The Top 6 Reasons Why You Should Update Your Office Phones

The Top 6 Reasons Why You Should Update Your Office Phones

Has it been a while since you’ve taken a hard look at your office phones? We understand, it’s not an everday thing…

We expect so much out of our communication tools… and when they don’t work, it’s a hassle.

If you’ve been in a situation where it’s hard to reach a customer or coworker – don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are the top 6 reasons why you should update your office phones with us:

1. USE FIND ME / FOLLOW ME

It’s a feature that’s extremely beneficial to you when you’re away from your desk. Essentially, you use one phone to answer your personal and work calls. The best part? When you call a client, they see your work number. 

2. AUTO ATTENDANT

Route calls to different departments or voicemail boxes via interactive menus. While this seems common, it’s actually quite not. The feature itself screams modern day small business because we’re all limited on time, so why not help everyone communicate a little easier?

3. VOICEMAIL TO EMAIL

Again, it seems like a common concept, but most small-to-medium sized businesses don’t have this feature.

If you miss an important call from a client, you don’t want your work phone voicemail to not accept because your inbox is full (trust us, it happens more than you think).

Get a copy of the voicemail directly to your email and ensure you connect back. Seems too good to be true.

4. RING GROUPS

Do you want someone always answering your office phones? With ring groups, you can. Some of our clients use this feature because they have multiple locations that need to assist a regional area, and they want to ensure the best customer experience

5. SOFTPHONE

Use your computer (i.e. VOIP) to make calls. No need to grab your cell phone out of your pocket when you’re in the office working productively… Use your computer!

6. TEXT VIA A WORK NUMBER

Use your personal cell phone as an “all-in-one” solution for customer service. Text your clients as requested/needed.

NEXT STEPS

Contact us about new hardware for your business – we’ll take care of you!

3 Benefits of New Hardware You Can’t Afford To Ignore

3 Benefits of New Hardware You Can’t Afford To Ignore

If you haven’t purchased new hardware for your office, you’re missing out. New computers and/or laptops are game changers for patch updates, new software, and so much more. 

Let’s talk about the benefits of new hardware. 

1. FEWER SECURITY RISKS

When your computers, phones, etc. age, their support and warranties become nonexistent. Devices eventually have an end of life which means manufacturers and developers no longer issue updates.

Software updates also provide new features, smoother experiences, and bug fixes that earlier versions may have not gotten rid of. The most critical piece; however, is security patches. If these are left unfinished, they leave you vulnerable. 

2. YOU WORK FASTER

There’s no better feeling than coming into work, firing up your computer, and being able to open all applications without issues. New hardware not only makes this possible, it guarantees increased business efficiency and staff productivity. 

3. INCREASE EMPLOYEE MORALE

There’s nothing more important than increasing and maintaining employees happiness. We get it, new hardware costs money, but look at the brighter side… it:

  • improves customer service or supplier relationships
  • develops more effective communication within the business or with consumers
  • expands your business offer or reaches new markets
  • develops a competitive advantage by implementing the right technologies, those of which that use faster processing

NEXT STEPS

Contact us about new hardware for your business – we’ll take care of you!

5 Tips to Guard Against Smishing Attacks on Your Phone

5 Tips to Guard Against Smishing Attacks on Your Phone

Smishing, or SMS phishing, is a fast-growing type of mobile fraud that uses text messages to try and scam you out of your personal information. Criminals send phony texts purporting to be from a legitimate source, like your bank or credit card company, to get you to reveal confidential information like your account number or password.

Here are five tips to help you guard against smishing attacks:

1. VISIT THE ORGANIZATION’S WEBSITE DIRECTLY

If you receive a text message that looks like it’s from your bank, for example, don’t click on any links in the message. Instead, go to your bank’s website directly and log in to your account from there. That way, you can be sure you’re not being redirected to a fake website designed to steal your information.

2. NEVER GIVE OUT SENSITIVE PERSONAL INFORMATION VIA TEXT MESSAGE

The best way to avoid being scammed by a text message is not to give out any sensitive personal information via text. This includes your account number, password, Social Security number, or date of birth.

If you receive a text message that asks for this type of information, don’t reply and don’t click on any links in the message. Report the text to your cell phone carrier or anti-fraud organization immediately.

3. NEVER CLICK ON UNKNOWN LINKS

The best way to avoid being scammed by a text message is not to give out any sensitive personal information via text. This includes your account number, password, Social Security number, or date of birth.

If you receive a text message that asks for this type of information, don’t reply and don’t click on any links in the message. Report the text to your cell phone carrier or anti-fraud organization immediately.

4. CALL THE ORGANIZATION ON THEIR OFFICIAL PHONE NUMBER

If you’re still not sure whether or not a text message is legitimate, one way to check is to call the organization that supposedly sent it on their official phone number.

For example, if you receive a text that looks like it’s from your bank, you can find their customer service number on their website and give them a call to verify the message.

5. KEEP YOUR DEVICES PROTECTED

Ensure your devices are protected with strong passwords and up-to-date security software to help guard against smishing attacks and other types of mobile fraud.

NEXT STEPS

Contact us for more information about how to keep your devices safe.

When to Use Microsoft SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams

When to Use Microsoft SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams

As a Microsoft Office 365 user, you have access to three tools that can help with document workflow, collaboration and storage. The programs that are used for this purpose in Office 365 are OneDrive, SharePoint and Microsoft Teams. Each has a defined role to play, and if used as intended, can help manage work efficiently and effectively.

