Yeo & Yeo Technology Webinar: Unleashing the Power of AI with Microsoft Copilot

Are you ready to revolutionize the way you work with Microsoft Office applications? Join Yeo & Yeo Technology’s Software Consultant, Adam Seitz, for an overview of how you can enhance your productivity and efficiency using Microsoft Copilot within Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Microsoft Copilot for O365, an innovative AI-powered assistant, can streamline your daily tasks. In this webinar, Adam will provide in-depth demonstrations, practical tips, and real-world examples to showcase the capabilities of this powerful AI tool.

  • Word: Discover how Copilot assists with writing, formatting, and suggesting relevant content.
  • Excel: Tackle complex spreadsheets effortlessly. Copilot aids with formulas, data analysis, and visualization.
  • PowerPoint: Elevate your presentations with Copilot’s design suggestions, slide layouts, and content creation.

This is a great opportunity to see Copilot in action and learn how AI is transforming the way we work.

Register Now

Stay Tuned for More

Are you excited about Copilot? This webinar is just the beginning! In future webinars, we will explore how Microsoft Copilot can improve your experience with Teams, Outlook, and Copilot Chat. Stay tuned for more information about these sessions.

You know that staying ahead of the technology curve is vital for all businesses in a highly competitive marketplace. One innovation launched earlier this year is Wi-Fi 7, the next generation of wireless connection.

But what exactly does it offer, and is it worth the investment for your business?

  • Lightning-fast speeds: No more buffering and lagging. Wi-Fi 7 brings blazing-fast speeds to keep your business running smoothly.
  • Rock-solid connections: Forget all about dropped calls or lost connections. Wi-Fi 7 ensures reliable performance, even in busy environments.
  • Future-proofing: Wi-Fi 7 is built to handle the demands of tomorrow’s tech. It’s future-proofing your business’s internet.

Now, here’s the million-dollar question: Should you upgrade to Wi-Fi 7? Well, it depends. While Wi-Fi 7 offers some awesome benefits, it can be a bit pricey to upgrade.

The initial investment includes the expense of next-gen routers capable of supporting Wi-Fi 7, which can range from hundreds to thousands. And there may also be ongoing operational costs, especially if you’re leasing routers from internet service providers.

If you’re not ready to dive into Wi-Fi 7 just yet, that’s OK. There are plenty of other ways to improve your business’s existing Wi-Fi. From optimizing your current setup to adding extenders or mesh networks, there are options to fit every budget.

We’re all about making sure you find the perfect tech solutions for your business to keep you and your team happy. If you’d like to go through your options, get in touch.

Information used in this article was provided by our partners at MSP Marketing Edge.

Picture this: You’re going about your day, checking your emails, when suddenly you see a message from a company you trust. You think, “That’s safe to read.” But hold on just one minute … this email is not what it seems.

It’s part of yet another scam created by cybercriminals to trick you into clicking malicious links or giving up sensitive info. It’s called “SubdoMailing,” and it’s as dangerous as it sounds.

What’s the deal? Just like regular phishing attacks, cybercriminals pretend to be trusted brands.

But here’s how it works: These cybercriminals scour the internet for subdomains of reputable companies. You know those extra bits in a web address that come before the main domain, such as in experience.trustedbrand.com? That ‘experience’ bit is the subdomain.

They find a subdomain that the brand is no longer using and is still pointing to an external domain that’s no longer registered. Then, they buy the domain and set up the scam website.

So, you believe you’re clicking on experience.trustedbrand.com, but you have no idea it automatically redirects to scamwebsite.com.

The criminals are sending out five million emails a day targeting people in businesses just like yours. And because these emails are coming from what seems like a legitimate source, they often sail right past the usual security checks and land in your inbox.

Here’s our advice to keep you and your data safe and sound:

  • Be wary of any emails that seem even remotely suspicious. If something looks fishy, it probably is.
  • Before clicking on any links or downloading any attachments, take a moment to verify the sender. Look for red flags like spelling mistakes or unusual email addresses.
  • Make sure your employees understand the latest phishing tactics and know how to spot a scam. A little knowledge goes a long way in keeping your company safe.
  • Consider investing in top-notch security software to keep cybercriminals at bay. It might seem like an extra expense, but trust us, it’s worth it.

As always, if you need help with this or any other aspect of your email security, get in touch.

Information used in this article was provided by our partners at MSP Marketing Edge.

CrowdStrike’s 10th annual Global Threat Report has revealed some alarming trends.

First off, cyberattacks are becoming faster than ever. Breakout times (that’s the time it takes for a criminal to move within your network after first getting in) have dropped significantly. We’re talking an average of just 62 minutes compared to 84 minutes last year.

This is not good news.

Not only are these attacks faster, but they’re also becoming more common. The report identifies a whopping 34 new cybercriminal groups, bringing the total to over 230 groups tracked by the company.

And guess what? These cybercriminals aren’t sitting around twiddling their thumbs. They’re getting more innovative and more sophisticated. The report highlights a new record breakout time of just two minutes and seven seconds. That’s barely enough time to grab a coffee, let alone mount a defense.

