Back to Blog

support Category

Business Data Breach Laws – Australia

Avatar On: May, 25th 2020 | Under: Data Recovery, Security, support


Business  Data Breach Laws – Australia

What is the impact for Business?

Data is more valuable than oil, as data is the lifeblood of any business. Data by itself like oil, needs to be refined before it is transformed into a valuable commodity.

Data is collected everyday as part of normal business activities, assisting businesses to make important business decisions such as marketing and forecasting. Today’s greatest challenges though are hackers – cyber criminals who are focused on and love to get their hands on a business’s sensitive and valuable business data, a prime target being customer information.

In 2018, the Australian Government introduced new laws to protect consumers against data breaches. Essentially, any company with a turnover exceeding $3 million must alert its customers of a data breach as quickly as possible. Failing to report the breach, an organisation can be fined up to $1.8 million.

According to the Office of the Information Commissioner data breaches in Australia are still rising meaning many companies remain unprepared. The July-December 2019 Notifiable data breaches report reported that Malicious or criminal attacks (including Cyber incidents) account for 64% of all notifications, human error remains the second biggest cause at 32% of all reported breaches.

Causes of data breaches in Australia

So, what can you do to recover in the event of a data breach? More importantly, what can you do to prevent falling victim to hackers?

Preventing and Recovering from Data Breaches

If you suspect somebody has accessed your data without authorisation, you should comply with government guidelines and notify the authorities immediately.  Report a data breach here.

The last thing you need is a financial penalty that could put your business under. That’s why it’s best to maximise your IT security so that hackers can’t penetrate your system. Here are some tips:

If you lose your data, you’ll need to get it back – quickly. That’s why you should always securely back up your data to the cloud, where you can recover it within seconds.

  • Create a cybersecurity framework

Recent surveys suggest that the majority of Australian business owners plan to implement a cybersecurity framework within the next 12 months. But with data breaches on the rise, you might want to consider moving the task towards the top of your to-do list. There are plenty of ways in which you can secure your network and ensure only people with authorisation can access sensitive data. If you’re unsure of what’s available, give us a call. We’ll detail the types of systems trusted by global corporations and even governments.

  • Make sure remote workers follow protocols

It’s highly likely that, increasingly, you’ll have employees working from home, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing for plenty of reasons. Nevertheless, remote working does increase the risk of a data breach, so make sure you have rules in place for your at-home employees. You need to tell people to stick to using your corporate network for work tasks and to avoid transmitting work files using personal email addresses.

Let Our Experts Protect Your Data

The national network of Computer Troubleshooters Franchise locations continues to be at the forefront of supporting small to medium businesses with a range of services aimed at prevention of a data breach. To discuss your options, contact your nearest local expert to discuss your concerns either visit our website or call 1300 28 28 78

Your local  Computer Troubleshooters expert understands that both hacking and the recent changes to data breach laws can wreak havoc on your business, which is why we only install the most advanced cybersecurity solutions on the market and use leading suppliers products.

If you have any questions about data breach laws, the effect they can have on your business or the innovative solutions available to prevent hacking, don’t hesitate to talk with us on 1300 28 28 78.

Remote Working – Technology Perspective

Avatar On: March, 29th 2020 | Under: Cloud, Cloud Computing, communications, General, support, Technology & Tools


COVID-19 has changed the way we work now and into the future, remote working is here to stay. What does this mean for businesses from a technology viewpoint?

The key question for a business is how to use technology effectively to ensure that their business has a productive workforce with minimal disruption from technology blips.

Strategically it means a business needs to focus on deploying the right technologies to support the worker and the functions they undertake.

3 Key Elements

What are the 3 key elements to ensuring your workforce can continue working remotely?  The starting issue is ensuring Connectivity. Without connectivity you cannot work remotely. The second element Communication is about ensuring everybody stays in contact and has capacity to engage with each other and clients. The final element of Collaboration is the ability to work together on the same documents, having access to files etc. in a secure environment

Office 365 – enables Collaboration

To enable collaboration across the team requires having the right software platform.

Software options such as Microsoft Office 365 or Googles G Suite are cloud solutions at the core of enabling businesses to communicate, access documents, collaborate with co- workers by sharing files, storing files, combined with an integrated email.

These technologies have a high adoption but there are many businesses yet to understand the benefits of adopting these cloud-based programs. A workforce working remotely from home is distributed far and wide, one benefit of Office 365 is the comfort that everybody will be using the same version of the software.

