Cyber Minder – Looking after Business

Everyday Cyber Security fills the news, TV and blogs are scaremongering. Inboxes are filling up with emails saying we are all doomed.

People are getting hacked and nobody’s safe! Don’t worry Kixo are here to simplify cyber Security!

Things are never as bad as it sounds, your businesses needs to take cyber security seriously, so how do you do that?

Companies with huge budgets can be hacked so what options do the rest of us have.

Kixo to the rescue!

We are launching a security service to keep things simple and effective, our service is designed to be very affordable.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks to learn more. We are very excited about launching our service and we think you will be as well so stay tuned

 

 

Kixo’s New Cloud Product Range

Cloud, everyone knows the name and everyone wants it even if its a bit tricky to define. We believe Kixo are a very personal company, and we have to walk a thin line in IT of making sure the product fits what people need, while at the same time not overloading clients with the tech but also keeping people informed with what they are paying for and using.

Because technology moves so fast we found clients don’t always want to know if they are using “Terminal Services” or “Citrix”, people just want to know is it good, stable, secure and if so how much?

So instead of talking about forever changing software names, and trying to define cloud and where it starts and stops, we have bundled cloud services and traditional systems into Kixo’s own packages with simple to understand names and prices.

Kixo are proud to introduce the below cloud products.

Cloud Desktop – A virtual desktop that follows you from machines to machine. No waiting for documents to upload and download, being in the cloud makes it accessible from anywhere at any time. Saving you money on software licences, install your program once in the cloud, it then simply works on all machines you log in from. Charged per user. Click here for more details.

Cloud Backup – A backup of your files from your laptop or desktop or server. This puts a copy of your data securely in the cloud, so in the eventuality of accidental deletion, or hardware failure or stolen equipment. You can restore your data from us. Charged per GB of data. Click here for more details.

Cloud Phone – An internet phone, simple to setup, just plug it in. Working from home or abroad? just plugin and your number follows you. For the standard price you can divert to mobiles and have hunt groups to make sure calls are never missed. Charged per user. Click here for more details.

We are already expanding the range due to popularity. These products are to help businesses small and large to keep their IT simple and cost effective.
Please contact us for more details.
Is the SuperFish problem Lenovos fault… yes and no

lenovo

So lets be up front for a second, we are a Lenovo partner and Lenovo has very rightly had some bad press in the last 2 weeks…. but the good news is most of the Business/Professional users won’t be affected by the SuperFish bug, this is a Home user virus. if you think you are affected please download Lenovo’s removal tool here.

In short the SuperFish bug is malware that steals information for bad purposes, it came pre-installed out of the box with Lenovo computers. So even before your computer was on…. it had a very bad virus. And i think most people who have purchased a home computer/laptop have taken it home and been disappointed with how slow they are, even some of the high end machines. And it boils down to bloat-ware.

So the question come up why do Lenovo and all the other manufactures but software onto your brand new computer that ruin it. Well it comes down to simple economics. To stay competitive and make the computer cheaper to the home customer, manufactures (ALL of them) are paid by the software developers to install their software onto brand new PCs.  The software developers are normally naff backup software or premium anti virus trails but also a lot of games and other trails of services. There have been many cases before and will be in the future of companies that slip through from bloatware to virus, its a very grey line.

So why are business computers more expensive, a lot of the time build quality is higher, support levels are a world of difference, but also they are simply not subsidised by bloatware. IT departments would run a mile having to wipe every new computer.  A common sentence we hear when sourcing hardware for smaller customers is “i can get that cheaper from PCWorld/Tesco” and we don’t for a second argue, but we know your comparing apples and oranges and if you pay peanuts… you will get monkeys less secure computers. That’s why all good it support companies/departments will go through and remove any bloatware from your computers especially if they are brand new!

We wont defend Lenovo for letting people install bloatware and malware, and all manufactures are equally as guilty and it makes good kit look bad. But we are still fiercely proud to be Lenovo partners because they make amazing business hardware and the support is great!

Free tip for home computers, remove anything that looks trashy, games, antivirus trials (yep even AV is loaded now!) anything that looks like its REALLY wants you to click on it. So much software is now web based, the only things that should be installed locally are applications you need/want.
The rest will be junk!

So… Kixo are STILL Lenovo and Proud!

SSL /secure by default, and why you should be too!

SSL Secure by Default

SSL or HTTPS – what’s the big deal…. SSL/https means secure encrypted traffic. And we here at Kixo like to be early adopters so we can test for our clients and we have gone super secure!

Traditionally encrypted traffic has been reserved for credit card orders and on-line banking as there have been a lot of costs involved with going secure, now the costs have come down there isn’t really an excuse to not do it. So as of this week all pages and content of Kixo’s public website are protected by a certificate….Great… but what does that actually mean?

Well a lot and not a lot! We now have a secure public website…. yes slightly oxymoron, but it’s about the bigger picture. It’s not going to change your browsing experience today but will as time goes by, and why would we secure a publicly available website and content?

