Ian Barker

Increase in unpatched browsers and operating systems leads to security concerns

Patch download

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) in the US and security company Secunia has marked this by issuing its latest Country Report assessing the state of security among PC users.

Key findings include that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, with a market share of 73 percent, had 218 vulnerabilities with 11 percent of installed programs being unpatched and vulnerable. The percentage of users running unpatched operating systems has increased to 12.6 percent, from 11.1 percent in the previous quarter.

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NoSpyProxy wants to put your data and identity out of reach of the NSA

Spying

Since the Edward Snowden revelations that governments as well as hackers were likely to be snooping on your internet activity it's been widely assumed that there's no such thing as safe online access.

VPN specialist CyberGhost has other ideas and has been seeking funding via Indiegogo for what it calls a NoSpyProxy. The company's VPN already uses AES256 military-grade encryption to protect passwords, bank accounts and other details as well as obscuring locations and IP addresses. It now aims to make things even more secure by placing the data center hardware under the control of an additional layer of security. This will put CyberGhost in control of the whole process from login through encryption protocol, key management and finally also the server itself.

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Just how effective are parental control products?

School children laptop

Parents are keen to ensure that their offspring don't access inappropriate material on the web and for that reason most security software providers now offer parental control products, whether as a standalone product or part of an internet security package.

In a study commissioned for a German magazine, AV-Comparatives has looked at the leading products for Windows and mobile platforms to assess which are the most effective.

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'Grandroid' smartphone designed to meet the needs of the elderly

Amplicomms-M9000

As increasing numbers of government and other services go online, internet access becomes more important and mobile devices play a big part in that.

Yet according to charity Age UK there are 10.8 million people aged 65 or over in the UK but only three percent of them own a smartphone which could mean they're missing out on 'digital inclusion'. In order to make smartphones more accessible to older users, the new Amplicomms M9000 has all the benefits of an Android touch screen phone but with hardware and software specially adapted for the less technically adept.

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Most businesses waste money on 'shelfware' that’s never used

Boxes shelves

Almost two-thirds of companies plan on freezing or shrinking their software spend and 96 percent of organizations report that they're wasting money on software that is unused.

These are among the findings of a new report by Flexera Software in conjunction with IDC which looks at pricing and licensing. The biggest concern is that almost all businesses have "shelfware" that is never used.

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Another data breach... Yeah, yeah, whatever

yawning

It seems like data breaches are seldom out of the news these days, but whilst that means we're more likely to be aware of their existence it also means there's a risk that individual threats begin to fade into the general day-to-day techy chatter and we don't give them the attention they deserve.

The growing number of breaches -- up 10 percent over last year according to a recent study by the Ponemon institute -- means they're less likely to catch our attention. Security training firm KnowBe4 refers to this phenomenon as "breach fatigue" and warns that it may be placing companies at risk.

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Simpler, faster, more secure file transfers with Send Anywhere 2.0

files folders pc transfer move

Sending files to someone else has always been a bit of a problem. Often they’re too big for email, sharing via public cloud services raises security concerns and of course flash drives and DVDs can fall into the wrong hands.

Korea-based startup Send Anywhere has an answer to making file transfers easily and safely in the form of an updated version of its iOS app and a new app for Windows Phone.

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Weak passwords are still a major problem for business security

Obvious password

According to data released by security company Trustwave which has analyzed evidence from almost 700 security breaches that took place in 2013, retail is the most compromised industry, accounting for 35 percent of attacks investigated.

The food and drink industry ranks second on 18 percent followed by hospitality on 11 percent. Perhaps not surprisingly e-commerce is most at risk, making up 54 percent of assets targeted whilst data centers account for only 10 percent. Point of sale breaches made up 33 percent of Trustwave’s investigations.

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Educated, tall, rich, female coffee drinker? You must own an iPhone

woman iPhone user

When the first iPhone went on sale in June 2007 expert opinion was very much of the view that it wouldn't have a significant impact. Steve Wildstrom of Business Week for example said, "The iPhone will never be a threat to the BlackBerry".

Proving that experts can be very wrong, the iPhone has of course gone from strength to strength and Carphone Warehouse in Ireland has produced a fascinating infographic charting its evolution up to the latest version.

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Shellshock bug is bad and could take years to eradicate say experts

Despair

Ever since yesterday’s news of the Shellshock Bash bug broke cyber security experts have been lining up to make clear how bad it really is.

Unlike Heartbleed, which affected mainly servers, Shellshock leaves a whole host of systems vulnerable including Apple OSX systems and many internet of things devices with embedded code that’s based on Unix or Linux.

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Private cloud deployments lead to better quality of enterprise IT

Private secure cloud

According to an IDG survey commissioned by information management specialist CommVault, private cloud adoption can lead to better IT services, greater agility and reduced risk for businesses.

In order to help companies make the most of these advantages CommVault is introducing a Private Cloud Services Design product that means customers can build a service-centric approach for data management supporting the private cloud in approximately six weeks.

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Shellshock Bash bug could be bigger than Heartbleed

hammer disk drive

Although it seems that the Heartbleed bug wasn't exploited before its existence was disclosed, that doesn’t mean the security world can rest on its laurels.

The latest problem to be revealed is a bug in the commonly used Bash command interpreter that poses a critical risk to Linux and Unix systems. And since these form the backbone of the internet and are in many other systems as well it's a threat to the rest of us too.

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Adaptiva offers 5 Tips for a successful XP migration

database sync

Windows XP is still in use in a surprisingly high number of businesses. A recent survey suggests that more than half of organizations are still running it somewhere.

The survey was conducted by systems management specialist Adaptiva among more than 100 TechEd North America attendees showed that 53 percent still had some XP systems.

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Flushed and crushed -- the most popular ways to damage your iPhone

toilet

By virtue of the fact that we carry them around most of the time, mobile phones often get damaged and the iPhone is no exception. Insurance company Protect Your Bubble has analyzed its customer data to reveal the most common ways in which iPhones suffer problems.

Cracked screens are, as you might expect, the most common type of damage on 41 percent. Water damage accounts for 24.4 percent, though unfortunately no details are given on how this occurs or the exact nature of the liquids involved. We'd guess toilets are a factor in quite a few and Protect Your Bubble says it has had calls about phones damaged in Ice Bucket Challenge related incidents. It seems a high number of people manage to completely destroy their phone by smashing it into pieces too with nine percent admitting to running over their phone with a heavy object.

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Selligy launches new mobile sales tools to boost productivity

Telesales

Key to the sales process is communicating with customers and often that means sales people being away from the office. Mobile technology means that there's no excuse for being out of touch though.

CRM specialist Selligy is launching a set of tools that allow sales professionals to manage their deals and update their sales forecasts quickly and accurately from their smartphones. IT uses information from the phone including location and calendar details to deliver relevant information when it's needed.

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