COVID Safe – Facial Recognition, Thermal Temperature & Access Control Terminal

Are Two Monitors Really More Productive Than One?

Are Two Monitors Really More Productive Than One?

June 23, 2022

When you see those people with two monitors, you may assume they do some specialised work that requires all that screen space, or they just really like technology.

But having the additional display real estate that a second screen provides can benefit anyone, even if you’re doing accounting or document work all day.

We get used to being boxed in by the screen size we have. This can lead to us struggling when trying to fit two windows next to each other or continuously clicking between layers of windows on the desktop.

Most of us have experienced clicking around to find the window we actually need in a layer of different applications. This is one of the things that eats up time during the day and that using dual screens can help eliminate.

According to a study by software developer Mavenlink, 73% of surveyed businesses say they spend over an hour per day on average just switching between different apps.


So just how much can using a second monitor improve productivity? Probably more than you realise.

Jon Peddie Research looked at the benefit of using two screens connected to a desktop computer or laptop for several years. It found that overall, employees in all types of jobs can improve productivity by an average of 42%.

From three studies conducted over 15 years, it also found that between 2002 and 2017, there’s been a significant rise in the use of two monitors, with a compound annual growth rate of 10%.

The company’s namesake put it simply saying, “The more you can see, the more you can do.”



The biggest advantage to using a second monitor is that you can do more in less time because you’re not struggling to get to the windows you need when you need them.

With an additional monitor, you can keep programs like email always open on one screen while you work in other programs on the second screen. You’re able to work more fluidly, getting to all your apps when you need them.


Laptops are great for portability, especially when traveling or moving between home and work (as many employees do these days). But the more portable the laptop, the smaller the screen space.

One big drawback of using a laptop is that they will have a smaller monitor. There is also the difficulty in positioning. When using them on a desk, people will often try to prop them up, but the person is still staring down at the screen in most cases.

Connecting your laptop to a monitor can significantly improve the experience and make it like working on a normal desktop PC. You can either choose to mirror your entire screen or still make use of the laptop screen for some activities while using the larger screen for others.


There are a lot of tasks that require looking at data in two windows. You may be editing and comparing a finished design with the original instructions. Or you may have to pull details from notes to include in a PowerPoint presentation.

Trying to get two windows up on a single screen side-by-side can be frustrating. You may try to resize the windows just so, only to have your configuration lost when you have to maximize a screen to click a menu item or scroll.

With two monitors, you have the screen real estate you need to fully open both windows and have them right next to each other so you can easily do your work.


Have you ever been screen sharing on a video call and needed to check an email or review notes? It’s difficult to do that when everyone can see your screen. We often “sanitize” our screens (like turning off alerts, etc.) before we go into a meeting to ensure nothing that should not appear is popping up.

With dual screens, you can choose which screen you want to share during meetings, and still have apps open on the other screen that no one can see. This is a big advantage if you need to check for an email or message someone while you’re sharing your screen.


Purchasing another display is a fairly low investment when looking at technology. A monitor can be purchased from anywhere between $200 to $350 on average. And with a 42% average productivity boost, it can have a pretty sweet ROI.

There is also no big learning curve with this upgrade. Once the monitor is plugged in and the PC is set to see the additional screen, it’s good to go. Users can simply drag apps and documents from one screen to another as if they had one large screen.


There are several productivity boosts that you can get using the right technology tools, and they don’t have to cost a fortune. Contact us at to learn more or have us perform a free onsite audit of your business technology today.

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.

Which Microsoft Teams Plan to Go With: Free vs M365 Business vs Teams Essentials

Which Microsoft Teams Plan to Go With: Free vs M365 Business vs Teams Essentials

June 6, 2022

The shift to remote work over the last two years has caused our clients to realign their digital tools. Now, many meetings default to being via video conference rather than in person, and working from home has become commonplace.

Seventy-seven percent of greater Sydney remote workers say they’re more productive working from home (a big reason is fewer distractions). Plus 85% of surveyed managers expect that having teams with remote workers will be the new normal.

