Daryl Daniels, Author at HCS
Reduce the Risk of Cyber Threats in the Workplace

Reduce the Risk of Cyber Threats in the Workplace

Cybersecurity in the workplace should be a priority for everyone within a business. However, no matter how many security protocols and guidelines a business has implemented to avoid cyber threats, unless your team are actively engaged with them your business could still be at risk. The safest and most secure work environments occur when team members are actively engaged with the business’ security efforts. There are simple steps your business can take to ensure your employees and customers are protected from cyber threats and privacy breaches. To learn more, see below!

1.Enforce a Password Policy

Team members should be encouraged to change their passwords multiple times throughout the year. This ensures that passwords are kept up to date and reduces the risk of a breach. These passwords should have a required level of complexity with varying characters to reduce the risk of hackers accessing data through your team member’s accounts.

Multi Factor Authentication

2.Embrace Multi-Factor Authentication

Strengthen your employee’s accounts by embracing multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA adds an extra layer of security by combining two or more independent credentials. Compromising multiple authentication factors poses a unique problem for cybercriminals as even if a password is stolen it is useless without the other verification methods.

3.Learn to recognise Phishing Emails

Data breaches linked to phishing emails are increasing as the frequency of phishing emails has risen in recent times. Employees should be given security training that helps them recognise a phishing email when it is received. There are quick ways to recognise these emails, such as, spelling or grammatical errors, team members should confirm and validate the sender’s email address and then ask themselves “is this email relevant to me?”. If anything seems suspicious, stay cautious and delete the email.

4.Think before you Click

Your employees should always confirm that a hyperlink is safe prior to clicking it. Many cybercrimes that use hyperlinks often use tricks to get individuals to follow a link, like subtly misspelling the original website, asking for compensation, these links can also be an extended or shortened link. To be sure that a hyperlink is safe you should hover over the suspicious link and see where the URL will direct you to. If the address is to a different website, this could be a cyber threat.

5.Train your team

Employees should be continuously trained in cybersecurity, not only will this educate them on the latest cyber threats that are emerging, but it will also help to keep security at the top of their minds. Our Cyber Security Awareness Training can help your team spot potential cyber threats and maintain security within your business.

While all team members should strive to do their best to understand and implement cybersecurity protocols in the workplace, it is essential that managers and businesses ensure their team have the training that is needed to reduce the risk of cyber threats and data breaches. Contact our team today to learn more about how we can help your business become more secure!

5 Ways Microsoft Azure Can Benefit Your Business

5 Ways Microsoft Azure Can Benefit Your Business

Despite more and more businesses embracing cloud computing, some businesses still have concerns about moving to the cloud. Generally, worries about network security, downtime, etc can often cause businesses to continue to work with their existing and often outdated technology instead of using a reliable cloud service.

What is Microsoft Azure?

Microsoft Azure is an industry leading, cloud-based technology that provides full and hybrid based cloud solutions for businesses of varying sizes. As Azure is Microsoft’s cloud platform, its primary focus is building, deploying and managing services and applications, anywhere and at any time. At its core, Microsoft Azure is a Backup-As-A-Service solution, this gives businesses the tools they need to backup essential data with customisation for specific situations. Azure can protect data from your SharePoint, Exchange, SQL servers and your local files and folders. This data is stored remotely and can be accessed anytime it is needed.

Benefits of Microsoft Azure

1.Mobility

When your business’ applications are hosted in the cloud, you can enable remote and mobile access for your employees. This allows them to access applications anywhere and at any time.

2.Disaster Recovery

Every business should have a disaster recovery plan, ensuring that essential data can be recovered if lost. Microsoft Azure’s high speed, global infrastructure can create countless options for data recovery plans. Downtime is equal to lost business, however, downtime may also cause reputational damage as customers are hesitant to purchase products or services from a business they view as unreliable. Utilising Microsoft Azure’s backup options, your business can ensure continuous service, even when a disaster strikes.

3.Compliance

Microsoft aims to ensure that every effort is made to ensure that the data that is stored in the cloud is protected. Azure is built with the privacy and security needs of businesses at its forefront. Microsoft provides the most comprehensive set of compliance offerings when compared to other cloud providers. This makes Microsoft Azure the ideal cloud solution for all businesses, in particular, those who regularly work with sensitive data.

