Veeam Office 365 Backup version 2

Matt Barton Keller Schroeder EngineerMatt Barton  – [Senior Consultant]

Do you have control of your Office 365 data? Do you have access to all the items you need? The knee-jerk reaction is typically, “Of course I do,” or “Microsoft takes care of it all.” But if you really think about it — are you sure? Microsoft takes care of quite a bit, and provides a great service for their customers. However, Microsoft’s primary focus is on managing the Office 365 infrastructure and maintaining uptime to your users. They are empowering YOU with the responsibility of your data. The misconception that Microsoft fully backs up your data on your behalf is quite common, and without a shift in mindset, could have damaging repercussions when this responsibility is left unattended. Ultimately, you need to ensure you have access to, and control over, your Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business data.

The misunderstanding falls between Microsoft’s perceived responsibility and the user’s actual responsibility of protection and long-term retention of their Office 365 data. The backup and recoverability that Microsoft provides and what users assume they are getting are often different. Meaning, aside from the standard precautions Office 365 has in place, you may need to re-assess the level of control you have of your data and how much access you truly have to it.

Microsoft Office 365 offers geo redundancy, which is often mistaken for backup. Backup takes place when a historical copy of data is made and then stored in another location. However, it is even more important that you have direct access to and control over that backup. So if data is lost, accidentally deleted or maliciously attacked, for example — you can quickly recover. Geo redundancy, on the other hand, protects against site or hardware failure, so if there is an infrastructure crash or outage, your users will remain productive and often oblivious to these underlying issues.

6 reasons why backing up Office 365 is critical:

  1. Accidental Deletion
  2. Retention policy gaps and confusion
  3. Internal security threats
  4. External security threats
  5. Legal and compliance requirements
  6. Managing hybrid deployments

Go ahead and take a closer look. There are security gaps you may not have been aware of before. You already made a smart business decision by deploying Microsoft Office 365, now find a backup solution that offers you both complete access and complete control of your Office 365 data and avoid the unnecessary risks of data loss. To learn more, reach out to your Keller Schroeder Select Account Manager.


Top 4 Ways Hackers Will Attack Your Network

Keller Schroeder KnowBe4Most small and midsize business (SMB) owners exist in a bubble of blissful ignorance. They focus on the day-to-day operations of their organization, driving growth, facilitating hiring and guiding marketing, without a single thought given to the security of the computer networks these processes depend on. After all, they’re just the little guy – why would hackers go to the trouble of penetrating their systems for the minuscule amount of data they store? And eventually, often after years of smooth sailing through calm seas, they get hacked, fork out thousands of dollars to malicious hackers and collapse beneath the weight of their own shortsightedness.

The facts don’t lie. According to Verizon’s annual Data Breach Investigations Report, a full 71% of cyber-attacks are aimed squarely at SMBs. And while it’s unclear exactly how many of these attacks are actually successful, with the sad state of most small businesses’ security protocols, it’s a safe bet that a good chunk of the attacks make it through. But why? As Tina Manzer writes for Educational Dealer, “Size becomes less of an issue than the security network … While larger enterprises typically have more data to steal, small businesses have less secure networks.” As a result, hackers can hook up automated strikes to lift data from thousands of small businesses at a time – the hit rate is that high.

Today, trusting the security of your company to your son-in-law, who assures you he “knows about computers,” isn’t enough. It takes constant vigilance, professional attention and, most of all, knowledge. Start here with the four most common ways hackers infiltrate hapless small businesses.

PHISHING E-MAILS

An employee receives an e-mail directly from your company’s billing company, urging them to fill out some “required” information before their paycheck can be finalized. Included in the very professional-looking e-mail is a link your employee needs to click to complete the process. But when they click the link, they aren’t redirected anywhere. Instead, a host of vicious malware floods their system, spreading to the entirety of your business network within seconds, and locks everyone out of their most precious data. In return, the hackers want thousands of dollars or they’ll delete everything.

It’s one of the oldest tricks in the hacker toolbox, but today it’s easier than ever for an attacker to gather key information and make a phishing e-mail look exactly like every other run-of-the-mill e-mail you receive each day. Train your employees to recognize these sneaky tactics, and put in safeguards in case someone messes up and clicks the malicious link.

