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Windows XP Retirement – almost here! (3/14)

We’ve seen a wave of clients replacing Windows XP machines over the past year, but there are still lots out there! At the risk of sounding like a broken record, April 8 is the date. After that, Microsoft won’t patch the Windows XP Operating System, which means it will become a target for hackers. If you are still running Windows XP in your network, the biggest risk is infecting other computers – even your entire network.

So, given that April 8 is about two weeks away – what does this mean and what should you do?

  • Microsoft will not issue updates that address newly discovered security flaws in Windows XP or Office 2003. Hackers spend their time trying to exploit security holes and embed viruses and other malware in software. As they do this, firms such as Microsoft issue updates that plug these holes. After April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer do this for Windows XP or Office 2003. If you are running Windows XP or Office 2003 after April 8 you will be more susceptible to viruses and other malware.
  • Your computer will continue to run, it will just be more vulnerable.
  • As more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize their products for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter greater numbers of applications and devices that do not work with Windows XP or work less efficiently on Windows XP.
  • Most major antivirus vendors will continue to support Windows XP, but because Microsoft won’t issue security updates for Windows XP your network will still be at greater risk of attack and infection than it is today.
  • Make sure that you consider your entire network, because running XP machines exposes EVERYTHING to an increased level of threats, not just the XP machine.
  • If you are in a regulated industry this lack of support from Microsoft may result in an officially recognized control failure by an internal or external audit body, leading to suspension of certifications, and/or public notification of your organization’s inability to maintain its systems and customer information. Running Windows XP may be considered a HIPAA violation.

So what should you do?

  • Start planning now to replace your Windows XP workstations. Very likely the system running Windows XP is old enough that it is more cost effective to buy new hardware than to just update the operating system. Take advantage of Microsoft’s buyback program and get back up to $350 per Windows 8 machine.
  • Send an email to sales@beinetworks.com and we’ll review your particular situation and make recommendations.
  • Consider the ramifications to your business if your data is compromised.

Windows XP Retirement April 8, 2014 (2/14)

Less than 60 days away – what does this mean for you?

  • Microsoft will not issue updates that address newly discovered security flaws in Windows XP or Office 2003. Hackers spend their time trying to exploit security holes and embed viruses and other malware in software. As they do this, firms such as Microsoft issue updates that plug these holes. After April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer do this for Windows XP or Office 2003. If you are running Windows XP or Office 2003 after April 8 you will be more susceptible to viruses and other malware.
  • Your computer will continue to run, it will just be more vulnerable.
  • As more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize their products for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter greater numbers of applications and devices that do not work with Windows XP or work less efficiently on Windows XP.
  • Most major antivirus vendors will continue to support Windows XP, but because Microsoft won’t issue security updates for Windows XP your network will still be at greater risk of attack and infection than it is today.
  • Make sure that you consider your entire network, because running XP machines exposes EVERYTHING to an increased level of threats, not just the XP machine.
  • If you are in a regulated industry this lack of support from Microsoft may result in an officially recognized control failure by an internal or external audit body, leading to suspension of certifications, and/or public notification of your organization’s inability to maintain its systems and customer information. Running Windows XP may be considered a HIPAA violation.

So what should you do?

  • Start planning now to replace your Windows XP workstations. Very likely the system running Windows XP is old enough that it is more cost effective to buy new hardware than to just update the operating system. Take advantage of Microsoft’s buyback program and get back up to $350 per Windows 8 machine.
  • Send an email to sales@beinetworks.com and we’ll review your particular situation and make recommendations.
  • Consider the ramifications to your business if your data is compromised.

Update your iPhone (2/14)

Apple has released an update to all of their latest Operating Systems that fixes a bug that allows hackers to intercept your data. Called “A Man in the Middle Attack”, it can be thought of as today’s version of eavesdropping. iOS 7.0.6 for the iPhone/iPad and OS X10.9.2 (Maverick) for other Apple devices correct this security flaw. If you have an Apple device, you should update your Operating System immediately. For more information read this article.

Microsoft OneDrive (2/14)

Microsoft SkyDrive has been renamed OneDrive. The name change is the result of a British court ruling that the SkyDrive name infringed on a trademark held by British Sky Broadcasting Group. Users won’t experience any change in service and you don’t need to take any action, but we wanted to let you know about the new name. If you’re not already using OneDrive as part of Office 365, you can get it for free by going here. You just need a Microsoft account, which is free too!

