Apple publishes in-depth M1, Mac, and iOS security guide
Thu, 18 Feb 2021 13:00:00 -0800

Apple has published its annual Apple Platform Security Guide, which includes updated details concerning the security of all its platforms, including the new M1 and A14 chips inside Apple Silicon Macs and current iPhones, respectively.

The first look inside M1 Mac security

The extensive 196-page report explains how Apple continues to develop its core security models along the premise of mutually distrusting security domains. The idea here is that each element in the security chain is independent, gathers little user information, and is built with a zero-trust model that helps boost security resilience.

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For February, a 'bumpy' Patch Tuesday ride
Mon, 15 Feb 2021 04:31:00 -0800

One week out from Patch Tuesday and it’s been a bumpy release for the month, especially for older versions of Windows 10 and Server 2016. (Less affected: the consumer versions of Windows 10 2004 and 20H2.)

Windows Server 2016/1607 suffered the worst of the issues: the original version of the Servicing Stack update KB4601392 caused patching to get “stuck.” Server patchers had to jump through a ton of hoops to get the monthly security update installed. Microsoft pulled the bad update and replaced it with KB5001078. If you were unlucky and installed KB4601392 before it was pulled, Microsoft has this  guidance to manually reset Windows updates components.

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What's not to love with this month’s Patch Tuesday?
Fri, 12 Feb 2021 09:23:00 -0800

With only 53 updates in the February Patch Tuesday collection released this week — and no updates for Microsoft browsers — you'd be forgiven for thinking we had another easy month (after a light December and January). Despite lower-than-average numbers for updates and patches, four vulnerabilities have been publicly disclosed and we are seeing a growing number of reports of exploits in the wild.

In short: this is a big, important update that will require immediate attention and a rapid response to testing and deployment.

For example, Microsoft has just released an out-of-band update to fix a Wi-Fi issue that is leading to Blue Screens of Death (BSODs). Somebody is going to run into trouble unless this gets fixed fast. We have included a helpful infographic that this month looks a little lopsided (again), as all of the attention should be on the Windows components

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Can Apple Watch boost your endpoint security?
Fri, 12 Feb 2021 08:14:00 -0800

Enterprises seeking tools with which to improve endpoint security for the new remote working business environment may want to spend a little time considering the Apple Watch.

Access all areas

My argument is simple: Apple’s growing place in the enterprise means its complementary ecosystems can help support your business. As deal follows deal, the number of iPhones in use across the sector is growing fast, which means millions of workers already have access to the watch.

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Apple wants Safari in iOS to be your private browser
Thu, 11 Feb 2021 08:14:00 -0800

Apple seems focused on building Safari to become the world’s leading privacy-focused web browser, continuing development of under-the-hood enhancements to protect private lives.

Better privacy by proxy

Beginning with (currently in beta) iOS 14.5, Apple is improving privacy by changing how Safari accesses Google’s Safe Browsing service. The latter warns users when they visit a fraudulent website. (Apple uses the service to drive the "Fraudulent Website Warning" in Settings>Safari on iOS or iPadOS devices.)

The Safe Browsing service works by identifying potentially compromised sites from Google’s web index. If it suspects a site is compromised, virtual machines are despatched to see whether the site attempts to compromise them.

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Ahead of Patch Tuesday, a cautionary tale
Mon, 08 Feb 2021 04:49:00 -0800

Microsoft has officially deemed Windows 10 version 2004 as “ready for business,” but I’d argue it still needs a bit more help to be fully ready for consumers. With this month’s Patch Tuesday upon us, here’s an example of what I mean. It involves mysterious NAS issues, some sleuthing, and a workaround — all of which show how troublesome updates can be sometimes.

This case involves one AskWoody subscriber who told me recently that each time he upgraded to Windows 10 2004 the installation would break his computer. Like any good geek who refuses to let technology get the best of me, I emailed him back and asked for more information about what was getting broken when he upgraded. Turns out, he would lose access to mapped drives on his NAS (network attached storage) devices. Though he tried to remap the drives, they would fail, forcing him to roll back to  Windows 10 1909 — where everything would work.

