Businesses all around the world have had to adjust to the events of 2020. Many have ...
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Did you know? An estimated 50% of businesses do not back up their valuable data ...
Businesses all around the world have had to adjust to the events of 2020. Many have ...
Cybercrime is a global criminal industry that is growing every day at an alarming ...
Did you know? An estimated 50% of businesses do not back up their valuable data ...
Businesses all around the world have had to adjust to the events of 2020. Many ...
Cybercrime is a global criminal industry that is growing every day at an ...
As a precaution, many businesses have decided to have their staff work from home in order to avoid contributing to the spread of the coronavirus. Some businesses have found themselves doing so due to mandates from their regional or local government. Whether voluntary or mandatory, there are several actions and decisions that your company can make in order to operate successfully throughout the coming weeks and months.
The following are items that you should consider as part of your Business Continuity Plan moving forward.
Can your team remotely access all the business-critical systems and data to successfully conduct their roles?
When working from home, it is important that your team members can access the company resources to fulfill their job. This means that the software, systems and data that an individual interacts with daily at the office are available to them when they are no longer able to be in the office.
This can be a huge hurdle to cross. Fortunately, remote access solutions and remote cloud desktop solutions exists which can greatly increase your team’s chances of success.
Remote access solutions allow a team member to connect remotely to the computer that they use in the office. The great thing about this is that your team can work like they normally do. They have immediate access to the actual software, files, and other items they have been using in the office since they first joined the company. There are potential downsides to consider. First, they can only access their office computer remotely if:
The second option is to leverage a remote cloud desktop solution. This solution is great because it removes all the dependencies and points of failure that your office introduces. Your team members simply launch a secure connection into their remote cloud desktop. The remote cloud desktop contains all the software, systems and data that team members need to do their job. Each team member can begin by using this remote cloud desktop daily while in the office. Because the remote desktop is hosted in the cloud, your team can securely access their desktop from anywhere at any time on any device.
Our team – and most of our clients – leverage our remote cloud desktop service, LaunchCloud, to do all of our work. Our team members do not have their data stored on a computer that sits in our office. If the building loses power or Internet, the team can use their laptops to connect over a cellular connection to their remote desktop. If the team is unable to go into the office due to an “act of God” such as snow storm or hurricane, they are able to connect remotely and work from their remote cloud desktop as if nothing was wrong. Such day to day use of a remote cloud desktop system injects a built-in disaster preparedness process into your business.
Can your team conduct effective meetings through video conferencing?
Meetings are crucial for making sure your team are all on the same page and rowing in the same direction. Meetings tend to be taken for granted since it is so easy to just walk to another team member’s desk and have a quick chat about business issues. When your team are all physically separated, you need another method of being able to keep the lines of communication open and your company culture intact. Video chats and conferencing are a great solution to this problem.
Our company – and many of our clients – use Microsoft Teams heavily for internal communications. Teams is an amazing collaboration tool for collaborating via chat and video meetings.
Your staff can use Teams on their computers and mobile devices. If a user has Teams installed on their Apple or Android device, they can chat with other staff just as easily as sending a mobile text message. They can also use their mobile device’s built-in camera to join video conference calls. Most laptops have also been shipping with built-in cameras over the past several years. Combined with the Teams application, their laptop can easily join the same video meetings.
For those that do not have a web camera built into their laptop or desktop, an inexpensive webcam can be purchased from a local retailer or from Amazon.
Your team can begin leveraging chat and video conference meetings today! By getting used to leveraging Teams in your business now, there will be less of a learning curve to consider when activating your Business Continuity Plan later.
Note, our team uses Microsoft Teams daily for ALL staff meetings. Everyone is expected to be on video so that we still maintain our close-knit culture.
Can your team field client calls from home?
Just because your team is working from home does not mean that calls will not be received nor that outbound calls will not need to be made. It is important to make certain your team can make and take calls while at home. Your ability to ensure this is possible will be heavily dependent on who your phone provider is and what phone system you use. You should have a conversation with your current provider to understand what options they can provide you with.
