Enabling Hybrid Work with Microsoft Solutions

Enabling Hybrid Work Microsoft

Hybrid work is a combination of remote and traditional office work. Globally, it is becoming more widely accepted for businesses to adopt this work arrangement in the past few years. This is because of the flexibility it gives its employees to be able to choose how they work which can help create a better work life balance. However, this set up comes with its own risks when it comes to the operational performance and security. This is what KAO, a Japanese consumer goods company, had to overcome in their journey to creating a hybrid work environment.

Kao was already making efforts towards an ESG management style, meaning more conscious towards environment, society, governance. This made pivoting into Hybrid work easier as they already had many Microsoft applications running in their IT infrastructure. They just needed to narrow down what they needed to improve and how they were going to use Microsoft tools such as Azure Active Directory, Endpoint manager, and Microsoft 365 security to achieve it.

New Security for Improved Communications

Kao corporation since its founding, has been slowly expanding its business operations. They have listed this as a long-term goal. However, as the company expands, it would also need to improve their communication to ensure the productivity and success of the branches. The solution the ICT group of Kao concluded that to achieve their goal, they needed an integrated device management system to handle multiple BYOD devices for their remote users.

Microsoft then pointed Kao towards their Endpoint Manager, specifically the Microsoft Intune cloud service that was part of it. At the time, this was a new service and Kao was unsure if it would be the right fit to their goals. However, once they implemented it and experienced what it could do they knew they made the right choice. Through the endpoint manager console, they were able to allow authorized users a wider amount of control. This included the device structure, mobile app protection, and software updates. Even their data that was shared was better protected through the use of the file encryption that allowed only allowed users to view it whether they were inside the organization or a 3rd party.

Company-wide Mobile Access

Kao introduced Microsoft Intunes as early as 2018 and was deployed to its almost 15,000 android devices in just two weeks. They then proceeded to apply Azure AD to add a verification process to provide access control for both on-prem software and their linked cloud services. At this time, they did not know that doing this would be a boon to their company when 2020 started.

Due to the global pandemic, many companies had to adapt to remote work. Kao however, had all the systems in place with Microsoft Intune and Azure AD. Kao was able to centrally control compliance for all devices associated with Endpoint manager. Azure AD gave their employees a secure connection when accessing the company’s internal system from mobile devices or their home setups.

To learn more about Microsoft Intune, Azure AD or any other Microsoft solution, contact us at marketing@ctlink.com.ph and we would be happy to help your business improve!

5 Benefits Of Moving To Microsoft Office 365

What are the benefits of moving to Microsoft Office 365?

  1. Provides additional storage
  2. Supports remote productivity
  3. Offers security features
  4. Cost-effective solution
  5. Designed for every organization

Microsoft 365 provides office applications, cloud services, and security. It is used by individuals, families, small businesses, and enterprises. This article will talk about the advantages it gives to organizations that decide to use it for business purposes. It enables employees to work remotely, provides security features for the cloud, offers additional storage, and more. Keep reading for the benefits of moving to Microsoft Office 365!

Provides Additional Storage

File storage is one of the most important components you need to think of when running a business. Data will pile up over time as you continue to process your financial reports, update your written policies, and more. Your on-premise storage might seem enough for now, but someday you will need more. This is where cloud storage from Microsoft Office 365 comes in.

With Microsoft 365, you will get access to OneDrive, which is a cloud storage and file-sharing solution used by numerous businesses. You can view, edit, and share files using your laptop or mobile phone so working on the go is possible. Your files are backed up and protected so you can recover them in the event of accidental deletion.

Supports Remote Productivity

With Microsoft 365, you can share and work on files together with your team, which makes collaboration much more convenient. These files can be accessed from any device and location as long as you have an internet connection. You can also edit the files offline and they will be automatically synced when you’re online. Only those with the right permissions can access the file so you can securely share documents.

With these features, gone are the days where you have to manually send word files back and forth with a coworker. You can also share mailboxes, calendars, and more! But aside from file collaboration, Microsoft 365 also allows you to communicate with your team seamlessly. With Microsoft Teams, you can have a meeting with numerous users, host a webinar, and chat with your team on the go!

Offers Security Features

Now that you know how Microsoft 365 improves productivity, you might be wondering how secure your files and data are on the cloud. The good news is, your files are encrypted during storage and transit. You can control the users that can access your data with security groups and custom permissions. You can also set up multi-factor authentication to require your team to comply with extra verification requirements before logging in to their account.