Health IT News for Metro DC: January 2014 Choosing the best computer hardware for your practice (1/14)

Many of our clients keep their computer hardware for 3-5 years, so we really stress buying with that timeframe in mind. With Windows XP support ending in a few months many practices will be replacing old, aging workstations. (Consider attending our Windows XP Retirement Party Luncheon on February 5 at Wildfire Tysons.) This article offers some advice about making sure that you make smart decisions when you purchase new computer hardware.

iOS in the car (1/14)

It has been reported for a while that Apple is working to incorporate iOS in the dashboards of several automobile manufacturers, eliminating the need for separate built-in navigation systems. Several developers have posted videos simulating the experience. Check this site for an overview. iOS in the Car is supposed to be introduced some time during 2014.

Why you should replace your Windows XP machines (1/14)

We’ve been talking about the end of Windows XP and Office 2003 for over a year now, but the time is almost at hand! As of April 8, Microsoft will no longer support Windows XP or Windows 2003.

What does this mean for you?

- Microsoft will not issue updates that address newly discovered security flaws in Windows XP or Office 2003. Hackers spend their time trying how to figure out how to exploit security holes and to embed viruses and other malware in software. As they do this, firms such as Microsoft issue updates that plug these holes. After April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer do this for Windows XP or Office 2003. If you are running Windows XP or Office 2003 after April 8 you will be more susceptible to viruses and other malware.

- Your computer will continue to run, it will just be more vulnerable.

- As more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize their products for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter greater numbers of applications and devices that do not work with Windows XP or work less efficiently on Windows XP.

- Most major antivirus vendors will continue to support Windows XP, but because Microsoft won’t issue security updates for Windows XP your network will still be at greater risk of attack and infection than it is today.

- If you are in a regulated industry this lack of support from Microsoft may result in an officially recognized control failure by an internal or external audit body, leading to suspension of certifications, and/or public notification of your organization’s inability to maintain its systems and customer information. Running Windows XP may be considered a HIPAA violation .

What should you do?

- Start planning now to replace your Windows XP workstations. Very likely the system running Windows XP is old enough that it is more cost effective to buy new hardware than to just update the operating system. Take advantage of Microsoft’s buyback program and get back up to $350 per Windows 8 machine.

- Consider attending our seminar on planning for Windows XP Retirement.

- Contact BEI and we’ll review your particular situation and make recommendations.

- Consider the ramifications to your business if your data is compromised.

Skip voicemail greetings (1/14)

Tired of listening to cell phone voice mail greetings? As long as you know someone’s carrier, you can use the following to skip the greeting:

- AT&T: press #

- Sprint: press 1

- T-Mobile: press #

- Verizon: press *

And now you can consider incorporating that into your voice mail message – for example “Press * to skip this message. You’ve reached John’s voice mail…”

iPhone 5s – gotta have it? (9/13)

If you’ve already stood in line at the Apple Store or were one of those who pre-ordered the new phone, you can probably skip this article. For the rest of us – here’s a short summary of the good and the not-so-good for the new iPhone.

Good: The camera is even better (most of us are already pretty wowed by the cameras in most smartphones these days.) The iPhone 5s has the same number of megapixels as the 5, but the pixels are larger, which should result in sharper images. The flash is better – it is supposed to result in truer tones than previous versions. The 5s also has a fingerprint sensor, which allows you to start apps without inputting a password. The new operating system (iOS 7) has some nice new features including AirDrop file transfers and the Android-like Control Center.

Not-so-good: If you are used to many of the Androids, the screen will seem small. The fingerprint sensor (at least for now) only works with Apple apps. The new Apple Operating System (iOS 7) is different – many have been heard to compare it to the Android interface. This could be good or bad, depending on your point of view.

In a genius marketing move Apple introduced a gold iPhone 5s. They are currently backordered and selling on Ebay for up to $1,300!

The Tile – Lost and Found meets iPhone (8/13)

Who hasn’t lost their keys, wallet, etc.! The Tile is a small plastic square that can be stuck to any surface using adhesive. It also has a hole that can be used with a key chain. The Tile works using Bluetooth from an iPhone (the only phone supported initially) but takes advantage of crowd-sourcing to extend the range.

Here is a summary, for the whole story go to http://www.thetileapp.com.

  • The Tile will be available in the winter of 2013/14 and is accepting preorders now for $18.95 each.
  • When you need to find something, you use the app on your phone to select a specific Tile. You’ll see a display on your phone that will indicate distance, and you can also set off an audible signal from the Tile. This works for items that you lose that are close by – such as the keys in the couch!
  • If any other user’s phone is located near your Tile “crowd sourcing” is used to let you know the location via a pin on the map view of your Tile. This works with anything that is near another Tile user’s phone, but is most useful when you are looking for something that is out of Bluetooth range.
  • Tiles last about a year and then need to be replaced.




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