BAD PASSWORDS

According to Inc.com contributing editor John Brandon, “With a $300 graphics card, a hacker can run 420 billion simple, lowercase, eight-character password combinations a minute.” What’s more, he says, “80% of cyber-attacks involve weak passwords,” yet despite this fact, “55% of people use one password for all logins.”

As a manager, you should be bothered by these statistics. There’s simply no excuse for using an easy-to-crack password, for you or your team. Instead, it’s a good idea to make a password out of four random common words, splicing in a few special characters for good measure. To check the strength of your password, type it into HowSecureIsMyPassword.net before you make it official.

MALWARE

As described above, malware is often delivered through a shady phishing e-mail, but it’s not the only way it can wreak havoc on your system. An infected website (such as those you visit when you misspell sites like Facebook.com, a technique called “typosquatting”), a USB drive loaded with viruses or even an application can bring vicious software into your world without you even realizing it. In the past, an antivirus software was all that you needed. These days, it’s likely that you need a combination of software systems to combat these threats. These tools are not typically very expensive to put in place, especially considering the security holes they plug in your network.

SOCIAL ENGINEERING

As fallible as computers may be, they’ve got nothing on people. Sometimes hackers don’t need to touch a keyboard at all to break through your defenses: they can simply masquerade as you to a support team in order to get the team to activate a password reset. It’s easier than you think, and requires carefully watching what information you put on the Internet – don’t put the answers to your security questions out there for all to see.

We’ve outlined some of the simplest ways to defend yourself against these shady techniques, but honestly, the best way is to bring on a company that constantly keeps your system updated with the most cutting-edge security, is ready at a moment’s notice to protect you in a crisis, and can train your end-users. Hackers are going to come for you, but if you’ve done everything you can to prepare, your business will be safe. To discuss how Keller Schroeder can help you develop a comprehensive strategy to protect your business, contact your Keller Schroeder Account Manager today.


Partnering Together Again! Second Quarter Give Back Winner Announced

Carissa Eatmon Keller Schroeder MarketingCarissa Eatmon  – [Marketing & Communications Coordinator]

We are excited to announce our second quarter “Partnering Together In Business & Community Giveback” $500 donation recipient is Alive Hospice, nominated by Maria Conatser from Ingram Barge Company. Maria was recently joined at Ingram’s offices by Keller Schroeder’s Select Account Manager Lee Barron and Alive Hospice’s Judy Orr and Taylor Thurston to accept the donation. Thank you for partnering with us in giving Maria!

Keller Schroeder’s recent efforts to create relationships with new clients and prospects has extended an opportunity to partner with us, both in business and also in giving back to our community. Each quarter, we are holding a drawing for a $500 donation to a United Way-approved organization nominated by a prospective client we have recently met with.

2018 Keller Schroeder 2Q Give Back

 


Keller Schroeder Opens Nashville Office

Rob Wilson- Keller Schroeder Vice President, Greater Nashville AreaRob Wilson  – [Associate Vice President, Greater Nashville Area]

Keller Schroeder is excited to announce the opening of our Nashville, TN office at 901 Woodland Street. The East Nashville office is the first hub outside of Evansville for Keller Schroeder since our founding in 1978.

Nashville TN SkylineKeller Schroeder has solid partnerships with Nashville-based businesses and technology partners. We have successfully supported a number of them from Evansville for several years. Our Nashville team has worked hard to gel with the local business and tech communities in Nashville, as well as the community at large. We’re excited about the message the opening of this office sends to our clients, partners, and prospects in Nashville. We know the close proximity will be a welcome benefit to them and to our team that serves them regularly.

As an employee-owned organization, Keller Schroeder exists to make positive, personal impacts on our employee-owners, clients, and the communities we serve. We’ve made positive impacts on many businesses in Nashville through our work. Through volunteering and giving back, we’ve impacted a number of community organizations in the region just as we have in Evansville. We are humbled by how we have been welcomed by the business leaders in Nashville, and are expecting great things to come out of our expansion there.


