Google Drive

Team Drives Launches for G Suite Business, Enterprise, & Education

Google DriveMost file storage solutions weren’t built to handle the explosion of files that are now created and shared in the cloud — because they were initially designed for individuals, not teams. With this amount of shared data, admins need more controls to keep their data safe and teams need to feel confident working together. Team Drives deliver the security, structure and ease-of-use enterprises need by making it easy to:

  • Add new team members. You can manage team members individually or with Google Groups and give them instant access to relevant Team Drives.
  • Keep track of your files if a team member leaves. Team Drives are jointly owned by the team, which means that anything added to Team Drives stays there no matter who comes or goes. Whirlpool Corporation, for example, uses Team Drives to manage file access. Says Troy McKim, Collaboration Principle at Whirlpool Corporation, “If you place files for a project in Team Drives, you don’t have to worry about losing them or moving them when files are re-owned.”
  • Understand and manage sharing permissions. Team members automatically see the same files regardless of who adds or reorganizes them. You can also manage share permissions by defining the restrictions for editing, commenting, reorganizing or deleting files.
  • Manage and view Team Drives as an admin. Admins can see Team Drives for a user and add new members if necessary: “Team Drives also ease the speed at which a team member can onboard and become effective in their new role,” says McKim.

Team Drives are now generally available to all of our G Suite Business, Education, and Enterprise customers.

Cyber Attack

3 More Reasons You Are an Easy Cybercrime Target

Cyber AttackLast week, we gave you three reasons why you, as a small or midsize business, are a viable and desirable target for cyber criminals.

If those reasons don’t give you enough reason to act, here are three (3) more reasons SMBs, and you, a target for cyber criminals…

SMB data is increasingly networked

  • All of your systems — databases, email, documents, marketing, point-of-sale, and more — are likely running on a single network.
  • Access to one of your systems can lead to access to others. Target’s POS system was hacked using a security flow in the HVAC monitoring system running on the same network.
  • Moving data and systems into secure cloud solutions, and segregating network traffic minimizes the cross-over risk.

SMBs are using consumer products for business data

  • Consumer grade services are often more affordable, but often lack the security and data protection features of the higher-priced, business versions.
  • Separate work and home and use solutions designed for business, and, make sure to configure the security and privacy setting accordingly.

SMBs are often lax when it comes to security

  • Many small businesses operate in an environment of trust; people know and trust one another. This trust can be exploited by a disgruntled employee or an outsider.
  • Keep user identity management and passwords private and secure; Manage administrator and “super user” passwords so that they are unique, complex, and secure.
  • Keep servers and systems with sensitive data/access secure; enforce screen locking and passwords.
  • Educate your staff on security risks and behaviors.

 

Taking cyber security seriously is the first and best step in protecting your business, employees, and customers. Protection need not be overly complex; nor must reasonable protection be a budget busting expense. Reasonable measures balance cost and security.


Interested in ensuring you are protected, contact us for a free Cloud Advisor Session, or learn about our data protection solutions and our privacy solutions.


 

 

 

Cyber Attack

3 Reasons You Are an Easy Cybercrime Target

Cyber AttackAs we’ve mentioned before, more small and midsize businesses (SMBs) are falling victim to cybercrime.  According to HP’s Cyber Security and Your Business report, Cybercrime costs SMBs 4.2 times more per employee than larger businesses, and 60% of SMBs that experience a data breach are out of business in six months.

Why are SMBs, and you, a target for cyber criminals?

SMBs spend less on security while larger businesses are increasing their security protections.

  • Your business is an easier target because you are more likely to lack basic protections. In effect, you may attract cyber criminals because you are an easier target.
  • Budget for, and implement, reasonable protections covering user identities, access controls, user permissions, data loss prevention, and employee awareness and training.

SMBs do not have in-house security expertise.

  • Keeping up with risks and trends is time consuming above and beyond ensuring that your security measures are updated and working on a day-to-day basis.
  • Leverage technology and your IT partners for automated solutions and expertise, as well as on-going management of your security and privacy solutions.

SMBS are moving into the cloud.

  • Using cloud applications and storage makes sense. But, your data is no longer behind a physical or logical “firewall”.  Protecting your data means protecting the cloud systems and services you use.
  • Always select business-grade services over consumer services. Implement all security features, including 2 Factor Authentication. And, when possible, integrate access to cloud services into a single system for managing user identities. And, do not forget to train, and periodically remind, your staff how their awareness and actions can allow or prevent an attack.

