How to Check if Your Password Has Been Leaked Online

Hackers, malware, and other ways to exploit vulnerabilities are constantly evolving. With every development in IT security, a hacker somewhere out there will try and beat it. Hackers have no remorse, they’d target small, medium, and large businesses. Considering the increasing number of cyberattacks or hacks on different businesses yearly, it puts a really strong emphasis on IT security. As a result, you should regularly check if your password has been leaked online.

 

As a business owner, you want to make sure that you’re ahead of the game. Secure every vulnerability that you find, invest in proper IT security, ask for a security audit for your business, lastly, get a professional to manage your IT systems and security. Do all of these things and you’re less likely to suffer a cyberattack, causing you to potentially lose clients, sales, and more.

Additionally, always bear in mind that it’s a requirement now to report if you get hacked. Otherwise, you may face significant fines. Read more about Australian Privacy laws here. And if ever, you get unfortunately hacked, know the first things you should do by reading one of our articles here.

Companies that suffered data breaches

Just these past few years, several big companies have suffered data breaches because of hacking or poor security practices. Here are a few examples:

IT systems security lifehack

Want to know a quick and effective way of knowing your IT system’s issues and vulnerabilities? Want to know how to improve your IT security without doing too much work?

Run Onsite Helper’s Enterprise Level Google Workspace Security Audit today! It aims to identify and address any risks or threats present in your organisation’s IT system. We value data protection and IT security across all devices, whether desktop, laptop, or mobile.

Check if your information or password has been leaked

With the amount of information that is being leaked to the public, your personal information and passwords might be out there without you knowing about it. If you want to know whether or not your information leaked already, you can use these websites and tools.

Have I Been Pwned?

Have I Been Pwned is a searchable data breach database. It is the biggest and most popular way of finding out if your credentials leaked. Troy Hunt, Microsoft regional director, created the database back in December of 2013. It has over 150,000 daily visitors, 3 million email subscribers, and data of over 9 billion compromised accounts.

To check if your password has been leaked, you simply need to enter your email address or mobile number. Within seconds, the website will check whether the information you’ve given has appeared on any data breaches from numerous sources. There’s no risk in using the site because your email or phone number aren’t stored.

Have I Been Pwned

DeHashed

DeHashed works the same way as Have I Been Pwned does except that it doesn’t just focus on your email address.

When you visit DeHashed, you’re greeted with a search bar that prompts you to “Search for anything…” and this is true. With DeHashed, you’ll be able to check if your email, username, IP address, name, address, phone number, and VIN has been compromised. On top of that, they also do domain scans.

With that said, it should be noted that DeHashed isn’t entirely free service. Some of the results of your search will be censored unless you avail of one of their subscriptions.

DeHashed

BreachAlarm

Another alternative to Have I Been Pwned is BreachAlarm. You can check if your email has been compromised for free here. However, similar to DeHashed, they also offer paid subscriptions for their protective services.

BreachAlarm

Sucuri Security Scanner

Sucuri Security Scanner scans your website for any malware and viruses, it detects any security issues that your website might have and checks your website’s blacklist status.

This is a great tool to use if you want to make sure that your website is not blacklisted by website security authorities such as Google. Sucuri Security Scanner is effective in checking your website for any malicious code, security anomalies, configuration issues, and more.

Sucuri Security Scanner

How can you protect your information and passwords?

Have a secure password

To have a secure password, you need to make sure that your password is unique and unpredictable. If you can see your password in this list of Top 100 worst passwords, your IT security is in its worst possible state and you should change your password right now!

Also, it’s important to have a different password for every website or account that you use. This is to make sure that if one account is compromised, your other accounts remain secure.

Google 2-step verification

To add a layer of security to your Google accounts and IT security, make sure that you enable the Google 2-step verification process so that you won’t have to simply rely solely on your password when logging in.

