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Ransomware Attacks in Salt Lake City: How to Identify and Prevent Them

Ransomware Attacks in Salt Lake City: How to Identify and Prevent Them


Most ransomware attacks are initiated by organized crime, according to Clear Data. Tony Soprano, anyone? When you think about it, it’s really no different than a shakedown. But instead of Soprano strong-arming you in an alley to extort your money, cybercriminals hijack your data right from the safety of your business or home.


And they’re not stopping anytime soon.


By the time you take in your next three breaths, a new organization will become a victim of ransomware. That’s a new victim every 11 seconds, according to Cybersecurity Ventures.


And in 10 years, ransomware costs are estimated to continue skyrocketing 10 times the total of 2021, to nearly $265 billion, making ransomware one of the fastest growing cybercrimes. But that doesn’t mean you have to fall victim to the statistics. Here’s how you can identify and prevent ransomware attacks for your Salt Lake City business.


How Ransomware Attacks Take Place


While no two attacks are the same, the way they get into your systems is similar:


  • An email from a scammer hits your inbox. It demands your attention because it resembles an invoice or notice from a familiar brand.
  • Once you click on the suggested link or download a document, a silent infection starts. The user’s files are then encrypted.
  • Ransom is demanded. The user is given payment instructions and deadlines, usually involving cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin.
  • End result: Your business is faced with locked files or systems, encrypted files and/or destruction of your files.


Once a ransomware infection starts, business owners are forced to suffer long-lasting consequences like extended downtime, loss of funds from cleanup and compliance fees and a loss of trust amongst investors and consumers.


Early Detection is Critical


If preventative, 24/7 ransomware protection and monitoring isn’t maintained, your business could fall victim without even noticing. By not having proper detection tools in place and a plan to thwart malicious activity in the earliest stages, you run the risk of greater damage.


According to Cisco, the average detection time for a breach is over six months. The additional time allows cybercriminals to identify critical data, distribute it for profit on the black market and continue extracting further data as time passes. It also opens the door for multiple extortion points to occur through the sale of your private data, the encryption of files and access to new networks and data through exposed information.


Similar to auto or home insurance, you don’t want to wait until you need ransomware protection to establish it.


Don’t Pay the Ransom


Three out of four organizations have experienced a cyberattack in the past 12 months, according to a report by Cisco. And recovery is much more expensive than the ransom.


If recovery costs so much, then it makes sense to pay the ransom, right?


Wrong. The research says you’d be wasting your money.


According to Forbes, an overwhelming 92 percent of those who pay ransom requests don’t get their data back. The best strategy is to deny ransomware attackers payment and allow cybersecurity experts to take control of the situation.


Through the knowledge of a trusted managed security partner, proper encryptions, continuity plans and cybersecurity training, you can avoid ransomware attacks in the first place. Here are a few suggestions:


Encrypt Your Data


With the right preventative data security, you’ll be able to stop potential threats from getting into your data in the first place. Tools like multifactor authentication, controlled access and various other security measures can not only prevent breaches but alert your business sooner to potential threats. This allows for simple, proactive measures to be taken, rather than reactive scrambling down the line.


Train your Team


94 percent of malware, including ransomware, is delivered by email, according to CSO Online. And social engineering is the easiest way into your network for hackers nowadays. With cybersecurity training, your employees can learn ransomware prevention, discovering how to identify common social engineering ploys that come through their inbox before they can claim an unsuspecting victim.


Protect Endpoints


If you have team members who take their work away from the office, you’ll want to take extra precautions. Public and high traffic areas are prime targets for ransomware attackers to try and gain access to sensitive data. You can stay secure on the go by implementing VPNs. Most corporate users don’t utilize a VPN when they’re using devices outside of the office. With nearly three out of four organizations having experienced a compromise with a roaming user, it’s crucial to get your team to understand the vulnerabilities they expose and stay diligent. Additionally, discouraging the use of personal devices and repeated passwords can provide a much-needed extra layer of security.


