Why Azure?

As a Managed Services Provider, we work with customers to select the best services to support their IT and make it secure.
It’s our job to know the difference between a trend and solutions worth adopting.

In this cloud market, we’re an MSP that recommends Microsoft Azure.

They’re an efficient, secure, flexible, and cost-effective method for data storage and IT infrastructure. How those solutions are delivered is where do our best work. Building the right cloud solution for your business is how you get the most out of the cloud at the best cost, with the least hassle. Whether beginning your move to the cloud or building out an existing solution, we’ll tell you why we think Azure is the best foundation for your custom cloud solution.

Azure’s Security outstrips its competitors by taking an “assume breach” approach to its cloud. Its focus on compliance, privacy, and threat detection are hard to beat. Answer the following questions and see if your security stacks up to the features we list below.

“What does your security look like? Who runs it and what does it protect?” Does it match:

  • 24/7 global incident response team monitoring servers
  • Certificate and Private Key Management
  • Encryption protected communications
  • Identity and access management
  • Firewalls, partitioned Local Area Networks, and Network Security Groups
  • Intrusion detection and distributed denial of service

If you’re interested in a technical summary of 10 critical security functions Azure uses, you can learn more here.  For an overview of even more security features, click here.
In terms of privacy, Azure adheres to the international standard for cloud privacy, ISO 27018, publishes transparency reports, and publishes law enforcement guidelines. Microsoft also tells users about government data requests and requires a warrant for content.

A lot of customers worry about compliance, but Azure offers guidelines for compliance by service, location, and industry. No matter what Azure option you choose, there’s help.

Azure offers a wide range of support. We don’t just mean technical or billing support when you need it. IT support comes in the form of automatic patches, security updates, and upgrades. For running workloads, Azure supports the broadest number of cloud solutions, operating systems, software, development languages, and devices.

Azure integrates with existing Microsoft licenses, SQL servers, and Sharepoint. It also supports different OS, development languages, frameworks and third party technologies.

Cost is up to you. Since Azure is a cloud, you pay for what you’re using and can use more or less. It’s important to work with a professional if you’re looking to build the most cost-efficient model for your business, as some workloads may be more expensive than others.

The ability to research, right-size, ultimately build a secure, efficient and cost-conscious infrastructure makes this a worthwhile move for many—especially when compared to the maintenance and service costs of running infrastructure on-premises. Some customers are worried that switching to Azure will mean moving everything they have and stop their search there. Not only is this untrue, but it misses the opportunity to explore the different Azure options for storage, infrastructure, and deployment. Plus, it’s a huge missed opportunity to develop better disaster recovery and preparedness.

Next week, we’ll start thinking ahead with Azure and look at two forms of Azure that help customers understand what they’re looking for.

Until then, we’re all about learning more with you. Contact us with questions or read the links in the article to learn more today!

Interlinked Summit 2016

The Summit 2016

The Summit hosted by Interlinked at the Hilton, Sydney has wrapped up and was a success.
Thank you for supporting Interlinked by attending the event.

Interlinked Summit 2016 | Vendors

Feedback from attendees:

“Very worthwhile attending” – Concrete Recyclers
“Very informative and something’s that we can look into to implement (SharePoint)” – Cohenhandler
“Microsoft presentation (especially demo) was very informative” – Arab Bank

Stay one step ahead of potential disasters. Download our Ultimate Disaster Recovery Checklist and our Documentation Retention Summary.

At The Summit, our attendees had exclusive access to a showcase of world class partners such as Datto, Dell, NEC, Microsoft, NetConnect and more.

Our guest speakers presented fascinating demos and insight to where technology is moving:

Interlinked Summit 2016 | Microsoft

Brett Fraser, Microsoft

Digital transformation is becoming the norm. Microsoft have created Office 365 where you can run your business in the cloud and access your data securely from anywhere.
New malware variants are a growing reality with 74% of small and medium sized businesses having reported a data breach.

