PRESS RELEASE 14-01-19

January 14 2019 – PRESS RELEASE

Technology Simplified – a new brand for a new kind of technology

VICTORIA, Cornwall.

With increasingly more complicated business technology solutions including critical elements such as cyber security, cloud based delivery, mobile devices, and software as a service to name a few, choosing a technology strategy for your business that is fit for purpose, secure, efficient, and just as importantly within budget is increasingly difficult to achieve by the non-specialist.

Technology Simplified, the new name for Aurumtech Solutions, aims to address this by providing a suite of four distinct services to its clients, all operating under the Technology Simplified banner.  Planning Simplified will work with a company to establish a technology plan that matches the company growth projections. Projects Simplified can deliver those plans, working with trusted partners to implement the most efficient and cost-effective solution.  Management Simplified can then oversee the technology on a 24/7 basis, updating the technology as required, and Security Simplified will take care of keeping the nasties at bay, whatever or whoever they are.

Chris Rickard, company Founder, said “Our new website at www.tsuk.ltd showcases a first for the regional IT sector, enabling our clients to develop their business secure in the knowledge that their technology will not only work for them today, but will keep working for them tomorrow.  By providing a seamless and super-efficient service, we not only help businesses to streamline process and reduce waste, but enable them to work better, faster and smarter.”

Simon Dean, Owner of All-pac Packaging Supplies (Cornwall’s No. 1 Packaging Supplier), has been impressed by this service. “We were a bit apprehensive having a third party in to go onto our network and having access to our company files, we instantly found Chris to be easy going and he understood the issues we had and was able to sort several small issues in a short space of time as well as coming up with some suggestions of ways we could improve our systems and efficiency[..]we have taken up most of these suggestion and as well as making the company more efficient, it has saved us valuable time.”

Chris continued “We’re excited about supporting more businesses to make the right decisions.  We’re already seeing a strong demand for this new service, and as a result we’re planning on expanding in the New Year.  We look forward to working with many more clients over the coming years.”

–Ends–

For more info, contact:  Chris Rickard, Managing Director – 01726 247257 – [email protected]

Windows 7 problems accessing shared folders?

The January 2019 Windows Update rollup (released January 8, 2019 – KB4480970) has left some Windows 7 users frustrated and unable to access shared folders.  The issue is also affecting Windows Server 2008 R2.

If you are currently using Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008R2 then you might find problems with your network shared folders after installing this rollup patch but also suffer issues with RDP and other connectivity.

The issue, which can also be caused by a smaller security patch (KB4480960), can leave users with errors attempting to reach shared folders. The cause appears to be tweaks made to security settings on the host machine.

There are unsupported work-arounds being suggested, but the best option, for now, is to uninstall the two affected patches which _should_ make things work normally again.

In the past this sort of thing would be picked up if you operated a test environment. Sadly, these days, very few people take the time (and £££) to maintain such a thing and the first many of us know if when something breaks.

It is also a good rule of thumb to allow Microsoft patches a little while to mature, just in case this sort of thing happens.  But not too long to leave systems potentially open to abuse.

For now, simply log into the affected machines (you do have a local admin account right?!) and remove KB4480970 and/or KB4480960 before rebooting and you should be aok again.

If you don’t have a local admin account, or you’ve forgotten the details and need some help drop me a line, I have some magic tricks up my sleeve to save the day!

Via email or call on 01726 247257

Hacking the details – Marriot Hotels

On Friday the news broke about the massive “data security incident” that the Marriot Hotels Starwood reservation database suffered.  A database of some 500 million records.

In September an internal security tool detected an attempt to access the database, and after an investigation it was discovered that unauthorised access to that database had been in place since 2014.

Varying amounts of data were contained within the database, but it’s not hard to work out what this data will contain.

In the industry there is a method of storing credit card information called PAN. Primary Account Number is a process for reducing the risk of fraud by truncating the information that is stored – usually limiting the storage to the last four digits of a card number and expiry date.

You can see this in action on many till receipts.

A new bit of information for me, at least, was to learn that hotels routinely keep hold of a customers full credit card details in case they attempt non-payment.

One downside of the Data Security / GDPR rules is a lack of clarity on what is considered an appropriate length of time to retain customers details.

All companies, regardless of size, have to take responsibility for the safe storage of data and in this instance (as well as others of a similar nature) there will, justifiably so, be hefty fines to contend with.

In June 2018 Dixons Carphone reported an incident to the ICO and some news outlets suggested that they might avoid a larger fine (in the region of £17 million) because they would be investigated under the old Data Protection regime which meant a maximum fine capped at £500,000.

New GDPR rules allow a maximum fine of 4% of turnover or 20 million euros, whichever is higher.

In one of the updates on incident the ICO suggested that it was early in the investigation and until the exact dates of the incident were understood no determination had been made if the punishment would be per the 1998 or 2018 version of the act.

A later update revealed that the size of the incident had been confirmed to have affected 10 million records “which is significantly higher than initially stated”.

On revenue of £10.5bn (as in 2017) this would mean a potential maximum of fine of approximately £420 million.

In it’s 17/18 annual report the ICO notes that Dixons Carphone were fined £400,000 for a separate incident that occurred in 2015.

We are, of course, talking about massive numbers here, but the security considerations are similar for all businesses just on a different scale.

Security is a serious concern, and it’s crucial to get it right.  There are many nuances that need to be considered when putting together appropriate security for a company – clearly a good monitoring system is one of significant importance.

Consumers should be protected from fraudulent purchases made on their cards but this is assuming they are aware something is even amiss.

It’s a tactic of fraudsters to not grab thousands of pounds in one hit rather to take small amounts out regularly so as not to arouse suspicion.

You’d like to think we all pay close attention to our outgoings on a regular basis.

But then four years without being aware someone has full access to your database of 500 million records when you’re a 22.894 billion (2017) turnover company what hope is there for the rest of us?!

Our Security Simplified service provides a series of security solutions for SMEs that are based around the concepts of ISO 27001 that aim to protect businesses both internally and externally.  If you have any security concerns or would like to discuss your corporate security in more detail please get in touch.