The Definition of Success

Jeff Gorman - Keller Schroeder PresidentJeff Gorman  – [President]

Quickly, name someone you consider highly successful.  Success is such an abstract concept, with wildly different definitions even within the same culture, that it is really challenging to get consistent answers to that prompt.  Some people will quickly conjure up names of leaders of large businesses.  Some people will default to celebrities from the entertainment or athletic world.  Still others will lead with a family member that has no exceptional level of wealth or celebrity status but had a profound impact on them.  While the word ‘success’ is readily understood, it’s scored abstractly for everyone based on what is most important to us personally.

If asking people to name someone successful can lead to answers that diverse, it stands to follow that asking employees if their team or business is ‘successful’ at a given point in time is likely to have a myriad of answers as well.  Successful teams, and therefore businesses, require clarity.  Part of clarity means success criteria are defined and leaders generate ‘buy-in’ on that vision.  If the business is not taking time to generate clarity and ‘buy-in’ on what it considers success to look like for the company, it can assume people are applying their own interpretation of success – and those views are not going to be consistent, which will lead to breakdowns in commitment and accountability.  The process of defining and reiterating that clarity is a critical task in the process of getting employees engaged in a common pursuit.  Those engaged employees, and the teams on which they participate, are the path to having a company which consistently pursues the same objectives, knows how that pursuit is progressing, and holds each other accountable for the process of achieving collective success.

If it feels like an employee, team, partner, or anyone else you have a relationship with is completely missing the mark with your expectations, consider how well you have shared in the process of creating support for a clear, shared definition of success.  What feels like a performance issue could possibly be as simple as leaving some portion of ‘success’ to personal interpretation.  Clarity and buy-in could be exactly what is needed to move the needle in a more positive direction.


End of General Support for VMware vSphere 5.5

Chris Haynes - Keller Schroeder Senior Systems EngineerChris Haynes  – [Senior Systems Consultant]

The End of General Support date for vSphere 5.5 is September 19, 2018.  VMware just released the newest version of VMware called vSphere 6.7, which means the oldest supported vSphere version of 5.5 will fall off the support list and vSphere 6.0 will now become the oldest supported version.

Vmware Vsphere 5.5 End of General Support

To maintain the full level of support and subscription services, VMware recommends upgrading to the current stable vSphere 6.5 Update 1 version, or to the newer 6.7 version once it is compatible with your environment. VMware has extended general support for vSphere 6.5 to a full five years from its release date, which means general support for vSphere 6.5 will end on November 15, 2021. For more information on the benefits of upgrading and how to upgrade, visit the VMware vSphere Upgrade Center:

https://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere/upgrade-center.html

If you would like assistance in moving to a newer version of vSphere, Keller Schroeder’s System Engineers provide a comprehensive service to upgrade your virtual infrastructure. The service includes recommendations, planning, pre-upgrade remediation, the actual upgrade itself, and post upgrade testing & validation. For more information contact your Keller Schroeder Account Manager.


SharePoint News Update

Matt Mulherin - Keller Schroeder Applications ConsultantMatt Mulherin  – [Applications Consultant]

Microsoft has been very busy developing new and exciting features for SharePoint.  Now that SharePoint is online as part of Office 365, it is continually being updated and improved.  Microsoft’s vision for SharePoint going forward encompasses four key areas: share with confidence, transform business processes, inform and engage employees, and harness collective knowledge.


Share with Confidence

Microsoft Teams SharePoint

One of the newest updates is the ability to add a SharePoint page to a Teams channel.  Teams is a social and chat application that encourages quick and immediate collaboration.  For example, if you have a team of employees and you communicate regularly in Microsoft Teams chatting, by sharing files, etc., you then realize that you have a SharePoint page that needs be referenced by the team.  Instead of adding a link to the team chat window for everyone to click, which directs them away from the Team channel, you can simply add the page for reference directly in Microsoft Teams.

SharePoint and OneDrive files on Demand is another new feature that allows you to easily access your personal and professional files from your favorite device.  The files are not downloaded on your device until you choose to work with them.  This new feature is a major development because as a collection of files and folders grows exponentially in our personal and professional lives, we need a better way to manage and keep visible all of this important information.  We also need quick and easy ways to share this information from our devices, which you now can do by dropping the file directly into instant messages on your iOS device, or by simply right clicking directly in Windows Explorer on your desktop.


