CYBER-CRIMINALS ARE VACATIONING IN FLORIDA! 

Ankita Paul, Marketing Associate

Recently, three cities in Florida have become the favorite target for ransomware attacks after a third local government was struck by the malware within the last few weeks. 

The statistics above show that the leading cause of ransomware infections are phishing scams, which are about 66%. Also, in the recent Florida cases, the malware made its way onto local government computers when an employee clicked on an email link that allowed it to be uploaded. 

Also, here are some crazy Ransomware Stats:

  • Ransomware costs businesses more than $75 billion per year. (Source: Datto) 
  • A new organization will fall victim to ransomware every 14 seconds in 2019, and every 11 seconds by 2021. (Source: Cyber Security Ventures) 
  • In 2019 ransomware from phishing emails increased 109 percent over 2017. (Source: PhishMe) 

Ransomware is a form of malware or a virus that prevents users from accessing their systems or data until a sum of money is paid. Ransomware is commonly delivered through phishing emails or via “drive-by downloads”. 

Phishing emails often appear as though they have been sent from a legitimate organization or someone known to the victim and entice the user to click on a malicious link or open a malicious attachment.  

How could you protect your organization from such attacks? 

  • Try encrypting your data or in other words, Azure Information Protection (AIP). It is a cloud-based solution that helps organizations protect its documents and emails by applying labels. You can classify (and optionally protect) your documents as highly confidential to prevent data leakage or misuse. 
  • Alternatively, you can also go for Microsoft Advanced Threat Protection. Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) safeguards your organization against malicious threats posed by email messages, links (URLs) and collaboration tools. 

It’s better late than never. Wake up now or else pay the Ransom! 

Give us a call at 914-355-5800 to find out more about protection licenses and packages. 

READY TO WORK FROM ANYWHERE WITH OFFICE 365? BRING YOUR IDEAS TO LIFE WHEREVER YOU ARE

By: Indira Ghosh, Marketing Associate

Ever thought of collaborating while on the move? Get the world at your fingertips and work from anywhere with Office 365 mobile apps. Whether you’re at a local cafe, picking up your kids from school, or simply commuting to work. The cloud approach allows you to get real-time access to documents and slides.

Studies show that employees are increasingly using their mobile devices for more than personal use.

66% of employees use personal devices for work purposes

87% of companies rely on their employees using their own devices to access business apps

67% of workers already use their tools in the workplace according to Microsoft 

Let’s analyze all that is needed to begin

With Microsoft Office 365 mobile apps, users will be able to see, manage, and create documents. These apps also integrate with OneDrive & SharePoint.

All Office 365 plans allow you to view documents using the Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or OneNote apps for iOS, Android, or Windows mobile devices and will enable you to utilize your most loved Office applications in a hurry, and even offline.

ADVANTAGES OF MICROSOFT OFFICE 365 FOR MOBILE

  • Access, manage, and edit documents – The Office 365 mobile apps allow users to access, manage and edit their documents wherever they want and whichever mobile device they are using.
  • Integration with OneDrive and SharePoint – Microsoft Office 365 mobile apps integrate with Microsoft’s file-sharing and storage products & services, which include OneDrive and SharePoint.
  • Connected with everyone – You can have control over all the tasks and activities and keep your co-workers connected and updated while your teammates work on the shared data.
  • Mobile data security – Microsoft Office 365 mobile suite ensures that information and data are protected even if they are not being communicated through email.
  • MS Word docs – Its word processing mobile app allows users to use the page, design, and formatting option found in Microsoft Word.
  • Office 365 Excel – Microsoft Office 365 provides a mobile spreadsheet app where users can work on their data using Microsoft Excel.
  • Mail and Calendar apps (Outlook) – The Mail and Calendar apps will assist you to stay up to date on your email, manage your scheduled meeting, and stay in touch with people.

Office 365 is designed for the way people work today, at anywhere and anytime, allowing them to stay connected with team members and be productive no matter where they are. This gives your employees greater flexibility in how they get their work complete.

