Everyday is a school day

The easiest and quickest way to archive email, instead of deleting it in Microsoft Outlook is to simply press the Backspace key rather than the Delete key.

Personally I didn’t know about this shortcut and estimate it will save me hours over the course of a year.

Hope you find it of use.




The hidden cyber threat of COVID-19

security protection padlock

We, at Matrix, have had an increase of tickets in the last week identifying potential phishing or fraudulent attacks delivered via email.

The aim of this article is to provide you with the best practice in minimising these attacks for you and your staff and more importantly retraining users on what to look out for.

If we can be of any more assistance in training, implementing the following technologies please contact us at [email protected].

Multi Factor Authentication (MFA)

MFA put simply is something you have (your phone) and something you know (your password).  By combining the two, Microsoft can better authenticate your logon.  Most phishing scams extract your password and then hackers emulate your logon accessing emails, data or to carry out fraudulent activity.

MFA is very simple to implement and use.  The only additional requirement when logging into the system is to click ‘Approve’ on your phone.  Consequently, if you phone asks you to ‘Approve or Deny’ a login randomly then it is likely someone else has your username and password.  If this is the case, then call Matrix immediately and we will disable / change your logon credentials for you, ensuring your data remains safe and secure.

Email filtering – Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) / Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Most phishing and fraudulent activity is typically driven through an email scam. We provide two products, the first carries out ATP and scans attachments and links detecting zero day and known threats.

The second is our Sentinel product, usage Artificial is our Intelligence (AI) we are able to scan your email accounts and create known interactions identifying the most complex of subsequent scam emails.

What it means in plain English is you will vastly reduce suspect email in your inbox, removing user interaction and the potential threat.


The biggest threat – you

The biggest threat to a data breach is – the person reading this post.  Users pose a threat to systems as they/we use the systems.  Despite minimising risk if that email lands in your inbox you need to think ‘SETH’ first.


Stop – Take 5-10 seconds and look at the email, don’t skim over and click on the instruction – PAUSE

Evaluate – Are you expecting an attachment, email, shared document, parcel from China?

Think – Do you know the sender? Does it look suspect? Is something not quite right about it?

Hover – Move your mouse over the link, does it go to ‘http://somewhere.random.com or to your company Microsoft link – check it against your SharePoint link.

By spending 30 seconds considering whether the email is legitimate could save the business £1000’s in lost revenue or data leakage. If in doubt, contact us for a second opinion, better to be safe.

Matrix can offer simulated phishing email attacks, providing your users with real life examples and training on future prevention.  Each simulation will identify a user training requirement and provide them with suitable courses for improvement dependent upon their interaction with the simulation.

What to look out for

Below are two examples of emails received this week.




Have any more questions or interested in the above products?  Let us know by email [email protected] or call us on 01329 888 444.

If you do one thing today…

Most clients are use Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium daily.  If you are, then you should be taking advantage of the new Microsoft App, by combining the Office suite with some great hacks, this is the app of choice when on the move.

The main features of this app are:

  • Everything in one app, central and quickly accessible
  • Pull in files from other platforms such as Dropbox
  • Word dictation – use your voice to write documents
  • Excel cards view – simplify editing Excel on a smaller screen
  • Outline to PowerPoint – you type, PowerPoint Designer does the rest

Other snazzy features improve common tasks, enabling quick notes, scanning docs into Word / Excel, converting to PDF and signing PDF’s.

Personally, I find the ‘home screen’ invaluable, as it shows my document history, recommended docs, topped with any notes I’ve added. I have found that I am using this app more on my iPad to create documents providing a more fluid experience between devices.  Prior to the app, my go to was my laptop for editing and the iPad for viewing.

As is the Microsoft way, their products improve each version, I for one am looking forward to an even more feature rich app.

