Choosing The Perfect Managed Services Company in Denver (Tips/Tricks)

Tips and Tricks On Choosing The Perfect Managed Services Company In Denver

Hiring a managed IT service provider is a viable way to reduce the costs of installing, securing, optimizing, and maintaining technology assets. The vendor brings in highly experienced IT professionals who provide specialized support to in-house teams. These experts contribute to the streamlining clients’ business processes and providing training to staff members.

They handle different projects based on your organization’s needs, culture, and operational processes. The best part is that you retain control of your projects, and the partnership emphasizes flexibility. In the end, you enjoy unlimited access to part- or full-time IT personnel without the expenses associated with an internal tech team. It is no wonder that many established businesses rely on mature vendors like Elevate Services Group.

Managed IT services enable firms to expand technology infrastructure in tandem with the growing business without worrying about hiring additional IT staff. Expanding IT systems requires careful handling to avoid any disruptions to the provision of services to customers.

Vendors maximize efficiency and bolster security at a reasonable cost. You can access the latest technology and highly skilled staff by signing flexible contracts that suit your technology needs and budget.

As a result, your organization overcomes the complexities of managing and securing your IT infrastructure. With the support of a mature IT services company in Denver, CO, your staff focuses on innovation and growing the business.

Factors To Consider When Looking For A Denver Managed IT Services Company

If your internal IT team is struggling to cope with the demands of a growing business, you need to enlist the help of an established managed services company in Denver. However, to ensure that the partnership yields the desired goals, you must carefully select the right vendor. Elevate Services Group is a reputable firm that has provided professional IT support in Denver for many years.

The ideal IT service partner has the expertise to handle complex information technology environments. You can count on the vendor to manage both on-site and cloud-based infrastructure.

In today’s digital world, companies grant internal users access to applications via a wide array of devices, including smartphones and tablets. These functions come with complex challenges relating to security, platform administration, and reliability of systems.

For this reason, you must pick a managed IT provider capable of maintaining and securing your technology environments. A well-maintained system ensures proper data storage, security, and backup.

Technical support capabilities

Service disruptions caused by downtime can cost your company millions of dollars in revenue. To maximize reliability and boost productivity, opt for a managed services company in Denver with superior technical support capabilities. The best option is a vendor with many years of experience handling both software and hardware issues.

Around-the-clock availability is a critical factor if your systems must stay online at all times. The ideal vendor offers a guaranteed response time when you need emergency assistance. Elevate Services Group understands the need for shorter response time to service requests. The firm supports your business by keeping your technology running smoothly.

Working with an external information technology team relieves your firm from the demands of fixing bugs and running an in-house IT team. However, availability is a critical determining factor in the viability of the partnership. The vendor assumes the burden of delivering the best system performance and security. In turn, you gain peace of mind knowing that your IT infrastructure is in capable hands.

Customized services

The best IT providers offer a comprehensive service to suit your specific needs for IT support in Denver. From application management and network monitoring to security management, you can rely on the vendors to handle different types of technology projects.

Customized services can deal with specific requirements associated with your industry. They enhance innovation and boost productivity, which gives you an edge over competitors. Your chosen IT firm should provide some essential services, including subscription management, managed backups, help desk services, and device monitoring.

More importantly, the vendor’s capabilities should align with your operational requirements and goals. For instance, the external IT experts’ cybersecurity services have to align with your risk management strategy. With the right partner, your organization boosts agility, efficiency, and productivity. You achieve these objectives while cutting down on information technology costs.

Service level agreements (SLA) backed performance

The ideal service provider offers a service level agreement, which outlines measurable performance guidelines. This agreement acts as a blueprint for the standard of service you can expect. It provides guarantees that help safeguard your organization’s reputation and technology assets.

The vendor should also uphold the best practices espoused by the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), which provides practice guidelines for IT services. Vendors who adhere to these guidelines strive to align managed IT support in Denver with your company’s needs. In turn, they help reduce IT costs while ensuring customer satisfaction.

Strong strategic partnerships

Your chosen managed services company in Denver should maintain essential partnerships with several vendors. In doing so, the firm finds it easier to support multi-vendor environments. This aspect is vital to the delivery of a comprehensive, customized IT service. The MSP can act as a technical advisor and recommend viable solutions that enhance efficiency and bolster security.

Why Choose Elevate Services Group As Your Denver Managed Service Company

Elevate Services Group is a mature IT services company in Denver, CO, that operates as a trusted partner for prominent businesses in various industries. It provides superior customer service and takes an executive approach to manage IT assets. Clients benefit from the service through streamlined systems and increased productivity.

