Intelligent Security for The Modern Workplace

Intelligent Security for The Modern Workplace

One of the biggest challenges in digital transformation is ensuring security across an organization’s entire digital landscape without reducing user productivity. Piecing together individual solutions can result in a complex security posture that overburdens operations and encourages users to bypass security measures. Cloud computing allows enterprises to share security signals worldwide, which is changing how they do security.

In this new world where data and users roam free, it’s even more important to have an integrated suite of security tools. Microsoft 365 is a complete, intelligent solution that helps secure corporate data and protect against bad actors, while taking advantage of the transformative opportunities presented by cloud computing. Its built-in security solutions integrate easily and share insights from the trillions of security signals on the Intelligent Security Graph across the global Microsoft ecosystem. With Microsoft 365, you can reduce the number of security vendors you manage and safeguard your organization, without sacrificing productivity.

Microsoft 365 keeps users, data, devices, and applications safe

An organization’s data is their most valuable asset, yet most enterprises lack the ability to understand what data is sensitive and control access to that data. Data protection requires a layered approach that starts with a great user authentication experience with policies to control access to sensitive information regardless of location or device. Microsoft 365 includes identity protection that provides the foundation for secure access to data, devices and applications. A set of advanced threat protection tools communicate with each other to correlate threat information across your entire digital footprint and automate threat protection, which eases the workload on your security operations team. Security insights recommend ways to optimize the configuration of your security tools and provide a quantifiable measurement of your security posture.

Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5 unifies user productivity and enterprise security into a single suite

For customers that embrace the Microsoft productivity suite, there are significant gains to be realized in security. While no single security provider will cover your entire digital footprint, through Microsoft’s investments and scale within enterprises, their customers have an advantage in creating a comprehensive, adaptive security program.

Comprehensive, adaptive security

Technology has changed the way enterprises conduct business. As people bring devices, apps, and data into organizations today, protecting company assets requires a new approach. It’s important to find a balance between powerful, complicated security capabilities and a security posture that you can maintain over time with your current staff and budget.

Imagine if you could easily; identify sensitive information automatically, eliminate passwords entirely in favor of biometrics or pins, identify, quarantine, and wipe a compromised endpoint all from a single location and quantify your security position and gain insights on how to improve it.

All of this and more is possible with Azure Advanced Threat Protection, just one of four valuable tools included in Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5. Interested in what other tools are available to you? Oakwood Systems Group, Inc. has the answers to your questions. Contact us to learn more.


Transforming The Customer Experience

Transforming The Customer Experience

In a world of instant gratification, customers expect more from the businesses they patron. That’s why you need a CRM solution that’s more than just a CRM platform. You need an all-in-one business management solution to streamline and connect business processes with customer experience. It’s the way of the future for a demanding generation of customers. Deliver the level of service and experience they deserve with Microsoft Dynamics 365.

This all-in-one Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) business management solution will help connect your financials, sales, service, and operations to streamline business processes, improve customer interactions, and make better decisions.


Manage Your Financials

  • Make informed decisions: Connect data across accounting, sales, purchasing, inventory, and customer interactions to get an end-to-end view of your business. Chart financial performance in real time with built-in Power BI dashboards.
  • Accelerate financial close and reporting: Streamline accounts receivables and payables, and automatically reconcile accounts to close and report on financials quickly and accurately, while maintaining compliance.
  • Improve forecast accuracy: Refine financial forecasts by modeling and analyzing data across multiple dimensions. Customize reports using seamless Microsoft Excel integration.

Automate and Secure Your Supply Chain

  • Optimize inventory levels: Use built-in intelligence to predict when and what to replenish. Purchase only what you need with dynamically updated inventory levels.
  • Avoid lost sales and reduce shortages: Maintain the right amount of inventory by automatically calculating stock levels, lead times, and reorder points. Suggest substitutes when requested items are out of stock.
  • Maximize Profitability: Get recommendations on when to pay vendors to use vendor discounts or avoid overdue penalties. Prevent unnecessary or fraudulent purchases through approval workflows.

