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Transformyx Inc.
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Unraveling Social Networking
Posted by: Kayla DuBos
5/21/14

Do you own a business and find yourself daunted by the world of Social Media? Look no further. Transformyx is here to unravel the complex makings of these social networking sites. 

The first thing to consider is that each site has something different to offer. When choosing which site you’d like to promote yourself or your business on, it's important to consider what each site offers and how you can benefit from their resources. Without fully developing a plan for your social networking activity, you could end up searching through the sites and wasting a lot of time.

Even though each of these sites differs greatly from the other, they each contain one common element: the profile. The profile gives visitors and prospective clients a simple, clear image of what you and your company represent. 

The user profile of social networking sites is what stands out and allows businesses and individuals to invite an audience to get to know their brand in a way that traditional marketing and advertising doesn't allow. 

You may be asking yourself how you and your company can leverage social media and its large, growing population to expand your visibility. 

Here are just a few tips that will be the most effective in marketing your brand:

• Develop a social networking strategy by asking the following the questions:
     o What am I using this site for?
     o Who is my audience?

• Once you've answered those questions, answer these:
     o Which sites do I want to represent my company on?
     o Who is going to manage the page?
     o Who do I let have access to the page?
     o How do I want to represent my company on the page?

• Now that you have those answers, consider your choice in social networking sites:

     o Purely social sites such as Facebook and MySpace
     o Professional sites such as LinkedIn

Once you've chosen your site, you can set up your companies profile with as much personality as you’d like. Just be careful to keep a professional air as you share the fun, exciting attributes of your company. 

Transformyx has a team of experts ready to help you set up your company’s social networking profiles! We have experience with multiple platforms and the ability to customize for your company. 

Want some examples? Check us out on Twitter @Transformyx, Facebook @Transformyx, and LinkedIn @ Transformyx Technology Architects.

Let us build your company up into the social networking sphere and give your company the audience it deserves! Call us today at 225-761-0088 or visit us at www.tfmx.com 

Thursday, March 6, 2014
Posted by Jim DuBos

Malware in the Shadows

As April 8th approaches, worldwide statistics indicate that Windows XP still shows an install base of 30%.  As I reviewed our Managed Services customers, this is pretty accurate.  I know in my discussions with many of you there is a sense of frustration as you feel the hardware is adequate for the applications you are running and you feel forced to spend money on both hardware and software due to the requirements of a new system.  You are not alone in this feeling as evident of the statistic above.

I want to offer a different perspective to see your investment in a new light.  The first point is in increased performance and efficiency of the worker and the second on a darker reality of Malware in the Shadows.

In our own business, investing in new equipment, while expensive, improves employee performance because tasks can be done quicker, system related issues are decreased and employee morale is improved.  Happier employees result in higher worker productivity and honestly, just make work a better place to be each day.

The second reality is that the Technology industry has a darker side that spends much of its waking hours focused on the security of systems.  The effort, while noble in many of its participants, also breeds the rabid deployment of system killing virus and malware that result in the loss of data and performance sapping malware.  Much of this is due to rendering servers and workstations into download sites for pornography, as well as email spam relays.  Bandwidth is consumed thus making access to vital internal and external resources remarkably slow.

When companies like Microsoft are in a development cycle they consistently release security fixes and remediation techniques that will render these potential threats useless or have smaller impacts.  With the impending XP retirement, none of this will be available to either the user or the service provider. 

It is important for our customers to know that while we will do everything in our power to help remediate systems that are affected, there will be little for us to do to help systems crippled by these malware and virus.  Trust us when we tell you that new malware will be released and will render XP systems inoperable. What will it cost you each day your system is down?

Transformyx has many options for helping our customer’s transition to Windows 7 and above.  We have Hardware financing for those customers who wish to replace but need to pay as you go and we also provide a Full MSP which includes Hardware replacement.  

Please contact your sales representative for more information.  We are here to help you.

Thursday, February 20, 2014
Posted by Kayla DuBos

Educating Ourselves in Security

In any given educational system, one concern remains at the top of every administrator’s priorities, safety. In recent years this concern has been heightened by staff and families becoming involved and demanding a safety standard in individual school districts. This demand has caused a wave of panic among district personnel as they face the task of bringing top security to their campuses.

Cisco Physical Security has made security more pervasive, easier to access and control, and more compatible with existing Cisco VoIP systems many schools have already implemented. Now, if you’re company is still relying on locally stored VHS tapes, then taking the first steps towards the 21st Century may appear daunting. However, Cisco Physical Security has simple management tools that help you maintain new footage in an easier, more cost-effective way. 