You Don’t Have to Become an Expert Overnight


At IT-Tech, we help you outmaneuver your ransomware opponents with proactive and comprehensive ransomware protection. Our advanced cybersecurity knowledge and services can help protect your team from ransomware without the added stress and time. We deliver airtight security, so you can focus on your business and rest assured that you have 360 degrees of protection.


To better understand how vulnerable you are to ransomware attacks, request our security assessment today.

Defend Your Assets with Cybersecurity Training in Salt Lake City

Defend Your Assets with Cybersecurity Training in Salt Lake City

Most data breaches start with an email. But it’s no regular email.  


67% of data breaches are due to attacks like phishing, according to Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report. Knowledge obtained from cybersecurity training is the most critical tool for team members to recognize cyberattacks and phishing emails.  


This article covers how training your team can turn them into security assets instead of liabilities. If you’re interested in empowering your employees with up-to-date cybersecurity solutions, contact IT-Tech.


Who Do Cybercriminals Target? 


Cyber attackers are especially interested in small and medium-sized businesses. SMBs are not investing their time as much in security as larger organizations do, like Fortune 500 companies. When hackers know that SMBs might not have the proper IT infrastructure to prevent cyberattacks, due to their inherently smaller budget, this makes them an easy mark for cyber attackers.  


Unfortunately, this trend of picking on the little man isn’t going away. Nearly half of all cyberattacks target SMBs, and 60% of SMBs close shop within six months of a cyberattack, according to Inc. Business disruptions, downtime and reputational damage all threaten to turn your business into a statistic. Investing in cybersecurity training can reduce the risk of a cyberattack, so every small business needs to take security precautions to ensure protection. 


What You Can Do


Teaching your employees to spot scams is a great way to turn your employees from your weakest link into defenders of your data. You can teach them to exercise caution before reading emails. They can learn to compare the sender’s name and URL. They can scan for bad grammar and “urgent” messaging often used in phishing emails, and you can teach them to think twice about clicking on links from unknown senders. 

 

Many companies outsource their IT needs, including cybersecurity training, to ensure they remain protected against a data breach. IT-Tech specializes in integrating a comprehensive solution that protects your systems and data, with cybersecurity as a top priority. 


Training educates your team on security tips that minimize the risk of an accidental data breach through human error. From identifying online scams to knowing what comprises a secure password, employees have the potential to turn into a human firewall.  


Most businesses have experienced a cyberattack. It’s now a regular news report: cybercrime is on the rise. And cybercriminals are growing more sophisticated in their techniques. It’s crucial to arm your team with the knowledge they need to ramp up their cybersecurity. 


Get Help 


With IT-Tech, employees are trained to understand it’s a shared responsibility to stave off cyberattacks. They recognize the accountability of their actions when they’re online, and the dangers are illuminated with educational programming.  


It can even be fun with simulated phishing attempts and celebratory awards for people who take the appropriate steps to keep the company safe.  


Once cybersecurity training is a matter of course for all employees, new or existing, the training is updated to make it a permanent part of employment at your business. This serves the purpose of allowing IT-Tech to keep the training updated to keep it in line with current cyberthreats.  


Neither you nor your employees want harm to come to your business. Give them the tools they need to stave off cyberthreats and protect your data now and later, when cybercriminals are upping their game. Outmaneuver the bad guys with your greatest asset —your team.  

The Do’s and Don’ts of Dark Web Protection in Utah: Protect Your Business

The Do’s and Don’ts of Dark Web Protection in Utah: Protect Your Business 

Since 2020, cybercrime has skyrocketed by 600 percent with new tactics to lure your business into danger. Many of the threats hide in plain sight, but remain masked under the anonymous veil of the dark web’s advanced VPN systems. The dark web houses numerous threats from money laundering to fraudulent government documents and, you guessed it, tools for cyberattacks. So, what cybersecurity and dark web protection tools can you implement to protect your business, Utah? Read on to discover IT-Tech's do’s and don’ts of dark web protection for your business. 

