cybersecurity training detroit

4 Painless Ways to Integrate Cybersecurity Training in Detroit

Your employees get a ton of emails each day. They are faced continually with messages from vendors asking them to click on a link to, say, avoid their beloved binge-show channel getting canceled due to nonpayment.

They click. They get redirected to a fraudulent site (which looks a lot like the trusted one). They give out their login info.

That’s all it takes for a cybercriminal to access their account and any information stored there, perhaps to sell on the dark web.

With 95% of cybersecurity breaches caused by human error, according to IBM, maybe it’s time to think about more proactive ways to defend your business, such as implementing cybersecurity training.

Employees are the most common targets for cybercriminals, according to Entrepreneur, despite firewalls and security software.

But with cybersecurity solutions, your employees can graduate to become your biggest defender.

Here are the top four ways you can get your team up to speed:

  1. Make it easy on them — Give your employees paid time to watch videos, read guides and talk with IT professionals. Help them understand the threats that lurk and can cause data breaches, from phishing scams to ransomware attacks. Consider rewards as incentives once they pass security quizzes and tests.
  2. Hold everyone to the same standard — Just because she’s been CEO for five years doesn’t mean she’s any more able to prevent a data breach than the new guy who’s still figuring out the coffee machine. Trust everyone equally and put all your employees on a level landscape when it comes to security.
  3. Keep it fun — Some companies give out prizes for the employees who successfully thwart a phishing scam, even though it’s a simulation. Remember when your favorite teacher made geography a fun subject? When your employees treat cybersecurity training as an exciting and competitive game, they learn in the process, and your business is better protected.
  4. Outsource training to your MSP — As a business owner, you may not have the time to provide your staff with adequate training. You may also not know best security practices, and that’s okay because you can still get proactive with cybersecurity solutions. At Data Tech Cafe, we know exactly how to teach your employees to protect your sensitive data, leaving you to concentrate on your business.

While cybercriminals are busy thinking of new ways to seize your data and sell it on the dark web, you can outwit them using your most valuable asset: your employees.

With data breaches increasing in intensity and frequency and cybercrimes getting more and more complex, it’s time to arm your team.

Give your employees the knowledge they need to protect your business. At Data Tech Cafe, we teach all your employees, from the top of the rung to the new hires, how to improve their cybersecurity awareness. We give everyone on your team the instruction they need to engage in best practice policies that are sure to thwart the bad guys.

Interested in learning more about cybersecurity training in location? Consult the experts at Data Tech Cafe.


dark web michigan

Dark Web Cybersecurity in Michigan – 4 Ways to Stay Proactive and Secure

At Data Tech Café, we see all too frequently hardworking businesses just like yours halted in their tracks due to cybersecurity breaches stemming from the dark web. Cybercrimes are surging, as a result of our technological advancements and the digital era we live in. On average, Ponemon found that hackers and cybercriminals cost organizations $607,745 per incident. And as if that’s not bad enough, nearly 60 percent of small businesses must close within six months of a cyberattack due to financial and reputational strains.

But the threat doesn’t end with your company. Oftentimes, data and credentials find their way into the dark web, a complex network cloaked in unidentifiable VPNs where anonymity facilitates a playground for criminal activity.

Experian compiled a list of what your data sells for on the black market. Nonfinancial login credentials go for as low as $1. Payment service logins, like PayPal, can fetch criminals up to $200. And for those dealing with medical records — those can sell for up to $1,000!

So, what can you do to fight back against these malicious acts? Here are four ways to maintain dark web protection in the Michigan area and keep your data safe and sound.

1. Use Threat Monitoring and Response Tools:

These specialized scanners identify and monitor at-risk credentials and send alerts when hackers try to access your sensitive information. They notify you as to which information is compromised, giving you time to respond and secure your identity and accounts. Threat scanning helps you react quickly so you can mitigate your risks.

2. Dark Web Education:

You can train your employees to act and react with company security in mind. Through security awareness and phishing simulations, your staff can learn how to better protect and defend your data. Regular cybersecurity trainings can also help ensure that everyone understands the newest cybersecurity threats and prevention methods.