But for remote working to work without employees feeling disconnected and customers feeling you’re hard to reach, you need to use cloud communication tools. One of the most popular, which has skyrocketed in popularity, is Microsoft Teams.

Between April 2020 and April 2021, the Microsoft Teams daily active users count rose from 75 million to 145 million.

Teams is an all-in-one communication platform, providing more than just video conferencing or chat. It combines several capabilities into an online work hub for collaboration and communication.

Some of the key features of MS Teams include:

  • Video and audio calls
  • Webinar registration & attendance reporting
  • Channeled team chat
  • File storage and sharing
  • In-app collaboration in Word, Excel, PPT, and more
  • In-app collaboration in 3rd party applications
  • Tabs that allow teams to link apps and websites inside a channel
  • Status notification and alerts
  • Use on all devices


Originally, Microsoft Teams was available only through a Microsoft 365 Business subscription. Then, to improve the popularity of Teams and compete with video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Microsoft brought out a free version with fewer features in 2018.

This helped the service increase its user base, however, there was a wide gap between the capabilities of the paid version with a Microsoft 365 subscription and the free version. Such as much less support, fewer features, etc.

Microsoft noted that it was missing a vital audience, the small business. Small business owners had a more difficult time fitting into either the free model, with very limited group meeting timing, or the paid model, which required a full M365 subscription.

So, in December of 2021, it brought out the third plan for MS Teams that it is hoping is “just right” for smaller companies that need the same collaboration and communication tools as everyone else. This plan is called Teams Essentials, and you don’t need to sign up for Microsoft 365 to get it.


Next, we’ll go through the differences between these three MS Teams plans so you can identify the one that may make the most sense for your company.



The free version of MS Teams was really brought out to reach the residential and home user crowd. An audience that had been completely missing from the Teams userbase up to that point.

This plan has the following capabilities:

  • Unlimited group meetings for up to 60 minutes
  • Up to 100 participants per meeting
  • 5GB of cloud storage per user
  • Unlimited chat
  • File sharing, tasks, and polling
  • Data encryption for calls, files, meetings, chats
  • Co-authoring capabilities
  • Ability to add tabs inside group channels

The biggest drawback of using the free version for your business is the 60-minute limit on group video meetings. The 5GB cloud storage also can be limiting for business use of Teams.


Teams Essentials is $5.50/user/month ex GST and was designed specifically for small businesses that may not want to subscribe to M365, but still need a good cloud collaboration tool to keep their team connected and productive.

This plan has the following capabilities:

  • Everything in the free version, plus:
  • Unlimited group meetings for up to 30 hours
  • Up to 300 participants per meeting
  • 10GB of cloud storage per user
  • Anytime phone and web support

The additional group meeting time (up to 30 hours) is more than enough to fill any type of meeting need, even those that go on all day. Additionally, users get double the cloud storage space, and the phone and web support ensure your staff has help using the app when needed.


The version of Teams with Microsoft 365 is available with any business plan. The lowest cost plan is $6.00/user/month ($2 more than Essentials). However, the Basic package does not come with downloadable Office apps (Word, Excel, etc.), only the web versions.

The next step up would be M365 Business Standard at $17.20/user/month ex GST, which is quite a bit more than the price for Teams Essentials. This one does include the downloadable Office apps.

These plans have the following capabilities:

  • Everything in the Essentials version, plus:
  • Office applications (either web or web & downloadable)
  • All the many M365 cloud apps (OneDrive, Forms, SharePoint, OneNote, and many others)
  • 1TB of cloud storage per user
  • Webinar hosting
  • Customer appointment management
  • Premium security features

If you are planning to use Microsoft Office software and other applications, then it makes sense to get Teams along with an M365 subscription. However, if your business already owns the offline version of the Office suite or does not need it, then Teams Essentials offers a lot of capabilities with a lower price tag.


Today’s hybrid offices and remote teams need robust collaboration tools to compete. Contact us at or cal us on 1300 338 266 if you need help getting started with MS Teams or another cloud tool. We’ll be happy to facilitate a custom setup to ensure your staff can hit the ground running.

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.