 

DON’T — Wait Until a Data Breach to Fortify Cybersecurity 

What would happen to your business if you lost 80 days of operations? That’s the scary reality for many businesses, with the average containment time of a data breach clocking in around 80 days. Not to mention the damage that is done before a breach is even detected. The average time it takes to realize a data breach has occurred was approximately 228 days in 2020. And with the nearly untraceable, underground channel available through the dark web, that amount of time can lead to irreparable damage for your business. 

 

DO — Install Automated Threat Detection Software 

With ransomware attacks claiming a victim every 11 seconds, it’s critical to have 24/7 threat detection and rapid response plans in place to protect your business. Automated detection will not only thwart the suspicious activity, but it will provide real-time alerts for your team to react to the specific data that’s potentially compromised, so you can get ahead of any further threats. Additionally, you’ll be able to stay ahead of the curve by understanding potential vulnerabilities in your current system. 

 

DON’T — Assume Your Employees Know What to Do 

Your employees are likely assets to your business, except in the case of dark web cybersecurity. Stanford University researchers discovered that nearly 88 percent of all data breaches were caused by an employee mistake. And even if they do know how to detect a suspicious email or link, more often than not, the leading cause of a victim falling for phishing scams is distraction. Take the time to invest in cybersecurity trainings, business continuity plans and response plans for your team. These small windows of time could eventually mean the difference between growth or closure of your business. Don’t leave it to chance. 

 

DO — Have a Password Management System 

Password management systems and software can help your team create unique passwords and add an extra layer of cybersecurity and dark web protection. And with 42 percent of companies relying on sticky notes to manage their passwords, it’s certainly a worthwhile and simple solution. These systems focus on password security, character variance and automated password update notifications to ensure your team stays safe and sound over the long term.  

 

DON’T — Leave Software and Hardware Unpatched 

Did you know that 60 percent of data breaches exploited weaknesses in software for which a patch or security update was available and not applied? By not patching your software and hardware, you leave the door wide open for malicious actors from the dark web to access your systems and data. Best practice calls for updating your security tools regularly and as soon as they become available. Setting automated security updates can also ensure your entire team stays compliant with best practices. 
 

DO — Partner with an Expert 

Trying to keep up with the evolution of cyberthreats, the newest technology and best practices can be exhausting, especially if you don’t have years of experience under your belt. That’s why it’s best to partner with a managed service provider, like IT-Tech. Our diverse background spanning across numerous industries and tools allows us to respond faster and with the precision needed to protect your business. MSPs also offer insights into technology trends, ways to promote growth and managing security in a customized fashion that allows you to plan ahead. 

 

Reduce Your Stress with Expert Guidance 

Whether you just want an extra layer of security or are looking for a more robust partnership that offers strategic guidance, IT-Tech is your number one choice. To learn more about the strategic technology services we offer, connect with one of our friendly and knowledgeable representatives today. 

 

Phishing Prevention in Utah: Don’t Let Hackers Lure You In

Phishing Prevention in Utah: Don’t Let Hackers Lure You In 

At IT-Tech, we see Utah businesses fall victim to cyberattacks on a regular basis. And while we all would like to think we’d never fall for such schemes, cybercriminals are getting craftier in their approaches as time goes on. Imitating big brands like Microsoft, DHL, Google, Amazon and more, they use logos, brand colors and common errors like locked accounts or fake fraud messages to panic recipients into clicking malicious links or providing credentials. 


On average, organizations remediate 1,185 phishing attacks each month. That’s nearly 40 attacks a day! And a surprising number of these scams accomplish what the attackers set out to do. In fact, 74% of attacks targeting American businesses like phishing were successful, according to Expert Insights. 


But you don’t have to fall into the statistics. Here are four phishing prevention tips you can use to stop phishing attacks from undermining your business. 

 

Email Security 


Phishing prevention is within your control with email security filters. Email security filters scan employees’ computers for malicious content and block the delivery of bad emails while allowing the delivery of good ones. Email security also can stop an email before it ever reaches its intended recipient. It can be deployed as a cloud service or as an on-premises application. Other software, like post-delivery protection, sits in your email and monitors for suspicious activity. It keeps an eye on inbound, outbound and internal communications for malicious content and uses AI and machine learning to identify and recognize individuals’ communication, while scanning their email for questionable activity.  


