Here Is Why Windows Virtual Desktop Is Better Than Traditional Virtualization Solutions

Here Is Why Windows Virtual Desktop Is Better Than Traditional Virtualization Solutions

Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) allows your business to leverage either a multi- or single-user Windows 7 or 10 experience. The service also incorporates Office 365 ProPlus. You can count on WVD to help centralize monitoring and management functions. On the other hand, your organization’s system admins can use Azure Cloud to deploy and manage your company’s Windows servers, desktops, and apps.

WVD leverages Microsoft’s enterprise security solutions to maximize data protection. In turn, your organization scales virtualization requirements without worrying about security. The service provides a cost-effective solution, thanks to the subscription pricing model. Additionally, your team enjoys a richer virtualization experience than the Remote Desktop Services (RDS) platform.

Windows Virtual Desktop

Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) Benefits

When it comes to traditional virtualization tools versus Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD), the latter provides several advantages over traditional solutions.

Here are the key benefits of switching to Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD).

Reduces Costs

Migrating your organization’s apps and desktops to Azure using the Windows Virtual Desktop service is a viable way to reduce costs. The service enables savings by improving the utilization of critical, cost-intensive resources. Session-based desktops operating on Azure Virtual Machines are more cost-effective.

Microsoft simplifies licensing by eliminating the need for an additional client access license to use Windows 10 via WVD. Server operating systems typically require additional licenses.

Enhanced Compatibility With Office 365

By switching to Azure via Windows Virtual Desktop, your organization benefits from a comprehensive array of cloud-based applications and resources. The best part is that WVD ensures improved integration with wide-ranging Office 365 products. Enhanced compatibility helps improve overall performance in virtual desktop environments.

The boost in performance also applies to additional apps that need reduced latency. Graphics processing capability allows graphics-intensive apps to function optimally in the virtual desktop environment.

Improved Flexibility

Cloud-based solutions like Windows Virtual Desktop simplifies various tasks for end-users and IT staff. Teams benefit from improved flexibility by conveniently accessing the business apps and desktops from any device, browser, or location. Office 365 applications integrate seamlessly with the service, enriching the user experience.

On the other hand, migrating to the cloud reduces IT staff’s workload as they no longer spend increased time managing local networks and physical machines. WVD also makes desktop applications easier to manage, thanks to Windows 7 and 10. Thus, Tech experts create personal and persistent desktops using desktop images.

WVD enhances scalability and flexibility by storing apps and user profiles in different containers.

Persistent and Non-Persistent Desktop Virtualization

With Windows Virtual Desktop, you can take advantage of support for persistent and non-persistent states. The service also supports multi-session and dedicated modes. In addition, users enjoy application and full desktop virtualization experiences.

Stateful VDI or persistent virtual desktop infrastructure allows individual users to operate a dedicated virtual desktop with personalized settings. This state benefits users due to the consistency of custom settings and desktop functionality. In turn, your team members adapt to the virtual desktop environment faster.

However, persistent VDIs are storage-intensive due to the extensive customization and sophisticated desktop image management. It simplifies image management using a centralized portal.

When it comes to non-persistent virtual desktop infrastructure, the system deletes user settings and data at the end of each session. As such, all new sessions deploy a new desktop image. This state minimizes the storage requirements and simplifies image management. You can opt for the non-persistent VDI if you need advanced security and want to reduce storage requirements.

Both persistent and non-persistent VDIs provide a more user-friendly experience. Non-persistent systems rely on FSLogix technology to mimic the user-friendliness of persistent VDIs. Additionally, you can count on non-persistent VDIs to link user profiles to specific computing environments. It attaches the profiles dynamically.

Windows Virtual Desktop Use Cases

With WVD, you find it easier to comply with regulatory requirements and standardize operations. Furthermore, the service allows you to boost workforce flexibility and handle specialized workloads more efficiently. A wide selection of businesses rely on Azure WVD to enhance their remote and office-based teams’ operations.

Windows Virtual Desktop provides a unified solution capable of serving the needs of call center staff, organizations with BYOD policies, and remote staff. The service ensures flexibility by allowing the workforce to use different types of devices. It also helps companies in highly regulated sectors, such as finance and healthcare, meet specific compliance requirements.

