Rowans Hospice Charity Quiz

Our Allied Office Machines Lightbulbs team has taken part in the Rowans Hospice Corporate Quiz.Rowans Hospice Quiz

It was an enjoyable, well organised evening and lots of funds have been raised for this worthy charity.

Our team has done well and finished in a joint 4th place. We are looking forward to the next one!

Rowans Hospice provide palliative and end of life care to the highest quality for those living with a life-limiting illness in the Southeast of Hampshire. Their highly trained hospice carers help to improve quality of life for the patient by easing physical symptoms as well as offering psychological, spiritual and social support to both patients and their loved ones.


Toner replacement – Reduce wastage

If you have printers and photocopiers from Allied Office Machines, you most likely benefit from our toner inclusive maintenance agreement. This means we replace your toners as needed.toner replacement

Some users are changing partially used toners for new ones, much before the existing toners are empty. These used toners still could print thousands of pages with no loss of quality. They only need to be replaced when they are completely empty and the machine stops working.

For the benefit of the environment and to cut wastage, we have provided the following useful information.

Toner replacement procedure

The correct procedure for replacing printer and photocopier toner is:

  1. When the machine indicates a toner is running low, do not replace the toner at this stage. There is plenty of toner left, you do not need to change it just yet.
  2. When the machine finally runs out of toner, it will stop. If it is a colour device, it will need either a cyan, magenta, yellow or black toner. Check which one needs replacing. It is highly unlikely you will need to change more than one toner at a time. The device will indicate which colour toner needs to be replaced.
  3. Empty? OK, it’s time to change it. Please make sure you have selected the correct toner, give it a gentle shake, and replace it.
  4. If you are using our auto-replenish service, your machine will notify us in plenty of time for the next replacement to be sent out.

Thank you for helping us to be greener.

Improving our customers’ green credentials as well as our own

At Allied Office Machines we are constantly looking to improve our green credentials and create a sustainable approach to the way we do business.Sustainability

Our partnership with Ricoh helps with this as sustainability is built into their product design and prevalent throughout their value chain.

Ricoh have undertaken a series of initiatives in the areas of energy efficiency, resource conservation and human wellbeing to minimise the environmental impact of their devices. As a result they are pleased to introduce their new range IM C Series.

Energy savings

The IM C Series boasts industry-leading low Typical Energy Consumption (TEC) values and automatic eco-mode energy saving (0.3W) when in sleep mode. By using an innovative new toner that fuses at a lower temperature,  IM C Series significantly lowers energy consumption. Sleep mode power consumption has also been reduced, helping you achieve a smaller carbon footprint with lower costs.

More recycled plastic

Designed for sustainability throughout its lifecycle, the IM C Series is made using 50% post-consumer recycled plastic while PET toner bottles are produced from 100% recycled plastic. Plastic packaging is reduced by 54% thanks to a more sustainable material and no excess packaging.

Waste management

Waste management is also a focus as our operations generate paper, plastic and metal waste, which we strive to consume less and recycle more to reduce our environmental impact by:

  • Encouraging individual responsibility for recycling initiatives and providing recycling facilities for paper, printer toners, plastics and metal
  • Refurbishing older equipment and providing these as a service. Refurbishing means we return the condition of the equipment to nearly new.
  • The products we can no longer refurbish are donated to Southampton Special Purpose Workshop, a Hampshire-based company helping adults with special needs. SSPW strips out all materials from the equipment which are then recycled.
  • In addition, we offer a free toner cartridge recycling service to all our customers with 90% of all used toner cartridges being recycled.

Read more about the new Ricoh range here and our Corporate responsibility and sustainability here

Is the current ransomware strategy not working?

With so many high profile attacks, is the current ransomware strategy not working?

Companies are entrusted with the private, personal, and sensitive information of their clients.  When there is a ransomware breach, clients’ data is encrypted and stolen. encrypted

If the ransom demanded is not paid, three things typically happen:

1. The business loses access to their data. To remedy this, they need to restore the data from IT backups, leading to loss of revenue over the weeks/months(?) it would take. But that’s only as long as their IT backup is not infected by ransomware… Sometimes cyber criminals delay their attack after they have hacked into a company, so their ransomware code gets included in the regular daily/weekly backup.

