19 Jan

Should you be thinking of upgrading your Server?

windows_server_2012In less than 6 months time Microsoft will officially end support for Microsoft Server 2003. This includes Server 2003, 2003R2 and SBS2003, thats more than 22 million installations according to Microsoft’s figures for last year!

Businesses still running Server 2003 need to consider upgrading to Server 2012 as this deadline will not be extended. After July 2015 Microsoft will stop releasing patches to keep it secure and reliable, and any unpatched Server can put an entire network at risk.

If you’re in need of upgrading from Server 2003 a lot has changed, including over 300 new features and 4 new editions. Upgrading a Server is the most important upgrade to get right, minimising downtime and ensuring no data loss is critical.  So if you’re in any doubt about your Server or just need some advice, get in touch today.


08 Jan

Ransomware – Cryptowall 2.0 Help!

ransomwareWe’ve seen a few more cases of the Cryptowall 2.0 ransomware this week and thought it best to advise people on how to prevent and deal with ransomware if infected.  Ransomware is a type of malware which restricts access to the computer system that it infects, and demands a ransom be paid to the creator(s) of the malware in order for the restriction to be removed.  The most common form of ransomware at the moment, encrypts all personal documents including images, videos, word, excel documents etc on the computer, plugged in USB devices and network shares.  It then demands a ransom to decrypt these files.

How to avoid ransomware:

  • Ensure your operating system and security software are regularly updated.
  • Don’t open attachments from unknown sources or from emails that appear to be from a legitimate source but are suspicious.
  • Regularly back up important data and keep it on removable storage.
  • Ensure staff are educated in good computing practices and how to spot threats.
  • Block unnecessary email attachments.

What to do if you have become infected:

  • Shut your computer down straight away and disconnect all USB devices and network cables.
  • Call your IT support and tell them what has happened.
  • Don’t use the USB devices in any other computers.

If you’ve been infected we can help, the first thing to do is look for your most recent backup as this is the best way to recover your files.  Failing that we can try to use shadow volume copies or even specialist file recovery software.  We don’t recommend paying the ransom as you have no guarantee’s and you will only be funding the criminals behaviour, but if all else fails and you need the documents back we can advise you on how to do it.

If you’re worried your computers maybe at risk get in touch, we’ll be happy to help.

05 Jan

Nvidia Tegra X1 – Superchip-in-a-car!

tegra-x1Nvidia has developed a new Tegra X1 chip which they say will help achieve truly self-driving cars!  The new chip which is designed to be used in cars (but will probably feature in mobile devices as well) has 256 graphics cores and 8 64-bit CPU cores.

Nvidia say the Tegra X1 has the processing power to process images based on what vehicles can see and analyse on-road situations.  Based on video and image input, the chip has been trained to recognise pedestrians, traffic lights and speed limit signs to which the car can respond.  Images and videos go to the Tegra X1 chip and based on contextual awareness, help the car make a decision on what to do next.

Let’s hope these chips don’t suffer the same defects that the Nvidia laptop GPU’s did a few years back.  The manufactures wouldn’t replace the doomed laptops then, but will they replace a crashed car in the future?