The service provider offers customized solutions, including proactive road-mapping and responsive IT help desk. Its services also encompass cloud-based solutions, device monitoring, patch management, system monitoring, and cybersecurity services. The vendor enables clients to achieve scalability without compromising on efficiency, reliability, and security.

With the support of Elevate, you are sure to find it easier to migrate to cloud services. The IT firm helps your organization leverage enterprise-grade security and performance without breaking the bank. In turn, the partnership complements strategic business initiatives and bolsters your company’s growth potential. Your customers benefit from a reliable and secure service.

What Is The Modern Workplace?

The Secret Workplace Every Single Employee Dreams About Whenever They Clock In

Employee retention is always a challenge. Because it takes so long to find, recruit, and train your best employees, it’s very important to focus on how you can keep them.

And the best way to improve employee retention is to understand what employees want. As it turns out, you can use Microsoft Modern Workplace to provide the work environment that your employees dream of

What does that Microsoft Modern Workplace actually look like, though? Here’s a breakdown of what your employees really want.

Easier Technology

There is a stereotype that older employees are more resistant to change. And these changes may include anything from new procedures to new technology.

The truth is that all workers, young and old, can get overwhelmed by too much technology. Simply put, they don’t like to master dozens of different programs from dozens of different companies just to make it through each day.

With the Microsoft Modern Workplace, you get an “all-in-one” solution for communication and collaboration. And it’s nice and intuitive. If your employees can work with Office 365, they can easily work with the entire Microsoft Modern Workplace suite of software.

More Free Time

What do employees want but they’re too afraid to ask for? A little more downtime, of course!

Many of your best employees are bogged down each day with boring, routine tasks. If they didn’t have to focus so much on those mundane activities, they’d have time to focus more on genuinely innovative new ideas.

One of the best things about the Microsoft Modern Workplace is that it allows users to automate several different tasks. And when most of those mundane tasks have been automated, your employees will be free to focus on the “big picture” ideas your company needs to stand out!

Easier Collaboration

Managers and executives understand how important group projects are. Such projects help your employees bring different skills and perspectives to the table. And once you put everyone together, you get a group that is much greater than the sum of its parts.

However, employees usually aren’t thrilled by group projects. Even if they get along with the entire team, it can be difficult to communicate with everyone and send files back and forth. The final result is an overflowing inbox and a lot of frustration.

The good news is that the Microsoft Modern Workplace was designed from the ground up to help employees collaborate. Microsoft Teams and Sharepoint makes it easy and intuitive to work together without blowing up each other’s inboxes.

When collaboration is this easy, your employees may learn to love group projects as much as you do!

Faster Problem-Solving

One reason that Microsoft Modern Workplace is so popular among small businesses is that it is an all-in-one solution. With this software in place, your business doesn’t have to rely on a dedicated IT team to manage so much of your technological needs.

One side effect of this for employees is that any problems they discover will be solved that much more quickly. Previously, their only course of action may have been to submit a ticket to IT, hope someone notices it, and hope it gets fixed before the week is out.

The automation of the Microsoft Modern Workplace helps to avoid many potential technological problems. And the intuitive software and collaborative tools will help your team solve any other issues, all without spending countless unproductive hours waiting on IT!

Remote Work Opportunities

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work opportunities were what many employees wanted most. And working during quarantine has helped even more employees develop a taste for working from home.

And it’s easier than ever for you to provide such opportunities. With the Microsoft Modern Workplace, you can use software such as Microsoft Teams to coordinate and collaborate with your remote workers.

Surprisingly, remote employees are just as productive as office employees. In some cases, they may be more productive. And while you can’t necessarily let everyone work from home, offering select remote work opportunities can serve as a powerful incentive to keep some of your best employees around. Furthermore, having a Microsoft-powered remote work infrastructure in place will prepare you for future crises.

With the Microsoft Modern Workplace, your office can be ready for anything.

Modern Workplace

Elevate Your IT Services in Denver

Top Managed IT Services & IT Services in Denver

Amongst the most significant investments that any business can make is in ensuring the functionality, security, and efficiency of their technology. However, With technology advancing every day, companies are struggling to keep up. Most companies don’t have a sufficient budget or IT staff dedicated to integrate and implement the ever-evolving applications. Most in-house teams can support the business; nonetheless, in the long run, they are expensive to maintain and may not have access to the latest technological updates.

