Will October break you?

October 12, 2017

Breaking News 

Today we're looking at several things that could break your systems in October


Nothing stands still with technology, and if you've been under-investing in maintenance you could be in for a difficult month at the end of October. Several vendors are retiring support for old product versions and drawing attention to poor security practices.

We are highlighting 3 issues that could be a problem this month.

1. Website security

If you have a website and it's not using a security certificate Google are about to make it a whole lot more obvious that your site is not secure.

You may notice a little 'i' in the address bar of your site, which in October will be expanded to show the words "Not secure" in full.




If you want people to trust you online, these are 2 words you don't want in front of your webpage.

Think you're OK because your website is just for information? Well put yourself into a hackers frame of mind and this is like a big sign to them saying we don't take security that seriously around here.

You can read more about the change and the fix here.

2. Office 2007 and in particular Outlook 2007

The Office 2007 support period came to an end on October 10th.  This means no new security updates, non-security updates, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates.

Basically you are on your own.

The risk to your business just shot up if

- You have an Access 2007 application/database you rely on
- You have Word or Excel macros built in Office 2007
- You have your sales documents and templates in Office 2007 format

Moving to a current version of Office can entail unpicking dependencies on customisations, and on other software and even hardware that only works with old Office versions.  If that is your reason for being a late mover to an upgrade, it might be time to catch up with your systems footprint.


Outlook 2007

Whilst any ongoing dependency on Office 2007 is a bad idea, Outlook 2007 deserves a special mention.
On October 31st the protocol of RPC over HTTP reaches end of support. You can read more about that here.

The upshot is that if you are using Outlook 2007 with Office 365 you will be in an unsupported state.
This is also the case if your applications or multi-function printers use this protocol.

3. Mapped Drives with OneDrive and SharePoint Online

There are good reasons to map a local drive to your OneDrive or SharePoint Online locations, and since it is not particularly easy to make these mappings 'stick' often a PowerShell script is implemented to run on startup to do that.

Many of the free scripts that you may have found rely on the traditional sign in experience to Office 365, which at the end of October is being replaced with the "new sign in experience" at the end of October.

We can assist with approaches to mapping drives that are compatible with the new sign in experience.
We can  also advise on the scenarios of when to use OneDrive and when to use SharePoint which many organisations find confusing and are wrestling with.

Evergreen solutions for the maintenance averse 

In the old days, product lifecycles used to be important, and business owners wanted to sweat the assets of their software investments "to the death".

Everything or most of the software you need is now available 'as a service' paid for on a subscription basis and with perpetual upgrades built in.
Office is a good example.  It would be very rare to buy an Office licence outright these days when all the Office products are available on monthly plans.

If you need help moving to evergreen solutions please get in touch, we've been doing it for 8 years, and our customers have experienced multiple product version upgrades without major disruption or added costs.

The 4 types of maintenance. (Fingers crossed is not one of them)

With technology there are 4 types of maintenance that you need to do

1) Preventative - this is the maintenance that anticipates breakages (such as running out of resource) and avoids them. Patching is a good example.

2) Adaptive - this is responding to external factors (such as the Chrome security change) and adapting your systems to remain compatible with them

3) Corrective - otherwise known as break/fix, this is the reactive maintenance that fixes problems after they occur

4) Perfective - this is the continuous improvement that should be done to make sure IT is a value center that enables maximum productivity in the business

If you have been hoping for the best and experiencing issues as a result, perhaps it's time for a tune up and to look at your maintenance regime.

Call 1300 N REACH (1300 6 73224) or reply to this email to steer clear of your next breakdown.

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