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Christmas present recommendations
Not sure what to get for your beloved, yourself, the family or the kids this Christmas. We are often asked to make recommendations so here is a list for you to choose from. Just contact your Account Manager or the sales team to order or for more information.
Small to medium sized business targeted by cyber criminals
These are challenging times for small to midsized businesses (SMBs), even without the added complications of cyber crime. In an economy struggling to gain momentum, many SMBs are operating on razor thin margins, with as few employees as possible, waiting for an upturn in demand or at least a downturn in economic uncertainty. In this context, the news that SMBs are increasingly being targeted by cyber criminals can feel like adding insult to injury.
Office 365 Enterprise Agreement Customer Offer
Add Office 365 to your EA at a great price and Microsoft will help offset your deployment cost so you can enjoy all the benefits of Microsoft premium cloud services.
Hackers create bogus Microsoft Services Agreement email
Installs malware based on an exploit in Java software.
HACKERS are using a recent Microsoft email notification regarding changes in its Services Agreement to trick people into installing malicious programs based on an exploit in Oracle's Java software.
Vulnerability in Microsoft XML Core Services
Microsoft is aware of active attacks that leverage a vulnerability in Microsoft XML Core Services 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, and 6.0. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted webpage using Internet Explorer. An attacker would have no way to force users to visit such a website. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to visit the website, typically by getting them to click a link in an email message or Instant Messenger message that takes them to the attacker's website. The vulnerability affects all supported releases of Microsoft Windows, and all supported editions of Microsoft Office 2003 and Microsoft Office 2007.
Problems moving between Office 365 plans
Several of our clients have initially purchased the Small Business or P1 Office 365 Plan only to find that as their business grows so does the requirement to upgrade to one of the E1, E2, E3 or E4 Enterprise Plans.
administering Windows Intune
Microsoft to push up UK volume pricing
Microsoft is to increase its volume licensing prices for its UK licensing schemes from the beginning of July, the company has announced, with most increasing by a quarter or more and some by over a third.
Are you using Remote Desktop? Is it safe?
Vulnerabilities in Remote Desktop Could Allow Remote Code Execution
Microsoft has recently issued a Critical security update on Remote Desktop. The more severe of these vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if an attacker sends a sequence of specially crafted RDP packets to an affected system.
Is it safe to use for your employees to use their smartphone on the company network?
The problem is that most employees fail to protect their mobile phones and tablets with even a rudimentary password and yet these same phones are often connected in some way to the company network, even if it is just to access email. This is further compounded by the recent press about the developers of Apps beings rather unscrupulous about the sort of data they can and do collect from your phone.
With the advent of low cost automated online backup why use tapes?
Is tape backup dead? With the legal requirement to archive data for several years and the advent of low cost automated online backup why use tapes when it is cheaper to use online backup?
Ask any business owner if their data is backed up and the answer is always yes. We have all heard the statistics about how a high percentage of businesses fail if they lose their entire data through loss, fire or theft so we all run tape backups right.
But how do you know they work?
Government warns of Internet problems during 2012 Olympics
THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT is warning people to prepare for communications breakdowns during the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games in London.
The advice is in a PDF that has appeared on the official London 2012 web site and is called "Preparing Your Business For The Games".
“The Games have the potential to impact on your business in a range of ways and it is important you start planning now to ensure that you are fully prepared to manage the impacts”
Session hijacking (or sidejacking) is simply a way of taking over a web session by stealing the session ID (which is normally stored within a cookie) and masquerading as that user. Of course, once the hacker has managed to gain the victim’s session details he can do anything on that network that the legitimate user is entitled to do.
Criminals have learned that if they can control a user’s DNS servers, they can control what sites the user connects to on the Internet. By controlling DNS, a criminal can get an unsuspecting user to connect to a fraudulent website or to interfere with that user’s online web browsing. One way criminals do this is by infecting computers with a class of malicious software (malware) called DNSChanger.