5 Things We Advise Clients to Never Do on a Work Computer

5 Things We Advise Clients to Never Do on a Work Computer

May 10, 2022

Whether you work remotely or in an office, the line between personal and work tasks can become blurred when working on your company computer. If you’re in front of a computer for most of your time during work, then it’s not unusual to get attached to your desktop PC.

Over time, this can lead to doing personal things on a work computer. At first, it might just be checking personal email while on a lunch break. But as the line continues to get crossed, it can end up with someone using their work computer just as much for personal reasons as work tasks.

In a survey of over 900 employees, it was found that only 30% said they never used their work PC for personal activities. The other 70% admitted to using their work computer for various personal reasons.

Some of the non-work-related things that people do on a work computer include:

  • Reading and sending personal email
  • Scanning news headlines
  • Shopping online
  • Online banking
  • Checking social media
  • Streaming music
  • Streaming videos/movies

It’s a bad idea to mix work and personal, no matter how much more convenient it is to use your work PC for a personal task during the day. You can end up getting reprimanded, causing a data breach at your company, or possibly losing your job.

Here are several things you should never do on your work PC.


Many people manage their passwords by allowing their browser to save and then auto-fill them. This can be convenient, but it’s not very secure should you lose access to that PC.

When the computer you use isn’t yours, it can be taken away at any time for a number of reasons, such as an upgrade, repair, or during an unexpected termination.

If someone else accesses that device and you never signed out of the browser, that means they can leverage your passwords to access your cloud accounts.

Not all older PCs are stored in a storeroom somewhere or destroyed. Some companies will donate them to worthy causes, which could leave your passwords in the hands of a stranger if the PC hasn’t been wiped properly.


It’s easy to get in the habit of storing personal data on your work computer, especially if your home PC doesn’t have a lot of storage space. But this is a bad habit and leaves you wide open to a couple of major problems:

  • Loss of your files: If you lose access to the PC for any reason, your files can be lost forever
  • Your personal files being company-accessible: Many companies have backups of employee devices to protect against data loss. So, those beach photos stored on your work PC that you’d rather not have anyone else see could be accessible company-wide because they’re captured in a backup process.


You should assume that any activity you are doing on a work device is being monitored and is accessible by your boss. Companies often have cybersecurity measures in place like DNS filtering that is designed to protect against phishing websites.

This same type of software can also send an alert should an employee be frequenting a sketchy website deemed dangerous to security (which many sketchy websites are).

You should never visit any website on your work computer that you wouldn’t be comfortable visiting with your boss looking over your shoulder.


When you work remotely and your work computer is a permanent fixture in your home, it can be tempting to allow a friend or family member to use it if asked. Often, work PCs are more powerful than a typical home computer and may even have company-supplied software that someone wouldn’t purchase on their own.

But allowing anyone else to use your work computer could constitute a compliance breach of data protection regulations that your company needs to adhere to.

Just the fact that the personal data of your customers or other employees could be accessed by someone not authorized to do so, can mean a stiff penalty.

Additionally, a child or friend not well-versed in cybersecurity could end up visiting a phishing site and infecting your work device, which in turn infects your company cloud storage, leaving you responsible for a breach.

At least 20% of companies have experienced a data breach during the pandemic due to a remote worker.


If you’re trying to get work done and a backup kicks in and slows your PC down to a crawl, it can be tempting to turn off the backup process. But this can leave the data on your computer unprotected and unrecoverable in the case of a hard drive crash or ransomware infection.

Company-installed apps are there for a reason and it’s usually for cybersecurity and business continuity. These should not be turned off unless given express permission by your supervisor or company’s IT team



Whether you’re working remotely and worried about causing a data breach or are a business owner with multiple remote team members to secure, device protection is important. Schedule a device security checkup today by emailing

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.

Worrying Phishing Attack Trends to Beware of in 2022

Worrying Phishing Attack Trends to Beware of in 2022

May 2, 2022

Mobile phishing threats skyrocketed by 161% in 2021.

