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Strategize Backup and Never Worry About Losing Your Data

It pays to be prepared. Quite literally, if you are in the business world. Running a business is difficult when you try juggling all the responsibilities it entails. 

We get it. 

These days, it’s necessary for a business to coordinate operations on multiple platforms while constantly trying to improve its bottom line. 

If you are like most businesses, innovation in technology has brought your company’s operation and infrastructure into the digital realm. You must feel confident the technologies you have chosen to run your business are dependable. Everything needs to work together to function properly. All these innovations put a considerable amount of power over the success of your company and its growth.

But, with great power comes great responsibility.

The moment you leverage technological resources, your business becomes vulnerable. The well-being of the software and devices it uses for running your day-to-day operations depends on stability. Part of keeping it stable is to have a backup strategy. It is imperative that you have backup solutions in place to protect all your assets. Otherwise, you put your company at risk of losing precious data with devastating consequences for your business.

Data Backup Services help you armor yourself against every kind of potential cyber or human threat that can leave you distraught without your precious data. 

Multiple layers

Your business needs multiple ways to protect itself. The more protective layers you have in place for your company, the better you will be prepared if disaster strikes. Preparing your business for disaster includes natural disasters as well as potential cyber-attacks.

Datto is one company in the industry that has revolutionized back-up solutions. They are a leader in this industry with a focus on security. They offer support tools and a user-friendly interface. These features have alleviated the worry business owners face wondering whether their data is secure. They offer strategies to set up these services without the need for exceedingly complicated procedures.

Are backup Solutions easy to set up?

How does a business begin executing these solutions? How does a backup plan help my business? And can you implement one easily for my business?

Yes and no. But if done correctly it should not be complicated.

So, what is the right way to go about it?

To start with, you should understand the 3-2-1 Backup rule.

·       Have three copies of your data

·       Two backups in different formats

·       and one backup stored offsite

This rule has been tested repeatedly with outstanding results. Different variations of this rule are being adopting but keep in mind is that you must have a plan. Smart companies have a plan, but an exceptional company’s plans will include a backup to their backup.

What is BCDR?

To ensure more resilience, efficiency, and security, business owners have incorporated the 3-2-1 as the first layer of protection. Once this is in place, they continue to explore more comprehensive options to include in their plan.

BCDR, or Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery plans, aims to make the backups even more dependable as they optimize the time required for you to recover from a disaster when it strikes.

More mature businesses will typically implement a BCDR device. Others may decide to stick with a 3-2-1 strategy. 

To ensure smooth processing and optimization of IT resources most established companies will team up with an external Managed Service Provider (MSP) like Sandra Network to manage their backup. An MSP offers plans that include backup and BCDR devices. With increased threats on your business, you can no longer rely on obsolete methods to protect your infrastructure.

Automated BCDR Solutions

Automated BCDR solutions from Datto have omitted the hassle of manual setup or an investment in human labor when technical errors are more likely to occur. There is no need to struggle to manage your different file formats across multiple locations.

The experts at Sandra Network recognize Datto Backup Solutions superior effectiveness and strives to put their IT expertise into implementing its exceptional features into your normal business operations.

You can rest assured that your backups will be secure. They will be ready to use when you need them. This is all thanks to their end-to-end encryption, comprehensive backup verification, and two factor (2FA) sign-on required before gaining access to your backup data for recovery.

Be proactive. Take the initiative and set up backups for your business before disaster strikes. Call Sandra Network to strategize and put your backup plan in place before it is too late. 

Top 3 reasons to use Managed Network Services

The evolution of technology has changed the face of business management. Establishing a business and the process of making it into a revenue-generating machine is no brewing tea. Thankfully technology today has morphed the major chunk of business operations for optimal and smooth high-end performance.  A minor lag in your network’s functionality can put your organizations security, connectivity, and employee’s ability to work at risk. 

It is no longer a question of feasibility for organizations to keep their IT infrastructure up to date technologically, it is imperative if you expect your company to stay ahead of your competitors. Otherwise, your company may find your business lags far behind your competition.

Network Management services share the bulk of your load by extending 24*7 support for secure, high-speed, and efficient networking

You no longer require a huge in-house staff to keep your IT operating at peak performance. This is what Managed IT services can do or your business. Managed IT services can provide the necessary assistance you need to keep your key IT technologies – development, networks, servers, security, and quality assurance working at peak performance. Best of all, it saves you the cost and trouble of having a dedicated IT employee in-house.

