Ransomware – Beware of Suspicious E-Mail Attachments

Ransomware

Over the past weeks, we here at Hybrid Technology Partners we have noticed a large increase in a type of Malware that installs itself on your PC and encrypts the hard drive leaving you with no access to your files. This form of Ransomware is next to impossible to decrypt unless you have the encryption key which you have of course to buy from these scrupulous hackers.  Ransomware is typically triggered on the opening of a file attachment within an email and with one click can completely encrypt certain files on your hard drive leaving you completely locked out from using you computer.

 

The only way to unlock this encryption is to pay these hackers using Bitcoin. The cost can vary depending on the infection but many users ending up spending hundreds of Euro’s in order to get their computer backup and operational again.  The malware may go undetected by your security software such is its sophistication and security experts recommend having a defence in layers security strategy whereby security measures are applied in separate but overlapping protections to ensure the implementation of a solid security posture. The security layers are designed to complement each other by ensuring that a vulnerability which is not mitigated in one layer is mitigated by a different control available in another layer. The five layers of this approach are,

 

  • Develop a Comprehensive But Self-Contained Policy
  • Content Filtering Proxy for Web and Mail Traffic
  • Limited-Mode Access
  • Enabling AppLocker
  • Continuous Awareness Training

 

At Hybrid Technology Partners we have experience in dealing with Ransomware like this. If you would like find out more about this layered approach and how you can mitigate against this malware and other viruses that are similar in nature then feel free to contact us on 061 211444 or 01 5310030 or email us at info@hybridtp.ie.

Product of the Week – Synolgoy DS21J NAS Drive

Nas SynologyNetwork-attached storage (NAS) is a file-level computer data storage server connected to a computer network providing data access to multiple users on the same network. In short it’s a clever storage device that can act as a file share over your local network giving you a cost effective solution to the sharing of files and media as well as backing up your servers and VM’s.

 

The DS215j is a NAS box from Synology that comes equipped with a dual-core CPU, DS215j delivers average reading speed over 111.41 MB/sec and writing over 87.49 MB/sec, a 19.4% gain on writing speed compared to its predecessor. This allows you enjoy faster data transfers, fast backup, as well as smoother cloud synchronization. The DS215j comes with USB 3.0 ports to connect to various kinds of external storage devices, while ensuring fast and efficient file transfer speeds. Support for USB 3.0 offers transfer speeds of up to 5 Gbps (about 10 times faster than USB 2.0), meaning it takes less time to transfer data to external hard drives, while also consuming less power.

Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM) is a sleek, browser-based operating system running on every DiskStation and RackStation, which makes managing your Synology NAS a breeze. Featuring an intuitive user interface, DSM makes accessing and sharing your data smarter and simpler. Synology’s Package Centre lets you download and install useful add-on packages designed specifically for individual or business needs, meaning you can enjoy more entertainment in your life or better productivity at work.

At Hybrid Technology Partners, we have installed this NAS box on our clients networks to ensure that they have a backup solution in place that is fast, robust and most importantly reliable. If you would like to talk to us about how a piece of technology like this NAS box from Synology can help in your daily backing up of your vital business information, then feel free to contact us a Hybrid Technology Partners on 061 – 211444 or 01 – 5310030 or email at info@hybridtp.ie.

 

Herbst Insight – Assembly and Manufacturing solutions

In our experience in delivering business management software solutions to enterprises with an assembly and manufacturing side to their business, is the difficulty they have keeping on top on of variables like the fluctuations in the cost of materials, stock control and accurately creating a BOM or Bill of Materials. It’s when uncertainties like these arise that having a fully integrated software system in place comes into its own giving you an overview of your whole business with key features specifically created to help you formulate, schedule, capture, track and control your manufacturing processes.

assembly_manufacturing 2016 1

Some of the key features of this assembly and manufacturing module are,

  • Schedule work orders.
  • Bill of materials with version control.
  • Integrated parts planning.
  • Capture labour costs.
  • Automatically incorporates cost of materials.
  • Integrated ingredients batch tracking.
  • Touch screen Kiosk.
  • Integrated report writer.

assembly_manufacturing 2016 2

At Hybrid Technology Partners, our motto is “technology experts in streamlining business.” This involves getting to know your business by using our expertise to bring a measurable gain to your enterprise. If you are looking to increase sales, cut costs, reduce paperwork, manage your stock, or consolidate your existing business software, we have solutions to match and exceed your expectations. Companies all over the country have used Herbst Insight, our software partner, to grow their business. Their assembly tools are just one of the many features of this innovative Business Management Software solution. If you would like to find out more about an integrated software solution that can help your business then contact us here at Hybrid Technology Partners on 061-211444 or 01-5310030 or info@hybridtp.ie.

