Monthly Archives

October 2017

cyber security nhs

We regularly cover internet security and high profile hacks on our blog, but how can you stay safe from hackers? Here are some internet security tips to stay safe online.

cyber security nhsUse a firewall

A firewall is a hardware or software barrier that sits between computer networks. They are used between areas that are trusted – such as your own corporate network – and untrusted – such as the internet. A firewall offers protection by controlling traffic that enters and leaves the network using a series of rules (or filters) set by the user. By blocking certain types of traffic, a firewall can protect against hackers accessing your systems.

Keep software updated

Any software – especially your operating system and web browser – on all your devices: computers, tablets and mobile devices – must be kept up to date. Publishers release regular patches to correct faults in the software that can be exploited by criminals. Older software must be replaced if it is no longer supported with security updates. For example, the devastating global WannaCry attack targeted an older version of Windows that had been patched but many users had not yet downloaded and installed the update.

Use a strong password

Some hackers access systems by using software. Such a “brute force” attack tries every combination of letters and numbers until they find a password that matches. They begin by using words from the dictionary so never use a single word as your password. Every extra character and number you add to your password exponentially improves its security. Often, breaches of security happen because passwords are not changed from the default one that ships with a device or piece of software. That is why you should always change passwords on new routers etc. as soon as they are installed on your network.

Digitalquill – Internet Security Advice for Hull Businesses

For advice on internet security for small businesses and to arrange for your Hull IT support, call us on 01482 424402 or visit www.digitalquill.co.uk to find out more.

 

Avast Antivirus

It is unsafe to operate business computers without the protection of anti-virus software. You cannot rely on the built-in Windows Defender program or free anti-virus solutions in a commercial environment. Many of the “free” antivirus software packages have strict licence conditions that restrict their use on business PCs, so you are not permitted to use them in a business – and are effectively unprotected. Free software is not professionally monitored, and staff can easily turn off the virus protection. This puts your business at risk of contracting malware such as viruses and ransomware.

Avast AntivirusAvast Anti-virus from Digitalquill

The solution is to invest in a proper business cloud antivirus solution. Digitalquill is an authorised reseller of Avast Cloudcare (formerly AVG), which is one of the best-rated anti-virus programs on the market. It has a very low impact on your system, so it does not slow down your PCs. Its “always-on” protection and deep scans help to keep your computer free from viruses, spyware, ransomware, rootkits, Trojans, and almost all other kinds of malware. It is constantly updated with new virus definitions in the background to keep your business PCs safe. When you choose to be protected by our fully managed cloud business antivirus service, you will have a team of professionals monitoring your computers 24/7 for potential threats.

 

When you sign up for the Avast Cloud-based antivirus service, we proactively monitor:

  • That the Avast Cloud Virus guard is installed properly and is working
  • That all the latest virus definitions have been updated
  • That scheduled scans have been completed as required
  • If any viruses are found we are alerted immediately
  • We can remotely update the virus definitions and virus guard software
  • We can initiate full virus scans on specific PCs, or all computers on the network

Avast Business Virus Protection from £0.95 per month

It is not costly to protect your business with Avast virus protection from Digitalquill. The Avast cloud antivirus service for business users costs as little as 95p per month per user (if you buy at least 50 two-year contracts). You can benefit from the expertise of a team monitoring your system for virus threats without breaking the bank.

Call Digitalquill today on 01482 424402, email us at support@www.digitalquill.co.uk or visit our website www.digitalquill.co.uk for more information on Avast Cloud Antivirus for business.

 

Phishing East Yorkshire IT support

One of our clients has just queried an email they have received – they did the right thing querying it with us because it is a Phishing message.

East Yorkshire Companies Receiving Phishing Emails

What the fraudsters are attempting to do with these emails is to trick you into “logging in” to a fake website they have set up. They then have with your email credentials and password, which they can record and use later to gain access to your email account

Phishing East Yorkshire IT supportHere is the text of the email so you can recognise it if you receive it:

MailBox De-activation©

Hi <name>

We are doing a spam and fraudulent verification survey, which your e-mail account <name>@<company>.co.uk was listed  and has recently  been updated. It's important you verify your account  to help us survey your account better.  <name>@<company>.co.uk.

Verify Your Account Now

If verification is not gotten from you in the next 48hr, we will assume you are a fraudulent user and shut down your email account, till a proper verification recovery before you can access your account again

Thanks.

Admin !   ©2017 All Rights Reserved

This email was generated for %0%  with reference no. 2147dfff456345

 This is an automated message replies cannot be answered E-mail Server Admin .