When not tended to professionally, network issues can clock-block not just the client base but also hamper the pace of integral internal business operations. 

Managed Network services provide you with the assistance you need for your critical IT technologies – development, networks, servers, security, quality assurance, and so on — without the cost and trouble of doing so in-house.

#1. Eliminate the High Cost of Maintaining an in-house Network Management team 

Managed IT services are inarguably more cost-effective than having your own IT department. Simply add up the total expenses of employing an IT specialist, which include recruiting, salary, taxes, employee benefits, office space, equipment, insurance, overtime compensation, training, and retention.

Isn’t that an unnecessary substantial expense for your business when you can get the expertise from us?

Managed It service providers like us, known in the industry as MSPs, will provide you with rapid access to a pool of skilled experts with relevant experience allowing your employees to focus on your customers and give them the expertise they require for and their projects.

You get more than simply expertise; you get a cohesive team that is employed by the MSP. So, you get two benefits in one, increased productivity for your team and streamlined operations. 

Yay! You Win-Your Clients Win-Your MSPs win! 

Everyone Wins! 

#2. Quick to Adapt to Innovations

The most expensive investments in the IT business are innovative technology and developments. 

In-house teams must continually keep up with new technological breakthroughs, diverting significant resources away from growing your company.

In-house teams must continually keep up with new technological breakthroughs. This can divert important resources away from other areas that can help you grow your company.

If you cannot adapt to recent technology, you will find your rivals getting ahead while your business lags behind theirs. In-house IT staff may find it difficult to adapt but that is exactly what an MSP does; provide businesses access to cutting-edge technology right from the start. 

Recent technology breakthroughs may be deployed into your environment very quickly due to lightning-fast adaptation combined with access to greater resources, a solid working strategy, and expertise learned from previous projects.

#3. Scalable Resources at Your Service 

Maintaining the company’s growth requires scalability. 

Maintaining a company’s growth requires scalability. In today’s fast-paced business world, your organization must be able to scale up or down resources as needed. While it might be difficult to respond rapidly to scalability demands in-house, managed IT services can offer the necessary assistance to manage rapid expansion. Whether you require an in-house team expansion or a (fully remote) committed staff to achieve your objectives, Sandra Network can help.

Furthermore, bringing on an IT service partner to supplement your normal team is a terrific way to leverage or reallocate personnel. Your team can now engage in strategic goals, such as establishing desired objectives as your company develops and evolves.

Sandra Networks has been providing Managed Network Services to their valued clientele. Their innovative IT services monitor your business network so they can act fast and fix it before you begin worrying. 

The “Underworld” of the Internet – The Dark Web

Sandra Network Delivers Peace of Mind with Dark Web Monitoring 

What is Dark Web?

The Dark Web is the part of the internet that is not visible to search engines. It requires users to use a special browser called Tor. This browser allows users to browse anonymously creating an environment where it’s easy for the unsavoury to lurk but also unsafe for those who aren’t aware of its dangers.  

A lot of information found on the Dark Web is hidden and although some of it is safe, much of it is not. If you don’t understand the Dark Web or how it works you may not be aware of how harmful it can be to you and your business. Precautions must be taken to protect your confidential information from being found on the Dark Web.  

How is Dark Web different from the Web?

The Web is a vast network of interconnected computers all around the world. Through the Web, people can share information and communicate with other people across the globe using the internet. Information on the web is indexed by search engines making it easily accessible to anyone with an internet connection irrespective of geography. On the other hand, Information on the Dark Web is not indexed and stays hidden requiring special privileges to see and access. This part of the web, the Dark Web is the unchartered part of the web that’s existed since March of 2000. 

The Dark Web is a hotbed of dark things! 

As you can imagine, many cybercriminals love to prowl this space, looking for easy prey.  

How can this parallel space exist? It exists because online content can be encrypted and hidden online. Because the information is hidden, it never gets indexed and therefore does not appear on search engine result pages like Google or Bing. And cyber criminals love the Dark Web because they can be anonymous while using it!  

You do not want your business or employees associated with this unsafe environment. If they are, there is the potential for your company’s (or client’s) information to find its way into any of the many “darknets.” Once it is found on the Dark Web, there is no telling how much damage you, your employees, or your clients may experience. Fortunately, we can find if your information is on the dark web, and work with you to remediate it. 

On the dark web, anything and everything can be found. This includes illegal drugs, bank account and Social Security numbers, passwords and all sorts of your PII:  sensitive and confidential information. Hackers are out there trolling for any vulnerabilities they can find and are constantly collecting this data off unsecured websites and using the information for their own financial and illegal gains.  

