Microsoft issues second 'final' Windows 7 update - 29/01/2020


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Microsoft has issued a fresh update for Windows 7, just days after it said it would provide no more patches for the ageing operating system.

It made the U-turn after it emerged there was a bug in its "final" patch.

It caused "wallpaper issues" for users who configured their computers with the stretch option for their background desktop, causing a plain black screen to be shown when Windows was restarted.

And users took to Reddit and Microsoft own support forums demanding a fix.

Security consultant Graham Cluley tweeted: "That didn't take long. Microsoft backs down on 'no more updates for Windows 7' in order to fix stretched wallpaper bug."

Initially, Microsoft said it would issue the new fix only to those who subscribed to its extended security updates (ESU) program.

But later it said: "We are working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release, which will be released to all customers running Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1."

Microsoft officially ended support for Windows 7 on 14 January, although ESU subscribers will continue to receive security updates.

One in four Windows users is still running Windows 7, according to measurement website StatCounter.

Security experts have advised them to upgrade their operating systems to Windows 10.

NSA finds 'extraordinarily serious security vulnerability' in Microsoft's Windows 10 - 20/01/2020


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The National Security Agency (NSA) is starting the year off on the right foot by alerting Microsoft to a flaw in its Windows 10 operating system, instead of secretly weaponizing it.

The intelligence agency discovered 'an extraordinarily serious security vulnerability' that could spoof the digital signature of software that could trick a PC into letting malware in that is posing as a legitimate application.

The bug was uncovered in NSA's own research and by disclosing this information to the tech giant, the agency believes it is putting 'computer security ahead' of its own agenda.

The NSA came under fire five years ago for weaponizing a less sever flaw found in Microsoft's technology, dubbed EternalBlue, that was said to be like 'fishing with dynamite', according to The Washington Post. 

Cybercriminals stole the hacking tools from the NSA, launching massive ransomware campaigns – one specifically was WannaCry.

This major extortion scheme hit 150 countries including the US, Britain, Russia, China, Germany and France, and affected 200,000 different companies.

Read more on here....

Sage v26.2.139.0 Update & New Issues - 17/01/2020


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The Sage 50cloud Accounts v26.2.139.0 update is now available. The hotfix should only be used if v26.0.84.0,v26.1.93.0, v26.1.96.0 v26.1.99.0 has been installed on a machine. If this isn't the case then install the new v26.2.139.0 update as a separate installation.

Your existing serial numbers and activation keys will continue to work with this release, but if you have any issues make sure you contact us

We've also identified an issue in this update that basically disabled Sage Add-ons so they don't appear in your Sage, but the icons can be placed on your desktop or anywhere else that you would like and still work. The only thing that not working is that the icons don't appear within Sage. 

So if you have any add-ons in your Sage like BatchRecorder, LocationRecorder or any other add-on. Please speak to us or your developer about the upgrade to the newer version of Sage.

Windows 7 End of Life - 14/01/2020


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The computer software was released back in 2009 so it has had a solid 10 years of fun. But from January 14 2020, support for Windows 7 will be discontinued. Microsoft says it is doing this in order to focus its investment “on supporting newer technologies and great new experiences.” 

Here’s what it means for you and the impact it could have.

Windows 7 end of life: what does it mean?

From January 14, Microsoft will discontinue support for Windows 7. This means any PCs still running the software will no longer receive security updates, software updates, or technical support for any issues. 

That means that if you call up Microsoft’s customer service team with a Windows 7 issue, the company will be unable to help you. 

If you continue to use a Windows 7 PC after the January end date, the computer will still work however it will become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. 

What should I do? 

There are two things you can do. One option is to upgrade to Windows 10. The free upgrade deal ended in July unfortunately but for the cost of £139 you can upgrade to the new software and keep your current PC. 

If you have a hard drive smaller than 32GB or a full hard drive then you might need to free up some space on your computer. An external hard drive is a useful place to store files such as photos and documents or take advantage of Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud software. In addition, the Disk Cleanup tool can free up space on your behalf. 

The second option is to buy a new PC that already uses Windows 10. Microsoft recommends this option if your computer is more than three years old as more modern devices are faster and more powerful, meaning they can handle the new software more easily. 

What impact could this have? 

There’s always a problem when people continue to use outdated tech which is no longer supported as it makes the devices more vulnerable to hacks and scams. In 2017, the global WannaCry cyber attack affected at least 80 out of 236 NHS trusts in part because they were still using Windows XP, which came out in 2001 and received its final update in 2008. 

Raj Samani, Chief Scientist and McAfee Fellow, told the Standard: "By using an unsupported operating system, users expose themselves to cybersecurity risks as Microsoft will no longer resolve security flaws found on the system, provide technical support or issue software updates. Cybercriminals can use this to their advantage by identifying any flaws in the system and potentially accessing consumer’s data and information. As seen previously during the end life of former operating systems, such as Windows XP."

