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Protect your email against sophisticated cyber attacks

Protect your email against sophisticated cyber attacks

Keeping your data protected from constantly evolving, aggressive malware threats is a worry for companies of all sizes these days. Email has become so critical to day-to-day business that hackers cleverly and frequently infiltrate internal networks via email, embedding harmful malware and other programs with false promotional emails or company communications. With one click, an unsuspecting user can download a number of harmful viruses and unknowingly compromise their companies data and their systems. With these seemingly increasing brazen cyber attacks, its very hard to stay ahead of the game. However, Microsoft Office 365 have added another very welcomed layer of must-have security to defend against these digital threats.

Microsoft have developed Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) which will provide additional real time protection to your email. It compliments existing security features within Office 365 to give two, distinct categories of protection – Safe Links and Safe Attachments. It will also provide rich reporting functions, offering you greater understanding of your businesses threats.


Safe attachments:

Safe attachments is a feature that protects against unknown malware and viruses within your email attachments. All suspicious email content goes through a real time malware analysis to be evaluated and screened, they are then opened in a secure Microsoft area and any unsafe attachments are isolated and destroyed before reaching your mailbox.  If no suspicious activity is detected the attachment is released and delivered to the mailbox with the original message.

Safe Links:

Safe Links evaluates a link in an email message in real time to determine whether the link is safe or contains harmful content. If the link is deemed to be unsafe, the user is warned not to visit the site or informed the site has been blocked.  If the destination is safe the user is redirected to the original website.


Advanced Threat Protection also provides reporting and tracking capabilities to give you valuable insight into who is being targeted in your company and to gain a better understanding of the level of attack your company is facing. This information can then be used to prevent further attacks and avoid placing your data and systems at further risk.


ATP is an add on service to all subscribers already using Office 365. The capabilities of ATP make it an ideal solution to protect your business from cybercriminals looking to gain entry through your email. It costs as little as €1.70 per user per month to properly safeguard your mailbox and lower the risk falling victim to malicious activity beyond your control.

I am sure you will agree that having an advanced multi-layered approach to help protect your business against the risk of cybercrime and suspicious activity is an absolute must and for this reason we strongly recommend you implement Advanced Threat Protection immediately.

Please call HCS Business Solutions on 051 595200 or email to protect your business against cyber crime today.


Prevention is always better than a cure

Prevention is always better than a cure

“Prevention is better than the cure” that’s why protecting your IT Systems against cybercrime, disasters, malicious intent is always better than having to face the pain of a cure when the damage is done.

While no one can guarantee 100% protection for your IT Systems, you can limit the risk by being prepared against the threats of cybercrime, disasters or malicious intent. If you fail to prepare the likelihood is you will be facing the cure, if prepare to fail then you have done yourself a big favour and the chances of facing the cure is far less likely.

TechSecure from HCS is a comprehensive practical approach to Securing and Protecting your business. HCS will carry out an independent audit of your business focusing on the following areas;

  • User Accounts Security
  • Company Policies (Internet, email, remote, BYOD)
  • Servers
  • Workstations (desktops/laptops)
  • Network equipment
  • Vulnerability/Penetration testing
  • Backups
  • Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
  • Remote Access
  • Wireless
  • Email
  • Internet Access
  • File shares
  • Tablets/Smartphones
  • Printing Security
  • Application Security


The information gathered during this assessment will generate the information needed to identify the security weaknesses in your business. Armed with this information HCS will then work with your business to formalise a security strategy that will have you prepared and limit your risks to the threats of cybercrime, disasters or malicious intent.

The ex CEO of CISCO John Chambers once said, “There are two types of companies: those that have been hacked, and those who don’t know they have been hacked”. In my opinion, there is a third type of company, “those that will be hacked in the very near future”. Don’t get hacked and have to face the cure, be prepared and get as secure as you possibly can, Be TechSecure.

For more information on TechSecure visit our website\techsecure or call us on 01 8734120/051 595200.


We are looking for another .net developer

We are looking for another .net developer

The HCS Software Division is a growing team of currently 6 software developers who specialise in delivering custom applications on behalf of a number of national and multinational customers. We place a strong emphasis on cloud and mobility and therefore work with the latest in Microsoft technologies to deliver our vision of producing quality software that delivers for our customers. HCS uses the Microsoft development stack of Office 365, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Azure, .NET and SQL.

HCS Business Solutions is now looking for a Senior and Junior .NET Developer  to add to this growing software team. Based in either our Waterford or Dublin Citywest office this is a good opportunity to work in a flexible environment with the latest technologies.