Sell Smarter and Improve Customer Service

  • Deliver value at every touch point: Prioritize sales leads based on revenue potential. Keep track of all customer interactions and get guidance on best upsell, cross-sell, and renewal opportunities throughout your sales cycle.
  • Boost sales productivity: Accelerate the quote to cash process. Act quickly on sales-related inquiries, manage service requests, and process payments—all from within Outlook.
  • Deliver exceptional service: Gain a comprehensive overview of your service tasks, workloads, and employee skills to effectively assign resources and accelerate case resolution.

Keep Projects on Time and on Budget

  • Stay on budget: Create, manage, and track customer projects using timesheets along with advanced job costing and reporting capabilities. Develop, modify, and control budgets to ensure project profitability.
  • Plan with precision: Manage resource levels by planning capacity and sales. Track invoicing for customers against planned costs on orders and quotes.
  • Analyze project performance: Make effective decisions with real-time insight on project status, profitability, and resource-usage metrics.

Optimize Your Operations

  • Manage forecasting to fulfillment: Use sales forecasts and expected stock-outs to automatically generate production plans and create purchase orders.
  • Run your warehousing efficiently: Get a holistic view of inventory for efficient order fulfillment. Track every item transaction and movement by setting up bins based on warehouse layout and storage unit dimensions.
  • Reach optimal output levels: Calculate and optimize manufacturing capacity and resources to improve production schedules and meet customer demands.

Protect Your Data and Support GDPR Compliance

  • Respect your customers’ privacy: Use built-in privacy-by-design and privacy-by-default methodologies to help your business comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Grant and restrict access to personal data on multiple levels and enable audit trails to ensure security and accountability.
  • Handle, store and transmit data securely: Move and store personal data freely across your systems while protecting it from unauthorized access with Microsoft datacenters’ automatic encryption.

Run Your Business Anywhere

  • Choose cloud, on-premise or hybrid deployment: Business Central runs where you need it, in the cloud or on-premises, with the same user experience no matter how you deploy.
  • Take your business on the go: The mobile version of Business Central supports both cloud and on-premise users with a consistent, modern experience across Windows, Android, or IOS devices.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Dashboard
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Dashboard

Customer Success Story: 24 Hour Fitness

Just about everybody wants to get fit, but there are as many paths to fitness as there are people embarking on the journey. 24 Hour Fitness stands out in a crowded wellness industry not just for its innovative approach to fitness but for its personalized approach to member services. The company is applying data analytics to member marketing by connecting Microsoft Dynamics 365 with Adobe Experience Cloud hosted on Microsoft Azure to personalize marketing messages to millions of members at its 400-plus US health clubs. By connecting marketing and sales data, 24 Hour Fitness is reaching people in exciting new ways, bringing in record numbers of members, and helping more people reach their fitness goals.

It’s a tall task for any health and wellness business to keep people on track with their fitness goals. In many cases, life intervenes and fitness can get pushed to the bottom of the priority list. 24 Hour Fitness uses tech to set themselves apart from the competition by making their customers’ experience personal and engaging so they keep coming back.

With Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Adobe Experience Cloud, we’re able to meet customers wherever they are—with the activities that they’re interested in to achieve their personal fitness goals.

Jenn Galantini: Director of Acquisition Marketing | 24 Hour Fitness

Email Oakwood Systems Group today to find out more on how we can help you integrate Dynamics and other Microsoft solutions to get a leg up on the competition and ensure your customers are getting the personalized experience they deserve.

Protecting Azure Resources with Recovery Services Vault

Protecting Azure Resources with Recovery Services Vault

Your data is important. You need the best data recovery service on the market. At Oakwood Systems Group we know how to help you integrate the solutions that meet your needs.

With file and folder backup and recovery, virtual machine backup and recovery, and SQL running on IaaS VMs, Azure Recovery Services Vault gives users a strong feature set and an easy-to-use data protection service for businesses to protect their data.

Like many businesses, as their organization began rapidly migrating and deploying solutions to Azure, the demand for data protection in the cloud has also increased. That’s why Microsoft developed Azure Recovery Services Vault to help manage their backup and disaster recovery needs natively in the cloud.

