Why You Need Onboarding Software

So you’ve managed to hire an experienced and skilled new staff member. Are you sure you can keep them around? It all starts with your onboarding…

Employee Retention Stars On Day #1

The onboarding process is an integral part of the employee life cycle. It sets the tone for a successful relationship between employer and employee and directly informs the new hire’s comfort on the job. 

That’s why successful employee onboarding can improve your employee retention rate by as much as 82%.

Onboarding new employees should be a smooth transition that allows them to quickly adjust to their new work environment and become productive members of the team. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible, either due to a lack of resources or inadequate preparation—or both. 

Key Challenges With Employee Onboarding

To make sure your onboarding process is successful, you need to provide comprehensive training materials that are easily accessible to your new hires. 

This includes providing an up-to-date job description, outlining expectations from day one, and ensuring all safety protocols are in place before they start working. Unfortunately, this can be a lot to manage, especially when you consider these common obstacles to the process:

Undefined Roles

Smaller businesses often struggle with key managerial tasks, such as employee onboarding. If the owner is too busy managing the operations of the company and lacks middle managers or an HR department, they may not be able to devote the necessary time to the process. 

Out Of Date Materials

Furthermore, with no specific staff member tasked with managing and optimizing this process, it’s more than likely your training materials are out of date. This only further complicates the new staff member’s first days on the job. 

Unengaging Training

Lastly, if you lack an actionable strategy for the development and improvement of your training materials, they likely aren’t all that engaging. A boring binder of materials, a stale PowerPoint, an outdated video; none of this will excite your new hire about integrating into your company. 

The Secret To Optimizing Your Onboarding

If you’ve been struggling with these challenges, you’re not alone. Business owners across the country know how difficult this can be. After all, 88% of companies do not onboard their new hires effectively. 

Don’t worry, there is a solution, and it doesn’t involve hiring an HR team you can’t afford. You can optimize your onboarding process with the right software.

Onboarding Software Will Change The Way You Grow Your Staff

Onboarding software is designed to streamline and improve the onboarding process for both employers and new hires.

It allows an organization to:

  • Create personalized onboarding plans and guides
  • Automate paperwork processes
  • Provide access to important resources like training materials
  • Create a system for tracking tasks that need to be completed
  • Store all relevant onboarding data in one place. 

These tools make it easy to stay organized throughout the entire onboarding process. Organizations can easily create custom onboarding schedules with associated tasks and deadlines, assign mentors or supervisors to follow up on tasks, review progress at any time by accessing real-time reporting features, and use this data over time to refine their future onboarding strategies. 

As business owners implement new onboarding software, they often find that it helps reduce stress for new hires by providing all of the necessary onboarding information upfront. This increases employee engagement and job satisfaction while making it easy to answer common questions quickly and accurately. 

As a result, companies can create an enjoyable and positive onboarding experience while ensuring their new employees are well-prepared for success in their roles. 

3 Must-Have Features For Your Onboarding Software Of Choice

Like any software, onboarding solutions vary in features, capabilities, and price points. Make sure you find one that offers the following…

Integration With Your Systems

Don’t bother purchasing onboarding software without first ensuring it integrates with your systems. After all, this type of software is supposed to make your life easier, not add more work to get it to cooperate with your other applications. 

Before you make your choice, make sure it can work seamlessly with:

  • HR platforms
  • Recruiting solutions
  • Payroll & benefits systems
  • Reporting solutions

Gamification Options

Engaging your employees during their training can be as simple as adding a few interactive stages. Known as “gamification”, this is the initiative to improve other boring processes by incorporating quizzes, assigning badges, and displaying leaderboards.

Mobile Capability

The more mobile your workforce is, the more beneficial mobile integration is for your onboarding software. It allows new team members to participate in training and for managers to track progress in the manner most convenient to them. This will only serve to boost engagement and effectiveness. 

Don’t Let Your Onboarding Process Cost You Skilled Staff Members

In summary, onboarding software is an invaluable tool for companies wanting to streamline the onboarding process, increase efficiency, provide personalized support for new hires, and create a great first impression with potential staff members. 

By utilizing these tools correctly, employers can ensure that their organization not only recruits but also retains quality personnel in order to achieve long-term success. 

Do you need help selecting, installing, and managing the right onboarding software for your organization? Get in touch with our team today.

Hiring Crisis: 3 Lessons To Learn While Growing Your Staff

Hiring Crisis: 3 Lessons To Learn While Growing Your Staff

Amid a nationwide hiring crisis, it’s never been more difficult to recruit and retain quality team members. Consider the top three lessons we’ve learned over the past three years to better manage the new hires you bring into your company. 

How To Find & Hire The Right Staff Members

Are you having trouble hiring right now? You’re not alone. 

Month after month, new reports hit the headlines showing that companies across the nation are struggling to fill their open positions, keep people on staff, and manage their workload. The past few years have hit the working world hard in many ways, and one of the emergent and long-lasting effects is the ongoing labor shortage. 

3 Lessons You Need To Learn About Hiring New Staff Members

Priorities Have Changed

Far and away, this was the hardest lesson we had to learn while trying to hire new staff members of late. The simple fact is that so many of the people you’ll want to hire may not have the same work/life priorities that they had two or three years ago. 

The mass pivot to remote work demonstrated the possibility of a different work/life balance for millions of people around the world. These people had become accustomed to living a life that often prioritized work over the time they spent with friends and family or in recreation. 

When they switched to remote work, most of them discovered they were able to accomplish the same work without having to commute, pack a lunch, or deal with the other trappings of conventional work. 

The issue is that, while you’d like everything to go back to the way it used to, it’s risky to mandate in-office work. It could lead to a toxic work culture, or a workplace with a high rate of turnover—or, more likely, both. 

To be clear, this doesn’t mean to have to stick with a total remote work model. You can compromise with a hybrid arrangement instead. A hybrid work model is a great way to increase workplace productivity, flexibility, and agility. 

It allows employees to utilize both in-office and remote working environments, which helps them become more productive and engaged with their work. In addition, hybrid remote work helps employers like us better manage costs as it reduces the need for office space. 

