This guide will take you through the essential Microsoft Teams features

Following the rapid shift to remote or hybrid working, many employees were simply expected to know how to use video conferencing tools like Microsoft Teams. However, for the majority of the workforce, a day spent in the office meant little more than responding to emails. The sudden adoption of Microsoft Teams for long-distance meetings and remote collaboration took some getting used to.

Given the pace at which the Covid-19 pandemic spread, the usual adjustment period and training to accommodate the use of Teams simply didn’t take place. Fortunately, Microsoft has tried to make the transition as streamlined as possible by providing an intuitive platform that is full of easy-to-use features for even the most inexperienced IT user.

However, if you’re still unsure about using Teams, we’ve come up with a handy guide that goes over some of the most important features below:

Signing up

Perhaps the most important step to using Teams is the first one: signing up. This is easily achieved by visiting https://products.office.com/microsoft-teams. Then simply enter the email address associated with your Microsoft account and select “Next”. Then enter your password and select “Sign in”. There may be a few more details to enter but then you should select “Set up Teams.”

After that is complete, it’s time to choose how you want to open and use Teams. Microsoft Teams is available in several different versions – with Windows, Mac, mobile, and web options all available. Download or access your chosen version of Teams and the signup process is complete. If you want to know more about logging in, this guide will show you how.

Exploring the Teams interface

The best way to understand how to use Microsoft Teams is to explore its user interface. On the left, you’ll see the App bar, where you’ll find a whole host of different icons. These include “Activity,” which displays mentions, replies, and other notifications, as well as “Meetings” or “Calendar,” either of which is synced with your Outlook calendar and provides a quick way of viewing all your upcoming meetings. There’s also “Chat,” “Files,” “Calls,” “Store,” and “Feedback.”

Aside from the App bar, the interface also boasts the “Teams” section, which displays a list of the user’s teams, “Channel,” the “Command Bar,” and various “Tabs” that allow you to move between different Teams pages. There are lots of additional features to get to grips with as well, so it’s a good idea to start investigating the interface to see what’s on offer.

Collaborate in a Microsoft Teams hub

In order to collaborate with others in Teams, you first need to join or create a Teams hub. To do so, select “Teams” from the App bar, followed by “Join” or “Create a Team.” If you’re creating a team, enter your chosen name and description, select your privacy settings and add your members.

A team can have a maximum of 2,500 members – so the opportunities for collaboration are pretty vast. You can also assign roles to each individual, such as “Owner” or “Member.” If you’re finished with a particular Teams hub, you can always choose to “Delete the team.”

Setting up a Teams call

Another of the most important actions to understand on Teams is how to set up a call. One of the ways is to select the “Schedule a meeting” button during a chat to set up a call with all the people involved in the chat. Alternatively, you can select the “Calendar Meetings” button followed by “New meeting.” Then if you select a time in the calendar, a scheduling form will appear for you to finish setting up the meeting. Once you’re happy with the meeting details, click “Save” and the relevant individuals will be sent a meeting invitation.

Don’t worry if you want to invite someone that doesn’t have Teams to a meeting either. As long you have their full email address, you can invite them. They’ll receive an email with a link to the meeting so they can join just like any other attendee that has a Teams license.

Take part in chat

Sometimes a full-blown video call may not be necessary, so Teams enables

collaboration to occur through its chat function. In order to start a new chat, click on the “Compose Box” and begin typing. Click “Send” to deliver your message to any individual in the team or channel that you’re working in.

One of the best aspects of the chat function is that any new member that is added can look back at all the previous messages – even those that were posted before they joined. This means it is easy for them to get up to speed with a new project.

Sharing files

Following the creation of a Teams hub, a SharePoint site is automatically set up, complete with a document library for each channel. Any file uploaded to Teams will be visible from the Files tab and simultaneously stored in SharePoint. If you want to open the file directly from SharePoint, you can click on the three dots located after the file name and select “Open in SharePoint.”

Accessing help

If you feel like you’ve exhausted all the assistance you can find from third parties, you can always try Teams’ built-in help feature. Towards the left-hand side of the app, you’ll find the “Help” button, where Teams provides localized advice on a host of topics. These are organized by feature, but there is also a “Videos” section displaying visual content on how to use the app.

