News

Test your Employee's - Internal Company Phishing Exercise

You can email out to the whole company explaining things such as Spear Phishing:

 http://www.response-it.co.uk/news/2016/10/23/spear-phishing-how-to-mitigate-risks?rq=phishing

and Ransomware explanations and examples: 

http://www.response-it.co.uk/news/2016/10/27/ransomware-the-small-business-guide?rq=cyp

But do these go unnoticed? It's difficult to tell until this is put to the test.... A short test could be to wait until you get infected or breached and diagnose the attack and seal the hole, but a better proactive test is to test your employees before the attack happens.

We have worked recently with a few companies after Management approval to create a test Phishing site's to monitor how many people would fall for the above attacks which give great insights such as

1) How many people and who opened the email
2) How many people entered credentials
3) How many people clicked a link
4) How many out of dated devices opened the link

After the above is found, user training can be employed to fix all the below and the whole process can be repeated on occasion automatically.

Contact us today about pricing for the service.



The cost of outdated Technology for Business'

Per the microsoft article here https://news.microsoft.com/en-gb/2017/01/19/people-spend-day-every-year-waiting-old-computers-boot/#sm.0000012c2ze3vacu5rmyddvyd145k

'People in Britain spend a day every year waiting for old computers to boot up'

Yes this is a marketing from Microsoft to sell it's Windows 10 Operating System , but it does bring out some interesting true facts ..... Computer shelf life or Out of the Box warranty is usually supplied for 3 years depending on what it is used for, and Microsoft OS is usually around every 3 years as well.

Below we would like to share of reasons to keep your Hardware and Software Up to Date

  • Not getting the new features new software and hardware gives you such as Virtualisation ( Multiple servers on a single box ) or leveraging the cloud with means no server!
  • New technology is usually built with less parts, thus less to go wrong and cheaper to buy and greener to run !
  • Out of Date software leaves you open to security problems, e.g. Microsoft not releasing anymore security patches for your operating system
  • Increased costs and time in fixing problems with your old hardware / software. Yes it usually can be done by sometimes by a quick fix instead of a long term fix
  • System Downtime due to Security problems or reliability problems
  • Cost of Warranty Extensions -> Usually manufacturers or Software and Hardware will rapidly increase the warranty cost extensions which means buying new can be cheaper!
  • Stress! (two-thirds of Brits with computers aged between 5 and 10 years admitted to hitting or shouting at them, with a further 6% being reduced to tears)
  • Legal risks of being audited depending on your business with can lead to fines due to unsupported software

Call us today to help us get you into the new!

 



Azure now offers a 99.9 percent service-level agreement (SLA) commitment option on single-instance virtual machines with Premium Storage

Just to show Microsoft's commitment to it's infrastructure in Azure to host your Virtual Machines, it has now increased it's SLA to the highest yet 99.9%

Previously, receiving an SLA required a minimum of two virtual machines configured for high availability. However, some IT organizations need SLAs for single-instance virtual machines, forcing those virtual machines to stay on-premises. With this new option in Azure, we are empowering organizations to move more workloads to the cloud.

To qualify for the single-instance virtual machine SLA, all storage disks attached to the virtual machine must be our Premium Storage, which offers up to 80,000 input/output operations per second (IOPS) and 2,000 MB of disk throughput per virtual machine. Customers can continue to build for high availability by having two or more virtual machines deployed in the sameavailability set, which provides a 99.95 percent SLA, or by utilizingAzure Virtual Machine Scale Sets.

For more information about our SLA for Azure Virtual Machines, please visit the SLA for Virtual Machines webpage. For more information on Premium Storage and how to begin migrating your workloads, please visit theDisk Storage webpage.

What is an SLA?

This stands for service level agreement. It is what service providers agree with their customers on uptime of a service before a payment or credit will be applied to their bill.

What is the Refund?