3. Security Tools:

There’s a wide variety of security tools that can be deployed to secure your networks, such as multifactor authentication, single sign-on and secure password vaults. You can also install automated software that continually keeps your passwords fresh and your networks secure.

4. Invest in Quality IT Services:

Manage service providers, like our team, are ready to take 24/7 monitoring and worry off your hands. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to technology solutions, and having an expert understand your unique infrastructure, needs, demands and goals can help ensure you have all the right tools you need, and nothing that you don’t.

Don’t Face the Dark Web Alone

With the right technology partner by your side, you can align cybersecurity and dark web protection with your business priorities. At Data Tech Café, we’ll deploy forward-thinking managed services that identify your company’s vulnerabilities and keeps your business operating smoothly. To learn more about our services, reach out to us today!


phishing prevention

Phishing Prevention in Michigan Is Easier Than You’d Think

Phishing emails can seem innocent at first, primarily because they appear to come from familiar sources, such as Netflix or Amazon. I mean, who doesn’t love their Netflix and Prime? We all recognize the familiar logos of the services we’ve relied on for so long. So when an email arrives with the right branding and logo, it grabs our attention. The malicious email may read, “we’ve been having trouble with your billing information, and we need you to make an update as soon as possible to continue your service.” That’s just one example of how easily hackers can drag unsuspecting people down to the dark web with malvertising.

Phishing remains the number one threat used in successful data breaches, according to a Verizon Report. Hackers are becoming increasingly advanced with their phishing attacks, putting countless Michigan companies at risk for widespread data breaches and expensive downtime. An unfortunate 60 percent of small businesses shut down for good after experiencing a cyberattack.

In this blog, we’ll go over four phishing prevention strategies you can use to keep your business safe.

Set up Email Security Filters

Phishing prevention is within your control with email security. Email software scans employees’ computers for malicious content, blocking the delivery of potentially threatening emails while allowing safe emails to be delivered. Email security checks for suspicious activity in your email, sorting through inbound, outbound and internal communications to flag potential phishing attacks. Deployed as a cloud service or an on-premises application, email-security tools ensure your employees — and your business — are less likely to fall victim to malware and phishing attacks.

Rely on Backup and Recovery

Did you know that nearly 75 percent of attacks targeting U.S. businesses are successful? With 20 percent of data breaches labeled as phishing scams, hackers are not only increasing their activities; they’ve got a good likelihood of success. But if you’ve kept your data backed up, you’ll increase your recovery time and decrease downtime in case of a data breach. By maintaining backups in several locations and testing often, you’ll mitigate your recovery time in case of a loss.

Employ Security Awareness Training

Phishing sites are found 75 times more often on the Internet than malware sites. And more than one in five data breaches involved phishing. Employees who complete security awareness training are more likely to report suspicious emails to their employers. A report that studied the impact of phishing on businesses found that organizations saw an 87 percent improvement rate in preventative activities, like employees reporting phishing attacks, after one year of training. Instead of being your company’s weak point, your employees can turn into your biggest data defenders thanks to cybersecurity training.

Partner with a Managed Service Provider

Managed service providers, like Data Tech Cafe, can provide your team with comprehensive phishing prevention and a wide variety of other managed technology and security services. Outsourced technology experts are a fantastic asset to any business, as they hold deep expertise in numerous industries and understand the latest innovations and threats in circulation.

Phishing is just one of the many threats your business faces. If you’re not sure where your cybersecurity stands or you are looking to enhance your current strategies, reach out to Data Tech Cafe today. Our passion is protecting businesses and showing them that 24/7 peace of mind is attainable with the right IT partner on your side! Contact us today to get started.


Prioritize the Growth of Your Business with IT Consulting Services

IT consulting services are, in simplest terms, advisory services that assist businesses in the process of aligning their technology strategy with their business strategy or model. In the process, the consultant or team of consulting professionals helps your business assess IT needs, the current state of IT infrastructure and formulate an industry-specific implementation plan that addresses the unique needs of your business. When you think of IT consulting, you probably think of these services as a means to solve technology problems, deploy new technology and even improve business performance.