 

Start the new year off right with a review of your IT security and data privacy policies, procedures, and systems.  Doing so is an affordable way to protect your business, your employees, and your customers from cyber crime. The cost of prevention is miniscule compared to the cost of a breach.


Interested in ensuring you are protected, contact us for a free Cloud Advisor Session, or learn about our data protection solutions and our privacy solutions.


 

Identity Management

3 Reasons to Consider Replacing Active Directory

Identity ManagementActive Directory was designed for on-premise local and enterprise networks.  As the use of cloud continues to move forward, Active Directory has not adapted as quickly as needed to provided robust, unified, identity management.  Here are three (3) reasons to consider replacing (or augmenting) Active Directory.

1) Active Directory is not “Cloud Ready”

According to a survey by security firm BetterCloud, almost 50% of SMBs will be all cloud by 2020, up from 15% today. Even SMBs are using more than one cloud service.

Keeping Active Directory means setting up sync services and other tools across multiple cloud platforms — a complex and expensive solution.

2) Users are Mobile and Working Remotely

Global Workplace Statistics reports that between 20% and 25% of employees already work remotely on a semi-regular or regular basis. And, 50% of employees hold jobs that are compatible with remote work. Since 2005, remote work has grown 103% and continues to grow.

Keeping Active Directory means requiring employees to log into the corporate domain when working remotely, typically by VPN. This is slow and cumbersome for users, and expensive to setup and maintain.

3) The Windows-Only World is Gone

Macs are normal part of the ecosystem; Computerworld reports that 90% of Fortune 500 companies officially support Apple desktops, laptops, and tablets. Chrome devices are starting to move from education to the business market. And, most employees work at least some of their day on smartphones or tablets; iOS and Android are now business operation systems.

Keeping Active Directory means bridging identity management and policies between network operating systems or adding third party products to properly manage users and devices.

The good news is that you do not need to live with the cloud-related limitations of Active Directory. You can run directory services, manage identities, and control access to devices (even when off-network) with cloud-based directory services. These services simply administration and provide a single system of record for user identities.


Want to learn more or give it a try? Contact us and we will show you how.


 

Fast Fact

Fast Fact Friday: Cloud Adoption Trends Up

Fast FactAs reported by CloudTech, a recent survey of more than 500 IT professionals in companies with 50 to 2000 employees …

  • 20% report extensive use of cloud
  • 52% report significant use of cloud
  • 24% report modest use of cloud

And, 56% of respondents indicated that cloud use will increase over time.

 

Important Update

Heads Up: Google Drive Desktop Ending Support for Win XP, Vista, Server 2003

Important UpdateIn case you missed this …   Google is ending support for the Google Drive desktop app on January 1, 2017 for MS Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2003.  As Google will no longer test or support the Google Drive app on these platforms, you are unprotected if the app fails to work.  While the app may still work, Google will no longer test or provide updates — leaving you at risk for errors including data corruption and loss.

If you are still using one of these operating systems and need to  running the Google Drive app, contact us about upgrading your version of Windows.

Myth Busting

Myth Busting Monday: Office 365 Updates Will Break our Business Applications

Office365-Logo-and-textYour business depends on your employees being able to use business-critical applications.  You want and need your applications to be available and reliable, and the integration with Office needs to work.

Office 365 is Designed to Work with Your Business Applications

Microsoft is committed to Office 365 compatibility with the tools you use every day. They do this by:

  • Using one worldwide standard for desktop applications with the familiar tools you use and love, including Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.
  • Minimizing object model and API changes in updates and fixed that might interfere with other applications. Chances are, if your business application works with Office 2010, 2013, or 2016 today, it will work with Office 365.
  • Closely collaborating with leading software vendors, providing them with tools, and helping them test and maintain compatibility with Office 365.
  • Providing you with best-practice guidance for update management and software development.
  • Allowing side-by-side installation of Office 365 ProPlus with older versions of office, giving you and your software vendors time to address any issues.

With a clear commitment backed by action, Microsoft lowers the risk of compatibility issues with Office 365 in ways that exceed their historical support for MS Office.


This is the ninth post in a multi-part series designed to help companies better asses the opportunity and value of cloud-based solutions. Contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation Cloud Advisor session to discuss your priorities and plans.