Furthermore, it increases employee morale and retention, as employees have more flexibility and control over their work hours. It helps to promote a healthy work-life balance for employees, which can lead to greater job satisfaction. 

Overall, hybrid remote work is an excellent way to increase workplace productivity and employee morale while reducing costs.

Don’t Rely On Employment Apps

On the more direct and practical side of our advice, we want to ensure you don’t make the same mistake we did by relying on employment apps. You know the ones we’re talking about: Indeed, ZipRecruiter, etc. 

At first, these seem like wonderful tools for a manager trying to hire new staff members. You simply post a job description, and applications start flooding your inbox. However, as soon as your start reviewing the applications and reaching out to applicants, you’ll start noticing the issues:

Application Volume

Getting hundreds of applications for your job really isn’t a good thing. First of all, it’s a lot of work for you and your team to review these applications. The small portion of strong applicants will be hidden in a mountain of bad ones. 

The core issue is that these apps allow applicants to automate the process of applying to a job posting. They can upload their resume, and tell the app to send it to any open jobs that meet specific criteria. They never even need to review the job they’re applying for; the first they may hear about it is when you offer them an interview slot. While this automation may be convenient for the applicant, it makes your job that much more difficult. 

Applicant Interest & Investment

The other downside to the automated nature of these apps is that they do not engender any personal investment from the applicant. Instead of scouring job postings boards and seeking potential employment about which they can be passionate and excited, applicants are completely removed from the process. 

This results in a total lack of investment from the applicant. In practical terms, this means you won’t necessarily get a response when you reach out to them. 

If you do get a response and schedule a time to meet with them for an interview, they may not actually show up. In my experience, more than half of the applicants to which we offered interviews (and who confirmed the appointment), did not show up. 

Overall, this resulted in hours and hours of wasted time for the management team. This is why we don’t post jobs on these sites anymore. We post through our social media, we rely on our staff for word of mouth, and we utilize industry-specific job boards. 

Be Patient

This may seem obvious, but we think it’s a valuable reminder. If you want to find a talented new team member with the attitude and work ethos that fits your company culture, it’s not going to happen overnight. 

It’s important to understand that building an effective team that has real longevity is no small thing. It will take months, if not years. You need to be prepared to sift through the many applications you receive, to interview potential applicants multiple times, and to provide structured training once you’ve made your selection. 

Is it a lot of work? Yes, of course—but it is an investment. 

Over the course of a year or two of intentional and careful development of your team, you’ll start to see the fruits of your labor. In fact, it will get easier over time, as your currently established team and the culture they embody will actively cultivate itself in new additions to your staff. 

Don’t Get Discouraged

To whatever degree you may find these lessons helpful, we know they don’t solve anything for you immediately. There is no magic solution to this problem. 

More than anything else, we want to make sure you don’t get discouraged. Don’t just hire anyone because you need a body to fill a position; that’s a band-aid solution, and it won’t last. 

Lastly, while we can’t help with the recruitment or training processes, our team can assist with your onboarding process. Setting up new computers, configuring secure accounts and remote access, you name it—we’re here to provide technical expertise if you need it. 

Book a meeting with us to get started.

The Top 3 Considerations For Managing Your Remote Employees

Are you considering making remote work a part of your business’ operations long-term? Then make sure you keep these important considerations in mind going forward. 

3 Best Practices For Managing Remote Workers

Is remote work a permanent part of your business model?

This approach can take many forms. Maybe your staff follows a hybrid work arrangement, where they’re in the office some days and at home for others. On the other hand, maybe you have staff members that work full-time in the office, and a team of remote workers that operate on the other side of the world. 

To whatever degree you manage remote team members, one thing is clear—you have to do so carefully. 

The Pitfalls Of Remote Work

Plenty of managers and business owners have made big mistakes with remote workers. The process of giving up in-person managerial control of the workplace can be daunting if you’re used to it being that way. 

This often leads to remote team leaders micromanaging their staff members, scheduling too many check-in meetings, and tracking time down to the minute. We’ll make this clear: there’s no faster way to disengage a remote employee than by wasting their time with your managerial insecurities. 

However, with the right approach to your management strategy, you can fully activate your staff members while they work remotely…

4 Tips For Managing Remote Workers

Over Support & Under-Manage

The core issue at play with remote workers is obvious: when staff members are not in your office, how can you effectively manage them? The key is to make no assumptions about what they have, and make every assumption about what they will produce (until proven otherwise, of course). 

In other words, you should be committed to equipping your remote workers with each and every resource they need to succeed, and then trust them to deliver the services or goods they have agreed to. You should only micromanage the quality of their work experience; not their performance on the job. 

For example, ask about their home “workplace”. The space one works in is an important part of productivity. Make sure your remote worker is in a comfortable, distraction-free space that is as similar as possible to your normal workplace.

This may require investing in an office chair or a second monitor. Not everyone will have the necessary tools at home, and so, it’s recommended that you have a number of remote work bundles ready to go to maintain continuity and security:

  • Laptop
  • Monitor(s)
  • Keyboard and mouse
  • Phone system and headset
  • Business-class firewall 
  • AV Software

Promote Balance

Encouraging a balanced workday is important for the productivity and morale of your staff. Make sure that they are taking breaks to stay hydrated, relax, and stretch.

This will help them to be more focused and productive when they are working. Additionally, it is important to set a good example for your staff by maintaining a balanced workday yourself.

Keep in mind that this does not have to be part of a staff-wide social initiative. You do not need to schedule a group “desk yoga” break after lunch every day, as these types of activities will more often than not wear down the goodwill among remote staff. 

Instead, make sure you provide space for your remote team members to decompress. This may be a matter of encouraging them to take a walk after lunch or providing an employee-only social Slack channel (no management allowed!)

Make Sure Everyone Knows The Plan

You need to be sure that everyone is on the same page with respect to communication. Some staff members may update you multiple times per day, while others may not communicate at all unless there is an emergency. 

Establish a policy for when and how communication should take place, and make sure that everyone follows it. This will help to ensure that everyone is kept up to date with what is happening.

