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Why do you want your security in the clould?

GenCare Security: Is this your security pla?

Security has been a 2 edged sword for both IT Staff and IT Users.  You need it but it made using your tools harder.  That all changes with cloud managed security.

  • Loved by Users
  • Loved by IT
  • Trusted by All

General Networks can help you coordinate security across multiple platforms, using multiple apps and manage them all from a single plane of glass.  At the same time we can reduce the impact on your staff.   Making application sign ins secure and easy.

  • Single Signon
  • Passwordless Signon
  • App Portal for all your apps (Cloud and Line of Business)
  • When an employee leaves, just one place to restrict access.
  • Self Service Password Reset
  • Encrypt Data Everywhere (at rest and in transit)

The list of great features is much longer.  Contact us for more information.

 

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Work From Home with Teams

Microsoft Teams helps employees do more, no matter where they work.
General Networks helps setup, learn and use Teams.
Work from Home (WFH) is easy when Teams is your WFH platform!

The modern workplace is everywhere. In the office. Out of the office. On the road. An increasing number of American workers work remotely at least some of the time. Plus, today’s teams are made up of diverse groups of employees and suppliers. Flexible work options pay big benefits for small- and medium-size businesses: those that embrace remote work cut full-time remote employee expenses and increase productivity.

To deliver on the promise of mobility and flexibility, your business needs a collaboration solution that works anywhere, whether you have 3 employees or 300.

Microsoft Teams is the hub for teamwork in Microsoft 365 that allows you to easily extend secure collaboration tools to remote workers and outside suppliers.

Microsoft Teams Teamwork Assessment
Bring teams together wherever they work

  • Chat, meetings, notes, documents and apps are available to team members anywhere
  • Easily add remote employees, contractors and vendors to teams
  • Team members can access collaboration tools from any location and any device
  • Customize your workspace to access to apps from Microsoft and third-party partner services anywhere
  • Convert your phones to Teams to make voice as easy at chat.  One to one, conference calls, or One to Many presentations.  Teams voice has the technology needed to make you productive.

teams - Communications & Collaboration
If you’re ready to learn how the modern workplace can make your business more mobile, please contact us at 818-249-1962 or visit www.gennet.com today.

Get your free Teams evaluation today!

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FindTime moves to Office.com

office 365
If you have been following my blog you will know I’ve been enjoying using FindTime for years.  I was quite upset when it got canceled and I was really happy when FindTime was returned to service at https://findtime.microsoft.com/.  While it looks like you still need to install it there, it seems the backend is now in Office.com at https://outlook.office.com/findtime/dashboard.  It would be awesome if FindTime was integrated into OWA (Outlook Web Access).   Right now, it requires Outlook desktop to initiate a meeting poll.

I created a User Voice entry to request that you be able to use the Outlook Web Access (outlook.office.com) to generate an online meeting.  If you like FindTime, please vote for this:
https://office365.uservoice.com/forums/264636-general/suggestions/40455817-findtime-integrate-into-office-com-owa

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Covid-19 and Security: What’s Changed?

What’s the landscape for security in the Work From Home (WFH) era or Covid-19

While the basics of security and the threats have not changed much, the landscape has changed significantly.  While most organizations are not working from the office, the normal situation of “build a security wall” and put important resources behind it is changed.  These same organizations are having staff work from their personal computers where intuitional security (firewall, antivirus, passwords, etc.) do not protect the systems.  Most organizations have not considered these changes as they rushed to get critical staff connected to the data, they need to keep the organization running.  That combined with people’s desire to be connected and know what is going on around them combines to make social engineering threats much higher than they were in the past.

What can you do to help?

IT staff and consultants can deploy what called “Zero Trust” security solutions that make sure that identity and data are protected no matter where that data goes.  What is great about this is Zero Trust solutions can make WFH easier than ever before.  Passwords can be eliminated, and security escalated as all important information and communications are encrypted.  So even if a hacker, virus, or crypto locker gets into a staff members computer, the attack will have no access to cooperate data.

If you are interested in knowing more, you can sign up for a free security evaluation for the office and home computers and we can send you some reports.  Book a free 30 Minute Security Review

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Platinum Sponsors of the Office 365 Saturday San Diego 2020

The Compass365 division of General Networks is this year’s Platinum sponsor of the newly rebranded Office 365 Saturday in San Diego.  This event will take place at the Microsoft offices in La Jolla.  Formerly known as SharePoint Saturday, this exciting event is happening on January 25, 2020Office 365 Saturday is a free event for the SharePoint and Office 365 community and offers attendees learning, sharing and networking opportunities. Plus, it’s a lot of fun! 

