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Is your equipment at its end of life?

Is your equipment at its end of life?

Death sounds very dramatic, but when your desktop or mobile phone starts behaving as though it needs an energy drink with steroids to do the basic bits and bobs, it’s nearing the end of its life. All technology has its limits and your equipment is no exception. Over the years, they have served you tirelessly, 24/7, without question, but this comes with a price. In the background, technology just works to ensure that systems are running, and because equipment doesn’t have a voice, it doesn’t complain to let us know when things aren’t working as they should.

The thought of new equipment can be daunting for some businesses; their knee-jerk reaction is to say no, because no business wants to buy more equipment when everything seems to be working fine, and when it feels like they only purchased it yesterday. Time flies by and suddenly, five years have passed, and that’s five years of your equipment’s life. We’d love to never have to replace anything, but unfortunately, you have to.

 

Old tech means trouble

Simply put, equipment wears out. After years of working every day, nonstop, you will have to replace some parts, because if you don’t trouble is on the horizon. Outages are one of the biggest problems old equipment face. An outage doesn’t seem like that big of an issue, but let’s explain why it’s bigger than you think. Equipment failure doesn’t just mean flipping a breaker switch and suddenly the lights come back on. If you’re a sizeable company, it can mean that your business goes offline until they can find that piece of faulty equipment. Many companies are run on server based systems, leaving them rudderless until everything comes back online. We all know the chaos 13 that ensues if the internet goes down, and that’s entirely out of your hands. But when a faulty piece of equipment goes down and costs your business time and money, that’s on your hands – and here’s the kicker: it’s entirely preventable.

How Connectium can support your business

How Connectium can support your business

Everything runs on technology. Supermarkets, retail shopping, global communication, air traffic and transportation, banking, shipping and logistics, and even your personal life; there is not a corner of life today that isn’t impacted or affected by technology. It’s even the lifeblood of your organisation. Without technology, you wouldn’t have emails, remote working, or powerpoint presentations. Imagine a world without powerpoint; how ever will your sales team operate without the essence of a powerpoint presentation? ” Jokes aside, technology is at the very centre of your business’s world, and we are the protectors and efficiency architects of that technology core.

How can Connectium, in its knight in shining armour glory, support your business?

There is a common saying that permeates throughout life: “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” Many people have this drilled into their heads and it’s the basis of why we hold onto things or wait for things to break before we replace them. Unfortunately, this philosophy can be expensive in the technology world. We like to perform preventative maintenance. Rather than wait for something to break, we replace it before it fails.

But why replace something if it’s still working? Simply put, it’s too expensive not to

Let’s look at an instance where a multi-shop retail clothing company failed to replace old hardware in their technology infrastructure. It’s a very busy Saturday afternoon, the Saturday before Christmas which is only days away, and it’s the peak of the company’s annual Christmas sale. So we’re aware of the hellish customer rush nightmare that is happening. Customers are agitated, children screaming in buggies, queues are snaking through every aisle, the changing rooms look like a tornado just raged through, and it’s chaos everywhere. Earlier that year, the internal IT department ran an internal audit and found no issues, but requested an independent audit as a precaution since they knew it had been a while since some of the hardware was renewed; they never got around to doing that audit.

2pm, the Saturday before Christmas. And the entire register system went down, across every single location. Now, you can just imagine the chaos that occurred. Customers were yelling, many just left the store angry having wasted hours finding the right gifts for their loved ones only to be told that they were down at every location, so there was no alternative. It was lights out for them that Saturday, as their IT team struggled to find the failed hardware and could not get the system back online before Tuesday afternoon. While that situation seems a little extreme, this does happen, more often than you’d think, because someone along the chain said “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”

Remote working safely from home

Remote working safely from home

It’s been over a year that we’ve had the pandemic, and we’re all still in this state of limbo between the pandemic and “normal” but it’s becoming more easy to assume that the world will never go back to its old ways. The earth is healing and we have found more efficient ways of working that eliminates the stress of commutes and allows us to focus more and find more flexibility in our day to day. But remote working does not come without its challenges. One of the biggest corporate concerns around remote working is security, with productivity and health coming in right after. In this article, we will share some helpful tips that can help you stay safe, productive and healthy while working from home.

Secure your home network

Security is a big deal when it comes to remote working and one of the easiest ways to secure your system is making sure that you follow the right security protocols at home, just as you would at the office. Make sure that you change your password regularly, and don’t forget your WiFi password as well. Try to avoid using an open network, as these networks are wide open, leaving you vulnerable to attack. While you might think it’s innocent to connect to a coffee shop WiFi, always opt for a private, secured network; work or play.

Make a to do list

While this seems like the obvious thing to do, we sometimes don’t remember to do this when we’re working at home. It might be part of your morning or evening routine at the office, when you just get in or when you’re wrapping up for the day, or even on your commute. Remember to make that hit list of things that need to be done today, tomorrow and sometime in the near future.

Take regular breaks

When you’re at the office, a large portion of the day gets diluted with office chatter and conversations with colleagues. While working from home, you might not get as many breaks so it’s important to take regular ones. Set a 7 timer to focus on work for an hour and then get up and have a stretch while refilling your tea or coffee, just as you would at the office.

Have dedicated focus time

While taking breaks is great for your focus, home can also be a distracting place. It’s important to respect your working time and keep yourself as distraction free as possible. Put your phone on Do Not Disturb and grab some headphones, or better yet, put that phone in another room. If you have kids or others at home, explain that you need to focus for a couple of hours and tell them what time you should be finished, so that reduces the likelihood of being disturbed. Don’t forget to tell your work colleagues that you are putting your phone on DND mode to work, in case they need you urgently.