Other than that, Microsoft 365 also gives you access to privacy and security controls to protect your employees and customers from phishing and malware. For instance, when you receive files and attachments, the Safe Attachments feature checks for threats before the email is even delivered to the recipients. In addition to that, you can also set up custom anti-phishing policies to protect specific users, groups, and domains.

Cost-Effective Solution

Every organization needs to consider its expenses in order to make a profit. Fortunately, Microsoft 365 is a cost-effective solution from a business standpoint. Because it runs on a subscription basis, you only need to spend money on features that will be useful for your business. Fortunately, there are a variety of plans you can choose from depending on your needs. This way, you will get the best value for your money even if you’re on a budget. This helps you plan your IT expenses for the year ahead.

As a bonus, upgrades are done automatically, so you won’t have to purchase additional software and have unexpected expenses. These are done at predetermined intervals so your IT team can have more time for more important tasks.

Designed For Every Organization

Microsoft 365 is used at home, businesses, enterprises, and different types of industries. With all the productivity and security features available, you will surely find a plan that can fit your needs.

For the business plans, up to 300 users can have an account. But if you manage a large organization, Enterprise Plans is your best option. With this, an unlimited number of users can take advantage of the services you avail of. Aside from these, Microsoft 365 education solutions are also available for teachers and students.

With these options, your organization — whether your business is on the startup or scaling up phase — can benefit from improved productivity and security, while reducing costs.

Key Takeaway

From additional storage, team collaboration, security, reduction of expenses, and more—these are just some of the benefits of moving to Microsoft Office 365. With so many useful features to avail of, you will find the right ones for your organization.

If you’re interested, CT Link can help you implement the services you need when moving to Office 365! Send a message here so we can help you out today!

Office 365 Update to Help Protect you from Macro Based Malware

We are now in an era where it’s hard not to make use of new technologies such as Cloud Storage.  With your data available anywhere you are through the connection of the internet, this has helped many businesses become more flexible in their operations.  However, we are always skeptical on how safe our data is since our data is stored somewhere we do not know and if these locations are secure from cyber criminals.

Now if you are an Office 365 user, you can rest easy as they have just recently announced that they are now integrating their Antimalware Scan Interface (AMSI) to the app!  AMSI was integrated to Office 365 as a way to help improve security against attacks that make use of malicious macros and scripts that target office documents by detecting them early on or by stopping them from executing.  Below is a quote from the Microsoft Security Team for their reasoning in bulking up security against macro attacks:

“Macro-based threats have always been a prevalent entry point for malware, but we have observed a resurgence in recent years. Continuous improvements in platform and application security have led to the decline of software exploits, and attackers have found a viable alternative infection vector in social engineering attacks that abuse functionalities like VBA macros.”  

If AMSI is familiar to you, it might be because it isn’t something new as it was already being used by Microsoft as early as 2015 when they announced that Powershell adopted it as well for security purposes.  To give a background on AMSI, it is an open interface available on Windows 10 for applications to request, at runtime, a synchronous scan of a memory buffer by an installed antivirus or security solution. Any application can interface with AMSI and request a scan for any data that may be untrusted or suspicious.

If you want a more in depth read on how AMSI is helping protect you from attacks, you can read the original blog post from the security team here or you can contact us at 893 9515 and we will be happy to help you!

Microsoft To-Do adds New Features Steps and List Sharing

It’s now been over a year since Microsoft has released To-Do, it’s intelligent task management app which was developed by the team behind wunderlist.  With it being integrated with Office 365, the team has been collecting a multitude of feedback from users and have now released them in a couple of updates throughout this year.

One of these updates would be Steps which allows you to create sub-tasks to your main tasks to help break it down to smaller actionable items to help you focus on finishing the said task.  The number of steps will be displayed on the task to help productivity so that you know how far you are in that specific task.

 

Another update which was just recently announced was the feature of List Sharing.  List Sharing allows you to share your To-Do list with others so that collaboration will be easier as others may see your progress on your tasks or update it as tasks or Steps are accomplished.  This can be done through sharing a link to the ones you want to share your list with and once you are finished collaborating with whomever you are working with while still retaining the option to stop sharing it.  Microsoft says that this update will be available for most Office 365 users by mid June.

To learn more about To-Do on Office 365, you may contact us at 893-9515 so we can better help answer your inquiries!

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