EPX Technology Blog

Ground-breaking IP-CCTV security system for Crewe Arms Hotel

Built in 1830 and located right next to the station there, the Crewe Arms Hotel was the world’s first railway hotel. Always a popular venue, Queen Victoria and her family stayed there when she travelled from London to Scotland for her annual summer holidays.

Today, with its 61 rooms, bar restaurant and five meeting spaces, it is operated by Best Western and despite being one of the oldest buildings in Crewe, it blends the traditional with the modern to provide 21st century standards for travellers and business people, alike.

As with any business, hotels benefit from having fully functional, modern CCTV systems. Having CCTV cameras positioned in prominent places can often act as an effective deterrent to crime.

Venues such as the Crewe Arms Hotel have high volumes of people coming and going, are open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Designing and installing a suitably rigorous and up-to-date CCTV system was a challenge that the technical team are EPX were delighted to take on.

Crewe Arms Hotel

“CCTV technology has developed rapidly in recent years, leading to increased functionality, better affordability and higher image quality”, explained Dan Ellis, co-director at EPX Technical Services. “The system that is now in operation at the Crewe Arms Hotel offers considerable benefits, such as integration with existing IT systems, remote access via smartphones and tablet computers and the facility for remote maintenance.”

EPX has over 10 years’ experience in the world of cutting-edge CCTV technology. By applying the same kind of remote maintenance processes that it uses with high availability computer systems, EPX engineers are able to ensure CCTV systems such as the one at the Crewe Arms Hotel remain fully operational at all times.

Should anything untoward happen, CCTV can be invaluable, providing essential evidence to assist the police in their enquiries. “We only work with cameras that operate in HD – High Definition – which guarantees the best picture quality available”, said Dan. “Video evidence of theft or criminal damage can also be extremely useful when it comes to insurance claims and many commercial insurers offer discounts on business insurance if you have a suitable CCTV system installed.”

If you would like to review your CCTV requirements, please contact EPX on 01785 878311.

Crewe Arms Hotel - IP-CCTV

View | 0 Comments | Posted By Tom Harris | Posted 10th February 2016   

URGENT DATA SECURITY ALERT: TESLACRYPT 3.0

Tuesday 9th February 2016

EPX would like to make you aware of a new and urgent threat to data security. It is called Teslacrypt 3.0. It has only been active for three weeks.

Teslacrypt, like CryptoLocker, is a severe ransomeware virus, which encrypts all data on the infected system and issues a demand for a monetary payment in return for decrypting the files. It can, however, be expected that, even if payment is made, the data may only be partially decrypted or not at all. IT systems that suffer attacks like these can take days to restore, even if full backups have been made.

All EPX support customers are now receiving double the normal level of backup checks and added security to help prevent future infections.

Many companies that do not have full data backups and suffer total data loss close as a result, so please ensure that your data backup processes are in place and fully operational.

EPX’s advice to you at this time is not to open emails or links from unknown senders, particularly when they request that a file is to be downloaded and/or opened. The most common file types that Teslacrypt is being shared by are ZIP, Excel and Word files. Also, if an email comes from a known sender, but it is not expected, again, our advice is not to open it.

If you would like a suspicious email to be checked, any further information or if you wish to discuss your data backup or security strategy, please call EPX on 01785 878311.

View | 0 Comments | Posted By Tom Harris | Posted 9th February 2016   

EPX announces new contract with Staffordshire County Showground

Midlands and North-West based IT company to provide significant upgrade Wi-Fi infrastructure at popular event venue

EPX Technical Services, a company that provides IT solutions for SMEs and organisations across the Midlands and North-West has won the contract to provide and maintain a state of the art wireless network system at Staffordshire County Showground. The multi-purpose venue hosts a wide variety of events all year round, including antiques and toy fairs, pedigree pet shows and equestrian events, as well as the regional highlight of the agricultural year, the County Show.

After completion of the upgrade, which will include the installation of over three miles of Gigabit fibre and data cabling, as well as more than 40 wireless access points, high-speed Wi-Fi access will be available throughout all of the indoor and outdoor spaces, providing a considerable number of benefits to event operators, traders, visitors and the Showground organisation, itself.

“As with any modern business operation, having a robust and well-thought out data network infrastructure is essential, not only in terms of meeting today’s demands, but also building in plenty of capacity for the future”, said Dan Ellis, co-director at EPX. “After completion of the installation, high-speed Wi-Fi access will be available througho
ut all of the indoor and outdoor spaces, providing a considerable number of benefits to event operators, traders, visitors and the Showground organisation, itself.”

