Latest News - Abtec Network Systems

16
Apr

Vacancy – Projects Team Apprentice

Our Project Team is growing and we have a vacancy for an apprentice. The ideal candidate will be a confident communicator, numerate, and have a friendly manner.

In this role you will support the administration of our customer projects by ordering hardware, software and communication products from our suppliers.

Download the job specification here.

To apply for the role, or for more information, please send your CV and cover letter to ct@abtecnet.com.

12
Apr

Vacancy – Network Engineer

We’re growing our engineering team and have a vacancy for a graduate network engineer.

The role would be ideal for recent graduates that have participated in a Cisco Networking Academy affiliated degree.

Download the job specification here.

How to Apply

Send your CV and cover letter to ct@abtecnet.com.

4
Apr

Cyber security’s weakest link?

Recent penetration testing conducted against higher education institutions demonstrated a “100 per cent track record of gaining access to a higher education institution’s high value data within two hours.” 

Was this directly due to a lack of cyber security technology exposing these institutes?  Possibly not.  The method of attack used in this research was electronic social engineering, specifically spear phishing emails.

So are we humans the weakest link in cyber security?

Many spear phishing emails will spoof the recipient’s domain name, more often than not appearing to come from a senior colleague.  The emails will request either a supplier payment be made or an action that requires the opening of an attached document.  That sophisticated knowledge or the recipient’s organisation is what makes these emails so successful. 

But there are steps we can take to protect our organisations.

Actions to take

There are a host of ways in reducing your risks of falling foul to phishing emails, here are two examples.

Block your own domain

If you have an email filtering service you could block emails with your own domain if the email doesn’t come from your mail server.  A good mail filtering service will enable legitimate emails with your domain that aren’t sent from your mail server, such as an email marketing engine or an online CRM system, to get through.  This action can reduce the volume of threats received.

Education

How many times have your colleagues had training on how to spot phishing emails?  Maybe not many.  There are several simple steps that every user can take to help identify phishing emails.  Arming users with that information, and then checking their actions with organised phishing email testing can reduce the number of malicious emails acted upon.

Want more?

Reducing the quantity of phishing emails a user receives and empowering users to spot them are just two ways in which we can help you reduce your risks from these attacks and strengthen your security.

Call Abtec on 01858 438 500 today to find out how we can help you reduce your risks.

1
Apr

BBC News Spotlight on Our Hinkley Point C Project

The BBC News website has produced an interesting profile of one of our projects, the Hinkley Point C workers’ campuses.

As well as providing the IT and communications infrastructure for these sites, we’ve also got an onsite team managing the infrastructure.

Find out more here:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-47718991

5
Feb

Collection #1 – #5 Data Breaches: Time to review your security

It’s only February and two huge data breaches have already been identified.  Collection #1 and Collection #2-#5 contain an estimated 3 billion email addresses and passwords. 

You can find out if you’ve been affected here: https://sec.hpi.de/ilc/search

This is yet another reason to review your IT infrastructure’s security measures.  Network and infrastructure attacks take many forms.  These data breaches raise potential vulnerabilities in remote network access and email security.  Unfortunately, many people will still use the same password, or variations on a password, across multiple applications.  Forcing colleagues to use strong passwords is the first step in improving security, and implementing a rule to change passwords at regular intervals can help too.  However, these can open other security issues, for example people sticking passwords to monitors in plain view of everyone else!

There are better strategies to take in securing your infrastructure.  Contact Abtec on 01858 438 500 to book a security review to identify the best for you.

Also, download our Building Better Disaster Recovery Plans guide to find out more ways to prevent unplanned interruptions to your infrastructure.

2
Nov

Be Prepared

No one likes interruptions to their IT services, they cost time and money.  As the nights draw in, it’s a good opportunity to review how prepared your infrastructure is to combat disruption.

We’ve built a guide, download it here, to help you perform that review.  It’s called ‘Building Better Disaster Recovery Plans’.  The point behind it is that we spend time creating DR plans for high impact, low probability events, but often it’s the small, everyday disruptions that cause more problems.

In this guide we share some of steps we take with clients to reduce IT disruption.

As ever, if you need any support improving your IT infrastructure’s preparedness for disruption give us a call on 01858 538 500.  We’ll be happy to help.

9
Oct

Hinkley Point C – Second accommodation block getting ready for business

Abtec’s engineers continue their great work on the second accommodation block for the Hinkley Point C new nuclear power station project.

