Texaport is a leading provider of comprehensive fully-managed IT support & services. They have a track record of delivering IT solutions for small-medium businesses throughout Edinburgh and the Lothians. They cover a wide range of IT services including IT support, Network support, data cabling, IT management, IT security, backup solutions and many more. Established in 2012, Texaport has grown to become one of the most trusted and go to IT companies in Edinburgh.
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Highlighting the need for vigilance with updates New Microsoft Edge Based On Chromium Update Highlights The Importance Of Updating Your Software Regularly A recent update by Microsoft has showcased the importance of running up to date software on all your devices. This update to the firm’s browser, Edge, allows users to utilise the latest in...
New Microsoft Edge Based On Chromium Update Highlights The Importance Of Updating Your Software Regularly
A recent update by Microsoft has showcased the importance of running up to date software on all your devices.
This update to the firm’s browser, Edge, allows users to utilise the latest in internet software, which is making the browser a contender for the popular Chrome solution created by Google.
If successful, the new Edge could become a key contender for the most popular browser on the market thanks to its array of new features.
The new solution relies on users updating their software solutions regularly, which is an important part of any IT strategy.
With extensive experience providing IT support to businesses across Edinburgh and beyond, Texaport understands the importance of updating your software whenever a new version is released.
As it comes to light that nearly half of all adults are choosing not to update software on a regular basis, it’s clear that more education is needed to help businesses and consumers to use their IT equipment effectively.
To help, we’ve put together this article to drive businesses in other markets to understand how crucial it is to keep your software up to date.
Old Software Doesn’t Get The Support That New Solutions Do
Outdated versions of software are often unsupported by their providers, meaning that you won’t get the new features that you’d expect.
You’ll also find that your old software won’t function as well as it used to and that your hardware becomes slow because it’s running an old program.
For example, Microsoft has stopped updating Windows 7, in a bid to encourage users to upgrade to the latest version of its solution, Microsoft 10.
Microsoft 10 includes the latest technologies, such as its new Edge browser. It boasts swift speed, strong performance and best in class compatibility for websites and extensions, as well as built-in privacy and security features.
The new Edge will only run on devices that use Windows 7 and above, which means that you’ll need to update your device if it’s using an older version of Windows.
As Windows 7 is no longer supported, you’ll also be better off upgrading to an even newer version like Microsoft 10, to ensure that you can use the latest version of the browser and make surfing the internet fast and fun for longer.
Software Updates Affect The Other Solutions You Can Use
Browser extensions are one of the hottest software trends of recent years, allowing users to customise their internet browsing experience.
You can block adverts, manage your cookie preferences and much more using the latest browser extensions.
To use these solutions and other software developments, you need to be using the latest version of your software and internet browser.
Microsoft’s new Edge update allows you to use the latest browser extensions and improve your experience.
This wouldn’t be possible if you don’t update your devices, which is just one of the many reasons why updates are essential.
Outdated Software Has Security Flaws
Using outdated software can expose your business to cyber-attacks, which have the potential to devastate your organisation and put your customers’ data at risk.
Often, new updates have the latest cybersecurity features programmed in, but in some cases, solutions are updated to fix flaws found after their release.
For example, Microsoft’s competitor Google has also just released a new update to its Chrome browser, after it was discovered that the solution had a number of security flaws.
This update needs to be installed by users if they want to avoid being targeted by hackers, who will by now be aware of the flaws in
the old version’s defences.
Keeping your business safe from hackers is vital to your business and will also help you to be compliant with legislation such as GDPR.
If your business is using outdated software or is simply unsure of how it can become more secure, then we’ll be happy to talk you t
hrough our cybersecurity services.
Updates Can Cause Old Technology To Stop Working
In some cases, not updating your devices could mean that your hardware no longer works, leaving you without a PC, tablet or mobile phone.
For example, if the software your smartphone runs is on an old network that’s no longer operational, then you’ll need to update your software to ensure that your phone can work on a network that you can use.
If you run a business, then updating all of your devices can be a challenge, which is why we offer IT Management services.