Examples of how the improved coverage include ticketing, the taking of payments and security. All manner of event operators are moving towards online ticketing, with barcode scanners being used to check tickets at the gates, improving security and saving time. The hundreds of traders selling their wares at events at the Showground throughout the year need a reliable Internet connection to be able to use credit card machines to take payments. The high capacity of the new system would allow for the temporary or permanent installation of almost any number of IP security cameras, in any position throughout the grounds.

Richard Williams, Chief Executive of Staffordshire County Showground said, “We’ve developed a close working relationship wand are delighted with the service we’ve received from the company in looking after our IT systems. As such, we felt they were the natural choice to go with for this major project.”

On account of the Showground's effectively rural location, a super high-speed microwave radio broadband connection was the best option. Here, engineers are installing the connection point.

On account of the Showground’s effectively rural location, a super high-speed microwave radio broadband connection was the best option. Here, engineers are installing the connection point.

View | 0 Comments | Posted By Tom Harris | Posted 8th February 2016   

Meet the Team – New to EPX – Jay Yates – Office Manager

After Jay gained a degree in psychology, she became an apprentice Computer Operator at Vauxhall Motors in Luton, in the ‘Bridge’, which was the name for the computer room. At that time, computers took up whole rooms and IBM 370 punch cards and paper tape were the standard data storage method, with a new-fangled technology called magnetic tape having just come onto the market.

Having progressed to being a programmer, and with many companies making the leap to computerisation, Jay moved into Business Analysis. “It was at the time when lots of companies were computerising. I focussed on retail, which involved things like back office, stock systems and scanning bar codes for the first time”, explains Jay. “I was going into companies, looking at their processes and getting them ready for computerised systems.”

Jay moved on to Renault, Britannia Book Club and Texas Homecare, where she stayed for ten years, as a Business and Operations Manager, focussed on the IT strategy of the operation. After a stint in a similar role at Argos, with the Y2K bug requiring lots of work to avert IT mayhem at the turn of the new millennium, Jay returned to programming for five years.

After taking a break to raise her children, Jay re-entered the world of business as an Office Manager for several companies in and around Birmingham. Jay joined EPX at the end of 2015.

Jay thrives on the constant buzz of a busy office. “If I’m busy and I’ve got a challenge, then I’m happy.”

In her spare time, Jay is a keen photographer and enjoys helping friends in the video production industry on location shoots. “I love reading. I would be perfectly happy without a television.”

As her greatest achievement, Jay cites her daughters as being “Two very centred and wonderful human beings.”

View | 0 Comments | Posted By Tom Harris | Posted 2nd February 2016   

EPX Windows 10 Tips: Find my device

 

For some time now, smart phones have had a “find my phone” feature, which allows users to track down their handsets if they get lost or, heaven forbid, stolen. Now, in addition to their phone and tablets, Microsoft has brought this feature to Windows 10 for both laptop and desktop PCs. Apple Mac users have had the benefit of this for several years now, so this is a welcome addition to the Windows world.

Find My Device in Windows 10 is still lacking many of the features available in similar systems on other platforms, such as getting a device to make a sound, lock itself, erase data or use the webcam to take a snapshot, but seeing a general location could certainly be useful if a computer goes astray.

To enable Find My Device in Windows 10 simply follow these instructions:

1

 

Find My Device is located in Settings > Update & Security.

To activate it, go to Start > Update & Security > Find My Device.

2

 

Below the line “Find My Device is off” is the Change button.

3

 

Click on the Change button and a pop-up window appears, saying “Save my device’s location periodically”. Turn the sliding switch to On and then Find My Device is now active. The machine then regularly and automatically sends its location to Microsoft. You can then locate your PC, even if it is not powered-up and online when you look it up, as you will be able to see the last known location.

4

 

The wording on the Find My Device screen should now have changed to “Find My Device is on”, as above.

To check that Find My Device is working properly, login to account.microsoft.com/devices with your Microsoft account. You PC should be listed under “Your devices”.

If you don’t know your device’s name, simply right-click on the Start button and select System. In the Control Panel window that then opens up, it should be stated it under “Computer name”.

Dan Ellis, EPX co-director’s advice is to activate the feature right away. “We recommend making use of the Find My Device feature. You can never know when it might come in handy.”

 

View | 0 Comments | Posted By Tom Harris | Posted 27th January 2016   

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