16 Jan 2019

The Venture 1 2018 Security Threat Summary

As we start a new and exciting year at Venture 1 Consulting, we wanted to summaries what we believe were the top stories that shook the IT world over the last year to do with security threats.

 

Spectre Meltdown crisis

Just over a year ago, on the 4th January 2018, Spectre Meltdown was a security breach that affected almost all server chips, mobiles and desktops. This allowed hackers to gain information from the processor’s kernel memory and potentially usernames and passwords. The knock on effect was significant with major corporations including Microsoft and Intel spending months dealing with the problem.

 

US mid-term election hacking speculation

America’s political status is constantly gaining the mainstream media’s attention around the world. The usual mid-term elections came about in November and whilst usually low key and quiet outside of America, last year was a completely different story…

With the 2016 presidential election campaign already under investigation due to hacking claims, the 2018 vote was also investigated over possible security attacks. Both domestic and foreign hackers were said to have possibly had an effect on the sway of voters by leaking out incorrect information. Security firms were also warning that Russian hackers were trying to affect campaigns in the summer and influence the outcome, favouring one candidate over the other.

Fortunately and ensuring a fair election, only a single instance of voter fraud was found, with hacker’s attempts hardly causing an effect but this event did serve to further highlight the potential for election disruption from hostile external sources.

 

Cambridge Analytica fights back at Facebook

For several years, Facebook has been under fire due to its privacy and data policy. In 2018, the heat was turned up dramatically when British political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica was able to capture information on millions of user profiles.

Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was forced to face the crowd as well as tough questioning from both the U.S. Congress and European Parliament and apologise to the world for allowing users’ personal profile information to be accessed by third parties.

 

Over the last few years, the steps businesses now have in place to deal with hackers and security threats has completely changed. The lacklustre response to almost all of these stories shows that in the world we live in today, we now have an expectation that sooner or later our personal or company data will be subject to some sort of security breach. Therefore, in an ever-changing IT landscape I’m sure we can expect that 2019 will be full of surprises and shocks in the world of IT security similar to last year!

 

What other security stories do you believe could have made our list?

If you need some advice and guidance to do with IT security, or an independent security audit please feel free to contact us directly! (CLICK HERE)

10 Jan 2019

News: Venture 1 confirm deployment partnership with Talon

Venture 1 Consulting is delighted to announce a new partnership with storage solution experts Talon. As strategic deployment partner, Venture 1 Consulting is able to engage with businesses at an enterprise level to help gain maximum benefit from using one of the best technology solutions currently available for data storage, having already installed at one of Venture 1 Consulting’s key clients. Venture 1 Managing Director Mark Thurston believes that:

 

Talon is a remarkably clever, agnostic and flexible solution. With its ability to solve a genuine business challenge of distributing files and still being able to maintain file locking in a distributed file system”.

 

If you’d like to know more about Talon, CLICK HERE

If you would like to ask us any questions on any other topic you feel we could help with, give us a call or send us an email today and we’d be more than happy to have a chat!

 

Services@venture1consulting.com

+44 (0)20 8405 6434

14 Dec 2018

How many users can you effect with an expired software certificate?

Well according to Ericsson, tens of millions…

 

On Thursday last week (December 6th 2018), millions of UK O2 users were unable to text, call or use their 4G connections.
Late that same evening the Swedish technology company Ericsson, which creates most of O2’s backend network admitted that the service downtime was due to an expired certificate! These certificates manage the way a service is provided to O2 customers and put simply, the software will not work if the certificate isn’t up to date or has expired!

This meant the certificate had to be reissued and updated which is also why users were kept offline for so long, with each Network node having to be updated manually, one by one. Ericsson CEO, Börje Ekholm stated:

 

"The faulty software that has caused these issues is being decommissioned and we apologize not only to our customers but also to their customers. We work hard to ensure that our customers can limit the impact and restore their services as soon as possible."

 

Most O2 customers were off line for almost 24 hours, causing chaos for all O2, Tesco Mobile, GiffGaff, Sky Mobile and Lyca customers, which all use the O2 network. O2 has since apologised and has given all customers credit for two days of their monthly airtime subscription.

24 May 2018

Top 5 considerations to think about before migrating to Office 365

For small and medium sized businesses, Office 365 is a game changer with its wide range of applications and well established, versatile options to suit any business’s needs. As friendly as Office 365 may be for users, there are a few factors that should be considered before making the jump to reduce the risk of time, effort and money being wasted. To help with your decision, we’ve put together our top 5 considerations to think about before migrating to Office 365.

 

Identity

With mailboxes moving to the cloud, access to these mailboxes for on premise users needs to be considered. There are various ways to do this with separate passwords, password synch and ADFS. ADFS is recommended for a fully featured single sign on experience. With this comes the need for ADFS infrastructure.

 

Email clients

It is best practice for Email clients such as Outlook to have the latest updates installed, to maintain Office 365 hybrid functionality.

