Your Monthly Biz Tech Roundup from Seeto

Welcome to the March edition of Take Ctrl. Spring has sprung, and with any luck, the cold weather is behind us. We’re into the home stretch for Q1, and Seeto has all the news and views you need to know in the world of Business Technology.

This month, we have a bushel of updates for Google Workspace, a glimpse of what’s to come in Windows 11, exciting updates to a well-known cyber security framework, a variety of cyber threats to keep out of your network and even a Notion of things to come.

Read on.

Need To Know Now

Google Workspace

Look over there!

Google Meet meeting hosts can now pin tiles for all participants. Microsoft Teams has had this for a long time (and I can’t be the only person who found that out the hard way) and Google is really playing catch-up. We see it being helpful for large meetings or presentations with multiple presenters. This is a meet-ocracy so meeting participants are free to unpin tiles if they wish.

Read more at the Google Workspace Updates Blog

Mobile Companion

Companion mode is great if there’s content on a different device you want to throw into a meeting, but it was desktop-only until recently. You can now use companion mode on the go, as support comes to Android and iOS devices. I foresee a number of uses for this, including demoing mobile apps, reviewing your mobile website and troubleshooting mobile phones – it certainly beats holding your phone up to the camera!

Read more at the Google Workspace Updates Blog

See your name face in (spot)lights

Google first teased the ability to insert yourself into your presentations at the end of 2022. The wait is finally over (if you have the right licence), as the feature now makes its way to Google Slides. With speaker spotlight, presenters can insert their video feed into their Slides content. It’s limited to Business Standard licences and above. 

Read more at the Google Workspace Updates Blog

Can you ever just be whelmed?

Google has been teasing a new, improved sign-in experience for a few weeks and it has started to roll out. Those who were expecting significant changes will be disappointed, as the change is minimal. For anyone who has signed into a Chromebook recently, it will look very familiar. The Seeto team were underwhelmed.

Read more at The Verge

Information Security

AnyAttack

It’s not a good day for remote access software AnyDesk, who recently confirmed that the company had suffered a cyberattack, in which hackers gained access to source code and credentials. Remote access software is a boon for IT support, where we ensure access is restricted,  but rarely necessary on home computers. If you’re not already familiar, now’s a great time to read up on Action Fraud’s guidance on remote access tool scams.

Read more at Bleeping Computer

Not your usual LastPass

A fake LastPass app made its way into Apple’s Walled Garden. LastPass announced that an application poorly impersonating its password manager succeeded in being approved for inclusion in Apple’s App Store. The branding was similar but the name wasn’t quite the same – would you have fallen for LassPass?  It has since been removed, but this is a stark reminder of why you need your wits about you online. Also, there are lots of password managers out there, if you’re still using LastPass, now is a good time to take a look at your options.

Read more at The Reg

New Mac Malware

Antivirus firms have identified new Mac malware pretending to be, among other things a Visual Studio update, a job offer and even a confidentiality agreement. It looks to be a targeted attack, but remember Macs need to run anti-malware tools too. 

Read more about this Malware at The Hacker News
Read a history of Mac viruses at Lifehacker

Howdy Cybersecurity Framework 2.0

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology has released a significant update to its Cybersecurity Framework. Businesses working with or selling to organisations in the States will be familiar with the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. The big update adds a new Governance pillar in recognition of the fact that IT alone cannot manage cyber security risk, among many other changes.

Read more at The Reg

Trending: risk

Gartner has identified the top cyber security trends for this year. Unsurprisingly, generative AI is high on the list, as well as insider threat, supply chain risks and a lack of board-level understanding of cyber risk. Gartner’s article offers no solutions, but it’s important to note that you can only control risk you can identify, so a good risk management strategy is key to a good cyber security strategy.

Read more at Gartner

Microsoft 365

If the face fits

Microsoft has revealed a new Microsoft Entra Verified ID Face Check tool to verify users by comparing their face to stored ID. This point-in-time verification service uses Azure AI tools and the Microsoft Authenticator mobile app to validate that the person accessing a system or service is who they say they are. Designed to tackle fraud and identity theft scams, it’ll be interesting to see how this technology rolls out within the Microsoft ecosystem and beyond.

Read more at TechRadar
Read more at Microsoft.com

Microsoft Windows

Take a moment to enjoy Windows 11 improvements

Windows 11 users can look forward to Moment 5, the first feature update of 2024. Released ahead of the 24H2 update, expected in the second half of the year, this update brings changes and new features. This includes improved window management, improvements to accessibility tools and a small change to how you access Microsoft’s AI helper, Copilot.

Read more at NeoWin

Apply updates, keep moving

Nobody likes to interrupt their flow to restart to apply updates. Microsoft has heard the complaints and is working to make Windows Update a restart-free zone. Watching that percentage slowly increase will become a thing of the past when Microsoft brings technology developed initially for its Azure server virtual machines to Windows 11, hopefully in H2 2024.

Read more at XDA Developers

Digital Workspace

A Notion of what’s coming next

Notion recently announced a new calendar app offering, and it looks like the knowledge management business is branching out to dominate your entire digital workspace, if recent acquisition of privacy-focused email, calendar and storage platform Skiff is anything to go by. Watch this space.

Read more at TechCrunch
Read more about Notion Calendar at Notion

Artificial Intelligence

Have you met Gemini?

OpenAI’s ChatGPT seems to have cornered the market on headlines and ChatGPT is rapidly becoming synonymous generative AI, but ChatGPT isn’t the only player in the market by a long stretch. Google users have access to Gemini, which used to be Bard. Confused? You won’t be thanks to Lifehacker’s deep-dive into Google’s Generative AI powerhouse.

Read more at Lifehacker

Microsoft says “oui” to Mistral

Microsoft appears to be diversifying its artificial intelligence push as it signs a multi-year agreement with French AI startup Mistral. The deal is still subject to EC scrutiny, but Microsoft hopes to bring the models to the Azure cloud platform, where they will join models developed by OpenAI and Facebook’s parent company, Meta. Notably, Mistral also recently signed a deal with Amazon Web Services.

Read more at Emerging Tech Brew

ChromeOS

Can’t do Windows 11? Google might have the answer

Windows 11 is notorious for being fussy about the hardware that it will run on. With the end of life for Windows 10 approaching in 2025 (only 18 months to go), Google had started a campaign targeting those who can’t or don’t want to upgrade from Windows 10. ChromeOS Flex offers the ease of a Chromebook without requiring new hardware, as it can convert Windows laptops into simple-to-use ChromeOS laptops.

Read more at Computing (registration required, alternative link)

Recent OS Updates

Last updated 4 April 2024

Windows

Microsoft currently supports Windows 10 and Windows 11.

  • Windows 10 version 22H2 (10.0.19045)
  • Windows 11 version 22H2 (10.0.22621) and version 23H2 (10.0.22631)

macOS

Apple officially supports the following Mac operating systems:

  • macOS Sonoma 14.4.1
  • macOS Ventura 13.6.6
  • macOS Monterey 12.7.4

iOS and iPadOS

The supported iPhone and iPad operating systems are:

  • iOS 17.4.1
  • iPadOS 17.4.1

Android

Google supports the following Android operating systems:

  • Android 14
  • Android 13
  • Android 12
  • Android 11

Note that your device manufacturer may not support every version that Google produces security fixes for.

Learn how to check and update your Android version here.