Enterprises are thereby forced to outsource from managed Denver IT service providers as this often brings more long-term advantages.

Outsourcing From a Managed IT Support In Denver

An IT service provider is an entity that provides IT related services to a company that either doesn’t have an IT department or it complements an already existing department. Before an enterprise decides to outsource IT services, it must evaluate the performance of the existing systems and structures to check if there are any inefficiencies or if the IT department should be complemented.

IT Services In Denver

Benefits of Outsourcing Managed IT Services In Denver

1. Cost-Effective and High Return on Investment

Often, budget restrictions limit opportunities for business expansion. By outsourcing an MSP, a business can redistribute the surplus funds that were spent on an internal IT department to further the advancement of the company. A managed IT support in Denver offers more services to benefit your company compared to an in-house IT team at the same cost or lower. An MSP provides a larger group of IT professionals and access to the most cutting-edge technology solutions to empower your enterprise.

It also presents a flexible payment option since the client can decide how much they are willing to pay, what they are willing to pay for, and the frequency of the payment.

2. Promotes Efficiency

Outsourcing managed IT services enables a business to focus on its core products and services. Time spent instructing and supervising IT staff is transferred to the IT services provider. The IT service provider also ensures that the company is adhering to the market’s standards and principles. Besides, outsourcing to an MSP will guarantee that your technology is being appropriately maintained, thus reducing disruptions and increasing operable time for your staff.

3. Enhances Productivity

Having an MSP reduces the workload of the IT team of the company and improves productivity. It enables them to focus on other IT related issues like developing programs, responding to requests from co-workers handling log-in issues, and training new IT employees.

4. A Dedicated and Brisk Help-Line Service

Outsourcing from a managed IT support in Denver provides your company with a responsive IT help-line service to call once they have technical problems. The help-line limits the time the company spends dealing with IT issues and provides a quick resolve for their issues. In turn, this allows your domestic IT staff to focus on the duties that they were contracted to perform.

5. Security Optimization

Cyber-attacks are quickly evolving. There is a need for companies to seek long-lasting solutions to ensure data security. Most in-house IT teams may not have the necessary expertise or resources to counter it. Consulting an IT service, especially one that has a verified and reliable cybersecurity insurance, will help in avoiding the current cyber threats aimed at them, thus further decreasing the risk of a security breach.

6. Unlimited Expertise and Experience

A managed Denver IT service provider’s employees have more experience and expertise. Their employees are highly skilled, qualified, and certified. Additionally, the IT service provider covers the cost of training their employees, unlike for an in-house team where the company covers the expenses.

7. Stream-Lined Cloud-Based Services

As businesses are becoming more mobile and remotely-driven, there is an increasing demand to have their data accessible to both their clients and employees. Cloud-based access is essential for people who need to access their websites and accounts using their mobile gadgets. All of these trends can put your company at risk for a data breach. An IT services provider not only helps enterprises shift to a cloud-based platform securely but also manages its maintenance going forward.

8. Leveling the Playing-Field With Competitors

Outsourcing your IT services allows you to focus on the core of the business and gain a competitive edge while also adding value to your manifesto. Since most small and medium businesses cannot afford in-house technical services like bigger co-operations, outsourcing a managed IT service levels the playing field and enables the clients to have access to the same technology and expertise that these co-operations enjoy.

9. Getting Tailored Solutions for Your Business

IT service providers offer consulting services that enable a client to get customized solutions that are in line with their budget and goals. They also help make strategies that will guide your IT decisions that will impact your business.

Elevate Your Business’ Potential

For businesses to focus on their client’s needs, ensure productivity, and boost employee morale, they need to be at ease with the safety of their data. Looking for a certified IT services provider may prove hectic for any business.

Elevate Services Group, a managed IT service provider located in Denver, Colorado, offers reliable, high quality and professional IT solutions to companies across Denver and the Front Range.

Elevate Services Group Offers the Following IT Services:

  • Data Security optimization
  • Cloud migration and support
  • Responsive IT Help-Desk
  • Customized IT solutions
  • Consulting and proactive road mapping

Elevate Services Group’s employees with years of experience and expertise in the technological field ensure that the client gets access to business system developments and impactful technical strategies. They carry out an extensive analysis of the systems in place and customize flexible solutions for your business.

Elevate brings on board the latest technology systems as large organizations, therefore bridging the competitive gap. Elevate counters vulnerabilities in the security systems before attacks occur and work closely with the client’s team to ensure reliable and optimal IT performance. Contact us today and find out more about how we can help provide for all your IT needs.

