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Workers still falling victim to old cyber tricks

By | General News

Fraudsters prey on busy execs’ impulsive email behaviour  

Few people these days fall for unsolicited emails from Nigerian princes offering juicy commission to transfer funds from a multimillion-dollar inheritance. But still plenty of Kiwis are being sucked in by a rising number of email phishing scams – and you can blame their impulsive email behaviour.

CCL’s security awareness service, which each week sends phishing look-a-like emails to thousands of employees working in organisations across the country, is registering a phishing success rate of 20-to-30 per cent among participating employees presented with their first duplicitous email.

CCL’s Head of Security, Tim Sewell, said analysis showed that while people in all job roles fell victim to phishing attacks, certain personality types, especially Type-A personalities, often found working in sales and leadership roles, appear more inclined to click duplicitous links and attachments.

However, personality type wasn’t the only factor to determine susceptibility, he said. “Personal workloads, stress, timing and context also influence the success rates of phishing attacks. For example, receiving a phishing email that looks like a courier company when you’re expecting to receive a parcel – bingo.”

Sewell said CCL’s training and education programme had reduced phishing success rates to around five per cent, with well-trained employees now regularly reporting phishing scams and being part of the solution.

In the meantime, real-life phishing incidents were likely to remain high as phishermen got more sophisticated, launching scams from previously compromised email accounts and impersonating trusted providers, such as Microsoft Office 365, Amazon, Google, even the IRD and NZ Post, he said.

“More people are working in the cloud and using browser-based logins to access services. As this behaviour becomes routine, people tend to let their guard down, providing an easy in for fraudsters to steal user login credentials,” said Sewell.

A report published by cloud security firm Avanan shows one in every 99 emails is a phishing attack, using malicious links and attachments as the main vector.

Closer to home, CERT NZ figures show the number of malware reports from Kiwi organisations more than doubled to 43 in the three months ended 31 December.

Phishing campaigns containing malware and targeting business customers of some New Zealand banks contributed to the increase. And in three incidents reported to the NCSC this year, New Zealand organisations lost nearly NZD$800,000 to ‘successful’ fraudulent invoice emails.

Sewell said multi-factor authentication (also known as MFA) helped reduce credential theft – one of the main prizes from phishing attacks – by requiring users to authenticate themselves to a website by another method, in addition to the standard username and password login procedure.

However, he said the additional cost of MFA and the inconvenience to users who are quick to moan about laboured access discouraged adoption, increasing the “attack surface” for criminals.

“And that’s a big problem, because once the bad guys have captured a user’s credentials their behaviour goes largely unnoticed – because there isn’t anything to trigger a security alert,” said Sewell. “That gives the crims time to watch and learn, email customers with revised payment details, send out mocked-up invoices, gain the trust of contacts linked to the compromised email account, and reply to existing emails.”  

He said regular, friendly phishing exercises, multi-factor authentication, and anti-phishing technology were essential steps in the current cybersecurity landscape, though tweaking existing policies in some cases was the fastest way to bolster defences, he said.

“For example, financial policies should ensure requests to change payment details are authorised and properly validated, without relying on email. Don’t accept emails as authorisation of payment method. And if someone keeps taking the phishing bait, maybe they’re in the wrong job,” said Sewell.

CCL scoops Dell Solution Provider Workforce Transformation Award 2018

By | General News

CCL’s delivery of Dell solutions has been recognised at the vendor’s annual A/NZ partner event held last week in Nouméa, New Caledonia.

The Spark-owned provider took home the solution provider workforce transformation award 2018.

CCL was the only New Zealand partner to win among the 13 categories in the regional award.

The awards recognise the ways in which partners are growing their businesses within the Dell Technologies Partner Program, unlocking limitless possibilities for their customers with innovative transformational solutions, the vendor explained.

Read the full story.

CCL-Revera appoints executive leadership team

By | General News

CEO Andrew Allan appoints leadership team to extend company’s cloud and IT services leadership.

Seven executives from the ranks of Revera and CCL pre-merger have been appointed to the executive leadership team of the now merged entity, called CCL.