Our team of experts will be able to advise, guide and support you and your staff with all your updates and other IT needs in edinburgh.
Updating your software solutions is an important part of your company’s IT management processes. If your firm needs IT management support, then our team will be happy to help. Get in touch and one of our experts will guide you through our range of services and how they can benefit your organisation.
The Importance Of Cybersecurity, The MGM Hack Cybersecurity is a vital part of any IT management strategy. It keeps your data safe and ensures that hackers can’t get into your systems and compromise them. This is common knowledge, so you’d probably think that major companies would have a great cybersecurity strategy. You’d be wrong. MGM...
Cybersecurity is a vital part of any IT management strategy. It keeps your data safe and ensures that hackers can’t get into your systems and compromise them.
This is common knowledge, so you’d probably think that major companies would have a great cybersecurity strategy.
You’d be wrong.
MGM Resorts International, one of the world’s largest hospitality chains, with hotels, casinos, golf courses and more based around the world, was hacked last year.
So, how did they, with their multi-million dollar budget, fall victim to a cybersecurity attack that compromised the details of 10.6 million guests?
At Texaport, we knew this story would be an eye-opener for many companies. Often, businesses think that if they’re careful, they can get away without updating their cybersecurity policies, training and passwords.
As an experienced IT consultancy, we understand the value of avoiding a cybersecurity breach and the need for constant vigilance, but we know many businesses that don’t. That’s why we’re using the MGM attack as an example, to show you why you should focus on cybersecurity in your business.
Here’s everything we learned from the MGM cybersecurity attack and how it can benefit businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Hackers will try to find vulnerabilities in any system. They’re seeking to find an entrance that will allow them to gain access to secure information, such as customer data, internal systems and more.
Once they’re in, they can share confidential information, hold business owners to ransom and much more.
In the case of MGM, the hackers shared confidential information, including names, addresses and even, in some cases, passport numbers.
This information was shown to the whole world on an online hacking forum. It included personal details about famous guests, including celebrities, CEOs and others.
Cloud storage is often touted as more secure than most other options, and this is true to a certain extent.
Despite this, cloud storage isn’t perfect. MGM’s data was stolen from the corporation’s cloud server, which proves that cloud systems need constant monitoring to remain secure.
With consolidated quarterly net revenues of $3.3 billion, MGM has more money to spend on cybersecurity than most businesses.
Despite this, the firm clearly did not have the cybersecurity checks in place to keep hackers from accessing sensitive information.
Each sector of the cybersecurity space needs evaluating for your business if you’re going to keep your data safe.
Everything from business emails through to data centres and even more can be compromised during a cybersecurity attack, which is why you need to make sure that you’re prepared.
The attack on MGM occurred last summer, which means that the firm managed to keep it out of the public eye for around 8 months.
If a major corporation like MGM can only keep this knowledge away from intrepid journalists and outraged consumers for less than a year, then most businesses will probably have much less time before their breach is exposed.
Once they found out about MGM, media outlets pounced on the news and have been sharing insight, as well as tips for affected customers, with the world.
So soon after the announcement, it’s unclear how much money the news has cost MGM, but time will tell.
When discussing the breach, the team from MGM were clear that they would be working with an expert
cybersecurity team to understand exactly how the hackers got access to this sensitive data, and how such an issue can be prevented in the future.
The company told one of the first media outlets to report on the issue that it has “retained two cybersecurity forensics firms to conduct an internal investigation into last year’s server exposure.”
This measure shows that even billion-dollar enterprises like MGM don’t have the in-house expertise to protect their online infrastructure.
They need to work with expert managed IT service providers like ours. We’re constantly updating our knowledge and enhancing our awareness of the tricks cybercriminals are using to try and access systems, as well as the technologies on the market currently.
This insight is vital if you’re going to keep your business secure, but it’s hard to get it when you’re also working with clients in your chosen market.
That’s why external IT support companies are crucial. Working with them is not optional, it’s vital if you’re going to stay safe and keep your client’s data secure.
At the end of the day, if MGM can get hacked, then it’s clear that no business is safe. Working with experienced cybersecurity experts like our team can ensure that your business is as safe as possible, and that you’re constantly aware of the latest developments in the market.