Matrix exceeds expectation

Our team have managed to support, deploy and enable a staggering 2156 users to work from home last week.  Whilst amid arranging VPN’s, remote desktops, ironing out the odd person who took their workstation home, we too have been deploying our remote working strategy.

remote office

With the enablement of cloud adoption, we can use the tools needed to support our clients from anywhere (subject to having internet!).  I want to personally thank our team for their commitment in providing this level of service without complaint.  Juggling working from home with children, cats, dogs and a 98% support ticket increase can’t have been easy but we work together, even remotely.

Upon returning to the office we will be reviewing our clients’ remote working needs and have set an R&D budget aside to build a remote access platform for your business.  This will harness the power of Microsoft Azure and allow businesses to benefit from a robust on demand subscription-based model.

The speed of cloud and hidden danger of data compromise

security protection padlock

This week has shown just how agile the cloud is for small and medium businesses, allowing staff to pickup their belongings and move into their home office, kitchen table or lap.  Most SMB’s will be using Microsoft Office 365 suite and as a Microsoft Gold Partner we, at Matrix, have put together the following security considerations to help you combat data theft and meet GDPR compliance.

Multi Factor Authentication (MFA)

If there’s one thing you can do today, more important than ordering your morning cup of coffee, it is to enable MFA. MFA is simply something you know (password) and something you have (app on your phone).  This prevents phishing attacks (hacking attacks) from gaining your login details and using them to compromise your account giving access to all email and data.

Click here for the Microsoft how to: https://bit.ly/2U6RNgK

Secure Score

KPI’s are key to an optimal business in measuring success.  Microsoft provide a security scoring portal for your Office 365 environment.  This portal provides a benchmark against the industry and global averages versus your security score.  It details improvement actions that you can apply to help add extra layers of security around your data.

Click here to login to your secure score portal: https://securescore.office.com/

secure score

We will be working closely with Microsoft and other vendors in the coming months to build a remote access platform for your business.  This will harness the power of Microsoft Azure and allow businesses to benefit from a robust on demand subscription-based model.


Farewell old friend, Windows 7 goes end of life.

windows 7 end of life

Today marks the end of the Windows 7 operating system and potentially poses a headache for business owners.

Windows 7 has been around for 10 years and today marks the official Microsoft end of support for their amazing operating system.  Whilst it will work and function the same tomorrow as it does today, Microsoft will no longer provide patching for any vulnerabilities found, so much so GCHQ have issued a warning not to use Windows 7 for banking from today.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

A NCSC spokesperson said: “The NCSC would encourage people to upgrade devices currently running Windows 7, allowing them to continue receiving software updates which help protect their devices.

“We would urge those using the software after the deadline to replace unsupported devices as soon as possible, to move sensitive data to a supported device and not to use them for tasks like accessing bank and other sensitive accounts.”

“They should also consider accessing email from a different device.”

Remember the WannaCry ransomware attack?

2017 brought new malware attacks through finding vulnerabilities within operating systems, namely Windows XP and Windows 7.  Hacker seek to extract data and encrypt it or sell it on the dark web.  Businesses need to protect against this type of malicious activity to protect their data, comply with GDPR and most importantly ensure their clients data is secure.  A lack of security patching from today could lead to this very problem happening again.

What next?

Our advice is to upgrade your hardware which will normally include the Windows 10 operating system.  This way you benefit from new hardware and the latest operating system.  Windows 10 will provide updates, patches but more importantly closer integration with Office 365 and Azure cloud services.

Additionally, most software vendors will provide support on the Windows 10 platform.

If you need any advice or a quote for upgrading your systems call us today on 01329 888444 or Click here to email us

Staff Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

This months bio is our Helpdesk member Joseph. One of our latest editions, that joined us this year. We hope you enjoy learning a bit more about our front guy!

  • What is your name, age, place of birth, job role and length of service at Matrix IT?

Joe Nicol, 24, Pompey born and raised! I’m a Second-line Support Engineer and joined Matrix in March this year.

  • If you could do one thing in life what would that be?

Bring people together.

  • What are your hobbies and passions?

I’m a bit of a guitar enthusiast, I’ve played since I was 9-10 and still like to practice every day. Yes, my neighbours do love me! I enjoy anything outdoorsy I can do with the pooch – hike, camp, cycle etc. but I enjoy nothing more than socialising with my loved ones.

