A new world of hybrid work with Microsoft 365 improvements

To successfully grow in this new hybrid world, every organisation needs what Microsoft refers to as a digital fabric that binds the business together with secure communication, collaboration, and creation. The aim is to enable flexibility and strengthen connections across departments and teams, but also smoothly extend to include customers, partners, and suppliers.

Here are some of the latest updates from Microsoft to enable such a platform.

– Collaboration: Microsoft are building Mesh right into Teams, recreating a lot of what people value about being together and extending productivity beyond what was previously possible. Mesh for Microsoft Teams introduces a new generation of 2D and 3D meetings, with personalised avatars and the use of AI to imitate movements and gestures that will enable people to bring their physical presence into the conversation.

– Teams meeting experience: Microsoft want to foster more inclusive and productive hybrid meetings. Users will be able to assign roles from the scheduling form and see the order of raised hands to ensure that all the voices are heard. The mobile overflow menu is also getting an update with a notification drawer for in-meeting system messages, so users can preview, collapse, and clear all notifications with one tap.

– Cross collaboration: Microsoft understands that for work to be carried out effectively in a hybrid world, it needs communication and collaboration with people both inside and outside a business. Updates to Microsoft Teams Connect will aim to remove barriers and make collaboration easier and more secure.

These will be rolled out through 2022 and will include:

Share a channel with individuals and teams across multiple organisations

Schedule a meeting and collaborate in real-time on apps

Share channels with up to 50 teams and as many organisations as you need

Enabling users to chat with team members outside the organisation with a Teams personal account

– Events: New webinars and broadcasting capabilities due to be rolled out this year will make it easy to set up and deliver professional experiences to internal and external audiences. The virtual green room will enable presenters to socialise, monitor chat, conduct Q&As, manage attendee settings, and share content before the event starts. For the events and hospitality industry, Cvent management platform is now integrated with Teams and later this year users will be able to use Cvent to manage the event lifecycle via Teams.

– A new all-in-one digital contact center solution: Powered by Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service and Teams, this will bring together traditional contact center, unified communications, and customer service capabilities into one software as a service (SaaS) solution.

Windows is made for a hybrid working environment. There are many more updates and you can find out more on the Microsoft 365 latest blog post here. You can also speak to our team to see how we can help you find the right digital solutions to help you thrive in a hybrid world, and allow your team and your business to work smarter in 2022.

Secure Remote Working: top tips when working from home

With remote working continuing to be the norm for the time being, we thought we would start our new year blog with some useful tips for staying secure while working from home.

We will take you through the benefits of:

Multifactor Authentication

VPN Encryption

Mobile Device Management

Managed Anti-Virus & Security

Backup Your Data

Multifactor Authentication

Codus IT Secure Remote Working

Having a strong password often isn’t enough. Multifactor authentication involves an additional step to add an extra layer of protection to your accounts. The extra step could be an email or text message confirmation, or even a biometric method such as facial recognition or a fingerprint scan.

Even if you are diligent and aware of the threats of malware and phishing, criminals can still steal your password. By using MFA, a hacker will not be able to access your sensitive data, even if they have your password. This extra layer of protection requires you to authenticate the session, making sure your team is one step closer to secure remote working.

VPN Encryption

VPN encryption is a method to generate a key to encrypt digital data so that unauthorized parties cannot access it. You can use encryption to protect and secure files on your computer or the data you send and receive. VPN encryption secures the data between a VPN client and a VPN tunnel, barring anyone from exploiting it.

Imagine you and your friends create a coded language that others cannot decode when they hear you using it. The only way to decode it and turn it into an understandable language is with a specific decryption key that only you and your friends have, and that cannot be stolen from you. A VPN encryption does the job for you by encrypting the everyday language you speak and turning into code while it travels to the recipient. This method helps you to protect sensitive information as well as stopping hackers from eavesdropping on your browsing activity.

Mobile Device Management

The average office worker will probably have more than one work device, probably a laptop and a smartphone, especially during a lockdown! These devices are deployed across multiple mobile service providers and across a number of operating systems. This can be little tricky to manage.

A mobile device management (MDM) solution allows IT administrators to control, secure and enforce policies on smartphones, tablets, and other endpoints. It relies on an endpoint software called an MDM agent and an MDM server that lives in a data centre, either on premises or in the cloud. IT administrators can configure policies through the MDM server’s management console. The server then pushes those policies to the MDM agent on the device.

Managed Anti-Virus & Security

Codus IT Secure Remote Working

Sometimes firewalls are not enough. Online threats can still get through. A good anti-virus software can act as the next line of defence by detecting and blocking known malware. Even if malware does manage to find its way onto your device, an anti-virus software may be able to detect and, in some cases, remove it.

The impressive growth in the selection of available anti-virus software is no accident. As computers advance and implement exciting new features, hackers have also progressed, making today’s computers and mobile devices vulnerable to increasingly complex attacks. This makes choosing the best anti-virus an increasingly important decision that should be taken in careful consideration. Viruses can take many forms, often infiltrating your system without any indication. It is important to make sure that all your devices are protected. One compromised device can be a gateway into your entire home network.

Backup Your Data

Data can be lost in several ways. These can include human error, physical damage to hardware, or a cyber-attack. While hardware backups are still an option, one of the most convenient and cost-effective ways to store your data is in the cloud. Cloud backup services come with a wealth of options enabling you to customise your backup schedule and storage options.

We have covered what you need to know on cloud computing previously in our blog. However, should you require any assistance with data back-up, cloud migration or secure remote working, simply get in touch.

You can reach us 0161 763 4529 or via email at hello@codus.co.uk

Also follow us on Twitter @Codus_IT for all the latest news, advice and helpful tips.