telanova Blog

telanova: the outsourced IT team that feels like your own

Providing advice, consultancy, helpdesk, monitoring and maintenance, updates, upgrades, security: all the things your in-house team would do, but better and at a fraction of the cost and hassle.

Electronic Vault / Archive

Having an Electronic Vault / Archive system preserves all your email and business documents, and allows quick and easy searching across your entire organisation. Providing many benefits:

  • Resolving disputes with customers or suppliers
  • Recovering deleted emails, e.g. a disgruntled leaver who empties their mailbox on their last day
  • Meeting compliance regulations

There are many different electronic vault / archive systems available. Which one is best for your business? It will depend on what you are currently using to store information.

If you are using Google’s G Suite / Workspace, the answer is easy, Google Vault.

If you are using Microsoft Office 365, the retention policies feature can fill this role. Be careful, as you will need a licence that includes it, the popular Microsoft 365 business standard does not.

If your data is spread across multiple vendor systems you might be better off with a standalone vault / archive solution that can cope with all of them.

Doesn’t my disaster recovery or backup system do this? No, most do not allow you to search them like an Electronic Vault / Archive system does.

We will guide you through the process of choosing the product that’s right for you. We will implement the solution. And we will train your colleagues. Contact us to make that happen.

Spear phishing - how to protect your organization

“Phishing” emails are fraudulent emails which attempt to get you to open a malicious website, program or document. They are sent to thousands of people at once, so are usually something common and generic. They are playing a numbers game and only need <0.1% of recipients to fall for it to make it profitable. “Spear phishing” however is targeted at a specific individual, the attacker will have invested significant time identifying, researching and tailoring their approach to their target.

A recent example one of our customers faced worked like this - the attacker was following the business on linkedin, waiting for when a new employee joined. They then emailed the new employee from a free gmail account they had created with a similar name to the CEO. The first email was a simple welcome to the business. Then a couple of innocuous follow ups before the real attack - “Please could you quickly purchase £500 in amazon vouchers and send them to me? I need to send them to Joe Bloggs as a reward for referring a new client and I don’t have my card on me...”

It is crucial that cyber security awareness training is part of your new starter onboarding process. If you don’t have the budget for something more comprehensive the UK government’s national cyber security centre has some free training available here

Even if they are not involved in financial transactions, include your process for how a legitimate request like the one in the attack above would be made, such as “The CEO would email the request to the accounts team, and the accounts team would verify the request by calling the CEO back on the number they have on file.” Make sure they know that no one would ever be punished for insisting these procedures are followed.

Share this post to spread the word and prevent attacks like this from succeeding.

New Year’s resolutions for 2021: Sort IT out

In 2020 we improved IT for many businesses. Here are some of the projects we’re most proud of:

  1. Supported our entire customer base’s shift to working from home
  2. Deployed SentinelOne next generation antivirus to all our customers
  3. For a private school we deployed a three-server remote desktop server farm
  4. For an accountant we replaced their entire server infrastructure
  5. Numerous laptop and PC fleet replacements

Supported our entire customer base’s shift to working from home

In February (seems a very long time ago now!) the prospect of mass work-from-home seemed likely. We helped our customers identify what the challenges would be and how they could prepare. For every customer we prepared our own plan, even if they weren’t ready to consider it at the time, so that we’d be ready to keep them working.

Even with all that preparation we still had to manage a tidal wave! Our skilled engineers configured hundreds of VPNs and Remote Desktop connections so that our clients could work from home. And we advised on how they could make their work from home solutions secure.

Deployed SentinelOne next generation antivirus to all our customers

The increasing threats from malware, ransomware, viruses, phishing etc are major challenges for our customers. It is clear that traditional antivirus is no longer up to the task. Therefore we invested in SentinelOne, included it as standard in our support plans and have rolled it out to our customers. SentinelOne is a Next Generation Antivirus package, which we wrote about in our blog in July 2020. The following key features were pivotal in our decision making:
  • Uses AI to detect malicious behaviour, rather than relying on signatures
  • Can isolate an infected device from the network, preventing further infection
  • Ability to “roll back” a device to the state it was in before the malware struck

For a private school we deployed a three-server remote desktop server farm

To boost the School’s home working remote desktop capacity we needed to add three additional servers, but during the height of the first lockdown we wanted to be as safe as possible. We talked the on-site IT technician through installing the physical servers in the rack and starting them up. We were then able to connect remotely and complete the remote desktop server farm setup. They now have capacity for 150 staff to work from home at any time.

For an accountant we replaced their entire server infrastructure

This accountant’s three physical servers were 7 years old and although still performing ok, were well beyond their initially designed lifespan. We performed a comprehensive analysis comparing the costs and benefits of a cloud migration vs replacing the servers. Our customer chose to replace them rather than migrate fully to the cloud. Navigating the changing lockdown rules and supplier logistical issues gave us some headaches but we completed the project without any downtime during business hours.

Numerous laptop and PC fleet replacements

We have completed many laptop / PC fleet replacements during 2020 and have adapted our processes to keep our customers as safe as possible. Most have been completed by carrying out as much setup as possible in our office, re-shipping to the end-user, and talking through any remaining tasks over the phone.

Contact us if you have a New Year’s resolution to sort out IT out in 2021

Keeping your organization free from unsafe unsupported software

You may think everyone keeps their IT up to date. But Windows 7 became unsafe to use a year ago and there are still 100 million devices running it.

How can you ensure your software is still supported and safe to use? You could go to every device and make a note of the version of the operating system (e.g. Windows 7 Pro) and all the software present (e.g. Adobe Reader 9.2). Then cross check each with the vendor's website to see if it's still supported. Then update or upgrade any unsupported software.

If that sounds like a lot of work... Then engage a proactive IT support team like telanova to handle it all for you. We actively monitor our clients' systems and software, identify those about to become obsolete, and guide our customers to the best solution to make sure they’re safe and efficient.

The software application’s support team is giving me the runaround!

We had a client who had issues with their main software application, the one that actually runs their business. When they called their supplier’s helpdesk they were given the runaround: “it’s not our software at fault, it’s your PC”. Which doesn’t really help the customer!

We looked at it, ruled everything else out and then we contacted the supplier with the technical evidence so that finally they would look at the issue and resolve it. And yes, it was the software application that needed fixing, not the PC!

Are you fed up of getting the runaround from suppliers of your software applications?

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