Here at AST we know your best safeguards against the continuous onslaught of phishing include:

  • Email filtering
  • DNS filtering
  • Next-gen antivirus/anti-malware
  • Ongoing employee cybersecurity awareness training

To properly train your employees and ensure your IT security is being upgraded to meet the newest threats you need to know what new phishing dangers are headed your way.

Here are some of the latest phishing trends that we at AST Technologies think you need to watch out for in 2022.


Fewer people are suspicious of text messages than they are of unexpected email messages. Most phishing training is usually focused on the email form of phishing because it’s always been the most prevalent.

But cybercrime entities are now taking advantage of the easy availability of mobile phone numbers and using text messaging to deploy phishing attacks. This type of phishing (called “smishing”) is growing in volume.

People are receiving more text messages now than they did in the past, due in large part to retailers and service businesses pushing their text updates for sales and delivery notices.

This makes it even easier for phishing via SMS to fake being a shipment notice and get a user to click on a shortened URL.


Ransomware has been a growing threat over the last few years largely because it’s been a big money-maker for the criminal groups that launch cyberattacks. A new up-and-coming form of attack is beginning to be quite lucrative and thus is also growing.

Business email compromise (BEC) is on the rise and being exploited by attackers to make money off things like gift card scams and fake wire transfer requests.

What makes BEC so dangerous (and lucrative) is that when a criminal gains access to a business email account, they can send very convincing phishing messages to employees, customers, and vendors of that company. The recipients will immediately trust the familiar email address, making these emails potent weapons for cybercriminals.


There is no such thing as being too small to be attacked by a hacker. Illawarra small businesses are targeted frequently in cyberattacks because they tend to have less IT security than larger companies.

43% of all data breaches target small and mid-sized companies, and 40% of small businesses that become victims of an attack experience at least eight hours of downtime as a result.

Spear phishing is a more dangerous form of phishing because it’s targeted and not generic. It’s the type deployed in an attack using BEC.

It used to be that spear-phishing was used for larger companies because it takes more time to set up a targeted and tailored attack. However, as large criminal groups and state-sponsored hackers make their attacks more efficient, they’re able to more easily target anyone.

A result is small businesses receiving more tailored phishing attacks that are harder for their users to identify as a scam.


We just discussed the fact that large criminal groups are continually optimizing their attacks to make them more effective. They treat cyberattacks like a business and work to make them more profitable all the time.

One way they are doing this is by using outside specialists called Initial Access Brokers. This is a specific type of hacker that only focuses on getting the initial breach into a network or company account.

The increasing use of these experts in their field makes phishing attacks even more dangerous and difficult for users to detect.


As users have gotten savvier about being careful of emails from unknown senders, phishing attackers have increasingly used business impersonation. This is where a phishing email will come in looking like a legitimate email from a company that the user may know or even do business with.

Amazon, Myer, Woolworths & Australia Post are common targets of business impersonation, but it also happens with smaller companies as well such as Illawarra & Southern Highlands gift, homewares & services businesses. For example, there have been instances where website hosting companies have had client lists breached and those companies sent emails impersonating the hosting company and asking the users to log in to an account to fix an urgent problem.

More business impersonation being used in phishing attacks mean users have to be suspicious of all emails, not just those from unknown senders.


It’s important to use a multi-layered strategy when it comes to defending against one of the biggest dangers to your business’s wellbeing. Get started with a complimentary cybersecurity audit from AST Technologies to review your current security posture and identify ways to improve.  Email to get started.

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.



February 23, 2022

UNIVERGE BLUE CONNECT BRIDGE is coming soon, so what is it?

With UNIVERGE BLUE CONNECT BRIDGE, you extend your existing NEC phone system, with cloud-based voice via desktop and mobile apps creating a seamless all-in-one communications experience.

CONNECT BRIDGE allows you to collaborate in the office, at home, or anywhere in between with integrated video conferencing, chat, and file sharing / backup.

Learn More

The principals to managing communications with hybrid workforce 2022

The principals to managing communications with hybrid workforce 2022

February 3, 2022

Complexities abound when shifting from the remote workforce of 2021 to the new hybrid work that will dominate 2022 and beyond.