However, these advisory services can also drive the growth and boost the productivity of your business. Continue reading to see how you can prioritize the growth of your business with the assistance of an outsourced IT support provider, such as Data Tech Cafe.

Avoid a Piecemeal Approach

One of the biggest problems for businesses when it comes to prioritizing growth and scalability is a fragmented approach to IT solutions. This leads companies to unwittingly purchase, implement and manage overlapping solutions that are neither cost-efficient nor procedurally effective. You’re then left paying exorbitant amounts of money for software, hardware, equipment or features your business simply does not need. Not only are you duplicating specific functionality, but you’re also leaving yourself vulnerable to missing certain functionality down the line.

Instead, you should invest in an IT consultant who can provide your business with less costly solutions. This equips your company with adequate storage space and compatible software, providing long-term upgrades and future discounts that you can benefit from. Your business will save money, free up valuable space and position your organization for future growth.

Benefit from In-depth Knowledge

If your business is like many other small and midsized companies, your in-house IT staff is likely composed of generalists who have basic knowledge across a wide range of technology areas. These types of companies can get by just fine handling their day-to-day responsibilities and minor security conflicts that arise. However, for businesses looking to drive growth and boost their bottom line in the process, it’s critical to invest in a managed IT provider with specialized knowledge that can provide the smart solutions you require. This allows for no second guessing, as a technology expert enables you to make smart, confident technology decisions that maximize your budget and prepare your business for future growth.

Easily Scale Up or Down

Scalability is a critical aspect of business growth and development. The only way to achieve scalability, however, is to focus on improving the profitability and efficiency of your services to sustain your operations even when your workload increases. One great method of prioritizing the scalability of your business is choosing the right pricing model for your IT services, such as IT helpdesk support, network services, server management and backend disaster recovery.

When you partner with an IT consulting professional, we’ll recommend that your business invests in a budget-conscious IT plan that allows you to easily scale up or down when your business needs change. You’ll reserve the remaining business funds for other needs. Optimize critical operations, improve productivity and watch your business grow.

Prepare for Growth

It’s time to partner with an IT consultant from Data Tech Cafe who can provide you with your ideal managed IT services. We’ll work with you every step of the way to identify your business’s areas of weakness and what processes can be improved to better serve your company.


phishing prevention michigan

How to Take a Proactive Approach to Cybersecurity

Each year, the volume of cybersecurity threats continues to steadily climb, with more than one billion malware programs out there and approximately 560,000 new pieces of malware being detected each day. All the while, regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are constantly evolving. This means even the most minor of security breaches can be incredibly devastating for your organization, leading to negative publicity, hefty fines and a loss of confidence in your brand.  

At Data Tech Café we can help you implement a proactive approach to cybersecurity that sees your business is protected on all fronts in a dynamic, complex and ever-evolving threat landscape. This means understanding your organization, including its systems, applications and user base, identifying where vulnerabilities lie and addressing security risks before an attack ever occurs. This article will delve into how to do just that with a dedicated technology partner by your side.  

Identify and Evaluate Risks for Assets That Could Be Affected by Cyberattacks 

A proactive approach to cybersecurity is all about understanding, managing and mitigating risk to your company’s critical assets. The easiest way to accomplish this mission and ensure any shortfalls in your IT infrastructure are properly addressed is to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment. Here are a few basic steps to ensure a smooth risk assessment within your organization:  

  1. Identify and Prioritize Assets: Here is where you will determine the scope of the assessment and decide which valuable assets attackers may wish to target.  
  2. Identify Threats: A cyberthreat is anything that could cause harm to your organization, such as hardware failure, natural disasters, human error and more.  
  3. Identify Vulnerabilities: This is where you’ll identify any vulnerabilities that could be exploited to breach security and cause harm or steal data from your organization. 
  4. Analyze Controls: These are any controls that are in place to mitigate or eliminate the possibility of a cyberthreat. They should be classified as either preventative or detective. 
  5. Calculate the Likelihood of an Attack: At this point, you can determine the likelihood of a given attack considering the current control environment your organization has in place. 
  6. Develop a Risk Assessment Report: Finally, you can develop a risk management report that supports management in decision-making on cybersecurity budget, policies and procedures.  

