MSP

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Originally published on the LabTech Blog - Author Josh Preston

As an MSP, you have two choices. You can be your own boss, be passionate about the work you do and work hard for your success. Sound good? Option two is even better. With the right preparation and foundation, you can have a business that runs so smoothly and effortlessly that you can finally take a real vacation.

Running your business with an eye on growth means changing your mindset and your business focus. Continuous growth is the goal, since it means expanding profits and staying a step (or several) ahead of your competitors. The market changes fast, but the more proactive you can be, the more you’ll be able to offer your clients. The more they depend on your services, the faster you’ll see growth in your company and your bottom line.

Here are a few big game changers to help you jump start your business growth:

1. Stay Safe
Security continues to top the list of your clients’ biggest concerns, so find a strong security platform that keeps them protected without risk. Find the perfect balance between mitigating risk and hindering productivity.

2. User First
How many devices do you have? Chances are you’ve got more than one, and so does every end user you support. Enter the shift to by user management instead of by device. Make sure you’re staying ahead of the game by supporting multiple devices.

3. Connect Everything
Data, devices and people are quickly intertwining, giving MSPs the chance to offer a number of ‘smart’ devices and opportunities. The market opportunity for the Internet of Things (IoT) is huge, so watch this one grow in the next few years and see how you can get on the bandwagon.

4. One-Stop Access
In a nutshell, virtualization allows multiple operating systems to run on one physical piece of hardware. This cost-saving trend will easily catch clients’ attention, so be sure to stay informed of what it offers.

5. Keep Compliant
Regulation and compliance requirements are an important and challenging task for many organizations. Wrap your head around the details for a few relevant verticals, and start reaching out to offer this vital service to new and current compliance-reliant clients.

Keep a close eye on these trends as they come to life, and be ready to answer any questions your clients might have about them. The more you know, the faster you establish your place as a trusted advisor—and the more your clients will thank you.

Windows10

Article originally published on the Malwarebytes website

It’s that time again, a new operating system emerges from the Microsoft incubator! While many of you might not get to experience Windows 10 just yet or even in the foreseeable future, we want you to know that when you decide to use it, Malwarebytes has got your back.

The latest versions of our Malwarebytes products supports Windows 10! And that includes:

  • Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free
  • Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium
  • Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit Free
  • Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit Premium
  • Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Business
  • Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit for Business
  • Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Remediation Tool

So one of the first things you should do after setting up your new operating system is to download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. Trust me, the cyber criminals won’t wait until everyone is comfortable with Windows 10 to start targeting folks using it.

To download the latest Malwarebytes Anti-Malware on your new Win 10 system, click here.

Find out more about Malwarebytes at www.bluesolutions.co.uk/malwarebytes/. Call our sales team today on 0118 9898 222 for a free trial or demo.

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Originally published on the Malwarebytes Security Blog

May 6 marked the 15 year anniversary of the infamous ILOVEYOU (Love Letter) email virus. The virus is regarded as the first major virus spread by email.

ILOVEYOU reportedly infected tens of millions of computers worldwide, and cost billions of dollars in damage.

Once a machine was infected with ILOVEYOU, the virus scanned the Windows Address Book and subsequently sent copies of itself to every contact within the list. Using the public’s lack of email security to its advantage, the virus was able to masquerade as a legitimate attachment sent by a known acquaintance.

This simple social engineering tactic allowed the virus to propagate world-wide quickly and efficiently.

In the years since ILOVEYOU, we’ve all learned lots regarding email security and ‘best practices’ to use when downloading attachments. There have been numerous articles, write-ups, warnings, and suggestions advising users to be wary when opening attachments that come via email – even when from a trusted source.

Despite more than a decade and a half of these warnings, email is still a primary vector for the installation of malicious software.

The M3AAWG Email Metrics Report, released Q2 of 2014, indicates that over a three-month tracking period, a whopping 987 billion “abusive” emails were identified as being successfully delivered.