Transform Business Process

Microsoft Power Apps Sharepoint

You can improve your business processes by using SharePoint hub sites.  Hub sites give structure and topology to your SharePoint sites, allowing users to quickly find and access sites within your organization.  You can create one or many hub sites and organize your sites by associating like sites under the same hub site.

Create custom SharePoint forms and digital experiences with Microsoft PowerApps that surface directly in the context of a list or library.  These new forms provide better context to the user and are much more engaging and interactive.  Any user can transform a team’s organizational processes because PowerApps provides the creation of customized forms without the need to write any code.

Microsoft announced major improvements to lists.  Some of these features are available today and some in late 2018.  Cognitive analysis on list data, column and row formatting, more easily create lists based on excel data and other lists, edit lists more quickly, and real-time list updates (no more refreshing pages) are some of the new list improvements announced.


Inform and Engage Employees

Microsoft Sharepoint Communication SiteCommunication sites are dynamic sites that provide the ability to reach a broad audience within an organization.  Think of a communication site as a way for the organization to share news, inform and engage employees, while fostering open communication.  These sites look great on the web, on a PC or Mac, on mobile browsers and in the SharePoint app.  Publish news content on your communications site and it will automatically surface on the SharePoint home page in Office 365.  Configuring the layout of the communication sites is very user friendly with new multi-column sections and drag-and-drop authoring.

SharePoint provides many new out-of-the-box web parts, but custom web-parts are still possible.  Microsoft has a new SharePoint Development Framework (SPFx) that gives developers a better way to develop web parts and extensions.  SPFX is available today with SharePoint Online and it will be possible to develop SPFx custom code on-premises after the release of Feature Pack 2 this fall.

Microsoft just announced an exciting new feature called SharePoint spaces that is currently in limited preview.  It is an immersive, mixed reality experience for users, which allows visualization and editing of content from any angle on any device.  Microsoft suggests using spaces for recruiting and onboarding, learning, and product development business cases.


Harness Collective Knowledge

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2019For SharePoint On-Premise deployments, Microsoft is committed to on-premises and hybrid customers.  SharePoint Server 2016 has several features that confirm this commitment.  One is the on-premises feature packs that can be installed, which include some of the previously released SharePoint online features.  In addition, Microsoft provides hybrid features that allow organizations to have both an on-premises and online SharePoint environments working together to offer users a single user experience, such as merging search indexes and allowing users to view search results from both on-premises and SharePoint online.  Essentially, users are simply given content based on their search criteria, regardless of where the content is stored.

Microsoft is planning to release to preview SharePoint Server 2019 any day now and to general availability in the second half of 2018.  More hybrid features, Next-Gen Sync Client support, Modern UX throughout, and more Flow/PowerApps integration will be included.  In addition, SharePoint 2010 workflows and InfoPath forms will continue to be supported in SharePoint Server 2019.


SharePoint continues to grow as a popular and widely used enterprise-wide collaboration platform and we do not anticipate the growth will diminish.  According to Microsoft’s Office 365 Roadmap, 62 updates are beginning to roll-out and 190 are currently in development.  We only touched on the surface of all of the new and exciting features coming to SharePoint.  Please contact your Keller Schroeder Account Manager to learn how SharePoint can positively impact the performance, collaboration, and engagement within your organization.


Cisco Umbrella: First Line of Defense

Tyler Carlisle - Keller Schroeder Network ConsultantTyler Carlisle  – [Network Consultant]

How do you protect your users when they are off your corporate network, outside the boundaries of your perimeter security solution? Do they use a VPN? Are you sure? A recent Gartner study predicted that as much as 25% of corporate data traffic will bypass perimeter security. How can you guarantee that your users are secure? Cisco Umbrella can provide the answer.