But here’s the real kicker: The human factor is increasingly becoming the main entry point for these cyberattacks.

They will try to get your people to click a link in a phishing email, which will take them to a fake login page. Once your employee enters their accurate login details, they have inadvertently handed them over.

Or they pretend to be someone your team trusts. This is called social engineering.

So, how can you protect your business from these cyber threats?

Educate your employees

Make sure your team is aware of the latest cyber threats and how to spot them. Regular training sessions can go a long way in preventing costly mistakes.

Implement strong password policies

Encourage the use of complex random passwords generated and remembered by password managers. Use multi-factor authentication for an added layer of security (this is where you use a second device to confirm it’s really you logging in).

Keep your systems updated

Make sure all software and systems are up to date with the latest security patches. Cybercriminals often exploit known vulnerabilities, so staying current is key.

Invest in cybersecurity software

Consider investing in reputable cybersecurity software that can help detect and mitigate threats in real time (we can help with this).

Back up your data

Regularly back up your data and store it in a secure location. In the event of a cyberattack, having backups can help minimize downtime and data loss.

When it comes to cybersecurity, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If we can help you to stay better prepared, get in touch.

Information used in this article was provided by our partners at MSP Marketing Edge.

My laptop keeps disconnecting from my Wi-Fi. Can I stop this from happening?         

First, check if you have any updates and run them. If that doesn’t fix the problem, it may be that you have outdated network drivers, a faulty network card, or security software that’s blocking the connection.

My files keep opening in the wrong application. Help!        

This is a frustrating problem but an easy fix. Right-click the file you want to open and select ‘Open with,’ then ‘Choose another app.’ Then check the box that says, ‘Always open with this app.’

The display on my monitor suddenly looks low resolution. Why?            

It may be that you need to update your graphics drivers. If you know the brand and model, go to the manufacturer’s website, and download the latest update. If that doesn’t work, send us a message.

Information used in this article was provided by our partners at MSP Marketing Edge.

We all know how important it is to keep our people up to date on the latest cyber threats. After all, with cyberattacks on the rise, staying one step ahead is crucial to protect your business from potential breaches.

But here’s the thing – annual cybersecurity training just isn’t cutting it anymore.

Sure, it’s become a routine part of the calendar for many organizations. And it’s great that it’s happening at all. But ask any security leader, and they’ll tell you… employees find it time-consuming and uninspiring. From clicking through slides to skimming through videos at double-speed, it’s usually seen as just another box to check.

And let’s be honest, even for those who do engage with the training, there’s little evidence it leads to real behavior change.

That’s because the traditional approach lacks interactivity and doesn’t connect with employees on a personal level. It’s more about checking boxes than building a culture of cyber security vigilance.

Guess what? There’s a better way. It’s all about small, regular, human-centric interventions. Think of it like the speed signs you see when you’re driving. They remind people to stop and think before they engage in risky behavior. Just as the signs work for driving, this kind of training makes your employees more aware of what they’re clicking.

By nudging employees toward safer decisions in real-time, we can help them develop better cyber hygiene habits without overwhelming them with information overload. It’s about empowering them to make smarter choices every day.

And, with the amount of Generative AI and third-party tools we’re surrounded with right now, it’s more important than ever to give employees the guidance they need to navigate potential risks. Whether it’s through real-time coaching or policy reminders, we can help employees understand the importance of safeguarding sensitive data.

So, while there may be a place for annual training, it’s time to think about using a more proactive approach to cyber security education.

This is something we can help you with. If you want to learn more, get in touch.

 Information used in this article was provided by our partners at MSP Marketing Edge.

In today’s hyperconnected world, social media has become integral to most people’s daily lives. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are used to share thoughts, experiences, and personal moments with friends and family. However, it’s essential to recognize the dangers of oversharing personal information online, as cybercriminals can exploit this data to stalk individuals at their homes or workplaces.

The Rise of Cyberstalking

Unfortunately, cyberstalking has become a significant issue in today’s digital landscape. The abundance of personal information available online allows cybercriminals to easily gather data about their victims, enabling them to harass, intimidate, or harm individuals. Social media platforms often reveal details about users’ locations, personal relationships, interests, and daily routines. When accessed by malicious actors, this information can lead to serious privacy invasions and safety threats.

The Dangers of Oversharing

Cybercriminals can construct a convincing false identity with seemingly harmless personal information like your full name, date of birth, and address. They can use these details to open credit accounts, apply for loans, and conduct fraudulent activities under your name. This can severely impact your financial health and damage your reputation for years.

Another significant risk of oversharing is the potential for physical threats. In a recent case in Tampa Bay, a young woman was targeted by an online predator while playing a popular game. After gaining her trust, he obtained her name, email, and phone number, tracked her home address, and began sending inappropriate texts. Eventually, he sent packages to her home and attempted to visit her with harmful intentions. Thankfully, she escaped to a neighbor’s house and called 911, leading to his arrest. This incident highlights the importance of educating children about the dangers of sharing personal information online.

