Monthly Archives: April 2015

Microsoft logo

Chances are, they may not be – according to estimates, there are still millions of servers running Windows Server 2003. It was the workhorse of choice for many years, but the time has come for customers to migrate to a newer, fully supported platform. That’s where you come in. It’s a great opportunity for you to ramp up your business and support your customers through a major technology change. They’ll appreciate the help, and you’ll appreciate the way your business will grow.

Find tools to help. 

Access our extensive set of resources to learn more about:

  • Talking with your customers about the importance of migration.
  • Ways to assess a customer’s current environment by categorising applications and workloads.
  • Migration options, either in the datacenter or in the cloud.
  • How to develop a migration plan.

Visit the Windows Server 2003 end of support partner page

You’ll also find customisable ModernBiz marketing materials that highlight Windows Server 2012 R2, including partner readiness materials, pitch decks, email templates, brochures, and copy blocks. Use these to show your customers the importance of migrating from Windows Server 2003, and the migration paths that are available.

Helpful tools like the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit which makes it easy to conduct a migration assessment for a customer's current IT infrastructure, are also available. Get started migrating your customers

Call our Sales Team today on 0118 9898 222 to upgrade to Windows Server 2012 R2.

AppRiver logo largerversion

Infosecurity Europe will take place on 2nd June 2015 and we’d like you to join us for our short Email Security and Migrations Workshop, on the same day, at Hilton London Olympia, (near Infosecurity – London Olympia) from 11.30am to 3.30 pm. Can’t attend the whole event? That’s ok, you can drop-in to the Workshop at a time suitable for you, where we’ll also provide you with lunch. At the event, you’ll be able to:

  • Have a hands-on demo of email encryption, file sharing, tracking and DLP technology and how it can be applied to solve daily problems for organisations.
  • Try Hosted Exchange and Office 365 migration with BitTitan.
  • See how email archiving works with Global Relay.

You’ll also meet AppRiver product specialists, who will answer any questions about keeping businesses secure and how to provide added value solutions to your customers and increasing their satisfaction levels. The Blue Solutions team will be available to discuss pricing and the contact details of our team. We’re also going to enter all attendees into our prize draw to win an iPad, so we hope you’ll take this opportunity to win the prize! As the event will be by invitation only, please follow this link to register your interest and then we’ll send you an invite at a later stage. We hope to see you at our event.

Yes reserve my space

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Trend Micro Silverstone

Some of our team joined Trend Micro for a day at Silverstone.

The day was a great opportunity for our team and Trend Micro to enjoy the races and also get to sit behind the wheel of a few of the cars.

Here's some of the images from the day:

 

 

Our Sales Manager, Emma Wale enjoyed the day, although it was a bit noisy!

Emma Trend Silverstone

 

 


 

Sandra from Trend Micro enjoys her time behind the wheel of the car...Sandra Trend Silverstone

 

 

 

 

Aaron from Trend Micro is looking concerned that his favourite car might not win the race...

Aaron Trend Silverstone

 

 

 

 

 

Other pictures from the day:

Trend DayTrend car2 Silverstone  Trend Car 21Apr

 

 

Cryptolocker Banner

This important notification is being released by Trend Micro for AWARENESS of the Ransomware Cryptolocker family. The main purpose of this Threat Awareness is to provide complete information about the threat and communicate the recommended solutions and best practices so that customers can apply them and avoid being affected or contain the threat from spreading further. If similar infections are being experienced in your respective regions, please contact your support engineer.

Threat brief

We are experiencing a resurgence of the malware family named Cryptolocker (and others variant). This is a crypto-ransomware variant which has the capability to encrypt files. It uses many technics (HTTPS, P2P, TOR…) to mask its command-and-control (C&C) communications. Usually, this attack is delivered thought spear-phishing method as an email attachment. Upon execution, it connects to several URLs to download the crypto-ransomware. It displays a ransom message. Users must pay the ransom before the set deadline is done. Otherwise, all the files will permanently remain encrypted. But beware, ransom payment is no guarantee that the original files will be restored!

Notable Variant
•  A particular variant, TROJ_CRYPCTB.XX , offers users the option of decrypting 5 files for free—as proof that decryption is possible.
•  Users are also given 96 hours, instead of 72 hours, to pay the ransom fee.
•  The displayed ransom message has options for four languages, namely, English, Italian, German and Dutch.
•  In some case, infection could occur through embedded URL over email or compromised web site with drive-by download technics.
Ransomware Image

How to protect from CRYPTOLOCKER attack ?
•  Use Reputation for real-time protection using cloud automatic sharing system (Smart Protection Network)

◦  Email Reputation to block malicious and suspicious email.
◦ Web Reputation to block compromised websites, newly C&C remote hosts and other disease vectors.
◦  File Reputation through SmartScan technology for real-time security updates on your solutions.

