SpireTech Blog - Tag: Security
IT security and safety recommendations, news, and advice.
Just a quick note to let clients know that if you are still running Windows 7 or 2008 server, we cannot be responsible for the security of your network. The risk of ransomware is real, and we’ve heard many horror stories of companies that have been breached. Being able to apply security updates to your computers is one of the key defenses you have against this risk.
In accordance with our policies, we reserve the right to invoice for technical support of software that does not have vendor support. As a courtesy, we will extend free support for 15 minutes, after which we will request approval to bill for our time. We do not wish to impose hardship, but aged software and hardware does require more time to support than modern software, and we must balance this against the need for security. Read more...
In case you missed it last month, we’ve licensed specialized software that runs in Azure that optionally enables additional security for our clients using Office 365. The software works to automatically keep security tight, and alert on suspicious logins and emails. To learn more, please visit:
With work from home, we’re noticing an increase in the number of machines being shut off when we are trying to install updates. Please remember to log off and leave your computers turned on and connected to power when we prompt you for updates.
Thank you for your cooperation. Read more...
As a reminder to what we advised last month, we’re putting a stop to SpireTech support for Win 7 machines on July 1st. Congratulations to those of you that have successfully eradicated these machines from your networks. However – in a review today, we see that approximately 10% of machines are still running Win 7. We’ve now got 30 days to get rid of the rest of them. While we don’t want to create unnecessary hardship for clients that may be stressed due to COVID-19, we still need clients to make an effort to replace the remaining systems.
Win 7 machines can be slow, insecure, and time-consuming to support. If your network gets breached due to outdated software, or you call us for support on a Win 7 system, we reserve the right to invoice for time beyond 15 minutes of support. Read more...
SpireTech Managed Services clients are now able to purchase a security essentials add-on for Microsoft 365 offered by SpireTech. This add-on, based on powershell and services running in Microsoft Azure, enables additional security features designed to continuously enhance your security on Microsoft 365. These features do not require additional Microsoft licensing to function.
Real time location monitoringWe monitor the login locations for every sign in, and alert on activities outside of expected regions.
External forward monitoringWe monitor automatic forwarding rules. A common tactic employed by hackers to exfiltrate data.
Mailbox auditingLogs actions taken by users in their and other’s mailboxes.
M365 License trackerGet notified every time a license is added or removed from your account, and receive a monthly report of all licenses, use, and assignments.
Email Spoofing ProtectionGet a warning when an external user attempts to impersonate any internal user, including managers.
Monthly Security ReportA detailed report of several key system and security aspects of your M365 tenant. A necessity for regulated industries, and great peace of mind for everyone else.
With the recent news around Zoom and security updates, we have added it to the list of third-party software we automatically update. While we’ve supported Teams for some time, we’ve formally added it to the list of solutions supported by our helpdesk, and is available for implementation projects.
If you have not yet adopted Teams, we can say it’s been a lifesaver for us during WFH – and you might wish to consider it. Teams integrates with SharePoint, Exchange, and security groups – so it’s wise to engage with us before rolling it out to make sure some irreversible mistakes aren’t made if you DIY.
We are going to remove Windows 7 systems from SpireTech support effective July 1, 2020. Microsoft ended support for Windows 7 on January 14th, 2020. We have been giving everyone some extra time to get those last stragglers out of their networks, but that time is coming to an end in two months.
Each client primary contact gets a monthly report that includes a system inventory. If you are still seeing Windows 7 systems in your network, please work to remove them. If you are sitting at a computer still running Windows 7, please request a replacement or upgrade.
SpireTech has aggressive discounts available from Dell for new systems, please let us know if you require assistance obtaining new hardware or migrating files from old systems. We are minimizing site calls during the Covid-19 crisis, but we can arrange delivery to your location and perform work remotely. SpireTech has a flat-fee of $300 per system for labor associated with migrating Windows 7 machines and new computer setups.
We do not wish to create additional financial hardship for clients. Read more...
The morning of Saturday the 25th of April, our technicians woke up to see an email in our boxes about a zero-day security breach of Sophos firewalls. A novice might read it and think “another boring security email” – we read it and thought immediately “this isn’t good”.
This was a successful attempt en-masse to steal VPN credentials. You need to let the severity of that soak in for a moment – if a hacker has access to your VPN, they have access to your network – usually with lots of soft targets inside. Many companies have added additional VPN users recently with the current WFH situation, so it was the ideal time for them to strike.
All of us mistakenly tend to operate on the assumption that our firewall will keep us safe, and we don’t need to worry about strong passwords, updates, and security inside our networks – this should be a reminder to everyone this isn’t the case. Read more...
Some of the security concerns we’ve been warning clients about recently have turned out to be true. Read on to hear about recent incidents, what we’ve already done, and are planning to do to further shore things up.
Each Managed Services client primary contact will be receiving (or will have already received by the time you read this) an email from us regarding the need to increase security and authorizing the setup of multi-factor authentication on all your corporate accounts where applicable. While this may be inconvenient, we request your cooperation to ensure the security of your data, prevent ransomware, data theft, and redirection of funds to hackers. Read more...
IT workers around the world have been busy the last couple of weeks. At SpireTech, the service desk has been slammed with issues relating to everybody getting setup to work from home (WFH) and we apologize for any delays or long hold times. The sorts of issues our clients have been facing are:
- Users learning how to properly use new videoconferencing tools
- Issues with passwords
- Learning how to properly use VPN’s or Remote Desktop
- A remote control session will always be slower than if you are sitting in front of the computer
- Avoid videos or conferencing software on your remote computer, run those locally.
There are things you can do to make it easier for our team to keep on top of your requests:
- When calling the service desk, please let us know if you’ve previously emailed us regarding your issue so we do not create a duplicate ticket.
- If you are emailing us and working from home, please include your mobile number in your email.
- If you are emailing us about a prior issue, please locate the earlier correspondence and reply to it, instead of starting a new email.