Today marks one year since the start of lockdown. The last 12 months have been nothing like anyone has ever experienced before. Our team will today be taking a minute to reflect how everyone throughout the world has been affected by the pandemic and of course the lives sadly taken too soon. No-one ever envisioned the way the next few months would turn out, let alone the next year.
Everyone has been affected in some way – no longer able to visit family and friends, concerns about how they may be affected directly or indirectly, and key workers being recognised for their dedication. With everyone ordered to stay at home, some being furloughed and the dreaded home schooling, it has affected everyone in some form. With the planned roadmap to the end of lockdown including the amazing vaccination program taking place, we truly hope that we can start to see family and friends again soon.
IT Engineers are often overlooked as key workers, and we would like to recognise the hard work and dedication of our team. From initially setting up businesses to work from home, with over 500 laptops delivered in the week prior to the lockdown announcement through to supporting our customers throughout the lockdown. The majority of helpdesk team have been working remotely to support our customer base, this allowed many businesses to remain open and trading. MPR IT Solutions provide managed IT Support across all market sectors including care homes, schools, manufacturers and food chain suppliers, who all rely on our day-to-day support. The team have worked extremely hard over the last 12 months and now as we see them return to the office, we couldn’t be prouder of all their achievements through this tough year.Read more
Keeping your network secure – this is a subject that should be carefully considered for any network whether business or personal. Technology is the main way that people communicate today and we increasingly rely on email communication. Cyber criminals are using this as an opportunity to send more and more scam emails, texts and phone calls. Often all very realistic. Making sure your network has the best security systems in place will help to keep your network and data secure.
Password Security and 2FA
When it comes to password security the one main rule is NEVER EVER share your password with anyone. Then next is to ensure that your password is difficult to guess. 123456 or password are sadly still often used despite them being so easy to guess. Making sure you have a password that is harder for criminals to guess is vital. Alongside using different passwords for each account. With so many passwords to remember for your work and personal accounts it is becoming harder to separate these out as well as remember them all. This is where 2FA( 2 factor authentication) is an advantage. Many on-line accounts now require 2FA, where you will enter your normal password and are then required to confirm the log in with an additional code generated by text, email or an authenticator app.
Finally if you are ever asked to reset a password via an email – check it is a genuine request. It is very unlikely that any organisation would ask you to reset a password unexpectedly. Many people unfortunately become victims of scams through realistic looking requests to update passwords.
Firewall – why do you need one?
In the construction industry, a firewall is historically the protection between two buildings to prevent fire spreading across adjacent buildings.
The computing equivalent works in a similar format. Acting as a security fence surrounding your network, a firewall observes and restricts information coming in via email or the internet. The firewall will only allow information from sources pre-determined by your firewall and can either be a network or host based security system.
In most homes and businesses, routers are used to enable the connection of various devices to the internet. Prior to routers, each individual device would need to be plugged directly into the modem. When connected directly in this way, a device has a public IP address a allowing information to be accessed by anyone on the internet. As technology has developed most devices will have their own firewall built in. However larger networks will have a separate firewall to protect the security of the network.
Antivirus Software – why do you need it?
Did you know that the first computer virus was released in 1971? The Creeper virus was not designed to be malicious or cause damage but was an experiment to demonstrate a mobile application. Today, it is believed that over 6000 new viruses are released each month.
Antivirus software, also known as anti-malware, is a computer program designed to prevent, detect, and remove malware. Antivirus software can protect users from: malicious browser helper objects, browser hijackers, ransomware, keyloggers, backdoors, rootkits, trojan horses, worms, malicious LSPs, dialers, fraudtools, adware and spyware. There are various levels of protection available on the market. It is important that your choose the right anti-virus software for your network. Some products also include protection from other computer threats, such as infected and malicious URLs, spam, scam and phishing attacks, online identity, online banking attacks, social engineering techniques, advanced persistent threat and botnet DDoS attacks.
Security Awareness Training and Testing (SATT)
In addition to Firewalls and anti-virus software, MPR IT Solutions also offer SATT, Security Awareness Training and Testing. The purpose of this is to stop security incidents on your network, by providing your end users with Security Awareness Training and regular Testing. SATT is a fully managed service that is bespoke and tailored to every individual organisation. It takes up none of your time or resources, and is guaranteed to make a difference.
The SATT service combats the weakest cyber security link in any organisation – your end users – and is delivered in three stages over a 12-month service agreement. The total cost for the 12 month SATT service is far less than the cost of just one security incident.
