Tag Archives for " Microsoft "

national-apprenticeship-week

Coretek celebrate National Apprenticeship week

This week is National Apprenticeship Week. This is a week for employers and apprentices to come together to celebrate the success of their apprenticeships whilst encouraging others to start a career as an apprentice.

Here at Coretek, we have always supported apprentices. Previously, we have had apprentices in finance, marketing and IT. We wanted to hear from a few of our employees who had previously been or are still apprentices.

Matt Archdale, Support Technician –

“My apprenticeship was the Level 3 (Advanced) IT Apprenticeship Gold Standard Programme which I studied at the Highbury College in Portsmouth. I received 2 qualifications.

BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Professional competence for IT and telecoms professionals – During this course I had to demonstrate competence in using software & hardware maintenance, and demonstrating an understanding of a wide range of end-user support methods. Work for this course was completed both in the college and at the workplace, with a correspondent from the college meeting me in work time to set curriculum based tasks which suited the work I carry out on a daily basis at Coretek.

These tasks included demonstrating an understanding of health & safety procedures, creating a project plan documentation based on the use of Microsoft Project and implement the project into a real-life situation, as well as displaying an understanding of advanced concepts found within the IT industry.

CompTIA Network + – I studied in both my own time and at the college for the CompTIA Network+ exam. I believe the reason that I was able to pass this exam was partly due to my own studies but also as the exam material had a lot in common with my job which I had been carrying out with Coretek.

Coretek gave me the time and space I needed to study for the exam and complete the coursework which was required by the college. Without the freedom to schedule time during the working day to get these tasks done, I doubt I would have been successful in completing the apprenticeship. The fact that Coretek was as flexible as they had been with me during my apprenticeship is something that I am truly grateful for.”

Bethany Kibler, Marketing Assistant –

“I received a Level 3 Diploma in Digital Marketing for my apprenticeship. I studied this through 3aaa Apprenticeships in Southampton.

This diploma consisted of one day of work within the apprenticeship centre a month and then tutor visits every few months to the workplace. This course was made up of multiple modules, to name a few; The Business Environment, Social Media Concepts and Branding, SEO and Paid Search, Email Marketing, Marketing on Mobile Devices, Website Creation, CMS Management and more.

Coretek really helped with my progress in this apprenticeship. Whether that was getting help on work I didn’t understand or being given as much time as I needed to get all of the work completed. This was pivotal in the completion and passing of this apprenticeship. For that, I am very grateful!”

We believe that apprentices are a great addition to the company and are vital for bringing a fresh approach to the business.

black-friday

The Best Tech Black Friday Deals So Far…

As you probably already know, it is Black Friday this Friday! Black Friday was originally a tradition in America, but now UK retailers are getting heavily involved. On Black Friday, shops drop their prices on many of their products. It is known that the name of ‘Black’ Friday came along because this date was supposedly a date when retailers were going ‘into the black’. ‘Going into the black’ means to make a profit. These profits were shown in the retailer’s financial records. In the records, where red ink has been used it meant there were losses, black ink meant a profit. Black Friday initiated the first day of the holiday season where there was only profit.

This year Black Friday takes place on Friday the 24th of November! However, you will already be seeing deals appearing as of today in some retailers. We decided to take a look at the best upcoming tech deals which you can get this week and on Friday.

Microsoft Surface Pro with Black Typecover – 128 GB

Surface-Pro

The Microsoft Surface Pros have become very popular and now Currys are doing a great deal on one that you won’t want to miss. Get a 128 GB Microsoft Pro with a Black Typecover included for only £849 compared to the usual £1099.99 that it would be. That saves you a massive £250.99, so head over to Currys to buy yours now.

The brand new Amazon Echo (2nd generation)

Amazon-Echo

You may have seen recently that Amazon brought out a new range of products including the all-new Amazon Echo. Well, Amazon has decided to get involved with the Black Friday deals and have brought the Price of the Amazon Echo down from £89.99 to £69.99 making it that little bit more affordable, and a perfect Christmas present. You can buy the new Amazon Echo from the Amazon website.

Google Home

Google-Home

The Google Home is very similar to the Amazon Echo but uses the Google Assistant rather than Alexa. Currys have decided to reduce the Google Home down to £78 from £129. This saves you a massive £51, which really should not be missed. It has been predicted that these are going to sell very quickly so get in there fast. You can get the Google Home from the Currys website.