  • How would you describe yourself?

Conscientious, philosophical & driven.

  • Do you have any pets and children?

I have an incredibly sassy 7-year-old Siberian Husky called Luna, she’s my world.

  • What is your favourite possession?

My guitar.

  • What is your favourite quote?

“Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today” – Dr Jordan Peterson

  • What motivates or inspires you?

Family, friends & vision.

  • What are your goals for the future?

I want to do as much as possible whilst I can; I’d like to visit as many countries and experience as many cultures as possible. I also have plans to start a new band in the next year or two, or at least play with others more frequently.

  • What do you love most about your job?

There are lots of things I love about my job – the constant learning and self-development, the challenges and rewards of overcoming them, my extremely witty and amusing colleagues. But If I had to choose what I loved the most… the answer is a resolute and unwavering “Bill’s Burgers”.

  • Describe your biggest achievement to date

I toured mainland Europe for two weeks with an old band when I was 19. My stage-fright at the time was abysmal and I was close to dropping out and giving up days before leaving. It taught me that tackling my fears and anxieties head-on is the best and only way to grow!

  • Who is your idol, mentor or someone that inspires you?

My Dad – when I was young, he worked as a Postman in the morning, studied during the day and delivered Pizzas at nights to support 5 children and put himself through Uni. He’s now comfortably retired and a constant source of motivation when things get rough.

  • Why Matrix?

I like to believe that things happen for a reason and the opportunity to join Matrix came at the perfect time. It was a big move for me, but everyone was so welcoming and encouraging I’ve not once looked back. It’s great being part of such a close-knit team who all work well together and help each other out. I also really enjoy getting to know our lovely clients and being able to help wherever possible. I’m excited to continue growing with Matrix and look forward to what the future has to offer.

Staff Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

This months bio is our Helpdesk member Sam. Sam is one of the newest members to the team and has joined us as a Level 1 Helpdesk Apprentice. We’re sure you’ll hear him buzzing on the phone soon if you haven’t already!

What is your name, age, place of birth, job role and length of service at Matrix IT?

Sam Searle, 19, I was born in Portsmouth and I’m a Level 1 Helpdesk apprentice. I started at Matrix in July 2019

  1. If you could do one thing in life what would that be?

If I could do one thing, I would like to be able to help those in need

  1. What are your hobbies and passions?

I have a passion for music, sports and messing around with new tech

  1. How would you describe yourself?

I would describe myself as a creative, independent and honest person

  1. Do you have any pets and children?

I do not have any pets nor do I have any children

  1. What is your favourite possession?

My favourite possession is my first PC that I ever built. I still use and upgrade that desktop PC to this day

  1. What is your favourite quote?

“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr

  1. What motivates or inspires you?

I am motivated and inspired by the people around me from what they have been able to achieve

  1. What are your goals for the future?

My goals for the near future is to be able to move out and live in a house of my own and to see what happens from there

  1. What do you love most about your job?

I love being able to work within an environment with outstanding people and to be able to learn something new every day

  1. Describe your biggest achievement to date

My biggest achievement so far is that I played semi-professional gaming for a team called Mouse Sports for roughly 2 months

  1. Who is your idol, mentor or someone that inspires you?

The people who inspire me are my parents and friends as they have been able to help my personality grow over the years

  1. Why Matrix?

I would not ask for a different place of work. I get to work with passionate people who have the same interests as me and a place of work which can offer a chance of progression




Guys and Girls get the Gold Goodies

Guys and Girls get the Gold Goodies

What does Matrix do after getting Gold? – We celebrate as a team. To thank everyone at Matrix, we had a little celebration and why not?

We think it was well deserved!

On behalf of Matrix and all of the directors, we would like to thank every member of the team for their continual hard work in supporting our clients and helping the business achieve our Microsoft Certified Gold Partnership.

We hope you enjoyed the celebrations and gold goods!