Software developers and hackers are in a constant game of cat and mouse. When cybercriminals find new security bugs to exploit, tech companies have to quickly release a solution that secures those vulnerabilities. Just this month, Microsoft released a patch to eliminate a Word exploit designed to steal user information. If you’re an avid Microsoft Word user, here’s what you need to know about the bug.

The attack
On April 10, cybersecurity firm Proofpoint discovered scammers running email campaigns to trick people into clicking malware-ridden Word attachments. The fraudulent emails, simply titled “Scan Data,” included attached documents that were named “Scan,” followed by randomized digits.

Although the emails seem harmless, clicking on the documents triggers a download for Dridex malware, a Trojan virus designed to give hackers direct access to your banking information. From there, they can simply log in to your online account and make unauthorized transactions under your name.

In 2015, the distribution of Dridex allowed cybercriminals to steal approximately $25 million from European accounts. And if your business fell victim to this malware, there’s a possibility your company might not be able to recover from the loss.

The solution
Fortunately, two days after the discovery of the bug, Microsoft released a security update to disable the dangerous documents, urging users to install the patch as soon as possible. But even though Dridex was inoculated relatively quickly, employees continue to be the biggest problem.

Like most malware attacks, Dridex was distributed via phishing campaigns that preyed on a victim’s trust and curiosity. Hackers added barely any text to the email, yet people were still fooled into clicking on dangerous links.

To make sure Dridex never reaches your company, you must provide comprehensive security awareness training. In your sessions, encourage employees to practice safe computing habits, which include being cautious of online links, setting strong passwords, and avoiding downloads from untrusted and unknown sources.

Much like updating your software, keeping your staff’s security knowledge up to date on the latest threats is also imperative. Ultimately, your goal is to have employees with a security-focused mindset when browsing the web.

Of course, if security training and cybersecurity solutions are not your company’s specialties, you can always rely on a trusted managed services provider like us to protect your business. We can update and secure your systems regularly, and make sure your staff are actively doing their part to reduce security risks.

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Microsoft has just announced plans to bring support for add-ins for the Mac version of Microsoft Office. Despite being in the initial testing stages, this development is still exciting nonetheless. This marks another step forward in Microsoft’s efforts to bring the Mac version of the Office Suite closer to its Windows counterpart. Read on for more information:

Office add-ins are applications running within the suite’s constituent programs that provide features not available by default. In terms of usage, they’re similar to browser extensions, but add-ins are tailored to the tasks users carry out in Office programs such as Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook. For example, one popular add-in allows users to look up words and phrases on Wikipedia without leaving Word. Another introduces additional chart types that can be used in Excel.

Add-ins are usually free, but some require either a one-off payment or a monthly subscription. If Microsoft wants its Office Store to flourish, it makes a lot of sense to provide support for add-ins to the Mac version of the Office Suite.

According to a report from MS Power User, to access add-ins, Mac users need to be members of the Insider program and opt into its Fast Ring. From there, you should check that the installation of your Office for Mac is build 170124 or later.

You can find the “Add-ins” option from the Insert menu in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, and then select the store. Once at the storefront, find an add-in you’re looking for and install it. Currently, there’s no word on when add-ins will be available to all Office users on the Mac platform. But if the functionality is ready for public testing, it’s safe to assume the official release is already on its way.

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment.

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Office 365 doesn’t represent the number of days you need to spend working; rather, it’s a productivity and collaboration-enhancing software that helps employees work from wherever and whenever they want. By enabling employees to work, share files and collaborate with colleagues on a cloud-based platform, your company will be given a competitive advantage. Here are the four newest features added to Office 365:

Real-time collaboration in PowerPoint

Users will now be able to share a PowerPoint deck and update documents with others in real time. This means you’ll be able to see edits as your colleagues make them. Microsoft was committed to expanding real-time co-authoring of a company’s native applications, with Microsoft Word already rolling out this feature beforehand. Currently, real-time collaboration is available for PowerPoint on Windows desktops for Office 365 subscribers in the Office Insider program and for PowerPoint Mobile on Windows tablets.