Sony Playstation Pro

PS4-Pro

Amazon has revealed that they are selling the Sony PlayStation Pro with FIFA 18 + Call of Duty: WW11 (PS4) for only £299.99. That’s a massive £50 discount off of the of the price that it is originally being sold at, plus you have the games included. The PS4 Pro is the upgrade of the PS4 and has twice the amount of power as its predecessor. You can buy this off of Amazons website.

Udemy

Udemy

 

Udemy is an online course marketplace. A little different from the above products, here you can buy online courses to help with your learning development. Udemy has a Black Friday deal on with over 55,000 online courses at £10 or less. They host many different types of courses ranging from foreign languages to music and IT. Take a look at Udemy’s website to see if there is anything that takes your fancy and get it quick whilst the Black Friday sale is on.

Many more retailers such as Tescos, Argos, John Lewis and Game have an array of deals on already and more to come this Friday. Good luck with your Black Friday shopping and remember to keep safe on the busiest shopping day of the year. We have put together some tips on how to keep safe whilst shopping online and in-store on Black Friday.

case-study-featured-image-cloud

Case Study – How we migrated Esdevium Games over to Office 365 with zero downtime

Esdevium selected Coretek to perform a migration from their on-premises Exchange 2010 environment to an Asmodee Group Office 365 tenant. Due to large mailbox sizes, high message counts and a requirement for minimal downtime, the migration was a priority.

Coretek recommended an Exchange hybrid migration as well as deploying Office 365 ProPlus.

This is what the client had to say about our work within this project –

“Coretek implemented Office 365 in an extremely professional and efficient manner. They guided us every step of the way and the success has led them to work with our group on further migrations across the EU.”

Michaela Keene, Head of IT

Take a look at the full case study to learn all about this project.

 

This month's Cooltek

Microsoft unveils motion controllers, an app to track your mileage and more from this month’s Top Gadgets!

Last month was pretty much full of exciting apps and VR! We looked at the following: an app to keep track of your mileage so that you always know what to claim, a power thesaurus that ensures you are never lost for words, a sat nav reflector and exciting news from Microsoft in the world of VR!

MileIQ

MileIQ is an app that can be downloaded to your smartphone. The purpose of the app is to track your mileage so that you can have a complete record of all your tax deductible and reimbursable mileage. The way this works is that the app runs in the background as your drive with smart drive detection. You can add your vehicles, locations and purposes so that it is tailored to you. An accurate record of your mileage is stored securely. The in-app reports give you snapshots of information, however you also will have access to a full web-based dashboard where you can see a full breakdown. Another feature of the app is that you can classify your drive. You swipe left on the screen to define that the drive is a personal one and then you swipe right on the screen to define that the drive is for business purposes. You can download this app form the App Store and Google Play today for free.

Power Thesaurus

If you are a writer then you it’s likely you already know about this tool. Power Thesaurus is a website where you can type in a word and you will receive a set of results. You can choose between Synonyms, Antonyms, Broader terms, Narrower terms and Related terms. These will then be ranked in order of popularity. An example would be searching the term ‘Happy’ you then will see a list of 1.5K synonyms with the top rated being ‘Joyful’. You can also now get Google Chrome extension for Power Thesaurus. You will get a button on your toolbar that allows you to search and view synonyms, antonyms etc. You can also select a word and right-click it to open Power Thesaurus.

Hudway Glass

One of our team members recently discovered something called Hudway Glass. It is a mount with a little glass screen that flips up in front of your windscreen. You then lay your phone on the mount and the reflection from your phone will show on the glass screen. For this to work you will need to download the two Hudway apps. You have an app that will show your speed and another app that acts just like a sat nav . This will work with any phone and will work in day and night. The great thing about this rather than just using your phone as your sat nav, you get a 20% larger screen reflected, making it a lot easier to see. The see-through glass screen does not alter your view so you can always have your eyes on all parts of the road.

