Monthly Archives

November 2016

National Lottery hacked with a massive data breach

National Lottery hacked with a massive data breachIt is simply no longer safe to put the security of your systems down to chance. This week. The National Lottery was the latest victim of cyber-thieves. Up 26,500 lottery players were emailed by the Lotto firm to inform them that their accounts had been compromised. It is believed that rather than directly hacking the National Lottery system, hackers used player login details that had been stolen elsewhere – where users had reused the same login details and passwords on multiple sites.

Protecting Customer Data is Your Responsibility

The Information Commissioner’s Office has opened an investigation, saying: “Camelot submitted a breach report to us last night which we have reviewed. The Data Protection Act requires organisations to do all they can to keep personal data secure – that includes protecting it from cyber-attacks. Where we find this has not happened, we can take action. Organisations should be reminded that cyber-security is a matter for the boardroom, not just the IT department.”

Why You Should Not Reuse Passwords

This hack acts as a reminder that you should always follow some basic password security advice. When passwords are shared between sites, or work and home computers then it increases the risk of a hacker obtaining security details, and trying them on other sites. This could put data at risk and cost you in terms of money, reputation and even potentially a fine from the Information Commissioner.

Password Security Best Practice

You must make sure to use a different password on every site and computer, and to change them all on a regular basis. You should not reuse the same password for multiple websites or computers, as if any one of them is compromised then it will could put all the rest of your data at significant risk. You also should not write down your passwords where someone else could see them.

Security experts recommend that you use a password manager program to store randomised passwords that are unique for each site, so you can use a single password within your web browser but the program generates a random one that is sent to the website itself. This combines ease of remembering passwords with higher security.

  • Do not use passwords that can easily be guessed – such as names, dates of birth or place names
  • Avoid words that are in the dictionary, try using pneumonics (e.g. the first letters of a phrase) or replacing letters with numbers
  • Never share your password with anyone -for any reason
  • Make sure your passwords are at least ten characters in length
  • Use at least one uppercase character and a symbol in each password

Digitalquill – Information Security Experts

Digitalquill are experts in information security. We can help you to use hardware, software and policy in harmony, to keep your systems safe. Most data breaches are down to human error, so we will work alongside you to ensure that your IT policies are right and that they are being strictly followed.

Low cost Security Businesses

As well as helping your business with physical security and policy, we are authorised resellers of AVG Antivirus, which is one of the leading antivirus programs. AVG’s always-on protection helps keep your system free from viruses, spyware, ransomware, rootkits, Trojans, and malware – such as the keyloggers that hackers might use to steal login details from users.

Low cost Virus Protection for Businesses

Our fully managed cloud based virus protection service starts at just £0.95 per month per user (when you buy 50 or more 2 year contracts). If you have already been hit by a ransomware attack then we can clean your system, and make sure that a backup regime is in place to protect your data.

If you need advice on how to keep your business data safe from hackers then call Digitalquill today on 01482 424402, email support@www.digitalquill.co.uk or visit www.digitalquill.co.uk for more information.

Three Mobile Data Breach - Keep your Business Data Safe

Three Mobile Data Breach - Keep your Business Data SafeAnother week and another massive data breach. This time it is Three mobile, who have lost details of six million customers after an employee login was compromised. The news comes only days after another telecoms provider, TalkTalk, was hacked and 157,000 customers’ details lost. The data accessed in the three breach includes names, phone numbers, addresses and dates of birth, but the firm stressed that it did not include any financial information. The National Crime Agency have made three arrests.

Keep Your Business Data Safe

Earlier this month the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, said that every company has a duty to protect its customers against cyber crime after a series of recent high-profile breaches. If your business uses data – especially if it is of personal or commercially sensitive nature – then you could find yourself at risk from hackers. Having your system hacked can do potential harm to your computers, the data stored within them and – more significantly – Losing personal data such as bank details can result in reputational harm and a fine from the Information Commissioner. Even the smallest businesses must take cyber security seriously and you must take steps to protect yourselves from hackers or industrial espionage.