Want to learn more about how Office 365 can benefit your business and increase productivity? Contact us today for more information. Give us a Call at 914-355-5800 to know more about Office 365 and other Microsoft Products.

Do you WannaCry again? Protect Yourself against BlueKeep: Upgrade to Windows 10

By: Joshua Weiss, Customer Success Manager 

It’s said that great risk brings great reward, but in this case, great risk brings nothing but great risk.  

Almost 1 million Internet connected Windows systems are unpatched at the moment, and one of them could be yours.

Recently, Microsoft discovered a new vulnerability. This vulnerability was found in their Windows Remote Protocol just two weeks after Microsoft released its latest security patch. BlueKeep, is a critical, wormable, remote code execution vulnerability. The threat of this is much greater due to the fact that it is  “wormable” which means, if one computer gets infected, it can easily pass it along to other computers.  

Like WannaCry (infected over 300,000 computers and 200,000 victims completely encrypted), the BlueKeep attack can give an unauthenticated remote attacker access to a computer with the use of specific code. Once they have access they can simply gain control of a victim’s computer. It does this by sending requests to the computers Remote Desktop Service through the RDP, which does not require anything from the user themselves. 

When it comes to this new BlueKeep vulnerability Microsoft has taken the proper steps in fixing this issue. They released patches for its Windows systems, even including patches for older systems like Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2003, who no longer get support from Microsoft but are still used by many customers.  

So, what can someone do to prevent being attacked by BlueKeep? Because the vulnerability only affects Windows 2003, XP, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 edition, the newer Windows systems are safe from this attack.  

This makes upgrading to Windows 10 the easiest and safest thing you can do. The problem is that there are still a ton of people who do not want to upgrade to Windows 10 or even allow Windows to install the patches on their older systems because they have old applications that require outdated Windows. At this point it has become a risk to use the old systems and upgrading is the most sensible and responsible course of action.  

Take action now, upgrade to Windows 10, and protect yourself from the BlueKeep attack!! 

 To purchase Windows 10 visit our CSE Marketplace here: https://cseshoppingcart.azurewebsites.net/?name=windows+10 

Even Google is telling you to be on Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

By: Ankita Paul, Marketing Associate

Everywhere you go, someone is handing out advice about account security. It hurts to be reminded all the time about the ways to protect your critical data. However, have you ever wondered whether any of the security measures you’re taking are effective?

Several companies, like Microsoft & Google, take up surveys to find out the most effective security methods. Recently, Google teamed up with researchers from New York University and the University of California. It analyzed 350,000+ account-hijacking attempts to see how its most basic account-security settings protected users’ accounts.

It turns out that its techniques were super-effective.

Google’s blog post reads, “We found that an SMS code sent to a recovery phone number helped block 100% of automated bots, 96% of bulk phishing attacks, and 76% of targeted attacks”.

The most basic security setting you can use with your account is adding your phone number as “Recovery Phone” so Microsoft or Google texts you if an account sign-in looks suspicious.

One of the most effective methods is on-device prompt. It requires an attacker to have physical access to your smartphone or tablet to authenticate a login request (Multi-Factor Authentication).

For the 100% effectiveness across all attempts, you should use security keys. Various study shows that it can block 100% of the attacks like automated bots, phishing attacks, or targeted attacks.

If your IT organization hasn’t deployed Multi-Factor Authentication, it is time to wake them up. Clearly the results backup the reasoning.

Give us a call at 914-355-5800 to find out more about Multi-Factor Authentication.

DO YOU NEED SPACE IN YOUR OFFICE? YOU SHOULD CONSIDER SWITCHING TO ONEDRIVE FOR BUSINESS AND SHAREPOINT

By: Joshua Weiss, Marketing Associate

According to Forbes, 74% of CFO’s say cloud computing had the most measurable impact on their business in 2017.