Cybercriminals go there because they know breached data eventually finds its way to the Dark Web. It comes from compromised credentials, third party leaks or ransomware dump listings. Once this breached data is discovered, it becomes an invaluable source of revenue. All kinds of illegal activity and discussions happen here including threat intelligence to pre-plan attacks and look for other vulnerabilities and ways to exploit information.  

Sandra Network will work with you and your organization to give you unparalleled visibility into dark web risks within your organization. We will help you become aware of threats to your organization and enable your team to take actions on these threats before they become incidents. 

What are the risks?

Those who dive into the Dark Web will find a veritable eCommerce market for things that are not available via regular methods. For instance, you can’t buy a database filled with usable credit card or debit card numbers on Amazon; you can’t head to Etsy and purchase thousands or even millions of user’s credentials for bank accounts; you can’t point your browser to and click to add a list of valid social security numbers into your shopping cart. Unfortunately, you can buy these things on the Dark Web. And because you can buy this type of information on the Dark Web, including your sensitive information, precautions must be taken. We can help train your employees on how to securely navigate websites to mitigate the following types of threats found on the Dark Web such as: 

  • Malicious software 
  • Cyberattacks 
  • Ransomware 
  • Phishing malware 
  • Trolling 

You need to ensure your employees’ credentials are not on the dark web, exposing your company data.

End-user protection against exploitation in the dark web 

Regardless of being a business, parent, or any other user of the web, you will want to take precautions to keep your information and private life off the dark web. 

Identity theft monitoring is critical if you want to keep your confidential information from being misused. All types of personal data can be distributed online for a profit. Passwords, physical addresses, bank account numbers, and social security numbers circulate on the dark web all the time. 

The dark web is home not only to hackers looking to steal our info but also to criminals who sell-off this illegally obtained data that includes sensitive personal records. Ensure your employees do not fall victim to phishing schemes where passwords, credit card numbers, social security numbers, etc. are acquired and sold. Malicious actors will use this type of information to engage in financial theft, breach your online accounts and even to harm your credit. Plus, leaks of personal data may damage your business’s reputation once discovered or be used for “social” fraud.  

Antimalware and antivirus protections are equally crucial to prevent malicious actors from exploiting you. The dark web is filled with information theft from malware-infected users. Attackers can use tools like keyloggers to gather your data, and they can infiltrate your system on any part of the web.  

Secure your business with Sandra Network. We uncover your compromised credentials in Dark Web markets, data dumps, and other sources. We can quickly alert you to trouble, allowing you to mitigate the problem and giving you the advantage to act before cybercriminals have a chance to act.  

Contact Us today for a free, one time, Dark Web scan to see if your organization has exposed information. 

7 Reasons Why You Need a Managed Service Provider


Why use a managed service provider? In today’s rapidly evolving technology landscape, it’s imperative for businesses of all sizes to have reliable and efficient IT support. That’s where Managed Service Providers (MSPs) come in.

A Managed Service Provider is a valuable partner for your business, offering a wide range of IT services that keep your systems running smoothly and help you stay ahead of the competition. But why exactly should you use a Managed Service Provider?

In this blog, we’ll explore 7 compelling reasons why having a Managed Service Provider is a must-have for your business success.

1. Get the Expertise You Need

New technology means new challenges — challenges you may currently have or ones you may soon run into. Managing your systems can be an issue regardless of whether they are in the cloud or on-premise. Either way, they require a significant number of resources to support them. This poses a problem when you don’t have the right expertise even if your business has an in-house IT department.

You could solve some of your issues by recruiting new team members, but you will need to decide if it’s worth the time and expense to hire and train them. It costs over $1,886 per employee for training alone. Plus, it can be difficult to get qualified candidates due to an ongoing IT talent shortage.

Or you could hire an MSP. An MSP’s core business is keeping its customers’ technology running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. MSP’s will be able to solve your problems more quickly having hired the best IT professionals to do just that. Most MSP’s offer flat monthly fees allowing you to fit this expense into your budget. Plus, due to economies of scale, an MSP can offer you the most competitive pricing on both hardware and software.

Average Amount - why use a managed service provider

One of the key advantages of the managed services model is that it enables you to hire an entire team of IT professionals at a flat monthly rate. Certain Managed Service Providers (MSPs) even take a shared approach to managed services, meaning you can add or remove specialists from your managed services team as needed depending on the demands of each project. These specialists include technical, functional, architectural, and training consultants who can help you keep your systems up and running, as well as unlock their full potential.

