Cyber Insurance – Do I really need it?
Cyber Security is a very real threat to businesses in New Zealand these days. Here we look at Cyber Insurance, what it is, what the laws are and why you need it.
Why do you need Cyber Insurance?
Cyber attacks on businesses in New Zealand are increasing in both sophistication and frequency. High profile companies like Air New Zealand partner Travelex, Fisher & Paykel Appliances, Toll Group, Garmin, Canon, Honda, BlueScope Steel, Lion, transport giant Toll Group, Twitter, MetService and most recently even the NZX, are just some of the organisations to have been targeted by cyber criminals. However it is not just the big companies, many small businesses are also being targeted. It really is a matter of ‘when not if’.
What is cyber insurance?
Cyber insurance is designed to fill the gap that traditional insurance policies don’t cover, minimising the impact of cyber incidents by providing cover for your own loss and third party costs. It provides your business with a structured crisis response plan and assists with returning to ‘business as usual’.
1.Won’t my general liability policy cover cyber liability?
General liability insurance covers bodily injuries and property damage resulting from your products, services or operations. Cyber insurance is often excluded from a general liability policy.
It pays to check your current policies and ask questions. You may find that your other business cover won’t respond to a cyber or data breach claim.
The law has changed
The new Privacy Act 2020 which came into effect on 1 December 2020 means that all businesses now have legal requirements surrounding
The new Act requires mandatory data breach reporting if it’s reasonable to believe that the breach would cause serious harm to an individual. For example: If you’re engaging with a service provider to hold your clients’ personal data, for example a cloud-based CRM system, you remain responsible for the security and use of that personal information. If a Cyber breach were to occur, you would be held liable.
What does Cyber Insurance cover?
Ensuring business continuity and safeguarding your business from Business Interruption will enable you to return to the same financial position you were in before a Cyber event.
The benefits of Cyber Insurance will depend on the type of policy you take out but can include:
- Access to a dedicated and experienced team of experts if an attack occurs
- Protection from loss where you are legally liable to others
- Cover for your financial loss if your business is interrupted due to a Cyber event.
Things to look out for in your Cyber Insurance policy:
What is the likely cost of Cyber Insurance?
Like most insurance, premiums vary by insurer, the type of cover selected and your risk profile. As an estimate a policy with $100,000 cover could cost as little as $600 per annum.
All businesses need a security plan to protect their business and they should consider a Cyber Insurance policy as an essential part of this plan.
What else can you do in the war against Cybercrime?
There are basic things that you can do to ensure good Cyber security. In this recent blog we share some top tips for your company.
Top tips to avoid cyber security threats:
CERT NZ has a number of useful and practical resources for businesses on keeping systems and data safe from cyber security attacks, including cyber security risk assessments for business, cyber security awareness for staff, phishing scams and your business and protecting your business online.
CERT NZ offers the following tips for simple, practical steps for businesses.
1. Install software updates
2. Implement two-factor authentication (2FA)
3. Back up your data
4. Set up logs
5. Create a plan for when things go wrong
6. Update your default credentials
7. Choose the right cloud services for your business
8. Only collect the data you really need
9. Secure your devices
10. Secure your network
11. Manually check financial details
For more info and links click here:
Cyber Security is a very real issue facing business owners these days. If you would like further advice on Cyber Insurance please feel free to reach out to us here
Meet Quality Food Southland:
Meet Quality Food Southland or QFS for short. What started as a humble bakery and Café in the 1900’s by Annie C Miller, grew into New Zealand’s leading manufacturer in butter-based bakery products and sauces. They are the largest exporter of butter pastry in NZ. Up until a few years ago they were struggling with their systems and processes.
Document Management and Approvals headache!
Their document management and approval systems were completely manual. This meant a LOT of paperwork, and complex filing systems as each product version had to be kept on hand. There could be many iterations which make things complicated.