It is time to get rid of office servers or minimize the number of servers you have; you are unnecessarily increasing your companies’ risk. With on-premise servers, just like any other physical equipment, things tend to break. This can lead to loss of valuable information, not to mention the time and money wasted on replacing the server. Even if the server doesn’t break, the typical life span of a server is 3-5 years. This means within five years of buying a server you will need to replace it. Your IT team or IT guy are already spending weeks planning for that replacement.  How much is that costing you? On-premise servers over cloud-based options like OneDrive or SharePoint, require more money spent along with more time wasted (due to installation and delivery of the servers) compared to these cloud-based alternatives. 

So, if I want to reduce my costs and risk what should I do? Get OneDrive, SharePoint, or get an Office 365 Business Premium plan (1 year – $12.50 user/month) which includes both programs and more!

OneDrive is an internet-based storage platform that stores your documents in the cloud. While this can be purchased individually, Microsoft offers it to anyone with a Microsoft account. Microsoft offers it for free to its users with the free storage typically being around only 5 to 15 GB’s. For as little as 5$ per user/month you can get 1 TB of storage space.

SharePoint is a cloud-based service, hosted by Microsoft, for businesses of all sizes. Instead of installing and deploying SharePoint Server on-premises, any business can subscribe to an Office 365 plan or the standalone SharePoint Online service. You and your employees can create sites to share documents and information with colleagues, partners, and customers all without having to have a physical server on-premise.  

While both are great tools for one to have, using them together is ideal. Both OneDrive and SharePoint allow its users to do things like co-author, which is when multiple people simultaneously work on one document, and file share (both internal and external) all from the Microsoft Cloud. The real question is when you should use each of them.

For OneDrive, personal storage is the main goal. Everyone in the company gets their own OneDrive account, allowing them to safely save documents that are not meant to be shared such as personal documents or drafts that are not quite ready to be presented.

SharePoint on the other hand, is typically best used to collaborate on files with others in your organization. SharePoint is also where you would go to publish your files for all to see.  

Ideally, by using both OneDrive and SharePoint, a user can have a saved copy of their work on OneDrive until they are finished with it. Then they would upload it to SharePoint for everyone to see. This would also allow others to give input and even update the document from SharePoint.

Both OneDrive and SharePoint are very useful tools and are simply better options to have than just on-premise servers. Do more for your business, get OneDrive and SharePoint.

Check out our marketplace to purchase OneDrive and SharePoint!

EXPENSIVE TOY OR A MUST FOR THE NEW MODERN WORKSPACE? MICROSOFT SURFACE HUB 2S IS HERE!

By: Indira Ghosh, Marketing Associate

Microsoft introduces a new way to give teams an unprecedented level of collaboration to meet the demand of the new modern workforce. 

Microsoft has launched its next-generation Surface hub 2S, an all-in-one collaboration device built for teamwork. It has a 50 inch display with a 4K pixel resolution as well as a lighter and thinner design.

This device bridges the gap between digital and physical work spaces. It meets the increasing demand for rapid innovation and problem solving by helping teams collaborate their ideas in real-time. It combines several functions, most notably, the digital white-boarding and video conferencing with Teams and OneNote built into it through a single combined integrated package.

Surface Hub 2S is a transportable computing display that can be wheeled from one meeting room to another. It is an ideal solution for businesses that work in co-working sharing spaces, real estate agencies, and developers to showcase their projects interactively with their customers, or retail spaces that are looking to provide a sophisticated experience to their customers.

Surface Hub 2S can also be a perfect solution to business lounges to enhance a virtual concierge experience.

The Surface Hub 2S will arrive in the US this June, Reserve yours today!

Give us a Call at 914-355-5800 to know more about team collaboration in the modern workplace. It will begin shipping in June starting at $8,999. We will help you with pre-site inspection, installation, deployment, and ongoing management.

IS YOUR DATA SAFE FROM YOUR EMPLOYEES? MICROSOFT OFFICE 365 ADMINS MUST BE ON MULTI-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION BY DEFAULT

By: Indira Ghosh, Marketing Associate

When it comes to data breaches and other cyber security threats, many people discuss the risks from outside hackers.  