Cybersecurity Training


Employees who have completed security awareness training are more likely to report a suspicious email. In fact, after completing one year of training, organizations of all sizes saw an 87% improvement rate, according to the latest KnowBe4 Phishing by Industry report. After some training, your employees can become your biggest defenders against phishing attacks, rather than prime targets.  


Backup Your Data


Did you know that nearly 75 percent of cyberattacks targeting U.S. businesses end up successful? One in five of those cyberattacks are attributed to phishing. To add to the threat, hackers of all types are increasing their activities. When your data is breached, the key to preventing downtime, brand damage and a recovery lag is to have backups in place. The best way to combat cyberattacks, like phishing, is to maintain frequent backups in multiple locations. And be sure to test often.  


Incorporate a Managed IT Partner 


Managed service providers, or MSPs, can enable your devices with SEG, set up PDP and provide insights on the latest phishing ploys circulating your area. Even better, an MSP can provide a robust set of security measures to protect your data from cyberthreats. Outsourcing your IT security needs means you can let your MSP handle the headaches of staying ahead of cyberthreats and potential breaches. 


Cyber risks are only as strong as your security solutions. Even though the possibility of a cyberattack is frightening, IT-Tech can help you relax knowing we have your back 24/7. Contact us today and take back control of your business security. 

How IT Consulting Can Help You Maximize Your Budget

How IT Consulting Can Help You Maximize Your Budget

The world is constantly changing. Profound shifts in consumer expectations demand that companies across all industries deploy new technologies that serve to maintain business continuity and optimize critical operations. Did you know that more than 80 percent of businesses surveyed expect their IT budgets to grow or stay steady over the next year? IT-Tech is always ready to help you pivot with expert IT consulting services.  


IT spending can be linked to several factors, including escalating security concerns surrounding a remote workforce and the need to update outdated IT infrastructure. However, between hardware, software, managed IT and cloud services, it can be difficult to decide where to allocate your IT budget. In this blog, we’ll be reviewing three ways IT support and consulting can maximize your budget resources and get the greatest benefit for your business. Here are three ways to maximize your IT budget, while investing in a scalable, custom IT strategy. 


1. Avoid Unnecessary Expenses 


One of the most common ways companies waste money is by making unnecessary upgrades or investments on equipment or features your business doesn’t need. When a new operating system or application provides innovative functionality that helps your employees perform their jobs more efficiently, it makes sense to incorporate these systems or applications. However, certain companies follow a set upgrade schedule that requires either replacing old systems after a certain number of years or migrating to a new operating system after a certain amount of time has passed.  


It’s considerably more reasonable and cost-effective to evaluate the weaknesses in your current IT infrastructure and create a plan for any necessary updates that aligns with your budget and current goals. With IT consulting services, we will take care of the upgrades and make certain any updates in software or hardware are beneficial to ensure maximum efficiency and network security for your business. 


2. Pay Only for What You Need 


If you’ve ever found yourself asking how your business can achieve greater pricing predictability, scalability and transparency with its IT services, it may be time to consider a subscription-based IT plan. Think about it this way: a good portion of your IT budget is most likely allocated to services you either didn’t want but were included in your plan or thought you would need. Maybe you aren't even sure what you're paying for anymore. 


With a subscription-based IT plan, you can not only have a much clearer picture of your IT consumption and costs, but you can also scale your IT services up and down to accommodate periodic or unexpected changes in workload. The plan directly correlates with the needs of your business and realigns your IT spending and capability with your active usage.   


3. Enjoy Custom Recommendations 


One of the biggest benefits of partnering with a team of technology experts that specializes in IT consulting is that they will learn about your business objectives and recommend solutions that increase performance, agility and security, all while improving the bottom line of your business. This includes making sure that often overlooked areas of IT, such as backend disaster recovery and backup, don’t slide off your radar. No matter whether you’re looking to focus on slicing costs or increase the security of your current infrastructure, we’ll sit down with your team, listen to your concerns and collaborate with you every step of the way, creating an IT strategy that works best for your business.  