Our team – and most of our clients – use our own rocketwise hosted cloud phone services. Our solution includes a soft-phone application that can be used on a team member’s computer or mobile device. Our cloud VoIP app can be installed on an Apple or Android mobile phone or tablet. The app will turn your mobile phone into a virtual phone on your phone system. You will be able to answer incoming calls to your office number or extension. You will be able to make outbound calls from your company’s phone number (this means your customers will not be seeing your team member’s cell phone numbers on caller ID). You will also be able to transfer calls to other users, call other users directly on their extensions, check your company voicemail, etc. If you can do something on your physical desk phone in your office – you can do the same thing on the mobile app using your smart phone, tablet or computer.
What security concerns should you consider?
Malicious actors are already taking advantage of the fear and uncertainty presented by the coronavirus. We are seeing many malicious emails attempting to lure users into providing their credentials or installing a malicious virus/malware. Several websites have been setup to advertise a way to monitor the coronavirus statistics only to find that the sites are designed to deploy infections onto the computers of visitors.
Other concerns arise as remote workers expose company data to home computers that have no virus protection or other security measures in place. Improperly configured, company data could also find its way out of the corporate realm and exposed online.
Be sure to thoroughly planned for maintaining your team’s digital hygiene and cyber awareness. Make certain you do not needlessly expose your company’s most valuable asset – its data – to ransomware, exfiltration or deletion.
If you are unsure of the implications of using a work from home system – please reach out to a strategic technology provider that can evaluate the proper process and system to utilize for your company.
When was the last time you ran a “fire drill” using your Business Continuity Plan?
Practice makes perfect. When was the last time your leadership team evaluated your company’s Business Continuity Plan? When was the last time your team ran through the plan to make sure that everyone knew what to do and verified that things went as expected? Does the plan consider how your business will function if your team is unable to be in the office?
Now is the time to review these plans, kick the tires and make certain there are no surprises waiting for you if you must activate your plan. Test your plan now.
A word about equipment…
Because many manufacturing and supply chains are shut down or otherwise disrupted, it may become difficult to procure new computers and other equipment in the coming weeks and months. If you have any new hires on the horizon or other technology purchases in mind, let your technology partner or IT department know so they can have plenty of lead time to order equipment.
Still have more questions than answers? Need a second opinion regarding your Work From Home process or Business Continuity Plan?
We have helped hundreds of businesses over the years with their Information Technology. We hope our experience will help you keep your business running throughout this world impacting event. If you feel you need hands-on assistance managing your IT please keep us in mind. We are happy to help proactively manage your technology strategy and prepare you for success.
Because of the current COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have been considering how we could respond to a worst-case scenario where a team member is diagnosed with the virus, or company and government decisions result in a significant number of people unable to visit the office. How can your organization be prepared for these events?
People might be unable to work from the office because of the shutdown of public transport, schools or large city areas.
Having an unplanned (and sudden) large number of remote workers using established solutions such as VPN access could easily overwhelm the capacity of the office network or have unanticipated software licensing impacts. Further, some applications may be sensitive to slow response times due to VPN or firewall bottlenecks and not function as expected.
Connectivity aside, there may be issues with the physical equipment itself. Maybe a person’s computer isn’t mobile. Perhaps it has not been configured for working outside of the office. Alternatively, the person has never worked remotely and has no idea how to install, configure and use VPN software.
If a person receives a diagnosis while out of the office, they may not be able to come to the office to collect their computer. This presents logistical issues as to how a company would get the equipment to the employee safely.
From an operations point of view, having a significant number of people working from home can present problems both in terms of ticket volumes and the types of issues. In a standard workplace, workers will often ask a co-worker how to resolve something before contacting the help desk. In the work from home context, this interaction is not possible. The types of issues that a worker may request assistance on will also be different while working from home, where all the equipment and connectivity is essentially uncontrolled.
rocketwise’s LaunchCloud virtual desktop is a service that could be one part of a COVID-19 response plan.
With LaunchCloud, we no longer need to be concerned with the constraints of the physical hardware or a person’s location. In the example above if the worker cannot come into the office, they can request a virtual desktop which can be quickly and easily provisioned based on their profile, and within minutes they can connect through the a Windows computer, web browser, Android device, Apple Mac/ iPhone or iPad.
In addition to being fast and scalable, LaunchCloud has the benefit of ensuring that your corporate data always remains within your control.