While outside hackers are a huge concern, Internal employees can do a lot more damage to an organization’s IT infrastructure. Recently, an IT employee stole the credentials of a colleague after he was fired. He decided to steamroll through his former employer’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) accounts and deleted twenty-three servers. The company lost big contracts with transport companies as a result.  

Police say that the wreckage caused an estimated loss of $700,000 at the time. The company reportedly was never able to retrieve back the deleted data.  Also, it took months to track down the culprit. 

A Few Statistics  

$2.4 million  

The average cost of a malware attack on a company 

27.4% 

The net increase in the average annual number of security breaches 

50 days  

The average time to resolve a malicious insider attack 

191 days 

The time it takes for organizations to identify data breaches

Could Have, Should Have, Would Have  

The company, could have done a few things to protect itself from this sort of nightmare.Voova CEO, Mark Bond, admitted to the court that the company should have implemented Multi-factor authentication (2FA), 2FA would have made it much harder for this to have happened. 

  • Set a Two-Step Verification Process:

Two-step verification helps by making it more difficult for someone else to sign in to your account. It uses two different forms of identity: your password, and a contact method (also known as security info) like: 

  1. Something you know (typically a password)  
  2. Something you own (a trusted device that is not easily duplicated, like a phone) 
  3. Something you are (biometrics) 
  • Azure Multi-factor Authentication strengthens security preventing the outflow of sensitive data

For Example: When you log in to your account, you will type a unique code from your phone to get access to Microsoft 365. MFA can prevent hackers from taking over even if they know your password.  
 

  • You should educate your users about MFA

Since most users are familiar using only passwords to authenticate, it is essential that your organization communicates to all users regarding this process. You should experience this in your business by enabling this for a couple of users first. Then extend the capability to all users, including your IT admins. 

  • Authentication process keeps productivity high

MFA makes it easy to access business applications from anywhere, at any time, safely.  

Make sure you have a plan in place for when employees leave that covers everything from physical access to your property and hardware like laptops, phones, and access tokens, to email, call forwarding, and logins for all the company software and services they had access to.

Give us a call at 914-355-5800 to find out more about Multi-Factor Authentication and other Microsoft security products. 

COMPUTER SOLUTIONS EAST ATTENDS THE ENTERPRISE CONNECT EXPO

By: Joshua Weiss, Marketing Associate


The Enterprise Connect Expo in Orlando, Florida was an amazing experience. With around one hundred companies at the expo there was no shortage of exciting things to check out. From businesses dedicated to improving your company’s customer service to emergency services that send direct messages to everyone in your company, just about everything you could ask for was at this expo.

What should your conference room look like?

Companies like Poly, Biamp, Yealink, Teem, and Evoko bring value with the products they provide. These companies all make setting up and attending meetings easier.

For example, Poly demonstrated their Polycom Studio, which is a USB video bar built for small rooms. This is a camera and microphone that is easily plugged in and used without hassle. It also has a feature where it tracks the person talking and focuses more on them. Poly even won an award called Best Communications/Collaboration Device for this product at Enterprise Connect 2019.

Biamp was demonstrating their products and how they are effective for Microsoft Teams meetings. They had a couple different types of ceiling microphones which can be useful for conferences with 8 to over 25 people. The different types of microphones included ones that went directly into the ceiling and ones that hang down low for even better sound quality. They also showed off their product called Tesira which is an integrated, networked AV processing and distribution platform. This is used for helping you create the dynamic, efficient AV systems your customers need.

Evoko demonstrated a product called Evoko Liso which is a piece of hardware that is put up outside the meeting room. This product is a touch screen room manager that tells you when a meeting is scheduled in that room. You can even book, end, or extend a meeting directly from the home screen (which is a clock) or use the calendar to search for other rooms based on availability, size and equipment. You can also easily see if a meeting is available by the light it emits, green for available, red for in use, or amber for scheduled.