Microsoft implemented Azure Recovery Services Vault to provide data protection services for their growing Azure virtual machine infrastructure. Recovery Services vault is a cloud-based PaaS solution⎯by using it, their employees can quickly obtain access to data protection for Azure resources. It’s flexible and adaptable enough to meet the needs of all their business groups, and it can evolve into an even more comprehensive data protection solution in the future.

Microsoft’s data protection services team manages data protection for all Core Services Engineering (CSE, formerly Microsoft IT). They oversee the backup and recovery of almost 9 petabytes (PB), or 9 million gigabytes (GB), of on-premises data for the organization. Primarily, they use Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager for their on-premises workloads. They use it for the backup and recovery of:

  • Physical servers, files, and folders.
  • Virtual machines, files, and folders.
  • Application workloads, such as SQL Server and SharePoint.


Adapting for Microsoft Azure

In the past, Microsoft’s corporate infrastructure was hosted in on-premises datacenters. However, Azure has become the default environment for all of their CSE solutions. When they develop new solutions, they look at Azure first. By the end of fiscal year 2018, almost 90 percent of their CSE resources will be hosted in Azure. With their organization rapidly migrating and deploying CSE solutions to Azure, the demand for data protection in the cloud has also increased. Although their on-premises data protection methods using System Center Data Protection Manager can be extended into Azure, backing up cloud data to on-premises datacenters introduced several problems that they wanted to address.

Backup and recovery of Azure data depends on network bandwidth between the datacenter and Azure. Backup and recovery times can be significantly impacted by fluctuations in bandwidth, and they are non-functional if the connection to Azure is unavailable. CSE manages 12,000 Azure infrastructure as a service (IaaS) virtual machines in subscriptions. So they recognized the need to develop a solution for data protection. Microsoft wanted the solution to provide appropriate service for their Azure users. At the same time, they wanted a manageable and maintainable solution that they could provide for their business groups using Azure now and in the future.


Using Azure Recovery Services vault for data protection

Azure Recovery Services vault is an Azure Resource Manager resource to manage your backup and disaster recovery needs natively in the cloud. Recovery Services vault provides a consistent and unlimited backup for Azure virtual machines at the file, folder, and virtual machine levels. It also provides file and folder backup for on-premises devices.

Azure Recovery Services vault has some important features and functionality that fulfilled several of Microsoft’s goals for data protection. By using these features, they quickly positioned Recovery Services vault as a data protection solution for their business groups. They identified important functionality such as:

  • It stores data in Azure datacenters, so backup, recovery, and general data movement happens quickly between virtual machines and the Recovery Services vault.
  • It provides built-in functionality for both file and folder backup and the backup of entire virtual machines.
  • It fulfills many of our requirements in its default state. It required less customization, and it’s a solution that’s extensible and more flexible to grow with Azure functionality.
  • It uses familiar backup and recovery methods and user interfaces.
  • It meets GDPR requirements in that when data resides in the Recovery Service vault, that data is encrypted and protected against malware and ranswomware attacks.

Usage options for Recovery Services vault

Microsoft offers three primary methods for data protection using Recovery Services vault:

  1. File and folder backup and recovery. You can protect files and folders from within the operating system of your virtual machine using the Azure Backup agent. The agent is installed and managed for each virtual machine. Business groups can use the agent to back up individual files and folders or entire volumes, either as scheduled backups, or on demand.
  2. Azure IaaS virtual machine backup and recovery. With virtual machine recovery, you can back up the virtual machine state to a fully recoverable snapshot in Azure. It provides the most immediate and complete option for full virtual machine recovery. And it can be done using either Azure Portal or Azure PowerShell. With the latest release, you can even perform an item-level recovery of an Azure virtual machine deployed using the Azure Resource Manager model.
  3. SQL running on IaaS VMs. Recently, Microsoft introduced workload backup for SQL running on IaaS VMs. It uses the same native SQL APIs to do the backups and provides the added advantage of being able to manage all of it through the Azure portal. Seamless discovery and agentless protection has made it one of the best solutions available.