2.  To punish the company for non-payment, the stolen client data gets published on the dark web for other criminals to take an advantage of. A recent series of attacks on schools saw their data being shared including children’s SEN information, passport scans and details of teachers’ pay contracts. Read more here.

3.  ICO may need to be notified of the breach and a fine can be issued. Tuckers Solicitors, one of the UK’s leading criminal law firms, have been hit with a £98,000 fine after hackers were able to access current court cases information and leak them on the web. Read more here.

Your insurance company may cover cybercrime and pay the ransom for you. We are aware of cases where this has happened. I can only imagine how high the following years’ insurance premiums going to be. Also, the  UK government has made it illegal to pay ransom to some ransomware criminals. Read more here.

We are protected from ransomware by our robust antivirus and EDR defences”, you say? Well, it may be true you are protecting your devices as much as possible, but cybercriminals are becoming more and more devious and they are finding ways to get in.

Many large corporations spend millions on cybersecurity and still get hacked.  Recent high profile attacks include BBC, Boots, BA Capita, Mazars and Royal Mail.

Experts agree that it is no longer a question of if, but when you get targeted. A business needs to take every precaution they can in building strong perimeter and end point defences. However they also need to plan for when there is a breach and how to manage it.

Find out more about Bullwall RansomCare which will stop an active ransomware attack.

Contact Martyn on 01794 526088 or email

London Marathon 2023 – Completed!

Martyn Pegram, Account Director at Allied Office Machine, has completed the super popular London Marathon. He managed to raise £1968 for a local charity The Rainbow Centre.

Martyn at the start of London Marathon
Martyn at the start of the London Marathon

Here is Martyn sharing his experience with us:

“It’s fair to say that my Marathon training was less than perfect. I had a sixteen week plan, which was disrupted twice. First I damaged my Achilles and had to rest for five weeks. Then I had twisted my stomach muscle, which took me another three weeks to recover from. This meant I only had half the allocated time to train. When I could get out, I did enjoy making videos to highlight what I was doing and who I was doing it for. With only two weeks to go I hadn’t gone beyond ten miles. However I did not want to risk another injury.

The day itself was an awesome experience. The crowds. The noise. The anticipation really gets you going. I set off with all manner of things in my mind “Don’t start too fast”, “Focus on the mile you’re in”, “Run your own race” and my favourite, which was “Finish line, not finish time!” I felt OK at the start, nothing too bad, nice and steady. I took water at each stop and only had a couple of sips (as per advice) but it’s amazing how so little water makes you want to visit the loo so much!! 🙂 So I stopped at virtually every toilet stop on the way.

6.5 Miles in is the Cutty Sark. The crowd there is loud. I still felt fine and I was thinking, this is virtually 25%. But not long after that my muscles were burning and I started to struggle coming up to 8 Miles.

Just after Mile 9, my left calf went and it was horrid. I tried to stretch it, but it was agony. Part of me thought, ‘You’re not even halfway, so find a medical tent and stop’. But then I thought about the video I’d seen from the Rainbow Centre. In this video Eniko (one of the staff) said, they were asking the children to do something every day, which was like the equivalent of them asking her to climb Kilimanjaro. It really kept me moving forward, as I was only doing this for one day.

Martyn after completing London Marathon

At Tower Bridge I tried a mini slow jog over it – perhaps I knew the cameras were there! – and then I crossed it and turned right and saw the halfway marker. There’s a board with messages for the runners and I had some – once again it kept me going. This was the longest homeward stretch, but I thought I just had to finish now no matter what.

After that point the crowds are smaller, but equally raucous. Singing “Sweet Caroline” at a pub on route with all those people was great. That bit seems to go on forever, with my calves burning I could feel the blisters on my toes and heels – I think mainly due to the rain earlier in the day. It certainly wasn’t because I was going too fast.

At Mile 21 I needed some treatment and they asked if I needed to stop. Not a chance was I going to stop now. I kept thinking of the kids at The Rainbow Centre and all of those people who had sponsored me – I didn’t want to short change anyone.  The last 2 miles was mainly stragglers, so more and more of the crowd, who could see my name on my vest, were encouraging me. The crowd really are fantastic.

With just the 385 yards to go, I was cursing Queen Alexandra – I could have finished already!! I was limping and devoid of energy, but the grandstand crowd all chant for you and there’s another board with messages. I was in absolute zombie mode and really emotional.