Move attachments to the cloud and share with colleagues in Outlook

According to Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office team, this feature allows users to transform a traditional document into a shared cloud document within Outlook. Previously, Outlook users could only attach cloud-based documents to an email, but this new feature makes it easier to send large files and to collaborate on those files with ease.

Users can upload files into their own OneDrive or a document library as part of an Office 365 group and then designate sharing permissions for the email recipients. The new feature is currently available in Outlook on the web as well as Outlook on Windows desktops for Office 365 subscribers.

Mobile notifications for changes to shared documents

With this new update, users will be notified when any cloud documents in Word, Excel and PowerPoint are being shared or edited. These notifications let you know when changes are being made, even if you are away from a particular document, so you’re always connected and know when you have to act. This feature can be integrated with the activity feed on Windows desktops, and help businesses improve user collaboration. Koenigsbauer says that Microsoft will continue working on the notification feature “to provide more detail and transparency around shared document activity in the future.” Sharing and editing notifications are available for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint users on Android and Windows Mobile for Office Insiders. This feature will be available for commercial users in all Office mobile applications in the coming months.

Find, open, and save documents in a Shared with Me and Recent Folders tab

Microsoft’s “Shared with Me” tab in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint makes it easier for enterprise users to find and open shared documents without having to leave the app you’re working in. At the moment, the Shared with Me tab is available on Windows desktops and Macs for all Office 365 subscribers, iOS and Android devices included. And soon, it will be available on Windows Mobile. And the “Recent Folders” tab — used to help quickly locate files as well — is now available in Word, Excel and PowerPoint on Windows desktops for Office 365 subscribers in the Office Insider program.

Technology has become an integral part of modern businesses, and investing in the right IT resources is needed in order to achieve success. With the latest additions to Microsoft Office 365, small- and medium-sized businesses will enjoy enhanced staff collaboration, increased corporate productivity, and an overall competitive advantage.

Are you ready to embrace the cloud with a solution like Office 365? Give us a call, and talk with us about a cloud migration today.

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory SOURCE

Legal and business professionals today face many challenges. They need to ensure compliance, and make sure their documents are secure and easily shared with teams and clients. They expect their technology solutions to reduce overhead, increase billable hours, enhance productivity, and provide the ability to work anywhere, anytime.
Office 365 provides solutions to address these challenges and more, helping to increase the number of hours that lawyers have available to spend on their client’s needs resulting in increased client referrals and revenue.

Why Office 365?

Cloud-powered Office 365 has the applications you know—always up to date and accessible from virtually anywhere. It includes enterprise-grade services such as online storage for secure document sharing, real-time co-authoring to help improve collaboration, and productivity tools such as content management, enterprise search, and social, while simplifying IT management and reducing IT expenditure.

A secured enterprise-grade cloud-based platform

Office 365 is compliant with world-class industry standards, including ISO 27001, EU Model clauses, HIPAA BAA, and FISMA. It has built-in capabilities such as permissions, versioning control, eDiscovery, and records management to ensure documents are managed, controlled, archived and can be retrieved in one place with reduced overhead.

Get work done from anywhere and anytime

You can get to your applications and files from virtually anywhere—PC, Mac, tablets, and most mobile devices—and they’re always up to date. Collaborate on matters with teammates, share documents with clients, and connect with other lawyers.

Store, access, and share documents securely from anywhere

OneDrive for Business is your online briefcase. With 1 TB of cloud storage, you can store and access your matter documents at any time online or offline, and securely share them internally with your team or externally with clients. Reduce the amount of paper you need to carry and the time spent searching for the latest version of documents.

Simple administration and rock-solid security

With Office 365, your data is protected and control is even easier. There’s step-by-step deployment guidance, and you can manage your users and services from a single admin portal. Office 365 has built-in security that deflects malware, spam, phishing attacks, and other threats. And if you need to, you can connect with an Office 365 expert for migration, custom work, and ongoing support.

Migration to cloud on your own terms

Understanding that not all firms and organizations are the same; organizations can make their journey to the cloud at their own pace. Organizations can choose from a full cloud-deployed environment to a hybrid or full on-premises environment to best meet their needs or compliance requirements.