Bespoke Software – 5 Advantages of Having you Own Software Developed.

Software Development and Bespoke Software

So you’ve looked at the various off the shelf software that’s out there on the market today and you haven’t found the solution to your particular problem. When it comes to a particular problem with your business systems that can be only fixed by software development the prospect of having some work done can be a daunting one. This is understandable given the unknown nature of developing your own bespoke software solution. The cost of having development done can be an unknown however the costs of having bespoke software development may in fact be a cheaper alternative to any potential off the shelf solutions that may be out there.

 

The off the shelf software may also come with many hidden costs and hindrances. There are many hidden factors to consider, the installation and configuration, data import, customisation of reports and the time needed to retrain staff. Bespoke software in many cases can actually cost less. Initially, it may be a larger investment but over time, the payback of having your own custom solution is greater. Here are some key advantages of having your own bespoke software developed.

  1. Bespoke software works the way your business works. It is specifically tailored for your business. You lay down the specifications and the requirements.
  2. Modifications and changes can easily be made. For example, a business who must adhere to a change in compliance within their market can easily modify their custom software as opposed to the inflexibility of an off the shelf software that cannot change to that particular need.
  3. By looking closely at your business practice, bespoke software can streamline your business processes taking advantage of the latest developments in software and technology. The elimination of repetitive tasks and integration of separate software systems increases productivity.
  4. Knowing who has created the bespoke software means that you can get the most focused support because they created what you use. Support for off the shelf software can sometimes be very frustrating if something goes awry.
  5. Some businesses still use legacy systems, which are crucial to the business. Bespoke software can be designed to support legacy systems and help them integrate with new technologies or software platforms.

We have over 15 years’ experience in the field of software development and have led projects as app developers and software developers for large multinationals, SMEs, and public bodies. We have the experience and the knowledge so give us a call if you’re interested in talking further about how bespoke software can make an impression on your business. To find out more why not call us on 061 211444 or 01 5310030 or info@hybridtp.ie and we’ll be happy to show you how bespoke software can be used to help solve your particular business problem.

Hybrid Technology Partners

Choosing the Right Business Managment Software System

Business Management Software ERP

If your one of the many companies out there (and there are many) who are still using a fragmented approach to business software and have thought about finally taking the big step in adopting a fully integrated business management software system then there are a few key points you should consider. Business Management Software is by its nature a complex beast and choosing the correct one can be a difficult proposition. If you haven’t selected business management software before, you might be wondering how to tell which application is right for your company. There are several factors to consider; here are the top three.

 

Choose a Stable Vendor

Reputation is key when it comes to the delivery, implementation and support of your Business Management Software / ERP. The length of time the vendor has been in existence as well as the experience the vendor has in delivering to completion a complex IT project should be foremost in your mind. This is where some investigative works comes in like researching online to see how much of the market share your vendor owns and checking out their website to see if they have any case studies and testimonials. Reputation is key as well; make sure that the company you choose has a solid history of helping businesses like yours. And verify that the company embraces flexible technologies so that you can keep seeing returns on your software investment far into the future

Get the Right Functionality

This is crucial. Getting the software to do what you want to do rather than the less than ideal scenario of getting a piece of software that forces you to change the way you do business. It may seem like a simple question, but remember that you’ll probably want to keep adding functionality to your system as you grow. Choose software from a vendor that provides the functions you need now – like Job Costing, invoicing or e‑commerce – as well as those you’ll need as your business changes and grows.

Consider the Costs

This is where you decide in whether the Business Management Software is going to give you the return on investment. This is where you make sure that your implementation partner can provide you with a detailed project scope as well as ongoing maintenance. Another factor to consider is the future! Will the software scale to your needs and requirements giving added functionality and offsetting and depreciation as time goes on.

Find the Right Assistance

Choose software that can be installed and supported by knowledgeable partners. Make sure that the partners have a close relationship with the vendor and that they’re able to receive ongoing training and support. Often, businesses form long-term relationships with their software partners; the right partner can help you meet your business goals as they evolve and as your company grows.