As the country vaccinates and rebounds post-COVID-19, we can all go back to the office, right? Wrong. The hybrid workforce is here to stay, and businesses are racing to accommodate remote workers and office workers and so many who are somewhere in the middle.

Regardless of worker location, your hybrid workforce needs to stay connected with customers and with each other. Continued productivity and business operations depend on it. As long as you keep three principles in mind, a hybrid work model won’t be so complicated after all.

Download our white paper “How to Define Your Hybrid Work Model” to learn:

  • Why many influencers believe the hybrid work model will be more disruptive than remote work
  • How to ensure continued connection with the constituents who matter most
  • What ‘crazy / simple’ business communications looks like

You’ll need to address many variables in the post-COVID era―what changes to make to the office, which new processes to define, and how to keep employees safe and productive―but knowing the right principles for managing communications with hybrid workforce may be the most critical for keeping your business humming through it all.

Download “How to Define Your Hybrid Work Model” today.

Ready to get started today?

Contact AST Technologies today at 1300 338 266 or





Six Things To Consider When Reviewing Your Contact Center System

Six Things To Consider When Reviewing Your Contact Center System

January 6, 2022

Have you been considering upgrading your contact center environment?

There are many reasons you might be looking at upgrading your Contact Center system.

Perhaps your manufacturer has declared your current one at the end of its life. Maybe you’re lacking some key features that would improve your customer experience. It could be that your needs have changed, and you need more flexibility, or the ability to scale up or down with demand.

Whatever the reason, you’re already aware that upgrades to a traditional on- premise Contact Center hardware system can be costly, time-consuming, and disruptive. You may be wondering whether or not a cloud-based solution is the answer you need, but don’t know quite enough about it or the benefits it can provide.

Before you make any move, the following guide outlines six things you should consider to determine which decision is the right one for you.


Unlike most cloud contact centers, with UNIVERGE BLUE® ENGAGE Contact Center Solution you get the human capital you need to ensure your agents are empowered to deliver optimal customer service.

Questions? Contact Us today.

Access Control in a post-COVID reality

Access Control in a post-COVID reality

January 4, 2022

Access Control in a post-COVID reality

The arrival of COVID-19 has forced us to think about everything we touch on a daily basis: handrails, door handles, lift buttons to name a few. This of course has brought about a rapid change in workspace practices, as communal buildings are high-risk environments for cross-infection.

As Australia begins its slow journey back to business in 2022, we enter a reality where touch free Access Control for safety and security has gone from a benefit to a necessity. The pandemic has seen fast tracked projects that may otherwise have taken years to deploy – from access control to secure building practices, and many of these changes are likely to endure in the long term.

There has been a noticeable increase in the need for access control to protect assets during the absence of staff, allow essential operations to continue safely, and to apply security improvements during this unique time.

We have seen sites installing hardware to support best practice outcomes, such as exit readers to control the number of people in a given area and for accurate contact tracing records, and bio- metric readers for frictionless access and thermal imaging cameras with relays that control door access. Visitors also bring challenges for organisations and clients have been working to improve the use of visitor management systems to address the risks they pose.

If you are looking at going down this path AST Technologies has the knowledge in both projecting and installation.

For more information please contact our engineering team at


How to define your hybrid work model

How to define your hybrid work model

December 23, 2021

In an office-first model, people are expected to be on the clock between 9 am and 5 pm every workday. In a hybrid work model, employees have more flexibility to get work done when they’re most productive. For example, some people work best early in the morning while others do better in the evening. They can also choose to work with teammates on-site or do heads-down work from a remote location.

Designing communications and collaboration solutions for your hybrid work model shouldn’t be difficult, and won’t be if you keep these three principles in mind

1) Flexibility.

2) Business At the Center.

3) Crazy Simple.

Learn more today-How to Define Your Hybrid Work Model

Increasing Profitability Through Improved Customer Service

Increasing Profitability Through Improved Customer Service

December 20, 2021

Remote work and remote customer interactions are quickly becoming the new normal.

Cloud Contact Centers can help manage dispersed and decentralized teams while improving customer experience.

