entrustIT attain ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 accreditation

entrustIT are pleased to announce that we have achieved the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management standard and the ISO 27001:2013 Information Security standard following an audit in April 2014.

Gaining both certifications is a landmark in the development of the business. Managing Director, Jeff Dodd comments : “Achieving both standards in parallel sends a clear message to our customers and resellers that we are committed to the very highest standards of service delivery and security. I am delighted that our team’s considerable efforts have been rewarded

Although the entrustIT datacentre facilities have always been ISO 27001 certified, achieving the certification at an organisational level demonstrates that information security is at the heart of the entrustIT business processes. As organisations become more highly regulated, having a service delivery partner with the “Gold Standard” for process and security will become ever more important.

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New WindowsXP vulnerability hits – no patch coming.

Less than 3 weeks after support was withdrawn, a windowsXP vulnerability effecting Internet Explorer versions 6 though 11 has surfaced.

The security flaw puts almost all Internet Explorer users at risk and could let hackers gain full user permissions over remote computers, allowing them to install programs, and view and delete data.

While those with more modern version of Windows can expect a patch to fix the problem within a couple of weeks, those with Windows XP won’t…because all support for XP ended on the 8th April 2014.

The clear message – if you’re still using XP in any meaningful way you need a plan for migration urgently. This is only the first unpatchable vulnerability. Perhaps now’s the time to consider a Virtual Desktop solution?

Microsoft offering new cloud licensing model for 2014

Changes to the licensing model for service providers (SPLA) mean that cloud service providers are no longer required to provide the equipment on which Virtual Desktop services are delivered.

What that means, is that a service provider can take over the management of a clients existing hardware and then deliver SPLA licensing to that customer as part of a managed service. The customer has effectively switched from a cap-ex model for license purchase to op-ex without changing any of the underlying infrastructure.

For a customer who wants the benefits of a fully managed service but still needs to sweat their physical server assets for a bit longer this licensing model offers an upgrade to newer Microsoft products without a “big bang” license replacement.

If you’re looking at adopting Virtual Desktop on your own server equipment as a test / stepping stone to a full cloud implementation later then you should talk to us about the possibilities.

 

 

500 Million Windows XP users need to migrate before April 2014

At midnight on the 8th April 2014 all Microsoft support for Windows XP (& Office 2003) will cease.

After support ends, there will be no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates. Continuing to run Windows XP in your environment from April 8, 2014 exposes your company to potential security risks, as unsupported and unpatched environments are vulnerable to security threats that are constantly evolving, even as your PC operating system has been freeze-dried.

Over time :

  • Windows XP will gradually become less and less secure as malicious software targets what will then be an open door
  • More and more new devices will be incompatible with your PC estate as manufacturers drop their own support for Windows XP in favour of newer operating systems.

According to Gartner, the global installed base of PCs at the end of 2013 will be 1.63 billion units. Given that approximately one-third of those PCs are still running Windows XP, that means that with 6 months to go, almost 500 million machines remain to be upgraded or replaced.

That’s roughly 2.5 million units per day between now and midnight on the 8th April 2014.

Viruses, ransomware, worms, Trojans, keystroke-loggers and anything else written to hack, infect, snoop or steal from users on Windows XP on or after April will live without fear of Patch Tuesday.

Running vulnerable systems that could potentially expose customer data  in regulated markets could land businesses with a big-fat compliance bill, privacy lawsuit or a slap on the wrist from regulators.

Those who have clung onto Windows XP this long may also have made their problems larger, as moving is no longer just a simple upgrade. Such has been the leap in hardware requirements for Windows 7 or 8 that your corporate “beige box” probably won’t be able to cut it unless its less than 3 years old.

If you’re sat looking at your expansive estate of Windows XP workstations and hoping for comfort we can offer only that you’re unlikely to be on your own on 8th April. Plenty of companies, even those who are upgrading, will miss the date. Amongst the late movers are the UK Health Service (85% of their PC estate) and HMRC (85,000 PCs).

What should you do?

Well, obviously you need to migrate away from Windows XP and that means beginning your preparation now.

As you’re going to re-invest in Windows and MS Office then now might be the time to evaluate Hosted Desktop as a solution to your IT needs. You get resilient, managed IT services and a commitment to keep you current plus your client devices do not have to be as capable (or expensive)

There is no question that Windows XP has been an outstanding operating system for most of its 13 years, however, the world has moved on. Have you?

Get in touch if you’d like more information on how to migrate before the deadline and to find out whether Hosted Desktop could be a fit for your organisation.

Further expansion at entrustIT

Autumn 2013 will see Virtual Desktop providers entrustIT expand into additional premises at their head office in Ringwood, UK, doubling available space for their support team in preparation for additional personnel.

CEO Jeff Dodd commented “we were already looking for additional space and were resigned to having to uproot the whole team in early 2014, however, the opportunity to take the adjoining unit means we have sufficient space for another 3 years at least and reduces staff uncertainty.”

After a brief refurbishment process, the new suite will be used to house the management, accounting  and administration functions, giving the support team room to expand and to provide new areas for server build, hardware maintenance and implementation projects.