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.

WiFi or wired connections - How to get the best for your organisation?

WiFi is flexible, you can work from anywhere without a network cable. The downsides are:

  • Dead spots.
  • Interference from other nearby WiFi networks, or microwaves, baby monitors etc
  • The more people use it the harder it is to make it fast enough and reliable

A wired connection is much faster than wifi and more reliable, but you can only work where your cable reaches. It can be expensive and disruptive to install cables everywhere they’re needed.

WiFi is well suited to organisations with open plan offices with laptops and hotdesks that use only small files. Enterprise WiFi solutions typically have multiple WiFi access points and a central WiFi controller. Not only does this make sure the whole office is covered but also spreads the load and improves reliability.

Whereas a graphic design firm with powerful workstations will be transferring large files and would benefit from wired connections.

Getting the best balance between cost and performance can be tricky especially with a mix of different requirements. In a business environment a DIY approach doesn’t make sense: the business will spend time, money and energy on the wrong solutions. Instead, engage telanova as your IT team.

Laptop Encryption

For many years businesses have been increasing the security of their devices, by creating password policies, then making the password requirements more complex and latterly adding multi-factor authentication into the mix.

This has led to many organisations assuming that because they have enforced a fiendishly complex password policy together with the use of an MFA app, in the event of that device is lost or stolen, the data is inaccessible to the thief or finder.

If an attacker has physical access to a device, it is quite easy to bypass the password protection and access the data on the device. However, there is a solution that is built-in to most modern devices but requires configuring - Device Encryption.

When device encryption is enabled, the storage unit in the device is encrypted with a strong cryptographic algorithm and a special recovery key is generated. If there is an attempt to bypass the security on the device, perhaps by removing the storage media and putting it in another computer, the attacker won’t be able to access it without that recovery key. On a Windows computer this is called Bitlocker and on a Mac it is called FileVault.

That now makes the Recovery Key itself very important and needs to be stored securely. If there is a change to the device, the user may be prompted to enter the recovery key when starting the device up. Lose the key and the device is unusable, the only option is to reformat the storage device and start from a clean fresh installation. For a business, managing a fleet of devices, making sure that encryption is enabled, and that the recovery keys are stored in a safe location is essential.

At telanova we enable laptop encryption for our customers, monitor the status, and ensure that the recovery keys are kept separate and secure. Some customers have security requirements that mean desktops need encryption, too, especially if they are located in areas where the public have access, such as showrooms. Furthermore we ensure that our customer’s data is securely backed up to the cloud, so that should the unthinkable happen, their data is protected.

Bring Your Own Device safely

It has become more common for businesses to allow their users to access their email, calendars or other services such as Microsoft Teams, through a personal mobile phone, tablet or other device, usually referred to as “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD). It has become increasingly popular because people don’t want to carry a work and a personal device, but do want the convenience of being able to stay in touch on-the-go. The increase in remote working as we have navigated the restrictions imposed by COVID-19 has added to the popularity, and companies have appreciated not having the extra expense of providing these devices to their users.

Read more ...

What’s the most common IT problem?

A customer asked us, “what’s the most common IT problem?” and that’s definitely "My computer is too slow!"

Sometimes there’s a technical issue with the computer making it slow, something unusual running in the background, or a pending hardware failure. But often the issue isn't actually a technical fault… it’s that the end user is frequently having to wait when carrying out some business process.

IT is never fast enough. It’s never good enough. We always want IT to be faster, better, so we can get more work done in less time! Unfortunately, everything in IT is a trade off: speed, budget, reliability, capability, and more. And it’s not just the computers, but the internet connection, cloud services, servers, Wi-Fi, network equipment, etc too.

So what do we do about it? To start with, we learn how our customers use IT and what their needs are, so that we can help them choose the best balance within their budget. Then on an ongoing basis, our support team will make their choice work for their business in a practical way.

Are you getting the best bang for your IT buck?

Stop sharing passwords

A manager called us, needing his assistant to send some emails for him. He was planning on sharing his password.

A major security violation! If you share your password:

  • The person you have shared it with may have access to things they should not - like personal emails or private appraisals
  • There is no accountability or traceability - if they access/edit/delete an email, there may be no way to show if you did it or if it was the other person.
  • The more people that know a password the more chances are for it to be compromised - making it less secure.

The truth is if sharing your password is the only way to share access - it is a sign of poor IT.

The good news is they were on Office 365, a business-class email system, which allows you to grant a colleague access to your emails and the ability to send them as you. We helped him grant access to his assistant, no password sharing required.

There are a few cases where sharing passwords might be unavoidable - such as log-ins to third-party websites or devices that only allow one account. In these cases, we suggest a secure password manager like LastPass.

Password managers allow you to securely store and share passwords and keep them updated without having to actually give someone the password. They can be configured so that the password can’t be seen or copied when it is used to login.

It has other advantages too: the passwords can be more complex (as you don’t have to remember them); security checks are carried out for weak or potentially compromised passwords and it provides auditing tools so you can see who used which password and when they used it. You can also set it up to use 2FA, so you get an extra verification step before using it, which is handy if some of the logins stored in the password manager don’t themselves support 2FA.

Contact telanova to beef up your IT security

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