October 2021
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Windows 11 was released on October 5th.  It is a free upgrade for Windows 10 users. Initial reviews from: The Verge, Forbes, PC Magazine, Tom’s Guide. The consensus is that it works, and it isn’t that different from Windows 10.

Windows 11 will require TPM 2 hardware, which is in most recently purchased computers.

Again: We recommend waiting to install Windows 11 on business systems.  Verify that your business software will work before upgrading.

CCH will not support Windows 11 this coming tax year

QuickBooks desktop versions depend on Internet Explorer, which has been removed from Windows 11.

Here are some things you will lose with Windows 11 – possible reasons not to upgrade.

Microsoft’s announcement of Windows 11.  This link has Details from Microsoft on hardware requirements and what is not in Windows 11 that was in Windows 10.

Dell offers Windows 11 PCs.  HP offers Windows 11 PCs.

Windows 10 version (21H2) is also planned for early October. Changes are primarily for stability.

Windows Hello for Business in 21H2 allows you to rely entirely on a PIN for logins on home (non-domain) computers. It’s more secure, but it may make it harder to recover your account. Microsoft is pushing toward replacing passwords with other forms of login security.

Microsoft 365, Office 365 price increases starting next March.

Starting November 1st, 2021, the following versions of Outlook for Windows, as part of Office and Microsoft 365 Apps, will not be able to connect with Office 365 and Microsoft 365 services.

Office 2021 for Windows, the traditional perpetual-license version (the retail “boxed” product), was released on October 5th,  Microsoft’s announcement.To see a list of the currently supported versions, visit Update history for Microsoft 365 Apps (listed by date) (for Microsoft 365 Apps) or Latest updates for versions of Office that use Windows Installer (MSI) (see “Latest Public Update” for Office 2013 and 2016).

It will have just five years of support instead of the traditional ten years.  Office Home and Student is $150,  Home and Business is $250.

Excel “linked data types” now allow getting data from internet sources, such as stock prices.

Google will be enforcing 2 Factor Authentication on existing accounts.  It will be enabled by default on new accounts.

Silverlight will no longer be supported beginning on October 12th.

New Microsoft Surface versions announced.

New iPad releasediPhone 13 released.

Amazon announces new products, including a home robot.

Astro will cost $999.99

Amazon Glow includes a projector that can create a 19-inch touch-sensitive playspace for all the games and activities included with the device.

Yubico now has a 2FA security key with a fingerprint reader.

Google Maps will roll out wildfire tracking worldwide.

The FCC aggressively moves to block spam calls. Let’s hope it helps.

YouTube TV subscribers won’t lose access to more than a dozen channels, including NBC, Bravo, and the Golf Channel, while the companies attempt to negotiate a longer-term pact.

Winged Microchip Is Smallest-Ever Human-Made Flying Structure – The Size of a Grain of Sand

OneLogin has been purchased by One Identity. Both provide solutions for secure sign-in to cloud services, including CCH products used by accountants.

China: Comprehensive personal information protection regime established.

COVID

The computer chip shortage and higher prices will last at least through next year.

Port Logjams Reach East Coast

Walmart is testing self-driving technology to deliver groceries and other merchandise.

YouTube bans all content containing vaccine misinformation.

YouTube, as well as Facebook and Twitter, banned COVID-19 misinformation in the early days of the pandemic in the spring of 2020.

Facebook formally banned vaccine misinformation in February.

SECURITY

Deloitte has a good article on addressing “Cyber-Risk.” Click on the download link at the bottom of their web page.

Businesses that use Microsoft 365 can save up to 15 percent on their At-Bay insurance policy premiums if they take further steps to ensure their environments are secure. Cyber-Insurance companies are starting to incorporate security reviews into their cyber-security insurance services and rates.

The UK plans to invest £5 billion in retaliatory cyber-attacks

2021 has broken the record for zero-day hacking attacks. A zero-day attack is one for which there is no patch or fix available.

“At the top of the food chain are the government-sponsored hackers. China alone is suspected to be responsible for nine zero-days this year.

Powerful groups are all pouring heaps of cash into zero-days to use for themselves—and they’re reaping the rewards. …Financially motivated actors are more sophisticated than ever. ,,. One-third of the zero-days we’ve tracked recently can be traced directly back to financially motivated actors,”

Fitbit, Apple users’ data exposed in a breach impacting 61M fitness tracker records.

Another farming cooperative was shut down by ransomware.

Microsoft urges users to stop using call & SMS-based multi-factor authentication.

Why your password often provides no additional security. Many methods of hacking simply bypass any password.

75K Email Inboxes Hit in New Credential Phishing Campaign.

A large-scale malware campaign has infected more than 10 million Android devices and likely stole hundreds of millions from its victims by tricking them into subscribing to paid services without their knowledge.

HUMOR

 

TORIAN GROUP

We have had several clients ask for help with answering questions from their Cyber-Insurance vendor. To get good coverage, insurance companies ask that you follow security “best practices” to avoid a security incident that would cost them. Issues that often need to be addressed are “Intrusion Detection” and “Data Loss Prevention.” Security best practices can save you money on cyber insurance as well as protect your data.

We recommend addressing these with:

  1. A “next-generation” or “unified threat management” firewall (such as Fortigate) combined with Auvik software to monitor network traffic for intrusion. This meets the “Intrusion Detection” requirement. Higher end firewalls such as the Fortigate also can meet part of the “data loss prevention” requirement. They also provide a good VPN solution if needed. More information on network protection with Fortigate and Auvik.

 

  1. Microsoft’s security products for Office 365 can provide enhanced protection for your email and OneDrive data. (Enterprise Mobility and Security E3 or E5 license and/or Defender for Office 365 ) More information on protecting your email.

 

By Tim Torian

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