Their approval process was also a headache. QFS had eight different approval processes. At each stage, approval had to be signed off by three different signatories. As you can imagine there was a lot of paper, storage and wasted time, not to mention the risk of making a mistake, was really high.
Aiming for Change:
Ideally, the team at QFS were keen to make a few improvements. Document storage and security were key. They wanted to get rid of the complex document folder structure while managing and keeping all their file changes. They wanted to replace the manual time-consuming approval process for an online version, complete with change notifications, tracked changes and approval process stage indicators. Essentially, they wanted to have the process more manageable, consistent and streamlined.
Empowering QFS with Microsoft:
After consulting with an IT Alliance Member, the QFS team decided that the best course of action was to have these seasoned professionals cook up a nicely balanced solution using some Microsoft products called SharePoint, Power Automate, and power apps. These were all available through having Microsoft 365.
SharePoint helped create an online document management system that had version control, search features and navigation that made finding documents and using them easier. It even had a check in and out function. You could track your changes so that everyone was always up to speed on any project.
Power Automate helped QFS to automate their business processes and approvals using tailored notifications and automated data entry, saving plenty of time and increasing the accuracy of the approval process.
Power apps helped to collect information and display where everything was in the process so that the project could be managed much more easily.
The End Result:
QFS ended up with a very slick looking web-based system thanks to Microsoft 365 and its added products. The best part is that it is all in one place. The new system stores all documents, manages document check-in/out, maintains all version history and records document changes.
It allows users to check-out a document, make the required changes then completes the document approval process from start to finish. It includes notifications to stakeholders, updates progress and document control lists throughout the process. On approval, it creates a pdf version and stores it in a duplicate SharePoint suite used by “view only” staff. The result helps their business run more efficiently, with less risk. Sounds too good to be true, right?
To find out more contact us here
WINDOWS 11 – STOP THE BUS!
So many of our clients around New Zealand have been asking us about Microsoft 11. “Should I upgrade?” “Should I wait?”. It’s new and everyone wants the latest and greatest right.
In this case, however, it may be best to WAIT
With most upgrades, updates are something to install as a matter of course. The manufacturer, after all, is delivering new efficiencies, improved processes, and increased security, so why wouldn’t you?
Well with Windows 11 it’s not quite that simple:
First of all, Windows 11 has been called “the biggest update we’ve seen to Microsoft PC software in more than half a decade.”
Why you don’t need to rush this upgrade:
Most importantly, Microsoft has said it will support Windows 10 until October 14, 2025, so there is no need to rush any decision.
A sneak peek of what can you expect from Windows 11:
Windows 11 is a redesigned operating system aiming at improved user navigation. Expect:
If you do decide to go ahead here are some things you need to know….
If you are in the market for a new laptop, make sure you’re getting one with Windows 11 pre-installed. That way, you’ll be sure to get one that will be able to run the new operating system without hassle.
Your IT specialist may have already suppressed some of the reminder notices for you, so that you don’t get asked to upgrade all of the time. However, they can’t stop them all.
If you see the official Microsoft screens saying ‘click here to install Windows 11’ our suggestion is to not do anything and just wait. It might be a good idea to also inform your team to do the same.
One thing to be mindful of is that if you do go ahead and install Windows 11, any problems you encounter may not be covered by your IT specialist under your current plan.
However, if you are sitting at your computer reading this and are still using Windows 7 and Windows 8, its definitely time for an upgrade to at least Windows 10. Windows 7 and 8 are no longer supported by the manufacturer and without support or security updates, these systems are vulnerable to malware attacks.
In conclusion the best thing to do is to talk to us about this upgrade to Windows 11 to see when and if it is right for you.
The POWER Trifecta Solution for Document Automation
The environment in which we operate has significantly changed. Businesses in New Zealand have been driven to embrace remote working.
Every good business is constantly on the hunt for new ways to improve their efficiency, keep their costs down, and increase productivity and profit and decrease risk.