School districts both in the K-12 and higher education vertical have implemented this system all throughout the United States and around the world. Most end-to-end Cisco system users comment on the ease in which they were able to add a security element to their systems.
  
The most talked about piece of technology at the moment is Cisco’s Physical Access Control. This technology allows users the ability to control all security elements from virtually anywhere. “We receive calls after hours, and appreciate not having to drive to campus,” says Steve Young, chief technology officer for Judson Independent School District located in San Antonio, Texas.

 Access Control also allows IT personnel to have a quicker response time to unexpected incidents, allows individual doors to lock automatically, remain locked during lock downs and allows changes to each door’s status within seconds. Many of these functions are also available through special integration with existing Cisco based VoIP implementations.  Many schools that have begun using this technology have seen a decrease in cost as they use magnetic cards that have been personalized according to each employee/student’s status, rather than having to worry about broken locks, lost keys and reparation of those items. This also allows IT personnel to track the use of each person’s card and to draw attention to suspicious activity. 

Overall, this technology allows for safer campuses in multiple ways such as:
• Automated door locking and unlocking
• Building access reports
• Ability to quickly disable badges
• Remote management, for emergencies
• Fast lockdowns
• Integration with Cisco VoIP systems

Linked to this behind the scenes control is the use of Cisco IP Video Surveillance Cameras. These cameras offer a combination of the latest zoom and pan-tilt features with high-definition picture quality. These cameras allow you to clearly see what is going on in between classes in the hallways, in between buildings, and in staff and student parking lots. Many schools complain about not being able to clearly identify students and staff because of bad video quality. With these new IP Surveillance cameras, visibility is no longer an issue. 

When the cameras just mentioned are used alongside the Video Surveillance Operations Manager, life for your IT and security personnel gets a lot easier. This allows easy access to camera control and allows scheduling of when certain areas need the most visibility, such as carpool, changing of class periods, and during the duration of night classes on university campuses. 

Along with viewing real-time video footage, the Operations Manager allows for easier, less time consuming retrieval of archived video footage and it increases building security.

Many case studies reviewing these products, talk about the importance of having a knowledgeable, Cisco partner that is qualified to do the work. Transformyx has been newly certified as a Cisco Connected Security Authorized Technology Provider. We can help your campuses become safer and give everyone in your community peace of mind that our younger generations are safer and more secure in their educational environments.

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Friday, September 13, 2013
Posted by Jim DuBos

Backup and Recovery in the 21st century Part 2 of 2

In part one of this article set we discussed the principles of Backup and Recovery.  As a reminder we are talking about Back and UP!  The whole purpose of this function within your environment is to bring your system back to operational status.

Now, let’s discuss something we all hope never happens: Disaster!  This could mean a Flood (Sprinkler Systems, Busted Toilets from above), Fire, or as we are all too familiar Natural Disasters.  The difference in these types of situations is that it is not as simple as a hardware and software repair.  Instead we have the added components of Employee Dislocation, Telecommunications, and Operational Systems.  Let’s discuss some of the techniques that can be used to mitigate extended outages due to these types of displacement.

One principle that every organization needs to discuss is What and Who are the Core people and functions I need to operate in a limited capacity.  This is not to suggest that all employees are not needed.  Instead, we suggest you discuss Circles of Relationship.  An example might be as follows:  I need my Customer Service Desk, Accounting and Sales Team in the center circle.  The next layer might be Field Communications; the next might be production support, etc… This layer of importance allows you to devise a communication strategy to maintain a basic level of operation. Do not forget to apply the RTO and RPO principles discussed in the first article.  These also drive the corresponding discussion for Employee Dislocation and Telecommunications.

With Employee Dislocation how do company employees receive communications and where will they constitute their work functions? The first step is to have in place a means of communications with employees that is not based on internal systems.  One simple solution is to host email services outside your core operational systems.  This protects the organizations ability to communicate reliably with employees, customers and vendors regardless of their location.  For organizations who provide complex services or work in the public sector, a workforce continuity application layer may be needed.  The ability to communicate according to groups and have communications managed by a given structure is useful.  One such application is RallyPoint http://www.myrallypoint.net/ which was created after Hurricane Katrina which was one of the largest dislocations events in modern history.