Following the WannaCry attacks, the UK government signed a new agreement with Microsoft to received patches for all the NHS devices operating XP, along with rights for the NHS to use Windows 7. Many Windows 7 devices were also targeted that hadn’t received the latest security update at the time.  

In 2018, the Department of Health and Social Care pledged to spend £150 million to shore up the NHS’s cyber defences following the attack.

As of June 30 last year, just over one million NHS computers were still using Windows 7, something the then-shadow cabinet minister, Jo Platt, who was responsible for cybersecurity called “deeply concerning.” 

Whilst you probably can't control the software the NHS uses, you can ensure your tech and gadgets are protected by updating in the necessary ways. 

Windows 7 Support End of Life - 10/12/2019


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Farewell Windows 7. It was a beautiful relationship while it lasted but now it’s time to say goodbye. From January 14th 2020, Microsoft is dropping support for this much loved operating system. So, what does Windows 7 end of life mean for the regular SME? Well your pc will still continue to operate but you will no longer receive any windows updates. This will leave your pc vulnerable to security hacks and viruses/malware that emerge next year.

Aston Berkeley is recommending that all existing Sage 50 Accounts/Dynamics NAV and other Accounting software users upgrade to Windows 10 to have a secure environment in which they will be able to run the above software in. In most cases this will involve the purchase of a new pc.

Before you upgrade you will need to check whether or not your business software is compatible with Windows 10. This of course will include your accounting software e.g. Dynamics NAV or Sage 50. Sage accounts 50 v21 and higher are fully compatible with Windows 10.

If you think that you are using an older version of Sage Accounts – check in Help-About, please ring us on 01925 751 100 to discuss your upgrade options.

You may also wish to check that you have a Support Contract set up with us so that we can assist in migrating your accounting software to a new pc. We have found that clients often do not create a backup before their old pc is decommissioned. They can end up losing important data in the process. Remember, if you have support contract, help is just a phone call away

Sage 50Cloud Accounts v26 has arrived - 21/11/2019


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Time to upgrade to Sage 50 Cloud Accounts v26

We’re happy to announce that Sage 50 cloud Accounts v26 is now available.

New features in Sage 50cloud Accounts v26

If you’re using Sage 50cloud Accounts, v26 has some great new features including:

  • Construction Industry Reverse Charge (UK or NI Only)
    Changes to help you comply with the new CIS reverse charge rules coming into effect from 1 October 2019.
  • BREXIT no-deal features 
    To give you peace of mind, we’ve built in functionality which can be switched on if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
  • Improved data fixing
    It’s rare to get data errors, but if you do, it’s important to fix them quickly. We’ve added improvements to highlight when errors occur and make it easier to either fix them, or to restore your last error free backup. ​
  • MTD token storage for Accountants(UK or NI Only)
    In Sage 50cloud Accounts Client Manager you can now submit your clients’ Making Tax Digital (MTD) VAT Returns without having to continually enter their log in credentials, saving you valuable time.
  • Company selection improvements for Accountants
    When selecting a company in Sage 50cloud Accounts Client Manager, you can now see at a glance which companies are set up for MTD.
  • General maintenance improvements
    Behind the scenes improvements to keep your software healthy.

Building on features that came in Sage 50Cloud accounts v25

For More Information on Sage 50Cloud Accounts v26
Call us on 01925 751 100 Or e-mail sales@astonberkeley.com

Support for Windows 7 is ending January 14, 2020 - 22/10/2019


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Support for Windows 7 is ending January 14, 2020. Now is the time to shift.

New Windows 10 devices with 8th Gen Intel® Core™ vPro™ processors include built-in security features to help you stay one step ahead of cyber-crime.

Sage 50 v26.1.99.0 update - 18/10/2019


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We're happy to announce that Sage 50cloud Accounts v26 update is now available. The hotfix should only be used if v26.0.84.0 or v26.1.93.0 or v26.1.96.0 has been installed on a machine. If this isn't the case then install the new v26.1.99.0 update as a separate installation.

Your existing serial numbers and activation keys will continue to work with this release, but if you have any issues make sure you contact us

NEC Micro Site - 18/10/2019


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We've added a NEC Micro Site to our Telephony page to give you the ability to take a deeper look into the NEC Phone System that we can provide for you. 

Introducing Mimecast Threat Intelligence - 08/10/2019


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Introducing the Mimecast Threat Intelligence Dashboard, designed to provide you with the actionable data you need to create and execute a cyber resilient strategy. 

Use the Threat Intelligence Dashboard to gain insight on:
-Number of users being attacked
-Volume of malware detections
-Most targeted users
-Total malware detected and specifics about those detections
-Where attacks originated from