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There really is an app for almost everything — including one that cyber-criminals use to hack into businesses’ systems. Cyberattacks have become so advanced that they are now aided by an app, like this one that poses serious threats to Office 365 users. If you’re using Office 365, here’s what you need to know.

A phishing scam that harvests users’ credentials

The latest cyberattack on Microsoft Office 365 involves harvesting users’ credentials. Scammers use this previously unseen tactic by launching a phishing message to users, asking them to click on an embedded link. What makes this scam more insidious than traditional phishing scams is that the URL within the message links to a real Microsoft login page.

How does it work?

The phishing message resembles a legitimate SharePoint and OneDrive file-share that prompts users to click on it. Once they do, they are taken to an Office 365 login page where they will be asked to log in if they haven’t already.

After they’ve logged in, they’ll be prompted to grant permission to an app called “0365 Access.” Users who grant permission effectively give the app — and the hackers behind it — complete access to their Office 365 files, contacts, and inbox.

This technique can easily trick lots of users since the app that requests access is integrated with the Office 365 Add-ins feature. That means that Microsoft essentially generates the request for permission. No, Microsoft is not aiding hackers to breach systems. Rather, the scam is made possible by a feature that allows users to install apps that are not from the official Office Store.

Ways to protect your Office 365 account — and your business

Given their fairly advanced approach, these scammers could effortlessly prey on careless employees. There are ways to make sure that doesn’t happen.

  • Always check the email’s sender account before clicking on any link or granting apps access.
  • Implement a policy that prevents staff from downloading and installing apps that are not from the Office Store.
  • Regularly conduct security awareness training that covers essential cybersecurity topics. Educate employees on how to spot phishing scam red flags (e.g., unknown senders, grammatical and typographical errors, suspicious requests, and the like). Increase their knowledge about more sophisticated attacks and keep everyone informed about current and future cybersecurity risks.

Successful attacks could result in an unimaginable catastrophe to your company. For tips on how to spot this and other nefarious scams and how to plan thorough security practices, contact our experts today.

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

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

Any Small Business considering a move to cloud based services should make sure that they engage a professional to ensure the best outcome. Cloud platforms like Microsoft’s Office 365 provide a slew of great benefits and features. Any migration to Microsoft’s Office 365 from an existing on-premise Office suite requires help in order to successfully negotiate the nuances of moving apps and data smoothly to the cloud.

Microsoft themselves recommend hiring third-party consultants who specialize in 365 Office migrations – and these type of shifts to the cloud are now becoming more and more common. However, identifying a consultant that is up to date on these kind of maneuvers is critical.

A recent Forrester report: “Market Overview: Microsoft Office 365 Implementation Partner Ecosystem”. Clearly states that “Microsoft clients need service providers to help them take advantage of the cloud…Partners are essential to Office 365…”

A complex endeavor such as moving over to Office 365 software as a service is a complicated process. What may seem like a simple case of moving files from one source to another is in fact chock full of danger zones that may not be readily apparent. While most in-house IT staff can likely find their way through the maze of the process, having access to professional support from someone who has done this before is invaluable. Doing this the first time is fraught with potential missteps, while having the counsel of someone who has done this process many times over makes the difference. It’s not advisable to be the first person to explore an unknown jungle – particularly when the ramifications of any misstep can result in shutting down operations or losing critical information.

Common issues associated with Office 365 migrations include possible loss of software functionality, function redundancy, security leaks, archiving, duplication of data, cost, licensing and authentication. It is advised to make the Office 365 migration in pieces or stages to mitigate any issues. The two common applications that are targeted for migration are the Office Suite products and email solutions.

Most businesses choose email (or Exchange Online) as their first Office 365 adoption. Depending on the current on-premise setup, email migrations can be a nerve-racking experience given the importance and reliance that all companies have on their email communications systems. Hybrid deployments, which involve a combination of on-premise, Exchange servers and Office 365 can be the most challenging.

Hybrid deployments are sometimes chosen as a temporary framework as the company moves to the cloud as this arrangement addresses business continuity in the event of an outage. Having dual platforms offers a secure backup system and at the same time allows the company a comfortable cushion as it transitions over to a full cloud commitment. This type of scenario would require an on-premise Exchange Server plus Office 365 in concert with on-site or third party archiving. In order to move from on-premise to the cloud and back again on demand, businesses will require mailbox freedom.

Businesses are becoming more comfortable hiring third party IT consultants to plan and implement migrations to cloud based services like Office 365. A 2012 Forrester study found that 19% of IT decision makers used consultants for planning, and 26% reported to hire consultants to perform the implementation of those services. In 2013 these numbers jumped to 41% hiring consultants for planning and 40% for deployment.

There are many reasons to hire an outside expert – and they are not just implementation support. Third party IT experts are solid investments for longer term planning as the migration initiatives grow and begin to impact other services and aspects of the business. IT consultants know where the bodies are buried and spend time and money on certifications and training for cloud based services. Many times their service contracts also allow quicker access to licensing agreements and cost saving processes.

 

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