CES 2021 Highlights

Although last week's CES 2021 looked different this year, there still was undoubtedly exceptional innovation. As always, there tends to be a common theme at CES, and this year was no different. This year’s innovative announcements were most definitely a reaction to 2020. 2020 was an unprecedented year that gave us plenty of challenges. It is apparent that developers closely examined our challenges and created solutions to make moving forward in 2021 even more effective.

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Microsoft Cortana, Your New Personal Assistant

We all could use a little help in remembering our tasks from time to time. In the busy world we live in, it can be challenging to keep up with our day-to-day duties, and many times, emails and tasks out of the ordinary get lost. In a perfect world, we would all have an assistant that briefs us on our day and reminds us of tasks that may have been forgotten. Fortunately, Microsoft understands that most of us are not privileged enough to have a personal assistant, and instead, they created a virtual assistant for all of us. Introducing, Cortana Briefing Emails. 

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Multifactor Authentication: What type is best?

In regards to Multifactor Authentication, the question should not be if but instead what kind. Multifactor authentication (MFA) is vital to the security of your network. As Brian Sherman from Valeo was quoted, “Weaker MFA is better than no MFA.” However, if you can protect your data more thoroughly, then why wouldn’t you? Let’s take a look at the forms of MFA and how they will help keep your data safe.

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Microsoft, Adding Hope to Virtual Meetings

The novelty of virtual meetings has worn off, but it is apparent they are our new “normal.” Our current need for distance and safety has made virtual meetings a must, although because they have worked, businesses are signing up to keep them long term. Big companies like Google and Facebook have announced that most of their employees will be working remotely until late 2021, demonstrating that most of us can do our jobs from anywhere. So we are thrilled that Microsoft is giving us as many options to make our virtual meetings even more productive.

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Virtual Meetings For Every Meeting Type

The world has changed, so has our view of business and office space. More and more companies are announcing that their employees will be working virtually for more extensive amounts of time or even forever. Yesterday, Google announced that all full-time employees will be working virtually until at least the summer of 2021. Our offices look different and so do our meetings. To make the virtual office experience effective, we need various options for meetings as there is no one-size-fits-all model. Thankfully, in addition to announcing Together Mode, Microsoft announced a variety of other Teams meeting options to fulfill all your virtual meeting needs.

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“Zoom Fatigue” Got You Down?

Do you find yourself even more exhausted at the end of day after a day full of virtual meetings? You are not alone. Microsoft Teams saw a 200% increase in Teams meetings from March 16, 2020, to April 9, 2020, with close to 3 Billion meetings in a day. “Zoom Fatigue” is a real thing, and it is affecting us more than ever with the increased need for virtual meetings. When on a video meeting, we process information differently. To show that we are engaged, we must stare directly into the camera for extended periods. Unlike an in-person meeting, it is uncomfortable to glance away or briefly look out the window. We fear that if we do, the other participant will have the impression we are not listening. Also, the necessary focus on a virtual call is much higher. To follow who is talking and attempt to understand a conversation without being able to view body language and the non-verbal cues is extremely taxing. Luckily, Microsoft has a better solution to combat “Zoom Fatigue,” and it will be generally available in August.

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Cybersecurity Readiness: Are you Prepared?

As you probably know by now, to survive a malicious cyberattack, you must be prepared. Being prepared is a lengthy but essential process. This process is what we refer to as being cybersecurity-ready. Over the last three weeks, we broke down the steps of Cyber-Readiness. Although reasonably straight forward, these steps are extensive and necessary to help keep your hard-earned business safe from a successful cyberattack. As the process is vital in today's age of increasing cybercrimes, let's take a look at what we covered.

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