Mainstream news sources are now reporting the security issue that affects nearly every modern processor out there including Intel, AMD, and ARM chips or about 80% of the market. A potential attacker could gain access to protected system memory if an application was installed or even via malicious Javascript injected via an advertising network.

The short is that the Cloud is most affected by these issue, servers somewhat, and personal computers less so( as long as operating system patches are applied and browsers kept up to date).

From a FileMaker perspective, the impact may be a slow down at the application and server level. Estimates vary that it could be from 5%-30% but early reports are that the real world effects are not noticeable (unless your server is regularly running close to full load, which is not a best practice).

That said, this is one additional reason to stay up-to-date with your operating system AND your application software like FileMaker. This has always been our recommendation. Nearly 97% of our clients are running the latest version of FileMaker. We have assisted hundreds of users in updating their custom application and databases to be compatible.

Older system software often won’t be updated to address these issues. After verifying software compatibility, we recommend that macOS users upgrade to the latest version (High Sierra at this writing) wherever possible. Doing this may cause a cascade effect of requiring many updates to other software and even hardware.

On the Windows side patches are slightly more complex and some updates have caused virus protection software to fail, so your antivirus software has to indicate to Windows that it is compatible before the automatic update will install. If your antivirus solution is not compatible yet, it may be time to evaluate another solution.

With a car, you’re better off getting regular oil changes and maintenance instead of waiting until it breaks down. With your computer systems, security and reliability costs money. You’re better off doing smaller incremental maintenance on a regular basis rather than waiting until you need to do a large unplanned repair.

In general, you want your system software to be the OLDEST software on your computer. So you need to upgrade all your applications first…especially anything that integrates with the OS heavily like system utilities and applications that you depend on daily to do your work.

You want to be using FileMaker 16…and the latest version of FileMaker may nearly be a requirement after you’ve upgraded your OS. If you’re using an older version of FileMaker you may need to upgrade the actual database format in order to work with FileMaker 16. We’ve seen some users move ahead on their own with an OS upgrade without planning only to find out that their older version of FileMaker no longer works.

From our side of things. We will be patching all our FileMaker and WordPress servers to eliminate any issues. This includes all servers in the cloud hosting as well as on-site servers we support for clients.

If you host FileMaker or WordPress internally, we can assist with a plan and implementation to address this security issue and minimize its potential impact on your organization.

Our overall recommendations:

  1. Only use cloud hosting from a trusted and reputable vendor that knows security. They should already be patched against this issue. If not, it may be time to find a new cloud hosting vendor.
  2. Upgrade your application software to the latest versions.
  3. Upgrade your macOS to High Sierra with the latest patches (always backup first!)
  4. Only download and install applications from trusted sources.

If you need assistance, fill out our project request form and we’ll talk about having one of our experts help out. If you need to upgrade FileMaker, we can get you the best pricing on licensing.

Tim Cimbura – CEO and Software Engineer

Tim is an expert in creating custom business solutions that make businesses more effective, productive, and profitable. He specializes in rapid application development with the Claris platform including FileMaker and WordPress. He also knows Apple macOS technology inside and out.