The In's and Out's of Microsoft 365

The Microsoft Suite has perennially been the favored tool for administrators across all facets of business. In the past, licenses would need to be purchased up front, and updates would need to be purchased annually. That all changed with the advent of the subscription-based Microsoft 365. It contained all your favorite MS Office products, and was scalable to your business. At this point we all know the basics of MS Office. Microsoft Word handles all of your word processing needs. For writers such as myself, as well as everyone from secretaries to CEO’s, Word is our go to for everything from writing blogs to internal documents. PowerPoint is industry standard for all of our presentation needs. Excel is still the most widely used tool for spreadsheets and other administrative functions. Checking your email, probably doing it through Outlook. What other goodies does 365 have? Let’s explore!

TEAMS

Since the pandemic started, many of you have had to work from home. That also means your meetings and collaborative projects are done away from your coworkers. Zoom burst on the scene at the beginning, but it is far from the only product, or most effective product for internal communications or collaboration. This brings us to Microsoft Teams. Just like Zoom, you can virtually congregate with your coworkers, up to 250 members can be on a single call. However, it does much more than that. Teams was created as a one stop collaboration tool, making it perfect for a remote office setting. You can create channels that are dedicated to the project or topic you are working on, helping your team stay organized while working on multiple projects at once. Its chat tool allows for messages to be sent both privately and to the group as a whole. If your team uses multiple apps for a project, you can integrate them into the Teams system as well. You can voice call making it easy to communicate when on the go through a mobile device. Screen sharing is easy with Teams, one click and you can make sure that your colleagues can see the file you want them to, when you want them to. Every file you send, or share is saved to the cloud, allowing you to utilize Teams search tool to quickly find what you are looking for. Best of all it’s included in your Microsoft 365 plan!A

ONEDRIVE and SHAREPOINT

OneDrive is a fantastic tool to both share files and backup data. Included with teams, this cloud offers you over 6TB worth of storage, allowing you to save and backup files large and small. Larger files such as software or video, that are normally to big to share through email, are easily sent and accessed via OneDrive. OneDrive also offers a powerful synch feature. Not only can you back up multiple devices to the same account, but it gives you the ability to access your synched files from any device almost instantaneously. For team sharing, 365 offers Sharepoint, which gives you all the features of a Onedrive account, but accessible to a whole team, not just a single user, as well as numerous metadata trackers and backend security protocols to keep your office safe and your workflow flowing. You can even create intranet sites for your staff and subdivisions using Sharepoint. This can give each an organized landing site to build off of and get alerts internally.

ONE NOTE

Be it working on a project or doing research for a paper, keeping organized notes and lists will help you reach your goal faster and more efficiently. This is where OneNote comes in. You can use the ink feature to write with your stylus instead of typing. It includes collaborative features allowing others you allow access to your notes to make edits or share ideas. It’s not just limited to text either, you can include videos, images and voice notes as you see fit. Organization is made easy with OneNote as well. You can create

subsections, chapters, and even different notebooks for each endeavor you are working on. It even includes a highlighting tool so you can highlight the important aspects of each section, making it simple to navigate and find your information.

PUBLISHER

Now, what if you are working on something a little bit flashier than a standard text document. This is where Publisher comes in.  Think of it as a simpler version of the Adobe

suite of products. It allows you to produce everything from newsletters, to greeting cards, to pamphlets without needing a degree in graphic design. Publisher offers various templates and features to help you get what is in your head, on your screen and in print for the world to see.

PLANNER AND PROJECT

Both the Planner and Project tools allow you to post reminders, new projects, and delegate responsibilities for your whole office. Think of it as a virtual version of the old corkboard system where reminders and notes were pinned. This makes it easy to keep track of who is supposed to be doing what and when it is due. Adding Flow to the mix, you can go as far as synchronizing alerts across your email and messaging systems so a notification can come up as soon as something goes up.

SWAY

Powerpoint has been the industry standard for slide based presentations for decades. It allows for text and images to be put together in slides and is a great way to convey information. However, it is a limited tool. If Powerpoint is not enough for your presentation needs, let me introduce you to Sway. Sway is the perfect tool to create streaming presentations. It includes a video editor, allowing you to turn your presentation from slides into dazzling motion. Utilizing the canvas-style system, you can drop and drag videos, images, and text with ease to make your presentation everything you want it to be and more!

POWERBI

One of the best tools for tracking data exists in Microsoft 365. It’s called PowerBI. The BI stands for business intelligence and is a perfect name for a smart tool like this. PowerBI allows you to see fully visualized data. This goes beyond the data accrued on through Microsoft 365, as you can integrate data from several platforms both inside and outside of your business. In short it allows you to transform your data from numbers on a spreadsheet to charts and graphs you can manage, understand, and most importantly use to track and improve your business.

With Microsoft 365, you get a combination of Microsoft’s award-winning business suite, combined with cloud technology and cutting edge editing and analytics. As with any new tools, there is a learning curve. Microsoft also provides you with a dedicated help center ready to answer your questions and guide you in your journey. With so many tools at your disposal via 365, you have a perfect platform to not only streamline, but transform your workforce!


Sky is the Limit: Bringing Your Business into the Cloud

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, many businesses were faced with a choice, either have their employees work from home, or shut down business. Now, that was easier said than done as their network infrastructure and data were often tied to the hardware and software that is in-house. Many business owners knew it was time to forge ahead, and they chose to move their onsite infrastructure and systems into the cloud.

If you have paid any attention to the world over the past decade, you have heard the term “The Cloud” used constantly. On a personal level, you probably have pictures, music, and your important documents saved there so all you must do is log in and all your treasured data is accessible anywhere. For your business, the cloud is a powerful tool to keep your technology up to date, and your team up and running from anywhere, at any time.

