Google Workspace for Growing Businesses

Google Workspace for Growing Businesses

ourselves and anything that we passionately do to transform for the better. So, if you’re the owner of a growing business, you may see some pivotal challenges happening within your organisation. That’s the reason why in this latest blog, I’m going to share with you some of the most common challenges that come up for growing businesses and what you do about them: how to efficiently and effectively address them and how to solve them in the most convenient ways possible using business Google Workspace.

Improve your business’ security and productivity today

Transcript

As a business grows, typically, owners will throw more people at the processes of a business. The challenge is that technology strategy doesn’t always keep up with what’s being thrown at the growth of the business. And quite often, we’re just adding more and more people. But we’re not necessarily having our technology systems become more efficient as we grow. And that’s where an effective CIO or CTO will come into play. They should be thinking about how the technology systems should become more efficient and better.

So I’m going to cover some of the most common things that can go wrong; what you can do about it to make sure that you’re keeping tabs on the right things. 

Most Common Challenges and How to Deal with Them

Subscriptions Overwhelm

I want to talk about subscription overwhelm. Often when businesses are in the early stages, they’ll be looking for a best practice tool. And what that tool might be used for is a particular task or a particular function in the business. 

Subscription overwhelm happens where you have multiple tools that are potentially having overlap in the jobs that they’re doing. For example, using Zoom instead of Google Meet. When you have a Google Meet solution there, it’s alright to use Slack instead of Google Chat when you’ve got a good chat solution to use. Now we’ve got separate videos on why you might choose Meet over Zoom; and why you might choose Google Chat over Slack.

And I am biased in recommending business Google workspace because of the work that we do. But it’s not without merit that for you to use the Google ecosystem simplifies the way that you’re working. It could potentially save you 1000s, if not 10s of 1000s of dollars a year in your IT spend. How? By not doubling up on tools that you don’t need. So the easiest way to deal with this is to ask yourself “why I choose this application?”

Google workspace means that there’s more to maintain, more to protect, and more potential security vulnerabilities, particularly when staff are coming and going in a fast-growing business. 

Organisation’s Security with business Google Workspace

The second point that I want to share is about security. And that is, usually as businesses grow, and they start to add more and more headcount, security can start to become a little bit lacking. And what I mean by that is just making it easy and convenient for everyone to access the information that they need, which can lead to, unfortunately, cross-pollination of information that might not be suitable for everyone.

Now, let’s talk about when things go wrong inside of shared folders or sharing inside of Google Drive. If it’s not done correctly in business Google workspace with the right prediction policies. One of the biggest risks to organizations is information flowing out of the organization, and that might be financial reports, it might be customer information. There are even jail terms for anyone who makes serious breaches of these laws. 

And so it’s something really serious for directors to make sure they’re paying attention to now one of the largest risks is files being shared outside the organization. There are some simple policies that you can configure inside of the business Google workspace’s admin panel, which locks down the sharing from Google Drive. Now the challenge is that we have a layer of convenience to balance with security. We’re always trying to find this balance between not inconveniencing our users and being able to keep our users trained and on track with basic security principles, but also having enough security that the business is well protected. And intellectual property is not at risk.

The simplest way I like to describe how you should do your IT policies is simple policies, strong enforcement, make sure the policy is super, super easy to follow, but enforce it strongly.

Onboarding and Offboarding Technical Policies

The final tip in this blog is to ensure that your onboarding and offboarding technical policies are nice and tidy, easy to follow for your HR team but promote good security practices for your business. When you’re configuring a new account, the best security policy would be when you issue a new account to someone in the organization to force them to change the password and set up their own fresh password. 

Now even if you’re a small business, and you only have 10 odd employees in the business, you’re not yet in the big game of scale mode, it’s still a good idea to set up group-based permissions. Because what this does is, it builds the discipline of good security practice inside the business. And you can make sure that your onboarding saves a bunch of time by being able to add one person to one group and give them access to all the resources that they need. 

Now, don’t forget your onboarding process as well. When you have someone leave the business, you want to make sure you’ve got the right processes in place to clean up their accounts, redirect their email, and potentially even archive their accounts. If you’re interested in helping with your onboarding and offboarding processes, we’ve got some great frameworks in place. And we can even tailor custom onboarding and onboarding processes to your particular business. 

Takeaway

Now if you’re a business owner or an IT leader, and you’re wondering, where should I start with reviewing the security of my Google workspace account, but I recommend you consider an audit with our team. Hit the button above to request an audit. If you’re eligible, our team will reach out to you and discuss everything that’s going on inside your workspace account. We’ll check the basics like your DNS settings and jump into some of the more advanced policies. But really, we’re looking to help you get the most out of your investment in business Google workspace, whether you’re a business or an educational organization, or even a Not For Profit.

Reduce IT Security exposure by using the most secure OS

Reduce IT Security exposure by using the most secure OS

 

It’s no secret that the IT industry as it stands today is rather Windows-centric. It’s one of the first few things you’ll notice once you’ve tried the Chrome OS as a long time Windows user. In IT systems, especially in business, it’s important to invest in proper IT security monitoring and solutions. 

If you work in IT in Australia, you’re most likely to be familiar with the so-called Essential 8. Essential 8, formerly known as the ASD Top 4, is the recommended series of strategies to mitigate cybersecurity threats and incidents. Applying these strategies makes it so that your IT system is much harder to infiltrate and compromise.

How does Chrome OS stack up with the Essential 8? Is it more complicated to secure your company’s managed IT systems when using Chrome OS? Or does Chrome OS actually simplify your security compliance requirements? Let’s take a look and get into detail.

This table is a comparison between the 3 most popular operating systems to show which require attention to be compliant with the Essential 8 recommendations.

Basically, White Glove Service means, providing or giving meticulous care or attention. But have you heard of White Glove IT Service? Do you know that as a business owner, your organisation can highly benefit from this? In this video, let me talk you through the meaning of White Glove IT and how can it boost the productivity of your business. 

Essential 8 Chrome OS Security

 

Essential 8 IT Security Monitoring

Application Manager

First off, we have Application Control. Obviously, devices running on Chrome OS runs differently from Windows systems. How? For one, Chrome OS doesn’t run executables or scripts the same way Windows does. This means that many of the traditional and new Windows attack vectors are nonexistent in the eyes of Chrome OS.

With Chrome OS, you have so much more control over the apps that you’re using. Sure, you have the Windows task manager to force exit applications. With Chrome OS, you can do that and more with the ability to control what your applications can access or use on your device and data with just a few clicks.

As for real-time IT security monitoring on the Chrome OS, your Android apps are protected by Google Play Protect, and your Chrome Extensions are protected by Google Safe Browsing.

It’s very common for Windows and Mac users to find “free software” on the internet to help them achieve a task, e.g edit PDF. What they don’t realise is that these “free softwares” often install other software which can be malicious or even the “free software” comes with its own price. The security is compromised for that computer.