How to Spot a Phishing Email

The features that make this an obvious phishing scam are:

  • It refers to “admin” and not your real IT company
  • The sender address is not in your address book
  • The English is poor and it is clearly written by a non-native speaker
  • It wants to scare you into clicking a link – a real IT company would not ask you to click a suspicious link

What to do if you get a suspicious email

You might argue that you have nothing confidential in your email account, however, think about how many other accounts on websites you have that are linked to your email account… Even if the password is different, once a criminal has access to your email account they can request a password change on any number of sites and therefore take control of almost all of your online accounts. They can use your saved payment credentials and start ordering items on your account for delivery to their own address. You will never know as they will delete the password, reset the email after taking your money.

Our advice if you receive such an email is that if you are unsure, delete the mail – or at the very least do not click any links and query it immediately with your IT support team.

Digitalquill – Experts in East Yorkshire IT Security

If you need IT support in East Yorkshire for your business, or have a suspicious phishing email, call Digitalquill on 01482 424402 or visit www.digitalquill.co.uk.

Free WiFi Hull IT Support

Free WiFi Hull IT SupportPublic WiFi hotspots can be really useful if you need to access the internet when you are away from home or work. But not all WiFi connections are secure and they can be used by criminals to steal your data.

Sniffing

This technique is used by criminals to capture the data you send over a WiFi network. They can steal login names, passwords and other information and then sell it on or use it to access your system. It is especially dangerous if you have the login details stored (or “cached”) on your device as they are sent across the network without you typing them in.

Evil Access Points

Sometimes criminals set up authentic-sounding WiFi access points to trick you into connecting to them. The network name could be a familiar company name or simply “FreeWiFI”. You actually connect to the criminal’s computer and all the information you type in goes straight to them.

How To Stay Safe on Public WiFi

There are some simple ways to stay safe on public WiFi networks:

Use a VPN

Digitalquill can provide you with a secure VPN for business travel. It encrypts data sent to and from your device so even if you connect to a malicious computer, your data will not be able to be read.

Can it wait?

If your activity is not essential, don’t do it over public WiFI. Tempting as it may be to check your bank balance on the move with your banking app, you risk losing your login details – and money – by doing so.

Use Mobile Data

If you are unsure, don’t connect to a public WiFI hotspot – use your phone’s 3G or 4G connection instead. Data passed over such a network is encrypted.

Digitalquill – WiFi Experts in Hull

For advice on internet security for small businesses and Hull IT support call Digitalquill on 01482 424402 or visit www.digitalquill.co.uk to find out more. If you want to set up a WiFi hotspot for your Hull business, call us – we can help with that too!

 

access control rfid systems

access control rfid systemsThere are many applications for RFID systems in the area of access control.  The fastest growing areas for access control RFID systems are: personnel access, gate or barrier control, such as controlling visitors to an office or to automate vehicular access to parking facilities.

Access Control RFID Systems for Personnel Access

RFID access for your business’s personnel may simply mean incorporating an RFID transponder in the worker’s ID badges.  RFID is far better than old fashioned magnetic stripe badges and does not wear out with repeated use in the same way.  RFID personnel access systems typically use low-frequency RFID systems.

Access Control RFID Systems Gate Control

RFID is often used in gate control for industrial facilities.  Electronic loop detectors can be used with RFID Systems to control the length of time the gate or barrier is open or to close the gate automatically after the vehicle has entered. RFID systems are far cheaper than a 24 hour gatekeeper and save time compared to a padlock system.

Other Uses for Access Control Systems

RFID cards, tags or badges can be used to control access to all sorts of areas, as well as monitoring inspections or measuring staff time keeping.  One-time RFID cards can be used for contractors, and nested areas allow a safe route to be enabled for staff, but access can be prevented from restricted areas.

AccessMonitor from Digitalquill

AccessMonitor is an RFID-based system used to control access points such as doors, roller shutters, vehicle barriers or gates. Your staff use an RFID transponder that can be affixed to a vehicle or integrated into their ID card or a key fob. The system is capable of triggering the opening or release mechanisms of your barrier through custom hardware integration.

Digitalquill – East Yorkshire Experts in RFID Systems

For more information about AccessMonitor, call Digitalquill today on 01482 424402 or visit www.digitalquill.co.uk.

 

backups

backupsWe recently had a client’s main pc fail. The PC is question held the master copy of their customer database so was business critical. They told us that they backed it up regularly and the data was safe, but it turns out that they never checked or verified the backups nor even carried out data loss/recovery simulations. As a result, when this machine failed and they went to check their backups to recover their precious data… there were nothing there! The system had constantly failed for the last TEN YEARS!.

Luckily, in this instance one of our North Lincolnshire IT experts managed to recover their 90 Gigabytes of customer data but took considerable time and cost them a lot of money. They have been very lucky this time, but could have saved money and minimized risks by having a proper backup regime.