• Leverage sandbox, emulation and heuristic integration in current Trend Micro product with Custom Defense approach

◦ Automatic execution of suspicious content on innovative dynamic engines
◦ Native & easy deployment to existing Trend Micro solutions (OffiScan, IMSva, IWSva, ScanMail…)
◦ Empower Deep Discovery approach to detect over network any cryptolocker attack, ransomware, 0-day, targeted attack and any others unkown malware/variant

• Apply Best Practices on your Trend Micro solutions
Block potentially dangerous file over email (exe, scr, cab filetype…)
◾IMSva : http://esupport.trendmicro.com/solution/en-us/1099617.aspx
◾WFBS & ScanMail : http://esupport.trendmicro.com/solution/en-us/1099619.aspx

◦Tune Endpoint security solutions with Trend Micro recommendations
Malware : http://esupport.trendmicro.com/solution/en-us/1054115.aspx
◾Ransomware : http://esupport.trendmicro.com/solution/en-us/1099423.aspx
http://esupport.trendmicro.com/solution/en-us/1101715.aspx

•Education to end-user is key to pro-active defense:
◦ Always check who the email sender is.
◦ Double-check the content of the message.
◦ Refrain from clicking links in email.
◦ Backup important data.

• Coming soon into OfficeScan 11 Service Pack 1 !!! Anti-Cryptolocker feature to protect your personal file against encryption or malware action. Beta will start in few weeks. Contact your support engineer for more information.

How te remediate if Cryptolocker infection is running ?
• Détection and removal tool for Cryptolocker :

Threat Cleaner for GOZ and CryptoLocker (32-bit and 64-bit)
• Most of the time, encrypted personal file are lost even if user pays the ransom. Backup restore is the best solution to retrieve original and unmodified personal files.
• For Windows users, in case of system backup & restore features were active, lost files could be restored based on last automatic backup :

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/previous-versions-of-files-frequently-asked-questions

If you have any queries about Trend Micro Solutions and the Ransomware Cryptolocker family, call our support team on 0118 9898 245.

AppRiver logo largerversion

Article published on the AppRiver Blog

Google continues to phase out Postini services in favor of the Google Apps platform.  Consequently, we continue to receive requests to migrate Postini filtering accounts to SecureTide by AppRiver.  In this post, we will discuss the process through which your Postini mailboxes and settings can be easily migrated to SecureTide.

To export all mailbox senders lists (approved and blocked), as well as the associated settings, you will need to follow some simple steps both to retrieve the data and to prepare it for our  Support team will assist you during the migration to SecureTide.  After the data is in place, we’ll help you change your MX records to redirect your mail through our data centers.  Once the process is complete, your domains, mailboxes, approved senders and blacklists will be available through the Customer Portal and your spam and malware will be captured in our quarantine areas.

To export Postini mailboxes and settings, follow these simple steps:

1.  Export Mailboxes and Aliases

Exporting the complete set of data is a two-step process that produces two separate source files.  The first file to be exported contains mailboxes along with their aliases:

  • In the Postini interface, go to Orgs and Users > Orgs.
  • Click on the domain you wish to export. (For this example, we will use domain.com as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1.  Select Domain

  • In Organization Management, note the Organization ID number located in the Settings section (see Figure 2).

 

Figure 2.  Note the Organization ID Number

 

  • Select the Batch link at the top of the page, enter the following command into the Manual Input field (see Figure 3), using the Organization ID number noted previously as the value for targetOrg and complete the on-screen instructions:

listusers ALL, targetOrg=1000012345, childorgs=1, fields=PRIMARY_ADD|ADDRESS, aliases=1, sort=primary_add:nd

Figure 3.  Export Aliases from Postini using the Batch Command

  • Select the batch results, copy and paste the data and save as a text file called domain.com_alias.txt.

2.  Export Approved/Blocked Senders Lists

Continue as follows to export all associated Approved/Blocked Senders Lists:

  • Go to Orgs and Users > Users.
  • Choose the top Account-level org from the Choose Org list.
  • Click the Download Users/Settings link as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4.  Export Approved/Blocked Senders List

  • Select the Batch results, copy and paste the data from the popup window and save the data as a text file called domain.com_Users_Settings.txt.
  • The exported data will contain such information as the # address, user_id, junkmail_filter to set email filtering active, category filtering levels, virus scanning settings, approved_senders, approved_recipients, blocked_senders, as well as other available inbox settings (see Figure 5).

Postini Exported Settings Shown

3.  Provide data to AppRiver for Migration

Now that you have all data exported into two separate files, send both files to support@bluesolutions.co.uk.  Our support team will import your data to our platform and provide a walkthrough on AppRiver’s SecureTide service.

Call our sales team on 0118 9898 222 for more information about AppRiver secure email messaging solutions.

