Malware Restore

Malware Watch – Restoring from a Malware Incident

Malware Restore – IT managers are often faced with information technology incidents which alter their work environment, and affect their on-going operations, causing them to take measures which restore daily business activity.

Such incidents (where malware restore is necessary) are often ex-organisational and pose a serious concern for business continuity.

Malware activity is such an incident, but what is Malware?  The classic Wikipedia description of Malware is: ” Malware is any software intentionally designed to cause damage to a computer, server, client, or computer network. Malware does the damage after it is implanted or introduced in some way into a target’s computer and can take the form of executable code, scripts, active content, and other software. ”

Malware Restore

In a recent real incident a US Florida town decided to pay malicious hackers $600,000 (£475,000) to get its computers working again.  Malicious hackers managed to break into this US town’s computers, and insert a Malware code, which enabled them to disable IT operations until the ransom was paid.

In this case payment was made by Bitcoin, 65 Bitcons, in return for a return to normal IT operations.  This story was recently reported by the BBC Florida town pays $600,000 virus ransom.

It might seem so but this is not an isolated event, news & media organisations such as Associated Press have reported that in 2018, 1,493 such ransomware attacks occurred, resulting in an estimated payout of $3.6m for hackers.

Cyber security firms are a proven resource for trying to stop such incidents before they happen, but more and more its become recognized that 3rd party cloud to cloud backup is an effective recourse to restore data in main business solutions such as Office 365 email exchange, G Suite, Salesforce.com, etc.  Companies which backup their cloud business solutions, are able to restore their data, and setup IT operations again (on a new IT environment), avoiding ransom payments to hackers who wish to disrupt their business and gain from such activity.

Data Protection – Malware Restore

In order to enable a point-in-time restore, its obviously necessary to start by activating a backup for the selected business solution.  Click Here to download our why backup eGuide.

If you’ve experienced such a Malware incidents, and want to learn more about backup, email us.

 

 

 

 

Office 365 Features & Benefits

10 new Office 365 Features and Benefits for businesses today.

office 365 features and benefits

Microsoft Office 365 is an incredible productivity suite in the cloud that integrates all of Microsoft’s most well-known applications —Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, Sway, and Access— into a cloud service. As a user, you’ll discover many Office 365 features and benefits that can enhance your office environment. So, it should be no surprise that Office 365 has more than 25 million consumer subscriptions.

The problem is that too few users know how to use Office 365 to its full potential. Instead, most of the time, they use the same applications, day in and day out, without ever exploring all the different features, benefits, and new updates that are available.

To help you out and to provide your team with the best in productivity and collaboration, we’ve collected our list of favorite Office 365 features and benefits that you need to be using. These features will improve your workflow, optimize your team, and streamline how you get things done.


What this article is about:


Top 10 Office 365 Features and Benefits

Office 365 has many business applications, features, and benefits that you either might not be aware of or you might not be using to their full capability. To ensure you’re not missing out, here are our top ten must-use features for Office 365.

1. Mobile Apps

If you’re not using Office 365 on your phone, you should be. When you purchase Office 365, you also gain access to its mobile apps and browser apps, which means you can access Office 365 in the cloud on your mobile device and on the go. Better yet, you do not have to download Office software on your computer to gain this access.

All you need to do to access Office 365 on your phone or tablet is to download the Microsoft Office 365 mobile app. After that, you’ll have access to all of your Office 365 features and subscriptions on your mobile device. This means you’ll be able to use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and more without your PC.

2. Real-Time Editing and Co-Authoring

Office 365 is made to be a collaborative environment for your office, and that means you need multiple ways to interact with your team. One way to collaborate online with your team is to create shared documents within your Office apps.

  1. First, save your Word file to OneDrive cloud storage or SharePoint.
  2. Second, give your team access to the document.

From there, your team can co-author the document in real-time, make edits, and introduce updates for all team members. There’s even an option to share Word document access directly through the integrated sidebar.

The best part is that you have complete control over who can access and edit the document at any time. This means, as a publisher, you can quickly share access and take it away as needed.

You can also see changes as they are made to your document and have the edits highlighted by contributor. This way, you know what each member of your team has added or removed and can accept the new updates or revert to a previous version of the file as needed.

