SpireTech Blog - Tag: Updates
Windows security updates and new features.
Just a quick note to let clients know that if you are still running Windows 7 or 2008 server, we cannot be responsible for the security of your network. The risk of ransomware is real, and we’ve heard many horror stories of companies that have been breached. Being able to apply security updates to your computers is one of the key defenses you have against this risk.
In accordance with our policies, we reserve the right to invoice for technical support of software that does not have vendor support. As a courtesy, we will extend free support for 15 minutes, after which we will request approval to bill for our time. We do not wish to impose hardship, but aged software and hardware does require more time to support than modern software, and we must balance this against the need for security. Read more...
With work from home, we’re noticing an increase in the number of machines being shut off when we are trying to install updates. Please remember to log off and leave your computers turned on and connected to power when we prompt you for updates.
Thank you for your cooperation. Read more...
As a reminder to what we advised last month, we’re putting a stop to SpireTech support for Win 7 machines on July 1st. Congratulations to those of you that have successfully eradicated these machines from your networks. However – in a review today, we see that approximately 10% of machines are still running Win 7. We’ve now got 30 days to get rid of the rest of them. While we don’t want to create unnecessary hardship for clients that may be stressed due to COVID-19, we still need clients to make an effort to replace the remaining systems.
Win 7 machines can be slow, insecure, and time-consuming to support. If your network gets breached due to outdated software, or you call us for support on a Win 7 system, we reserve the right to invoice for time beyond 15 minutes of support. Read more...
With the recent news around Zoom and security updates, we have added it to the list of third-party software we automatically update. While we’ve supported Teams for some time, we’ve formally added it to the list of solutions supported by our helpdesk, and is available for implementation projects.
If you have not yet adopted Teams, we can say it’s been a lifesaver for us during WFH – and you might wish to consider it. Teams integrates with SharePoint, Exchange, and security groups – so it’s wise to engage with us before rolling it out to make sure some irreversible mistakes aren’t made if you DIY.
We are going to remove Windows 7 systems from SpireTech support effective July 1, 2020. Microsoft ended support for Windows 7 on January 14th, 2020. We have been giving everyone some extra time to get those last stragglers out of their networks, but that time is coming to an end in two months.
Each client primary contact gets a monthly report that includes a system inventory. If you are still seeing Windows 7 systems in your network, please work to remove them. If you are sitting at a computer still running Windows 7, please request a replacement or upgrade.
SpireTech has aggressive discounts available from Dell for new systems, please let us know if you require assistance obtaining new hardware or migrating files from old systems. We are minimizing site calls during the Covid-19 crisis, but we can arrange delivery to your location and perform work remotely. SpireTech has a flat-fee of $300 per system for labor associated with migrating Windows 7 machines and new computer setups.
We do not wish to create additional financial hardship for clients. Read more...
We remain very concerned about recent security issues related to work from home, including:
- Proper anti-virus and anti-malware software installed on home systems
- Patch management and updates of home systems
- VPN’s allowing additional paths for intruders or malware into networks
- Weak passwords
We encourage our clients to take steps to mitigate these risks including:
- Set up Multi-factor authentication on company accounts
- Request SpireTech manage employee-owned computers during this crisis for only $30/mo
- Install proper anti-virus on unmanaged endpoints (included above)
- Upgrade to Microsoft 365 Business Premium, which includes intelligent security, bring-your-own device management solutions such as Microsoft Intune and EMS, and can mitigate risks related to access to corporate data outside the firewall.
Please schedule an advisory call with your Technical Client Manager if you’d like advice on how to improve security in your current WFH situation. Read more...
used with permission from Norton by Symantec, by Steve Symanovich
You’re probably no stranger to those little pop-up windows. They tell you software updates are available for your computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile device.
You might be tempted to click on that “Remind me later” button. Don’t do it. Or, at least don’t put off updating your software for long.
Software updates are important to your digital safety and cyber security. The sooner you update, the sooner you’ll feel confident your device is more secure — until the next update reminder.
Why are software updates so important? There are a lot of reasons. Here are 5 that show why it’s important to update software regularly.
1. Software updates do a lot of things
Software updates offer plenty of benefits. It’s all about revisions. These might include repairing security holes that have been discovered and fixing or removing computer bugs. Updates can add new features to your devices and remove outdated ones. Read more...
Update: Microsoft has stopped deploying build 1809 due to reports of lost data. At this time there is not a new release window. More information can be found at this link.
Microsoft Windows runs 87% of the world’s computers.
Windows 10 is the latest version and keeps evolving to bring you the best experience when it comes to your phone and PC.
In October 2018 the latest update to the popular software is rolling out and there are even more changes. But which features are really worth your while and which are just fluff?
Here are five of the most exciting Windows 10 features new in October.
One of the most simplest yet biggest updates to Windows is Dark Mode.
But why is dark mode so popular? There are three main reasons.
used with permission from Microsoft, by Elana Pidgeon
Did you know there’s a new feature in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update to help you easily find what matters to you across your devices?
It’s called Timeline, and it lets you go back in time to past activities you’ve worked on across your devices, so you can jump back into them like you never left. So, if you’re looking for a specific document, image, or video you worked on yesterday or a week ago, Timeline makes it even easier to find what you’re looking for. You can even pick up what you were doing on your iOS or Android device on your Windows 10 PC when you’re ready to get back to it.
Here’s what you can do with Timeline:
- Go back and forth in time. Easily scroll back in time to find things you were working on earlier today or a few weeks ago.*
At the end of May the Cisco Talos security team released information on a new attack on consumer network infrastructure. The attack affects dozens of models of routers commonly used in home and small business networks. It is estimated that over 500,000 devices have been infected and the threat is significant enough that the FBI released a public service announcement (Read Announcement)
New information on this malware has been released indicating that it has additional functionality for persisting through a reboot, as well as for stealing user data. Disinfecting a device will require a factory reset as well as flashing the latest firmware. SpireTech is scanning the networks of our Managed Services customers (VIP Support Program) to identify any potentially vulnerable devices and perform the necessary remediation. If you are one of our Basic Support customers (which does not include our proactive services) we would be happy to work with you to create a plan to identify if you have any vulnerable devices. Read more...