Category Archives: IT Support

What you need to know about Network Security

Network Security is a concern that must be taken into consideration if you own a business whether big or small. Network security means the protection of your data and network using both hardware and software technologies. You can easily manage the access to your network by using a network security technology.

The cost to recover from a network security breach can be really high for small and medium business owners. So it’s extremely important for small and medium enterprises to consider the network security as one of their top priorities. So what can you do to protect your network from security breaches?  What are the ways to protect your network and precious business data?

Network security offers you various layers of defense for the protection of your data and network. So here I will tell you some of the best ways to protect your network.

Access control

You should limit the number of users who can have access to your network. You need to recognise each user and the device from which they are going to access your network. You can decide which users and devices can access your network and can even impose a limit on their usage.

Antivirus and Antimalware

The second thing you should consider is to install an antivirus and antimalware

software on all your devices. They protect your network and data from worms, trojans, ransomware and spyware. Sometimes viruses and malware infect your network and lie dormant for weeks or even months. The antivirus and antimalware

software not only remove the viruses and malware but also find anomalies and fix the damage afterwards.

Application Security

You also need to protect the applications you use for running your business. Attackers look for the loopholes and vulnerabilities in your software to infiltrate into your network. The application security programs find and close such loopholes and vulnerabilities and protect your network from potential attacks. For example, ZAP (Zed Attack Proxy) is a tool used to find vulnerabilities in web applications. ZAP is used to scan the vulnerabilities and perform the functionalities such as intercepting proxy, websocket support, authentication support, smartcard and client digital certificates support.

Data loss prevention

You should make sure that your staff does not send confidential and sensitive information out from your network. You can use a data loss prevention program that will check people from sending, uploading or even printing sensitive and confidential information in any way. A data loss prevention program detects the data breaches, data ex-filtration transmissions and prevents them from happening. A DLP software classifies and protects sensitive and confidential information which helps a network administrator to control what users can transfer over the network. For example, Symantec Data Loss Prevention is a DLP program which is capable of monitoring thousands of users and devices. It has a unified management platform, content detection servers and light-weight endpoint agents for windows, Linux and Macintosh.

Email Security

Cyber attackers always consider email gateways as their top priority for security breaches. You can use the email security applications to check the incoming security attacks and outgoing emails containing sensitive and confidential business data. For example, CipherMail is an open source email security application which supports multiple encryption standards. Scrollout F1 is another open source email security application which offers almost all the features of email server security along with anti-virus and anti-spam protection.

Intrusion prevention systems

The intrusion prevention system checks the incoming network traffic to block the potential attacks. It can block the malicious activities and prevent the suspected viruses and malware containing files from entering into your network, thereby preventing the security breaches and attacks.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Using a Virtual Private Network helps you encrypt the connection from an endpoint to network. A remote-access virtual private network will authenticate the communication between the devices used by your staff and your network. A VPN makes the data pass through secure tunnels and requires passwords, tokens and other unique identification techniques to gain access.

Wireless security

Wireless networks can be less secured as compared to wired networks as there are multiple tools available to hack wireless networks. If someone knows your password he or she can easily infiltrate your network and steal your sensitive and confidential data. So if you are using a wireless network for your business you need to use an advanced protection specially designed for wireless networks. Mostly, WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) and WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) type are used for the protection of wireless networks. WEP is less secure as compared to WPA and is more vulnerable to hacks and security breaches. WPA2 was introduced in the year 2004 as an improved and more secure version of WPA. WPA2 uses a security protocol based on Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) which is more secure than WEP and WPA.
The ideal solution is that you should look for a company that guides you throughout the process and suits your budget. If you are looking for IT support services in Sydney one such company is Zero Effort Networking which is serving its clients for 20 years in Australia.

For more information on Network Security, please visit the following link – IT Support in Sydney You can also Email us at info@zen.net.au or Call us at 1300 93 94 95 and we will be happy to help you.

Why you should use an internet content management system?

In today’s world, internet is the most useful resource for business and other day to day activities.  The internet is used for a variety of purposes such as research, education, business applications and communication. It is used by students for research, education and communication purposes while organizations use the internet for their daily business activities.

If you are running a business organization you need an Internet content management (ICM) system to check the inappropriate usage of Internet by your employees. An ICM system lets you control the usage of Internet only for the business related processes. It offers you the protection tools for filtering of content and reporting capabilities.

Your employees need to follow the Internet usage policy to make sure that the Internet is used for business purposes only. Unmanaged access to the Internet often leads to loss of productivity, excessive data usage, inappropriate downloads and risk of viruses and malware.

For the proper management of internet access and usage, you need to introduce an internet content management system which enables you to track, control and manage internet usage in your organization.  An ICM system lets you monitor all the online activities of your employees including browsing, sharing and downloading. It lets you limit the access of internet only to business-related websites which in turn helps you to increase and maintain the productivity of your employees.

