Blog : Otley

Garmin services down due to suspected ransomware attack

Garmin services down due to suspected ransomware attack

Garmin has been down for around 2 1/2 days so far following an outage to its website, apps, Garmin Connect and flyGarmin.
Garmin announced on Twitter two days ago. The issue has even spread as far as its call centers, emails and online messages. The reason behind the outage hasn’t yet been revealed but many are reporting that a Ransomware attack is to blame.

What’s somewhat more worrying about all of this for other businesses is that it’s been reported online that the Ransomware attack (suspected to be WastedLocker) has blocked their backups and thus prevented a speedy resolution.

Malwarebytes describes WastedLocker as a highly targeted form of Ramsomware from Russian hackers that assess your network and backups and then deploys to disable both. What this shows us is that it’s now more important than ever to have robust backups and a disaster recovery plan for your business.

It’s no longer enough to simply have firewall, anti virus and a on-site backup, modern businesses need a full disaster recovery plan. If you’d like to have a chat about the IT and security in your business give us a call, no obligation, we’d love to help.

I.T. Hardware and Infrastructure Support

Microsoft 365 / OneDrive /  Sharepoint Backups

Microsoft 365 / OneDrive / Sharepoint Backups

Cloud storage for Documents is of course becoming the sensible way to store your files as the flexibility it allows across you devices and the world to retrieve your data. So it probably won’t surprise you when I tell you how often we hear from a client that “Google Drive/iCloud/OneDrive/Sharepoint are backed up in the Cloud” and we have to find a gentle yet honest way of informing them, it’s just simply not.

Microsoft 365 offers very basic protection from data loss, firstly while Microsoft does of course replicate your data across their data centers in the event of data loss at one of their data centers that won’t protect against corruption from a Ransomware attack your end for instance, thus leaving encrypted data spread across Microsoft’s data centers. Now Microsoft does offer limited retention for deleted files and previous versions which may protect you from a Ransomware attack, but the restore might be time intensive and quite a bit more work if you don’t have a third-party dedicated backup tool.

All your data should be protected by the 3-2-1 rule of backups.
Three copies of your data on two different pieces of media, one of which should be offsite.

Therefore relying upon on Microsoft 365 to protect itself violates every one of the above backup rules. Microsoft 365 protections are built into Microsoft 365.  App data should always be protected by something that isn’t the app.

And… even Microsoft agrees. See this from their Microsoft 365 Service Agreement

Assume you accidentally or deliberately delete an email, OneDrive file, or SharePoint item, Microsoft 365 allows you to retrieve this for a small period of time.

You need to realise within this time you deleted the item (if it was an accident), locate the deleted item in the relevant Recycle Bin folder before it expires (and also hope the recycle bin emptied by an admin – bad actor or otherwise).

If it is a malicious attack and ransomware deletes hundreds or thousands of files, you will be spending quite a lot of time locating files and restoring, a process referred to as “dumpster diving,” which no one should use as their backup method.

A dedicated backup tool allows you to not only dellegate the recovery to us saving you valuable time but also easily find and restore as many files as you need, or even restore an entire user or folder to a point in time. One step, instead of thousands of them.

If you’d like to discuss protecting your Micorosft 365 / OneDrive / Sharepoint get in touch.

Microsoft 365 Backup

Top 5 things companies should be doing to improve security

Top 5 things companies should be doing to improve security

We asked our engineers for their “absolute musts” in company security. The things that have to be implemented company-wide and are non-negotiable.

Here’s what they came back with

Multi Factor Authentication

This by far was the number one recommendation from our team. It’s such a simple thing, not all platforms support it but many if not already on board are joining. As well needing a username and password to log on you also get a code sent through to an enrolled device such as your mobile phone.

This is such a simple but massively effective technique in keeping your account secure.

Audit Logs

Checking the logs of who’s been doing what with company logins can reveal most techniques hackers and bad actors use to extort your data and clients, and in most instances stop them before they can.

Log in reports

Getting a report of who’s logging in or attempting to log into your accounts can reveal potential security holes and also staff that may require a little more training on cybersecurity.

Company-wide email rules

Setting up email rules such as “no forwarding to external addresses” can protect your company from not just a GDPR perspective but also from hackers and bad actors taking your data and extorting you or your clients.

Internal alerts

Many hackers and bad actors will Phish for information or even send bogus emails, a setting such as alerting your team when someone external to your business is impersonating someone within your business can go a long way to stopping these attacks.


Aurora Tech Support have many many tools and procedures developed since 2003 to keep your company secure. If you’d like to discuss you comapny security please get in touch.

Security & Protection

Security Fridays at Aurora Tech Support

Security Fridays at Aurora Tech Support

Our mission statement (I’m not sure about that term) our reason for existing? Is that better?

Our reason for existing in 2003 is still the same today, to work hard for our clients, build relationships, keep moving as a company, and keep innovating.