In thinking about Telecommunications it is important to understand the age and function of your current telecommunications systems.  Modern VoIP based systems and accompanying telecommunications services provide for many capabilities to re-route services to new locations.  Depending on systems, many services and be reconstituted on new services in a matter of hours.    If you have an older Analog based system, one option to discuss with your telecommunications vendor is the ability to route/forward lines to cellular services for basic call management.  While not glamorous, it does provide some level of communications.

In the previous article we discussed operational systems in the respect of an onsite hardware or software issue.  The next layer to determine a dislocation event.  With modern systems, the ability to replicate data to an external facility is common.  The fundamental question is not only am I replicating data, but can I ACCESS this data in a productive way to operate my organization. This fundamental question along with the knowledge of Core Employees and Functions will drive the answer.  In order to provide for services operational systems must be architected in a way that ALLOW for remote access and have that ACCESS available in a dislocation event.  As well, computing resources must be available to the replicated data sets in order for the organization to initiate services.  Many offsite backup providers will provide for system provisioning providing the underlying architecture is in place to utilize these resources.  Planning and testing in this type of situation is the key to making sure this will operate if a disaster ever occurs.

As we have discussed, Disaster Recovery, Workforce and Business Continuity are complex topics.  Organization size, geographic footprint, and customer/vendor relationships will all affect the planning process.  Budgeting is obviously a factor as balance between what is desired and economically viable will become a central item.  With proper time, personnel involvement and planning, organizations can be prepared for disasters when they strike.  

Don’t get caught without a plan.  Designate a person/team that are responsible for the plan and begin to execute process.
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Friday, September 13, 2013
Posted by Jim DuBos

Backup and Recovery in the 21st century. Part 1 of 2.

In today’s world of technology, many times we are lulled into the state of mind our systems are always available.  We check our email from anywhere, access files from anywhere, and connect to friends and business colleagues from anywhere.  This ubiquitous, always on capability gives us a false sense of security and availability.  So when the system “Crashes” we are surprised, frustrated and immediately question, “How can this happen?” It is in these moments of a “Crash” that the recovery process takes center stage.

The very word Backup gives us a hint as to its real meaning: BACK And UP.  Yes, to get a system returned to operational status.  System recovery is a complex topic.  However, here, we will focus on core principles to develop an overriding sense of good recovery processes.

What is a Backup?

Simply put it is the Protection of system information and data in the last known moment prior to the backup.  This can also be referred to as “Live State”.  Meaning, if we did a restore at this precise moment,    the system would recover to a specific moment in time. We use Backups to restore business operations after a data loss, hardware or software failure, or ultimately after disasters.

When we think about backups, who are the stakeholders?

Management, Customers, Vendors, and employees, all of these groups are affected by system failures and are dependent of the recovery process.  Here, two terms must be defined:  Recovery Point Objective and Recovery Time objective, RTO and RPO.

With RPO, we ask the question: “What is the last known good point in time I can recover the system?” The recovery point is critical because it lets us know how much data, if any, we will lose when we restore.  If we had a simple hardware failure, once repaired, the recovery would restore us to this last good system copy and we would resume operation.  However, if we had a data corruption issue, such as a database corruption or virus attack, RPO becomes a critical element in recovery.  Think of RPO as “Snapshots” in time when thinking about backup.  How many times a day do I take a system “SNAP”?  IS this a full Snap shot or only the incremental data changes? How many days, weeks or months do I go back if I had to roll back to a point in time before corruption? It is important to review RPO with key stakeholders to establish a recovery point objective that meets expectations.

RTO is many times overlooked until a “Crash” happens.  It is a good practice to ask, “If we went down, how long would it take for us to restore the system to operational status?”  This length of time must match the expectations of all the stakeholders.  It should not be left to system administrators to determine what is acceptable.  Instead, I always suggest that each stakeholder be surveyed to determine their expectations of a recovery time objective.  When properly reviewed, this will give important data to create Backup and Restore processes that will meet expectations.

At this point, it is important to mention backup MEDIA.  Magnetic tape has been around for many decades.  It has proven to be a source of both relief and frustration for many system administrators.  Most of us in the IT world have “Scar Tissue” from a tape that verified properly, but ultimately failed when we needed it the most, during a recovery.  In today’s world, advancements in the use of “Disk Media” should have eliminated the idea of using Tape media.  By the use of hard drives as a primary backup target, the ability to take many system snapshots during a working day becomes a viable option.  The ability to copy these snaps to an offsite location is simplified.  And of course, the recovery time is reduced dramatically as recovery from Hard disk is many times faster and more reliable than tape.

Again, Backup is about RECOVERY.

