The Neuways IT Knowledge Base

Everyone's resource for self-serve IT knowledge and advice

Our IT Knowledge Base is a further demonstration of our commitment to helping businesses and individuals build up their knowledge of IT and their resilience to cyber threats. We do this primarily through our Managed Service plans, where we constantly offer advice and best practice tips to our customers. Our IT Knowledge Base is a free resource that you can use to improve your knowledge at your own convenience.

In the Neuways IT Knowledge Base, you can browse through topics by subject area, by selecting the links on this page.

Why did Neuways create an IT Knowledge base?

We understand that not everyone fully understands how IT works, or even some of the common terms used within the IT industry which may cause confusion and frustration. We took it upon ourselves to create this IT Knowledge base to help inform and assist in furthering your knowledge in IT, so you don’t feel overwhelmed.

What can Neuways' IT Knowledge base offer you?

Our IT Knowledge base is an all-in-one resource where you can find the information you require. No technical jargon, no condescending content – just pure, straight-forward information in a universal way everyonen and anyone, can understand.

Expert advice and information are hard to come by, especially for free. We don’t use our IT Knowledge base as an upsell opportunity, we only use it as a tool for you to get the most accurate and relevant information in a centralised location.

Cyber Security Knowledge base

Your resource for cyber security knowledge and advice

Cyber security is a crucial part of every modern business that hopes to thrive in the current IT landscape. An important part of cyber security is ensuring users are educated about the threats facing them and best practice to ensure they don’t fall victim.

Neuways are committed to helping everyone build up their resilience to cyber threats – take advantage of our free Knowledge Base to improve your defences.

Malware

Definition:

Malicious + software = malware. An umbrella term used to refer to the wide variety of hostile software available today.

Information:

Malware comes in all shapes and sizes of varying severity. It can be designed to spy and steal your passwords, it can be designed to encrypt data and ransom it back to its owners, or it can be designed to spam users with adverts.

Protection:

There must be a comprehensive defence against malware, the basis of which should be network and endpoint security solutions. You should strongly consider a Managed Security Service plan so that you have qualified professionals on your side in your business’ battle against cyber crime.

Neuhelp Expertise:

Encrypting ransomware, a form of malware, is seen as the biggest threat to businesses today. It infiltrates PCs and encrypts all the user’s data, making it impossible to use. It demands a ransom (often a 3 or 4-figure sum) to return the files before a deadline, after which they are permanently deleted.

Ransomware

Definition:

Ransomware is a generic term for a type of malware which infects victims PCs and encrypts their files, offering to decrypt them for a ransom.

Information:

Ransomware typically makes its way onto machines via a Trojan – a type of malware disguised as a legitimate file that may arrive via an email or a malicious website. Security experts consider ransomware to be the most virulent cyber threat.

Protection:

Keep antivirus software up to date. However, because cybercriminals are constantly looking to circumvent security measures, sometimes this isn’t enough. Keep backups of data stored in an offline or segmented location in case of the need to recover everything in the event of an attack. Finally, adhere to best practice, such as being cautious when opening email attachments or clicking on hyperlinks, and staying educated on the evolving threat.

Neuhelp Expertise:

Ransomware payloads can be delivered through a variety of vectors, meaning comprehensive cyber security set up is critical to minimising your business’ risk. The best insurance policy you can get to protect to you is a Datto backup solution to immediately restore your systems in the event of falling victim to ransomware.

Passwords

Definition:

Passwords are login credentials used to secure sensitive accounts, devices and data.

Information:

Passwords are absolutely everywhere, so they may seem like a hassle, but they are actually absolutely critical to your cybersecurity. Often, a hacker’s first attempt to compromise your accounts or systems will be by guessing passwords.

Protection:

Because cybercriminals have many advanced tools to guess passwords, you have to make sure your passwords are strong. This means that they are of good length, combining lower case and capital letters, numbers and symbols, without using any personally identifiable information.

Neuhelp Expertise:

Do not use the same passwords across different accounts you hold or the systems you use. You can be sure that if a hacker compromises one of your passwords, they’ll try to break into other accounts and systems you hold using that same password or close variations.

Spyware

Definition:

A type of malware that is designed to spy on users and steal sensitive information to send to an attacker, or assumes control over the infected device without the consumers’ knowledge.

Information:

Spyware extends beyond monitoring, and it can collect almost any type of data from infected PCs, from web browsing habits to passwords to your details. It can even interfere with device usage, altering software on devices.

Protection:

As with all malware, prevention is the best defence, and good antispyware is essential. If a device is infected with spyware, it is likely that it will need to be completely wiped and rebuilt.

Neuhelp Expertise:

Spyware rarely operates alone on a PC, it will bring other associated malware with it. Computers running slowly for unusual or suspicious reasons ought to be examined by a professional.

Social Engineering

Definition:

Social engineering is the use of deception to manipulate individuals into giving away sensitive or personal information (such as usernames and passwords) to be used for fraudulent purposes.

Information:

Social engineering comes in many forms in cyberspace, such as phishing, and encourages users to ignore good practice and break usual security procedures.

