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HCS Strikes Gold With Dell! | Infrastructure, Servers & Storage |

HCS Strikes Gold With Dell! | Infrastructure, Servers & Storage |

HCS Business Solutions have been awarded Gold Partner status with Dell.

Speaking of the recognition, Neil Phelan, Managing Director said, “We are thrilled to be recognized as a Gold Partner of Dell. This demonstrates our commitment to providing our customers with the best level of support and value possible in regards to Dell’s Infrastructure, Storage and Servers”.

To become a Gold Dell Partner, HCS Business Solutions had to exceed various targets, while also ensuring core teams, such as; sales, marketing and engineering, completed required training, thus ensuring expertise in their individual areas. “Achieving this recognition truly was a team effort, our team members actively undertook the required training, becoming recognized experts in their respective departments, all to assist our customers in finding a Dell solution best suited to their business needs, whether they be Infrastructure, Client Storage or Client Servers”, explained Neil Phelan.

To learn how a Dell Solution can benefit your business, contact our expert team!

Avoid Tricks This Halloween By Upgrading To Windows 10 Before The End Of Support Deadline

Avoid Tricks This Halloween By Upgrading To Windows 10 Before The End Of Support Deadline

January 14th, 2020 is a date for your diaries. This is the date Microsoft will stop supporting Windows 7, marking the end of over a decade of service from the operating system, which has become a favourite of users around the world.

Who is still using Windows 7?

Millions around the world are still using Microsoft 7.

Over the past few years, many people have opted to stay with Windows 7 rather than upgrade to Windows 8 or 10. An example of its popularity is that in 2009, Windows 7 broke Amazon UK’s pre-order records. Some years later, Windows 8 was released, however, many chose to stay with the tried and tested Windows 7. It was seen as a reliable operating system that was easy to use and navigate for all users. However, with the End of Support deadline quickly approaching, users must ask themselves if they are ready to upgrade to a new operating system?

What does the End of Support mean?

As Windows 7 End of Support is quickly approaching, what does this actually mean for Windows 7 users? Basically, it means the clock is ticking on their online security.

Microsoft, when a new operating system is released, commits to a support period. These periods often have a start and end date. During a support period, the operating system will receive regular patches and updates to ensure your data remains secure.

When support ends for a platform, it means that it no longer receives patches and these exploits will not be fixed. This means that your risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime will increase.

I use Windows 7 – What can I do?

You need to upgrade. You can continue to use Windows 7 until January 14th, 2020, but it is essential that you upgrade before this deadline. This could mean that you upgrade your operating system or your existing computer. Either way, to stay protected you should begin thinking about what to do.

There are two main options for Windows 7 users:

Upgrade to Windows 10 – The clear solution to the Windows 7 End of Support is to upgrade to Windows 10. Windows 10 is a reliable, functional and easy to navigate operating system. If you have an older computer, be sure to check that it has the specs to support Windows 10.

Buy a new computer – Another option for you, if you are currently using Windows 7 is to purchase a new computer. If you are using an aged machine, you may need to upgrade both your operating system and computer. Any new Windows PC you buy in 2019 will be preloaded with Windows 10.

To arrange an upgrade to Windows 10 or to learn more about upgrading your computer contact our sales team.

When will support end for Windows 10?

Support for Windows 10 may never end. At the time of its release, Microsoft stated that Windows 10 would be the ‘last Windows ever’. The goal is that Windows 10 will serve as an ever-evolving platform that will replace the more regular numbered updates we have seen in the past. This means that we will probably never see a Windows 11.

The chances are that over the years, and through its many updates, Windows 10 will change quite a bit from its original form while still retaining the same title.

However, although Windows 10 will continue without an end date, the versions of it will have end of support deadlines. Through continuous updates, Microsoft aims to prolong the life of Windows 10 for years to come. For this reason, it is essential that you keep your device up to date.

Now is the time to start thinking about upgrading your devices to Windows 10. Our team can help you create an upgrade plan to ensure your systems are upgraded before the January 14th, 2020 deadline. To help you begin your upgrading process, contact us to get your FREE Windows 7 Audit!

Should You Disable Autocomplete in Outlook?

Should You Disable Autocomplete in Outlook?

Microsoft Outlook is the go-to email application for employees around the world. It is where many employees spend a large amount of their work day. Over recent years, Microsoft has grown and evolved Outlook to give users a richer, more enjoyable experience. This integrated email experience for users has a feature referred to as autocomplete, which can autofill the contact details of a recipient.

Autocomplete/Autofill functionality has been available for many years. Once an email has been sent to a recipient, they will then appear in suggested recipients for future emails once you have typed the first few characters of their address. This simple functionality gives users a helpful and practical experience and is intended to improve productivity, as people don’t have to type the full email address each time.  Autocomplete also means you don’t have to add every user you contact regularly to your Outlook address book.

However, because of this, some risks can be associated with this feature, leading to potential data risks. There are also practical issues with this feature, such as;

  • If you enter a new email address incorrectly and send the email, e.g. ddasmith@company.ocm rather than ddasmith@company.com, this new address can be added to your autocomplete list, making it very easy to repeat the mistake in the future.
  • Inbound addresses can be automatically added to your suggestions, even if you have never emailed them.

The risks associated with Autocomplete/Autofill can also not be ignored. These risks may involve sending an email with sensitive data to the wrong recipient, Human Error happens regularly in business, however, some mistakes can lead to severe data loss and reputational damage.

One option to mitigate the risks associated with this issue is to stop using autocomplete, however, this may affect end-user productivity as employees would have to type the email address themselves.

While users are less likely to send an email to the wrong person in their autocomplete list, this may lead to a much larger risk of misdirected emails caused by mis-typiing an email address.

In time, people will end up creating their own ‘autocomplete list’ or address books in other applications, such as Excel, and could end up storing other associated personal data locally on their devices, creating data risks for your business.

We Can Help!

At HCS Business Solutions we can help your business utilise Office 365 to its full potential, while also training your team on the latest Cybersecurity trends to ensure your business remains protected at all times! To learn more, contact our team!

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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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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