WHY THE CLOUD

Technology

The benefits of the cloud go beyond having your data accessible from anywhere. Cloud services keep costs down and innovations up. It gives you access to new technology and software at a fraction of the cost of keeping everything on site. The cloud gives you access to innovation and cost savings from the efficiencies gained when multiple tenants share infrastructure on a larger scale. In fact, in terms of software, most are offered at a fraction of the cost on a subscription service, just like Spotify and Netflix are offered for your entertainment needs. For hardware, you no longer need to dedicate rooms to gigantic servers to store your data and infrastructure, as they are now stationed offsite, available when and where you need them. On top of all of that, think about how good you will look to investors with the reduced energy costs and carbon footprint now that you no longer need a server farm on site.

Scalability and Flexibility

Scalability is simple with proper cloud services and management. As your enterprise grows, so does your bandwidth requirements and storage needs. Cloud solutions, like those offered by Delval, give you access to high bandwidth and large storage arrays, making sure that your infrastructure needs are met as your business grows. The cloud also allows your workforce to be flexible and fluid. They can work from anywhere that has internet access. They can collaborate with ease as they can share and access documents, data, and applications in real time .

Protection

One of the main benefits of having your infrastructure in the cloud is that you get to enjoy the benefits of high availability and decreased downtime.. In the old days if a server malfunctioned or was hit with a cyber-attack, the best-case scenario was spending massive amounts of time and money to recover the system data, buy new hardware to house the data, and pray to the data gods that everything transitioned smoothly. The worst-case scenario, a total loss of your most valuable asset, your company’s data. Manually

backing up your data takes time and investing in a high-end disaster recovery plan is costly. However, with your infrastructure in the cloud, your data is backed up across multiple servers automatically, to make sure that your data and systems remain accessible, and your downtime is eliminated so you can keep operating your business and moving forward.

MIGRATING TO THE CLOUD

I’m sure you are reading this and saying to yourself “All of this sounds fantastic. If I’m going to do this, I need to do it right, and it is a bit confusing”. Think of your trip into the cloud as a journey, and just like any journey, a proper roadmap is a key factor in getting to your destination safely and in good time. Start by figuring out where you are. Are

your systems and applications compatible with the cloud? What is the cost benefit of moving to the cloud? How long will it take to get there? What needs to stay onsite,

and what is no longer needed after migration? Set your goals, be it saving money, growing your business, backing up your data or having a remote workforce.

In fact, it can be all these things. A proper Cloud Service Provider such as Delval Technology Solutions can help you answer your questions, avoid potential

pitfalls, and navigate you through them, giving you a cloud system that is right for your business.

An additional question you may be asking: Are all my licenses up to date and can they be carried over? Your cloud provider will often have current operating systems licenses available for you, but you may have to consider your 3rd party licenses for proprietary. Many companies offer subscription models allowing you to pay for licenses as needed. It is important to make sure all your licenses are both up to date and compatible to moving to a cloud system, so you remain compliant and your software remains accessible

to your team.

From there, it’s time to pick your Cloud Service Provider. Consider all your concerns, hopes and goals for your new system. Compare prices and features. Look at where they store your data, do you want a huge conglomerate that has servers across the globe, or a local solution like Delval Technology Solutions provides, so you can see where your data is backed up, and have a personal relationship with the company handling your cloud services. When you hop in a plane and fly into the clouds, you want to be as comfortable as possible, and the same goes for when you move your network into the cloud.

When it comes to moving your network to the cloud, keep in mind the phrase “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” While many companies had to rapidly migrate at the beginning of Covid-19, you may want to start small and expand as needed. Hasty decisions can cost you valuable time and money. Work with your cloud service provider and your team, be it an MSP such as Delval Technology Solutions or your in-house IT team to make sure that you are moving at a pace conducive to growth and not causing unneeded headaches and issues.

Having a backup plan ready to employ is also a key to successful navigation. Just as if you are going to visit friends and family, you have an alternate route in case of encountering accidents and road closures, you should have a contingency plan in place. As with employing any new technology, you are bound to encounter some hiccups and bumps in the road. However, by having a team that is ready, be it in house or a Cloud Service provider, you can minimize the effects of these hurdles on your business.

When choosing your provider, keep security in mind.. By teaming with a company that is known for Cloud Security, such as Delval which has been named in the Top Ten twice by Enterprise Security Magazine, you can rest easy knowing that your network can be even more secure when you move to the cloud. Your cloud security provider can also easily perform regular audits, run tests, and build layers of encryption to ensure that the only people with access to your cloud system are the people you want to access it.

Once you have all of this in place, making sure that your cloud systems are routinely maintained an audited is paramount to ensuring that your operation continues to run smoothly after migration. Think of your network as the highway. In order to keep the traffic flowing safely, securely, and efficiently, it is constantly being monitored for everything from potholes, to blockages, to new interchanges that are needed. Your cloud system is no different. You want to make sure that your in-house team or cloud service

provider is on top of your system, monitoring, patching and fixing problems of all sizes.

Remember, you never want to go into a situation where your business infrastructure is at stake without a proper guide and roadmap. By keeping these things and mind and employing the right cloud service provider, such as DelVal Technology Solutions, you have a guide through the cloud and a roadmap to follow, guaranteeing that not even the sky is the limit for your business.


Human Firewalls: Your Frontline Protection

Meet Donna. Donna works in the accounting department at a mid-size business just like yours. She is smart, diligent, and a whiz with numbers. However, Donna isn’t the most tech savvy person on earth. One day she receives an email that looks like it came from her boss. At first glance she sees what looks to be his email address and email signature, but something is off. The email is telling her that he is stuck in a foreign country and needs to get home. In order to get a flight, he needs $5000 in Visa Gift Cards sent to him.