Transfer or Backup Google Authenticator in Few Easy Steps

Transfer or Backup Google Authenticator in Few Easy Steps

Two-factor authentication (2FA) plays a critical role in mitigating cybersecurity risks posed by bad actors. This method bolsters access controls by requiring a two-step identity verification when signing into applications. Google Authenticator simplifies this process by enabling users to verify their identity using a smartphone.

When switching to a new phone, you need to transfer the keys. The app maximizes security by ensuring that keys are specific to one device. On the other hand, it does not come with a backup function. By doing so, Google mitigates the risk of cybercriminals gaining unauthorized access to the codes.

However, the lack of a backup function can create significant issues when your smartphone gets broken or lost. With the Google Authenticator app empty, you cannot access specific websites or apps using the two-factor authentication.

 

Backup Options

Thankfully, you can still take advantage of alternative backup options. Here are viable ways to backup Google Authenticator codes.

Write Down the Code

One practical way to backup the code without compromising security is by writing it on a piece of paper. This method eliminates the need for a printer or another mobile device. On the downside, this approach is nonviable on websites that only show the QR code.

Take a Screenshot

Taking a screenshot is another backup option that allows you to store the code on a separate device. This approach makes it easier to re-enter or rescan the code when visiting specific websites that require two-factor authentication.

This method’s advantage is that it is quick and easy, but hackers may still find and compromise the file on your computer. To store the Google Authenticator code securely, consider moving the file to a USB stick.

Backup Code Using a Separate Device

If you have an extra phone, use it to store the code by either scanning or manually entering the QR code. The additional mobile device can be your old phone, your partner’s smartphone, or a work device. This option allows you to backup the codes easily. However, if you backup using a device that you regularly carry while on the go, it is possible to lose both phones resulting in a problem.

Transferring Google Authenticator to a New Phone

To transfer Google Authenticator easily and conveniently, take advantage of the app’s transfer tool. For this process to work seamlessly, ensure that the source and target devices have the latest Authenticator version.

Start the process by tapping the menu icon on the source smartphone before selecting Export accounts and entering the PIN code. Once you verified your identity with the PIN code, select the accounts you intend to transfer and tap Next.

On your target device, open Google Authenticator and tap Get Started before selecting Import existing accounts. You can find this section at the bottom of the screen.

Proceed to the next step by selecting Scan QR code. If the source device has multiple codes that require scanning, simply follow the prompts to complete the transfer process. The system confirms all successful transfers.

If you transfer Google Authenticator from an iPhone, you need to complete additional steps to move the codes successfully.

Transferring Codes Without the Google Authenticator Transfer Tool

In the event that the transfer tool fails to move the accounts, you can resort to the traditional method. This approach entails transferring Authenticator manually by moving accounts one by one.

For this process to work, you should install the application on your new device. Sign in to your Google account via the multi-factor authentication website. You must visit the site using a desktop device. Once you have logged into the account, grab both your mobile phones to begin the transfer process.

In the Authenticator app section, select the Change phone option before entering the type of mobile phone. After that, follow the prompts. Once you complete this stage, scan the code on Google’s authentication website via the application. Verify that the transfer worked correctly by entering the six-digit code. If everything goes well, the codes on the source mobile device become invalid.

You should repeat the same process with all accounts that use Google Authenticator, such as Amazon, Apple, and Facebook. Avoid removing the app from the source smartphone until you have transferred all accounts to the new device. Deleting the Authenticator application before completing all transfers can result in getting locked out of the remaining accounts.

How to Onboard Remote Employees More Efficiently

How to Onboard Remote Employees More Efficiently

As more companies switch to remote work, employers need to embrace the best onboarding practices to enhance new hires’ experience. Alignment involves updating various tools and processes to ensure seamless onboarding. Additionally, organizations are working tirelessly to leverage productivity hacks for remote teams.

Onboarding new employees remotely change the entire experience for both sides. Hence, the company’s approach to onboarding new hires makes a significant difference. A recent Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) survey in the US revealed that more than 30 percent of managers found coaching and onboarding new employees more challenging since that pandemic started.

This reality compels companies to adopt viable policies and approaches to resolve remote onboarding challenges. Resolving these issues is critical, given that the remote work trend will continue into the foreseeable future.

