Monday, 24 March 2014

There are just two weeks to go until Microsoft pulls the plug on its Windows XP operating system – and businesses are being warned to act now or  face falling victim to hackers and viruses.

Support for Windows XP will officially end in a fortnight’s time on Tuesday April 8, which means Microsoft will no longer issue updates to patch bugs and security vulnerabilities.

It is thought that around 30 per cent of desktop computers are still running XP, meaning that hundreds of businesses only have a short time to act to keep their systems secure to make sure they are safe from viruses.

Centerprise International, based in Basingstoke, Hampshire, a leading supplier of managed computer systems for businesses, says companies need to make sure they aren’t relying on the outdated system. Firms can be fined under the Data Protection Act if their security fails and customer data is exposed.

To help concerned businesses, Centerprise has launched a microsite with useful information about the change at www.centerprise.co.uk/xpeos

Darren Smith, Government and Corporate Sales Manager at Centerprise, said: “Businesses have a responsibility to make sure their data is secure and if they are still running XP then they are at risk of leaving themselves vulnerable to viruses, hackers and system problems. Later versions of Windows have much better security features and will be regularly updated to keep them secure.

“We think it’s very likely that XP systems will be targeted once official support ends. The only way businesses can protect themselves is by moving to a properly-supported operated system. If you hold any kind of data for customers, it’s not something you can afford to ignore.

Failing to update to a newer operating system may see companies fined because those that hold customer data are required to take measures to protect themselves from hackers.”

Windows XP was released in 2001 and by 2006, more than 400million copies were in use worldwide. Microsoft stopped selling it in 2008, a year after its successor, Windows Vista, was released.

Centerprise International is one of the largest and most respected IT providers in the UK and delivers large-scale IT projects in the corporate, education and government sectors.

For more information about Centerprise International, see www.centerprise.co.uk

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Friday, 21 March 2014

Business leaders are invited to a free lunch and seminar where they can learn more about making sure their data is secure in the event of a disaster.

Award-winning data backup experts ADAM Continuity are to hold a briefing on trends surrounding data growth where free advice will be given on how organisations can make sure their data can be restored if the worst happens.

Many businesses are at risk of losing vital information forever if their technology fails because they do not have protection in place.

The event, to be held at Watford FC’s Vicarage Road Conference and Events Centre on Thursday, March 27, includes a Q&A session on data backup and recovery and is also a valuable networking opportunity for companies in the region.

Speakers include Niall Mackey, general manager of leading cloud security  Topsec Technology, Ian Burleton, head of solutions at ADAM Continuity, and Ronan McCurtin, Managing Director at ADAM.

Ronan said: “With the amount of data used by companies expected to grow by 800 per cent over the next five years, businesses are under great pressure to ensure they have sufficient capacity and the capability to restore their data in the event of a disaster.

“This, combined with the need to have systems operational round the clock and the focus on reducing budgets, means business owners and IT managers need to come up with more efficient strategies.

“A large percentage of businesses do not have their data backed up and of those that do, most have either failed to test their disaster recovery procedures or store their backed-up data on site.

“This is a worrying trend as research shows that half of all businesses which suffer a disaster or data loss with no effective plans for recovery will fail within the first 12 months.”

Doors for the seminar open at 9.30am for a 10am start, and the session concludes with lunch at 1.15pm.

Guests are asked to register to secure a place. To book, call Wendy Mills at ADAM Continuity on 01256 378134 or email wmills@adam.co.uk

Further details of the event are available at http://www.adam.co.uk/news/company-news/watford-forum.html

For more information about ADAM Continuity, visit www.adam.co.uk

Monday, 17 March 2014

Centerprise International staff have raised thousands of pounds to support a charity that provides trained dogs to injured servicemen and women.

Gulf war veteran Allen Parton paid a visit to Centerprise’s Basingstoke headquarters to personally thank employees who raised £5,000 for his charity, Hounds for Heroes.

The money was raised with a series of activities throughout the year. A race night at Basingstoke Rugby Club was the biggest earner, bringing in £3,500, while Centerprise staff raised £1,000 by taking part in the Reading Half Marathon.

Allen Parton with Centerprise staff

Activities ranging from Halloween pumpkin carving to sweepstakes and raffles helped the fund reach the £5,000 milestone, and Centerprise’s chairman Rafi Razzak boosted the total by writing a cheque of his own for an additional £1,000.

Hounds for Heroes, based in Clanfield, Hampshire, was founded by Mr Parton, who suffered a serious head injury in the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm.

It provides specially-trained assistance dogs to injured and disabled men and women of both the UK Armed Forces and the civilian emergency services. They can help disabled veterans with everyday tasks such as emptying the washing machine and doing the shopping.

The charity now has 22 dogs – which it calls “cadets” – at various stages of the training process.

The money raised by Centerprise will fund the purchase price of a dog and its training for at least two years.

Mr Parton said: “I’m very grateful to Centerprise for its support. Just knowing that people care makes all the difference.

“It’s great to be able to go along and meet the people who give Hounds for Heroes their support – it means everything to us.”

Rafi Razzak added: “Allen’s story is very moving and I was pleased to be able to help this worthwhile charity. I’m very proud that so many employees have supported Hounds for Heroes.”

Allen Parton with Centerprise staff

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