While Donna thinks something is strange about this request, she wants to ensure her boss can get on that flight and get home safely. She gets the online gift

cards with the company credit card and sends them. Five minutes later her boss calls, from his office. Donna got caught by a hacker in a phishing scam.

When thinking about what you can do to protect your business against hackers, things such as anti-virus software, a great security partner like Delval Technology Solutions, and strong firewalls comes to mind. However, one of the biggest assets at your disposal when it comes to protecting your network and your business is your employees. While they can be the way in for cyber-attackers through phishing, spear phishing and ransomware attacks, they can also be weaponized against them. With proper training and diligence, you team can be transformed from ordinary employees to human firewalls.

TRAINING

The first place to start is with proper training for your employees. After all, how does one know how to spot a threat when they do not even know what to look for. “Well, paying for all my employees to get training seems like a costly endeavor.” Not only is training less costly than you think, but it can also save you hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions of dollars in cleaning up a breach and lost business. Companies such as Delval Technology Solutions, offer training that will not overwhelm your employees

with technical information but will show them what to keep their eyes peeled for. These courses include games, quizzes, and other ways to track how well

your employees are retaining the information.

RECOGNIZE AND INCENTIVIZE

People love recognition and being shown they are appreciated, and your employees are no different. That is why another great method to building strong human firewalls is to incentivize your workforce. Stress to them how important it is to be vigilante when it comes to these threats. After all, if it costs the company money and loses them business, it costs them money as well. A breach can even impact them personally, if social security numbers or credit card information is leaked. Give a small bonus to your secretary who

caught that phishing email. Buy your IT department a fancy lunch for shutting that malware attempt down. Send out a company email recognizing those that went

above and beyond internally to protect your business.

GO ALL IN

You may be reading this and think “Ok, I need to make sure a few departments are in on this.” It is important to remember that these cyber-criminals don’t discriminate when it comes to social engineering attacks. Everyone on your staff, from your accountants down to the custodial staff and mail room need to be in the loop when it comes to being human firewalls. These crafty hackers do everything from using cloned or even stolen key cards to get into secure areas, to disguising themselves as repair men to look over the

shoulder of your receptionist. You would never get a home security system to cover the whole house but the back door, would you? Use the same diligence when

it comes to your network security and your human firewalls. Keep in mind there is no such thing as over-prepared for a social engineering attack, only prepared or vulnerable.

TEST YOUR SYSTEM

Once you have all these tools in place, the final piece of the puzzle is testing your human firewalls. Utilize your security partners and send out test phishing emails. Leave a usb drive around to see if anyone turns it in. You want to keep your team of human firewalls aware and alert and all times so they stay focused on the threats and you can know where your weak points are and can strengthen them.

Let’s go back to Donna for a minute. Donna has undergone all the training and is becoming a stronger human firewall by the day. She gets an email from what appears to be HR asking her to click the link and reconfirm all of her login credentials. However, Donna is savy to the games of these hackers now. She hovers over the link and see it’s not connected to the company. She takes another look at the email and sees all the grammatical issues she would have once over-looked. She realizes the return address doesn’t go to HR, but to some random domain that looks similar. This time, Donna doesn’t respond, she forwards the email to IT and HR, thwarting the potential threat. Give that woman a bonus!


So You Got Breached: The Real Cost of A Data Breach & How to Protect Yourself

No matter the size of your business, trust between your company, your employees and your clients is paramount to a successful organization. That trust extends beyond the trust that your employees will get their checks on time. It goes further than your clients and customers trusting that your products and services will be delivered on time. It even goes beyond the trust that they will receive an amazing experience with your product or your service. They trust that their most confidential information is safe in your hands. They give you access to everything from their social security numbers to their credit card information and even their medical and legal records. When that data, their most personal information, is compromised, it’s not just losing some passwords and credit card information or some medical diagnosis, it’s losing the trust your clients and employees have placed in you. Not only are we going to explore the true cost of a breach, but we are also going to give you a few tips and solutions to ensure you maintain the most valuable contract you have with your people, the contract of trust.

Unless you have a dedicated partner in cyber-security, such as Delval Technology Solutions, or an in-house cyber-threat specialist, chances are you are waiting for something to break before you fix it. You are going about your day-to-day operations and then you get a call from accounting telling you they have noticed some abnormalities. Your employees are alerting you to strange emails or your third-party authentication is sending you notifications that someone is trying to log on from unknown devices. These are just a few, albeit smaller examples of red flags you may see to let you know of a possible breach.

IMMEDIATE COST

From there you have to hire professionals to determine the scope of the breach Hiring a Cyber-Forensics-Investigator to determine the true nature of the attack can cost you between $10,000 to $100,000 alone! It’s not just hiring an investigator to deal with the breach that will cost you money, the loss of productivity is a huge hit also. The average time to determine the nature of a breach, and this is for billion-dollar industries that are flush with resources is 197 days. On top of that, the average amount of time to address and seal the breach is 69 days. That’s 266 days from beginning to end. In dollars and cents, 266 days can cripple or bankrupt your business depending on the nature and severity of the breach. You are familiar with the phrase “What they don’t know can’t hurt them.” In the case of a data breach, it can hurt you. There are strict laws regarding disclosing a breach to your customers and to the authorities. Just like any other laws, there are fines and penalties that are associated with failing to disclose a breach in time that can cost your business tens of thousands of dollars. On top of that the notification process is a timely and costly one. On average the cost of notifying your customers of a breach is over $700,000. Now you may see this number and say “Well that’s an average and I’m sure it’s offset by massive companies spending millions. What about my small to midsize business?” While you are correct that these huge corporate entities do skew these numbers, it can still cost you tens of thousands of dollars to notify your customer properly of a breach.*

LONG TERM COST

The long-term damage of a breach, and more importantly a slow and incorrect response to one, isn’t just finding and fixing the issue at hand. It’s dealing with the damaged reputation in the marketplace. Oftentimes, while not immediate, the long term consequences can cost you dearly. According to a report by Comparitech*, which compared 40 companies stock prices before and after reporting a breach, the effects are lasting. They found the companies value decreased by 3.5% per share and underperformed Nasdaq by 3.5% in the first 110 days, 8.6% and 8.6% after the first year, 11.3% and 11.9% in the second year and 15.6% and 15.6% in the third year.