A secondary advantage is that the fee is monthly, charged by number of users which means you only pay for what you are using. This allows businesses to scale up and down as required. This provides businesses greater flexibility and control over cash flow. You are not paying for something that is not being used.

Microsoft Teams, Zoom, GoTo meeting – enable Communication

Many choices are available for conducting virtual meetings each has its own specific benefits. The key goal is to select and deploy the platform and then provide people with the guidance on how to run effective virtual meetings.

This technology also enables your team members to conduct informal meetings more of a social interaction. Alternatively, they can use their normal social media tools such as What’s app, Facebook Messenger etc. to create a sense of social connection.

The communication solution needs to cover voice and email solutions. Having a virtual PABX solution hosted in the Cloud can ensure that phone calls can be directed to the right people inside the business. The email solution is part of Office 365 which includes capacity to share and store files using OneDrive and SharePoint.

Just putting the technology in place does not necessarily guarantee success there is a need to build culture and create understanding between team members. A suggestion is to create some tasks/projects that need completing by a team using the above tools within a common framework.

Connectivity – Remote Connections, Security, Support

The last element connectivity means having an internet connection for the worker to access the software and tools, so they can perform their work. It is as basic as that. However, the internet connection needs to be stable and quick enough for workers to complete tasks.

This means considerations such as bandwidth and upload/download speeds. It may mean a business upgrading/switching the internet plans of their workers to ensure they can operate effectively.  Wi-Fi is so predominant today there may be a need to check the configuration, make changes such as adding Wi-Fi boosters to ensure stable and reliable performance across a home environment.

With connectivity comes some clear concerns for a business owner, such as how secure is it in terms of being hacked, backing up data and email security. These questions raise the question to the level of support required by a remote worker?

With home workers it is very important that a business ensures they have proactive management of their equipment and networks. What does this mean? Simply put don’t run the risk of anything breaking by ensuring you have your IT person/provider constantly monitoring and maintaining each workers environment.

This means ensuring all devices are regularly updated with the latest versions of the software (patch management) ensuring that all security elements are operating, and functional, ensuing data is backed up correctly in accordance with your policies. That passwords are managed and updated regularly, that user access is managed correctly as people come and go from the business and the list goes on. This is called Managed Services

In addition to Managed Services It is essential that employees can call someone if something unexpected happens (like a disc failure, network connection failure, etc.)  The first step for your provider in the current environment will be to complete the diagnosis remotely using a tool such as TeamViewer or LogMeIn.

These tools give your IT support person secure, full control and access to your employee’s equipment. Its efficient and fast and means minimal disruption. If the problem cannot be fixed remotely then an onsite visit will take place. Note the IT provider must adhere to all COVID-19 social distancing and sanitisation requirements.

Finally, consider the option of a VPN (Virtual Private Network) which ensures your communication is encrypted and protected from prying eyes.

This article is not exhaustive, but it explains why it is essential to work with an experienced IT group such as Computer Troubleshooters.

With a national network of location’s, across Australia no matter where your team is located, we can support them to ensure they maintain their productivity while working from home.

Call 1300 28 28 78 and locate your nearest local technician or visit: www.computertroubleshooters.com.au/locations

IT Challenges

Key IT Challenges

Avatar On: December, 18th 2019 | Under: support, Technology & Tools


Key IT Challenges

Small to Medium- Businesses

All businesses in Australia depend on their IT systems to remain functional and therefore face some key IT challenges in a changing environment. Not all businesses are large enough to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars on the most sophisticated equipment and solutions. As a result, many small to medium-sized businesses face numerous challenges with regards to IT. Below, we explain what some of these challenges are and how you can overcome them.

Security

With cybercrime on the rise, security is one of the most pressing concerns for small to medium-sized businesses in Australia, today it is not will I be compromised but when and that creates the environment where a business needs to prevent rather than react.

If you choose to store IT equipment inside your premises, you need to think about how you can restrict access to them, safeguard them from accidents, keep them in full working order, and much more. Alternatively, you can outsource IT security to a team of experts, which can help you save time, money and effort.

Data Protection

Data is one of the world’s most valuable assets. According to many studies, data is now more valuable than oil. As you might expect, there are plenty of people that would love to get their hands on the data owned by big businesses. However, even small to medium-sized businesses need to remain vigilant. If you lose sensitive information such as customer contact details, invoices and purchase order histories, your business could be harmed financially, and it could also affect your reputation.