With Azure, your data is safe. Contact Oakwood Systems Group to find out more on how we can help you integrate the suite of tools you need to recover your data.

Build Loyalty and Brand Advocacy Through Effortless Experiences.

Build Loyalty and Brand Advocacy Through Effortless Experiences.

An increasingly connected digital world has changed the way customers engage with brands. In an age of commoditized products and services, companies look to customer experience as a key competitive differentiator. Customer Service organizations are at the epicenter of a company’s ability to deliver a differentiated and a consistent engagement experience.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service supports the omni-channel, which enables consistent experiences across any combination of self and assisted service engagements. Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service provides a robust portal for self-service and peer-to-peer community support, with seamless transitions to high-touch agent interactions, and field service when there is a need for onsite help. This solution empowers agents with the resources they need to provide fast and effective service. Implementing this powerful solution empowers people at every level of the organization with insights relevant to their role so that everyone can have a positive and meaningful impact on business outcomes.

Our loyal fans are the driving force behind everything we do. The only way to increase revenue is to increase value, and the only way to increase value is to deliver better experiences.

Scott Loft – VP Ticket Sales, Retention and Database Operations
Oklahoma City Thunder | NBA

Microsoft 365 Dynamics Customer Service
Dashboard: Microsoft 365 Dynamics Customer Service

Key Benefits

  • Earn Loyalty: Increase brand loyalty and advocacy by providing personalized and contextual interactions across the customer journey, through any channel and from any device. Studies show that 91% of consumers are loyal to brands who offer low effort interactions.
  • Empower Agents: Provide your agents with everything they need to deliver a more personalized, effective standard of service – using tools that are at their fingertips, from a single application. Only 4% of service organizations can solve a service inquiry using a single application.
  • Stay Agile: Adjust at the pace of innovation through actionable insights that anticipate the rapidly changing needs of customers and your brand. 77% of consumers around the globe have a more favorable view of brands that offer proactive customer service notifications.

Key Capabilities

OMNI-CHANNEL ENGAGEMENT

Enable end-to-end service engagements across channels on any device. A unified platform ensures context and consistency, delivering personalized service with minimal customer effort.

  • Complete 360-degree view of the customer, including full history of interactions, user preferences, and relevant customer information from third party applications.
  • Complete customer information shared across channels and interactions to ensure consistent experiences, regardless of the number or variety of channels leveraged over the course of a single service request, or throughout the customer lifetime.
  • Real-time insights, SLA timers and entitlements, are presented to the agent so that every interaction is personalized and contextual.
  • Machine learning detects social post sentiment and intent to automatically create and route as cases.
  • Create more personal experiences with chat and co-browse.
  • Drag-and-drop survey designer, theme editor and rich design logic makes it easy to create personalized surveys with multiple delivery mechanisms.
  • CTI framework with several integrations and adapters currently in market.

SELF-SERVICE AND COMMUNITIES

Empower the increasing majority who prefer to find answers on their own through self-service and community options, including access via third party sites, such as Facebook. A branded, personalized experience leverages an organized, searchable knowledgebase to deliver consistent, up-to-date answers, and a community experience for peer-to-peer support, direct interaction with subject matter experts or ideation.

  • Intuitive navigation with case deflection capabilities, community discussion forums and blog platform.
  • Optional federated search returns results from any combination of relevant knowledge articles, social posts and blogs.
  • Automated community thread escalation to case capabilities.
  • Responsive design optimized for mobile devices.
  • Seamless transitions between self and assisted support.
  • In addition to out-of-the-box configurations, admins can create custom entities with easy to use tools, and a rich set of SDKs enable developers to easily build apps as well.
  • Portals leverage CRM authentication, security, user roles and rights, and either local authentication or federated authentication through a variety of providers.

AGENT ENABLEMENT

Empower your agents with a single, unified experience on their desktop or mobile device. Agents can access every source of information they need across diverse environments to provide a more personalized, effective standard of service.