Pavement hacking: What it is and how to avoid it
Warnings about an attack that takes advantage of human curiosity.
Pavement hacking is still a very real problem as far as complacent companies are concerned, especially at the smaller end of the business scale, where there’s likely to be less thought given to preventing the use of unauthorised USB devices.
Has your browser been hijacked
Has your browser been hijacked?
Browser hijacking is alive and well but, rather than having your web browser diverted to Cuba, you’re much more likely to find yourself landing on some advert-sodden search engine you’ve never heard of.
Although you might have thought of browser hijacking as something that was a problem a decade ago, the truth is that the insidious process of replacing your homepage (or search page, or even error pages in some instances) with an interloper is still an issue.
Microsoft Launches Office 365 Globally
On Tuesday, at media events around the world, Microsoft Corp. announced the availability of Microsoft Office 365, the company’s newest cloud service. Office 365 is now available in 40 markets, and it brings together Microsoft Office, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft Lync Online in an always-up-to-date cloud service, at a predictable monthly subscription.
Mac Defender virus
Apple issues Mac Defender patch... for Snow Leopard only
Apple has quickly issued an update to block the Mac Defender malware targeting its users - but only for those on the latest OS.
The Mac Defender virus that has plagued Apple since the beginning of May recently mutated into a more dangerous strain, according to security firm Intego.
Microsoft buys Skype for $8.5b
Microsoft buys Skype for $8.5b
Microsoft confirmed today that it has bought Skype from an investor group led by Silver Lake for $8.5bn.
The software giant said the buyout of Luxembourg-based Skype's technology would "enhance" Microsoft's current portfolio of real-time communications products and services.
Hundreds of thousands of websites appear to have been compromised by a massive cyber attack.
The hi-tech criminals used a well-known attack vector that exploits security loopholes on other sites to insert a link to their website.
Those visiting the criminals' webpage were told that their machines were infected with many different viruses.
Swift action by security researchers has managed to get the sites offering the sham software shut down.
Security firm Websense has been tracking the attack since it started on 29 March. The initial count of compromised sites was 28,000 sites but this has grown to encompass many times this number as the attack has rolled on.
BLACKBERRY USERS are being warned to look out for a variant of the Zeus Trojan on their devices.
A variant of the well known Zeus Trojan has been seen on mobile phones running the Blackberry OS, with Trend Micro identifying it as BBOS_ZITMO.B. Like its desktop counterpart, there are few visual indications that a Blackberry has been infected. The Trojan removes itself from the application list to try to stay undetected.
Intel still shipping flawed chipsets
Intel resumed shipments of a flawed chipset for use with its new cutting-edge processors, responding to demands from PC makers who will use the chips selectively.
Assess and minimise your IT risks
Business Link in conjunction with the National Computing centre has launched an excellent online tool to help you to understand the main dangers to your IT systems and how you can minimise the risks. Use this tool to help with your planning for 2011.
Microsoft has ramped up its battle in wooing business customers with its next generation cloud-based product. While the software giant dominates the office space with a 94% market share it has been facing increased competition from Google.
At a San Francisco event, Microsoft unveiled Office 365. The product brings together Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online. This means instead of paying for packaged software and installing it on a PC or corporate server, Microsoft will host and deliver the software from its own giant data centres.
NorthernStar launches Hosted Desktop Service – A complete cloud computing service.
Cloud computing is part of a wider trend of more and more services being delivered online. The catalyst for the growth of online services has been an ever faster internet which allows video, music, telephone calls and computing services to be delivered ‘in the cloud’ rather than on local physical devices. More and more people now watch television online or listen to the radio or music online and on mobile devices as the boundaries between television and the internet converge. Delivering desktop computing in the cloud rather than from local hard drives brings many benefits.