 

Shared calendars:

In a hybrid environment, shared calendars across premises (O365 <-> On Prem Exchange) can only have read permissions and not write permissions. Therefore it is best practice to migrate teams who share calendars at the same time.

 

Backups:

Although Office 365 is designed in a high availability manner, data is not backed up; meaning deleted user data is not recoverable. It’s worth considering looking into 3rd party backup solutions or using Office 365 litigation hold to retain all data.

 

Active Directory UPN:

Ensure the AD UPN matches the primary O365 SMTP address to ensure a seamless logon when it comes to Single Sign On. If they don’t match it’s worth considering changing the UPN name.

 

If you’d like to know more about how Venture 1 could help your business, or would like to ask us any questions on any topic you feel we could help with, give us a call or send us an email today and we’d be more than happy to have a chat!

Services@venture1consulting.com

+44 (0)20 8405 6434

15 Feb 2018

Apprenticeship | What’s it like to be an Apprentice at Venture 1 Consulting?

Here, I want to reflect on how I have found the last 6 months working as an apprentice for Venture 1 Consulting and give a small insight into what I do.

Background.

Back in early December 2015, just before I started, the concept of going into full time work truly excited me. I was quite nervous with digital marketing being something I only had limited knowledge of, but I was eager and keen to learn more and University had never been an option that interested me. I’ve always been keen on learning new skills and being able to challenge myself with something new which Venture 1 Consulting has enabled me to do in real life, working environment.

The office environment.

As the days and weeks have gone by, I’ve been able to learn so much from my great team of colleagues who have made my entire experience brilliant from day one. Venture 1 is a relatively small company which I have actually found to be so helpful whilst being an apprentice. No single colleague is ever far away if I ever need help with anything and I have a great relationship with everyone. From my Managing Director to the sales team, I am always made welcome by everyone, which has enabled me to settle in well within no time at all.

My journey.

During my time at Venture 1, I have been able to see and experience so many new things. One of my favourite moments has been visiting the Microsoft headquarters in Reading. Within the second week of starting at Venture 1, I found myself sitting in one of the many meeting rooms available at Microsoft. It really was breath-taking, taking my first steps into such a renowned worldwide organisation; it was truly amazing.

On a day to day basis, I spend most of my time preparing, planning and creating content and campaigns, using new and existing skills from spreadsheet software to Adobe Illustrator. I also find myself doing bits and pieces of admin work which I have also enjoyed as this enables me develop a wide range of skills which will always be helpful.

Summary.

The last 6 months have been fantastic. I always wake up in the mornings excited for work (even on Monday’s!) especially knowing that no single day is ever the same. I’ve really enjoyed the challenge of starting something new in such a great working environment and I look forward to next 6 months ahead of me, being a Digital Marketing apprentice at Venture 1 Consulting!

15 Dec 2017

News | VDI Performance Review for a Local Authority

Venture 1 recently conducted a performance and configuration review of a medium sized VDI estate (circa 400 users), for a well-known local authority.

Venture 1 was able to use its expertise in VDI end user computing to produce a detailed and comprehensive report that allows the Council to address the shortcomings of the current environment and improve the overall user experience whilst reducing the total cost of ownership and the operational efficiency of the IT department as a whole.

If you’d like to know more about how Venture 1 could help you with your VDI solution, or would like to ask us any questions on a topic you feel we could help with, give us a call or send us an email today and we’d be more than happy to have a chat!
Tim.

30 Nov 2017

#ThursdayBlog | 5 reasons why your Business should be using SharePoint

Microsoft’s content management system SharePoint has been a leading application within the business world for over a decade. No matter what sector or industry you work in, SharePoint’s great ability to be able to adapt or change for any business is one of the great reasons every business should be considering SharePoint.

SharePoint’s main use when it was officially released to the public was as a content management system, but with its storage capabilities,  this also reduces the need to print or email documents within a business, saving time and money, as well as increasing productivity.

Security and Integrity is key to the way a business runs. One of Sharepoint’s greatest advantages is how secure it is. Whether it be protecting data from unauthorised accesss or company confidential data, Sharepoint enables you to help set up permisssions for your documents and applications and is one of the most secure intranet platforms available.

User engagement between colleagues can be improved with the help of Sharepoint. The intranet application can be used as a social platform for businesses to interact across an entire organisation. When working on projects with multiple people or even document sharing, Sharepoint acts as a hub to help keep all users in the same loop with updates and conversations to keep everything moving forward.

Different roles and permissions can be set out over an organisation within Sharepoint, which makes it so expansible throughout an organisation. For example, folders with documents such as employee handbooks can be made visible and readable to everyone, but with sales stats and analytics, you can make that a private folder so that only the sales team and management can see these.

Finally, SharePoint’s version history control enables users to see when files saved within Sharepoint were last used, changed or moved. Sharepoint automatically updates this which is very useful when working on a single document with a team of people.

If you’d like to know more about how Venture 1 could help your business, or would like to ask us any questions on any topic you feel we could help with, give us a call or send us an email today and we’d be more than happy to have a chat!

Services@venture1consulting.com

+44 (0)20 8405 6434