Microsoft collaboration experts from around the country will be in attendance to share their expertise through sessions that focus on Office 365, SharePoint, OneDrive, Azure, and other products in the Microsoft technology stack, including Power Apps and Flow. 

At the event, Qais Gharib, Sr. Solutions Architect and leader of the Compass365 Business Applications team will be presenting a demo of a commonly requested feature not natively supported in Office 365: A solution that leverages SharePoint lists and the Office 365 Power Platform to Print to PDF.  Come and learn more about this solution and other SharePoint and Office 365 tips, tricks and best practices from the experts!  

Please stop by the Compass365 table to meet our team and to learn more about our SharePoint/O365 services including: 

  • Modern intranets with SharePoint 
  • Upgrade and migration services 
  • Business solutions with Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI and Nintex  
  • Office 365/Teams collaboration, integrations and customizations 
  • Akumina Digital Workplace implementations 

Office 365 Saturday is a free event, but make sure to register online HERE 

 Join us in January for Office 365 Saturday!

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Microsoft, Google and Apple all agree: Use Multi Factor Athentication (MFA or 2FA)

“When both Google and Microsoft are recommending the same thing, it’s probably a good time to start following their advice.” – ZDNet

Apple 2fa mfa

With the “big 3” in agreement, it’s time to listen.  Apple not longer makes it optional.   Microsoft says it stops 99.9% of hack attempts and requires it for any Microsoft Partner with access to customer data.   Google is also recommending MFA.

There is a lot of information on the internet about which MFA (or 2FA) tool is best.  It’s pretty clear that most solutions recommend using an app and not a text code. Text codes are not transferred securely and therefor can be intercepted giving you less security.  Bottom line, if you are not using an MFA authenticator app, you are less secure.  Every company or organization needs to have MFA protecting their email system, customer information and financial data.  Passwords alone just don’t provide a reasonable level of protection.

But is MFA enough?

MFA is a great start but it’s still can be defeated by social engineering (tricking a person to do what they normally would not) attacks.  If you are in a business with security and reporting requirements (Legal, Banking, Health Care, etc.), it is not.  You need to have “more layers in your tin foil hat” – Matt Soseman,  Microsoft.

Google and Microsoft both have security platforms that greatly enhance security.   As I have certifications in Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS) platform, I’ll use that as an example.  EMS is an Office 365 add on that can protect not only Microsoft Platforms, where it clearly out shines all other products, but also 3rd party apps.  It’s not simple to configure initially because there are so many amazing features.  But the many services bundled can protect everything in your environment.  And save a good deal of money compared to cobbling together  multiple products.

EMS is a Azure based cloud product.  No servers are required for most environments.  EMS can protect your PCs, Mobile iOS and Andriod Devices (cooperate supplied or BYOD), Macs, and servers.  It can also protect almost any cloud service (Office 365, G Suite, Facebook, DropBox, etc.).    EMS incorporates many tools including MFA, Mobile Management, Antivirus, and Single Sign on.  There are many other tools in the base product (EMS E3, free to non-Profits under 50 users) that I won’t go into.  EMS starts at a very reasonable monthly charge of $8.80 per user for commercial accounts.

Once a basic level of security is achieved with EMS E3, organizations, can add more and more “tin foil” layers of security while making access to secure systems easier.  For example, see my earlier article about getting rid of passwords on this blog.

The highest end version of Microsoft’s security suite (Microsoft 365 E5) can even monitor your Firewall logs for security threats and take automatic action to block compromised systems and accounts from your data.

At General Networks we strongly recommend EMS and Microsoft 365 as complete security services.

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SPSLA18-general networks-sharepoint saturday-la

Platinum Sponsors of the SharePoint Saturday Los Angeles 2019

General Networks is the Platinum sponsor of this year’s SharePoint Saturday Los Angeles happening on September 28, 2019. SharePoint Saturday is a free event for the SharePoint and Office 365 community and offers attendees learning and networking opportunities. Plus, it’s a lot of fun!

SharePoint experts from around the country will be in attendance to share their expertise through sessions that focus on Office 365, SharePoint, OneDrive, Azure, and other products in the Microsoft technology stack, including PowerApps and Flow.

At the event, General Networks’ Biz Apps Solutions Manager, Qais Gharib, will be doing a presentation on a solution that enables you to print list data to a PDF from a PowerApp form. Come and meet him, along with a few other General Networks’ team members.

General Networks will have a sponsorship table at the event. Please stop by to learn more about our SharePoint/O365 service offerings including intranet deployments, platform migrations and upgrades, and forms/workflow solutions.

SharePoint Saturday Los Angeles is a free event, but be sure to register online

We look forward to seeing you in September!