Each organization can ask simple questions and provide answers that will ultimately drive the processes and costs.  As RPO and RTO expectations are established, costs associated with these expectations will become apparent.  Generally speaking, shortening the length of both RTO and RPO will increase the costs associated with recovery.  

Finally, one must ask another question.  “In the event of a Dislocation, meaning, a building fire, hurricane, etc…Where will I reconstitute my operational status and How? “
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Monday, July 1, 2013
Posted by James DuBos 

Cloud Computing Bill of Rights!

An absolute Must before buying any cloud computing solution!

#1 - Make sure you retain ownership, use and control one’s own data.

Understand the Termination Clause! Read your contract and understand how to properly terminate services and receive a copy of ALL of your data in a usable form.

#2 - The right to service-level agreements that address liabilities, remediation and business outcomes.

All computing services – including cloud services suffer slowdowns and failures. The cloud service providers should commit to recovery times, specify the forms of remediation and/or spell out the procedures they will follow.

#3 - The right to notification and choice about changes that affect the service consumers’ business processes.

Every service provider will need to take down systems, interrupt services or make changes in order to increase capacity. Protecting the consumer’s business processes entails providing advanced notification of major upgrades or system changes, and granting the consumer some control in schedules.

#4 - The right to understand the technical limitations or requirements of the service up front.

The service providers should fully explain their systems, technical requirements and limitations. This is crucial so that after you have committed to a cloud service, you could run the risk of being required to invest in major changes.

#5 - The right to understand the legal requirements of jurisdictions in which the provider operates.

If the cloud provider stores or transports the consumer’s data in or through a foreign country, the service consumer becomes subject to the laws and regulations of these jurisdictions.

#6 - The right to know what security processes the provider follows.

Security breaches can happen at multiple levels of technology. Service consumers must understand the processes a provider uses, so that security at one level (such as the server) does not subvert security at another level (such as the network).

#7 - The responsibility to understand and adhere to software license requirements.

Providers and consumers must come to an understanding about how the proper use of software licenses will be assured.

Cloud Security - I think I am afraid?

The following 5 security points are critical in the choice of a Cloud Provider for your organization.

1. Privileged user access

Sensitive data processed outside the enterprise brings with it an inherent level of risk, because outsourced services bypass the "physical, logical and personnel controls“. Ask providers to supply specific information on the hiring and oversight of privileged administrators, and the controls over their access.

2. Regulatory compliance

Customers are ultimately responsible for the security and integrity of their own data, even when it is held by a service provider.  Traditional service providers are subjected to external audits and security certifications. Cloud computing providers who refuse to undergo this scrutiny are signaling that customers can only use them for the most trivial functions.

3. Data segregation

Data in the cloud is typically in a shared environment alongside data from other customers. Encryption is effective but isn't a cure-all.  Find out what is done to segregate data at rest.  The cloud provider should provide evidence that encryption schemes were designed and tested by experienced specialists. Encryption accidents can make data totally unusable, and even normal encryption can complicate availability.

4. Investigative support

Cloud services are especially difficult to investigate, because logging and data for multiple customers may be co-located and may also be spread across an ever-changing set of hosts and data centers. If you cannot get a contractual commitment to support specific forms of investigation, along with evidence that the vendor has already successfully supported such activities, then the only safe assumption is that investigation and discovery requests will be impossible.

5. Long-term viability

Ideally, your cloud computing provider will never go broke or get acquired and swallowed up by a larger company.   Be sure your data will remain available even after such an event. Ask potential providers how you would get your data back and if it would be in a format that you could import into a replacement application.

Conclusion:

If you Know your Rights and clear the basic Security review, you will greatly enhance your chance of success in the use of Cloud computing.
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Saturday, June 1, 2013
Posted by James DuBos 

Bringing Clarity to the Cloud! - Pt 2

Why switch from traditional IT to the cloud?

There are many reasons why organizations of all sizes and types are adopting this utility model of Information Technology.

Removal / reduction of capital expenditure
Cloud computing offers a simple operational expense that is easier to budget for month-by-month, and prevents money being wasted on depreciating assets. Additionally, customers do not need to pay for excess resource capacity in-house to meet fluctuating demand.

Reduced administration costs
IT solutions can be deployed extremely quickly and managed, maintained, patched and upgraded remotely by your service provider. Technical support is provided round the clock by reputable providers for no extra charge, reducing the burden on IT staff. This means that they are free to focus on critical tasks, and organizations can avoid incurring additional manpower and training costs.