Teams also has its own dedicated support webpage, which provides guidance, training, and tips so you can discover how any aspect of the platform works. With all that and the above guide, you’ll go from dummy to Teams expert in no time.

Fortunately, there’s another way to find the right app for your business: ask the experts. Contact us today for an IT assessment!

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 TechRadar.com SOURCE

You might wonder if now is the right time for your small business to turn to cloud computing for all your data storage needs.

While you’ll find many benefits with cloud computing, you might also have concerns over potential security issues. Fortunately, you can embrace the advantages of cloud computing while still keeping your small business and your customers’ private information safe.

Look into ideas such as hybrid cloud computing, which costs less money and gives similar advantages to companies. You’ll still gain the safety net of a third-party provider, but for a fraction of the cost.

Here are some things to keep in mind when considering whether cloud computing is a secure option for your small business.

1. Train your workers to identify attacks.

Phishing usually starts with an email made to look as though it’s from an official source.

Teach your staff to go directly to a website and never click on links within an email. You can significantly reduce social engineering attacks by training your workers to recognize them.

Phishing can also look like an email from someone higher up in a company, but will actually be from someone trying to gain access to accounts. It’s always best to double-check requests for passwords or personal information by calling the other employee directly.

According to Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report, approximately 36% of breaches come from phishing attacks. Phishing is quite avoidable if you train your workers to recognize and avoid it.

2. Install virus and malware protection.

Make sure every device used by your company or its employees – even remote workers – has the latest virus and malware protection installed.

One of the biggest threats to the computing safety of your small business is workers not protecting their accounts. Hackers can do a lot of mischief if they get their hands on login credentials.

Make sure any device used to access accounts has protection installed. Remote workers may need to go through IT to ensure they add two-factor authentication and install all available software.

Companies should provide protection and follow up frequently to be sure it gets installed and updated properly.

3. Insist on strong passwords.

One way people allow hackers into their accounts is by reusing passwords, not changing them frequently, or using easy-to-guess combinations.

At a minimum, you should change all your business passwords every few months, including any passwords to cloud computing software.

Encourage employees to use passwords that aren’t easy to guess and contain lowercase letters, capitals, numbers, and characters.

Don’t forget to watch the passwords you use for software as a service (SaaS) applications. A company with under 500 employees uses as many as 123 different SaaS apps.

For example, if you use several different websites for various tasks, make sure you change passwords when an employee leaves or you terminate them. Not keeping up with passwords opens your business to vulnerabilities.

4. Set clear security policies.

Avoid confusion over security protocols by setting some policies.

What happens to customer data when you no longer need it? How often do you change passwords? Are there tiers to data access?

Figure out what works best for your organization and set the rules. This helps current and future employees know what’s expected of them.

5. Comply with all applicable laws.

Know the rules surrounding data protection.

For example, if some of your customers reside in the European Union (EU), you fall under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and must comply with the rules or face fines.

States such as California have similar standards. Your state and local governments may vary, so be sure to check any applicable laws.

You also must comply with laws in areas where your out-of-state customers reside.

6. Set a budget.

McKinsey & Company recently noted most companies plan to have $8 of every $10 in their IT hosting budget go toward cloud hosting by 2024.

The pandemic brought many companies online with cloud access for remote workers they weren’t planning to implement yet.

The increase in data means an increase in online criminal activity.

So, is cloud computing safe for your small business? The answer isn’t always the same, but most cloud hosting providers invest quite a bit of money into the most recent security measures possible.

It’s likely as safe as any other method of storing data, short of keeping information only on paper, which isn’t practical. Set a budget that meets your company’s goals. You can always increase it if you feel your data isn’t safe enough.

Is cloud computing safe or not?

Cloud computing is as safe as any other form of digital data storage.

You should ensure any companies you hire have the latest in safety standards and security. Take steps to protect your information, such as training employees and frequently changing passwords.

With some good security practices and awareness, it’s much less likely that you’ll face a data breach.

While the cloud offers a wide variety of benefits and solutions, choosing the service which is best for your company’s needs can be tedious. To ease this burden, we can help you find the best solutions for your business. by talking to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment. We’ll you find the best solution your business needs, ensure proper migration and implementation allowing you to focus on running your business.

