Is your business on ISDN? Upgrade before you’re disconnected.

In 2016, Telstra announced its decision to cease sale on its ISDN products and other special services as of June 2018. This is due to the nationwide rollout of the National Broadband Network and the incompatibility these products face with the new technology.

Telstra’s anticipated final disconnection will occur in 2022 – but businesses could begin losing services as early as 2019 depending on their location.

Affected services include:

  • ISDN2
  • ISDN2 Enhanced
  • ISDN10/20/30
  • DDS Fastway
  • Megalink
  • Frame Relay

Important dates:

  • 31 January 2018 – New ISDN service unavailable for customers who do not already have ISDN in place
  • 30 June 2018 – Full cease sale on new or additional ISDN services for all customers
  • June 2019 – Disconnection will commence for existing ISDN connections
  • By 2022 – All ISDN connections will be disconnected and full network will be decommissioned

Companies that currently utilise an ISDN service should start considering an upgrade.

If your business hasn’t transitioned to a compatible product within eighteen months of the NBN becoming available at your address, your services will be disconnected. This could mean permanent loss of your phone numbers and disruptions to your business.

You don’t have to wait until the final disconnection date. Interlinked can help your business migrate to an IP system today that is fully customisable and compatible with ADSL and NBN. On top of functionality and compatibility, it can also cut down on costs by reducing the cost of all your calls.

To assist with your migration, Interlinked can help your business evaluate the below:

  • Upgrading your existing phone system vs buying a new one
  • Selecting a hosted VoIP system vs an on-premise VoIP-enabled PBX
  • Network capacity and speed – your internet connection may need to change to accommodate for voice quality

Next Steps:

  1. Speak to us for a free consultation
  2. Interlinked will tailor a new solution based on your business’ needs
  3. We will take care of all paperwork and migration processes

To find out if your address is NBN-ready, click here.

For details of Telstra’s announcement, click here.

Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme – Quick Facts & Answers

Australia’s Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) Scheme went into effect recently in February 2018.

Cyber security is now more important to Australian businesses than ever, and IT leaders can expect questions and concerns from key stakeholders about what the new laws mean for their organisation.

Here are some easy-to-understand answers to the most common questions, or simply download our NDB Fact Sheet.

Who does the new Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme affect?

Australia’s Data Notification Law came into effect on February 22, 2018. It applies to businesses governed under the Privacy Act 1988 – including any with annual turnovers of $3 million, or businesses that collect and store sensitive user information like payment or personal data. If a data breach will likely result in “serious harm” to individuals, whether reputation, finances, or safety, you are required to notify the relevant parties. Failure to do so can incur fines of up to $1.8 million.

How big is the impact?

According to the 2017 Cost of Data Breach Global Study by Ponemon Institute, 1 in 4 organisations with top cyber security defences still experience data breaches. 90% of a cyber attack’s bottom-line impact is felt up to two years after an attack. It is important to recognise that data breaches are not an “if” scenario, but “when”. The new data breach laws add hefty fines and heightened public scrutiny on top of many other consequences of a breach, including: loss of sales and contracts, compromised IP, and legal action. Customers and shareholders will hold business leaders responsible for non-compliance with these laws.

What do we do when a breach is detected?

Verified breaches must be reported to the Australian Information Commissioner and all affected individuals, along with descriptions of
the breach, the nature of any compromised information, and recommendations to individuals on what they should do next. The law gives organisations only 30 days to investigate any suspected breach, or plug any possible data loss, before notification is required.

How can you protect your business against breaches?

Monitor your networks. According to the Cost of Data Breach Global Study, it takes an average of six months to discover a data breach. It’s critical to have a robust monitoring system not only to help you and your team identify and stop threats more consistently, but also to make compliance with data breach notification laws much simpler. The more visibility you have into your data and networks, the easier it is to give details to regulators and the public if a breach occurs.

Download our NDB Fact Sheet for quick sharing with your business leaders and colleagues.

Have concerns or want to learn more about the NDB Scheme? Contact Interlinked today.

Make voice calls from Office 365

Microsoft has recently signed a new deal with Telstra, introducing Telstra Calling for Office 365.

It’s a cloud-based service for public switched telephone network (PSTN) calling within Office 365 delivered from the Microsoft cloud, and available only for Telstra business customers in Australia.