Digitalquill – Information Security Experts

Digitalquill are experts in cyber security. We can help you to combine hardware, software ad policies to keep your systems safe from hackers. Most data breaches turn out to be due to human error, so we will work with you to make sure that your IT policies are all up to date – and being followed. We can also help you with software solutions to enforce password changes, or even use biometrics to add extra security.

AVG Virus and Keylogger Protection

As a very minimum, you should implement Virus protection. We are authorised resellers of AVG Antivirus, one of the leading antivirus solutions on the market, so we can upgrade your free virus protection to something more effective. AVG has minimal impact on the speed of your system and its always-on protection to helps keep your computer free from viruses, spyware, ransomware, rootkits, Trojans, and other kinds of malware – such as keyloggers that hackers can use to steal your login details. When you sign up for our full managed cloud antivirus service you will be safe in the knowledge that a team of professionals are working 24/7 to monitor your network for potential threats.

Low cost Virus Protection for Businesses

Our virus protection service starts at just £0.95 per month per user (when you buy 50 or more 2 year contracts). If you have already been struck by a virus or ransomware attack then we can clear up your system, and make sure that a backup regime is in place to protect your data.

If you need advice on how to keep your business data safe from hackers then call Digitalquill today on 01482 424402, email support@www.digitalquill.co.uk or visit www.digitalquill.co.uk for more information.

 

AVG Reseller - Fully Managed Cloud based Virus Protection

AVG Reseller - Fully Managed Cloud based Virus ProtectionIt’s not safe to run your business computers without virus protection, nor can you rely only on the built Windows Defender or free anti virus solutions. Most of the free anti virus packages have licenses that restrict commercial use, so you are not legally allowed to use them in a business. Even if you did, they would not be professionally monitored and your staff would easily be able to turn off the protection. This puts your business at risk of malware.

The solution is a proper business anti virus solution. Digitalquill are proud to be an authorised seller of AVG: one of the most popular anti virus packages on the market. It has low impact on your system speed and its always-on protection helps to keep your computer free from viruses, spyware, ransomware, rootkits, Trojans, and other kinds of malware. It is constantly updated in the background to keep you safe, and when you use our full managed cloud service you will have a team of professionals working 24/7 to monitor for potential threats.

When you sign up for our Cloud based service, we will proactively monitor:

  • That the Virus guard is installed properly and is working
  • That the latest virus definitions have been updated
  • That all scheduled scans have been completed
  • If any Viruses are found we are immediately alerted
  • We can initiate remote updates of the virus definitions and the virus guard software
  • We can initiate virus scans on specific or all PCs on the system

Cheap Business Virus Protection from as little as £0.95 per month

It is not expensive to protect your business with virus protection. Our cloud service costs as little as £0.95 per month per user (when you buy 50 or more 24 month contracts) so you can benefit from an expert team that constantly monitors your system for threats without breaking the bank.

Call Digitalquill today on 01482 424402, email support@www.digitalquill.co.uk or visit www.digitalquill.co.uk for more information.

 

Access Control for Ambulance Service

Our Access Monitor system is being used by the Ireland Ambulance Service to control access to their maintenance depots. The system allows them to control access to the main gates – and automatically open them when one of their authorised vehicles pulls up to the entrance barrier or maintenance roller doors.

The system allows them to control access so that only authorised people are on site, maintain a list of people who are on site, know which ambulances are on-site, know which of those ambulances are in the maintenance bays and prevent unauthorised vehicles from entering the facility.

Access Monitor – Controlling access

Access Monitor is a system that allows you to control access points such as doors, roller shutters, vehicle barriers or gates. Staff gain access by scanning an RFID transponder which can be fixed to a vehicle or integrated into an ID card or key fob. The ambulance service are using Active UHF transponders with ‘Free Air’ readers. These are attached to a post next to the gate or roller and read transponders within the vehicles. We have other sites where readers are embedded in the road itself, as the system is totally flexible.

