What Is An Andromeda C‑CAT?A C‑CAT (Client-Centric Action Team) is a dedicated team that includes one or more two Remote Service Techs, and one or more IT Field Techs whose activities are curated by a Service Coordinator(SC)—each specifically appointed to service your organization. With cat-like reflexes and precision, your Andromeda C-CAT will pounce on any IT issue, upgrade, or project. It's really the cat's meow for your IT needs!)
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AndroPedia Tech Library
As part of our service, it is important to keep our client-partners well informed on IT developments, news, and best practices. Here is just a sampling of typical items from our AndroPediaSM library archive:
Get More Done with 5 Productivity Hacks for Office 365 Aug 31, 2018
The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. You can’t trick the system, you’ve got to travel the distance from point A to point B to get where you want to go – or at least that’s what we’ve all been told by physics and geometry.
In most cases, this concept also applies to our workdays and careers. The grind is long, the work keeps coming, the tasks continue to pile up but at the end of the day, you are consistently working on taking the necessary steps towards point B – whatever that may be for you and your business.
But what if there were tools available to you that might give you and your team an edge. Wouldn’t you want to take advantage of strategies and applications that improved productivity, helped you get more done and saved you time?
Did you know that Microsoft Office builds their tools with time saving, productivity boosting, organization strategies in mind?
Let’s take a look at some of these tools to help you get more done during your 9-5.
5 Productivity Hacks for Office 365
1. The Tell Me Function
Ever wonder how to do something in Word or forget where to find a specific function in a Microsoft Office program? The Tell Me function is located in the main navigation bar and can perform many useful functions for you. This function speeds things up and prevents you from having to Google how to do things like create columns in Word, pull up your recent commands, resend messages in Microsoft Outlook and more.
As mentioned, the Tell Me function is located in your main navigation – to the right of the ‘View’ section. You can see a faint blue lightbulb with the phrase “Tell me what you want to do…” next to it. You can also use the key combination alt + q to pull it up if you want to be even more productive!
For more information on this function and its’ use – check out this quick video
2. Real Time Collaboration
Have you ever tried to open a document at work when a popup informs you that you have to open a ‘read only’ copy because another user is currently in the file?
This can be a pain when you are trying to get work done at the same time as one of your teammates. It can also be frustrating if you have a teammate that regularly forgets to close files when they are done working with them (we’ve all done that right?).
With Office 365 you can take advantage of live collaboration. This means that multiple members of your team can be in a document, editing and making changes at the same time. For instance, if you have an upcoming presentation, your marketing staff can be editing content while your sale staff adds their spin.
Additionally, Microsoft has built other tools such as Microsoft Teams to help departments and teams in your organization collaborate via conversation and shared documents. You can also take collaboration outside of your office to work with vendors, clients and business partners via Inter-Tenant Collaboration which allows you to set up shared calendars, documentation spaces, IMs and more.
For more on how Office 365 can enhance collaboration in the office look here.
3. Microsoft To-Do
Do you have a list of tasks and to-do’s that never seems to end? Or maybe you just have a hard time organizing all of your tasks in one place?
With Microsoft To-Do you have an intelligent, cloud based task management system that is with you no matter where you are and accessibly on a variety of devices. The application is mobile friendly and synchs directly with Outlook.
To-Do allows you to take your larger list of tasks and review them daily to add them to your ‘My Day’ feature. By doing this you are able to locate which of your tasks have priority and knock them out one by one.
Where To-Do really shines is it’s security and compliance features. Microsoft has done a great job with the Outlook integration to make sure that your To-Do list is secure and compliant across the board.
You can also segment your To-Do’s into “steps” meaning you can break down a larger task into the sub-steps required for completion. You can even share your tasks with peers, friends, family or coworkers thanks to a recent update.
4. Automate Key Workflows with Microsoft Flow
Many businesses turn to Sharepoint to securely store, access and manage company documentation, Microsoft Flow can actually help you create workflow automation with integrations to other software as well.