On the other hand, streamlining the remote onboarding process comes with significant benefits. These advantages include reducing training or coaching time and increased retention rates. New hires are more likely to stay on the job if the onboarding process helps them understand roles and responsibilities. Well-planned remote onboarding enables new team members to build a connection with colleagues.

Remote Staff Onboarding

Remote Onboarding Best Practices

Onboarding remote employees involve a relatively different process than the traditional procedure. When handled appropriately, the virtual process helps new employees feel a sense of belonging. Thus, schedule several virtual meetings to ensure effective communication. Interactive seminars and training courses help familiarize themselves with organizational processes.

Here are the best practices to onboard remote workers more effectively.

Invest in the Right Technology

The first step to ensuring a smooth onboarding process is to invest in the right technologies, such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom. These tools provide a reliable and secure connection when conducting training and interactive seminars. They provide chat and video meeting functionality to suit your organization’s needs. However, you should ensure that the new hires know how to use these communication tools.

Set Onboarding Goals

Unlike in-person onboarding processes, virtual introductions require more than just a warm welcome. You need to create a comprehensive list of objectives and procedures to enhance the new employee’s experience. Onboarding virtually may make some individuals feel uncomfortable asking questions. Thus, share the onboarding plan before the scheduled video call. In doing so, you ensure that the new team member knows what to expect.

One of the best ways to prepare for the sessions is to compile a detailed checklist of tasks and objectives. For instance, you can plan to complete human resources paperwork, set up Microsoft Teams accounts, and liaise with relevant stakeholders by the end of day one. You can also target to conduct security training and help the new employee get a feel of various tools by the end of the first week.

Host Virtual Introductions

Hosting a meeting between new hires and the rest of the team helps new members feel welcome and break feelings of isolation. Scheduling the video calls allows you to explain the team structure and generate enthusiasm. In the end, the entire team gets a sense of shared goals.

Help the new staff members remember people’s names easily by providing resources to refresh their memory. One way is to present them with a document listing the team members’ names (including photos), contact details, and position in the company. The document can also outline the organizational structure. Update the resource regularly to ensure accuracy.

Meeting people via video call makes it difficult to remember the names of team members. The process can be overwhelming.

Integrate Company Traditions Into the Onboarding Process

If your company has longstanding traditions that enrich the onboarding process, find ways to integrate them into interactive seminars and virtual training sessions. For instance, you can give new hires gift cards to local eateries if your company provides complimentary lunches on specific days. Likewise, you can host happy hours via video conferencing platforms like Microsoft Teams.

Assess Employees’ Feedback

Once the new hires complete the onboarding process, ask them for feedback. You can achieve this objective by asking the new team members to complete a short survey. In the survey, they can highlight likes and dislikes about various aspects of the onboarding procedures. In addition, encourage the employees to share ideas on how to improve remote onboarding.

Schedule Ongoing Check-Ins

Regularly checking in with the new staff members allows you to identify any issues and resolve them. Doing so ensures that the new hires feel connected to the onboarding process. Also, pair new team members with carefully selected mentors. This approach allows the new remote staff to avoid feeling isolated.

How To Have a Successful Zoom Call

How To Have a Successful Zoom Call

When the world went into lockdown, it effectively shut down business for a little while. In the legal world, however, you can’t just stop. This led to law firms and courts using Zoom to conduct hearings and trials. Naturally, this caused some issues. If you are not comfortable with Zoom, you run the risk of making a fool of yourself unintentionally. Follow this guide to ensure your Zoom meeting goes off without a hitch.

Successful Zoom Calls

Familiarize Yourself

The more you know about a product, the easier it is to use. This is true with Zoom. If you know you will have to do Zoom calls, you need to understand how to use the program. You DO NOT want to wait until the last minute and try to figure everything out. Zoom offers free, unlimited 45-minute sessions, so it is easy to go in to explore the options.

Audio and Video

When you are participating in a Zoom call, it is essential that you know how to turn your microphone on and off. When you turn on Zoom, it will prompt you to turn your volume on. You can turn it off by clicking on mute in the lower left-hand corner.

You will want to be muted whenever you are not talking, so any background noises you have are not disturbing the meeting. You will also want to make sure that you remember to unmute yourself every time you go to talk. A trick is to hold the spacebar down if you will only be speaking for a brief period.

