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Sophos news in review: Counting down XP, Snow Leopard snubbed, and April Fools’ Day trickery

Sophos-in-the-newsThis week marked the start of a new fiscal year for Sophos, and we ended the last year on a really high note. We also have big plans and some exciting news to announce in the coming weeks.

With the happy arrival of spring after a long and weary winter, our co-workers and friends in the UK celebrated April Fools’ Day with a really good joke.

Windows XP is coming up on its final security patch on Tuesday 8 April, so we decided to count down to XP’s demise — but not using the number of days you might expect. And Apple proved once again that its days of providing security fixes for OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard are over.

A busy and exciting year for Sophos

There’s a lot of exciting things happening with Sophos products these days, including version 9.2 of Sophos UTM, which we call Sophos UTM Accelerated.

But we have plenty more to offer with our enduser, mobile, cloud, server and encryption products, Dan Schiappa, General Manager of the End User Security Group at Sophos, tells Droid Report.

“Sophos offers an integrated and simple approach to security across all those markets – we are one of very few vendors who are a one stop shop, and we’re the only one who makes security simple for small to large businesses,” Dan says. “We’re gaining market share by helping customers consolidate multiple security offerings, which increases their security and dramatically simplifies the management of the environment.”

Plus, Gartner just released a report that has some advice for small businesses struggling to manage and secure their mobile devices.

Our advice? Get Sophos Mobile Control — it provides a simple way to manage and secure your mobile devices, content, and applications with a user-centric approach that delivers the simplest experience for users and administrators.

april-fools-bikeJoke’s on us, but with a security lesson for all 

On April Fools’ Day, staff members in our Abingdon, UK office learned of a new “people-powered lift” that would help us save energy costs by using an exercise bike to operate the lift.

Some of us tried it out — it’s good exercise and for a good cause! — but it was really just a joke.

The lesson here though is that sometimes even legitimate-seeming emails — like the one telling us about the bike-powered lift — can be a trick.

We offer you these five quick tips to help you avoid phishing and social engineering.

To XP, or not to XP? 

The final security update for XP is on Tuesday, 8 April 2014.

But Paul Ducklin, senior security analyst at Sophos, observes in a post at Naked Security that XP users will still be as up to date as other Windows versions until the next Patch Tuesday in May.

That doesn’t mean you should put off upgrading any longer, but Duck has some great tips for those of you who won’t make the cut-off of support.

If you’re not familiar with “Duck,” as we call him, he’s been known on occasion to quote Douglas Adams, and he dabbles in classical poetry.

For some April Fools’ Day fun, Duck wrote (and recited) three security themed poems — one each about XP, Bitcoin, and Snapchat — that are good for a laugh and a think.

Have a listen or read along here.

Mac security updates don’t include Snow Leopard — again

Apple has pushed out a big security update for OS X Safari, but once again the Mac maker has left Snow Leopard off the list of OS X versions fixed.

Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) users have been holding out hope that Apple hasn’t forgotten about them — Snow Leopard hasn’t received a security update since October 2013 — but their prospects are looking grim.

That’s why one of our top tips for Mac security is to upgrade to the latest version, OS X 10.9 Mavericks. It’s a free upgrade, and you’ll be sure to get the latest security updates from Apple.

Sophos Security Chet Chat #141: Adobe revisited, MS-DOS, Word, XP, Snapchat and backup

In this episode of the weekly Chet Chat podcast, Naked Security experts Chester Wisniewski and Paul Ducklin discuss some of the biggest security issues in the news right now, including …


60 Second Security: Apple patch out, fake support bust, liquor store leak

In this week’s 60 Second Security video, Paul Ducklin gives us the scoop on Apple’s Safari update, a fake tech support scheme, and another big data breach — all in just about a minute!


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