Social engineering attacks are another threat. Cybercriminals use the information shared online to impersonate you or someone you trust, manipulating you into divulging sensitive information like passwords. These details are valuable to cybercriminals, enabling them to access your accounts illegally. Understanding social engineering and being vigilant about online sharing is crucial for protection.

Protecting Your Digital Footprint

In today’s interconnected world, safeguarding your digital footprint is essential. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself online.

  • Familiarize yourself with your social media platforms’ privacy settings. Adjust these settings to limit the visibility of your personal information to only trusted friends and connections.
  • Regularly review and update your privacy settings on all social media platforms. Privacy policies and settings can change, and new features can unexpectedly affect your privacy. Keeping your settings up-to-date is crucial for protecting your personal information.
  • Be selective about whom you add to your social networks. Accept friend or connection requests only from people you know and trust, and be wary of suspicious profiles that could belong to cybercriminals.
  • Before sharing any personal information, consider the potential consequences. Reflect on whether the data could be misused or compromise your safety. This mindfulness can prevent many vulnerabilities.
  • Minimize sharing your location in real time. If you want to share experiences from a particular place, do so after you have left. Alternatively, mention a general area instead of an exact address. This practice helps maintain your privacy while allowing you to share your life with your network.

It is vital to be mindful of the risks associated with oversharing. Cybercriminals can exploit this information to stalk individuals, leading to potential harm or privacy invasions. Understanding the risks and taking proactive steps to protect your digital footprint can significantly reduce the likelihood of falling victim to cyberstalking. Your online safety is in your hands—stay vigilant and think twice before sharing personal information online.

Information used in this article was provided by our partners at KnowBe4.

Microsoft’s recent release of the Windows 11 update brings with it a seemingly minor change that could significantly benefit you and your team.

The spotlight falls on Copilot, Microsoft’s AI assistant, which now finds its place conveniently situated on the far right of the taskbar, within what tech enthusiasts refer to as the ‘system tray area.’ No longer will you need to scour for its elusive button amidst the clutter.

For those unenthused by Copilot’s offerings, fear not – removing it from the taskbar is a breeze. However, the potential productivity boost from having an AI assistant at your fingertips warrants giving it a chance before relegating it to obscurity.

But before you hastily inspect your taskbar for Copilot’s relocation, let’s delve into the finer details.

Dubbed Patch KB5034765 (quite the catchy title), this update has been gradually rolling out over the past few weeks. Yet, it’s not merely a rearrangement of buttons; it comes bundled with crucial security enhancements and bug fixes. Notably, one fix addresses an issue with Explorer.exe that was causing some PCs to freeze upon restart when a game controller was connected.

While this might not directly impact your business operations, it’s a testament to Microsoft’s commitment to ironing out even the smallest glitches. Additionally, the update resolves a delay problem with Narrator, the screen reading tool, ensuring smoother user experiences.

Although the changes introduced in this Windows 11 update may seem modest, it’s precisely these subtle tweaks that can streamline workflows and preempt disruptions for your team during their tasks.

Has your business made the transition to Windows 11? Our team stands ready to evaluate your current setup and provide tailored recommendations on whether an upgrade is beneficial or if sticking with Windows 10 is the optimal choice.

Reach out to us today and request a comprehensive tech audit to optimize your IT environment.

Information used in this article was provided by our partners at MSP Marketing Edge.

Recent data trends reveal a notable surge in posts by initial access brokers on the dark web, highlighting a looming cybersecurity challenge. While organizations prioritize preventive measures, detection methods, and response plans, a critical aspect seems to be overlooked: users falling victim to credential harvesting attacks by these brokers.

Credential attacks, achieved through social engineering, exploit users’ trust to obtain login credentials without the need for detectable malware illicitly. This tactic, as highlighted in CrowdStrike’s 2024 Global Threat Report, is on the rise, with a significant increase in compromised credential postings observed throughout the past year.

The escalating trend suggests a pressing need for organizations to fortify user protection against such attacks, emphasizing the importance of security awareness training to instill vigilant behaviors among employees when faced with unexpected credential requests.

As the threat landscape evolves, KnowBe4 stands as a trusted partner in empowering workforces to make informed security decisions, thereby fostering a stronger security culture and mitigating human risk for over 65,000 organizations globally.

Information used in this article was provided by our partners at KnowBe4.

When safeguarding your business data, one certainty stands out: Awareness of phishing emails is paramount. Picture them as wolves in sheep’s clothing, masquerading as legitimate communications to dupe unsuspecting recipients with malicious links, attachments, or requests for sensitive information under the guise of trusted sources.

Understanding the landscape is crucial, starting with a look at last year’s most common phishing scams. These scams typically fall into three main categories:

In the major category, finance-related phishing emails dominate, constituting a staggering 54% of attacks, often presenting fake invoices or payment requests to solicit financial details. Notification phishing emails follow closely, comprising 35% of attacks, leveraging urgency by claiming imminent password expiration or requiring immediate action.

