Author: Sean Hodjati

26 Sep 2019

How Small Business Can Use an Benefit From AI

AI and deep learning have become technology buzzwords over the recent years. Normally when you think of these terms you think of a really big computer doing complicated things. Although it most cases that’s it you do not have to own one of these or invest massive sums of money into using the technology in your business and benefiting from it. This post aims to describe how it can be used in small businesses and the benefits to be gained from it.

Anti virus / malware

Some security businesses are starting to include this feature in their product offerings. Sophos for example include it in their Sophos Central Intercept X product. Deep learning is used to provide protection against malware and ransomware. This gives you better protection and enables the product to react quicker to new threats. Research conducted by SophosLabs actually found that 75% of malware they detect is unique to a single organization so having an intelligent product that uses AI in this instance is really helpful.

Microsoft Office 365

It may come as a surprise but Microsoft Office 365 does have some AI features. Features like MyAnalytics which acts as a dashboard about you that shows how you work and suggests ways that you can work better.

Tell Me is another one. If you look at the ribbon in your Office 365 apps it says “ Tell me what you want me to do”. You can type in what you want to do next in this field which would bring up the features or actions you want to undertake. It can also be used as a locator to find things.

These are just two features, there are a lot more however the aim of this post is to simply touch on the topic.

IT Support

Certain fault monitoring soft have built in AI capabilities, these enable quicker detection of faults on devices such as PCs, laptops and tablets as well as on the network infrastructure itself. A good fault monitoring system will proactively scan your network and notify your support personnel of any faults. The benefit here vs traditional monitoring tools is that the traditional ones would have a set of faults that it checked for, if the fault didn’t fall into one of those categories it would not be detected. Incorporating AI detects far more faults. We have incorporated this into our IT support offering. As the client you will experience quicker detection and response times which will allow you to continue working undisturbed.

In conclusion AI is a real game changer and will have an effect on almost all industries in one way or another. We use it ourselves and have included it in our service to enable us to offer a better solution and to operate more efficiently.

If you enjoyed this blog post or would like to find out more about our IT support solutions click here.

16 Sep 2019

Protect Your Business From Phishing Emails

Phishing/scam emails have always been about, email spoofing is a popular tactic used in this. However the amount of spoofed emails being sent has risen massively over the past years and is still continuing to increase. The sophistication of these emails and their accuracy has also increased over time as well.

A spoofed email is a email message with a forged senders address. For example you receive and email from that looks like it is from one of your suppliers which asks you to pay the amount in an invoice which has been attached with the email. On the face of it the email will look legitimate but it is from a different sender. If you where to look into the backend of the email you would see that it did not come from the sender that it was made out to of come from. The aim of these emails is purely financial.

Our clients send in these emails to us from time to time to be checked out. Microsoft Office 365 and Gmail Business do have some in built tools to protect you from spoofed emails. However the recommend best practise is to get additional protection put in place. Something that includes inbound and outbound email scanning, this way spoofed emails will be identified and blocked. However nothing is 100% so keep security in mind, check the sender when you receive an email with an invoice attached to it. Especially if it is one that you are not expecting of if it looks different to the emails that, that sender normally sends you. Forward these emails to your IT team, or IT support company as well.

A good product for email security is Sophos Central Email Protection Advanced. We use this internally ourselves and have it installed in most of our client’s office. Since using this product we have seen that the number of spoofed emails getting through the security filters has dropped drastically. Along with the essential email anti-virus features this products inbound email scanning that uses a combination of SPF, DKIM and DMARC authentication techniques and email header analysis which identifies and permits legitimate genuine emails whilst the fake ones are blocked. Something like this helps a lot because you have a tool which is doing the checking work for you automatically.

If you liked reading this post please subscribe to our blog, we put out information regularly which we hope you enjoy reading. If you are interested in protecting your business from phishing/spoofed emails then feel free to email us on info@accldn.co.uk or click here to learn more about the different services that we provide. We are an IT support company based in London and can help you with any of your technology needs.

20 Jun 2019

Protecting Your Business Against Ransomware and Phishing

Ransomware is a very common malware which can be very costly for the victim. The average ransomware attacks costs a business £110,000. Keep in mind the amount of time lost whilst trying to get your data back and the overtime you would have to pay out to your staff. This is a lot of money and with 58% of cyber-attacks being aimed at small businesses it is important that you and your staff are well educated against ransomware and the risks that it poses. Most ransomware is delivered to organizations via emails. Your staff are likely to all have email addresses and therefore they will be the biggest attack area. It is the unaware staff that often fall victim to ransomware which then effects the rest of the business.

Being in the line of business of IT support we see ransomware a lot and we work closely with our clients to protect them.