Invest in Preventative Cybersecurity Measures 

Just like there is not one security product that can completely encompass all your organization’s vulnerabilities, there is not a single cybersecurity policy that can sufficiently address all the needs of your business. Instead, it’s time to invest in a multi-layered, integrated cybersecurity strategy that covers many core areas of cybersecurity, including network security, cloud security, application security, Internet of Things (IoT) security and more. To lay the foundation for a solid cybersecurity strategy, it’s important to do the following: 

  • Understand the risks your organization faces on a daily basis 
  • Establish protective monitoring to detect and mitigate these threats 
  • Prepare secure data backups that keep your business up and running in the event of an attack 
  • Revisit your cybersecurity strategy as your organization changes and evolves over time 

Never Underestimate the Power of Cybersecurity Training 

A proactive approach to begins with awareness. While lack of proper training can leave employees more than vulnerable to releasing cyberattacks on to your organization, diverting resources into proper training could very well mean the difference between the success and failure of your business. The responsibility always lies on the employer to ensure that your employees have the knowledge they need to make the right decisions and where to turn if they have any questions related to cybersecurity. To prioritize cybersecurity training for your employees, we recommend getting executive buy-in, start training early and often and making the security health of your organization an ongoing, team effort. 

Stop Relying on Reactive Cybersecurity Measures Alone to Protect Your Business 

If your company’s current cybersecurity strategy is limited to firewalls, antivirus or anti-malware software, ad blockers and other measures put in place to spot the tell-tale signs of a security breach, there’s a good chance that you already have a reactive strategy in place. Unfortunately, reactive measures on their own are not enough to comprise a strong cybersecurity defense. You need to have a combination of both proactive and reactive measures in order to actively prevent data breaches and mitigate cyberthreats. For more cybersecurity solutions, contact the experts at Data Tech Café 


Cloud Services to Increase Business Productivity

The right cloud services has the potential to vastly improve a business’s overall efficiency, performance and productivity. However, when it comes to choosing the right technology for your workplace, it can be difficult to select the best options out of the myriad of options available today. With that in mind, let’s delve into how the right technology can improve workplace productivity, enhance your business and help you meet your goals.  

Remember, if you’re looking for assistance with increasing business communication and productivity, contact the technology experts at Data Tech Café IncWe’re happy to discuss cloud services and other options that can improve your operations.

Trust in the Cloud to Accelerate Workflows and Minimize Downtime

In recent years, the process of virtualizing workloads and moving on-site applications to the cloud has become well-acceptedFrom the inherent flexibility to the scalability, businesses across the globe are recognizing and adopting some form of a cloud infrastructureWhether you’re looking to deploy an application or collaborate with remote employees, the cloud offers a myriad of possibilities. 

In addition to cutting down the amount of time it takes to complete projects, the cloud also makes protecting your critical data, systems and devices much easier with a safe backup and recovery plan. 

Master Accessibility and Collaboration with VoIP 

There was a time when complex and expensive telecommunications systems weren’t an option for most small to medium-sized businesses. Nowadays, there are several innovative solutions to choose from, including Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). With VoIP, telecommuting and remote collaboration has never been easier. Your employees have access to the information they need around the clock with no gaps in service — all they need is a stable internet connection.  

So, put the intelligence into a network rather than a headset, and enjoy the streamlined communication and boosted productivity that VoIP offers. Your employees will never be out of contact with customers or fail to have access to the information they need simply because they’re away from their desk or working remotely.

Turn to Mobile Equipment to Increase Efficiencies

Today, more and more businesses are leveraging mobility to streamline their workflows and increase employee productivity. With modern day smartphones, tablets and laptops, lugging a lot of equipment around or being tied to an office are no longer issues. Implementing mobile workstations means your employees can access company data and resources from anywhere in the world – in the office, at home or working in the field.  

