Your Monthly Biz Tech Roundup from Seeto

Welcome to the November edition of Take Ctrl! Cyber Security Awareness Month has come to an end, spooky season has passed and, at the time of sending, there are fewer than 50 sleeps until Christmas. So gobble gobble (that’s a Thanksgiving reference, for the Americans among us) this month’s news and views that matter from the world of business technology.

Our featured solution this month is CyberSmart, the leading platform for Cyber Essentials compliance.

With big announcements from Apple, Google and Microsoft, the Seeto Take takes a brief hiatus this month.

Need To Know Now

Microsoft 365

OneDrive gets a web and sync facelift

It’s curvy, it’s pastel and it’s OneDrive’s new look. With a new look and new features online and in your OneDrive Sync folder, we like the new People and Meetings view, which should make it easier to find OneDrive files. Folder colours are nice if you like that sort of thing and the speed improvements are very welcome. Unsurprisingly, AI Copilot features will also soon be arriving for subscribers.

Read more at The Verge
Read more at Petri IT Knowledgebase
View the launch keynote at YouTube

You get Loop! You get Loop! None for Education, E1 or Business Basic

Microsoft recently announced how it’s new Loop app, a next-generation cocreation experience that brings together teams, content and tasks, will be licensed. Microsoft will be applying the change from March 2024, with users requiring one of four Microsoft 365 licences to continue using it: Microsoft 365 Business Standard or Premium, or Microsoft 365 E3 or E5. Notably absent are Office 365 and 365 for Education plans.

Read more at Office 365 IT Pros
Read more at Microsoft Support

It’s teams, but not as we know it

Microsoft has overhauled Teams, but you may not have all the new goodies yet. In two big upgrades to Microsoft Teams, Microsoft is rolling out a revamp of its Channels features and a whole new “new Teams” app. The channel changes include a refreshed user interface along with other features, like conversations view, to help users get more out of channels. In addition, Microsoft has also released a faster and redesigned Teams app for Windows and Mac. Support needs to be enabled by administrators (Seeto’s customers are good to go), so some users may experience error messages when connected to partner Teams instances as an invited guest. It looks like we’ll need to keep Teams Classic installed for a little while yet.

Read more at The Verge
Read more at Neowin

If you’re going to bulk send from Outlook, manage your reputation

Please don’t use your corporate email domain for bulk email, use a specialist solution and a subdomain of your corporate email domain. If you insist, Microsoft 365 users have been warned of new Google anti-spam rules, which require sent emails to be authenticated in order to land in Gmail inboxes. Seeto clients are already covered in this area, but should speak to their TOM about better solutions if they’re bulk mailing from Outlook.

Read more at Bleeping Computer

Security

Longer passwords aren’t a panacea

Don’t get us wrong, your passwords should, like Andrex, be long, strong and only used once. That said, it doesn’t matter how long your password is if you give it away through phishing or reuse it elsewhere. If your team is struggling with short passwords or reusing passwords it might be time to consider a password manager.

Read more at PC Mag UK

2023 was a summer of sin for ransomware gangs

After a slightly quieter 2022, ransomware attacks are up across almost all sectors according to an NCC Group study. Interestingly, the study also noted that highly regulated industries bucked the trend, likely in part to higher security budgets.

Read more at IT Brew

Keeping schtum on cyber attacks

Research from Keeper Security suggests that cyber attacks are grossly underreported across the US and Europe. The study found that in organisations where leaders create a culture of transparency, honesty and trust, breaches were more likely to be reported than where staff feared repercussions.

Read more at IT Brew

Okta for individuals

Following the acquisition of password manager Uno, Okta is continuing to develop a personal tier offering. Uno was founded by an ex-Googler to bring a design-centric approach to improving password management. The Uno app will be discontinued.

Read more at TechCrunch

Web traffic weaponised to cause nuisance

Google, Amazon and Cloudflare have spoken out about the internet’s largest-known denial of service attack, where web traffic is weaponised to stop legitimate visitors from accessing websites. Not only the size, but the number of attacks has increased significantly, with records being broken in Q3 2023. Recent attacks have exploited a vulnerability in HTTP/2 and the internet companies are urging businesses to update their web server software to counter the threat.

Read more at Reuters
Read more at Bleeping Computer 

1Password highlights supply chain vulnerabilities

1Password’s Okta instance was accessed by hackers, but logins are safe. Highlighting the importance of supply chain security, 1Password reported that it detected suspicious activity on its Okta instance related to Okta’s Support System incident. The incident has not changed Seeto’s position on Okta or 1Password.

Read more at Digital Trends 

Researchers demonstrate Apple Safari data exfiltration exploit

Researchers have released information on a means of exfiltrating data from Apple’s Safari on Apple Silicon iPhones, iPads and Macs. Mac users who don’t use Safari are safe, but all browsers on iOS are theoretically vulnerable to this exploit. To fall victim, users would have to visit an attacker-controlled web page and tap somewhere on that site to open the attacker’s target information in another tab. The researchers believe this would cause alarm bells and combined with glacially slow data transfer, the real world application of the vulnerability is limited. Apple have yet to release a software update to address the issue.

Read more at The Register

Malicious insider threat growing in the face of economic uncertainty

Insider threats are on the rise as economic uncertainty continues and worse still, business leaders don’t fully understand insider threat, according 2023’s ISC2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study. This comes against a backdrop of cyber-related cutback, including layoffs, budget cuts and hiring or promotion freezes, and a skills gap of 4 million professionals.