Does your business need to control entry and exit to your sites? If you have a fleet of vehicles that need to pass a checkpoint it is costly to employ staff to open and close gates to allow access  – especially if your site is open 24 hours a day. Key-based systems to control staff entry are all too common but keys can be copied and lost, and staff that leave the organisation sometimes retain them. Keycode systems need the security code to be regularly changed to keep them secure. The good news is that there is a solution to all of these problems: Access Monitor.

Access Monitor Key Features

  • A record is kept of all accesses
  • A list can be maintained of the people of vehicles that are on site
  • Access points can be nested, so that entry cannot be gained to a second barrier unless the RFID transponder was authorised at the first barrier.
  • Access rights can be controlled on a user or site basis, for total control over security.
  • You can instantly allow or deny any specific transponder ID access to a site.
  • All the data is stored securely on a cloud server with reporting facilities.
  • Various forms of RFID Systems, Number plate Recognition or Biometrics can be used depending on the project needs.

To find out more, call Digitalquill today on 01482 424402, email support@www.digitalquill.co.uk or visit www.digitalquill.co.uk for more information.

Hill Farm Newsletter Point to point Ultra Fast Internet connection installed

We posted some time ago about how we were working to provide Fibre Broadband access to a client who was not able to get a super fast internet connection for their business. We were able to beam them super fast fibre broadband from a property across the valley which has already made a huge difference to their businesses.

The client runs two businesses: The Model Centre selling model trains and other similar items and Hill Farm Cottages which are luxury self catering cottages in the North Yorkshire Moors, right next to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

The Model Centre is both a shop on-site and also an e-business. A huge amount of their trade is done via their website. Managing and maintaining that website is critical for them. They can now easily upload images and videos to the site and access orders and emails from customers with ease.

Hill Farm cottages are now able to offer their guests an ultra fast internet connection, which is expected by customers and allows a connection with the outside world even when you are renting one of their cottages.

Point-to-point wireless networking

Rural Internet solution Point to Point across a valley

The job was quite complex – we used wireless point-to-point technology to deliver the internet across the valley and then on to each cottage and building on the site. The connection and network is then split into VLANs meaning that each section is on its own network. Their standard BT routers were not adequate for the task, and so Draytek routers were installed to provide a PCI DSS compliant firewall, which adds security to their system.

We were really pleased to receive their latest newsletter this week, in which they wrote about the new broadband install.

Hill Farm Newsletter Point to point Ultra Fast Internet connection installed

If you would like to have point to point internet installed so you can beam your broadband to locations that do not enjoy a fast speed but are within line of sight of one of your buildings that does, give us a call on 01482 424402 or email us at support@www.digitalquill.co.uk.

TalkTalk Hack - Security

TalkTalk Hack - SecurityA 17-year-old boy has admitted in court hacking the communications firm TalkTalk. The data breach in October 2015 compromised data belonging to thousands of customers using easily obtainable hacking software. The data accessed included email addresses, names and telephone numbers – as well as more than 20,000 sets of bank details. The boy is awaiting sentencing for offences under the Computer Misuse Act. Six other people were also arrested in connection with the attack, which cost TalkTalk £42 million – and landed them with a record fine of £400,000.

Data breaches Can Lead To Fines

If you use data – especially if that data is personal or commercially sensitive – you could be at risk from hackers. It is not just the loss, and the potential harm it can do to your system. Losing personal data such as bank details can result in a fine from the Information Commissioner’s Office. It is clear that even small businesses need to take security seriously and take steps to protect themselves from hackers or industrial espionage.

Digitalquill – Information Security Experts

Help is at hand. Here at Digitalquill we are experts at securing systems. With the right combination of hardware, software ad policies we can keep your systems safe from prying eyes. Even if you are unlucky enough to suffer a data breach, you will be able to demonstrate that you have taken action to protect yourselves.