Right out of the box, when you enrol Chrome devices into your company, you already get a protected application deployment platform. Should you want to increase security, you can access your Google admin console and add an app allow list and enforcement model.

Application Updates

When it comes to apps, no one handles application patches and updates as well as Chrome OS. The seamless updates in the background automatically deployed from the Google Play Store for apps and Chrome web store for extensions are great. Let’s just hope that the deployed apps for Chrome devices stay at a minimum.

It’s best practice for organisations to set up their own company Play Store, where IT can control which apps and extensions the users can install. However, if you or one of your team members have to use an app not published at all under Google Play Store, you should be mindful of doing extra security measures.

Operating System Updates

Similar to how they handle their apps, Chrome OS is regularly updated. It’s guaranteed that devices that have the “Chrome” logo get regular updates in their firmware. No other operating system does it as well as Chrome OS does. Once you grab a Chrome device, you know that the OS, apps, and firmware are all up-to-date.

The icing on the cake is that this is all default for Chrome OS. You don’t have to set this up because it comes default within the Google Admin console. Chrome devices with Chrome OS have an 8-year life cycle. As long as you decommission devices that are past that age, all your company Chrome devices will be compliant.

Windows and Microsoft Office Macro Settings

This one generally just applies to Windows systems because this is for locally installed productivity macros. Chrome OS simply doesn’t support that so there’s nothing to worry about.

Chrome OS, however, does support online productivity macros. It’s possible to upload and use macros with Google Workspace applications but those are stored in the cloud. It is safe to say that they are secure in their own ways. It’s not vulnerable, unlike locally stored productivity macros. For one, Google Safe Browsing will warn you if malicious code is found in your uploaded macros – something that may just easily get by with Windows systems.

Controlled Administrative Privileges

Chrome OS doesn’t follow the traditional “Local Administrator” or “Administrator Role”. The files of Chrome OS are well protected. Any attempt to make changes to the system files of Chrome OS will make the system roll back to its previous stable version. This rollback effectively obliterates any of the changes that you’ve done to the OS.

Chrome devices, such as Chromebooks, are shipped with the so-called Titan C security module. This module effectively secures the user of the device and the device itself.

On the subject of data loss, which I think is the intent of this particular security concern, Chrome OS is not perfect. There are certain exploitable risks with web extensions and play store apps, there’s no denying that. But with the regular updates, that’s always being addressed and the threats are definitely not as many and easy to exploit compared to Windows.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and IT Security Monitoring

Multi-factor authentication doesn’t come enabled with Chrome OS right out of the box. It’s something that you’d have to set up with your Google account or your Google Workspace. Despite that, Google supports a healthy range of multi-factor authentication security solutions. From authenticator apps, security keys, google prompts, mobile one-time passwords, to backup codes – you name it, Google’s got it.

If you’re not that interested in having a lot of authentication layers, don’t worry, you can set up which ones you’d like to use. Just use the Google admin console to configure your multi-factor authentication settings.

Daily Backups

Chrome devices using Chrome OS are all designed for the cloud. It utilises the wide range of Google integrations that it has at its disposal. Chrome OS utilises Google Drive for online storage and other Cloud storage systems and solutions.

By default, storing data locally on a device running Chrome OS is allowed. However, it is recommended that you keep your data in the cloud as it is much more secure there. It’s also a lot easier to backup your data and recover it in case something goes wrong. With Google Drive, any revisions to your documents are saved. You can choose to load that old save any time. Backups of your cloud storage are important especially if you’re running a business.

User Application Hardening

Even with all of the built-in security features of Chrome OS, it’s still very important to harden a Chrome browser. By default, browsers try and balance tough security with ease of use for the users, the Chrome browser is no exception. Businesses and organisations should make sure that they harden their internet browsers to significantly improve overall IT security and IT security monitoring. The appropriate policies to harden your Chrome browser are configurable in the Google Admin console.

Takeaway

As you can see from the table above, the 8 items that you need to be concerned with for keeping your IT secure is reduced down to 4. This is why Chrome OS is the most secure OS and would result in far less chance of your organisation having a security incident. You also get to enjoy the added benefit of significantly reducing the cost to maintain IT security in your organisation. 

There has been a 60% increase in ransomware attacks against Australian entities in the past year. Yet, Chrome OS remains to have had 0 reported ransomware infections – EVER!

Chrome OS really sets itself apart from the traditional operating systems that we’ve come to know. It’s moving away from the old practices and is always trying to improve – and I hope it stays that way. The investment made in security solutions has really paid off. Google took a list of all the vulnerabilities and weaknesses of the old operating systems and shoved layers of countermeasures against them.

Here at Onsite Helper, we think that with Chrome OS, reaching a high Maturity Level, Level 5, maybe even 7 out of the Essential 8 is going to be very easy. To be fair, the Essential 8 was based on Windows systems. It’s odd because what comes as high-level security for Windows is just a default setting for Chrome OS. Without a doubt, if you want a secure IT security monitoring and managed IT system, Chrome OS is the way to go.

You’ll get so much more than just the security features that you’ll be enjoying with Chrome OS. Other than security, you’ll also be getting Google Workspace support, Cloud storage, Cloud-based services, and more.

If you’re having trouble with your managed IT system security, Onsite Helper offers a free IT security audit. If you want to talk to highly trained IT professionals, feel free to talk to us.

Security Solutions to New Threats in Cyber IT Security

Security Solutions to New Threats in Cyber IT Security

Drastic changes anywhere in the world have happened since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, both beneficial and not. One of the changes we’ve seen is the transition of most companies to a remote working setup. This is absolutely grand but it doesn’t mean it’s scot-free. In fact, this brings another arena where cybercriminals thrive and where security solutions should shine.

Another Battleground in the Cyber World

Cybersecurity and cyberattacks have been issues of concern in Australia for years. But the exploits of cybercriminals have amplified when most business organisations adapted working remotely, jumping the number of reported incidents to 13% since last year. 

With this dramatic rise, security agencies have warned that the cyber world is the new battleground for ‘actors’ who try to destroy and disrupt Australia’s democracy. According to Assistant Defence Minister Andrew Hastie in an interview, cyber espionage is one of the greatest threats to Australia’s national security today. He believed that cyber warfare and espionage are tactics in favour of authoritarian regimes, seeking advantage through crooked means.

“Australia is being targeted by a range of actors, from state-sponsored actors looking to gain strategic advantage to financially motivated cybercriminals looking to make a profit, to motivated groups and even terrorist groups and extremists looking to disrupt and destabilise Australian democracy,” the Defence Minister added. 

To further the data in line with cyberattacks, Australia has logged:

  • 67, 500 cybercrime reports in the last financial year.
  • Cybercrime incidents happen every 8 to 10 minutes recently.
  • ACSC estimated that cybercrime has cost Australian businesses and individuals over $33 billion already (since last year).
  • Cyber security incidents mostly affect critical infrastructure, including services such as education, communications, electricity, water, and transport. 
  • The health sector is the most susceptible to ransomware and this situation heightened when the vaccines rolled out.