You also want to be aware of how to turn the video on and off. When you enter the meeting, you will want your video to be on, and generally, it will stay on the entire time. However, if something comes up, and you don’t want your background showing for whatever reason, you can turn off your video by clicking stop video.

Background

Zoom has a background feature, and you can set virtually any image as your background. You can choose something as simple as a colored background, select an image on your device, or download premade zoom backgrounds and upload them.

You can set your background ahead of time by going into your zoom settings and selecting virtual background. You can also do it when you are in the meeting. If you click on the video arrow, you can choose the background and select an image there.

Sharing Screen

Depending on the settings of the person hosting the Zoom, you may have the ability to share your screen. You will want to try this out because you have to have the window you are trying to share actively open in order to share it. Otherwise, when you click on Screen Share, you won’t have access to that tab.

Screen share also has a whiteboard function. So you can essentially share a whiteboard and either write or type information on it. It will then display on everyone else’s screens who are in the Zoom.

Finally, you can also share multiple screens at the same time via the screen share option.

Waiting Room

If you are hosting a zoom, you will want to enable a waiting room. This means that anyone who enters your zoom link will be placed in a virtual waiting room and cannot enter until you allow them to. This is helpful because it allows you to control who does and does not enter the Zoom. It is common for people to try to “Zoom Bomb” meetings and do inappropriate things. With the waiting room, you can only let in people you know are supposed to be there.

Personal Meeting Room

If you will be hosting a lot of Zoom calls, you should set up a Personal Meeting Room. This is your own private zoom, and you can call it whatever you want. It starts with https://zoom.us/my/, and then you fill in how you want it to end. You will want to keep it simple, so people can easily remember it. Whenever you need to host a meeting, you open up your Zoom application and click start, and it will begin the Zoom. You can then let in anyone trying to access the Zoom.

Touch-Up

If you look exhausted or have poor lighting, you can use the touch-up feature to provide a soft-focus on your screen. This helps you look professional and polished in very little time. To access this feature, go to Zoom settings and then click video, and finally select touch-up my appearance.

Filters

Zoom does have a variety of filters you can use during your video call. To access them while in Zoom, click on the arrow next to the video icon and select filters. You can select any filter that is listed there. To turn the filter off, go back into the same area and click on none under filters.

Practice

Once you have played around with Zoom’s different features, set up a practice Zoom call with someone. It really does not matter who. Go through the different Zoom features while you are on the call, and make sure you know how to turn everything on AND off.

Zoom Master

It’s also a good idea to have someone in the company be a Zoom Master. This means they know Zoom inside and out, and if you are having any issues, you can call them to save the day. Make sure this person is always available during any Zoom calls, so you aren’t frantically trying to find someone to fix your issue.

If someone in your company isn’t willing to do this, reach out to your IT department and have them explain everything to you to make sure you have a thorough understanding of how everything works. If your IT department doesn’t do this for you, reach out to us, and we will be happy to help.

We want to help you with your technology needs. Contact us today to see how we can help.

Inclusive Work Environment Is Vital for Digital Transformation

Inclusive Work Environment Is Vital for Digital Transformation

As an ever-increasing number of companies implement a digital transformation, decision-makers need to adopt viable ways to transition successfully. Creating an inclusive work environment is undoubtedly one of the best ways to achieve this objective. Many organizations find it easier to create the workplace of the future by embracing diversity.

In doing so, they create a people-centric, inclusive work environment that leverages digital solutions to supercharge efficiency and productivity. The best part is that such an environment is more likely to attract the best talent in various fields.

IT experts recommend keeping things simple and implementing changes incrementally. Critical aspects like employee well-being and mental health also play an integral role in bolstering inclusivity. This aspect is vital for remote work because many workers often feel stressed and grapple with concentration and motivation challenges.

Thus, managers and executives need to foster a workplace rooted in flexibility and empathy. Successful transitions require executives to adopt bold measures capable of driving meaningful change.

Digital Transformation

Inclusion as a Top Business Priority

Although many companies stepped up diversity and inclusion efforts, there is still considerable room for improvement. According to a recent diversity report, approximately three percent of Fortune 500 companies release diversity information. This figure shows that many organizations express interest in boosting inclusion and diversity, but progress is sluggish.

To implement meaningful changes, organizations should put in considerable effort. A diverse workforce enables companies to solve problems more effectively and enhance innovation.