  • A dynamic interface optimized to drive the next best action contextually serves up tools, guidance and data to agents throughout the interaction, including information or assets from third party applications.
  • Topic analysis and machine learning scenarios surface relevant knowledge articles and related cases to help agents solve cases faster and improve first time resolution rates.
  • Boost productivity with business processes and workflow, integrated knowledge, SLAs, agent scripting, entitlements and recommendations.
  • Speed resolution and avoid escalations by using collaboration tools to connect agents with peers and subject matter experts across internal and external teams.
  • Provide context sensitive guidance to help new users navigate the application and perform tasks specific to their role.
  • Reward optimal behaviors with gamification to improve performance and increase productivity.
  • Take service directly to the customer any time it cannot be managed through other channels; a single platform for customer and field service spans case management through to work order completion.
Insights: Microsoft 365 Dynamics Customer Service
Insights: Microsoft 365 Dynamics Customer Service

UNIFIED KNOWLEDGE

Unified knowledge provides a single source of truth across channels and LOBs. Knowledgebase administrators can capture and create content from multiple sources, and an approval workflow ensures accuracy and mitigates risk.

  • Quick Create functionality lets SMEs and agents create content on the fly, which is then routed into the approval workflow.
  • Build your knowledgebase with community sourced knowledge enrichment scenarios.
  • Use rich media, such as images and videos, to increase first time resolution rates.
  • Articles can be scheduled for periodic review or expiration to ensure content is always current.
  • Improve search and discoverability by associating knowledge articles with products, customer entitlements and other customer or account data.
  • Knowledge articles are optimized for mobile devices, and end users can provide feedback by rating content.
  • Knowledge analytics drives article efficiency and identifies potential areas for adjustments and augmentation.

SERVICE INTELLIGENCE

Relevant data empowers every role in the organization to have a positive impact on business outcomes. Insights are displayed through interactive dashboards with powerful data visualization capabilities. Our solution empowers organizations with the information they need to provide proactive care, and to predict and preempt the need for service.

  • Role-tailored dashboards present real-time and historical data through a visual user interface.
  • Drill into data via interactive charts, and include data from third party applications for deeper business insights, analysis and exploration.
  • Use natural language capabilities to instantly render new reports and visualizations.
  • Use service intelligence to identify cross-sell/up-sell opportunities, explore what-if scenarios, improve service metrics and performance and identify best practices.
  • Report on custom KPIs and metrics tuned specifically to your business.

Ready to get going?

Contact Oakwood Systems Group today and discover how you can connect with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service.

Imagine What Dynamics 365 Can Do For You!

Imagine What Dynamics 365 Can Do For You!

Customer experience is often the key differentiator between businesses. In fact, 3 in 4 business leaders in a recent study said improving the customer journey and user experience was their top priority in the next year. What’s your priority?

For Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, who own 23 luxury hotels worldwide, they sought out a solution to more intelligently manage customer data while personalizing communication with their guests. Through their integration of Microsoft Dynamics 365 they’ve seen increased year-over-year revenue growth by sending relevant, customized content enabled by an automated, cloud-based system.

Our industry does not respect tradition, it only respects innovation

Satya Nadella, CEO Microsoft

A powerful CRM, like Dynamics 365, can increase your organization’s profitability by streamlining administrative processes in your sales, marketing, and service divisions, while letting you focus on building and maintaining the customer relationships that matter. A strong CRM solution is a multifaceted platform where everything crucial to developing, improving, and retaining your customer relationships is stored. Without the support of an integrated CRM solution, you may miss growth opportunities and lose revenue because you’re not optimizing your operating processes or making the most of your customer relationships or sales leads.

Imagine misplacing customer contact information, only to learn that your delay resulted in losing your client to a competitor. Or, picture your salespeople pursuing the same prospect, resulting in an annoyed potential customer and some unfriendly, in-house competition. Without a centralized and automated CRM system, your people can lose track of customer interactions and miss business opportunities.


Send us a message below or contact us at (314) 824-3000 to find out how you can make Microsoft Dynamics work for you and your customers too. 

Azure Has You Covered

Azure Has You Covered

One thing that makes Azure unique is its ability to handle nearly any situation. If you’re not ready to completely move to the cloud, no problem. Azure has hybrid options that let you get your foot in the door and build on it. If you’re running an app or system that requires multiple capabilities, Azure has seamless integration across its different service offerings that can fit every need. The possibilities are endless.