Dell provide leading edge, advanced threat prevention solution with artificial intelligence and machine learning technology that prevents malware from executing and before it can do any damage. The solution is lightweight and is targeted at businesses that require an effective advanced threat prevention solution. It is easy to setup for businesses that do not have a dedicated IT department. Leveraging algorithmic models and DNA markers, it is easy to deploy, and can be centrally managed via cloud based console, while offering subscription based pricing. This solution stops malicious executables as well as malicious active scripts and PowerShell attacks.

Interlinked Summit 2016 | Dell

Greg Darthoit, DELL

Interlinked Summit 2016 | NEC

Sandy De Luca, NEC

NEC’s solutions for fingerprint scanning, facial recognition, iris scanning, vein geometry and mobile DNA analysis ensure that agencies can accurately and swiftly identify people in the field, within an organisation or at the border. NEC has deployed its identification systems to over 1,000 customers in more than 30 countries.

  • NEC’s core solutions include:
  • LiveScan: digital finger and palm scanning technology
  • Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) NeoFace: facial recognition technology
  • Portable DNA Analyser: fully integrated on-scene analysis.
Fines can range up to $10,000 under taxation laws for not keeping proper records.

Document and data retention:

Interlinked Summit 2016 | BWS Lawyers

Anant Bamra, Brown Wright Stein Lawyers

Taxation Law Documents relating to income and expenditure 5 years commencing after records were prepared or obtained, of the completion of the transactions or acts to which the records relate, whichever is the later
Corporations Law Financial Records 7 years after the transactions covered by the records are completed
Employment Law Employee records 7 years after termination of employment
Work, Health and Safety Record of a ‘notifiable incident’ At least 5 years from the day that notice of the incident is given to the regulator
Interlinked Summit 2016 | Datto

James Bergl, Datto

As data is the nucleus of today’s businesses, ransomware has the potential to take out even the most stable businesses in a matter of minutes.

Small to Medium business rely just as heavily on data as bigger organizations, yet they often operate without the proper data protections in place to defend against, prepare for, and recover from ransomware.

Ransomware attacks have become a common, growing occurrence for small businesses around the world. According to IT service providers, the majority of end users aren’t as concerned as they should be, making them even more vulnerable to an infection.

Interlinked Summit 2016

Interlinked Summit 2016

Interlinked Summit 2016

Interlinked Summit 2016

Interlinked Summit 2016

Interlinked Summit 2016

Interlinked Summit 2016

Interlinked Summit 2016

Register for future events:

Register your interest for upcoming VIP events where we invite you to exclusive access to top vendors in the industry and emerging technology.

Interlinked Summit 2016 | Register Your Interest

Interlinked Blog | Windows 10

Free Windows 10 Upgrade Offer Expired

Microsoft’s free Windows 10 upgrade offer has officially expired. The free upgrade offer was valid for Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 and has not been extended by Microsoft.

Anyone who has upgraded to Windows 10 before the expiration of the offer has a “digital license” and that upgrade does not expire. If you have not upgraded to Windows 10 prior to the expiry of the offer, you will need to purchase the full version of Windows 10.

8 Features of Windows 10

  1. The Start Menu is back
  2. Apps are windowed and no longer default full-screen
  3. Virtual desktops and task views
  4. Access recent files faster
  5. Share files from File Explorer
  6. Cortana
  7. Windows Store App
  8. Tablet mode

If you would like more information on Windows 10, please contact us on 1300 302 207 and speak to one of our experts.

Interlinked Blog | Microsoft Bookings

Introducing Microsoft Bookings

Recently, Microsoft has released Microsoft Bookings for small businesses to schedule and manage appointments with their customers which runs on the Office 365 platform.

With Microsoft Bookings you will:

  1. Scheduled your business directly online
  2. Reduce missed appointments with confirmations and reminders
  3. Make it easy for your customers to reschedule or cancel bookings
  4. Manage bookings and customer information from anywhere
  5. Automatically add bookings on staff calendars
  6. Grow your business

Microsoft Bookings will be available to all Business Premium subscribers worldwide in the coming months.

Interlinked Blog | Microsoft Bookings

To get started:

  1. Sign in to Office 365
  2. Open Bookings from the app launcher
  3. Click the Get it now button. You’ll need to provide a bit of information about your business and the services you want your customers to book.
  4. Click the Save and publish button in the booking page tab to publish your scheduling web page.