Your organization should reinvent its talent pool by examining future staffing requirements from a digital transformation perspective. The future requires a more diverse workforce capable of handling challenges more dynamically. Pick a team that is ready to handle the current and future digital trends. Team members should bring considerable digital competencies.

Long-term success depends on strategies that enable your company to attract the right talent steeped in digital transformation. The new talent can help existing staff embrace digital transformation while transferring critical skills. Agile talent plays an essential role in preparing your organization for the future.

The Role of CIOs and HR Managers

Chief information officers and human resources managers play a pivotal role in implementing diversity and digital transformation plans. This dynamic duo needs to work closely to ensure that employee engagement, culture, and the work environment leverage technology.

Diversity and inclusion strategies share similarities with gamification, which empowers businesses to attract and retain highly skilled professionals. Human resources departments play a vital role in implementing gamification by embracing technology. This approach is also critical when it comes to digital transformation and diversity.

Hiring digitally inclined, diverse team members is more important than just following a trend. It represents a cultural shift capable of propelling your business to long-term success. Many business leaders, including CIOs and HR managers, boost their reputation by implementing successful diversity and digital transformation policies. The cultural revolution leads to improved operating efficiency, increased productivity, and higher profits.

To achieve overall success, you need to formulate viable plans. Furthermore, it is vital to outline timelines and milestones to help your team gauge the plan’s effectiveness.

Business Cases vs. Cultural Revolution

Many organizations grapple with the idea of justifying digital transformation and diversity initiatives based on specific business cases. In the end, some businesses struggle to make progress while trying to identify business cases. Thus, the process becomes a waste of time. Experts recommend skipping the business case and focus on the cultural evolution.

Understanding the role of diversity and inclusion in overall business success helps decision-makers concentrate on the ultimate prize. Digital transformation and an inclusive work environment represent the future of work. Your team does not need to make a business case since complex organizational structures and communication systems drive today’s corporate ecosystem.

Companies gain useful insights by tapping into analytics powered by augmented reality and artificial intelligence. Companies should focus on embracing this reality without making a business case. Digital transformation encompasses various aspects of customers’ and the workforce’s activities. On the other hand, transformation requires the support of a diverse workforce capable of making meaningful contributions.

Once you consider these two aspects, your team has proven a business case. Thus, eliminating the need to spend time deliberating the topic. Experts recommend getting on board or risk missing out on a significant opportunity for your company. Additionally, assess the downsides of diversity parity and the benefits of a digitally connected work environment.

Also, consider how the entire workforce and customers benefit from the initiative. The right decision does not depend on information in spreadsheets and presentations. Focus on the human aspects.

Has Your Organization Been Breached By Solar Winds Malware?

Has Your Organization Been Breached By Solarwinds Malware?

Although mainstream media coverage of the massive Solarwinds hack seems to indicate the danger is over, the sophisticated hackers may still be hiding in plain sight.

Microsoft recently uncovered at least three strands of malware deployed by the alleged Russian hackers. This new revelation raises alarms across industries that the Solarwinds attacks may not be over. The question business professionals need to be answered is whether their network has been breached and if cybercriminals are actively copying and selling digital assets on the dark web.

Has Your Organization Been Breached By Solar Winds Malware?

What Is The Solar Winds Hack?

Highly skilled cybercriminals reportedly penetrated a Solarwinds system known as “Orion.” These stealth hackers managed to insert malicious code into its software products that were inadvertently dispersed to the outfit’s 33,000 customers in the form of updates.

This code created secret backdoors that allow digital thieves and spies to infiltrate wide-reaching networks, including government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and Treasury Department, among others. The so-called Solarwinds attacks were not limited to government targets. Malicious code has been identified in private sector organizations, and the full breadth of the cyberattacks remains unknown.

So pervasive and potentially destructive is the Solarwinds attack that congress held hearings to get a handle on its business and national security implications. Under intense questioning by lawmakers, an official from the Solarwinds reportedly blamed the breach on an intern who ignored the corporation’s cybersecurity protocols. According to news reports, the intern used the weak password “solarwinds123” and posted it online. Cybersecurity experts attribute upwards of 95 percent of breaches to human error.

Who Has Been Impacted By The Solarwinds Attacks?