For more information on NEC UB Engage Increasing Profitability Click Here

For more information on increasing your profitability through improving customer service call our office on 1300 338 266 or send us an email

Learn the 9 ways an aging phone system could be putting your business’s success on hold.

Learn the 9 ways an aging phone system could be putting your business’s success on hold.

December 17, 2021

The architecture of conventional phone systems dates back to a time when going to work meant going to an office. But today’s mobile and global workers require more agility and capabilities than conventional systems support. Learn the 9 ways an aging phone system could be putting your business’s success on hold
For more information on NEC UB Connect 9 ways Aging Phone System
For a comprehensive assessment of your communications and how it will benefit your business call our office on Phone: 1300 338 266 or send us an email

Here now – UNIVERGE BLUE® Unified Communications

Here now – UNIVERGE BLUE® Unified Communications

July 12, 2021


Staying connected and productive

UNIVERGE BLUE® CONNECT combines your phone system, chat, video, screen sharing, file management and conference calling into a seamless experience that fits with your business size, needs, and work style. Get customizable, scalable cloud-based services for your business backed by NEC Stress-Free Cloud Experience.

  • Allows mobile devices to become part of the CONNECT phone system.
  • Increases workforce flexibility with virtually anywhere, anytime and on any device accessibility.
  • Transcribes voicemail messages to text and email for efficient voicemail handling.
  • Integrates chat, text messaging, video conferencing, screen sharing, file sharing, file backup for greater productivity and collaboration.

For more information on Univerge Blue UC

For a comprehensive assessment of your communications and how it will benefit your business call our office on Ph: 4228 2000 or send us an email

COVID Safe – Facial Recognition, Thermal Temperature & Access Control Terminal

COVID Safe – Facial Recognition, Thermal Temperature & Access Control Terminal

July 15, 2020

Integrated Thermal Body Temperature Sensor

If your business or venue requires temperature checking all your staff, clients or visitors before entering your premises, checkout this device. It will save you time, money and help you make your business COVID Safe.

Integrated deep-learning Infrared thermal facial recognition, this device supports infrared temperature measurement, voice alarm, body temperature statistics, abnormal body temperature logging & reporting.

The Smart temperature terminal achieves accurate infrared temperature measurement with data display of body temperature and voice alarm. Fast and accurate body temperature measurement with long-distance detection to minimise close interactions.

This system runs completely autonomous to allow temperature screening with less human interaction.


  • Commercial Building/Community
  • Medical Centre / Doctor’s Surgery
  • Cinema
  • School/Camp
  • Bank/Hotel


  • Built-in non-contact thermal temperature measurement module and biometric system
  • Temperature measurement from 35℃ to 42℃ with ±3℃ deviation.
  • Voice alarm on abnormal body temperature detection
  • Built in MEGVII’s FACE++, the deep-learning facial recognition technology
  • Supports face database of 50,000 pictures, 100ms fast identification
  • Supports face recognition, face mask recognition, body temperature measurement
    Excellent environmental adaptability for low light levels and strong backlight, compensation.
  • Automated Log of User Temperature & Information
  • 1/2.8” 2MP line-by-line scanning image sensor, excellent low illumination
  • 8-inch LCD display screen, effective pixels: 1920*1080 @30fps
  • Support 2D, 3D digital noise reduction technology, clean picture, small noise
  • Support H.265+ /H.265 / H.264 / MJPEG video compression algorithm, multilevel video quality configuration, coding complexity settings
  • Support Linux, with stable and extendable software architecture
  • Rich port design with Ethernet port, Wiegand port, relay port
  • Power consumption: 5W
  • Ultra-thin all-aluminium alloy metal casing with stylish design
  • Support installation on Turnstile / Pole and wall Mount


COVID Safe – Auto Temperature Terminal

COVID Safe – Auto Temperature Terminal

July 9, 2020

Non-contact Ultrasonic Thermal Imaging Module

If your business or venue requires temperature checking all your staff, clients or visitors before entering your premises, checkout this device. It will save you time, money and help you make your business COVID Safe.