Teem, does the same thing as Evoko with the hardware outside of the meeting room but takes it up a notch. While you can schedule meetings directly on the touch screen monitor, you can also do it through your voice. Teem implemented Alexa, which can use your voice commands to schedule a meeting for you. Not only can you schedule meetings in person but you can schedule meetings through your already existing calendar system, including Office 365. This would allow someone on Teams to set up a meeting in a specific room and have it show up on the monitors outside of the meeting rooms which is very valuable.

All of these businesses bring value to a company that often has in person meetings and trouble with conflicting meeting times between teams and needs great quality audio and visual during those meetings.

The Microsoft space was amazing. Their space was dedicated to Microsoft Teams and all of the stuff we can expect in the future for Teams. Features such as customized backgrounds in meetings are expected very soon. This is like the blur feature it already has but instead of blur you can have the background be trees or an office setting.

Microsoft showed off the star of their show, their updated Whiteboard, which is a tool that can be used in meetings to assist in teamwork. Whiteboard provides an infinite digital canvas for meeting participants to work together directly in Teams. Essentially, it is a huge touch screen that is running Teams, which allows you to draw stuff out while in meetings.

AUTOMATE AND SECURE SENSITIVE INFORMATION FROM SLIPPING OUT – HAVE YOU HEARD OF MICROSOFT DLP?

By: Indira Ghosh, Marketing Associate

Time for some Facts and Figures related to Cyber Security issues! 

The annual number of data breaches and exposed records in the United States from 2005 to 2018 (in millions) shows a rise of more than 600%  
  • 92% of malware is delivered by email. 
  • 60% of small companies go out of business within six months of a cyber-attack. 

With a Microsoft Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Policy you can: 
Identify sensitive information across many locations, such as Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business. 

For example, you can recognize any document containing a credit card number that stored in OneDrive for Business site. 

Prevent the accidental sharing of sensitive information:
You can identify any document or email containing financial data shared with people outside your organization, and then automatically block access to that document or block the email from being sent. 

Monitor and protect information in the latest desktop versions of Excel, PowerPoint, and Word:
DLP Policies have capabilities to identify sensitive information. DLP provides continuous monitoring when people share content.

You can educate your users about DLP policies:
If a user tries to share a document containing confidential information, a DLP policy can send them an email notification and show them a policy tip.

Give us a call at 914-355-5800 to find out more about Data Loss Prevention and other Microsoft security products. 

WHAT’S UP WITH MY ATP? -ADVANCED THREAT PROTECTION

By: Indira Ghosh, Marketing Associate

First, here are some facts about security vulnerabilities:

  • More malware is being launched than ever before, with approximately 230,000 new malware samples per day.
  • 92% of malware is delivered by email.
  • 56% of IT decision makers say targeted phishing attacks are their top security threat.
  • The average ransomware attack costs a small business anywhere from 40 thousand to 1 million dollars.
  • It takes organizations an average of 191 days to identify data breaches.

Microsoft Office 365 Exchange Online gives you basic protection, is that enough?

This is what you get:

  • An Email filtering service that helps protect your organization against spam and malware. This filters out thousands of unsolicited messages daily that might contain malware.
  • It is simple to setup and already has a powerful default out of the box. 
  • You can add additional rules to block emails that still pass through as well.

Now, what doesn’t it do?

  • It does not check emails for malware attachments at all.
  • It does not protect email content for website links that take you to Phishing sites.

Microsoft Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) is an affordable add-on that provides the following:

  • The email arrives at Microsoft, where it is scanned by Exchange Online Protection for SPAM.
  • Next ATP scans the email; it ensures attachments are safe by checking the attachments against its real-time updated database.
  • Additionally, if the system recognizes a suspicious link or content, the email is removed, or the rough contents of the link are described.
  • Naturally, the user and the company IT administrator receive notification.
  • The intelligent solution provided by Microsoft can protect your data against sophisticated threats.

Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) is about $2.00 per month which is $24.00 annually per user. ATP is a necessary layer in today’s security environment.

Give us a call at 914-355-5800 to find out more about ATP and other Microsoft security products.