Archive for April 2014

Why You Should Prioritise Window XP Over Heartbleed

In the last couple of weeks we’ve covered both Heartbleed and Windows XP stopping their security updates and they are both pretty serious issues that need addressing.

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However, Heartbleed has managed to achieve a substantial amount of media attention at just the wrong time, with people prioritising the issue and ignoring the fact that Windows XP is still widely being used.

Ultimately, it seems quite surprising that news channels and other media outlets would brand Heartbleed as such an important vulnerability when Windows XP could pose much more of a threat.

The problem is that Heartbleed’s consequences became apparent instantaneously, with the words “credit cards” and “passwords” making front page news.

On the other hand, April 8th brought about little visible changes in the operations of Windows XP despite security updates disappearing.

It’s clear that, without visible threats, people are prepared to take risks. They might have spent the entire weekend backing up files preparing for Heartbleed but completely forgot that all of this was happening on their Windows XP PC.

The crux of this post is that Heartbleed mustn’t act as a cloak that covers up the true threat of continually using Windows XP. Hackers are far more likely to be preparing for future flaws in Windows XP than wasting their time with a glitch in OpenSSL.

The longer you decide to stick with Windows XP, the bigger the risk. It’s something that can’t be changed and won’t get better, so make this your top priority if you’re worried about online security!

 

Heartbleed – What Is It and What Should You Do?

Chances are you’ve been made aware of the threat posed by a rather troublesome online bug titled “Heartbleed”. Before you start rushing frantically about the office wondering if you need to sort out your antivirus settings or possibly even protect your bank account details, here’s where Google and other major online companies are at so far with regards to this worrying development.

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Heartbleed came to light a couple of weeks back after OpenSSL (a piece of software that deals with security purposes throughout the web) was compromised through one of its built-in features, known widely as heartbeat. Heartbeat exchanges data between website and PC to give your computer assurance that the site is active. Whilst the feature should only ever send back the same amount of data as it receives, hackers have found a way of requesting increased amounts of data that could potentially include passwords, cookies, logins and other personal information.

It’s understood that just under 20% of internet servers have the heart bleed bug, which is a scary amount despite the fact that this figure had been inflated in the past to as much as 60% of all servers. Whilst OpenSSL has since been patched, it’s important that you do change your passwords for the services that have been affected. Google was affected but has since been fixed, though you should still look to change your passwords as soon as possible.

Don’t panic. The chances of hackers getting hold of your personal information through heart bleed are incredibly small, so all you have to do is take the necessary precautions and keep up to date with what’s going on.

Windows XP Security Updates Stopping From Today

Today is the last day we’ll be seeing support arriving for Windows XP, with the final security patch arriving to the operating system in the early hours of the morning. It’s a significant day for those who have decided to stick with XP until the very end, and there are plenty of them.

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It’s believed that nearly 20% of PC’s on a global scale are still operating Windows XP. This is a huge amount considering Microsoft released their warning about security updates many months beforehand, giving individuals and businesses plenty of time to make the change.

Ultimately, anyone who continues to use Windows XP will have to cope with the higher threat of online attacks, viruses and malware. There’s no doubt that some people will hold on to XP despite the lack of security, so it might be interesting to see just how damaging a decision that could turn out to be.

It’s always important to receive regular security updates to enhance online security for businesses and homes alike, despite the fact Windows XP has aged incredibly well. It might be quite surprising for some to learn that flaws can still be found in XP’s system despite its longevity. Unfortunately, hackers can always find new ways of gaining access to bugs that crop up, and it’s the defence against this type of attack that will no longer be provided.

Facebook Splash Out $2 billion On Oculus Rift – Is This Good News?

Facebook recently decided to splash out on Oculus’ virtual reality system, the Oculus Rift. The question is, have Facebook got it in them to take virtual reality to the next level, and is the $2 billion purchase really worth it for a company that knows next to nothing about gaming?

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Tech experts and various critics have criticised the purchase, mainly because they felt the Kickstarter campaign was something that could succeed on its own. However, the benefits of Facebook’s acquisition have also been recognised.

Good

  • More money for Oculus. Better chance of going the distance and achieving great things.
  • Technology that can provide for multiple industries and not just for gaming.
  • It will get the reception it needs to succeed on the release date

The Bad

  • Facebook aren’t a trusted company when it comes to online security. Are consumers going to be happy with Facebook taking over a gaming platform after their history with user privacy?
  • Developers don’t like working with Facebook due to unfriendly business terms.
  • Will Oculus still be recognised for their achievements once Facebook starts advertising?

Pronetic know all about online security, but we’re also experts in providing our clients with IT Security Services. Get in touch today and discover how we can improve the security of your online business.