Protected against the latest viruses ?

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You may have heard or seen the news coverage about a computer virus called ‘Gameover Zeus’. The FBI and National Crime Agency (NCA) in the USA managed to take control of a network of infected computers (known as a botnet) in an attempt to stop the network growing any larger.

MBM_42Emails_Blog_smallThe botnet is used to send annoying Emails with attached zip files that pretend to be from organisations you are familiar with (ie your bank, utility company etc). However, if you open the file attachments, the malware it contains will install on your computer and it too then becomes part of the infected network of computers.

Once on your computer the virus searches for private information such as bank account details and sends the data back to the hackers.

The press are reporting that it will take the hackers two weeks to regain control of the network and recommence. Therefore there is a small window for users to ensure their anti virus software is up to date and perform a scan.

MBM Customers Protected

If you are an MBM customer, you will be using our Panda Cloud Protection anti-virus software which we ensure is updated. Our centralised management tool tells us that our clients with this software are up to date and protected from Gameover Zeus.

Own anti-virus?

But what about customers or businesses who use their own anti-virus tools?

Jason Timmins, Technical Director at MBM, suggests that you first ensure that you have anti-virus software, second that the anti-virus sofware you use has the latest updates and thirdly, that you perform an up to date scan of your computer and remove any infections it finds.

For further information about the virus visit:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-27681236 

http://www.getsafeonline.org/nca 

For further information about IT Security visit our website: http://www.mbmltd.co.uk/IT-Security.aspx

MBM can ensure you have the best anti-virus software and ensure your business is secure. Call us on 01902 32 44 94

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What are Trojans ?

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Looking at common terms within the IT world we look today at Trojans.

Trojans are malicious programs that perform actions that have not been authorised by the user. These actions can include:

Blocking data deleting data modifying data copying data disrupting the performance of computers or computer networks

Unlike computer viruses and worms, Trojans are not able to self-replicate.

How Trojans can impact you

Trojans are classified according to the type of actions that they can perform on your computer:

  • Backdoor
    A backdoor Trojan gives malicious users remote control over the infected computer. They enable the author to do anything they wish on the infected computer – including sending, receiving, launching and deleting files, displaying data and rebooting the computer. Backdoor Trojans are often used to unite a group of victim computers to form a botnet or zombie network that can be used for criminal purposes.
  • Exploit
    Exploits are programs that contain data or code that takes advantage of a vulnerability within application software that’s running on your computer.
  • Rootkit
    Rootkits are designed to conceal certain objects or activities in your system. Often their main purpose is to prevent malicious programs being detected – in order to extend the period in which programs can run on an infected computer.
  • Trojan-Banker
    Trojan-Banker programs are designed to steal your account data for online banking systems, e-payment systems and credit or debit cards.
  • Trojan-DDoS
    These programs conduct DoS (Denial of Service) attacks against a targeted web address. By sending multiple requests – from your computer and several other infected computers – the attack can overwhelm the target address… leading to a denial of service.
  • Trojan-Downloader
    Trojan-Downloaders can download and install new versions of malicious programs onto your computer – including Trojans and adware.
  • Trojan-Dropper
    These programs are used by hackers in order to install Trojans and / or viruses – or to prevent the detection of malicious programs. Not all antivirus programs are capable of scanning all of the components inside this type of Trojan.
  • Trojan-FakeAV
    Trojan-FakeAV programs simulate the activity of antivirus software. They are designed to extort money from you – in return for the detection and removal of threats… even though the threats that they report are actually non-existent.
  • Trojan-GameThief
    This type of program steals user account information from online gamers.
  • Trojan-IM
    Trojan-IM programs steal your logins and passwords for instant messaging programs – such as ICQ, MSN Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Pager, Skype and many more.
  • Trojan-Ransom
    This type of Trojan can modify data on your computer – so that your computer doesn’t run correctly or you can no longer use specific data. The criminal will only restore your computer’s performance or unblock your data, after you have paid them the ransom money that they demand.
  • Trojan-SMS
    These programs can cost you money – by sending text messages from your mobile device to premium rate phone numbers.
  • Trojan-Spy
    Trojan-Spy programs can spy on how you’re using your computer – for example, by tracking the data you enter via your keyboard, taking screen shots or getting a list of running applications.
  • Trojan-Mailfinder
    These programs can harvest email addresses from your computer.
  • Other types of Trojans include:
    • Trojan-ArcBomb
    • Trojan-Clicker
    • Trojan-Notifier
    • Trojan-Proxy
    • Trojan-PSW

How to protect yourself against Trojans

SOSBy installing effective anti-malware software, you can defend your devices – including PCs, laptops, Macs, tablets and smartphones – against Trojans. A rigorous anti-malware solution will detect and prevent Trojan attacks on your PC anti-malware products that defend the following devices against Trojans:

  • Windows PCs
  • Linux computers
  • Apple Macs
  • Smartphones
  • Tablets

We can advise on and install anti-malware products at MBM

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New labelling System helps IT Support Customers

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MBM is rolling out a new system for managing customers’ devices which are included in their IT Support contract with MBM. The new labels, which are easily identifiable, will be placed on all equipment covered by MBM.

