Monthly Archives - May 2017

are you compliant with Customs Act 1901?

Are you Compliant with “Customs Act 1901” ?

This act mandates that all owners and importers of goods must retain records for 5 years and be able to produce records as required. Penalties apply should you not comply.

Are your records protected and archived for 5 years?

If you are not absolutely certain you must read on.

How to protect your records:

  1. Ensure that you have professional Anti-virus that is up to date
  2. Ensure that you have professional Web Protection
  3. Back up all of your files both on-site and to a cloud backup. This must be monitored to ensure that the backups are working as they should.
  4. Make sure your computer operating system is up to date and has the latest security patches installed.
  5. For extra protection or if you are a medium to large businesses you should also consider:
    1. Proper Gateway Firewalls
    2. Cloud based mail filtering
    3. Proper user permission management
    4. Staff education programs.

What are your risks of losing files / data?

From my experience, most files/data are lost through accidental deletion or deliberate deletion by a disgruntled employee. The second most common cause is hardware failures.

Other common causes include:

  • Power surges
  • Accidental data corruption
  • Acts of god. Floods etc.
  • Fire
  • Burglary / Theft of equipment
  • Encryption / Ransom-Ware viruses like the latest “WanaCry” attack
  • Other Viruses

Ransom-Ware is on the rise and becoming a more serious risk by the day. The latest “WanaCry” attack affected more than 200,000 computers in the first 3 days.

If you are not taking your security and backups seriously, it is only a matter of time before you will probably get affected.


Where to from here?

Talk to your IT provider and get them to prove to you that your data is safe. If they cannot do so, we recommend to talk to the guys at Plan A IT

What is the Cloud and Why should I be using it?

What is The Cloud and why should I be using it?

The Cloud seems like a carefully kept secret with many people not fully understanding the possibilities and options that it opens for businesses. If right now you are asking yourself – but what is The Cloud then I will take a moment to explain. In the most basic terms rather than having all your software and applications sitting on a computer instead you can access all those applications through the internet.

Benefits of Using the Cloud

1. Mobility – Before you had to work where your computer was stationed. No one is going to carry a bulky desk station home each night but with the cloud wherever you have internet you have access to the cloud. Any computer can be used to access what you need.

2. Security – What would happen if your laptop died tomorrow? Is everything backed up? The bonus with The Cloud is that you can implement cloud based backup and recovery solutions which means your data is always backed up and secure. And on a side note if you happen to lose your laptop, the data on it can be removed remotely so that it never ends up in the wrong hands.

3. Sharing – Have you ever been working with someone else on a document and been sending multiple copied back and forwards. Are you sure you are working on the latest copy? When using The Cloud all files are stored centrally and everyone only sees one version. This improves collaboration among teams.

4. Flexibility – So many people are crying out for work/life balance. Employees love being given the opportunity to work from home and at times work outside of normal business hours. The Cloud offers this flexibility as they can access their data from any computer. Happy Employees = Productive Employees.

5. It grows with you – Typically businesses always have a couple of extra licenses, or storage capacity just sitting around for when they bring on a new staff member. The benefit of the cloud is that it always has the extra capacity when you need it. So rather than paying for what you don’t need just yet, you pay for what you need when you need it. It is also really easy to add new employees to your system and will only take a few minutes.

6. Upgrading is no longer your problem – All maintenance and upgrades of The Cloud is not your concern and you will never have to pay for it.


If you are interested in finding out more about The Cloud and seeing if this might work for your business, contact us today.



Skin Cancer Research Database

Medical Industry Services

Plan A IT Pty Ltd has a wealth of experience in many industries, including Medical Research.

Tobias Wilson (Director of Plan A IT Pty Ltd) is the developer and co-creator  of the “Skin Cancer Australian Research Database (SCARD)”

What is SCARD?

Conceived in 2006 by Cliff Rosendahl, the Skin Cancer Audit & Research Database (SCARD) Surgical Audit Project is a surgical log designed for doctors who treat skin malignancies. It has been designed to facilitate the easy recording of useful data at the time of treatment so that the treatment of skin cancers can be tracked.