With many Australians working remotely–the pandemic as the major influence on this–businesses have become a much bigger target for cyber attacks. 

Recently, in July, Australia joined the US, UK, and EU in attributing the attack on Microsoft Exchange servers to China. The attack has put an estimated 70,000 Australian entities and businesses at risk.

What Security Solutions Can We Use to Combat the Threats?

As a response to the happenings all around us, the Australian Government has issued the Essential 8 Security Recommendations, safeguarding businesses big or small. 

So what are these? 

Whitelisting

To lower the risk of unknowledgeable staff running malicious programs, whitelisting means only the approved and tested programs within your organisation can be used by your team members. Hereby, blocking/removing the apps which are not needed. 

Patch Applications

Having an automated application patching solution is ideal in every workplace. Patches and updates come with fixes for unknown vulnerabilities and can reduce the risk of hackers finding back doors to your system. 

Microsoft Office Configuration

Microsoft Office macros are susceptible to delivering and executing malicious codes. But some companies can’t just block all macros, since their activity relies on customized Microsoft Office files. The best way is to configure the settings.

Application Hardening

Configure all the apps used by members of your staff by removing any unnecessary features, such as Flash ads and Java in web browsers as they can become gateways for malicious software and threats. 

Administrative Privileges Restrictions

Always put in mind that not everyone in your company needs to have admin privileges. Admin accounts give the user full access to the system, so one should be careful in delegating these. Hackers will always go for these accounts. In addition, if there’s an entrance of malicious software, it will be hard to spread this if the user doesn’t have admin rights. 

Patching Operating Systems

Installing automatic updates ‘later’ or turning them off is a bad practice for operating systems. Many people do this because it can be annoying and time-consuming for computers to restart. But by not patching regularly you’re putting your device at more risk. In the context of a business network, this is extremely harmful. This is because malicious software is always looking for vulnerabilities to exploit. 

Furthermore, you should never run an operating system, no longer supported by its producer. 

Multi-Factor Authentication

Passwords can never give you 100% confidence in protecting your systems and network. It’s hackable and vulnerable. It’s a recommended approach to have multi-factor authentication. This applies to local networks and devices, remote access solutions (VPNs, RDP, SSH), and cloud services. Multi-factor authentication protects admin accounts and enhances the level of security in your organisation. 

Daily Backups

If all efforts failed and malicious software went through, it pays to have backups. You want to make sure you’ll be able to restore the lost information. This is so you can continue your activity with less amount of downtime. Daily backups of data, processes, and files are important.

What’s the Best Option?

Even if you think your business organisation will never be at risk with these cyberattacks, following the Essential 8 Security Solutions can be very beneficial for your organisation to reach its utmost productivity. 

What can be the better option, if not the best, for you to safeguard all the systems in your organisation? Choose the most secure operating system available for your workforce, such as Chrome OS. 

Chrome OS is seemingly the new kid on the block and hasn’t been tied down to years and years of basically doing the same old thing. Google has taken an entirely fresh approach when combating weaknesses in operating systems and applications, by securing devices from the ground up.

With the use of Chrome OS, you only need to address 4 out of the 8 essential security components, as the other half is only specific to faults in Windows and Mac OS. Chrome does not have these vulnerabilities, therefore managing the security of your organisation will be far simpler and way less expensive.

As always, if you want to learn more about Chrome OS and anything about Chrome and the Google Ecosystem, Onsite Helper is your trusted friend on this. Let us help you boost your organisation’s productivity and discover how awesome Chrome is. 

Onsite Helper also makes sure that your organisation is highly secured and all its processes are well running. We have our Security Audit that checks your organisation’s vulnerability which may lead to data loss or leaks, potentially costing you much money. Just give us a call or send us an email! 

Why Should You Choose Chrome Hardware

Why Should You Choose Chrome Hardware

Awesome computer hardware paired with an equally awesome operating system is a match made in heaven for anyone who’s working. It secures speed and efficiency in accomplishing tasks in workplaces. Personally, I found my match made in heaven with Chrome Hardware and Chrome OS. The two are a great combination of convenience, especially in my case, as a business owner. 

It takes a lot of things to ponder upon when choosing the right hardware and OS for your organisation. Sure, we want the best tools for our team members. However, that doesn’t mean purchasing what’s hot in the market or what’s trendy online right away. Determining and purchasing the right hardware and OS for everyone in your business requires a thorough evaluation and study. 

Chrome Hardware and Chrome OS

To know more about how to improve your security

Transcript

Considering rolling out chrome enterprise support and hardware for your business, and you’re unsure of where to start? In this blog, I’m going to take you through the process of how you can evaluate Chrome for your business. We’re going to offer Chrome enterprise support or where we may help with your process in migrating to Google. The purpose of this blog is to share with you a proof of concept methodology. This is for you to properly evaluate considering rolling out Google Chrome to your organization. 

Now, if you’re already a Google workspace user, and you’re using the Google ecosystem, well, this is a great move for you. And it’s going to slip right into the processes that you’ve got already, in terms of the ecosystem that you’re using for your productivity tools. If you’re in the Microsoft ecosystem, and you’re considering making a move to Google, well, this might be part of the puzzle to say, what is the hardware like? And what might the experience be like? Either way, I’m going to take you through a framework that’s going to be really helpful here.

Chrome Hardware: Proof of Concept

Why is it important to have a proof of concept? Why would we try before we buy? Well, just like trying a new car, you want to take it for a bit of a test drive first, and actually see how it feels, see what it drives, like on the road, see what the fuel economy is like, and, get a feel of a sense of what it would be like to be in a new reality. 

Now, a proof of concept is effectively doing the same thing. And what I love about Chrome Hardware and trying out a new operating system is it’s a very tangible experience, you get to actually try it out yourself and see how it works. And I know from the 1000s of people that we’ve helped adopt chrome and adapt to the Google workspace ecosystem, that Chrome is pretty darn exciting once you get it. Now, what does it take to get it with the chrome operating system?

What does it take to understand the Chrome Hardware and OS?

Well, it’s a little bit like Google docs for the first time, you may be wondering where all the buttons are, and wondering how to find your way. And after a while, you might have a few grumbles about not having every single button that you had in Microsoft Word. But then all of the googly little features kind of pop in and show you the magic of what can be done when things are approached differently with a cloud-first mentality. Chrome integration is like having managed IT systems, security solutions, and cloud storage providers all in one partner.

Chrome OS updates

Now Google automatically updates their operating system with a major update every six weeks that’s delivered automatically down to all of the Chrome devices. Now, not only that, it automatically updates in the background. And so all it requires is a 10-second restart to install any updates because it’s installed in the background. Unlike Mac or Windows PCs, which can take up to an hour, every time there’s a major operating system upgrade.

