Planning For The Worst

Planning For The Worst

No matter how hard you work to educate your employees about the constant and evolving threats to your company, even the most conscientious employee may unknowingly open infected files or click on malicious web links. Security breaches are inevitable. The best strategy includes securing across all attack vectors and putting policies into place for reviews and change management within your organization. Microsoft 365 offers security solutions that address these attack vectors and will enable you to discover, analyze, and neutralize threats before they cause harm.

Many common types of threats target these key attack vectors: devices, email, network, and user credentials. Microsoft 365 integrates threat detection across these attack vectors by ensuring that the security and resilience of systems and assets are aligned with related policies, procedures, and agreements.

Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (Windows Defender ATP)

For endpoint attacks, Windows Defender ATP provides near-instant detection and blocking of new and emerging threats using advanced file and process behavior monitoring and other heuristic solutions. These endpoint sensors collect and process behavioral signals from the operating system, which are then translated into insights, detections, and recommended responses to advanced threats. Windows Defender ATP offers dedicated protection updates based on machine learning, human and automated big-data analyses, and in-depth threat resistance research to identify attacker tools, techniques, and procedures and to generate alerts when these are observed in collected sensor data. Windows Defender ATP is built in to Windows 10, providing deeper optics and cloud-powered protection.

Microsoft Device Guard is a feature of Windows 10 that provides increased security against malware and zero-day attacks by blocking anything other than trusted apps. Device Guard is managed in Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr).


Microsoft Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (Office 365 ATP)

Threat protection for Office 365 begins with Microsoft Exchange Online Protection which provides protection against all known malicious links and malware. Office 365 ATP builds on this protection by offering holistic and ongoing protection across your Office 365 environment, including email and business apps such as Microsoft Teams, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business. Office 365 ATP allows you to secure your user mailboxes, businesscritical files, and online storage against malware campaigns in real time with its Safe Attachments and Safe Links features. Office 365 ATP Safe Attachments protects against unsafe attachments by preventing them from affecting your messaging environment. All suspicious content goes through real-time behavioral malware analysis that uses machine-learning techniques to evaluate the content for suspicious activity. Unsafe attachments are removed before being sent to recipients. The result is a malware-free inbox with better zero-day attack protection.

Office 365 ATP Safe Links supports protecting your environment offering by “time-of-click” protection from malicious links. If a link is unsafe, the user is warned not to visit the site or informed that the site has been blocked. Reporting and message trace in Exchange Online Protection allow you to investigate messages that have been blocked because of viruses or malware, while the URL trace capability allows you to track individual malicious links in the messages that have been clicked. Office 365 ATP and Exchange Online Protection can be configured in the Office 365 admin center.

Office 365 Threat Intelligence is a repository of threat intelligence data and systems that can spot suspicious patterns, behaviors, and activity. Office 365 Threat Intelligence gathers information from email and other sources. You can then use this data to understand and remediate threats against both your employee and your organization. Office 365 Threat Intelligence lives in the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center. Attack Simulator, a component of Office 365 Threat Intelligence, lets you run realistic attack scenarios in your organization so you can identify and find vulnerable users before a real attack occurs. You can find out how your users would behave in an attack, and then update policies to ensure that the right security tools are in place to protect your organization from threats before they happen.


Azure Advanced Threat Protection (Azure ATP)

Azure ATP provides end-to-end network security by protecting user identities and credentials stored in Active Directory. To prevent identity credential attacks, Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) detects risk events, such as users with leaked credentials, sign-ins from anonymous IP addresses, impossible travel to atypical locations, infected devices, and IP addresses with suspicious activity or unfamiliar locations.

Azure ATP detects suspicious activities across the network attack surface, such as:

  • Reconnaissance work, during which attackers gather information on how the environment is built, what the different assets are, and which entities exist.
  • Lateral movement cycles, during which attackers invest time and effort in spreading their attack deeper inside your network.
  • Domain dominance (persistence), during which attackers capture the information— allowing them to resume their campaign using various sets of entry points, credentials, and techniques.

These services that protect specific parts of the attack surface can also share signals to alert services protecting other surfaces of the enterprise.

Azure ATP detects these suspicious activities and surfaces the information, including a clear view of who, what, when and how, in the Azure ATP workspace portal which can be accessed by signing in to your Azure AD user account.