Remote work options can also lead to happier, more engaged and more productive workersFrom checking an email on the road to participating in a conference call from homeemployees can be mobile and still get business done.

Invest in Flexible Technology

When you’re immersed in the day-to-day challenges of operating a business, you may struggle to see the big pictureCarve out some time to consider how implementing flexible technology like cloud services and VoIP can boost productivity. For expert guidance, contact Data Tech Café Inc. We can discuss your business goals and recommend appropriate, affordable IT solutions. 


Data Security

5 Data Security Risks When Working Remote and How You Can Defend Against Them

In a study of business leaders performed by Accenture, 68 percent feel their cybersecurity risks are increasing – and rightfully so! Based on data provided by Cisco, cybercrimes are on track to surpass all the global trade of all major drugs combined. That begs the question, how do we maintain our business’s data security, especially with the global shift to remote work? In this article, you’ll learn the risks that accompany a digital presence, and how you can prepare your team for optimizing work from home security.

Risk #1 – Using public or unsecured networks.

With employees having more freedom to select their work environment, many choose to trade in their home offices or kitchen tables for a local coffee shop or co-workspace. While the change in scenery can help boost morale, it’s a serious data security risk to consider for businesses. When employees access company information from unsecure networks and public Wi-Fi, they create an open door for potential hackers to gain entry.

The Solution:

Having an external network for remote access is one solution that can help improve business privacy and data security. External networks create a degree of separation to isolate data breaches and protect your private network. Another solution is to set up a virtual private network (VPN) to act as a private network gateway. A VPN extends your business’s private network across a public one. This allows for added work from home security because it grants employees secure access from any device and a safe space for them to perform daily work. And as a rule of thumb, only use SSL connections (“HTTPS”) when accessing anything on the Internet.

Risk #2 – Easy access points through personal devices.

Another risk to public and personal devices is the ease of penetration hackers have through them into sensitive company materials. According to a survey by Google in 2019, 65 percent of people reuse the same password across multiple platforms. This explains why the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report found that compromised passwords directly cause 81 percent of hacking-related breaches. In addition, personal devices cannot be controlled and audited for frequent updates, security software and access to potentially harmful content.

The Solution:

Having access to devices utilized through the provision of company-owned devices is a guaranteed way to mitigate risk and improve private information security. If you’re also in an industry that relies on mobile devices to accomplish work-related tasks on the go, it’s advisable to implement a mobile device management solution to prevent data breaches should a smartphone or tablet ever be lost or stolen.

If these options are not feasible for your company, providing clear instructions regarding password best practices and which devices and software are permitted can add an extra layer of security. By ensuring employees are not installing potentially malicious software and maintaining strong, unique passwords that are updated over time, you can create an extra line of defense against cyberthreats.

Additional security measures include the use of multi-factor authentication, data encryption and session locking mechanisms. These actions will help detect suspicious behavior and deter hackers from breaching your system.

Risk #3 – Using outmoded software and technology.

The 2020 Kaspersky Global Corporate IT Security Risks Survey found that businesses utilizing outdated technology suffered far more frequent data breaches (65%) than counterparts who kept their technology up to date (29%). Not only does it pose a security risk, but outdated technology works against your team’s efforts to collaborate, utilize their time efficiently and communicate key information effectively. This can bottle-neck your projects and waste valuable time and money spent on each deliverable.

The Solution:

Choosing cloud-based collaboration tools provides a dual benefit for your team with the ability to keep software and technology updated and an extra layer of protection via cloud security. Cloud-based technology and software ensure that every user on the platform maintains updates, as it is managed by an overarching administrator, and it ensures the highest level of security cyberthreats. The company-protected cloud will give your business peace of mind through the ability to backup data, monitor and control data security, and maintain necessary defenses against lurking threats. Just be sure that your employees maintain business privacy by not storing cloud-based company data on their personal devices.

Risk #4 – Slow responses to suspected or known data breaches.