3. Connect Via Skype

If you want even better ways to communicate with your team, there’s an Office 365 feature that can help. All Office 365 applications include a Skype in-app integration. This means you can quickly and easily instant message your teammates, share screens, or start an audio/visual conversation. All without ever having to close the Office app or change screens.

The good news is that your Skype call won’t end when the Office 365 app closes either. Your Skype conversation will continue until you’re ready to end the call, and it includes unlimited Skype minutes. Learn more about Office 365 and Skype here.

4. Avoid Email Attachments

Have you ever sent an email and forgotten the attachment? It happens more often than we realize. Thankfully, one of the latest Office 365 feature updates was to make it possible to share links instead of files. This way you never have to email an attachment again.

Instead, all you need to do is upload your file to Office 365’s cloud storage. Then, send an email via Outlook or the Outlook web app. And instead of attaching the document or file you need to share, insert the link for the file on your cloud. This way your email recipient will have the ability to access, edit, and update the file in real-time without needing to send another version back to you.

5. Create Outlook Calendar Events Easily

If you use OneNote, you know that one thing that would be invaluable is to be able to quickly transform tasks into due dates on your Outlook calendar. You can do that easily in Office 365. Simply configure OneNote items to become tasks in your calendar and then assign that task to the appropriate colleague, add a follow-up reminder, or set a due date.

There’s also an Office 365 feature that allows you to transfer meeting notes from OneNote to your teammates via email. This way you ensure everyone is on the same page.

6. PowerPoint Laser Pointer

With the simple keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + P), you can transform your mouse into a laser pointer for your PowerPoint presentation. This has been a nifty trick for years, but was only recently introduced to touch-screen devices as part of the latest Office 365 feature updates. The good news is that you can use the laser pointer even in “presenter mode.”

7. PDF Conversion & Editing

Every business has to use PDFs on a regular basis. Thankfully, the latest version of Office 365 makes it easier than ever to edit and convert PDFs directly within Office 365. This feature is incredibly intuitive and streamlined. All you have to do to edit a PDF is convert it into a Word document and then voila! Or you can simply save a Word document as a PDF, and you’re set. Learn more here.

8. Quick Email Reply

What if you could quickly reply to emails based on the subject line without ever having to open up the email? When you enable Reading Pane in Outlook this is possible. This Office 365 feature allows you to preview the email and hit “reply” without leaving the main Outlook window. When you combine this with the Conversations view, you should be able to quickly and easily see, at a glance, what emails you’ve read and responded to.

9. Office 365 Planner

Keep your team organized and ensure the workflow stays on target with the new Office 365 Planner feature. This feature provides a visual overview of your workflow, so you can more easily organize your team’s efforts. It makes it simple to create game plans, assign tasks, follow-up on to-dos, establish due dates, provide updates, and share files all within an easy-to-use dashboard. Teammates can even set up email alerts for updates to the Planner.

10. Self-Cleaning Smart Inbox

We all get cluttered email inboxes, but the new Microsoft Office 365 Clutter feature helps you clean up your inbox fast. Just set up mailbox rules to automatically list high-priority messages first and to remove low-priority messages to your “clutter” folder to be taken care of later.

New: Office 365 Feature Updates

There are also a few new Office 365 feature updates that we love and will be coming soon.

Other Office 365 feature updates include an upcoming automated transcription service for video and audio files. This will be valuable for webinars and tutorials and will be compatible with over 320 file types.

Final Thoughts

Office 365 has many incredible features and benefits to improve productivity at your office. Just be sure that you know what you’re doing and using it to its full capabilities. Also, because it’s so valuable, make sure you always backup office 365 with a cloud-to-cloud backup and recovery software such as CloudAlly… Start to backup your Office 365 with a Free 14 day trial.


Now that you know about the top 10 new office 365 Features and their benefits, you might want to have a look at what we created for you…

 

Online Backup Services For Business, in 2019

Leading Cloud Storage Options and Online Backup Services for Business in 2019

online backup services for businessBusinesses are increasingly relying on online backup services to protect their data (online backup services for business is crucial for DR). That’s because most companies already store much of their data in the cloud or use cloud-based software such as Google Drive or Office 365 to run their business. So cloud storage options make sense.