Azure AD Identity Protection

Azure AD Identity Protection provides an overview of risk and vulnerabilities that may be affecting your organization’s identities. Azure AD Identity Protection uses existing Azure AD anomaly detection capabilities available through Azure AD anomalous activity reports. You can enable Azure AD Identity Protection through the Azure portal. Azure AD Identity Protection helps you identify the risk level of a particular user. Through Azure AD Identity Protection, you can set up risk-based conditional access policies to automatically mitigate threats and secure corporate or organizational resources and data. Risk-based conditional access gets rich signals from the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph and then converts them to actionable risk-based policies that you can apply to your organization.

Vulnerabilities identified and reported by Azure AD Identity Protection include non-configured multi-factor authentication registration, unmanaged cloud apps, and security alerts from privileged identity management. We recommend that you address these vulnerabilities to improve the security posture of your organization and prevent attackers from exploiting them. Azure AD Identity Protection will flag these issues and recommend mitigation strategies.

Azure AD Privileged Identity Management (Azure AD PIM) lets you monitor access to resources within your organization so that you can minimize and manage the number of people who have access to secure information or resources. Continuously monitoring these high-access points limits vulnerabilities at a top level.

You can configure Azure AD PIM in the Azure portal to generate alerts when there is suspicious or unsafe activity in your environment, such as roles being assigned outside of Azure AD PIM or are activated too frequently.


Microsoft Cloud App Security

Microsoft Cloud App Security gives you greater visibility and control over your enterprise app ecosystem, including all Microsoft applications and applications that are beyond the Microsoft ecosystem through threat detection, enhanced security and policy controls, and deeper discovery and insights.

Microsoft Cloud App Security lets you set up alerts based on anomaly detection policies so that you know about threats immediately. Anomaly detection works by scanning user activities and evaluating their risk against more than 70 different indicators such as sign-in failures, administrator activities, and inactive accounts. You can also set up customizable activity policies to track specific activities and flag you if something is out of the ordinary, like a huge download or multiple sign-on attempts.

Manage Microsoft Cloud App Security through an app dashboard that lets you see your organization’s and employees’ app usage, like how much data is being sent to OneDrive for Business, Box, Dropbox, and other cloud storage apps.

You can set your Cloud App Security policies in the Cloud App Security portal or through the Microsoft 365 Security and Compliance Center. On the Cloud App Security policy page, you can create activity policies and apply severity levels that can be used to filter your alerts later. You can also determine what action to take when one of your policies triggers an alert.


Microsoft Secure Score

Microsoft Secure Score provides a quantifiable way to measure your security posture and track improvements over time. It also provides recommended actions to improve your score that include helpful links to learn more or configure the recommended feature. In addition, Microsoft Secure Score expands your visibility into the overall security posture of your organization. From the dashboard, you’ll be able to quickly assess the security posture of your organization and obtain recommendations for actions to further reduce the attack surface in your organization—all in one place. From there, you can act according to the recommended configuration baselines.


In closing, the Advanced Threat Protection integrated throughout Microsoft 365 monitors and protects everything from data, to endpoints, to user identities. These tools are always working behind the scenes to keep your business secure, keeping you in the loop without overwhelming you with information.

At Oakwood Systems Group, Inc., we believe in securing your business with a holistic strategy. Contact us today to learn more.

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.


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.

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.

Drive secure and scalable business success with a modern data platform

Drive secure and scalable business success with a modern data platform

If you really want to make a difference in your organization, you can start by modernizing your IT infrastructure. That’s what Kyle began with when he started to work for the City of Corona. He worked hard to help the citizens of Corona by moving the city’s IT services to Microsoft 365 and Azure. This allowed the Corona government to provide real-time data and insights for their traffic management professionals; enable better communication with first responders via mobile devices; and connect with the community.

Editing in Microsoft Teams and being able to access features from a mobile platform brought huge time savings and removed redundant efforts among the staff, saving time and resources. With Azure, the city can now access and analyze data quickly, so they can respond to the changing environment faster and with greater accuracy.

Thanks to Kyle and Microsoft, Corona’s shift to a modern IT platform helps them to rapidly meet the changing needs of the city and its employees.

Send Oakwood Systems Group, Inc. an email today to find out how we can help you and your organization shift to a modern business platform with Microsoft.