Our advice is to develop a culture of communication that is both ubiquitous and brief. This has the two-pronged benefit of ensuring regular communication is encouraged, without wasting anyone’s time in the process of drafting long emails or sitting through long meetings. 

Consider the following benchmarks:

  • Direct messages should be as short as possible (one-word responses aren’t rude—they’re efficient).
  • Emails should be 2-3 sentences.
  • Phone calls should be <5 minutes.
  • Meetings should be <30 minutes.

Essentially, whatever you or an employee needs to communicate should fit into this hierarchy. If you can’t address the topic in a DM, then fit it into an email. If it doesn’t fit into an email, then have a quick phone call. All of this should funnel up to your weekly or monthly staff meeting, which is likely the longest staff-wide event on the regular calendar. 

Activate Your Team While They Work Remotely

The bottom line is that managing a remote staff is largely a matter of surrendering the control you got used to in the conventional, in-person workplace. You cannot micromanage your remote staff, and so, it’s up to you to build an environment of trust, support, and productivity. 

We know that one big challenge for business owners when it comes to remote work environments is technology. What tech does your remote staff member need? How do you ensure they have secure access to company files? Is their home network secure enough to trust?

If you need expert assistance, allow us to help. Book a meeting with us to talk further.

Remote, On-Site, Or Hybrid—Which Work Model Is Right For You?

Are you looking into establishing a new work model for your business? Executed correctly, the right work model can come with a lot of advantages.

What’s your business’ current work model? 

Over the past two years, you’ve likely engaged in some degree of remote work for your staff. Going forward, however, you may assume you’re stuck with one of two potential scenarios:

  1. Your entire staff returns to work in the office
  2. All of your staff continue to work remotely

We want you to know there’s a compromise between the two: hybrid work. It’s a middle ground between the two options and offers you the best of both worlds. 

Striking A Balance Between Remote Work & The Office

The core aspect of the hybrid work model is that it lets you enjoy the benefits offered by remote work without sacrificing your in-office community. 

Employee by employee, one person may prefer remote work, and the other may instead prefer to work in the office. Instead of having everyone fit into one model, you can cater to both sides. 

After all, these two opposing models offer competing advantages. Remote workers have seen a number of key benefits:

However, for all the ways remote work is beneficial to both the organization and end-users, it’s not without its challenges. A study found that remote workers across the country encountered a series of challenges in their daily work life:

  • 19% experience loneliness
  • 17% have difficulty communicating and collaborating
  • 8% have trouble staying motivated

So how do you reconcile these many pros and cons that come with either option? Compromise with a hybrid work model. Doing so harnesses all the advantages and none of the disadvantages of both choices:

  • Employees spend a portion of their work time at home, focusing on key tasks and projects
  • The remainder of their hours are in the office, where they are available for meetings and can contribute to a social company culture

That said, it’s not as though hybrid work presents absolutely no obstacles to managers and business owners…

Key Challenges Associated With Hybrid Work

The most important consideration is your technology. Security is a complicated undertaking for work models that include remote work. In fact, 36% of organizations have dealt with a security incident due to an unsecured remote worker.

Continuing with a remote work model, whether entirely or in part, will require:

  • Enhancing security measures
  • Providing the right hardware for users working permanently from home
  • Implementing more permanent file-sharing, collaboration, and communication tools

How To Protect Your Hybrid Business

In optimizing your hybrid working model, make sure to consider the following best practices for your cybersecurity:

Identify Risks

In order to confirm your security capabilities, you need to conduct a cyber risk assessment along with a vulnerability scan of your systems. This will help you identify potential vulnerabilities, and develop the starting blocks to a secure long-term hybrid management plan.

Train Your Staff

As some of your staff will be working from home, it’s more important than ever to ensure they receive proper awareness training. Without proper supervision, they are at greater risk of compromising the security of your business data or falling for phishing scams. Make sure they understand how to maintain business cybersecurity from their home office. 

Deploy Security Measures

Your hybrid environment will require a combination of threat monitoring, firewalls, and antivirus solutions. These defenses will form a comprehensive cybersecurity posture to protect your office network as well as your employees while they work remotely.

Need Expert Assistance Managing Your Hybrid IT Environment?

If you plan to continue with remote work in one way or another, you may need to change your model of IT support. As you and the other C-level executives at your business have likely discovered since the start of the pandemic, your ability to work remotely depends directly on your IT support. 

We can help—we’ve developed extensive experience in helping our partners to launch, optimize and secure remote work capabilities. Now that the mad rush to go remote is over, it’s time to perfect your processes, and you don’t have to do so alone. 

Get in touch with our team today to get started.

Security Admin with Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft 365 Security Admin

Security Admin with Microsoft Office 365

Cybersecurity refers to the framework of rules, applications, and standard practices that safeguard the internet network, connected hardware and software applications, and data from authorized access and manipulations. In an online work environment, whether it is public internet or intranet at the organizational level, the networks are always susceptible to threats from outside. Cybersecurity helps in providing a security cover to the network, connected devices, and data. One of the important security tools that offer excellent services is Microsoft Office 365.

Microsoft Office 365 is a cloud-based computing program that integrates many functions, software, and regulations into a cloud-based service or subscription-typical program appropriate for private, educational, and official government agencies. It involves cloud data, encryption technologies, and the connection of teamwork to a personal computer directly. With an Office 365 subscription, users may use a range of enterprise resources and facilities, including data management, file sharing, and collaboration in the organization on the foundation of cloud computing.

Efficiency in business is crucial. Every organization benefits from being able to develop, cooperate, and communicate effectively. Organizations become more nimble and are able to compete in their industry when they have access to productivity tools that make it easier for individuals to complete their tasks from any location. It is crucial that businesses take full advantage of Office 365’s advantages.