 

 


What this article is about:


Cloud storage especially makes sense when you consider that global devices generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. That’s a lot of vital information that your company can’t afford to lose due to hard drive failures (140,000 a week), cyber attacks (31% of businesses have experienced a cyber attack), or poorly planned disaster recovery (68% of SMBs have no plan in place).

So, the need for some type of data backup in the cloud compared to in-house, on-premise local storage is ideal. The problem is figuring out which cloud backup companies offer the type of online storage options your business needs. There are a multitude of providers out there, and you have to wisely choose the option with the best ROI.

 

To help your business out, this article will take an in-depth look at what the leading cloud storage options for business offer and what your business needs to consider carefully before making the jump.

Why You Need Online Backup Services for Business

First, let’s talk about why you need online backup services. While you might think that your tools, applications, and software are protected thanks to the backup and recovery built into most SaaS products, the reality is different.

Default cloud storage options are typically limited and not designed to fully protect your business. These online backup services exist to help you out in a tight spot when data is accidentally dropped in the recycle bin or your system shuts down unexpectedly, but they are definitely not a replacement for complete online backup services for business.

Let’s take a deeper look at what these FREE or low-cost cloud backup companies offer.

Leading FREE or Low-Cost: Cloud Storage Options for Business

When considering your cloud storage options, the first place you’ll probably start is with the default online backup services associated with your favorite SaaS applications.

Office 365 Exchange Backup and Recovery Software

  • Easy to Use
  • Integrated into Microsoft 365
  • Only 100GB default storage
  • 30-day recovery limit

Office 365 comes with basic data protection and security measures for everyday use. This means that you can recover items for up to 30 days when using the recycle bin, and it works neatly with Windows users and quite a few mobile apps.

However, Office 365 Exchange is limited when it comes to cloud storage options. If data is purged, the data is unrecoverable. It also does not include point-in-time restore nor does it consider data corruption caused by 3rd party applications, unexpected malicious activity, or human error its problem.

There’s also a problem when it comes to outages. Recently, Office 365 went down for four hours and that’s not the only time the company has gone offline. They’ve had major outages five times in the last 12 months.

 

Price: 100GB free. Learn more about the default Office 365 Exchange backup here.

SharePoint Cloud Backup

  • Simplified data backup and recovery
  • No automated daily backups or point-in-time snapshots

SharePoint offers simple cloud storage for business through the central administration website. Data loss in the case of unintentional deletion or versioning, moving data between installations or hardware or software upgrade, and unexpected failure are all supported.

However, SharePoint cloud storage for business does not offer automatic daily backups, point-in-time snapshots, or data recovery due to corruption or other errors.

 

Price: 1TB per user for $5.00/month. Unlimited for $10.00 per user/month. Learn more about SharePoint backup in the cloud here.

G Suite Business Backup Solutions

  • 15GB free storage
  • Integrates seamlessly with Android devices
  • Web interface is lacking and not easy to use
  • Limited data loss protection

G-Suite drive backup is a natural choice for Android users and those who use the online application. It comes with a generous 15GB of free storage including the ability to save high definition photos on the companion app Google Photos. G-Suite also has safeguards in place to protect your account from data loss through Google’s Data Loss Prevention feature. This is valuable for keeping your files from being lost, and protects you from hackers and hardware malfunction.

You can use Google Vault to restore lost data as an export/import function, or you can use Google’s built-in restore feature, which allows you to restore everything or nothing at all—you can’t just choose one file. However, G Suite’s online backup services does not protect you from irreversible data loss due to human error, missteps in syncing, or deliberate deletion of files, in fact the most needed feature is a point-in-time restore which can only be provided by a 3rd party backup vendor such as CloudAlly.com.

 

Price: 15GB free. 100GB for $1.99/month. 200GB for $2.99/month. 2TB for $9.99/month. 10TB for $99.99/month. Learn more about G-Suite cloud storage for business here.

Salesforce Backup

  • Limited default data protection
  • Expensive and time-consuming manual data recovery
  • Data deleted after 90 days

Salesforce contains some of the most valuable data and information belonging to your company but it comes with a very limited default backup in the cloud. Unfortunately, to use this data backup, the system administrator must perform a time-consuming, on-site manual backup on a weekly basis. There is no such thing as automatic or on-demand cloud storage for business within Salesforce, or point-in-time restore with an unlimited retention period.