Is Your Organization Prepared for Top 2020 Cybersecurity Threats?

Top 2020 Cybersecurity Threats

Managed IT cybersecurity professionals have been challenged to the hilt through the first half of 2020. Phishing attacks increased by upwards of 600 percent during the height of the pandemic as industry leaders made haste to move to the Cloud or increase their remote workforce infrastructure. Industry leaders have been so busy dealing with the very next issue they haven’t had a moment to prepare for emerging cybersecurity threats.

Cybersecurity Threats

As Gartner analyst Peter Firstbrook explains, the resulting changes implemented to deal with the pandemic “accelerated digitalization of business processes.” Putting operational success on a wireless fast track may have left organizations increasingly vulnerable to wide-ranging threats. According to antivirus software giant Norton, these are top cybersecurity threats organizations may not be prepared to handle.

  • Deepfakes: This trick uses artificial intelligence to combine words and create phony images and messaging.
  • Synthetic Identities: This new method to perpetrate fraud blends real and fabricated personal identity information to build a representation of a real person.
  • AI-Powered Digital Attacks: Cybercriminals can now create programs that even replicate human behaviors to fool people into providing sensitive financial information.
  • 5G Challenges: The rollout of 5G is expected to increase cybersecurity risks on the Internet of Things (IoT) logistics networks.
  • Auto Hacks: Increased reliance on technology in cars, SUVs, and other vehicles, has cracked the door for a new type of automobile hack.
  • Cloud Jacking: This type of cyber-attack leverages weaknesses in programs and systems to penetrate Cloud-based networks and use them to mine cryptocurrency.
  • Ransomware Attacks: According to Security Magazine, more than 151 million ransomware attacks were carried out during the first three-quarters of 2019 alone. They show no sign of slowing down.

Decision-makers who are finally getting their feet under them would like nothing better than to focus exclusively on profit-driving endeavors. But sustaining a debilitating data breach or costly ransomware attack would only bring your efforts to a screeching halt. The question industry leaders may want to be asking, right now, is if you are prepared to deal with critical threats. These are strategies cybersecurity consultants believe are determined solutions going forward.

Extended Detection & Response Proves Meaningful

Extended detection and response (XDR) strategies employ automation to collects and assess data and run this information through a variety of cybersecurity innovations. The process improves early threat detection, deterrence, and response times.

Cybersecurity Automation Comes of Age

Hackers continue to utilize as many technological tools as they can get their keyboards on, and AI has been a boon for digital thieves. But for every move an online criminal makes, cybersecurity experts have a counter. Automating cybersecurity tools through AI and machine learning drive computer-centric systems in the direction of real-time defense. The strategy also streamlines systems by eliminating redundancies that can slow response solutions.

New Breed of CSOs Emerges

Given the emergence of non-traditional threats that evolved during 2019, organizations are looking for enterprise-level chief security officers (CSOs) to deliver on the promise of increased investment. Managed IT professionals rallied around the banner of “enterprise-level cybersecurity” for years. But perhaps the missing piece of the puzzle was decision-makers who understand the underlying infrastructure and salient details.

As ransomware attacks, GPS spoofing, and the next scheme rears its ugly head, having a security professional who can assess, secure, defend, and pivot with agility could make a significant difference. Either CSOs will need to catch up to the wave of next-generation threats or make way for a new breed of enterprise-level executives.

Are Privacy Professionals Needed?

Complying with government data privacy and protection regulations appears to be growing into a discipline of its own. New York, California, and even the EU have pushed through regulations that have national and global implications. And although these laws are stringent, they don’t even scratch the surface of industry-specific data protection and privacy oversight.

Industry leaders find themselves at a crossroads in 2020, deciding whether to create a full-time management position to provide regulatory oversight or outsource. Many are opting to work with a high-level cybersecurity firm to harden their defenses and ensure best practices that always meet or exceed compliance regulations.

Growth in Zero-Trust Networks

In some cybersecurity circles, consultants advocate for an increase in zero-trust networks that shield applications and data from the view of prying eyes. Although virtual private networks (VPN) were considered high-level protection for remote workers, zero-trust appears to be proving even more beneficial. The underlying premise is that a VPN might be difficult to uncover, but a hacker can wreak havoc once breached. Zero-trust networks, by contrast, limit access by the user. Even if a digital scammer swipes someone’s login information, they gain only limited and managed access.