Contact our team today
Supporting companies from a wide number of industries, MPR IT Solutions are experienced in the multitude of options across the markets and can tailor the right security systems to keep your network secure.
For more information on protecting and securing your network contact our team today on 0800 030 20 30 or email email@example.comRead more
Have you ever lost connectivity due to a patch lead mistakenly removed, causing unwanted downtime?
Unfortunately, accidents like this do happen. Recently a site visit to Yorkshire was required for this exact reason. The network had lost connection and needed a site visit to diagnose the issue. With an eight hour round journey time plus on-site time, it was decided that 2 engineers should attend for duty of care, as there was no clear indication of how long the day might be.
Once it had been identified that a cable had been accidently removed and was the reason for loss of connection, the engineers were quickly able to replace the missing patch cable. The network was restored, and after carrying out follow up checks to ensure everything was working as it should be.
Coincidentally shortly after this, one of our suppliers contacted us to recommend a new product they had launched to market – lockable patch cable. The Category 6 Lockable Excel patch cable provides added security, preventing unwanted disconnection on secure or sensitive circuits. Disconnection can only be achieved by using the key which is supplied separately to the Patch Leads.
Following similar incidents to this and much feedback, the product was designed and has now been launched to market.
The team at MPR IT Solutions are very impressed by the lockable Excel patch cable and will be recommending their use in the future to our clients.
If you would like to discuss replacing your existing patch cables to avoid a similar situation, please contact our team on 0800 030 20 30 option 2 for Sales.Read more
As the year of 2020 draws to a close, we would like to take the opportunity to thank each and every one of our clients and suppliers for all the support throughout this year.
This year has certainly been a year like no other, with many businesses and employees feeling the pressure of furlough, lockdown and the uncertainty of what each new government announcement may bring. MPR IT Solutions have been proud to support each of our individual clients in enabling them to move end users to remote working and then the return to the office, even though it may have been short-lived before home/remote working returned again. The directors here have been immensely proud of the way all the team stepped up and went above and beyond at all times this year.
With the festive period now on the horizon, it may not be the same as previous years, but we all wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for 2021!
Please note that over this Christmas our staff will be taking some well earned time off, however we will still continue to support our customers via the helpdesk should you need us. Support requests can be raised automatically on our system by emailing the team on firstname.lastname@example.org or by contacting us on 0800 030 20 30 during our opening hours.
Opening Hours for Helpdesk
- Thursday 24th December – 08.30 – NOON
- Friday 25th December – CLOSED
- Monday 28th December (Bank Holiday) – CLOSED
- Tuesday 29th December – 08.30 – 17.30
- Wednesday 30th December – 08.30 – 17.30
- Thursday 31st December – 08.30 – 17.30
- Friday 1st January – CLOSED
We will return to our normal operating hours on Monday 4th January 2021.
Stay safe and we look forward to working with you in 2021!
by Nicki Dowsett in Anti-virus software, Audio Systems, broadband, CCTV, cybercrime, Disaster Planning, DNS Web Hosting, Domain Registration, Engineers, Exclaimer Cloud, fibre optics, Fire Alarms, General, Hardware, Helpdesk, Hosted phone, IT Support, IT Systems, Microsoft, Microsoft Teams, MPR, MPR IT Work, New customer, Office 365, Office Move, Password Security, Point to Point Wireless, Ransomware, Remote working, Server cabinet, Software, SQL Server, SSL Certificates, Structured Cabling, Training, TV Distribution, Web Hosting, Websites, Windows 10, Wireless networks
“What does IT Support look like to you?”
Often the simple answer is a helpdesk offering daily support to end users in a fast and reliable manner.
When considering your business as a whole, IT Support is usually much more complex. Have you considered these areas?
- Who looks after your phone system?
- Who provides your internet connection and leased lines?
- Where is your website domain registered and hosted?
- Do you have malware and anti-virus software?
- Is your office using a Wi-Fi network? Who maintains this?
- Where do you purchase new hardware? Is it under warranty and how do you manage an upgrade programme?
- Are your servers on site or are they cloud based? How are these monitored and supported?
If I was to ask the question again “What does IT Support look like to you?” Would the answer be the same? The chances are that answer has changed.