And if the worst should happen and you need to recover lost data that you didn’t manually backup, it costs $10,000 and takes six to eight weeks to get your data back. It’s all or nothing. Worse yet, Salesforce only saves files for 90 days before they’re gone forever.

 

Price: Manual backup included free but data recovery fee of $10,000. Learn more about Salesforce’s data online backup services here.

Dropbox Recovery and Backup

  • Supported by multiple platforms
  • Includes many unique features
  • Easy-to-use
  • Limited to 2GB of space initially

Dropbox is one of the most popular free cloud storage options around. Its web interface is easy to use and streamlined. Unfortunately, it also comes with one of the least generous free packages available—just 2GB for new users.

With Dropbox, you can recover deleted files instantly and restore previous versions of your work. The application works like a time machine that keeps snapshots of every change in your Dropbox folder, making it easy to recover and restore data and/or return to a previous version of a file. It’s also a highly collaborative tool that works well with Windows, Mac, and Linux plus a variety of mobile apps on Android, iOS, and Kindle.

Unfortunately, Dropbox’s backup in the cloud doesn’t protect from accidental or malicious file destruction. Once data has been purged, there’s no getting it back. No point-in-time restore ability, no unlimited retention period, no restore support.

 

Price: 2GB free. 1TB for $8.25/month. 2TB for $16.58/month. Learn more about Dropbox’s cloud storage for business here.

Box Cloud Backup

  • Supported by a wide range of apps
  • Business plans include advanced security features
  • Free accounts limited to 250MB upload
  • No backup once trash is emptied

Box.com is one of those cloud backup companies that has been around for a while. It’s supported by a number of apps including Google Docs and Office 365 and it’s also integrated with G-Suite, which means all of your docs, sheets, and slides can be automatically saved and managed with Box. In addition Box Sync client is available for Mac, Windows, and Android.

While you can securely backup your files with Box in case your device malfunctions or you accidentally delete an important file, the Box.com solution does not protect from accidental or malicious destruction of files. If the trash is emptied, it’s gone for good. Plus, you only get 10GB of storage for free, otherwise you have to sign up for a business plan.

Price: 10GB free or 100GB for around $10/month. Learn more about Box here.

The Best Cloud to Cloud Backup Companies

So, what are the best cloud storage options for business in 2019? It comes down to understanding your highly complex business needs when it comes to data backup and recovery. Instead of using one of the tools we outlined above, which limits your online backup services to a single SaaS application, you need a solution that covers all of your bases at once.

CloudAlly Cloud Storage for Business

  • Strong security
  • Central SaaS data management
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Several packages available
  • Excellent integration
  • Easy to use interface
  • Point-in-time recovery
  • Automated backups for all users
  • User-specified archive locations in the US, Canada, EU, and AU
  • Unlimited archive retention

CloudAlly is a cloud-to-cloud data backup and recovery solution that keeps all of your data in one strategic location instead of using the default cloud storage options for G Suite, Office 365 Exchange, SharePoint, Dropbox, Box.com, and Salesforce. It handles all of your cloud storage for business purposes and provides centralized unlimited storage, automated daily backups, and flexible archive locations for the ultimate in data retention.

With CloudAlly you get:

  • Internationally recognized accreditation for information security management including industry-standard OAuth, Amazon S3 Storage with AES-256-bit encryption, ISO 27001 compliance, and HIPAA compliance.
  • Point-in-time recovery options that allow you to restore your entire system or single file back to its original location and format.
  • Cloud-to-cloud backup and recovery for multiple SaaS applications (Office 365 Exchange, Dropbox, Box.com, Salesforce, etc.) in one central location.
  • Automated daily backups and snapshot storage that is archived forever.
  • One platform to manage all of your daily backup activity including reviewing new and current users, exporting data, and restoring files.
  • Non-destructive restore options for quick and convenient access to all of your data.

When you use CloudAlly you never have to worry about lost or corrupt data. With automatic daily backup, point-in-time recovery, quick search features, non-destructive restores, and export potential, it’s one of the best cloud storage options for business in 2019.

Price: Free 15-day trial version. Unlimited archive retention $30 per year/per user. Learn more about CloudAlly’s online backup services for business here.


Now that you know more about online backup services for business, you might want to have a look at what we created for you…

L2-Discover-Disaster-Recovery-Best-Practices-for-Business-Continuity