  • Commercial Building/Community
  • Medical Centre / Doctor’s Surgery
  • Cinema
  • School/Camp
  • Bank/Hotel

The Smart temperature terminal achieves accurate infrared temperature measurement with data display of body temperature and voice alarm. Fast and accurate body temperature measurement with long-distance detection to minimise close interactions.

This system runs completely autonomous to allow temperature screening with less human interaction.


  • Built-in non-contact infrared temp measurement module to ensure accurate temp measurement.
  • Temperature measurement range is from 35 ℃ to 42 ℃ with accuracy ± 0.3 ℃.
  • Self-service temperature measurement to avoid cross infection.
  • Alarm notification when the temperature of the person being detected is abnormal.
  • Advanced aluminum alloy metal housing and durable.
  • Support wall and pole installation

General Specifications

  • Sensor: Thermal Image Infrared Temperature Sensor
  • Detection Distance 30-60cm
  • Response Time: 1~3 sec
  • Alarm Method: Warning sound (70dB & red beeping temp indicator
  • Working Temperature: 15 ~ 35 degrees Celsius (indoor)
  • Power Consumption: <= 5W
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 45mm x 105mm x 193mm
COVID19: Cybersecurity Tips Working Remotely

COVID19: Cybersecurity Tips Working Remotely

April 2, 2020

As the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic continues to interrupt everyday life, millions of employees have had to start working outside the office.

For many, that’s a new concept and they may not be as cautious as they are in the office in securing their equipment and data.

AST Technologies have put together some tips to ensure that your business remain protected:

Q: What’s your biggest security concern about a company rapidly expanding its remote workforce as a result of COVID-19 concerns?

The rush to get people connected without considering the security risks. For example, connecting employees’ personal home computers across a VPN to a network, without first checking and sanitizing the computer, could allow malware to steal credentials to corporate systems and the sensitive, proprietary, and regulated data they hold.

Q: Are you concerned about cybercriminals looking to exploit the inexperience of traditional office workers now working remotely?

Cybercriminals are smart and have long exploited office workers using social engineering skills to get people to believe they are their boss or an executive. They won’t stop now and will use their skills to try to convince workers to transfer money, buy gift cards, share sensitive information, and redirect payroll direct deposits. Always verify in person by phone that a request is legitimate.

Q: What are some new schemes/tactics that cybercriminals are using to trick new remote workers?

Cybercriminals will take advantage of the news to trick workers. Recently I have seen restaurants and online companies advertising gift cards for people to buy for themselves and to give to housebound friends and family. It wouldn’t take much to spin that news into a request from ‘the boss’ to buy cards and send the card numbers “because we want to support our workers at home.” If you get that request, call to verify it in person.

Q: Are businesses adequately protecting themselves (with appropriate security solutions) to thwart these attempts? 

Many businesses have not adequately protected themselves because we know they have been past victims of scams and hackers. Every business has to work harder to implement their security because a lot of employees who aren’t tech-savvy are now having to work from home.

Many businesses have already had executives and sales reps that travel set up to work remotely. Their systems were set up for secure access outside of the corporate firewall. But today is different. Support staff, financial staff, administrative workers, marketing assistants, receptionists, and many others used to working in offices are now being sent home with their desktop computers and phones.

IT departments, IT Service Providers and MSPs are stretched to the breaking point just getting everyone communicating. In the next days and weeks after the initial rush, every business needs to re-evaluate its security and implement whatever systems and processes are required to bridge the gaps.

Q: Are businesses adequately training new remote employees re: security procedures?

People are scared. They are distracted by news reports, kids, and fear for their own safety. This is a good time to go back and do some basic computer security training. Include more emphasis on physical security of corporate information, including verbal information that might be overheard during phone calls, conference calls, and videoconferences. Remind people to log out when they walk away from their system.

Q: What’s your advice to companies that think investing in a new teleworking environment only provides short-term benefits?

Don’t think of this just as a temporary inconvenience, but as a test to see if you can run your business with some or all of your staff continuing to work from home after the emergency. Do you really need a physical office? Does it need to be as big? Are workers able to get as much work done from home? It is harder to evaluate this because so many of your customers, clients, or patients are also disrupted, but you may be able to use this extraordinary situation to make some long-term business decisions.