To say the attacks blindsided private businesses and government agencies would be something of an understatement. Government-vetted firms such as FireEye were compromised due to the sophisticated methods used to hide the malicious code in software updates. The widespread embarrassment from organizations previously considered among the most secure has led many to believe critical information continues to be withheld. Much of the information released about the devastating breaches fails to identify the organizations that have been breached.

On the one hand, working with Solarwinds as a vendor or customer does not necessarily mean that an organization suffered a breach. But by that same token, the supply chain nature of the cyber-attack suggests that outfits outside direct Orion software users could be infected right now. That’s largely because congressional hearings and investigative reports indicate the hackers possess heightened skills, appear well-funded, and demonstrate a determination to hide in networks as long as possible to pilfer off digital assets and valuable personal data. Solarwinds appears to be an ongoing cybersecurity nightmare that should worry industry leaders.

How To Know If You Suffer A Solarwinds Breach?

As Microsoft and others continue to ferret out malicious strands of code, cybersecurity responses are being developed. Industry leaders who are concerned their organization may have been compromised enjoy access to open-sourced CodeQL queries. These are being rolled out by Microsoft to investigate incidents of Solarwinds Orion Malware laying hidden in networks.

Microsoft offers concerned parties free access to its cybersecurity software that was crafted to hunt down this malware. Decision-makers would also be wise to take the following proactive measures to ensure the integrity of their digital assets.

  • Enforce Strong Password Policies
  • Use Multi-Factor Authentication For Employee Login
  • Backup Data To Cloud & Offline Resources
  • Monitor Third-Party Controls & Interactions
  • Develop A Company-Wide Cybersecurity Policy
  • Require Employees To Undergo Cybersecurity Awareness Training
  • Maintain Enterprise-Level Firewalls & Virtual Private Networks

The Solarwinds attack highlights how clever, well-financed hackers can infiltrate seemingly impenetrable defenses such as the Department of Homeland Security. That’s why it’s essential for organizations to harden their cybersecurity defenses and deter emerging threats. However, the average business with even sound cybersecurity protections in place was no match for these Russian hackers. If you are concerned your network has been compromised through the Solawinds supply chain or by other threat actors, contact a cybersecurity expert and have your system analyzed and penetration tested.

Can You Automatically Record Microsoft Teams Meetings?

Can You Automatically Record Microsoft Teams Meetings?

 

If you’ve ever been annoyed by the fact that every time you start a new meeting with Microsoft Teams, you have to manually enable the program to record the meeting for later use, you’re not alone.

 

A quick Google search will show you that this question — and the frustration that goes along with it —is all over the Internet. Moreover, with Microsoft Teams being used more now than ever before because of COVID-19, the issue has become even more pressing.

 

The truth is most people who use Microsoft Teams want to be able to automatically record their meetings, and why wouldn’t they? Recorded meetings can be used for follow-up studying when teaching virtual classes, and they’re often needed for legal reasons in order to ensure industry compliance. Plus, some people just like to have their recorded meetings on file in case they need to go back and revisit a topic or concern that was already discussed.

 

So, let’s get to the question at hand: Can you automatically record Microsoft Teams meetings?

 

Well, you’re probably not going to like the answer we have for you.

 

If you’re looking for a way to automatically record Microsoft Teams meetings, you are unfortunately out of luck. Alternatively, you’re simply going to have to wait because this feature doesn’t currently exist.

 

 

Why Can’t You Automatically Record Microsoft Teams Meetings?

 

This is a question we can’t quite answer, but if you do ever find out the reason why Microsoft Teams has not allowed users to automatically record meetings, please let us know.

Otherwise, you’ll have to ask Microsoft and their engineers about it.

 

Manual Meeting Recording: The Struggle Is Real

 

Naturally, the fact that you can’t automatically record Microsoft Teams meetings is a problem for many people. Even though recording is still an option if you do it manually, it’s easy to forget to set this feature up before starting the meeting. When this happens, you’re completely out of luck. Indeed, there’s no way to go back in time and record a meeting that’s already happened.

 

The Internet at large is frustrated with this. Any company or individual user who uses Microsoft Teams on a regular basis has probably wondered about this feature. Many of these individuals and employees have voiced their concerns on Reddit and Microsoft Teams forums. You can find lengthy back-and-forths between everyone from tech experts and software engineers, to professionals and laypeople — all trying to figure out the best way to code in this feature or use a third-party program that will enable the automatic recording.