Microsoft 365 Security Admin

The Benefits Of Security Admin With Office 365

  • Accessing files from anywhere: Office 365 allows your company to save all of its files in the cloud. This implies they can be accessed from any location with an internet connection using any of the registered devices. Accessing all the apps and files you need when away from the office is invaluable in organizations where mobile work is required.
  • Improved Communication: Office 365 provides customers with options to make communication centralized and simple across Skype and Outlook. You can hold conference calls and meetings with colleagues and external agencies from anywhere in the world with Microsoft Team, so you can always cooperate and communicate regardless of location or time difference. Microsoft Teams includes an instant messaging feature that allows comments and files to be uploaded at the same time, which is ideal for cross-departmental collaboration and document co-authoring. All of these capabilities allow you to stay in continual and quick touch with teams and people no matter where they are or when they are.
  • Business Continuity: With information kept in the cloud and frequently backed up, your company may continue to operate normally in the event of an office incident. Your email, files, and data are safely kept in the cloud regardless of what happens to your physical devices. Exchange also provides recovery tools that allow individual emails or whole inboxes to be recovered if necessary.
  • Centralized Collaboration: Through collaboration technologies, Office 365 allows you to share mailboxes, calendars, contacts, and edit documents in real time. Sharing calendars in Exchange allows you to know who is available when in your organization, allowing you to organize meetings that work for everyone.  Since several users may access the same inbox using shared mailboxes, messages can be filtered to land in the shared mailbox and not be missed. SharePoint is another essential tool for facilitating cooperation. Documents saved here can be accessed and worked on by any staff member and shared through email as a link. Multiple users may also modify documents saved in SharePoint in real-time, making co-authoring simple.
  • Predictable spend: In the same way as a subscription service, Office 365 is paid for on a monthly, per-user basis. Your license fee will be established by the features you select for your company. The cost of a license depends on the enterprise tier, which in turn is determined by the range of applications and products available at that tier. By establishing a fixed cost per user every month, you may better plan your IT budget for the coming year.
  • Secure Cloud Storage: If an unauthorized person were to get access to your device, they would be unable to access your files in Office 365 because of the extensive security mechanisms in place, such as two-factor authentication. Security risks are promptly discovered and halted with the help of threat detection and anti-malware software, which is crucial for businesses that deal with sensitive information.

Microsoft’s Office 365 Security Strategy

Microsoft’s Office 365 security strategy is based on four pillars.

The first pillar–Prevent Breach, takes care of network-level isolation/breach borders, distributed denial of service (DDoS) detection and mitigation, live-site penetration testing, and multifactor authentication for service access

The second pillar–Detect Breach, is a built-in analytical mechanism that collects and correlates system and security alarms. The signals are analyzed both internally and outside (from customer issues, for example). New alarm patterns are added based on machine learning.

The third pillar–Respond to Breach, addresses the ensuing risk remediation in case a component is breached. Tools that allow for the quick identification of those responsible and the blocking or termination of their access to sensitive data are helpful in this regard.

When a data breach occurs, follow the steps outlined in the “Recover from Breach” section of the Office 365 backup plan. The environment’s security may be adjusted, impacted systems updated automatically, and irregularities investigated.

The security features offered in Office 365 include encryption at rest or in transit, anti-malware controls, anti-spam controls, antivirus scanning, multifactor authentication (on user login only), and CCM/SOC certifications for at-rest data.

Your company requires a maintenance and operations plan for Microsoft 365 for business once the initial installation and configuration are finished. You may need to add or delete users, change passwords, and even restore devices to their original settings when staff are employed and leave. You should also ensure that employees have only the permissions they need to do their duties.

Microsoft Office 365 can integrate seamlessly with other legacy systems and offer a robust framework to run business operations. The synergies are what will give you an edge over competitors. With its high levels of flexibility and security, it is, thereby, a very worthy investment for any organization.

Protect Your Employees and Your Business Against Vishing


Protect Your Employees and Your Business Against Vishing

Key Points

  • The increase in remote and hybrid workforces has created new opportunities for bad actors.
  • Vishing is a type of fraud where criminals attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a reputable entity.
  • Bad actors typically do this by making voice calls or leaving voicemails that appear to be from a legitimate organization.
  • Vishing can have serious consequences for businesses, including compromised company data, financial losses, ransomware infections, and reputational damage.

Cybercriminals are always searching for new ways to prey on businesses and their employees, and the increase in remote and hybrid workforces has created new opportunities for bad actors to exploit. Businesses of all sizes are at risk, and employees are often the weak link in the security chain. One type of attack that is becoming more common is “vishing,” where attackers use social engineering techniques to trick victims into revealing sensitive information. As a business leader, it’s essential to be aware of this threat and take steps to protect your employees.


What Is Vishing and How Does It Work?

Vishing is a type of fraud where criminals attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a reputable entity. They typically do this by making voice calls or leaving voicemails that appear to be from a legitimate organization, such as a bank or government agency.

Vishing can be very difficult to detect, as the caller may have spoofed their caller ID to make it appear as if they are calling from a legitimate number. This can fool even the most tech-savvy employees.

Once the bad actor has made contact, they will try to obtain personal information from the victim by using high-pressure tactics or threats. For example, they may claim that the victim’s bank account has been compromised and demand that they provide their login credentials to “verify” their identity. Or, they may pose as a government official, say that the victim’s taxes are overdue, and threaten legal action if they do not provide their Social Security number.

In some cases, vishing attacks can be very sophisticated. Criminals may do their research in advance and have detailed information about their targets, such as their name, job title, and company. This can make the victim feel like they are speaking to a legitimate person, and more likely to comply with their demands.

Is Vishing the Same as Phishing?

Vishing is similar to phishing, but there are some key differences. Both vishing and phishing are attempts to gain information by tricking the victim. However, with vishing, the attacker will use the phone instead of email to try to gain access to information.

Vishing can be harder to detect than phishing because the attacker is using a method that feels more personal. They may spoof the caller ID to make it look like they are calling from a legitimate company, or they may use social engineering techniques to try to get the victim to give them the information they want.

The Dangers of Vishing for Businesses

Vishing attacks can have serious consequences for businesses. If an employee falls for a vishing scam, the attacker may gain access to the company’s network and sensitive data. They may also use the employee’s credentials to commit fraud or steal money from the company. In some cases, vishing attacks can lead to ransomware infections, where the attacker encrypts the company’s data and demands a ransom to decrypt it.

