Category Archives: News

DEP Now in Australia

Corporate-owned deployments made simple.

The Device Enrollment Program (DEP) provides a fast, streamlined way to deploy your corporate-owned Mac or iOS devices, whether purchased directly from Apple or through participating Apple Authorized Resellers.

• Zero-touch configuration for IT.
• Streamlined setup.
• Wireless supervision.

For further information check out http://www.apple.com/business/dep/
Or if you want some help streamlining your deployment contact us

CryptoLocker – File Screens

*** Please note, this is not a cure for CryptoLocker, it is simply one of a number of steps you can take to protect your school.  Up-to-date Anti-Virus and User Education are the most effective tools at your disposal ***

Catalytic IT have seen a number of schools come up against the dreaded CryptoLocker virus, which has been out in the wild for some time.  As a general rule your best protection is firstly end user education, and secondly the use of a solid centralised AV solution to provide reporting.

In this BYO(D/T/whatever) world, increasingly we see unmanaged or semi-managed devices introduced onto the school network.  We can perform compliance checks to ensure that they have an Anti-Virus program installed, however some vendors are better than others, and we’ve seen machines that claim to be fully protected utterly filled with malware.  Now combine this CryptoLocker infested machine with access to school file shares and you have a recipe for disaster.

A machine that can access school shares, with read/write access, can encrypt those same files and hold you to ransom.  Here’s the kicker: even if you run Anti-Virus on your file server, you won’t be told there’s an infection out there as it’s not actually infecting your files with a virus – it’s simply encrypting them.  If you combine this with encryption on public shares (perhaps in an infrequently accessed location) and relatively short backup windows (say we keep backups for 2 to 3 weeks) it’s entirely conceivable that you won’t be able to restore those encrypted files from backup!

However, there is something you can do (above and beyond making sure your clients have good Anti-Virus and only the access they require).  For a long time, Windows Server has had “File Screen” functionality built-in to the file server role.  We outline a process below to ensure you are notified if CryptoLocker (as we’ve seen it) encrypts those files on your network shares:

Firstly, you need to ensure that your file server can notify you if a file system event occurs that you want to be told about:

1)   Launch the File Server Resource Manager (this usually sits under Control Panel->Administrative Tools-.File Server Resource Manager)

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2)   Right click on File Server Resource Manager (Local) and select “Configure Options”

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3)   Configure the Email Notifications tab of your file server with the appropriate details for your school/company

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4)   Send Test E-mail to ensure that your settings are correct and working as expected.  You should receive a test email.

Now that you have configured e-mail notification on your file server, you need to configure the File Group, which is essentially the string that you’re looking for on the server to let you know that CryptoLocker has crept onto your shares:

5)   Right click on File Screening Management->File Group and select “Create File Group”

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6)   Enter the File Group name as “CryptoLocker” and under “Files to include:” enter “*DECRYPT*.*” then select Add

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7)   Select OK and you now have a File Group

Now that you have created a File Group you will want to create a “File Screen Template”

8)   Right Click on File Screening Management->File Screen Templates and select “Create File Screen Template”

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9)   In the Settings Tab set your Template Name to whatever you like (i.e. CryptoLocker-Template) and set your screening to Passive Screening, then select CryptoLocker from your file groups below

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10)   Check the “Send e-mail to the following administrators” check box on the E-mail Message tab

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11)   Select the Send warning to event log check box on the Event Log tab:

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12)   Select OK and you have now created your File Screen Template

Finally your last step is to actually apply this template to folders that your staff/students can access.

13)   Right click on File Screening Management->File Screens and select “Create File Screen”

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14)  Define the path to the shared folder you wish to protect through the Browse button, and choose your newly created template from the drop down list under “Derive properties from this file screen template (recommended)” then select Create

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15)  Repeat this process for each of the shared folders that could be conceivably written to by staff/students
16)  You’re done – from now on you should be notified when a staff member or student with CryptoLocker encrypts a folder on your shared drives

Note: The above process addresses the file names that we have seen, however variants may use different file names, which may require you to modify the file groups regular expression to capture.  As always you should ensure that you rely on multiple approaches to protect your network.

We are pleased to announce that Michael Lester has joined our team at Catalytic IT.

We are pleased to announce that Michael Lester has joined our team at Catalytic IT.

Michael has worked in technology related fields for over 13 years, more recently focusing on ICT use in education, and acting as a business to tech translator.  Michael has worked with a number of leading digital schools, locally, nationally and internationally helping deliver ICT vision through design, planning and the practical application of technology. He has delivered a number of strategic ICT reviews in conjunction with educators, applying this knowledge. Michael is actively working towards an MBA and spends his spare time convincing his wife that studying together can substitute for date nights.

Meet the team

9.4 of the Casper Suite Released

Version 9.4 of the Casper Suite is now available. From BYOD support to enhancements to the Self Service app for iOS and OS X, this newest version gives today’s can-do IT a smart and simple way to enable user productivity, reduce help desk tickets, and help ensure their BYOD program is successful and secure.

