Microsoft Azure

Help With Azure On Offer

Posted by: sharon kendal | | No Comments »

MBM Limited have launched a new service for local businesses who need help with Microsoft Azure.

Jason Timmins, technical director at MBM, explains: “Moving to the Azure cloud can be a cost-effective way to improve the performance, reliability and scale of your in-house and customer-facing systems. However, we recognise that some businesses don’t have the resources or skills in-house to manage the technical areas of an Azure cloud environment, and we’re therefore offering help to manage new or existing implementations.”

Microsoft Azure is a cloud environment that can be used to build, deploy and manage Microsoft and non-Microsoft applications and services through their world-wide network of data centres. It is ideal for businesses looking for a hybrid approach to their hosting, ie a mix of on-site and off-site resources; and it provides a range of technical solutions including virtual servers, web hosting, content delivery, back-end databases, IoT, AI/Machine Learning and more.

For information about MBM’s Microsoft Azure support service, call 01902 32 44 94, email sales@mbmltd.co.uk or visit the web page here.

Posted in: Cloud

Cyber Essentials - Protect Your Business

Support for Businesses Worried About Cyber Attacks

Posted by: sharon kendal | | No Comments »

According to MBM Limited, a Cyber-attack is one of the main IT worries facing businesses today.

However, many companies are not aware that the UK Government has developed a scheme to help businesses implement controls that they can put in place to mitigate risks from common Internet threats. The scheme, called Cyber Essentials, offers basic measures that any type or size of business can implement.

Jason Timmins, technical director at MBM, explains: “Whilst the Cyber Essentials Scheme does not address the more advanced cyber threats, it does provide a very good set of controls to provide basic protection from more common Internet threats.

The Government’s Cyber Essentials scheme covers areas such as firewalls, configuration, user access control, malware protection and patch management. MBM can help businesses identify their IT systems that may be at risk. MBM can complete the self-assessment questionnaire for the company and, if required, assist with the implementation of any actions to ensure the basic cyber security protection is in place.

Jason added: “Companies who gain the formal Cyber Essentials certificate, are demonstrating to their own customers and suppliers that they understand, embrace and have implemented cyber security protection measures and are a cyber secure business.”

For more information about MBM’s Cyber Essentials support service, call 01902 32 44 94, email sales@mbmltd.co.uk or visit https://www.mbmltd.co.uk/it-services/it-security/government-cyber-essentials-scheme

Posted in: IT Security

Time-Saving IT System For Growing Pet Crematorium

Posted by: sharon kendal | | No Comments »

A Stourbridge business has updated its IT system to cope with the growing number of pet cremations.

Prestwood Pet Crematorium

Prestwood Pet Crematorium in Stourton was established in 1997 and is one of the leading independent pet crematoriums in the country. They have seen a dramatic increase in the number of pet owners wanting to organise more personal cremations and memorials for their pets, rather than leave it to their vet to organise.

Prestwood Pet Crematorium offers a full funeral director service and individually cremates over 250 pets per month, either for clients direct or on behalf of local vets. They also manage an on-site memorial garden. In order to cope with the increasing number of clients, the crematorium has streamlined their processes and computerised their paper-based system with a new Electronic Pet System.

Rob Andrews, manager of the pet crematorium, explains: “There is a strict code of practice that we have to adhere to. There is lot of paperwork that accompanies each cremation including details of the pet, the owner, the cremation and items ordered such as caskets. All data is now inputted directly into our new database enabling us to easily track each stage of the cremation process. We can now also automate the population of our Memorial Book.

He added: “The new system, built by MBM, typically saves us about a week’s worth of work each month which means we can spend more time providing support to pet owners during what can be a very emotional time.

The Prestwood Electronic Pet System (PEPS) was designed and built by local IT company, MBM Ltd. Jason Timmins, technical director at MBM, said: “We build bespoke databases for local businesses where off-the-shelf solutions do not meet their needs. We worked closely with Prestwood to specify their data capture requirements and designed an easy to use interface. We also built various reports to help with administrative processes. The database was built using Microsoft Access, but can also be used online.