Here are some of the most common dangers of vishing attacks:

  • Compromised company data: If an employee’s credentials are compromised in a vishing attack, the attacker may gain access to the company’s network and sensitive data. This can include customer information, financial data, and trade secrets.
  • Financial losses: Vishing attacks can lead to financial losses for businesses. For example, if an attacker obtains an employee’s login credentials, they may be able to transfer money out of the company’s bank account.
  • Ransomware infections: In some cases, vishing attacks can lead to ransomware infections, where the attacker encrypts the company’s data and demands a ransom to decrypt it. This can cause significant disruption to the business and may result in the loss of important data.
  • Reputational damage: Vishing attacks can also damage a company’s reputation. For example, if an attacker obtains customer data, the company may be required to disclose the breach to the affected individuals. This can damage the company’s reputation and result in financial losses.

How to Protect Your Business From Vishing Attacks

Vishing can be difficult to defend against, as attackers are constantly finding new ways to exploit employees. There are several steps that businesses can take to protect themselves from vishing attacks, including:

  • Educating employees about the risks of vishing and reminding them never to give out sensitive information over the phone unless they are sure they know who they are talking to.
  • Implementing a call verification system for high-risk calls, such as those from banks or other financial institutions.
  • Making sure all employees know how to report suspicious calls or voicemails.
  • Keeping anti-virus software up to date and ensuring all employees have access to it.

Tips for Detecting a Vishing Attack

Vishing attacks can devastate businesses of all sizes – but by being aware of the methods scammers use, you can help protect your employees (and your business) from becoming victims.

Some tips for detecting a vishing attack include:

  • Being wary of unsolicited calls from unknown individuals
  • Refusing to give out personal or financial information over the phone
  • Being suspicious of requests for money or gift cards
  • Refusing to click on links or open attachments from unknown senders.

As with any type of cyberattack, the best defense against vishing is awareness and education. By teaching your employees how to spot a vishing attempt, you can help protect your business from this devastating type of attack.

Responding to a Vishing Attack

The way you respond to any attack can mean the difference between a minor setback and a major disaster. If you believe your business has been the victim of a vishing attack, it’s important to take action immediately. Some steps you can take to respond to a vishing attack include:

  • Notifying your employees: If you suspect that your employees have been targeted by a vishing attack, it’s important to let them know as soon as possible. This will help them be on the lookout for suspicious calls and take steps to protect their information.
  • Contacting your bank or financial institution: If you suspect that your login credentials have been compromised, it’s important to contact your bank or financial institution immediately. They may be able to take steps to protect your account and prevent any unauthorized transactions from taking place.
  • Monitoring your accounts: It’s also a good idea to monitor your company’s bank accounts and credit card statements for any suspicious activity. If you see any unusual charges, it’s important to report them to your bank or credit card company immediately.
  • Reporting the incident: If you believe you’ve been the victim of a vishing attack, it’s important to report the incident to the appropriate authorities.

Wrap Up

Vishing is a serious threat to businesses of all sizes – but by taking steps to educate your employees and protect your business, you can help reduce the risk of becoming a victim. If you believe your business has been the target of a vishing attack, it’s important to take action immediately to minimize the damage. Be sure to implement strict security measures to protect your business from future attacks.

DuckDuckGo for Mac: Privacy-Minded Browser with New Security Features

Duck Duck Go Mac

DuckDuckGo for Mac: Privacy-Minded Browser with New Security Features

  • DuckDuckGo for Mac is now available with new privacy features to help keep user data safe.
  • These features include automatic pop-up protection, a dedicated YouTube player, email protection, and more.
  • DuckDuckGo for Mac is a good choice for privacy-minded users who want to protect their data from hackers and other threats.

Duck Duck Go Mac

DuckDuckGo for Mac Released With New Privacy Features

With the growing concerns around online privacy and data security, DuckDuckGo has become one of the leading providers of tools to help users stay protected online. Their latest browser, which is now available in public beta, offers an array of features designed to help keep user data safe.

This includes automatic pop-up protection against unwanted advertisements and third-party trackers, as well as a dedicated player for streaming YouTube videos. Additionally, the browser incorporates automatic cookie consent handling and other privacy-focused features for a truly secure browsing experience.

Whether you’re looking for increased security or just want to take advantage of DuckDuckGo’s many useful features, this browser is an excellent choice.

What Are the New Privacy Features, and How Do They Work?

Users deserve privacy each time they go online, which is why DuckDuckGo offers robust security tools designed to keep your data safe and private. Incognito Mode on other browsers is designed to block tracking and keep your browsing private, but it does not have the same level of protection as DuckDuckGo for Mac. With the new privacy features, you can browse safely and confidently online, knowing that your data is protected and secure.

Let’s take a look at some of the key privacy features of DuckDuckGo for Mac and how they work to protect your data.

Password Management

Passwords are some of the most sensitive data that we store online, and it’s not uncommon for these to be stolen or compromised by hackers. The DuckDuckGo browser includes built-in password management tools that allow you to safely and securely store your passwords in an encrypted vault. An integration with Bitwarden allows you to securely store and manage all of your passwords, making it easy to access them when needed.

Automated Pop-Up Blocker

We’ve all experienced the annoyance of unwanted pop-ups and advertising trackers that slow down our browsing and collect data about our online activity. The DuckDuckGo browser includes an automated pop-up blocker that scans each site you visit to identify and remove advertising trackers, helping to keep your browsing experience fast and private.

Streaming YouTube Videos

While streaming videos from YouTube is convenient, it can also pose a serious privacy risk. The DuckDuckGo browser includes a dedicated YouTube component that allows you to stream videos without sharing any personal information. This not only helps keep your browsing experience private and secure but also helps to protect your data from advertisers and other third parties that track activity on YouTube.

Email Protection

With over 70 percent of people preferring email as their main method of communication, email has become an important part of our daily lives. However, this also means that your email is at risk of being compromised by hackers and other cybercriminals. The DuckDuckGo browser includes integrated email protection features that help to protect your emails from data breaches, as well as built-in encryption for added security.