What if we told you that you might be sitting on a goldmine of opportunity?
Having Microsoft 365 is bit like owning a spaceship. You know what it’s used for, but how to use it? Let’s unpack it a bit further.
Most Common Problems
The most common problems we hear of through our IT Alliance network around the country are:
Making the most of Your Microsoft 365
Sharepoint and Power Automate are both free with your business Subscription. Did you know you could use them in these ways?
SharePoint (their free document management system) can seem overly complicated because it can offer so much. But it doesn’t need to be so scary.
You can start small and use more functionality as needed or as you grow.
Basically, it’s a platform that offers content management and collaboration.
It helps with reducing duplicate files, gives you remote access (needed more than ever!) and allows you to work on the same document at the same time.
Find out more about SharePoint here:
Microsoft Power Automate
This is another free app that allows you to automate workflows across applications. You can use it to connect email and instant message alerts, synchronize files between applications, copy files from one service to another, collect data from one app and store it in another, and much more.
Templates are available to get you started. Efficiency is key for sustained success across businesses and Power Automate assists this by simplifying workflows with the automation of repetitive tasks.
This is a low-code application development platform that integrates with Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Azure and more.
With Power Apps, web and mobile applications can be built without writing code. Instead, you can use pre-built templates and components with drag-and-drop simplicity.
Power Apps has been described as a bit like a meal delivery kit. The ingredients are pre-measured and chopped. The instructions are ready to go. All you have to do is prep and cook.
Because Power Apps has advanced logic and rules built-in, development time is cut by 70%. In some cases, it takes just a few hours to build an app. Or you can customize one of the pre-built templates in just minutes. Plus, Power apps connects to hundreds of business systems and databases. Here are some impressive statistics to show how Power apps is super useful.
Real Business, Real Change
Quality Food Services is the largest exporter of butter pastry in NZ. Up until a few years ago they were struggling with their documents and approvals as they were complicated and manual.
They used SharePoint to create an online document management system that had version control, search features and navigation that made finding documents and using them easier.
You could track your changes so that everyone was always up to speed on any project.
Power Automate helped QFS to automate their business processes and approvals using tailored notifications and automated data entry, saving plenty of time and increasing the accuracy of the approval process.
Power apps helped to collect information and display where everything was in the process so that the project could be managed much more easily.
All of this saved them time, money and decreased their risk significantly. Contact us to find out more.
Meet Northland Kindergarten Association:
The Northland Kindergarten Association or NKA, has 25 kindergartens between Kaitaia in the Far North, to Ruawai in the heart of Kaipara.
NKA were concerned about their IT setup, so they approached an IT Alliance member with the below key issues:
What was discovered:
Empowering Kindergartens with 365 Teams:
The IT Alliance member suggested to NKA that they could use Microsoft 365 Teams to empower their kindergartens using the following steps:
How it helped them:
They moved all their documents into the cloud using a feature of Microsoft 365 called SharePoint. It helped them organize their document management so that they could share and manage content across the entire network of kindergartens. This saved them time, improved consistency and made their documents more secure.
They also improved training, communication and connectivity within their team. They had a whopping 120+ attendees at their annual conference. Due to Covid, they had to host the event online. Microsoft 365 Teams came in very useful. Again, training was provided, and they had two run throughs so that they could help anyone with login, microphone and camera issues. Their event went on for 5-6 hours and went off without a hitch!
The Education Review Office, and five other national guests were able to present vital information easily. They broke out into subgroups for discussions using the meeting room function. Their CEO even pre-recorded his video message.
One of the risks of always being online is that they were worried that they might miss a quality engagement. Luckily 365 Teams gave them the ability to engage. They were able to raise a hand, ask questions in the chat and follow along from home. Overall, it was much less expense than an in-person event!
The end result:
Overall, implementing Microsoft 365 Teams into NKA empowered their association with better cybersecurity, improved communications, empowered resource sharing that saved time and decreased event costs whilst maintaining event engagement. Not bad for one system in one place!