Contact us today to find out more about the services we can provide and how we can help you avoid a PR nightmare.
Office 365 Vs GSuite Whether you are an individual trader or the owner of a small business, both Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google’s GSuite provide you with access to the essential office software that you need for your business. For many years, Microsoft was virtually unchallenged in this space, but now it faces competition from...
Whether you are an individual trader or the owner of a small business, both Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google’s GSuite provide you with access to the essential office software that you need for your business. For many years, Microsoft was virtually unchallenged in this space, but now it faces competition from several directions. GSuite is its main competitor and the rivalry between the two office suites has influenced how their respective developers approach maintaining and upgrading them.
Both Office 365 and GSuite are productivity suites that contain the full range of software that businesses need on a day to day basis. Among the bundled software packages are word processors, spreadsheet makers, and email clients. Both Office 365 and GSuite contain more or less the same tools, and they feel very similar to use, although there are some key differences that we will come on to.
You can try out most of the individual components of GSuite for free. For example, you can use Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Gmail for free. If you are a sole trader or one-person business then you might be able to access all the tools you need free of charge. However, if you are running a small business and want to take advantage of collaborative and communications tools, you will want to look at a GSuite subscription.
Microsoft doesn’t offer its products for free, but it does offer a free trial that you can take advantage of to make sure that MS Office is right for you.
Gsuite costs £9.20 per user per month. Microsoft makes Office 365 available for £9.40. Microsoft does offer a couple more basic packages, but these won’t provide parity with GSuite.
Both GSuite and Office 365 provide their users with cloud storage. Microsoft is more generous in this regard, providing 1 TB of cloud storage to users even on their most basic plan. Google, on the other hand, provides 30 GB of storage on its most basic plan. However, if you’re willing to spend more Google can provide you with access to unlimited cloud storage.
How much storage you need will depend on the kind of business you are running. Some businesses will burn trough 1 TB (1,024 GB) with surprising speed. However, the majority of smaller businesses will find 1 TB more than enough. If you’re only handling text files, spreadsheets and the like, this will be plenty.
With regards to email storage, both Microsoft and Google offer their email services for free, via Outlook and Gmail respectively. However, they both also offer premium variations on their email clients for users who buy a subscription.
On paper, Gmail offers users more storage. If you are paying for five or more users each month, your Gmail will come with unlimited storage. However, while Microsofts’s Outlook doesn’t officially offer unlimited storage, their ‘auto-expanding archiving’ feature means that old emails are archived in an archive that does offer effectively limitless storage.
Gmail has a range of third-party apps available that enhance its functionality in a number of ways, something that Outlook doesn’t offer. However, Outlook is a major selling point of Office 365, and with good reason. You will find it much easier to keep your emails organized using Outlook. Whereas Google’s entire GSuite, including Gmail, is cloud-based, Microsoft offers an offline desktop client for Outlook – something that isn’t available with the free account.
One of the most important factors in deciding whether Office 365 or GSuite is right for you is whether you are happy with an entirely cloud-based solution. All of Google’s services are hosted online. You can download mobile apps that enable you to create and edit documents and spreadsheets, but on a desktop or laptop, you will access Google’s services through your web browser.
While it is hard to envisage a situation where Google becomes unavailable, temporary outages are not unheard of. If you opt for GSuite and Google suffers technical issues then you won’t be able to use their office apps. With Office 365, you download the software to your desktop and can use it offline.
Both GSuite and Office 365 allow the user to save their files locally, as well as taking advantage of cloud storage. If you choose to store your files in the cloud then you will be relying on the service providers keeping things up and running. If the service does go down, you will lose access to online files.
So, which one is better overall? It comes down to both personal preference and the nature of your business. However, Microsoft has much more experience in this area and while Google’s GSuite is perfectly suited for many businesses, it is not quite as refined an offering as Microsoft has crafted. Office 365 has a notable advantage in terms of its communications apps, including both email and video conferencing. On that basis alone, it gets our vote.