While in a “normal” virtual desktop deployment scenario we need to consider bandwidth to/from the workplace, for a situation such as COVID-19 this is not an issue, as connectivity is from the remote workers home to the LaunchCloud data centers.
Of course, some things will need to be overcome; for example, how does a remote worker access voice and video through a virtual desktop? One obvious answer would be to utilize a personal device just for this, although other solutions also exist.
We have been having discussions with clients about how we can enable LaunchCloud for them. The majority of our clients have been using LaunchCloud for daily operations over the last several years.
We have prepared a rapid start offer to allow clients to quickly enable and test virtual desktop deployments, allowing them to determine if it can form part of their COVID-19 response plan.
The start of a new year is a challenging time for businesses. It can be a good time to reflect on the wins and losses of the previous twelve months. It’s also an excellent time to take stock and evaluate what your business needs to go forward.
IT demands move at a staggering speed, meaning last year’s tech may not fit next year’s needs.
The new year can bring major change to both the business and the environment it operates in. Regulations, contract terms, and seasonal spending habits mean that adaptations have to be made for continued growth.
A smart business knows how and where to incorporate flexibility to win more business and adapt to a new environment. As we move into the new year, there are fundamental questions we should ask about our IT to ensure we are ready to tackle the next twelve months too.
Is Your Hardware Still Up to The Task?
Businesses are often challenged by their client’s demand for files that seem to continually increase in size and resolution. The storage needed to handle, use, and archive these enormous files appears to grow at a near exponential rate.
Every device today is capable of capturing more data at a higher resolution than ever before. Huge data needs have become the new standard.
The expectation of bigger and bigger data is only set to continue as we progress into another new year. Many clients expect, or demand, exceptional quality from professional services and with a fast turnaround time too.
These competing demands put as much strain on network hardware and computing power as they do physical storage. One of the most important things a business can do when reviewing IT demands is to ensure there are no bottlenecks in the productivity pipeline.
Is Your Backup Reliable and Ready?
Almost every business in the modern day has learned enough to put a backup in place. Whether simply transferring files manually to USB storage, copying documents over to a local server, or saving media to the cloud. However, not every business is testing their backups. Fewer still are testing them reliably.
A backup is only as good as what we know can be reliably restored from it. Cases have emerged where big-name firms had famously believed they were backing up successfully for months or years, only to find out their backup was failing when they really needed it.
Whether impacted by missing assets, unable to transfer files, or affected by corrupt data, an untested backup may be as useful as not having any backup at all. A critical goal for the safety and reliability of any business should be to have dependable backups that are tested at regular intervals.
Is Your Compliance Still Up to Date?
Nearly every business in the world has compliance and regulations standards it must adhere to if it is to keep its position in the marketplace. These may be industry specific such as medical or automotive certifications, or regional protections such as data protection regulations.
Requirements for each of these areas change regularly. It is up to each firm to keep on top of both changes to rules and changes to the firm which may impact them.
Changing IT can often impact certifications in a big way. Many feature rules which affect storage, processing, or altering the way in which data is used; it’s essential to check your usage against strict requirements relevant to your business.
While time-consuming and difficult, these checks require a strong knowledge of both the rules and your IT system. The penalties for failure can be severe and crippling. It is a critical area of the firm you can’t afford to get wrong.
If you are looking to boost your business in the new year, check up on your systems and technology, or dust up your certifications to the latest standard: there’s never a better time than now.
Give us a call at 888-686-5224 to get your new year off to a flying start.
Why would a small business need VoIP? Not just another acronym to learn, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) offers many advantages for small business. Especially SMBs that want to run with the enterprise-sized companies.
Basically, VoIP turns voice conversation into data packets sent between the two network points. Don’t worry, the person you’re calling doesn’t need to be on VoIP. The technology turns the data back into analog at the receiving end if needed.
If you’ve been on Skype, you’ve experienced VoIP. With VoIP you use your broadband Internet connection to make and receive calls. Bypassing traditional or mobile phones, VoIP users avoid long-distance or extra minute charges.
Beyond long distance savings, VoIP setups often include features such as voicemail and call forwarding, at no extra charge. Other useful features could include call forwarding, voicemail transcription, and call recording.