Transform Your Business and Optimize Your IT Budget 


With the right technology expert, you can address the unique needs of your business, align your IT priorities with your business priorities and maximize your IT budget like never before. At IT-Tech, we’ll assist in deploying a forward-thinking IT strategy that sees your essential processes are optimized, your needs are addressed and you save money in the process.  



3 Cybersecurity Solutions That Can Help Avoid Costly Downtime

Cybersecurity Solutions

 That Can Help Avoid Costly Downtime 

No matter what industry you’re in, your business likely depends on a wide variety of online communications and services. From virtual chat software to customer-facing support systems, losing network access could leave your company scrambling to deal with a plethora of negative consequences. Delays in one area could lead to problems in another, and even the restoration of the services could result in a workflow backup, loss of productivity and eroded confidence in your company. According to Gartner, something as minor as one minute of downtime can cost your company up to an average of $540,000 an hour 


Whether it’s because of a power outage, natural disaster, or basic human error, no company can afford to deal with the extensive impacts of system downtime. The best way to mitigate downtime risks and minimize the associated costs is to invest in preventative maintenance. If you’re interested in keeping your downtime levels as low as possible without breaking the bank, review these three cybersecurity solutions that can help you avoid costly downtimeAt IT-Techwe can provide the solutions your business needs to thrive.  


1. Identify and Address Threats with a Risk Assessment 

To keep your organization protected, it’s important to gain visibility into the existing and emerging threats to your critical assets, operations and intellectual property. The most efficient and cost-effective method of accomplishing these goals is to conduct a thorough risk assessment. This is where your company can identify your current IT requirements, review the adequacy of your existing cybersecurity policies, analyze threats and vulnerabilities and develop practical recommendations for improvement. 


2. Protect Your Business with a Multi-Layered Cybersecurity Strategy 

The key to providing the most comprehensive defense against a variety of cyberthreats is to layer multiple types of security measures so that the gaps, loopholes and vulnerabilities between each measure are significantly smaller, allowing hackers considerably less time and the ability to gain entry. Why settle for a strategy that focuses exclusively on network security when you can deploy a multi-layered strategy that encompasses everything from firewalls and data backup to cloud security and mobile device protection? To implement a strategy like this in your organization, you’ll need to analyze existing weaknesses in your IT infrastructure, review existing security policies and create an integrated mesh of protection around your company’s systems. 


3. Teach Your Employees to be the First Line of Defense with Cybersecurity Training 

If your employees aren't capable of recognizing a cyberthreat, they cannot be tasked with avoiding, reporting or mitigating one. On the other hand, making employees aware of cyberthreats and how to combat them, is a surefire way of strengthening one of the most vulnerable links in the chain. After all, approximately 95 percent of security breaches occur as a result of human error. No number of firewalls or amount of security software can combat the negative impact of employees who are left vulnerable to phishing, malware and other sneaky tactics. To make sure your employees are the first line of defense against cyberthreats, you’ll want to invest in an ongoing training program that’s customized for your unique business needs. 


Secure Your Critical Systems from Cyberthreats and Unplanned Downtime 

If you’re looking to invest upfront in proactive cybersecurity measures and greatly mitigate the chances of a security breach hurting your operations and breaking the bank, it’s time to partner with a technology partner that has your best interest in mind. At IT-Tech, we’ll assist you in identifying current and emerging threats, implementing a multilayered cybersecurity strategy and providing your employees with cybersecurity training to help mitigate any potential risksContact one of our security experts today! 



3 Ways Cloud Services Can Reduce Your Overhead Costs

3 Ways Cloud Services Can Reduce Your Overhead Costs

With a global return to the office quickly approaching, the CEOs of the world’s most influential companies are carefully planning what a return to ‘normal’ will look like. According to the 2021 CEO Outlook Pulse Survey, more than half (69%) of companies plan to build upon their suite of digital collaboration tools thanks to cloud services. , more than half (69%) of companies plan to build upon their suite of digital collaboration and communication tools.  