THE HUMAN COST

The biggest loss that you could experience due to a data breach isn’t a financial risk, it’s a human risk. You could lose your trust with you customers, your investors and your team. Not all of the trust they have with you is whether they get paid fairly and on time or whether your product or services work. This is their trust that their confidential information they entrusted you with will be safe and confidential. That is the kind of trust that is the most difficult to rebuild. Identity theft can destroy lives, and the thought that the bad guys could get their hands on their social security card numbers, credit card numbers, home and personal email address and passwords is scary. The fact that in their minds it happened because they trusted you with their information is scary enough to send them straight to your competition or in the case of your employees back to the job market.

PROPER TRAINING

While improper security protocols can cause breaches that can crush your business, proper protection and protocol can save, time, money and more importantly, your reputation. Your employees are the first line of defense. Train them and educate them as to what to look for in case of a breach and have a plan of action in case they come across one. Companies, such as Delval Technology Solutions, offer monthly employee training on cyber-security measures to ensure that your team knows what to look for and what to do.

A PROPER ASSESSMENT

Having a trained eye assess your system is a key component to proper security protocols. It’s just like when you were buying that diamond for your spouses engagement ring, you went to an expert who knew what to look for to make sure you were getting your moneys worth. This time you are making sure you have an expert to take an in-depth look at your system and testing it so you know where you are vulnerable and how to strengthen your weaknesses.

PROPER TOOLS

The technology you use, from hardware to software, can make a big difference in your security as well. You want to ensure that all of your programs are updated, as these updates don’t only fix glitches, but they also patch holes in the software that can lead criminals directly to your data. Multi-factor Authentication sends a call, text or email to the person trying to log into your system to ensure that the right person is accessing it and is an amazing tech tool to help protect you against vulnerability. Employing automated security systems allows you the benefit of a system that utilizes machine learning. This not only cuts down on human error, but it also frees up your IT partners and professionals to focus on the bigger issues at hand.

A PROPER PARTNER

I know these last one’s seem a little tech heavy and chances are, you aren’t a technology expert. Your expertise lies in running your business, not securing your network. Therefore the best thing you can do to keep your data safe is aligning yourself with a strong Managed Securities Solutions Provider (MSSP) like Delval Technology Solutions. With a strong MSSP partner, you have a team of experts monitoring your system in real time, using state of the art threat assessment technology. If you have IT personnel, anMSSP can enhance your IT guy into an IT team, giving you an edge in protecting your network, staff and customer’s data. Navigating the waters of technology can be treacherous, and a breach in the hull and holes in the boat can sink your ship. However, following proper practices and having a trusted team, their technology and expertise on board can help you fill the holes, protect against breaches and help you captain the ship that is your business to the promised land.

https://www.comparitech.com/blog/information-security/data-breach-share-price-analysis/

https://www.varonis.com/blog/data-breach-response-times/


Cyber-Security and Covid-19: Protecting Your Business in the New Normal

Covid-19 has changed the world as we know it. It has also reshaped the business world into one that exists just as much digitally as it does in traditional brick and mortar form.

With new territory comes new problems, and cyber security is not immune from this. What are the biggest cyberattacks hackers are employing in the age of

Covid, and more importantly, how do you protect your business and your data from hackers and their cyber threats? The pandemic that is Covid-19 has altered the way Americans and the world do business, and experts are speculating these changes may be permanent. In 2020 over 50% of businesses migrated from the office to the

cloud. Of those 50% over 70% of business owners say they will continue to allow workers to work remotely after the pandemic*. This has to do with what

employers are seeing as an increase in productivity and allowing businesses to pull human assets from all corners of the earth. On top of this E-Commerce has

seen a whopping 30% boom in business across the board, with many E-Commerce companies seeing record profits in 2020*.

With new opportunities for businesses however, there are also new opportunities for hackers and cybercriminals to wage potentially

crippling cyber-attacks on both businesses and individuals. Social Engineering attacks are on the rise. What is a Social Engineering attack? Simply put it’s

an attack that uses your employees, procedures and protocols to hack into your company’s system and steal your most valuable asset, your company and customer data.

What is Phishing? What is Spear Phishing?

In the age of the Coronavirus, many employees are working from the cloud. This means that they are not within shouting distance of their fellow coworkers, making it more difficult to double check who sent what. At times, cyber-attackers disguise themselves as IT workers. They will call, text or email employees claiming an issue with immediate urgency is occurring, and you must click this link or download this software to rectify the situation. In fact the Manor School System in Texas was hit with a phishing attack that cost them over 2.2 million dollars! Phishing attacks fish for inform by tricking your employees into opening emails, clicking links, or answering text messages plagued with

ransomware, spyware or other harmful software aimed at stealing information and gaining entrance to your system. Spear Phishing, which is a more targeted

approach, disguises the cybercriminal as a trusted staff member or affiliate and utilizes similar phishing techniques, to obtain data crucial to your business. In 2020 alone, a 600% increase in Phishing attacks was reported*. The CDC even went as far as to release a press release warning citizens and

companies of Covid-19 related phishing attacks.  These attacks would disguise themselves as vital information about Coronavirus, the stimulus, the WHO and other hot button issues, with dangerous consequences to anyone.