MBM

 

 

 

 

 

 

The labels include a unique QR Code which provides MBM with all the information we need about the hardware including: device type, age, owner, location and support history.

Jason Timmins, technical director at MBM, explains: “It’s important for both our customers and our support team that we can easily identify a device when there is a problem. The new asset labels will help to provide us with a more streamlined process for repair, maintenance and inventory.”

The new labels will be rolled out during planned site visits. For more information contact jason@mbmltd.co.uk

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Free guest wifi is more important than Coffee!

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So says one of our Facebook Fans – so think about the total service that you offer visitors to your premises.

Offering your customers the ability to connect their mobile devices to your wireless internet can be highly beneficial, especially if you work in a retail or leisure environment.

Businesses can also offer guest wireless access from a private office which is ideal for contractors or associates working on-site.

NIgel_Mills_MBMNigel Mills, managing director of MBM, advises businesses to keep their business WiFi separate from guest and visitor WiFi and encrypt it to ensure customers don’t inadvertently access your wireless traffic. He suggests businesses might also want to consider guest users accepting Terms of Service before allowing access to the Internet or impose time limits or bandwidth limits. The guest gateway can also be used to capture useful information such as name and Email address which can be used for marketing purposes at a later date.

Need reliable WiFi for your business?

Want secure WiFi for guests & visitors?

Unsure how to set it up & manage it?

MBM can guide you through the WiFi maze and ensure your business is set up securely and has the right hardware for your needs and provide ongoing support. Call us on 01902 32 44 94

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Are you just putting up with a slow broadband connection ?

Posted by: Mark Northall | | No Comments »

If you’ve ever experienced a slow internet connection or the loss of your connection for an hour or two, you’ll understand just how frustrating it can be.

MBM_42Emails_Blog_smallWe use the Internet so frequently during our working day to send and receive emails, for research and information, to access documents or software within the Cloud and so on; that we forget what it would be like to work if we didn’t have it at all.

So why do so many businesses whose core activity is so dependent on a good internet connection, put up with a slow one that can’t cope with their business’s usage or one that’s intermittently up and down?

MBM’s Business Broadband Service

MBM’s Business Broadband service is supplied using four of the best broadband networks in the UK: BT, TalkTalk, Cable & Wireless an Opal Telecom. Using four networks means that we can offer our customers the best broadband service that is available in their location.

If reliability is key, we offer a pair of broadband services supplied over different networks so if one service goes down, the second service steps in thereby minimising disruption to your business.

And if you have a problem, you don’t wait in a call queue – you simply ring MBM.

Want to talk through the options available to you and your business? Call us on 01902 32 44 94

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Do you know what a gateway is ?

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A gateway is a node that allows you to gain entrance into a network and vice versa. On the Internet the node which is the stopping point can be a gateway or a host node. A computer that controls the traffic your network or your ISP (Internet Service Provider) receives is a node. In most homes a gateway is the device provided by the Internet Service Provider that connects users to the internet.

disksWhen a computer server serves as a Gateway node, the gateway node also operates as a firewall and a proxy server. A firewall is a system created to prevent unauthorized admission into a private network. A proxy server is located right between a client application such as a web browser and the real server. The proxy server sees if the client applications requests can be carried out by the real server.

Usually a gateway is associated with a router. A router is a device or sometimes computer software that lets you know the next network data should be sent to next. A router can be connected to two or more networks at a time, it decides the next destination of the data based on it’s comprehension of the condition of the networks. A gateway is associated with a router because a router which uses headers and forwarding tables to figure out where packets or data is sent provides the path through which information is sent in and out a gateway.

So a gateway is one of the many ways we can communicate over the World Wide Web. The gateway allows us to enter different networks on the internet so we can transmit data back and forth. There’s also software available where you can be able to run several networks on a computer. As you have come to see by now having a gateway on your computer has it’s many benefits.

You can get a little smarter by installing different gateways within your business – speak to MBM on how we can help you with this.

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Are you aware what the withdrawal of XP really means ?

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You are probably aware by now that very soon (just over a fortnight) Microsoft will withdraw support of their XP product. However what does that really mean for you and your business ? Well lets spell things out

officeIt means that there will be no security updates or patches brought out for windows XP not only that but there will also be no support provided either – yes this is a big deal. This will mean any machine or business that still runs on XP by the time that support is terminated will have their security greatly compromised, it will also most likely be a breach of security standards.