Your customers will now be able to start booking appointments with your business. It’s that easy!

Interlinked Blog | Microsoft Bookings Interlinked Blog | Microsoft Bookings

Watch how easy it is to manage your bookings through Microsoft Bookings in this video:

Interlinked Blog | NBN Ready

Telstra to add 1,000 Technicians to repair NBN

In order to cope with NBN-related work and reduce the time customer spend waiting for a fault to be repaired, Telstra will hire 1,000 new field technicians.

“We know that sometimes the experience our customers can have when they need a fault fixed or a new service installed can improve and we are building up our resources to do just that,” said Telstra’s executive director customer service delivery, Brian Harcourt.

Service times are unacceptable with residents waiting weeks to have their services restored after extreme weather have wrecked mass damage.

Interlinked Blog | Telstra NBN

In the next two years, the national broadband network will be connected to more than 5 million households according to NBN Co.

Telstra has contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars with NBN Co to maintain connections. Technicians are required to complete a 17-week training program to obtain skills to fix faults on the network.

If you have been experiencing faults with your NBN network, please feel free to contact us on 1300 302 207 and one of our experts will be able to help.

Virus Alert

VIRUS ALERT – beware of these spam emails

We have received a large influx of emails containing malicious attachments in the last 48 hours, with content relating to account balances, outstanding invoices, investments and pay cheques.

Virus Email Screenshot

 

Virus Email Screenshot

Virus Email Screenshot

Virus Email Screenshot

If you receive such emails please do not open the attachments and delete the email immediately.

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:

Office 2016 for Mac

Office 2016 for Mac is now available!

Great news for all Mac users – Office 2016 is now available in 139 countries and 16 languages!

Existing Office users will navigate with ease with the familiar ribbon interface and powerful task panes. Office 2016 offers a modernised experience with the integration of Mac capabilities like Full Screen view and Multi-TouchTM gestures and full Retina® display support, allowing your documents to look sharper and more vibrant than ever.

Office for Mac is connected to the cloud, so you can quickly get to the documents you’ve recently used on other devices and pick up where you left off. New, built-in document sharing tools make it easy to collaborate and work together as a team. Office for Mac offers unparalleled compatibility with Office on PCs, tablets, phones and online, so you can say goodbye to loss of formatting when sharing your document!

Office 365 subscribers can get the newest version of Office for Mac today! All you need is an Office 365 subscription (Office 365 Home, Personal, Business, Business Premium, E3 or ProPlus), which includes the rights and access to use Office applications on Mac, Windows, iOS and Android devices, along with additional value in OneDrive and Skype.

For all other users, Office 2016 for Mac will become available as a one-time purchase option this September.

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.

Responsive-Website-Interlinked

All new look for our website

We have introduced an all new look for our website to make access to information easier than ever!

Our goal is to keep you up to date in all areas of business IT and Telecommunications, so remember to subscribe to the Interlinked newsletter on the right of this page for all the latest technology news, tips and alerts.

If you have any questions or require assistance, give us a ring on 1300 302 207 or leave us a message online here.

WE HAVE YOUR SOLUTIONS – that’s what we’re all about.

Home page background video by Tim Berglund

Apple WWDC 2015

9 key announcements from Apple WWDC 2015

The 2015 annual Worldwide Developers Conference by Apple kicked off yesterday (8th June) in San Francisco, California.

The event began with a keynote in which Apple unveiled a new music service, new apps, new operating systems and easier ways to find information.

Here is a summary of the 9 key announcements:

1. OS X – El Capitan

OS X 10.11, otherwise known as El Capitan (named after a mountain found within Yosemite), is more about improving the OS X experience and performance than redesigning the user interface.

