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Unlocking the Power of Microsoft 365's Latest AI Innovations: 5 Strategies to Utilize

Microsoft 365 boasts an impressive array of cloud-based productivity tools designed to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in your work. Microsoft has been a pioneer in innovation, with M365, initially introduced as Office 365 in 2013, leading the charge as one of the earliest all-in-one cloud solutions. Today, Microsoft continues to push boundaries with its cutting-edge generative AI technology.

Within the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, numerous AI innovations have been integrated into familiar tools such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, and more. These intelligent features, if utilized effectively, can greatly enhance your productivity and overall experience.

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Attention Gamers! Beware of Targeted Hacking Attempts.

For a long time, cybersecurity has predominantly focused on protecting businesses, with frequent mentions of attacks on enterprises and incidents of personal data theft through phishing schemes. However, it's crucial to recognize that gamers are increasingly vulnerable to targeted cyber threats.

As cyberattacks persist and evolve, gamers have emerged as prime targets for hackers. With the gaming industry expanding rapidly and more users immersing themselves in virtual environments, the risks associated with cyber threats have escalated. In fact, cyberattacks on young gamers surged by 57% in 2022, particularly affecting those playing popular games like Minecraft, Roblox, and Fortnite on their parents' devices, which are rich targets for hackers.

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Five Technological Trends for Small Businesses That Can Drive Your Expansion

In today's dynamic digital landscape, small businesses are presented with a wealth of opportunities. Many of these opportunities involve harnessing technology to gain a competitive edge. Embracing the right technological trends can empower businesses to streamline their operations, elevate customer experiences, and propel growth. However, navigating the multitude of available options can be perplexing. Small businesses must carefully select the path that promises the greatest returns.

In this article, we will delve into five prominent technological trends that hold immense potential for driving success and propelling small businesses forward in an increasingly competitive market.

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Defense in Depth Cybersecurity Strategy for Small Businesses

Cybersecurity threats are on the rise, with ransomware attacks jumping by 93% in 2022. The advent of ChatGPT has the potential to increase the damage caused by cyber-attacks. Safeguarding sensitive data and systems requires a comprehensive approach that goes beyond relying on a single security solution. This is where adopting a defense-in-depth cybersecurity strategy becomes crucial.

Understanding the Defense-in-Depth Approach

In simple terms, a defense-in-depth approach means implementing multiple layers of protection for your technology, similar to securing your home with locks, security cameras, and an alarm system. This strategy combines various security measures to create a formidable defense against cyber attackers. Some of these defenses include firewalls, antivirus software, strong passwords, encryption, employee training, access management, and endpoint security. The approach also emphasizes early detection and rapid response by utilizing tools that can promptly detect suspicious activities and enable quick action to mitigate potential damage.

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Cybersecurity Risks of Remote Work

Remote work has witnessed a surge in popularity, offering employees greater flexibility and convenience while helping employers reduce office costs. Many also attest to the productivity benefits stemming from fewer distractions. Research indicates a remarkable 56% decrease in unproductive time when working from home compared to the office. However, there are certain drawbacks to remote work that necessitate awareness of the cybersecurity risks that come with it. Monitoring device and network security becomes less straightforward, resulting in about 63% of businesses experiencing data breaches due to remote employees.

Nevertheless, this news does not imply that one must compromise security to enjoy the benefits of remote working. Striking a balance is possible by being conscious of cybersecurity concerns and taking appropriate measures to address them.

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What is Zero Click Malware in Small Businesses?

In today's digital era, cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving, presenting significant risks to both individuals and small businesses. One particularly concerning threat gaining traction is zero-click malware, a type of insidious software that requires no user interaction and can silently compromise devices and networks.

A well-known instance of such an attack occurred in 2019 through a WhatsApp breach, where a missed call led to spyware being injected into the victim's device without any interaction required. More recently, iOS users have been targeted by a new zero-click hack via iMessage, which allows a complete takeover of their devices without any user action.

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How to Use Threat Modeling to Reduce Your Small Business Cybersecurity Risk

As cyber threats continue to increase, businesses must take proactive steps. They need to protect their sensitive data and assets from cybercriminals. Threats to data security are persistent and they come from many different places.  

Today’s offices are digitally sophisticated. Just about every activity relies on some type of technology and data sharing. Hackers can breach these systems from several entry points. This includes computers, smartphones, cloud applications, and network infrastructure.

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Why Small Businesses Should Upgrade Their Operating Systems

Small businesses are not immune to cybersecurity threats, and they face the same problem as large companies – outdated operating systems. Some businesses may have computers running on old operating systems that staff members only use occasionally. Others may rely on customized software that only works with older OS versions. But running an outdated OS means exposing your business to cyberattacks, as developers stop supporting old operating systems once they retire them. The latest OS to lose support is Windows 8.1, which Microsoft released in 2013 and officially retired on January 10, 2023.