Get a Free Risk Assessment
Stay Ahead of the Disruption. Get A Free Risk Assessment

2. Reduce Operational Costs

Maintaining infrastructure and networks in-house can result in huge cost overheads, especially if you are running a small or medium-sized business with limited resources. Essentially, you are spending money acquiring tools. You may not even need some of these tools to manage your cloud infrastructure.

Working with an MSP you will only pay for what you use. They will already have the tools necessary to set up your infrastructure in the cloud and the workforce to maintain it. Why not lower your IT expenses, reduce operational costs, and conserve your capital budget?

Managing information technology via an outsourced provider can reduce operating expenses by 80% through improved network and productivity, predictable budgeting, and local support.

According to the CompTIA study:

Operational Costs

3. Business Continuity

As a business owner, do you ponder how you would go about restoring all your systems and data in the event of a disaster? If not, you should. Do you know what you will need to get your business back up and running if a disaster becomes a reality?

Does your enterprise have your IT infrastructure on-premises? If it is, a disaster or a critical server failure will likely adversely affect your day-to-day business operations. You also run the risk of losing data that is vital to your business processes and overall growth.

If, however, your data is stored in the cloud, even the most catastrophic situation can be just another day at the office. You will experience minimal to zero downtime! This is a huge advantage considering that an hour of downtime costs a small business about $8000 and a large business approximately $700,000.

Even in the event of a host failure, you have stand-by cloud servers to fall back on, and because everything is up on a virtual platform, hardware failure risks are almost eliminated. This is one of the biggest reasons our clients have switched to managed services in the cloud. An MSP is invaluable in helping you create an efficient disaster recovery plan. Let Sandra Network help you plan one and we guarantee you’ll sleep better at night knowing that your business has planned for and will survive a disaster should one strike.

7 Reasons-why use a managed service provider
7 Reasons Why You Need a Managed Service Provider

4. You need the Best Security

We won’t mince words: cyber-attacks are a guarantee and are now a very plausible scenario. This is one scenario you never want your business to experience. Cybersecurity issues are becoming a day-to-day struggle for many businesses. According to Accenture, 68% of business leaders feel the risks of a cybersecurity attack has increased significantly. Cyber-attacks now target 43% of small businesses, according to Symantec.

An MSP provides up-to-date security methods. These include network monitoring, software, and backup plans for cybersecurity scenarios. Your risk of being attacked by cyber criminals, or with malware and phishing attempts will be greatly reduced when you place your systems in the hands of an MSP. Firewall deployment, VPN Tunnelling and Monitoring are all services that are easily managed and kept up to date by a managed services provider.

5. Focus on Core Objectives

Your company’s IT needs are sure to increase as your business grows. An in-house IT team may be able to handle this increased workload but there is also a good chance your team will find themselves overwhelmed and unable to scale according to your business needs.

If you don’t have an MSP, you’ll be forced to assign additional responsibilities to employees from other teams who may not have the technical knowledge necessary to do the job while at the same time, distracting them from their work.

One benefit of managed services is that it frees up your employees to focus on their jobs while also enabling you to fill in gaps only when necessary. A truly qualified managed service partner will offer a flexible service model allowing you to determine which level of service you require, from requesting support only when needed up to having a monthly contract.

6. Enhance User Productivity

Are you tired of having IT problems constantly interrupting your employee’s workflow? Are your customers getting frustrated due to IT issues they are experiencing when dealing with your business?

Anytime your employees are unable to work, you lose money. As a business owner, you want your employees to be productive.

It’s a problem if your technology isn’t optimized well for your business needs. The right technology will improve your employee’s productivity and enhance the way your company does business.

User Productivity

7. Peace of Mind

With a reliable MSP like Sandra Network, you can rest easy knowing that your IT needs are in the hands of skilled IT professionals.

Nearly every business needs IT, but not every company has the resources to invest in recruiting and training an entire IT department.  MSPs are designed to provide skilled IT professionals to act as your external IT department.

If you’re considering outsourcing all or some of your IT needs for your small or mid-sized business, let Sandra Network provide Peace of Mind for your business. Call (978) 535-0202 or schedule a call. We have some of the most talented IT professionals in the business ready to take care of your IT needs.

Considering Managed Services? Let’s Talk!

Why Your Company Needs Managed Services?

