update adobe flash

Update your Adobe Flash urgently

Adobe has released security updates for Adobe Flash Player for Windows, Macintosh and Linux. It addresses a critical vulnerability that could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.

Adobe is aware of reports that the vulnerability is being actively exploited via limited, targeted attacks. Systems running Internet Explorer for Windows 7 and below, as well as Firefox on Windows XP, are known targets.

Adobe recommends users update their product installations to the latest versions:

  • Users of the Adobe Flash Player Desktop Runtime for Windows and Macintosh should update to Adobe Flash Player 18.0.0.194.
  • Users of the Adobe Flash Player Extended Support Release should update to Adobe Flash Player 13.0.0.296.
  • Users of Adobe Flash Player for Linux should update to Adobe Flash Player 11.2.202.468.
  • Adobe Flash Player installed with Google Chrome and Adobe Flash Player installed with Internet Explorer on Windows 8.x will automatically update to version 18.0.0.194.

The bug, which affects how Flash Player plays video files, lets an attacker use a carefully made video file to seize control of a user’s computer. It was made public last week by security research firm FireEye, who discovered the flaw and reported it to Adobe.

The vulnerability has already been used by a Chinese hacking group known as “APT3 (Advanced Persistent Threat 3)”. The group was sending phishing emails aimed at organisations in the aerospace, defence, construction, engineering, high tech, telecommunications and transportation industries, which installed custom backdoor on the victim’s computers.

“This group is one of the more sophisticated threat groups and they have a history of introducing new browser-based zero-day exploits (e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Adobe Flash Player),” FireEye writes. A zero-day exploit is one which has never been used before, exposing a vulnerability in software or hardware which can create complicated problems well before anyone realizes something is wrong.

A further warning was put out after it made its way into the popular exploit kit called ‘Magnitude’. Kits such as Magnitude let would-be malware authors put together their software without having to write the exploits, and this has already been used to try and install ransomware on victims’ computers.

The publisher has now made a patch available, which can be downloaded using the auto-updater included with Flash.

There is more to SharePoint

What if I tell you there is more to SharePoint?

Microsoft’s SharePoint is a powerful tool for content management and collaboration. It is undoubtedly the world’s number one intranet platform – according to Microsoft, 78% of Fortune 500 companies use SharePoint in some way, however challenges around proper management, customisation and user adoption have prevented many companies from accessing all of the product’s features.

SharePoint online comes free with Office 365, and if that isn’t enough reason for your organisation to utilise it more, there is actually much more you can do with SharePoint than simply using it for intranet.

Information Sharing

SharePoint is perfect for storing all sorts of information, including sales and marketing content and collateral, case studies, product overviews and information, as well as application forms and contracts.

Collaboration

SharePoint’s co-authoring capability enables users to collaborate on the same document, at the same time, without worrying about version control. Updates are visible in real time, and the history of a document is easily traced.

Document Automation

The ability to automatically generate and customise documents in seconds by merging document templates with content stored in SharePoint, CRM and other enterprise systems, dramatically improves efficiency and reduces the costs associated with generating large volumes of complex documents.

Document automation tools can further assist businesses become more collaborative and efficient, and produce better-quality documents, reports, proposals and RFP responses.

Microsoft Office Integration

Adding content to SharePoint for use in future documents is simple. Clever document automation plugins for Microsoft Office allow people to create, locate and suggest content to SharePoint libraries without leaving the Word, Excel or PowerPoint document they’re working in.

Customised for Your Organisation

SharePoint developers are able to customise SharePoint tailored to your specific needs, and design for it to work seamlessly within your familiar Microsoft Office environment.

While many business have SharePoint, not many are using it to its full potential. Explore what SharePoint can do for your organisation and unlock the possibilities today.


Do you need help with setting up SharePoint? Speak to our friendly team on 1300 302 207 or send us a message online here.