Finally, BYOD made manageable
The mobile device explosion is driving demand for BYOD programs. But cost, complexity, and user revolt are causing challenges for many of them. The Casper Suite addresses every one. Designed specifically for personally owned iOS and Android devices, the Casper Suite BYOD solution is a lightweight and cost-effective mobile device management option that lets IT enforce data security, ensure user privacy, and accelerate BYOD program adoption.

Check out the new features 

To discuss making use of these new features or implementing Casper in your environment contact us here

iOS 7

Apple® today released iOS 7, featuring a completely redesigned stunning new user interface, will be available to iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch® users as a free software update. iOS 7 has hundreds of great new features, including Control Center, Notification Center, improved Multitasking, AirDrop®, enhanced Photos, Safari®, Siri® and introduces iTunes Radio℠, a free Internet radio service based on the music you listen to on iTunes®. In addition, iOS 7 has been engineered with deep technical and design integration with both iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.

“iOS 7 is completely redesigned with an entirely new user interface and over 200 new features, so it’s like getting a brand new device, but one that will still be instantly familiar to our users,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “Next month we’ll be shipping our 700 millionth iOS device, and we’re excited about what our hundreds of thousands of iOS developers are doing to bring great new features to their apps.”

Apple engineered iOS 7 to take full advantage of the advanced 64-bit technologies in iPhone 5s, including the native 64-bit kernel, libraries and drivers. All the built-in apps have been re-engineered for 64-bit, and iOS 7 provides a seamless developer transition with Xcode® support and the ability to run both 32-bit and 64-bit apps. iOS 7 also provides deep integration with the new Touch ID™ sensor and takes full advantage of the new iSight® camera sensor to enable new features like automatic image stabilization, Burst Mode and Slo-Mo video with 120 fps. Combined with the new Camera App in iOS 7, iPhone 5s provides up to two-times faster auto-focus, faster photo capture and better dynamic range. iOS 7 is designed to complement the gorgeous exteriors of iPhone 5c, with matching wallpapers and translucency that carry the color through the entire experience.

With more than 200 new features, iOS 7 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch includes:

  • Control Center, which gives you quick access to the controls you want in one convenient place with just one swipe from the bottom of your screen;
  • Notification Center, now available from the Lock screen so you can see all your notifications with a simple swipe, and the new Today feature gives you an at-a-glance view of your day with a summary of the important details such as weather, traffic, meetings and events;
  • improved Multitasking that gives users the ability to switch between their apps in a more visual and intuitive way, and iOS 7 pays attention to which apps you use most and automatically keeps your content up to date in the background;
  • AirDrop, an entirely new way to quickly and easily share content with people nearby;
  • new Camera app filters so you can add real-time photo effects, a square camera option, and you can quickly and easily switch between your four cameras—video, photo, square and panorama—with just a swipe;
  • a redesigned Photos app that introduces Moments, a new way to automatically organize your photos and videos based on time and location;
  • full-screen browsing with Safari’s new redesigned user interface, the new smart search field helps simplify searching, and there’s a new view for your bookmarks and your Safari tabs;
  • Siri with new male and female voices,* Twitter search integration, Wikipedia integration and Bing web searching within the app; and
  • iTunes Radio, a free Internet radio service featuring over 200 stations and an incredible catalog of music from the iTunes Store®, combined with features only iTunes can deliver.**

 

Additional new iOS 7 features include a new Find My iPhone Activation Lock, that requires your Apple ID and password before you can turn off Find My iPhone, erase data or re-activate a device after it’s been remotely erased; FaceTime® audio for high quality calls over a data network; and new ringtones, alarms, alerts and system sounds.

iPhone, iPad and iPod touch customers have access to the revolutionary App Store℠, which offers more than 900,000 apps in 155 countries around the world. iOS 7 now features Popular Apps Near Me, a new way to find apps based on your current location, and iOS 7 will automatically keep your apps up to date. More than 50 billion apps have been downloaded from the App Store to date, offering customers an incredible range of apps in 23 categories, including newspapers and magazines in Newsstand, games and entertainment, business, news, sports, health and fitness and travel.

iOS 7 will be available as a free software update starting on Wednesday, September 18 for iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini and iPod touch (fifth generation). Some features may not be available on all products.

Catalytic IT Join Apple Consultants Network

Catalytic IT is pleased to announce that we have been accepted by Apple as an accredited consultant member of the Apple Consultants Network (ACN).

The Apple Consultants Network (ACN) is run by Apple Inc. and enables businesses with specific needs to find a trained and accredited partner to deliver solutions based on Apple technology.

The process of becoming recognised as part of the ACN can be challenging, depending on the level of experience. Catalytic IT has been implementing large and complex Apple solutions since its launch. The ACN accreditation cements recognition of Catalytic IT’s capabilities with Apple technology.

The ACN Accreditation recognizes Catalytic IT for:

  • Small-Medium Businesses
  • K12 Education
  • Higher Education
  • Mobility

For more information on Catalytic IT’s capabilities around Apple, please contact us. You can see our ACN Profile here.

Note:  All brands, trademarks and logos are property of their respective owners. Catalytic IT acknowledges their ownership and respects other companies’ intellectual property.

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