How secure is your Wi-Fi?

Until recently what has been the most essential tool in your business has changed every couple of years but over the past five year’s it has been your Wi-Fi. Your Wi-Fi is your gateway to the internet and without it you can’t send or receive emails, update your website, access your SaaS software and any social media accounts that your business might have. So how secure is your Wi-Fi and do you know who is accessing it?

If you have open Wi-Fi access, where any of your staff or your customers don’t need a password to access it what are some of the problems that you could be facing?

Your bandwidth usage can go through the roof and you may end up with your broadband speeds being throttled and you might be facing a huge broadband bill. If someone parks outside your business and uses your Wi-Fi to access their Netflix, Amazon Prime accounts or even YouTube your bandwidth usage will increase.

People using your Wi-Fi could be using it to access and download illegal material such as pirated movies, TV shows and music, and as this is done via your Wi-Fi account you could end up facing heavy fines.

If it’s known that you don’t need a password to access your Wi-F, what’s stopping someone else creating a rogue Wi-Fi access point (also known as an Evil Twin) designed to make it look like users are using your Wi-Fi. By using this rogue Wi-Fi setup, they can then access any data going through it especially passwords and financial details and any computers using it.

Does your Wi-Fi connection appear as the name of your Wi-Fi router or your broadband supplier? If this is the case you are making it so much easier for people to access your Wi-Fi, so make sure to change what it is called.

If your Wi-Fi connection has a password how often is it changed? Changing your Wi-Fi password on a regular basis is very important especially if you own a business such as a coffee shop or a pub where your customers regularly use your Wi-Fi.

At iPing we install robust enterprise level WiFi for SMB’s and if you need a businesses level WiFi give us a shout!

iPing provide managed services and IT services and we can help provide you with an overview of your Wi-Fi setup and how you can improve it and make it more secure. So, if you need some help with the above please contact us or give us a call on 01 5241350.

Custom Built Computer

Thought I would do a quick post of this beast of a custom built computer that we just put together. This is a state of the art rig and a real beauty!

Some Specks are

CPU = i7 7700K 4.2GHz by default

Graphics card =  Nvidia 1060 TI

Memory = 32 Gig DDR4 3200 MHz

This Computer has a sound insulated case so it is inaudible! Have a look below

20161110_105950

 

Digital Transformation

A big change has been taking place all around us and whether you like it or not, you are already embracing it or you soon will be. The big change is digital transformation, which is where you transform all aspects of your business to take advantage of the changes and opportunities of digital technologies and their impact across society in a strategic and prioritised way.

By utilising digital technologies, you will also be saving your business money and over a five year period the savings makes digital transformation a no brainer. When you start to plan your digital transformation, your aim is to make things a lot easier for your staff and your customers, and It’s worth noting that what works well for some people might not work best for others.

The following tips will help you prepare for digital transformation:

How much paperwork does your business generate and can you go paperless?
By moving to a paperless environment your files are no longer stored in filing cabinets which frees up space in your office, and you no longer need to worry about a file/files going missing. It also makes it easier to access any data that you or your clients need to use.

How much time is spent each day on the telephone answering customer queries that could be dealt with online?
By using customer messaging apps for sales, marketing, and support, connected on one platform, you can guarantee that any queries are dealt with by the relevant person. You could also have a detailed FAQ section on your website that can answer the most popular questions that your customers ask.

How modern is your office equipment?
By using modern hardware and software you are ensuring that your business can run smoothly and that you can also handle more clients. The last thing you want to deal with is an IT system that break down when you need it most.

Are your staff trained to use the latest hardware and software?
By having your employees trained in using the latest software and hardware they can do their jobs more efficiently. 

How easy is it for your clients to integrate your product into their infrastructure?
By having a plug and play system your clients can seamlessly drop your product into their infrastructure.

How do you receive payments from clients and make payments to your suppliers?
By offering your clients the option of paying you online via PayPal, Stripe and other online payment providers, less time is spent chasing unpaid invoices. By paying your suppliers online, payment can be made instantly and you might even get a discount.