Cisco Umbrella First Line of Defense

Cisco acquired OpenDNS in 2015 and rebranded its enterprise security products to Cisco Umbrella. Cisco Umbrella is a cloud-based Secure Internet Gateway that protects your users wherever they access the internet, whether on or off the corporate network, and on or off the VPN. Its DNS-based architecture and IP layer enforcement provide a first line of defense against threats, such as malware, ransomware, and C2 callbacks.

Cisco Umbrella Security

 

Cisco Umbrella provides the same protection to all devices on the corporate network, including IoT and mobile devices, by simply forwarding external DNS traffic to the Umbrella servers. Best of all, it provides all this protection with zero additional latency, 100% uptime, and it can be deployed in as little as 30 minutes.

 

If you would like more information on Cisco Umbrella, visit kellerschroeder.com/umbrella to download our “At A Glance” information sheet or request to be added to our upcoming webinar distribution list.  You can also contact your Keller Schroeder Select Account Manager today to start your free trial of Cisco Umbrella.


Partnering in Business and Community Giveback

Carissa Eatmon -Keller Schroeder Marketing & Communications CoordinatorCarissa Eatmon  – [Marketing & Communications Coordinator]

Partnering Together in Business and Giving

At Keller Schroeder, we like to regularly emphasize our mission of existing to make positive, personal impacts on our clients, our employee-owners, and in our community. We are passionate about our clients, and are incredibly grateful for their generosity and willingness to partner with us to give back in meaningful ways. For example, with our annual Client Appreciation Event alone, our clients have helped us positively impact nine individual charitable organizations (plus our local United Way chapter as a whole) with truckloads of in-kind goods and thousands of dollars in donations.

With that sentiment in mind, our recent effort to create relationships with new clients and prospects has extended an opportunity to partner with us, both in business and also in giving back to our community. Each quarter, we are holding a drawing for a $500 donation to a United Way-approved organization nominated by a prospective client we have recently met with.

Partnering with Second Harvest Food BankWe are excited to announce our first quarter “Partnering Together In Business & Community Giveback” $500 donation recipient is Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, nominated by Brian Whittaker, Help Desk Manager from CareHere. Brian was recently joined at CareHere’s offices by Keller Schroeder’s Select Account Manager Lee Barron and Second Harvest’s Corporate Partnerships Manager Amanda Richard to accept the donation. Thank you for partnering with us in giving Brian!


The Best Way to Work ‘On’ A Community is to Work ‘In’ the Community

Jeff Gorman- Keller Schroeder PresidentJeff Gorman – [President]

We are proud to be celebrating our 40th year of being a technology company in the performance improvement business.  At some point in our recent history, if you have joined us at a Keller Schroeder event, you have seen and heard us promote our even larger purpose of making positive, personal impacts.  We seek to exhibit that behavior among employee-owners, with our clients, and in our communities.  While the value of making positive impacts on clients and employee-owners is probably not hard to discern, it occurred to me people might wonder why we feel as compelled to consistently focus on making positive impacts in the community.

In its simplest form, the answer is the best way to work ‘on’ a community is to work ‘in’ the community.  We are proud of the local community, and we hope to see it continue to grow and offer greater opportunities for everyone.  Just like a business, though, the local community cannot improve by simply having people wish for improvement.  If its members want it to improve, they must be willing to get involved and make it what they want it to be.  Keller Schroeder does not view the communities in which we work as disconnected entities from our company; we view our company as an integrated part of the community.  In that capacity, we have an obligation to find ways to make positive impacts on and with organizations who are helping our families, our friends, our neighbors, and others who are dealing with significant needs.

Some make the case the responsibility for community involvement lies with the individuals of a company rather than with the company itself.  Their stance is to keep the company focused on profitability, remaining socially neutral, while allowing your employees to support causes which matter to them.  Our view is that our company, as a collection of employee-owners, has a responsibility to be an active member of the communities in which it exists.  Our employee-owners also have their own individual causes and contributions they can discern, but their activities do not preclude the company from its responsibility of working to make the community better in a way that balances both our value and our values.

We look forward to continuing to find ways to celebrate and support the communities where we do business, and we hope to have the opportunity to join up with you in that pursuit sometime soon.  The better our communities become, the better the environments are for our businesses, our employees, our families, and our future.