Global outbreak of ransomware – Important information for all our clients

Posted in: Dexter's Blog- May 15, 2017 Comments Off

As is being communicated via World press, on Friday 12th May a new ransomware began spreading widely impacting a large number of organisations, particularly across Europe and in the UK.

What is ransomware and what does the virus do?

Ransomware is a type of virus, or malware (malicious software), that is usually delivered as an attachment in an e-mail. The e-mail could appear to come from a known sender and the attached files will purport to be commercial documents such as invoices, credit notes, shipping notices and/or receipts. Once the user double clicks on the attachment to open it, your system will become infected. In the majority of cases, the user will see no response to opening the attachment, it will appear that nothing has happened. The ransomware will then encrypt any known file types (Word, Excel, Sage, etc) it can find, both on your local computer and across any network shares. The malware creators will then demand a ‘ransom’ payment to decrypt the files and restore your access.

In this instance, the malware also takes advantage of a vulnerability in the Microsoft Windows operating system that was identified in March 2017, allowing the malicious code to spread rapidly across your network and infect other systems. A single point of entry therefore has the potential to infect an entire network in a very short space of time.

What has been done so far?

When the vulnerability in Microsoft Windows was identified in March 2017, Microsoft quickly released a security patch that would remove this potential exploit. Whilst this patch will do nothing to prevent infection of your local computer should you inadvertently open a malicious attachment, it will prevent the malicious code from spreading across networks and isolate it to a single workstation. In the case of recent newsworthy infections such as NHS England, many users are still using very old versions of Microsoft Windows XP which Microsoft no longer support and as such, no patch was released for this version of the Operating System.

All of our customers use enterprise-grade anti-virus and security software. This software has and will continue to identify ransomware e-mails en-route into your organisation and delete them before they reach you. In some cases, where the malicious intent of an e-mail cannot be wholly determined, the e-mail is delivered to you but the attachment removed as a further precaution.

In the majority of cases and in line with our best practices documents, no user will have administrative access to the workstations. This will prevent you from installing software without first calling our helpdesk to have the installation authorised by means of an administrative password. In the majority of cases this safeguard will prevent the malware from executing even if opened by a user, however this is a final line of defence and depending on the malware, may not always be successful.

What can I do?

Whilst we will approve and deploy updates from Microsoft, including the March 2017 security update mentioned above, the installation of these updates is handled by your local workstation. As such, you should ensure that you have no pending updates waiting to be installed. You can check this by looking for an icon informing you that updates are ready to install in the bottom right corner of your screen (alongside the time/date). If clicking on this prompts that you have updates waiting to be installed, please click the install button and restart your computer when prompted. You can see an example of this icon by clicking here.

If you have off-site backup that uses removable/swappable backup disks, ensure your backup disks are being changed at the required schedule. In the event of an organisation-wide infection we will rely upon the most recent off-site backup to recover corporate data. We will continue to monitor backup jobs daily and notify you should a backup fail for any reason.

This malware along with many others like it, rely upon an end-user downloading and/or opening the malicious file. As is always recommended by us, but with added importance from today, users should remain vigilant and treat e-mails with suspicion unless they are certain as to their authenticity, especially if the e-mail contains file attachments.

  • If the e-mail is from an untrusted or unknown sender avoid opening any attachments without first verifying their authenticity.
  • Always pay close attention to the language used in the e-mail, including any spelling and localisation
  • Always ask yourself whether the sender would/should be e-mailing you this information. For example, if you are not in the accounts department would you be expecting to receive invoices/credit notes? Similarly, if you do not or have not used a courier such as FedEx, would you be expecting a shipping notice from them?
  • If in any doubt, delete the e-mail. If legitimate the sender will no doubt follow up with you, better a delayed response to a single e-mail than an organisation-wide outage caused by opening the attachment.

You, the user are the best form of defence against this threat. An infection to a network will always start with a user downloading or opening the malicious attachment. Please be extra vigilant during this time of high risk.

Further assistance

Further assistance can be obtained by contacting the IT Helpdesk either by e-mail to support@teammetalogic.com or by calling 0345 521 0618 (select option 2 for support).

Team Metalogic Ltd announces appointment of Business Development Manager

Posted in: Dexter's Blog, Media & Press Releases- Jan 31, 2017 Comments Off

Team Metalogic has today announced the appointment of Paul Thomas as Business Development Manager.