Click here to download our Cybersecurity Tips for Remote Workers at Home Infographic.

Customer surveys, how to get the most out of them…

Customer surveys, how to get the most out of them…

September 21, 2018

From Measurement to Action:

Using Customer Surveys to Improve Customer Experience

When properly used, customer surveys can greatly improve upon customer experience. The trick is to make the survey as quick, painless, and straightforward as possible and then utilize the information gleaned from the survey to find ways to improve your business.

Most successful business models have a business plan that includes a clear mission statement.

Read more….

End of Life for Australian ISDN Services

End of Life for Australian ISDN Services

September 20, 2018

Recent changes to carrier services may have significant impact on your business

With the changes to carrier services, you need to select the right solution for your business. You may wish to retain choice in call rates and flexibility in which carrier service provider you use, or to lock in with one that offers value added services. We can help you make the right choice. Regardless of how complex your communications requirements may be, we have the right solution for you. For all the answers please contact us and we will assist with the facts you need to know.

We are ready for you!

National Broadband Network (NBN)

National Broadband Network (NBN)

March 2, 2015

What is the NBN?

Put simply, fast internet access. In the majority of cases it will be faster than what you are currently getting from your provider. And it is coming, slowly but surely. It will be on your doorstep soon.

What does this mean?

If it will affect you, then it means that you will need to be ready and be prepared to make a few changes. Do you know if your phone system is compatible? Do you know how and or if it will affect you? This is where we can help you.

“WARNING” Please be aware of telemarketers calling your place of business and telling you that you need a new telephone system because yours is NOT compatible to NBN!

In all instances that we have been involved, THIS IS NOT THE CASE! DO not order new phone system until you have all the facts, call us to discuss or set up a meeting to get more information. Please don’t leave it until the last minute to do something about it and then try and get it all done in a hurry, too easy to make mistakes that way.

Contact AST Technologies on Ph: 1300 338 266 or by clicking here to email, to discuss what you may need and what plans best suit you.

For details of when NBN may be coming to your business click here to go to NBN Co. website. And check out the roll out map.

New Product – NEC Univerge SV9100

New Product – NEC Univerge SV9100

March 2, 2015

NEC has released the award winning Univerge SV9100 Unified Communications system. The NEC SV9100 system is now the system of choice from small to large businesses from 2 employees up to 1000 employees, being modular, the Univerge SV9100 will grow as your business needs grow.

The NEC SV9100 supports unified communications and collaboration, unified messaging, video, mobility and most important voice.

It is extremely easy to manage and has some cool features such as:

  • IP and Traditional telephony, most important in today’s climate.
  • Unified Communications and mobility which are gaining a lot of traction
  • SIP trunking for lower Telco costs
  • Up to 1296 ports, that’s one large system!

This year TMC internet magazine has named the UNIVERGE SV9000 series, as a recipient of a prestigious 2015 INTERNET TELEPHONY Product of the Year Award. “It gives me great pleasure to recognise NEC with a 2015 Product of the Year Award for its commitment to excellence and innovation,” said Rich Tehrani, CEO, TMC. “In the opinion of our distinguished judges, NEC’s SERIES 9000 platform has proven to be among the best communications and technology solutions on the market in 2015. I look forward to continued innovation from NEC.”

To see more information about NEC SV9100 click here.

To see how the NEC SV9100 can benefit your business, contact AST Technologies on Ph:1300 338 266 or click here to email.

New Product – Samsung WE-VOIP

New Product – Samsung WE-VOIP

December 17, 2013

Samsung announces new application for their OfficeServ 7000 range of phone systems.

The new application known as WE-VOIP allows user to be an integral part of their system whether they are in premises, off premises or in transit.

It is one of the best applications we have seen for quite some time. All that is required is a license and download from app store.

It can be used as a BYOD device, a cordless phone system within your property, a home worker or a Contact Center agent, the list is ever increasing.

Contact the AST Technologies team to discuss how this amazing application can work and save money for you.

For more information click here

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