Improved resource utilization
Combining resources into large clouds reduces costs and maximizes utilization by delivering resources only when they are needed. Organizations needn’t worry about over-provisioning for a service whose use does not meet their predictions, or under-provisioning for one that becomes unexpectedly popular. Moving more and more applications, infrastructure, and even support into the cloud can free up precious time, effort and budgets to concentrate on the real job of exploiting technology to improve the mission of the organization. It really comes down to making better use of your time – focusing on your organization and allowing cloud providers to manage the resources to get you to where you need to go.

Economies of scale
Cloud computing customers can benefit from the economies of scale enjoyed by providers, who typically use very large-scale data centers operating at much higher efficiency levels, and multi-tenant architecture to share resources between many different customers. This model of IT provision allows them to pass on savings to their customers.

Scalability on demand
Scalability and flexibility are highly valuable advantages offered by cloud computing, allowing customers to react quickly to changing IT needs, adding or subtracting capacity and users as and when required and responding to real rather than projected requirements.

Quick and easy implementation
Without the need to purchase hardware, software licenses or implementation services, a company can get its cloud-computing arrangement off the ground in minutes.

Helps smaller organizations
Historically, there has been a huge disparity between the IT resources available to small organizations and to enterprises. Cloud computing has made it possible for smaller companies to compete on an even playing field with much bigger competitors. ‘Renting’ IT services instead of investing in hardware and software makes them much more affordable, and means that capital can instead be used for other vital projects.

Quality of service
Your selected vendor should offer 99.99% SLA and an immediate response to emergency situations.

Guaranteed uptime, SLAs.
Always ask a prospective provider about reliability and guaranteed service levels – ensure your applications and/or services are always online and accessible.

Technical Support
A good cloud computing provider will offer robust technical support. Provider customers, for instance, are assigned one of our support teams, and all subsequent contact is then handled by the same group of skilled engineers. This type of support model allows a provider to build a better understanding of your organization requirements, effectively becoming an extension of your team.

Disaster recovery / backup
Recent research has indicated that around 90% of organizations do not have adequate disaster recovery or business continuity plans, leaving them vulnerable to any disruptions that might occur. Hosted Desktops (or Hosted VDI) for example, means you don’t have to worry about data backup or disaster recovery, as this is taken care of as part of the service.

Final Thoughts

When your organization grows, your IT needs grow too. The scalability and speed of deployment offered by cloud computing means you can expand your IT system instantly to meet increased requirements, and you can also scale it down again whenever situations require it, eliminating the costs. Security is typically greatly enhanced in cloud computing.  Cloud computing reduces the waste of time, personnel and money, allowing you to do more with less. This provides you a leaner, more efficient IT Utility model, available on demand.

Up Next:

Cloud Computing Bill of Rights!
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Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Posted by James DuBos 

Bringing Clarity to the Cloud! - Pt 1

The boom in cloud computing over the past few years has led to a situation that is common to many innovations and new technologies: many have heard of it, but far fewer actually understand what it is and, more importantly, how it can benefit them.

Generally speaking organizations use technology for one of three reasons: To make money, save money or to mitigate risk.  Never has this been more apparent than now, during a global economic downturn. This has forced the realization that new ideas and methods may produce better results than the tried and tested formulas of yesterday. It is the growing acceptance of innovative technologies that has seen cloud computing come into focus.

What is ‘cloud computing’?

Many people are confused as to exactly what cloud computing is, especially as the term can be used to define almost anything. Roughly, it describes highly scalable computing resources provided as an external service via the internet on a pay-as-you-go basis. Financially, the main appeal of cloud computing is that customers only use what they need, and only pay for what they actually use.

What does it comprise?

Cloud computing can be visualized as a pyramid consisting of three sections:

Cloud Application
This is the apex of the cloud pyramid, where applications are run and interacted with via a web browser, hosted desktop or remote client.  A cloud application eliminates the need to install and run the application on the customer's own computer, thus removing the burden of software maintenance, ongoing operation and support.

Cloud Platform
The middle layer of the cloud pyramid, which provides a framework as a service. A cloud computing platform dynamically provisions, configures, reconfigures and de-provisions servers as needed to cope with increases or decreases in demand.

Cloud Infrastructure
The foundation of the cloud pyramid is the delivery of IT infrastructure through virtualization. Virtualization allows the splitting of a single physical piece of hardware into independent, self-governed environments, which can be scaled in terms of CPU, RAM, Disk and other elements.