A former public sector Senior Leader and Company Director, he brings to Team Metalogic extensive experience in a number key areas including business strategy development, relationship management, quality assurance, communications and marketing. His interests include leadership, innovation and partnership working.  A keen promoter of quality services and making sure businesses understand in simple terms the benefits of effective IT support. Paul knows that technology can be better harnessed to improve the business sector across Wales. He is looking forward to building real business relationships and helping move Team Metalogic to the next level.

Mike Parfitt, Managing Director, provided the following comment on the appointment:

“I’m delighted to welcome Paul to the business and his considerable experience of strategy development and relationship management means he will no doubt quickly become a valued member of the team. As the business continues to expand it is important that we put as much focus on our existing customers as we do on finding new ones and I’m confident that Paul’s appointment will ensure we continue to deliver the highest levels of service across the board.”

Paul Thomas also commented on his appointment as follows:

“I’m excited to be joining Team Metalogic during this period of growth. The company has an excellent reputation in Wales and is developing a UK presence. I’m looking forward to strengthening relationships with all our clients in the months ahead and supporting all parts of the team in this period of growth.”

<Ends>

For more information on Team Metalogic Ltd please visit our web site at www.teammetalogic.com or e-mail info@teammetalogic.com. Press enquiries can be directed to Mike Parfitt, Managing Director, on 0345 521 0618.

Team Metalogic achieves Cyber Essentials certification

Posted in: Dexter's Blog, Media & Press Releases- Sep 01, 2016 Comments Off

We are pleased to announce that Team Metalogic has been awarded Cyber Essentials certification. Cyber Essentials is a cyber security standard, which certifies that an organisation has measures in place to mitigate the risk from common Internet based threats.

Cyber Essentials Badge Medium (72dpi)

In 2012, HM Government launched the 10 Steps to Cyber Security guide to raise awareness and put cyber security on top of the agenda for all organisations. Feedback received from experts was that security controls were still not being implemented effectively. The Government then reacted and created a new certification as none of the existing standards for cyber security met the requirements. The main aim is to reduce the basic cyber risks and to make the UK a safer place to operate online.

The scheme focuses on Internet-originated attacks against an organisation’s IT system. It provides a clear statement of the basic controls all organisations should implement to mitigate the risk, within the context of the Government’s 10 Steps to Cyber Security. There are five essential mitigation strategies:

  • Boundary Firewalls and Internet Gateways
  • Secure Configuration
  • Access Control
  • Malware Protection
  • Patch Management

The five basic controls within Cyber Essentials were chosen because, when properly implemented, they will help to protect against unskilled internet-based attackers using commodity capabilities – which are freely available on the internet.

Organisations that achieve this certification prove that they take cyber security seriously and assure clients and third parties that have basic protection in place from the most prevalent forms of threats coming from the Internet.

Notes to Editors:

Since 1 October 2014, Cyber Essentials became a minimum requirement for bidding for some government contracts (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/procurement-policy-note-0914-cyber-essentials-scheme-certification)

For further information please see www.cyberstreetwise.com\cyberessentials

Aged 16-24 and looking to start a career in IT?

Posted in: Dexter's Blog- Aug 24, 2016 Comments Off

Aged 16-24?
      Currently unemployed?
            Considering a career in IT?

We’re looking for an enthusiastic and motivated individual to join our growing team, working on our Service Desk. You don’t necessarily need any IT qualifications as this is an apprenticeship position and we’ll provide all the necessary training, both on the job and through formally recognised qualifications and certifications.

You will be the first point of contact for technical queries coming into our Service Desk, logging requests in our ticketing system, triaging their priority and assigning to the relevant member of the technical team. You will co-ordinate open technical issues and liaise between our technical team and the end-users at our client sites. Further details can be found by visiting the Careers Wales web site or requesting a job description by e-mailing us at jobs@teammetalogic.com

In order to be successful in this post you’ll need a great personality, good team working and customer service skills and a willingness to learn.

jgw imageThis is a Jobs Growth Wales vacancy and as such is offered initially as a 6-month placement to those aged 16-24 and currently unemployed.  On successful completion of a 6-month probationary period you will be offered a permanent position with us and further opportunities for training, technical certification and progression.

Whilst the position is offered on the Careers Wales web site as National Minimum Wage, we’re proud to have been awarded ‘Exemplar Employer’ status and will pay at least the National Living Wage to any successful applicant.