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Microsoft Announces Skype for Business End of Life

Below is the official announcement that Skype for Business will be “retired” in July of 2021.  The newer and more feature rich Teams is replacing Skype for Business.  Skype (the free consumer app) will not be affected by this announcement.

At General Networks we have migrated ourselves and many customers to Teams and the transition is pretty straight forward.  Because Teams is a different interface to the same (mostly) features, some user training is required.  We have conducted many user training sessions for our clients and the Skype features take just a few minutes to go over.  Most of the training ends up focusing on the new features of Teams.

So what’s still missing from Teams that Skype for Business has?

1)     Skype has support for multiple windows and Teams operates in a single window.  There are workarounds but sometimes multiple windows are really what’s needed.
2)     Skype for Business can message with the consumer Skype.  Teams can not yet.

There are other minor things (mostly in the administration of Teams) but those are convenience issues not functional issues.  Microsoft says they are working on solving both the the above issues.  Teams, having so many features, has more “bugs” then the older Skype for Business.  We will update this blog with more information as it becomes available.

 

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powerapps-app in a day workshops

PowerApps in a Day – Free Training Workshop

In partnership with Microsoft, General Networks will be leading two free App in a Day (AIAD) workshops in Southern California.

These free workshops provide IT and business decision-makers with the skills to build great business apps using Microsoft PowerApps without writing code.

app in a day - irvine ca                             app in a day - los angeles ca

Why Attend?

As a business leader, it’s now necessary to react quickly to the changing market without becoming dependent on developing a static software solution. You need the ability to build a solution that quickly addresses your business needs. With the Microsoft Power Platform, you can build numerous business apps without writing code.

Benefits of PowerApps

  • Digitize business processes, work more efficiently and become more paperless
    With PowerApps, you will enable power-users in line of business roles to easily build and deploy custom business apps in both Canvas and Model-driven style of apps.
  • Easily connect all your applications and share data
    With Common Data Service for Apps, you can easily bring your data together and quickly create powerful apps using a compliant and scalable data service and app platform integrated right into PowerApps.
  • Automate and optimize your business processes
    Finally, with Microsoft Flow as your business service, your line of business specialists and IT pros can build automated workflows intuitively.

At the end of the training workshop, you will be able to:

  • Create custom business applications without writing code.
  • Learn how to build sophisticated business processes and complex data relationships within your applications.
  • Learn how to connect your app to a variety of data sources to bring it to life.
  • Share your apps inside your organization securely.

Who Should Attend?

IT and Business Leaders who:

  • Are currently evaluating the Power Platform for solutions in the next 3-6 months
  • Seek to understand the value of PowerApps, Flow and CDS for Applications
  • Have deployed the Power Platform and are seeking guidance/training
  • Would like to connect with an experienced PowerApps Partner in Southern CA

About App in a Day (AIAD) Workshops

General Networks will be conducting the App in a Day workshops at the Microsoft offices in Irvine, CA on September 9th and in Los Angeles on September 23rd.  These free events run from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM.  Limited to 60 attendees, each AIAD workshop is an interactive, hands-on lab-style training event.  You bring your device and we supply the materials, training, and lunch.

Register Now:

For more information on the App in a Day event or to discuss customized PowerApps training or services for your organization, please contact Cathy Ashbaugh at cashbaugh@gennet.com


General Networks is a Microsoft Gold Partner, specializing and certified in PowerApps and Microsoft Flow, https://gennet.com/powerapps-consulting-services/

Microsoft Gold Partner

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Making Security Easy – Get Rid of Passwords

The security landscape has changed

The truth to security is: Passwords alone can no longer protect your data.  If your not using a multi-layer security system your going to get hacked sooner or later.  I think everyone has heard that getting hacked can be extremely expensive.  But, are you aware that it is also currently one of the leading causes of business failure.

What can be done?

The first step is to deploy Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to your login accounts controlling email, financial and file systems.   While no security system is perfect, MFA raises the bar on protecting your system.

The next step is to deploy Single Sign On (SSO).  SSO makes life easy for employees as they can use a single sign-on to login in to all of your organizations resources.

Education of “social engineering” attacks and other current risk is important.  Everyone that touches your organizations data needs to know how they fit in to keeping the system secure.

And our final recommendation:

Get rid of passwords

Replace passwords with facial recognition or fingerprint readers.  This gets rid of the need to remember complex passwords, password management software and re-using the same password over and over.  Suddenly security becomes easy for everyone.  No more forgotten passwords,

Let us help you make the transition easy

General Networks can help you deploy the right set of technology services that meats your security requirements and your budget.

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