Why Matter Center for Office 365?

Microsoft Corporate, External & Legal Affairs developed Matter Center for Office 365, a SharePoint-based document management and collaboration solution. It takes advantage of all the deep enterprise content management capabilities that the SharePoint platform provides, and offers many additional benefits of being integrated into the Office 365 platform, including: integration with Outlook and Word, rich content search and discovery with Delve, analytics with Power BI, personal document storage and collaboration with OneDrive for Business, extensive compliance, management and security, and a growing list of capabilities as Office 365 continues to move forward.
Matter Center for Office 365 improves the way law firms and attorneys work together by making it easier to organize files by client and matter, review documents, and find information when needed, all without ever leaving Microsoft Word or Outlook.
Are you ready to embrace the cloud with a solution like Office 365? Give us a call, and talk with us about a cloud migration today.

Published with consideration from Microsoft SOURCE

Office 365 – Different subscription models, different backup possibilities.

One of the most frequently talked about topics in the IT field is the cloud. It seems to be almost everywhere, and as we have pointed out in previous blogs, there are definitely some advantages to this concept. By reducing capital costs – licensing, hardware, and software – companies are able to streamline and improve accessibility and flexibility across the organization.

What is Office 365

Microsoft introduced Office 365 in 2011 as a software plus services subscription – a combination of an online service, Office web-based applications, and Office software subscriptions. Currently there are at least 12 pricing tiers to choose from – for personal, business and enterprise use. The Enterprise E1 through E4 versions of Office 365 are the most likely versions that businesses will choose.

Exchange Online, Skype for Business, and SharePoint Online are services that are provided solely in the cloud. This means that users do not have to worry about the maintenance of the programs or the administration of a server. Updates are also installed automatically and are immediately available.

Microsoft Office can either be completely downloaded and installed or streamed (Click-to-Run). The latter means that the applications are downloaded from the Internet and not permanently installed. The streaming feature supports client computers that are running at least the Windows 7 operating system.

Dangers of data loss while using Office 365

Microsoft has guaranteed a 99.9% availability of all applications and services in Office 365 throughout the year, however, moving everything into the cloud can be a dangerous decision. Even though Microsoft guarantees an almost 100% availability of their services, it does not mean that the client’s data is 100% safe and secure.

When an Office 365 user solely relies on the normal backup provided by Microsoft, they could eventually find themselves in trouble because Microsoft is not offering a backup service for its online service. This may be not very important for the online versions of Office since you can – and you should– always save your important documents locally. But this feature is not possible with versions of Exchange and SharePoint Online, which can be potentially risky.

For example, an Exchange Online mailbox is configured to retain deleted items for 14 days by default. You can use the Shell to change this setting to a maximum of 30 days. After 30 days the items are permanently removed. If you need to retain deleted items for longer than 30 days, you have to place the mailbox on In-Place Hold or Litigation Hold, which can only be done if you’ve subscribed to the Exchange Online Plan 2.

SharePoint Online shares a similar story. It creates a backup of the data every 12 hours and those backups are retained for 14 days. In order to restore the full site collection, you must put a service call into Microsoft technical support. And the only supported restore option is a full site restore, meaning you will lose all the current data being hosted. Additionally, if you want to recover a single item that was moved to the recycle bin, it can be restored within 30 days. All items are automatically and permanently deleted 93 days after they were originally recycled.

The real issue is that the backups they are offering are only for data recovery in a case where Microsoft’s data center goes down. If a customer deletes any item by mistake, and it’s not restored within the retention window, it’s gone forever. This is why it is absolutely necessary for enterprises to have a specific backup plan up and running. Since Microsoft is not able to provide a real backup for its cloud services companies have only one option – to find a 3rd party backup software solution.

How can I back up Exchange or SharePoint Online data?

One option for backing up your emails from Exchange online is to back up your Office 365 email database to your local computer. Since this would require Outlook software on each computer for this task, this method can be used only by individuals. Enterprises need a more advanced and automated solution. Several vendors offer solutions to make backups of data stored in the cloud, however there is currently no sole product available on the market that provides comprehensive protection for all Office 365 data.