For instance, you can set systems up so that when a document is uploaded, an email is automatically sent to a staff member to review the document. This can be useful for things like Time Off requests but can be applied to larger, more demanding tasks like onboarding or off boarding clients/vendors. Microsoft Flow is also integrated into SharePoint so that you can start flows directly from lists and libraries making it a great productivity booster, time saver and addition to the Microsoft Office Suite.
5. Microsoft Sway
Microsoft Sway is a presentation tool that some believe may replace PowerPoint. It allows users to put together professional presentations quickly with a drag and drop function for photos, documents, text and more.
It should be mentioned though that you cannot create charts or graphs in Sway – it is more geared towards visual presentations. So if you need to share numbers, statistics or charts, probably best to stick with PowerPoint.
You don’t have to have Sway installed on a device to present your work which means it is widely accessible as well as easy to use and intuitive. Sharing your presentation with another is as simple as sharing a link.
Microsoft wants to help you get your job done and they build tools/functions to help you get more accomplished in the office and on the go. With new Office applications and Office 365 you open a variety of doors to your business with respect to collaboration and remote capabilities.
You don’t have to have Office 365 to get the productivity boosts described above. Many of these programs and tools are available in the traditional license model. You may lose out on some of the cloud functions, live collaboration capabilities and accessibility though.
To discuss what migrating to Office 365 would mean for your business, simply give us a call at the office (815) 836 – 0030 or send an email to Contact@WeNetwork.com. You can also feel free to reach us if you want to learn more about a specific application not included in your current Office 365 Subscription.
The post Get More Done with 5 Productivity Hacks for Office 365 appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.4 Cybersecurity Tips For Business Owners & Managers Nov 05, 2018
New cybersecurity stories hit the news every day. You’ve surely heard about large companies getting hacked or ‘breached’, passwords stolen, identities compromised and more.
The topic of cybersecurity gets brought up so much, it’s no surprise that it has become a kind of background noise in the business world. Warnings about security protocols, new viruses and ransomware scams are just the tip of the iceberg when you look into what is happening in the IT security world.
While the news stories keep coming and businesses continue falling victim, there is at least one thing that remains the same . . . the need for cybersecurity training and awareness is here to stay. If you are in business, you have data that cybercriminals want to steal. Simple as that.
Cybersecurity conversations and solutions don’t have to be daunting though. In fact, there are some quick, common-sense tips you can put into place that will make you and your business a harder target for those looking to do you harm.
Top 4 Cybersecurity Tips For Professionals
1. Use Unique and Strong Passwords For All Online Accounts
This tip is one you’ve surely heard many times before but over 85% of all adults reuse their passwords online. On top of that, most people don’t know how to create a truly strong password. Some characteristics of a strong password are:
- Minimum of 8 characters
- A mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters
- At least one number
- At least one special character (!@#$%^&)
- No personal details (pet names, family member names, birth dates, address info etc.)
The average adult has over 100 different accounts online (bank accounts, credit cards, social media, email, apps etc.). It’s understandably difficult to create and remember a different password for everything you do though.
What to do about it? Look into a password manager tool for yourself and your staff. A password manager will store and organize all of your unique passwords securely. Here at Andromeda, we recommend LastPass. It has some great features and is a trustworthy password management tool. If you have questions about that, feel free to reach our team.
2. Run A Network Security Audit At Least Once A Year
You can’t address things if you don’t know they are broken. An annual network security audit done by a third party IT support partner will give you visibility into the small cracks hiding in your.
This type of audit should check things like open ports on your firewall, password protocols, your backups, your disaster recovery plan, the status of your warranties, your antivirus and spam protocols and more.
You can engage your current IT services provider for this audit or look for a third party vendor to come in and take a fresh look at your setup.
