Daryl Daniels, Author at HCS
Windows Server 2008 & 2008 R2 End of Life – Risks of ignoring the deadline!

Windows Server 2008 & 2008 R2 End of Life – Risks of ignoring the deadline!

For many years many businesses have been utilising Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 technologies. Within these years, however, technology has advanced and due to continuing updates, from January 14th, 2020 Microsoft will no longer support Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2. This means that Microsoft will no longer provide security updates, exposing your business to security risks, downtime, data protection threats, non-compliance and many more cyber threats. These risks will primarily increase as hackers become aware of weaknesses in these servers and seek to exploit them. The End of Support deadline should be seen as an investment opportunity for your business’ future as upgrading your ageing servers and operating systems will protect your infrastructure, reduce costs and provide significant benefits that will outweigh the cost of upgrading and the risks of not doing so.

5 Risks of Using Outdated Technology

1) System downtime as you waste time fixing IT issues instead of focusing on your business objectives

2) Increased costs as you spend time fixing IT issues instead of growing your business

3) Decreased productivity as employees work to resolve IT issues instead of focusing on business tasks

4) Security holes in outdated software leaves you more open to cyber attacks

5) Legal compliance risks as auditors can fine companies that do not transition from unsupported software

Doing nothing is not a viable option as businesses must begin planning their migration strategies now to avoid disruption.

We recommend a straightforward four-step process:

1) Discover: Determine which applications are running on Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2

2) Assess: Categorise applications and workloads by type, importance, and degree of complexity

3) Target: Choose a migration destination for each application and workload, either on-prem or in the cloud

4) Migrate: Build your migration plan and begin the migration

Start your Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 Upgrade Journey today!

At HCS Business Solutions, we have helped many businesses like yours through the emigration process. For help in planning and executing your migration strategy, contact our expert team by emailing enquiries@hcs.ie!

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5 Recommendations For Cybersecurity

5 Recommendations For Cybersecurity

Cyber Security is an essential aspect of all businesses, however many businesses fail to make it a priority, thus leaving your business and team members vulnerable to sophisticated cyber threats from experienced hackers. There are many basic steps a business can take to ensure that your sensitive data is guarded against potential threats. To learn more, contact our expert team!

Utilise A Modern Operating System

Using a modern OS is essential to a business’ cyber security. An example of this is the Windows 7 End of Support Deadline that is quickly approaching. From January 14th, 2020, Microsoft will no longer support Windows 7 devices, therefore leaving them open to cyber threats.

Password Hygiene

Users should update passwords regularly and businesses should enforce password policies to ensure passwords are as secure as possible. Similar passwords should not be used on multiple devices/services and users should be discouraged from sharing passwords with others.

Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-Factor Authentication is a means of logging in to your accounts through using two or more verification techniques. Hackers are less likely to be able to breach these accounts when multiple factors of authentication are requested. As passwords can often be hacked through brute force or simple guessing, a second level of verification will ensure data security is maximised.

Beware When Working Out Of The Office

When connecting to hot spots it is recommended that you utilise a VPN to ensure security is maintained on your device. Generally it is recommended that when working outside of your office, do not connect to public hotspots. These hot spots can leave your device open to security breaches from unknown attackers.

Backup Your Data!

There are many reasons to back up your data, such as data loss, hacking, data breaches, ransomware, etc. It is essential that you back up all data to the cloud to ensure that copies are stored securely. This will help your business avoid essential data loss that will impact your business activities and processes.

Want to learn more about Cyber Security? Contact us below!

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Work Experience/Placement Opportunity – Waterford Office

Work Experience/Placement Opportunity – Waterford Office

Service Desk Technician Role

HCS have a work experience/placement position available from Jan 2020 to Sept 2020. (Full training given).

The Role

• Handle the call management process i.e. record, diagnose, track and close calls.
• Ensure that calls are logging effectively by capturing all relevant information.
• Escalate calls to the next level of support according to procedures.
• Provide status calls to the customer at regular intervals.
• Ensure the service desk works within agreed target resolution times.
• Provide tier 1 support to customers via phone, email and web.
• Manage own workload and ensure data is up-to-date and accurate at all times.

Skills & Experience Required

• Candidates should be currently doing an IT or business-related course.
• Experience in an IT role is desirable but not essential.
• Knowledge of Office 365, Microsoft Office and operating systems desirable.
• Ideally, candidates will have some previous work experience.
• Excellent communication and customer service skills are desirable.