Based on a study by the University of Maryland, every 39 seconds a hacker strikes. Yet, for the prevalence of hacker attacks, it can take nearly 197 days to identify and 69 days to contain a breach according to IBM. Those numbers don’t bode well for businesses! So, how can organizations protect their data privacy and ward off threats?

The Solution:

The best offense is a great defense. And much like on the field, it’s key that everyone involved on the team understands the plan. By training your entire staff about current data security risks and signs of potential cyberthreats and data breaches, you’ll have more eyes watching for potentially suspicious activity. These trainings don’t require team members to be IT experts, but it will help your IT experts stay ahead of weak spots, areas of concern and instances of private information security being compromised.

Coupled with a vigilant team, data loss prevention (DLP) strategies are measures that can be set in place to preserve your data in the event of a natural or manmade disaster striking. These plans work to prioritize data, learn risks, closely monitor data movement and ensure that backups are regularly implemented to swiftly restore order back to your business.

Risk #5 – Not staying on top of software updates.

If you had a hole in the side of your house, odds are, you wouldn’t leave it exposed for long. The same mentality should be transposed in cyberspace. By not updating software regularly, your technology won’t be dexterous against active hackers and digital threats. As tempting as the remind me later button may be on update notifications, the time and money that companies would have to spend after data breaches is far too precious to risk.

The Solution:

This is, again, where cloud-based collaboration tools can be wisely implemented. The ability to control your entire network’s technology updates and regularly update company-wide hardware and software through patching updates will keep your ahead of cyber vulnerabilities. It’s important to have an expert overseeing these updates to ensure that updates don’t disrupt function and compatibility of your technology and create a blind spot in your defenses.

Have an expert on top of your data security.

When it comes to the costs of your business and data privacy, you can never be too safe. That’s where we come in. We provide top-tier, customizable managed IT services to help keep your business secure and your focus on your goals. Our team of experts will ensure your private information security is up to date, maintained, and preventative against data breaches and losses. To discover more about how we can support your business, contact us today!


Remote Work Collaboration: Improve the Way Your Team Works Together While Apart

With the pivotal shift in remote work options looking to become a lasting effect of 2020, employers are experiencing both the perks and pitfalls of this new teamwork and collaboration trend. According to LinkedIn’s 10 Insights from Talent Leaders, “recent research shows that the number of permanent remote workers is expected to double in 2021”. However, flexible work locations add a new layer of intricacy into cultivating a positive work environment, maintaining structure and efficiency on a day-to-day basis. That leaves us with the question on the table – how do we as employers improve team collaboration, mitigate burnout, and keep our staff on track? Read on and we will share our top tips for empowering your remote workforce to put you back in the driver’s seat of your well-oiled machine.

Tip #1: Set Clear Boundaries and Expectations for Collaboration

A critical component to any work from home employment is the establishment of clear-cut expectations for communication and visibility. Setting the stage for proper modes of communication, remote work boundaries and channels of information storage are vital to maintain a healthy pulse on the company and ensure you don’t lose visibility.

Remote collaboration tools are designed with this specific function in mind and are a great way to keep track of projects, silo project-related tasks, and provide user-friendly options for even the least tech-savvy team members.

Task tracking platforms for both high-level and granular project updates:

Make sure to communicate what information is best shared on instant messaging platforms, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams, and what should be logged in your project management software. This will help keep your visibility clear, your communication effective and work from bottlenecking.

Tip #2: Minimize Burnout for Maximized Results

According to Harvard Business Review, the lack of face-to-face communication and workplace environmental changes have led to increased cases of burnout in companies that did not alter their workplace practices as part of their shift to remote work. We now can see how we took for granted body language in conversation, tones of voice, and equitable workplace positivity through a single gesture.

Nowadays, employers must work consciously towards the creation of digital work culture if they want to yield quality results and healthy employees. Utilize options like Bonusly for cross-team engagement that facilitates visible recognition and positivity.

