On a weekly basis there are now articles regarding a big brand company which has been hacked, these usually relate to what data has been lost, how they are notifying those affected and what they are going to be doing to prevent this from happening again.
So how do you prevent it from happening in the first place?
From experience I can see that if a hacker wants to get details from somewhere they will take the easiest target, the ‘Low Hanging Fruit’ as they say, in ensuring your company has some basic security principles in place can help mitigate this.
So how do you ensure you are not the ‘Low Hanging Fruit’
Simple measures can be taken within your environment to help secure it. As a basic level you should be meeting the following guide - CyberEssentials Requirements
This sets out some advice regarding Firewalls, User access control, Passwords, Malware protection and Patch management.
Once you have met the standards given within this document you should be looking to increase the security standards within your organisation. The most effective we have found is the use of education, once educated your staff will be able to react to the threats quicker and reduce the risks to your company.
On 1st December 2012 Microsoft will make significant changes to User CAL pricing which will directly affect the Core CAL and ECAL Suites, ALL Volume Licensing Programs* and customers with renewals after 1st December 2012!
We have highlighted the most important points for you below:
User CALs will have a +15% price premium. Device CAL pricing will not change
All Volume Licensing programs* will be affected. Microsoft will apply the user CAL price premium across all user-based CAL products and programs in Volume Licensing and OEM programs
Differentiated CAL pricing will take effect with the release of the December price list. Subject to current approvals, you may request early renewal to take advantage of lower user CAL pricing prior to 1st December 2012
You can continue to choose to license CALs per user or per device. You may prefer device CALs if you have fewer devices than users and prefer to count devices. You may prefer user CALs if you have fewer users and prefer to count users.
*Does not include Dynamics, SQL, SPLA or EES (Academic).
Changes to Microsoft's OV Grace Period:
From 1st November 2012, Microsoft adjusted the renewal grace period from 30 days down to 48 hours after expiry date for OV, OVS and OVS-ES agreements. Notice of this change has been within customer contracts and the OV handbook for the past year.
This change now means customers renewal orders must be received prior to the expiration of the agreement. You can renew agreements 30 days prior to expiration, and any purchase orders placed will be held by Microsoft and invoiced on the start date of the renewal. Should the order be placed on the days following the 48 hours, it will be set up as a net new agreement and run from current date. This means that potentially there could be a gap in customers coverage. In cases such as these distribution will need to log requests with Microsoft to backdate the agreement.
The 90 day grace period remains for Open agreements.
According to TrustedReviews the date for Microsoft to launch Windows 8 has been set for 26 October 2012. This could lead some businesses to delay or considering delaying the purchase of new PCs or operating systems. To combat this, Microsoft is offering a deal which means end-user customers who buy Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional or Ultimate between 2 June 2012 and 31 Jan 2013 can upgrade to Windows 8 for just £15.00. An upgrade can cost between £100-£150 normally, so this is a great offer. To access the offer, customers should visit: http://windowsupgradeoffer.com/en-GB.
We’re encouraging our reseller partners to keep on selling Windows, we can’t see any reason to hold back, but if you have other views, we’d love to hear from you. Comment below.
Windows Server 2008 is no longer available; Windows Server 2012 has now been released and with its arrival comes new versions and new licensing rules. The current enterprise, Web Server, Small Business Server (SBS) and High Performance Computing (HPC) editions will all cease, to be replaced with a more simplified and standardised product line up [to match other infrastructure products] divided into ‘four flavours’:
Windows Server 2012 Datacenter edition for highly virtualized private cloud environments (which includes unlimited virtual instances)
Datacenter licence prices have doubled, but they do now provide for two processors instead of the one, so the overall pricing remains the same
Unusually for Microsoft, Datacenter requires both a processor license and Client Access Licenses (CALs) for every user or device accessing a server. ...continue reading →