Senior .Net Developer

Scope of role

The role is to develop, test, document and implement custom applications within agreed deadlines to the required standard in order to meet the functional requirements set by our Customers.

Key skills

Primary responsibility for the design, development and deployment of software solutions and components based on a mixture of .Net MVC, SQL Server, Azure, SharePoint, Angular JS.

Developing applications from detailed design specifications.

Ability to liaise with clients during the development life cycle.


At least 5 years design and development experience using Microsoft based tools & frameworks such as: C#, .NET MVC, SQL Server, SSRS, Angular JS, Web API, VSO, Azure and SharePoint.

Web/Mobile development experience.

Excellent written/verbal skills.

Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

Understanding and experience of Agile based development methodologies.


Relevant third level qualification in IT.

Microsoft MCP certifications would be an advantage.



Junior .Net Developer

Scope of role

The role is to support and work with our senior developers to develop, test, document and implement custom applications within agreed deadlines to the required standard in order to meet the functional requirements set by our Customers.

Key skills

Take responsibility for the development of software solutions as assigned based on a mixture of .Net MVC, SQL Server, Azure, SharePoint, Angular JS.

Developing suitable applications from detailed design specifications that align to the level of experience you have

Ability to liaise with clients during the development life cycle.


At least 18 months development and support experience using Microsoft based tools & frameworks such as: C#, .NET MVC, SQL Server, SSRS.

Excellent written/verbal skills.

Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

Understanding and experience of Agile based development methodologies.


Relevant third level qualification in IT.

Microsoft MCP certifications would be an advantage.

How to create a human firewall against cybercrime in your organisation!

How to create a human firewall against cybercrime in your organisation!

In a previous blog entitled “How Can You Protect Yourself and Your Business from Potentially Costly Ransomware Attacks?” I discussed three ways in which you can protect your organisation. I broke it down into 3 steps that need to be taken to mitigate against the risk of being attacked and infected and suffering data or financial loss;

  • Step 1 – Create a human firewall.

  • Step 2 – Have up to date IT systems.

  • Step 3 – Have good backups.

In this blog I’m going to focus on how you create a human firewall in your organisation because remember, it’s the users who are being targeted by the cyber criminals. These criminals are using a variety of digital deceptions to trick users into opening email attachments or click on compromised links on websites. Today’s computer users, Employers and Employee’s, need to wise up fast and get with the program before your business pays a hefty price!

The Human Firewall?

When we talk about the human firewall we’re talking about computer users within your organisation and their levels of awareness and understanding about the cybercrime threats they face today. The digital world we live in now is vastly different from years ago. No longer can we curiously and carelessly click on things presuming that everything is safe on the internet. The new reality is that there is danger around every corner and as a computer user you need to take responsibility for your actions and be very clear that you know and understand what you are doing when using email and internet! Users must condition their minds to be much more security aware and continually be asking questions;

Who is this email from, do I know the sender? Why have I just received this particular email? Is this website safe, how do I know it’s safe? Why is someone asking me to download something, how do I know that this download is what it says it is? Is it really my boss asking me to transfer money into a bank account? Should I really be doing personal stuff on my company’s IT system and putting my employer’s business at risk?

The first line of defence that the cybercriminal needs to penetrate is the user, it’s the user’s interaction with the email or a link that allows a network intrusion. Only after the initial intrusion will the secondary layers of protection like a firewall and AV software come into play. Organisations must strengthen their first line of defence and this is achieved through security awareness training with the key objective to condition the user’s minds to the new security threats and realities.

Security awareness training

Users do not come to work with the intention of contracting a horrible crippling virus at their place of work and so will naturally be predisposed to being receptive to training in this area. Acquiring basic knowledge of the main cyber threats and an understanding of how social engineering works can make a huge difference in the awareness and ability of the user to be alerted to suspicious activity and to act on it!

Cyber criminals constantly innovate!

It is vitally important that users are kept up to date with the latest threats. Criminals are constantly coming up with new ways to hack your systems either through social engineering or other means. We all know about the Nigerian prince who wants to pay us an exorbitant sum of money for doing very little but next week it will be something different and the week after that something new again.

We’ve touched on social engineering already however its worth considering this point, there is often a huge amount of data in the public domain, on the web, about our organisation and on us as individuals, through social media. It’s not that difficult for a cybercriminal to carry out basic desk research on your company and employees and then use that information, in what is a premeditated and customised attack on your organisation. Information gathered from the web will make the trick even more convincing than usual to get you to open an email attachment or even transfer money to an account.