Microsoft are not offering a refund, but service credit which can be used for the following months server : 

< 99.9% Uptime = 10% Service Credit

< 99% Uptime = 25% Service Credit

 



123 reg Dns Issues 23/05/2012

123 reg are having some DNS issues with their name servers at the moment

NS.123-reg.co.uk and NS2.123-reg.co.uk

They have released the following status update : http://www.123-reg.co.uk/support//systemstatus.aspx

 

UPDATE

Looks to have been caused by a Chinese DOS Attack!

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/05/23/123reg_ddos_attack/



Great Feedback from Existing Customers

Here's some feedback some of our customers have emailed through this week out of the blue!

“Thank you for your help. I want to tell you guys how comforting it is to have great support even for the simple questions so I can concentrate on my job vs software.”
“Pleasure to work with as all your guys are and it has been a breeze to get this up and running compared with other companies who have quoted ridiculous sums of money and are hard to work with, so thanks again”

 

We really appreciate the kind words, and of course will keep up the great service!



Be There Routing Issues

Looks like some of our customers on the Be There network are experiencing slow downs due to a routing issue from their network. Some of the websites they have had speed issues with are rightmove.co.uk , natwest.com and other banking websites.

After speaking their technical support department they are aware of the issue and working on a resolution.

**UPDATE 16/02/2012**

Be There are still having Routing Issues and Packet loss leading on from the start of the issues on  Monday this week



Office 365 Migration From BPOS and New Subscribers!

So 2012 has been a great start to the year, with a selection of new customers, and getting our existing customers over to Office 365. Office 365 definitely has some major pluses over BPOS such as

  • No single Sign on Utility needed, it work with Outlook's Auto discovery even Out of Office!
  • Microsoft can now be your DNS host making life easier for DNS Management and the setting up of records for Auto discovery and Lynced
  • IMAP import tool , 365 will import all your old emails and folder structure via IMAP ( if you old provider supports it ) which means the only manual copying that needs to be done is Contacts and Calendars
  • Faster Webmail and a full web based outlook
  • Upgradeable to higher tear plans
  • Minimum Seat Count = 1 ( BPOS was 5! )

A few of our existing BPOS clients have already been migrated by Microsoft and the transition smooth. It was as simple as configuring the correct autodiscover DNS records, getting everyone to change their password to sync with 365 and Outlook does the rest! So far all our transitions have been performed over the weekend, so a email goes out to the Friday before transition with the365 webmail link : http://mail.office365.com

As Microsoft Partners we can help you with the transition , so contact us today!



BT Issue Routing to USA

It looks like some of our customers using BT internet as an ISP are having issues routing to American Sites. UK Sites and Servers seem uneffected, however domains that have their nameservers in the US will also have issues remotely connecting to the office. This can be temporaly fixed by using the direct server IP. This looks to be a local BT issue as other customers on Zen connecting through a BT line are uneffected.



Virgin Media 50MB Service SMTP Timeout's

Recently one of our clients upgraded to Virgins new 50mb Service for there existing ADSL2+ Service. The day of change over we moved IP's and the server started to accept new email from the new IP, accept SMTP transmissions were timing out. We adding a middleman SMTP server inbetween the Spam Filter and the Exchange box with a low MTU connection size 1440 and this fixed the issue temporarily.  After a week plus with Virgin Technical Support, Virgin have found there is a problem with their new 50Mb service. There’s a workaround which is to reduce the MTU to 1460 on the receiving server

HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\Interfaces\[ID of interface]\MTU

The virgin router partners Netgear are working on a firmware update for their new superhubs to fix it properly.



A Box You May Want To Uncheck On LinkedIn

Following on from Facebook and Privacy issues, it looks as it LinkedIn has done us the “favour” of having a default setting whereby our names and photos can be used for third-party advertising. 

Completely down to you whether this is of any relevance, but if like me you don't want to participate, here are the quick steps to rectify LinkedIn's devious ploys!

[CLICK DIAGRAM TO RESIZE]

1. Sign into LinkedIn, and click on your name, then choose "Settings".

2. Now click on “Account” (bottom left).

3. In the box to the right click on “Manage Social Advertising” .

4. This opens a new window - now remove the tick from the box next to “LinkedIn may use my name, photo in social advertising” .