Microsoft VR Headset and Controller Bundle

Microsoft have recently announced that they will be soon releasing their new set of motion controllers that can be bought as a bundle with the Microsoft VR headset. These should be available to purchase as a bundle by the end of this year with prices starting at $400. The reference design features ‘inside-out tracking’. This means that there will be no need for external sensors unlike the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. The sensors for the controllers will be within the headset. There is LED lights at one end of the controllers for tracking as well as a round track pad, menu button and analog stick. On the body of the controller is a side grip trigger and a Windows button. At only 350g in weight, they are one of the lightest headsets in comparison to the top of the range ones right now.

This month's Cooltek

An app that saves your battery life, a virtual boot sale and the Home edition of Microsoft Office 365 in this months Top Gagdets!

Our pick of last months top gadgets and apps includes Microsoft Office 365 Home edition, a website that is a virtual boot sale and an app that can help you save battery on your phone!

Microsoft Office 365 Home

Microsoft Office 365 Home is a subscription plan for the whole family. You get fully installed versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook. These can be installed on up to 5 Pc’s or 5 Macs. You can also download the apps on 5 tablets and 5 mobile phones. Also included in this subscription is a free 1TB of cloud storage. If you purchase this on Amazon now you can be looking to pay £55 for a year subscription, which is a great price! If you want to try it out first, you can get a 1 month free trial here.

Shpock

https://youtu.be/T8lMbopHk4k

Shpock is an app that is essentially an online boot sale. Shpock is actually short for “Shop in your Pocket”. It works a bit like eBay, however it is slightly easier and and quicker to use. You can create a listing for a product you would like to sell, add an image, title, description, price and location and then your listing is instantly uploaded. Potential buyers can ask you questions and send private payments very easily. You can also share your listing to social media with integrated social buttons. Shpock is available online or alternatively, you can download the app on any Android device, iPhone or iPad.

Battery Doctor

If you find your phone constantly running out of battery then this is probably the app for you. Battery Doctor, like a real doctor aims to extend the life of something. It is essentially an app with a dashboard that shows you how much battery you have left. However it does a little bit more than just this. You are able to see how much time, right down to the minutes of battery life you have. You can see which apps are using up the most battery in the background and receive many tips on ways you can boost your battery life. You are also provided with the exact amount of time that your phone will take to charge. All these helpful tips and tricks will enable your phone battery life to last just that bit logger. This free app can be downloaded onto your iPhone or Android device.

microsoft-in-education

Microsoft in Education: Whats new

In May of this year Microsoft unveiled their vision and development for Microsoft in Education at the Microsoft Education Event in new York City. Their vision is to not only move the classroom from physical to digital but to also to provide ‘more outcome-driven, personal learning paths for students’ as they stated in their education blog. They vowed to create an affordable and accessible learning platform.

‘Empowering the students of today to create the world of tomorrow’ – Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.

So we are going to look at some of the new developments to Microsoft in Education.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft teams is a digital hub for teachers, students and staff that brings together content, conversation and apps into one place. You can create classes within Microsoft Teams which can then connect with the schools information systems to populate the student rosters. In every class there is an integrated OneNote notebook which enables the teacher’s to create interactive and immersive lessons. Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Planner are all easily accessible through Microsoft Teams too. Distribute, collect and grade assignments within Microsoft Teams. You can create instant meetings as well as sending quick videos and face to face chat through the camera. Because teams is a digital hub, it can be used anywhere, on any device. Meaning students can work together at any time.

Windows 10 S

Windows 10 S is a new version of Windows. The S stands for ‘streamlined, secure and superior performance’. One of the most important things on Windows 10 S is its speed. Log in takes less than 30 seconds.They have got rid of the use of apps from any other third parties and you can now only use Windows apps meaning you can ensure you will have a faster experience. This also makes it a safer experience too as Microsoft have confirmed these apps to be secure. There will also now be many free apps available on the Windows store for education as well as a 1-year free subscription for Minecraft. You will get a modern PC experience with the Windows 10 S. We had a look at Windows 10 S in a little more detail in a previous article we wrote.

Intune

Intune for Education is an exciting development from Microsoft. This is a cloud based service that allows schools to manage their Windows 10 devices efficiently. With Intune you can easily manage policies, settings and apps on all of your classroom devices. Intune for education is tailored for schools. When purchased you will have the express setup dashboard where you configure your devices. This includes customised settings and options for which apps you would like. When the student goes to use the device it will be set up under these desired settings. If you have many devices for all of your students that you need to set up, Microsoft have thought of a great solution. Create your desired settings and apps on one device then insert a USB into that device. The information will download onto the USB. You then simply insert these into the other devices and your preferred settings and configurations will be applied to that device. You can do an entire classroom of devices in under an hour.

