Ransomware – what is it and how to protect yourself


Ransomware has been around for some time now. Luckily, not everyone has heard of it, but if you’ve been unlucky enough to of come across it, it’s not something you’re likely to forget.


What is ransomware?

It is a type of malware, but it has a different approach. Instead of going for passwords by one of several means (phishing), it wants to convert your data to a different file type and encode it so you have to pay a ransom to get it unlocked.

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Windows 10 now an ‘update’ on Windows 7 and 8


Everyone has been expecting it, and Microsoft were quite open in that they wanted to start pushing the roll-out once they’d finished with the initial optional roll-out phase. Now we’re seeing the recommended phase.

How Does It Work?

If you’ve got auto-updates turned on, then you’ll see Windows 10 as a recommended download. You’re computer will do it’s normal downloads and updates on restart, where you’ll be met with a screen asking you to click to confirm installation of Windows 10.

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Windows 10 Launch – Not Windows 8 Has Arrived

Windows 10 Launch - Not Windows 8 Has Arrived

It’s here. It’s landed. The last OS release ever!

It feels like Windows 10 has been about forever – the Beta was released in October 2014, and it felt like we hit ‘peak Windows 10’ some time ago. But Microsoft were so keen to avoid the Windows 8 mistakes of old that ol’ Bill Gates himself forgot how to count from 8 to 10. This Beta release and testing has resulted in a smooth release, with more visibility of changes that has allowed IT departments to prepare, or at least not to be shocked.

In terms of measureable success and popularity, the numbers vary, but it’s certainly in the tens of millions in a very short space of time. Figures such as ‘1000 upgrades an hour’ are being batted about. If that’s the case, then it looks like a successful, and popular launch. Personally speaking, the new laptop sat next to me is two hours in to its life and still upgrading (sat at 20%). Hopefully that is due to Microsoft’s download speeds, as it’s a brand new i3 with 4 Gb of RAM.

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Windows Server 2003 – Nearing the End


It’s a bit like saying farewell to a dear old friend. Saying goodbye is never easy, especially when you’ve known them for so long, come to rely on them, integrated them in to your daily life.

Yet sadly, after 12 years, that is what’s happening to Windows Server 2003. Microsoft has read Server 2003 its last writes with a final security fix on 14th July.

So what does that mean for businesses still using Server 2003? Well, let’s break it down in to a few simpler chunks:

– As time goes on, any vulnerabilities to the software won’t be resolved, thus putting any data stored in jeopardy. Some businesses will have critical information on these systems, and any breach could have serious repercussions if data protection is breached.

– Déjà vu? It only feels like a few months ago that we went through this with Windows XP so whoever controls the purse strings may be suffering from IT upgrade fatigue. With servers and back-end systems out of sight, this can seem low priority compared to staring at the familiar XP desktop. Will it take a serious problem for this to change?

– Integrated = stuck. If your company runs programmes that need 32-bit architecture then perhaps you’re trapped in that in-between position where you need to re-think entire systems and day-to-day operations.

So what happens next? The ostrich approach can’t work indefinitely, and each workplace will have a different solution(s). Many businesses will move directly to the Cloud, either entirely, or as a hybrid approach. Combining the Cloud and hardware may allow older systems to remain on Server 2003 whilst everything else moves over to Windows Server 2012 R2 and / or virtual space.

Contact is if you would like to discuss migrating from Server 2003.