Office Lens

Office Lens will revolutionise your note taking

Office Lens – Your Scanner on-the-go

Office Lens is a mobile app by Microsoft that lets you take pictures of whiteboards or printed documents, then enhances your photo by cropping, sharpening and straightening it, so it looks almost like a scanned image. Your picture is added to your OneNote, so you can retrieve it later. The app also has the ability to convert these scanned images directly into Word documents and PowerPoint presentations—that you can edit, author and edit again.

This video demonstrates the app in action.

Download for free now

This app is available for free on Android, iOS and Windows Phones.

Download Office Lens for Android Phones

Download Office Lens for iPhones

Download Office Lens for Window Phones

7 Tips to Speed Up Your Computer

7 Tips from IT Support to speed up your computer

Is your computer extremely slow? Are you just putting up with it day in and day out?

Don’t put up with it any longer!

Here are 7 Tips from our experienced IT Support team to help you speed things up:


1. Have you tried turning it off and on again?

It is a cliché question to ask, but a very useful one.

Any number of things could happen while a computer is running. Processes could be continually eating up more and more RAM (especially if they have a memory leak), other things could be running in the background, programs could get into an unexpected state…etc. The many processes can start clogging up and slowing down your computer, so rebooting the computer resets everything to a “good” state and speeds it up again.

2. Do you have enough RAM?

RAM (Random Access Memory) is used by the CPU (Central Processing Unit) when a computer is running to store information that needs to be used very quickly, but it does not store any information permanently.

As programs and applications become more powerful they often need more resources to work. One of the most common reason computers slow down is that they have too many programs opened and not enough RAM to store all the temporary data the programs use.

There are a couple of quick solutions. Start by exiting out of applications you do not need to use, or by rebooting your computer to reset your RAM (see above). However if you find yourself running into the same issue regularly, then a long term solution would be to add more RAM.

3. Have you scanned for viruses?

Viruses and malware can slow your computer down. If your computer is fairly new and it suddenly becomes unbearably slow, chances are you have been hit by a virus. If you don’t have an antivirus, install it and give your computer a scan. Be careful what you pick, some antivirus programs can be hardware hogs and can slow your computer down themselves. Or speak with an IT service provider to assist you with your antivirus needs.

4. Do you really need those pretty cursors?

Your computer only has a limited amount of resources at its disposal, so don’t fill it up with things it doesn’t need. Those fancy mouse pointers, random browser extensions and plugins, and all that ‘free’ trial software that you installed are slowing you down – they need to go!

Fortunately, the fix is easy. For Windows users, simply go to Control Panel > Program and Features and find what you want to delete. For Mac, two finger/right click on the program in the app folder and just hit delete.

Fancy Mouse Pointers
Fancy Mouse Pointers: Pretty to look at but they could be slowing you down

5. Is everything up-to-date?

Software and application creators regularly improve their programs to make them run better and fix issues. Everything from your computer’s operating system to web browser gets regular updates, so be sure to check that everything is up-to-date and you could see immediate improvements.

6. When was the last time you cleaned up?

Your hard drive is always in a hurry to do things as quickly as possible, and leaves things in different places to find them quickly next time. But after a while, that can become cluttered and your hard drive finds it harder to find things and slows down. To fix this you can defragment it, which is essentially like spring cleaning a house. Everything is back where it should be so it is easy to find and things can speed up again.

Another fix is to consider upgrading your hard drive to a solid state drive, which is much faster than your standard hard drive.

7. Is it time for a new computer altogether?

Your computer could just be too old and slow to run modern programs, so it may just be time to start afresh!


The above are some of the most common issues we come across when dealing with slow computers, and should be a great starting point for you to get your speed back up.

If your computer is still slow or you would like further assistance with any of the above, please feel free to speak to our friendly team on 1300 302 207 or send us a message online here.

The End is Near for Windows Server 2003

The end is near for Windows Server 2003

For companies that don’t make the move to migrate off Windows Server 2003 before Microsoft ends support in less than two months, there will be a rise in security and compliance risk for your business.

