Sophos news in review: Sysmas prizes, Gameover do-over, and warbiking down under

sophos-sysadmin-throneWe have an extremely cool prize to give away as part of our celebration of the 12 Days of Sysmas. It’s called the Ultimate IT Throne and, even if it won’t give you any real powers over your users or your bosses, it will make you feel like a king (or queen).

There’s a lot going on that demands your attention at nearly every moment, from the not-so-aware user who accidentally downloads new threats like the re-born Gameover malware, to old threats like users accessing insecure Wi-Fi networks.

IT pros, we’ve got your back. (And if you win our IT Throne, we’ll get your behind too).

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How to upgrade your network security with our free firewall

sophos-utmThe router and firewall is a critical piece of equipment in your network. It connects you to the outside world while also acting as your first line of defence against intruders. If your firewall gets compromised things get ugly – fast.

I want to share a little tip – did you know that we offer an amazing alternative to cheap consumer grade Internet routers?

The difference is, our software is enterprise class, fully maintained and free. Here’s how you can try our Sophos UTM Home Edition and our free Sophos UTM Essential Firewall for businesses.

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It’s Sophos Sysmas – 12 days of appreciation for IT pros like you!

12-days-sysmas-150There’s a little holiday coming up on July 25th called System Administrators Appreciation Day (or SysAdmin Day for short). At Sophos, we’ve honored SysAdmin Day before, but this year we’re celebrating 12 Days of Sysmas – to show our appreciation for all that you do every day of the year.

We have some cool prizes to give away, some funny videos to hopefully give you a little comic relief, and one amazing grand prize you need to see to believe.

Here’s what’s happening over the next 12 days of Sysmas …

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What the security industry can learn from a great World Cup defense

world-cupLast week, I joined millions of people in cheering on Costa Rica during their improbable World Cup quarterfinal match against the Netherlands. Remarkably, the Ticos held a superior Netherlands team scoreless through 120 minutes of regulation and extra time.

The key to their defense was a level of coordination I have not seen from other teams. Throughout the match, every player seemed to be involved in the defense at every moment. They moved like clockwork, communicating and shifting positions to keep the ball out of the goal.

Wouldn’t it be great if security technologies worked together as elegantly and effectively as Costa Rica’s defense?

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Microsoft’s takedown of No-IP – there’s a better way to battle DNS abuse

no-ip-150Microsoft’s takedown of the No-IP dynamic DNS service generated a lot of controversy when legitimate customers were impacted by the disruption of 18,000 subdomains abused by cybercriminals.

Microsoft has done its fair share of good, frequently working with law enforcement to take out servers that control malware spewing bots, such as the ZeroAccess botnet. But in this case, Microsoft misfired and caused a lot of collateral damage, according to Sophos security adviser Maxim Weinstein.

In a new post at Dark Reading Maxim writes that the Microsoft vs. No-IP case highlights the need for “clear standards of abuse handling, and transparency on which service providers measure up.”

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Windows XP retirement: reminder, Java support has also now ended

xp-retirementWe may yet be accused of “going on” about the recent retirement of XP, but we feel justified in doing so as any systems you have that are still running XP will become more vulnerable over time.

Last week we saw a reminder that Oracle will not be issuing an update to Java on XP on the 15th July when it releases its regular update.

When we asked SophosLabs what they thought about Java on XP and the change in support status, they said that Java had been hard work even for supported operating systems – and so with no support for Java on XP there was no prospect of it getting any better.

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The next generation of the PlugX APT – new SophosLabs research

plug-xSophosLabs Threat Researcher Gabor Szappanos has been following the development of PlugX – a strain of advanced persistent threat (APT) that has been used in targeted attacks - over the past year.

“Szappi,” as he’s known around the labs, has dissected variants of PlugX in a series of technical papers explaining his research – and the new ways the cybercriminals have devised to conceal their malware.

In his latest paper, Szappi shows us how one variant of PlugX doesn’t do what the other versions do – dropping a separate file on the infected system – but rather stores itself in memory without using the disk.

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Sophos named a Top 100 Company for Graduates – 3 reasons why we’re a great place to work

top-companies-for-graduates-sophos.pngThanks to the Graduate employee reviewers who ranked us in the Top 100 Companies for Graduates to Work For in a survey by The Job Crowd.

That’s great feedback from our employees, and it shows that we’ve got cool, fun, interesting, rewarding and amazing jobs at Sophos.

Here’s our top three reasons why Sophos is a great place to work, at any stage of your career. Check out our careers page for job openings in your area!

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Sophos Email Appliance offers Enhanced Phishing Protection

phishing-emailsWith the latest v3.8 release of our Sophos Email Appliance, we’ve improved the ability to protect yourself from Phishing attacks by adding support for both common frameworks used to validate email senders.

Phishing attacks often attempt to spoof or forge the source address of their email messages, pretending to be someone they’re not in order to fool anti-spam systems and users alike.

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See how Sophos Cloud’s simplified partner dashboard makes our channel happy (Video)

sophos-cloudIn a previous blog post, I discussed Sophos’s channel strategy with regards to Sophos Cloud. The new release of Sophos Cloud further demonstrates our commitment to our channel partners.

Our effort was rewarded with excitement and enthusiasm from our channel partners during our wordwide partner conferences. Many told me they believe Sophos Cloud is a game changer.

In this “new generation” of Sophos Cloud, we have made several changes on the business side to empower our partners to grow their business.

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