What Does It Mean To Say “My Computer Is Supported By Macnamara”?

Small people cleaning a processor
At Macnamara, we like to say that we support people, not machines. And, of course, that is true. We support people who use computers, and we help them to get past the problems that their computers throw up. Every now and again though, when no one is watching, we drop what we learned in Marketing 101 for Small Businesses, and admit that we love computers and we do in fact support computers as well as people (who we love even more).

Secure Managed Device

Computer support is a term that dates back two decades to when we first setup the company. Back then computers were harder to use and much more prone to going wrong. To, at least, reduce the frustration of using computers in business, companies reluctantly accepted that some level of support was necessary. Today, desktops and laptops are more reliable and easier to use, computer crashes are relatively rare, and a lot of software tends to behave nicely.

Overall, using a computer at work in 2023 is a much nicer experience than it was back in the early days of the new millennium. There are two main reasons for this: 1) hardware and software vendors have radically improved their products; and 2) computer support is now accepted as essential to a smooth-running business environment. It may be accepted but, nonetheless, it is not always clear what computer support means.

Today, desktops and laptops are more reliable and easier to use, and computer crashes are relatively rare
Today desktops and laptops are more reliable and easier to use and computer crashes are relatively rare

These days we don’t always call it support. At Macnamara we call it computer management, in fact we call it Secure Management. There are only a small number of computer manufacturers now and they have mastered delivering solid reliable business machines. With a few exceptions, notably around specialised line of business software, software vendors like Microsoft produce great software that is easy to use and doesn’t cause computers to crash.

Why Does It Matter?

So how does having a secure managed device make life easier for our end users? For some people it is only about always having someone to call when things go wrong or don’t make sense. Having in-depth hardware and software expertise on hand makes life easier. Computers are more complex than ever, as is the software they run and the two together still throw up puzzles and oddities. Dealing with these conundrums is a key part of our customer service.

However, secure computer management largely goes on behind the scenes. Maintaining inventory is a big part of the job. We make sure that we know exactly what equipment is used by our clients, what its specifications and capabilities are, when the warranties expire and when it should be replaced to keep your team productive. We have learned over the years that maintaining accurate detailed inventory itself goes a long way to eliminating common computer problems.

Secure computer management largely goes on behind the scenes. Maintaining inventory is a big part of the job.
Secure computer management largely goes on behind the scenes Maintaining inventory is a big part of the job


Moving on from knowing precisely what equipment our customers are using, and it is amazing how many support people don’t start from this point, we have developed two concepts that together make up secure management: 1) technical compliance and; 2) security compliance.

Technical compliance involves keeping on top of the changing needs of our clients and ensuring that the right equipment is used for each task, making sure, for example, that graphics cards are installed where needed and those with intensive computing needs, such as indexing large document libraries are running computers with processors capable of doing the job.

Security compliance is more interesting and has the surprising side effect that by keeping the computer secure it also tends to run well. As computers and software have become more reliable and less in need of constant tweaking and repairing criminals have jumped in to take advantage of their universal use in business. While businesses used to worry about not getting payroll out on time because the bookkeeper’s computer was unstable, now they worry about someone using the bookkeeper’s robust and stable computer to steal the payroll. As the problem of instability fell away it was replaced by the problem of insecurity. And that’s where security compliance comes in.

Cyber Essentials is our baseline standard for security compliance.
Cyber Essentials is our baseline standard for security compliance

Security compliance involves making sure that managed computers meet and continue to meet a set of security standards. These standards include:

  • Device encryption
  • Minimum operating system version and patch level
  • Minimum MS Office version and patch level
  • Minimum third-party application version and patch level
  • Browser and utility application version and patch level
  • Device firmware version and patch level
  • Ability to stop and/or roll back ransomware attacks
  • Backup up of desktop and key folders
  • Inability to install software without approval
  • Automatic removal of unapproved software
  • Automatic removal of unused user accounts and files
  • Antivirus and safe browsing

This list is expanded constantly as new risks and related preventive measures emerge each month. To keep abreast of the ever-changing array of threats Macnamara subscribes to multiple news feeds and is a member of several information sharing groups, such as the Cyber Essentials Assessors group and the Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership (CiSP) run by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

Our marketing message about supporting people rather than machines is true and is both the reason Macnamara exists and why we have been successful so far. But we are techies, and we know that giving our clients the absolute best experience of IT means we must make sure their equipment stays secure and performs at its best.

For some additional information about our security approach, see our Security page. We also have numerous blogs on the subject of security.

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