The service will be available from mid-2018, and supports Telstra calling plans from both Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams – the software giant’s chat-based Office 365 workspace – meaning users can access cloud collaboration and voice services.

Telstra Calling for Office 365 lets customers access cloud collaboration and voice call services with Telstra calling plans supported directly from Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams.

Benefits of Telstra Calling for Office 365:

  • leverage Skype for business and/or Microsoft Teams to use one business number to make and receive local, long distance, mobile, audio, or video calls
  • enable voice in cloud just like every other Office 365 service in a matter of seconds in the same Office 365 management portal
  • use all the normal call handling functions such as call hold, transfer, forwarding, and voicemail in the cloud
  • reinforce branding by letting staff use their existing business landline number regardless of their location

The partnership combines Telstra’s carrier-grade service with Microsoft collaboration platforms, resulting in a richer user experience.

Telstra’s Executive Director of Global Products, Michelle Bendschneider, says employees want to connect in lots of different ways, but without the hassle of disparate systems.

“We are always looking for ways we can make it easier for our customers to connect. Telstra Calling for Office 365 brings the full scope of Office 365’s cloud productivity and collaboration apps – including video conferencing and meeting broadcast capabilities – alongside Telstra voice calling.”

“By combining what have traditionally been separate collaboration channels, we’re helping to increase productivity while simplifying the experience for employees.

“We’re able to offer this unique solution for our customers thanks to our close partnership with Microsoft and deep mobility and connectivity expertise.”

Microsoft Australia’s chief operating officer, Rachel Bondi says the addition of voice services to Office 365 is “enabling all components of our modern workplace solution.”

Telstra Calling for Office 365 is a unique solution to enable cloud voice within Office 365 and is testament to the strong partnership our two organisations have built over many years,” Bondi adds.

Business grade voice coupled with collaboration apps like Office 365 will accelerate the migration from traditional services, such as an IP PBX, to the cloud.

Over 200 customers have taken part in a pilot of the service over the last six months, with 30 Telstra customers now taking part in an early adopter program to move voice services to the cloud. According to Microsoft and Telstra, they have seen “strong” interest in the product.

As a Telstra Partner for Enterprise & Business as well as Microsoft Gold Partner, we’re excited about the opportunity to provide our clients with the best of Microsoft’s productivity cloud and collaboration tools combined with Telstra’s expertise in voice, network and service capabilities in one single solution.

To learn more about moving your business voice needs to the cloud, contact us today.

Office 365 updates for January 2018

2018 kicked off with some new updates to Office 365 apps across all devices. Microsoft Office’s CVP Kirk Koenigsbauer detailed some of the new Office 365 updates in a blog post.

Here’s a quick summary:

  • Get more out of Microsoft Teams: The biggest Microsoft Teams update so far brings a new app store for add-ons, support for slash commands, improved search, and more.
  • Office apps on Mac and iOS: Microsoft is bringing AutoSave support for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to Office 365 subscribers on Mac devices, which means you will no longer have to manually save files that are stored on OneDrive. Co-authoring for Office apps on Mac and iOS also opened up general availability this month.
  • OneDrive for iOS: OneDrive is getting a huge update on iOS — including a refined look, support for drag-and-drop, support for iOS 11’s Files app, and more.
  • Education push: Last week, Microsoft announced some major education-focused update for the entire Office suite. The company is expanding Office’s Immersive Reader and other Learning Tools to more devices, including Mac devices. In related news, OneNote’s Class Notebook is getting support for two of the most popular school information systems.
  • New ways to Yammer: You can now share GIFs, post announcements to groups, and more using Yammer on mobile and desktop.

For more details, check out the full blog post from Microsoft.

Interlinked has acquired Cyptel

We are pleased to announce that the team at Cyptel is now a part of Interlinked.

As one of the most successful Telstra partners, Cyptel will bring on board their expertise and specialisation in the provision of Telstra products within government and enterprise industries.

On top of the great service Cyptel clients are already receiving, the acquisition will now also enable easy access to Interlinked’s comprehensive set of IT solutions including managed services across cloud & infrastructurenetwork solutionsunified communications and digital consulting, as well as a larger support team to service all their technological needs.

A very warm welcome to all valued clients and team members from Cyptel.

 

Powerful features in Microsoft Office 365

Take advantage of the Microsoft Office 365 cloud suite with Interlinked’s free IT assessment. We will complete a full analysis report of your hardware, software and business needs and assess the compatibility of your IT environment with Office 365.