What exactly is Azure? Flying at a high level, it may look like only a cloud, but delve under the surface, and you’ll discover an entire world of integrated offerings. When SitePro was looking to move their operations from on-premises physical servers, they needed a system that could handle the multiple elements of their innovative turnkey application. They found all these capabilities through Azure. 

SitePro utilizes multiple services, including Azure App Service, Azure Cosmos DB, and SQL Database, to handle the various aspects of their application and their business. This simplicity reduces cost and improves user experience.  

With service offerings spanning everything from AI to Developer Tools, we’ve got your needs covered, whatever they may be. Azure is perfect for that period of transition from your on-premises servers to the cloud and built-in top-of-the-line security and compliance.


Contact Oakwood today and learn more about how Azure can streamline your business while saving you money along the way.

The Power of Backing Up in Azure

The Power of Backing Up in Azure

Data has never been more critical to your enterprise as it transforms in this digital world. Azure Backup helps you retain rapidly increasing amounts of data while keeping storage costs low. It makes it easy for you to backup and restore your most important information when the unexpected happens. As ransomware attacks increase, built-in protection from Azure keeps your data safe. Azure Backup gives you a cost-effective, simple and secure backup solution that protects your data.


Benefits of Azure Backup: Simple, Secure & Cost-Effective

Setting up Azure Backup for your virtual machines can be accomplished in just three steps. Once the initial backup is completed, only incremental changes are sent based on a defined schedule. You can then retain your backups for as long as your compliance(s) require.

Built-in protection against ransomware helps you protect your data from unauthorized requests to delete your backups. Before ransomware has the chance to corrupt your data, you’ll be notified so you can save your data.

Store your backups in Azure instead of an offsite to reduce infrastructure costs. Pay for what you use in Azure.


Additional Key Benefits

  • SaaS pay-as-you-go service
  • Have the latest backup of your data whenever you need it at no additional cost
  • Support for VMware, Hyper-V, Linux and Windows in Azure and on-premises
  • Avoid the complexity of managing on-premises infrastructure
  • Safeguard your backups from ransomware with one-click multifactor authentication
  • Retain unauthorized deleted backups to give you time to investigate and recover your data

Simple and secure cloud-based backup

  • Hybrid and heterogeneous – Protect your data from Azure no matter where it resides – in the cloud or onpremises. Support for virtual machines running on VMware, Hyper-V, Linux and Windows.
  • Flexible – Scale protection to just a few files and folders or multiple virtual machines in a few clicks. Restore individual files and folders or virtual machines from Azure when you need them the most.
  • Efficient – Eliminate the challenges of getting started with your backup solution. With no need to provision storage, enable backup for your virtual machines running in Azure in a few minutes.
  • Fast – View your backups from Azure and onpremises in one centralized location to quickly decide what needs to be restored to keep business operating as normal.
  • Compliant – Export Power BI reports to understand information about your backups. Ensure you are meeting your industry’s unique compliance requirements.
  • Safe – Receive instant notifications of suspicious backup activities so you can take action. Generate a security PIN required to complete critical backup operations for an additional layer of protection.

We don’t have to worry about managing space on expensive purpose-built backup storage systems. We have no tape costs, management costs, nothing. Backup is dramatically cheaper with Azure.

Sean DeLessio Lead Engineer Russell Reynolds Associates

Even with the cost of adding a Data Protection Manager server to each jobsite, Azure Backup is cheaper than our previous solution—one quarter the cost. The savings increase with every gigabyte of data we add.

Chris Palmer Solutions Architect PCL Construction

By using long-term Azure Backup to eliminate tape, we could save US$20,000 annually,” Karabiber says. “We also avoided the need to build or rent an off-site backup location at a cost of $50,000.

Kerem Karabiber IT and Business Development Manager Kardem

The process for backing up data can seem complicated. With the increased importance of data in the digital age, isn’t it time you integrated a solution that helps you safeguard your data? At Oakwood Systems Group, Inc., we know how tough it can be to safeguard your data. That’s why we’re here to help.


