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Recently, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HEMA) has been embarrassed twice by basic mistakes made by its staff. The first was to issue a public alert about a missile heading towards Hawaii which was supposed to have been an internal test, but the member of staff concern pressed the wrong button. We’ve all been there, but most of time silly mistakes like that do not have the potential to lead to mass panic.
The second mistake was more serious from the point-of-view of cybersecurity. HEMA invited the media for a tour of the office and photographs were taken and published, one of which showed a Post-It note stuck to a computer monitor with a password clearly visible. An astonishing breach of IT security.
Passwords are difficult to manage
We understand that people find password management hugely frustrating. In fact, we are running a Lunch and Learn webinar to go into the subject in more detail on 19 April.
Fundamentally we are rubbish at remembering our passwords – we have too many of them and are being asked to make them more complex all the time, so it is human nature to want to write it down. We know we are not supposed to do it, and we do it with the best intentions, but we still do it. If we were to walk into your office and look at your staffs’ desks, we would almost certainly find at least one with a note on top of or underneath a keyboard, stuck to a monitor, or inside the top drawer of the desk with a password on it. As with the Hawaiian example, the screen and keyboard are the number one places to find them.
One example closer to home is one of our law firm clients – every time the company changes a password, they have to tell the receptionist who keeps them in a book in her drawer, in case anyone is off sick. The client did not know that account access can be delegated which would mean less chance of a password falling into the wrong hands.
Nadine Dorries MP recently revealed that all her staff at the House of Commons, including interns, have her passwords. She went public with this as a non-repudiation defence of Damian Green; her point was that just because porn had been accessed on his computer, it did not necessarily mean it was him because of the number of people with access. However, the fact that this means they can neither prove his guilt or innocence is immaterial, as Green’s career is in tatters anyway. So you have to ask yourself, is your reputation worth the risk?
We did a GDPR presentation recently where we highlighted the fact that most people leave information out on their desks overnight. But you have got to ask a fundamental question about the office cleaners. Most people have no idea who they are and most have never even met them; they are typically low paid, transient workers employed through an outsourced agency, and do their job outside working hours, yet they are left alone in the office without supervision, and with unchecked access to files and potentially the systems.
If your company is to fully protect its password safety, we need to get to a position where people do not feel the need to write passwords down at all. One way to do this would be for technology to stop forcing us to change our passwords all the time, and not insist on complexity.
However, there are much better and safer technical solutions in the form of password manager software. It will automatically create complex and secure passwords at the same time as allowing you to log in to all your accounts across all devices without having to remember them.
Our MD will be discussing this technology in our lunchtime Password Management webinar on 19 April. Please feel free to sign up and watch – the lessons learned will help protect your business.
Lumina Technologies have taken the time to understand the requirements of our business and work as our strategic IT partner, enabling us to concentrate on delivering a high quality service to our clients and focus on our growth strategy. They have delivered a 100% cloud solution to our business with no underlying infrastructure costs or maintenance, which gives us scalability for our planned growth. It also means our business critical applications and data are securely accessible from virtually all our user devices. Lumina’s professional approach and strategic expertise is highly valued and their management of our IT – based on their in-depth knowledge, leaves us confident that our systems are available 24×7.
Luke Harrison, Keidan Harrison LLP
Lumina have supported us so well through the difficult circumstances of 2020. They worked extremely hard to ensure we were able to work remotely and continue to operate our business successfully.The support team are very friendly and knowledgeable, and have excellent response times.
The team have also enhanced our cyber security which is so important in the legal sector, and they continue to provide high quality advice to help us move forward with our IT goals.
Adams & Remers
The quality of IT Support provided by Lumina Technology is of the highest standard and is complemented by effective client liaison with impressive response times. Trap Oil Group plc has no hesitation in recommending Lumina as a dedicated and specialist group of IT professionals.
Technical Director, Trap Oil Group plc
Richard and his team are a real inspiration to anyone who meets them and I have watched Lumina’s growth over the last few years with interest and admiration. Richard has been an amazing supporter of the Hospice of St Francis, being a Gold member of the Corporate Partner Network for almost two years. He takes an active interest in the community and is passionate about his company and his town: nothing is too much trouble, he is always willing to help, to give up his time and to provide business advice when asked. Lumina is an inspiration to any company wanting to set up business in Hertfordshire.
