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Security Newsletter – June 2020

Security Newsletter – June 2020

Proactive Managed Service

Cyber threats continue to rise for organisations across the entire world and it is common to hear of reputable companies being breached. IT departments are expected to run their systems for 24x7 x 365 days a year so that they can support regular business operations securely.

We here at Nouveau believe that firewalls and antivirus are no longer enough to cut it in a world of continuously evolving cyber threats. Our Proactive Managed Services wrap around your traditional security solutions in order to provide you with a complete, transparent and fully managed service that keeps your business secure. Experience less downtime, easier management and better security. Read about how the growing demands for proactive cybersecurity are driving changes in the way business face their security issues here in our article in The Business Magazine.

 

Working from home in the future? Re-evaluate your current security strategy.

Many of us have been working from home for a few months now, but many organisations continue to have concerns about the effectiveness and security of their home working solutions.

In many cases, people believe home working is less secure than in traditional office-based setups. We are here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be. Whether you have started to implement remote working elements of your business continuity plans or require some support in setting up these components, we remain dedicated to providing you with continued support to ensure that your business stays secure, collaborative and efficient.

To learn more about secure remote working solutions without compromise in security, collaboration and efficiency, click here.

 

Nouveau become first Expert Integrator, MSSP and Marketplace Partner in the UK

Following Fortinet’s reworking of their partnership programme, Nouveau are now considered the first partners in the UK to achieve Integrator, MSSP and Marketplace status at Expert level. You can read more about our new partnership status under the Engage programme by reading our blog here.

End of Life notification: Fortinet 8x5

Fortinet continues to move forward with adapting their FortiCare services to the changes in our customer’s business needs. As the next step in the 8x5 FortiCare phase-out project that began in 2019 Q1, all 8x5 FortiCare support options have been removed from the pricelist.

Two levels are now available: 24x7 and Advanced Support Engineer (ASE). ASE provides higher ticket servicing for faster starts and ticket resolution

Speak to your account manager to understand the wider value of 24x7 and how you can start benefitting right away.

Rise in Phishing Healthcare Scams

Over the last few months, reports indicate that there has been a significant rise in phishing scams using COVID-19 as a medium to scaremonger and deceive recipients. These attacks have been carried out on a wide variety of targets including, but not limited to, end-users of businesses, government organisations and medical service providers.

Most of these incidents are phishing attacks that infect networks with ransomware. Many have been sent from spoofed World Health Organisation (WHO) and NHS email addresses whereas others have been from fake companies offering equipment in response against the virus.

We would like to take this opportunity to inform our customers about these prevalent scams – the best form of defence against phishing scams is vigilance. To read more about how to spot phishing scams, please visit our top tips page here.

New Products – FortiGate 40F + 200F

Fortinet have announced two new FortiGate Firewall products: the FortiGate 40F, which has been available for a few months now, and the brand new FortiGate 200F.

The F Series FortiGate Firewalls continue to provide end-to-end network security with one platform, one network security operating system and unified policy management, or providing the industry’s best protection against the most advanced security threats and targeted attacks.

It may be worth considering an upgrade to the Fortinet F series if your organisation is currently using a D series Firewall or older. Fortinet F firewalls have large increases in NGFW throughput, Threat Protection Throughput and SSL Inspection Throughput amongst a variety of other benefits.

Fortinet solutions in combination with Nouveau’s Managed Services provide top of the line security for all organisations. For more information on how our managed services can help keep your business secure whilst reducing resource burdens, please click here.

For more information about the FortiGate F series, please contact us by emailing to hello@nouveau.co.uk or calling 0118 9186822.

 

UTM bundle renamed to UTP bundle

Fortinet’s Unified Threat Management (UTM) bundle has been renamed to the Unified Threat Protection bundle (UTP). This name change reflects Fortinet’s focus on the protection of your infrastructure.

We thought we should notify of these changes to avoid any confusion in the future.

VPN Security and Other Systems to Work From Home Safely – Same Security Everywhere

VPN Security and Other Systems to Work From Home Safely – Same Security Everywhere

The current coronavirus pandemic has led to organisations having to develop new strategies allowing their employees to continue working but now from home, and as effectively as possible. With the increase of remote workers, we are now starting to see an increase in online security threats as a result.

Remote access can be handled through protocols such as Windows remote desktop (also known as Windows RDP)– allowing users to access a remote desktop within the company’s internal network. The drawback of this platform is that it allows your employees to access your company’s network by opening your network to the entire internet. Thus increasing the risk of security breaches.

