7 Ways to Secure Microsoft 365 Office for Business

Microsoft 365 Office Applications

Most small or medium-size organizations today are using, or migrating to one of Microsoft’s 365 suite of applications. With the recent shift to remote work, and the attendant increase in the use of collaboration tools included with Office 365 business plans, organizations are bound to be targeted by cyber criminals and hackers.

More critically, due to the speed of these deployments, many small organizations may not be fully equipped to consider the security configurations of the cloud-based platforms they are migrating to.

There are continued instances where businesses and organizations, especially those in the small and medium-sized business (SMB) category are not implementing best security practices in regard to their Microsoft Office 365 implementation.

The ultimate result, inevitably, will be the increased vulnerability of these environments to attacks by threat actors or hackers.

If you are in charge of securing the technology infrastructure and applications used in your organization, you can use the guidance in this article to increase the security of your Microsoft 365 Office Suite deployments. (more…)

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Remote Working: 3 Ways Technology Can Close The Productivity Gap

People in various remote working scenarios

Now, more than ever, we’re seeing a rapid change in the way the world does business, and where the world does business from, making technology more essential than ever. And when it comes to getting work done, 71% of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) use desktops as their primary computer, which can make working at home or remote working, a huge challenge for many and has greatly increased the demand for mobile, work-from-home devices.

If there’s one thing that current events have shown, it is that nothing will be the same again. In particular, the way we work. The new workforce, now spanning the different work styles of five generations, has already changed the way our businesses are organized.

Our workplaces have to be far more flexible.

Remote workplaces need to support the shiny, new technologies we’re increasingly used to as consumers, while delivering the superior performance and reliability that business demands. Work is no longer a designated space in the office but an activity that we do, when and where we choose, whether that’s a coffee shop or in a home office. (more…)

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Web Conferencing: Getting The Most Out of Business Collaboration

web conferencing business users

You need the right technology to get the best value from web conferencing. Without good connectivity; via wired, wireless or WiFi networks and high-performance hardware and software needed to support great video and audio, it will be hard to achieve the optimal experience.

It’s all about the app

Ultimately, everything depends on the capabilities of the app you use for your web conferencing. Even with great connections and hardware, you won’t get the best outcomes from your online meetings unless your app can deliver what you need.

Your app should be well integrated with your operating system and business suites such as Microsoft 365. This makes Microsoft Teams, the Windows conferencing and collaboration app included with Microsoft 365, the ideal option for anyone using a Windows PC. It’s already built-in with the software they are using every day. (more…)

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Prevent Hackers From Invading Your Computer Network During A Crisis

Computer hackers attacking different electronic devices

If you run a small business or organization, you are a target for cybercriminals. At this point, it’s just a fact of life. Hackers, scammers and threat actors of all kind target small businesses because they are plentiful, and more often than not, they lack good cyber security (if they have any at all). Here’s the kicker: these criminals don’t need to use malicious code or advanced hacking skills to get what they want. In reality, many of them target your biggest vulnerability: your own employees.

It’s a sad truth, but every day, employees of small businesses let hackers right in because they don’t know better. They see an e-mail from the boss, open it and click the link inside. By the time they realize they’ve made a mistake, they’re too embarrassed to say anything. From there, the problem gets worse. Actions like this can end in DISASTER for your business.

The problem is that most employees do not have the training to identify and report IT security issues. They are not familiar with today’s threats or they don’t know to not click that e-mail link. There are many things employees are doing – or not doing – that cause serious problems for small-business owners. Here are five things people do that allow hackers to waltz in through your front door. (more…)

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Online Chat: How to Use Instant Messaging and Chat Rooms Safely

Peple using online chat applications

The expression “online chat” comes from the word chat which means “informal conversation”. The term is loosely associated with any kind of communication over the Internet that offers a real-time transmission of text messages from sender to receiver. Chat messages are generally short in order to enable other participants to respond quickly.

The tendency of online chat to create a feeling similar to a spoken conversation, distinguishes chatting from other text-based online communication forms such as Internet forums and email. In addition, online chat may address point-to-point communications as well as multicast communications from one sender to many receivers and voice and video chat, or may be a feature of a web conferencing service.

While online chat could be text-based like Instant Messaging (IM),  Internet Relay Chat (IRC) etc., or video-based (using webcams), and offer a convenient way to communicate with other people, there are inherent dangers associated with online chat tools that allow real-time communication.

What are the differences between some real-time communication tools?

Instant messaging (IM) – Commonly used for recreation, instant messaging is also becoming more widely used within corporations for communication between employees. IM, regardless of the specific software you choose, provides an interface for individuals to communicate one-on-one. (more…)

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Secure Remote Access: Keeping Business Going with Remote Work

Users accessing a business network through secure remote access connectivity

Given current norms and today’s prevailing culture of a mobile “connect from anywhere” user population, organizations have no alternative recourse but to extend connectivity beyond and across their network perimeter in support of business and IT operations through the use of secure remote access.

But providing remote access to critical information systems, servers, and applications is a perilous endeavor. So what’s an institution to do in order to help end users ensure secure remote access to IT resources? The information provided below is to educate your staff, members and board about providing secure remote access and empowering worker productivity.

It is well publicized that today’s attackers are ever vigilant in their attempts to uncover weak points in networks, computers, and mobile devices to establish a foothold and leverage vulnerabilities, thus resulting in the compromise of critical assets or personal information.

Areas of concern that can lead to a breach include the lack of physical security controls available at remote locations, the use of unsecured networks, and the connection of infected devices to internal networks. The challenge is especially daunting when: (more…)

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