So, what happens when an operating system reaches its end of life? Here are a few facts small businesses need to know:

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6 Ways to Prevent Misconfiguration (the Main Cause of Cloud Breaches in Small Business)

Misconfiguration of cloud solutions is often overlooked when companies plan cybersecurity strategies. Cloud apps are typically quick and easy to sign up for. The user often assumes that they don't need to worry about security because it's handled.

This is an incorrect assumption because cloud security is a shared model. The provider of the solution handles securing the backend infrastructure. But the user is responsible for configuring security settings in their account properly.

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Is That Really a Text from Your CEO... or Is It a Scam?

Imagine you’re going about your day when suddenly you receive a text from the CEO. The head of the company is asking for your help. They’re out doing customer visits and someone else dropped the ball in providing gift cards. The CEO needs you to buy six $200 gift cards and text the information right away.

The message sender promises to reimburse you before the end of the day. Oh, and by the way, you won’t be able to reach them by phone for the next two hours because they’ll be in meetings. One last thing, this is a high priority. They need those gift cards urgently.

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Smart Tips to Keep Money From Being Stolen Through Online Banking

There are a lot of things that have changed since the invention of the internet. One of these is how we bank and access our accounts. You used to have to go into a local bank branch to make deposits and withdrawals. Now, you can take a picture of a check and deposit it from your phone.

Approximately 73% of people around the world use some form of online banking at least once a month. People have never had such convenient account access. But that convenience can come at a cost.

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The Pros & Cons of Tracking Your Employee’s Every Digital Movement

Since the pandemic, employers around the world have needed to change. They've had to shift how their employees operate. Remote work is very much here to stay. Organizations and employees can both benefit from the work-from-home and hybrid work revolution.

Cost savings is a driver for supporting remote work. Employee morale and productivity also can be higher when employers grant this flexibility.

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Mobile Malware Has Increased-What Should Your Small Business Do?

Mobile malware has become a growing concern for businesses, particularly small businesses, as mobile devices become increasingly ubiquitous in the workplace. With mobile malware attacks on the rise, it's essential for small businesses to take proactive steps to protect their devices and sensitive data.

Policies and Guidelines:

One critical step that small businesses can take is to establish clear mobile device policies and guidelines for employees. These policies should outline best practices for device security, including recommendations for password complexity, automatic updates, and app management.

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Synology NAS and your Small Business

Small businesses often struggle with the issue of managing and storing their important data. Inefficient data management can lead to a number of problems such as data loss, security breaches, and decreased productivity. To address these challenges, many small businesses are turning to Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices to store their documents. Among the various options available in the market, Synology NAS is emerging as a popular choice for small business owners.

Synology is a Taiwan-based company that produces high-quality NAS devices. The company's devices are known for their ease of use, affordability, and advanced features. In this blog post, we will explore why small businesses should consider using a Synology NAS to store their documents.

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7 VoIP Setup Tips for a More Productive Small Business Office

The global pandemic put a big emphasis on the need to run a business from anywhere. Enabling employees to work remotely requires cloud solutions. This includes collaborative platforms like Google Workspace and Microsoft 365. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone systems have also become critical.

VoIP allows companies to stay in contact with customers and potential customers. Employees can work from anywhere and still answer the business phone line. Callers get a similar experience no matter where employees may be working, office or home.

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6 Discontinued Technology Tools You Should Not Be Using Any Longer

One constant about technology is that it changes rapidly. Tools that were once staples, like Internet Explorer and Adobe Flash, age out. New tools replace those that are obsolete.  Discontinued technology can leave computers and networks vulnerable to attacks.

While older technology may still run fine on your systems that doesn’t mean that it’s okay to use. One of the biggest dangers of using outdated technology is that it can lead to a data breach.

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Microsoft Productivity Score Overview for Small Businesses

Productivity can be challenging to track, no matter where employees are working. How do you know they’re using their tools as effectively as possible? How can you enable them to adopt best practices?

These are questions that managers often ask themselves. If they’re looking at the wrong things, it can get in the way of empowering their team. For example, you can’t grade productivity simply by “clock in/clock out” times.

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Small Business Tip - Signs That Your Computer May Be Infected with Malware

Approximately 34% of businesses take a week or longer to regain access to their data and systems once hit with a malware attack.

Malware is an umbrella term that encompasses many different types of malicious code. It can include:

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Are Two Monitors Really More Productive Than One?

When you see those people with two monitors, you may assume they do some specialized work that requires all that screen space, or they just really like technology.

But having the additional display real estate that a second screen provides can benefit anyone, even if you’re doing accounting or document work all day.

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Timeless Methods of Improving Your Productivity - Here are 7 Things You Can Do to Be More Productive

Low productivity can be a massive obstacle to growing your business. Luckily, there are many ways to solve this problem.

Many people struggle to finish the task at hand. No matter how long they've been in the business, productivity seems to evade them regularly.

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