Story remix

Story remix is a video creator that will be coming into the Windows 10 Autumn Creator Update. It is created to inspire students and educators to create and tell stories using video, music and photos. It has a Story Editor so students can show their teacher the process of creating their video. You can easily add music, filters, text and transitions to your creations. You can put animated characters into your video enabling it to become mixed reality. Students can work collaboratively on projects seamlessly. This will be available on iOS, Android as well as Windows devices. You can work on Story Remix across your devices so if you start a story on your iPhone you can then finish it off on you Windows 10 PC.

Learning Tools – Immersive Reader

Learning tools for OneNote is transforming the way that students learn. One featured tool is Immersive Reader. Immersive Reader teaching students who struggle to read and write to really immerse them into the literature experience. Students who could only read a few words per minute are now achieving to read 20+ per minute. The tool shows the words of your part of text in a large font, it then has a voiceover which will read through the text out loud. You have the ability to change the background colour theme to what works best for you as well as changing the spacing between the text and the font type and size. The language can be changed and there is also the ability to choose ‘nouns’, ‘adjectives’ and ‘verbs’ which then highlights these in the paragraph of text. This enables the student to differentiate between them with colour coding. You can also choose ‘syllables’ and this will separate the text with dots to show you were the syllables are. Pretty much everything has the ability to be personalised making all of the reading experience just right for you.

 

 

nintendo-switch

Top 5 New Gadgets to come out of 2017 so far

We have taken a look at some of the latest gadgets to come out of 2017. Because, who doesn’t love an awesome new gadget to play with?! Here are our top five picks.

Samsung Galaxy S8

Following on from the discontinued Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung have recently unveiled the all new Samsung Galaxy S8. They really have gone all out on their new smartphone. There is a larger screen with a 5.8inch display which is curved and the S8+ has a 6.2 inch screen making it the largest smartphone screen on the market. Also an 10nm processor with the possibility of expanding the memory to 256GB. There is no longer a physical home button but a virtual one instead. There is also a new AI assistant called Bixby which takes on the likes of Apple’s Siri and Google’s Now assistant. With a fingerprint scanner, iris scanner and all new dual-cameras, this really is a show stopper. Find out all about the Samsung Galaxy S8 here.

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo have recently released a brand new console called the Nintendo Switch. This is a console that can be used as a portable device or can be docked for use with a television. The process of docking and undocking the device takes seconds.  You can quite literally play it anywhere. This hybrid machine is a tablet that has 2 detachable controllers. You can remove the small controllers from the tablet and attach them to an included grip or you can use them solo in your hands. You are also able to purchase an additional controller that will also work with the device. You can buy the Nintendo Switch from £279.

Flow

Flow by Plume is a quality air tracker. It can track, monitor and reduce your exposure to air pollution around you. This can work inside, outside and anywhere you go. It comes with a leather strap so that you can attach it to anything. Flow has 360° of air intake and an LED interface. You can receive tailored air quality alerts and therefore discover the ways to escape pollution. Within the app that comes with this device, you can see on a map where there are areas of clear air so you know where to visit. You can connect your phone via Bluetooth. This is a gadget for those who are looking for a healthier lifestyle. Pricing has not yet been released so keep an eye out on Plume’s website to get a hold of one.

Griffin Connected Toaster

This is a gadget that we use single day. A toaster. However this is not any ordinary toaster, it is a Smart Toaster. One of the features of this toaster is the app that comes with it. The app connects via Bluetooth. There is a slider within the app with an icon of a white piece of toast at one end and a black piece  at the other. You can slide up to your preferred setting. Within the app you can also select settings such as how my pieces, whether it is bread, a muffin or something more. Your settings can they all be remembered within the app. So, is it really necessary? Probably not. But it just goes to show how far our technology is developing. If you want to purchase it, the Griffin Connected Toaster will set you back around £100.

