The 848 Group recognised for high levels of IT service.

20170427_100649

A family-owned Staffordshire IT services company has picked up an important partner award from one of their key customers, Ricoh.

Stafford based, the 848 group, which employs 20 full time staff, was named Service Partner of the Year at the prestigious Ricoh Sales Kick Off awards held at Celtic Manor, Wales.

The Microsoft Gold Partner was recognised by the global provider of technology, Ricoh, for their dedication to delivering, on Ricoh’s behalf, a broad range of expert professional services, change management, strategic consultancy, systems analysis and application packaging.

Dave Burn, Group Technical Director of 848 Group, said “There are five awards and five categories. The 848 group underwent a strict and robust selection process before becoming a Ricoh supplier, making sure only the very best are selected as a partner. We’re very proud to have received this award, particularly so with the calibre and size of the other nominees”

CEO, Kerry Burn, who set the company up with his brother in 2010, collected the award on the night said, “I am immensely proud of the work from the entire 848 team, specifically the hard work by David Burn and James Saunders, to drive the partnership forward. The 848 group looks forward to growing our partnership with Ricoh throughout 2017 and beyond”

The Sales Kick Off event and awards are held every year to showcase all of Ricoh’s partners. The awards specifically are used to recognise those partners who provide value to Ricoh and its customers. In selecting a winner, Ricoh measure and track each partners performance for the previous 12 months. The 848 Groups consistent delivery made them stand out from the competition as winners at the evening event.

The Simmons house based company who supply software, consulting and telecoms across the UK are still looking to employ in areas of technical sales, technical service and marketing to further develop their existing growth.

The Silver Lining to the Microsoft Cloud.

clouds-295695_1920

With the recent WanaCrypt attack on the NHS, is now the time companies re-evaluate whether it’s really worth scrimping when it comes to operating systems and security. Especially those handling confidential or sensitive client information.

A few months back many who work in the capital will re-call the inconvenience of having the working day disrupted due to tube strikes. Those who were already on the cloud and had adopted many of the features of sharing documents via one drive in office 365 saw hardly any disruption to their own work but may have felt it from customers or suppliers.

We have seen the importance of keeping software up to date not just for the NHS but 150 countries have been impacted by the Ransomware. Will this highlight the need for investing in good IT systems and protection. In our ever rapidly changing tech world, new threats will develop but luckily our operating systems can adapt to protect us just as quick. For Microsoft users though, while buying a one off package may seem like a cost effective solution, is it actually? Apart from this WannaCrypt case software updates aren’t usually available for those using old versions. For subscription users these updates are automatic and included in the subscription price, which makes the price more than justifiable. As they are constantly working to improve and update the system for our benefit.

Some who are still choosing to operate on older systems may be doing so because they are comfortable with that system and are familiar with how it works. Change can be daunting especially if you aren’t confident with IT systems. However if you find the right IT partner they should help you through the process to make the transition as smooth as possible. One important aspect to note is to make sure you choose an IT partner/supplier who has actual accreditation’s such as Microsoft Partnership (Bronze, Silver or Gold) as these companies are regularly tested and checked on their capabilities by Microsoft themselves. You wouldn’t trust a gas engineer who isn’t Gas Safe to fit your cooker so why treat your IT service provider any differently. It’s all about your ability to trust they can deliver what you need and to a high standard.

You may also have read some scary articles on how this all discredits the safety of working from the cloud…… we’ll like to clear this up. Outdated operating systems which did not fully protect themselves are part of the cause. The WannaCry (WannaCrypt) virus attacked a vulnerability in these systems as it knew they weren’t protected. It’s almost like leaving your house, closing the door, pretending to lock it but the key doesn’t work. You feel fine about it until someone wanders in steals everything and then your insurance won’t pay out because there isn’t a sign of a break in. You know operating from an old system makes you vulnerable (if you didn’t before you do now) but still chose to save costs and leave it for now.

 

For those wanting to enquire about what Microsoft packages are available or most suitable for you contact us on 01785 503 848 or e-mail: info@848.co

 

 

Is my Cisco Meraki protected from Ransomware?

4470d42198bc45f687867d45b11f796c_18

Following on from last weeks Ransomware attacks known as WannaCry (or WannaCrypt). All customers running their networks on Cisco Meraki Mx are protected from the recent attacks.

Cisco were aware of the vulnerability that WannaCry exploits and had patched it back in mid-April.  Customers using Meraki MX with Advanced Security are protected and can view their Security Report to see if their network was targeted.