Cookie Pop-Up Manager

Cookies are commonly used to track online activity and build a profile of your browsing habits. The DuckDuckGo browser includes a cookie pop-up manager that allows you to control the types of cookies that are stored on your device. With this feature, you can easily opt out of tracking cookies and protect your privacy online.

Fire Button

Your browsing history can reveal a lot about your personal preferences, interests, and even medical conditions. The Fire Button on DuckDuckGo for Mac allows you to quickly and easily clear your browsing history and delete stored cookies to help protect your online privacy.

Smarter Encryption Technology

Encryption is one of the most important tools for protecting your online data, but it can also be difficult to navigate and understand. The new privacy features in DuckDuckGo for Mac use smarter encryption technology that makes it easier to stay safe and secure online. When a user accesses an unencrypted website, DuckDuckGo automatically redirects them to an encrypted version, helping to keep data safe and secure at all times.

Why Is DuckDuckGo for Mac a Good Choice for Privacy-Minded Users?

In the digital age, privacy has never been more important. There are daily risks of having our personal data stolen by hackers, and there are always companies tracking our every move. Some things that you may think are private, like your search history, may land in the hands of third parties.

  • You may be surprised to learn that your personal data is being tracked and sold. Several companies use sophisticated algorithms to collect and analyze our information, often without our knowledge or consent.
  • Cybercriminals are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to steal our data, which they can then use to commit identity theft and other crimes. They may hack into our email accounts, social media profiles, or bank accounts to gain access to sensitive information like passwords and financial details.
  • Video streaming services are also constantly collecting data about our viewing habits. This data may be sold to advertisers, who can use it to create targeted ads that are likely to be more appealing to us.

Users who value privacy know that it’s not easy to find a browser that does everything you need. Enter DuckDuckGo. DuckDuckGo for Mac comes equipped with advanced security features to help keep your data safe from hackers and other threats. In addition, it has powerful tools that help you avoid websites that track your activity or bombard you with ads.

In a world where it feels like someone is always watching and listening, DuckDuckGo for Mac is the ultimate tool for protecting your privacy online. Whether you’re searching the web, shopping online, or streaming videos and music, this browser has everything you need to keep your data safe and your browsing history private.

Four Steps You Must Take Today to Safeguard Your Business Against Phishing Attacks

Safeguard Your Business

Four Steps You Must Take Today to Safeguard Your Business Against Phishing Attacks

Key Points in This Article:

  • Businesses of sizes and industries must contend with phishing attacks which, if successful, can be devastating.
  • Having a plan in place is crucial to mitigate the risk of phishing.
  • Training employees, managing passwords, updating software, and securing mobile devices are steps you must take to safeguard your business.

No matter the size or industry, businesses face phishing attacks that have escalated in scope and sophistication. Successful phishing attacks can open a backdoor to a business’ corporate network, exposing proprietary, employee, and client information to cybercriminals. Moreover, phishing can give cybercriminals the access needed to deploy ransomware on a network.

Once in place, the software can encrypt files, allowing the cybercriminal to extort a ransom in exchange for restored access. Such ransomware attacks have cost companies anywhere from hundreds of thousands to millions in ransoms, repairs, and reputational damage. And depending on the circumstances, businesses have also faced regulatory action for negligence when breaches have occurred.

Suppose you’re a business owner or executive who’s become increasingly aware of and concerned about the threat of phishing attacks (and cybersecurity in general). In that case, you can take some simple steps to mitigate your risk. While you will undoubtedly be targeted in this day and age, here’s what you need to do to safeguard your business.

Safeguard Your Business

Train Employees About Cybersecurity Continuously

Phishing is an attempt to manipulate individuals into revealing confidential or sensitive information. Within a business setting, cybercriminals send employees official-looking emails and texts designed to appear as if they’ve come from the business or one of its leaders. These messages will ask employees to reply with access credentials and, in some cases, their personal financial information.

If you look closely, there are often telltale signs that these messages are fraudulent, and many employees who recognize them will quickly report them to your IT department. But many employees remain unaware of the threat’s magnitude and how to detect phishing messages. When you train your employees to recognize suspicious emails (and other cybersecurity threats), you’ll substantially reduce the risk that one of your employees unintentionally provides cybercriminals access to your network.

However, cybercriminals remain hard at work devising new methods to attack businesses for illicit gain. You must schedule cybersecurity awareness training regularly to keep your employees up-to-date about new threats, reinforce the need for employee vigilance, and ensure new employees are up to speed.

Employ a Robust Password Policy

Sometimes, cybercriminals can compromise a network by guessing a password. Now, they don’t sit down, try to figure out probable passwords, and try them individually. They typically perform what’s known as a brute force attack, using sophisticated applications that automatically try multiple probable passwords. These applications often start with either commonly used credentials or credentials that are in use that a cybercriminal has obtained from a phishing attempt or prior breach.

You can minimize the likelihood of a brute force attack succeeding by requiring employees to create and use unique and complex passwords. Ideally, your password should not be one that can be easily guessed and should contain a list of numbers as well as uppercase, lowercase, and special characters. Passwords containing names, birthdays, and other information that can be guessed or publicly available present a security risk.

Further, you should require that employees change their passwords frequently. Indeed, all employees should be required to change their passwords in a breach. But when you require all passwords to be changed at periodic intervals, you’ll make it harder for cybercriminals to gain access.

Keep Software Up-to-Date

By keeping your security software applications up-to-date, you can be assured you have the latest cybersecurity protections in place. Of course, it’s also essential to ensure you have the right cybersecurity applications in place. You’ll need your IT staff to help you identify the right software applications to keep your network safe. But depending on their cybersecurity experience, you may need to retain the services of a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP). Because they work in the field 24/7, MSSPs have a breadth of experience and access to security planning and assessment tools that most in-house IT departments don’t. And because they work with businesses in your industry and region, they have practical insights into the threats your business may face.

Your security applications are not all you need to keep current. You also must keep your enterprise software current as well. When software companies retire specific applications, they no longer provide security updates. Cybercriminals may be able to exploit vulnerabilities in these programs to compromise your network. So you must upgrade or replace each software application on your network when the developer retires it.