Windows Server 2003 has been a reliable operating system used by millions of servers globally, but as of 14th July 2015 Microsoft will no longer issue patches and security updates for its Server 2003 operating system, meaning the potential for vulnerabilities will increase significantly.

“Unprotected systems make organisations more susceptible to data breaches, loss of critical, confidential data, and business disruption such as an inability to run mission critical transactions or deliver customer services – all of which damage the brand and the customer’s trust. On top of that, organisations incur the costs associated with system remediation, investigation, customer care and potential lawsuits following the attack,” said Piero DePaoli, senior director of global enterprise security product marketing at Symantec.

A system remaining on the Server 2003 operating system is essentially an open door for attackers looking for the path of least resistance into an organisation’s infrastructure, potentially compromising the entire organisation.

“We expect attacks will peak around mid-July when support officially ends, as [Server 2003] will then be one of the least secure systems in existence,” DePaoli added.

If you are still running Windows Server 2003 in your datacentre, you need to take steps now to plan and execute a migration strategy to protect your infrastructure. By migrating to a new, more secure operating system or service that can do the job of your old Windows Server, you can achieve concrete benefits, including improved performance, reduced maintenance requirements, and increased agility and speed of response to the business.

Are you uncertain about whether this applies to your business or what your next steps should be? See our quick migration checklist below:

blog-windows-server-2003-crop

Migration Checklist – End of Life of Windows Server 2003:

  1. Check if Windows Server 2003 is running on your network
    Contact your IT service provider for an assessment or download the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit to analyse your current IT infrastructure
  2. Understand your options
    There are a few main options for server migration:
    –  Upgrade the Operating System on your existing hardware
    –  Migrate the roles and services of the old server to a new one
     –  Offload services to the Cloud (such as Office 365)
    If you are unsure which is the best for your business situation, speak to an IT service provider as they can help you understand your options further and suggest the most suitable plan of action for your business requirements
  3. Assess your situation
    Identify the applications and workloads that are running on Windows Server 2003 and categorise them by type, importance, risk factor and degree of complexity
  4. Build migration action plan
    Based on your assessments, determine the migration destination for each application and workload, and plan your migration around these processes to ensure a seamless transition

Not sure where to start? Interlinked can help! Speak to us today on 1300 302 207 or send us a message here.

 

Skype for Business

Skype for Business to replace Lync

Microsoft has recently announced the rollout of Skype for Business, signalling the beginning of the end for Lync, its Office collaboration tool.

Office 365 customers using Lync Online are first in line to receive Skype for Business Online in a rollout that will continue through into May. Skype for Business is also now available as a standalone plan.

Customers using Lync Online now with Office 365 ProPlus, Office 365 Business Premium or Office 2013 will see the Skype for Business client as the default in place of Lync.

The company is providing Office 365 administrators control of when the updated experience is rolled out to their users, and the ability to toggle between Skype for Business and the traditional Lync user interface for customers that need more time to adjust to this transition.

Benefits of the transition to Skype for Business for your organisation:

  • Skype-inspired design With the same look and feel of the Skype client, your users will benefit from the same familiar user interface and ease of use with the new Skype for Business clients.
  • Global reach Voice and video connectivity to the entire Skype network.
  • Full Lync feature set Because Skype for Business builds on existing Lync features, no features or functionality will be lost.

Changes to expect

  • Lync 2013 clients are changing to Skype for Business clients.
  • Lync Web app is changing to Skype for Business web app.
  • Lync admin center is changing to Skype for Business admin center.
  • Lync Online is changing to Skype for Business Online.

All new User Interface

Contact window and features inspired by Skype:

Skype for Business

Meetings experience and buttons with the look and feel of Skype:

Skype for Business

Skype for Business icon in taskbar:

Skype for Business

Skype for Business title bar (Lync mode):

Skype for Business

Skype for Business title bar (Skype for Business client):

Skype for Business

Windows Search using either names returns Skype for Business:

Skype for Business

Already on Skype for Business?