While this pales in comparison to the other 9+ trillion emails blocked by the mail providers, this number demonstrates just how successful  a vector email is for malicious actors to use to compromise their victims.

While the M3AAWG report doesn’t distinguish between emails with malicious attachments and other types of abusive emails such as phishing emails, it’s reasonable to assume that at least a significant percentage of the abusive emails did indeed contain a malicious attachment.

As indicated by the report, the vast majority of these messages are blocked by large email providers such as Microsoft and Google, but despite the best efforts of these companies, many messages still find their way through the filters.  Here is an example of a malicious email I received to my personal email account just the other day.

MalSpam1

The success of these malware campaigns relies in numbers. With an estimated 205 billion emails sent each day, it seems to be a herculean, if not almost impossible task to prevent each and every malicious email from being delivered.

We would all be quite peeved if that important document from our boss wasn’t delivered to our email box, or if that emergency change in insurance wasn’t received from HR.

The big email providers know this, so they are forced to tread lightly when determining if an attachment is malicious or not. The problem is malicious actors know this too.  So for them, it’s just a numbers game.

If one address gets blocked, use another. If one message is blocked, send one more – better yet, send a million more. And there in-lies the issue that we in the security field face when it comes to preventing you from seeing (and in the case of malware – blocking) this sort of garbage all together.

A small portion of over-all attempted deliveries and an even smaller percentage of successful installs is all that’s needed to claim success.

Malware authors utilise a dizzying array of tools, services, and botnets to facilitate delivery of malicious email. Email addresses are spoofed. The subject and body can be dynamically generated using unique information to help provide a sense of legitimacy to the email. Most attachments are randomized both in name and MD5’s to thwart detection.

Geo-location is used to send emails to users of a particular region, city, or post code. And the subject matter of emails constantly changes to play into the fears, desires, and dreams of every potential person.

MalSpam2

Attachments are not limited to .zips either. Attachments have been seen to arrive in .exe format (although rare with large email providers), .scr, .pdf, .com, .js, or a variety of others. Here we can see how some attachments attempt to appear legitimate.  Take notice of the large spaces between filenames and the .exe extension on a few of the attachments.

MalSpam3

Remember, it only takes a small portion of sent emails, and an even smaller percentage of those to be clicked, in order for a malware author to claim a particular spam-run successful.

The reality is, these people wouldn’t use email as an attack vector if it didn’t work – but it does.

The only reason it does is because a small percentage of us still click such attachments thinking there may be some legitimacy to the content.

Despite 15 years of warnings, billions of dollars in damages, and countless attacks attributed to email, we have yet to learn the dangers of downloading unsolicited attachments.

So for the sake of humanity (a bit dire, I know) please quit clicking attachments from people you don’t know, or from contacts where the content appears suspicious.

If there is a question if the email is legitimate, contact the sender and inquire.

If you didn’t order anything online, don’t click the Word document advising you of your recent purchase.

If you haven’t done so already, configure Windows to always show file extensions. That way, if you do download and extract a malicious attachment, you can hopefully see if any trickery is being played with spaces between the visible filename and the extension.

And most importantly, educate someone you know who would never read this (or any) security blog as to hopefully help them from succumbing to the ever-changing tactics of malware spam.

Blue Solutions is now a distributor for Malwarebytes- read the press release here. Call our team on 0118 9898 222 and they'll help with any questions or arrange a free trial.

Censornet cloud banner

Cloud web security across all devices – be protected anywhere and anytime

We recently signed a new vendor, CensorNet the next generation cloud security company, to offer UK SMB customers enterprise-class web security solutions.

As more organisations move to the cloud, Resellers and MSPs need to offer advanced security solutions that help clients to monitor and control employee activities online. CensorNet deliver on premise and cloud solutions that help companies have visibility and control over internet and application access across all devices, regardless of whether employees are in the office or mobile.

