Feeds

Virus plague causes charity to consider Linux

A way to cut desktop costs

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Development charity ActionAid is making plans to switch all its desktop computers to Linux, as a way of avoiding the viruses that continuously assault its Windows PCs.

The poverty relief organisation, which operates in 30 countries, is on the brink of the move after becoming increasing fed up with the effort needed to deal with recent virus outbreaks, and suffering infection from the Emmanuel bug.

Kerry Scott, IT director at Action Aid, said the effect of viruses on the charity had pushed him to consider using Linux far more seriously after initial reservations about the availability of suitable applications, particularly word processing packages.

"We're seeing an increasingly large number of viruses from a number of sources which are causing a great deal of problems and inconvenience. Linux might be a way around that and also of reducing the cost of operating a desktop," he said.

Dealing with viruses has hit the charity in the operation of its email system, which is its most important communications method, and left it unable to contact some remote offices over the Internet. Staff resources have also been wasted mopping up from the effects of virus outbreaks.

As well as promising 'virus free' computing, adopting the open source operating system might also save the charity much needed funds particularly with the increasing cost of Microsoft's software.

"Is paying software licensing fees the best use of supporters' funds? If we run our IT more efficiently, and pay less on software licences, we'll have more money to give the poor," said Scott. "Dealing with viruses is very much a hidden cost and if it gets worse we'll push harder on the Linux side."

ActionAid has 1,000 desktops scattered around the world and many of them are in locations with poor Internet connectivity, which makes it difficult for the charity to update the antivirus software it uses with the latest virus definition files.

Desktop software licences cost the charity £60,000 a year but this might be offset by the costs of making the move to Linux, and Scott wants to establish by the end of the year if there's a business case for embracing the open source operating system. ®

External links

ActionAid

Related stories

Hardware-trashing virus spreads by email
Anna Kournikova bug drops harmlessly onto the Net
Users haven't learned any lessons from the Love Bug
Virus toolkits are s'kiddie menace
Which country has the most virus infected PCs?
Stop the antivirus vendor hype

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
Apple grapple: Congress kills FBI's Cupertino crypto kybosh plan
Encryption would lead us all into a 'dark place', claim G-Men
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.