“We were grateful to have streamlined our processes and we now have one point of contact for all our sites. We enjoy having a consistent service throughout our organization. It means that the team understands what we need, and we know we are providing top notch service to our kindergartens.”
Lloyd Gurr Head of Projects, Northland Kindergarten Association.
Learn more by contacting us here
Microsoft Planner is a tool within the Microsoft 365 suite. Planner is an easy way to organize teamwork with intuitive, collaborative, and visual task management. Planner is simple, easy to use for new users, and included in the licensing for all enterprise plans, education plans, business essentials and the Microsoft 365 business premium plan.
Advantages of Planner:Planner improves teamwork by organizing a Microsoft 365 group or team’s tasks, files, and conversations.
Planner helps to organize your tasks by adding one or more Planner tabs to a team channel. You can then work on your plan from within Teams, remove or delete your plan, and get notified in Teams when a task is assigned to you in
All tasks are easily accessible in one place: Plans comprise content-rich tasks that contain expected details, such as due dates, and extra elements like color-coded labels and files.
Automatic chart report: Planner automatically visualizes task status into pie and bar charts for you with no setup required.
Work where you want: Use Planner wherever you’re working. At your desk? Open Planner from tasks.office.com. On the go? Update tasks from your mobile device. In Microsoft Teams? Select the Tasks app powered by Planner and
Microsoft To Do.
Connect across Microsoft 365: Planner is part of Microsoft 365, so it’s highly secure like your other Microsoft 365 apps. Microsoft 365 also connects Planner with Microsoft to Do, SharePoint, Power Automate, and other apps for efficient task management.
Manage all your tasks in Microsoft Teams: Planner and Microsoft Teams work well together. The Tasks app in Microsoft Teams combines all your team tasks from Planner and individual tasks from Microsoft To Do with advanced collaboration tools.
How to add planner: In your team channel, select Add a tab +.
In the Add a tab dialog box, choose Tasks by Planner and To Do.
Create a new task list to make a new Planner plan and add it as a tab
to this channel.
Use an existing task list to choose an existing Planner plan to add to a
tab in this channel.
Choose whether to post to the channel about the tab, and then
The tab will be added alongside your other team channel tabs, and
you'll be able to start adding tasks to your board.
Six Tips to use planner wellUse the buckets:
Microsoft Planner lets you create buckets for various tasks. Within each
bucket, you can create specific assignments.
The calendar feature:
The calendar is very important for keeping everyone on task. Items in the
calendar can be assigned both due dates and a specific task owner. This helps
individuals know who is responsible for what and whether or not they are on
You can create a checklist to keep on top of tasks. This checklist can be a list of
necessary actions for this project. As the assigned user works their way
through the project, they can check off individual items on the list. This creates
an effortlessly easy visual to be able to track progress.
Categorise tasks easily
You can create easy visual categories for tasks by color-coded labels and
priority. For example, you might split things up into “low-priority,” “medium-
priority,” and “high-priority” based on deadlines. This is visually easy for your
team to follow as they can see what is coming up on their calendar and what is
Easily integrates with 365
With Microsoft Planner, you can integrate easily with 365. This means that you
can take advantage of Outlooks calendar and reminder features. This helps
keep your employees focused and on track every time they open their e-mail.
Connects to the Cloud
Members of the team can upload various files as attachments to different
projects and cards. Once the file is attached to Microsoft 365 Planner,
everyone has access to it via the cloud. You no longer have to worry about vital
information being unavailable to the rest of the group.
Planner is a wonderfully simple, yet effective way to manage projects across a
team and to improve communication and efficiencies.
More then just that flashing box, lighting up like a disco in the corner of the room, routers play a particularly important role in keeping your business safe, and your data secure, as well as creating efficient, and safe remote working conditions.