Do you offer an app to your clients?
By offering an app to your clients, their sales team who could be on the road can use your product remotely.

iPing provide managed services and IT services and we can help provide you with an overview on digital transformation and what will best suit your business. So, if you need some help with the above please contact us or give us a call on 01 5241350.

Email Going Missing In Outlook 2016


I came across an interesting problem today that had me scratching my head for an hour or so and could not find anything in google to resolve the issue.

I was in the office of one of our clients and he had just setup a rule in Outlook 2016 to move all the email from his lawyer into a folder. This is simple stuff so far.

He then decided to move the folder that he had the rule on to a new location and all of his email just disappeared.

email missing outlook 2016

All the email also disappeared on the IMAP email server and at this stage things were starting to look very bad. There was a lot of important information and advice from the lawyer in the email folder that had built up over the past year.

Once I was able to confirm exactly where the folder had been all we had to do was recreate the folder with the exact same name. Like magic the emails started to appear back into the folder.

The problem seems to be something to do with having an email rule setup to move things to an non existing folder. Outlook seems to put the emails into limbo.

I am going to assume that if the folder was renamed this would cause the same issues.

This issue can also be resolved by going into rule manager in Outlook 2016 and updating the folder selection to where you moved the folder to.

The client was very happy that he had a managed IT contract with iPing and we were able to get him all his important email back!

If you would like iPing to manage your IT please contact us

What products on your computer are security risks?

Did you know that there may be hidden security risks in your office and that they can be found on your computer?  These security risks can make you more vulnerable to data loss and data theft.  So, what are these risks and how can you combat them?

There are four main security risks that you should be worried about and these risks are:

1 – The browser/browsers that are installed on your computer can be a security risk, especially if they are not updated on a regular basis or no longer supported. Older versions of Internet explorer are no longer supported and only internet explorer 11 and its replacement Edge are still supported by Microsoft. If you use other browsers such as Firefox and Google Chrome, make sure that you have the latest versions installed.

2 – The operating system that is running on your computer might not be supported anymore by Microsoft and that means you can no longer get updates for it. Microsoft ended mainstream support for Windows Vista 5 years ago and they will end extended support in April 11, 2017. Microsoft ended extended support for Windows XP in 2014. The extended support for Windows 7 ends on 14 January 2020 while the mainstream support for Windows 8 ends on 9 January 2018 (and extended support for Windows 8 ends on 10 January 2023). The difference between mainstream support and extended support is explained here.

3 – Legacy software and legacy systems can cause major security headaches and you must ask yourself if you still need them? If you are using older software that only works on an older Operating System, you should think about replacing the software with an up to date version. If this is not possible then you should think about limiting who can use it and if the computer that it is on needs to be connected to your network. If you have an older computer that is still being used, you must ask yourself if it can be replaced and if not take it off your network if it does not require internet or network access. If you are not sure if any Microsoft products that you use are still supported, please click here.

4 – Do you have Anti-virus software on your computers and how often is it updated/upgraded? You should be updating your Anti-virus software whenever an update is available and that should be around three to five times a week. Some Anti-virus software can slow your computer/computers or cause issues with any browser based SaaS software you use. If this is the case look for an alternative that won’t do this, as you might be inclined to just remove the Anti-virus software.

iPing provide managed services and IT services and we can help provide you with an overview of your computer/computers security risks and how you can improve it. So, if you need some help with the above please contact us or give us a call on 01 5241350.

How often do you change your passwords?

Passwords are one of the main things that protect your IT infrastructure and they are also the weakest link, so how often do you change your passwords and what areas of your IT infrastructure is password protected are two questions that must be asked regularly.

Passwords are used when you want to log into your employer’s network onsite or offsite, and they can also be used when you want to access certain folders/directories in your employer’s IT network.

Make sure that your employees :

1- Never have an open network that allows you to access everything once you have keyed in your password to log into your computer. When Sony got hacked a few years ago, the hackers hacked into the main network and then had access to everything on the network as every user had open access to everything on the network. They also found a file called passwords which had the login details  and passwords for every employee who had access to Sony’s network. Make sure that users only have access to files, folders and software that is relevant to their job, why should the HR department have access to all the files, folders and software used by the website development team.

