Email Security

The Battle Between BYOD and Corporate Policies

The Battle Between BYOD and Corporate Policies Over the past few years mobile devices have really become integrated into our work lives and some statistics we have recently received about the use of mobile devices in Westchester NY have revealed an increasing number of phishing attacks on mobile devices users which means for the Enterprise environment a constant struggle in keeping up with cybersecurity. Recently our team has conducted a phishing attack tha was different than it would have been five or six years ago because we were targeting a bank and five or six years ago bank employees really didn’t know lot about security for mobile devices. Today, on the other hand those security tools are really integrated into the workforce. If the goal of a hacker is to break into a Microsoft 365 account because of course in the Microsoft 365 platform you have all kinds of sensitive material there such as SharePoint and OneDrive in their emails and even if your your, the first step towards a safe cyber environment is to safegurard the emails. It’s pretty common to accidentally tap a link with around 40 percent of emails globally being spam and the average American receiving 14 unsolicited SMS texts per month. Here’s what usually happens when you open a phishing link. After clicking a phishing link the sender knows you are a valid target. The attacker receives some basic data like approximate location device statistics and information voluntarily provided. A phishing link may download malware and users should take precautionary measures. It’s critical to stop interacting with the page and delete any downloaded files. Search for the intended target site using a search engine and the computer. Compare the legitimate web address and content to the phishing site; watch for suspicious account activity calls or texts follow on signs of phishing include suspicious emails social media posts with shortened links copycat URLs. If the attackers succeed in collecting data phishing scam victims might receive manipulative calls or text messages urging them to take further actionsonce a target has responded to a first phishing attempt there is a higher likelihood that they will continue to fall prey to future prompts A smartphone can be hacked by clicking a link found in email text messages or software.Tapping or opening a phishing link can expose users to automatically downloaded malware. Sometimes the malicious link may redirect a user to a malicious website or application controlled by hackersdesigned to collect user information or infect a mobile phone. A cyber criminal doesn’t need to get a hold of your smartphone to infect it with malware. if your phone is connected to the internet hackers can infiltrate your device through phishing links. Sometimes the messages can seemingly come from legitimate companies or reputable organizations as a notice about their services or apps.Clicking or tapping on these phishing links can open a pathway into your smartphone. An attack surface on smartphones is typically smaller and conducted with purpose-built apps that can compromise your mobile phone causing apps to malfunction and slow your device. Do not install unnecessary apps that can drain your phone battery and consume your data plan faster. Apps should only be downloaded not from the Internet but from the Apple Store and the Google Play store.

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Do You Need to Block or Unblock Someone in Gmail?

Do You Need to Block or Unblock Someone in Gmail? Gmail is still the most popular and safest email for home users, and it is widely used across devices. During my routine visits to my clients in Westchester, I was able to see that Gmail runs on Outlook, on iPhone, iPad, and Samsung smart phones.However, when it comes to understanding how we really use Gmail, I realized that we do not exploit its full capabilities and we limit its deployment to composing messages, attaching documents, and deleting what we don’t want to store in our mailbox.As Apple has released IOS 16, users are now able to unsend emails within 10 seconds after having sent the message. On the other hand, Gmail has introduced the same feature and in the Gmail settings, users can unsend their messages with 10, 20 and 30 seconds as well.The landscape of emails suggests that companies are constantly introducing new features to attract more users on their platform. One of the main features I would like to discuss in this article is the possibility to block and unblock someone in Gmail from Chrome browser. The features I will describe are not applicable if your Gmail runs on the desktop version of Outlook, because it requires a user being logged in Gmail.It’s pretty easy to block messages coming from another Gmail user. After activating the block, blocked messages will be sent to the spam folder. But if later on you change your mind or by mistake you have blocked someone you did not want to block, it will be still possible to unblock the message. 1- HOW TO BLOCK A MESSAGE ON GMAIL Open Chrome, login into your Gmail, and find the message you want to block. Select the message by double clicking on it, go to the three dots located on the far right of the message and with the right click a drop-down menu will show up. Select “Block” followed by the name of the sender. A popup message will ask you to confirm that you want to block the contact: click the blue “Block” button. The contact is now blocked and from now on all the messages from that sender will be delivered to the spam folder. 2- HOW TO UNBLOCK A MESSAGE ON GMAIL Sometimes, however, you don’t have anymore the email that you want to unblock and you still want to white list it. To do that, you may want to go to the settings, where you will find the tab “Filters and Blocked Addresses”. Scroll down to the list of blocked contacts and you can unblock whoever has been blocked before. As it happens when you blocked a message, a popup message will prompt you to confirm if you want to unblock the contact. Click on the blue button “Unblock” to restore the message to the previous location. 3- REPORTING PHISHING TO GOOGLE If you continue to scroll down through your spam folder, Gmail gives you also the chance to report phishing messages to Google. After you right click on the three dots, just below the “Block” function there is even the possibility to report phishing to Google. This feature will help Google fight more against spam and remove emails that contain infected clickable links. Few points need to be made to better understand what those email controls can do and cannot do:

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5 Steps To Setting up Your Business Email With Microsoft 365

5 Steps To Setting up Your Business Email With Microsoft 365 There are several reasons why a business decides to use a business email, such as promoting its brand, building trust with its users, and enhancing the security of its assets. I have already discussed the differences between a business email and an email that is used by single users and the benefits of using a business email rather than an email from providers such as AOL, Hotmail and Gmail. Several years ago, I was visiting clients in Westchester to troubleshoot their Exchange email server. At that time, the mail server was a server box located in the office; that server, in order to display the emails in the computer clients in the office, needed to be configured to pull the user accounts from Active Directory which was hosted in another server box within the same office. The problem with this setup was that it was not cloud based and therefore having only one mail server in a small Westchester office did not really offer redundancy. If the server broke, the entire mail system would have been down. In addition, small companies did not found value in having more than one server in the office which, in that case, would have been justified and offered a better solution against crashes and downtime issues. Nowadays, fortunately, redundancy is offered as a service by the big cloud providers and companies like Microsoft and Google provide the right services to businesses who are looking for a reliable corporate email. This article will guide readers step by step in setting up and configuring a business email with Microsoft 365 and Exchange online. 1- START WITH GOOD FOUNDATIONS: GET THE RIGHT DOMAIN AND HOSTING PROVIDER Finding a reliable domain provider is crucial in setting up a business email. A business email is linked to a domain name. In my experience, I have used both GoDaddy and Ionos but I have found a better provider in IONOS. I don’t like to see advertising banners and buttons on GoDaddy while I am navigating through the interface looking for something. I wasted a lot of time getting through confusing tabs that redirected me to resources I did not need. Check out, in the image below, how easy is to navigate the Ionos interface once you have logged in with your account: The main tabs you are going to use for your setup will be “Domains” and “Hosting”. You would need to use the hosting tab when you need to create and build your website but for the purpose of this tutorial, we will be focusing on the domains tab, because the domain needs to be tweaked to redirect some of its dns records to Microsoft. LET ME BE CLEAR ABOUT ONE POINT: I DO NOT RECOMMEND TO BUY MICROSOFT PRODUCTS THROUGH YOUR DOMAIN PROVIDER FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS: • For the same monthly fee, you will get more by buying directly from Microsoft.• Microsoft customer support is easy to reach out and responds quickly if your company is on a business plan. In Ionos, once you have reached the DNS section of the domain control panel, you will see all the records that your custom domain has. In the following picture, I have circled the TXT and MX records that have to be replaced by Microsoft records: As I have highlighted in the picture above, the TXT and the MX records will need to be pointed to Microsoft servers during the setup of the Microsoft admin account. 2- WHICH MICROSOFT 365 BUSINESS ACCOUNT DOES MY BUSINESS NEED? Even if your business does not have many users, I highly recommend to subscribe to the Microsoft 365 Business premium plan, for the following reasons: 3- LINK YOUR DOMAIN NAME TO YOUR NEW MICROSOFT ADMIN ACCOUNT You can buy the business subscription from this link. After you have opened an account with the Microsoft 365 business premium plan, you are now an administrator of that account. The next step an IT administrator would do is to connect that Microsoft account to the domain DNS interface so that the DNS records can be directly pointed to Microsoft. In order to connect the domain to Microsoft, Microsoft will give you three choices: In our case, we have a domain name already so we are going to select “Use a domain you already own” (B) and we will enter our domain name. Once we enter the domain name, we need to verify the ownership of the domain name. Microsoft is telling us that we need to add a txt record to our dns records by signing in to our domain registrar. Go to the dns settings and create a new txt record that we will add to our domain control panel as it is shown two pictures above. 4- CREATE USERS AND ASSIGN LICENSES Once the Microsoft 365 account setup is complete, we can create our first user and we can let the user access the Microsoft products and services the user is assigned to. The most popular and widely used Microsoft services are: New users will login to with the provided username and password but it will be extremely important if, before doing this step, the IT department will enforce the setup of the multifactor authentication so that the new user’s login will be based on three main elements:1) Username2) Password3) Token generated by the Microsoft authenticator app installed on the smartphone. 5- INSTALL THE OUTLOOK APP ON USERS’ SMARTPHONE Finally, a further step is required to enhance the use of a business email on a smartphone. Microsoft products work at their best if they run on Microsoft apps. If users have smartphones, I do not recommend to mix up personal emails with a Microsoft business email. A complete setup offered by and IT consultant should provide the download and installation of the Outlook app on users’ smartphone. As a matter of fact, the Outlook app is really meant for productivity

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Google Workspace VS Microsoft 365: Which is Better for a Small Business?