 

What Should You Do if You’re Frustrated by Teams’ Lack of Automatic Recording?

 

For many, the only alternative is to use a different video conferencing program like Zoom.

 

Zoom came on the scene relatively quickly after COVID-19 caused basically everyone to start working and video conferencing from home. Many people like its easy-to-use interface and modern features — one of which is the ability to automatically record meetings.

 

You can go into the settings on Zoom and predestine all video conferences, meetings, classes, and sessions to be recorded. Alternatively, you can choose only certain types of meetings, conferences, etc. to be recorded.

 

If you like Microsoft Teams, however, or if your company or organization uses Microsoft Teams and doesn’t want to change, there’s really nothing to be done right now. You simply have to wait for Microsoft to catch up and add this feature to the program. A few commenters have hinted that there’s talk of adding the auto-record feature at Microsoft. Unfortunately, nothing firm or official has been released as of now.

 

For most of us, therefore, we’ll probably just continue to leave sticky notes on our screens that read “don’t forget to record the meeting!” Until the next update … fingers crossed!

SOC 2 Type 1 vs. Type 2: Here Is What You Need To Know?

SOC 2 Type 1 vs. Type 2: Here Is What You Need To Know?

Cybersecurity continues to occupy a prominent spot in companies’ priority lists. As such, companies commit substantial amounts of money to bolster cyber defenses. Norton’s 2019 data breach report revealed that bad actors breached 4.1 billion records in the first half of the year.

Breaches can lead to significant reputational damage and financial losses. Hence, information security is a critical concern for organizations irrespective of whether they outsource IT functions or handle them internally. Thankfully, organizations can mitigate the risks by hiring service providers with a SOC 2 Type 1 and Type 2 report.

Organizations need to understand the differences between SOC 2 Type 1 and Type 2.

SOC 2 Compliance

What is SOC 2?

Service organization control (SOC) 2 reports come in two types: Type 1 and 2. They form part of an auditing framework, which helps maximize data protection by ensuring that third-party service providers adhere to standard practices when handling clients’ sensitive information. Many organizations have a mandatory requirement for reports when hiring service providers. This approach safeguards data privacy and security.

What is SOC 2 Type 1?

A Type 1 report covers the relevance of design controls and a description of a service provider’s approach. On the other hand, the Type 2 report focuses on the effectiveness of a service organization’s controls.

One of the key aspects of Type 1 is that it considers the specifics of an approach or system based on a particular timeline. The auditor presents a detailed report ‘as of’ date after reviewing relevant documentation. Software as a service (SaaS) firms need to prove that they implement best practices.

In turn, the report confirms proof of compliance to the auditing process set out by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Service organizations derive a wide selection of benefits from obtaining the report. For instance, SaaS companies gain a competitive edge, and the report assures potential clients that the firm complies with AICPA procedures.

Small and large organizations need assurances that a service provider keeps their data safe. Working with a SOC 2-compliant vendor bolsters confidence, particularly for organizations handling sensitive customers’ financial or medical information. It is no surprise that there is an ever-increasing demand for SOC 2 Type 1 reports.

Service providers receive the report immediately after completing a readiness assessment. In contrast, the process of obtaining SOC 2 Type 1 reports takes up to 12 months.

What is SOC 2 Type 2?

Type 2 reports provide superior assurance regarding the compliance of service organizations.

Vendors undergo a comprehensive assessment than with SOC 2 Type 1. AICPA procedures for Type 2 cover a service provider’s internal control practices and policies.

Thus, vendors showcase the highest compliance level when it comes to data security and control systems. SOC 2 Type 2 compliance makes it easier for SaaS firms to work with larger corporations. Vendors adhere to the best practices regarding processing integrity, availability, data privacy, and security.

Although obtaining these reports can be time-consuming and relatively pricey, service providers can stand out from the competition.

Key differences between SOC 2 Type 1 vs. Type 2

The most obvious difference between the two reports is the duration of the assessment process. While Type 1 audits cover controls for a specific date, Type 2 audits encompass an extended period ranging between six and 12 months. The latter assesses operating effectiveness for the specified period.

Type 1 audits concentrate on the design effectiveness of a service provider’s controls. Additionally, auditors assess the applicability of the vendor’s internal controls. These measures should be sufficient to achieve specific objectives.