Plus, there’s cost savings from reducing and consolidating communications infrastructure. Streamlining voice, data, and broadband services with one provider can cut costs. With VoIP, you can also reduce your investment in setting up and maintaining traditional communications.
VoIP Enables Flexibility
Mobility is another big reason to move to VoIP. Downloading the business VoIP application turns any Internet-connected device into a VoIP phone. Business users can take their business phone number anywhere – even if they are in another country.
Calls can be forwarded from office phones to the individual’s device of choice. Really, users don’t even need a phone as they can make and receive calls from laptops or desktop computers too. VoIP definitely supports “bring your own device” workplace flexibility, which employees appreciate.
Along with flexibility, a VoIP platform is scalable. VoIP is easy to install as there’s little to no physical hardware to set up. As your business grows, your business can quickly expand the number of users. No more waiting for the telephone company to come out and add additional lines.
Plus, seasonal businesses can add or subtract lines as needed with little to no added cost.
Doing away with telephone hardware frees up space and means fewer maintenance concerns. Working with a VoIP provider, you also gain expert support and confidence your communication tech is up to date.
What About Quality, Security?
A common concern when businesses hear about VoIP is call quality. VoIP needs a good Internet connection to work well, so making sure you have high bandwidth can help. Still, when you don’t have to worry about competing traffic, the quality of a VoIP call can surpass an analog one.
Security is another concern. Keep in mind your landline or cell phone aren’t that secure to begin with. A VoIP business communications solution can be on-premises or cloud-based. When running VoIP over your private network, the data is as secure as any other application running on your business system. Otherwise, most VoIP service providers encrypt calls.
Analytics Benefit of VoIP
With a VoIP solution, you gain access to more reporting and business analytics. For instance, some VoIP systems integrate with customer relationship management software (CRM) for better data and caller insights.
VoIP call monitoring, recording, and reporting capabilities are also helpful. You can drive better employee training, help identify security threats, and ensure compliance.
VoIP provides cost savings, flexibility, and operations transparency. With this technology as your business backbone, you can focus on revenue and growth.
There are many reasons to implement VoIP – give us a call at 888-686-5224.
Let’s talk about giving your small business an enterprise-level communications system with VoIP.
Your old computer is beginning to slow down. So, you invest in a shiny new laptop. The clouds part and the sun shines down on this bright and lovely new device. Everything will be faster and easier. Only, from the first day, the new laptop is lagging. Why is it running so slow? One of these might be the reason.
#1 Not enough computing power.
In many cases, the laptop doesn’t have enough RAM (Random Access Memory). RAM is the computer’s main memory. This helps your computer do more at once. Information from the operating system, application programs and data are kept here, when in use, for quicker processing.
RAM is like the computer’s short-term memory, while the hard drive is the long-term memory. Just as the human brain can’t hold everything in short-term memory, RAM can get overloaded too. When this happens on your laptop, the computer processor needs to go to the hard drive. This slows things down.
Resolution: You might see 4GB, 8GB, 16GB or more of RAM available. How much you need is going to depend on what you plan on doing with the computer. For a laptop with Windows 10, we recommend at least 8GB of RAM, but 16GB is more comfortable for a better experience.
Not all laptops will let you access the RAM. When you can, though, upgrading memory can be quick and affordable.
#2 Mechanical hard drive.
Often a single part is letting you down. With a less expensive computer, manufacturers skimp. While it’s less common these days, some laptops will come with a mechanical hard drive. You might think of this like a record player with a needle reading the vinyl album. Since something is moving to find data, the laptop runs slower than it would with a Solid State Drive (SSD), which has no moving parts.
Resolution: In many cases, a mechanical hard drive can be easily upgraded to an SSD. However, some super slim laptops have limited upgradability.
Retailers like to tout all the bells and whistles that come with their laptops. So, when you turn on your laptop for the first time, you may notice there’s already a lot of software preloaded. Much of it you’ll probably never use. Maybe there are toolbars you don’t need, games you’ll never use, or stock widgets that you couldn’t care less about. These examples of bloatware slow down your computer.
The third-party applications are a revenue source for the manufacturer, but don’t always help you. Microsoft, for instance, sells a line of computers that come without any pre-installed third-party software. Computerworld reported those PCs “start up 104% faster, shut down 35% faster and have 28 minutes more battery life.”
