October 2017 Newsletter

Basic Cyber Security

Many customers we see during our daily work (and rescues) don’t even have the most basic cyber security measures in place. The author intends this article for the non-technical business owner or manager, to assist and educate the need to protect their business and computer users against ever-evolving cyber threats.

Cyber security threats are continually evolving. Viruses, worms, Trojan horses, Spyware, Phishing, Adware and Scare-ware have all been around for a long time. Lately, one particular form of malware known as Ransomware has been creating havoc with businesses and organisations worldwide.

Ransomware, when detonated works by locking up your files using encryption. The cyber criminal then demands a ransom from the victim in bitcoins. In theory, this ransom gets a code that allows the unlocking of your vital files. However, some cyber criminals are not very honest in this respect. They just take your ransom and you don’t get a code.

Read more …

Pick-up and Drop off service

We are offering a Pick-up and Drop off service for all the customers in Christchurch as from the 4th of September 2017. Booking is required at this stage.

The Pick-up and Drop off dates would be as follow:

  • Monday and Tuesday from 8:00am to 9:30am
  • Thursday and Friday from 3:30pm to 5:00pm

This service will be free for all current and new HOST plan customers.

Christmas Specials

Ex-lease desktop computers, laptops and monitors for sale

We can source some great deals on ex-lease desktops, laptops and monitors.
Why buy new when for half the price you can get ex-lease?
The machines are ex-business-lease being a maximum of 3 years old.

Perfect for school, home and business use!


HP Elite 8300 SFF Desktop PC, i5-3470 3.2GHz Processor, 8GB RAM, 320GB HDD, Windows 7 Pro COA (with Windows 10 Pro loaded) // Now only $350.00+GST


Dell Latitude E6430s Laptop Computer, i5 3rd Gen Processor, 14″ Screen, 8GB RAM, 320GB, WiFi, Webcam, Windows 7 Pro COA (with Windows 10 Pro loaded) // Now only $390.00+GST

Dell 23″ All-in-One Desktop PC, i7-3770s Processor, 8GB RAM, 500GB HDD, Webcam, Windows 7 Home COA (with Windows 10 Home loaded) // Now only $550.00+GST

Note: All ex-lease computers and hardware above come with 3 months RTB warranty. All the images above for the hardware are indicative only. Limited Stock.

Optional Upgrades:

  • Ex-lease 24″ LED Monitor // Now only $105.00+GST
  • SSD Upgrade: Corsair 240GB SSD // Now only $139.00+GST
  • Warranty Upgrade: upgrade to 12 months RTB Warranty // Now only $89.00+GST

Brand New Computers for sale

Acer Veriton VX2640G SFF Desktop PC, i5-7400 Quad Core 3.0GHZ Processor, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, DVD-RW, Windows 10 Pro 64-BIT, 3 Years OnSite Warranty; plus FREE ACER K242HL 24″ WIDE LED MONITOR 3 Years RTB Warranty // Now only $1250.00+GST

ACER Aspire F5-573G-5919 NOTEBOOK 15.6″, i5-7200U Dual Core 2.5GHZ Processor, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, DVD-RW, GEFORCE 940MX 2GB, Wireless-AC, Bluetooth, Windows 10 Home, 1 Years RTB Warranty; plus FREE Wireless Mouse and Leather Laptop Bag // Now only $1190.00+GST

Note: All Brand New computers have Limited Stock. All the images above for the hardware are indicative only. Limited Stock.

Our Service Hours

CT Christchurch West is located at 252 Annex Road, Middleton, Christchurch . And the workshop operating hours has changed to Monday – Friday 8:00AM – 5:30PM, unless otherwise specially announced.

We continually offering On-Site / Call-Out services for customers in Christchurch area. For anyone outside of Christchurch or rural, we can also arrange the service.

Give us a call on 03 9282150 to solve any of your technology problems. Alternatively, you can Book a Service with us online or send your service request to us via email support@ctwest.nz .

We can Manage your Email

Are you having problems with your current email provider? Sick of not being in control? Wanting to have your emails and calendar on multiple devices seamlessly? Sick of having to change email addresses when changing internet providers?

We can help by hosting your email for you!