Implement Strong Safeguards on Mobile Devices

With more companies operating in a remote-only or hybrid fashion, businesses have more devices accessing their network than ever. When the pandemic began, many businesses, in their haste to rapidly go remote, allowed employees to use their own devices and were somewhat laissez-faire in their approach to network security. And with new security vulnerabilities proliferating, many businesses paid a heavy price as their networks were breached.

Some businesses have yet to learn the lessons of those early pandemic days. It’s more critical than ever to ensure that offsite employees are accessing your network safely and securely and that when they do, they are doing so with devices with robust security measures. Moreover, your IT personnel must have the training, resources, and directive to monitor activity that may indicate cybercriminals are attempting to penetrate your network.

Employees often relax their guard when working from home or offsite and may inadvertently expose your network to threats if they access it using a personal device. If you employ a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, make sure you’ve got a clear and comprehensive BYOD security policy in place that should cover how employees connect to your network, security measures to be placed on their devices, what device data will be monitored, and how that information will be used. A phishing attack aimed at obtaining an employee’s personal financial information could also net a cybercriminal access credentials to your network, so pairing your BYOD policy with regular training is crucial.

Even if you provide devices for employees to work remotely or have everyone working onsite, you still need a clear cybersecurity policy (including password protocols) outlining how employees use your devices. You must also provide regular training on the cybersecurity threats they may face. And you need up-to-date security and other software applications on those devices. By taking these steps, you can minimize the risk your business falls victim to a phishing attack. And if you do, these steps will also help mitigate the damage such an attack could cause.

How Stream (on SharePoint)’s New Video Recording Features Can Enhance Your Organizational Communications

Microsoft Stream Video Recording

How Stream (on SharePoint)’s New Video Recording Features Can Enhance Your Organizational Communications

Key Points in This Article

  • Microsoft 365’s new Stream (on SharePoint) application allows users to record and edit videos and easily integrate their content with the rest of the platform.
  • While the classic version of Stream will be retired in the next couple of years, the new Stream (on SharePoint) offers users and organizations more options to create and manage high-quality video content.

If you want to make the most of Microsoft 365, Microsoft continually rolls out new features and functions that help you do that. One of the newest developments is introducing a Recording video function in Stream (on SharePoint). Stream (on SharePoint) is a component of Microsoft 365 that integrates video search, sharing, and management features in apps across the platform. And now, with the latest update, Stream (on SharePoint)allows you to record video.

Microsoft Stream Video Recording

Video Recording in Stream (on SharePoint)

Microsoft has been diligently updating the existing Stream (on SharePoint) interface. You can see the new portal that replaces the classic interface on your desktop and mobile browsers. However, neither the Android nor the iOS version of Stream (on SharePoint) supports video recording…yet. But you can access this feature on your laptop, taking advantage of the new Stream camera feature to record webcam footage and screen content.

The new Stream (on SharePoint) doesn’t just allow you to record but also edit your recordings as well. Granted, the new editing functionality should not be mistaken for industry standards like Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X, or Avid Media Composer. But it will keep your audio clear enough to be heard and ensure your video is of professional quality. Additionally, you have access to filters, text annotations, backgrounds, and other simple features that can help spruce up the video content you record.

Microsoft makes recording videos easy. Simply click the New recording button in the Stream client. You’ll find yourself in a new tab in which you can record. Before you do, you can add a backdrop, image, or background blur if you wish. When you upload an image, you can drag it and place it anywhere you’d like in the background of the recording and enlarge or shrink it according to your preferences.

When you’re ready to record, click the round button between Options and Effects at the bottom of the tab. Click it again to stop recording when you wish. Your recording will automatically stop after 15 minutes – the maximum time you can record video on Stream (on SharePoint). If you like what you recorded, click Publish to preserve it in your OneDrive for Business account.

Depending on your license agreement, you may need to be prudent with what you preserve. Stream (on SharePoint) video content will fall under your storage quota for OneDrive and SharePoint. If recording video is part of your role, you may need to request more storage space from your employer. If not, you’ll want to keep these limits in mind, especially if the video content you record doesn’t directly support revenue-driving activities.

In OneDrive for Business, the default file naming convention includes the date and time you recorded your video. You’ll want to rename it quickly to avoid having a folder full of unrecognizable files. You can also add captions and transcripts to your video by accessing the Properties settings. In fact, though Stream (on SharePoint) is not the most robust option, it does boast an impressive array of editing features.

With Stream (on SharePoint), you can:

  • Suppress background noise to focus on just one speaker’s voice
  • Segment your video into Chapters allowing users to skip to the section they’re most interested in
  • Add transcripts and captions in multiple languages
  • Edited transcripts for accuracy
  • Add rich text and hyperlinks to your video descriptions
  • Create custom thumbnails

And more functions are likely on the way. In 2021, Microsoft bought a service called Clipchamp, which offers far more editing features. The company may integrate the service into Stream on SharePoint, which could allow users to create longer videos, combine video clips, and incorporate complex special effects.

The Benefits of Stream (on SharePoint)

By integrating video recording, Microsoft provides clients with enterprise-wide production capability. Further, its integration allows users to create custom workflows incorporating Microsoft’s full suite of apps without relying on standalone vendors, industry-specific software applications, and customized systems integrations.

Historically,  Microsoft’s classic Stream was fairly disconnected from the rest of Microsoft 365. Now Stream (on SharePoint) allows users a more robust UX experience, allowing them to share video content, search for it more effectively, and comment on it. Moreover, Stream (on SharePoint) allows you to categorize and store video content in OneDrive and SharePoint according to group rules aligned with your policies. For example, by folding videos into Microsoft Purview Data Lifecycle Management (formerly known as Microsoft Information Governance), you can ensure you preserve critical video content for archival, HR, regulatory, or legal reasons.

Further, by folding video content into Stream (on SharePoint), users can naturally manage audio and video files just as easily as other common files. There’s not a single video portal destination, but using SharePoint, you can create webpages and sites where you can embed videos for user viewing. You can also share video content across the organization through OneDrive, Teams, or SharePoint for other users to access as they see fit. You can also publish videos to the Yammer Community and boost your organizational visibility.