At HCS Business Solutions we are proud to work with our tight-knit team in our state of the art offices in Waterford and Dublin. Our collaborative culture ensures that the best possible service is provided to our customers, our team of experts work with our customers to ensure that all IT issues and queries are resolved as quickly as possible. Team members of HCS can take part in a variety of employee programmes to boost their overall health and wellbeing. HCS employees can take part in a many schemes, such as; medical insurance, paid sick days, paid compassionate leave days and healthy eating options within our canteen with company fruit boxes, etc, we are also members of the national ‘Bike to Work’ scheme!

If you are searching for a new challenge or want to join one of Ireland’s most progressive IT Solutions companies email your CV to hr@hcs.ie

End of Support: Windows Server 2008 & 2008 R2

End of Support: Windows Server 2008 & 2008 R2

The Windows Server 2008 End of Support date is quickly approaching!

January 14th, 2020 is a special day for not only Windows 7 but also the Windows Server 2008. From this date, Microsoft will no longer support Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2. This means that these platforms will not receive additional security patches or other necessary updates.

Workloads will need to be migrated top newer environments – whether this entails rehosting data in Microsoft Azure or keeping files on-prem using a Windows Server 2012 or later.

What Will Happen If I Don’t Upgrade?

To fully understand the risks of using Windows Server 2008, it is helpful to look back on what occurred when Windows Server 2003 in 2015. After this End of Support, Server 2003 became vulnerable to many threats, such as malware and web attacks.

Users now risk experiencing these once again when support for Windows Server 2008 ends. These threats may include;

Increased Risks Of Cyber Threats;

Software that is out of date or unsupported may be easier for cyber criminals to exploit. This may lead to a loss of data, business outage and reputational damage.

Increased Support & Maintenance Costs;

Continuing to utilise Windows Server 2008 after the January 14th deadline may incur increased overheads as your business may require customised security, compliance violations and failed audits.

Reduced Functionality;

Newer versions of Windows Server not only have stronger security capabilities, but they also come with advanced features that are not available in previous versions. Continuing to use Windows Server 2008, not only increases your risk of security breaches but also halts your business from experiencing many new and modern features and benefits.

Installing something so pivotal to your business can seem like a daunting task, however, it is an essential step in maintaining business continuity and data security.

How To Upgrade Your Windows 2008 & 2008 R2 Server

If your business would prefer to keep your servers on-prem and you are utilising Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2, you will need to upgrade to Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 before upgrading to Windows Server 2016. As you continue to upgrade you will still have the option to migrate to Azure rehosting.

Migrate To Azure

You can migrate your on-premises Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 servers to Azure, allowing you to continue to run them on virtual machines. Using Azure you’ll stay compliant, increase security and add cloud innovation to your business.

Learn More About Your Windows Server 2008 & Windows Server 2008 R2 Upgarade Options!

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Businesses Beware, Social Engineering Attempts Are On The Rise!

Businesses Beware, Social Engineering Attempts Are On The Rise!

Those who work in IT and Cybersecurity are all too familiar with  Social Engineering. These types of attacks have increased in recent years which has caused many businesses to lose data through data breaches.

What is Social Engineering?

Social Engineering is a cybercrime which involves hackers taking advantage of employees to access private information. Social engineers generally pose as a person that the victim would trust, e.g. a colleague, friend or a company that the business works with. This ‘trust’ is then used to trick the victim into clicking a link which will then steal passwords and/or confidential information.

For hackers, it is often easier to take advantage of an individuals trust rather than hack into a system. Although Social Engineering is not a new concept, Social Engineering techniques have certainly become more sophisticated and personalised. This has made them even more difficult to recognise.

Examples of Social Engineering

To help you spot a Social Engineering attempt, we have a selection of examples below. However, Social Engineering may be presented in a variety of ways, it is essential that team members are diligent in ensuring they do not fall victim to there cyber breaches.

The Boss

This Social Engineering attempt looks like an email from your boss requesting your assistance with something urgently. This could be a request for files containing confidential information etc. This can lead to unauthorised individuals having access to sensitive data that can damage your business or cause serious delays in processes.

The Account Suspension

This is a difficult one to dismiss. If you receive an email that your account has been suspended or compromised and you need to verify your information or reset your password, double-check with your IT provided to ensure it is legitimate as these emails can seem authentic. If you are unsure check the site that the email is supposedly from to ensure it is official and if there are any notices or warnings for users. Just be sure not to click the link embedded in the email.

The Dream Offer

If you hear from a LinkedIn recruiter offering you the role of your dreams, with all the benefits and perks you could wish for, be wary! If you receive one of these, ensure that it is official and not an attempt to steal your data. Although there are many recruiters online headhunting people, ensure that the email is official and not an attempt to steal data.

 

A lot of cyberattack prevention comes down to ensuring your team members are appropriately trained to spot these attempts. To learn more about Social Engineering and how to train your team to protect your business’ confidential data contact our team!

Begin your journey in improving your busiess security by contacting our expert team today!

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