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Office Update Requires Sierra

The September 2018 update of Microsoft Office 365 requires macOS 10.12 Sierra or later according to Microsoft. Older versions of the operating system such as El Capitan (10.11) will still receive support for Office 365 but will not receive feature updates. Please contact MacLab to help upgrade your Mac to Sierra or newer to stay compatible. It is generally a good idea to stay within two major versions of the latest macOS for security and support. The latest macOS, 10.14 will be released shortly.

Best Practices to Secure Your Mac Office

10 Best Security Practices

  1. Malware monitoring and removal
  2. Strong passwords for Macs, iPhones and iPads
  3. Cloud backup in order to recover from data loss or ransomware
  4. Patch management (system updates, security updates)
  5. Device monitoring (computer performance and behavior)
  6. Data encryption for confidential information
  7. Firewall protection on the network and/or individual devices
  8. Documentation of security policies (what are the rules?)
  9. Secure password manager rather than paper, text file or spreadsheet
  10. Smart computing and education

High Sierra Update Issues

MacLab has had a number of customers come to us after applying a High Sierra update and the computer would not boot up. These updates are set to download automatically in many cases, so simply restarting the computer causes the update to proceed. In the past, this was usually safe. Unfortunately there’s an issue with these updates that can cause them to fail, leaving the Mac in an unusable state. You might see a message such as “The path /System/Installation/Packages/OSInstall.mpkg appears to be missing or damaged.”

Even if this has not happened to you, you may want to open up the System Preferences, go to the App Store setting, and uncheck “Install MacOS Updates.” We recommend having MacLab run these updates for you under managed services or maintenance.

The iMac Pro

The iMac Pro is Apple’s most powerful computer to date. It features up to an 18 core processor, 128GB of RAM and a 4TB SSD. The computer has a “space gray” finish and prices start at $4999. The iMac Pro is geared toward a graphics, video, or audio pro. So far, the RAM is only available from Apple as this post is written although that will likely change soon. All the peripherals including keyboard, mouse, and optional trackpad are space gray to match the computer. We still have some reservations about the all-in-one design of the iMac vs the Mac Pro, however this does look like an excellent workstation. We eagerly look forward to the upcoming Mac Pro.

Apple Security Updates

Apple has released a round of important security updates for Mac OS El Capitan 10.11 through High Sierra 10.13. Note that no security update is available for Yosemite 10.10, so anyone running that older version of the OS should consider upgrading to at least El Capitan. These new security updates address a long list of issues from the highly publicized KRACK wireless vulnerability to a laundry list of other flaws, some specific to High Sierra. Customers with MacLab managed services will automatically be updated in the background.

Mobile Device Management

Mobile device management (MDM) provides quick and easy control and security for iPhones, iPads and even Macs, wirelessly through the Internet. This allows locking a lost iPad or iPhone, easy reference of inventory and device specifications and deployment of new configurations instantly. Furthermore, it’s possible to distribute software and have new iPhones shipped to your company pre-configured.

A common scenario is the need for security and a quick email, contacts and calendar install on iPhones. Once we establish an account on our end, you just visit a url, enter your name and password, then the iPhone is secured and configured. Your time invested: 5 minutes.

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