At the time of this writing SCARD has:

  • 857 Doctors
  • 254,258 Patients
  • 700,467 Specimens

SCARD is the largest skin cancer research database that we know of, which makes it an invaluable tool in the fight against cancer.

For more information click here.


History of Ransom-Ware & how it works

I just found this excellent video on YouTube that I thought I would share with you. It explains very well what Ransom-Ware actually does and how serious a threat it is.

The video was published September 2016 but has never been more relevant than today.

In the past year I have noticed that major vendors like Cisco, Kaspersky etc. are constantly focusing their seminars and webinars on this insidious threat. I take this to highlight the serious nature of this threat an so should you.

If you are not taking your IT Security seriously it is only a matter of time before you wish that you had done so.


Security… Why Do I need It?

We live in a world where everyone seems to believe that nothing bad will ever happen to them so they don’t have to take any steps to prevent the worst. Unfortunately, it is this kind of thinking that can make our job very difficult. Computer security is very important and let us show you why.

Picture this scenario, we get called out urgently to a business because a computer has crashed and they can’t access any of their data. We come out and look inside the computer only to realise that the hard drive is fried and there is no chance for recovery. We deliver the bad news but with the optimistic question – do you have a back-up? At this point the client’s day either gets better or much much worse. A yes answer means we just need to arrange a new computer and reinstall everything back onto it – the client’s downtime will be minimal. A no answer means we still arrange a new computer and get it setup but then they start the very slow process of hopefully being able to recreate everything they just lost. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible especially if it is client history or contracts that have been lost, in many instances the business simply closes down.

We have seen this scenario far too many times which is why we now offer back-up solutions tailored to your needs. We want to ensure that your data will never be lost. Plan A takes a four-pronged approach. We ensure you have:

  • Managed Antivirus
  • Managed Web Security
  • Managed Onsite Backup and
  • Managed Cloud Backup

Basically, what this means is you will never lose your data again.

To learn more about the Plan A Security Suite and to request a quote go to



“Worst-Ever Recorded” Ransomware Attack Strikes Over 57,000 Users Worldwide, Using NSA-Leaked Tools

WannaCry Ransom-ware – Avast detects over 57,000 users affected

  • More than 70 countries targeted.
  • Major institutions infected, including hospitals.

According to experts tracking and analyzing the worm and its spread, this could be one of the worst-ever recorded attacks of its kind. The security researcher who tweets and blogs as MalwareTech told The Intercept “I’ve never seen anything like this with ransomware,” and “the last worm of this degree I can remember is Conficker.” Conficker was a notorious Windows worm first spotted in 2008; it went on to infect over nine million computers in nearly 200 countries. As The Intercept details

Security firm Kaspersky Lab has recorded more than 45,000 attacks in 74 countries in the past 10 hours. Seventy-four countries around the globe have been affected, with the number of victims still growing, according to Kaspersky Lab. According to Avast, over 57,000 attacks have been detected worldwide, the company said, adding that it “quickly escalated into a massive spreading.”

According to Avast, the ransomware has also targeted Russia, Ukraine and Taiwan. The virus is apparently the upgraded version of the ransomware that first appeared in February. Believed to be affecting only Windows operated computers, it changes the affected file extension names to “.WNCRY.” It then drops ransom notes to a user in a text file, demanding $300 worth of bitcoins to be paid to unlock the infected files within a certain period of time.

While the victim’s wallpaper is being changed, affected users also see a countdown timer to remind them of the limited time they have to pay the ransom. If they fail to pay, their data will be deleted, cybercriminals warn. According to the New York Times, citing security experts, the ransomware exploits a “vulnerability that was discovered and developed by the National Security Agency (NSA).” The hacking tool was leaked by a group calling itself the Shadow Brokers, the report said, adding, that it has been distributing the stolen NSA hacking tools online since last year.

Predictably, Edward Snowden – who has been warning about just such an eventuality – chimed in on Twitter, saying Whoa: @NSAGov decision to build attack tools targeting US software now threatens the lives of hospital patients.”

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