Crematoriums interested in viewing the Electronic Pet System or any company needing a bespoke database to support their business can contact MBM on 01902 324494 or email sales@mbmltd.co.uk

Posted in: Testimonial

How Secure Is Your IT System From Hackers?

Posted by: sharon kendal | | No Comments »

Having a firewall, anti-virus and anti-malware in place doesn’t necessarily mean your company’s IT system is secure from hackers.

MBM Penetration Testing

MBM Ltd has launched a new Penetration Testing service that evaluates the security level of a company’s exposed services.

Jason Timmins, technical director at MBM, explains: “External facing systems such as email, intranet and websites are the main areas of exposure for a business. Penetration Testing, also known as a Pen Test, scans these systems as well as a company’s firewall and router and evaluates the levels of security. This test identifies any vulnerabilities or mis-configurations so that solutions can be made to ensure a company improves the security of its IT systems.

MBM offers one-off Penetration Testing or regular tests to help companies manage the security of external facing services.

For more information about MBM’s Penetration Testing service, call 01902 32 44 94 or email sales@mbmltd.co.uk

Posted in: IT Security

Is Your Data Safe in the Cloud?

Posted by: sharon kendal | | No Comments »

MBM Ltd has launched a new service which offers businesses further protection of data they store in the Cloud.

Wombourne based MBM has launched a new Cloud-to-Cloud Backup service for businesses who currently store their data in Office 365 and Google’s G Suite Cloud services.

Jason Mills, technical director, at MBM explained: “The Cloud remains a safe way to store and access your data. However, if a member of staff accidentally deletes a document, if a file is encrypted by a hacker, if data is overwritten by third party software or if there are issues with data syncing, you need to be able to quickly and easily retrieve the corrupt or lost file.

He continues: “Users think they can easily access their data when it’s in the Cloud. Whilst Microsoft, for example, guarantee 99.9 per cent up-time, they also state there is no guarantee that they can recover all or any of the files and if they can, it may take some time. We therefore recommend it is good business practice to take an independent backup of your critical Cloud-based company data.

MBM has seen first-hand the frustration experienced by businesses when they can’t retrieve their data from the Cloud. MBM’s new Cloud-to-Cloud Backup service provides a separate encrypted backup of your Cloud data on Amazon S3 SAS 70-certified data centres providing peace of mind for business owners should they need to quickly and easily retrieve a file from the Cloud.

For more information or to book a demo of MBM’s Cloud-to-Cloud Backup service, call 01902 32 44 94 or email sales@mbmltd.co.uk

Posted in: Cloud, Data Backup

Are you letting future custom walk out of the door?

Posted by: Mark Northall | | No Comments »

Clients and Customers now expect to log on to free, good quality and fast WiFi when they enter Retail or Office locations. If you’re not providing this free WiFi, your competitors are. Customers are also willing to swap their contact details for the use of your free Internet facilities and you can use this valuable information to proactively market to them.

MBM's WiFi solution

MBM has a WiFi solution that will enable you to provide a quality service to your customers and allow you to collect data that would otherwise literally walk out of the door! MBM Technical Director Jason Timmins explains how ProWifi came about.

 

“We’ve been supplying high quality managed WiFi to hotels and businesses for years, but we noticed that smaller venues also offer WiFi and that this WiFi is often really poor quality. Almost every café, restaurant, bar and pub we visited had WiFi set up like you’d have at home. Connecting involved simply being given a WiFi code. WiFi like this gives nothing back to the venue owner as no customer data is capture. It’s also insecure as customers could see and hack each other. There’s also no control over the type of content that can be viewed and one user could consume the entire Internet connection.

 

We created ProWiFi to address this situation. Now, small venues can buy a WiFi solution online which connects to their existing Internet router and is preconfigured straight out-of-the-box. The venue owner simply screws the WiFi box to the wall and plugs it in, providing the venue with a simple but affordable managed WiFi solution. Customer data is easily captured and automatically added to a marketing mailing list. Users are protected so they cannot see each other’s data and access. Websites are filtered and blocked to prevent unsuitable sites being accessed in public areas. Usage limits are set to ensure that no one user ruins the WiFi service for other simultaneous users. It’s a major step forward!