The advanced schemes trolled out by digital thieves gives industry leaders and cybersecurity specialists a headache every year. Although hackers in 2020 leverage cutting-edge technologies, these bad actors can still be contained.

If your organization, like many others, could be vulnerable to these or other next-generation cybersecurity threats, it’s time to harden your defenses. A third-party cybersecurity firm can conduct a full review of your network, evaluate best practices, compliance, and provide a report. With this objective information in hand, your organization can be prepared, come what may.

Reset Your Computer System Today Using Windows 10

Do you need to reset your computer system?

Resetting is different from simply refreshing or restoring a computer system. Resetting means reinstalling Windows but during the process, you delete your personal settings, apps (unless the apps originated with the computer), and files (unless you choose to keep them). Refreshing and restoring your computer doesn’t require deleting these things, the latter of which is a scary idea. You, however, will likely need or want to reset your computer system using Windows 10 if, for example, any of the below are present:

  • Your computer system often freezes, runs slow, or otherwise acts funny and trouble-shooting the cause will take hours or more.
  • You haven’t installed an app, driver, or an update recently, and the computer doesn’t work well.
  • You simply want to restart using a clean slate and don’t want to conduct a cumbersome old-fashioned install typical of Windows 8 and previous versions.
  • You want to resell, trade, or dispose of your computer or computer system.

Resetting your computer system using Windows 10 is a relatively short process that has been considerably refined since Windows 8. Resetting doesn’t require a product key or any other installation tools and amounts to a few basic steps.

Step-By-Step Process to Reset Windows 10

Before resetting your computer system using Windows 10, you want to make sure you have backed up your system. As a reminder, you will lose most––if not all––of your personal settings, files, apps, and drivers when you reset your computer. Once you decide that resetting is what you want to do, you have to decide which of the three basic methods is appropriate for you:

  1. Reset using Settings. Use this option if you can access Settings from the menu.
  2. Reset from the Sign-On Screen. Use this option if you cannot access Settings. It’s also the way to reset using what’s commonly referred to as the Safe Mode.
  3. Reset from a Blank Screen. Use this option if the first two are not options.

Reset Using Settings

  1. Select the Start buttonin the menu.
  2. Select Settings> Update & Security> Recovery .
  3. Click on Open Recovery settings.
  4. From the Recover page and under Reset this PC, select Get started.

  1. You then have three options from which to choose:
    1. Keep my files > Change settings > Preinstalled apps On. This option reinstalls Windows 10 and allows you to keep personal files while removing settings, apps, and drivers you installed and restoring apps installed by the manufacturer. If you choose this option, you will be prompted on the Next screen on what personal files to keep.
    2. Keep my files > Change settings > Preinstalled apps Off. This option reinstalls Windows 10 and allows you to keep your personal files while removing settings, drivers, or apps that either you or the manufacturer installed. If you choose this option, you will be prompted in the Next screen on what personal files to keep.
    3. Remove everything. Under this option, you can either (1) leave Data erasure On, which is best if you will dispose of or sell your computer; or (w) leave Data erasure Off, which is less secure but also takes less time.

  1. Before you actually start the resetting process, you will be provided with an outline of what happens when you reset your system. If you agree, then click the Restore button. The process can take up to an hour. You know it’s finished once a license agreement appears and you are asked to agree to it.

Reset Using the Sign-On Screen

  1. Simultaneously press the Start button  and the L key to render the sign-in screen.
  2. Simultaneously press the Shift key and Power button.
  3. While still holding down on the Shift key, click Restart, which appears in the lower-righthand corner. The computer will restart in Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE), which is also referred to as Safe Mode
  4. A blue screen will appear giving you three options: (1) Continue; (2) Troubleshoot; and (3) Turn off your PC. Choose Troubleshoot.

  1. From the Troubleshoot page, click on Reset this PC. The same Recovery page as mentioned above will appear. Choose Reset this PC.
  2. The Reset this PC page will appear. Choose one of the three same above-listed options on the Reset this PC page and then follow the same process.

Reset from a Blank Screen

  1. Confirm the computer is turned off.
  2. Turn on the computer by pressing the power button.
  3. As soon as it restarts, press the power button again to turn it off.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3.
  5. Restart the computer––it should start-up in the WinRE environment (Safe Mode).
  6. You can now follow the same steps under Reset from the Sign-on Screen.