Cloud Service and Storage Providers

Some of the other great features of Google Chrome are the ability to have all of your files automatically synchronized to the cloud. Although you can still work offline, if you want to, you can immediately work with all of your Google files, right online and locally on the device as well. 

But let’s get back to talking about the proof of concept. If you’re considering using Chrome and you’re interested in Chrome devices, how might you actually approach that as a technology team or as a leadership team in your business?

Purpose of Purchasing Chrome Hardware and OS

Why might we consider moving to Chrome? Are we looking to save costs? Chrome devices are typically much cheaper than their counterparts in Windows and PC World. Are we looking to perhaps reduce the amount of time that we spend organizing and supporting the devices that we have? Are we looking for more flexible options for our leasing for us to potentially not tie up so much capital in leasing, and look for different devices which have different lengths of life? Whatever the reason you’re interested in Chrome, the first place for you to start is to actually outline some user profiles.

Identifying User Profiles

User profiles are basically looking at the different people in your business and identifying what their needs are.

  • What are the needs of an executive?
  • And what are the needs of a frontline worker who’s working in customer service?
  • What are the needs of the marketing department?
  • What are the needs of a middle manager? Now, Do they need access to documents? Do they need access to video conferencing? Will they need to do graphic design with a particular program?
  • What are all the apps that they’re going to need to use on their day?
  • And this is just a matter of going to each one of those people and developing a profile of exactly what their needs are?
  • Are they someone who needs to be mobile? Are they in and out of the office? Or are they primarily working from one space in one disk space? 

Work Ecosystems in the Pandemic

Now in the current paradigm, we are in a global pandemic, and many people are working at home or from geographically dispersed locations. Do you have the flexibility with your devices that are going to meet the needs of each one of the user profiles? Now, many organizations have gone to the trouble of going laptops as a primary device and plugging them into external monitors. But for someone who’s going to spend 90% to 95% of their time, in one location, is that really appropriate if you’ve got the additional overhead of less bang for your buck with the power that you get on a laptop, or actually the device that you receive?

These are all questions that need to be asked for each different user profile. And you’ll get a bit of an idea of what the requirements will be for the hardware, which is the next decision for you to make.

Chrome Hardware Suitability

There are some situations where a Chrome Device might not be suitable for the person or the particular user role. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that a chrome rollout or switching to Google across your business is a bad idea.

This is not about “Chrome is the only way” type a message that I’m trying to share with you. This is what is the best way and what are the best devices. We believe Chrome hardware is compelling. This is because of their low cost and amazing functionality. Not to mention their ability to seamlessly integrate with the rest of the Google workspace ecosystem. This includes easy to use policies, right from the administration panel, which are automatically applied across your machines. And they’re automatically updating every time they connect to the internet.

Does your organisation have a whole department of people who are not a good fit for Chrome OS? Don’t let that stop the whole business in its tracks. Don’t allow one excuse to stop the whole of an organization from moving forward with progress. 

Chrome Enterprise Support and Testing

Now once you’ve got all the user profiles organized, you then want to start testing. Start giving some people some laptops and getting their honest feedback. Ask them “hey, how did this go for you?” “Try it out for a week, give us some feedback, see how it goes”. Maybe have your team write down everything that was easier to do everything that was harder to do. And you know whether or not they felt that this was a change that would be worthwhile for them. Bring back any of that feedback to a business IT consultant. You can then use that to develop an action plan. Create a strategy about what is the best way to roll and implement your chrome OS into your teams. 

ROI Calculation for Chrome Enterprise Support and Hardware

Finally, calculating the total cost of investment. Calculate the return on investment for the whole implementation of Chrome OS across your business. This is the final step in evaluating whether or not this proof of concept is a good idea for you. And some of the things that you can think about are: what are your support costs? What are your hardware refresh costs? What is the cost of devices? And what is your ability to access devices when you need to ramp up new team members? How can you implement policies? What is the administration overhead time that might be saved with moving to something like Chrome OS?

Discuss Chrome Enterprise Support with Experts

If you’re interested in an audit of your current chrome policies; if you’re considering Chrome OS for your business and thinking about getting help with considering a user trial; or maybe you want an expert to tell you where chrome may be a good fit; I recommend you consider having a chat to our team through our audit link. 

Onsite Helper, managed service provider, is an Australia-based company that specialises in managed IT services, cloud-based services, security solutions, Google Workspace migration, and so much more. We believe that our years of experience helping several companies through managed IT support services providing Google Workspace support allows us to help you properly as well.

Growing Businesses Need Good Computer Hardware

Growing Businesses Need Good Computer Hardware

If you are a growing business, and you’re finding that your technology costs are spiralling out of control as you grow and scale a mid-market business, well, we’re going to be talking about ways that you can optimize your hardware costs to get more value out of your business as you’re working with the Google workspace ecosystem

Computer hardware is very essential in every workplace. It can affect the efficiency and speed of your overall productivity. Choosing the right hardware to go with your business is a pivotal decision that every business owner should do. Today, let me share with you the great hardware that can boost up your organisation’s performance.

To know more about how to improve your security

Transcript

Now, many businesses as they grow, end up taking advantage of hardware leasing or end up spending a lot of capital expenditure on hardware for the business as it grows. And, you know, we find ourselves buying monitors and computers and the latest whiz-bang machines for the business and for your employees. Now, in this blog, I’d like to share some of the benefits of considering using Chrome hardware instead of Macs or PCs in the business; some of the pitfalls that businesses start to fall into when they’re considering chrome hardware; and some of the benefits and advantages of working with is pretty amazing tech when you’re rolling it out in a business. 

Now, if you’re a small or medium-sized business owner, maybe you’ve got 10 employees or less, it might be compelling for you to buy one or two chrome machines and try them out and see how they are with your team and potentially then roll them out to the rest of your employees. But if you’re a larger organization, there are specific benefits around hardware lifecycle, and ensuring that the manageability and the policies of each piece of hardware that you have is something that can be broadly managed across a base. And you start to think about the hardware lifecycle of different pieces of hardware, how long they last, you know, what’s the interoperability, what’s the upgradability? And all these questions, we’re going to try and answer as we talk about Chrome hardware. 

Advantages of Chrome Hardware and Google Workspace Ecosystem

Big Benefit in Cost

Now one of the most obvious advantages of the chrome ecosystem is the big benefit in cost. That is because chrome machines don’t have all the latest processes that are needed. They don’t need crazy amounts of RAM or storage, because most of their operations and heavy lifting is done online.

And the other great thing about Chrome hardware is because it’s Linux based. It’s a little bit less of a hardware and processor footprint than a normal computer would need. Now, some of the other advantages of being able to connect the chrome hardware to your Google Workspace ecosystem. And I’m going to talk a little bit about how some of the policies are really helpful there. But really, the main difference that it comes down to is the cost of maintenance and the cost of support.