 

At MBM we strongly feel that WiFi is particularly important to small venues. Cafés, for example, need good quality WiFi to draw in business customers. Restaurants need safe WiFi to amuse bored kids. And bars need reliable WiFi so people can ‘check-in’ and update their social media.”

 

Businesses interested in finding out more can visit www.ProWiFi.co.uk or contact the MBM Sales team on 01902 324494

Posted in: Cloud
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MBM Ltd – Microsoft Silver Partners – Press Release

Posted by: Mark Northall | | No Comments »

A Wombourne-based Business is celebrating achieving Microsoft Silver Partner Status. MBM Limited specialise in IT support and services for companies in the West Midlands area and offer complete Disaster Recovery and Cloud Computing Solutions.

 

IMG_0747The attainment of Silver Partner Status recognises partners and developers who integrate unique applications and solutions into various products across the Microsoft platform. It highlights companies with a high training ethic who work towards developing solutions to client problems using available technologies.

 

MBM Technical Director Jason Timmins commented ‘We’re delighted to have achieved this Silver Microsoft Competency which puts us in the top 5% of Microsoft partners worldwide and shows our ongoing commitment to high quality cloud services for business.

 

The use of cloud services continues to rise, whether in the smallest SME or the largest corporation you’ll find cloud services taking care of Email, CRM, data storage and computing resources. Our new accreditation confirms our commitment, experience and skill with Microsoft’s world-leading cloud services, Office 365 and Azure.

 

Thanks go to my team at MBM for their excellent customer service and product knowledge without which Microsoft would not have given us this recognition.’

 

MBM Limited are based on Windmill Bank in Wombourne and can be contacted on 01902 324494 or by visiting www.mbmltd.co.uk

Posted in: Testimonial
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What might be included in the next Microsoft Exchange Server?

Posted by: Mark Northall | | No Comments »

For the Technology minded amongst you we have been looking at what might be included in Microsoft Exchange server 2016.

According to technology website InfoWorld ‘ We don’t know much about what will be in Exchange Server 2016 — Microsoft has provided very few details. It has said that the new features in the on-premises Exchange were “birthed” in Exchange Online, so Exchange Server 2016 will be a subset of the service.

NIgel_Mills_MBMMicrosoft did say back-end improvements to “Exchange architecture, high availability, and storage” are part of the Exchange Server 2016 mix. So too is enhanced document collaboration (perhaps involving SharePoint 2016 or OneDrive for Business) with a “new approach to document collaboration that makes it easy to send links and collaborate without versioning issues of attachments.”

Personally, I can’t get the hang of Microsoft’s current document collaboration approach when working in Office 365 or OWA, so I usually send the full attachment instead of a link to my OneDrive document.

Tony Redmond, an Exchange MVP, suspects the new document collaboration approach might still feel unnatural: “This is a laudable goal, but one that might run into the fact that it is terribly hard for users to break the habit of a lifetime and stop including full attachments with messages.” I’m one of those users, apparently.

Microsoft also promises search-related improvements in Exchange Server 2016, such as for e-discovery search performance and reliability. It appears they’ll be based on the improvements already made for search in Office 365 or the search improvements promised for Outlook 2016 based on the integration of the Fast search technology Microsoft acquired some years ago and already uses in Exchange and SharePoint.

Second guessing Microsoft can be interesting – feel free to add your thoughts.

Posted in: Tip
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Wi-fi In-flight a threat warns report

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Technology News – The Guardian warns of possible security breech with the introduction of in-flight internet

Hackers on commercial flights could now bring down the plane they are on by using the on board Wi-Fi, a US government watchdog has warned.

wifi Coffee CupThe US Government Accountability Office (GAO) does not suggest it would be easy to do but it points out that as airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration attempt to modernise planes and flight tracking with internet-based technology, attackers have a new vulnerability they could exploit.

The GAO says: “Modern aircraft are increasingly connected to the internet. This interconnectedness can potentially provide unauthorized remote access to aircraft avionics systems.”