Read more at Infosecurity Magazine

Digital Workspace

Zoom sets its sights on documents

Zoom is focusing its efforts on new products, starting with a fully-integrated, AI-powered, multi-user cloud documentation solution that is built directly into the Zoom platform. The diversification of SaaS platforms continues, with Zoom seeking to become your everything app. Zoom will face tough competition from Notion, Google Workspace and Microsoft 365.

Read more at VentureBeat

Relief 1-May-2023 be around the corner

Excel concedes that not everything is a date! Users will soon be able to reign in Excel’s habit of converting letters and numbers into a date and stripping leading zeroes from phone numbers on both Windows and Mac. An Automatic Data Conversion section has been added to the Data page of the Options in coming releases.

Read more at The Register

Happy 40th Birthday, Microsoft Word

Would you believe it, Microsoft Word is 40. It wasn’t the first word processor, nor was it arguably the best, but the word processing behemoth has gone on to take market share and subtly change how we use language. BBC Future has taken an interesting meander down memory lane from the typing pool to artificial intelligence.

Read more at BBC Future

Google Workspace

Green-light Contacts delegates by 13 November

If you have delegated access to another user to manage your contacts, they could be about to lose access unless you re-approve that access before 13 November. If you didn’t know Contacts delegation was possible, or wonder how it differs from Mail delegation, here’s a quick primer: administrative support for managing inboxes is business critical and this includes making sure that contacts are properly sorted and labelled. Contacts delegation allows you to hand over responsibility for managing those contacts without necessarily giving access to your emails.

Read more at The Google Workspace Updates Blog

Data Protection

My UK-US Data Bridge wanna go into force

Excusing the clumsy Fergie reference, the UK-US Data Bridge has come into force to replace the myriad of data-sharing agreements that have come and gone before (fallen down, perhaps?). Flagged as imperfect by the ICO, UK organisations will need to be particularly vigilant when relying on the Bridge to transfer personal data, particularly special categories of personal data, to the US.

Read more at The Register

Windows

Update Windows 11

Windows 11 21H2 reached end of support on October 10th and users are strongly encouraged to update to a supported release of Windows 11. A few days after ending support for the 21H2 version, Microsoft announced Windows 11 23H2 to be officially available. The update brings the new AI-powered Copilot app, an updated File Explorer and updates to many of the applications shipped with Windows 11, such as text recognition in the Snipping Tool. The update will roll out slowly over the coming months.

Read more about support ending for 21H2 at TechRadar
Read more about the latest release of Windows 11 at XDA Developers

Windows Hello users will soon be able to forget their passwords

Microsoft has made improvements to Windows Hello for Business, enabling users to eschew their password completely in favour of biometric and hardware token logins. It’s not on by default and will be one to watch.

Read more at Neowin

Artificial Intelligence

Don’t tell anyone, AI wrote this

The BBC reports that, despite employers’ attempts to ban the technology, employees are secretly using AI at work. Whether the secrecy is due to workplace bans or a desire to not give away their competitive advantage, almost 70% of people surveyed in February were keeping their usage of AI quiet. A BlackBerry survey of employers suggested as many as three-quarters were either implementing or considering implementing a ban on AI in their workplaces.

Read more at BBC Worklife

Copilot: an accident waiting to happen?

Microsoft has rushed to build Copilot AI functionality into all its products, but has it put its desire to win the AI race ahead of security concerns? Chatbots are like giving monkeys typewriters or toddlers oil paints: capable of something great and making a horrible horrible mess. We only have the companies’ assurances that their models won’t go off the rails.

Read more at The Register

Spewing toxic text

AI is an inexact science and a Microsoft-affiliated research team has found flaws in OpenAI’s latest large language model, GPT-4, which may allow malicious actors to convince the tool to generate biased, toxic text. As Microsoft has invested in OpenAI and uses OpenAI technology in its own Copilot products, the insinuation is that these flaws have been addressed both at the model layer and in the software layer; though with AI models being closely guarded secrets, there is no way to know for certain.

Read more at TechCrunch

Apple Mac

The entry-level M3 MacBook Pro: a cut too far?

Apple announced new M3 MacBook Pros at a Halloween event, but is there a reason to upgrade? Probably not for anyone already using an Apple Silicon Mac, the performance gains are small. In a move that may be motivated by differentiating between the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, the 13” MacBook Pro has been retired. The cheapest MacBook Pro makes some sacrifices to hit its price tag, including fewer USB ports and only 8Gb RAM.

Read more at ZDNet

Product Showcase

CyberSmart Logo

At Seeto, we understand the importance of cyber security for your business. That’s why we offer CyberSmart, the leading platform for Cyber Essentials certification. CyberSmart not only helps you achieve the government-backed Cyber Essentials certification but also ensures that your business remains compliant with the certification standards year-round.

With CyberSmart, you can automate your compliance processes, saving you valuable time and resources. The platform provides continuous monitoring for your devices, ensuring that your business remains secure from cyber threats and evidencing your ongoing compliance.

In addition, CyberSmart offers an intuitive dashboard that gives you a clear overview of your cyber security status. You can easily track your progress towards certification, identify any issues, and take immediate action.

Remember, achieving Cyber Essentials certification not only protects your business from 80% of common cyber threats but also demonstrates to your customers and partners that you take cyber security seriously.

So why wait? Secure your business today with CyberSmart.

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.