Remote collaboration is more important now than it has ever been. Businesses are searching out and identifying the best ways to empower their employees to stay connected from wherever they’re working. Microsoft Teams aims to meet that need by offering a single productivity and collaboration platform that allows you to video message or make/schedule video conference calls, instant message, file share, and collaborate on file editing in real time. You can check out my previous article on Microsoft Teams for more information about its capabilities and ways it could potentially benefit your organization. As an IT managed service provider (MSP) in Connecticut, we’ve seen an increased interest in Teams both internally and with our clients which is why I wanted to show you around the Microsoft Teams interface. Whether you’re just starting to use Teams or want to see what the interface is like before you consider it, this video and article below will show you what you or your end users would see as well as a quick run through of the tabs and features in the product.
You might remember a time when some folks believed that having one thing alone meant that their business devices or networks were secure. “We have a firewall, we’re fine!” “All of our PCs have antivirus, so we’re good!” In modern times any single, standalone security product (antivirus, firewall, etc.) isn’t enough to protect your business, your users, and your data. However, these things do make for effective layers when securing your business with a defense in depth security strategy. Defense in depth is a security approach that we at Kelser subscribe to wholeheartedly for ourselves and our clients. A strategy that should be applied whether you’re protecting your office or your home environment when working remotely. In this article, we’ll walk through what defense in depth is, how it can protect your business, and the most essential layers that you should consider for any environment.
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The novel coronavirus pandemic has taught us several lessons already and there’s likely more to learn. We’ve learned the definition of essential businesses and personnel during a time of crisis, the term “social distancing”, which employees are able to perform their duties remotely, and more. We’ve also learned that pandemics need to be included in every organization’s business continuity/disaster recovery (BCDR) plan. If you already account for them in your business plan, kudos to you! When putting together a BCDR plan, I think many of us focus on the more typical potential disasters that come to mind like weather, human, and data related incidents. When gathering my thoughts for this, I even subconsciously put pandemic last when listing out types of plans to consider making. Did you have a plan in place that’s helped get your business through this crisis?
With so many businesses operating fully remotely, the ability to collaborate in the cloud has become essential. Hybrid cloud solutions give companies the flexibility to use the cloud in a way that best suits them. TechTarget recently interviewed me about how Amazon Web Services (AWS) fits into the hybrid cloud landscape. Thus far, AWS has not made a play to be a leader in hybrid cloud. But could that be part of a bigger strategy for the cloud computing giant?
Video chat meetings are now part of daily operations for so many businesses. When the coronavirus quarantine period started, video conferencing was a bit of a fun novelty. Colleagues who had never tried Zoom were now using it multiple times a day. Sadly, it didn’t take hackers long to realize they could exploit the popularity of video chat platforms to commit cybercrimes. Zoom in particular has experienced so many security issues that many organizations, including school districts in NYC, have banned it. While there are certainly more secure platforms, I use Zoom every day. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Kelser has advised our clients on how to use Zoom and set it up for them. Recently, I was a guest on FOX 61 Morning News to discuss cybersecurity best practices for Zoom.
As I’ve been working remotely for the past several weeks, I started thinking about all the different software that’s replaced our typical office interactions. The conference room has been replaced by video conferencing software like Zoom. Popping over the cubicle wall to talk has now become instant messaging like Slack. Email and phone are basically the same – especially if you have a soft phone or VoIP capability. File sharing and collaboration is also, depending on what you had setup previously, mostly the same with software like Dropbox or your traditional file servers accessed through a VPN. But what all this software doesn’t replace is the platform to have all these interactions happen and interact with one another. Previously that was the office itself.
Kelser Corp announced today that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named Kelser to its 2020 Tech Elite 250 list. This annual list acknowledges the top tier of North American IT solution providers that have earned the highest number of advanced technical certifications from leading technology suppliers, scaled to their company size.
It seems like overnight most of us joined the remote workforce. Even for companies that already have the infrastructure in place to handle a situation like this, it has made for the ultimate stress test. For other businesses, it’s been a wake-up call as many now find themselves building the proverbial boat as they’re floating down the river. As we continue into the new temporary reality of long-term remote work and social distancing, I’ve been thinking a lot about the security considerations of working from home versus working in the office.