StorageCraft banner27Jun14StorageCraftStorageCraft® ShadowProtect® Small Business Server has been rebranded to StorageCraft® ShadowProtect® for Small Business.

This name change is being made to better reflect the diversity of Microsoft products supported, including:

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials and Foundation
  • Windows Server 2012 Essentials and Foundation
  • Windows Small Business Server (SBS)
  • Additional Windows operating systems listed on the ShadowProtect page of the StorageCraft web site.

The only change is the name. All features and functionality remain the same.

If you have any questions about this name change, please contact our sales team on 0118 9898 222.

 

 

bluesolutions_logo-colour

Article published in IT Channel Expert with Jonatan Bucko, Blue Solutions Product Manager

From software installation and set-up to managing networks, MSPs/IT service providers often have never-ending to-do lists. While problem solving for clients, they need to find answers to their own questions to help them run their businesses.

So what are the pitfalls for MSPs/IT service providers and how do you deal with them? In this article, I’ve outlined some of the difficulties they face and how they can be managed:

Finding the right solutions for your clients

If you type ‘MSP/IT service provider’ into Google, you’ll find never ending pages for back-up, security, cloud solutions etc. Before you commit to buying any new services, do some research on the industry. For example, industry trends, current customers’ peak network and server usage times. Think about your clients’ requirements, are their businesses growing? Is there a particular IT issue that’s caused a problem that you can help with? Don’t forget that speaking to your industry peers can also help; the insight you can gather from speaking to others at forums and conferences can keep you informed and ensure you provide solutions that clients want.

Running multiple networks with stretched resources

Running multiple clients networks creates a lot of opportunities but also means an MSP/IT service provider’s time and resources are stretched. Juggling tasks, responding to queries and keeping customers happy can make your days longer than they need to be.  MSPs/IT service providers should take a look at where they can use solutions that will make this ‘juggling act’ easier, while providing greater value to any clients.

For example automation tools can reduce the time spent on certain tasks, reduce costs and increase efficiency. Also, with a back-up and disaster recovery solution, MSPs/IT service providers can show customers they are efficient in the way they can pre-empt issues (e.g. being aware of a server running out of space before it affects a client’s business operations).

Increasing efficiency

Following on from my previous point – reducing costs and improving efficiency is key to maintaining a thriving business.

One of the tools available to help MSPs/IT service providers with this are IT systems monitoring & management platforms, which remove time-intensive and repetitive support tasks. These solutions become a necessity as you scale your business and its service delivery model.

Whilst many will provide out-of-the box automation of common IT tasks, in some cases creating an automation policy (script) may be required to address a particular time-hog. It is important that the platform allows for comprehensive scripts to be created, through an interface that exposes the functionality to even the novice users, making it easy for them to build policies that will automate repeatable work.

The scripting engine must be intelligent enough requiring minimal user input, yet working in harmony with the platform’s many facets such as monitoring, ticketing and time entry functionalities. Ultimately it doesn’t matter if the newly created policy is going to run on two machines or 2,000, it must do the exact same thing in the same amount of time in every single occurrence.

Once the repeatable tasks have been automated, a review schedule should be created to periodically assess and improve the service delivery as it evolves and the business will reap the benefits.

It could be summarised that a business can scale only as much as its individual processes do.

I’ve heard this comment from a business owner: “The main component is the consistency of approach not necessarily the back-end technology. The platform must enable you to create repeatable, improvable and scalable, automated processes, which can potentially deliver unlimited value at marginal cost”.

Managing costs and making a profit

Constant changes to technology and customer requirements means MSPs/IT service providers are always trying to manage costs and maintain profits. Many of them are finding a way to do this by joining MSP partner programs.

Joining these programs gives MSPs/IT service providers a business model that fits how they work. When looking for a program some other points to consider – will the program help you to manage billing your clients or which tools are available to help you run your business efficiently? Above all, will joining the program grow your business?

Staying on top of industry information

So, while MSPs/IT service providers are busy running their businesses, where do they find the time to stay up-to-date on the latest products and industry news? To be honest this isn’t always possible. So looking out for vendor materials that cover different industry topics can save you a lot of time and keep you on top of everything. Make use of free e-books, webinars, videos, online demos and white labelled content (that you can brand). This will save you the time and trouble of trying to create your own content, as well as helping to answer clients’ queries.

Let’s not forget about the admin!

A lot of us have never liked doing admin – and this won’t change! But it’s something that MSPs/IT service providers need to manage well to avoid payment delays and ‘slowing’ their businesses down. For example, think about your invoicing – what date do you plan to do this? Will the vendor’s processes align with yours? Dull I know but it has to be done.

As you can see from these examples, with some planning and using available resources, MSPs/IT service providers can manage these pitfalls while building profitable businesses.

Contact our sales and product specialists today on 0118 9898 222 to help you find the right solutions for your MSP business.