Not only the business organizations but parents can also use the Internet content management system to monitor and limit the usage of Internet by their children. Parents can block the websites containing non-educational and inappropriate content for children.

An internet management system helps you to check how much time your employees spend on work and not work related websites. You can also completely block the non-work related websites like sites containing adult content and social media websites.

Internet content management system also helps you track the work done by your employees and their productivity on an hourly or daily basis. ICM systems also help you keep your company’s intellectual property safe which is one of the biggest assets of your company. You can restrict your employees from saving information on external storage devices like flash drive and memory chips. You can also prevent them from sharing or deleting your company’s data files or sending them over emails.

Internet content management system also helps you check your employees using chat clients and instant Messengers. You can block chat clients and instant messages to prevent the wastage of time and maintain the productivity of your employees. ICM systems also prevent your employees from downloading music and video files thereby preventing the unauthorized use of data. Internet management system sends you a report of all the files downloaded by your employees.

Internet management system also protects the company’s valuable data from outside threats and attacks as they prevent your employees to open the malicious websites and links. They also prevent your employees from downloading files containing viruses and malware and protect your computer from cyber-attacks.

Some Internet content management systems even check the online activities of users while traveling outside and provide reports containing details like domain name, URL, date and time of access. Employers and administrators receive the report as email notifications when any of the employees try to override or exploit the Internet usage policy of the company.

These are just a few ways how ICM systems can help you. We at Zero Effort Networking offer IT services in Sydney and its surroundings. If you are located in Sydney or surrounding areas, you can contact us for internet management systems or any other kind of IT support.

For more information on internet management systems, please check our website link Zero Effort Networking. You can also Email us at info@zen.net.au or Call us at 1300 93 94 95 and we will be happy to assist you!

How to use safe Passwords for online accounts

Today we live in a password dependent world where all the information is protected by passwords. The access to all the information depends on passwords. A password is a secret key to all of our accounts from emails to social media to bank accounts. Whether we want to access our important information or trade online we make use of passwords to login into our accounts.

Password security is the most common problem for security of online accounts. The problem with using passwords is that most of us don’t use strong passwords for our accounts. There are many people who use the same password for multiple accounts. This means if someone hacks your password he may gain access to all of your accounts.

Some people use very weak passwords such as their name, date of birth, maiden name and other easy to predict passwords. This enables the hackers to easily predict your password and access to your valuable information. For example, if your use ‘123456’ or ‘password’ then you put your account at the highest possible risk, because this is what hackers try in their first attempts even before trying ‘password1’ OR ‘password2’.

The best practice is to use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols which are difficult to guess. A hacker can have a look for the information such as your name, address, phone number, the street you live in on your Facebook profile and easily guess your password in a few attempts if you have used any of them in your password.

For more safety, you can create a password of 10 characters comprising a mix of alphabets, digits and special characters. For example, a simple 4-digit password can be created using only numbers with 10,000 possible combinations. Adding one more digit makes the count of possible combinations up to 1, 00,000. Thus, you can imagine how powerful can be a 10 character password that is a mix of alphabets, digits and special characters.

Also, one should avoid using reusing the same password on multiple sites because hackers are aware of the fact that 30 to 50 percent of users use the same password for multiple accounts. Once the attackers are successful in hacking your password they can easily try logging into other sites using the same username and password, the technique being known as “password reuse attack”. Hackers know that people don’t want to remember multiple passwords for different accounts. Not only people use the same passwords, but the same security questions and answers for multiple accounts. Now you can imagine what a hacker can do once he gets your password or security question and answer used for multiple accounts.

You should use password manager programs like Roboform (for Windows) or LastPass (for Windows and Mac). Password managers are programs that let you create strong passwords for all your accounts. You only need to remember the password to access that program or website that manages and stores the passwords for all your sites.

Password managers create and store long and complicated passwords for all your online accounts, thereby offering protection from hackers. Password managers protect all your vital information such as PINs, credit card/debit card numbers, CVV codes, answers to security questions with strong encryption that make them almost impossible for a hacker to crack.

There is no need to remember all the passwords for multiple accounts. You are required to remember only one password that is needed to unlock your vault for the password manager.

Roboform, LastPass, 1Password, Dashlane and KeePass are some of the most popular password managers used today. Some password managers are free to use but some charge you for their services. Some companies offer free basic services and charge only for their premium services.

If you are not sure about password security for your online accounts, you can contact an IT support company. Zero Effort Networking is a company that offers IT support in Sydney and its surroundings for more than 20 years.

For more information on IT support please visit the following link – IT Support in Sydney. You can also email us at info@zen.net.au or Call us at 1300 93 94 95 and we will be happy to help you.