Thankfully there is a way to allow organisations to provide employees secure access to company network resources without leaving it vulnerable and open to security attacks. This is done through VPN technology (Virtual Private Networks).

More about VPN Systems

A VPN – short for Virtual private network provides a secure link between employees and businesses by encrypting and scanning data. Dependent on the method of termination used and in conjunction with a UTM device there are further security benefits to be made.  For e.g. malicious software such as viruses can be detected and mitigated.

To avoid security risks companies should ensure they are set up to capture metrics about the performance and availability of their VPN services. Ask yourself “When was the last time you took the time to look at your VPN logs?” This process will allow you to detect any compromises of VPN connections and accounts. In principle, now is the time where it is easier to spot compromised accounts, with employees working from home you should be able to spot any irregular VPN usage pattern for each user working from home.

Here’s a deeper look at how a VPN (Virtual private network) works. A VPN uses encryption and other security mechanisms to scramble (otherwise known as encrypting) data when it is sent over a public network. The encryption process now makes the data unreadable. A strong VPN will ensure that only authorised users can access the network and that the data cannot be intercepted.

A VPN will stop cyber criminals seeing your company’s remote service on the internet, therefore reducing risk of interception of communications between your employees and your network.

Your devices

Ensure you are protecting your devices whether it is your laptop, tablet or smart phone. Devices can be prime targets for cyber criminals as soon as you access the internet even more so when you are on a public network. A VPN will protect the data you send and receive on your device putting a stop to hackers watching your every move.

With many VPN solutions out there make sure you do your homework to choose the right one for your needs. Regardless of which provider you choose, a VPN, in conjunction with other technology will ensure that you comply with security standards.  Contact Nouveau Solutions today where we can offer support for VPN enquiries and challenges.

Call us on 01189 186822 or contact us by email on hello@nouveau.co.uk.

Guide to Microsoft Teams

Guide to Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams – Working from home made easy

More and more businesses are beginning to deploy working from home (WFH) solutions for their employees as a result of COVID-19. Some of the key requirements for most organisations is a platform that allows their staff to continue communicating and collaborating on projects seamlessly, avoiding downtime and maintaining their high levels of productivity and efficiency.

Many organisations have turned to Microsoft Teams, Microsoft’s collaboration application that helps teams stay organised and have conversations all in one place. Microsoft themselves market Teams as “the hub for teamwork in Office 365” that allows you to “work remotely without feeling remote”. From our personal experience, and as a Microsoft Gold Partner, we can safely say that we agree completely with that sentiment and strongly believe it is a great tool for any organisation that is need of collaboration software.

Microsoft Teams 6 Month Free Trial

It is more important than ever to stay in touch with colleagues and customers when working remotely. As an organisation we use Microsoft Teams to enable us to make calls to clients, engage with colleagues, share files, conduct customer and team virtual meetings. It’s great news that Microsoft have announced a free Teams six-month Office 365 E1 trial for businesses without an existing Teams license (exclusions apply).

This offer is available to any customer who doesn’t already have O365 OR have O365 profiles without Teams (office 365 ProPlus, Office 365 Business, Exchange online plan 1 & 2, Dynamics).

If you are interested in a 6 Month Free Trial of Microsoft Teams, please fill in the form below. By doing so, you are consenting to be contacted by Nouveau as per our privacy policy.

Teams 6 Month Trial

How do I use Microsoft Teams? How can it help me work from home?

Using Microsoft Teams as part of your organisation’s working from home strategy is an intelligent way to be able to collaborate and communicate with your colleagues almost as if you were in the office together – but many people aren’t using Teams to its full capabilities.

There are many tips and tricks that can help you better utilise the functions of Microsoft Teams. To help you make the most of Teams, we have put together some of our favourite features that we believe will ensure an effective and professional home working environment.

Call, collaborate, chat and meet from anywhere

With the Teams mobile app, all you need to do is log on with your account details to access your meetings, messages, files and calendar. As everything is stored in the cloud, all you need to access your files in an internet connection.

Work in OneDrive, together

Creating and collaborating on files is easier than ever in Microsoft Teams as it utilises OneDrive to host files securely in the cloud. This makes it possible for members of your teams to work on files together, meaning you can both edit and view the same file in real time.

You can do this by uploading existing files to your Team’s Files folder or browsing to where you want to store the file and selecting “New”.