Google Workspace VS Microsoft 365: Which is Better for a Small Business? The most popular and safest products for small businesses are Google Workspace and Microsoft 365. I am currently using both platforms from my clients in Westchester and I thought that I could compare them and see where both stand out in terms of productivity, cloud computing, ease of use and security. The products look similar in some ways but we cannot say that one is the alternative to the other. However, I would like to make clear that if you’re looking for an exact alternative for either of these services you’re not going to find it in the market. There are some apps in 365 for which there are no alternatives in Google Workspace and there are some apps in Google Workspace for which there aren’t any available alternatives in 365. There are also applications that have similar use, but differ in so many different ways in both platforms. First thing to do if you’re a system administrator or a business owner in Westchester trying to decide which product is better for your organization, or if you’re an IT consultant trying to find a suitable application for your clients, write down the business requirements and its needs.For example, the questions you may be asking before implementing either of those two solutions are: READ HOW IMPORTANT IS TO HAVE A BUSINESS EMAIL IN YOUR CORPORATE ENVIRONMENT PROS OF USING MICROSOFT 365 AND EXCHANGE ONLINE 1- POPULARITY: One of the biggest advantages that Office 365 has over Workspace is that Microsoft Office’s packages have just been around for long time and came out much earlier than Google Workspace. Therefore, large enterprises who have become very accustomed to the use of these office applications won’t find an issue in switching to Microsoft 365 which is a cloud and a software based service as well. For example, let’s take Outlook: Outlook has been around for almost 30 years and it is still one of the most popular application in the world, if not the most popular out there. 2- OUTLOOK APP: The Outlook app for Iphone and Android is free and it works great especially if you are trying to get the most out of your calendar. As Microsoft has created its own app for smartphones, I recommend to use the Outlook app for smartphone if you need to operate a Microsoft email that has been setup via Exchange. Also, try to avoid mixing your personal emails with your Office 365 emails on the smartphone because you will run into issues with the calendar’s synchronization. 3- FLEXIBILITY: Microsoft 365 is a suite that focuses more on desktop applications. A desktop application is a software that gets installed on a device and will run on the computer or laptop where the software is installed. However, contrary to Google workspace which is only cloud based, Microsoft approach is more licensed based and allows the same apps to run online as well. For example, if you have an old machine with not so much hard drive space left, you may want to run only the online version of Microsoft 365 and in doing so you will avoid to take more space in the hard drive. 4-STORAGE PLANS: in the most affordable and basic plans, Microsoft 365 offers 50 GB Mailbox storage and 1 TB One Drive, whereas Google Workspace Starter plan offers a 30 GB Mailbox. In Google, the storage is shared between mailbox and storage. 5- VIDEO CALLS: for video conferencing, Microsoft 365 uses Teams and Google uses Google Meet, respectively. However, Microsoft in its business plans allows to host meetings up to 300 people and in the enterprise plan you can host online calls with up to 1,000 participants. Google Meet, on the other hand, cannot go beyond 500 participants. 6- ADVANCED SECURITY FEATURES: Microsoft offers best in class email security with almost 1,000 customizations when it comes to creating policies for users and email attachments. Advanced Threat Protection protects email attachments, links and files uploaded by users to One Drive for Business and Sharepoint. However, as it is a complex product, I recommend business users to have IT experts configure and implement ATP for users. As the image below shows, there are preset security policies but the Configuration Analyzer allows the admin to configure the product to increase the security score. The higher the Microsoft security score is, the more secure the network running all the Microsoft apps will be. PROS OF USING GOOGLE WORKSPACE 1- 100% CLOUD BASED PLATFORM: Google Workspace does not need any installation and it’s basically browse based. If you use Chrome, you will get the most out of the entire suite as it is easy to use. 2- STUDENTS AND YOUNGSTERS LOVE IT: As Google has a huge foothold in the education business, young students are getting educated to use Google products and will continue to do so when, as adults, will enter the workforce. 3- OUTLOOK VS GMAIL: If your organization does not need to use Outlook, once the domain has been moved with its MX records to Google, the domain will use Gmail that can be easily accessible through a browser without the need to install Outlook on your computer or laptop. LEARN HERE ABOUT THE ISSUES THAT GOOGLE WORKSPACE USERS ENCOUNTER WHEN RUNNING OUTLOOK DESKTOP APP WITH GMAIL As you may infer from the article, Google is more suited for businesses that operate mostly online and share a lot of documents on the Internet. On the other hand, Microsoft is more tailored in a classic corporate environment where there is an IT department and compliance goes hand in hand with auditing processes. The easy administration of Google Workspace is counterbalanced by more complicated interfaces when it comes to configuring Microsoft admin centers. The following infographic form Techmedics can give an idea of how both products can meet small or medium sized businesses needs: Both products excel and lack of features at the same

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