Here we look at the role of the router, and what you can do to ensure you have the right one for your business.
Think of your router like an important Traffic Officer only allowing approved content in and out of your business.
The difference between an entry level router and a higher quality router, provided by your IT Alliance member is a lot. Sometimes it pays to think outside the box, and not just take the router provided for free in the box.
Top reasons why you need a good quality Router:
SECURITY TIP“You must always change the factory default password for the router and ensure that the firewall and other security features are in fact enabled”.
Ever been confused by the codes that come up when you go to log in to your network?
WPA2 and AES are the best settings to secure your Wi-Fi from hackers. Remember that if a hacker is able to breach your network, they could steal important information, like bank details, or even your identity.
We strongly suggest against using an open network. An open network means you won’t have a password, so anyone can have access to your Wi-Fi and all of your devices.
Make sure to apply WPA2 to your router for improved protection of your online information.
In Conclusion:Routers can be complex and can create harmony or havoc depending on the route you choose to follow. Buying a router with the highest security is crucial to protect your network.
Remote working conditions are the new normal, which means that many of us may need to upgrade our home routers too.
By speaking to your IT Alliance local member, you could find quick connectivity and security gains with an upgraded router.
To save time and money and to make sure that you have done all that you can to make your business safe, speak to us here and find out what is the best and most secure router for you.
We have seen an explosion in the ways we communicate, and, in the ways, we use these forms of communication. The last few years have seen people that would have rather picked up their land line, now reaching for their laptop or tablet to make a video call.
Our original and oldest form of distant communication, the letter, has been branded snail mail and the volume of snail mail has steadily decreased to the point that the humble letter box is on the verge of redundancy.
We have transitioned from the art of formal letter writing, taught with passion by our English teachers, to communicating in text or even emojis. We are evolving not just our means of communication but also the way we use these tools.
In business, while an initial introduction is more commonly made in person, or by voice, further contact takes the form of electronic mail. This leads to a bombardment of the recipient’s inbox and the frustration of unread emails at the end of the working day. It is true to say that if our humble letter box had to deal with our daily volume of mail, it would have long since collapsed to the ground.
Getting on top of email
The first thing is to ask ourselves is “Should this communication take the form of an email?”. If you yourself are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Solve as much of the problem at the source not at the destination.
If your email is urgent, short, or to a large audience question the medium you are using, would communication be better served by picking up the phone, chatting in teams, or holding a team’s meeting or presentation.
When should I use email?
We all unconsciously know that email is great when we need a record of a communication, date, or action. For example, if I was to respond to a work order or quote, I would reply via email and simultaneously schedule a task. If I was going to tell a colleague a joke or organize a get together, I would do that in person, via voice or message via teams.
A matter of etiquette: Remember to use email to “create a record or reminder”. There are certain things that you can do to ensure your message is heard.
Sorting your inbox:
Which brings us to organizing the inbox. How can we work more efficiently, giving emails the priority, they deserve?
If an email has been cced to you, it automatically implies that it does not requiring my immediate attention. You can even create a rule outlook to move these to another folder called cced emails. These rules can be as simple or as complex as you decide. If the cced email has a mention of you in it, or is marked high importance, you can ignore the move rule. You can also do the same for group, broadcast or “send to all” emails.
When it comes to the external mail, you can sort the rules sender and or subject line. For example, an email from an IT alliance member with the subject containing “communication is key” goes to “webinarblogs” folder in the sub folder “ITA”.
How you build your rules is up to you and it does take some initial work and experimentation, but the gains will be worth it.
A great example is a company in New Zealand that uses some of the AI engine’s ability to determine a customer’s tone in an email to prioritize unhappy customer. This allows them to be more responsive when required. It can also be implemented to send an automatic response such as “we are sorry to hear about your recent experience with Contoso and would like to speak with you to resolve this issue at your earliest convenience. Please press here to schedule a call with our team”.