Simple Chrome System / Google Workspace Ecosystem

Now, with a Mac or a PC, a lot of time is spent on updates and rolling out software. And then you need to worry about things like antivirus, password protection, or directory services. Whereas with Chrome, you can manage the policies from the cloud, right from the Google workspace management admin panel. And from there, there isn’t really much day to day management or maintenance needed on any one of these machines. Because there are no real massive threats around viruses or malware on Chrome machines. They’re all locked down with secure enclave technology. This means that the account is fully locked down to your person’s Google account. It’s all encrypted there as well, which is great. 

Overall, there’s less needing to kind of like open the machines and tinker with them. Even tinker with the operating system itself. You know, Chrome always carries a second copy of the operating system. Anytime there’s an issue, you can actually just hit a power wash and completely wipe the machine reenroll it. It’s ready to go again with proper Google Workspace management, which means helpdesk can save time on managing the machines.

Fewer Risks of Losing Business Data

From a security perspective, Chrome is absolutely amazing. Now, I mentioned that anyone’s files that are local on a Chromebook connects to someone’s Google account. And so they’re locked down to all of the security available in Google’s account. But from an actual local device perspective, you can run into problems with the risk of losing business data. And that could be something like your employees have files sitting in their My Documents folder, or in a Mac in the Documents folder local to the machine that actually is not backed up to the corporate servers. And you’ve got to start to think about backup software for the machines. But inevitably, you’re going to have someone who doesn’t follow the rules. Or if you haven’t done all of the overhead and actually managing those individual machines.

You know, maybe your machine gets lost, stolen or broken. And you’re potentially going to have a data loss event in the business. Now, one-quarter of the features that Chromebooks have is most of the work is online. So there are no real backups that you need to worry about. Even for files that are on local disks. On the Chromebook, you can set a policy so that any files will automatically synchronize to Google Drive. And the advantage of that is if anything happens to that local machine, it’s all backed up to Google Drive. And you don’t have to pay for extra software. It’s all done automatically via a policy. And there’s no end-user education required because it all just happens as soon as they sign into the account.

Quick Employee Onboarding

The next feature of deciding to work with Chrome OS is more for the Google Workspace management. It is the speed of onboarding – being able to onboard an employee quickly. But getting your team on board and quickly can be as simple as issuing a Google account, putting them in the right group, and then allowing them to sign in to the new device, it’s automatically going to download bookmarks via policy if you’ve set that up in your admin panel. And you can have all kinds of other features and settings enabled on the local computer automatically via cloud policy. 

White-Glove IT Service Provider

Now, if you’re working with a white-glove service provider, like a vendor or a consultancy like us, you can even have the machine shipped directly to your employee. So you don’t even have to manage it yourself inside the business and you don’t have to worry about the Google Workspace management. You just call up someone like us and say, hey, I’ve got a new employee starting on Monday, and you set up their email and send them a computer, and a service provider will be able to send that straight to them. And that makes onboarding new employees really simple and reduces the amount of stress and time taken up on your IT team who were actually having to manually implement and manually deploy devices.

Growing Businesses Shift to Google Workspace Ecosystem and management

As you grow, you will probably shift from Mac or PC to Chrome OS. Especially if you’re a business interested in all of the best benefits of the Google workspace ecosystem. This is a deliberate move, it takes planning, and you’re probably not going to find everybody right across your organization ready to adopt Chrome, right from the get-go. It might be one small group of users, it might be a group of VIP test users.

So we’re going to try it out first, before a more broad rollout. Or it might be you know, a number of executives trying out the devices first and seeing if they like the vibe of working with Chrome, it’s always good to start at the top because you can then have that culture filter through to the rest of the team. 

Google Workspace Management

But also be mindful that you’re not necessarily going to get 100% penetration with Chrome OS, right across the organization. It may be that only certain user profiles or work profiles are actually going to get the best out of Chrome OS.

Now, don’t let that dishearten you, you can still obviously build those user-profiles and start rolling it out progressively. And what we find is for most organizations that roll out a few Chromebooks very quickly that starts to spread. And they start to consider and even challenge the reasons why you might be using other operating systems across the business. Because of what we know for every business that rolls out Chrome, the support time, and the effort time required to manage the end devices drops dramatically over time very, very quickly. 

Let’s Work Together

Interested in learning more about Chrome? Interested in an audit for your organization? Or if you just like to have a chat about Google workspace, and how you might get more value out of the Google Workspace ecosystem for businesses and educational institutions. You can apply for an audit and our team will be in touch soon. If you haven’t already checked out the other videos on our channel. We’ve got heaps of videos on growing and scaling your business technology strategy and ensuring that you get the most out of your investment in Google workspace. Check those out and I look forward to seeing you in another video.

What is White Glove IT Service?


What is White Glove IT Service

Basically, White Glove Service means, providing or giving meticulous care or attention. But have you heard of White Glove IT Service? Do you know that as a business owner, your organisation can highly benefit from this? In this video, let me talk you through the meaning of White Glove IT and how can it boost the productivity of your business. 

To know more about how to improve your security

Transcript

If you’re a business owner or an executive in charge of managing technology in your business, you may have heard of the term White Glove service. And in this video, I’m going to share with you what that actually means, and why it’s important to you as a business owner to consider why this might be useful to help you save time and get more efficiency in onboarding your team and take advantage of tech tools to make your scaling process simpler. 

 

My name is Peter Moriarty, and we help business owners with their tech tools. And we make sure that business owners have the right technology strategy in place so they can grow and scale and build more successful teams and businesses. Today, we’re going to talk about white glove service and what this actually is. And effectively, this is a term that’s come out of the vendor space in the IT world. But I’m going to deconstruct a little bit about what this actually means. Now, this has to do with the onboarding of your team and onboarding of staff members when you get them set up, and the technology tools and the technology devices that are involved when you actually go onboard and get a new person set up inside the business. 

 

Now, a white glove service means that when you actually set up a new staff member, or a new team member, that their computer is already set up for them, think of it like a concierge service, you go to a fancy hotel, and they’re going to take that bag for you, they’re gonna put it up in the room, they’re gonna have your favorite champagne, there, they’re going to have you towels nice and warm and ready to go. That’s the kind of thing or the experience that we want to create for an employee when they get started on their first day. Now, everyone knows the nightmare situation of the opposite, which is your onboarding new staff member and their email isn’t ready by the time they’ve got to get work started. And they go to sit down at their desk. And maybe the computer hasn’t been fully provisioned, or it takes half a day for it to set up the apps and the programs and all those kinds of things. Not only is that lost productivity, but it’s also going to give the team members a pretty poor impression of them starting with your company. And of course, the experience of that is really important because you want them to be productive. But also you want to, I would say in my opinion, honor that employee by ensuring that when they start, they actually have all the tools in place. So they don’t add to their stress and anxiety of starting a new role.