A Windows 10 Alternative to Resetting

Windows 10 also allows you to refresh your computer system by using the Give your PC a fresh start option. This option is useful when you want a fresh start but do not want all the factory software installed. This process takes a lot less time, like 20 minutes or so, and is preferable when you want to “reset” using Windows 10 because the computer isn’t working well and you recently installed a new app.

Whatever your reason is for wanting to reset your computer system, it’s good to know you have options when using Windows 10.

Reasons for Choosing Microsoft Teams as an Alternative to Zoom

Microsoft Teams as an Alternative to Zoom

COVID- 19 induced lockdowns and social distancing measures helped spur Zoom’s growth. The video conferencing app managed to attract 300 million users by April 2020 compared to 10 million in December. Its rise to prominence left rivals like Facebook, Microsoft, Cisco, and Google scrambling for innovative ways to gain a competitive advantage.

However, privacy and security hiccups compromised Zoom’s popularity. Hackers infiltrated many meetings around the world in actions known as Zoom bombing. In South Africa, hackers beamed shocking images to parliamentarians during a virtual meeting.

The security and privacy concerns led to the banning of video conferencing platform by the NYC Department of Education. As a result, remote learning classes in New York switched to platforms like Microsoft Teams. Recent reports revealed that the Zoom app failed to encrypt messages end-to-end, which exposed user’s email addresses.

Microsoft Teams v. Zoom

Microsoft Teams: The biggest threat to Zoom

Microsoft recently confirmed reports about a powerful new feature that is undoubtedly a game-changer in the videoconferencing sector. The platform can now handle up to 300 participants during a virtual video meeting. The technology giant introduces this feature when it has been launching a string of features in its push for the top spot.

The increased number of participants in a meeting is a boon for businesses and other organizations, which host large virtual meetings. With the Zoom app, virtual meetings can only accommodate a maximum of 100 participants. To increase the number of attendees, you need to use an add-on.

The gallery view in Teams enables users to view up to 49 participants during a virtual video call. Microsoft boosted the gallery view feature by adding 40 more people up from nine. The addition is a welcome move for multiple groups like exercise classes, business meetings, and schools.

Benefits of switching to Microsoft Teams

Many users are searching for a viable alternative to Zoom. Microsoft’s introduction of robust new features has enabled the Teams platform to stand out as a strong challenger for Zoom.

Many companies can find it easier to opt for Microsoft Teams because they are already using the tech giant’s other products. As the Teams app’s evolution gains momentum, some analysts from Credit Suisse predict that the platform is more likely to emerge as the greatest threat for Zoom in the long-term.

Experts also highlight Microsoft’s size and profile in the technology sector as its principal advantages. The Teams app also provides easy integration with the tech giant’s productivity suite. Microsoft can launch massive marketing campaigns, thus enabling it to reach potential customers at scale.

Privacy and security features in Teams

Microsoft Teams comes with a wide array of security and privacy controls designed to prevent vulnerabilities to hacking similar to Zoom bombing. These features allow you to monitor and control access to your company’s virtual meetings and sensitive information.

During the meetings, you can add, remove, and appoint both participants and presenters. Privacy controls empower you to regulate access to confidential material used in the presentation. Guest participants from outside your business gain limited access to sensitive details.

Moderation tools allow you to control how attendees post and share information. Microsoft Teams employs artificial intelligence to track conversations to prevent the transmission of inappropriate content or conduct. The app ensures data protection using advanced encryption methods. It complies with more than 90 regulatory guidelines, including FedRAMP, HIPAA, and GDPR.

Notable features in Teams

The platform comes with a sophisticated noise suppression feature to eliminate ambient noise from meetings automatically. Microsoft is planning to add a more advanced real-time noise-canceling feature that uses artificial intelligence. Additionally, Teams will introduce a raise hand feature to enhance convenience during virtual meetings.

Convert a User Mailbox to a Shared Mailbox in Microsoft 365


How to Convert a User Mailbox to a Shared Mailbox in Microsoft 365


After converting your regular mailbox to a shared mailbox in Microsoft 365, you retain all your existing calendars and email. The only difference is that it will be visible to several people. You can convert your shared mailbox back to private in the future. It promotes teamwork and convenience.



Some of the most important things to know when converting from user mailbox to shared mailbox include:


  • The user mailbox you wish to convert must have a license -assigned to it before you can convert it to a shared mailbox. If it does not, you may not find the option to convert it. If you removed the license, add it back first. You can remove it back later.
  • Do not delete your old user’s account as you will need it to anchor your shared mailbox
  • With a shared mailbox, you can enjoy up to 500GB of data without a license. If you want more data, you must have a license assigned.