When I crossed the finish line I checked three times that it was over and then collapsed on the floor, shattered and in agony. After a little bit of medical, I got my medal and t-shirt.

I’m so pleased to have done it and very thankful to the Rainbow Centre for giving me the opportunity to take part in something so incredibly iconic, but just like Sir Mo Farah, that’s my last London Marathon. One and Done!

My favourite part of all though was to go in and visit the Centre afterwards and to have a picture taken with the children and staff. I know that the near £2000 that I raised will really help them and that, for me, made every step of the Marathon worthwhile.

The Rainbow Centre
Children and staff at The Rainbow Centre

Perhaps my experience will inspire others to get off the sofa and raise some funds for this amazing charity.”

The Rainbow Centre is a Fareham-based charity supporting people across the Wessex region with neurological conditions including Cerebral Palsy, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke and other acquired brain injuries. As a non-governmentally funded organisation, they are dependent on the generosity and fundraising endeavours of their brilliant community which help to fund the neuro-rehabilitation provided by the Centre.

The Rainbow Centre had eight amazing London Marathon runners who collectively raised over £10,000.

Account Director Martyn is running the London Marathon in support of The Rainbow Centre.

Martyn Pegram
Martyn Pegram, Account Director

Martyn Pegram, Account Director at Allied Office Machines, is training hard to complete the world’s most popular marathon next month to raise funds for a lovely local charity.

Based in Fareham, The Rainbow Centre is a supporting children and adults with neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s, MS and stroke and their families.

Martyn commented: “ I am not a natural athlete but my partner, who ran the London Marathon last year, has inspired me to get off the sofa and help others. We have been working with The Rainbow Centre and I am familiar with all the great work they do there in helping children with complex neurological needs. As a father myself, I can appreciate how enormous this support is for the whole family. The Rainbow Centre does not get any funding, they solely rely on donations. Therefore anyone who can, please donate a few pounds to this worthy cause.”

Inigo Churchill, Operations Director at The Rainbow Centre, added: “ We are extremely grateful to everyone who has sponsored Martyn, it really is very much appreciated. He is looking to raise £1500 and every penny donated will go towards supporting the children and adults in our care. Here are some examples of where your money will go:

£70 could pay for a whole week of snacks for the 54 children that attend The Rainbow Centre.

£220 would pay for one of our Saturday sessions, which are for older children that attend mainstream school during the week.

£490 would fund an entire session for our early intervention class, helping families to learn the very best way to help their child from early diagnosis.”

To donate click here

Your backup routine – top 5 things to consider in protecting your business against ransomware.

Backup securityRansomware encrypts all your data and makes it unusable unless you pay the ransom required. Best way to prepare for such an attack  is to have good quality data you can restore from backup. Here are key things to consider.

1. Review and update backup policies

The best defence against malware is being able to restore data from clean backups. However, backups will only work if they are robust and comprehensive and include all the data. CIOs should order a thorough audit of all business data locations. It is all too easy to miss critical data off a backup plan, whether they are held on local systems or in the cloud.

Best practice for backup remains the 3-2-1 rule: make three copies of data, store across two different forms of media and keep one copy off-site. To protect against ransomware, the offsite backup should be isolated from the business network.

2. Air gap business data

Cloud storage is an attractive technology to store long-term data backups, and in some quarters it has replaced physical backup media such as optical disks, portable hard drives and tape. It protects data from physical disruption, such as hardware or power failures, or fire and flood, but it will not automatically protect against ransomware. Cloud storage is vulnerable on two fronts: through connections to customer networks, and because it is shared infrastructure.

Ransomware can take out backup systems, which are the last line of defence against data loss.

The solution is to supplement cloud backups with tape or other mechanical backup media. Cloud can be the offsite copy, but keeping another dataset on tape, and keeping those tapes strictly offline, is the most reliable way to “air gap” data from a ransomware attack.

3. Make regular backups and review retention policies

It should go without saying that organisations should back up their data regularly.

Again, CIOs should review policies for frequency of backups, especially how often data is backed up to off-site locations (including the cloud) and mechanically separated media, such as tape. It might be that more frequent backups are needed.

IT teams should also review how long they keep backups, especially their air-gapped media. Ransomware often uses time delays to avoid detection, or “attack loops” to target apparently clean systems.