Contact Us Today!

Interested in a 212% ROI?

Interested in a 212% ROI?

When you think about switching from running and housing your SQL Server on-premises to Azure, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the infrastructure maintenance savings.

But what about hidden savings? Like efficiency savings for your IT team and database admins? Or the freedom to expand your capacity as soon as you need it?

Just last week we detailed that SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 will no longer be supported by Microsoft starting in July 2019. Outside of the reasons stated above, here’s a few more on why this is an issue to be addressed sooner than later.

  1. Mitigate risks with platform security and compliance: There will be no access to critical security updates, opening the potential for business interruptions and loss of data.
  2. Upgrade to better cost efficiency: Maintaining legacy servers, firewalls, intrusion systems, and other tools can get expensive quickly.
  3. Modernize to innovate: Grow your environments with data, analytics and the cloud.

In a recent financial impact study by Forrester, they detail all of the potential savings, costs, frustrations, and advantages associated with switching to the Azure cloud and the results are exciting!

At Oakwood Systems Group, Inc., we want what is best for your business. Contact us to learn more.

Six Common Cybersecurity Mistakes You Can Fix Now

Six Common Cybersecurity Mistakes You Can Fix Now

Cybercriminals are clever and on the lookout for vulnerable businesses. They exploit common mistakes and flaws to breach systems, then steal, disrupt, or hold businesses for ransom. But here’s the good news: you don’t have to be an easy mark. You can make changes right now to reduce the likelihood of a successful attack.

Here are six common cybersecurity mistakes and how to fix them:

cybersecurity

Mistake 1: Piecemeal approach

It’s tempting to stack new security measures on top of existing ones as new threats emerge. But this results in too many products and not enough integration. Every product has its own dashboard, controls, and alerts. And someone has to stay on top of it all.

This lack of integration between security products makes it difficult to see threats holistically, and even harder to respond quickly and effectively. Instead, look for products designed to work together, and partner with companies that actively seek collaboration with the security industry.

Mistake 2: Insufficient Security Expertise

Cyberthreats continue to increase every day, and 43% of cyberattacks target small businesses, which usually have limited IT resources in-house. Everyone else is focused on running the business, not security. You need help.

Consider automated, software-based processes that can monitor your systems continuously and even take action when a threat is detected. Smart automation can save you time and energy, allowing you to focus on other priorities. Also, consider partnering with a specialized security provider. And finally, invest in educating your employees on security awareness so everyone can be part of the solution.

cybersecurity

Mistake 3: Unsecured personal devices

How many ways do you access your business data? Even small businesses may have multiple computers, laptops in remote locations, personal smart phones, and tablets. A determined hacker can attempt access through many possible endpoints. In fact, 60% of breaches stem from a compromised endpoint, such as a personal device.

Identity and access management (IAM) eliminates the complexity of multiple user credentials by giving each employee a single, secure identity to access all your network resources. And multifactor authentication (MFA) offers another layer of protection, requiring a user to present a password plus secondary authentication such as a fingerprint or code sent via SMS.

Mistake 4: “I’m too small to be a target”

Cybercriminals increasingly target smaller businesses assuming that you may be complacent and unprepared. A study by the Better Business Bureau found that nearly one in four businesses with 250 employees or fewer reported having been the target of a cyberattack, and the overall annual average loss for smaller businesses from these attacks is estimated to be $79,841.

Make sure to invest in security, but realize that no program is 100% foolproof. Assume that you can be attacked and breached. Prepare an incident response plan, ensure continuous monitoring for suspicious activity, and organize the resources needed for a quick response to reduce the damage to your business.

Mistake 5: Overlooking the security of the cloud

Security is complex, and even well-funded enterprise IT departments struggle to stay on top of it. The right cloud partner can do much of the heavy lifting for you and provide smart ways to encrypt and backup your data.

Moving to the cloud doesn’t have to mean starting over from scratch. Evaluate your needs, and make the move in stages. Or even employ a long-term hybrid strategy where some of your systems remain onpremises. Be sure to evaluate cloud service providers using international standards, and look for vendors that publish detailed information about their security and compliance measures.