You can convert regular mailbox to shared mailbox by following these steps:


  1. Find the Admin option after logging in to your Microsoft 365 account
  2. Find the option ‘Active Users’ under the Admin option
  3. Choose the user you wish to convert and click on the option ‘Mail Settings’
  4. Click ‘Convert to shared mailbox.’
  5. Click ‘Convert’ to finish the process


Using the Exchange Admin Center


  1. Find the option ‘Exchange Admin Center
  2. Click on the option ‘Recipients’ and then ‘Mailboxes.’
  3. Find the user mailbox and select ‘Convert’ under ‘Convert to shared mailbox.’
  4. If the mailbox is less than 50GB, remove the license from the user. Stop paying for it, but do not delete your user’s account. If you are converting it for a previous employee, check to ensure that they have no other way of logging in.


Converting the Mailbox of Deleted User


If you wish to convert the mailbox of a deleted user, follow these steps to complete the process:


  1. Restore the deleted account
  2. Ensure that it has an assigned Microsoft 365 license
  3. Reset the password and wait for the mailbox to be created again
  4. Convert it to a shared mailbox and remove the license from the user mailbox
  5. Start adding members


Converting a Shared Mailbox to a Regular Mailbox


You can convert your shared mailbox back to a regular mailbox by following these steps:


  1. Login to your account as admin and find the Microsoft 365 Admin Center
  2. Click ‘Exchange’
  3. Find the options ‘Recipients’ and then ‘Shared’
  4. Click on the shared mailbox
  5. Click ‘Convert’
  6. Click ‘Convert to regular mailbox.’
  7. You will receive a warning message asking for confirmation.
  8. Click ‘Yes’


You must assign a license for the mailbox after conversion. You must also reset the password. The conversion can take a lot of time. When it is done, you will receive a completion message. Click ‘Close.’


After signing into Microsoft 365 again, you will find all the data from your shared mailbox.


In conclusion, Microsoft 365 is great for both regular and shared mailboxes. They all have unique features and benefits. A shared mailbox is an inbox type that allows you and other members of your team to send and receive emails from a similar address. It is a great option for companies that wish to promote teamwork. Since all members can respond to emails in the address, sharing work is easy.

If you wish to switch from user to shared mailbox, you can complete the process in a few simple steps. During the migration process, your data remains secure and integrated.

What Does $150K Ransomware Payment Say About Your Cybersecurity?

$150K Ransomware Payment

A recent news piece published by Tech Republic highlights the discouraging reasons why too many businesses fall prey to hackers and pay ransoms for their digital property. Perhaps nothing adds insult to injury quite like someone burglarizing your organization and then making you pay for their crime.

A recent $150,000 ransom paid in Bitcoin to regain control of one small business’s digital assets reveals why so many cybercrimes go unreported. As staggering as the data breach statistics are, they may just be the tip of the spear. Security journalist Karen Roby conducted a Q&A with an unidentified CFO who made the decision to set aside pride and succumb to a hacker’s demands.

“His company chose not to get authorities involved given the value that was at stake, and the company’s immediate need to gain back control of its network,” Roby reportedly stated. “We’re hoping his first-hand account will help you better understand what these types of ransomware attacks look like and give you an idea of how to better protect your own organization.”

Ransomware Payment

How Do Ransomware Attacks Happen?

Ransomware attacks rank among the more prevalent methods used by digital thieves. The underlying strategy mirrors that of taking someone hostage and demanding payment from loved ones for their safe return.

In these cases, a company’s digital assets are taken hostage by inserting malicious software that effectively gives hackers total control of a network. Email remains the most-used delivery system. When someone in an organization gets tricked into clicking on a link or downloading a file, the ransomware application enters the network and hackers take control of the system and devices.

In order to regain control, cyber-thieves demand payment — typically in Bitcoin — in exchange for a decryption code. Like real-life hostage-taking, paying ransoms does not necessarily ensure the criminals will hold up their end of the bargain. Sometimes ransom-payers never receive the code. Other times, hackers delete systems to wipe away any digital fingerprints.

Why Some Decision-Makers Pay Ransoms

A ZDNet article called “Ransomware attacks: Why and when it makes sense to pay the ransom,” highlights why more businesses pony up rather than contacting the authorities. Written by Larry Dignan, the piece points out that the decision often comes down to cold financial calculations.