Moderate themes encompass document and voicemail scams, representing 38% and 25% of attacks respectively, employing deceptive files or messages to compromise security.

While less prevalent, minor phishing themes including emails regarding benefits, taxes, job applications, and property still pose risks to the uninformed.

The repercussions of falling prey to these scams can be severe, ranging from financial loss to data breaches and damage to your company’s reputation. Thus, educating employees about phishing dangers and implementing robust cybersecurity measures are imperative for business protection.

Awareness and vigilance serve as primary defenses against phishing attacks. By staying informed, training staff, and fortifying security protocols, businesses can shield valuable assets from cyber threats.

We specialize in helping businesses bolster their defenses. If you’re uncertain about your level of protection, let’s discuss strategies to ensure comprehensive security.

Information used in this article was provided by our partners at MSP Marketing Edge.

I’ve deleted an important file – can I get it back?

If you’ve checked your recycle bin and it’s not there, don’t panic. If you have a working backup, your file should be recoverable. Just don’t do anything else… call an expert (we can help).

Why do I keep losing connection to the office Wi-Fi?

It may be that your router is overloaded. Restart your device and try again. If that doesn’t work, try connecting on another device – this should tell you if it’s a device or router issue.

I’ve noticed a new Admin account appear on my network. How did that happen?

If no one in the business has created this account, you may have an intruder in your network. Contact your IT support to investigate it immediately.

Information used in this article was provided by our partners at MSP Marketing Edge.

New data shows that the attacks IT feels most inadequate to stop are the ones they’re experiencing the most.

According to Keeper Security’s latest report, The Future of Defense: IT Leaders Brace for Unprecedented Cyber Threats, the most serious emerging types of technologies being used in modern cyber-attacks lead with AI-powered attacks and deep fake technology.  By itself, this information wouldn’t be that damning.

But when you also find that the two types of attacks IT leaders don’t feel like they can stop are AI-powered attacks and deepfake technology, we suddenly have a problem.

Despite security solutions evolving to leverage AI, it doesn’t translate into stopping AI-generated attacks. We know this because Keeper also points out in their report that 61% of organizations are still battling phishing as an attack vector, with 51% of organizations saying phishing use in cyber-attacks is increasing.

In other words, it’s time to engage and empower the one part of your cybersecurity defenses you haven’t utilized yet – the user. By enrolling users in new-school security awareness training, you elevate their vigilance and reduce the likelihood that even the best-written or most convincing-sounding piece of content will be just assumed to be valid.

And when you get users to jump in and immediately suspect email and web content where “something’s just off about it,” the likelihood of even the most sophisticated attacks falling users into clicking on links or attachments dwindles.

KnowBe4 empowers your workforce to make smarter security decisions every day. Over 65,000 organizations worldwide trust the KnowBe4 platform to strengthen their security culture and reduce human risk.

Information used in this article was provided by our partners at KnowBe4.

Your team’s productivity hinges on efficient computer performance, but sluggish devices can hinder their work, impacting your business’s overall efficiency and even your personal workflow. Before splurging on costly replacements, explore several strategies to boost performance on both Windows 10 and 11.

Here’s a glimpse:

  1. Restart Your Computer: A simple shutdown and restart can often work wonders by clearing background processes, applications, and memory data, especially if your computer has been running for an extended period.
  2. Manage Startup Apps: Streamline your computer’s startup process by disabling unnecessary apps that automatically launch with Windows 11. Navigate to Settings > Apps > Startup, and toggle off any apps with high “Startup impact.”
  3. Disable Restartable Apps: Improve performance by deactivating the feature in Windows 11 that saves and restarts certain applications upon reboot. Access Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options, and toggle off “Automatically save my restartable apps and restart them when I sign back in.”
  4. Uninstall Unnecessary Apps: Declutter your system and optimize performance by uninstalling unused or redundant applications through Settings > Apps > Installed apps.

Additionally, exercise caution when installing new software, as poorly designed or outdated applications can significantly degrade performance. Stick to reputable apps from trusted sources, preferably those available in the Microsoft Store, and conduct thorough online research before installation.

Consider leveraging our team’s expertise to meticulously assess your computers and network for hidden issues, saving you time and ensuring optimal performance. Reach out to us for comprehensive assistance tailored to your business needs.

Information used in this article was provided by our partners at MSP Marketing Edge.

Imagine this scenario: Your business falls prey to a ransomware attack, and your critical data is held hostage by cybercriminals demanding a hefty ransom.

Unable to afford the demanded sum upfront, you discover a troubling option akin to those deceptive “buy now, pay later” schemes: certain ransomware groups now provide victims with payment extension choices.

Recent studies uncover the evolving strategies of ransomware syndicates, with one notable group offering victims an array of options concerning ransom demands. These alternatives may include:

  • Payment to postpone the public release of stolen data for a fixed fee of $10,000.
  • Payment for the deletion of stolen data before it’s disclosed.