For a small monthly fee, you can have your email on your desktop, laptop, tablet and phone; all synchronised and showing exactly the same. If you do not currently have Outlook then this can be included.

You can select an email through us like yourname@ctmail.kiwi. Otherwise, you can choose your own domain name, meaning you can have your email address be anything you want – e.g. you@yourname.co.nz (as long as it’s not already in use)

Spread the Word and get Rewarded!

Did you know, if you refer someone to us and they use our service that we reward you with a $20 voucher? The coupon can be used on your next job with us, or you can give it to someone you love for their next job with us.

Don’t forget to ask your referrals to tell us your name as we don’t want to miss out on your voucher!

Increasing Business productivity: Leads to greater success?

Increasing Business productivity

For every business owner, no matter what size of business you are managing knows that a key to success is ensuring that your business is increasing staff productivity. Why? Because the more productive you are means that you are increasing the output of the business at a lower cost per unit of output which means an increase in profits. In simple terms getting more done with less.

What is the role of technology?

The answer to that is quite simple as technology permeates our daily working lives. Think about what life was like with no mobile phones, no email, no internet, no electronic calendars, no collaboration tools and technologies like Skype. Technology today is so cost effective that all businesses can now afford to use these technologies to increase productivity.

Increasing Business productivity is the absolute focus of Microsoft Office 365. It is about ensuring that staff have access to: email 24/7 on any device that they use, remote access to data through the cloud and being able to work on that data via software such as Excel and Word etc.

One of the keys for every small to medium business is to ensure that technology is being managed and implemented across the business in a smooth and seamless manner so that their people are working at optimal levels to maximize the businesses productivity resulting in the best possible results.

How does technology impact on business productivity?

Overcoming the challenges of executing on a business strategy daily is where technology has the biggest impact for businesses. Using technology to create automation of tasks allows employees to communicate faster and effectively, give employees an ability to focus on the priorities that will deliver the results that the business is looking for.

When assessing business productivity tools such as MS Office 365, it is imperative that the business understands how it will help?

How?

  • Create an open and communicative environment.
  • Connect teams virtually within the company.
  • Motivate your employees using technology.
  • Monitor business productivity and employee progress on goals. Analyze performance
  • Create a flexible workforce no matter where they are they can access what they need
  • Stay secure and compliant.

How can Computer Troubleshooters help you with Office 365?

The team at Computer Troubleshooters can help you across all stages of your implementation, from assisting you to identify the plan you need, implementing the package including the setup and migration of your email to Microsoft Office 365, to the ongoing management of your solution under a monthly subscription plan. Contact your local Computer Troubleshooters to get started.

What are the key benefits for Business Owners?

Some things to think about are:

  • Capital investment– do you prefer to invest to upgrade systems or use a pay as you go subscription model?
  • Space and operating requirements – do you need to run your own infrastructure?
  • Maintenance – would hosting dramatically reduce staff or outsource costs for your IT support?
  • Scalability – will you need to add or reduce users in the future?
  • Operating control – can you trust an external IT expert to remotely manage your systems?
  • Applications – can you use hosted applications or do you need to host locally?
  • Data usage and file sizes – are your business characteristics suitable to use hosted applications?
  • Broadband speed and capacity – can your internet bandwidth handle hosted usage?
  • Statutory data retention – does your business have a requirement to hold and protect data?

By implementing Office 365 will productivity increase?

Productivity does not increase simply by implementing Office 365 it is important that you educate your staff in how to use the technology effectively and to have identified a range of business processes and activities that can benefit from the technology and make certain you get the buy in of your staff to those changes. The lesson to remember is to have a plan of action for the change you are introducing to your business.

Counting the True Cost – Cyber Security Breach

Cyber security breaches are in the news every single day of the week. Yet every day I hear another story about a small business that has had a cyber security breach. When talking to the owners, the anger, frustration and disbelief is evident to see. The shock is expressed in the following words; this is costing me so much, it’s the inconvenience, it’s the damage to my reputation and worst of all I am losing customers and I know they will not come back.

What is the cost for small to medium business?