Where would we be today without technology? While the pandemic has kept us apart, cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT) and other types of tech have made it possible for us to stay connected with colleagues and customers, facilitated medical treatment from a distance and so much more. 

Information TECHNOLOGY drives innovation and innovation is the path to business success. Innovation in business has the same impact that steam had on the industrial revolution. Subsequently, it’s no surprise that many organizations plan to invest more in IT this year despite the economic downturn caused by COVID-19. According to a press release by Gartner,

IT spending worldwide in 2021 is expected to reach $3.9 trillion. This is a 6.2% increase compared to 2020.

This increase is likely due to the continuing need to accommodate remote workers, enable virtual learning and the advancement of additional digital transformation initiatives. In a recent technology survey of 1000 companies in North America & Europe, 

44% of businesses planned to increase their IT spending budget in 2020. In North America, the most common factors for this increase as reported by respondents was their need to upgrade outdated infrastructure (71%) and increased security concerns (50%) – Spiceworks 

Many small and medium size businesses operate on a strict budget and do not have the luxury or resources necessary to meet all these operational IT demands. Servers and the staff to maintain them is expensive. A managed service provider maintains and manages all needs of your IT infrastructure for only a fraction of the cost of servicing and maintaining it. If you do choose an in-house IT employee they may not have the resources necessary and the outcome is often a compromise to the quality of support or a disaster resulting in downtime, security issues, limited support, and reduced productivity. Outsourcing these activities to a reputable Managed Service Provider (MSP) helps business owners avoid these and other IT related issues, some they may never even have considered. 

With IT spending among small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) predicted to enjoy a significant increase, the role of managed service providers (MSPs) is becoming increasingly important as these businesses seek to adopt managed services. The answer to the question Why your business needs Managed Service Provider?, can come in the form of an explanation of work that is done by a MSP.

A managed service provider is simply your network administrator, security consultant and disaster recovery expert, all rolled into one. They are there to manage your IT infrastructure and user interface within your systems.  Your savings can then be used on better revenue producing activities. Your business also benefits as you can now focus on your core competencies and business goals while your MSP manages your IT infrastructure. 

Managed Service Provider - Services

Services offered by Managed Service Provider 

Most MSPs offer a wide variety of IT services in multiple configurations. They work with your company to plan, implement and manage various IT functionalities such as User and Workstation Management, Web Servers, Email, Server Monitoring and more.  

If you choose to work with Sandra Network, we will review every corner of your company’s current IT infrastructure. Once reviewed, we will put together a working plan of action to ensure you are always up to date, secure, and supported. Our goal is to make sure your technology infrastructure is running smoothly and efficiently in order to support your business goals. Our proposal will include the specific IT components we recommend and the steps necessary to set them up. Once our proposal is accepted, we will on-board your company, implement the steps and begin managing your IT services giving you the full support of an IT Helpdesk without the costs of a full-time IT department. 

Ready to transform your business? Let’s get started.

Deploy Office 365 ProPlus to Remote Workers


Distributing Office 365 to remote workers has become a challenge for IT admins ever since the pandemic has hit the entire globe. IT admins face the continuous challenge of deploying Office 365 to remote workers without exceeding the limit of the company’s VPN connections. However, with the tactical approach and strategic methods, IT admins can get a sigh of relief in releasing the VPN traffic by content distribution to the Microsoft Content Delivery Network. There are various strategic solutions to deploy Office 365 to remote workers without saturating the company’s VPN connections such as Intune and Windows Autopilot. However, they are extensive processes, and to save you time, we bring you easy-to-do steps to resolve this problem.

Steps for Office 365 Deployment:

Manage Deployment Package: In order to let remote workers use their local internet connection to access the source file, the source file needs to be removed from the Configuration Manager application. To do so, open the Configuration Manager application, go to the folder that has your software sources, select the “office” folder, and delete it.

steps to manage Deployment Package
Screenshot showcasing steps to manage Deployment Package

The above screenshot showcases the deployment package that includes 11 Language packs, striking the size up to 6+ gigabytes. You must keep the setup.exe along with other configuration files located in the folder. This decreases the size of the deployment package to less than 10 megabytes. It saves on the VPN connections to a great extent.

Note: Use a built-in wizard if you do not have an Office 365 installation package. To adjust the handling of languages, incorporate MatchOS or MatchPreviousMSI. Once the setup is done, go through the steps mentioned above to deploy Office 365.