Hinkley Point C, the first nuclear power station to be built in the UK for over 20 years, is one of the largest construction projects in Europe.  To accommodate many of the 3,100 workers on site, two workers campuses have been built.

We’ve been working on the project for the last two years, designing, installing and supporting the IT and communications infrastructure, for the accommodation blocks.  Our four onsite engineers provide IT support for the accommodation manager’s employees, Host 2 Ltd.  They also manage and maintain the tech we’ve designed and installed, including;

 

  • Wide Area Networks
  • Over 450 Cisco wireless access points
  • Mitel communications system with over 1600 handsets
  • Over 100 Cisco switches
  • Over 50 TB of storage

 

Our engineers are currently building the infrastructure for the second block of accommodation, with 1500 rooms, in readiness for its opening in December.

13
Jun

Top industry recognition for Abtec

Our sister organisation, Abtec Building Technologies, has scooped an honour at this year’s ECA Industry Awards, held on Friday 8 June at the London Hilton Bankside Hotel.

The ECA Industry Awards recognise key achievements of the finest talent in the sector, providing a great opportunity for contractors and wider industry associates to showcase exceptional work.

Substantial CO2 Savings

Abtec’s team won a highly commended award in the Best Energy Solutions Project, for a recent project with Ibstock Brick.  The project, which delivers energy efficient and intelligent lighting for Ibstock Brick’s new factory, will save 170,000kg of CO2 per year.

The ECA Industry Awards judges were impressed with Abtec’s demonstration of significant CO2 savings, anticipated energy savings of 50% and a project payback time of less than two years.

Commenting on the commendation by the ECA, Site Engineering Manager John Grew said:

“What we have achieved with the team from Abtec BT is the coming-together of the key elements of energy management. This includes lighting that is controlled by presence detection, automated emergency lighting testing, constant daylight control, as well as scene-setting. All of this is integrated within a wider, site-wide building management solution. The result is a 50% saving when it is compared with the cost of a traditional lighting solution – thus saving 170,041 kg CO2 per year, when coupled with the automated emergency testing further savings that are efficiency goals.”

Ibstock Brick’s engineering team is now working with Abtec BT to fully integrate the building services on the new site and the wider estate to provide even greater energy management.

11
Jan

New network to increase flexibility for Yusen Logistics

Yusen Logistics (UK) Ltd has replaced its UK wide IT networking infrastructure.  The company believes the move will improve its flexibility and increase efficiency. 

“The new network will improve our IT capabilities” says Simon Calver, Yusen Logistics (UK) Networks Technical Lead.  “It will make it easier to share information with our clients in real time and for us to add new distribution sites.”

IT specialists Abtec Network Systems provided the new network.  Phil Kennerdell, Abtec’s Sales Director, points out, “We’ve used our own national network which gives Yusen Logistics faster connection speeds and improved resilience.”

The network connects Yusen’s distribution, administration and datacentres together.  A diverse range of applications run across the network, including its warehousing supply chain software and vehicle tracking data.  “It supports our focus on delivering customer centric services for our clients” adds Simon.

As the logistics firm’s reliance on IT continues to grow, safeguarding this infrastructure was an important network design consideration.  Phil notes “We’ve built additional resilience into the network to ensure that Yusen can still operate even in the highly unlikely event that disaster strikes.”

The network extends Abtec’s growth in the logistics market.  Its clients include Norbert Dentressangle, the Road Haulage Association and Panic Transport.  Phil explains the reasons for this growth, “Our understanding of the needs of businesses in this sector help us create unique services for logistics firms.  These services help businesses exceed their clients’ needs and can cut costs too.”

15
Dec

Winter newsletter out now

Winter newsletter is out now.

Download

It’s winter time; so why not put another log on the fire, get comfortable and read our latest newsletter…

Cloud Applications – Hosted Voice

In this edition we look at one of the more surprising applications that can be run from the cloud – Hosted Voice.  We’ll find out why one leading law firm chose Abtec’s Hosted Voice service and the benefits it will bring the organisation.

We’ve witnessed the recent storms cause chaos in the north of England and Scotland first hand; we support organisations and have employees across the north east and north west of England.  We’ve protected these organisations’ IT resources from the floods, and this has prompted us to issue a reminder to readers about keeping on top of their business continuity plans.

Also, we’ve seen another unwelcome visitor recently, phishing emails with macro enabled attachments.  Richard Pitman, one of our senior network engineers, offers advice on how to protect your organisation against these unwelcome visitors.

Happy reading!