The Google 2-step verification allows you to input other secure information via your mobile phone or other means to make sure that the one that’s trying to access your Google account is you. At the same time, you’ll get notifications about your login attempts. So, when you see a suspicious login attempt, change your password right away.

Google Authenticator app 6-digit code

If your business uses Google Workspace, you’re in luck because Google Workspace offers a lot of security features. If you want to know how to lock down your Google Workspace for really strong security, read here.

Use Google Chrome web browser

When it comes to security audits and password security, Google has been at the forefront of it. Google Chrome’s password checkup feature allows you to immediately check if your password has been compromised. On top of that, even if you don’t save your passwords on your Google Chrome browser, Google will warn you if your password gets stolen.

Google Chrome browser

Use LastPass

LastPass is a password management system that allows you to generate a very secure and random password for your accounts or for every site that you use. You won’t have to worry about remembering highly complicated passwords because LastPass will do it for you. At the same time, similar to Google, LastPass also features a 2-step verification process to reduce the risk of your accounts of logins being compromised.

LastPass - securely store passwords

Have a full IT security audit

Have a team of Onsite Helper professionals closely monitor your entire IT system to be aware of any vulnerabilities, issues, and points of concern that might hinder your organisation in attaining its full productivity.

At the same time, Onsite Helper provides effective solutions and recommendations to mitigate and address the vulnerabilities and improve your overall IT security.

To protect your business’ IT system, contact Onsite Helper or 

New Google Meet Hardware For Better Collaboration

Do you love using Google Meet for work and leisure, at home, in your office, in a cafe, or anywhere? You’re in luck! Google recently announced two new Google Meet hardware devices that will level up your Google Meet experience.

The new series One Desk 27 and One Board 65 are Google Meet’s new video conferencing devices. Let’s find out more about these in this article!

Series One Desk 27

The Series One Desk 27 is Google’s all-in-one touchscreen collaboration device that’s specifically built for Google Meet. It’s made by Avocor and is part of the Series One program.

As implied by its name, the Series One Desk 27 features a 27-inch touchscreen display. It comes with custom mics, speakers, and a camera best for video conferencing. On top of being a Google Meet device on its own, it also doubles as a monitor. In addition, the ports on this device include a USB-A, USB-C, and HDMI.

Aside from being powered by Chrome OS to meet its Google Meet requirements, the Series One Desk 27 is unlike any traditional all-in-one computer. The 27-inch touchscreen features a 1440p, 16:9 display. It’s capable of automatically adjusting the colour and brightness for ambient lighting conditions. Moreover, it comes with a stylus that doubles as a whiteboard.

Series One Desk 27

You can add the Series One Desk 27 to your Google Workspace work-from-home setup. However, word of warning, it’s going to cost you more bucks than you’ve expected. Why? Google’s vision for the Series One Desk 27, is to have them wall-mounted in conference rooms where group meetings will be held. Lastly, this 27-inch touchscreen device is definitely more enterprise-focused being priced at $1,999.

Series One Desk 27

Series One Board 65

The Series One Board 65 is a 65” 4K video conferencing hardware. It can quickly turn any room into a space for productive video collaboration. This device is a great addition to your Google Workspace setup. Moreover, it features a built-in Jamboard app that is best for easy collaboration with colleagues. In addition, it can be paired with a stylish mobile stand allowing you to place the Series One Board 65 pretty much anywhere in a room.

Series One Board 65

Also built by Avocor, the Series One Board 65 provides a crystal clear display with its 65” UHD LCD screen. Freely sketch, annotate, and whiteboard the touchscreen display using the 2 ultra-low-latency passive styluses or your fingers. Additionally, the built-in Google AI automatically frames the participants of the meetings clearly with the 12-megapixel camera.

Series One Board 65

Other New Google Meet Devices

On top of the new Series One Desk 27 and new Series One Board 65, Google also announced new 3rd-party devices that are joining the Google Meet hardware ecosystem. Google has certified Logitech’s Rally Bar and Rally Bar Mini for Google Meet. Both will allow you to use them directly for Google Meet, with no necessary integration or attachment to a computer or laptop.

