#mac

Posted by Charles Edge on October 28th, 2015

Security is multi-layered. Bushel enables some settings on your Macs that help to keep you secure. But there’s another layer that we believe in: Backup. We protect devices, but a good backup ensures the long-term availability of the data that is on those devices, giving you the peace of mind to wipe or erase a device in the event that the device falls outside your control.

There are a number of tools to backup your Macs. The first and probably most important to discuss is Time Machine. Time Machine is free. There aren’t a lot of options. As with many Apple services, Apple has made some key discussions on your behalf. With Time Machine, you plug in a drive, say backup to it, and then boot holding down the R key to restore in the event of a system failure. I’m not really sure you can get an easier backup tool.

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Many will need more options.  For those, I recommend checking out CrashPlan. They have a free option, where you can backup to your friends computers (your data is encrypted and safe) or backup to their cloud. It’s not bootable for restores, but the raw technology that is built into the product is super-impressive (from data deduplication and other nerdiness to a clean user interface).

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In addition to CrashPlan, there are other tools, including BackblazeCarbonite, Mozy, iDrive, OpenDrive, SOS, and DollyDrive. These are the more common tools that we see for the Mac clients. There are certainly larger products that support tape libraries and the such, including P5 from Archiware. But for many reading this site, those are likely overkill.

No matter what you do, make sure that you know exactly what steps you will perform in the event of a file being deleted, of a whole system failure, and if you need to restore a backup to another computer for eDiscovery purposes. And good luck out there!

Posted by Charles Edge on October 23rd, 2015

There are a number of tools that you can use to encrypt a Mac. Many of these cost around $100 per year, per system. And these days, most of the tools for the Mac simply use the built-in options in OS X, which leverage a technology called FileVault. These options include enabling the encryption process, defining a place to put keys to decrypt a drive if you need them, and configuring basic options for the keys.

Did you know Bushel can do much of this for you? The way Bushel does this is pretty straight forward. You simply enable the Disk Encryption toggle on the Device Security tab of the Settings page.

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Then, any device that hasn’t already been encrypted will start the encryption process and save the key back to your Bushel account. That key is available in the device page for any device in the account where Bushel enabled encryption. If there are devices that had FileVault enabled before they were added to your Bushel account, if you want those keys escrowed in Bushel, you will need to disable FileVault on the device (which requires about an hour or two hour decryption process that doesn’t hamper a user’s ability to work) and then re-enable FileVault through Bushel. Once done, you’ll see the keys for the device.

Overall, encryption is a very easy feature to use. And we would recommend doing so pretty much universally. If you only used this feature of Bushel, you’d still be saving around $75 per computer over industry standard tools. We recommend only using those if your business requirements have you performing tasks that Bushel can’t.

Posted by Michael Devins on September 30th, 2015

El Capitan Macbook

 

For the second time this month, Apple has released a major new operating system. Today, OS X 10.11 El Capitan became available in the Mac App Store. We are pleased to announce that, even with the significant changes in the operating system, Bushel extends full compatibility to Macs running this latest release. That means that all of your managed Macs within Bushel can be upgraded to OS X 10.11 and new Macs can be enrolled as well. In other words, your users should take advantage of this free software update!

Apple’s latest release adds a number of solid enhancements that businesses will love. New features like Split View for multitasking and an improved Spotlight will allow you to get even more out of your Mac. Notes inherit new functionality that was first introduced with iOS 9 and Mail gains improved full-screen support and swipe gestures. Importantly, El Capitan offers the latest security features and several under the hood improvements to boost performance.

One of the things we love about Apple is how accessible these free updates really are. Most Macs going back to 2007 can run this update. That means your business can do more on all of your existing Macs. Head on over to the Mac App Store to download El Capitan. If you are looking for more information about how to upgrade, Apple has an Upgrade Page just for you.

Posted by Charles Edge on July 15th, 2015

We’ve all been there, or spoken with someone who’s been there: you’re looking at a locked device and someone doesn’t know the PIN to unlock the device. On an iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch a Mobile Device Management product such as Bushel can unlock that device by resetting the PIN and allowing you to configure a new PIN. It’s kinda’ awesome when someone forgets a PIN they assigned a device, leaves the company or just plain forgets. But, there are a few things we should probably mention about this feature of Bushel:

  • The device must be online in order to accept our command to reset the PIN. By default, when locked, it should still be on your networks if it remembers them.
  • If no remembered networks are nearby, you could create a new wireless network (e.g. using Internet Sharing on your laptop) and spoof the name and password of a stored network.
  • Wi-Fi information is stored in the secure enclave. If you restart the device then the device will not re-attach to a wi-fi network.
  • You can use a thunderbolt to USB adapter and then a USB to Ethernet adapter in order to physically plug the device into a network and allow the unlock command to process.
  • You can always wipe a device while in the locked state, but most don’t want to do this, so if possible try all the above options first.

Posted by Charles Edge on June 12th, 2015

Bushel.com was updated this afternoon. Here is whats new.
Help Center
We’re going to try using Zendesk’s Help Center feature to manage our help articles. The feature essentially provides a simple CMS for providing support for our fantastic users. If you go to Bushel.com, there is now a link in the header called “Support”. It takes you to support.bushel.com.
From there, you can navigate into various Bushel topics to find the fix for a number of things you might be looking for. It also has a great search ability, helping you find all kinds of things we’ve written up here (and much more as time goes on). Here are other quick notes about this update:
  • You can leave comments on articles. This might help us keep making our content better.
  • You can rate the articles with a thumbs up or thumbs down. We can use this to determine the article’s quality and it can help guide us to more articles specifically designed to help you!
  • The Help Center has a feature called “Communities” where you can ask questions and request features. We haven’t started working on this just yet, but we may!
  • We’ve seeded the Help Center with the FAQs from Bushel.com. The intent is for the Help Center to be the source of all Bushel support content.
Chat Widget
You’ll also notice a new widget in the bottom right. If all goes well with this new system, the Bushel app will eventually get this same widget. I think the new workflow is pretty great. Look for more updates to this in the future.
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Everything Else
  • Banners and Logos ZIP files added for Affiliates (how fun is this, there’s a press page coming soon)
  • Environment detection scripts made better
  • More code cleanup (these last two things you’re likely not gonna’ care about.

Oh, and there’s an update to the web app coming in the next few days that you’re hopefully gonna’ love!