2 – Never leave Post it’s with passwords written on them on your computer screen or your desk. If you need to write passwords down, keep them in a notepad that is locked away in a drawer that only one person has access to, or use .

3 – Never have passwords that are too easy to crack, make sure that they are a minimum of eight characters long, comprised of alphanumeric characters, must have at least one uppercase letter and have a symbol. Passwords like your partner’s name, your children’s name or your date of birth are way too obvious. One of the easiest passwords to crack is one belonging to someone in your IT support department, because as they have so many passwords to remember, they make sure theirs is so easy to remember.

4 – Make sure that passwords are changed on a regular basis such as once a month or once every two months. The more often they are changed the harder it will be to crack them and make sure that everyone is reminded to change their password on a regular basis.

iPing provide managed services and IT services and we can help provide you with an overview of your IT networks password setup and how you can improve it. So, if you need some help with the above please contact us or give us a call on 01 5241350.

Cloud Storage Options

One of the most important things that you should be doing is making sure that your data is stored in a safe and secure place and this is now much easier and cheaper to implement since cloud storage has become so widely available. There are two kinds of cloud storage available, local cloud storage and external cloud storage, and knowing who will be accessing the data helps you determine the type of cloud storage that you will be using.

Local storage is where your data is stored in a NAS (Network-attached storage) box in your office and is designed to plug into your network seamlessly. NAS boxes are essentially storage case in which you can store 1 or more hard disks in them and they can be bought with or without hard disks. They also vary in price from €30 to over €6000 making them very affordable.

External cloud storage is where your data is stored offsite with Amazon, Microsoft etc. and it can be accessed anywhere in the world. External cloud storage is normally used by companies who have sales people out on the road who need to access data 24×7. I

If you are planning to use external cloud storage it is worth noting that there are 2 types of external cloud storage, synced and non-synced storage. Synced cloud storage is where all the data on your computer/server is replicated in the cloud. Non-synced storage is where you decide what data is stored in the cloud.

The one problem that you will run into when you use synced cloud storage is that if you decide to delete a file from your computer or sever, it will also be deleted from your online cloud storage account. The purpose of cloud storage is that it is a place you store files that are too big to store locally, or where you store multiple versions of the same file. If synced cloud storage is not going to be an issue then feel free to go with it, otherwise go with non-synced cloud storage.

iPing provide managed services and IT services and we can help provide you with various cloud storage options. So, if you need some help with the above please contact us or give us a call on 01 5241350.

Business continuity and why it’s so important

If you have a system failure in your organisation, two important questions will come to mind. How long will it take you to get your organisation up and running again? How much downtime and data loss can you afford?

This is where business continuity should come into play as it’s where an organisation has planned and prepared how it can continue to operate when faced with major incidents or disasters. Your organisation continuity plan should have three core components resilience, recovery and contingency.

Resilience
You can increase your organisation’s resilience by redesigning all its critical functions and infrastructures with various disaster scenarios in mind. What this should include is staff rota’s and data redundancy. This will help you maintain essential services on and off site.

Recovery
You must be able to recover or restore critical and less business functions and this can be done by setting recovery time objectives for different systems, networks and applications. Recovery time objectives will help you prioritise what needs to recovered or restored first.

Contingency
Your organisation will have procedures in place to deal with whatever incidents and disasters might occur, including ones that could not be foreseen. Contingency preparations are only brought in to play when resilience and recovery arrangements have not worked.

When you start thinking about business continuity, you should also be thinking about your data and how it is backed up. Backing up your data can be done in three ways:

You only backup your data, and this is normally stored on a local external hard disk or in the cloud, but you could use both just in case you might encounter issues with your local external drive. If you only need your data back as quickly as possible then this is the backup solution that you should be doing, as backing up your data can be done daily.