With that in mind, it hasn’t escaped our attention that cybersecurity, breaches, and attacks are massively on the increase. We’re constantly evaluating the services we offer and how we can best protect our clients.

We have found upon review that we need to offer a much bigger service with regards to the security of the communication methods used in our client’s businesses.

So we have introduced two new options for clients, firstly we’ve introduced “security Fridays”. Every Friday we check the logs of all our Microsoft 365 clients to see if any risky logins or login attempts have been made as well as checking for any likely breaches of their accounts. Second, we have introduced our “security pack” for clients wanting a dedicated approach to their security we will set up your Micorosft 365 Tennant with all the security measures recommended by Microsoft as well as our own experience in keeping your Tennant protected.

You might not be on Microsoft 365 for your company emails, but we would recommend you seriously consider it, for just £3.80 per user mailbox the security and auditing features available more than justify the cost to protect your business.

If you’d like to have a chat with a member of the team about any of our security offerings please give us a call on 01937 586888.

Microsoft 365 for Business – IT Support Yorkshire

How COVID-19 will likely affect how businesses work in the future

How COVID-19 will likely affect how businesses work in the future

There’s no doubt about it the impact of Coronavirus has been huge, but how much will go back to “normal” when this is all over? What is “normal” going to be? Because it will not be what we were all used to pre covid-19.

In this post we will aim to set out what we believe the differences will be and what you and your team need to do to not only survive but thrive. Also please feel free to let know your thoughts.

A bit of back story from our perspective which I’ll try to keep to the point. In trying to balance relationship building and customer service our engineers have often opted to go to the clients’ offices and carry out our services in person when they could be done remotely.

This has been done for a few reasons as well as the two mentioned above, it seems somewhat counter-intuitive to spend time traveling when no or little other client work can be carried out when a job can be done remotely but we feel on balance the benefits outweigh this and until recently it’s been hard for clients’ to understand that a decent job can be done remotely. That’s by far a criticism but as remote working has only recently been largely adopted by UK businesses, you know what you know. (In March we set up over 500 VPN connections for our clients).

So we’ve always been advocates for the fact that remote working is not only possible but has many benefits over traveling to the office, like all things in life though, it’s surely about finding the right balance?

What’s it going to be like when Lockdown is over?
There’s no doubt about it things will be different, I think there’s a new understanding from management about how businesses can operate extremely efficiently remotely.

So I believe we will see a mix, I think we will all rush back into our offices to see co-workers and I doubt much work will be done that first day back, however as the dust settles I think we will see a much more fluid and connected workplace not just by office feng shui.

We’ve all spent a lot of time setting up remote working and forcibly become accustomed to it, there will no doubt be times when this makes sense rather than popping into the office.

How can businesses adapt to this new landscape?
Some things never change, clients and prospects will still want requests dealt with rapidly as the internet has accustomed us to, so we will all still need to offer amazing support on our products and services, however, there will be an understanding that a colleague may be working remotely and so hasn’t yet spoken to the office about a report or proposal yet.

This means that while answers to queries will need to be quick an understanding that the answers aren’t immediately available will purvey.

As we get back into the swing of the new normal it will be important to have amazing team collaboration software to effectively communicate and deliver for your clients. Things such as and Slack are great for this, they allow for fluid communication and bundling projects together, many of our clients have been using these tools for years and if you’re not using them yet I suggest you check them out.

Awesome phone systems that are adaptable and full of helpful features will be paramount. Such as not only a desk phone but also backed by an app you can have on your Laptop, Desktop, iPad, Mobile Phone, etc. They allow you to do everything you can do at your desk and more such as chat with colleagues and visual voicemail.

Apparently we’ve all spent a huge amount on home office furniture, for those that have space this will no doubt stay and continue to allow us to get huge amounts done outside the office, therefore ergonomic workspaces will be incredibly important to allow a fluid workflow.

flexible working embedded as standard, will no doubt be the biggest challenge, however, companies that allow their workforce to work flexibly and monitor results rather than time will benefit the most. Giving your team the freedom to produce results at the best times rather than clocking in and clocking out will have huge benefits for your business. Make sure that it’s part of your HR policy and you’re constantly adapting and monitoring.

These are the core principles we should all focus on to allow for efficiency and growth coming out of COVID-19 there will no doubt be much much more to look at as we all get back to “normal”

Thanks, everyone that made it this far, we’d love to hear from you.

covid-19 coronavirus and how to ensure business continuity

covid-19 coronavirus report and how best to protect your business

Get set up to work remotely, remotely

Get set up to work remotely, remotely

Hope you’re all managing to stay safe, how many weeks are we into Lockdown now? I honestly can’t keep track, not moving around as much as we used to and only going out for server outages has made the usual passage of time somewhat distorted.