Kuri – The Real Live Robot

Kuri is a little home robot with a shed load of cheerful personality. Kuri has a capactive touch sensor in the head area, these enable Kuri to respond to human touch in a personal way. This is done by a tap to the head and Kuri will look up to the human and chirp affirming. Behind Kuri’s eyes there is a camera which can capture HD pictures and videos. This is good for when you are not in the house, you can see a live stream. Kuri is able to blink, smile, look up and down as well as looking side to side. Microphones installed enable Kuri to hear and react to your voice. He can also hear and detect strange noises and know which way to go to investigate. Different colours appear in the body of Kuri to portray different emotions. Mapping sensors enable Kuri to navigate your house. The sensor helps Kuri to remember where everything is located and stay away from obstacles. Kuri can also entertain by playing songs, podcasts and more. This exciting cute robot is available for pre-order now for £466. You can expect to receive Kuri around Christmas time this year.

Windows-10-S-Laptop

The all new Windows 10 S: what you need to know

In the current age of computer technology, while things are certainly becoming more convenient, there are an increasing number of threats to computer security that pop up and cause us problems. In response to this, Microsoft has released a new version of operating system (OS) under the Windows 10 series: Windows 10 S.

What is Windows 10 S?

Microsoft states that this new OS will be familiar with anyone currently using any version of Windows 10 and is designed to focus on streamlining security and performance. The way that they achieve this is by locking the system down to only use applications which are available on the Windows Store. This offers the advantage of using Microsoft approved applications from the Microsoft Store that are designed to work with the OS with little to no problems.

What is different from Windows 10 Home or Pro?

The main differences between this new OS and the other Windows 10 releases is that only Windows Store applications can be installed and run on the device which has Windows 10 S installed.

Another major change between the Pro and S versions is that the device which has Windows 10 S installed cannot be joined to an organisation’s on-premises Active Directory. It can, however join a Microsoft Azure Domain which has a lighter set of management features.

There has been a change which will be of interest to those who prefer Internet Explorer (IE) over the Edge browser, Microsoft has made an adjustment to the OS which renders the user unable to change the default browser away from Edge. We’ll delve further in to what browsers and search engines are usable on the Windows 10 S OS later in the article.

What are the key features of Windows 10 S?

As mentioned earlier, Microsoft designed this version of Windows 10 to focus on streamlining the security and performance of the OS. They’ve looked to achieve this with the locking down of the applications. This can be downloaded and run on the system as this negates the many possibilities for users to download malicious software from the internet or run from external storage devices. In the same vein, the performance of the system will, in most cases, be better than that of a computer running another Windows 10 OS as the applications you obtain from the Microsoft Store will be fully optimised to run on the OS.

Microsoft has also boasted Edge as being the best performing and most secure browser to use, which is certainly a topic that is up for debate but due to the nature of the Edge configuration on Windows 10 S the browser is locked down further in terms of browser settings. This may possibly offer an edge over other browsers such as IE or Chrome in terms of security, but in exchange you trade functionality.

What browsers are available on Windows 10 S?

On Windows 10 S, your main browsers will be Edge and IE. Microsoft has stated that if you wish to use a different browser, you may download it from the Windows Store. This does mean that the possibility of well-known browsers such as Chrome being available to download from the Windows Store is slim. The reason for this is that for Google to release Chrome on the Windows Store, they would need to rewrite the browser software from the ground up to fall in-line with Microsoft’s security and performance requirements for use on Windows 10 S.

While you are able to continue using IE, Edge is the default browser and this cannot be changed. As a result of this change, any desktop shortcuts to web pages you have will always open with Edge. Similarly, the default browser search engine for both IE and Edge is Bing and this also cannot be changed. This does not stop you from going to Google or any other search engine and using it, but if you like to search for web pages via the URL bar on your browser you will always see results from Bing on Windows 10 S.

How do I get it and how much will it cost?

Unlike most of the OS releases in the past from Microsoft, you will not be able to buy Windows 10 S by itself. Currently the only way of obtaining this new OS is to buy a device which has it pre-installed.

If you’re interested in purchasing a Windows 10 S OS ready device from Microsoft there is the slim and elegant-looking Surface Laptop starting from £979 with discount pricing for students, faculty or staff and Universities and colleges (which was featured in our May Top Gadgets blog which you can read here) and will be released on 15th June 2017.

A large number of devices will be arriving over the summer so it’ll be worth keeping an eye on the latest computers being released by top manufacturers such as Dell and HP. Microsoft has also stated other brands such as Toshiba, Samsung and Asus will start offering budget priced laptops with Windows 10 S.