By choosing MPR IT Solutions, you can be assured that your business will benefit from all-round comprehensive support in all information technology aspects. With a dedicated Account Manager, simple straightforward invoicing and only one point of contact for any technical issues, MPR IT Solutions provides fast, effective and reliable IT Support to businesses throughout London and the South East. Working in partnership with our clients we believe enhances our understanding of their business needs and we always look to find the best and most effective solution. Our core products and services include (but not limited to);
- Comprehensive IT Systems Support
- Hosted/ Voip Telephones
- Website domain registration and hosting
- Internet connections and Leased Lines
- Wi Fi Networks
- Azure Server Support
- Office 365 & Microsoft Teams
- AEM Monitoring
- Malware/Anti-virus software
- Hardware purchasing and upgrade plans
- Security Awareness Training (SATT)
- Email Signature Management
Through the growth and continued development of MPR IT Solutions and increasing demands from clients, our sister company MPR Technical Services was born in 2019. A Technical Services Integrator, their highly experienced and qualified employees provide advice, design and installation services in residential and commercial developments.
MPR Technical Services and MPR IT Solutions will work together for larger projects, as necessary. With a collaborative relationship you can be assured of strong communication and enhanced understanding of the work carried out and on-going support required.
Extended Services through MPR Technical Services:
- Structured Cabling
- Wireless Networks
- Audio Visual and Digital IPTV Systems
- Electronic Security
- Office re-locations
For more information on the products and services from MPR IT Solutions contact our team today on 0800 030 20 30 or email email@example.comRead more
Congratulations and a huge thanks to all the team at MPR IT.
With the uncertainty over the last couple of weeks surrounding the Covid-19 outbreak – Alex, Andy and Richard would like to acknowledge the outstanding effort put in by all the team here at MPR IT.
Since it first became apparent that companies should consider alternative plans for working from home – every member of the MPR IT team has put in an outstanding performance, going above and beyond to ensure we can continue to support our customers.
The main priority for the Sales team has been to source hardware – which very quickly became almost as difficult to get hold of as toilet rolls and hand sanitiser. The advantage of MPR IT not being tied to one particular supplier has been an enormous help, and we have been able to source pretty much all the laptops that were in stock. Additionally, Nicki from Marketing has been supporting the Helpdesk Team with taking calls and logging tickets to allow the team to work as efficiently as possible.
The Engineers have been rushed off their feet with the setting up and installation of over 500 laptops in a week. Everyone and anyone in the MPR IT family that could work on this task was pulled in – including the team from MPR Technical Services.
Number of tickets raise and percentage closed within 24 hours
|2 weeks ago||281||61%|
|3 weeks ago||296||61%|
During the last two weeks the team has seen an increase in the number of tickets raised. A number of these tickets have been to set up remote access for an entire company which can range from 1 to 20 users. Normally a ticket would be raised for an individual issue and not multiple users. Despite this increase the team have continued to average a 60% close rate within 24 hours. An incredible effort with such a large increase in workload.
Dealing not only with the normal everyday queries, but also supporting our clients that require individuals to be set up for remote working via VPN, access to emails and small glitches as it all comes into effect. In total we have sourced, set up and installed over 500 laptops, and enabled over 1000 users to be able to work from home.
Finally not forgetting setting up our own team to work from home to continue to be able support our customers during this time. The helpdesk team are now all working hard from home to provide continued support to our customers and continue to be contacted on 0800 030 20 30 option 2 with full access to all our systems and phones.
Finally we must say a huge thank you – to you our customers for being patient and understanding during this incredibly busy time. We have had an incredible increase in demand for support. We value each and every one of you and we will continue to support you above and beyond.
Comments such as these mean so much to the team when they are frazzled and weary – please keep them coming in:
We were really impressed by the speed at which Mitch responded to our call and were SO grateful that he got everything working again!
Ian was very efficient and explained what he was doing and the cause of the issue.
Thank you for sorting this so quickly! much appreciated
If you do require support over the coming weeks – please contact us in the normal ways 0800 030 20 30 option 1 for Sales and option 2 for Support. Please also follow us on social media for updates and news articles – Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn.
Keep safe and we look forward to supporting during this time.
Alex, Andy and RichardRead more
Looking After Your IT During Lockown
Many offices are much emptier than usual with people working from home and it probably feels very surreal. It’s much the same here at MPR IT, many of the team are working hard from home to provide continued support to our customers.
For remote working sessions to continue to the best of network capability we are recommending a few ‘Out of Office House Keeping’ tasks. These should be carried out when anyone visits the office to collect post or a random forgotten folder and will help to keep your IT (and business) running.