Published with consideration from SmallBiz Technology SOURCE

More and more companies these days are hosting their business components on the cloud, as it has proven to be reliable, cost-effective, and secure. However, many small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) experience certain operational pains on either the public or private cloud. Fortunately, they can now opt for a middle ground that offers the best of both worlds: the hybrid cloud.

Hybrid clouds are a combination of private and public clouds. In private clouds, data and applications that require tighter controls are hosted either internally or privately on an off-site facility. Meanwhile, public clouds are managed externally by third-party providers with the express purpose of streamlining a company’s IT infrastructure.

Benefits of a hybrid cloud setup

Here are three significant advantages of hybrid cloud environments.

Adaptability
Having the ability to choose between internally or privately hosted cloud servers and public ones lets you pair the right IT solution with the right job. For example, you can use the private cloud to store sensitive files while utilizing more robust computing resources from the public cloud to run resource-intensive applications.

Cost efficiency and scalability
Does your business struggle to meet seasonal demands? With a hybrid cloud solution, you’ll be able to easily handle spikes in demand by migrating workloads from insufficient on-premises servers to scalable, pay-as-you-go cloud servers whenever needed, without incurring extra hardware and maintenance costs.

So if there are last-minute computing demands that your hardware can’t support, or if you’re planning for future expansion, you can easily scale capacity up or down with a hybrid cloud solution.

Security
Last but not least are the security advantages of a hybrid cloud solution. You can host sensitive data such as eCommerce data or an HR platform within the private cloud, where it will be protected by your security systems and kept under close watch. Meanwhile, routine forms and documents can be stored in the public cloud and protected by a trusted third party.

How to set up a hybrid cloud

The following are the different ways to set up a hybrid cloud model based on your SMB’s requirements and the providers available to you:

  • Employ one specialized cloud provider who offers comprehensive hybrid solutions.
  • Integrate the services of a private cloud provider with those of another public cloud provider.
  • Host a private cloud yourself and then incorporate a public cloud service into your infrastructure.

Our experts can help you transition to a hybrid cloud solution without interruption and huge costs. Contact us today to learn more about the business benefits of a hybrid cloud.

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

There are three Microsoft 365 tools that are typically used for office communication and collaboration: Microsoft 365 Groups, Yammer, and Microsoft Teams. While these three are similar, did you know that there are subtle differences that set them apart from each other? Let’s take a look at some of these.

Microsoft 365 Groups

With Microsoft 365 Groups, every member gets a shared inbox, calendar, project planner, notebook, and document library. You can also integrate third-party apps like Twitter, Trello, and Mailchimp to Groups so notifications are sent directly to your shared inbox.

This means all relevant messages and information are sent to one place, so if your organization normally communicates via email, Microsoft 365 Groups is ideal. What’s more, HR and sales departments that communicate with external parties will also find plenty of uses for its email features.

A big downside of Microsoft 365 Groups, however, is email overload. Since all messages and notifications are sent to one inbox, users may become overwhelmed by the number of emails they have to sort through every day.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams, a chat-based collaboration platform, works with Skype for Business, so you can text, call, video chat, and share files with colleagues. Thanks to its seamless integrations with other Microsoft 365 apps, you can even work on shared files without leaving the app.

Unlike Groups, Microsoft Teams is designed for more advanced collaboration, making it great for completing projects with tight deadlines or other tasks requiring immediate feedback.

Yammer

Much like Groups and Teams, Yammer works well with other Microsoft 365 tools like Outlook and OneDrive. However, Yammer is a professional social media app designed to foster open communication and break down barriers between teams.

Yammer serves like a virtual office bulletin board: important files and announcements can be shared with the entire company through this platform. Users can also see the most popular post on their feeds, follow it, and even comment.

Yammer also takes design elements and features from social media apps like Facebook, making it a popular choice for companies with millennials in their workforce.

Although we’ve discussed the fundamental differences between Groups, Teams, and Yammer, we’ve barely scratched the surface of what each app can do. To figure out which apps you need, you must understand how your employees work, how they like to collaborate with one another, and what you want to achieve from such collaborations.

Fortunately, there’s another way to find the right app for your business: ask the experts. Contact us today for an IT assessment!