The report highlights the fact that cockpit electronics are indirectly connected to the passenger cabin through shared IP networks. The connection between passenger-accessible systems and the avionics of the plane is heavily moderated by firewalls, but information security experts have pointed out that firewalls, like all software, can never be assumed to be totally infallible.

“Four cybersecurity experts with whom we spoke discussed firewall vulnerabilities, and all four said that because firewalls are software components, they could be hacked like any other software and circumvented,” explains the office.

“According to cybersecurity experts we interviewed, internet connectivity in the cabin should be considered a direct link between the aircraft and the outside world, which includes potential malicious actors,” the report adds.

The Federal Aviation Administration does not currently verify the cybersecurity of a new airliner before certifying it for scope, although it “currently issues rules with limited scope, called Special Conditions, to aircraft manufacturers when aircraft employ new technologies where IP interconnectivity could present cybersecurity risks”.
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The report praises the FAA for the steps it has taken to get its cybersecurity policies in order, but says that “opportunity exists for further action”, and particularly highlights as a cause for concern the fact that cybersecurity responsibility is split over multiple FAA offices.

A worst case scenario is that a terrorist with a laptop would sit among the passengers and take control of the airplane using its passenger Wi-Fi, said Rep. Peter DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee who requested the investigation.

“That’s a serious vulnerability, and FAA should work quickly” to fix the problem, DeFazio said.

slidethreeThe GAO released a separate report last March that determined the FAA’s system for guiding planes and other aircraft also was at “increased and unnecessary risk” of being hacked.

One area of weakness is the ability to prevent and detect unauthorised access to the vast network of computer and communications systems the FAA uses to process and track flights around the world, the report said. The FAA relies on more than 100 of these air traffic systems to direct planes.

In January 2015, the GAO praised the FAA for taking steps to protect air-traffic controllers, but warned that “significant security control weaknesses remain that threaten the [FAA’s] ability to ensure the safe and uninterrupted operation of the national airspace system”.

Posted in: Cloud
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Who can be trusted with your data?

Posted by: Mark Northall | | No Comments »

Think about a day without computers or tablets, whether for personal or business use – could you cope – how would you feel?
So what do you do when your computer system fails? Who are you trusting at the moment with all the information on your computer?
logo_RGB_squareYou could Google your options and find there are thousands of choices, including real companies or web-based organisations.
This is when it could get tricky as many web-only computer repair concerns have very impressive websites and offer rock-bottom prices. The problem is, you have no way of knowing where these companies are operating, who the people are behind the scenes and what kind of things they may be doing to your systems in the background but the premier concern is can you trust them with your company’s data?
Most remote software allows the third party access to do things you cannot see. Some may advertise you can watch everything the technician is doing unfortunately this is not always the case – would you give complete strangers your passwords or your wallet?? . Although there will be companies that are legitimate, they often use remote technicians operating out of their home locally and this could be situated anywhere typically in a third-world country call centre.
What precautions should you take?
• Research the business. Take advice from satisfied clients. Whilst there are some repairs that can be done remotely, making location not as important as ratings, complaints and reviews. Search out testimonials on their website. If they’re all written in a similar style, it’s possible they’re not as genuine as they make out.
• Contact the business. Call the business to test how responsive they are. If the business does not answer the first time, do they call back within a reasonable amount of time? Are the calls or emails handled professionally? Avoid doing business with companies that don’t respond in a timely fashion; it could be a sign of how queries are handled as well. Good customer service is endemic in an organisation.
• Check the website. Does the company’s website represent its business well? If the website is poorly organized maybe even on a self-build platform, it may be a sign to take your business elsewhere.
• There is the old adage about paying peanuts don’t always go for the cheapest price. When it comes to computers, you want the job done correctly the first time. Businesses with more experience and expertise may charge more for their services, but it should ensure that you get quality service. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. NIgel_Mills_MBMCompanies that seem to offer the lowest price might not be the best deal for you.
Just one parting thought your computers and your systems in effect ARE your business. Look after them and you will never have to worry about not being able to access your data. Paying cheaply can lead to paying twice. Never has there been a better example of getting what you pay for.

Posted in: Cloud, Office, Online Backup
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