Stream (on SharePoint) also provides you with analytics, so you know who’s watching your video content and how engaging they find it. You can see trends, traffic, unique visitors over time, what parts of a video were watched, and more. This information can help you create more engaging content and tailor how you present it to capture your audience’s attention more effectively.

With Stream (on SharePoint’s) arrival, the classic Stream will soon be retired. Microsoft estimates providing an actual retirement date in the first quarter of 2023 and gradually sunsetting the classic Stream over the following 24 months. But the company also wants to make it as easy as possible for Stream users to move to the new platform. They’ve made a migration tool available here to help users move their existing video content simultaneously or in batches from Stream to Stream (on SharePoint). Moreover, Stream live events are transitioning to Teams live events. As that process is ongoing, the company also plans to send a formal notification about the retirement timeline for Stream live events shortly.

How Your Business Can Benefit From Collaborating With a Managed Services Provider

Working With An MSP

How Your Business Can Benefit From Collaborating With a Managed Services Provider

Key Points in This Article:

  • No matter your business’s size or industry, you can benefit from working with a Managed Service Provider (MSP).
  • MSPs complement the work of your IT department, freeing up your staff to manage revenue-driving projects.
  • Collaborating with an MSP can help your business save time and money while adding invaluable expertise and practical IT solutions to pressing business problems.

Managing IT is difficult, especially for newer and smaller businesses. You usually manage everything from sales to product development to accounting when starting out. And even if you have a small team around you, you as a business owner may still find yourself working as a generalist, making sure that every t is crossed and i is dotted. And given the time, knowledge, and resources that IT requires, you may leave it on the back burner. Alternatively, you may hire a generalist IT professional and expect them to handle everything, stepping in only when an IT function directly affects a revenue-driving activity you have your hands in.

But IT is often no simpler for older and larger businesses. Often business executives are similarly disengaged from key strategic IT decisions unless there’s a revenue opportunity or a crisis. And often IT departments are not organized optimally. Everybody works as a generalist, so employees aren’t given the time, space, and resources they need to improve productivity, mitigate risk, and drive revenue. And when everyone works as a generalist, you’ll often find that tasks aren’t properly prioritized and delegated. Seventy percent of your staff may be working to fix a downtime issue that could have been avoided if someone had been trained and tasked to perform regular maintenance and updates.

You can benefit from working with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) regardless of your business or industry size. An MSP is a local business that works with yours to provide standard IT services ranging from helpdesk management to cybersecurity protection. In fact, given the importance of cybersecurity and the prevalence of cyberattacks, some MSPs solely offer cybersecurity services and are known as Managed Security Services Providers (MSSPs). Generally, the level of expertise MSSPs bring to the table few in-house IT departments can match.

Working With An MSP

Complementing Your IT Departments

When working with an MSP, the keyword is “with.” Many IT professionals are wary of MSPs as they’re afraid that their employer using one means that they may soon be out of a job. However, MSPs often work alongside an IT department, assuming the most time-consuming and routine tasks, such as managing your helpdesk, so that in-house staff has the time to engage in revenue-driving and other higher-level activities.

Moreover, because they work with multiple clients, they have a wealth of experience to draw on when it comes to solving technical problems and business problems with IT solutions. Working with an MSP, you’ll often find that a seemingly straightforward application or workflow reconfiguration can save you time and money. Or you may learn that a popular application is precisely the wrong solution for your business. These insights come from working with clients across industries and sectors.

In some cases, MSPs provide services in specialized areas that in-house staff does not have and does not have time to develop. Cybersecurity is a perfect example. Cybercriminals work 24/7 to breach corporate networks. But if you’re relying on a generalist on staff to keep up-to-date with the threat environment, investigate all incidents, and ensure your business’s cybersecurity plan is being followed across departments when 60 to 70 percent of their day is consumed with other duties, you’re in trouble.

MSPs can save businesses from having to hire multiple specialists at premium rates. And while MSPs don’t work for free, it’s less expensive to hire a first-rate MSSP than a team of the best in-house cybersecurity professionals on the market.

Expanding Your In-House Capabilities

Many MSPs employ a follow-the-sun schedule. That means they have teams working in different time zones, allowing them to provide you with 24/7 coverage and support. Working with an MSP may help you offer round-the-clock support to your business. No longer will you need to authorize overtime to your team when a network outage means that second-shift and third-shift work grinds to a halt. Instead, you can contact your MSP contact, inform them of the issue, and have it taken care of as quickly as possible.

MSPs can also help business leaders and IT professionals discover new solutions and capabilities they had not considered. In-house professionals often see new ideas through the prism of organizational constraints. They discard ideas they have or solutions they’ve read about, believing they could never work where they work for several reasons. But MSPs leverage their outsider’s perspective to identify and implement new and creative solutions to longstanding and emerging client challenges.

MSPs can also help achieve cost savings that help them implement solutions they never thought possible. Drawing on extensive supplier networks, many MSPs help businesses obtain hardware and software resources at rates below market, making solutions that once seemed prohibitively expensive now affordable and feasible.

Safeguarding Your Business

Not only can MSPs and MSSPs help you protect your business from cyberattacks. A reputable provider can also help you safeguard your business against technological, natural, and manmade disasters. A system malfunction resulting in data loss can be catastrophic, primarily if your business does not have properly functioning backups and a data recovery plan. A business without offsite or cloud backups could also fire, construction accident, or another similar calamity could also cripple your operation.

MSPs can help you develop and implement the correct business continuity and backup and disaster recovery plans for your business. When a crisis occurs, the longer you’re down, the more revenue you use. Getting your operations up seamlessly and rapidly can mean the difference between staying in business and closing up shop.

MSPs are a formidable value-add for businesses of all sizes across industries. They help in-house IT staff save the time they need to perform critical revenue-driving and cybersecurity work while expanding the scope of internal support they provide. They can help business leaders avoid bidding wars for coveted specialized talent and high prices for enterprise applications. And they can help a business scale in ways in-house staff hasn’t considered possible or haven’t yet thought of.