The actual ransom amounts are often subject to negotiation, intensifying the distress of the situation.

To amplify the pressure on victims, ransomware groups have integrated ominous features into their websites. These include countdown timers indicating the remaining time before data is exposed, view counters, and even tags disclosing the victim’s identity and profile. Such tactics aim to corner victims psychologically, coercing compliance with demands.

The urge to pay the ransom to safeguard business data might be compelling, but hold on. Paying is unequivocally unwise, and here’s why:

  • Payment offers no guarantee of data retrieval or immunity from subsequent ransom demands.
  • By capitulating, you inadvertently finance criminal endeavors, perpetuating their assaults on others.
  • Paying could potentially land you in legal jeopardy, as several governments have outlawed ransom payments to cybercriminals.

So, how can you shield your business from the clutches of ransomware?

  • Ensure you maintain regular, secure backups of your data to mitigate reliance on cybercriminals.
  • Educate your workforce about ransomware risks, training them to discern phishing emails and suspicious links.
  • Invest in robust cybersecurity solutions and keep them updated.
  • Stay vigilant by promptly applying the latest security patches to your systems and software.
  • Implement network segmentation to contain the spread of ransomware in case of an infection.
  • Establish a comprehensive incident response plan to navigate a ransomware attack effectively.

Paying off cybercriminals seldom yields favorable outcomes, often making businesses recurring targets. Instead, prioritize proactive measures outlined above to fortify your defenses. Should you require assistance in this endeavor, do not hesitate to reach out.

Information used in this article was provided by our partners at MSP Marketing Edge.

Your business phone system may have served you well, but will it help take your business to the next level, or hold you back? If you want to keep up with the ever-changing workplace environment, high customer expectations, and technology advancements, it may be time to switch to a cloud communications provider that can not only get you there but also reduce your costs.

Use our Cloud Savings Calculator to compare costs.

4 Ways to Save Money with Unified Communications

With a cloud-based VoIP system, you can minimize your IT and operating costs, simplify your technology stack, and save on your phone bill. Here are ways to reduce costs by investing in unified communications (UCaaS).

1. Lower Upfront Costs

With unified communications, you can use a cloud phone system, which means voice data transmits over the internet rather than phone lines. Instead of paying for all the hardware and maintenance costs of a traditional PBX phone system, you can get started with a mobile app downloaded onto your devices and a subscription licensing fee.

2. Fewer Communications Apps

Because you have voice, video conferencing, chat messaging, and file sharing all rolled into one platform, you aren’t paying multiple vendors. This consolidation can lead to significant cost savings.

3. Smaller Phone Bill

You’ll also see lower costs with unified communications through a better rate per line and reduced long-distance calling costs. Businesses that use cloud phone systems save money on their phone bill each month.

4. Increased Productivity

When you empower your teams with user-friendly, full-featured software, they have the tools they need to work more efficiently. Additionally, with UCaaS, your staff can be productive from anywhere.

Your employees will be more productive and more satisfied with their jobs when they have technology that makes work more flexible and seamless.

Calculate Your Costs

We have a way to reduce your costs and deliver the functionality businesses need most. Yeo & Yeo Technology’s YeoVoice business communications platform powered by Elevate can result in significant savings by offloading your maintenance requirements, consolidating your apps on one platform, and eliminating unnecessary hardware. Elevate is a trusted name in cloud technology known for helping businesses reduce telecommunication costs.

Check out our Cloud Phone System Cost Savings Calculator to gain insight into your existing business phone system and see how much you could save.

Calculate Your Cost Savings

As the end of the first quarter of the 21st century nears, cloud computing has become an integral part of the modern-day manufacturing environment, growing in leaps and bounds over the last decade. Indeed, the use of this technology has spurred efficiency in manufacturing production.

In a nutshell, cloud computing uses a network of remote, third-party servers made available online. Rather than relying on your own computers or server, you remotely share software and storage to process, manage and distribute information.

Ultimately, the use of this technology typically translates into greater profitability. By integrating cloud computing into a smart factory setup, your manufacturing company can better meet future challenges.

Here are 10 key benefits of using cloud computing technology:

1. Data storage and monitoring. Cloud computing is an easy and proven way for manufacturers to store company data. Significantly, it allows managers to access and monitor data instantly — even from remote locations — to address a wide array of issues. For instance, it can be critical for operations such as scheduling, inventory and job orders.

2. Data security. Cloud computing allows manufacturers to generally keep their data safe. Typically, cloud-based security involves data encryption, firewalls and other protocols to deter would-be hackers. This methodology can offer more peace of mind for management.

3. Machine monitoring. In a manufacturing plant, keeping the machinery humming on all cylinders is critical to a company’s success. By accessing online platforms through the cloud, managers can keep close tabs on productivity, energy consumption and maintenance requirements. They’ll be alerted in real time when repairs or upkeep are needed. Also, scheduling can incorporate down time.