Resolution: When you get a new laptop, check out the pre-installed software before you add your own. Determine what the existing software will do, and uninstall anything that you won’t want.
If your laptop is slow on the first startup, this may be due to system updates. For instance, a Windows 10 automatic update to bolster the security of the computer. You can’t do much about these, but look on the bright side, your laptop security is current!
Improved speed is a main reason to invest in a new laptop. Don’t let a lagging laptop disrupt your productivity. We can help with a slow running laptop.
Instead of wasting valuable time waiting on a slow computer, give us a call at 888-686-5224!
As cyber-attacks continue to make headlines, hackers are exposing or selling customer data files in record numbers. But just like with any threat, there are actions you can take to minimize risk and ensure your business retains a positive reputation among customers.
If you would like to make sure your business is secure from data breaches, give us a call at 888-686-5224.
Very few things in life are as intensely frustrating as slow network speeds. Whether accessing a shared database, sharing files between computers, or sending a file to print; waiting for transfers can seem to take an eternity. Worse still, these business breaks can keep both clients and staff waiting and get in the way of the productive business day.
Every time you save or retrieve files from another computer or network storage device, file transfers have to be made over the network. Depending on your IT setup files can pour over the network with the ferocity of a fire hose, or trickle between machines as if dripping through a drinking straw. Poor network speeds are often a critical bottleneck that slows down the entire IT system. If a slow, frustrating, and unreliable network sounds like your office setup then there are many available solutions we can use to help.
Often, offices maintain networking hardware that is as old as the premises they are in or the businesses themselves. Components can be left in place long after their suggested expiration date. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it commonly rules as long as some working connection, however slow, still remains.
Yet, outdated hardware in key areas can often slow the entire system down. Even when the rest of the network is capable of ultra-high speeds, a single bad component can bring the entire network to a crawl. Sometimes if it isn’t broke, it still might not be working to its full potential. Even peripheral devices throughout the network can cause traffic to slow. A badly installed device may become lost from the network or send out an overwhelming number of messages that spoils network traffic. Defense against errors and vulnerabilities is more simple than many think. Often just one or two small upgrades is all that is needed to unlock the full speed potential of the network.
For some businesses adding a dedicated server is an ideal solution that can balance the IT workload. Access to centrally shared resources often benefits the entire organization by eliminating redundancy. A network server is built with efficiency and reliability in mind to keep your business running at full capacity. By pooling resources for everyone to use, work is evenly shared and centrally available to prevent bottlenecks in the system. Reduced network loads, improved efficiency, and faster transfer speeds mean that higher productivity becomes the new normal.
Moving resources outside of the office can work for many businesses too. Where high speed, low-cost internet services are available, moving your work into the cloud can be a highly cost-effective solution. Software packages such as Quickbooks offer finance and accounting packages for operating in the cloud. Similar Suites such as Microsoft Office offers services for creating and sharing documents with cloud resources. Both packages eliminate the need for many of the network operations that we use every day.
For many applications such as Quickbooks huge databases sometimes gigabytes in size are required. It is these types of applications where the advantage of the cloud becomes clear. To use this locally, huge database transfers keep the application up-to-date daily.
These transfers across a local network are time-consuming and clog up vital resources for the firm. Yet, the same application in the cloud requires only a simple web page for each user. Instantly, looking up finances and editing documents becomes as simple as checking your email. With services moved to the cloud purchase cost and maintenance of expensive network hardware are reduced too.
A complete network solution that works to make the most out of all the available resources is unique to every business. Only a tailored solution to address your network needs will increase your productivity.
If your IT is starting to get in the way of your business and your network is running too slow, give us call at 888-686-5224.
Phishing attacks have been around for a long time in IT. Designed to steal your credentials or trick you into installing malicious software, they have persisted in the IT world precisely because they have been so devastatingly simple and effective. Today, a more modern and more effective version of the same attack is commonly used.
A typical phishing attack involves an attacker sending out a malicious email to hundreds of thousands, if not millions of users. The attacker’s email is designed to look like it comes from a bank, financial service, or even the tax office. Often aiming to trick you into logging in to a fake online service, a phishing attack captures the login details you enter so an attacker may use them to enter the genuine service later.
