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Queensland government signs Microsoft Office 365 deal to save $13.7 million

Posted by on Apr 14, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

The Queensland government is hoping to pocket savings of $13.7 million over three years by deploying the latest Microsoft software to 149,000 public servants across the state. The $26.5 million whole-of-government deal covers Microsoft’s Office 365 suite of cloud applications including Yammer, the social enterprise tool often described as “Facebook for business”, which was acquired by the vendor in 2012. It will be available to all Queensland government agencies, bar the Department of Education, which has its own arrangements. While the state believes the move will reduce costs and transform service delivery, governments elsewhere are taking the opposite tack in a bid to achieve the same outcomes.                             <iframe id=”dcAd-4″ src=”http://ad-apac.doubleclick.net/N6411/adi/onl.bt.itpro/itpro/governmentit;cat=itpro;cat1=governmentit;ctype=article;pos=3;sz=300×250;tile=4;ord=6.9718882E7?” width=”300″ height=”250″ scrolling=”no” marginheight=”0″ marginwidth=”0″ allowtransparency=”true” frameborder=”0″></iframe>                         In February, the UK government revealed plans to save money by eschewing Microsoft Office in favour of cheaper open-source alternatives. Local reports suggested it had spent £200 million ($356 million) on Office since 2010. UK Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said the country wanted to move away from the small “oligopoly” of suppliers which had long dominated the market. Earlier this month, the UK government was forced to pay Microsoft £5.5 million to extend support for an additional year for thousands of government desktops using outmoded Windows XP software. IBRS analyst Sue Johnston said Queensland needed to ensure it exploited the full functionality of any software purchased. “One of the questions when you do a big deal is what else will the government do to leverage it?” Ms Johnston said. “What’s its capability to implement all the capability of this new Office? … You’d want to see a subsequent announcement on how they will apply it [given] there is not a lot of money in the market.” One highly placed source said the government would struggle to deploy new software quickly, given ICT services were decentralised. “Centrally you buy a lot of it because it’s a good buy but you’re at the mercy of the agencies to go and install it and make it work,” the source said. “That is the real challenge because agencies have a lot of other things on their plates.” Queensland IT Minister Ian Walker said it was not mandatory for agencies to adopt the software, nor did the government have a desired time frame in which they might do it. “We won’t be dictating to them,” he said. Some departments would struggle to run latest version software on their ageing PCs and were likely to hold off until new hardware was acquired, the source predicted. However, making a case to replace machines while they were still operational was challenging in the current climate of cost cutting, he added. Mr Walker said the deal represented a significant step forward for...

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Cryptolocker ransomware has ‘infected about 250,000 PCs’

Posted by on Dec 29, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

By Leo KelionTechnology reporter Infected victims are given a time limit to release their data before they lose it forever A virulent form of ransomware has now infected about quarter of a million Windows computers, according to a report by security researchers. Cryptolocker scrambles users’ data and then demands a fee to unencrypt it alongside a countdown clock. Dell Secureworks said that the US and UK had been worst affected. It added that the cyber-criminals responsible were now targeting home internet users after initially focusing on professionals. The firm has provided a list of net domains that it suspects have been used to spread the code, but warned that more are being generated every day. Ransomware has existed since at least 1989, but this latest example is particularly problematic because of the way it makes files inaccessible. “Instead of using a custom cryptographic implementation like many other malware families, Cryptolocker uses strong third-party certified cryptography offered by Microsoft’s CryptoAPI,” said the report. “By using a sound implementation and following best practices, the malware authors have created a robust program that is difficult to circumvent.” Ransom dilemma The first versions of Crytpolocker appear to have been posted to the net on 5 September. Early examples were spread via spam emails that asked the user to click on a Zip-archived extension identified as being a customer complaint about the recipient’s organisation. Later it was distributed via malware attached to emails claiming there had been a problem clearing a cheque. Clicking the associated link downloaded a Trojan horse called Gameover Zeus, which in turn installed Cryptolocker onto the victim’s PC. By mid-December, Dell Secureworks said between 200,000 to 250,000 computers had been infected. It said of those affected, “a minimum of 0.4%, and very likely many times that” had agreed to the ransom demand, which can currently only be paid in the virtual currencies Bitcoin and MoneyPak. Top 10 infected countries Number of infected systems identified using test “sinkhole” servers between 9-16 December Percentage of total SOURCE: DELL SECUREWORKS US 1,540 23.8% Great Britain 1,228 19.0% Australia 836 12.9% France 372 5.8% Brazil 309 4.8% Italy 204 3.2% Turkey 182 2.8% Spain 145 2.2% China 138 2.1% Canada 135 2.1% “Anecdotal reports from victims who elected to pay the ransom indicate that the Cryptolocker threat actors honour payments by instructing infected computers to decrypt files and uninstall the malware,” added the security firm. “According to reports from victims, payments may be accepted within minutes or may take several weeks to process.” However, Trend Micro, another security firm, has warned that giving into the blackmail request only encouraged the further spread of Cryptolocker and other copycat schemes, and said that there was no guarantee of getting the data...