GlaxoSmithKline Leads the Way with Microsoft Online Services
GlaxoSmithKline is a pharmaceutical industry leader, supplying a quarter of the world's vaccines. An internal strategic review of their IT systems outlined a need to take a new approach to collaboration, support growing markets, and address costs. Illustrating its industry leadership, GlaxoSmithKline found its solution in pioneering Microsoft Online Services solutions.
Microsoft Online Services case study
Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) helped our business save money, improved our employees productivity and took the stress out of managing IT, allowing us to focus on our core business.
Protect your servers
Northern Star is planning to introduce a new subsidised service from the 1st of July to enhance the resilience of our customers IT infrastructure.
In this tough economic climate our customers are seeking to maintain their IT infrastructure for longer without the capital expense of replacement. This puts an added strain on the resilience of the IT network and particularly the server(s), which over time become less reliable and are prone to failure. Even if your IT equipment is relatively new, the potential for failure still exists.
Microsoft refuses to patch infected Windows XP machines
Microsoft has revealed that its latest round of patches won't install on XP machines if they're infected with a rootkit.
Back in February, a security patch left some XP users complaining of endless reboots and Blue Screens of Death. An investigation followed and Microsoft discovered the problems occurred on machines infected with the Alureon rootkit, which interacted badly with patch KB977165 for the Windows kernel.
Proactive IT Support goes green
As most of our customers are aware we use a tool which allows us to proactively manage, monitor and maintain IT systems and carry out routine maintenance tasks automatically as part of our award winning IT Support service. This improves the reliability of IT systems ensuring users are more productive. Working remotely and proactively has brought many changes to our business not least of which is the reduction in CO2.
End of support for Microsoft XP
Are your PCs & Laptops running XP SP2, Vista RTM or Windows 2000? If so you should begin planning an upgrade to these operating systems during the 1st half of 2010. Microsoft has announced the date for withdrawing extended support on Windows XP SP2 as July 13th 2010, Windows Vista RTM as April 13th 2010 and Windows 2000 Professional SP4 & Windows 2000 Server SP4 as July 13th 2010. Security Update support and non security related hotfix support will be withdrawn from these dates, leaving these systems vulnerable unless upgraded.
Protect your Business & users from Malware Scams
Malware comes in many disguises; one well documented scam which affected many internet users was the job site scam. Recipients of the e-mail didn't doubt its authenticity since the e-mails were personalised.
The way this fraud event occurred was through an e-mail attachment. The user downloaded what they believed was a toolbar that was said to assist them with their job search. Many downloaded this toolbar and the program infected their computers with a Trojan virus which began collecting all their personal information as they surfed various websites; it logged their keystrokes sending back password information.
A sunny day in the cloud.. Microsoft's move to cloud computing....
Yesterday I attended an online webinar from Microsoft about their Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) provided by Microsoft Online Services.
Over the last few years and most notably in 2009 there has been a steady move by software vendors to change their business delivery model away from selling software that you install on your computers to providing the functionality of the software via the Internet (or Cloud). This is what the IT industry call “Cloud Computing”.
Email links and security
There are thousands of computers and millions of emails bouncing across the internet from every corner of the world. It is an environment ripe for fraud and tricksters.
I was recently at a client location whilst they were reading some new emails. As I watched they started to move the mouse to click on a link in an email. I recognised the nature of this email as being malicious and suggested that it may not be secure to click on the link.
Windows 7 Released
Today Microsoft have released their new operating system Windows 7, to replace Vista and XP. The Windows® 7 Professional operating system delivers a powerful combination of innovation, improved performance and productivity.
The main themes behind Windows 7 are:
Works the way you want. It's Fast, reliable, and compatible, it delivers a solid foundation for running a business in today’s competitive environment.
Helps you get more done. You'll be able to find what you need quickly, easily connect to your networks, and be more productive-no matter where you are.
Safeguards your work. Better protect your business against security threats and data loss with new security and recovery options.
