Businesses that take advantage of innovative technologies often come out better equipped to compete as they grow. This is why many companies are continuously seeking innovations that improve operations and reduce costs. Small businesses like yours can take advantage of new tech too — just follow our tips. Be an early adopter One of the Learn More “4 Tips to help you capitalize on technology”
Machine learning is all the rage nowadays, and few vendors are providing as many solutions powered by this new technology as Microsoft does. Office 365 includes “intelligent” functionality for analyzing your employees’ time and coaching them on how to use it more efficiently. What is MyAnalytics? MyAnalytics apply machine learning technology to your employees’ Office Learn More “Boost user productivity with MyAnalytics”
More money with less investment — that’s the dream, right? Counterintuitive as it may seem, flash-in-the-pan tech fads and trends may just be the way to achieve that. With the right tools, you can associate your SMB with popular new technologies. These are our five tips on how to cash in on things as silly Learn More “5 ways to capitalize on the latest tech fads”
Making the decision to migrate from an on-site system to a cloud-based Office 365 is easy, but the migration process itself presents numerous security challenges. By covering these essentials, you’ll minimize security breaches and ensure you can enjoy the benefits of Office 365.
Identify your company’s sensitive data…
Most files housed within your servers contain sensitive commercial and personal data that must be properly identified and protected. Do this by conducting a security audit before you undertake your migration.
Your audit should identify the types of data stored in the various parts of your company network, including which specific information needs extra safeguarding. Be sure to consider everything from trade secrets and contract details to the personal information of your clients.
…and then restrict access to it
Once you’ve worked out where your most precious data lies, you can check who currently has access to it and whether their access is appropriate. After all, it’s not necessary for everyone to be able to get at all the data your company owns.
Ensure that each of your employees has access only to the data that’s necessary for them to perform their duties. The great thing about Office 365 is it lets you conveniently set different levels of permissions based on user roles.
Watch out for insider threats
It’s wise to consider everyone in your organization when it comes to auditing data access permissions – and that includes system administrators who may have master access to every element of your network infrastructure.
A rogue administrator is the stuff of nightmares, since their elevated position gives them much greater leeway to siphon off valuable data without being noticed – or even to allow others to conduct questionable business and bypass the usual built-in security precautions. You can mitigate this risk by monitoring your administrators’ data usage and activities.
Use machine learning to foresee security breaches
Every action performed by your staff within Office 365 is automatically logged, and with relative ease you can create detailed activity reports. But the sheer number of events taking place within Office 365 in the course of your business’s normal operations means that even attempting to identify questionable behavior will be akin to finding a needle in a haystack.
That’s not to say it’s unwise to be on the lookout for anomalies in normal usage – the export of unexplainably large volumes of data, for instance, could suggest that a member of your team is leaking intelligence to a competitor, or that they’re about to jump ship and take your trade secrets with them.
To make things easier, machine learning technologies can identify potential breaches before they happen by analyzing large swathes of data in seconds. Graph API is incorporated into Office 365, and allows for the integration of machine learning tools into your security environment to achieve just that. The same tools can also help you avoid being caught unawares by hackers, by identifying system login attempts from locations that are out of the ordinary.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy the powerful collaborative features of Office 365 while ensuring the robust security your business demands. To find out more about how we can help your Office 365 migration run smoothly, just give us a call.
How many new technologies did your business adopt last year? Too many? Too few? You’ve officially made it through 2017 and there’s no better time than now to review which IT fads were worth investing in, and which ones should be left in the past. Look no further than our recap of last year’s most valuable technologies for small businesses.
Small businesses love the cloud
According to research from IDC, more than 70% of businesses with 10-99 employees took advantage of cloud technology in 2017, and that number is expected to rise this year. This is largely due to IT providers demonstrating that the cloud is just as, if not more, secure than on-premises solutions. The list of possibilities for what can be hosted in the cloud on a small-business budget is getting longer every day — if you’re not devoting resources to this technology, it’s time to jump onboard.
Mobile payments earn users’ trust
Like the cloud, making credit card purchases using a mobile device suffered from a trust deficit in its early stages. For good reasons, consumers have been conditioned to treat IT security with caution, and storing financial information on a smartphone that could wirelessly transmit that information to cashiers sounded dangerous.
However, after two years of availability without any major incidents, the number of users who have used smartphone-based wallets like Apple Pay has doubled. Accepting these payments is relatively simple for small businesses and opens up new business opportunities.
Cybersecurity becomes affordable for SMBs
Ransomware had yet another year of explosive growth, and small businesses were a primary target. Thankfully, managed IT services providers met the increased demand for cybersecurity services with intelligent data backup and network protection solutions tailored for SMB budgets. There will be even more ransomware attacks in 2018, which means you should be investing in more cybersecurity services than you did last year.
The Internet of Things gains popularity
Just a couple years ago, Internet of Things (IoT) devices were novelty gadgets for people with money to burn. Everything was being connected to WiFi networks: egg trays, pet-activated video chats, belts, you name it. But due to more useful applications in 2017, nearly a third of US businesses are now taking advantage of IoT gadgets. Connected thermostats, door locks, and AI assistants make it easy to save money, increase security, and boost productivity.
“Artificial Intelligence” is widely adopted
Although we’re still far from building computers that can truly think for themselves, 2017 was the year that computers got much better at creatively organizing and interpreting data for us. From digital assistants that answer your phones to customer relationship management platforms that intelligently uncover sales opportunities, IT solutions for business are getting significantly cheaper and smarter. Experts predict that more than 30% of businesses will use AI by next year and we recommend you join their ranks.
Technology investments are no different from any other investment. There will always be risks and you should always consult with an industry expert first. When you’re ready to get more value out of your IT, give us a call and we’ll get started on your 2018 plan!