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

People don’t usually think about small businesses when discussing cyber security. The media covers breaches in governmental and big-business security in excess. These entities usually have lucrative targets that attract the attention of hackers but are often backed up with an extremely protective network security system that’s difficult to crack. When hackers can’t break the big system, they turn their attention to easier targets.

While most hackers want the opportunity to crack a high-risk target, these situations are few and far between. Instead, they turn their attention toward much lower-hanging fruit. This is where small businesses come in; they still have access to money and data but have much lower defense than a governmental entity. Luckily, many average cyber security strategies can keep the would-be hackers away. Their methods are always changing, though, and it helps to be one step ahead of the game.

These are the best current cyber security strategies you can put into place.

Cloud Security

Cloud security is the protection of data stored online via cloud computing platforms from theft, leakage and deletion. As more and more businesses switch from hard-drive data storage to remote databases, this practice is becoming more and more commonplace. Methods of providing cloud security include firewalls, penetration testing and virtual private networks (VPN), to name a few. While many people feel that their data and information are better stored on a hard drive on their own network, data stored in the cloud may actually be more secure, depending on the system’s defense strategy. Be wary, though: not all cloud securities are made the same. Do your research and pick one that will best protect your data.

Network Security

Network security is the protection of the underlying networking infrastructure from unauthorized access, misuse or theft. This is what your network administrator will need to put into place in order to keep your devices and data secure. The best approach to protecting your network is to create a strong WiFi password. Random numbers and letters work best for a small business since nobody but those who need it will be able to guess the password. In addition to a strong password, you’ll also have to anticipate any type of internal attack.

VPNs And Firewalls

A VPN can help protect your security by masking your IP address. This essentially means that you’ll be connected through a different server, making it much harder for the government or websites to pinpoint your location. It also encrypts all network data by creating a secure tunnel. A firewall is simply a shield that protects your computer from the Internet. Firewalls can help restrict access to sites that could be damaging to your network. Both of these tools can be highly effective when used properly, but they do not protect against all threats.

Updates And Upgrades

While it might seem simple, consistently updating and upgrading your technology tools can keep you much more secure. The developers of many of these tools are constantly looking for new threats that pose a risk to their program. They’ll issue patches to make sure any holes are filled. You just need to make sure that all of your tools are updated in a timely manner and verify that the updates are installing.

Data Backups

You should always have multiple backups of your business’s data. You never know when a power surge or some type of natural disaster might cause your current files to be deleted. You can prevent this issue by regularly backing up your data.

Employee Training

It’s important to limit employee access to systems and data owned by your company. Not everyone needs to have access, so only give it to those who can’t work without it. There should also be some type of security training for all employees. Phishing schemes and weak passwords create just as many issues as hackers do. Finally, you should make sure everyone in your workplace is security-conscious. A single breach could critically hurt your business. Your employees need to understand this so they can be proactive as well.

No matter which route you take, the most important thing you can do for your small business is protect its network. Governmental entities and big businesses do not suffer from security lapses nearly as bad as small businesses. A security lapse could even stop your business dead in its tracks.

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

More than just offering apps and cloud services designed to boost productivity, Microsoft 365 also provides robust security tools for protecting data from loss and theft. Make the most out of these tools and ensure data security by following these tips.

Take advantage of policy alerts

Establish policy notifications in Microsoft 365’s Compliance Center to help you meet your company’s data security obligations. With these in place, your employees will receive policy tips about sending confidential information anytime they’re about to send messages to contacts outside of the company network. These preemptive warnings can prevent data leaks and also educate users on safer data sharing practices.

Secure mobile devices

Since employees often use personal smartphones or computers to access their work email, calendar, contacts, and documents — especially if they’re working remotely — securing employee-owned devices should be a critical part of protecting your organization’s data. Installing mobile device management features for Microsoft 365 enables you to manage security policies and access permissions/restrictions, and remotely wipe sensitive data from mobile devices if they’re lost or stolen.

Use multifactor authentication

Relying on a single password to protect your Microsoft 365 accounts could lead to account hijacking, which could put your data at risk of being compromised. Instead, enable multifactor authentication (MFA). MFA requires users to supply additional credentials on top of a password before they can access their accounts. This makes it difficult for hackers to access your accounts since they not only have to guess user passwords, but they also need to provide a second authentication factor like a one-time SMS code or a fingerprint scan.