There will also be no third party application support for windows XP, meaning that it is more likely that third party applications will not run on windows XP.

There is a solution and we can help you get there but you really cant afford to leave it any longer – make no bones about it not acting could cost you your business. A cloud solution is just a phonecall away – call the goto guys for more info on Microsoft 365.

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Why your business shouldnt wait any longer for 365 migration

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Still companies are waiting before migrating to Office 365 – We can only deduce that they are crossing their fingers that their systems will cope following the withdrawal of support for Windows XP next month. At MBM we can offer you a managed cloud solution on Windows 365 and will support you through the migration process.

As well as being a replacement for XP there are several benefits for your business in upgrading.

office

Top Benefits of Microsoft Office 365 for Small Businesses

  • Saves time and money.
  • Anytime, Anywhere Access.
  • Professional Face for Your Business.
  • Easily Communicate and Collaborate Inside and Outside Your Organization.
  • Simple to Learn, Straightforward to Use.
  • Email, Collaboration, and Online Meeting Solutions.
  • Safety and Security.
  • 99.9-Percent Availability, Money-Back Guarantee
  • Flexibility for Your Business.

Need help ? Call for a no obligation chat – our friendly team are always happy to talk you through your future IT  plans

 

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Still using XP – Time is running out

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You will have heard much about the demise of Windows XP As we never tire of telling you Microsoft are withdrawing support for XP on 8th April and you need to act NOW to protect your data. To put it in frank terms if you do not act and are still using either of these Microsoft products, read on, and pay careful attention! – Official line from Microsoft is:

disksAfter April 8, 2014, there will be no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates.

Running Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 in your environment after their end of support date may expose your company to potential risks, such as:

Security & Compliance Risks: Unsupported and unpatched environments are vulnerable to security risks. This may result in an officially recognized control failure by an internal or external audit body, leading to suspension of certifications, and/or public notification of the organization’s inability to maintain its systems and customer information.
Lack of Independent Software Vendor (ISV) & Hardware Manufacturers support: A recent industry report from Gartner Research suggests “many independent software vendors (ISVs) are unlikely to support new versions of applications on Windows XP in 2011; in 2012, it will become common.” And it may stifle access to hardware innovation: Gartner Research further notes that in 2012, most PC hardware manufacturers will stop supporting Windows XP on the majority of their new PC models.

Get current with Windows and Office. This option has upside well beyond keeping you supported. It offers more flexibility to empower employees to be more productive, while increasing operational efficiency through improved PC security and management. It also enables your organization to take advantage of latest technology trends such as virtualization and the cloud.

officeCertain stand alone systems that never access the internet may still be fine If you’re unsure about how an upgrade to Office would affect your company, contact us here at Micro Business Machines. We can help you to assess which option is right for your business, and guide you through the upgrade.

Micro Business Machine are the Office 365 Experts

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Three Reasons why you should use an IT Support Company

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As a small business, your resources are undoubtedly limited. Many small businesses attempt to make due with an in-house IT person, however, this arrangement rarely works out for long. There are many reasons businesses have begun opting for IT support services instead of keeping an IT person on staff.

1: Managing costs

Payroll is probably one of your biggest expenses, if not the biggest. Keeping an IT professional on staff may not be cost-effective because that person’s salary is most likely much higher than the salaries of your other employees. Even larger corporations have discovered the value of outsourcing their IT needs to save money in this area. You’ll find that you’re able to save a great deal of money in your budget by only paying for IT support when you need it, as opposed to keeping someone on staff strictly for that purpose.

2: Freeing up your resources

Once you make the switch to outsourcing, you’re going to find that a great deal of your financial resources are freed up, and able to be utilised in other areas of your business. This money can be used to expand your business, offer a new product, or even build upon your current facility. Regardless of where you redirect those funds, you can find ways of better using them to help grow your business.

3: Focus on your business

In addition to the money you’ll save by outsourcing your IT support needs, you’ll also find that you’re able to focus on your business even more. Even with an IT professional on staff, when you’re handling your own IT in-house, it takes up a great deal of your time and energy.

SOSAccording to Heidi Murphy, a blogger for the Huffington Post, “When you’re handling all of your IT support internally, your focus is often divided by a bunch of different technical priorities to keep your site, product and/or application up and running. Outsourcing IT lets you focus on what matters: growing and supporting your business – not troubleshooting software, hardware and user issues.”

Above all, managing your own IT in-house is a lot of hard work and expenses that you don’t have to have. If you’re looking for an IT solution that will allow you to save money and grow your business, we can help. Contact us for more information.

Like to take it a stage further ? Speak to Micro Business Machines without obligation

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