Vendors need to commit more time, effort, and resources to obtain the Type 2 report compared to Type 1. On the upside, the extra effort can prove worthwhile on the market. Companies are happy to work with vendors that take data security and privacy seriously. Likewise, insurance firms, partners, and other stakeholders can also find this approach appealing.

Closing Thoughts

In a nutshell, the two audits cover procedures and controls implemented by service providers to ensure data security and privacy. When it comes to differences, coverage timeline is the main factor that distinguishes one from the other. Although service organizations can skip Type 1 audits and start with Type 2, experts recommend going through Type 1 as the starting point.

Attempting to obtain the SOC 2 Type 2 without undergoing Type 1 can prove complicated. During the assessment process, your team will likely struggle to showcase controls and policies while demonstrating that the controls have been functioning effectively for a minimum of six months.

Undergoing the Type 1 audit undoubtedly prepares your team for the Type 2 audit. You get a feel of how the SOC assessment process works. It becomes easier to identify areas that require improvement. In addition, you can establish control objectives.

The Need for Your Business to Set Up Network Security Is Urgent

The Need for Your Business to Set Up Network Security Is Urgent

In the early 20th century, if a crook wanted money, they’d rob a bank or steal a woman’s purse on the street. Real masterminds might devise an elaborate heist to hold up a Brink’s truck or befriend a millionaire, then make off with their riches.

Today, these crooks look much different. That’s because an increasing number of them are not out on the street taking gold, jewelry, and cash. They’re sitting behind desks, somewhere in an unknown room where they will probably never be found, hacking your data.

Why data?

If you didn’t realize it already, data is now one of the most — if not the most — valuable commodities on earth. And if you’re not protecting yours, you’re making yourself and your business a huge target for cybercriminals.

Network Security Assessment

“Since when does every business need network security?”

Businesses, small and large, ask this question a lot.

“Since when do we have to have all this network security? I’m trying to run a business here. Why is everyone telling me to focus my attention on firewalls, data loss protection, adware, ransomware, phishing scams, etc.?”

We get it.

To help orient yourself to the critical importance of network security, however, you need to think of it this way: Say you own a jewelry store — a brick-and-mortar jewelry store. Are you going to pay attention to security? Are you going to invest in security cameras and highly durable doors, windows, and locks? Are you going to have a robust alarm system? Perhaps even a security guard on standby to investigate possible burglaries?

Of course, you are.

Well, the same preventive and recovery protocols need to be arranged for any business that deals either publicly or privately on the Internet.

Certainly, there was a “Wild West” phase of the Internet where cybercriminals hadn’t quite mastered their own art of hacking systems and stealing or corrupting data.

That phase is over.

Now, if you don’t have “locks on your doors and windows,” so to speak, you’re a sitting duck for a host of security issues that could bring your business to the ground.

“But my business is small/mostly offline/not in a typically lucrative industry. Do I still need network security then?”

Yes. Absolutely.

All businesses — no matter the industry or size — should have robust network security to protect their valuable IT data and network systems.

One thing to remember is that network security isn’t just to prevent hackers from stealing or corrupting your data. This is certainly a big issue that you want to prevent. However, network security also ensures business continuity.

Say, for example, a cybercriminal is able to hack your system but doesn’t obtain your data. That’s great, but they may have upended your network or impacted your ability to access your data for a time, which can severely impact your business productivity. Network security solutions incorporate data storage and critical backups that can be used if you lose access. These are crucial if you are ever hacked, but they are also useful if, for example, a technical problem crashes your system or a huge storm upsets your ability to access your network.

“What else can network security solutions do?”

Network security solutions can also improve your business’s performance. Managed service providers who know their industry inside and out have the best technologies at their disposal. Ideally, they also know your industry inside and out, so they can make recommendations on the best tools to enhance your productivity and ultimately, your profitability.

Finally, if you are in an industry that requires network security compliance (for example, if you are in possession of medical patient data or personal financial information), you already know that you need to abide by specific regulations in order to ensure personal privacy and data protection. Your managed service provider can help you establish compliance as well.

“Where should I go for the best network security solutions?”

It’s always good to look for a managed service provider in your specific industry. They’ll have experience with similar companies and be able to recommend the best technologies and security solutions for you and your company.