For those that do plan to use a Windows 10 S device, there will be a free upgrade to Windows 10 Pro until the end of 2017, after which you will be able to obtain an upgrade to Windows 10 Pro from the Windows Store for an affordable price.

Virus-image

Our top 5 tips to ensure you are protected against the WannaCry ransomware attack

You would have to have been living under a rock to be unaware of the latest news in IT.

Last week, many worldwide systems were victims of the malicious “WannaCrypt” (also known as “WannaCry”) ransomware attack. This attack locks the machine, encrypting all the files and asking for a ransom to be paid.

This has had wide-reaching and devastating consequences. According to Europol, there a have been a reported 200,000 victims of the attack across over 150 countries. This is easily one of the largest scale virus or malware attacks in years, if not ever.

The aforementioned victims have been varied. One of the highest profile casualties has been the NHS in England. This has affected 47 NHS trusts in England and 13 in Scotland, which equates to one in five.

As expected, this has resulted in considerable disruption due to the reliance on the NHS IT systems and patient data. This included several operations being cancelled and appointments and schedules severely affected.

Any disruption certainly was not limited just to the UK as organisations across the globe have been affected. Renault had to “shut down factories across Europe” in the wake to the attack. Hitachi are another who fell victim to the cyberattack, along with US global courier FedEx.

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is a particularly nasty form of virus or malware.

The reason it gets its name is that once infected, all files on the machine in question are locked and held to ransom. A message is displayed on the screen asking for payment – either in real currency or in bitcoin – for the files to be unlocked.

There have been a number of different examples of ransomware, just one example being the Cryptolocker virus.

All of these exhibit the same characteristics, with the virus preventing access to the machine and asking for a ransom to remove it. The message displayed will also issue a countdown timer threatening immediate action or all files will be deleted. This is a legitimate threat and one to be taken seriously.

Wana Decrypt0r screenshot

Is it also worth noting that, like any virus infection, this can spread very quickly throughout a network and infect other machines.

The current situation

As it currently stands on Monday 15th, there have been a reported 200,00 victims of the attack across more than 150 countries since Friday when the first reports of the infection started to surface.

There is still a concern that this number will increase with people returning to work and switching on their computers to find they have been infected.

It has been established that a vulnerability in certain versions of Microsoft Windows (Windows XP in particular) has been targeted by this virus. Microsoft have now released a security update to resolve this.

Microsoft have released the following information.

“Seeing businesses and individuals affected by cyberattacks, such as the ones reported today, was painful. Microsoft worked throughout the day to ensure we understood the attack and were taking all possible actions to protect our customers. Additionally, we are taking the highly unusual step of providing a security update for all customers to protect Windows platforms that are in custom support only, including Windows XP, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2003. Customers running Windows 10 were not targeted by the attack today.

 Details are below.
• In March, we released a security update which addresses the vulnerability that these attacks are exploiting. Those who have Windows Update enabled are protected against attacks on this vulnerability. For those organizations who have not yet applied the security update, we suggest you immediately deploy Microsoft Security Bulletin MS17-010.
• For customers using Windows Defender, we released an update earlier today which detects this threat as Ransom:Win32/WannaCrypt. As an additional “defense-in-depth” measure, keep up-to-date anti-malware software installed on your machines. Customers running anti-malware software from any number of security companies can confirm with their provider, that they are protected.”

The major anti-virus providers such as Webroot, BitDefender and Webroot have issued statements that they provide protection against the virus so if people have updated anti-virus software, they will be protected.

Another recent revelation is that a “kill switch” has been identified in the software, which has effectively halted the spread of the virus. A UK malware expert @malwaretechblog managed to investigate the malware and found that registering a particular domain would initialise the kill switch.

How you can stay protected

We have the following advice to ensure you are protected:

• Always ensure your Antivirus software is up to date – you can usually force a manual update as well, rather than waiting for a scheduled update.

• Always ensure your computer has the latest updates – whether that is Windows Updates, or MacOS updates. Again, if you are unsure when the last updates check/installation was performed, run a manual check.

• Ensure your servers are up to date – for Coretek clients, our ServiceDesk team have been working overtime to make sure this was done over the weekend, and we continue to ensure updates are deployed.