Can I have emails go to a team?
Of course, if you have all the sales team respond to emails sent to email@example.com then you can have a shared mailbox. Members that are granted access to the shared mailbox can be setup to send as firstname.lastname@example.org or as themselves email@example.com
However a shared mailbox does require its own license. What about a public folder? A public folder is designed for shared access across the whole organization, it can be enabled with a mail address so that when added to the address field can be forward to a folder for centralized record keeping but it does not allow controlled access, hence public.
As with phones and postal services there will be abuse. The more a communication tool is used the more likely some people will see an opportunity to scam others.
As “email is a record” as postulated earlier, do you retain and control access to these records. Do your emails contain personally identifiable information or other forms of sensitive information? How can you ensure emails are not sent to the wrong person?
Digital communications are more secure than physical forms of communication as technology “can” ensure trust and authentication at every step of the path between sender and recipient. We stress the word “can” in the previous sentence!
You may be surprised to learn that you can encrypt your email so only the intended recipient can read it. Even more surprising you can encrypt the email so it cannot be forwarded, printed or copied. You can even stop sensitive information being sent outside the organisation automatically. Technology is available to digitally sign all email from your business to stop imposters posing as your business via email. Technology can check links and attachments in emails for malicious behaviour.
Casting the human eye over an email, no matter how much training they received, will never match the ability of the technology to weigh the huge amount of data necessary to make a good decision.
Technology can make our digital communication more secure, as with all communication it is up to us to evolve to use our tools to their full potential.
Talk, email, send a letter (maybe not!) or message us to discuss how to take your next step.
MICROSOFT TEAMS VS ZOOM - Which one is the best for you?
Meeting anyone? Remember the good ole days when we all used to cram in to a conference room, pass around the muffins, slurp on our takeaway lattes, and talk over the top of each other?
Nowadays, with the new remote way of working, video calls ARE the new “business meeting” and often the new “phone call”.
Top perks of video Technology:
What is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is a communication platform included in Microsoft 365. Though Teams offers video conferencing capabilities, that’s far from its only use. The platform also includes chat and voice calling functionality and enables teams to share and edit files in real time via a shared virtual workspace. Teams is highly integrated with other products in the Microsoft suite, including Word, PowerPoint and Excel, making it a true collaboration platform.
What is Zoom?Zoom is a communications platform that encompasses audio and video conferencing, chat functionality, video webinars and more. Zoom offers an entire marketplace of application integrations, including MailChimp, Zendesk, Marketo and even Microsoft Teams for additional extensibility. Though Zoom has been around since 2011, it’s seen stunning growth in 2020, increasing from 10 million daily meeting participants in December 2019 to over 300 million daily meeting participants in April 2020.
Consider your audience?
The first step is to consider who and what you are using video calling for. If the main focus is meetings amongst colleagues at an organisation that already uses Microsoft products—especially Office365—then the obvious choice for video calls is Microsoft Teams. Even if you do use Teams at work, you still might want to use Zoom for meetings with people external to your organisation as Zoom is still more well-known than Teams.
The nuts and the bolts:
But how easy are each to use? Both Teams and Zoom give users the option to join via the browser rather than downloading. This means that you can just send them an invitation, they click on the invitation, and the application will open up automatically. Easy!
New users may find Teams more complicated to use than Zoom since it is part of Microsoft’s much larger universe of productivity, collaboration, and communication tools. There is an initial learning curve because of the many ways Teams integrates with other Office apps. That said, the integrations are intuitive, and their usefulness outweighs the required learning. The Zoom video conference controls are similarly simple and user-friendly.
Microsoft Teams and Zoom share many of the same features. Both providers offer:
Both Teams and Zoom have free and paid versions. Microsoft offers a number of different pricing tiers for Teams, some of which come with varying degrees of access to other Office365 apps
The main differences between free and paid versions are meeting duration limits, participant capacity, file storage and the Microsoft apps you gain access to with each plan
Zoom’s paid plans:
So who is the top dog on the day?