Public cloud providers offer better security than a small business or even a big enterprise is able to achieve. This is due to the investments that cloud providers are making to build and maintain their cloud infrastructure.

Rene Buest – Senior Analyst and Cloud Practice Lead, Crisp Research

Mistake 6: Leaving data unprotected

Data travels outside your control when it’s shared by employees, partners, and customers. But trying to lock down everything discourages productivity and innovation, and eventually leads to employee workarounds if the inconvenience proves too great. Balance protection with productivity by focusing on security at the data level.

Categorize your data based on how sensitive and critical it is to your business. Better yet, automate your data classification so the appropriate protections and monitoring are in place when the data is created. Protect what’s most important with the strongest measures, such as restricted access, limited sharing privileges, and encryption.

Build your security strategy— one step at a time

Modern cybersecurity requires a coordinated, multifaceted approach. But it’s a journey, and every step you take makes a difference and reduces your risk. If you haven’t been attacked yet, assume that you will be a target eventually and look for partners to help. Start with this free security assessment tool, and get prepared to protect, detect, and respond to the threats that come your way.

Contact the security experts at Oakwood Systems Group today and learn more about vulnerabilities you may have and how they should be addressed.

We get it. Change is scary!

We get it. Change is scary!

We get it. Change is scary. If you’ve been running the same operating system for many years, a large-scale overhaul is understandably intimidating.

However, with service ending for SQL and Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, now is the time to make the switch to Azure and experience the latest in innovation and security.

If you are still running either of these, don’t panic! Microsoft has put options in place to give you the time you need, and we at Oakwood Systems Group, Inc., are here to assist you with a smooth transition.

Almost any business using technology is producing enormous amounts of data. Unfortunately, much of this data comes in a wide range of formats and most businesses don’t have the tools or know-how to fully utilize it.  

This is exactly what SitePro observed in the oil and gas industry, where large amounts of data were being generated but not used to their fullest extent. Using Azure, SitePro was able to compile this data and channel it all through a single, user-friendly application available to their customers. 

Suddenly, oil and gas companies could see in real time what was going on at their various fields and know exactly when servicing was needed on their equipment, saving them valuable time and resources. 

What could your data be waiting to tell you? Find out with Azure. Call or write us today.

Move Forward Securely with Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

Move Forward Securely with Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

When thousands of hospitals, health systems, community practices, and pharmaceutical companies rely on your software to deliver smarter, more effective patient care, you had better make sure it’s secure and reliable. That’s why Allscripts, a leading healthcare software manufacturer, uses Microsoft Azure

Having a reliable and secure IT service provider was more than acquiring 1,000 VMs needed to run the show. Allscripts, a leading healthcare software manufacturer, acquired two companies in 2017. To ensure their new datacenter assets had a home fast, they brought on Microsoft Azure. The reliability of built-in disaster recovery protections means Allscripts doesn’t have to worry about losing their data. You can do the same.

Using Azure Site Recovery, Allscripts was able to easily move 500 development VMs running critical healthcare applications to Azure. In just three weeks, the company lifted and shifted dozens of acquired applications running on 1,000 virtual machines, ensuring they met & Allscripts’ governance policies and security requirements.  

Running your business on the cloud was never easier thanks to Azure. With Oakwood Systems Group, Inc. and Microsoft, your business can achieve the same security and reliability of Allscripts. Email us today to find out more information on how we can help. 

Streamline Data Management and Turn Communication Challenges into Opportunities

Streamline Data Management and Turn Communication Challenges into Opportunities

After several acquisitions and quick growth from a small and nimble company to a much larger group of properties and brands, Red Lion Hotels Corporation needed to digitally transform.  

Using Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Teams, they improved employee connectivity and unified two legacy data management systems into a single, customized platform, addressing data-quality concerns and improving customer satisfaction.  

At Oakwood Systems Group, Inc., we realize that technology affects not only companies, but also owners, staff, and customers. To learn how your organization can leverage smart technology to simplify your business and improve customer and employee relationships, contact us today.