  1. Revise Content Sources: In the case of the syncing of application and distribution points, there must be a larger package cached. You must sync a smaller deployment package to devices. To do so, go to Software Library then select Application Management. After that, click Applications and select your application. Switch to the Deployment Types tab then right-click the appropriate entry, and choose Update Content.
Steps for Updating Content Sources
Steps for Updating Content Sources

This step will help re-sync any changes to the Distribution Points. Therefore, the smaller deployment package gets ready to sync to devices.

  1. Check VPN Configuration and Deploy: Once the setting has been changed to the smaller deployment package through Configuration Manager, the installation starts of Office 365. The source files are directly downloaded from the Microsoft CDN.

The point that needs to be emphasized here is that you must ensure that your devices are able to reach out to those endpoints directly and are not blocking the VPN tunnel. In case, the VPN tunnel is backhauled, enable so-called VPN split-tunneling. Also, the endpoints required for Office 365 ProPlus source file download are listed at Office 365 URLs and IP addresses.

  • Use Peer Caching to reduce On-Prem Traffic: The step is not mandated but highly suggested.

It is highly recommended to configure and enable Delivery Optimization for Office along with Connected Cache in a combination in case of the usage of the same deployment package by remote and on-premises workers, This enables on-prem devices to distribute content excluded in the deployment. Thus, it greatly reduces the load on the corporate internet connection.

The above steps not only help in deploying Office 365ProPlus but also let IT, admins take control of what happens and when with the help of enterprise management solutions like Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager. It is also called as System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM).

Other than that, deploying Office 365 ProPlus allow remote users to use their local internet connection rather than Configuration Manager Distribution Points over VPN connections.

Deploy Office 365 ProPlus so that your VPN connection does not burn out. It becomes utmost necessary to keep yourself updated on the latest trends of Office 365 so that you fully understand and use its amazing features to benefit yourself especially in the time of Covid when all the work is being done remotely.

If you are looking for some professional guidance to help you set up Office 365 and deploy Office 365 ProPlus to your remote workers, give us a shoutout. We provide professional solutions to our clients and complete training to make you feel comfortable in using Office 365. You have any questions, problems, doubts, call us or drop us an email. Or you can just head to Sandra Network. We will be at your service.

Keeping users safe and productive with Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise

Microsoft Office 365 for enterpriseIt has always been a battle for enterprises to maintain a balance between productivity and security. Organizations are always worried about the trade-off between worker productivity and security since both can be compromised leading to complex problems for organizations. To resolve this issue for enterprises, Microsoft Office 365 has introduced apps such as “Safe Documents and Application Guard. These apps build secure productivity, helping organizations stay both productive and secure at the same time by protecting their information and limiting risks while allowing them to focus on strategic initiatives and innovation. 

What is Safe Documents? 

About Safe Documents
Safe Documents identifies that a user had opened a malicious file and prevents them from exiting the Protected View container

With Safe Documents, your files are automatically protected against known risks and threats before you ever open them. Moreover, users do not have to worry about deciding whether a document can be trusted, they can simply focus on getting work done. Safe Documents brings the power of the Intelligent Security Graph down to your system and assesses if document is safe. This safe and seamless connection between the desktop and the cloud makes the user’s workflow more fluid while keeping your network more secure. 

What is an Application Guard? 

 Application Guard
Windows Defender Application Guard

Application Guard ensures that desktop users are safe and productive. With an upgrade to protected view, Application Guard blocks the attacker’s access to memory, local storage, installed applications, corporate network endpoints, or any other resources that might interest the attacker. Application Guard lets users open an untrusted Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file, make changes to it and save it, all while being protected with hardware-level security.  

How these Apps help Enterprises like Yours? 

Users are secured by Default: The release of Antimalware Scan Interface (AMSI) integration for Excel 4.0 (XLM) macros provides a security solution to the systems. The open interface of AMSI is widely used on Windows 10. Microsoft Defender for Endpoint incorporates AMSI and machine learning to fight and curb script-based and file-less threats. Office and AMSI integration protect against script-based malware. The integration of Excel with AMSI detects logging macro behavior, identifies suspicious behavior, and stops a malicious macro upon detection. The user is immediately notified by Excel when malicious activity is detected. The application is shut down in order to avoid any further damage.  

The Working of Antimalware Scan Interface
The Working of Antimalware Scan Interface

Productivity and Security Go Hand-in-Hand:  Enterprises are always looking for ways to keep their productivity high while staying secure. Therefore, they are always in search of procuring applications that will work seamlessly without affecting user productivity. 