North Lincolnshire IT Support – Help with backups

Backups are not complicated but they do need a little thought. It is relatively easy for us to set up your system so it silently makes automated backups in the background as you work, with no need for your direct intervention. But that’s not all – a secondary, physical backup is also recommended – one that is stored off site to protect against theft, fire or natural disaster. A backup regime is crucial even if you are the only person in your business – can you imagine the consequences of losing your main work PC? Could you continue to operate your business? What about client records? You cannot put a cost on the reputational value of business continuity?

A USB drive is not enough

We often take on clients that previously backed up to a USBhard drive. This is better thanno backup at all, but: what if the stick is lost, corrupted or stolen? And what about system files that make the PC work? A proper backup can restore a PC to working condition quickly. Our backup is a cloud  based services, so everything is stored away from the PC for disaster recovery.

Don’t Rely on Free Storage

Never rely on consumer cloud storage programs – especially for business purposes. OneDrive, iCloud, Dropbox and so on are great services but they are not guaranteed to store your files securely, and are targets for hackers. If you have a ransomware attack then without periodic full backups you will just restore copies of the files that were corrupted.

Digitalquill: North Lincolnshire IT Support

The best solution for backups is a combination of both full and incremental backups –we take a periodic “image” of your entire network and supplement it with copies of each file whenever changes are made to it. Our enterprise level solutions do not have a public-facing front door for security. To find out more, call Digitalquill today on 01482 424402, email us at support@digitalquill.co.uk or visit www.digitalquill.co.uk.

 

Australian Air Force Hack

Australian Air Force HackThe BBC reports that commercial information about Australia’s defence programmes has been stolen in a cyber hack. About 30GB of data was taken in the hack on a contractor, including the details of new fighter planes and ships. The data has been described as “commercially sensitive but not classified”.

Australian Government Defence Data Stolen

The breach began in July last year, but the Australian government did not find out until November. It is not known whether the hacker was working for a state or if it was someone working for another company.” What is known is that the exploit that the hacker used was patched 12 months ago but the company had not updated its software, and they were still using default passwords for their systems.

Cyber hack – it can happen to any business

Just because your business is based in Hull, East Yorkshire or Lincolnshire doesn’t mean that hackers will not be interested in your data. Commercially sensitive data can be stolen from any company. If you haven’t planned against the risks then you could find your business comes to a lot of harm. It’s not just rogue states and fraudsters that use technology to commit crime – increasingly, companies are employing hackers to steal data from their competitors or damage their system to harm their business.

Stay Safe from Cyber Crime

This latest hack shows that two messages we constantly reiterate were not followed:

Digitalquill –Hull IT Support Service

Do you have a small business in the Hull area, but not confident with computers? Do your IT issues take up too much time? Help is at hand: our East Yorkshire IT support service is low cost but offers great service. As well as Hull IT support we also take care of Scunthorpe Computer support, Hessle IT help for businesses and East Yorkshire computer services. For more information call us on 01482 424402 or email office@digitalquill.co.uk

 

Asset Tracking RFID systems
Asset Tracking RFID systems
A word cloud of asset management related items

You can keep track of your business assets using RFID systems. A combination of RFID hardware, RFID transponders and Digitalquill’s Asset Monitor make managing any kind of asset simple, all through its lifecycle. RFID transponders cannot be remotely scanned, copied or cloned. You can use RFID systems to manage any type of asset, from computer hardware to gas cylinders.

4 Uses for Asset Tracking RFID Systems

1. Law Enforcement

Law enforcement personnel use with a variety of assets such as vehicles, IT equipment, evidence, handheld devices, laptops and so on. If their equipment or vehicles are lost or stolen, it could cost them in terms of both money and reputation. If evidence is lost, criminals could walk free.

An asset tracking RFID system could be used to monitor equipment in order to prevent theft or loss, by using passive RFID systems and real-time data-collection.

Read more about how police forces in the USA are using RFID systems.

2. Business and Manufacturing

Lost assets in a manufacturing environment cause major issues such as delayed work, lost sales, and wasted money. Manufacturing companies need to keep track of assets, from small items such as tools, to larger assets like car parts.

By applying custom RFID tags to assets, it enables a company to rent out and recover items such as reusable pallets.

Read more about how Manufacturing companies across the world are using RFID systems.

3. Education

One of the most biggest growing industries using RFID systems for asset tracking is the education sector. RFID can be used to tracking children or college students, and can allow them to use cashless payments for lunches, register their presence in lessons and much more.