Windows 7 End of Life All good things must eventually come to an end and operating systems are no different. Once they reach the end of their lifespan, outdated operating systems will continue to work but will no longer be officially supported. When an operating system reaches the end of its life, that means that...
All good things must eventually come to an end and operating systems are no different. Once they reach the end of their lifespan, outdated operating systems will continue to work but will no longer be officially supported. When an operating system reaches the end of its life, that means that Microsoft will no longer provide technical assistance or release new security updates for the operating system.
Microsoft’s operating systems are usually supported for around 10 years and with Windows 7 having celebrated its 10th birthday in July of this year, Microsoft is now preparing to wind down support for the OS officially. If your business is still using Windows 7, it is important to understand what the implications of its end of life are and what you need to do as a business to ensure that you don’t suffer as a result.
Windows 7’s end of life will begin midway through January 2020, January 14th to be exact. Until we reach this date, the operating system will be in what Microsoft calls ‘extended support’. At a certain point, it no longer makes sense to continue to pour the necessary resources into an operating system to keep it properly maintained. As well as the financial and resource cost, it also requires an ongoing time investment to maintain an OS, time that can be better spent maintaining the newer iterations of the OS.
Microsoft has already ended the main phase of Windows 7, which officially drew to a close on January 13th, 2015. Since this date, no new features have been added, nor has Microsoft been accepting warranty claims. But until now, Windows 7 has continued to receive updates and support.
Starting January 14th, 2020, Microsoft will no longer be releasing any new security updates or patches for its OS. Should you run into any issues after this date, you will likely find that Microsoft is unable or unwilling to provide you with technical support. The operating system will continue to work after this date, but it is safer for businesses to upgrade to a newer version of Windows, one that is being actively supported.
Businesses need to consider the fact that no new patches or updates mean that using an outdated operating system can represent a serious security vulnerability. If any exploits for Windows 7 are discovered after it reaches its end of life, these won’t be patched or fixed. That means that once those exploits are in the wild, every system still running the old OS will now be at risk of being attacked.
If lots of businesses keep using Windows 7 beyond its end of life then it will present a tempting target for attackers. Just because you can continue to use Windows 7, that doesn’t mean that you should. It definitely isn’t a risk that any business should be taking without a very good reason.
Upgrading your operating system to the latest version of Windows – Windows 10 – will offer a number of benefits. First and foremost, you will be able to take advantage of regular security updates to ensure that your business remains secure from outside attacks. You will also find the upgrade simple to do because you are moving from one version of Windows to another version of Windows.
Upgrading to the latest version of Windows will keep you protected from cyber-attacks while also ensuring that your systems are ready and able to handle all the latest software. Once Microsoft announces the end of life for an operating system, this is usually the signal for developers to wind down their projects and instead focus on ensuring they are compatible with the new version of Windows.
Contact us today to discuss your IT systems and how we can help your business to upgrade so that all your machines are running the latest version of Windows. All it takes is one system within your business to be using an outdated operating system that lacks the latest security updates and your entire network can become compromised. Texaport can take all the stress and difficulty out of updating your operating system and make the whole process as slow as possible.
In just a few months, Windows 7 will no longer be officially supported by Microsoft. From this date forward, any device using Windows 7 should be considered vulnerable. Researchers will continue to poke and prod and discover new security vulnerabilities. These will be disclosed to the community as normal, but with the knowledge that Microsoft is going to do nothing to address them.
Don’t put your business systems are risk needlessly, upgrade to the latest version of Windows as soon as you can and you will be able to continue to enjoy official support and regular security updates from Microsoft, as well as the ability to run the latest software and hardware.
Health Check Your IT While Texaport offer initial audits of potential clients and regular audits for existing clients, there are numerous options for individuals and businesses to gauge their defences independently. We have combined some of the least intrusive tools which provide valuable information to enhance the understanding and awareness of businesses and individuals alike....
While Texaport offer initial audits of potential clients and regular audits for existing clients, there are numerous options for individuals and businesses to gauge their defences independently. We have combined some of the least intrusive tools which provide valuable information to enhance the understanding and awareness of businesses and individuals alike.