Pin your most important channels

By right clicking on channels you use most, you can pin them so that they are more accessible. You can then navigate to your Pinned list for quick and easy access.

Schedule Meetings

With Teams, you can schedule meetings for specific times by using the calendar. In the top right, you can either select “meet now” or “new meeting” where you will be prompted to invite users and select a time and date. Users will be sent an invitation, and if they accept it will automatically get added to their calendar, similarly to the meeting function in Outlook.

An additional feature of Teams is Live Events. Live Events are more like webinars than video calls, as they allow a presenter to broadcast to a specified audience. These are useful for company updates, educational presentations and more.

Make notes in meetings

With the built-in notes feature for meetings in Teams, it is possible to create typed notes whilst in the call. Click the three dots at the bottom of your team and you will see the “add notes” button. These notes can be shared with the team at the end of the meeting or saved for personal use.

Share your screen and take control

In the office, we are always running over to each other’s PCs to look at their screens. Luckily, in Teams, you can share your screen in your meetings and calls, allowing you to easily explain and demonstrate just as you would in the office environment.

You can do this by clicking the “share screen” button when in a meeting or a call.

Furthermore, it is possible to allow another user in your call to take control of your system. When sharing your screen, in the sharing toolbar, clicking the “give control” button will allow your colleague to take over your mouse. This is useful for providing support just as you would in the office.

Organise your workload

With Team’s structured channels with separate places for files, conversations and notes, it’s easy to ensure your workload is organised and managed to a high standard. With a built-in calendar, automatic backups and auto-save features on files, you can ensure your files never get lost and your no meeting ever gets forgotten.

More helpful tips for Microsoft Teams

If you are new to Teams, getting your Teams and Channels up and running might be a little bit confusing. More information can be found on Microsoft’s helpful End User Training page, which you can find here.

Here you can find in-depth guides to creating Teams and Channels, help and documentation, YouTube tutorials and live, online training guides.

If you are interested in Microsoft Teams or Office 365 Cloud Solutions, please get in touch by calling 01189 186817 or email hello@nouveau.co.uk

Nouveau BullITen – Issue #4 – IT News Bulletin

Nouveau BullITen – Issue #4 – IT News Bulletin

Welcome to the Nouveau’s Nouveau BullITin (that’s a ‘bulletin’, but with more focus on IT). We hope you enjoy this weeks roundup.

Our Business Continuity Statement

We thought this would be a good opportunity to send you in the direction of our Business Continuity Statement. You can find it linked here.

Our priority is the health and wellbeing of our staff, customers and the wider community.  We know your business depends on our ability to provide reliable, uninterrupted service, so in light of the recent developments around Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), we would like to share with you the measures we are taking to ensure service continuity.

Azure capacity issues

The Register say that Azure appears to be having capacity issues, backed up by a spike in reports on Down Detector. The massive increase in home workers as a result of the Coronavirus is likely to be the cause of this, but you can read more on their site below.

Source: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/03/24/azure_seems_to_be_full/

Welcoming and retaining diversity in cybersecurity – a great blog

This inspirational blog post from Microsoft’s Cybersecurity Field CTO Diana Kelley highlights the importance of diversity within cybersecurity. For anyone interested in finding out to discover, retain and nurture diverse talent, this is a great article.

Source: https://www.microsoft.com/security/blog/2020/03/24/welcoming-retaining-diversity-cybersecurity/

WHO Targeted in Espionage Attempt, COVID-19 Cyberattacks Spike

ThreatPost say the World Health Organisation (WHO) has attracted the notice of cybercriminals as the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic contunues to play out. Officials there say attacks have doubled. You can read more by clicking the link below.

Phishing attempts are increasing on the back of COVID-19. As many are working from home now, we have put together some top tips to help avoid phishing and social engineering scams. Read more here.

Source: https://threatpost.com/who-attacked-possible-apt-covid-19-cyberattacks-double/154083/

What’s New In Teams!

This Microsoft Tech Community article goes over the key new features in Microsoft Teams as of 19/03/2020. More updates will continue to roll out, but it’s good to keep up to date on what cool new features you could be using now. As more people are using Microsoft Teams to work from home, hopefully this is relevant to a lot of readers.

Source: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/microsoft-teams-blog/what-s-new-in-microsoft-teams-3rd-anniversary-edition/ba-p/1234871

Nouveau BullITen – Issue #3 – IT News Bulletin

Nouveau BullITen – Issue #3 – IT News Bulletin

Welcome to the Nouveau’s Nouveau BullITin (that’s a ‘bulletin’, but with more focus on IT). We hope you enjoy this weeks roundup.