Now we’re all working from home, I’m sure we all have a pretty good idea of how things could operate smoothly, but of course, you don’t really want anyone out to set things up for you so you can continue to offer amazing solutions and products for your clients for fear of spreading the Virus.

So that’s where we have some amazing news 🙂

We can set up all you need remotely as long as you have an internet connection to your devices! No need to have an engineer out to you to get your trading unaffected.

Amazing! Give us a call if you’d like to discuss 01937 586888

Remote working – How to set up your business to allow remote working for the whole team

Remote working – How to set up your business to allow remote working for the whole team

Modern businesses need modern working practices.

Remote working brings many benefits, no more time stuck in traffic, no late trains, no time lost to the dreaded commute. Researchers have also found that remote working leads to healthier and more productive employees. In spite of the benefits, it can be difficult to know where to start. Businesses often worry about the cost of equipment and software packages in order to make remote working a viable option, but it doesn’t need to be that complicated.

Cloud working is now the norm for a lot of businesses, even if you’re not already using cloud products setting up a VPN to allow employees access to all the files they need can be done in a relatively short period of time and often for a low investment.

Allowing your team or even requiring you team to work from home or on the road not only has huge productivity benefits it also disaster proofs your business should employees not be able to get into work for a period of time due to illnesses or weather conditions for example.

Often businesses have the equipment required to provide remote working for your team with just security and settings needing to be configured. And when equipment is required often the cost is fairly low.

If you’d like to have a chat about how remote working can benefit your business please get in touch and give us a call.

Remote Working & Business I.T. Security Services

What basic security should my business have in place for 2020

What basic security should my business have in place for 2020

It seems each year technology changes at an unrecognisable rate, and managing the security in your business can seem like a full-time issue (or is neglected all together). There’s serious threats now to businesses and their data with ransomware attacks up 12% year on year for the last 3 years.

This page aims to be an extremely basic guide to what you should have in place in your Business in 2020 at a bare minimum.

Endpoint Security

Endpoint security is a software security package that provides, anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-ransomware firewall, and intrusion detection. It terminates at a central control panel so your I.T. provider can view all alerts across all devices on the network without needing to check each system individually.

Robust Backups

A robust backup solution for your business is imperative for business continuity, this is not only a secured on-site copy of your data with ransomware protection but a secure off-site copy with previous versions and retained deleted files. Simply taking a copy of your data is not enough and it’s only a matter of time before you’re caught out (if you haven’t been already).

Router ports blocked

Many hackers will use known exploits in Windows security to gain access to your devices, blocking this access of your companies Router is essential to ensure that your data does not fall into the wrong hands, you don’t want these people on your network at all, once they are in they can unleash huge damage on your network and data.


In summary network security is an absolute requirement for any business these days, if you’d like to discuss the security of your business network and devices please give us a call from the number at the top, or book a meeting using the link on the right or to find out a little bit more about what we do please check the link below.

I.T. Hardware and Infrastructure Support

“I.T. is boring”

“I.T. is boring”

Late last week I was having a conversation with a good client about their website and how they could use it to generate more work for their business, all the little things that drive traffic and get visitors to engage, how they might stay in touch with visitors that don’t enquire there and then and how they ensure that they are giving their prospects and clients what they want.

We must have been speaking for 10 minutes about where they were improving their website and what it was going to mean for the future of the company and then my client said to me “I.T. is boring”. Had we not just been waxing lyrical for 10 minutes about all the interesting a beneficial stuff they were doing with their website?

What I realised is that while I may love the technology behind the scenes and creating something that produces a result, they may not they just love the end product not the journey. I understand that, I don’t love the endless gym sessions and pitch-black 5ks to the next village and back of a night but I love the end result.

So I understand that a lot of people think IT is boring, even if we love it. But how great would it be to let us deliver an end result for you, your clients and your prospects that drives growth and success for your business?

Creating I.T. systems that give amazing experiences for your clients and prospects is our bread and butter.

Whatever you’d like to achieve in your business this year we can help you make that vision a reality if you’d like to have a chat about your goals and how we can work together to deliver them we’d love to have a chat.

Give us a call on 01937 586888

I.T. Hardware and Infrastructure Support

The end of Windows 7 as we know it

The end of Windows 7 as we know it

Today marks Windows 7 EndOf Life. In short, this means Microsoft will no longer release security upgrades and patches for security vulnerabilities.

But as Microsoft ends support for the Windows 7 operating system, still 79% of businesses in 2019 had at least one Windows 7 device in their office.

This will be a huge security flaw on any network moving forwards as Microsoft will not release security patches for known flaws and Internet Security and Virus protection do not patch security holes, that is the job of the operating system provider.

By March 2020 at the latest, you need to have all systems in your organisation running a supported operating system.

If you would like an Aurora Tech Support engineer to come to site to produce a free audit not just covering Windows 7 systems but a full security assessment please book to the right.