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FAQ: Is Office 365 Secure?

One common question among businesses considering Office 365 is “Is it secure?” This is a great question to ask of any software, app, or company with access to your data (and should probably be asked more than it already is). The short answer is yes*, but a lot of the security is your responsibility.

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Cyber Security in a Cloud World

We speak with business owners every day about how to help make their team more productive, mitigate the risks in their business, and get more done. Recently we’ve noticed a dangerous trend: Business owners treat the ‘cloud’ and the security of the ‘cloud’ the same way that they treated their on-premises networks: In short, they don’t care.

They assume that ‘someone else is taking care of the security.'This mindset is extremely dangerous. In the traditional model of on-premises IT infrastructure, it was the responsibility of IT to secure the perimeter of the network. Essentially, that involved installing a good firewall, only opening ports that were needed, purchase good security software – rinse and repeat.With the cloud – this has all changed. While the security of your network is important, in many cases, the network is just the mechanism you use to get out to the cloud, where your data is now physically located.

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Ignite 2017: What you need to know

A few members of our service team spent last week at Microsoft Ignite, the annual conference for IT admins, engineers, computer scientists and other technical folks. Most every Microsoft conference includes major product announcements, and Ignite 2017 was no exception.

Most focused on the tech side (hello, quantum computing), but there were also some product announcements that will likely affect the day to day of every employee – not just IT admins.

Here’s what you need to know:

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Running Office 2007? Time to upgrade.

If you’re still running Microsoft Office 2007, you’re going to run into issues in October. A couple dozen Microsoft programs will reach the end of life on October 10, 2017, most notably Microsoft Office Suite 2007. Microsoft is also making a change to Outlook that means Office 365 users with Outlook 2007 will stop receiving emails. If you’re running these programs it’s time to upgrade or risk significant security vulnerabilities and lost productivity.

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What Role Does IT Play in the Modern Company?

As technology expands to impact nearly every business process, from customer service to business strategy, the role of the IT department is expanding along with it. IT is no longer only responsible for setting up computer systems, maintaining the server, and running the help desk.

The IT team is the keeper of the treasure that data has become. With IT’s services, leadership teams can better understand their customers, predict changes in the market, understand how to streamline business processes for improved productivity, determine where inefficiencies are cutting into profits, and spot new opportunities for innovation and growth.

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What makes a company one of the Best Places to Work?

PTG has been fortunate enough to be named one of “The Best Places to Work” in South Carolina for four consecutive years (in the top 10 every year!) in a list put together by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and the Best Companies group.

The process for making this list is largely dependent on the responses to an employee survey (a few dozen agree/disagree questions and a couple open ended questions) about the employee experience. I always enjoy getting the responses from the survey. It shows the areas where our team members think that we are doing a great job of making PTG a great place to work. 

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Tips and Tools for a Happy and Productive Remote Team

3.7 million employees (2.8% of the workforce) now work from home for at least half of their working hours. The number of employees working remotely (not including the self-employed population) has grown 10x faster than the rest of the workforce since 2005.

There's a reason remote teams are becoming more popular. When geographic location is no longer a constraint, employers can attract talent from anywhere. Companies no longer need to be headquartered in large metropolitan areas to access top talent, and workers can live anywhere they like.

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The Busy Professional's Guide to OneNote

There are a ton of cool apps spread across Office 365 – but my favorite is OneNote. As a business owner, I am frequently in meetings. Inevitably, I come out of these meetings with lots of ideas, questions, follow ups, or to-dos.

Before OneNote, I would capture these in a regular notebook (or an index card). As someone who 1) has extremely bad hand writing and 2) has a hard time keeping up with slips of paper, I was constantly letting things slip through the cracks.

Since switching to OneNote, that has changed. I can access my notes from any location and any device (as long as I have internet access) without having to worry about keeping up with a physical notebook. Just as important - I can actually read my notes now.

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Watch Out for this Fake Office 365 Spam Message

Microsoft recently released Volume 22 of their Security Intelligence Report where they reported a pretty scary number: They’ve seen a 300% increase in user accounts attacked over the past year. After poor password management, one of the main causes of this is targeted phishing attempts.

Cyber criminals target potential victims based on industry, job role, and more recently, the apps and software they use. Office 365 is no exception. Recently, we were forwarded a phishing attempt targeting Office 365 made to look like a generic spam quarantine message. To the phisher’s credit, they made this attempt look very, very convincing.

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Five Fast Facts about Microsoft 365

Microsoft recently introduced a new product called Microsoft 365, centered around making business more productive and more secure. While it’s not going to be for every business, it’s a natural fit for many businesses – especially if you’re already using (or looking to move to) Office 365 or Windows 10.

Here’s what you need to know:

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