All done.

Nearly got us LinkedIn - close escape!

Additionally: If you you may want to have a look at the settings within "Email Preferences" very reminiscent of Facebook! Eg: Check out Turn On/Off Partner InMail (junk mail coming your way!). 



Google Apps Migration from Yahoo and Gmail

Recently we helped a new customer combine their existing webmail accounts from Yahoo and Gmail into one Free Google Apps Standard account that could send from their domain name. The merger involved transfering 4 Gigabytes of Email and 1700 Contacts from Yahoo and as well another 600mb of Email from their gmail account.

We used the migration tools from https://www.yippiemove.com which copied over the 4 Gigabytes of email via the "cloud" in under 2 hours. We used the export CSV Tool for the contacts and the Gmail Backup and Restore tool to migrate the Gmail Emails. The custuomer has now consolidated all their accounts into a free Google Apps Standard account which is valid for up to 10 users.

Let us know if we can help you out with any cloud migration problems or questions!



Spyware Via Skype!

I reported earlier aboutIndian call centers, calling you up, pretending to be from Microsoft here then using this as a ploy to use teamviewer to login to your machine and install spyware

It seems the latest craze we have just expeirenced is recieving a call from an automated number via skype , telling you there is'System Update Information' for your computer and please go to this address

sosgt.com <- This address goes to the standard Spyware screen displaying the fake information about your machine being comprimised!  Watch out and block these calls from skype and report them as abuse! If you have installed the software we recommend Spybot, Malwarbytes and even System Restore for Removal!



Fibre Optic Broadband Static IP

Welcome to the new generation UK broadband is here which is Fibre Optics! This is provided by FTTC ( Fiber to the Curb ) which means fibre is run from your local telephone exchange to your nearest "BT Cabinet" outside your premise. You may have seen the television adverts, advertising speeds of up to 40mb through BT's infinity service , 40Mb Download , 10 Mb Upload. These are perfect speeds for small to medium business! Main offices can now host their own high speed terminal servers with high speed VPN and file access. However BT unfortunately do not offer static IP address' for such services, and a few customers have also been complaining their upgrade plans via Virgin's fibre network also do not come with a static IP.  This is obviously a way for communication providers to force business' to pay for a leased line ( instead of using existing economical communications ), which for a 10mb Upload/Download can retail at £400/Month plus a high installation fee. We are pleased to announce however, as Response IT is a Zen Certified Partner, we can now supply you with a Fibre Connection ( If your exchange is FTTC Enabled ) with a Static IP address starting at a £55 monthly charge! Check out the crib sheet for more information on the different packages and details on when your exchange is going to be enabled. Zen Fibre Broadband Crib Sheet

If you are already an existing customer you will receive an email when your exchange is going to be enabled and when we can swap you over to the new fast service!



IT support for Schools

Response IT has successfully finished it's first complete refurbishment of a new secondary school in Clapham. The refurbishment tasks included :

1) Upgrading of existing small business server 2003 infrastructure from the primary school to a new virtualised small business 2008 server including the new installation of 2008 R2 Terminal Server

2) Installation of a new Toshiba phone system ( which doubled up as a school intercom system) , utilising IP handsets around the building and SIP Trunk for calls with a backup Analogue lines

3) Provisioning of 2 onsite Internet connections with automatic failover for voicecalls

4) Installation of 20 new slimline desktops and screens mounted to the walls which will rise to 40 after the completion of a new IT Room

5) Working with the building architect to provision and install cabling around the school

6) Provisioning of a Site to Site VPN with the existing Primary school

7) Installation and Setup of 3 Interactive Whiteboards with projectors and training of staff

The schools utilised quite custom app's for development and learning in the classroom,

Thanks to the Microsoft Charity Open License program , we were able to set this up at very little cost to the school , who now run the most up to date Microsoft Server Operating System, Microsoft Desktop Operating System and Office 2010.