The most straightforward way to protect your data is to embrace the cloud. By storing your data remotely rather than on hardware kept within your premises, you can keep it out of the hands of hackers. You can minimise the impact of downtime through having the ability to restore your data quickly. The discussion with your IT service provider is about a solution that ensures quick restoration of your systems.

Business Resource Planning

As a small or medium-sized business, spending your money wisely is a necessity. But how do you budget for your IT requirements when you can’t precisely predict what the future holds? Can your business adapt and leverage the new technologies as they become available in the market.

IT infrastructure is expensive and is a capital expenditure but taking advantage of an outsourced relationship with a monthly fee, supported by usage of cloud infrastructure and cloud applications you move the IT budget from capital expenditure to operational and you minimise your investment cost.

Small to medium businesses can avoid the investment in hardware and equipment that becomes redundant in the space of a few years. Often, companies need to hire an entire department of IT experts to help them manage their IT infrastructure and plan the future of their resource budget.

Again, outsourcing IT resource planning can help you save money because third-party providers allow you to scale your requirements as necessary.

Remaining up to Date

As mentioned above, IT solutions, hardware and software applications can become outdated within the space of a few years. If you fail to keep on top of the latest developments, you may give your competitors an edge.

Our IT experts can implement a range of IT systems, from cloud-hosted Office applications to an enterprise resource planning system, on your behalf and update them automatically so that you can concentrate on what you do best.

Business Process Integration

Does your IT infrastructure work as efficiently as it could? Can various IT systems share data so that you can maximise productivity in your workplace while mitigating the risk of errors? Process integration is an integral part of streamlining your core business tasks in today’s increasingly competitive world. If you want to find out how process integration can help you, we’d love to hear from you.

What to do next?

Start the discussion about your own IT challenges with your local Computer Troubleshooters Office, ask for a risk assessment, or ask if they can do a IT health check for you? Work out the key priorities and start to partner with your local Computer Troubleshooters IT expert. 1300 28 28 78 or visit www.computertroubleshooters.com.au

There’s no need to worry about overcoming IT challenges if you partner with our experts at Computer Troubleshooters. Learn more about how we can help you boost productivity and profitability by calling us today.

Windows 7 End of Life Options

Avatar On: September, 23rd 2019 | Under: General, support


From the 14th January 2020, Microsoft’s support for Windows 7 will be ending. This means that, from this date onwards Microsoft will no longer be issuing security updates, patches or providing technical support for devices that are running Windows 7. This end of life support also applies to servers with Windows Server 2008/R2, Exchange Server 2010 and Small Business Server (SBS) 2011.

What this means for users (Business and Residential) that are using devices with these operating systems after 14th January 2020, is that they are immediately increasing the risk of an attack on their data and an increased chance of a cyber-attack such as ransomware. A recent report from Net Market Share suggested that 39% of all PC’s are still using Windows 7.

The choice and the key recommendations are that it’s time to upgrade to Windows 10 and as soon as possible. Windows 10 has been in the market now for several years and it has proven to be a very popular and intuitive system for people. Windows 10 enhances the users experience and certainly has stronger security features than earlier Window versions.

Many leading brands are offering very favourable pricing on new machines running windows 10. Why? Because although you can upgrade on your existing hardware often it is more effective buy a new machine rather than just upgrading the software on a machine whose specification may be quite old and inefficient.

Microsoft is keen that you know support for Windows 7 is ending and in the update Windows 7 KB4493132 will start displaying notifications reminding the user to upgrade to Windows 10. If you are seeing these messages it is recommended that you contact your nearest local Computer Troubleshooters technician to discuss your options on upgrading. Call 1300 28 28 78

After January 14th, 2020 does Windows 7 stop working?

The short answer is no. Machines that have windows 7 will continue to operate and they will still boot up just like they do today. What it means though is that if a security exploit is discovered then there will be no patch or update for that exploit. For this reason you are significantly increasing your vulnerability to a data breach and this is why it is recommended that you upgrade your operating system to Windows 10.

In fact, we recommend that this presents an ideal opportunity to review your hardware and consider a complete upgrade of software and hardware. The computing hardware space has changed dramatically in the last 5 years and the need for physical servers has been replaced by virtualization in the cloud.

If it’s right for your business, it may be time to look at moving a lot of your servers and backup requirements to the cloud.

Is it a perfect opportunity to undertake a complete IT assessment?