Most data breaches are down to human error, so we will work with you to ensure that your IT policies are up to date, and we can help you with software solutions to enforce password changes, or use biometrics to add an additional layer to security to your systems. If you have been hit by a virus or ransomware attack then we can clear your systems, and we can make sure your backup regime protects your valuable data and gets you back up to speed and making money again.

The right approach to information security can keep you safe from internal and external threats, and give you peace of mind. Call Digitalquill today on 01482 424402, email suppor@www.digitalquill.co.uk or visit www.digitalquill.co.uk for more information.

 

The use of Biometrics and integration into software systems

The use of Biometrics and integration into software systemsBiometrics is the scientific name for the use of biological characteristics to identify or verify the identity of an individual. There are two types of biometric methods in common use. The first is called behavioural biometrics which It is used for verification purposes – in other words determining if a person is really who they say they are. The other type is physical biometrics which is used for both identification and verification purposes. Identification means to determining who a person is. Here at Digitalquill we can use physical biometrics in our software to add an extra level of security.

Fingerprint Identification or Recognition

This type of biometrics uses fingerprint scans to determine the identification of a person. It looks at the unique ridges and valleys on the fingertip and compares them to a sample.  We can use  fingerprint biometrics in our products for such purposes as logging in and instead of passwords. All that is required is an inexpensive piece of scanning equipment.

Facial Recognition

Facial recognition uses a series of algorithms to analyse facial features. These might include the position, size and shape of the eyes, nose, cheekbones and jaw-line. As well as 2D facial recognition, which relies on a good quality image taken from the front in good lighting – such as at a security door, 3D biometric facial recognition is now available. In this updated version images are captured with a real-time 3D camera which although more expensive, can be more reliable in some instances.

Retina scanning

Retina scanning, like fingerprint scanning, relies on a unique pattern in the human body – in this case the patterns in a person’s eyes. A retina scan is obtained by looking into a piece of equipment and it can add a layer of security to our access monitoring products.

Digitalquill – Experts in RFID systems

We can integrate biometrics into our software, such as Access Monitor and Inspection Monitor, or our Asset management solutions. If extra security is required those details can be encoded onto a staff card which must be presented and match the biometrics in order for access to authorisation to be given.

To add biometric security to your business, call Digitalquill today on 01482 424402, email support@www.digitalquill.co.uk or visit www.digitalquill.co.uk for more information.

 

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLaG), declare a major incident due to virus

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLaG), declare a major incident due to virus Patients with major injuries recently had to be diverted to Hull Royal Infirmary after a virus infected the NHS computer system. The trust which runs Goole and District Hospital, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLaG), was forced to declare a major incident after the attack caused it to shut down its computer systems.

This attack goes to show that nobody is safe from virus attacks, not even a large public sector organisation with a huge budget. The risk to smaller businesses is just as great, as if you do not have proper virus protection then you could have your business disrupted. Downtime can cripple of even kill a small business that relies on computer system, so do not put yourself at risk through negligence.

We have some tips for keeping safe from viruses which you and your staff should follow:

  1. Install a good virus guard
  2. Install Real-time spyware protection
  3. Ensure virus and spyware protection is always up to date
  4. Schedule regular system scans on your virus protection
  5. Ensure emails are virus scanned at your mail server
  6. Do not open attachments you are not expecting
  7. Don’t follow links if you don’t know where they go to
  8. Don’t trust the ‘From’ address in an email – this can be easily spoofed
  9. Never run your Windows PC with Administrator rights
  10. Enable a firewall

You and your staff must take responsibility for keeping your IT systems secure – as well as helping you with these ten points, Digitalquill can provide training on how to keep virus free. If you need more advice or training on virus or malware protection, including how to effectively deal with ransomware, or if you have been infected with a virus and don’t know what to do, we can help.

Call Digitalquill today on 01482 424402, email support@www.digitalquill.co.uk or visit www.digitalquill.co.uk for more information.