded up and decisions can now be made much faster.
  • The communication cost of doing business has also been reduced as we no longer have the same vast amounts of stamps, curriers and delivery trucks to pay for to allow for the same communication that comes at a very low cost all things considered with e-mail.

So if your business is looking for a rock solid email that your business can depend on give us a call here in iPing as we are experts in e-mail.

Protect Your Power To Protect Your IT

If you are running and servers or important IT on your premise it is important that you consider the safety of the power feeding this computer equipment.

In many of the Dublin areas there can be sudden an unexpected power cuts that may only last seconds or minutes but can stretch for hours. So for this reason it is important to have some backup power in place.

For a company who has a few servers you will need a good UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) in essence these are big batteries that your IT equipment runs from should you have a power cut. When the UPS is configured correct they will shut your server down properly while you wait for the power to come back on.

For larger IT configurations a generator may be needed as backup to the UPS though we have mainly seen them used where the power must stay on 24/7/365

If you have a small office and your IT infrastructure mainly in the cloud it is still important to have surge protectors to protect your computers from the random power cuts and surges.

So don’t just assume you have a UPS in place ask your Managed IT provider or pop us a line here at iPing and we will help answer the question.

Things to Consider when Selecting a Good Managed Services Partner

We have been asked a few times this year already as to what are some of the things to think about when selecting a good managed services partner. Here are few points that jump to mind:

  • PROACTIVENESS – It is very important that a proactive approach is taken by your Managed Services Partner to look after every area of your IT environment. This proactive approach will help fix computer issues before they arise allowing your staff to be more productive. At iPing, we use the best tools in the industry allowing us to fix issues before they become a problem for our customers.
  • COMMUNICATION – Your managed service partner must be good at communication at all times. This is important when everything is running smoothly to keep it like this and of course crucial when you have a problem. In business, information is key and if an IT problem has arisen you need to know what the effects of this will be on your business and the action plan for resolving the issue.
  • REGULAR HEALTH CHECKS – We cannot over-emphasize how important it is to have regular system checks being run on your IT system and this goes hand in hand with a good proactive approach to IT management.
  • GET IT IN WRITING – It is important to have a contract in place that sets out what is covered in the managed service. This allows you to know exactly what is covered and it will help give you some added peace of mind.

Internet Explorer 11 Is Now End Of Life

This may have slipped past you last week but Microsoft has ceased to support Internet Explorer version 11 and all versions before this. So in effect Internet Explorer 8, 9, 10 and 11 are no longer supported now.

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Some companies are using these older versions of Internet Explorer as this is what their old programs and websites run on correctly. If this is the case you need to look into getting this software updated.

If you do not have a really good reason to use an old version of Internet Explorer or any other web browser you want to speak to a managed IT Services provider like iPing to help with keeping all your software up-to-date!

If you need some help with your Managed IT Services you can contact iPing!

Search not working after upgrading to Microsoft Office 2016 / Office 365

We have seen a few cases popping up recently where we upgraded some of our managed IT service customers to office 2016. After the upgrade our clients were not able to search their email.

Now as you all know with the volume of email we all get these if the search function is not working on email our staff will be very inefficient.

So to make your life easier here is one of the things to try so as to fix the problem of a broken search in Microsoft office 2016.

  • Open Microsoft Outlook, click on file and then click on Options.
  • In the Outlook Options window click on Search and then under sources click on the tab indexing options.
  • Now on the indexing options window click on modify.
  • A new screen will now pop up and on the top section of this screen be sure to unselect any Microsoft Outlook programs you see there.
  • Next click the OK button.
  • Now back In Microsoft Outlook options window click on search and then under sources click on the tab indexing options.
  • Now on the options window click on advance button to open this section.
  • Finally under the index settings click on rebuild.

The rebuild of the index can take up to twenty four hours so once you have kicked it off you will have a bit of time for a nice coffee and a relax!

If you would like some help with this IT Support issue please contact iPing

Your Phone Is Now Your Computer

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It looks like we are seeing the next step towards the end of the PC from Microsoft.  With this new PC experience that is being provided by the current Microsoft phone the only limiting factor is processing power of the phone.

This really shows what Microsoft thinking is being Windows 10 and getting all your devices on one platform.

Time will tell how this works for Microsoft and you can be sure that this will affect how you are consuming IT and getting computer services in the future.

 

Get Your Free Copy Of Windows 10

Over the past few days we have started seeing a notice from Microsoft in the bottom right hand corner of Windows. The notice is to let you know you can now upgrade to Windows 10. Firstly we wish to reassure our clients – this is an official message from Microsoft and it is safe to click on the message.

Win 10 Picture Arrow

Microsoft are offering customers presently using Windows 7 and upwards a free upgrade to Windows 10.  This free offer will be valid for one year from July 29th 2015.  If you avail of this free upgrade, there is no additional cost for the first year of install, after this one year period,  there will be a cost for Windows 10 and there will be a cost for installation on any new computers.

Microsoft have confirmed to us:

“Once you upgrade to Windows 10 with the free upgrade offer you will able to clean reinstall Windows 10 on same device any time.”

The free Windows 10 upgrade is a full version and can upgrade from an older version of Windows or perform a standalone install. Microsoft will also make the software downloadable as an ISO disc image, for those who want to keep it on DVD or a USB memory key.

Win 10 Free Upgrade

iPing are advising our customers only to register for the free version of Windows 10 for now. We are suggesting a ‘wait and see’ period of around six months for Microsoft to iron out the bugs before we start planning whether or not to move iPing’s customers to Windows 10.

If you have any questions on this please give us a call or an email 01 5241350 or info@iping.org www.iping.org

 

 

Windows Server 2003 Is Going End Of Life

As the old adage goes, all good things must come to an end. This was true for Windows XP and now on July 14th 2015 it will also be true for Windows Server 2003. Just like when Windows XP went end of life, Microsoft stopped supporting it and releasing patches etc for it and so the same will happen with Windows Server 2003.

If you want to see how many days are left until support ends for Windows Server 2003, you can look at the Microsoft count down timer here

So what does this mean for you and your business if you are using a 2003 server? Well the first question you have to ask yourself is what we are using our server for. If you are using your server for email, file and print sharing, you could consider either getting a new server or moving these services to the cloud. This will really depend on how much data you have for email and files and this is something iPing can advise you on.

If you are using your server to host applications that you use to run your business i.e. accountancy packages, stock control systems, CRM applications and the like, you will need to investigate how ready these systems are to move from Windows 2003 server.

Depending on the application you will either move them to newer cloud based offerings from the provider and off your server, move them to a newer version of windows server that is still supported by Microsoft or you will decide to take this opportunity to move to a new application provider who has a system that is now better for your business. In all of these cases iPing can help you to move your applications from Windows 2003 server to a supported alternative.

The most important thing in getting over the impending Windows 2003 end of life is actually addressing the problem. As of writing this blog there are 242 days of support left and this may seem like an eternity. The thing is though IT systems take time and planning to migrate as they are complex systems that are critical and if you want to be sure the move is seamless, now is the time to be thinking about moving off your 2003 Windows Server.

If you would like some help in planning your Windows 2003 Server upgrade be sure to contact iPing!