Server Room Temperature
The temperature in your server rooms is kept low to ensure that machines do not overheat and stop working. Whilst we have monitoring systems to check that servers are running well, we unfortunately cannot monitor the temperature. If your air-conditioning fails the fans will kick in but will ultimately blow hot air around causing the machines to overheat. Whenever anyone visits the office please ask them to check the air-conditioning is still working and that the temperature is at the recommended level.
Warning Lights or Alarms
Please inspect the servers to check for any warning or unexpected lights. If you do notice anything unusual please take a photo of the issue and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will check this for you. With the recommendation to stay at home, to keep everyone safe we would like to avoid site visits if possible, photos or videos of the issue will help our team to diagnose the problem.
Back Up Systems
Checking that your back up storage is doing its job could be one of the most important things. Should there be a failure to the servers your back up will be invaluable in restoring your data and keeping your business running.
For customers with monitoring as part of their contract we will be continuing to monitor as normal, however these housekeeping tasks should additionally take place where possible.
If you currently do not have monitoring as part of your contract with MPR IT and would like to consider this please contact our Sales team on 0800 030 20 30 option 2.Read more
Due to Coronavirus and the recent Government assertations to work from home where possible, we are experiencing a large increase in the number of calls and emails to the Helpdesk. In order to manage this we have reallocated resources to ensure that the day-to-day requests can be acted upon as close to our usual levels of service as possible.
There are three main methods for raising support requests with MPR. These are;
1 – Call us on 08000 30 20 30 select Option 2. This will direct you straight to our Helpdesk. We are available between 0830-1730 Monday to Friday. If you are unable to get through in the first instance we do have a voicemail system on the helpdesk that is regularly checked.
2 – Email email@example.com – Once we have received your email for an initial ticket request, you will then be sent a confirmation email with your ticket reference. Our email is manned throughout our normal working hours but will not be picked up out of hours. ty4
3 – Email firstname.lastname@example.org – This is if you are following up existing support requests. You will need to ensure you have your ticket reference in the subject and one of our Helpdesk Team will pick this up and respond in kind to your existing query/new query ity4
To ensure we can assist you effectively we will need as much information as possible from you regarding your fault or problem. i.e.
- How many users the issue is affecting?
- How long has the issue being occurring for?
- Have you made any changes recently to cause the problem?
- What is the impact to your business?
Along with as many details as possible relating to the fault (Error messages, users affected etc.) so we can replicate the issue. We will also need relevant contact details so we can keep in touch with you.
If we need to remotely log onto your servers / workstation, we will require secure access enabled to get there. We are able provide a direct secure access through our website http://www.mpr-it.co.uk/remote-support/ – it is probably best you are at this website in your browser and waiting for us (unless you are calling us about connectivity issues).
Our team are committed to answering all queries as fast as we can and we appreciate your patience at this time. We would also like to thank each and everyone of our customers for their support during this busy time and we wish everyone well.Read more
We know your business depends on our ability to provide reliable, uninterrupted service, so in light of the recent developments around Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), we would like to share with you the measures we are taking to ensure service continuity.
MPR continues to monitor the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) developments with a primary focus on ensuring the health and safety of our staff while mitigating business impacts. In support of this, we are convening regular meetings with teams across the business and regularly sharing information about the virus and how to prevent the spread of illness.
Risk assessments will be undertaken for all off-site work, meetings etc. to determine if this can be postponed or carried out remotely.
We will act according to the instructions and recommendations of the relevant authorities and in a manner that safeguards our staff. As always, consistent, timely communications with all our stakeholders are critical, and we will communicate any relevant information, when possible.
We have made investments in our technology infrastructure and business continuity planning to ensure we can operate all our systems and processes remotely to provide you with seamless service should any of our staff need to work remotely (e.g., due to self-isolation, school closures, etc.) or should we decide to close the offices and/or switch to a remote working model. We continue to test our business continuity strategies to confirm we can provide ‘business as usual’ should our entire workforce need to work remotely. In the event of this happening, we would operate as follows
- Desk phones would revert to soft phones, allowing continuous phone access to our teams, and ensuring all skill groups would continue to work seamlessly.
- Microsoft Teams would be used internally for productive collaboration and content sharing.
- Meetings, events and training would be switched to virtual environments.
As always, we remain committed to supporting your business with an unparalleled level of service and will continue to monitor the situation, providing you with updates appropriately and promptly.
For further information visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-thepublicRead more