As you can see, Microsoft Teams and Zoom are both highly intuitive, very comparable platforms, which can be useful in different situations.
Teams also offers so many other benefits beyond just video conferencing including
Remembering passwords on top of the million other things to do in any given day is a lot. Are your teams passwords fairly similar across multiple online accounts? It’s okay, you are not the only business.
Most people reuse their passwords over many different applications, and have one or two passwords only. With the increased need for security, however, there are now much better ways to protect your accounts and provide additional layers of security.
Nowadays almost all online services, banks, social media, shopping have added a way for your accounts to be more secure.
Here we help you to understand MFA and 2FA plus introduce you to LastPass to manage your passwords.
What is MFA and 2FA?
Maybe you’ve heard of the term MFA or 2FA and are slightly confused. Let us help you break what this is and why you need it.
MFA = Multifactor authentication
2FA = Two factor authentication
In the old days!
In the old way of doing things you signed in to your online accounts in a process called ‘authentication’. That included a basic login and password. For example
Login = Matt@olddays.co.nz
Password = Matts dog or Matts birthday (something that Matt could remember easily and something that Matt used across all of his accounts)
Multifactor Authentication (MFA), however, works by adding additional layers of security to your online accounts.
This provides a “second” thing - what we call a second "factor" - to prove who you are.
Yes, the first layer remains as your username and password, however now you can add another layer of protection. For example:
How does MFA work?
What this additional level of protection does is helps to ensure that you are who you say you are when logging into your online account. So even if someone gets your user name and password, and logs in with your credentials, they will be stopped! You will get an immediate notification on your phone to indicate that someone is trying to login to your account. You can then decline the authorisation, locking them out. This also tells you that your password has been guessed, so you know to change your password.
How do I get MFA?
Many of your current apps will have an MFA feature that you can turn on. For other things like email, you can enable MFA.
This may mean talking to us here at Decision1 so that we can assist you to help turn on your Microsoft 365 MFA feature.
Once it is turned on, you and your team will need to use MFA before you can next access you emails/Teams and other applications.
Make sure that everyone is ready for this and knows what to do. It isn’t hard, but like with all changes, its best to ensure that you have support from the rollout.
What about Passwords?
1. Can I re-use Passwords? Reusing the same passwords across multiple accounts is not a safe idea as it creates an opportunity for credential stuffing attacks. A credential stuffing attack is one where leaked credentials from one site/service are used on another site/service to see if they work. It would be like using the same key for your car and your house.
For example, if you use the same password on your online bank account and Facebook, an attacker can easily breach both of your accounts even though you may not have reused the same password on your email account. This potential harm this practice can cause may be a monetary loss, data loss or loss of sensitive personal details.
Here at Decision1 we recommend that you update your password after every three months, unless you have been the victim of a cyber-attack, then you should change your password immediately. This ensures that if your credentials are breached, then they are not able to immediately breach other accounts also.
How strong is my password?
Password strength is a big topic of discussion. You know the drill, you must use lower and uppercase letters, use numbers, use special characters, make sure it is long. But even after all this effort, your password can still be weak!
You can test your passwords out before you use them at these websites. They give you slight different information about the strength of your password, which should help you to strengthen your password choices:
(Note: Your password is not collected or stored at either of these websites. They are well known secure sources of information that you can trust)
Should I use a Password Manager like LastPass?
Yes, it is definitely best practice to use a Password Manager. Password Managers allows you to keep track of your passwords without having to remember them.
The advantages of a password manager are:
A good quality password manager is a safe, trustworthy and highly recommended security tool. Known trustworthy tools such as LastPass can be trusted to protect your account logins.
LastPass is a free or paid personal password manager for an individual, however, if you want to protect your business, you need LastPass Business.