Shark Tank host loses $400,000 in a scam

In an article from CNN Business, we learned that “Shark Tank” judge Barbara Corcoran lost nearly $400,000 in an email scam that tricked her staff. It just goes to show the importance of staff security education – you can read more about the hack in the linked article.

Source: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/27/business/barbara-corcoran-email-hack-trnd/index.html

Office 365 Weekly Digest

Office 365 Weekly provided us with an up to date roadmap of Office 365’s scheduled updates and features. It can be a good idea to keep up to date, so feel free to check out this article – at the bottom you can find some useful links to educational webinars, blogs and more!

Source: https://office365weekly.blog/2020/02/24/office-365-weekly-digest-2020-08/

File Explorer Update in Next Windows Update

A huge part of our working lives involves organising our files. Fortunately, Microsoft have worked to improve the File explorer in the next Windows update. The linked article from WinCentral showcases some early images of how the new system is going to function. These features will be in version 2004, is supposes to release at some point in April 2020.

Source: https://thewincentral.com/file-explorer-improvements-in-next-windows-10-major-update/

Samsung Cops to Data Leak After Find My Mobile Notification

From The Register, Samsung have admitted that a small number of users could have accessed other people’s personal data following a ‘unexplained’ Find my Mobile notification. A technical error apparently resulted in a small number of users being able to access the details of another user, even if the app was disabled. Read more about this in the linked article.

Source: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/02/24/samsung_data_breach_find_my_mobile/

Billions of Devices Open to Wi-Fi Eavesdropping Attacks

In an article from Threatpost we discovered that that a serious vulnerability in Wi-Fi chips has been discovered that affects billions of devices worldwide. This bug allows attackers to eavesdrop on Wi-Fi communications, impacting smartphones, tablets and laptops as well as IoT gadgets. Read more about the vulnerability in the linked article.

Source: https://threatpost.com/billions-of-devices-wifi-encryption-hack/153267/

Data security is everyone’s responsibility

Data security is everyone’s responsibility

How to keep your company data secure with simple security practices.

Why Educating Staff on Data Security Is Critical

Failure to educate staff on some of the most basic principles of data security can cause big problems for businesses of all sizes.

It’s estimated that up to 92% of malware is delivered via email to users- and considering that the majority of businesses will use email to communicate both internally and externally, there’s no end to the list of people that could be affected by malware.

Luckily, the risk of malware and phishing attacks can be kept at a manageable level as long as everyone within a business takes responsibility for the business’s cyber security.

Given today’s rapidly growing technology industry, there’s always new threats that arise from the communication tools we use on a daily basis. However, by ensuring that staff are correctly educated on data security can mean that businesses are able to take control of their cyber security measures in a way that is manageable for everyone.

By educating staff on the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ of cyber security, you’ll be moving the responsibility of data security from not just one person or dedicated team but to everyone, making the company less susceptible to attacks whilst also reducing workplace staff for those in charge of IT security.

Best Data Security Practices

This list of best practices is a great stepping-stone for any business looking to take control of their IT and data security.

Passwords

The strength of a password is a reflection of its length, complexity and unpredictability. All three of these factors together are responsible for how secure how a password is, however, these factors do not replace the need for other essential security controls to ensure that passwords are not breached.

Setting up passwords - Data security

To ensure that passwords are secure they should be sufficiently long in length, it’s worth aiming for between 12 and 14 characters with a mixture uppercase and lowercase characters too. Additionally, adding special characters to your password will help to strengthen passwords. You should also be mindful of where you are storing passwords, we do not recommend keeping a book of passwords in your desk drawers. There are a number of online password manager applications designed to keep your company’s password safe, secure but accessible for employees.

Email security

Most people are quick to disqualify the need for email security, up to 80% of successful cyber attacks involve phishing- a common form of fraud where individuals are asked to reveal personal information such as passwords, credit card information etc. whilst purporting to be from a reputable business.

Email security software can help to reduce the occurrence of these phishing scams from entering into staff mailboxes. However, it’s also important that the company has relevant policies in place that determines how staff can identify potentially fraudulent emails as well as what to do in when one is discovered.

Again, this method of protecting your business from IT threats means that every individual within a business is responsible for managing their IT security at work.

Attachments

Having strict procedures in place were by staff understand what the safe working practices are surrounding opening and sharing attachments via email will help to reduce IT threats and malware.