Nothing is To Big To Hack

No one is immune from these attacks. In the past year, cyber-attacks on banks have continued to climb by 238% since 2019*. In fact, the average ransomware payment went up by 33% to over $111,000! Think for a minute what a $111,000 hit would do to your business. Earlier this year the DarkHotel hackers attacked the World Health

Organization (WHO) and the Gates Foundation, leaking thousands of emails and logins to the Dark Web. Major companies were proven to be more vulnerable than they

expected this year as well. Nintendo suffered a breach that exposed information for 160,00 users of their Nintendo Online platform. Mitsubishi had blueprints

for a missile, yes, a missile, stolen from them in an attack. EasyJet, a UK airline had a breach that cost them billions of dollars in lawsuits and almost

killed the company completely. T-Mobile and Marriot were both hit with attacks that leaked thousand of employee and millions of customer email credentials.

MGM Resorts had 142 million guest accounts exposed. What do Canon, University of Utah, University of California SF, a German hospital, a Nevada school district

and Barnes & Noble have in common? Ransomware attacks that cost them millions.

The federal government was hit with what analysts are calling the largest coordinated cyber-attack in history. Solarwinds Orion was targeted with malware disguised as a software update in March to June of 2020. What makes this even more notable is of the 18,000 customers that fell victim to the attack, most were in the government sector including the US Dept. of Energy, Dept. of Homeland Security, the United States Post Office, the Treasury Department and the Pentagon. According to leading digital security firm FireEye, the attack was coordinated to exploit high profile users and included technology, telecom and consulting firms in the US, Asia, Europe and the Middle

East. Even more concerning is that this attack spanned 3 months and wasn’t even discovered until months later. FireEye is perhaps the leading tech security firm in the

United States and is employed by many top groups in both the public and private sector. Yet even they are susceptible to attacks from malicious actors.

According to an article in the New York Times, FireEye revealed that its own systems were pierced by what it called “a nation with top-tier offensive

capabilities.” The company said hackers used “novel techniques” to make off with its own tool kit, which could be useful in mounting new attacks around the world.

How do you protect yourself and your business from cybercrime?

Now I know what I just told you sounds downright terrifying. “Let’s be real here,” you may be thinking “if the government, MSP’s, security firms and billion-dollar industries are being hacked, attacked, and extorted, protecting my business is hopeless isn’t it”. Well, I’m pleased to tell you it isn’t. Cybercrime will never go away, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t potent measures to combat it. It is key to remember that these hackers and cybercriminals are for the most part opportunists. The same way if you leave an

open window in your home you are more prone to a break in, if your passwords for everything is 11111111, you are more prone to being attacked. Your passwords are your first line of defense. When dealing with attacks such as credential stuffing, hackers are taking one username and password combination they have and attempting to use that combination on every other account attached to that person. Also, they can take information from employees’ social media, be it a pet they show off on FaceBook, or talking

about their Alma Mater on Linkedin to glean information that will help them crack a password. By using varied passwords, randomly generated passwords, and

avoiding personal information in passwords, you can help close the door on random cyber-attacks.

Proper security training for staff is also a key. For example, we at Delval Technology Systems provide our customers with monthly cyber security training. This helps keep your employees on their toes and helps them recognize and avoid attacks. A company’s data are not only assets to the company themselves, but to the staff as well. By training your employees to act as “human firewalls”, you have a fantastic defense system against social engineering attacks.

In the age of unified communications, in which companies employ all facets of telecommunications, it is important to have a staff that is knowledgeable of these threats and how to protect against them, wherever they may come from and whenever they may occur. A great tool to employ in the unified communications era is multifactor authentication. This is an added layer of protection and serves as a secondary identification process to prevent unauthorized address to systems

and accounts. This can come in the form of an identification email, text message or phone call. This ensures that the person using the credentials is

the actual owner of those credentials. For those companies that have migrated their workforce to the cloud, a secure VPN is paramount to keeping your network safe and secure.

“What is a VPN?”

A VPN is a Virtual Private Network, a secure connection between two networks that is made over the public internet. Think about it as a

reinforced tunnel to keep your data, traffic, and IP hidden from the rest of the internet.  Utilizing a VPN is akin to a Jedi employing a forcefield to shield ships from attack.

Finally, the absolute best way to protect your network and your data from hackers and their cyberattacks is to invest in Managed Security Services. Simply stated, managed security services gives your business access to top security technology and a team of experts that monitor your systems and protect you from attacks before they happen. Cyber Resiliency is a term you may hear a lot, and by employing a Managed Security Services company such as Delval Technology Solutions will make sure that not only are you prepared to face any threats that may come your way, you can also ensure that if something slips through the cracks, your business can minimize losses and get back to work

fast. The world of technology can be a scary place, but it doesn’t have to be.

With proper training and support, the kingdom that is your business can become a highly fortified fortress, protected from the marauding bands of raiders that are hackers and other cyber criminals. Contact DelVal Technology Solutions, named top 10 in Cloud Security by Enterprise Security Magazine two years running, for more information and protect your business, your data, and your customer’s data with our best-in-class services.

*1- https://www.wandera.com/statistics-on-remote-working-during-covid-19-lockdown/ *2- https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/2020/08/25/ecommerce-during-coronavirus-pandemic-in-charts/ *3- https://www.forbes.com/sites/simonchandler/2020/11/25/google-registers-record-two-million-phishing-websites-in-2020/ *4- https://www.cybertalk.org/2020/08/11/is-it-fiscally-responsible-for-financial-institutions-to-spend-a-small-fortune-on-cyber-security/


I Got A Guy: Co-Managed Solutions and Your Business

“I got a guy”, we’ve all heard it, we’ve all said it. When it comes to services we need, from a mechanic to a painter to your business IT support, we all got a guy, or have a friend whose got a guy. However, let’s really explore that, because one person may be a point of contact or the main person, but rarely ever is the only part of the equation. Your mechanic has his team, your IT guy or gal should be no different.