Apply session timeouts

Many employees usually forget to log out of their Microsoft 365 accounts and keep their computers or mobile devices unlocked. This could give unauthorized users unfettered access to company accounts, allowing them to steal sensitive data. By applying session timeouts to Microsoft 365 accounts, email accounts, and internal networks, users will be automatically logged out after a period of inactivity, preventing hackers from taking over users’ devices and accessing private information.

Avoid public calendar sharing

Microsoft 365’s calendar sharing feature allows employees to share and sync their schedules with their colleagues. However, publicly sharing this information is a bad idea because it helps attackers understand how your company works, determine who’s away, and identify vulnerable users. For instance, if security administrators are publicly listed as “Away on vacation,” an attacker may see this as an opportunity to unleash malware on unattended computers.

Employ role-based access controls

Access management is another Microsoft 365 feature that will limit the flow of sensitive data across your organization. It lets you determine which users have access to specific files in your company. For example, rank-and-file employees won’t be able to read or edit executive-level documents, minimizing the risk of data leaks.

Encrypt emails

Encrypting classified information is your last line of defense against data breaches. If hackers intercept your emails, encryption tools will make files unreadable to unauthorized recipients. This is a must-have for Microsoft 365, where files and emails are shared on a regular basis.

Partner with us to ensure your organization’s Microsoft 365 accounts are always secure and compliant with changing data security requirements. Give us a call today — our team of experts are here to help.

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

The cloud is currently a key player in transforming organizations and digitizing IT infrastructures. In the coming years, cloud solutions will be more accessible, agile, and competitive. This will drive more and more businesses to adopt cloud computing. But with many different types of services available, it can be difficult to choose the right one for your organization. To help, here is a rundown of the three most common cloud service models used by small- to medium-sized businesses.

1. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

Unlike software that you install on your computer, SaaS solutions are apps that are hosted on a provider’s servers. Easily the largest and most well known cloud-based service, SaaS uses the cloud to process app functions for users. That is, when a user opens a mobile or web browser app, the device merely sends inputs to a data center. The data center then processes the inputs and sends its outputs back to the user’s device.

Minimal to no processing is done on the user’s device itself. And for as long as users have an internet connection, they can access the software from any device, at any time.

With SaaS, your provider is responsible for software maintenance and updates. This allows all users will be using the same version of a particular software and get updates at the same time. As a business owner, this means that managing the software on all of your computers is not only easier but more affordable.

SaaS software solutions include office document creation suites, accounting software, email service, HR solutions, content management tools, customer relationship management systems, and more.

In a nutshell, SaaS is:

  • Available over the internet
  • Hosted on a remote server by a third-party provider
  • Scalable, with different tiers for small, medium, and enterprise-level businesses
  • Inclusive, offering security, compliance, and maintenance as part of the cost

2. Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

PaaS is primarily used by developers who need a virtual environment for developing and testing their own custom software or apps. This means developers don’t need to build and maintain their own infrastructure — which is comprised of networking devices, storage, servers, an operating system, and other necessary hardware and software — when developing applications, saving the firm time and money.

Most companies that utilize PaaS do so to either host or develop their own software solutions, or provide support for software used by employees. But while PaaS is gaining popularity with many small businesses, most won’t have firsthand interactions with this type of cloud.

In general, PaaS platforms are:

  • Accessible to multiple users
  • Scalable, as you can choose from various tiers of resources to suit the size of your business
  • Built on virtualization technology
  • Easy to run without extensive system administration knowledge

3. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

IaaS offers services such as pay-as-you-go storage, networking, and virtualization. The most popular and well-known type of IaaS is the virtual machine. This is a digital version of a computer or server that is accessed over the internet. IaaS gives users cloud-based alternatives to expensive on-premises infrastructure so businesses can use their funds to invest in other things.

In other words, if you are looking to virtualize your systems via the cloud, IaaS is a good place to start. It allows you to move existing support systems into the cloud. Other solutions can then be migrated or introduced as needed.

