When Windows 7 reaches end of support on 14 January 2020, your computer will still function but Microsoft will no longer provide the following:
While you could continue to use your PC running Windows 7, without continued software and security updates, it will be at greater risk for viruses and malware. Going forward, the best way for you to stay secure is on Windows 10. And the best way to experience Windows 10 is on a new PC. While it is possible to install Windows 10 on your older device, it is not recommended.
From backing up your files to finding a computer that fits your needs, there are tools to help you transition with ease.
Not only are new modern PCs fast (thanks to solid state drives) and durable with batteries that last longer, the average price for a great PC is considerably less than it was 5-10 years ago.
Save your personal files and photos to OneDrive or to an external hard drive. Follow this link to learn all the different ways to move your files.
We think you’ll feel right at home on a new PC with Windows 10, but if you have any questions or want to learn more, we have lots of tips and tutorials available.
If you want confidence to be ready for the change over, it is highly recommended that you book an audit. We will audit your devices and systems and provide you with a plan for the chenge over.
Digital Transformation (DX) is not on the horizon. It’s here, and it’s already making an impact on a growing range of industries. Organizations that want to stay in business can no longer afford to pretend DX is a trend. It is fast becoming the norm for organizations of all sizes. Today’s customers are digitally savvy and require instant everything. Any organization that doesn’t offer digital solutions risks losing business to the competition.
According to a recent IDC report, “One-third of the top 20 firms in industry segments will be disrupted by new competitors within five years,” meaning it’s a case of “transform or perish.” The importance of DX initiatives for business success is clear, yet IDC predicts that, by 2018, “70 percent of siloed digital transformation initiatives will ultimately fail because of insufficient collaboration, integration, sourcing or project management.”
DX will transform the customer experience and, in the process, every company vying to serve those customers. Which is why organizations need to be proactive in every step of their DX strategy. But crucial to any successful DX initiative is ensuring every employee has the right tools at their fingertips to deliver a remarkable customer experience with every interaction.
…means putting flexible systems in place to enable every end user to work effectively and in a manner that suits their needs, whether they’re in a traditional office, a group-work social space, on the road, or working from home
…leverages advanced technology solutions such as virtualization to provide better system uptime, allow more IT flexibility, and enable better hardware utilizatio
3. Ensuring seamless collaboration
…is a crucial component of DX, giving local and remote workers ready access to the tools and technologies they need in order to do their jobs from start to finish
To achieve these objectives, organisations must develop and execute the right DX strategy. They need to create an environment that empowers the entire workforce to better serve the customer at every opportunity. They then need to provision that workforce with the devices they need to improve the flexibility, capability, and productivity of each and every user across the organisation, and Solutions IT can help with such a strategy.
Amity Health is a not for profit organisation that has delivered a range of healthcare services to rural and remote areas of the Great Southern for over 20 years.
The organisation is a long-term partner of Solutions IT and has grown considerably since they first became a client. From a standalone practice in the heart of Albany, the organisation now has 6 locations and over 60 staff, 20 of which are based remotely.
“Having a mix of onsite and remote support has allowed us to keep costs down. We don’t always need someone onsite and it’s great to get a quick fix to an issue remotely via the helpdesk when needed. However, due to our complex organisational needs, having a real person who knows our systems, someone who can also help us plan, is very valuable to us too. We get the best of both”, says Sian Bushell, Office Manager.
In 2015, the office in Albany moved premises to accommodate their growth. Being a trusted partner, Solutions IT was a critical part of the planning phase. Sian recalls, “we were out of the old premises on the Friday, and fully operational, running clinics at the new building on the Monday morning. Our IT systems are critical to our operation so we were delighted with how smooth the transition was”.
In late 2017, now with 5 remote locations, Amity Health needed a better way to access and manage their email and shared files, “our account manager Stuart suggested we migrate our email to ‘the cloud’ to offer a better experience to our remote users”. The staff were using a remote connector to access their emails and were finding it clunky and slow.
Solutions IT migrated their accounts to Office365 which freed up their server and gave a faster and more enhanced experience to their remote users.
“The next phase to this project is to use OneDrive to store all our shared documents. This will help with version control and enable our remote users to access documents when and where they need to. What is also appealing about Office365 is being a not-for- profit organisation, the license fees are heavily reduced and this means we will experience savings for years to come.”
“We are very happy with our support package. Solutions IT knows our organisation, they are our own IT department. They keep our organisation protected and efficient. No matter the need, they will always try to find the solution!”
With the advent of information technology and the internet, came an almost limitless potential for technological advancement and improvements in efficiency in business. Unfortunately, there are two sides to every story. Rapid advancements in technology and how we use the internet have also been accompanied by a host of dangers any internet user would do well to be wary of. This includes malware such as ransomware. Read on to find out some useful tips on how to protect yourself against this malware and limit the risk of losing access to your data.
Malware is a type of software that is specifically designed to get access to or damage your data without your knowledge. Ransomware, in particular, is a type of malware that prevents users from accessing data, by either locking the system’s screen or files. In order to regain access, a ransom has to be paid.
More modern versions of ransomware, collectively classified as crypto-ransomware, encrypt certain files, forcing users to make online payments in order to get a decrypt key and restore access to their system.
The consequences of becoming a victim of crypto-ransomware and not having the necessary safeguards and mitigation strategies in place are significant. Where small businesses are concerned, such an attack could mean the end of your business.
All is not lost and there are precautions every user can take to limit their exposure to this malware.
Your first line of defence is the security system you have in place. It is critical that it offers multidimensional protection and prevention against malware, quickly recognising external threats and any suspicious behaviour. A next-generation endpoint security solution is recommended, offering protection beyond file-based threats.
While next-generation endpoint security is important for your system’s security regime, it is not completely fail-proof and can still fall prey to crypto-ransomware infections. Ensuring you have comprehensive backup together with a business continuity plan that will allow you restore data and minimise business downtime. This entails more than just your standard backing up to an external drive. It should include back up that is located in at least three different locations:
While occasionally tedious, keeping Windows up to date will ensure that a number of infections are instantly ruled out. In addition, you can reduce workload by putting in place a patching routine – a security fundamental.
Keeping all third party plug-ins updated to their latest build lessens the likelihood of being exploited by ransomware.
Modern browsers like Chrome and Firefox are constantly being updated to offer more robust protection. They also give the option to add plug-ins that will make you more secure. Even simply having a pop-up blocker running can offer some protection.
Autorun is convenient, however, it is helps malware spread across a corporate environment. Disabling autorun as a policy will bolster your system’s security.
VBS are Microsoft scripts used by malware authors to either disrupt an environment or run a process that will download more advanced malware. Disable them completely by disabling the Windows Scripting Host engine.
This is critical because some current ransomware threats are capable of browsing and encrypting data on any mapped drives that an end user has access to. Therefore restricting the user permissions for the share or the underlying file system of a mapped drive will limit ransomware’s scope for encryption.
One way ransomware like CryptoLocker and others frequently arrive is in a file named with the extension ‘.PDF.EXE’ or something similar. If full file extensions are visible such files will be easier to spot and remove accordingly.
Coping with infections
Don’t worry if your organisation has unfortunately already been infected. Take the following steps to limit the damage done to your systems:
We hope you have found this brief guide useful and will adopt some of these precautions and general tips to protect yourself and your business from online extortion.
Solutions I.T. has been providing Western Australian organisations with a comprehensive range IT solutions since 1999. Our strict adherence to industry best practice, ensures our clients are granted access to the most effective solutions available. For premium IT services, the best-fit technology and excellent customer support, contact our friendly team today.