Here is a step-by-step guide for new users:

Infectious Spam Alert

Infectious Spam Alert

Over the past week we have had a significant amount of infectious spam emails going out to our clients.

Below are some examples of emails that have been quarantined by our email security system, with senders imitating the Australian Tax Office, Australia Post and other trusted organisations.

spam-1 spam-2 spam-3

A few tips to help you stay protected:

  • Ensure that your backups are working and you have a rotating set of drives or tapes
  • Ensure your Antivirus is up-to-date
  • Be aware of any emails that ask you to reply quickly or act fast
  • Alert users to new malware campaigns immediately.
  • If the email is from someone you do not know, do not open it
  • Implement effective email security tools and policies, such as blocking executable or zipped attachments from unknown senders, or setting email filtering rules.
  • Prevent downloading executable or zipped attachments via HTTP/HTTPS connections.
  • Microsoft Essentials, AVG, and other free AV products should not be used
  • Isolate infected endpoints from the network as soon as possible
  • Subscribe to alert services such as Australian Government’s Stay Smart Online, which updates on the latest trends in our region.

If you have received this email and have any urgent concerns regarding this issue, please contact Interlinked on 1300 302 207.

Related posts:

Mindfulness Meditation for Leaders

3 Reasons Business Leaders Need Mindfulness Meditation

“I don’t have the time for that!”

In the busy life of today’s leaders there never seems to be enough time for anything, much less 15 minutes a day for mindfulness meditation. That’s a mistake – and we are here to tell you why.

Below are 3 important reasons why developing mindfulness is necessary for your career success.

Mindfulness for the better

There are many health benefits of regular meditation, including lower blood pressure, decreased tension-related pain, improved immune system and increased energy level. Research has also shown that mindfulness meditation benefits your brain. MRI scans show that after an eight-week course of mindfulness practice, the brain’s “fight or flight” center, the amygdala, appears to shrink. This primal region of the brain, associated with fear and emotion, is involved in the initiation of the body’s response to stress. As the amygdala shrinks, the pre-frontal cortex – associated with higher order brain functions such as awareness, concentration and decision-making – becomes thicker.

Leaders need take on bigger and ever more complex business challenges, so you need every edge. Starting your regular mindfulness meditation practice now is like money in bank because the brain benefits will be there when you need it.

Your stress hurts your team

Stress is contagious. Your team members who see you under stress – tired, frazzled and unfocused – will experience empathic stress responses. This is especially dangerous in today’s open workspace environments because there isn’t an office door to shut to prevent your team from “catching” your stress or burnout. As a leader, a big portion of your day-to-day is about motivating and inspiring your team. You don’t want to increase your team’s stress or hurt their health or productivity so you need to be in control of your emotions and proactively managing your stress – all things that stem from a practice of mindful meditation.

Leaders need more soft skills

As a leader, your role changes from being the one “doing” the work to being the one ensuring the “right” work gets done. This means that your success depends upon your ability to effectively communicate, motivate and mediate. A mindfulness meditation practice teaches you to be present and more aware of the meta messages inherent in any interpersonal exchange. Truly listening to your team and colleagues and staying aware of their emotional responses will help you to most effectively adapt your communications and responses for the best result.

 


A regular mindfulness meditation practice — even just a few minutes a day — can help you be the leader you need to be for your team and for your organisation.

Ready to get started? Check out the Interlinked team’s 5 favourite apps for mindfulness training!

Interlinked - Is your password asking to be hacked?

Is your password asking to be hacked?

With everything moving online these days it’s become increasingly difficult to keep track of all our passwords. However, it is absolutely no reason to make it easy for hackers to gain access to your personal information. Highly organised cyber-crime groups are on the rise, and they are able to use fully automated programs to effortlessly break into online accounts.

Is your password safe? 

The initial step for most cyber criminals is to run through a list of commonly used passwords. Once they have exhausted these possibilities, they will start trying variations, such as adding in a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, non-alphanumeric characters…etc.