If you were building a house, and one person showed up with no backup and said “Ready to work boss”, your immediate response would be “This is a big job, where is everyone else?” Managing your network and protecting your business’s data is a big job. Your network keeps you up and running, and your data is as valuable as anything else in your business. Proper management can turn your business into a stalwart, improper management can cripple you and your customers.

SPECIALIZATION

Think about it like this, you fell off your bike and are pretty sure you broke your arm. You show up at the hospital and they say to you “We only have one doctor on staff, his specialty is podiatry.” You would then go to another hospital that has a team of specialists on hand. That isn’t to say this single doctor is unqualified, he just doesn’t have the tools or backup needed to properly handle what you are dealing with. He’s just one man. Now think about your IT tech. They are just one person dealing with tens to hundreds of computers. They are a specialist in about one or two things, in a field that covers dozens of specialties. A co-managed IT solution allows you to keep your existing IT professional while empowering both them and your business by backing them up with a team of experts.

SECURITY

Your system security is essential to your business. Think of it as war. You have enemy combatants trying to break into your system every day, attempting data theft, trying to access your infrastructure, and use your business to their advantage. Hackers are a formidable foe, and you need to fight fire with fire. With a co-managed solution, like the one offered by DelVal technology, you get the best of both worlds as your defense team. Your in-house IT specialist will be able to lead an army of security specialists in to battle with cyber attackers to keep your data and infrastructure safe. Defending the castle is more than a one-man job, and it isn’t fair to you or your IT personnel to make it one.

SERVICE

A lot can happen to one person to put them out of commission. Illness happens, family emergencies happen, and people leave. If that person is your onsite technician, the consequences could be devastating to your business. The man-hours lost, the confusion, the maintenance, and the risk associated with not having someone at the helm of your system is more than your business can afford. With a co-managed system, you have back-up in case of catastrophe. Your co-managed partner can step in to ensure that your data and network don’t fall to the wayside, or worse, if your guy or gal goes MIA. If you need to hire a new IT professional, your Co-Managed Solutions Provider or CMSP can make the transition smooth and seamless.

ACCESS

Technology changes at the blink of an eye. When it comes to keeping up with the times, your company’s IT department has limitations. Learning new technology takes time to learn, which takes time away from that person, that single person, managing your network. New technology, more so than anything, is expensive. In that sense, think of a Co-Managed system as a timeshare. With a timeshare, you pay a small portion of the fees for the property but have access to it a few times a year. With co-managed IT, you gain access to your CMSP’s technology, pairing it with your own to give you a timeshare approach to your technology and saving you tens of thousands of dollars a year. Even better, you don’t only get it a couple of times a year like you do with a timeshare, but have the technology working for you when you need it! As your company grows, so will your technology needs. The potential issues you can run into are abundant, and the anxiety and frustration that come with these hurdles can divert your attention away from where it matters, your business. With a Co-Managed approach, you and your IT personnel get a partner that helps you through the growing pains and helps you realize your business’s potential without having to break the bank on new technology.

COST

Think about your IT guy. Now think about how much it would cost you to have two, three or four of them depending on your needs. What if, however you can get the IT team you need without having to break the bank. With a Co-Managed Solutions Provider, like Delval Technology Solutions for example, you get a full team at your disposal for less than adding just one in house IT professional. You will reap the benefits of increased security, productivity, and growth potential at a fraction of the cost of adding a team of specialists to your payroll. Plus, think of the renewed vigor of your own IT person knowing they have coverage when they need it, and specialists to complement their specialty.You got a “guy” for your car repairs, a “guy” for your house repairs, but even they have a team behind them. You have a “guy” for your IT, you are loyal to them, you know them, you trust them. But what if one guy is not enough. That is where a Co-Managed Solutions Provider like Delval comes in. You get to keep your “guy” and give them the tools and backup needed to optimize your businesses technological potential. This helps you bring in more revenue and focus on satisfying your customers, at a fraction of the cost.


4 Ways to Increase Employee Engagement for Remote Work

Every type of organization faced challenges in 2020. Although there have been some difficult issues for most businesses in the last year, the best organizations learned many valuable lessons from the experience. Many successful companies have focused on employee engagement, which is one of the most critical factors in overall organizational success.

Why workforce engagement? A motivated remote workforce means increased productivity, better work quality and enhanced collaboration. When workers are motivated, they are happier. When they are happier, they produce their best work. Employee engagement is also directly linked to your company culture and your employee retention rate. This article will discuss how you can increase employee engagement even when your team is working from home. For more insight into remote work engagement, download the Ultimate Guide.

Start with the Basics

Organizational success begins with people, processes and technology. To address work-from-home motivation, first, you need to focus on the fundamentals

People: What challenges do your workers face while working remotely? Most feel isolated. They think that they don’t get recognition for their hard work. It can also be a struggle for them to stay in touch with their co-workers. Make sure that your remote workforce feels valued. Be sure to keep regular contact with them. Reward them when they do a great job and provide them with the resources they need to succeed. When you focus on your people, you will build a great company culture and keep your team happy and motivated.

Processes: Working from home offers more flexibility to employees, which is the single best perk to this work arrangement. With that said, there still needs to be a framework in place for how your business operates. Establishing remote work company policies ensures everyone is on the same page. Start with a working document in the cloud and update it when needed. Setting guidelines for remote work establishes order and helps your team avoid burnout.

Technology: If you want to increase team engagement, it begins with communication. With the right collaboration tools, your team can be in constant contact. This will help them collaborate on projects instantly, improve their workflows and access everything they need to work from anywhere. If you want to motivate your team, you need to provide them with the best resources to achieve company objectives. 

Once you have done these three things, here are five additional ways you can increase employee engagement.