RFID can be used to ensure students arrive at school safely by using Solar powered RFID readers at the school gates or classrooms. It is possible to read RFID tags placed on students’ backpacks, and upload information to the internet for parents, students, and school staff to view. RFID systems can also track library books, IT equipment, and other property to against theft or loss.

Read more about how the education sector is using RFID.

4. Health

There are thousands of patients, employees, and assets in hospitals. This makes them ideal locations to implement RFID systems for asset tracking. Many hospitals around the world are investing in RFID asset tracking systems using active RFID, passive RFID, RTLS, and Wi-Fi systems. In some hospitals, passive RFID systems are used to track assets such as tools and machinery – and even patients!

high-value equipment SUCH AS beds, defibrillators, and so on can be fitted with embedded RFID transponders. The hospital can then track, locate, and provide maintenance for equipment. Hospitals may use the same systems to track patients -measuring  wait times and efficiency.

Read more about RFID Systems in Healthcare

Asset Tracking RFID Systems from Digitalquill

Digitalquill’s Asset Monitor System lets you keeps track of your business’s assets: you are able to instantly find out where they are; where they have been; and access a history of their movements – all at the click of a button. It uses the latest RFID technology, and unlike other RFID systems, it is not specific to any one industry.

Call us on 01482 424402 or email office@digitalquill.co.uk for more information.

Equifax Hack
Equifax Hack
Credit cards, a chain and an open padlock is seen in front of displayed Equifax logo in this illustration taken September 8, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illutration – RC1530D0D700

The major data breach at Equifax, the credit monitoring company affected 15.2 million records in the UK, relating to almost 700,000 customers, according to Sky News. The personal details of 143 million US customers were also stolen in the attack. The Equifax hack could well be the biggest ever cyber theft of financial information.

Equifax Hack – What was Stolen?

Names and dates of birth are amongst the personal details stolen from 693,665 UK-based customers of Equifax. The breach happened in May but was only reported last month. Most worryingly, 12,086 customers have had their email address breached and 14,961 customers have lost portions of their user names, passwords, and even their secret questions and answers and partial credit card numbers were stolen.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said in a statement:

“If you have been told that security details from your Equifax.co.uk account – such as your password and secret questions – have been accessed, then you should ensure those same details are not used on any other websites or accounts.”

No Business is Safe from Hackers

After Equifax announced the hack, they were subjected to many class action lawsuits in the US. How would your company cope if hackers accessed your customer data? Even if your business is far smaller than Equifax and located in Hull, East Yorkshire or Lincolnshire doesn’t mean your data is safe. If hackers access your data, then it can affect your reputation, and you risk a fined from the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Digitalquill – Experts in IT Security

At Digitalquill we help businesses across Hull, and the East Riding keep their customers’ data safe from criminals. Whether you need help securing a wireless network, setting up the proper PCI-DSS compliant processes for handling credit card data, backing up your files or writing a security policy for your East Yorkshire business – we can help. For more information call us on 01482 424402 or email office@digitalquill.co.uk.

 

 

Hull business IT security

Hull business IT securityCybercrime is currently on the rise, and law enforcement agencies expect it to continue to do so. As a result, organisations are constantly being subjected to new risks. According to the Metropolitan Police, A quarter of all businesses – and half of all small businesses – have come under Cyber-attack in the last 12 months. Who are the experts on Hull business IT security that can keep you safe from cyberattack?

Hull Business IT Security

According to the Office for National Statistics there are 5.5 milloin cyber offences every year – that is about half of all crime in the UK. The most common attacks are:

Ransomware – where attackers exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software.

Phishing – where emails are circulated with malicious links that employees click, and input their real passwords

What are the risks to Hull Businesses from Cybercrime?

Cybercrime can cause immeasurable harm to your finances, your reputation and your IT equipment. Data loss may include client or payment information, or even sensitive, confidential company information. It does not matter if your data is stored on your own server or in the cloud – it could still be at risk. And if you lose personal data then you may be fined by the Information Commisssioner.

Some of the threats come from:

  • Cyber Criminals – looking to steal your data or money, or disrupt your business.
  • Competitors – stealing confidential information or disrupting your operations.
  • Your own staff – Disgruntled employees have been known to steal data to hold a company to ransom. Others can be tricked or blackmailed into providing information.
  • Hackers – who want to breach your security to show off their skills.

IT Security Service for Small Businesses in Hull

Cybersecurity can be expensive if you employ a dedicated member of staff. That’s where Digitalquill comes in: our virtual IT director service can help you to get the building blocks in place for a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy and company policies. Our Hull IT support service can help you with backups, data recovery and day-to-day measures to reduce the risk of cybercrime. Call us on 01482 424402 or email office@digitalquill.co.uk for more information.