  • The statistics on the cost to small business are hard to establish but one can only suspect that if big business is $142 per compromised record (Ponemon Institute Research report 2016) that is something similar for small to medium business.
  • From my personal experience, I know a podiatrist whose business incurred a breach of their booking system that took three months before their business was back to normal. Even after this time they continued to lose customers. The Ponemon Institute Research Report 2016 clearly indicates that the loss of business customers is the largest financial consequence for an organisation that experiences a data breach.
  • A breach becomes more costly to resolve the longer the breach remains undetected.

Is a small to medium business subject to fines?

All businesses no matter what size are subject to privacy laws. Currently our NZ Privacy Act which went into effect in 1993 contains breach-related penalties from $2,000 to $10,000. New Zealand’s privacy commissioner is now recommending new civil penalties against companies of up to NZ $1,000,000 for a “serious” data breach to keep NZ up with sterner penalties adopted by Australia and the European Union. Ultimately there is significant accountability on businesses to keep customers’ private information secure or face potentially large fines as well as bad publicity and damage to their reputation.

Why is small to medium business a target?

This may be obvious but every cyber- criminal is looking for a soft target, in effect every small to medium business has more information (data) to target than an individual consumer and, because of resource restrictions and lack of knowledge they have a less secure environment than a larger organisation. This is not only in terms of software but also in having security policies that are effectively implemented. For example; user training, passwords, network access, usage of personal devices and external storage devices such as USB sticks.

Too often small business owners are not proactive because they do not believe they have anything worth stealing.  This is not the case as every small to medium business holds customer credit card information, customer personal details such as bank details and emails.  Every bit of information is useful to a cyber-criminal who can make money, for instance, by selling an email address.

Are the hackers and cyber criminals becoming more sophisticated?

The short answer to this question is YES. In the 12 months to June 2016 the NZ National Cyber Security Centre reported a 78% increase in cyber security incidents over the previous year. Our Australian neighbours (Australian Cyber Security Centre Threat Report 2015) identified that the number of cyber criminals with capability will increase, that the sophistication of the current cyber adversaries will increase making detection and response more difficult, ransomware will continue to be prominent and there will be an increase in electronic graffiti such as web defacements and social media hijacking. All this is occurring because every day no matter what size business you are there is a greater reliance on technology to run and conduct a business. The cyber-criminal is aware of this.

How to minimise and protect your small to medium business against a cyber security breach or attack?

Suggested guidelines for protecting your business are:

  • Complete a risk assessment so you are aware of the areas you are most vulnerable. The suggestion would be to complete this with an IT expert, or use the NZ Government sponsored Connect Smart for Business SME toolkit as a starting point.
  • Educate your staff about the various types of scams such as ransomware. Ransomware is a piece of malware that is often sent via email and when executed it kidnaps your machine via encryption that blocks the user from accessing their machine. The kidnapper then demands payment for the decryption key. Ransomware is often referenced as Cryptolocker, Cryptovirus or Cryptotrojan. Examples include NZ Police notifications, Courier and Post deliveries, Inland Revenue Office, Microsoft support etc.
  • Ensure you have policies that are enforced around passwords.
  • Use up to date security systems such as anti-virus software, ensuring firewalls are in place, proper controls around network access.
  • Ensure you are backing up your data and protecting sensitive data in accordance with the privacy laws of New Zealand.
  • If you have limited IT capability and resources, consider the proactive approach of engaging an IT service provider on a managed services contract.
  • Have a remediation and recovery plan for a cyber security breach.
  • Take insurance against a security breach.

From a technology viewpoint aim for the following:

  • End user security – workstations, laptops and mobile devices all have anti-virus malware protection, scheduled back up and regular preventative maintenance.
  • Centralised user control and back up – critical company information and local files need to be protected and still require regular back up, preferably with offsite duplication to the cloud.
  • Unified threat management and content filtering – can offer maximum external threat protection and enhanced business productivity to your internal network.
  • Disaster recovery and data restoration – business continuity can only be guaranteed with adequate backup and recovery procedures in place

The four key elements in thinking about preventing cyber security breaches are to know your environment, to secure your environment, effectively control your environment and proactively monitor your environment.

The best approach is to make sure that the challenge of cyber security is at the forefront of the business owner’s mind and that of employees.

References:

Bank Info Security

National Cyber Security Centre

The Privacy Commissioner’s Office

Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network

Ponemon Institute; IBM sponsored 2016 Cost of Data Breach Study Australia