The school have outsourced all of their Schools IT Helpdesk to Response-IT which is managed remotely through an online ticketing system for staff as well as remote logins to fix issues without interrupting the classroom.

We completed the project on schedule for their first opening Ofsted inspection, an Engineer was present throughout the day to make sure any technical questions where answered and verified and any issues could resolved straight away.

Let us know if you would like Response IT to guide you through the process of integrating ICT into your school organisation



Spyware via Phone!

antivirus20101-300x158[1].jpg

If it's not people trying the fool you into a webpage that pretends to "scan" your computer for virus and find 100 Cirtical Objects that need removing through their software , only after the unknowing user installs the software they are constantly harrased by popups!

It's people from India calling you up after getting your name and number out of the telephone directory and pretending to be your ISP or Microsoft saying you have issues on your machine that they will need to fix.

A site F1Compstepuk.com ( Now shutdown by HostGator ) which charged you £185 after install teamviewer so the person could remotely access your machine "and remove the virus'" which had been causing your computer slowness and even 404 Errors!

From Microsoft's Own Website

"Microsoft does not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer

In this scam cybercriminals call you and claim to be from Microsoft Tech Support. They offer to help solve your computer problems. Once the crooks have gained your trust, they attempt to steal from you and damage your computer with malware including viruses and spyware.

Although law enforcement can trace phone numbers, perpetrators often use pay phones, disposable cellular phones, or stolen cellular phone numbers. It's better to avoid being conned rather than try to repair damage afterwards.

Treat all unsolicited phone calls with skepticism. Do not provide any personal information."

So guys, make sure you recognise the number and you know the person logging in remotely to your machine!

Gardian Article Here



IT Support for Estate Agents

http://responseit.myzen.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/estate11-300x191.jpgEstate Agents and real estaters are heavily reliant on IT Systems and the need to keep an up-to-date database of properties and clients contact details. Tasks such as printing residential contracts and the auditing of signing and archiving until the tenancy or property sale goes through put a quite high demand on IT Support. This also puts heavy strain on printing requirements and we work directly with industrial print companies such as Canon to make sure the company gets the best deal and support contract with their printers. This not only heavily reduces the overall cost per page but allows constant printer support throughout the week.

Estate Agents will usually have multiple offices in different counties and cities. Agents will need to hot desk in between each office as well as be able to upload and download information while on the road. The installation and set-up of a Terminal Server has been the best practice for this, as data can be consolidated into one office and backuped daily. If the user base exceeds 50-100 Users we would recommend you colocate your server to a Data Center on an internet connection of 100mb/s to meet the speed demand. Remote Desktop Connections support full USB mapping so agents can upload pictures direct from a digital camerato a Content Management System while on the road.

We are always looking for ways to improve the workflow and flexibility of software for estate agents, and after demoing http://www.aspasia.net/ , we are really impressed on how this provides total growth and flexibility as will as a mobile phone application which is perfect for upload pictures on the road as well as adding and editing information



Outlook Office 2010 - MailTips and Features

Office 2010 has just arrived at MSDN so we have all upgraded our betas to full versions! This post was going to start as a post about Office 2010 , but theres too much to add so I will start with the main day to day tool Outlook 2010

Since Netcaptor first introduced it, till Microsoft recognised this easy method of changing windows , Office Tabbed viewing has been the best way to browse around your application. At last we see this brought into it's full effect in Office. There's been careful though of all the ribbons and there icons , and I can tell how easy the tranisation will be for users and also show them features in office they never knew existed.

The main file menu brings up useful information like your Email Mailbox storage limits, Out of Office, Account settings and even a Webmail link ! This was a really smart idea, I know it will take strain off of IT Managers when there's an issue with outlook and a user can just go through webmail without any phonecall needed!

If someone emails a calendar appoitment that conflicts with an existing appoitment, not only will it tell you this , but it automatically brings up the conflicting appoitment in your email view for you to rearrange or cancel.