Logitech Rally Bar

Moreover, Appcessori is launching the Rayz Rally Pro – a new mobile device speaker. This will automatically enhance the audio experience of your video conferences using Google Meet.

Rayz Rally Pro designed for Google Meet

For smooth management of your Google-powered devices, or if you need some help with them, Onsite Helper is just a click away! 

Onsite Helper holds true to its promise of ensuring that all hardware and operating systems of different business organisations are smoothly running, regularly monitored, and well-protected from any potential threats. Thus, securing all information and data.

How to Set Up Google Drive for Business

So you’ve been running your own system for your business’s file storage and sharing for a while now and perhaps you’re looking for a much better system. Perhaps you already have a file server service in place, either on-premises like a Windows server or a Network Attached Server (NAS). Or you could be using cloud solutions for your file storage like Dropbox, SharePoint, etc. One way or another, you’ve heard about Google Drive and how it can help you and your business. If you want to know more about Google Workspace and how to set up Google Drive for your business, you’ve come to the right place.

Google Drive and Google Workspace are Google’s answers to keeping your whole business organized. The system of collaboration and seamless file sharing makes Google Workspace and Google Drive the ideal tools for growing your business.

Onsite Helper provides you with everything you need to know about using Google Drive for your business and how to set it up once you’ve signed up for Google Workspace.

Recommended Google Drive setup steps to follow

Signing up for a Google Workspace plan includes the use of Gmail, Google Drive, Meet, Calendar, Chat, Currents, Jamboard, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Keep, Sites, and Google Forms.

Not only that, signing up for Google Workspace allows you to enjoy the benefits that Google Drive has in store for admins and/or business owners. But of course, before we can start, you need to make sure that you’ve already added your team to the Admin console. Once that’s done, you can start to follow the list of steps that we have prepared for you here:

  1. Upload company files to Google Drive
  2. Configure each users’ or the team’s sharing permissions
  3. Synchronise the files on your Google Drive to your devices or computers
  4. Install Google Apps on your phones or tablets
  5. Train your team on how to use Google Drive correctly

1. Upload company files to Google

You and your team can upload any type of file to Google Drive. If your business has been using Microsoft Office files before migrating to Google Workspace, you can still upload those files. You have the option to convert your Microsoft Office files to the Google format or just use Google Drive to open and edit your Microsoft Office files.

Moving forward, however, to enjoy the seamless collaborative features of Google Drive, it is recommended that you use Google’s document editors such as Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

Google Drive File Upload

Google Drive file storage

The storage for every user is shared between that user’s Google Drive, Gmail, and other Google Products.

The storage size that each user can get depends on the type of account that they’re a part of. For example, if you’ve subscribed to a Business Starter plan, each user gets to use up to 30 GB of free storage; for Enterprise plans, each user can use as much storage as they need. 

Want to know more about the corresponding storage size for every type of account? Click here.

Google Drive Storage

Google Drive security

You can upload any file type to Google Drive. All files, uploaded or converted, are all subject to the same content policy.

Before files from your Google Drive can be downloaded or shared, Google automatically scans the file for viruses and malware. This is applicable for files that are smaller than 100 MB.

If Google detects a problem with a particular file in your Google Drive, Google will immediately inform you and access to that file will automatically be blocked for the protection of the users. However, users can still download it after acknowledging the potential dangers of downloading the file.

2. Configure each users’ or the team’s sharing permissions

Administrators are able to configure how users can share different files and folders in Google Drive. This is useful if there are some files and folders that you’d only like to share with a certain person or group of people from the business.

To put it simply, you can have the same set of sharing permissions for everyone and you can have it set up differently for every department in your company.