Now, with Microsoft Office 365 Apps, securing files without hampering user productivity has become achievable. Not only will productivity boost, but Security Policy Advisor will also measures how enterprises use Microsoft 365 Apps and then recommend specific policies for enhancing an organization’s security profile. These recommendations are solely based on Microsoft’s best practices. With the use of Security Policy Advisor, IT admins and enterprises can work together to view intelligent security policy recommendations based on the Office app, which features their usage, to better understand behaviors before changing any policiesUsers will have greater confidence knowing these policies are in place helping them to choose appropriate behaviors in their environment. It also lets enterprises monitor policy health enabling them to analyze the impact on user productivity, highlighting areas worth attention, and then make any necessary changes. 

Work and Save Untrusted File without Worrying: With so much pressure to get their work done, users often ignore Protected View and dismiss it without considering whether a document is safe to openThis leaves your workers and your organization vulnerable to malware and an easy target for attackers. Also, sometimes users choose not to use Application Guard protection without properly considering the consequences, even though the use of Safe Documents and Application Guard allows users to work on an untrusted file and save it without affecting their security. Safe Documents and Application Guard are two features in Microsoft 365 E5 or Microsoft 365 E5 Security that incorporate Microsoft’s deep knowledge of risks and brings these features to the desktop. Using Safe Documents enables users to open untrusted files in Protected View. On the other hand, Application Guard is an extra layer of security that lets documents or files go through an additional step where the document is uploaded and scanned by Microsoft Defender for Endpoint. 

Document opening in Application Guard
Microsoft 365 Apps lets you know when an untrusted file is being opened with Application Guard

To summarize, Safe Documents automatically verifies documents against potential risks and threat before allowing users to leave a protected environment like the Protected View or Application Guard. Therefore, it would be safe to say that this unique approach to Microsoft Office 365 empowers enterprises all over the world in terms of security and productivity.  

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What is a Virus?

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An email virus comprises of malicious code that is distributed in email messages, and this code can be activated when a user opens an email attachment, clicks on a link in an email message, or interacts in a totally different way with the infected email message.

Email viruses are mostly spread by causing the malicious message or attachment to be sent to everyone in the victim’s address book. Recipients can find it difficult to identify specific email messages containing malware since these messages appear as if it has been sent from a known and trusted sender. This is true in the case of phishing attacks carried out to further business email compromise attacks.

Types of Email Viruses

Ransomware: Mostly delivered through emails, ransomware encrypts the victim’s data and then demands a fee to restore it. The motive for ransomware attacks is mostly monetary.

Phishing: Phishing employs manipulation to trick victims into revealing logon data or other sensitive information that criminals use or sell for malicious purposes. Generally, a phishing attack comprises of an authentic-looking sender and a message that is socially engineered. The recipients who believe that the message is from a legitimate source and end up opening infected attachments or clicking on malicious links.

Spoofing: Email protocols lack efficient mechanisms for authenticating email addresses and hence hackers are able to use addresses  that are very much like legitimate ones, tricking victims into believing that fraudulent emails they receive are from a trustworthy individual.

Whaling/Business Email Compromise: Business Email Compromise (BEC), also referred to as “whaling”, target’s an organization’s biggest fish. In this type of social engineering scam, an attacker sends an email to someone in the organization that has the potential to execute a financial transaction. The email appears as if it is from the CEO or another authorized individual, and demands for an instant financial transaction such as a vendor payment, wire transfer, or direct deposit.

Spam: Spam continues to be a major challenge for organizations even though a number of attempts have been made to filter out unwanted emails. While the most normal type of spam is simply considered a nuisance, spam is also frequently employed to deliver malware. For instance, ransomware is most commonly delivered through spam and thus alerts all organizations to carefully assess spam for dangerous intent.

Key Loggers: Criminals behind the most damaging data breaches always utilize stolen user credentials. A keylogger is considered to be one effective method used by criminals to obtain passwords and IDs. This is mostly delivered by emails when victims unknowingly click on a malicious link or attachment.

Zero-Day Exploits: A zero-day vulnerability refers to a security weakness that is not known to the software developer. The security hole is exploited by hackers before the vendor has developed a fix. Zero-day attacks are mostly delivered through malicious emails, and hackers use them in order to gain unauthorized access and steal sensitive information.

Social Engineering: Social engineering is used by cybercriminals in order to build trust before stealing confidential data or user logon credentials. In social engineering attacks, a computer criminal acts as a trusted individual and engages in a conversation to gain access to a company’s network. The attacker tricks the victim into disclosing passwords, IDs, and sensitive information, or forces them to unknowingly perform a fraudulent transaction.