You clone your hard disk which results in an exact duplicate of your hard disk being made. This is more useful when you need to reinstall an OS and any software needed, especially if you have a disk failure and you need your systems back on line yesterday. This will require you having one or more donor hard disks that will be used to clone your hard disk.

You make an image of your hard drive and this is where image backup software copies everything on your hard drive into a large compressed file which can be saved in the cloud or an external hard drive. Images can be very handy as you can store various images at the same time and this can come in handy especially if you have malware/viruses infecting your hard disk and you want to bring your last known good configuration.

Each of the three-backup solutions have their uses, but when you need to be up and running as quickly as possible you must choose which one suits you best and decide how often you will back up your data, clone your hard disk and make images of your hard disk.

iPing provide managed services and IT services and we can help you with your business continuity and how you back up your data. So, if you need some help with the above please contact us or give us a call on 01 5241350.

EU GDPR Legislation is 18 months away

For any organisation, big or small Data Protection is a major priority. May 25th 2018 is a date that they need to keep in their diary, as that is when the EU General Data Protection Regulation also known as GDPR comes into law.

The GDPR legislation includes mandatory breach notification, which means that organisations need to be able to detect, scope, and report a breach to the competent authorities within a very short space of time.

Failure to comply with this new legislation can result in large fines of up to €20m or 4% of global turnover.

If you are thinking we have 18 months to get ready for these new regulations, it is time to think again.

Recent research done by BT Ireland has shown that 69% of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) are completely unaware of the GDPR rules. This is pertinent because thirty percent of CFOs and 26% of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) have the final sign-off on IT spend.

The research also revealed that only 28% of the CFOs who are aware of the EU GDPR believe it will have a significant impact, with the other 62% believing it will only have some impact.

What makes this more shocking is that the research was done with large domestic and multi-national organisations with an average of 800 employees. If the same research was done with SME’s, the results would likely be equally alarming and possibly even more shocking.

It seems that many CFOs think Cybersecurity and Data Protection are the exact same thing. This is probably one of the reasons why they are not that knowledgeable on GDPR.

Cybersecurity is the protection of your I.T. infrastructure including hardware, software and data stored from theft, damage and disruption to any services you may provide.

Data Protection is where an organisation’s I.T. infrastructure is setup to determine what data stored can be shared with third parties, and where that data is securely stored.

Once you know which is which you will then be able to plan the best way for your organisation to handle and comply with the GDPR legislation.

iPing provide managed services and IT services and we can help you comply with the GDPR legislation, so if you need some help with the above please contact us or give us a call on 01 5241350.

BYOD policy

Over the past 10 years as technology has advanced in leaps and bounds and become cheaper, it has also raised the issue of BYOD.

Bring Your Own Device also known as BYOD is when your employees use their own devices such as desktops, laptops, mobile phones and tablets in work and this can create a security issue.

By allowing your employees to use their own devices you are creating a scenario where a data breach can occur or where malware or viruses can easily enter your IT infrastructure. The only way to deal with this is to have a BYOD policy which determines what devices and OS’s can be used on your premises, and how you interact with external devices such as noncompany issued desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile phones.

Your BYOD policy should include:

  • Your IT department keeping a record of how many different OS’s your companies registered and unregistered devices (also known as personal devices) run?
  • Your IT department keeping a record of how many different registered and unregistered devices are being used?
  • What OS’s are not allowed? This could be because of software incompatibility or security risks.
  • Is any of your sales team allowed to use unregistered devices?
  • How secure are all the devices used in your company as regards a data breach?
  • How often any hardware and software used has to be updated.
  • The use of multiple versions of customer lists being used by your sales team must be banned as how do you know which one is the definitive one, and also who has the authority to amend or delete data in any of your databases.

By having a BYOD policy, you are ensuring that your IT ecosystem runs smoothly, making it easier to track where all your data is stored. The last thing you want is data to be stored on multiple devices with the possibility of any changes made not being shared, or malware and viruses making an appearance or security breaches taking place.

iPing provide managed services and IT services and we can help you set up your BYOD policy, so if you need some help with the above please contact us or give us a call on 01 5241350.