Exercise

When you’re working from home, you’re likely doing far less exercise than when you were commuting to an office. Even if you drove to the office, you still had to walk around it, from the kitchen to your desk, which is likely much further than the distance between your laptop and your coffee machine 2 meters away

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Part of your wellbeing is drinking enough fluids. Hydration is key to ensuring your brain is in top working shape, and your other organs will thank you for it as well. It might be easy to forget to drink when you’re at home, so grab a bottle and fill it up on your work focus sprints. This is a great way to pair the two: fill up a bottle and start a work sprint; by the time the work sprint is over, that bottle should be empty, and you now have to fill it up on your break. This ensures your focus, hydration, exercise and break, all in one. 8 You can also take this opportunity to quickly check your phone, but remember to put it back down and get ready for the next focus sprint!

Introducing engineering services

Even in the midst of a pandemic, we’re hard at work, improving our team and internal resources to better support your business and its technology requirements. We’re very happy to introduce our engineering services, headed by our new Technical Director Oz Harman. This brings a different level of service to you, our clients, but also creates an exciting new area of service that we can excel in.

Why Google Chrome’s Safety Check is important

Why Google Chrome’s Safety Check is important

Being the most popular browser in the world must be quite cool; software with a celebrity status, who would’ve thunk it? But being in that super-bright spotlight attracts a lot of attention, and not always the good kind. Popularity for software means a lot of users, and that means any vulnerability can mean compromising millions of users, rendering that fantastic spotlight into a target for cyber crime. While the talented team over at Google Chrome work tirelessly to ensure that the application is safe for users, most users do not practice good security themselves, allowing themselves to be more exposed.

Security and good safety practices aren’t down to software providers; it’s the user’s responsibility to keep themselves safe online. Think of it like driving a car, manufacturers will develop safety features like the seat belt but it’s down to the user to buckle up. The difference between car users and internet users is the legal requirement to wear a seat belt, ensuring that people do the right thing when they are tempted to take shortcuts. Unfortunately there is no law against using an easy-to-guess password.

When end users think about computer security, they think about running some antivirus. But in today’s sophisticated technology world, we have to go beyond that. There isn’t a single solution for online security, and it is a very user-reliant space, making it easy for criminals to target users that aren’t as aware of online safety practices.

In response to the increase in unsafe websites that love to go phishing ! , the Google Chrome team developed a way to warn users before they end up in trouble. It’s essentially an online roadblock. The app will tell users when they are about to enter a website that’s known for nothing but trouble, in the hopes that it keeps their users out of harm’s way. The Google Chrome Safety Check will also check all the saved passwords to ensure that they are secure and not been compromised, and always check your browser extensions to make certain that they are safe to use.

How do I get this?

Now that you understand how the Google Chrome Safety Check works, we know that you will want this on. First, you’ll need to install Google Chrome if you don’t already have it installed. Simply open your Chrome browser, go to Settings and click on Safety Check. In a matter of seconds, Google Chrome has checked that it’s up to date, check that your passwords are secure, ensure that Safe Browsing is on, and ensure that you are protected from any harmful or high risk browser extensions

Attacks 101: What you should be protecting your network from

Attacks 101: What you should be protecting your network from

In today’s world, cyber crime is rampant. Criminals are everywhere and they are getting more sophisticated as technology evolves and we become more reliant on it. Data is very valuable and if someone can hold that data hostage, it’s likely that the executive team would pay whatever amount to retrieve that data. That does not mean that we have to live without technology to stay safe, but it does mean that understanding the most common types of network attacks and how to protect against them.

What is a network attack?

A network attack is simply someone trying to get access to an organisation’s network with the intention of stealing data or doing something else to compromise your access or data. There are two main types of network attack: passive, which means attackers gain access but leave everything intact, and active, where attackers gain access and not only steal data but also delete, modify or encrypt it, preventing your access or retrieval. These are different from endpoint, malware, exploits and advanced persistent threat attacks. In network attacks, hackers are fixated on gaining access to internal systems, and once inside they will combine other types of attacks, like spreading malware or exploiting an internal network vulnerability.

What are the most common types of network attacks?

DDoS or Distributed Denial of Service attacks

These are probably the more commonly heard of attacks, thanks to Hollywood. Hackers use fleets of compromised devices called botnets and use them to direct false traffic to your network or servers. It’s like a flood, and the system would not have been built to cope with that level of traffic so a DDoS can bring your network to its knees.

Unauthorised access

Remember when the IT department said to change your passwords and you thought it was too much of a bother? Well, weak passwords are one of the few ways attackers gain unauthorised access, along with low protection against social engineering, insider threats and compromised accounts. An easy way to nip this in the bud is through more secure passwords that are changed on a frequent schedule and educating all employees about the dangers of attacks through social engineering.

Man in the Middle attacks

These are interesting because they exploit weaknesses in your communication protocols. It’s like a train going from A to B and the attacker sees a weak spot en route and jumps in and gains access to the train. Man in the middle attacks are like this in that attacker intercept either within your network or between your network and an external site, and steal the data being transmitted, grab user credentials and hijack their sessions.

Privilege escalation

Once an attacker is in your network, they can expand their reach by either moving horizontally, gaining access to additional systems, or vertically, gaining a higher level of privilege for the system they penetrated. Both methods mean that more of your network is compromised.