IaaS is essentially:

  • Highly flexible and scalable
  • Accessible by multiple users
  • Cost-effective

While the cloud offers a wide variety of benefits and solutions, choosing the service which is best for your company’s needs can be tedious. To ease this burden, get in touch with us today. We’ll you find the best solution your business needs, ensure proper migration and implementation allowing you to focus on running your business.

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

cloud data protection

Data breaches are a common occurrence in today’s business environment. While many businesses have turned to cloud applications for better productivity, scalability, and savings, some business owners worry that the cloud is more vulnerable to data breaches than an on-premises data center. The truth is that any computing environment is vulnerable if you don’t take steps to prevent a data security breach. Here are simple steps to protect your data in the cloud.

Know your cloud apps:

Get a comprehensive view of the specific threats that business apps pose. Ask questions like: Which ones render you more or less prone to a breach? Does an app encrypt data stored on the service? Does it separate your data from that of others to limit exposure when another tenant has a breach?

Migrate users to high-quality apps:

Cloud-switching costs are low, which means that you can always switch to another application that best suits your needs. Take the time to consult with your vendor before switching to another app to make sure the new app is secure and compatible with your systems. Now more than ever, you have choices.

Find out where your data is going:

Take a look at your data in the cloud. Review uploads, downloads, and data at rest in apps to determine whether you have potential personally identifiable information (PII), or whether you simply have unencrypted confidential data. If you do have PII stored in the cloud, you need to make sure there are additional layers of security measures in place such as encryption. This is to avoid violating compliance regulations and paying hefty fines.

Look at user activities:

It’s important to understand not only what apps you use but also how these apps use your data. Determine what apps employees are using to share content and whether such apps have a sharing functionality. Knowing who’s sharing what and with whom will help you understand what policies to best employ.

Mitigate risk through granular policy:

Start with your business-critical apps and enforce policies that matter to your organization in the context of a breach. For example, block the upload of information covered by certain privacy acts, block the download of PII from HR apps, or temporarily block access to vulnerable apps.

The key to preventing a data security breach in the cloud lies in careful attention to your cloud applications and user activity. Analyzing your apps and looking into user activities might be time-consuming, but minimizing cloud and data security breaches makes this task worthwhile. Looking to learn more about today’s security? Contact us and let us manage and minimize your risks.

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

When it comes to the cloud, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are often presented with the choice of either a private or a public cloud. But there is a third option — a hybrid cloud. And this is the choice that provides SMBs with greater flexibility. How so? Read on to find out.

Hybrid clouds are a combination of private and public clouds. In private clouds, data and applications that require tighter controls are hosted either internally or privately in an off-site facility. Meanwhile, public clouds are managed externally by third-party providers with the express purpose of reducing a company’s IT infrastructure.

Here are three significant advantages of hybrid cloud environments.

Adaptability

Having the ability to choose between on-site or privately hosted cloud servers and public ones let you pair the right IT solution with the right job. For example, you can use the private cloud to store sensitive files while utilizing more robust computing resources from the public cloud to run resource-intensive applications.

Cost efficiency and scalability

Does your business struggle to meet seasonal demands? With a hybrid cloud solution, you’ll be able to easily handle spikes in demand by migrating workloads from insufficient on-premises servers to scalable, pay-as-you-go cloud servers whenever needed, without incurring extra hardware and maintenance costs.

So if there are last-minute computing demands that your hardware can’t support or if you’re planning for future expansion, hybrid cloud solutions allow for on-demand increases or decreases in capacity.

Security

Last but not least are the security advantages of a hybrid cloud solution. You can host sensitive data such as eCommerce details or an HR platform within the private cloud, where it will be protected by your security systems and kept under close watch. Meanwhile, routine forms and documents can be stored in the public cloud and protected by a trusted third-party.

To set up a hybrid cloud model based on your SMB’s requirements and the providers available to you:

  1. Employ one specialized cloud provider who offers comprehensive hybrid solutions.
  2. Integrate the services of a private cloud provider with those of another public cloud provider.
  3. Host a private cloud yourself and then incorporate a public cloud service into your infrastructure.

Our experts can help you transition to a hybrid cloud solution without interruption and huge costs. Contact us today to learn more about the benefits that a hybrid cloud can bring to your SMB.