So, does it pay to subscribe to a higher-priced tier of Office 365 in regards to backups? No, not really. There is no real benefit to except that the data is kept a little bit longer on the Microsoft servers before they are permanently deleted. Companies must still have an efficient backup solution in place if documents are to be restored for business, regulatory or compliance purposes.

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment.

Published with consideration from Kroll Ontrack SOURCE

Office 365 has given business owners access to online organizational programs and collaboration tools for years. In an effort to become more user-friendly, Microsoft recently added new features to Office 365, including two security upgrades and the addition of productivity tracking. Keep reading to find out more about Office 365’s new Azure Information Protection, Enterprise Mobile Device Management and Productive Insight features.

Azure Information Protection

Using Office 365 protection technology, also known as Azure RMS, this feature allows business leaders to mark sensitive documents and control who has access to information in various documents. The protection travels with the data, whether it is online or provided through another device. Business owners can mark a document as internal and keep it from being sent outside the company. Drop-down menus also allow users to apply trackable data protection in order to identify potential leaks and gain insight into how a business is structured.

Enterprise Mobility + Security Suite

Re-branded from the Enterprise Mobility Suite, this feature adds more security potential to sensitive data while allowing business owners to manage apps on any device from one location. Users have more control over identity-driven access and also encrypts data to allow secure collaboration among employees.

Productivity Insight

This feature, an addition to Delve Analytics, tracks an employee’s time management at the office. MyAnalytics for Outlook allows business owners or managers to see who has read, replied, and forwarded their email while also providing them with information on the the email sender. The feature also acts as a storage receptacle for shared files and contact information so they can be accessed quickly.

As Office 365 expands its services to include security and productivity features, companies using cloud-based servers have an advantage over old-school computer users. Not only do they have access to the technology to keep their data safe and accessible to employees, but they also have the management software to see where their efforts are paying off by way of productivity programs. If you need to know more about the new features of Office 365, give our professionals a call. We can answer your questions and help you get the most out of the new Security and Productivity Insight additions.

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment.

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Whether you work in the corporate world or not, you probably send and receive multiple emails every day. It’s a fast, convenient way to communicate with EmailArchivingpeers, colleagues, clients, friends and family. Of course, email is an extremely popular communication tool for companies—in part because of its ability to document conversations and serve as a searchable repository of information.

In fact, studies suggest that three-fourths of an organization’s intellectual property is contained within email and messaging systems. That means it’s important to protect this data and not just send it to the trash. But keeping that much information can overload your company’s storage servers.

So what’s the best solution?

Email archiving is nothing new. The tool has been around for years—so why don’t more companies use it? Here are five benefits to using an email archiving solution:

  • Storage. When email data is stored on live servers, it can greatly reduce performance as the server gets fuller. The only other options are to delete emails altogether—not a wise option, since important data can be lost forever—or store them elsewhere. Email archiving follows this latter option and moves data to a secure off-site server or cloud environment. Some solutions use advanced compression and/or deduplication to reduce the required disk space in the archive—sometimes by 50 percent or more.
  • Restoration. Depending on what backup solutions you already have in place, email archiving can speed up the process whenever your data needs to be restored. This is because the archived data takes up less space. In addition, restoring non-archived emails becomes faster and easier, because the mail server’s data load is lessened.
  • Security. Just because your old emails are “out of sight” and stored elsewhere doesn’t mean they aren’t protected as well as emails in your live inbox environment. If you’ve got the right email archiving solution, your data is immutably preserved and safeguarded with continuous data backup and premier disaster recovery capabilities. For the best service, look for a provider that delivers reliability, availability and performance with a guaranteed 99.9 percent uptime and financially backed service level agreement.
  • Productivity. When your live servers are bogged down with tons of email data, it can make searching for a specific email or a specific subject grueling and slow. In addition, by getting rid of email box quotas and setting up automatic email archiving, employees no longer have to spend precious time deleting emails or moving them to PST files like the old days. Finally, when you give your employees the ability to easily access archived and backed up email data, you place the power in their hands—meaning they won’t have to engage the IT department to do it for them.
  • Compliance. Most industries require organizations to keep business records—and since emails often contain such records, deleting them is a no-no. Specific industries like health care, financial services, pharmaceuticals and energy have even stricter regulations about what business records must be kept.