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The future of work: Coming sooner than you think
Mon, 08 Feb 2021 03:00:00 -0800

What will your worklife be like years from now? Today's work-from-home world has given us a glimpse of the future, as these five articles from CIO, Computerworld, CSO, InfoWorld, and Network World illustrate.

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Jamf, TRUCE bring Apple to the deskless enterprise
Wed, 03 Feb 2021 09:21:00 -0800

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1. Apple is investing in 6G, but it doesn’t matter (yet)

Apple is investing in next-generation 6G technology development. Why? What for? And should we get excited yet?

What is 6G?

With most iPhone users only now making use of 5G, it seems way too early to make much fuss about the next fast wireless standard — particularly as the standard hasn’t been developed and is far from being finalized.

We can’t really say what 6G is, because it hasn’t been removed from the oven. But we can talk about some of the ingredients Apple and others on the 6G standards development bodies are pouring into their network kitchen bowl.

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2. 6 secret settings for smarter sharing in Chrome on Android

Oh — hello there. So, you like uncovering awesome advanced powers for your Android phone browser, do ya? You've thoroughly explored all the carefully concealed settings for better browsing in the Chrome Android app from the other day, and you're back for even more already? My, you are a tenacious little monkey.

Well, you've come to the right place, my fellow primate, for I also enjoy unearthing exceptionally interesting out-of-sight settings. And I've been doing an awful lot of digging in the Chrome Android browser as of late — so much, in fact, that I've got a whole other set of easily overlooked treasures to go beyond the browsing-centric batch we already brought into our lives.

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3. 6 secret settings for better browsing in Chrome on Android

Hey. You. Yes, you there — the one with your eyes on the screen. What if I were to tell you that that the browser you rely on for all of your web-based activities on your phone had oodles of extra features — top-secret settings that'd add awesome powers into your Android browsing adventures and make wiggling your way around this wacky ol' web meaningfully easier?

Well, provided you're using Google's Chrome browser for Android, that's as true as true can be. And best of all, it doesn't take much to uncover all of Chrome's carefully concealed treasures — if you know where to look.

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4. iCloud passwords are coming to Chrome for Windows

Apple has updated its iCloud for Windows application, a move that hints at the future introduction of support for an extension that enables the use of iCloud passwords via the Chrome browser on Windows.

Everyone is multi-platform nowadays

The updated app — invaluable for any Windows 10 user — also brings improvements in the Folder Sharing user interface, making it much easier to access and share folders across any supported platform.

iCloud for Windows is a must-have tool for anyone who uses iCloud. That could be any of the millions of recent switchers who own an iPad or iPhone but mainly use a Windows PC, or anyone else using multiple platforms.

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5. What's in the latest Firefox upgrade? New defense against supercookies

Mozilla this week upgraded Firefox to version 85, adding to its overarching emphasis on privacy by isolating supercookies that some sites rely on to track users' movements on the web.

Engineers also patched 13 vulnerabilities, five of which were marked "High," Firefox's second-most-serious label.

Firefox 85 can be downloaded for Windows, macOS, and Linux from Mozilla's site. Because Firefox updates in the background, most users can simply relaunch the browser to get the latest version. To manually update on Windows, pull up the menu under the three horizontal bars at the upper right, then click the help icon (the question mark within a circle). Choose "About Firefox." (On macOS, "About Firefox" can be found under the "Firefox" menu.) The resulting page shows that the browser is either up to date or displays the refresh process.

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6. Why smart homes are the future of the smart enterprise

The first HomeKit-compatible Thread accessories are beginning to appear, and while that’s good news for consumers, it should also be good news for enterprise users.

What the Thread?

Originally designed by Nest, Samsung and ARM, Thread is an IP-based connectivity standard for smart devices. It’s a low-power mesh technology protocol that uses existing standards, such as IPv6, BLE, and others. At its simplest, it means devices from different manufacturers should be able to work together, securely, responsively, and with minimal cost to battery life.

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