Team collaboration and documentation control

 SharePoint in Office 365 have introduced “co-authoring” where you can collaborate with as many people as you want on documents online. You can physically see the changes as they are being made.

To use this feature:

  1. Click on the top right where it says “share”
  2. Search and invite people to edit the document

Or

  1. Click on the top right where it says “share”
  2. Copy the share link found in the “share dropdown” option and send it to whoever you’d like collaborating on the document

To communication with all the editors:

  1. Click on “email everyone”

OR

  1. Click on “stop sharing”

Link files through email

 Instead of attaching the file to your email, Office 365 allows you to directly link to the file.

By emailing the direct link to the recipient, you give the recipient permission to edit and change the file.

Your notes will appear in your Outlook calendar

You can migrate your OneNote to-do list or planning project into your Outlook calendar. By migrating, you will have the ability to set up reminders, deadlines and keep on track.

To create Outlook tasks in OneNote:

  1. Select the words you like from your pre-made list of tasks
  2. In the menu that appears, click on “Outlook Tasks”
  3. Choose when you want to be reminded
  4. Search in “find tags” for your specific tasks
  5. Once your task is complete, you can click the tag to mark it as complete

 No more email clutter

Microsoft has introduced a folder in Outlook called “Clutter” which can be found in your “Inbox”. By moving less important emails, it will learn and adapt to the pattern to decipher which are important and no so important emails.

The emails will not be deleted and can be viewed at any time.

 Remove yourself out of “reply-all” email conversations

There is now an option called “ignore conversation” where you can remove yourself from “reply-all” emails. The emails will automatically be transferred into your “Deleted Items” folder.

To remove yourself out of “reply-all” email conversations:

  1. Choose an email conversation
  2. Click on “ignore” button in the top left navigation bar

Edit PDF

 You can edit a PDF document in Word:

  1. Choose PDF
  2. Go to “file”
  3. Click on “open in Word”

Contact us today for your free assessment.

 

Police issue warning about fake delivery emails

The ACCC’s Scamwatch has received over 4,300 complaints about a fake parcel delivery scam in 2016, more than triple the number received in 2015 which is targeting online shoppers.

“Scammers will use it to steal your personal information and lighten your wallet,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“Scammers typically send emails pretending to be from Australia Post or FedEx, to try and trick you into believing you have an ‘undeliverable package’. In some cases, these emails may include your name and address and include legitimate-looking company information, complete with fake logos.”

“The email may threaten to charge you a fee for holding your ‘undelivered item’, and will ask you to open an attachment, click a link or download a file to retrieve your parcel. If you follow these instructions, you will likely download a ransomware virus that locks your computer.”

“To unlock your computer, scammers demand payment in the form of bitcoins (a form of online currency) or wire transfer. Even if you pay the fee, there is no guarantee that you will be able to access your computer again.

“Australia Post will never call you out of the blue to request payment or send you an email asking you to click on an attachment. If you receive an email about an undeliverable package, don’t open any attachments or download files – delete it straight away,” Ms Rickard said.

If you think your network has been compromised, please contact us immediately on 1300 302 207.

ISM 6.2.92 Data Wipe Method

ISM 6.2.92 is a software based data destruction program to overwrite existing information on a hard drive or other storage device.

The ISM 6.2.92 method will prevent most recovery methods from extracting information whether it be using hardware or software method of recovery.

ISM 6.2.92 is similar to other data wipe methods except that it’s the Australian government’s data sanitization standard.

What Does the ISM 6.2.92 Method Do?

The ISM 6.2.92 data sanitization method is implemented in the following way:

If a drive is under 15 GB in size, the ISM 6.2.92 specifies that the drive being sanitized must be overwritten three times with a random character.

If it didn’t complete properly, the software will prompt you to rerun the pass, or it might do so automatically.

More About ISM 6.2.92

The ISM 6.2.92 sanitization method was originally defined in the Information Security Manual (ISM) issued by the Australian Government.

The latest version of the ISM can be downloaded from the Australian Government Department of Defence website.

If you need help, do not hesitate to contact us today.

Security in the Cloud

When updating IT solutions, security is an immediate problem that comes to mind alongside cost and time.