4. Supply chain management. Cloud computing replaces a traditional hands-on approach to supply chain management. Instead of relying on manual measures for supervising the supply chain — including oversight of logistics and storage required at different junctures — manufacturers can use a centralized, cloud-based platform to make real-time decisions that can improve outcomes.

5. Cost reduction. With cloud computing, manufacturers aren’t required to sink a vast amount of capital into data storage and processing. Generally, data access is available on a pay-as-you-go basis, so upfront costs are significantly reduced. Along the way, the automation of functions reduces or even eliminates waste and duplication of efforts. This greater efficiency cuts costs overall.

6. Production planning. Efficient scheduling on the shop floor is a key component of profitability for manufacturers. The options available through cloud computing enable manufacturers to maximize production and minimize downtime. Forecasting is improved and disruptions can be shortened when problems are immediately identified and rectified. In the end, production may be increased, overall quality enhanced and delivery dates accommodated.

7. Scalability. With cloud computing, manufacturers can benefit from the ability to change production quantities or other elements when necessary. Indeed, it’s relatively easy to scale operations up or down to reflect increased or reduced resources, storage availability, and other factors. Simply put, manufacturers can move as the market dictates. Notably, if demand for a certain product suddenly ramps up, a manufacturer can respond quickly without sacrificing quality control.

8. Agility. In some cases, more drastic changes are required to keep up with competitors or the market in general. For instance, a manufacturer may have to completely overhaul its processes to adjust for the latest innovation. Cloud computing enables manufacturers to react promptly and customize applications — usually, with a minimum outlay for hardware.

9. Collaboration. Cloud computing emphasizes the team concept by linking different “players” across various departments, worksites and suppliers. In fact, it literally links the supply chain together. Thus, with centralized data and applications, team members can readily share information and finalize processes faster than usual. With this team-first outlook, productivity goes up and products can be produced and reach their ultimate destinations in less time.

10. Global reach. Manufacturing has become a global industry, even for relatively small operations. Thanks to cloud computing, manufacturers can coordinate activities with distributors, suppliers, and international partners and customers. This creates new marketing avenues, expands your customer base and provides new revenue opportunities.

Before taking the jump into cloud computing, be sure to properly vet cloud service providers. When researching vendors, contact us for guidance. And once you’ve selected a cloud provider, review your decision annually and consider alternatives if necessary.

© 2024

User access management (UAM) is a vital set of processes and technologies organizations employ to control and manage access to their computer systems, networks, and data.

UAM is pivotal in maintaining compliance with regulatory standards. The scope of UAM includes various activities such as identity verification, access provisioning, role-based access control, privileged access management, and the monitoring and auditing of user activities.

Effective UAM ensures that users can only access the information and resources necessary for their role, enforcing the principle of least privilege. It’s an indispensable component of a robust IT security strategy, integrating seamlessly with other security measures to create a resilient defense against cyber threats. 

User access management best practices

Effective user access management is the cornerstone of securing an organization’s data and IT systems. It ensures that the right individuals have appropriate access levels, safeguarding against unauthorized entry and potential breaches. 

By implementing robust user management access protocols, companies can maintain a stringent security posture, adapting to evolving threats while facilitating productivity. Establishing clear guidelines and controls is not just a security measure; it’s a strategic imperative. 

Here are the essential privileged access management best practices to elevate your user access management strategy:

1. Define a UAM policy

A user access management policy should meticulously outline roles, delineate responsibilities, and define the scope of access privileges. This policy serves as a cornerstone, guiding the implementation of access controls and ensuring that the system grants users permissions that align with their job requirements, adhering to the principle of least privilege.

Integrating solutions such as privileged access management (PAM) software can help streamline and automate the enforcement of these policies, particularly for managing elevated access requests. A well-crafted UAM policy, supported by robust tools, is indispensable for maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of systems and data.

2. Role-based access control (RBAC)

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) simplifies user privilege management by consistently aligning access rights with the individual’s role within the organization. RBAC reduces the complexity and potential for error associated with individualized permission settings.

By integrating RBAC into your user access management strategy, you inherently enhance your privileged user access management. Clearly defined roles and the systematic updating of changes in employment status make it easier to audit and review access rights. 

3. Strong authentication 

In user access management, enforcing strong authentication methods is non-negotiable. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) stands out as a robust security measure, requiring users to provide multiple pieces of evidence to verify their identity. 

The implementation of strong authentication is especially critical in privileged user access management. Given their elevated access, privileged accounts can be prime targets for cyberattacks. 

MFA ensures these high-risk accounts are only accessible to verified users, fortifying the organization’s overall security posture. Adopting strong authentication practices is a best practice that provides a substantial return on investment in security.

4. Regular access reviews

Regular access reviews are essential for verifying that the access rights of each user remain aligned with their current roles and responsibilities. Organizations can identify and rectify discrepancies, such as unnecessary or outdated access, by routinely auditing user permissions. This process is vital to enforcing the principle of least privilege and preventing privilege creep.

Regular access reviews also serve as a proactive measure against potential security breaches. They ensure that the organization’s access controls are appropriate and current, reflecting changes in job functions or employment status.