Related: Are You Investing in the Latest Tech? Read More

1. Give Them the Best Tools

As we mentioned above, the technologies your team uses will directly impact their level of engagement. With a complete collaboration solution like Microsoft 365, your team will work smarter and faster in a shared workspace. Companies can communicate instantly in Microsoft Teams. They can synchronously edit in Word documents. They can access and share files through the cloud and work towards deadlines thanks to a project management tool. With the latest technology, the way remote teams work together is changing, so give your team the best tools to do their best work.

Related: Bolster Communication with the Right Tools? Read the Blog  

2. Pay Attention to Every Employee

Most employers believe that their remote team doesn’t want to be bothered by management. The truth is that most remote workers feel disconnected from their team and their supervisors. There are several ways you can show your team that you are invested in them even when they are out of the office. Set up one-on-one meetings through a video conferencing application. Send them prerecorded personalized messages thanking them for a job well done. Give them rewards through your HR platform or a rewards program like Bonusly. Company culture has never been more critical than it is today. 

3. Host Social Events

Even when your entire workforce is working from home, you can still have a fun office environment. Communication tools can increase productivity, but they can also offer several fun and unique ways to engage in team-building exercises together. With video conferencing tools, you can host lunch-and-learns, office happy hours, holiday parties or coffee breaks. Take these virtual social events to the next level by sending everyone a gift card to use for the event. There are endless options to increase engagement outside of the typical workday. Let your team choose an activity and then put their plan into action.

Related: How Does Your Remote Team Collaborate?

4. Help Them Grow

Successful companies create a culture that fosters continuous development. With the right coaching and training initiatives, your workforce will build the skills they need to do their best work. Furthermore, your organization will benefit because your employees know that you believe in their potential. Fortunately, with the right technologies, you don’t need a huge budget to develop meaningful training programs for your team that increase engagement. Create training courses and offer e-learning programs in your cloud platform. Encourage your employees to create cross-training videos. Promote professional development courses and reward your team for obtaining credentials.

How an MSP Can Help

Technology will continue to play a crucial role in employee engagement for years to come. Whether your team is in the office, working remote part-time or all the time, the smartest companies will continue to find ways they increase productivity, improve work quality and deliver the best client satisfaction they can. A driving force to accomplishing all of these things is workforce motivation. Download the Ultimate Guide to Empowering Your Remote Team and learn how to increase employee engagement today.


Are You Missing These Essentials for 2021?

The stage has been set for the professional world in 2021. Some companies have returned their staff to the office, while others plan to keep employees working remotely. In both situations, these organizations need reliable communications and collaboration solutions. With the right technologies in place, you can have the option to do whatever suits your business needs, plus experience the added benefits these technologies offer.

If you’re unsure where to begin, a trusted managed service provider (MSP) partner can help you wrap your head around the tech that best satisfies your needs and complements your bottom line. Invest in your communications and collaboration technology and prepare your company right for the new year.

Communications Q&A

Will your current technology adequately support your staff? Nearly all businesses struggled this year in finding workable solutions to moving their employees to remote work. Moreover, organizations that returned to the office found they couldn’t keep up with their client’s remote communication demands. If you aren’t sure where your communications and collaboration tech stands, consider these common questions and answers: 

Q: How can I best communicate with my staff and clients?

A: A reliable VoIP solution will keep you in touch with everyone via video or voice over the internet.

Q: What’s the best cloud collaboration solution?

A: Microsoft’s SharePoint can become your secure collaboration and file storage hub.

Q: Can I keep my vital files and data protected?

A: Cybersecurity software like two-step authentication, VPNs and firewalls can keep your data protected no matter where it’s accessed.

Set your team up for success and expand your business when you get the communications and collaboration software you need.

Upgrade Your Tech, Decrease Downtime

The technology that enables you to have a remote staff has hidden benefits. These communications and collaboration solutions help mitigate downtime because they allow your team and data to remain useful, even when your primary office location or the tech within it have issues.

In a recent study by The Business Journals, they found the primary causes of downtime were caused by:

  • Hardware failures
  • Power or internet outages
  • Cybersecurity threats

With these vital technologies you invested in for remote work, you can also avoid these threats. Don’t let a natural disaster, cyberattack or other catastrophic event hurt your company’s success. Maximize your assets’ potential with guidance from your MSP.

We Have the Answers for You

A solid communications and collaboration solution will set you up for success into 2021. Let us provide the CaaS you need so you can succeed in your day-to-day. We have the industry knowledge and experience to provide dependable IT solutions and services to your company.

Meet with us today so we can get started.

The stage has been set for the professional world in 2021. Some companies have returned their staff to the office, while others plan to keep employees working remotely. In both situations, these organizations need reliable communications and collaboration solutions. With the right technologies in place, you can have the option to do whatever suits your business needs, plus experience the added benefits these technologies offer.

If you’re unsure where to begin, a trusted managed service provider (MSP) partner can help you wrap your head around the tech that best satisfies your needs and complements your bottom line. Invest in your communications and collaboration technology and prepare your company right for the new year.

Communications Q&A

Will your current technology adequately support your staff? Nearly all businesses struggled this year in finding workable solutions to moving their employees to remote work. Moreover, organizations that returned to the office found they couldn’t keep up with their client’s remote communication demands. If you aren’t sure where your communications and collaboration tech stands, consider these common questions and answers: 

It’s a safe bet your employees won’t attend these meetings empty-handed either. With a holistic cloud solution, spreadsheets, PDFs and general documents of text can be securely shared over multiple devices in different locations.

With CaaS, reliable communications and collaboration technologies are at your fingertips. Give your team the ability to work together, no matter where they are located. 

The Go-To Solution

The industry gold standard for internal and external communications for all great companies is the Microsoft Office suite. If your first thought goes to Excel and PowerPoint, then you’re missing out on the genuine advantages of this software.