It never hurts to get a new set of eyes on your setup. Andromeda provides these types of assessments to our clients with our professional 35 point network security assessment. If you’d like to speak with our team about this service, give us a call at (815) 836-0030 or send an email to Contact@WeNetwork.com
3. Regularly Test Your Backups and Disaster Recovery Plan
One of the top methods a cybercriminal uses to make money is ransomware. Ransomware is classified as a cyberattack where a criminal gains access to your network (through brute force or stolen employee email/passwords). After accessing the network, the criminal then encrypts all or a portion of your business data and locks you out of it. The only way to recover the data is to pay a ransom (often in the form of bitcoin or other cryptocurrency). If you don’t pay up – they destroy your data.
These types of attacks cause serious damage. Businesses lose big money due to down time, reputational damage and in some cases, even government fines (in worst cases where evidence that a business intentionally ignored or neglected their data security, victims of ransomware/cybercrime can even face jail time).
Imagine that, you’re the victim of a cyberattack and you have to pay the government fines on top of it all?!
Ransomware and cyberattacks happen, there is almost no way to avoid them 100% of the time. But, with a proper disaster recovery plan including regular data backups (on site, in the cloud and off site) you can quickly and calmly restore your business data and win against cybercrime.
Don’t just accept anyone’s word when it comes to verifying your backups though. You should be sure that whoever is maintaining your backups and disaster recovery is running regular tests and providing you proof of valid backups. You should also run a demo scenario at least twice a year to test how long it would take you to be back up and running in the event of a breach or equipment failure.
4. Employee Cybersecurity Training Is Key To Your Defense
Cyber security is constantly changing and new attack strategies show up regularly. The one thing that shouldn’t change for you though, is your commitment to ongoing employee training.
After all, the #1 threat to your office network security is actually your employees! The staff are the people who will accidentally visit an infected site, click a bad link, download a file with a virus etc. and the only way to help stop those behaviors/accidents is through education and proper training.
A good employee training program will offer ongoing training and support. It may also score and rank your employees/office based on performance etc.
At Andromeda, we offer our clients an employee cyber security training in an online program. This allows employees to go at their own pace and complete training in the office or on the go. This solution provides weekly tech tips, training videos, micro quizzes, individual employee risk scores and more.
Make sure to look into training if your organization isn’t already offering this to employees. This really is a must have solution to protect your office.
These are only 4 tips you can use to improve security at the office. There are many more but if you cover these bases you have a great start.
If you have any questions related to cybersecurity or IT at the office, give our team a call at (815) 836-0030 or send a message to Contact@WeNetwork.com. We are always here to help you!
The post 4 Cybersecurity Tips For Business Owners & Managers appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.Watch Out For New Ransomware Called Phobos Feb 09, 2019
There's a new strain of ransomware making the rounds, and it's a nasty piece of work. Called Phobos by its creators, the latest threat on the ransomware scene first made an appearance in December of 2018.
While details are sketchy, what we know so far about it is grim indeed.
Researchers at CoveWare have been dissecting and sifting through the code, and they're finding a number of similarities with the Dharma strain of ransomware, which has plagued businesses around the world in recent years.
It would be a mistake, however, to call it a Dharma clone.� Phobos also contains elements of the CrySiS ransomware.� While CrySiS is itself a relative of Dharma, Phobos deserves recognition as its own variant, as it combines features and functionality in a new way.
At the end of the day though, it still spells bad news for business owners.� Anyone unfortunate enough to have their system infected by the malware will find all their files encrypted, their extensions changed to .phobos, and will receive a popup message demanding payment in Bitcoin to get their files back.
Dharma has the distinction of having been named one of the most damaging families of ransomware in 2018, so the Phobos strain is something that needs to be taken seriously.
As ever, vigilance is the best defense against these types of attacks, which generally find their way into corporate systems due to a momentary lack of awareness on the part of an employee.� In addition to education and awareness, IT managers can also take the step of securing their RDP ports and ensuring that all business-critical files are backed up on a regular basis.
Last but not least, it's essential that your IT staff tests those backups at regular intervals to ensure they can get your system back up and running fast.� While none of the above will outright prevent an attack, taken together, they will serve to minimize the impact of a successful attack against your company.