5. Secure offboarding

A secure offboarding process plays a crucial role in user access management by promptly revoking departing employees’ access rights, which prevents individuals no longer affiliated with the organization from accessing sensitive information.

A comprehensive offboarding strategy includes deactivating user accounts, retrieving company assets, and reviewing access logs to ensure no unauthorized access has occurred. Such measures are best security practices and help maintain compliance with various data protection standards.

6. Auditing and monitoring

Audits provide snapshots of user access levels, ensuring they align with current roles and responsibilities and highlight any deviations that could indicate security risks.

Continuous monitoring, on the other hand, tracks user activities in real time, enabling the immediate detection of any unauthorized or suspicious actions. This dual approach allows organizations to respond swiftly to potential security incidents, minimizing the risk of data breaches or other compromises. Effective auditing and monitoring also serve as a deterrent against malicious insider activities and help in meeting compliance requirements.

A strategic approach to UAM

Navigating UAM is essential yet complex for IT teams. The variety of user roles and the constant changes in access requirements, coupled with evolving security threats, present significant challenges.

Maintaining appropriate access levels for authorized users while safeguarding against unauthorized access demands a strategic approach. Yeo & Yeo Technology can help. Contact us today.

Information used in this article was provided by our partners at ConnectWise.

According to ConnectWise, around 79% of companies expect a cyberattack this year. Cyberattack vectors (also known as threat vectors) are pathways through which cybercriminals gain unauthorized access to an organization’s computer systems, networks, or data. These vectors can exploit vulnerabilities in hardware, software, human behavior, or a combination of these elements.

1. Phishing attacks 

  • Phishing attacks are one of the most commonly used attack vectors that are delivered through deceptive emails or messages. They involve tricking individuals into revealing sensitive information, such as login credentials and credit card numbers.

Prevention strategies for phishing include:

  • Email filtering: Email filtering protects your organization against inbound threats and prevents forwarding potentially damaging emails.
  • Security awareness training: Comprehensive training can educate employees about the risks and signs of phishing. This includes recognizing social engineering tactics, understanding the importance of data protection, and reporting suspicious activities.

2. Ransomware attacks 

Ransomware attacks are malicious incidents where cybercriminals access a computer system or network, encrypt the victim’s data, and demand a ransom for the decryption key to unlock the data. These attacks can lead businesses to lose sensitive information. Even if you pay the ransom, there’s no guarantee that the attackers will send the decryption key. Besides, the brand damage alone is devastating for many organizations. 

Prevention strategies for ransomware attacks include:

  • Backups: Keep regular and automated daily backups and ensure offline storage is also done.
  • Access control: Enforce access controls and review user permissions to prevent unauthorized access to critical data.
  • Network segmentation: Divide your network into segments to limit the lateral movements of ransomware in the event of an infection.
  • Data encryption: Encrypt sensitive data to prevent unauthorized access.  

3. Malware infections 

Malware refers to a wide range of software that is created to damage and gain unauthorized entry to computer systems. Malware can come in different forms, such as viruses, worms, trojans, spyware, and adware. For example, once a virus attacks your system, it can multiply and spread to other systems and networks. Similarly, spyware can track user activities and steal sensitive corporate information.

Prevention strategies for malware include:

  • Firewall protection: Install a firewall to monitor and block suspicious incoming and outgoing activity. 
  • Endpoint security: Endpoint security means to protect your individual devices (known as endpoints), such as laptops, phones, and servers. You can do this by installing anti-virus, anti-malware, and intrusion detection software to identify malware infections and remove them before they can do anything dangerous. 
  • Pentesting (penetration testing): Pentesting involves emulating the techniques that malicious actors would use in a safe environment to determine your security status and adjust accordingly.

4. Insider threats

Insider threats refer to the risk posed by individuals within an organization who might misuse their access to harm the organization. Insider threats can either be malicious or accidental.

Prevention strategies for insider threats include:

  • Thorough employee screening: You can prevent malicious insider attacks by running thorough background checks before you hire employees who are expected to deal with sensitive business information.

5. Zero-day exploits

Zero-day exploits target software vulnerabilities that are unknown to the software vendor or have remained unpatched. Cybercriminals use these vulnerabilities to breach systems before the vendor can release a patch. Zero-day exploits pose a significant threat because there’s no defense in place to counter them when they’re first discovered.

Attackers can exploit these vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized access, steal data, install malware, or disrupt operations. If an organization is exposed to zero-day vulnerabilities for an extended period, it increases the likelihood of a successful breach.

Prevention strategies for zero-day exploits include:

  • Patch management: Regular assessments can help to identify vulnerabilities. Establish a systematic process for identifying, testing, and deploying patches for your systems. Automated patch management can help streamline this process, reducing exposure to zero-day threats.
  • Network segmentation: By isolating critical systems from less secure areas, you can limit the potential lateral movement of attackers who have breached the organization’s network. This containment can prevent the spread of an attack from one system to another and protect sensitive data.