Joining CEO Andrew Allan at the top table is:

  • COO – Sri Gazula, who held the same position at Revera
  • CFO – Chris Fairfield, previously Revera CFO
  • Troy Myer – Technical Director (formerly Revera General Manager Business Development)
  • Cherie Roache – Director Southern Region (formerly CCL General Manager, Southern Region)
  • Guy Inglis – Director Northern Region (formerly CCL General Manager, Northern Region)
  • Rik Rogers – Director Client Delivery (formerly CCL General Manager Managed Services)
  • Richard Hansen – Director Enterprise Sourcing (formerly CCL General Manager Strategy).

The company is currently recruiting for an executive to fill the role of Director Central Region.

“The formation of this team is a significant milestone in what is a new beginning for two established businesses,” said CEO Andrew Allan. “Now we can leverage our collective strengths to accelerate our success in cloud and IT services.”

Allan oversees more than 700 employees, in offices across Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Nelson, in additional to Blenheim, Dunedin, Invercargill and Queenstown.

“The merger was conceived to create a single organisation providing end-to-end IT management and cloud technology services unrivalled in New Zealand,” he said. “Work continues apace as we streamline processes, culture, and customer experience – the results of which will bubble to the surface without too much fanfare.”

Since announcing the merger late February, the company has maintained a head of steam, winning significant transformation project work for New Zealand’s primary workplace health and safety regulator WorkSafe and Children’s charity Barnados, as well was adding muscle in the public cloud arena with new accreditations from Microsoft and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Allan said the Spark-owned entity had full license to write its own rules for success  but was remodelling aspects of its services portfolio to support Spark Group’s strategy in the cloud.

Jolie Hodson, Customer Director at Spark, said the new CCL was the best form to leverage the company’s investment in the two businesses – a move that effectively created Spark Group’s IT managed services and cloud delivery engine.

“We want to extend our position as arguably the leader of IT management and cloud technology services in the country,” she said at the time of the announcement. “Combining these two businesses delivers the seamless end-to-end services and expertise more clients demand, and ensures we put a panoptic lens to their businesses.”

WorkSafe gears up for cloud transformation

By | General News

WorkSafe New Zealand has kicked off a transformation programme to deliver workplace systems from Microsoft Office 365, SharePoint, Azure, and Windows 10, supporting 500-plus staff with a single cloud platform to work and communicate.

WorkSafe, New Zealand’s primary workplace health and safety regulator, is working with CCL-Revera to deliver the project, slated for completion later this year.

WorkSafe’s move to a public cloud platform lays the foundation to deliver against the government’s vision for health and safety at work over the next 10 years.

Mike Foley, chief digital and information officer at WorkSafe, said the transition is consistent with government’s cloud first policy to improve services and deliver substantial cost savings.

“Smart cloud platforms provide the enterprise agility we need to become a world-class regulator,” said Foley. “The less time we spend on administration and bending legacy systems to new forms of work, the more focus we bring to improving health and safety performance.”

VMware’s Workspace One Digital workplace platform will provide secure multi-device access to WorkSafe applications.

Foley said CCL-Revera ticked all the boxes, including migration planning, platform setup, staged transition, user support, and ongoing management.

Andrew Allan, CEO of CCL-Revera, said his company won the competitive tender in a joint bid with Revera late last year. “The tender process confirmed the complementary nature of our businesses and the value clients place on a broad mix of services and capabilities delivered from a single engagement and support engine.”

Announcing the merger last month, Allan said the move was motivated by a market shift that saw more clients seeking out a single supplier to cover all their bases.

Barnardos takes first steps to Microsoft cloud services with CCL-Revera

By | General News

Barnardos has taken its first steps to Microsoft’s cloud in a move to drive a Microsoft-centred as-a-service transformation.

Working with long-term partner CCL-Revera, New Zealand’s largest children’s charity has kicked off phase one of a staged migration that will see the organisation’s 650 users across 65 sites up and running on productivity and collaboration services from Microsoft Office 365 by the middle of the year.

Other work currently underway includes the deployment of Azure identity and access management services, and a reconfiguration of the organisation’s on-premise Microsoft CRM in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Online.