In order to do this, it’s important to be aware of some of the techniques that are used by fraudulent attackers/ scammers. Often unsuspecting victims of opening dangerous attachments involve the use of social engineering tactics such as:

  • Customised personal message text (such as “Dear John” or “please review the attached”)
  • Forgery (Fraudulent emails sent by someone you appear to know)
  • Threatening (Attackers may use messages like “your account will be closed unless you…”)
  • Creating messages look as if they were sent from an official source (“support.t@microsoftc.om”)
  • Making the attachment look harmless (“my_holiday_pictures”)

These are just a small number of ways that hackers could use in order to gain your trust and get you or a staff member from opening a hazardous attachment in an email or message.

Luckily, taking control of your businesses IT security doesn’t have to be complicated. Nouveau solutions can help to provide your staff with training, advice and solutions to combat IT security at work. Find out more about how you can train staff to take the steps necessary to protect themselves and your business from cyber threats. Get in touch with Nouveau Solutions today.


” I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all the prompt assistance you provided us with during this project.

Could you kindly express our gratitude to your engineers for the excellent work they carried out for us. “

Farhad | London Borough of Hounslow

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” Being responsible for IT in an organisation which is very tech dependant is a real challenge, especially having no formal IT experience myself.  Having the Nouveau team at the end of the phone is a real-life saver and I have needed a life line many times.  I most appreciate the accessibility, knowledge and friendliness of the team. “

Judith Ball | CFO | Aspen Worldwide

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” The company I work for has been using Nouveau Solutions for the past 15+ years and I have had the pleasure myself to build up a good, close relationship with them for about 12 of those years.

Nouveau Solutions have dedicated teams for each different area that are made up of very knowledgeable technicians and engineers that specialise in their specific area of expertise. It is due to this that I always feel confident that Nouveau Solutions will be able to deliver us any IT services that we may request from them (there has been a lot over the years).

They have always gone above and beyond to deliver high quality professional IT services to meet any requirements that we throw at them within any timeframes that we may set.

On top of the ad-hoc IT services we request from Nouveau Solutions, they also monitor, manage, maintain and support some of our network infrastructure and have always been on hand to resolve any issues that may be noticed via their monitoring or raised by us within a timely manner.

We also purchase the majority of our IT equipment including hardware, software and licensing through Nouveau Solutions which is always at a reasonable price and always received within a timely manner.

Since day one of our relationship with Nouveau Solutions we have been appointed to the same one account manager which has allowed him to get to know our business very well. The service that has been provided by him to us has been nothing but exceptional. He always comes across as knowledgeable in any business discussions that we may have and has always been happy to take the time to communicate with us, make us aware of anything that we need to be aware of, or provide us with updates on anything.  I have always had the impression that his main priority is to ensure that we are happy with everything that Nouveau Solutions provides to us and he will do anything to ensure that is the case.

All in all, I have nothing but praise to offer for Nouveau Solutions and would highly recommend them to any company that was looking for an IT services company.  There are definitely no plans here to switch to a different IT services company for the foreseeable future.

Here’s to many more years with using Nouveau Solutions! “

Lee Burgess | IT Systems Administrator | Combined Independents (Holdings) Ltd

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” Nouveau have been brilliant from start to finish – very professional and competitive with their service and pricing. We needed a large number of Firewalls to deploy across our global company over a very short time period and thanks to Jack’s excellent availability, Nouveau’s turn-around time was extremely swift, even with nearly no notice. Nouveau not only provided us with the hardware  – one of their competent technicians supplied us with some design work in the past to help with our data centre firewalls replacement project! Nouveau have been great to work with. “

Hassan Ashraf | IT Service and Infrastructure Manager | Everlight Radiology

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” In the summer of 2017, I approached Nouveau in the hope of finding a competent partner that could help us through an upcoming hardware refresh. A priority of ours was to discover a local business (within 20 miles) that excelled and specialised in HPE, Dell, Fortinet and Microsoft/Office 365 as we planned to refresh our whole core infrastructure,. This included storage, infrastructure hosting and networking (core, access and perimeter) for our headquarters and our other branches. After an extensive phase of speccing, detail planning and quoting, Andy Swain and his team were able to offer a “spot on” solution for our demands with a very high cost/value ratio. This project led to a very open and trusting partnership with Nouveau and made them our No.1 partner within IT. “

Stefan Nader | Ensilica

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