 

And so a white glove technology service means that when an employee comes in the asset, or the resource is all ready to rock and roll so they can start productive work. Now, they’re probably not going to be jumping straight into productive work on their first day. But if they can, at a minimum, attend meetings, and emails, and if they’re working from home, connect with their team on the various communication tools that you’re going to be using within the business. These are the kinds of things that you want to have ready to go. So they’re not waiting around to try and get started with work. While you’re fumbling getting the technology, right, there’s three things that are core components of a white glove service, and actually making sure that team members are ready to rock and roll, I’m going to take you through what those look like. Number one is ensuring that there’s the correct access levels for each staff member. If they’re on the accounting team, then they probably want to have access to the finance folders and the right calendars for the finance team. If they’re on the customer service team, then they’re going to need to have access to cold scripts and anything else that they need to work with their team members there. Obviously, if they’re an executive, they’re going to be going through an onboarding process for executives, which is probably going to include meeting the team, but also being able to see across the organization and see all of the resources across an organization. 

 

And so ensuring that your correct access levels are set up for each team member is the foundation of that and we have other videos, I’ll link that down below on how you can set up group based permissions inside Google workspace. So your team can get access to the right resources. But the day that staff member starts, you have failed, if they have to ask you, Hey, can I have access to that document? Or can I have access to the shared drive or can I have access to that folder, we want to make sure that the day they are starting, they have the correct access to everything that they need. Secondly, white glove means shipping the device directly to the staff member. Now in the old days, where we had people working from home or working from different offices, what we would do is we would ship all the devices to a central location, and then that location would get them ready or provision them. And then we would send them out to the individual staff member no matter what office or department they were in. 

 

In the organization nowadays and the current global pandemic, most team members are currently working at home or at least in geographically distributed locations. And so rather than a technology company, if you’ve got an external consultancy, or an IT team, if this has been handled internally, shipping that to the staff member only after it’s been set up, these can actually be configured on the behalf of the vendor or by an IT consultant and then sent straight to the staff member so that you the business owner, or your internal IT team don’t need to bother with the onboarding and provisioning of the technology device. 

 

Now, you might think, well, it’s not their job, isn’t it his job to provision devices? Well, what we’re seeing is a shift in most businesses in the mid market and the corporate enterprise space is that many of their technology teams and especially the technology leaders want to spend more time on strategic tasks. And what that means is that they want to be working on the high level projects, they’re going to bring more value to the organization, then rolling out somebody’s laptop and spinning it up and installing, you know, whatever apps need to be installed on that machine.

 

Now, working with a technology consultancy externally can make this process easy because what that means is there’s actually less burden on that technology team internally inside your business. And you can focus more on those higher value tasks, having a device run up externally and then shipped directly to a staff member so they can open the lid and get to work is the best case scenario for productive workers and keeping your team focused on what they need to be. Thirdly, I’d like to talk about asset tracking and protection. Now, when you have a white glove service, you’re actually managing each of the serial numbers and managing each of the asset tags of the devices. When you have a predetermined way of onboarding each of your devices, which is consistent, then those devices will all have the same amount of security protocols and the same amount of protection required for those devices. 

 

One of the things that is critically important is actually making sure that each device has the correct protections with pass codes and access for each person that’s accessing that device. Now, if you happen to be using something like a Chromebook, then the device access is actually locked down to your Google workspace account. And a lot of those technology policies can actually be deployed from the central workspace admin panel, which is nice and handy. But if you don’t have that setup, right now, then you need to actually manage the devices individually. So all of this comes together in what we call the white glove service, which is making sure that people have the right access from day one, devices sent straight to a staff member so they don’t have to wait around for them to be rolled up. And thirdly, they can switch it on and get started straight away with access to the right resources. And from there, your team members are able to get productive from when they get started. 

 

Now if you’re interested in configuring or exploring a white glove policy, what that might look like internally inside your business, or if you’d like support from us, then click the link below and you can jump onto an audit our business services 1000s of businesses all over the world, helping with technology policy, everything to do with Google workspace, and the small and medium sized business ecosystem. 

 

If you’re an organization that needs help with Google workspace, whether you’re an education, a corporate enterprise, or a small and medium sized business, we can help move you in the right direction.

Things to Check As Your Business Grows

Things to Check As Your Business Grows


Things to Check As Your Business
Grows

Business growth is one of the determining factors that your business is on the right track to absolute success. But this also entails new matters to settle and changes in your workplaces–especially in the context of your security.

When the number of your employees increases, the level of security in your business organisation should also improve, if not tighten up. So the question now is, do you know the prime things you, as the business owner, should look into when improving your organisation’s security? Do you know how to improve them and check upon them? Well, hop on this video, as I enlighten you in regards to this concern!

TRANSCRIPT

Business Security Protocols and Policies

Now, first up, making sure that correct security protocols and policies are in place is the number one thing that’s going to help you get the most out of business. Now, what are some really basic security protocols? Well, something like making sure that each time you create a file, it’s placed into a shared drive, which is owned by the company. 

Place Company Files in a Shared Drive

It’s crazy how many businesses get this wrong, they’re creating files, either individually using their My Drive, or even sometimes using a Gmail account, particularly in the case of contractors. And what ends up happening is someone who is outside your business may own that file. Now with that file that they own, they are able to delete it, they’re able to remove it, and they’re able to restrict sharing from you. What that means is that at some point in the future, you go to open that file that you’ve been working on that a contractor created all those years ago, and all of a sudden, it’s disappeared from your drive. 

So setting up something like shared drives inside of Google Drive means that anytime someone shares a file with someone in your team, it’s actually going to be created in a shared file, which is owned and controlled by the company. And what that means is that you actually have the security and the safety, that that file is not going to accidentally be deleted by the wrong person. So having those basic security protocols in place for your file storage also means that within the business itself, you’re not going to have the wrong files shared with the wrong people. For example, you have a budget or a profit loss, or maybe a list of wages, or maybe a commission’s report, and it’s sitting in a spreadsheet, and someone on your finance team shares that via a link using Google Docs to someone else on their team. Now, that doesn’t seem too harmful in itself. But what tends to happen from time to time is one person drops it in chat or another person forwards it to someone else. Or maybe someone is searching for their commission framework on the sales team and accidentally stumbled across the commission reports on the finance team. And you know, maybe you don’t want them to have access to all of the reports in all of their detail. It inevitably ends up happening, that the files are accidentally shared with the wrong people, information can leak either inside or outside the business. 

Set up Group-based permissions using Google Workspace

 

So when you set up group-based permissions using Google workspace, and we have other videos on how to do that, and you connect to each individual team member and set a basic policy in place that every file must be stored into a shared folder, then you can make sure that those files are shared with the right people automatically, and they’re protected as well. You want to have a culture of putting things into folders, and not just sharing them willy nilly one by one.

Business Account Security

Next up, let’s talk about account security. Now, this is one of the most basic features of Google workspace that most business owners we work with have not yet enabled. And it’s called two-step verification or two-factor authentication.