By sending out tens of thousands of emails at a time, attackers can guarantee that even if only one half of one percent of people fall for it, there is a lot of profit to be made by draining accounts. Spear phishing is a more modern, more sophisticated, and far more dangerous form of the attack. It’s typically targeted at businesses and their staff.
A Convincing, Dangerous Attack
While a traditional phishing attack throws out a broad net in the hope of capturing as many credentials as possible, spear phishing is targeted and precise. The attack is aimed towards convincing a single business, department, or individual that a fraudulent email or website is genuine.
The attacker focuses on building a relationship and establishing trust with the target. By building trust and convincing the target that they are who they are pretending to be, the user is more likely to open attachments, follow links, or provide sensitive details.
Consider how many times you have followed a link or opened an attachment just because it has come from a contact you have trusted before.
A Trusted E-mail
The malicious email can appear to come from a vendor you deal with regularly. It may even look like an invoice you are expecting to receive. Often attackers can simply substitute the vendors’ banking details for their own, hoping the target will not notice the difference.
Such an attack is very difficult to detect. It takes a keen eye, strong working knowledge, and constant awareness to keep your company protected. Even a single small mistake by an unaware member of staff can compromise your business accounts.
Defending Your Business
The key to stopping a spear phishing attack is education. Learning attack techniques, and how to protect against them is the single biggest thing you can do to enhance business security.
Whenever you deal with a vendor in a business transaction, you should always consider important questions before proceeding. Are you expecting this email? Is the vendor attempting to rush you into a quick decision or transaction? Have you checked all the details are correct and as you expected? Sometimes a simple query to the vendor can protect you against worst-case scenarios.
In many cases, a phishing attack can be halted in its tracks with a strong IT security package. Web filtering prevents malicious emails and links from entering the network, shutting attacks down before any damage can be done.
Good Security Practice
As with many types of IT threat, good security practices help mitigate damage. Locking down security to ensure employees only access the systems they need helps to prevent damage spreading across the network.
Enforcing unique and strong passwords prevents leaked credentials from affecting systems related to the one that has been compromised. Getting employees set up with a password manager and good security policies can do the world of good to boost your security to the level it needs to be.
Give us a call at 888-686-5224 to audit your security practices. It could be the difference that secures your firm against sophisticated spear phishing attacks.
Most of us can admit that we have lost track of time during the workday on occasion. Sometimes time can get away from you, particularly when you’re busy. Often you can be running late before you know it and wondering where the day has gone.
Luckily, there is a wide range of technology solutions to put to work helping to put you in charge of your to-do list.
Office 365 Calendar
We’re often guilty of spending the entire day stuck just in Outlook. In addition to taking up your time, there are a range of features that can help you make the most of it too. With simple tools and tweaks, you’ll be able to manage your calendar like a pro.
Office 365 Calendar allows you to make quick changes, alter your diary, and update items on the go. The Calendar interface allows events and items to be picked up and moved to a different time or date with ease.
Many think of calendar packages in terms of old desktop applications of years gone by. Events, once input, were almost impossible to change, alter, or remove. In old applications it was easier to go without a calendar at all than attempt to use the one included.
The biggest advantage Office calendar has is the ability to access and update it from anywhere. With 2-way sync appointments, meetings, and events can be updated anywhere and accessed everywhere. The days of no longer being able to look at your calendar because you’re not at your PC are long gone now.
Today you can add events straight from your email with a simple click. Participants in events can be contacted with reminders automatically. You can even schedule your own reminders before the event too. Using your calendar to stay on top of your day has never been easier.
Office 365 additionally offers OneNote too, an indispensable tool that you shouldn’t do without.
OneNote acts as a virtual notebook to keep your ideas, projects, and notes in line. Using OneNote enables you to power-up your text with drawings and diagrams, tailor your projects with color coding, and record your thoughts with media clips all in one location.
OneNote is the ultimate record keeping tool that you simply can’t go into a meeting without. Physical notebooks begin to seem like a relic of the past, limited by old constraints that no longer apply.
Included with Office 365 is Microsoft’s To-Do application. To-Do offers simple, straightforward to-do list that makes it easy to plan your day.
Whether plotting your school work, planning your projects, or keeping on top of your home life, To-Do is designed to boost productivity and make the most of your time. The simple interface makes it easy to use and the instant reward for checking of tasks makes it well worth your while.