The organisation’s switch to Microsoft cloud services is the continuation of a strategy to drive down costs and leverage as-a-service technologies, Barnardos chief technology officer Jaco van der Lith said.

“Four years ago we outsourced and virtualised our infrastructure on Revera’s Homeland IaaS platform,” he said. “The move delivered a sensible format for a technology refresh and consolidation, and paved the way for public cloud services.”

While Microsoft’s non-profit pricing plans offered Barnardos a strong incentive to adopt cloud services, a number of the organisation’s business applications, including financial, payroll, and file sharing systems, will continue to run on CCL-Revera’s Homeland IaaS platform for the time being.

The role of both local IT partner and in-country platform services remains a core part of Barnardos’s operation, with the Spark-owned IT services provider continuing to deliver service desk, support, and a wide area network.

“CCL-Revera’s IaaS platform continues to do good work for applications unavailable in Microsoft’s cloud,” van der Lith said. “There’s no real financial benefit to change.”

Working with both CCL and Revera prior to their recent merger announcement, van der Lith described the development as a “good surprise offering complementary strengths”.

“Revera has a great engineering legacy – they build stuff really well and are supported by strong technical teams. Combined with CCL’s detailed customer focus, the merger is a good thing for both organisations – and from the customer perspective,” he said.

Commenting on the merger, CCL-Revera CEO Andrew Allan said client feedback confirmed the complementary nature of the newly-merged businesses.

“Clients place a high value on a broad mix of services and capabilities delivered from a single engagement and support engine,” he said. “We call it the safe hands of a custodian.”

CCL-Revera boosts public cloud creds with Microsoft and AWS

By | General News

Newly-merged company covers public cloud bases with Microsoft M365 Fast Track ready partner status and AWS advanced partner status

CCL-Revera is flexing its newly-formed muscle in the public cloud arena with new accreditations from Microsoft and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

One of a handful of local providers to secure Microsoft M365 Fast Track ready partner status, the Spark-owned ICT services provider is moving quickly to increase its public cloud footprints, signing up 100-plus clients to Microsoft-funded training and support to take advantage of the full M365 portfolio.

The announcement follows the addition of two heads to CCL-Revera’s Microsoft practice, with David Osborne appointed M365 practice lead, and Kath Tate taking the role of programme administrator.

On the AWS front, CCL-Revera has been awarded advanced partner status following a recent run of customer migrations to AWS, certification across a range of AWS business and technology competencies, and the continued growth of the company’s public-cloud practice, Radar.

CCL-Revera CEO Andrew Allan said the company continued to add public cloud horsepower to support clients’ growing appetite for public cloud services. “You can’t argue with the price, performance and scale, but redefining legacy applications in the cloud is harder than it looks,” he said. “That’s why we say that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to choose public cloud, but you’ll want a cloud rocket scientist to get you there and keep everything running smoothly.”

Commenting on the company’s new Microsoft credentials specifically, Allan said demand had spiked following the retirement of Windows 7, the shift to the Windows 10 subscription model, and recently released Microsoft security and collaboration services.

“The desktop is often forgotten in the hype surrounding new technologies and especially cloud – but it’s still a key driver in business performance and an important productivity enabler for all clients,” Allan said.

The company’s newly-combined public cloud practice, which comprises 40-plus heads split evenly across cloud architects and engineers, is fast forming as a major spearhead in the company’s strategy to function as the “custodian” of IT management and cloud technology for its clients.

Announcing the merger last month, Allan said the move was motivated by a market shift that saw more clients seeking out a single supplier to cover all their bases.

“The merger is based on the thing clients tell us they value most: the safe hands of a custodian. Combining Revera’s deep platform experience with CCL’s professional services delivers expert focus at every step in the management and modernisation of our clients’ business technology,” he said.

Computer Concepts Limited announces sponsorship for the 2018 Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup

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We are proud to announce a sponsorship agreement with Hockey New Zealand which sees us confirmed as a sponsor for the 2018 Hockey Men’s World Cup being held in Odisha.  We have a history of sponsorship in sports – we are also a major sponsor of the Otago Rugby Union and Southland Rugby –  and are thrilled to be able to support men’s hockey in this way.