Great VoIP tools to regain the sense of interpersonal communication:

These can also be used to host team meetups after a long workday, group collaboration and brainstorming sessions, and standard one-on-ones where tone and delivery of information are key. The last thing you need in your business is a slew of miscommunication to add fuel to fires.

Tip #3: Keep Your Head Up in the Cloud

With work from home collaboration stretching across cities, states, or even countries – it’s imperative that you have all of your data stored in one centralized location. Now that we’re all working digitally, cloud-based technology is your best option for backing up your precious data.

Why telework employers can’t rely on an individual’s technology:

  • Being spread across geographic regions can leave employees susceptible to varied weather events and power outages that could lead to data loss in a snap.
  • Employees can fall victim to cybercrimes and ransomware ploys more easily when communication is not streamlined with specific boundaries outlined.

The cloud provides a failsafe solution for storing data over time. The cloud also reduces your physical footprint and allows for easy recovery should the worst-case scenario occur. The ability to retrieve data and reimplement if one should lose it could be a lifesaver for your business and your consumers!

Provide Your Remote Team with What they Need to Succeed

Technology is constantly evolving and maintaining the tools you need to succeed can take a lot of time. That’s where partnerships with IT experts can step in and reduce your headache. We’re here to empower you to empower your team for success. To get your remote workforce started on the right foot today, (CTA) download the Ultimate Guide to Empowering Your Remote Workforce and navigate the digital path for continual growth with remote collaboration.


How to Drive Remote Work Engagement

Workforce engagement is crucial for every business type and is especially important for companies that offer work-from-home options. According to Gartner, 88 percent of organizations moved employees over to work-from-home after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. With this sudden transition to telework, successful companies are changing the way they keep their team motivated.

In order to drive the engagement of your remote team, you first must understand what challenges they face. These problems below can affect their level of engagement:

  • They feel isolated out of the office.
  • They have difficulty connecting with their co-workers.
  • They lack managerial support or direction.

With the right technology tools, you can address each of these issues and increase the motivation and satisfaction of your remote team. Let’s discuss how.

1) Personalize Meetings with Face-to-Face Interactions

According to Buffer’s 2020 State of Remote Work Report, 19 percent of remote workers admit that they are lonely working from home. When workers feel removed from their work environment, this will negatively affect their ability to focus on work, their motivation and their output. The good news is that there are a few easy ways employers can help their employees who feel isolated and increase remote workforce engagement.

In April 2020, Zoom saw a 60 percent increase in consumer spending. The reason? Video conferencing software is an easy way to increase engagement through face-to-face interactions and personalized meeting spaces. Live meetings allow your team to connect instantly on projects or invite an unlimited number of participants for streaming. Whether you have daily team meetings, one-on-ones, lunch-and-learns or social events, video conferencing tools increase remote engagement and collaboration.

2) Stay Connected with Team Communication Tools

Another big challenge for remote workforce engagement is communication. With remote teams working from anywhere at any time, it’s easy for there to be communication breakdowns. Fortunately, you can connect your team with cloud-based technology and give them access to the best technology tools.

With team communication tools like Microsoft Teams or Slack, employees can stay in touch with each other from anywhere. Communication tools provide your team with live video chat through an instant messaging platform. Your team can have organized group chats and integrated file-sharing options, too. With cloud-based technology, your team can connect in real time. They can work on documents together. They can communicate instantly. This keeps them connected regardless of where they are located.

3) Help Them Avoid Burnout

Many business owners believe their remote workers want to be left alone to do their work. The truth is that they wish they had more support from management. Whether it’s receiving adequate direction on a project, gaining insight into which deadline to prioritize or being acknowledged for a job well done, most remote workers feel that their leadership is often lacking when they work from home.

Fortunately, when you are using the right technologies, you can provide the managerial support your remote team’s needs while also helping them avoid burnout.

Use Project Management Tools: With project management tools like Jira, Trello, Basecamp or Wrike, your remote team will have the assistance they need to prioritize tasks. Project management tools provide a clear visual presentation of task workflows. They have advanced project tracking features and can track your workforce’s productivity, project statuses and other metrics. Project management tools keep everyone in the know and provide the guidance your team needs to stay engaged.