As this article has mentioned there are a couple of choices for you in the process of upgrading from Windows 7 and there may be choices around being able to take advantage of moving some of your infrastructure to the cloud. No doubt your business has changed in the last 5 years and has different requirements around its IT infrastructure and applications. This makes it the right time to sit down with your local Computer Troubleshooter technician owner and undertake a complete review of your IT needs and develop an IT plan for your business moving forward. Visit computertroubleshooters.com.au/locations or call 1300 28 28 78 to find your nearest local expert.

References:
Microsoft
Net Market Share
Support for Windows 7 is ending
Market Share Statistics for Internet Technologies

Is your business ready for the nbn™

Avatar On: August, 6th 2019 | Under: communications, support


The nbn™ Broadband Access Network Switch for Business

Simply put is your business ready to connect to the nbn™ access network?

The network is rolling out across Australia and it is important for a business to be prepared for the transition so that the risk of disruption is minimised by the disconnection of your existing landline infrastructure.

A key strategy is to develop a migration action plan to ensure a smooth transition. This article looks at some of the key checklist points that need to be considered. Your local Computer Troubleshooter Technician has undertaken the training to become a business nbn™ accredited adviser allowing us to help you plan effectively and assist you in the migration process.

What is the scheduled disconnection date for your location?

As the nbn™ access network rolls out progressively across the country, the old copper networks are being made redundant and that requires you to consider what your options are moving forward.

The starting point is to understand when that disconnection will occur in your area. The best way to check this is to visit nbn.com.au/business

It does make business sense that as soon as the nbn™ access network is available that a business does connect to derive the clear benefits of the network.

Why work with a business nbn™ accredited adviser?

There are many decisions to be made in making the switch and this is where the business nbn™ accredited adviser can be of benefit.  Questions around who to choose as the internet and phone provider, understanding the services that need to be migrated, or understanding what services might be impacted by switching networks are areas that your adviser can help you.

In some cases, the business nbn™ accredited adviser may be able to provide or connect you to the right people for some of these services.

What are some of the key services and questions that need to be considered?

ServiceQuestions and factors to be considered
Internet Connection:How to stay online during the period of the switch?
What is the best speed and solution for the business?
Phone Systems PABXEquipment compatibility?
VoIP hosted PABX solutions are they appropriate?
If using VoIP what are your data requirements?
Fax machinesWill the new service you select support the use of a fax machine?
If yes is the machine compatible?
EFTPOS TerminalsHow to minimise disruption during switch? Talk with your provider
Wide area networks such as a VPNWhat are the data requirements for using the VPN service?
Does your equipment need upgrading?
Unified communications
Video Conferencing
What is the computability of your equipment?
What are the data requirements?
Cloud ServicesIdentify and list the services you are using?
What are the data requirements?
What is the solution to minimise disruption as the switch occur

The above checklist has a common theme, compatibility and level of data requirements which feed into what speed and type of plan you need to operate efficiently and effectively.

Other equipment and services areas that need to be considered:

  • Monitored security alarms
  • Fire alarms
  • Lift emergency procedures
  • Medical alarms
  • ATM’s onsite

What is the last consideration?

If a business currently is using copper-based Special Services such as a mega link or an ethernet lite BDSL service, then migrating to the nbn™ access network is likely to be complex and therefore require additional planning in switching these services over.  The major thing is to ensure that these services are organised before your disconnection date or you risk losing access to these services and having major disruption to your business.

It is recommended that you have your new services in place and operating early so you avoid such a disruption.

How can Computer Troubleshooters assist you in this transition?

Ensure the Computer Troubleshooter location carries the business nbn™ accredited adviser status. Once this is established then contact the location via phone and request an appointment to discuss your migration to the nbn™ access network. During this discussion they will also be available to offer you solutions around connections, compatible equipment and specific services such as a VoIP based hosted PABX solution.

Call 1300 28 28 78 to find your nearest location or visit www.computertroubleshooters.com.au

Representatives have undertaken a short course on the nbn™ broadband access network. nbn does not sponsor, endorse or guarantee any advice given or representations made (including any recommendations to purchase goods and services or purchase telecommunication services over the nbn™ access network from a particular phone or internet service provider) and does not guarantee the accuracy of that advice or representation.
nbn™ and other nbn™ Brands are trademarks of nbn co limited and used under licence.

Note: this article has referenced the nbn™ website and marketing material supplied to accredited advisers of the business nbn™ ICT channel program.