This feature is very helpful in keeping the privacy of the business and sensitive information such as client details safe from someone who shouldn’t see it or someone who might accidentally send the files to someone else. The configurations that Google allows you to do are as follows:

  • Allow users to share files outside of your business – users can share files to any emails, including the ones that aren’t using the company email.
  • Allow file sharing to certain domains – this feature allows your company to share files with another Google Workspace domain, and prevents users from sharing files with their personal accounts.
  • Restrict all external file sharing – this configuration restricts users from sharing or receiving files to and from outside of your organization.
  • Restrict the access levels users can give to files
  • Control who can access files that are stored on shared drives

These configurations can be set up by going to your Admin console homepage. Go to Apps > Google Workspace > Drive and Docs. Once there, click on Sharing settings, then Sharing Options. It is best for organizations to practice setting proper Drive file sharing regulations to avoid any minor and major complications.

3. Synchronise the files on your Google Drive to your devices or computers

Google Workspace offers 2 different ways to easily access your files from Google Drive and keep them all updated and synced across all of your devices.

  1. Backup and Sync – Google’s default consumer sync client. With this feature, all the contents of your Drive are stored locally. Organizations can use this too, the next one might be more useful;
  2. Google Drive for desktop – this is best and highly recommended for organizations. With Google Drive for desktop, you can sync your Drive and shared drives from the cloud. This option also allows you to make the files on your Drive available for offline access.
Google Drive Backup and Sync

4. Install Google Apps on your phones or tablets

Try and utilise all of the tools that are available with Google Workspace. Being flexible and aware of your options allow you to upgrade your work and the way your organization can work.

No longer do you have to always be facing a desktop to be working. Download the mobile apps for Google Drive, Docs editors, and other Google Apps. These apps are available for  Android and iOS.

Google Workspace Apps

5. Train your team on how to use Google Drive correctly

Make sure that your team is able to properly utilise the features that Google Workspace offers for businesses. Once people have familiarized themselves with how easy it is to work on projects, organize, synchronize tasks, and see each others’ progress, you’ll be able to see significant improvements in your company’s productivity and output.

There are training materials available online on using Google Drive or the best practices on Google Drive for organizations. You can also watch Onsite Helper’s Google Workspace Mini-Course. It will help you to be able to easily cover the basics and intermediate know-hows of Google Workspace.

Google Workspace Learning Center

If you want to know more about how business users can properly use Google Workspace, you can:

How to Use Google Workspace to Open Microsoft Office Files

Whether you’re using Google Workspace for personal or business, there may be times when inevitably, you need to work with Microsoft Office files. Your clients might send you a Microsoft Office Word document or you might have to use old files from before you started using Google Workspace. Either way, Google Workspace gives you an easy way to open, edit, and work with Microsoft Office files. We’ll be showing you how to use Google Workspace to open and edit Microsoft Office files without having to convert them.

What is Google Workspace?

Google Workspace, formerly known as G Suite, is Google’s set of cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools. Google Workspace features communication apps like Gmail and Google Chat; collaboration tools such as Google Docs and Google Keep; storage synchronization, and more.

Opening Microsoft Office files in Google Drive

Any file type or document can be stored in Google Drive, this includes Microsoft Office files like Word, PowerPoint, or Excel files. 

Double-clicking the Microsoft Office file would open it, with the help of an extension called Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides. You’ll be able to edit your Microsoft Office file while retaining its original format. This means that it is possible for you to keep working on your Microsoft Office files without having to convert them to Google format.

Onsite Helper docx

Another way to open your Microsoft Office files in Google Workspace:

  • Right-click your Microsoft Office file and click ‘Preview’. On the Preview, click ‘Open with Google Docs’ or whichever is applicable.
Open with Google Docs
  • Right-click your Microsoft Office file, then hover on ‘Open With’, and select ‘Google Docs’ or whichever is applicable.
Open with Google Docs

You can make any changes you want, save them, and send them to someone else. You or the receiver of your file would be able to open and edit the document again using Microsoft Office without any compatibility problems.