How small businesses can reduce IT costs

Technology is upgrading itself with each passing day.  Every day the next best thing replaces the latest technology systems and applications. The latest applications that companies buy for business become outdated within a few months. Keeping your business updated with the latest technology requires time to time investment in technology as the cost of being outdated is far more than being updated. But you don’t need to increase your expenses on IT to remain updated. You can be technologically updated and wise with your business finances simultaneously. Here we have presented some methods to cut IT costs that are usually overlooked by the small companies:

Invest in warranted products

You should buy high-quality hardware and software that comes with a service agreement and warranty rather than buying non-warranted products. Investing in high technology systems is beneficial in the long run.

Subscribe bundled package of internet and telephone

Bundled packages also known as convergence is the best way to cut down your monthly internet bills as you need to pay only a fix price for both telephone and internet. Several service providers offer combined packages for telephone and the internet that includes calling with internet services and web hosting.

Central management and monitoring of back-ups, updates and files

When you manage your updates, back-ups and files, it saves you time and money. It takes much time to take back-ups and update the applications and operating system on every computer that your staff uses. It saves time to save all the updates and backups on a centralized location and it also reduces the risk of loss of data. It may cost you to purchase hardware and software for managing the data from a centralized server but it will save you time and money in the long term.

Acceptable Use policy for your staff

As your employees have access to the internet they may access the internet for personal use. This leads to loss of several hours of daily productivity. Visiting the unauthorized websites may also lead to malware, virus and cyber attacks on your systems and data. It is important to introduce an acceptable use policy for your staff that includes all the rules to be followed by your staff for using office equipment and internet service. You may also use software that prohibits access to unauthorized websites and content.

Regular maintenance of systems

It is always better to prevent the technical issues before they occur than to fix them. This saves you time and money. When your systems stop working it costs you more to fix them as compared to regular maintenance.

Customize a plan for your business

Make a complete plan for how you want to make use of technology for your business. Do you want to automate the daily activities of your business? Do you want the employees at all of your offices to be connected to a common network? Do you want to share the files and documents over your network?

By making a detailed plan and knowing your goals you are less likely to waste money on unnecessary things. Having a plan also helps you make your budget for IT services as per your requirements. This helps you plan your overall budget which is very important for small and medium businesses.

Every company has different goals and different requirements. You may think of many other ways to save money and resources for your company. This depends on your technology requirements and network configuration. Choosing the right IT support provider is also an important part of your business plan.

Zero Effort Networking is a professional IT support company which serves small businesses in and around Sydney. It is one of the top IT Companies in Sydney serving clients for almost two decades.

To know more about IT support Sydney and IT services you may call us at 1300 93 94 95 or write to us at info@zen.net.au.

Managed IT services in Sydney

With the increasing use of computer based technology, businesses today are making use of most advanced technologies to run their business processes. Every business uses information technology and experience hardware and software related problems at some point of time. When IT related problems are experienced there is a need of experts who can handle such problems and fix them in the right time.

What do you think of IT services? Have you subscribed any such service or a disaster recovery plan for your business? If not, I would suggest you think again and subscribe a support service from a managed tech support provider.

If your business is located in Sydney, then Zero Effort Networking (ZEN) could be your dedicated support partner. ZEN offers managed IT services in Sydney and disaster recovery services for every business which uses information technology in Sydney.  Disaster recovery is a service which enables you to recover your data in case it is lost due to a network crash, system failure or any other reason. You must have a disaster recovery plan in order to keep your business data secure as the risk of losing data has increased with the use of technology.

Companies are also making use of cloud computing, virtualization and mobile computing which enables you to save cost. If you use cloud computing or remote access applications, then you can access tech support services or an expert IT support from a distance. A professional team can access your systems and network from their place in case of any issues.

You may keep your own IT staff or you can also outsource the technical services. Outsourcing services to an external company will provide you multiple advantages in terms of cost and efficiency. You can reduce your employee costs and optimize your expenses.

An expert team handles your technical issues at reasonable rates. You have the option of choosing from a variety of support plans as per your requirements rather than employing your in-house staff at a fixed monthly cost.

Moreover, you can focus on your core business activities such as marketing and operations management without having to worry about the technical part of your business like hardware and software related issues.

Your managed IT partner will keep you informed about the status of your systems and applications. They notify you when there is a need to upgrade your software and hardware so that the efficiency and performance levels are not affected due to outdated systems.

Using updated systems keeps your data secure, performance levels high and provides you security for your database. Updated systems also protect your data against malware and cyber attacks. Support providers also offer you discounts on their plans which is an added advantage over taking IT services only in the hour of need.

You can also set up an online purchase system with the help of your support partner which enable you to sell your products or services online and at any time of the day.  Your customers can place online orders for your products or services.  Your tech support partner takes care of the functioning of your website, payment system and also your delivery system.

The advantages of taking IT services from a managed service provider are numerous. It is not possible to mention all the benefits in an article. You can read our other article at our website www.zen.net.au. Zero Effort Networking is one of the best companies offering managed IT services in Sydney and surrounding areas.

For more information on our services we request you to call us on 1300 93 94 95 or you can also Email us at info@zen.net.au.