About Pepperdine Device Management

The latest developments in device management at Pepperdine, along with relevant informational links and our patch log.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

DM Profile Prompt

Beginning in February 2022, Pepperdine required all University-owned Mac device users to enroll their machines into Device Management (DM) Profile.   The DM Profile improves security, patching, and device configuration on our Apple systems by making updates for Mac device users much easier.  The profile remotely connects and protects your Apple devices, eliminating the need for device users to collaborate with a technician for basic tasks.

In April, any Mac that has not yet enrolled into Device Management profile, will experience a weekly prompt message.  We strongly advise you to self-enroll your University-owned Mac device to avoid pop-ups.

If you start receiving prompts, you can enroll into DM profile by clicking “Ok” on the first prompts. Then you will receive the second prompts within a minute to start the installation.

If you have any issues enrolling your device or technical questions, you have multiple options to contact technical support at Tech Central:

  • Call 310.506.4357 (HELP) to reach Tech Central 24/7/365

  • Schedule an appointment with our technicians online or at one of our available locations

  • Access the IT Support Forms for common, non-emergency requests

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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

MacOS 10.14 End-of-Life: Update Now!

MacOS 10.14 ("Mojave") is no longer supported as of January 1st, 2022. You can check your operating system (OS) version on a Mac by clicking the Apple icon in the upper-left of the screen and then clicking "About this Mac"

Step 1 - Visit https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT211683

Step 2 - Scroll to the section “Use Safari to download macOS on your Mac”:

Step 3 - Click on the link for “macOS Big Sur”

Step 4 - The link will ask you to open in the App Store, and will take you to this page within the App Store:

Step 5 - Click “Get” and follow the steps to update your operating system.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Sophos Anti-Virus and MacOS 11 "Big Sur"

Effective Tuesday, June 1 at 10AM the Device Management Core Team will begin removing Sophos Anti-virus from University owned Macintosh computers running Big Sur (macOS 11). Sophos and Apple continue to work on the problems related to running the anti-virus on this platform.

This is a temporary measure to allow the continued use of Jabber Softphone and VPN on Big Sur Macs while the vendors troubleshoot the problem. Pepperdine's Information Security Office has permitted this change with the understanding that it is temporary and that the bulk of protection on modern computers comes from the security patch updates that will continue to be applied by Device Management powered by KACE.

Adding a different antivirus software at this time is not recommended because of the unknown interactions and the expectation that Sophos AV will be reinstalled this summer.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

DM Updating Office Apps to 2019

In our environment, there is a range of versions of Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc...). Some of those versions are going out-of-support and therefore present security concerns. Therefore, Pepperdine Device Management will be prompting users to update to the latest Office version, 2019. Further details can be found on Microsoft's documentation site

Any device with any of the following versions of Office installed will be prompted to update:

  • Windows: Office 2010 and below
  • Mac: Office 2016 and below

Starting Monday, October 5th, affected computers will display this message:

Please start the install at your earliest convenience. Please allocate about 15 minutes during which time you can use your computer but not your Office apps. The length of time of install may vary greatly between devices based on a number of factors. If your install does not seem to be processing correctly, please reach out to your local IT specialist or call 310-506-4357 to request technician intervention.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Mac OS Auto-Update Enabled

Device Management enhances the security of our environment by keeping your computer up-to-date. Not only is it important to keep our installed programs on their latest versions, but also the operating system (OS) of your computer, whether it be Windows or Mac. In order to ensure timely application and OS updates for Mac computers, Device Management will be enabling the built-in auto-update settings within the Mac App Store. You are highly encouraged to reboot when prompted by your Mac to do so, which looks like this:

Periodic reboots are advised for every personal computer. Make sure to take a break and keep your computer up-to-date by proceeding with a reboot when prompted by your OS or the Device Management agent.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Why Is Device Management Needed?

The Computer and Network Responsible Use Policy requires all computers connected to our network to be maintained up-to-date with security patches and to follow published IT Standards. For UNIVERSITY OWNED assets the IT Standard is to use Device Management and WSUS to comply with the policy via automated updates. Twenty years of Pepperdine history has proven that the only way to provide consistently up-to-date computers is automation; all other methods have failed miserably, leaving the University with significant risk.

Why Don't I Already Have Device Management?

The two most common reasons are the computer was bought on a PCard and not delivered to a technician to set up or that the technician forgot this step in the job procedures. We apologize for the extra trouble associated with this notice, but the two options above should get this sorted out timely.

The University Does Not Own This Computer!

Some people have reported to IT technicians that they knowingly marked their computers as University Owned because they thought that status gives them greater benefits. Of course, some people may do this in error. Without distinguishing between causes, if your computer is really a personal purchase, contact the information security office x4040 while sitting in front of your computer. ISO will work with you to change the registration. This service is only available by phone conversation with the registered user of the computer. Conversely IT technicians will not work with you to register a University owned computer as personally owned for the purpose of evading automated updates because this would put them in violation of their annually signed code of conduct. Maintaining your personally owned device free of security vulnerabilities is your responsibility and damage caused by exploited insecurities on your personal device is your liability. IT does not manage personally owned devices. For more information and a resource to maintain security of your personally owned device try browsercheck.pepperdine.edu.

If Your Computer Is Blocked:

As noted in the email you received, University owned computers without Device Management are blocked after 10 days. Please contact the IT Service Desk x4357 to schedule an appointment on the next available time slot to install your Device Management agent and get the computer unblocked by the end of the next business day.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Device Management Agent Roundup - Macs

All University owned computers are required to have the Device Management agent, in order to make them compliant with the Computer and Network Responsible Use Policy. Specifically, this agent updates 3rd party plug-ins and web browser software which were proving proving both impossible to maintain up-to-date and simultaneously a reliable way for cyber criminals to take over Pepperdine computers.

Macintosh computers are not managed by the Windows domain, so the agent cannot be installed automatically. Macs are often bought by University PCard and set up by the assigned user, rather than by a technician, or technician's forget to install the agent.

Beginning in February 2018 the DM team worked to create service desk tickets to help get the agent installed on University purchased assets that didn't have it. As of August 16, 2018 95 Macs still don't have the agent.

To avoid a return to regular exploitation of University computers by cyber criminals, today the Information Security Office contacted all our colleagues who registered a Mac computer that does not have Device Management to ask them to install the agent.
The message requesting this action is personalized with the registrant's first name, NetworkID, the name of the specific computer and its ethernet address. If you received an email like this from ISO dated 8/16/18 at 3:47-49 pm, please follow the instructions in the message. If you would like further confirmation or assistance, please contact the IT service desk. (Second Notice to be sent 9/12/18).

Note that NO ONE from University IT will ever ask you for your password nor can they send you a SecureConnect/DUO push or token. If someone calls or emails requesting your password ( or sends a push or a token you did not generate ) hang up and call the Information Security Office.