Outlook 2010 has been built around it's social connect feature , syncing your contacts with well known social networks. It comes off the shelf supporting LinkedIn , the Business Social network and ...... MYSPACE !!!??? I guess this is Microsoft is keen to develop the email and work collaboration for Schools as the average MySpace user is less than 24 .

Really suprised there is no off the shelf facebook intergration, LinkedIn ( all be it business minded ) has been very slow off the start with some of its features such as adding pictures and syncronising contacts with mobile devices .... I'm really suprised about the lack of the worlds most used social networking site Facebook even if it is mainly used out of work, there still is a strong place for it inside the corporate world due to it's information and users. Even more confused about the missing Windows LIVEintergration , I can only presume something fancy is going on with Mircosoft Communictor

MailTips - MailTips is a new tool that will:

- Warns you when you are about to send an email to a distribution list , and lists the total number of reciepents

- Warns you when composing a new message, that the user in your organisation is Out of the Office and will show you their "out of office message"

- Warns you if the message you are about to send will be going to a mailbox that is full or even that will push you over your quota limit saving you time and unnecessary emails!

- Warns you when you have been copied in on an email and you choose to reply to all. Replying to all will let all the other recipents you have been copied in on the email in the first place!

- Warns you when you compose a new email and the recipients are a mix of people internally and externally to the company

I would of really liked to see this mail tip : http://sites.google.com/site/markbird/ , Thunderbird has is it now and we've all do to the end of an email without attaching!

MailTips do require Exchange 2007 , which you should have by now with this version of Microsoft Office!

Alas , you can't please everyone, and I do agree with them about being still upset about Microsoft Word being used as the offical email editor in Outlook. Many a time I have had to modify or fix HTML pages created by Word, this needs to be fixed for the benifit of document collaboration and the move over to Office Web Applications



Mcafee update problem - Deletion of svchost.exe No Windows Xp Taskbar

Unfortuneatly McAfee Total Protection Antivirus users recently experienced an update forcing them offline. This is a known fault where Mcafee Anti Virus Scanner with update "5958 DAT" classes the standard Windows XP svchost.exe which checks the services part of the registry to construct a list of services that it must load as w32/wecorl.a Virus.

Not having this will seriously affect programs on start-up, force your taskbar at the bottom not to load and remove any network connections

To get you taskbar back up right click the line at the bottom of your screen where it is usually at and then select Toolbars, Quick Launch.

A few of our home users have has this issue with their home machines. Macafee's solution is to copy a svchost.exe from C:\Windows\System32\DllCache\ however , Mcafee has also deleted svchost from this!

To resolve this issue download a clean working SVCHOST.EXE

Boot the system into safe mode ( Tap F8 when the PC first starts)  , once booted into safemode ( Click Yes on the warning,  Don't try system restore , no chance without svchost.exe ) Delete the DAT folder located

C:\Program Files\McAfee\VirusScan\

This will paralyse Mcafee , until you can get back on-line

Copy the working svchost.exe to C:\Windows\System32 . Drag and drop copy will not work not work , so you will need to use the command prompt ( Start , Run , CMD ) and the copy command "copy *Replace me with location of file*svchost.exe C:\Windows\System32\svchost.exe

e.g. copy D:\Svchost.exe C:\Windows\System32\svchost.exe

Restart , and your back and working! , Download the new replacement updates!

Executable for updates is here

We recommend and utilise Kapersky Antirus , so if your one of our customers your protected and online!



Fast IT Support!

We are pleased to announce a new Response IT record install time of 36 Hours from the initial client meeting to a Small Business 2008 Install with 5 Client Computers. We know the IT issues faced when starting up a new company, we've been through the process many times , and have the install method down to the fine art! We can help guide you through the set-up of your Internet Connection, Phone System, Website, Server and any other pre requisites. After sign off , new equipment will be waiting at your door the next day with an engineer eagerly waiting to set it all up for you! With enough to worry about starting up a new company, pass your IT start-up headaches to us , and we'll do the rest!