All applications should be made through Careers Wales by clicking here, the closing date for applications is 3rd September 2016.

What are you waiting for?…..get in touch!

Annual Customer Satisfaction Survey Results 2015

Posted in: Dexter's Blog, Media & Press Releases- Nov 27, 2015 Comments Off

We’re thrilled to release the results of our 2015 customer satisfaction survey.

Starting in 2013, Team Metalogic began introducing the ‘Metalogic Way’. These 6 key principles define the high standards that we strive to consistently achieve in delivering day-to-day service to our client accounts.

Customer satisfaction is one of these principles and since 2014 we have invited each and every employee of our clients to complete an Annual Customer Satisfaction Survey. This document details the summary findings of this survey, along with the benchmark statistics from our per-incident satisfaction surveys.

Overall response rates to per-incident surveys are high and when benchmarked against other global users of our call-management system indicate consistently above-average service levels with the most impressive marker being the rating assigned to our support staff. On average, a Team Metalogic engineer scores 4.97 out of a possible 5.00, 9.71% above the average support engineer.

Overall satisfaction on a per-incident basis also yields encouraging results with the average score being 4.96 out of a possible 5.00, 6.00% above global averages.

Over 80% of all respondents are very satisfied with the speed of responsiveness, the timeliness of initial response and our ability to resolve issues quickly and efficiently.

Over 84% of respondents feel our service levels have either remained consistent or improved over the last 12 months. Only 2 respondents indicated that service levels had worsened over the last 12 months.

95% of respondents feel that Team Metalogic provide services that are valuable to them and 94% of respondents agree that Team Metalogic keep their IT systems running to the highest levels of uptime.

The overall feeling of respondents is that Team Metalogic is a company that operates in a professional manner, is convenient to use, understands the business needs of its’ customers and is extremely responsive to questions and technical issues.

Finally, we asked respondents how likely it is that they would recommend Team Metalogic to a friend or colleague. The resulting Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a globally recognised gauge of the loyalty of a company’s customer relationships. With an NPS of +50 being considered excellent, our overall Net Promoter Score is 74.

Team Metalogic will continue to strive for excellence in all areas of service delivery and hope to further improve quality and customer satisfaction over the coming twelve months.

Download PDF  To download the full summary report in PDF format, click here.

The Dell security flaw (eDellRoot Certificate) and how it affects our customers

Posted in: Dexter's Blog, Media & Press Releases- Nov 25, 2015 Comments Off

Many will have seen the recent news concerning a security hole that was inadvertently placed on Dell computers that could allow attackers to access users’ personal data.

The security hole is present due to some software that Dell pre-install on all PC’s that leave its manufacturing facility and is contained within a security certificate implemented as part of a support tool used by Dell.

Certificates are used by computer operating systems and internet browsers to identify websites as safe. However, security experts said the software installed by Dell had two flaws: firstly, the software would allow traffic to be intercepted, potentially exposing sensitive information; secondly, the key could be used to make a user’s computer misidentify unsafe connections as safe.

“The [latter] means that you could think you were looking at, say, your bank’s site. But, actually, it is a spoof site. The flaw means that the certificate could fool you into thinking you were looking at a site that normally uses a secure connection. You would check for the padlock in the browser – see it – and, unless you checked further, you would simply trust the fake site,” Prof Alan Woodward, a cybersecurity expert at the University of Surrey, told the BBC.

Source: BBC News (www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-34910649)

Dell have released a statement on Monday 23rd November acknowledging the vulnerability and providing a guide on how to permanently remove the software causing the issue. The removal guide is available by clicking here.

Customer security and privacy is a top concern and priority for Dell; we deeply regret that this has happened and are taking steps to address it.
The certificate is not malware or adware.
Rather, it was intended to provide the system service tag to Dell online support allowing us to quickly identify the computer model, making it easier and faster to service our customers
This certificate is not being used to collect personal customer information.
It’s also important to note that the certificate will not reinstall itself once it is properly removed using the recommended Dell process.

Source: Dell Computers

Team Metalogic Ltd would like to reassure our managed services customers purchasing Dell hardware from us that you will be unaffected by this security vulnerability. As part of our best-practices as your managed services provider, all Dell systems that we supply you with are completely wiped of all data, operating system and pre-installed software on arrival to us. We then re-build your PC’s to our standard from what is known as a ‘system image’. In us doing this, pre-installed software such as that mentioned here is never present on a Dell PC upon delivery to you.