Having MFA or 2FA is an essential these days, and so is having decent and unique passwords. For practical reasons you need to have a business password solution in place to ensure your team are password secure.
Here at Decision1, we can help you to simplify this process, and provide you with support to easily and effortlessly apply these tips. If you would like to discuss your specific needs, please feel free to reach out to us here.
There are so many easy things that you can do to ensure you keep good working practices either at home or in the office.
Here are some top tips:
1) When to Reboot your computer:
It’s a well known joke around the IT world, that support calls always begin with “have you tried rebooting?." It may seem like a frivolous joke, but there is truth to the joke for good reason. Your computer performs important updates and resets during a reboot, so rebooting regularly keeps your computer functioning at its best.
Your computer should be rebooted at least once per week. A good habit is to shutdown your computer at the end of your working day. This ensures your computer is updated regularly and that your machine also gets the opportunity to completely cool down.
During normal operations the internal components of your computer heat up, and most workstations are not designed to handle these high temperatures for long. They are normally designed to stay warm for 8-10 hours per day. Machines that are run for longer than that regularly often have a much shorter life, as internal components wear out quicker.
To reboot your machine, press the windows icon on screen (or the windows button on your keyboard), select the power icon , then Restart .
We recommend shutting down your computer at the end of each shift, following the same procedure, but selecting Shut down .
2) Installing Apps Yourself:
During your working day, you may find the occasional time where you feel the need for a new application you don’t already have, to perform an additional function, or to improve on the application you currently use. New, and free, applications can be easily found on the internet, but these applications can be malicious, and it can be hard to tell which is and which isn’t. In addition, a malicious application can contain a virus or open a “back door” giving others access to your device with your knowledge.
We strongly recommend that you do not install applications on your machine without first vetting the application for safety. All the software you need to perform your job would normally be provided to you from your manager, so make sure you talk to your Manager if you require additional software, so you can make a safe plan.
Alternatively, you can contact Decision1 and we can help you decide if this is safe software to install.
Read more below....
3) What to do when you get an Antivirus Alert
Sometimes you computer will show you a scary looking virus alert. We often get calls from users who worry about these alerts, and wonder what they should do about them. Good news! There is nothing to do. These alerts simply mean that your antivirus software is doing its job.
In the event you get an antivirus alert like this that means that the antivirus softwre has recognised malware or a virus on your computer, and that the software has done its job and protected you from the attack. You don’t need to do anything, except relax knowing you are being taken care of.
Of course, if you are still unsure, call us and we can check it out for you.
4) My computer has an Error Message
Error messages can, but shouldn‘t be, a regular occurrence on a computer. Error message appear for a variety of reasons but the top reasons are:
However, if the error message keeps coming back, or you are getting a variety of different error messages, then this is an issue you should raise a ticket for.
If possible, take a screenshot of the error when it occurs, so you can send this to your technician. Alternatively, call your technician when the error occurs, so they can look at it immediately. Seeing the error message can hold some vital clues as to what is going wrong on your machine.
5) Going away from Your Workstation
Computer security is a big topic of conversation right now, but one discussion that is often not discussed is physical security. One critical piece of physical security that you are responsible for is how you leave your computer. Whenever you are away from your computer, it should be secured so that others cannot use your unlocked computer while you are not there. This can potentially give up sensitive information to malicious “guests” in your office or to other internal staff. To prevent this type of intrusion, whenever you are away from your computer you should lock your machine. You can do this by
PRESS (on your keyboard): <windows><L>
or PRESS (on your keyboard): <ctrl><alt><delete>
Then, SELECT the “Lock” option on screen
You can also set your “Power and Sleep” settings so that your computer is automatically locked after a certain period of inactivity. WE recommend this be set to a maximum of 5 minutes. This means that if you leave you machine, and forget to lock your machine, then your machine is at worst unlocked for 5 minutes.
For more tips or if you have any queries on any of the above please reach out to us here.
To watch a video where we go through these steps click here