  • With hacking becoming more easier, automated, political, for hire and simply more common. Our site is now less vulnerable to Hacking (less doesn’t mean totally) – so this protects the people we work with. Also attacks like DDoS are hard(er) to be as effective.
  • Trust – we are who we say we are, we have to pay and follow standards to show who we are, again this is good for everyone to do, ANYONE can set-up a website overnight.
  • Secure shows committed to long term business and security, you have to secure a site for 1 Year or longer, we have gone for 5 YEARS to show we are uber serious!
  • With SSLs it will separate some of the fly-by-night websites so as SSL becomes the standard, it will make the internet a less spammy place because people and businesses have to commit to their websites.
  • Less than 1% of global queries are secure, it should be 100% this will reduce (but not stop) people snooping on traffic that is open in plain text. Think of it as; would you be happy to tell strangers all the websites you’ve been on recently?

You may have nothing to hide but do you want to broadcast things? SSL doesn’t stop motivated hackers, network administrators, ISP and governments from seeing things, but surely it’s just common sense to reduce your on-line unsecured footprints.

So…secure by default, SSL and https everywhere is a good thing for everyone online to do!

Geek Speak

Geek Speak

Everyone knows in the Nerd world we love to shorten everything

Below are the “human” translations!

 

Hosted Email – Traditionally a business had to have a server in their office which provided emails, now you can rent email boxes, so instead of a flat bill of £1000 per year you can now pay less than £10 per user per month, obviously maths says this is good for small business, bad for big users, however a lot of larger companies like hosted because of the simple scalability and lack of CapEX (see below).

Servers -powered by the combined will of the business to “go faster”.

Desktops – the box under your desk you keep stubbing your toe on.

Laptops – The computer you loose in the car and never seem to find the charger for.

Mobiles / Mobile Devices– the device your other half accuses you of having an affair with.

Virus & Spam Protection – stopping bad things getting to you and occasionally saying “don’t click on that”.

Pro-Actively – yes its a buzz word but we believe in it, we go out looking for things to fix BEFORE they break, controlled repairs preventing downtime.

Monitor – in our sense we have a constant connection to devices “saying are you ok” if the device doesn’t answer or answers saying its anything other than optimum, we get an alert and log on to fix it!

Marvin – We have a monitoring system we lovingly call Marvin, he also handles emails see him here

Wireless /WiFi – this can be various ways of connecting networks and soon powering devices without cables.

Printers – the thing that runs out of ink faster than you can buy it!

SLA (Service Level Agreement) – how long it takes to call you back and get things fixed!

CAPEX (Capital Expenditure) – in its simplest term paying money in one lump up front. Full Description

OPEX (Operation Expenditure) – in its simplest term paying money in byte size monthly. Full Description

There has been a large shift in business and IT from CAPEX to OPEX, less large blocks of money upfront for servers vs small monthly costs per user per month. Better for cash flow, only real difference is you will not own a server, but rent instead. Over a period of 3-5 years it works out on average the same outlay *this is a guide.

SEO/ SERP – Search Engine Optimisation & Search Engine Result Positioning, simply how well you rank in google and other search engines

VOIP / SIP – Phone calls over the internet.
SQL – A type of database, most large businesses use multiple databases, SQL is the platform it can run on.

ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning, normally the software that runs all aspects of large businesses. Examples are Dynamics, SAPS, Epicore

Virtualization – turning physical hardware into a software version, this means better flexibility, and potentially better usage of hardware so cheaper

Cameron’s Cryptic Encrypted Problem

encrypted

Politics and IT are clashing again, this time David Cameron has been talking about encrypted traffic over widely used encrypted public apps and platforms such as WhatsApp, Snapchat. Skype etc

David Cameron
“Are we going to allow a means of communications which it simply isn’t possible to read?” “My answer to that question is: ‘No, we must not.’ ”

The underlying mechanics of what he said could have a very serious effect on all businesses. Private businesses are not countries or political parties, a lot of companies span multiple countries so what’s OK in one is not OK in the other. The danger of governments getting involved in apps to stop terrorism is a very slippery slope to businesses having to jump through more hoops to keep a politician happy.

Whatsapp is an app, but its also a private business. Cameron seems to be mistaking an App for a tool, 99.9% of people will use a tool for good, sadly some will use it for bad. Monitoring traffic will not prevent bad things, people will just use something else.

Either something is encrypted or its not, if a government is in the middle then its not secure, so when you as a business say “our systems are secure” you are actually not telling the truth, because of government monitoring in the middle! The government after all are just people, what’s to stop rogue staff from giving away data?

Companies will have a real world cost attached allowing government access to their data, not to mention all the paperwork attached to this. Apple and Microsoft have decided to remove the costly problem of government and law enforcement requests of data by simply removing themselves from being able to access the data, and by the same token its a huge selling point to businesses. Microsoft and Apple cannot give away you’re data if your an individual or a business, so if you use them its even safer!

Microsoft and Apple have made a very clever business decision to cut themselves out of a costly and bureaucratic problem and turn it into a marketing bonus! Please don’t mistake what i am saying with people should be allowed to hide, but the definition of encrypted which is part of our business fundamentals and common sense is on the same path as banning secure personal chat apps. Secure should be Secure, Private should be Private

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