Category Archive: security

Mar 11

Building A Business Case for Upgrading from XP

Build a business case for upgrading from XP

Me ‘n XP go way back … Windows XP has been running for 12 years now. When it came out, George ‘W’ had just been sworn into office, Jeffrey Archer was starting 4 years at Her Majesty’s pleasure for perjury, and everyone would remember where they were when they heard about the Twin Towers. Yup, 12 years ago. And that is a hell of a long time in the tech world. XP is still very popular. Particularly, in my experience, with the charity sector. Its good, there is no denying that. Solid, reliable and dependable. But there are good reasons for this. Those annoying, nagging little updates that you always …

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Feb 28

Ransomeware strikes…

This ain’t the movies, kid… There’s a lot of things Hollywood gets very wrong about computers, viruses and hacking. User interfaces of the most popular hacking tools tend to look like very old versions of Windows, and nothing like The Matrix at all. And nine times out of ten, your reflexes have little, if anything to do with it. So this attack was quite unusual, in a number of ways. It started in the morning, very quietly and without anyone suspecting that anything had happened. A link and slipped through to someone in an email, and they clicked on it. Internet Explorer 8 popped up, they got an error message, …

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Apr 04

Do you have a BYOD policy? Do you know if it’s happening in your organisation?

Mobile phones have come a long way in the last 40 years!

What is BYOD? Bring your own device, or BYOD, is a rising trend among all sorts of organisations these days. And it’s not going to go away. In fact, you may already be implementing it already without realizing it. People checking work emails on their private mobiles or tablets? Remote workers using their own laptops to check work webmail or with VPN access?  That’s all BYOD. In many ways, the rise of BYOD was inevitable. Increased personal computing power and the rise of the smartphone and tablets is part of the answer. The other aspect is how mobile we are these days, and the need to connect wherever we are, be it …

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Sep 07

Why charities need to act now against the threat of hacking

Are the hackers winning

Are we fighting a losing battle against hackers? Hardly a week goes by without news of some corporation or internet giant being electronically infiltrated. The result? Credit card details, account passwords, and personal data either stolen, sold or published online, not to mention the painful inconvenience of what a targeted attack can mean. In the brief time this blog has been running, the list includes: AAPT (an Australian internet provider) Amazon Apple (apparently including President Obama’s iPad details!) BitCoin Blackberry (in India) Blizzard (gaming) Dropbox eHarmony KY (a mobile phone operator in South Korea) Last.fm LinkedIn Numerous oil and power companies Reuters (well, they had fake stories posted on their …

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Aug 24

Should you be using Wi-Fi?

Using Wi-Fi with important data is unwise

It seems like we are hard-wired to believe that Wi-Fi is somehow better, more progressive than being hard wired. It’s true that in many ways in is more convenient. If you don’t have dedicated hardware in your meeting room that can access shared files, you’ll need to take your laptop for your presentation. (Oh, and seriously? Just take an old laptop, strip it of the inessentials, network it and keep it in the meeting room for presentations.) Need to do some research in a quiet room? Just pick up and go. Easy. But that’s not the whole story. Being wired has a number of advantages. Chiefly, security and speed. Security …

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Aug 16

Free Data Protection check up from ICO

Information Commissioner's Officer

Data Protection is a serious issue. With the amount of personal details charities hold, and not only in terms of donors, but of internal staff, it’s important to ensure you are complying. This is not just to ensure you avoid the fines and even custodial sentences that serious breaches can bring, but to ensure the trust of your donors, and staff. Many of the guidelines I mentioned here, in preparing for inspections, can be applied to preparing your Data Protection compliance, such as identifying processes, allocating responsibilities and document control. Other ideas, from the ICO website, include: Tell people what you are doing with their data. People should know what …

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Jun 28

Microsoft increasing cost of software for some charities

Come in Windows XP, your time is up

Upgrade your software now! I was going to write a more detailed piece on this later, but recent news from Microsoft has made this a tad more urgent! A study by Charity Finance, written by Gareth Jones (Feb 2012) showed that 65% of the charity sector are still using XP. Now I liked XP. It was the most stable platform Microsoft had produced. In fact, I got my first job, in PR, doing data inputting. I think it was Windows 3.1, and for two days in a row it crashed, late in the afternoon, losing all the data. I went off and learnt how to fix it. They kept me …

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