Web Security + Cyber Crime

Is my business secure enough to be on the web?

Cyber Crime is on the rise. Every day businesses both large and small are being hacked and having data leaked to public sites, costing businesses billions of dollars a year.

Unfortunately local businesses are an international target for hackers for two simple reasons:

  1. We are considered to be a very rich nation by global standards and so make for an attractive victim of cyber crime.
  2. Many of our small businesses are comparatively relaxed about IT security and data protection.

Now more than ever we need to make sure that all of our devices are secure when we are connecting them to the internet. We need to think less about whether the Cloud is secure and more about whether our devices are secure.

What can you do?

Here are some popular precautions you can take to improve your security:

  • Set-up robust firewalls on your office network. The router that your ISP provides your internet account is typically just to get you connected it will not offer the level of filtering and protection a proper firewall can. Check out our articles on why we recommend WatchGuard Firewalls. 
  • Encrypting the data on your devices as it travels on the internet and when stored in the cloud. Intel and other vendors offer hard drive encryption solutions especially for tablet and mobile devices so your data can only be viewed with a password.
  • Use strong passwords for accessing your devices so they cannot be cracked if lost. ‘password’ is not a strong password but ‘Pa$$w0rd#’ is a very strong password and relatively easy to remember. The mix of upper and lowercase numerals and symbols changes the simple word to a very complex one.
  • Use spam filters to reduce attacks by removing phishing emails and any malicious code in attachments to email messages.
  • Anti-virus software is more important than ever as different forms of attacks increase. Every server, PC and device should now be protected. There is no safe ground because even the less popular products have millions of users and the size of the target is attracting more malicious attacks.
  • Solid backup to ensure that when the worst happens (e.g. the latest Crypto Locker Virus) there is a path to returning systems and data quickly with minimal loss of time and data.

If you manage all these security and protection aspects then your business is safe enough to be on the web. Leave any one of these gaps open and you place your business data at tremendous risk. If you are not sure or you need some advice then please give us a call on 02 9386 2900

July’s HP Deals

Fantastic value on selected HP Servers

Check out the latest popular HP server models below.

HP MicroServer Gen8 with Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials Pre-Installed

Ideal for start-ups and remote offices

  • Intel® Pentium® G2020T (2.5GHz)
  • HP 8GB (1x8GB) Memory
  • 2x HP 500GB 6G SATA 7.2K rpm LFF (3.5-inch) Hard Drives
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials Preinstalled
  • 1 year Next Day Parts warranty
HP ProLiant ML10
Bonus Memory Offer

1P tower with the right performance and features at exceptional value

  • Intel® Xeon® E3-1220v3 (3.1GHz/4-core/8MB/80W)
  • HP 8GB (1x4GB + Bonus 4GB) Memory
  • 2x HP 500GB 6G SATA 7.2K rpm LFF (3.5-inch) Hard Drives
HP ProLiant ML310e with Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard Pre-Installed

Essential availability and expansion in a 1P tower

  • Intel® Xeon® E3-1220v3 (3.1GHz/4-core/8MB/80W)
  • HP 8GB (2x4GB) Memory
  • 2x HP 500GB 6G SATA 7.2K rpm LFF (3.5-inch) Hard Drives
  • Windows 2012 R2 Standard Preinstalled

 

HP ML350e v2 Gen8 E5-2407v2 with Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard Pre-Installed

Ideal for a growing business that demands performance

  • Intel® Xeon® E5-2407 v2 (2.4GHz) Processor
  • HP 16GB (2x8GB) Memory
  • 2x HP 1TB 6G SATA 7.2K rpm MDL Hard Drives
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard Preinstalled
HP ProLiant ML350p
Bonus Memory Offer

Best-in-class performance with maximum expandability

  • Intel® Xeon® E5-2620 v2 (2.1GHz/6-core/15MB/7.2GT)
  • HP 16GB (1 x 8GB + Bonus 8GB) Memory
  • Bonus 1TB StoreVirtual VSA software licence. Visit hp.com/go/unlockVSA
HP ML350p Gen8 E5-2620v2 with Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard Pre-Installed

Best-in-class performance with maximum expandability

  • Intel® Xeon® E5-2620 v2 (2.1GHz) Processor
  • HP 16GB (2 x 8GB) Memory
  • 2x HP 300GB 6G SAS 15K rpm SFF (2.5-inch) Hard Drives
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard Preinstalled

Don’t forget your HP Uninterruptible Power Supply

Highly efficient power protection for every environment. HP Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) provides maximum uptime in the event of a power problem in rack and tower based systems.

Secure your investment with HP Proactive Care Services

HP Proactive Care Service is a flexible, comprehensive, and cost effective service that combines smart technology and support to boost performance. We work in partnership with you to provide proactive consultation, recommendations and reporting from HP technology experts—as well as rapid expert support if needed.

Proactive Care integrates both proactive and reactive hardware and software support elements so you can get superior value out of your IT investments. Proactive Care helps:

  • Reduce incidence, impact, and cost of downtime.
  • Mitigate and manage business and IT risks.
  • Maximise the availability of IT to drive business needs.

Buy Proactive Care with your HP server to free up maintenance and operations time, so you can focus on business innovation and growth.  Call us on 02 9386 2900 for help choosing, purchasing and setting up your new server or UPS!