How Two-step Verification Works

Now what this does is just like your bank token, when you go to log into your account, you’ll receive a text message or a code on an app on your phone. And that will allow you to put in a unique six-digit code to give you access to your account the first time that you sign in on a new device. Now this code is rotated and you’ll probably be asked for it about once a month, and you can ensure that even if someone gains access to your username and your password for your email address your Google account, they’re not able to get access to your account without a second-factor device typically going to be your mobile phone, which is with you at all times.

Two-step Verification with Google Workspace

Now in the Google workspace admin panel, you can actually enforce two-factor verification across all users. As a requirement, you can make that a policy so that each new user is created, they have to actually, within a number of days, create their own password and create a two-factor authentication token for their account as well. And what this does is that this is going to block out most of the phishing or social engineering attacks that can infect an account, and it stops a lot of malware, which uses a login for your account to get access to your details as well and educate your staff. anytime they ask for that six-digit code, they really need to ensure they are on Google’s website? Are they actually accessing their account? Is this a device that they want to have access to their account from now forwards, and making sure that everything is safe thereby policing the two-factor authentication? 

Bring Your Own Device Policy

Third, I want to talk about some of the risks with a Bring Your Own Device Policy. Now, many businesses have a kind of hybrid setup, particularly in the small business world, where some devices are may be issued by the company and some devices are owned by employees, and those employee-owned devices are called bring-your-own devices. Now, unfortunately, most customers in most businesses will leave that device policy to be pretty open and willy nilly, meaning that someone can grab a mobile phone and sign into their business account and have excellent access to all their data on their phone. Or they can log in with a laptop or a computer and access all the data from it. Now most phones and computers, when you set them up, will prompt you to set up a passcode on your phone or on your computer when you first open the lid. But not everyone actually sets that up. And some people will actually leave corporate data on a device that could potentially be accessed by other people. Now that might be someone leaving their phone on the train, and they don’t have a passcode on there. And anyone can pick up that phone and access your company information. Or it might be the spouse or partner or another family member of one of your employees sitting down at the Family Computer and starting to go through your business information. Now, it’s not a massive risk for someone to nefariously, you know, go through your data, it’s very unlikely that you know someone’s partner or their daughter or their son or their uncle is gonna want to actually jump into your business information. But what is possible is that someone else accidentally downloads a spreadsheet and leaves it sitting on their desktop.

Dangers of Social Engineering Attacks on Businesses

If you have that policy set up on the phone, where someone doesn’t have to actually enter a passcode on the phone to log in, then what can happen is when that phone is lost on a train and someone else opens the phone, they may use that email address to actually attack the business through a social engineering attack. What might that look like? Well, if it’s your CFO who’s lost their phone on the train, you might get an actual legitimate email from your CFO saying, hey, I need you to transfer $10,000 to this account, please. Otherwise, this supplier is going to get switched off knowing well all the suppliers from the inbox and knowing well that you already trust them on the emails that you do back and forth with them. And that may end up in you transferring money to someone who’s outside your business. And sadly, this kind of thing happens all the time. So how can we protect that? Well, that’s by using something called a device policy.

Google Device Policy

Within Google workspace, you can configure a Google Device Policy. And that device policy will allow you to set certain elements and things that have to be set up on the mobile phones that connect to your accounts before they can actually access information. Now, of course, coupled with a two-factor authentication policy, that makes the devices very well secured. Because when someone goes to log in with their account, they have to enter the two-factor code. And then once they are logged in, it’s automatically going to push down policies to each of the mobile phones. And that could be a phone, it could be a laptop, it could be an iPad, anything like that, you want to make sure that that policy is ensuring the level of access available on that device.

There are even some more advanced features like device approvals. And device approvals allow you to see anytime a new device connects to a corporate business account, verify with that user that they actually were the ones signing into that account, and manually approve those logins every single time they happen. What that does is it gives you a whitelist for devices so that you know every single device connecting to your workspace account.

Takeaway for Growing Businesses

Now I’ve shared with you just three ways that you can increase the security of your Google workspace account if you’re a business that has more than 20 employees. And if you’re less than 20 employees, well, you could probably take some tips from this as well and inspiration, because it’s never a wrong time to start with getting the security and the scale plan right for the tech in your business. But if you are a larger business, and you’re interested in chatting with our team, these are just three things that we’ve looked at here, we have a checklist of nearly 100 items that we will check right across your Google account, and actually ensure that your security is set up to protect your business as you grow and scale. And because we’re Google experts, we know what to look for inside your Google account. So you don’t have to spend hours and hours and hours poring through the administration manuals and trying to learn what’s important to protect your account yourself. Leave it to the professionals and our team can help out. If you’re interested in that, jump over to the link below. And you can fill out a request form to have an audit from our team and I look forward to chatting with you soon. If you’re a small business and you’re interested in working with us, then check out some of the other videos on it. Let me know what you think about this in the comments and I look forward to seeing you next time.

To know more about how to improve your security, hit us up here –> https://onsitehelper.com/enterprise-level-workspace-security-audit/

How to Open Microsoft Office Files on Google Workspace

Did you know there is a way to access and edit Microsoft Office files without having Microsoft Office? With this nifty Google Chrome extension, it’s not only possible but also very easy!

Microsoft Office to Google Workspace

The Office package is one of the most popular business tools in the world. This is because it has the right tools for a wide array of activities that keep a business running. Still, it can be quite expensive (especially for small businesses) and it can drain the resources of a regular computer.

Furthermore, if you are using Google Workspace, you might want to hang on to your Microsoft Office for a while. Why? Because Microsoft Office is so popular. You might still receive files in formats that only work with the Office suite.

But, due to a new Chrome extension, now there is a way to have your cake and eat it too!

Watch this video for a step by step guide on how to do it.

The Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides Google Chrome Extension

This is the name of the extension we mentioned. As the name says, it lets you open and edit Microsoft Office files using docs, sheets, and slides.

Here you can watch a video on how to work with the extension:

And here, we listed the step-by-step instructions:

  1. Install the Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides Google Chrome Extension
  2. Locate a word doc or excel spreadsheet in Windows explorer. Remember: you may need to download it from an email if you don’t have anything saved locally.
  3. Right click the file and select Open With.
  4. Click “More apps”
  5. Click “Look for another app on this PC”, then Click “Ok”
  6. Browse to C:Program Files (x86) > Google > Chrome > Application
  7. Select Chrome then click “Open”

Now you will see that you can access the Word document or an Excel spreadsheet in the Chrome browser.

While the extension does allow users to edit and format the content of the files, the options are limited. As such, you may want to convert the file into a Google Doc or Sheet. This enables more features and better collaboration. For this, click File → Save As Google Docs or Sheets.

It’s also a good idea to make sure you save the file into the correct Google Drive folder. This is so that you can easily find it later. This recommendation is especially important if your Drive has a lot of folders and sub-folders. However, there’s nothing to worry about- you can always use the search function to find your document. For best practices on Drive configuration, see this guide.

Finally, if you need any assistance with this, please contact our helpdesk by emailing helpdesk@onsitehelper.com or call 1300 889 839. Our team of specialists is always ready to help!