Another confirmation as to why using Cisco Meraki is such a safe way to manage your network. For customers wanting to know more about the Cisco Meraki click here 

 

Cisco Meaki

 

 

For customers who are still concerned you can contact The 848 Group on 01785 503 848 or info@848.co

 

 

WannaCrypt Ransomware Attacks and what you can do.

hacking
For anyone a little concerned about the recent cyber attacks from the ‘WannaCrypt’ software. Here are our tips for you to keep yourself protected:

 

  • Make sure your systems are all up to date:

All those using Windows XP, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2003 need to urgently update your security as you are most vulnerable. Microsoft Security Bulletin MS17-010 provides everything you need.

Those using supported versions would have received the security update in March and providing you have automatic updates enables or manually installed the update you will be protected. This includes: Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows 10, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2016. Microsoft Security Bulletin MS17-010 also provides a security update for you.

 

  • Don’t click on e-mails or attachments

As it’s been reported that the attacks used malicious attachments, customers are advised to be cautious opening e-mails and attachments from unknown senders.

The advice is to use advanced threat protection (ATP) policies in Exchange Online Protection (EOP). Some users may be using EOP to  protect against Malware attached to e-mails but ATP will provide extra support.

Set up safe attachments policy in ATP and safe links in ATP to ensure e-mails received only contain safe attachments.

To read more from Microsoft on ATP click here

Information provided in this post sought from Microsoft here

 

Please contact us if we can be of any further assistance.

 

How to Improve Your Wi-Fi Signal in 5 Minutes

If you’re asking ‘How do I get better WiFi?’

Then this is definitely for you.

Wi-Fi signal is made of simple radio waves and as with any radio there are numerous issues that can cause interference problems. Strong Wi-Fi signal on the other hand can have the opposite effect. Giving you faster performance and better coverage around your home or business. So with this in mind it’s important to make sure you properly position and configure your router to get the best from the signal strength which is available. Read on and we’ll show you how to achieve this in no more than 5 minutes by following theses three easy steps.

 1) Point The Antenna Up

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well it is, and in many cases routers have aerial-looking antenna sticking out of the back of them. These antennae will almost always come out of the box pointing horizontally to make sure they fit in the box and we often see these in buildings still horizontal just because they have never been moved. Positioning the antenna vertically will increase your connection strength and if you have two or more antennae, keep the antennae vertical and in parallel to optimise performance, there is no advantage to pointing them all in different directions.

 2) Position Your Router Properly.

Consider where you will put your router. If you have a large home or office space then getting your router as central as possible you will benefit from more overall coverage as you will be boosting the range of the signal. Placing the router at one end of the building will, in many cases, mean you get great signal at that end of the building (and also outside that side of the building) but limited signal at the other side of the office. However, if your router signal is strong enough and there is a good signal everywhere in your office there’s little benefit in moving it now.

Position your router high up. Placing your router on the floor may be the most convenient place but is almost always the worst. A higher position will help your signal.

Metal has been the enemy for wireless signals for numerous years and we’re afraid nothing has changed. If your router is placed on or near large metal objects such as filing cabinets or metal shelves, this could cause a problem as the signal cannot pass through metal. In some cases, routers positioned too close to metal pipes have had issues and moving them can provide an almost instant improvement.

Ok, so you’ve checked all that, but there is still some interference, well you maybe able to root out the problem by looking at your other devices. Microwave ovens, baby monitors and even cordless telephones can interfere with Wi-Fi signals.

 3) Choose the best Wi-Fi Channel

If you’re in a place where there are a variety of different Wi-Fi networks running such as a block of flats or a shared office space, your neighbours’ Wi-Fi will probably be interfering with yours

You can however minimize the effect this can have, and as a starting point moving your router away from the other routers will be a good place to start but unfortunately is not a fool proof plan. The best option in this case is to switch to a different Wi-Fi Channel. If you’re not highly ‘tech savvy’ you may feel like we’ve just asked you to perform something you have no idea how to do? Well not to fear, we promise it’s not as technical as it sounds, just follow these simple instructions.

• You can change channels on your router’s settings page (instructions on finding this page will be in your routers manual or online).

• Locate the Wi-Fi channel option in the router’s web interface and change it to a different channel with less interference. Finding the right channel can be a bit of an experiment at first but it’s relatively easy to do and can have a great effect. The investment of a few minutes of your time now will save you hours in the future. To us, it seems like a good option.

So, 3 easy steps and you’re done!

If you would like more information on how to get the best from your Wi-Fi connection or explore the best connections for you then call the team at The 848 Group on 01785 503 848 or email info@848.co and we will be happy to help.

Wi-Fi isn’t our only service, you can view the rest of our IT products and services here: www.848.co

848-communications-logo