Ian Francis CEO of Hockey New Zealand says “Having a sponsor onboard with the passion of CCL is a fantastic opportunity for Hockey New Zealand.  CCL’s support will assist our players for the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup and help the team perform to a high standard during the competition”.

Andrew Allan, CEO of CCL says “We are very proud to be able to sponsor Hockey New Zealand.  As a nationwide company with eight offices around the country, it is great to have a national sporting sponsorship in our portfolio.  It’s an awesome team and a sport which is close to the heart of many of our staff and their families. We are very excited to partner with New Zealand Hockey and the men’s Black Sticks and wish them all the best for the World Cup.”

The Vantage Black Sticks Men started their campaign on November 30th at 2:30am when they took on France and came away with a 2-1 win taking them to equal top of their pool.  A great start from New Zealand.

CCL wins at the 2017 Resellers News Awards

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CCL’s passion for client outcomes was rewarded this week with multiple honours in the 2017 Reseller News ICT Industry awards.  Now in their 3rd year, the awards recognise local talent across New Zealand in the IT sector.

CCL was named as the winner of two key awards.  The Mid-market Partner of the Year award which recognises a company doing a superb job of servicing customers in the 100-1000 seat market.

And the Sales Excellence award was won by Sanjeet Bal, Customer Relationship Manager based in CCL’s Wellington office.  This award is validation of Sanjeet’s passion and drive for client outcomes.

The Network Services team was highly commended for the Service Provider award and CEO, Andrew Allan was inducted into the Reseller News Hall of Fame for his contribution and support of the IT industry.

“These awards are very humbling for CCL and I am so very proud of the whole CCL team, who have provided the foundation over many years for our ongoing success.” says Darryl Swann, Founding Director of CCL. “None of this would be possible without the deep knowledge, expertise and will power our team brings to the table, every day.”

“We are delighted to have been recognised as winners at this year’s Reseller News Awards and believe this is due to the quality and breadth of the work we do, said Andrew Allan.  “These awards acknowledge the effective collaboration between our team, our clients and the right solutions.”

CCL celebrated their wins in front of almost 300 ICT industry leaders who gathered in Auckland to celebrate the 2017 Reseller News ICT Industry Awards.

Happy Holidays from CCL!

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To all of our clients, suppliers, staff and families – with a fabulous 2016 almost behind us we would like to thank you for your support this year.  We couldn’t do what we do without you.  This is the time of year where we reflect not just on what we have achieved, but also on those surrounding us that enabled us to achieve.  Thanks for joining us on the journey.

Our “CCL Santa Squads” around the country have been in full force this month.  Each branch has selected a charity they wanted to support and staff brought in gifts to help those in need this Christmas.  We have been very humbled by the overwhelming generosity shown by our staff.

We can’t wait to kick off the New Year, but until then, have a very Merry Christmas and a happy and safe holiday.

From all the CCL team

Experience Virtual Reality with CCL at HiNZ

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Come and Visit Computer Concepts Limited (CCL) at New Zealand’s premier health conference, HiNZ. CCL will be at booth 19 (beside the Businesses Service Desk) at HiNZ Skycity Auckland on the 1st – 3rd of November.

Hang out and catch up with industry colleagues in the CCL Networking Zone, or come by the booth to experience our cutting edge demonstrations and displays.

On the stand we are featuring the HTC Vive, the leading Virtual Reality equipment, with exciting Health specific demonstrations for you to experience and enjoy.

We also have on show a range of real world demonstrations of some of the leading Health Industry solutions CCL has to offer.

One touch login
Hospitals and clinics are busy places which often require doctors and nurses to be in many places throughout the day. Remove the hassle of shared log ins or constant logging in across multiple computers with CCL’s One Touch login, allowing your desktop to follow you instantly to any place around the hospital/clinic with a seamless one touch log in using nothing more than your existing identity card.

Easy and Reliable data capture
Data entry while on the go is a huge role of modern health care. CCL show how this workload, and error rates can, be simplified dramatically using the latest advancements in low power bluetooth sensors and technologies. Individual patient data can be instantly captured, recorded and securely stored in the patients records instantly easily and, most importantly, error free.

Come and visit us to experience the future of Healthcare.