Want to learn more about CensorNet? Join our upcoming webinars on Wednesday 1st July and hear about:

Visit our website to learn more about CensorNet web security solutions.   The webinars will be hosted by Deane Mallinson (Blue Solutions Sales Engineer) and David Tregurtha (CensorNet Sales Engineer).

We look forward to you joining our webinars. Reserve your place today:

register

 


 

Hybrid cloud solution maximises security and performance with minimised cost

We recently signed a new partnership agreement with CensorNet, the next generation cloud security company, to offer UK SMB customers enterprise-class web security solutions. With over 500 customers in the demanding enterprise and education sectors, CensorNet deliver on premise and cloud solutions that offer flexibility, mobility, scale and security to customers.

What are the other benefits for your business?

  • It will help you to expand existing security offerings to cover a mobile workforce and BYOD.
  • The secure web gateway provides real-time visibility and control of web access and cloud application use across all devices.

With this offering, you can win customers with cloud application control, maximising its effectiveness whilst minimising risk.

Want to learn more about CensorNet? If you’re going to Cloud World Forum, some of our team will be at the Cumberland Arms pub (just around the corner from the London Olympia), on 24th June from 12pm -5pm. Join Ben Vadgama and Vip Hammill for a drink and some nibbles, while they answer your questions and tell you how Blue Solutions can make it simple to integrate CensorNet into your existing security portfolio.

Space is limited, so please register today.

Can’t make it to the Cumberland Pub?  Call Ben on 07756 612592  or Vip on  07773 6026247 and they’ll arrange a time with you that’s convenient to discuss CensorNet solutions.

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Originally published by AppRiver

New Mobile Device Management (MDM) features are coming home to AppRiver Office 365 Plus, including the ability to selectively wipe mobile devices. Selective wipe of mobile units allows an administrator to revoke access to and delete corporate email that has been synced to a device, as well as specific data associated with Office 365 apps on the device, while retaining any unassociated personal data.

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Selective wipe will work across a diverse range of phones and tablets, including iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices and is included at no additional cost for all AppRiver Office 365 Plus plans. The addition of the selective wipe capability and MDM features listed below to the already robust Office 365 Plus arsenal ensures that your Office 365 experience remains easy, effective and affordable

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Mobile Device Management options include:

Selective wipe

Ability to perform either a full remote wipe of a corporate smartphone or tablet or a selective wipe of Office 365 company data from an employee’s device while leaving any personal data in place.

Conditional access

Set up security policies to ensure that Office 365 corporate email and documents can be accessed only on phones and tablets that are managed by your company and that are compliant with your IT policies.

Device management

Set and manage security policies, such as device-level pin lock and jailbreak or root detection, to help prevent unauthorized users from accessing corporate email and data on a lost or stolen device. 

Mobile Device Management Options introduced to AppRiver Office 365 Plus

Cloud-based management for devices that run on iOS (iPhone, iPad), Android and Windows Phone will be supported and the roll out for these capabilities will be completed in 4-6 weeks. All features will be included with all AppRiver Office 365 Plus and bundle licenses.

Contact our Sales Team today on  0118 9898 222 to find out more about Office 365

comptia-logo

The managed service best practice offerings template is intended to provide a list of the most common offerings that are currently being deployed by newly formed managed service practices.

The list has been developed based on the experience of IPED consultants, research conduct with numerous channel partners and direct discussions with partners that have successfully built an MSP practice. Although the customer offerings vary from MSP to MSP, most of the solution providers that have built a successful MSP practice have started their practice with one or more of a variety of managed services.  You can read the CompTIA Managed Service Best Practice Offerings study here.

Need more help with finding the right solutions for your MSP business? Call our sales team today on 0118 9898 222.

 

 

LabTech logo

Originally published on the LabTech Software blog

As a managed service provider (MSP), chances are you have a desire to take your business to the next level. The MSPs that are successful in this endeavour have a key ingredient in common: they are armed with the right tools for growth. The most critical tool for success in this business is a powerful remote monitoring and management (RMM) solution.