These should be enabled by default in most modern operating systems and applications, windows users can run system updates from the control panel or system settings panel within the start menu, while Mac users can check the App Store for the latest updates.
As well as up-to-date Operating Systems, browsers and plugins can introduce vulnerabilities due to compromised or ageing software.
Qualys BrowserCheck can analyse your browser and plugins and alert you of outdated or compromised versions.
Securing Internet Connection
Your internet should be filtered through a secure router or a dedicated security appliance as well as the built in software on most computers, tablets and mobiles. To ensure your firewall is secure and all relevant ports have been secured GRC ShieldsUp can probe and analyse your connection.
We write regularly about the vulnerabilities that passwords can introduce to organisations and individual IT estates.
A key point of this is the re-use of passwords across multiple services as one compromised password could open all of your services to a potential attacker.
We use Have I Been Pwned? To highlight this risk to our clients and it can assist in ensuring your potentially compromised passwords are changed as well.
If you want to check the strength and complexity of your passwords, How Secure Is My Password is a great solution.
Most businesses and individuals are aware of the importance of security software in the form of anti-virus and anti-malware solutions. To ensure yours is performing appropriately the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organisation has created a safe test for these programs. Please note that the Mac versions of anti-virus and anti-malware may appear to fail and will not prevent downloads, but they will prevent them from “self running” or being opened.
It’s important that user awareness and training is employed as well as technical protective measures. As such BT’s Security Savvy Test and OpenDNS’ Phishing Quiz help to highlight any potential misunderstandings or opportunities to improve understanding.
For companies seeking a more comprehensive test of their security, as well as a detailed audit of the assets and network, Texaport’s initial audit provides potential clients with actionable intelligence about their IT estate. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org
Passwords According to a 2017 survey carried out by consumer password management company LastPass, the average business employee keeps track of and has access to 191 passwords. 61% of those employees use one password or iterations of that one password everywhere, putting convenience over known security vulnerabilities. It’s not surprising that 81% of data breaches...
According to a 2017 survey carried out by consumer password management company LastPass, the average business employee keeps track of and has access to 191 passwords. 61% of those employees use one password or iterations of that one password everywhere, putting convenience over known security vulnerabilities. It’s not surprising that 81% of data breaches are the result of a compromised login. So how does a company keep credentials, users, logins and business data secure? By using a Password Manager.
Better password management.
It’s clearly unfeasible to expect users to create and remember 191 unique passwords in their business lives, coupled with the passwords used in their personal lives this becomes a much bigger number. The management of these is complicated by the expectation that some service logins need to be shared amongst a group of users within the organisation. So how is this kept track of? Who has access to which passwords? Where is a record kept? What happens when a password needs to be changed?
Password Managers help to answer these questions, allowing users to store passwords in a secure method in a safe space and share access to communal resources. There are several solutions available through a quick online search but recognising the best solution for your business is more complicated. This is combined with identifying and building an appropriate management structure with the password manager, ensuring access is available to the applicable team members have access to the required passwords.
Building the structure for password management is the first big hurdle to be faced, how do you break down access levels and individual access? How does the team share passwords when required? Who is responsible for ensuring information accuracy and maintaining audit logs for changes? How do you lock down access for departing employees?
Businesses can lose a lot of productivity time answering such questions in order to implement an appropriate solution, but Texaport can help.
Texaport Password Management
Texaport’s web-based Password Management platform is centrally managed by Texaport with access managed, monitored, updated and enforced by our technicians. Security is of the highest priority, and engineers do not have visibility of passwords within our clients’ system, while being able to assist in the reset and access privileges of individuals and teams.
Each user has access to their own vault for storage and management of individual passwords, encouraging secure password practices in their personal lives as well as granular access to the company vault, which is managed by custom security groups.
Password Managers – A Summary
Password security and management is the biggest vulnerability present in all businesses, but it needn’t be such a weak point in defences. The right password manager can prevent unauthorised access to sensitive resources while improving the complexity and variety of passwords within the business. Ensure your company is doing all it can to prevent compromise through poor credential security and management and you can avoid becoming a painful statistic.
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