It's that alert on your desktop—the "upgrades available" indicator when you check your computer. Or when your smartphone tells you that it's going to update later while you're sleeping, and you defer it to another time. What if you miss an email or a text? You think to yourself; you don't need to do that update; your phone is working fine. Well, unfortunately, that thought is incorrect. You very much need that update.
The overwhelming theme of this year’s virtual Microsoft Inspire 2021 conference was that Microsoft is fully committed to being the very best partner they can be to their partners. Satya Nadella started the conference with a powerful keynote acknowledging that Microsoft has gotten where it is today solely because of its partners and that it will only continue to grow if its partners are also growing. Every major takeaway from the conference carried along this theme, yet concepts ranged from security to reduced costs to higher functionality. Below are what we believe to be the most impactful takeaways from Microsoft Inspire 2021.
Just as it seemed we might be seeing clear skies ahead in terms of the pandemic; another dark cloud began to rise on the horizon. The Colonial Pipeline breach hit the news, and many people started to panic. We were all too familiar with the uncertainty of the future, and last year’s toilet paper rush was replaced with people filling gasoline in plastic containers of all sorts and sizes.
The question is not whether you should have multifactor authentication (MFA); instead, what type? MFA is utterly essential when it comes to your business and personal data security. In the world of multifactor authentication, not all avenues are created equal. Although having something is better than nothing, in this case, that is not the attitude that you should have concerning your security. In 2016, NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) proposed restricting the use of SMS or voice for MFA, and although they softened their approach, they still do not recommend this method of MFA. Microsoft recently began campaigning against using SMS or voice for MFA. Today we are going to look at why the big push and what avenue is best for MFA.
Many business owners - and the IT professionals they rely on - focus on protecting their companies from external threats – the lone hacker out for a large ransom, the industry competitor pilfering secrets, or organized cyber-criminals with sophisticate phishing schemes, etc. But what about internal threats? Organizations sometimes fail to consider the true risks that insiders pose to their cybersecurity. Yet, internal risks are every bit as dangerous and damaging as the external ones, even if there is not malicious intent. The 2019 IBM Cost of Data Breach survey revealed that 24 percent of all data breaches in the past five years were the result of negligent employees or contractors.1 Another report, Insider Data Breach Survey, found that 60 percent of executives felt employees who made mistakes while rushing to complete tasks were the primary cause of internal breaches. Another 44 percent pointed to a lack of general awareness as the second most common reason, and 36 percent cited inadequate training for their organization’s security tools as a close third.2 To drive home the full harm of insider threats, we’ve compiled five actual case studies of internal actors who’ve wreaked financial and reputational damage when they got careless, or abused their knowledge and positions for personal gain.
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.
Cyber-readiness is the art of taking the proper steps to ensure your business is as prepared as it can be. You need a secure plan which assures that you have completed all the steps to ensure that your environment is without any major faults. Yet, there is still one more significant step. You must do your research. Are your passwords at risk? Are you monitoring your network? What are your vendors doing to protect you? If you don't know the answer to these questions, then you are at risk. Cybercriminals know and understand the proper channels to take to deploy a successful attack. In the final part of our cyber-readiness series, we are exploring the vital research needed to help keep your business safe.