Reward Them with Virtual Gifts: When your team is working remotely, businesses need to go the extra mile to show appreciation. Reward your team by sending them virtual gift cards on birthdays or work anniversaries. Provide company-wide visibility on an HR platform like Bamboo HR. Take rewards to the next level with a rewards program like Bonusly. When your team feels appreciated, this strengthens your company culture and motivates remote employees to do their best work.

How an MSP Can Motivate Your Team

With the right people, processes and technology, your team can stay engaged and collaborate at their best. A managed services provider can provide your business with the ongoing support it needs to thrive. We can also set you up with the technology tools that enable your team to do their best work. Whether it’s boosting engagement, improving collaboration or working in a secure remote environment, we can help you get your team up and running and continue to deliver the innovative solutions your business needs to thrive.

Download our Ultimate Guide to Empowering Your Remote Workforce and get started today!


3 Ways to Leverage Your Technology in 2021

Every investment you make for your company should be made with confidence. While it’s hard to be sure which new technologies have staying power over others, one thing remains certain – your employees will always need to communicate and collaborate. Whether your team is working from the office or remotely, it’s vital for their workflow to occur unimpeded. With the right solutions, your business can efficiently operate without breaking the bank.

Scalable communications and collaboration solutions don’t come cheap when you handle them alone. But with a technology partner working by your side, you can get the tech you need for less. Learn about the technologies available and see how a managed services provider (MSP) can help you maximize your investment.

1) Understand the Importance of Modern Tech

Have your employees switched to remote work? Are they back in the office? Even if you plan on operating a hybrid of remote and in-office staff, you need to ensure their workflow remains uninterrupted. But there is a lot to consider when choosing the right tech. Most business leaders can boil their concerns down to three primary questions:

  • How can I best keep my data secure when it’s accessed remotely?
  • Will my staff be able to share files and data seamlessly?
  • What is the best solution to keep my team in contact from all locations?

Unless you spend your day-to-day in the IT communications world, it can be challenging to know what you need. However, there are simple answers to these common questions.

  • For the first question, cybersecurity software, like firewalls, two-step authentication and a VPN can keep your data protected from all access points.
  • For the second question, Microsoft’s 365 suite contains a useful cloud file-sharing and storage application called SharePoint.
  • For the third question, a VoIP solution that enables your team to call via video and voice over your internet connection.

Having the solutions you need to deal with the unexpected gives you more time and resources to grow your business.

2) Use IT Solutions for Different Situations

There are many reasons your staff may need to work from locations outside of your office. But they shouldn’t have to suffer through extensive downtime when they could be working. As long as they have the technology they need, it’s no longer a worry.

The Business Journals conducted a study about the primary causes of downtime. Topping their list were hardware failures, power or internet outages and most importantly, cybersecurity threats. With occurrences like this looming, it’s no wonder the fear of downtime is so persistent. But fortunately, the technologies you invested in for your remote work can help keep your staff working. Suppose your employees are displaced, or an internal system goes down. In that case, your remote technologies can double as backup systems for the day or for as long as you need until you can return your primary systems to their everyday operations as long as you need until you can return your primary systems to their everyday operations.

Don’t allow a cyberattack, natural disaster or other unforeseen situation to stop your company. Leverage your communications and collaboration tech investment to the fullest.

3) Leverage the Power of CaaS

The middle of a network or systems failure or natural disaster is the worst time to consider your technology. But getting a head start and deploying it yourself can be time-consuming as well. Partner with an MSP and see how their Communications as a Service (CaaS) can make a positive difference.

Your MSP partner will take the time to understand your communications and collaboration goals. They will then plan, deploy and maintain your solutions to your communications concerns from the very start so that you can stay focused on your daily tasks.

We’re Your Solution Provider

Once you get the communications and collaboration technology you need, you can stay focused on growing your business. As your technology partner, we want you to have confidence in your ability to communicate and collaborate in any location with reliability, efficiency and security. Our expertise can get you there with the value you need.

Let’s build your solution now.