Why? The answer most likely lies in the fact that businesses can save up to $11,000 per year for every employee who works from home at least part-time. If you are interested in reaping the benefits of reduced overhead costs, review these three ways to leverage technology to your advantage. For more ways to streamline your business and improve productivity, contact IT-Tech for all your technology needs.

1) Create a Location-Flexible Work Environment with Cloud Services 

As a business owner, you know that outsourcing to remote workers and creating a location-flexible work environment is considerably more cost-effective than maintaining a traditional office work environment. The challenge is determining which tools are most effective at reducing operational overhead while ensuring work is getting doneOne solution may be cloud services. 


Expect lower implementation costs and minimal maintenance. And with consumption-based autoscaling, you’ll only pay for the resources you useThese benefits are key in reducing capital expenses and improving productivity. Your workforce will be able to work, collaborate and securely access the data they need from anywhere in the world.  



2) Slash Costly Phone Bills with VoIP

It’s not uncommon to think of your office phone system as an unavoidable business overhead expense. However, if you’ve been using the same telecom technology for years without evaluating newer alternatives, you’re almost certainly paying more than you should. By cutting your landline connection and switching to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology, you can make calls via a broadband internet connection. You can save as much as 50% on VoIP technology, depending on your current system and carrier. 


Another key benefit of VoIP is mobility. Your employees can travel anywhere in the world and use their phone to make and receive callsThere are also no additional charges for adding, moving or changing lines.  



3) Spend More on Mobile Devices  

If you’re looking to slash costs and increase business communication, it’s time to invest in laptops, tablets and other forms of mobile workstationsNot only are mobile workstations considerably more power efficient than desktop computers, but laptops and tablets are also designed to be easy to useYour remote workers and your bottom line will thank you. 

Reach Out to a Technology Partner You Can Trust  

When you invest in the right tools, you can reduce your operational overhead costs, increase productivity and achieve your business goals. At IT-Tech, we’ll help you identify the right technology upgradesimplement best practices and empower your team with a flexible, efficient work environment.
Contact our team to get started.

Work from Home Security: 3 Ways to Improve Your Company’s Remote Data Security

Cybersecurity has rightfully been an area of concern for many business owners, especially regarding network safety and work from home security. According to a study by IBM, human error is the leading cause of 95 percent of cybersecurity breaches. And with Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, estimating that 70 percent of our workforce will shift to telework by 2025, this leads to even greater concern for employers following suit.

So, what can companies do to protect their business against cyberattacks, even with a remote workforce? In this blog, we’ll cover just how you can move forward to secure your company and ensure your work from home security is up to par to battle against an array of cyberthreats.

The Concerns Surrounding Remote Data Security

Remote workforces create a lack of visibility, control and awareness for employers regarding the daily digital practice of their workforce. This leaves not only the employees open to potentially malicious activity, but the employer and their clients as well. And hackers are fully aware of this! More and more, we see businesses falling prey to a number of business privacy and data breaches, including:

  • Malware
  • Phishing Scams
  • Password Attacks
  • Session Hijacking
  • Business Email Compromise (BEC)
  • Ransomware
  • And More

Every cyberthreat has the potential to cause long-term damage to your reputation and profitability. So, with risk looming around every digital corner, what can businesses do to halt hackers in their tracks?

#1 – Educate Your Team

The adage, knowledge is power, is a cliché for a reason. Educating your remote workforce on what role they play in protecting the company as a whole is vital to ensure costly mistakes are avoided. Train your team regarding what recent cyberthreats are floating around and clearly define protocols they should implement should data breaches occur.

An additional measure you can take is to provide employees with password policies that require strong, unique passwords and mandatory updates. This ensures that business privacy is never sacrificed over a simple mistake.

Another valuable policy to implement and share with your employees is a data loss prevention (DLP) plan. DLP strategies aid employees in spotting potential risks, active threats and ensures vital information is consistently backed up should the need to retrieve said information ever arise. These easy steps could save your business’s reputation, companywide data, client information and profitability down the road.