At Hybrid Technology Partners we have been vendors for Herbst Insight for over 7 years. Insight is a Business Management / ERP software platform created specifically for the Irish SME. It’s designed to be a modular system; a completely integrated financial solution for SME’s with a comprehensive range of optional extras which can be added as required.  If you would like to find out more about Herbst Insight then why not contact us on 061 211444 or 01 5310030 or email us at info@hybridtp.ie

5 Differences an ERP system can make to your Business

Herbst Insight ERP

Herbst Insight ERP

Since its creation in the 1970’s by SAP the adoption of an ERP system to run businesses of all types and size has been immense and unprecedented. An Enterprise resource planning (ERP), according to Wikipedia’s definition is a business management software—usually a suite of integrated applications—that a company can use to collect, store, manage and interpret data from many business activities.   It can be found in virtual all the largest companies in the world helping them manger their day to day running off all aspects of the enterprise. As ERP systems have developed the cost of the software system has lowered making it a realistic and affordable software solution for SME’s. Here are a few key differences an ERP system can make to the day to day running of your company or organisation.

 

  1. In the modern business environment having a software system that allows you to integrate and manage all your business functions can give you a competitive advantage by collecting, storing and interpreting data from multiple business activities. Now you can integrate your accounts with stock and your sales and marketing with distribution. No longer are these separate departments isolated from each other. With an ERP they all use the same database. When implemented, the ERP System brings together information from across the organization and makes it accessible through a single software platform. This gives you an overview of your business as a whole allowing you make informed business decisions based on accurate information.
  2. Using an ERP increases efficiency by stopping paper chasing and reduces the need for duplication. Now you can have easily accessible and customisable focussed views any aspect of your business operations cutting out repetitive data entry processes and the need to manually enter information
  3. Using an ERP system can also give you the ability to create customizable reports. An ERP system can make reporting on any aspect of your business easier and can be customised to show you the information you need when you need it.
  4. With a fully integrated ERP system you can empower your sales people to provide higher customer service. Sales and customer service people can interact with customers better and improve relationships with them, through faster, more accurate access to customers’ information and history.
  5. With an integrated software system you can have access to real time information on any aspect of your business. This unified and single approach can give your business intelligence functionalities that can give an insight into your business process and can quickly highlight problem areas much quicker.

At Hybrid Technology Partners are resellers for Herbst Software’s ERP Insight. Insight is a modular based software system that allows you to add specific modules to specific areas of your business as the needs arise. At its heart is a completely integrated financial software solution created specifically for the Irish SME with a comprehensive range of modules that can be added to suit a wide range of business processes. If you would like to find out more about Insight why not call us on 061 211444 or 01 5310030 or email info@hybridtp.ie

Protecting Your Data – Reform of the EU’s 1995 data protection regulation

Data Protection

This year sees the 1995 Data protection directive brought up to date with a new EU-wide regulation that sees comprehensive reform of the 1995 directive that was developed to strengthen and unify privacy rights and data protection for individuals within the European Union.

 

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a comprehensive reform of the EU’s 1995 data protection regulation, being developed to strengthen and unify online privacy rights and data protection for individuals within the European Union (EU) while streamlining the data protection obligations of businesses serving EU citizens through a single Regulation instead of 28 different National laws.

WHAT ARE THE CHANGES?
Key changes in the reform include:

  • The right to know when one’s data has been hacked: Companies and or- ganisations must notify the national supervisory authority of data breaches which put individuals at risk and communicate to the data subject all high risk breaches as soon as possible so that users can take appropriate measures.
  • Stronger enforcement of the rules: data protection authorities will be able to fine companies who do not comply with EU rules up to 4% of their global annual turnover.
  • One continent, one law: a single, Pan-European law for data protection, re- placing the current patchwork of national laws. Companies will deal with one law, not 28. The benefits are estimated at €2.3 billion per year.
  • Organisations must notify the national authority of serious data breaches as soon as possible (if feasible within 24 hours).
  • EU rules must apply if personal data is handled abroad by companies that are active in the EU market and offer their services to EU citizens.
  • Data protection by design and by default: ‘Data protection by design’ and ‘Data protection by default’ are now essential elements in EU data protec- tion rules. Data protection safeguards will be built into products and services from the earliest stage of development, and privacy-friendly default settings will be the norm.

By making Data Protection an essential, key element of the regulation The EU is making it mandatory for businesses to adequately protect sensitive personal data, defined as:
“any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person hereinafter re- ferred to as ‘data subject’; an identifiable person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identification number or to one or more factors specific to his or her physical, physiological, mental, economic, cultural or social identity;”
This broad definition of personal data easily covers the simplest records relating, even indirectly, to customers, clients, staff, pupils and any other record relating to an individual.

 

The Key Advantages of Bespoke Software

Bespoke Software

The Key Advantages of Bespoke Software

When it comes to making a decision about about improving your business processes using technology you can sometimes overlook the advantages of having a custom made solution created specifically for your businesses needs. The overall aim of any company when it comes to making a decision on whether to go for an off the shelf solution or custom made software is will this purchase help streamline your business processes, increase GP and ultimately give you a return on your investment. When making a decision, it is worth bearing in mind some of the distinct key advantages of bespoke software that sets it apart from an off the shelf solution.