6. Credential attacks 

Credential attacks occur when cybercriminals gain access to a network or system using legitimate login credentials, often stolen or obtained through social engineering. These attacks are difficult to detect as they appear as authorized access.

Prevention strategies for credential attacks include:

  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA): MFA adds an extra layer of security, requiring users to provide a second form of verification.
  • Security Information and Event Management Systems (SIEM): SIEM systems can detect suspicious login activities and trigger alerts for potential credential-based threats.

Yeo & Yeo Technology’s cybersecurity management solutions

From zero-day exploits to supply chain breaches, these cyberattack vectors continually evolve and put your online security at risk. Yeo & Yeo Technology can help your organization implement robust security measures to protect your data. Our team can minimize the risk of cyberattack vectors while also helping with a swift response if an incident happens. Get in touch today.

Information used in this article was provided by our partners at ConnectWise.

Managed IT services are information technology tasks that are outsourced to a third-party vendor. Common managed IT services include: 

With the help of third-party IT service management, businesses can keep their critical networks, endpoints, and data operating smoothly and securely without the high upfront costs, infrastructure, or talent required to handle these systems in-house.

MSPs vs. internal IT staff

Contrary to popular belief, managed IT services do not necessarily make internal IT professionals obsolete. For the end user, an IT professional can act as a liaison who manages the relationship, delivers feedback, and analyzes the reports the MSP provides.

Because the MSP completes most of the routine work, the internal IT professional can tackle more extensive, complex projects they would otherwise not have the time or capacity to handle. Freeing up these workforce resources makes MSPs a valuable resource to businesses of any size and during any stage of growth. Co-managed services also add another dimension to this, with the teams being able to work together to resolve issues.

Benefits of managed IT services

The biggest corporations in the world make IT a priority. They can build out first-class internal IT teams because they pull in the revenue needed to cover the costs. As a result, SMBs face the challenge of finding a solution to fill that gap and level the playing field. When put in this position, smart business owners leverage managed IT services. Here is a quick rundown of what managed IT services can deliver.

Reduce IT spending

With the help of MSPs, SMBs can reap the benefits of IT support at a much lower cost than creating a comparable internal team. SMB owners can pay for the services they need, allowing them to scale as needed.

Leverage expert knowledge

Another benefit of managed IT services is the breadth of expertise MSPs can bring to an organization. These professionals possess in-depth expertise on things like effective cybersecurity policies, industry compliance, and knowledge from real-world experience. 

Bridge the talent gap

Additionally, high-level IT roles are becoming more challenging for companies to fill internally. The worldwide tech marketplace is experiencing a talent gap at never-before-seen levels. Bringing a third-party MSP on board may be an attractive, low-cost solution to bridge the gap during these difficult times.

Dependable service

Not only do organizations experience the skills of an MSP, but they also benefit from their resources. Finding the skilled talent to build an internal IT team can be bad enough. Most business owners tend to forget that IT operations are resource-intensive as well.

Partnering with a third-party MSP can make services more dependable and reduce interruptions. Furthermore, vendor-client service level agreements clarify what’s to be expected and when to expect it, making both IT services and utility services (electricity, internet, etc.) reliable.

Better operational efficiency

Bringing a third-party vendor on board to handle managed IT services could also boost productivity. Internal staff no longer need to bog themselves down with tasks that aren’t the highest priority or best use of their time. With things like software patch updates, equipment monitoring and maintenance, and cybersecurity in the hands of true professionals, teams can rest at ease and focus on what they do best.

Choosing a partner that’s right for your business

Outsourced IT can be the path to achieving a well-rounded, efficient, and secure IT environment that enables your business to thrive. Yeo & Yeo Technology specializes in providing tailored outsourced IT solutions to suit your unique business needs and goals. If you’re ready to talk about how we could help you, get in touch.

Information used in this article was provided by our partners at ConnectWise.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has reported a significant surge in financial losses due to cybercrime, with a staggering increase of $12.5 billion compared to previous years. This alarming rise is attributed to the relentless persistence of phishing attacks, which continue to exploit vulnerabilities in organizations’ cybersecurity defenses.

Cybercriminals are increasingly leveraging sophisticated phishing tactics to infiltrate networks, compromise sensitive data, and defraud individuals and businesses alike. Despite efforts to combat these threats, the FBI warns that phishing attacks remain a prevalent and lucrative method for cybercriminals to exploit unsuspecting victims.

The FBI’s findings underscore the urgent need for organizations to prioritize cybersecurity awareness and implement robust defenses against phishing attacks. By educating employees, implementing multi-layered security measures, and staying vigilant against evolving threats, businesses can mitigate the risk of falling victim to cybercrime and safeguard their valuable assets and sensitive information.

Meta Description: Learn about the FBI’s alarming report on the $12.5 billion increase in losses from cybercrime, driven by persistent phishing attacks targeting organizations worldwide. Discover essential insights and strategies to bolster your cybersecurity defenses and protect against evolving threats.

This article was provided by our partners at KnowBe4.