Organisations might need to go back through several generations of backups to find clean copies, requiring longer retention and, possibly, more copies. Keeping separate backups for critical business systems should also make recovery easier.

4. Ensure backups are clean and robust

Ensuring backups are free of malware is hard, but organisations should do as much as they can to make sure their backups are not infected.

As well as strict air-gap policies – such as taking media offline as quickly as possible – up-to-date malware detection tools are essential, as is system patching.

For extra protection, companies should consider write once read many (WORM) media such as optical disks, or tape configured as WORM. Some suppliers now market WORM-format cloud storage.

5. Test and plan

All backup and recovery plans need to be tested. This is critical to calculate recovery times – and establishing whether data can be recovered at all.

Using air-gapped, off-site media is best practice, but how long will it take to restore systems? Which systems are the priority for recovery? And will firms need separated, clean networks for recovery purposes?

CIOs should test all phases of the recovery plan, ideally using duplicate media. The worst scenario would be for a recovery exercise to contaminate existing, clean backups.

To stop ransomware you should also consider RC from Bullwall, last line of defence containment software. This will stop the ransomware attack and protect your data without the need to restore it from a backup.

Call Martyn on 01794 526088 to find out more.

Read the full article here Top five ways backup can protect against ransomware | Computer Weekly

Six ways to defend your company against a ransomware attack

Ransomware criminalRansomware – cyber extortion that occurs when malicious software infiltrates your computer systems and encrypts your data, holding it hostage until the victim pays a ransom. Failing to pay the ransom will result in the data being published online and extensive downtime. The likelihood of ransomware attacks can be reduced using a plan covering these actions:

1. Conduct risk assessments and penetration tests to determine the attack surface and current state of security resilience and preparedness in terms of tools, processes and skills.

2. Establish processes and compliance procedures that involve key decision makers in the organisation, even before preparing for the technical response to a ransomware attack.

3. Conduct frequent exercises and drills to ensure that systems are always able to detect the attacks.

4. Back up not only the data but also every non-standard application and its supporting IT infrastructure. Maintain frequent and reliable backup and recovery capabilities. If online backups are used, ensure they cannot become encrypted by ransomware.

5. Restrict permissions and deny unauthorised access to devices. Remove local administrator rights from end users and block application installation by standard users, replacing this with a centrally managed software distribution facility.

6. Research government and regional authorities that have provided guidelines on how organisations can fortify their IT infrastructure against ransomware.

Another layer of protection would be to implement anti-ransomware software RC from Bullwall. It is an innovative, last line of defence software which protects your confidential data against ransomware attacks from any user on any device. It provides a complete 24/7 containment solution.

Contact Martyn to book a demo on 01794 526088 or email

Source: ‘6 Ways to Defend Against a Ransomware Attack’, Gartner

How much time do you have to react to a ransomware attack?  

Not very long at all.

Ransomware attacks are becoming faster and more sophisticated. In this latest attack referenced below, it only took 3 hours and 44 minutes from the initial infection until all the files on all devices were encrypted. 

3h and 44min does not provide a large window for network and security admins to detect and respond to the attack and implement counter measures – considering they rely on manual human intervention and that many attacks occur at night.

An automated solution which reacts in seconds and stops the encryption instantly can improve your response times, prevent downtime, disruption and loss of revenue.

Would you like to know more?

Contact Martyn to book a demo on 01794 526088 or email

Read the full article here:

Quantum ransomware seen deployed in rapid network attacks 

Is it time to check the facts about the supply of copiers and copier parts? 

We have found there is a little misinformation out there and we seek to clarify it. 
We cannot supply the upgrade for your current brand of copier due to the global chip problem. We would prefer for you to take an alternative brand
Fact checked 
The global chip shortage has affected all manufacturers that produce a product with a computer interface. So in fact all manufacturers of copiers or MFP’s are suffering with the same issues. This does not mean you don’t have a choice. 
We couldn’t get to service your equipment today as there are supply problems with the parts required to fix it. 
Fact checked 
Although there are delays on the supply of certain equipment models across all manufacturers, there are no such issues with parts and consumables supplies. Most parts and consumables are readily available from most independent dealers, including ourselves. 
Currently we are only able to service your equipment using “compatible” non OEM parts and consumables due to global supply problems. 
Fact checked 
99% of all genuine OEM parts and consumables are readily available from most independent dealers. 

For more information contact Martyn on 01794 526088 or