Corporate Fundraising Manager, The Hospice of St Francis
Lumina Technologies Prism Hosted Desktop has allowed our business to centralise our global corporate data, allowing much faster access for all our staff – regardless of their location. We have also been able to simplify and reduce our infrastructure and management overhead. With the new Prism Hosted Desktop solution all staff now have simple and secure access to corporate data using any device they choose. Prism Hosted Desktop has increased the productivity of our staff and given us a single, consistent and familiar experience for all users from any device, in any location, 24/7.
Chief Executive Officer, Wentworth Resources PLC
The commercially sensitive and regulated nature of Lambert Energy Advisory’s business requires an IT provider able to maintain the highest levels of integrity and confidentiality, Lumina Technologies has consistently been unimpeachable in this regard over the nine years we have employed them.
Lambert Energy Advisory
It has been a great pleasure working with Lumina Technologies over the past two years. They have fully committed to being involved in the local community with volunteering and with professional advice and commitment, helping many local charities along the way. As a growing company it proves that being involved in the local community is helping them attract and retain a talented workforce and I look forward to working with them well into the future.
Hawkstone Management Services Ltd is a small company for which IT Outsourcing is realistically the only viable option. Lumina Technologies have successfully performed this role for over fifteen years. They also provide innovative solutions to keep pace with technological progress. I would have no hesitation in recommending Lumina to similar sized businesses.
Hawkstone Management Services Ltd
Charles Douglas Solicitors LLP have been using Lumina Technologies for a number of years now and continue to be impressed by the technical know-how and contemporary knowledge of their senior management, who provide a timely, efficient and friendly service. Whether it is a small issue with one computer, or a strategic IT decision, they maintain a current knowledge of available technologies. Lumina are always at the other end of the phone to help resolve issues and minimise business interference. The technical knowledge of Richard and his senior team means that there has not been a problem that they can’t solve to date. I am sure we will continue to use them in the years to come.
Managing Partner, Charles Douglas Solicitors LLP
The team at Lumina Technologies have made the Amoun Travel & Tours office IT transition seamless and problem free. The office set-up has been vastly improved and the IT Support services are flawless. No issue goes unresolved, which is extremely reassuring.
Amoun Travel & Tours Ltd
Lumina Technologies has been Salamander Energy plc’s IT provider since start-up in 2005 and has supported us in London during our expansion across operational offices in SE Asia. Their professional approach, strategic advice and close co-operation have been essential in making this a success.
Group Technical Director, Salamander Energy plc
Richard and his team at Lumina have provided Perrett Laver Limited with high quality strategic and practical IT Services for over ten years. During this period, Perrett Laver has grown from 10+ colleagues based in London to nearly 100 colleagues located in six offices across the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. Richard and the Lumina team have not just been responsive to our ‘everyday’ IT needs, but have proactively sought to work with us on developing an infrastructure suitable for the type of operation we are today, and are planning to be months and years down the line. I would not hesitate to recommend Richard, especially for small to medium size business with growth in mind.
COO, Perrett Laver Limited
Society Limited has been supported by Lumina Technologies since our earliest start-up phase. From large logistical challenges like an office move, through to smaller fiddly issues like fixing a faulty e-template, we know we can count on their support and advice. They’ve also been able to engage with us strategically on the challenge of scaling-up our infrastructure as the firm continues to grow and evolve. We always feel confident going to Lumina with a problem, since we know they genuinely care about sorting things out and helping us to get on with our core business.
Managing Director, Society Limited
The Vita Group HQ staff have worked with Richard McBarnet and Lumina Technologies for over 9 years, with Lumina providing all our PC, server, phone, and software support. The services have included C-level executives based in London, Manchester, the US, as well as supporting home office IT as well. The service provided and intellectual capabilities are outstanding and we would highly recommend Richard and his Lumina team.
CEO, The Vita Group
We worked with Lumina on a GDPR Audit. Richard was knowledgeable and professional throughout, and did the best he could to bring a dry topic to life through lots of real life examples and analogies. We were so impressed with the service Lumina provided and the value we got from partnering with them on this project – we couldn’t recommend them enough.
Holly Cottingham, Vintec Laboratories