Tablet vs Ultrabook

Tablet or Ultrabook: How they compare

In the market for a new device? Not sure of the difference between a tablet and an Ultrabook? Despite the outer similarities the core functionality of tablets and Ultrabooks are actually quite different. When choosing between both it’s not necessarily a matter of which is better, but rather which is better for your needs. To help you decide, here’s a look at the different features of each.

1. Computing power

An Ultrabook has far more computing power than a tablet. Powered by fast and energy-efficient Intel Core processors and solid-state drives (SSD) Ultrabooks are able to match the computing power of many notebooks but without the added weight. Most tablets, on the other hand, feature smaller processors and often run on special mobile operating systems, such as Android or iOS, which simply can’t compete in terms of power and functionality.

Tablets are perfectly suited to handle a variety of everyday tasks such as surfing the web, talking on the phone and watching movies. Ultrabooks are a full-featured computer which will enable you to do everything from creating an extensive PowerPoint presentation to editing spreadsheets and more.

2. Keyboards

Ultrabooks come equipped with a physical keyboard however most tablets have a touchscreen or in some cases, a detachable keyboard. If you plan to type a lot then a tablet may not be the best choice as the smaller keyboard may slow you down.

3. Touchscreen

Like tablets, most new Ultrabooks have a touchscreen and some models feature the ability to convert into a tablet or slate, you can have the best of both devices in one.

4. Weight and size

Tablets are usually thinner and lighter. Ultrabooks range from 10″ to just over 15″ and can weigh anywhere from 0.9–1.8 kg, with profiles of 0.7″ thick or less. Tablets, on the other hand, range from 5″–13″ and typically weigh between 0.2 and 0.9 kg, making them the better choice for mobility.

5. Ports

Surprisingly, tablets and Ultrabooks are similarly matched when it comes to ports, with both devices usually having a maximum of two USB ports (sometimes three), along with Micro HDMI, Bluetooth and Wireless.

6. Battery life

In general, a tablet will give you anywhere from 9–12 hours of battery life. With their additional computing power, Ultrabooks come in second at 5–6 hours. However, there are exceptions to this rule.

7. Price

In general, tablets will be easier on your wallet, but this lower price tag generally comes with less features. At the end of the day, if it is features you are after then you are probably better off with a laptop or Ultrabook than a high-end tablet.

Hybrids bridge both worlds

If you still can’t decide between a tablet and a more powerful computing device such as a laptop, the good news is… you don’t have to. Hybrid devices, which can function in laptop, tablet, stand and tent mode, offer the convenience of a tablet combined with all the power of an Ultrabook in one machine. Call us for a chat on 02 9386 2900 and let us help you decide which device best fits your needs. We can provide a quote, handle the entire delivery process and even organise setup.

More Juice!

The secret to getting more juice out of your notebook battery

With the rise of the laptop we have been able to stay productive, creative and entertained almost anywhere. We are no longer tied to our desks or a certain location – that is, until it is time to recharge.

The way we use our laptop significantly impacts battery life so here are a few tips to help improve overall battery performance:

1) Charge-cycle care

One of the more popular battery-saving techniques is to control how often you connect and disconnect the charger. Its effectiveness largely depends on the type of battery and laptop model you’re using. Many older notebooks feature nickel-metal batteries, while modern notebooks are built with lithium-ion batteries. For the nickel-metal variety, it can help to completely drain your battery until it shuts down, and then fully recharge it. Doing so for lithium-ion batteries, though, has been known to have a negative effect on battery efficiency.

To find out which type of battery you have, shut down your PC and release the battery. On the top or bottom of the battery, there should be a “Li-ion” for lithium-ion or “NiMH” or “Ni-Cad” for nickel batteries.

2) Screen brightness

The brighter your notebook screen, the more power it consumes. To save energy simply reduce your screen brightness. This is especially helpful when using a program that has a light/white background, such as Microsoft Word or Excel.

3) Tools and tasks

Open your Task Manager and check out just how many programs and applications are running on your computer. There’s probably more than a few you didn’t even know were running. These tools and tasks require a lot of energy.

Check to see which programs are currently running using the notification bar on the bottom right of your screen, plus look for any hidden tasks or tools. Switch off the programs that aren’t critical and deactivate any unnecessary ones that run automatically. Your IT support team can help you stop these programs from re-starting every time you boot up.

4) Sleep mode

When you are not using your notebook you can put it into sleep mode to greatly conserve battery power, especially if you expect to be away from your notebook for extended periods of time. You will need to access your power management features to control these settings and specify when you want sleep mode to turn on. You can force your PC to sleep after it has been idle for minutes or hours.

5) Wi-Fi

While wireless internet helps us roam wherever we want it can also drain a lot of power. Turn off your Wi-Fi capability if you are not using it as your notebook will continually search for a signal when Wi-Fi is turned on.

6) Get back-up

If you spend most of your day away from a charger then buy an extra battery so you can keep one fully charged in your notebook bag. That way, when your original battery is getting low you can just pop it out and keep working.

Make sure your laptop has a removable battery because many Ultrabook models have fused batteries that cannot be removed. Also, we always recommend buying a second battery that is made by the laptop manufacturer (“genuine”) since cheaper, non-branded alternatives usually degrade quickly.

As always, if you have any queries regarding these tips or want to find out how you can purchase a removable battery, give us a call on 02 9386 2900.