Being aware of the threat is the first step to protecting your online security. Every year web security specialist SplashData trawls through millions of leaked passwords in search of the most popular ones. Here is their latest “Annual Worst Passwords List” – if you see any of your passwords on this list, then it is time to change it:

1 123456 14 abc123
2 password 15 111111
3 12345 16 mustang
4 12345678 17 access
5 qwerty 18 shadow
6 123456789 19 master
7 1234 20 michael
8 baseball 21 superman
9 dragon 22 696969
10 football 23 123123
11 1234567 24 batman
12 monkey 25 trustno1
13 letmein

Tips for creating a more secure password

Aside from the golden rule of not putting your password on a post-it note near your computer, there are many more ways to protect your accounts from unwanted access.

  • Create passwords of at least 8 to 16 characters long
  • Use a mix of letters, numbers and symbols e.g. 1nterl!nkED&
  • Avoid using dictionary words (including foreign words) as hackers use dictionary tools
  • Create a password that is not easy to guess e.g. your name, your phone number
  • Many websites now have password strength indicators when you are creating a new password – pay close attention to these and adjust your password accordingly
  • Memorise your password
  • Change your password regularly
  • Don’t reuse old passwords
  • Don’t share your password with anyone
  • Never email your password to anyone including yourself

Protecting your password is one of the easiest things you can do to boost your online security, so take action right away!

And remember, trustno1.

Managed Security

4 Simple Steps to Business Security

While technology advancement is aiding the move away from traditional bricks-and-mortar business models and boosting business expansion, it is also increasing the vulnerability of digital business assets. Main reasons for this include the wide array of different devices used by companies and the increasing complexity of software, presenting new security threats that could mean massive data loss and breaches of important customer information.

However that is not to say that businesses should avoid the use of technology. Rather, it is a reminder that businesses need to be vigilant of threats and implement preventative methods to protect their valuable assets and stay secure.

While there are a multitude of threats that evolve everyday, here are some of the biggest risks to look out for.

Ransomware

Ransomware is one of the most dangerous types of malware, with the ability to infiltrate business networks and block access to a file system, with some variations encrypting files.

Once the files have been encrypted, the ransomware will ask for payment in order to unlock the files. Usually, this is under the guise of a false warning suggesting a trial period for a program has expired.

A recent example is the CryptoLocker virus, which has been in circulation since September 2013. It comes through as an email and has the ability to encrypt all files in your network, with the encryption key released only upon payment.

For more details and examples of CryptoLocker emails click here.

Mobile Vulnerability

The advancement of smart phones has opened these devices up to security threats from malware, which are often not protected as users opt for short pass codes that are susceptible to easy access.

With its prominent use in business, mobile devices are now able to access company files such as emails and business applications, which leaves them open to risk.

4 Ways to Stay Secure

  1. Ensuring data security by implementing an business cloud storage solution ensures that all business data is backed up in case of a network breach or other disaster.
  2. Employ a Managed Antivirus solution to further protect your system and files from attacks and malware.
  3. For mobile devices, secure passwords or two-way authentication will ensure that only the necessary people have access to the devices.
  4. Outside of the mobile device’s internal settings, Enterprise Mobility Management also allows overseeing control of mobile devices for added security measures.

Don’t Delay Security

There is no predicting when and how an attack can occur, and when the entire business is at stake it is vital that you take action immediately.

If you are looking for a business security solution tailored to your requirements, speak to Interlinked on 1300 302 207 or email us at enquiries@Interlinked.com.au.

Interlinked is your strategic business partner, providing Managed Antivirus solutions using Webroot, the market leader in cloud-based threat detection. It is fully controlled and monitored by our dedicated support team to ensure that any risks to our clients’ businesses are eliminated at the first instance. Combined with the Interlinked Cloud with a 99.99% uptime guarantee and Enterprise Mobility Management services, our team is here to ensure the security of your digital assets while you focus on the day-to-day running of your business.