In a previous post , we mentioned the outstanding security measures and procedures built into Azure. This week, we’re going to take a closer look at the security risks associated with public, private, and on-premises solutions. When building your IT solution, you’ll be choosing between them.

With good security measures in place, the location of your data matters less than how you access it. This is where securing networks, restricting access, and monitoring access come into play.

Below we explore some of the risks and benefits associated with each of your cloud options!

PUBLIC CLOUD SOLUTIONS

Risks Benefits
  • Data is stored on a shared server and maintained by provider
  • Users agree to terms of use and providers have access to data on servers
  • Network outages: Relies on access to internet in order for access to your data
  • Difficult to see where the data resides
  • Providers notify users of security breaches
  • For non-sensitive data, it’s cheap and easy to set-up
  • Can scale up or down as needed and pay accordingly
  • No cost of ownership, maintenance or upgrades – just operating cost

 PRIVATE CLOUD SOLUTION

Risks Benefits
  • Data can be stored off prem, in a partitioned server owned by a host
  • Existing security tools can be affected when data volume increases
  • Meeting compliance requirements changes with two different regulatory environments
  • Replicate servers and data in even of disaster recovery
  • Configure on-prem and cloud servers can communicate on a private network.
  • Securely scale up or down as needed, including during maintenance

 HYBRID/ ON-PREM SOLUTIONS

Risks Benefits
  • Siloed data can’t be recovered in the event of hardware damage or corruption
  • Employees can threaten security with malicious intent or misunderstanding
  • ·May take time to notice security breaches, leaving you vulnerable
  • Security is under your discretion, as are your employees
  • Complete ownership of data and server
  • Easier compliance with industry regulations

Take the time to examine your IT and understand if it meets the security standards that concern you right now. This step is the most important way to decide what you need from a cloud solution. If you need help, assessments are a great step towards identifying vulnerabilities, the best solutions, and migration-ready workloads.

Contact us for an assessment to build a more secure IT future!

Think Ahead with Azure!

Businesses can’t ask where they want to be in 5 years without considering where they want their tech to be as well.

The way we handle our IT solutions has a direct impact on how we handle business, growth, and disaster.
How do we build solutions now that will work later? By building solutions that can evolve over time!

The need to build forward-thinking solutions with existing hardware is why understanding Azure is key to your next step. In last week’s post, we talked about “Why Azure?”, discussing why Azure is our cloud solution of choice and the merits of its security, support and cost. This post, we’re getting a little more technical and talking about IaaS and PaaS, the two basic services Azure offers users.

Azure is Microsoft’s cloud platform.
Users can buy service for storage, hosting, or running application on-demand from its global network of datacenters houses servers, storage, and software. It supports the largest number of operating systems, devices, databases languages, and tools.  Azure’s primary options are IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service)

 

IaaS: What you get

 

Why it matters

 

How to use it

 

  • No on-premises server that you have to manage and maintain:
  • Access to Microsoft datacenters, servers, storage and software.
  • Run your applications, operating system, and manage your data
  • Increased security
  • Business as usual if on-premises servers fail
  • Hybrid IT options (on-premises and off)
  • Cost + flexibility
  • Scalability for growth and/or use
  • Increase your blob storage and power
  • Create hybrid solution for on-premises and off
  • Integrate Azure with your IT and use as much or as little cloud as you need.
  • Add security through secure private connections, data residency, and encryption features
  • Disaster recovery: have data on site and in the cloud

 

 

PaaS: What you get

 

Why it matters

 

How to use it

  • Off-premises platform for building, testing, deploying, and managing cloud based applications
  • Development tools, business analytics features, and workflow, security, or scheduling features
  • Ability to provide the CPU, memory, and storage for applications as-needed
  • IaaS benefits +
  • Cut development time for applications
  • Add development capabilities
  • Application lifecycle management
  • Improve remote development
  • Manage you service/product while PaaS handles your network and infrastructure.
  • Improve development, testing, and deployment speed
  • Streamline development, deployment, and management through one platform instead of buying software licenses for each application
  • Improve access and stability by scaling usage as needed

MAKING MOVES

Depending on your business, one of the above may be more appealing than the other. Learning about both should help you see how your current solutions can benefit from Azure’s features.

Even for those of us with infrastructure in place, there are excellent options to leverage our on-site assets, benefit from off-site infrastructure and still be thinking 5 years ahead.

You can also contact us with questions or to discuss an azure-readiness assessment!