Randsomeware1How to create the human firewall in your business?

  1. Give your staff “Be Alert to Cybercrime” Security Awareness Training.
  2. Get users to sign off on the training they received.
  3. Ensure your staff regularly receive the latest cybercrime threat information.
  4. Provide users with an easy way to report suspect emails.
  5. Carry out simulated attacks to test your human firewall and record the results.


  1. Develop a 6th “Security” sense when it comes to email, attachments, website links and confidential data.
  2. Slow down! Think first, Act second, not the other way around. Criminals want you to act quickly without thinking about your actions.
  3. Delete requests for personal or financial information or passwords.
  4. Be highly suspicious of unsolicited email! If an email appears to be from someone you know, treat requests made with suspicion and verify authenticity independently.
  5. Shut down your computer at night! You’ll save power and cut off the criminal’s opportunity to have unfettered access to your machine!


For additional information or help with Cybercrime protection please get it touch

PSTN Conferencing with Skype for Business

PSTN Conferencing with Skype for Business

Whether they are a massive blessing or the annoyance of your working day, conference calls with your customers or far-flung colleagues are an essential part of doing business these days. You want this part to go as easily and smoothly as possible, for sure, HCS know this, it is the backbone of the working day for most of us here too!

The good news is for your conference calls, you now no longer need to manage multiple dial ins, or try to connect dispersed groups over various devices. Not only that but if you want your users to be able to call in or out via regular phones in your business over Skype at low costs, we recommend the PSTN Conferencing telephone service. Its easy, quick and cost effective!

PSTN conferencing with Skype for Business add on service gives you a hybrid, new, and modern meeting room solution which will allow you to search for, acquire and assign phone numbers to users so they can make calls to and receive calls from people inside and outside your company. What all this means is not every participant of a conference meeting will need to dial-in using Skype, others can connect to the same conference call using more traditional methods like, landlines and mobile phones for example – That’s quite practical don’t you think!? It also includes local dial in numbers which for many of our customers was one of the primary reasons of moving to Skype for Business as the cost savings realised with the PSTN Conferencing feature was considerable. It really does provide a complete low cost meeting and voice experience.

Sometimes, you just want to be able to do your job with the least amount of hassle as possible and PSTN conferencing with Skype for Business provides the flexibility and convenience to dial in to a meeting from a traditional phone, in addition to the existing ability to join a meeting with a single click on your PC or mobile device.

I’ve said it once but I will say it again, it truly is EASY, QUICK AND COST EFFECTIVE!

Watch our short video here to find out more: PSTN Conferencing with Skype for Business

Call now or email us to get your quotation today:

Tel: 051 595200 / 01 8734120


Leave the file server!

Leave the file server!

Well hello there! For users of a file server, I am delighted to say that the time has finally come whereby I can now happily recommend for you to leave the file server and instead, use SharePoint Online!

The main reason that you should do this, is that on 1st March 2016 Microsoft upgraded SharePoint storage from 10 gigabytes to 1 terrabytes, which is obviously a substantial increase.

Obviously then, 1TB will store a lot of files – a lot more than anyone who has been using SharePoint all along would be used to!

A secondary reason to switch to SharePoint Online instead of continuing to use a file server, is the fantastic new Windows 10. Why? What’s so special about Windows 10 you might ask?

Well – the single biggest complaint from SharePoint users who use SP as a file store is the SharePoint interface itself.  However, with Windows 10, this is no longer an issue, and here’s why:

To eliminate the problem of the shaky SharePoint interface, we do so by mapping a drive to SharePoint. We could do this before on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, but it was a very flaky feature to say the least. But in Windows 10, it’s not flaky at all. It is rock solid! I have been using it myself for 6 months now and also have a number of very satisfied customers who are delighted to be using it also.

However, if you can’t (or don’t want to) upgrade to Windows 10, all is not lost. So don’t worry! If you absolutely must continue using Windows 7 or 8 then we have a secret third party tool that helps to make this feature work consistently also.

Contact me directly on if you want to know what it is… I can’t give away all my highly sought after trade secrets to my competitors!

HCS can quickly assess your existing file server – call us today to leave yours! Tel:  01 8734120 or 051 595200

Also, remember – Windows 10 is free to download before 29th July 2016. However, after that you have to pay – and we don’t even know how much yet! So you really are better off downloading it NOW and if you end up not liking it, you can just downgrade back to what you had before – simples!

Psssst – If you’re wondering how on earth a mapped drive to SharePoint works, then check out this quick video: Click Here

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