#2 – Equip Your Team

Even though providing your team with equipment may seem costly, breaches into your company’s data can be catastrophic. When introducing personal devices to your network, you create easier access points for hackers to retrieve your data. One fix to this is to implement virtual private networks (VPN) and network security measures. These act as gateways to extend private networks across public ones and secure access from any device to your network. As a bonus, you can also better isolate data breaches from your private network.

Having cloud security is another way to ensure data being transferred between remote employees stays protected against cyberthreats. In general, a great rule of thumb to improve work from home security is to implement tools and software that can be regularly updated internally across any number of remote devices. Cloud-based software provides access to those who need it, and security against those who don’t.

#3 – Expand Your Team

Because cybersecurity technology is always evolving to stay ahead of sophisticated cyberthreats, technology updates and clever hackers, it’s best practice to hire an individual or team of IT experts to assess internal and external threats, conduct and evaluate cybersecurity reports, update security hardware and software and ensure downtime remains minimal. However, IT support and cybersecurity roles are notoriously difficult to fill and oftentimes, the hiring process can drag out while you hunt for qualified candidates.

By hiring an external IT support team to manage your services, you’ll get all the benefits of a full-stack team of IT experts at a fraction of the cost of an internal hire. We provide benefits like ongoing support, IT consulting for in-office and work from home security tools and data loss prevention techniques. To learn more about how our expertise can benefit your business, contact us today!

4 Ways to Improve Team Collaboration Across Your Remote Workforce

4 Ways to Improve Team Collaboration Across Your Remote Workforce

As we have learned, telework and remote work collaboration offer undeniable perks to businesses. Although reduced overhead and improved worker satisfaction are great advantages for any company, telework also introduces a lot of challenges. Most remote workers feel isolated. They can’t connect with their team as easily as they would like. They also experience burnout.

The good news is that there are ways you can address these challenges and keep your team connected. With the right remote collaboration tools, your team can work smarter, faster and improve communication. What technology do you need? Let’s discuss five tools that improve collaboration so your remote workforce can thrive.

1) Connect Through Communication Solutions

We all know about the tremendous rise in popularity of video chat software. In April 2020, Zoom saw over a 60 percent increase in their consumers’ spending. The reason why is simple. Zoom, Slack and Google Hangouts offer face-to-face interactions that increase engagement. Remote workers initiate team collaboration instant meetings, screen-share important resources, record valuable information for future use and stay informed in chat rooms.

With video conferencing software, teams can host teleconference meetings quickly and effectively. They can invite unlimited participants. People can stream from pretty much any type of device. This allows employees to foster teamwork and collaboration. Whether you’re hosting a companywide meeting, one-on-ones, training course, client meeting, or virtual event, live video chat technology facilitates a creative work environment that brings teams closer together from anywhere.

2) Connect Through Communication Solutions

Internal emails are no longer a thing. All in-house messaging can now be performed with communication tools like Microsoft Teams and Slack. Remote workers can have private conversation threads, organize group chats or align projects into specific group channels. They can also take advantage of integrated file sharing, easy search features and video conferencing capabilities that make working on projects easier. 

Although chat rooms are often seen as a workplace distraction, this is a misperception. Team communication tools allow teams to assemble in one place, organize their workflows and get across the information they need quickly and clearly. Team communication solutions speed up work on projects and make certain everyone is on the same page.

3) Prioritize Tasks with Workflow Management Tools    

To get your team working together from anywhere, you need a workflow management tool that can help you coordinate projects, prioritize tasks and streamline operations. With a project management tool like Jira, Trello, Basecamp, Monday or Wrike, you have access to in-depth planning features, project tracking applications and a clear visual presentation of task flows. There are also tools to assess employee productivity, get status updates on projects and more.

Remote collaboration and workflow tools help your employees set priorities, meet deadlines and share resources. These applications also provide managers with transparency around productivity and the statuses of projects. With the right workflow management tools, your remote team can enjoy their flexible work schedule and still have the guidance they need for assignments.