When you consider an email archiving solution, remember to research providers and select one that will deliver a user-friendly solution that keeps you in control and maintains high standards of security and reliability.

Not sure where to start? Give GCInfotech a call to discuss the available solutions that would work best for your company. Together, we can make your business work smarter, faster and more efficiently.

As always, GCInfotech can walk you through the process, ensure your business has the least amount of disruption and set up a structure that will keep you running smoothly well into the future.

Published with consideration from Microsoft. SOURCE

Not every business owner who migrates to the cloud achieves great results. As much as the service is touted with words like “freedom”, “productivity” and “collaboration”, realizing the full benefits of these words is not a given. So if you’re thinking about transitioning to the cloud, how can you ensure you optimize the technology for your business? Well, it all starts with your attitude before migration. Here are some Cloud attitude adjustments for success / mental-shifts you should make before getting started.

Consider cloud value over costs

When considering the cloud, too many business owners get hung up on costs. Instead, it makes more sense to think about how the cloud impacts their business and saves them money. The old saying, “you have to spend money to make money” is ever so true here. And as a business owner, the cloud is no different than any other investment you took to grow your organization. That’s why you should remember the cloud provides you value, such as the ability to work anytime, anywhere, and easier collaboration.

And of course, you shouldn’t just think of how the cloud benefits yourself, but also your IT managers and staff. In fact, before migrating to the cloud, why not go ahead and ask your IT leaders just how the cloud will benefit your business? They’ll likely mention how it can boost the productivity levels of all your employees, while making everyone’s job easier.

Think “strategy” before migration

Once you’ve considered the value the cloud provides, you’ll likely have some ideas of what goals you’ll want it to accomplish at your business. If you haven’t, now is the time to do so – before signing up for the service. Let’s say for example, you want to gain the productivity benefits of your staff being able to work from anywhere at anytime. How can you do this? When you roll out the cloud in your company, have the specific goal of increasing mobile use or adoption among employees. Talk with your IT leaders to devise a plan they can implement.

When it comes to your other cloud goals, clearly define them beforehand and then talk with your IT staff to come up with the nuts and bolts plan to accomplish that goal. By doing this, you’ll achieve much better results with your cloud service.

Learn to love the quickly evolving nature of the cloud

As the cloud is still a new technology, it is rapidly changing. New updates, features and enhancements are rolled out regularly, and if you want to get the most out of your cloud it’s best to keep up. Of course, this is a scary idea for many business owners and IT managers alike as the old way of doing things is rolling out new features and apps over long periods of time.

Some cloud services make it easier than ever to keep up with changes. Let’s take Office 365 for example. Adding users and implementing new changes can take mere minutes. Yes, it may be scary to do so, but remember, Microsoft and your IT managers are in your corner – they are there to support you. Of course, you may still have some bad memories from updating your legacy technology. Let us assure you, updates to Office 365 are nothing like this and require a small learning curve. Most new features are intuitive by nature, making adjustment to these changes painless and problem-free.

One of the best ways to assure your cloud updates go as smoothly as possible is to have an IT leader who’s enthusiastic about the technology be responsible for managing it. A cloud enthusiast is much more likely to be up-to-date on the newest features and enhancements and can quickly share with you whether or not an update will benefit your business.

When it comes to cloud migration for your business, it’s pretty much an all or nothing decision (unless of course you go with virtualization, which is a different topic altogether). The cloud will become an integral part of your business, and you and all of your staff will interact with it on a daily basis. So be prepared for a big transition and a big payoff of higher productivity and connectivity for you and your staff.

Are you ready to embrace the cloud with a solution like Office 365? Give us a call, and talk with us about a cloud migration today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

While you can take many security precautions to protect your organization, a cyber attack is always possible because of human error. Microsoft, however, is trying to change this. In the coming weeks, the technology giant plans to launch a new security feature for Outlook, but only if you’re an Office 365 user. Here’s how it can help your business.