To-Do sorts your tasks into lists, which are combined into a single day view. The view of your day provides a clear, clutter-free list of tasks to be done. The application syncs with all your devices to give you access from anywhere. This empowers you to quickly add, change, schedule, and tick off tasks as you go.
Keeping On Top Of The Day
Losing track of time is easy to do. It doesn’t take much before your day seems completely off-balance and impossible to retrieve. With these tools from Office 365 and a tiny bit of planning, your days can become more productive than ever.
Back on track, you’ll no longer have to spend your free time making up for lost time. Your spare time will be your own again and everyone will wonder how you manage to remain so productive.
Give some tech tools a try today and you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them.
Topics: Office 365
Protecting your business against the latest IT threats should always be a top priority. Updating antivirus and patching your operating system is a great way to start. What happens, however, when a threat appears at your door before security firms have had a chance to catch it?
A security threat that exploits a previously undiscovered vulnerability in the computer is known as a zero-day threat. The name “zero-day” is designed to imply how long since the vulnerability was discovered. The term also indicates that system developers have had zero days to fix it.
A newly discovered attack might be packaged into a computer virus or worm. This will allow it to spread far and wide while inflicting the maximum amount of damage possible. When spread successfully, a new exploit has the potential to reach hundreds of thousands of computers before an operating system or anti-virus update can even be issued.
There are a number of ways we can protect your business or lessen the damage from a zero-day attack.
The number one way to mitigate the damage from any attack to your system is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Maintaining a good firewall and up-to-date antivirus is the best step you can take to ensure the security of your system.
A firewall, monitoring traffic in and out of your network, reduces unauthorised entry over the network. Even without knowing the exact nature of the attack, suspicious activity travelling in and out of the system can be stopped.
The same is true of modern Antivirus. Even when it can not identify the specific zero-day threat from its virus database; it can often identify malicious intent from learned behaviour in the system.
A Locked Down Network
Should a zero-day threat make it into your network, our next goal should be to limit its effects. By restricting user access to only essential files and systems we can limit the damage done to the smallest number of systems. Good security policy dictates that each account should only have full access to the systems needed to complete the user’s job. For example, users from the accounts department shouldn’t have access to sales department databases.
In this way, the damage of a single compromised account is limited to only the network area it operates in. Such limited impact should be easy to control and can be reversed with regular backups.
Good Data backup
Whether your entire network has been exploited or only a small area has been affected; good data backups are your protection against major lasting damage. Having a good backup means having the procedures in place to both create regular backup copies and make sure they can be restored at a later date.
Reliable and well-tested backups are worth their weight in gold. Knowing your data is safe and your system can be recovered is peace of mind against even the most highly destructive zero-day attacks.
While the precise methods of a zero-day exploit can’t be known in advance, a network intrusion protection system (NIPS) can monitor the firms’ network for unusual activity.
The advantage of NIPS over a traditional antivirus only system is it does not rely on checking software against a known database of threats. This means it does not need updates or patches to learn about the latest attacks. NIPS works by monitoring the day-to-day patterns of network activity across the network.
When traffic or events far out of the ordinary are detected action can be taken to alert system administrators and lock down the firewall. Devices such as USB drives and mobile devices can all introduce threats to the network. They can often make it past the firewall because they are physically introduced to the system.
NIPS protects against threats introduced to the network from both external and internal sources.
Full Cover Protection
Used in combination these techniques can prevent, protect, and mitigate against the kinds of threats that even the top security firms haven’t patched yet. We think it’s important to keep your firm secure whatever it might come up against in the future.
If you could use help protect your business against online threats, give us a call today at 888-686-5224.
Your dealership is under attack! Hackers can break into your email to plunder your business bank account. It happens every day.
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Order your Free Copy of "Compromised" today and discover how to stop it from happening to YOU.
Your team has so much more to give, they just need the right tools to help unleash their potential - regardless of where they work. One key tool can do just that - Microsoft Teams.
Download your free copy of our Step-by-Step Guide for getting the most out of Teams.
Ready to make this a wildly successful year for your business? To shake off the memories of 2020, and focus on increasing sales and profitability? Excellent.
A great place to start is helping you and your team to get more done in less time.
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