4.Gather Insights From Data

Microsoft Azure provides businesses with managed SQL and NoSQL data services and built-in support to gather insights from data. Leverage the power of your SQL Server in the cloud and use HDInsight to build Hadoop clusters to analyse data.

5.Microsoft Azure is Secure

Businesses who are not familiar with cloud security often worry that moving sensitive data and applications off-site may compromise their data protection. However, Microsoft’s worldwide data centres are designed to ensure data is protected. Microsoft Azure offers businesses a managed and monitored infrastructure, with off-site backups, along with a variety of security measures, such as; patch management, security monitoring and cryptographic protection messages.

Embrace Flexibility

In our experience in working with customers, we understand that sometimes an “all or nothing” service isn’t always practical. Your business may need or want to run certain applications on-site while others are moved to the cloud. This is where Microsoft Azure stands out from other cloud solutions in the market. Microsoft Azure offers a consistent platform that applies to servers that are running on-site, virtualised work-loads, off-site backups and information that is moved to the cloud.

Whether your business requires a hybrid approach or an “all-in” option, our team can help you find the perfect Microsoft Azure solution for your business! To get the most out of Microsoft Azure and to learn how your business could benefit from a Microsoft Azure migration, contact us today!

Turn Data into Insights using Microsoft Power BI

Turn Data into Insights using Microsoft Power BI

Do you have a new dataset and not quite sure where to start? Need to build a dashboard quickly? Want to review insights that you may have missed? Power BI allows you to quickly create insights and generate interesting interactive visualisations based on your data. Quick insights can be run on an entire dataset (quick insights) or on a specific dashboard tile (scoped insights). You can also run insights on an insight!

NOTE: Insights do not work with DirectQuery – it only works with data uploaded to Power BI.

Run Quick Insights On A Dataset

1.From the Datasets tab, select the ellipses (…) and choose Get Insights.

2.Power BI uses a variety of algorithms to search for trends in your dataset.

3.Within seconds, your insights are ready. Select View Insights to display visualisations.

NOTE: Some datasets can’t generate insights because the data isn’t statistically significant.

4.The visualisations display in a special Quick Insights canvas with up to 32 separate insight cards. Each card has a chart or graph and a short description.

Interact With Insight Cards

1.Hover over a card and select the pin icon and the visualisation to a dashboard.

2. However over a card, select the ellipses (…) and choose View Insights. This opens the insight fullscreen.

3.In focus mode you can:

  • Filter the visualisations. To display the filters, in the top right corner, select the arrow to expand the Filters pane.

  • Pin the insight card to a dashboard by selecting the pin icon or pin visual.
  • Run insights on the card itself. This is often referred to as scoped insights. In the top-right corner, select the lightbulb icon or Get Insights.

The insight displays on the left and new cards, based solely on the data in that single insight, display along the right.

4.To return to the original insights canvas, in the top-left corner, select Exit Focus Mode.

Run Insights On A Dashboard Tile

Instead of searching for insights against an entire dataset, narrow your search to the data used to create a single dashboard tile. This too is often referred to as scoped insights.

1.Open a dashboard.

2.Hover over a tile, select the ellipses (…) and choose View Insights. The tile opens in Focus Mode with the insights cards displayed along the right.

3.Does one insight pique your interest? Select that insight card to dig further into your data. The selected insight appears on the left and new insight cards, based solely on the data in that single insight, display along the right.

4.Continue analysing your data and when you find an interesting insight, pin it to your dashboard by selecting Pin Visual from the top-right corner.

As Microsoft Gold Partners, we are experts in Microsoft Technologies. Power BI is a business analytics tool that turns data into insights, allowing you to create informed decisions to help your business reach its strategic goals. Turn data into rich insights using this powerful tool that allows businesses to look at the past and present in order to plan for future trends. Using Power BI you can visually explore data and collaborate on shared dashboards and interactive reports. To learn more about how Power BI can benefit your business, contact our team today!

Phishing Attacks Pose Cyber Threat To Businesses

Phishing Attacks Pose Cyber Threat To Businesses

Just over half (54%) of more than 900 IT directors surveyed in Western Europe said that they had identified instances of employees replying to unsolicited emails or clicking the links contained within them, revealed a recent survey.

The study revealed that larger businesses are more likely to have been compromised by phishing attacks, despite also being most likely to conduct phishing and cyber threat training. Although businesses in the UK (45%), France (49%) and the Netherlands (44%) fell victim to phishing attacks at similar rates, those in Ireland performed significantly better, with just 25% of Irish respondents said they had fallen victim to a phishing attack in the past two years.

