November 2020 – IT Review

Hi everyone!

There is a lot to take in here but please read through it carefully as this will affect you all…

We are thrilled to have you as partners and thank for your support over such a crazy year. We hope you have stayed safe, are trading well and can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Cybersecurity in 2021

Ransomware – The first time I met some of you, you were calling for help after being hit with ransomware. You know firsthand how serious this is. In 2020, not only are we dealing with onsite ransomware but cybercriminals are now copying your data offsite and holding it for ransom as well, threatening to release sensitive data into the wild. Globally this double-whammy has pushed ransomware costs more than US$20 billion (57 times more than what it was in 2015). In 2021 it’s predicted a business will be hit with ransomware every 11 seconds. Read more info about the state of affairs in Australia here: October report from The Australian Cyber Security Centre ACSC

Cybercrime – Cybercrimes are things like online shopping fraud, romance fraud, identity theft, email compromise, internet fraud, ransomware & malware etc and this is expected to cost the world in excess of US$6 trillion in 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015. Yes, that’s trillion, as in, 12 zeros… $6,000,000,000,000

Do you have cyber insurance? In Australia, the average cyber event costs businesses upwards of $250,000! If you don’t have it already, it’s a conversation you should be having within your ownership/management group.

IT Security Moving Forward

Office 365 – It’s time to turn on MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) on all accounts – and also any program that has MFA options. Your company security as only as good as your password and this is the weak link for everyone. Adding MFA (also known as 2FA) gives an extra layer of security in case your password is guessed or stolen. I’ll be in contact with you to switch this on ASAP.

Antivirus + Firewalls – Sophos – It’s what we use (for both Computer Emergency & Bridge IT Solutions) and is the system we recommend you use moving forward. This year we became Sophos Certified, and we will be shifting client security back towards Sophos again. Sophos End Point Security, combined with a Sophos XG Firewall, is the complete package to secure you, your network and your data. There are many levels of Sophos products and we can discuss the best suited combination for your requirements. The new 2021 pricing includes Sophos Antivirus for each RMM subscription.

IT Support for RMM customers ONLY – 1st January 2021

From 1st January 2021, Computer Emergency will ONLY support clients on a monthly Remote Monitoring & Management Plan (RMM). This allows us to put our focus entirely on those who are committed to proactive maintenance, security and support rather than have us running around trying to fix something that could have been prevented by the RMM plan.

If you aren’t on the RMM plan & would like our continued IT Support, the basic concept of the RMM Plan is to have a small program on each of your devices, as the title says, that monitors and maintains your computer proactively to reduce downtime and expenses. Devices have thresholds applied, scripts have been written to automatically heal a lot of problems, and issues are picked up before they snowball into problems. All windows updates, program updates, critical patches etc are looked after, keeping you safe and secure across the board. Details on plans are below and everything is explained in detail on the front page of our website.

If you’re not interested in signing up to the RMM plan by the end of the year, we would genuinely like to say thank you for your support and please let us know if you’d like us to help you find a new IT provider that can assist you in 2021.

RMM Price Increase – 1st January 2021

We’ve been so busy looking after your IT and making sure that everything’s in tip top shape, that we haven’t run an internal pricing review for about 18 months. After going through all our costs, we found that some of our business expenses such as monitoring & security software have had significant price rises lately (some as much as 400%). To continue providing great service, investing in providing even better service &, to make sure that we’re remaining profitable enough to stay around to support you for the long term, we need to raise some of our pricing.

The good news is, we’ve been able to keep the RMM price rise relatively minimal. EDIT – Please contact us for current pricing

* Terms and conditions apply. Prices are per device/user/month. Servers are counted as 1 user. Support services classed as “move, add, change or install” are not included in any reduced rate support price. Prices listed may vary depending on your business location, operational hours, software and hardware configurations as well as their age. Legacy support not included – any software that is no longer supported by the manufacturer & any hardware that is out of warranty. (we can assist with all extended warranty requests or upgrades)

Lodge a ticket for support – Effective immediately!

As we make our final transition into a Managed Service Provider (MSP) we want to give you a better support experience: A single, unified support experience! To achieve this, we are moving our support process to an entirely cloud based, ticketing format, effective immediately. We address why and how in the section below…

We are discontinuing the ability to request support via phone unless in an emergency. This helps our workflow and stops phone calls and interruptions so we can focus on the problem in front of us. Even if you’re after a chat or advice, the fastest way to get a response is through the portal. We can call or respond as soon as we are finished with our current client. The portal is now the preferred method of requesting help so please bookmark it!

Initially, all you will be doing different is emailing [email protected] instead of calling or emailing Will direct. As soon as you send an email to support you will be added into your company profile for access to the portal. Nice and simple. ** There will be a grace period for December while we get you all set up and work through any training or questions you might have.

Why must I lodge a ticket?

Workload management: We are now a 4 man show (Will, Glenn, Jason & Mark) and need to have a central location to share, address and prioritize your requests for assistance. We all get instant notifications, and the next available technician will be there for you. William will still be the main technician but needs help during peak times. (like “patch Tuesday” when Microsoft tends to throw out chaotic updates) haha

Accountability: Nothing will slip through the cracks if there is a ticket. (forgotten phone calls, conversations and notes no longer an issue)

Efficiency: Because of the increased organisation, ticket management software allows us to respond to requests with much less effort than other systems. No more interruptions on active/current jobs. This efficiency results in faster turnaround times.

Automated Updates: The ticketing portal will be updated live so users can see what’s happening without having to email/call to ask. Automated email responses can also be switched on.

Monitoring, tracking & reporting: The ticketing system provides us with an important stats for both machines & users. Analysis of help desk tickets can reveal patterns of user/machine behaviour, needs for specific application training and additional machine maintenance. It also helps to drive the resourcing decisions and process improvement.

Billing: All support time is automatically managed through ticketing for accurate billing & reporting. (hence why all support requests must have a ticket)

How to lodge a ticket:

Option 1. Through the portal: New preferred 1st point of contact

Option 2. Send an email: [email protected] This still goes direct to the portal but MUST have priority info with description in the subject line. See examples in the table below.

Option 3. Desktop Agent: If preferred, we can add a small agent (program) on your taskbar where you can create a direct chat/ticket. We would normally suggest this be used by 1 person per office (usually the most tech minded that might troubleshoot first) This allows you to control staff requests and costs.

Call for all critical errors: call us on 0414 899 254 if your site is offline or have a major issue.

Not set up in the portal yet? Send us an email to [email protected] and we’ll set you up with a password for the portal. This can be your first ticket!

How to categorise a ticket:

*Nothing should change with the current response times but we’ve listed our own goals for accountability.

If you’re having trouble during this transition phase, or just need to hear the dulcet tones of our voices, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and give us a call (for one last month anyway). There’s plenty to digest here and we are open to discussion and further explanation.

Finally, don’t forget to check out our new online store with approximately 300,000 IT and business related products. It’s fully self-service, items are usually shipped to you next day, but if you need a hand or any advice please reach out for a chat.

Warm regards,

Will Connors