Microsoft Office provides integrated solutions that connect the content and number-crunching programs you need with the most modern cloud technologies and reliable communications solutions. Introducing the two communications and collaboration standards:

With SharePoint, you can securely access, store, organize and share your documents from anywhere an internet connection is present.

Through Microsoft Teams, you will enjoy reliable direct messaging, video chat and internet phone in a single program.  Both platforms are a must for any organization searching for the best way to connect their team, be it remotely and in the office. But you don’t have to set them up on your own to get the workflow you want. 

Let the Experts Handle

It Why worry about juggling your responsibilities and distracting your team with a complex data migration and new software? When you find a dependable technology partner, your company can get the communications and collaboration tech it needs without changing its daily operations. With CaaS, it’s very simple.

Your CaaS provider will meet with you to understand your goals and pain points so they can set you up with the workable solution you want with little to no downtime.

Let Us Provide Your CaaS

No matter what you have planned for the new year, a solid communications and collaboration solution will be the foundation on which you can build your success. We have the industry knowledge and experience to provide dependable CaaS to your company and support it as you grow.

Meet with us today so we can serve your communications and collaboration needs. 

The stage has been set for the professional world in 2021. Some companies have returned their staff to the office, while others plan to keep employees working remotely. In both situations, these organizations need reliable communications and collaboration solutions. With the right technologies in place, you can have the option to do whatever suits your business needs, plus experience the added benefits these technologies offer.

If you’re unsure where to begin, a trusted managed service provider (MSP) partner can help you wrap your head around the tech that best satisfies your needs and complements your bottom line. Invest in your communications and collaboration technology and prepare your company right for the new year.

Some Things Never Change

Some Things Never Change Not everyone has a clear picture of what their business will look like this time next year. But certain aspects of your workday will still be around. Meetings aren’t going anywhere, and no matter if they happen in person, over video or conference call, you need the right technology to facilitate them all.

It’s a safe bet your employees won’t attend these meetings empty-handed either. With a holistic cloud solution, spreadsheets, PDFs and general documents of text can be securely shared over multiple devices in different locations.

With CaaS, reliable communications and collaboration technologies are at your fingertips. Give your team the ability to work together, no matter where they are located. 

The Go-To Solution

The industry gold standard for internal and external communications for all great companies is the Microsoft Office suite. If your first thought goes to Excel and PowerPoint, then you’re missing out on the genuine advantages of this software.

Microsoft Office provides integrated solutions that connect the content and number-crunching programs you need with the most modern cloud technologies and reliable communications solutions. Introducing the two communications and collaboration standards:

With SharePoint, you can securely access, store, organize and share your documents from anywhere an internet connection is present.

Through Microsoft Teams, you will enjoy reliable direct messaging, video chat and internet phone in a single program.  Both platforms are a must for any organization searching for the best way to connect their team, be it remotely and in the office. But you don’t have to set them up on your own to get the workflow you want. 

Let the Experts Handle

It Why worry about juggling your responsibilities and distracting your team with a complex data migration and new software? When you find a dependable technology partner, your company can get the communications and collaboration tech it needs without changing its daily operations. With CaaS, it’s very simple.

Your CaaS provider will meet with you to understand your goals and pain points so they can set you up with the workable solution you want with little to no downtime.

Let Us Provide Your CaaS

No matter what you have planned for the new year, a solid communications and collaboration solution will be the foundation on which you can build your success. We have the industry knowledge and experience to provide dependable CaaS to your company and support it as you grow.

Meet with us today so we can serve your communications and collaboration needs. 


The Benefits of Communications as a Service

Every business leader searches for proven methods to improve their team’s ability to work together. A harmonious work environment allows for better quality work to be completed with greater efficiency. With the right tools in place, your team’s ability to communicate and collaborate increases exponentially – and it can be done without interrupting anyone’s daily responsibilities.  Communications as a Service (CaaS) is your ticket to ride the fastest means of transport to industry-leading communications and collaboration technology. Discover how partnering with an expert team will make your business work better with little to no downtime. 

Some Things Never Change

Some Things Never Change Not everyone has a clear picture of what their business will look like this time next year. But certain aspects of your workday will still be around. Meetings aren’t going anywhere, and no matter if they happen in person, over video or conference call, you need the right technology to facilitate them all.

It’s a safe bet your employees won’t attend these meetings empty-handed either. With a holistic cloud solution, spreadsheets, PDFs and general documents of text can be securely shared over multiple devices in different locations.

With CaaS, reliable communications and collaboration technologies are at your fingertips. Give your team the ability to work together, no matter where they are located. 

The Go-To Solution

The industry gold standard for internal and external communications for all great companies is the Microsoft Office suite. If your first thought goes to Excel and PowerPoint, then you’re missing out on the genuine advantages of this software.

Microsoft Office provides integrated solutions that connect the content and number-crunching programs you need with the most modern cloud technologies and reliable communications solutions. Introducing the two communications and collaboration standards:

With SharePoint, you can securely access, store, organize and share your documents from anywhere an internet connection is present.

Through Microsoft Teams, you will enjoy reliable direct messaging, video chat and internet phone in a single program.  Both platforms are a must for any organization searching for the best way to connect their team, be it remotely and in the office. But you don’t have to set them up on your own to get the workflow you want. 

Let the Experts Handle

It Why worry about juggling your responsibilities and distracting your team with a complex data migration and new software? When you find a dependable technology partner, your company can get the communications and collaboration tech it needs without changing its daily operations. With CaaS, it’s very simple.

Your CaaS provider will meet with you to understand your goals and pain points so they can set you up with the workable solution you want with little to no downtime.

Let Us Provide Your CaaS

No matter what you have planned for the new year, a solid communications and collaboration solution will be the foundation on which you can build your success. We have the industry knowledge and experience to provide dependable CaaS to your company and support it as you grow.

Meet with us today so we can serve your communications and collaboration needs.