Types of Cloud Computing

Public Cloud
Public cloud (also referred to as ‘external’ cloud) describes the conventional meaning of cloud computing: scalable, dynamically provisioned, often virtualized resources available over the Internet from an off-site third-party provider, which divides up resources and bills its customers on a ‘utility’ basis.

Private Cloud
Private cloud (also referred to as ‘corporate’ or ‘internal’ cloud) is a term used to denote an internal, proprietary computing virtualization architecture providing hosted services on a private network.

Hybrid Cloud
It has been suggested that a hybrid cloud environment combining resources from both internal and external providers will become the most popular choice for enterprises. For example, a company could choose to use a public cloud service for general computing, but store its critical data within its own data center.

What services can be used in the Cloud?

Here are some brief descriptions of a few of the most popular cloud-based IT solutions:

Hosted Desktops
Hosted desktops remove the need for traditional desktop PCs in the office environment, and reduce the cost of providing the services that you need. A hosted desktop looks and behaves like a regular desktop PC, but the software and data customers use are housed in remote, highly secure data centers, rather than on their own machines.

Hosted Email
As more organizations look for a secure, reliable email solution that will not cost the earth, they are increasingly turning to hosted Microsoft Exchange® email plans. Email is stored centrally on managed servers, providing redundancy and fast connectivity from any location.

Hosted Telephony (VOIP)
VOIP (Voice over IP) is a means of carrying phone calls and services across digital internet networks. A hosted VOIP system replaces expensive phone systems, installation, handsets, BT lines and numbers with a simple, cost-efficient alternative that is available to use on a monthly subscription basis.

Dynamic Servers
Dynamic servers are the next generation of server environment, replacing the conventional concept of the dedicated server. Providers give its customer’s access to resources that look and feel exactly like a dedicated server, but that are fully scalable. You can directly control the amount of processing power and space you use, meaning you don't have to pay for hardware you don't need.

What Next?

In the next article on Bringing Clarity to the Cloud we will ask, Why switch from traditional IT to the cloud?
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Monday, April 15, 2013
Posted by James DuBos 

Windows XP, avoid the Hack!

In just one year, on April 8, 2014, Microsoft will stop delivering security updates for Windows XP, the second most popular operating system in the world. Microsoft issued several messages Monday reminding organizations to migrate to a new operating system before it impacts them in a more significant way. 

“You should take action to move off of Windows XP,” Microsoft said Monday. “  After April 8, 2014, there will be no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates.”  Most XP support for regular consumers ended in 2009, although security updates continue to roll in. But this changes in 2014. 

If you continue to run Windows XP on your PC, Microsoft says you’re on your own in just under a year. While XP will continue to run after April, 2014, you will only be protected from Known threats.  This means that any new exploits will be unprotected by Microsoft.  

You should take steps to move off of Windows XP immediately. Here are a few basic steps:

1) Get good data on the actual numbers of PC’s running XP in your organization. Several tools are on the market to perform this function.  In most cases your IT vendor will already possess this information.  Modern management tools for networks provide reports that break down the PC count, type of OS, processor class, etc…

2) Begin the budgeting process for replacement.  Remember this doesn’t just include the PC  itself, but also the ancillary applications such as Office and Anti-Virus.  As well, any local data will have to be migrated to the new systems.

3) If capital finances do not allow for a wholesale purchase, consider leasing.  Most major equipment manufacturers have a finance program and rates are remarkably low.  This allows  you to pay as you go for the systems in your organization.

So what’s the worst that can happen?  When hackers uncover a flaw that lets them take over your PC, and they will, don’t look to Microsoft for help because the company is moving on.  You should too. 

You are not alone!

Despite a debut nearly 12 years ago and three major releases of Windows since, Windows XP continues to be widely in use.
Worldwide, XP is second only to Windows 7 in terms of usage with 38 percent of the operating system market share, according to the Wikipedia Site for Windows.  Windows 7 claims 44 percent, while Vista and Windows 8 combined account for just over 8 percent of worldwide usage. 

The Box in the closet

Many customers who have large installs of Windows XP will also have some form of Windows Server 2003 running on their servers.  These mysterious boxes “in the closet” provide much of the fabric for your network operations.  Applications such as MS SQL for Databases, Exchange Email services are two good examples that may very well be running on an operating system that is coming on 12 years old.  As a good friend once told me, “technology is not like wine, it doesn’t get better with age”. 

As you go through the review of your PC systems, consider taking this moment to review your network operating systems.  Now is a great moment to get your organization current and avoid the issues that come with running aged systems.  Avoid the Hack!
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