Adapting to a Flexible Workspace: Office and Remote Work

Adapting to a Flexible Workspace: Office and Remote Work

Work from home seemed impossible a long time ago. But nowadays, technology enables us to do this more effectively and efficiently–especially with Google.

During the onset of the pandemic, most businesses were looking for ways to incorporate work-from-home strategies into their daily operations. This was done through the aid of a Google Workspace partner or by other means. There’s no denying that this has been a challenge for most businesses. At the same time, one cannot simply deny that the circumstance has raised some business opportunities. These opportunities improved our way of understanding and handling a business.

Nowadays, as vaccines are being administered to the public, many countries have started lifting lockdown restrictions. As a result, most businesses are calling for their teams to put on something business-appropriate and head back to their respective offices, like how it used to be.

However, after having worked at home for so long, many people have realized the beauty and benefits of the practice which is why it’s not much of a surprise that not every Australian is eager to revert to the old ways of working full time at the office. This doesn’t mean that they’re not willing to meet halfway, more than half of the Australians are looking forward to continuing working from home for a minimum of two days per week.

As a business leader, what do you think is the best approach here? What factors should you consider before you ask your team to return to the office? How can you take advantage of the benefits of having your employees work at the office and from their respective homes? Onsite Helper recommends:

1. Communicate with your team

One can argue that there is nothing more important than communication, this is also true in business. Your team is a critical force that keeps your business running, to effectively manage them, you need to be able to adapt to their needs while benefiting the business. We can learn from the pandemic that we have far less control than we initially thought we did. As nothing is set in stone, we too can adapt and try to be more flexible than commanding.

Ask your employees about their work-from-home experience. What did they find most helpful from working at home? What can we replicate from a remote setting to an office setting? Talking to your team has never been easier with the help of a Google Workspace partner. Take their answers into account when planning for the company’s next steps in moving forward.

2. Work on the trust that you developed with your team and partners

Managing employees who have been working remotely has drastically increased the trust between employees and managers. Learning how to trust your team with their methods to provide valuable results is helpful for you and your team. If you’ve learned to rely on your team’s output rather than micro-managing their inputs, there’s no doubt that you have developed and emphasized trust in your working relationship with them. With that in mind, know that your team will have the betterment of the business at heart while trying to make their work environment as sustainable, effective, and efficient as possible.

3. Use workspace flexibility to your advantage

While a lot of people are used to the idea of working the typical nine-to-five jobs, a lot of people are noticing the beauty of working remotely. To catch the interest of both sides of the spectrum, why not implement workplace flexibility to applicants?

By having only one strict workplace, you’re ignoring the interest of a huge group of skilful people, therefore, limiting the number of talented people that could be a part of your team. Nowadays, people value flexibility. Market your business as one that offers workplace flexibility, managed services, healthy workplace culture, and strong IT security. It’s up to business leaders to stay on top of the market and adapt.

4. Realise the mental and emotional effects of the pandemic

If you think that you can simply tell people to go to work and act as if the entire pandemic didn’t happen, think again. It’s vital to realize that ignoring the mental and emotional effects of the pandemic on your team is detrimental to their success.

Provide opportunities for your team to take care of their mental and emotional health. As a leader, you should also check on your team not only because we’ve all had to deal with the pandemic through various means but also because conversing and being able to open up helps with overall morale, creativity, and productivity.

How can you, as a leader, show that you care for your team’s wellbeing? Set aside some time, giving everyone a pause from work, to discuss happenings from their lives. Allow them to catch up with each other, to support one another. Schedule virtual meetings weekly, monthly, or as often as necessary. Encourage your team to share and support them.

5. Change your workspace mindset

How was your business with the practice of work-from-home solutions? Make the best out of the cards we’re dealt. Be transparent with your team, employ technical talents and managed services, put emphasis and heighten IT security, invest in a trusted Google Workspace partner, take advantage of the benefits from working at home, and for ease, integrate the system of your business to this new normal.

Recognise change, adapt, grow, and evolve – this is how we can keep our business up and running. When you’re ready to make that change, Onsite Helper is more than happy to help.

How to Use S/MIME as an Extra Layer of Email Protection

How to Use S/MIME as an Extra Layer of Email Protection

It’s difficult to imagine life without emails – especially as a business. Even though the technology is quite simple and it’s been around for decades (literally) it still sits at the very core of business communications. After all, this is the technology that allowed business owners and employees to move from dusty offices to the beach or to luxuriant remote locations without worrying they’ll be out of touch!

The fact that you can send a complex message, with links, images, and attachments around the world in just a few seconds, for close to nothing, is still baffling. However, there is a downside.

If it’s used without proper protection, email can be used by third parties to invade and attack your organization. And this is why we are all here, today – to discuss proper email encryption using S/MIME.


What is S/MIME?

S/MIME comes from Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions.

In plain terms, this is a technology that allows users to encrypt their emails using asymmetric cryptography.

But wait, don’t email servers already use encryption? Why do I need another one?

Due to recent threats and attacks, people seem to understand the importance of using a proper email server (usually paid) that is encrypted. However, this only guarantees your emails’ safety in their trip to and from said server. Should they pass through another server, the protection is gone.

The same happens if the unit that stores the email is hacked. An encrypted server doesn’t protect the emails per se – it only ensures safe passage in the communication to and from.

An attack of this nature happened in 2016, during the US elections. During that fatidical event, hackers stole around 20,000 emails from the Democratic National Committee’ inbox and made them public on WikiLeaks. It is believed that this is the event that nudged the elections to the outcome we know today.

What’s sad, is that this could have been prevented if the DNC’s emails were encrypted using a piece of technology like S/MIME. What’s even sadder is that this was not the only attack that took advantage of the lack of emails encryption.


How Does S/MIME Work?

It Encrypts the Emails

The details behind the encryption system are a bit technical, but if you want to learn more about the technology and how it works and how to set this up in Gmail, please check my video guide here (for Google Workspace, previously known as G Suite users):


It Signs the Emails

This tech is not just about encryption; it also allows users to sign their emails, as an additional proof of authenticity. In short, S/MIME uses the private key generated for your encryption and applies a unique (to you) Digital Signature into each message.

This is a fantastic way to keep phishing attacks away from your organization and ensure partners and collaborators that your emails truly come from you.

In addition, it’s highly encouraged to use signed emails for internal communications as well (employee employee and employee managers). Again, this is a fantastic way to keep a safe distance from attackers that try to impersonate co-workers or managers and bully other employees into leaking sensitive information. Time to Make the Settings

As you can see from our short review, S/MIME is a great way to keep your emails truly safe and your organization away from attackers. It’s also a way to show partners and collaborators that your reputation and integrity are untouched (and you want to keep it that way).

So, have a look at the video guide above, talk to your network administrator, and start the implementation! S/MIME has become readily available nowadays so, it’s not difficult to set and implement.

Of course, our team is available for help and guidance, so don’t hesitate to give us a call today!

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