“Now paying ransomware is likely to go against conventional wisdom. The practice may also make you throw up in your mouth,” Dignan reportedly states. “However, there are real costs to having your company or city dead in the water for days. Paying ransomware should be viewed as any other business decision.”

In the case of the Tech Republic Q&A, the small business promptly contacted a third-party IT professional to assess the potential fallout of not paying the hacker’s demand. A quick review of the outfit’s digital assets revealed that the cybercriminal did not necessarily have control of what many consider to be the most valuable data. These typically include the following.

  • Banking information
  • Healthcare records
  • Personal identity information such as Social Security numbers
  • Intellectual property files

“The third party that we spoke to that were acting as our agent between us and the hackers. They said, ‘This is strange. You don’t really have anything they can hold over your head other than just stopping your business.’ But we engaged them quickly,” the ransomware victim reportedly said. “Ironically, they worked straight through on a Sunday to help us and by Monday morning we were in full agreement, and they began the conversation with the hacker group to see what we could get done.”

The third-party negotiated the ransom of $400,000 down to $150,000 in what took on the appearance of a corporate contract negotiation. The process revealed that some hackers conduct themselves like ordinary businesspeople. An encryption code was delivered, luckily, and this criminal outfit even offered tech support to the victimized company if they ran into problems getting computers back online.

“Yeah. I mean, if anything has made me laugh about this whole situation is that it’s just the selective morality of, ‘Hey, we know we’ve robbed you of money and your files and held you at our whim, but by the way, we’re here to help 1-800 …’ It’s unbelievable,” the victim reportedly said.

The Tech Republic’s microcosm looks at why organizations pay ransomware demands points out that some are overly reliant on their network. Failure to have a go-to backup system or secure digital assets that can be leveraged leaves industry leaders with a hard choice. Either pay up or sustain even greater financial losses. Bitcoin payouts are the hidden cost of subpar cybersecurity.

What’s the Best Way to Switch IT Managed Service Providers?

The Best Way to Switch IT Managed Service Providers

The COVID-19 lockdowns have naturally changed how many organizations and companies operate. Educational institutions are embracing virtual classes, events that were previously held in person are now fully virtual, and a whopping 98% of employees worked from home to avoid spreading the novel coronavirus. Sadly, not all IT managed service providers were able to keep up with their customers’ needs during this challenging time, leading disaffected business owners to search for new IT managed services that can handle a company’s current and future IT challenges.

While finding a competent IT service is imperative, it’s also vital to know how to change companies without disrupting your current IT operations. The following are some expert tips that can help a company transition to a new IT service safely and smoothly.

Switch First

Don’t tear up your contract with your current IT managed service provider until you find another provider that can take their place. Furthermore, you’ll need your new provider to get to work on your IT set-up right away. Once your new IT service has everything under control, you can pull the plug on your former IT service.

What does this operation entail? Here are some steps you’ll need to take to make sure your business is ready to switch IT managed services:

  • Make sure you have all your login information and administrative access to all your accounts. Any decent IT managed service will provide you with this information even before you ask for it. Sadly, some subpar services try to hold onto your information to force you to continue to work with them.
  • Have your new company do a thorough cybersecurity assessment of your business to ensure there are no back doors that former IT technicians can use to gain access to your valuable company information.
  • Let your staff members know that you will be changing IT managed services by a specific date. Inform them of new protocols that will be put in place once you make the switch.
  • Schedule IT training sessions with your new managed IT service as soon as possible so your staff members can learn how to master new programs and cybersecurity rules quickly and easily.

What Does a Good Managed IT Service Look Like?

Selecting the right IT managed service provider to replace your current IT service is no easy task. Here are some tips that can help you make smart decisions.

  • Make sure the IT managed service is familiar with your industry.
  • Look up reviews online and ask prospective IT managed services to provide references from clients they have worked with in the past.
  • Ask about the pay structure. It should be a fixed monthly price, with allowance to scale services as the need arises.
  • Make sure the IT service can meet not only your current but also future needs.
  • Choose an IT service provider that puts a premium on cybersecurity services. Data breaches are becoming more commonplace than ever, with more than eight billion records exposed in the first quarter of 2020 alone.

Switching IT managed services can be challenging. It shouldn’t be done in a hurry; at the same time, you shouldn’t hesitate to find a new service provider if your current one is unable to meet your present and future needs. Do careful research to ensure your new provider is the best fit for your business and then start the transition process before notifying your current IT company that you will no longer use its services. Doing so will protect your business from disruptions while improving your IT efficiency and security.

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