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Kaspersky Lab: Rated No. 1 in Protection

Posted by on Dec 20, 2013 in Anti-virus, Blog, News | 0 comments

It’s that time of year when you’re buying new computers for yourself, your family or your business. And because you want to take care of the items you spend good money on, you’ve been researching which are the best anti-virus computer protection suites. Well, you can stop looking now. Testing conducted by independent IT security analyst firm AV-TEST ranked Kaspersky Internet Security 2014 and Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business the top-rated security solutions forhome and corporate users, respectively, during bi-monthly testing conducted in October-November, 2013. The tests for each demonstrated the Kaspersky Lab products’ abilities to protect computers without compromising their performance. “Security solution developers often have to make compromises between the quality of threat detection and the need to maintain computer performance,” said Nikita Shvetsov, deputy CTO of research at Kaspersky Lab. “However, Kaspersky Lab products provide high-level protection without slowing down the computer, even on an outdated OS such as Windows XP. The latest results from AV-TEST confirm this.” Kaspersky Lab products provide high-level protection without slowing down the computer, even on an outdated OS such as Windows XP. The analysis conducted by AV-TEST more than 20,000 malicious programs, including 135 hand-picked malware infections that represent the most malicious threats out there today. These were chosen because of their potency and with the thought that, because they are not particularly widespread, they would best demonstrate the protective abilities of the security solutions. All tests were conducted on computers running 32-bit Windows XP SP3. Kaspersky Internet Security 2014 proved itself the best security solution for home computers, and it was the only one of the 25 participating antivirus solutions to score the maximum possible 18 points. Kaspersky Internet Security detected all the malware samples prepared by the organizers without any false positives or any negative effect on the computer’s performance. Meanwhile, Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business was the top performer in the corporate category, scoring 17.5 out of a possible 18 points. It scored top marks in tests designed to demonstrate the ability of the product to detect cyber attacks and prevent false positives. This isn’t the first time Kaspersky Lab products have taken home top honors in independent testing. Kaspersky Internet Security was rated by Dennis Technology Labs as the best protection product for home users after quarterly testing performed in between July and September 2013. In August, SC Magazine named Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business its “Best Buy” for corporate environments....

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Connected Small Businesses

Posted by on Nov 26, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

How Australian small businesses are growing in the digital economy Check the full pdf document here. High digitally engaged small businesses: Are two times more likely to be growing revenue and earn two times more revenue per employee than those with low engagement. Are job creators, being four times more likely to be hiring than those with low engagement. Are three times more likely to have growth as a business objective, use the internet as a critical facilitator to achieve growth and are three times more likely to be increasing investment in digital over the next year. Are doing more than just creating a website, as three-out-of-five small businesses have a website, but less than one-in-five have high digital engagement.  ...

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On-line backup

Posted by on Nov 26, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Online backup this is a very competitive and growing market so you may ask why? The main reason is Exchange is not something currently supported to back up online but using ShadowProtect we think we can offer a competitive solution. While we finalise the details of this setup have a look at this website that states some interesting facts about the need for online backup. Check out the following link.  Clique...

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