Of the 900 IT directors that took part in this survey, 56% of companies employing between 500 and 700 people were identified as phishing victims in the past two years, while two-thirds (65%) had identified instances of employees replying to unsolicited emails or clicking on links contained within them.

Whereas, just 25% of businesses with less than 250 employees and 36% of businesses with between 250 and 499 employees had been compromised by phishing in the same period.

50% of companies with less than 250 employees offered training to help employees spot attacks, compared to 78% of those with between 500 and 1,000 people. Cybercriminals are experts in social engineering to exploit human weaknesses, so while highly trained employees are an asset. Even the best users can make mistakes.

account hijacking and risks to data

Phishing is one of the most common ways that cybercriminals try to gain access to a business. As businesses grow and become more successful, they generally become larger targets for hackers to exploit potential vulnerabilities. Noting the frequency of these attacks, businesses that don’t have the basic infrastructure in place to identify when an employee is engaging with potentially harmful emails and whether their systems are compromised are likely to encounter problems.

It is advised that businesses block malicious links, attachments and imposters before they reach their users. To ensure data remains secure, businesses should utilise the latest cybersecurity tools to stop ransomware and other advanced threats from illegally infiltrating your business.

As hackers are continuously discovering modern sophisticated ways to infiltrate a business, businesses must ensure security is at the forefront of their business. Chat to our team today to learn how we can secure your business against advanced threats.

Create engaging reports and gain valuable business insights with Power BI

Create engaging reports and gain valuable business insights with Power BI

Traditionally, Microsoft Excel has been the ‘go-to’ reporting tool for businesses around the world, however, Power BI offers businesses even more powerful analytics and reporting features. Power Bi offers businesses faster experimentations with visualisations, statistical functions and calculations across broad datasets, and the ability to derive answers through the rapid recombination of fields. There are a variety of ways that Power BI supersedes Excel, below we will explain how utilising Power BI can benefit your business.

1.Access and Store Large Amounts of Data

Power BI has impressive compression abilities for Microsoft Excel and text/.csv files, which allows you to access, analyse and visualise large quantities of data that Excel cannot open. Many computers may struggle to open a file larger than 300 megabytes, making analysis and reporting through Excel challenging. Thus adding several smaller .csv files to data, like sales data for neighbouring regions, will be incredibly difficult to combine with your previous dataset and analysis.

Large datasets don’t have to be reduced in size and aggregated to show a more encompassing analysis. All granular details and summarisations can exist in one file together and be accessed through drill downs.

Users also have the opportunity to modify and prepare data:

  • Transformations and edits including changing formats, deleting rows, adding columns and transposing data.
  • Adding relationships within different tables.
  • Adding new datasets easily as additional useful data is uncovered.

When using Power BI, the painful repetition of data preparation is reduced or eliminated as the software will remember the data preparation steps and automatically repeat them during data refreshes.

2.Spot Trends Easily

Analyzing trends with Power BI is extremely easy. With built-in time intelligence features, it only takes seconds to view vast amounts of data. Data can be viewed by various dimensions and attributes, including date-time dimensions.

3.Intuitive UX Features

Users can easily make data on Power BI visually appealing, even if users have limited creativity or UX skills. Power BI’s drag-and-drop functionality, easy resizing, and copying and pasting makes those who are accustomed to Office 365 feel at ease when using Power BI.

Incorporate your brand into reports through utilising colour schemes with Power BI themes. Your marketing team can now create Power BI branding themes, in the form of a .json file, and Power BI users simply have to import this theme during the development of a report. From this theme, users can create graphs and charts that follow the business’ ‘theme’.

4.Cloud-Based Features

Once you have constructed your Power BI analysis, you will need to publish and disseminate your dashboards and reports. In Excel this would generally involve emailing a large file to your team or uploading it to a shared device or SharePoint portal. Through utilising Power BI, this process has been completely revolutionised. Through using Power BI you can upload or update data to Power BI and automate the refreshing of underlying data, to make this data available to your team, simply publish this data.

Power BI can revolutionise how you share information with your team. Power BI is easily configured and allows users to track metrics, understand insights and visualise data. Creating reports on Power BI allows your business to understand the past and present while also understanding potential future trends. Contact our team today to learn more about how adopting Power BI can benefit your business!

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