How To Stop spam and Email virus

Consider employing the tips given below to prevent an email virus from infecting your client device or network:

  • Use antivirus software.
  • Scan all attachments for malware.
  • Refrain from opening potentially dangerous attachments, such as PDF files, that have been included in email messages from unknown senders.
  • Don’t click on links provided via email messages, and watch out for phishing email messages that appear to be sent from authorized sources.
  • Keep the mail client, operating system, and web browser updated and patched.
  • Do not open any executable files included as email attachments. Attackers may try to disguise these files by naming them with two extensions, such as image.gif.exe, but .exe is indeed the sign of an executable that will run automatically.
  • Don’t give out your email address to websites that are unsecured. Even if the site holds up, malware and viruses can still snag your address, making it easy for them to send a fake email with a virus your way.
  • You can stop spam and email virus attacks by getting a text preview in your chosen email service. Content previews give you a glance of the content in the email by minimizing your need to click on the email in order to ascertain its subject matter.
  • If an antivirus program sends you an email telling you that your computer has been infected, always make sure to verify the information via your antivirus software before opening the email. These programs are less likely to correspond via email than interface messages.

3 Ways an Email Virus Infects Computers

Individuals and institutions need to invest more resources into email protection to keep email virus at bay. Although an email virus looks simple, one must not underestimate its capacity to damage your computer. More email protection is necessary considering the possibility that a cybercriminal is behind the email virus.

In order to gain more email protection, consider what parts an email virus may be hiding in an email so you can guard yourself accordingly.

How an Email Virus Is Delivered to Your Email

Top 3 Ways an Email Virus is Delivered to your Email

  • An Email Virus in Phishing Email
  • Email Virus in an Attachment
  • An Email Virus in the Body of the Email

1. An Email Virus in Phishing Email

An email virus may only be the beginning of a targeted effort to gain your personal information. Some hackers could be aiming for sensitive data in your account or in some database you have credentials. Aside from upping your email protection, you will need to increase your vigilance as well. The hackers may have done research and used social engineering to design a phishing email to get your data.

In this case, email protection needs to be complemented by self-awareness and gut instinct. If you don’t know how a particular company got your email or you don’t know the person emailing you, it’s better not to touch the message as it may contain an email virus.

Also pay attention to the web address inside the email and remember if it’s the same one you log into. If there’s a change in the email address, verify with the institution if they had their domain changed. Sometimes changes in the address are so minute so you will need to be more detail oriented than normal. A little care is better than additional email protection.

If you’re aware that the email is a hoax, kindly delete it and don’t pass it along anymore. Start a practice of being very selective of what messages you pass along so you become a part of other people’s email protection in a way. This will also lessen the chance for an email virus to spread.

2.Email Virus in an Attachment

The most common way an email virus gets delivered is through the email attachment. Again, for better email protection against an email virus, you will need to be vigilant and do not open the attachment if it is not from someone you trust. And even if you trust the sender, you will still need to check the file name of the attachment.

Email virus often take the form of an executable file, therefore be very suspicious of anything that ends with the following extensions:

or anything that might have scripts in it: .doc

If you have antivirus on your computer, you can download the message but do not open it. Get your antivirus scanner to check for email virus. This can help clean the file for you. However, for the best email protection, your company or yourself can get Comodo’s Antispam Gateway. This particular software weaves three layers of email protection in a command console, containment technology which isolates email virus and let’s it run from a safe environment inside your computer, and advanced filters and algorithms which are wired to weed out threats inside your email. What better email protection is there?

3. An Email Virus in the Body of the Email

An email virus can likewise be embedded inside the body. However, much like email virus in attachments, email virus in the body also disguise themselves rather well. There are two ways they can compromise your email protection. First, they can disguise themselves as links. You may think you are safe inside your email account so you don’t need email protection anymore. That’s wrong. First, if you click on a link, you can end up opening an infected site which will install an email virus in your computer.

Second some email virus may pose as simple HTML code. So the best email protection advice in this scenario is to avoid enabling HTML in your account and stick to the standard view. That way an email virus will not have the chance to install itself.

Now you know where an email virus can be placed within your email. You’ll get the best level of email protection as long as you pair any solution you have with common sense and vigilance. This way even if you have a full suite of email protection software installed in your computer, no email virus will go past you in case your software fails. The best email protection is still you.