Protection:

Learn about the various different techniques attackers use, and be aware: if you get an out-of-the-ordinary request for your sensitive information, ignore it. Email filtering can help prevent perhaps the most prevalent form of social engineering, phishing emails, from ever reaching your inbox..

Neuhelp Expertise:

17% of employees fall for social engineering attacks – nearly one in five. Make sure employees and are aware of the threat.

Phishing

Definition:

The most common tactic employed by cyber criminals, phishing refers to the tactic of disguising something malicious as something legitimate to trick users into revealing sensitive information or downloading malicious software.

Information:

The most common phishing tactic is phishing emails. These are emails disguised as coming from banks, email or other trusted service providers that encourage users to follow a hyperlink. These take users to fake sites that criminals use to steal passwords or install malware onto PCs.

Protection:

The two most common forms of phishing are email phishing and website phishing, so good email filtering and web filtering, as well as knowledge of how to spot a suspecting phishing attack is essential.

Neuhelp Expertise:

Common phishing emails claim to be from banks. They normally sound urgent and threatening and say that users must sign into their online banking account via a hyperlink in the email. The link takes them to a disguised website owned by the hacker which steals the online banking credentials when entered, giving the hacker control of the bank account.

IT Solutions Knowledge base

Your resource for IT solutions knowledge and advice

IT is a crucial part of every modern business that hopes to thrive today. IT can help you run, grow and transform your business, but too often businesses miss out on the many benefits IT can bring them because of lack of specialist knowledge.

The Neuways IT Solutions Knowledge Base is a free resource designed to help anyone and everyone learn more about what particular IT solutions are, what they do, how they work, and what benefits they can bring to your business.

Laptops

What are Laptops?

Laptops are portable personal computers – the capability of a desktop PC at a fraction of the size.

Advantages:
  • Allows remote working
  • Easy to transport
  • Always Wi-Fi enabled
  • Battery powered
  • Small in size compared to desktop PCs
Disadvantages:
  • Not always as powerful as desktop PCs
  • Battery-life will deteriorate over time
  • Common target in thefts due to being easy to transport
  • Sometimes limited with hardware, i.e. lack of disk drive
  • Easier to break than desktop PCs
Neuhelp Expertise:

Laptops can be a huge benefit to your business – if utilised correctly. With the ability to provide remote working, productivity can excel in your business, especially in departments such as sales. With the increased portability, the risk of theft also rises, therefore you are required to enforce a security policy throughout your business encouraging stronger passwords, encrypted drives and other common security practices to mitigate data loss.

Leased Lines

What are Leased Lines?

Leased lines are private symmetric telecommunications units between two or more locations, in exchange for monthly rent. Used for telephone, internet and other data services.

Advantages:
  • Great for inter-network connectivity
  • Generally faster and stable
  • Less likely to be affected by cyber threats
  • Dedicated download and upload speeds
Disadvantages:
  • Can be costly if any construction work is required
  • To install a leased line could potentially take weeks, if not months
  • Each leased line requires a physical installation, which could disrupt the workplace
Neuhelp Expertise:

With the internet being the pinnacle of business life, it is important that a stable internet connection is maintained, to avoid issues such as failed backup, loss of communication, downtime for critical business systems across your network – amongst a plethora of other uncomfortable issues. With a leased line, the aforementioned risks are mitigated to an almost negligible problem.

Backups

What are Backups?

Should you lose access to your company’s data for any reason, a backup can provide you with a copy of your data that can be restored at any point. We strongly recommend all businesses have a reliable, secure way of backing up. Data loss can be very serious, especially in with cyber criminals looking to make money out of any company data they can get there hands on the large fines that can now be enforced following the introduction of GDPR.

An example of data loss could be a PC hard drive or your server failing. Any data created or modified since your last back up will be lost. Backing up regularly should be a key part of every business’ day-to-day planning.

What is Regular Backup?

The honest answer is it depends on your business. The best way to answer how often you should be looking to back up your data would be to think about how far back could your business go any not lose any money or business.

So, if your company suffers a catastrophic data loss and you need to restore from a backup you will need to rewind to a point in time in the past, and starting again from there, without all the work from the meantime.

Do you want to go back to:

a) last month
b) last week
c) yesterday or
d) an hour ago?

Yes, Neuways can help you implement a backup solution that allows you to rewind to less than 1 hour previous!

Neuways can help you navigate the world of backups and improve your company’s policies, or help you establish new ones. Just get in touch!

Firewalls

What are Firewalls?

A firewall is a network security solution that monitors and controls traffic going in and out of the network and is a critical part of a secure network setup.

Your firewall should be set up and checked over by a professional in order to ensure it is going to do its job properly and keep your network safe – there are more and more cyber criminals trying to access your system at the moment and they will find the smallest weakness and exploit it.

There is often a confusion between routers and firewalls as routers also control network traffic.

Your router will link your traffic to and from the Internet, but it won’t necessarily secure your network. Some routers have firewalls built-in, however, they may not be as effective as dedicated firewalls produced by security conscious manufacturers.

So, do you need a dedicated firewall? Well, it is about what is best for your business. Neuways can offer a number of high-quality dedicated firewalls, and if your budget is smaller, routers with inbuilt firewalls that are produced by security conscious manufacturers.