• Ensure any firewalls are switched on and have the latest updates installed.

• Don’t click on any rogue or suspicious links – whether they are on a web page or in an email sent to you. If you are in doubt, DON’T CLICK IT!

• Bonus Tip: Check your backups – hopefully you won’t have to resort to this final step but in the event of an infection, it is likely that you will need to restore from your backups. Don’t wait until getting the infection – check your backups now to make sure these are current. We also recommend carrying out test restores on a regular basis.

If infected, should I pay the ransom?

All advice suggests against paying the ransom. The main reason being that there is no guarantee that the files will actually be decrypted, even after paying the ransom.

Ransomware image

Coretek’s position

As yet we have had no reported infections of this ransomware but you cannot be complacent and as such we will be going round each server, client machine and network to ensure the software and firmware patches are to the very latest levels.

We have strong security in place to protect systems for this very reason but we would ask you to please remain vigilant and be aware that most infections will come in through unsolicited email or bundled with downloaded software. If you unsure of anything please log a call with support for further investigation.

Our partners have issued statements relating to WannaCrypt/WannaCry informing that they offer protection against the attack.

SonicWall have released the following information:
“SonicWall Capture Labs identified this attack in mid-April and immediately published protection which was automatically downloaded to all SonicWall firewall customers with active security subscriptions. This occurred well in advance of today’s latest attack.

SonicWall firewall customers with active and properly installed Gateway Anti-virus security subscriptions (either standalone or as a subset of our Comprehensive Gateway Security Suite (CGSS) or Advanced Gateway Security Suite (AGSS)) are safe and are protected from WannaCry ransomware attacks.”

Our recommend Anti-virus solution, Webroot, have confirmed that they provide protection against this attack:
“As a Webroot customer, are you protected?  YES. Webroot SecureAnywhere  does currently protect you from WannaCry ransomware.”

Future discussions and lessons learned

This situation has brought up a considerable amount of debate and lots of questions have been asked on where blame should be apportioned.

Amid claims that the original tool was developed by the NSA, the chief legal offer of Microsoft stated “we need governments to consider the damage to civilians that comes from hoarding these vulnerabilities and the use of these exploits.”

One positive of this situation is opening up a dialog on the importance of security. The virus targeted older operating systems, such as Windows XP which is now out of support. This shows the importance of keeping IT hardware up to date. It also highlights the importance of keeping Windows and anti-virus software updated.

This month's Cooltek

Microsoft Surface Laptop, a Virtual Guitar Teacher and more in this months Top Gadgets!

Our pick of last months best gadgets includes the latest from Microsoft on their new Surface Laptop, application to teach you how to play guitar and extensions to stop you from getting distracted, read on to find out more!

Yousician

Want to know how to learn to play and master the art of piano, ukulele, bass or guitar? Yousician does just that. This app is a personal tutor that enables you to learn at your own pace. Complete beginners and advanced learners can use this app. There is over 1,500 exercises and missions along with hundreds of videos, sight reading sheets and more. You will also be taught music theory. The way that this app teaches you is by setting you weekly missions to complete, providing you with instant feedback on your performance and it takes you through songs step-by-step.

StayFocusd

stayfocusd

If you find yourself easily distracted by that great value holiday that has popped up in the corner of your screen or by your Facebook messenger going off then this is right for you. StayFocusd is a Chrome extension to help with productivity that blocks any websites you wish, for a specified amount of time. So you can get your work done and be completely restricted of accessing your messages and social media account for as long you feel necessary. We love StayFocusd as it helps us to get all of our work done on time and efficiently! You can download this Chrome extension for free, so if you have deadlines to meet, download it here now!

Surface Laptop

https://youtu.be/74kPEJWpCD4

The brand new Microsoft Surface Laptop has recently been unveiled and we are loving it here at Coretek. This new laptop has been designed for Windows 10 S, which has been ‘streamlined for security and superior performance.’ With the new surface laptop you do not need to choose between power and travelling light as such a light weight there is an ideal balance of both as well as all-day battery life. You get faster and more natural navigation on the 13.5″ PixelSense Display with the immersive touchscreen. This slim and elegant laptop has been made to rival the MacBook Air. You can’t get it yet, but it is available to pre-order at around £1000.

1 2 3 4