What Is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware that limits or fully restrict users from access of this their computers. In most cases the devices becomes locked and the files are encrypted. The user(s) is then prompted with a popup that explains that their data has been encrypted and they will need to pay to get the key to decrypt/unlock it. We could go into detail on how ransomware works and what happens to the device when it has been infected in detail however the aim of this post is to detail in brief how to stay protected. It is worth reading up on ransomware and how it works.

According to safeatlast.co 77% of business affected by ransomware are running an up to date antivirus. Antivirus won’t give you 100% protection, nothing can and targeted attacks are hard to fend off. It is important to have an antivirus solution in place whilst taking a layered approach to security so there are different lines of defence and most importantly keep your staff educated and aware of cyber security aware.

How to Stay Protected

Keeping your staff aware of cyber security as mentioned above is important and it should be part of your strategy. Most malware is delivered by emails and by the recipient clicking on links and attachments in the emails. These emails are often designed to look legitimate and its aim is to trick the recipient. Regularly testing and training your staff will help massively here, it will keep them educated and lowers the risks of them being affected by ransomware. Sophos have a training product called Sophos Central Phish Threat, this product lets you send simulated phishing emails to your staff, it then gives you the tools to see who opened the email, clicked on the link, how many times etc. from this you can then get the risky users to do one of the short five minute training modules provided in this product. You can send these emails as often as you want. It works well in testing your staff to see any vulnerability and provide short and effective ongoing training. Keep in mind that most phishing emails contain some kind of ransomware, having this kind of simulated training for your staff would be good business practise.

It is also important to regularly take backups of your data, so that lost data can be easily restored and to have a good and up to date antivirus installed.

Find out more

Click here if you would like to learn more about our cyber security services or call or email us on 0208 518 8353 – info@accldn.co.uk

18 Jun 2019

Is It Time To Upgrade Your Device?

With support for Windows 7 coming to an end on January 14th 2020 now is a good time to upgrade your device to ensure that you stay secure and maximise you productivity.

What will happen to Windows 7 after 14/01/2020

It will still work however your device will no longer receive security updates or drivers from Microsoft. This means that your device will become more vulnerable to malware and eventually you will loose functionality on software’s as other manufacturers eventually stop releasing updates for Windows 7.

What are your options?

You can either upgrade the operating system on your PC to Windows 10 or you can purchase a new device which would have Windows 10 installed on it as standard. The route you go down should will depend on a few factors: the age and condition of your device and your budget. Put simply upgrading the operating system on your current device will cost less than purchasing. Keep in mind that if your device is already a few years old it may be better to purchase a new one. It will be faster and you’ll get a better return on your investment. There are a lot of different options available based on your requirements. Our consultants can guide you through this process. We can manage the entire process and also offer your business on going IT support services as well. Click to find out more.

If you already have Windows 10 then you are covered you do not need to upgrade, this article is aimed solely at people still using Windows 7. Keep in mind that if you are moving to Windows 7, you will need to transfer your data, softwares and settings over into the new operating system. This should be thought out and planned before being done. We have the skills and processes to fully manage your journey to Windows 10 with minimal fuss. Click here to find out more.

04 Jun 2019

It’s Time To Upgrade To Windows 10

End Of Life / Support Date: 14/01/2020

Now the EOL (end of life) date is still a little over 6 months away but trust me time flies and the quicker you upgrade to Windows 10 the better. If you are still using Windows 7 you may have even seen the popup messages notifying you that Microsoft will stop supporting Windows 7 on 14/01/2020. As always leaving things until the last minute always causes a headache when you run into those unexpected problems which could so easily have been ironed out if you had more time.

What will happen if I don’t upgrade: your device will still turn on and work but after 14/01/2020 Windows 7 will not receive any more security patch updates, this will leave you more vulnerable to malware and compatibility issues with software’s as the manufacturers also stop making updates and drivers for Windows 7. As a business you can still pay for extended support from Microsoft.

For businesses we strongly recommend that you upgrade to Windows 10 before the cut-off date. After this you will be more vulnerable to attacks and then a simple upgrade becomes a much more lengthy and complicated process. Windows 10 is easy to use and it has a lot of built in features which you can benefit from.

Based on NetMarkShare’s Jan 2018 data only 34% of people who used Windows 7 have upgraded to Windows 10. Now keep in mind that a big chunk of these are going to be home users there are still a large number of businesses who have not yet taken the jump. In this post we are focusing on the business users

You may have already have some devices in your office that are already running Windows 10. It is important that you identify the devices with the Windows 7 operating system. This will give you a list of the PCs that need the upgrade, you can then decide if they are too old and should be replaced with a new PC or if they can have the operating system upgraded. If the PC is 3 or more years old we recommend purchasing a new one.

How Can We Help You

You may be wondering what will happen to your data and software’s when you do the upgrade. Will everything still work? Will you lose anything? We have the tools and knowledge to seamlessly upgrade your devices to windows 10 and move all of your data and licenses across in a way that has minimum impact on your business. We have successfully done this for over 100 businesses and we can do the same for yours to. Click here to find out more.