22 Sep

Your Small Business Isn’t Invisible to Hackers or Immune to Attacks

Did you know that businesses with fewer than 250 workers have become a prime target of cybercriminals? The worst misconception any SMB can have, is that they are too small to be noticed by cybercriminals. Even businesses with less than a dozen employees have become a growing target.

Hackers see SMBs as being more susceptible to security breaches since they typically lack solid security. Instead of attempting one risky “big score”, today’s cybercriminal targets thousands of small businesses at once and uses malware to collect stored credit card information that they use to extract money. Additionally, SMBs are often seen as a gateway to the data of their high-end B2B clientele.

3 Ways to Enhance Security Without Breaking the Bank

Budget isn’t an excuse when it comes to security. Here are 3 security-enhancing fixes that don’t require big investments:

  1. Take Inventory:Many businesses have overcomplicated computer systems that are outdated, poorly secured, and not even business critical. Identify these.
  2. Talk Security:Employees are your greatest security threat. Talk to them about averting phishing email threats, frequently updating passwords, and staying safe while working at the office or remote.
  3. Don’t Fear the Cloud and Managed Services:Don’t let paranoia keep you from moving email, backup, and file sharing to the cloud. It saves money and is often safer. A managed services provider can also take over both routine and complex security tasks.

Don’t Be Forced Out of Business By Cybercrime

According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, one out of every five small-and-medium sized businesses is hit by cybercrime each year. Roughly 60% of these SMBs are out of business within six months of an attack.

Today’s cybercriminal doesn’t discriminate by business type or size. They look for exposed security cracks and vulnerabilities that are rife with opportunity. Don’t be the type of ignorant and defenseless SMB they typically feed on.

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01 Sep

Office 2007 End of Life roadmap – Part II

As we reminded you last week, Office 2007 will reach End of Life on October 10, 2017. If you haven’t already begun to upgrade your Office 2007 environment, we recommend you start now.

Almost all Microsoft products have a support lifecycle during which new features, bug fixes, security fixes are provided to customers. Such lifecycle typically lasts for 10 years from the date of the product’s initial release. When Office 2007 reaches its End of Life on October 10, 2017, Microsoft will no longer provide:

  • Technical support for issues
  • Bug fixes for issues that are discovered
  • Security fixes for vulnerabilities that are discovered

In addition, as of October 31, 2017, Outlook 2007 will be unable to connect to Office 365 mailboxes, which means Outlook 2007 clients using Office 365 will not be able to receive and send mail. Microsoft customers have three options to choose from, which we shortly described in our previous blog post. Here we want to focus on upgrading to Office 365 ProPlus.

What is Office 365 and Office 365 ProPlus?

Office 365 refers to subscription plans that include access to Office applications and other cloud services, including Skype for Business, Exchange Online, and OneDrive for Business. Office 365 ProPlus is the version of Office that comes with many Office 365 plans. It includes the full versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, Access, and Skype for Business. Unlike Office 2007, Office 365 ProPlus is a user-based service that allows people to access Office experiences on up to 5 PCs or Macs and on their mobile devices. For information about the new features available in Office 365 ProPlus, see What’s new in Office 365.

Here is a roadmap for your upgrade to Office 365 ProPlus:

  • Review the system requirements for Office 365 ProPlus – before upgrading to Office 365 ProPlus, you need to verify that your computers meet or exceed the minimum system requirements. The Office 365 ProPlus requirements are the same as the Office Professional Plus 2016 requirements. In addition, you should review the system requirements for your Office server workloads. For example, Exchange 2007 does not support Outlook 2016.
  • Plan for Office 365 – because Office 365 ProPlus comes with many Office 365 plans, you should review your current Office 365 capabilities as part of planning an upgrade to ProPlus. Prior to deploying ProPlus, for example, you should ensure that all your users have Office 365 accounts and licenses.
  • Assess application compatibility – to ensure a successful upgrade, we recommend identifying your Office applications, including VBA scripts, macros, third-party add-ins, and complex documents and spreadsheets, and assessing their compatibility with Office 365 ProPlus.
  • Assess your infrastructure and environment – to decide how to upgrade to Office, you should evaluate your infrastructure and environment, including the following:
  • Number and distribution of your clients, including required languages.
  • IT infrastructure, including operating systems, mobile device support, user permissions and management, and software distribution methods.
  • Network infrastructure, including connections to the Internet and internal software distribution points.
  • Cloud infrastructure, including existing Office 365 capabilities, user licensing, and identity.
  • Choose how you want to deploy Office 365 ProPlus – you can deploy ProPlus from the cloud, from a local source on your network, or with System Center Configuration Manager. Which option you choose depends on your environment and business requirements.
  • Choose how often to update Office – with Office 365 ProPlus, you can control how frequently your users receive feature updates to their Office applications.

Here are some special considerations you should take into account while preparing the upgrade to Office 365 ProPlus

The Office Customization Tool is not used as part of the Office 365 ProPlus installation. Instead, you can customize the installation for your users with the Office 2016 Deployment Tool.

Removal of InfoPath from Office 365 ProPlus. InfoPath 2013 remains the current version and therefore won’t be included in the Office 2016 version of Office 365 ProPlus. When you upgrade an existing installation of Office 2007 to the Office 365 ProPlus, InfoPath is removed from the computer. If your users still need to use InfoPath, the 2013 version of InfoPath will be available for installation on the Software page in the Office 365 portal.

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