Key Updates:

  • Safari: users can now “pin” sites to load instantly from the landing page, and mute audio in tabs without entering specific pages
  • Spotlight: more extensive and integrated search capabilities – look up sporting event tickets, weather, and upcoming events using natural language
  • Improved Windows Management: automatically split screen between apps and store multiple desktop layouts in a navigation bar on top
  • Metal 3D graphics SDK: Apple’s optimisation tool will give El Capitan a performance boost – Apple says it should accelerate app launches by 1.4 times, and make it twice as fast to switch between apps
  • Improvements to the way Windows and Mail work

El Capitan is available for developers today, with a public beta coming in July and a full, free rollout to all in the Australian spring.

2. iOS 9

Similar to the new version of OS X, iOS 9 is more about making refinements.

Key Updates:

  • Low Power Mode: allows users to squeeze three extra hours out of the battery
  • Space Saving: takes up less space on your iPhone
  • Multitask on iPad: users can now split their screen in half and operate two apps at the same time – sliding a screen to the left brings a second app open to the screen, sliding down from the top lets you bring in a different app to your screen
  • Notes app: more functionality e.g. drawing, adding links to a website or maps, creating tasks lists and adding photos in your notes
  • Passbook: now renamed to “Wallet”
  • Introducing the “News” App: a new app similar to an iOS favourite Flipboard in collating news from a variety of publications
  • HealthKit: tracks more data, including water intake, UV exposure and menstrual cycles, and can now link to iCloud

A public beta will be released in July with the final version coming out in the Australian spring.

3. Siri

Siri answers more than one billion requests a week, and with the latest updates the iOS “proactive assistant” initiative uses the data on your phone to give contextual advice and options.

Key Updates:

  • Suggest What To Do: offer suggestions on what music to use or what apps to open based on location and time of day
  • Suggest Who’s Calling: if an unknown call comes in Siri looks through your email to suggest who might be calling
  • Schedule Events Automatically: scan emails and insert invitations directly into calendar
  • Intelligent Reminders: ability for user to tell Siri to “remind me about this” and it will know you are referring to the webpage currently on Safari

While these new services draw data from nearly everything you do on your phone, Apple emphasises that the data powering the new Siri features is kept as anonymous as possible, not shared with third-parties, and localised to a user’s device.

4. Apple Music

Apple’s all new music service. You can stream your favorite artists, watch music videos and exclusive clips in HD, and listen to curated playlists. Other features include “Connect“, which lets unsigned artists upload their music, as well as Apple’s own global radio station called Beats 1.

Apple Music will be available on iOS starting 30th June and also coming to Android in the Australian spring.

The price details in the United States will be $10 USD per month, with the first three months free. Australian prices will be released closer to the launch date.

5. Apple Watch

Less than two months into its life, the Apple Watch has a new operating system: watchOS 2.

Key Updates:

  • More Watch Faces: for example “Time Travel,” which gives you an overview of upcoming events in addition to what’s going on at the moment
  • More Interactivity: such as replying to emails and answering FaceTime audio calls
  • Developers Have More Control: they can make apps that play back video and audio using the watch speakers, and access HealthKit and HomeKit

The new Apple Watch OS will be available in the Australian spring.

6. HomeKit

Apple’s smart home platform now allows you to control more of your home

Key Updates:

  • Expanded Functionality: capabilities to adjust window shades, motion sensors, and security systems as well as compatibility with sensors such as smoke alarms or carbon monoxide alarms
  • Enhanced Accessibility: use HomeKit with your iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch as long as it is connected via iCloud

7. CarPlay

Apple’s auto operating system also gets an improvement

Key Updates:

  • Connect Wirelessly: users will no longer have to connect their phone with a cable but it will work wirelessly when you get into the vehicle
  • Apps Developed for Specific Cars: auto makers now have ability to develop apps that control the car’s features, with support for high-DPI screens at multiple display sizes

8. Apple Maps

Apple Maps also gets a revamp, including the addition of public transit maps which show train, bus and ferry lines showing you when the next train or bus is departing and how long it will take to walk to the nearest entrance.

The bad news is that rollout will begin in America, Europe and China, and there is no news yet on when it will be coming to Australia.

9. Apple Pay in the UK

Apple announced it was expanding its mobile wallet Apple Pay to the United Kingdom, including allowing people to jump on a London bus or the Underground with the Apple Pay.

There is no mention of when or if it will be coming to Australia.