Aptly called “Safety Tips”, Microsoft Office 365’s new security feature is designed to help make your employees (and yourself) more aware of which emails may contain harmful content. By analyzing the data patterns of millions of emails, the feature uses a color-coded bar at the top of an email to help you determine what emails are safe, suspicious, or fraudulent.
How it works

Safety Tips uses a simple system to help you identify the safety level of an email quickly. The system consists of four colors that categorize an email as suspicious, trusted, safe or unknown. The details of each of these categories are outlined below.

Suspicious email
Color label: Red
Description: This has either failed sender authentication or is a known phishing email. These messages should be deleted.

Unknown email
Color label: Yellow
Description: Exchange Online Protection marks this type of email as spam. However, you can move this item to your inbox by clicking it’s not spam in the yellow bar.

Trusted email
Color label: Green
Description: If this email comes from a domain Microsoft deems safe, then it falls into this category.

Safe email
Color label: Gray
Description: This type of email has either been marked safe by the user’s organization, has been moved from the junk folder into their inbox by the user, or the email is from a contact on the user’s safe sender list.

Color coding will look different between the Outlook app and Outlook for the Web. In the Outlook application, only suspicious emails will be flagged, whereas in Outlook for the Web all four types of emails will be color-coded. However, it should be noted that most emails won’t have any color code as they’re only added when Microsoft thinks they’re relevant.

With hackers getting smarter by the day, and human error a roadblock to a secure business, this new feature will hopefully add an extra layer of security to your organization. If you’d like to learn more about Office 365 or other security services we offer, get in with us touch today. A more secure business awaits.

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory SOURCE

There is no doubt that Microsoft Office 365 is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to programs that are being used in today’s modern office. With timely updates and releases of new features, users and competitors alike find it hard to keep up. But are you confident that you are harnessing the power of Office 365 the right way? If the answer is no, then read this article to get some top tips.

When an enterprise purchases certain Microsoft Online services such as Office 365, there is usually a Microsoft Partner of Record that is linked to the enterprise account. One of those is MessageOps. According to Chris Pyle, CEO of MessageOps, based on the data and feedback that they have gathered from Office 365 customers, they have concluded that not all business owners understand the true power of Office 365 and know which apps are most useful.

Top 5 Office 365 apps for the modern workspace

1. Sway

Although still in its early stages, one app that is quickly becoming popular is Sway. This is a presentation program that is being used for website creation where users can fuse together text and media. This program, which is included in the Microsoft Office app arsenal, is widely gaining popularity among the business owners and employees who’ve taken it up.

2. OneDrive for Business

If you’re familiar with Dropbox, then you probably know how OneDrive for Business works. It is a single location where users can save, sync, and share their files anytime, anywhere. Some businesses use this together with Dropbox, which is a paid app. Businesses that do this essentially double their cost as they are already paying for the same functionality as OneDrive, an app that is already included in most Office 365 plans.

3. Skype for Business

Hard to believe but there are still a lot of enterprises who pay for additional meeting and communication solutions that they have already paid for with Skype for Business. This app, which is already included in many Office 365 plans, goes beyond meeting and call purposes. It can also let you know which of your contacts is currently online, and you can also launch communications from Word and Powerpoint. What’s more, your communication is kept safe with the use of encryption and authentication processes.

4. Office 365 Groups

This app is very much popular with enterprises that require sharing of ideas from a group working on a project. It provides for a single place where the group can share documents, communication, and notes. This is predicted to become a complete replacement for SharePoint team sites as it is more user-friendly, more manageable and can be set up easily, although it is just as functional as SharePoint.

5. Intranets

With the help of SharePoint Online, intranets are making a comeback. The SharePoint intranet not only enhances communication and collaboration in the office, but the end-result is an effective streamlining and organized storage of information.

Harness the power of the Office 365 in your business. We have experts on standby anticipating your every question and ready to help you with the setting up, maintenance and management of your IT infrastructure. Give us a call.

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory. SOURCE