So the question is, what should you be looking for when you purchase an RMM tool, and why are those features important to your business?

The right RMM tool impacts your business success with five key benefits. With a powerful and feature-rich RMM solution in place, you can:

  1. Automate any IT process or task.
  2. Work on multiple machines at once.
  3. Solve issues without interrupting clients.
  4. Integrate smoothly into a professional services automation (PSA) tool.
  5. Manage everything from one control centre.

To better understand why these features are so influential, let’s talk a little more about each of them.

 Automate Any IT Process or Task

Imagine being able to determine a potential incident before your client feels the pain and fix it in advance to avoid that negative business impact. Being able to automate any IT process gives you the proactive service model you need to keep your clients happy for the long haul.

Work on Multiple Machines at Once

To solve complex issues, an MSP must be able to work on all the machines that make up a system. If you are attempting to navigate this maze via a series of webpages, it is hard to keep up with progress and makes it easy to miss a critical item during the diagnosis. Having the ability to work on multiple machines at once is paramount to developing your business model and maximizing your returns.

Solve Issues without Interrupting Clients

One of the biggest challenges that MSPs face is fixing issues without impacting their clients’ ability to work. With the wrong tools in place, the solution can be nearly as disruptive as the issue it’s meant to fix. The right tool must allow a technician to connect behind the scenes, troubleshoot and remediate the problem without impacting the client’s ability to work.

Integrate Smoothly Into a PSA Tool

Two-way integration between your RMM and PSA solutions eliminates bottlenecks and allows data to flow smoothly between the tools. The goal of integration is to enable you to respond more quickly to client needs as well as capture and store historical information that leads to easier root cause analysis.

A solid integration will also increase sales by turning data into actionable items that result in quotes and add-on solutions. The key areas to examine when looking at how a PSA and RMM integrate are:

  • Managing tickets and tasks
  • Capturing billable time
  • Assigning incidents based on device and technician
  • Scheduling and automating tasks
  • Identifying and managing sales opportunities
  • Managing and reporting on client configuration information

A solid integration into a PSA will create an end-to-end unified solution to help your more effectively run your IT business.

Manage Everything from One Control Centre

The control centre for your RMM solution should be the cockpit for your service delivery. Having the ability to manage aspects that are directly related to service delivery such as backup and antivirus from the same control centre keeps your technicians working within a familiar environment and speeds service delivery. Also, it cuts down on associated training costs by limiting their activities to the things that matter on a day-to-day basis.

 

Success means equipping your business with the right features and functionality to save your technicians time while increasing your revenue and profit margins. Selecting an RMM solution that solves for these five influential features is the key to getting started down the path to success. What are you waiting for?

 

Contact our Sales Team today on 0118 9898 222 for a demonstration of RMM software.

Malware attacks, security breaches and data corruption- just a few of the problems that business owners would prefer not to happen. Knowing these disasters cause businesses to lose money and sometimes their livelihoods, MSPs need to think about their customer’s disaster recovery plans and how long will it take for them to recover if the worst does happen?

The big questions are:

How quickly would they need to recover? This is the recovery time objective (RTO).  How much data can they afford to lose? That’s their recovery point objective (RPO).

Your RTO is a calculation of how quickly business processes need to be restored and resumed after a disaster—the maximum allowable downtime after which the consequences become unacceptable. Reduce the gap between the RTO and your recovery time actual (RTA), the time it actually takes the I.T. team to get servers functioning and that’s money in your customer’s pocket!

Your RPO is the maximum amount of data over time that could be lost. How much data can they afford to lose (or have the time to re-enter into the database)? A couple days’ worth of data? A few hours’ worth? Even less?

Whatever the answers are to these questions, having a disaster recovery solution that helps their businesses recover quickly is important to protect them against the worst happening.

Call our Sales Team today on 0118 9898 222 to find out about the best backup and recovery solutions for your business

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.