MICROSOFT ONEDRIVE

  1. This is your personal storage of your work documents.
  2. It is private to you.
  3. Use OneDrive when you are working on a document that you are not ready to share with your team for feedback. Once you are ready, you can share it on SharePoint (see details below).
  4. OneDrive is backed up to your Office 365 account in the event you have to transition to a new computer. Just sign into your Office 365 account to gain access to these files.
  5. While you can share files with others on OneDrive, this is not advisable. OneDrive is tied to an individual. When that person leaves the organization, so do the files stored on OneDrive.

MICROSOFT SHAREPOINT

  1. A great tool to use when collaborating with others on a document. Feedback from multiple parties can be tracked in one document. This cuts down on errors in documents and also ensures information that needs to be shared is not lost.
  2. You can create both sites for particular teams, or have a site visible to everyone in the organization. This is a great place to organize critical documentation teams need to do their work.
  3. Many companies use SharePoint for an internal intranet. Sites can be created as “read only,” with editing access  given to individuals in charge of keeping files up-to-date.
  4. SharePoint is a great way to keep an archive of company information. No matter how teams grow and change, the files on SharePoint stay put.

MICROSOFT TEAMS

  1. Many companies use this tool for company meetings. It is easy to record the meetings you hold and have files available for later viewing for those who may have missed the gathering. You can easily post these files to a SharePoint site via Microsoft Stream, another program in Office 365.
  2. Gone are the days when you have to collaborate with teams just via email. Teams are a great way to share documents being worked on via SharePoint, as well as receive updates on changes and progress. This cuts down on the amount of emails exchanged in team settings as well.

NEXT STEPS

If you ever run into questions, Office 365 has many easy-to-use tutorials to help you navigate your way through these beneficial tools for your business.  Or, get ahold of us!
The Top 5 Hacks of 2021

The Top 5 Hacks of 2021

As technology becomes an integral part of any business, they become more vulnerable to cybercriminals. Therefore, it’s essential to understand that cybersecurity is inevitable as you take your business to the online world. From ransomware attacks to the exploitation of business vulnerabilities, 2021 saw some high-profile hacks that crippled the operations in big companies.

As Wired experts put it, 2021 was the year of ransomware, data breaches, surveillance, and more attacks as criminal gangs became more aggressive. As a matter of fact, anything operating online is a target. Hackers are always looking for ways to make money or have fun by exploiting weaknesses in your systems. Let’s analyze the top 5 hacks in 2021 and what you can learn from them.

1. THE COLONIAL PIPELINE RANSOMWARE ATTACK

In early May 2021, Colonial Pipeline had the most significant cyberattack. Darkside hackers infiltrated their systems, stealing over 100 gigabytes of data and threatened to release it. That forced the largest oil and gas company to temporarily suspend its operations to contain the malware. That not only caused a fuel crisis but also panic in the whole Southeast region. Colonial Pipeline was forced to pay a ransom, but the damage caused was irreversible.

2. TWITCH DATA DUMP

Even though hackers mainly target government and financial institutions, entertainment companies aren’t safe either. In October 2021, an anonymous hacker shared around 126 GB of Twitch data, including its source code and history. The hacker also exposed the company’s confidential documents and the personal information of its users. Most Twitch accounts were compromised, forcing users to change their login information to avoid having their data going public. The hacker attacked Twitch to disrupt its operations and give its competitors an advantage.

3. CNA RANSOMWARE ATTACK

  1. Many companies use this tool for company meetings. It is easy to record the meetings you hold and have files available for later viewing for those who may have missed the gathering. You can easily post these files to a SharePoint site via Microsoft Stream, another program in Office 365.
  2. Gone are the days when you have to collaborate with teams just via email. Teams are a great way to share documents being worked on via SharePoint, as well as receive updates on changes and progress. This cuts down on the amount of emails exchanged in team settings as well.

4. KASEYA VSA RANSOMWARE ATTACK

Hackers exploited a vulnerability in VSA, a software developed by this giant IT service provider company. This attack affected more than 1000 companies, adding to the most significant ransomware attacks so far. These were mainly government agencies and businesses providing IT services. The attackers demanded a $70 million ransom for the decryption of the company’s frozen files. Even though Kaseya managed to restore the IT infrastructure of its clients, the damage caused was devastating. Apart from causing widespread downtime, it led to a Swedish supermarket chain closing and negatively impacted the United States-Russia relationship.

5. JBS FOODS ATTACK

JBS is the largest provider of beef and pork in the US. Its attack shows that hackers do not choose which companies or businesses to attack. In May, JBS suffered a ransomware attack that crippled its operations. They paid an $11 million ransom to regain access to their systems. What caused the attack remains unclear, but the company had to produce an enormous ransom in Bitcoin to the hackers to get the decryption key.

NO ONE IS SAFE: PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS

Hackers are not picky — they strike at the slightest chance. Cybersecurity is vital whether your business is in food, tech, insurance, or any other industry. These 2021 hacks should be a wake-up call for you to comprehensively protect your business from any cyberattack whatsoever. Cybersecurity is a problem affecting both small and large companies, creating the need for organizations to take it seriously and invest their resources in protecting their systems. Imagine paying millions or losing crucial data to hackers? That isn’t good for business.

Let ICS Data help keep your systems secure, protect your company’s data and avoid falling victim to cyberattacks. Talk to our experts for any IT-related information and services. We can help you protect your business from hackers.