A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing
In these testing economic times some companies are tempted to try to fix IT issues themselves believing that they will save money in the long run. Whilst on the face of it this seems like an attractive proposition, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.
One of our clients was attempting to make some minor changes to their PCs and network to test a new piece of software. We advised that this may pose a security risk if not performed in a particular way, however against our advice the person installed the software onto a PC to test and make available for other users to view it as well.
Identify and Report on Users Internet Activity
“82% of UK employees admit to personal surfing at work for more than three hours per week”.
“72% of UK firms have dealt with internet misuse in the workplace”.
“Disciplinary cases for e-mail and internet abuse at work in the last 12 months exceeded those for dishonesty, violence and health and safety breaches put together”.
BrowseReporter is very small program that runs in the background as a Service. It quietly records every site that has been accessed with or without the users’ knowledge. If you wish to notify your users that their systems are being monitored, then a customizable message can be displayed at startup.
Facebook, MSN, twitter, Youtube
Do these applications affect your network, is the network slowing down because of streaming video? How productive are your staff, how useful are these Web 2.0 applications to your business?
Would you like to manage access to these applications as well as improve the security of your business?
Receive up to £1000 of funding to help your business grow
Northern Star has gained access to up to £1000 of Government Funding through the Learning and Skills Council (LSC).
The LSC has been providing Leadership and Management funding to businesses for several years and can now provide funding to our customers for our services.
The programme has now evolved as a Specialist Advisory Service with new eligibility criteria that opens up the offer to previously ineligible organisations. Now even more employers will have access to funded training that enhances their leadership and management skills and in turn nurtures business growth.
Are you paying too much for your Internet connection
In today’s Internet enabled world of email, VOIP, Instant Messenger, Skype, VPN, Hosted software applications, remote access, ITunes and downloading music and video the demands on the Internet connection or bandwidth is increasing significantly. Most businesses have experienced times when the Internet runs slowly and the solution is normally to just upgrade the Internet connection which can be costly and tie the business into annual contracts.
There is now a cost effective tool from DBAM to analyse the internet traffic from your office or between offices to ensure that the bandwidth is being used effectively and that you are not paying for more bandwidth than you need.
Discover the Different Types of Keyloggers That Let You Know Everything
Keyloggers are some of the most effective pieces of spy software available to your disposal. What these handy tools do is literally record each and every stroke of the keyboard that a person makes. All of that data is saved and can be retrieved by you from your own computer.
Worm virus' hits 9m computers
A worm that infects computers lacking the latest security patches or updated anti-virus software is spreading rapidly, according to security experts.
The malicious program, variously known as Conficker, Downadup or Kido, was discovered late last year but experts now estimate the worm has now infected 8.9 million machines globally.
Microsoft vulnerability exploited by cyber-criminals
A serious flaw in Microsoft Internet Explorer has been exploited by cyber criminals looking to steal your credit card and bank details. What is particularly daunting about this scam is that you and me the unsuspecting Internet user, busily getting our Christmas shopping online, only had to accidently or unknowingly visit an infected web site and hey presto we are doomed to have our computers infected and sending all our personal information across the airwaves to your friendly criminals on the other side of the world.
Whats going on with your IT Systems without you knowing
Like most people you probably assume that when you switch off your laptop or PC after a hard day battling against downturns, depressions and government initiatives that your IT System has a long deserved rest just like you.
The spyware epedemic is a growing problem in the world today. Take a stand to proactively defend your computer against this evil scourge that is proliferating and thriving on thousands of websites across the Internet.
Avoiding Spam - Defending your Inbox
Isn't it amazing how many people are concerned about you on the Internet?
You create a new email address and in no time at all, perfect strangers are suddenly very concerned about you having the best credit card, the best home loan, and especially the best "bedroom performance" possible. All of these "kind" people are sending you email every day in order to be sure you are up to date with the latest in electronics, the prettiest of Russian mail-order brides, and the most "exciting" websites you could ever want to visit.