4) Use Microsoft 365 for Complete Team Collaboration

For complete collaboration solutions, Microsoft 365 checks off all the boxes, especially for remote work. With a multi-purpose application, remote workforces can use the same applications they have used their entire career on a cloud-based platform. They can work on projects together, share worksheets instantly, reduce overlap, miscommunication and other issues that impact productivity. 

Microsoft 365 allows teams to work smarter and faster in a shared workspace. Companies can coordinate everything they need, including internal and client-facing meetings with shared calendars. Teams can also collaborate seamlessly with access to team chat messaging sessions, video conferencing meetings and shared worksheets.

Download Our eBook for More Tips

With the right people, processes and technology, you can collaborate at your best and make remote work easier. If you are interested in learning more work from home collaboration tips, download our eBook,
The Ultimate Guide to Empowering Your Remote Workforce.

3 Creative Ways to Motivate Your Remote Workforce

3 Creative Ways to Motivate Your Remote Workforce

According to a Harvard Business Review study, 71 percent of the managers surveyed believe that employee engagement is one of the most critical factors in overall organizational success. Considering that most organizations shifted to remote work in 2020, it’s fair to say that every organization could use more work-from-home motivation.

In today’s fast-paced environment, it can be challenging for businesses to keep their team focused and connected. But suppose you can find creative ways to increase your remote team’s engagement. In that case, you will see increased productivity, improved work quality and a higher retention rate of top talent. If you are interested in boosting remote workforce engagement, review these three creative ways to motivate your remote team. For more ways to empower your remote workforce,
download our Ultimate Guide.



1) Encourage Face-to-Face Interactions 


If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we can have face-to-face interactions from anywhere. Video conferencing tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Slack can boost engagement and help create a workplace culture that everyone loves. Daily meetings on video are now part of the new normal. There are several other ways that video conferencing technology can increase workforce engagement, including:


-Send Quick Video Messages: Every interaction doesn’t have to be live. Break up the monotony of the video call by sending remote employees prerecorded video messages. Keep them up to date on projects, offer training tips or thank them for their hard work.

-Hold One-on-One Meetings: The perception is that remote workers want to be left alone. The reality is that most remote workers wish to have personalized attention. Hold bi-weekly one-on-one meetings with each member of your team and listen to what they have to say.

-Host Virtual Events: Successful companies have shown an incredible amount of creativity to boost engagement through fun virtual events. Whether it’s a virtual lunch-and-learn, happy hour, trivia game or holiday party, help your team facilitate ways to interact with one another outside of work. 



2) Keep Them Connected from Anywhere


To fight off feelings of isolation, remote teams want to connect with their colleagues. Closer communication can also lead to a happier, more productive workforce, so it’s a win-win for employers and remote teams alike to stay connected. With Microsoft 365, remote teams have access to communication tools like Microsoft Teams. This cloud-based platform keeps them engaged in a centralized location for all their communication needs. They can message each other, organize group chats, schedule video calls and share documents in real time.

Team communication tools improve your project workflow, and they can also help team members build relationships. Employees can chat through messenger, celebrate special events in group channels and hold one-on-one video meetings all in one convenient application. The latest technology keeps teams connected and collaborating at their best — and it also increases worker satisfaction.


3) Show Them You Appreciate Their Hard Work


High performers expect to be recognized, which can be a little more challenging when your team is working from home. Fortunately, several technology tools can help you reward your team how you see fit. Sending virtual gifts through email to your team never goes out of style, but if you want to increase company-wide visibility, give praise through a cloud-based HR tool like Bamboo HR or Zenefits. Another option is to invest in an online rewards program like Bonusly to gift your hard-working employees some additional perks. Regardless of how you reward your team, the goal is to show appreciation, improve your company culture and motivate your team.



Reach Out to a Technology Partner You Can Trust


When you drive work-from-home engagement and properly motivate your remote workforce, you can improve employee satisfaction, increase productivity, reduce overhead and reach your business goals. We hope this blog has helped you learn a few creative ways to motivate your team with the newest technologies. If you are interested in leveraging technology to improve the way your remote team works together,
download our Ultimate Guide to Empower Your Remote Workforce to learn more.

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