Some of key advantages of bespoke development are,

  • Bespoke software ensures that it’s a perfect fit for your business needs. Bespoke software is created specifically for your businesses needs. Whether its removing the paper and the pen or integrating separate systems, bespoke software is created for your needs and requirements working to streamline whatever process you need worked on.
  • Bespoke software offer scalability and further development. With bespoke software you can easily add more features as and when the need arises. This gives it a distinct advantage over most “off the shelf” which can’t be scaled up or developed further.
  • Bespoke Software can cut down on expensive “off the shelf” licensing and service costs cutting out the need for expensive licences and and reoccurring service and support costs.
  • Bespoke software development can help protect your business from external security threats. The majority of successful hacking attempts performed on businesses are as a result of hackers exploiting known software vulnerabilities in commonly-used software. Bespoke software will be a much less attractive target for hackers as it will require comparatively much more effort to learn how to breach the system.
  • Bespoke Software development interacts with your software platforms which is something very few off the shelf software platforms can achieve. It is designed to work seamlessly with your current business software environment.

At Hybrid Technology Partners we have been at the forefront of developing bespoke software solutions for clients and organizations of various types and sizes. We have extensive experience in all stages of the implementation process from the initial requirements gathering right through to project completion. Why not call us on 061 211444 or 01 5310030 or email us info@hybridtp.ie to talk further about how a bespoke software solution can improve your business processes and increase profits.

Managed Services – Stopping your IT problems before they Happen

At Hybrid Technology Partners we offer Managed IT Services that works to prevent issues before they arise.

Managed Services - Stopping your IT problems before they Happen

If you haven’t thought about moving your IT services to a fully managed services platform then maybe you should consider a few key advantages of using a service like this to look after your IT needs. Managed IT services by definition is the provision of IT services that works proactively and manages completely all or part of your IT infrastructure. One of the distinct and key features of this service is the provision of a proactive service as opposed to a reactive one whereby the clients IT infrastructure is constantly monitored and any issues that might arise are dealt with before they arise or become bigger problems.

Managed Services - Stopping your IT problems before they Happen

Just like larger companies, SME’s need their IT Infrastructure to operate efficiently and to compete effectively. But as your IT systems grow larger and more complex your ability to keep on top of them may be overwhelming. For example you may fall behind in keeping up with things such as backups, patches and security fixes. This can have a knock on effect later on down the road which can lead to vital systems going down leading to downtime and a loss in productivity. This is where a Managed IT Services provider (MSP) like us can step in and act as an extension of your IT department freeing up your IT staff to work on more high level tasks whilst we look after the more mundane operations. By proactively monitoring and maintaining your systems we can help you avoid many of your IT problems before they arise.

We can offer your company a wide range of different levels of Managed IT services from the simple monitoring of backups and software updates to a fully managed solution for your whole IT infrastructure. The benefits of using a Managed Service Provider (MSP) are obvious. At Hybrid Technology Partners we can offer you a fully managed service that actively monitors your IT infrastructure 24/7/365. If you would like to find out more of the features of our Managed Services then fell free to contact us on 061 211444 or 01 5310030 or email us at info@hybridtp.ie and we’ll be delighted to show you the service we can provide your company.

free-audit

Using a Web Portal to add Value to Your Services

web_portal 2016_Page_1Have you ever thought of adding value to your services by empowering your customers with a web interface that’s branded with your logo and colours. Think of offering your customers a login to their own accounts where they can reprint historical transactions, order new products and make payments.

Imagine giving your largest customers a web portal that can be located on their factory floor that remains open at all times cutting out the need to order by phone or email. Herbst Insight’s powerful web portal can give you this and much more with a web portal that gives added value to your services and improves interactions with your customers. Herbst Insight, through the web portal, gives you the user the power to give your customers access to you business information instantly.

Some of the key features Herbst Insights web portal are,

  • Customers specific password management tools.
  • Customer special prices supported.
  • Share files and contracts securely online.
  • Display product availability, pictures and safety details.
  • Sales orders and payments go directly into the system.
  • Products ledger 100% synchronised with web portal.
  • Last statement and previous invoice available in real-time.
  • Web interface can be branded with your logo and colours.

web_portal 2016_Page_2

The web portal gives you an excellent business solution that improves the level of service you can give to your customers. Companies all over the country have used Herbst Insight, our software partner, to grow their business. Their web portal is just one of the many features of this innovative Business Management Software solution. If you would like to find out more about an integrated software solution can help your business then contact us here at Hybrid TP on 061-211444 or 01-5310 030.