We would like to confirm that any customer of ours with a managed services agreement and using Dell PC equipment (supplied by us) need not worry about this issue. No action is required on your part.

If any of our customers have any concerns or further questions please call the helpdesk on 0845 521 0618 (option 2) and we will be happy to speak with you.

 

Liam Torrance the newest member of our team

Posted in: Dexter's Blog, Media & Press Releases- Jun 15, 2015 Comments Off

We’d like to introduce you to the newest member of the Team…Liam Torrance. Liam joined us on 8th June in a first line support role so those of you calling the helpdesk will no doubt speak with him very soon!

Liam has first-hand experience of working in a busy IT department so we can’t wait to get him up to speed with all of our clients’ varying infrastructures. I’m sure all of our valued clients will join us in wishing him the best of luck and as he embarks on what promises to be a successful career with us.

Rebecca Jones joins Team Metalogic

Posted in: Dexter's Blog, Media & Press Releases- Mar 25, 2015 Comments Off

We’d like to welcome Rebecca Jones as the latest recruit to the growing team.  Rebecca joins us in an administrative capacity keeping everything running smoothly behind the scenes. Rebecca has already started settling in and has become Dexter’s new BFF! We wish her all the best of luck in her new role and hope she will have a long and successful career with us.

Team Metalogic awarded Exemplar Employer status

Posted in: Dexter's Blog, Media & Press Releases- Nov 27, 2014 Comments Off

Exemplar EmployerWe’re thrilled to have been awarded Evolve Exemplar Employer Status.

Evolve Exemplar Employer Status recognises organisations that demonstrate examples of best practice in the commitment and implementation of equitable and flexible working practices, and who have fostered an environment which has resulted in a positive impact on employees and the business as a whole.

Managing Director Mike Parfitt said “As we continue to strive to be the best we can be, I’m thrilled that we have been recognised as a Company that applies best practices to not only our service delivery but to our internal processes and procedures. By fostering a positive environment in which to work it becomes much easier to then encourage the highest levels of service delivery and maintain consistently excellent standards”.

Annual Satisfaction Survey Results 2014

Posted in: Dexter's Blog, Media & Press Releases- Nov 06, 2014 Comments Off

We’re thrilled to release the results of our 2014 customer satisfaction survey.

Starting in 2013, Team Metalogic began introducing the ‘Metalogic Way’. These 6 key principles define the high standards that we strive to consistently achieve in delivering day-to-day service to our client accounts.

Customer satisfaction is one of these principles and as such 2014 saw the first of our Annual Customer Satisfaction Surveys being sent to each and every employee of our client accounts. This document details the summary findings of this survey, along with the benchmark statistics from our per-incident satisfaction surveys.

Overall response rates to per-incident surveys are high and when benchmarked against other global users of our call-management system indicate consistently above-average service levels with the most impressive marker being the rating assigned to our support staff. On average, a Team Metalogic engineer scores 4.96 out of a possible 5.00, 9.73% above the average support engineer.

Overall satisfaction on a per-incident basis also yields encouraging results with the average score being 4.96 out of a possible 5.00, 6.81% above global averages.

Over 85% of all respondents are very satisfied with the speed of responsiveness, the timeliness of initial response and our ability to resolve issues quickly and efficiently.

Over 88% of respondents feel our service levels have either remained consistent or improved over the last 12 months. No respondents indicated that service levels had worsened.

94% of respondents feel that Team Metalogic provide services that are valuable to them and 97% of respondents agree that Team Metalogic keep their IT systems running to the highest levels of uptime.

The overall feeling of respondents is that Team Metalogic is a company that operates in a professional manner, is convenient to use, understands the business needs of its’ customers and is extremely responsive to questions and technical issues.

Finally, we asked respondents how likely it is that they would recommend Team Metalogic to a friend or colleague. The resulting Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a globally recognised gauge of the loyalty of a company’s customer relationships. With an NPS of +50 being considered excellent, we are thrilled that our overall Net Promoter Score is 88.

Team Metalogic will continue to strive for excellence in all areas of service delivery and hope to further improve quality and customer satisfaction over the coming twelve months. The results are in! We are thrilled to release the full summary report of our 2014 annual customer satisfaction survey.

Download PDF
 To download the full summary report in PDF format, click here.