Note: Compatibility issues wouldn’t arise only for simple documents. For Excel and PowerPoint, some functionalities might not work if you make changes in Google Drive.

Some features on your PowerPoint might not be displayed using Slides and some formulas that you use in Excel might not work in Sheets due to syntax differences. Despite these, Google will still give you a warning before you can make any changes to your file. At the same time, Google will also try to replace the features with ones that are compatible with them.

Google Slides can't display some features of this PowerPoint presentation

Restore previous versions on Google Workspace

Should you wish to view the full history of the Microsoft Office file or restore the file from any of the previous versions listed on Google Workspace, you can do so by checking the Version History

Open the version history

Converting Microsoft Office files to Google Workspace format

Converting Microsoft Office files to Google Workspace format is as easy as 1-2-3.

To convert your Microsoft Office files in Google Drive to Google format:

  1. Open your Microsoft Office file in Google Drive using any of the methods shown above.
  2. Go to ‘File’ and click ‘Save as Google Docs’.
Save as Google Docs

 3. Wait for the conversion to finish.

After the conversion, a version of your Microsoft Office file that has been successfully converted to the Google format will automatically open in a new tab.

Onsite Helper - Google Docs

Why Convert your Microsoft Office files to Google Workspace?

One of the biggest benefits of converting your Microsoft Office files to Google Workspace is that it makes file sharing and collaboration a lot easier. Google Workspace itself was built as a collaboration-focused solution from top to bottom.

The interface of Google Workspace is very clean and intuitive. Its seamless cloud integration makes it an ideal choice for businesses that use multiple devices with varying operating systems.

Another great benefit of opening Microsoft office files in Google Drive is it prevents you from installing Viruses or Ransomware. This is a common exploit when opening Microsoft Office files on your locally installed Microsoft office software especially if you have macros enabled. In fact, the Australian government’s Essential 8 Security Recommendations highlight the importance of Microsoft Office macro settings and patching software, both of which you can reduce by operating your document processing in the browser.

Another benefit: as mentioned above, you can reduce your security risk by not using locally installed Microsoft office software. This means you can reduce your cost as well. Microsoft 365 Apps for business has a cost of $12 per user per month.

While you’re here

Onsite Helper can help you set up or migrate to Google Workspace.

Contact us today to find out more about how Google Workspace can help you scale your business and how we can help you with the migration.

We are based in Australia but we provide these services worldwide. You can find out more about our IT services here.

Opening Microsoft Office files from Gmail

If you receive an email from your friends or colleagues and they aren’t using Google Workspace, there’s no need to worry. You can still easily open and edit the files that they sent using Google Drive. What’s more, you can easily email back an updated copy of the same file to them, giving you a very fast, efficient, and seamless workflow with your friends or colleagues.

How can you easily open and edit Microsoft Office files from your Gmail?

  • If you click on the Microsoft Office file sent to you, a preview of its content will be displayed. On top of the preview, click on ‘Open with Google Sheets’ or whichever is applicable to you.
Open with Google Sheets

If you want to immediately convert and edit the Microsoft Office file to Google format, you can:

  • Hover your mouse over the file and click the ‘Edit with Google Sheets’ or whichever is applicable to you.
Edit with Google Sheets

How to easily send the updated file back to the original sender?

  • Click ‘File, hover on ‘Email’, and then click ‘Reply with this file’.
  • You can also choose to compose a new message with the same file attached, by clicking ‘Email this file’ instead.
Google Sheets - Reply with this file

Need more help?

If you want to know more about Google Workspace and how it can help you and your business, Onsite Helper can help you.

Onsite Helper is an IT service provider based in Australia that helps businesses all over the world. 

Need IT specialists? Want to migrate to Google Workspace? Interested in knowing about our Managed IT services? Feel free to contact us.

If you want to know why you should set up Google Drive for your business, you can watch this video.

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

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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. 

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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.

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