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

365 Phishing Scams

Microsoft is a known provider of top-tier business productivity software — and its commitment to its subscribers’ cybersecurity is integral to that reputation. To fight phishing, one of today’s most prevalent cyberthreats, the tech titan has equipped Microsoft 365 with powerful features.

Among the many business solutions that Microsoft offers is email hosting through Outlook. This service is protected by Microsoft Defender for Office 365. Defender has many key features:

1. Anti-phishing

The most dangerous types of phishing scams masquerade as emails from a party the victims know, such as their boss, colleague, business partner, or bank. A phisher may use crafty impersonation tactics, such as referring to the victims by their nickname, making it harder to immediately identify the scam as fraud. A cybercriminal may even take over actual email accounts and use these to completely fool their victims.

Using machine learning, Defender creates a contact graph of contacts that users normally exchange communications with. It then employs an array of tools, including standard anti-malware solutions, to differentiate good from suspicious behaviors.

2. Anti-spam

Generalized phishing campaigns utilize spam emails, which are sent to a large list of email addresses, to catch random victims. Stopping spam is, therefore, a great start to protecting your company from a phishing attack.

Microsoft 365’s anti-spam technology addresses the issue by examining both an email’s source and its contents. If an email is determined to have come from an untrustworthy source or has suspicious contents, then it is automatically routed to your spam folder. What’s more, this feature checks the activity of people in your company to ensure that none of them sends out spam emails.

3. Anti-malware

Malware, such as ransomware and spyware, can spread via phishing emails. Ransomware locks data and programs from users until a ransom is paid. Spyware, on the other hand, steals data by recording keystrokes, copying clipboards, and taking screenshots, among other methods.

Microsoft 365 employs a multilayered defense against both known and unknown types of malware. This covers the different stages of email transmission, including filtering potentially harmful attachment formats, and real-time threat response. Microsoft also regularly deploys malware definitions to keep its defenses updated.

4. Safe Attachments

Some phishing emails contain file attachments that infect your computer with malware. Any email attachment should be handled with caution, but it’s not uncommon for some users to accidentally click on one, especially as they rush through the messages in their inbox.

Defender resolves this issue by opening all attachments in a sandbox first. This sandbox is an isolated environment, so even if the attachment contains malware, it would not affect your system. While in the sandbox, the attachment is meticulously scanned. If it’s clean, Microsoft 365 will allow you to open it as normal. If it contains a threat, the service will notify you of the issue. Microsoft uses some of the information collected by Safe Attachments to further improve the feature’s capabilities.

5. Safe Links

Instead of attachments, some phishing emails contain URLs that lead to websites — often spoofed versions of legitimate websites — that require victims to provide their personal information such as their account credentials. Some of these URLs lead to download pages that infect your computer with malware.

In a process called URL detonation, the Safe Links feature protects users by scanning the links in their emails and checking for malicious behavior, such as the transmission of malware. If the link leads to a malicious website, Defender will warn users not to visit it. Otherwise, users can proceed to click and go to the destination URL without a hitch. But even so, the service will rescan the link in the succeeding days and report any suspicious changes.

What’s great about Safe Links is that it doesn’t just scan links from unfamiliar sources. It also scans links in emails from people within your company and works on files uploaded to Microsoft Teams and SharePoint.

6. User Submissions

Microsoft 365 allows you to set a specific mailbox to send emails you deem a threat. The User Submissions feature lets you set criteria for both malicious and safe email and identify mailboxes besides your spam folder to keep these messages in. This feature gives your administrators greater control over which emails to flag and which to report to Microsoft.

7. Enhanced Filtering

If your company uses third-party services to route emails before they are sent to Microsoft 365, you will benefit from Enhanced Filtering for Connectors. Microsoft 365 uses inbound connectors to determine the trustworthiness of email sources. The more complex your routing scenario is, the more likely that an email’s inbound connectors will not reflect its real source.

Enhanced Filtering preserves authentication signals that may have been lost over the course of routing emails. This maximizes the effectiveness of Microsoft 365’s overall filtering capabilities, helping it detect spam and phishing emails.

If you need an email service that promotes efficiency while protecting your business, we can implement and manage Microsoft 365 for you. Just call us today to get started.

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