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Cybersecurity For A Remote Workforce [A Beginner’s Guide]

During the advent of the pandemic in March 2020, the number of remote workers peaked at more than 83 percent of the US workforce. At the time, commentators believed that the number would rapidly return to baseline once risks subsided. But that didn’t happen. Even by September 2021, more than 67 percent of workers still worked partially or exclusively from home. 

 

In light of this, remote cybersecurity is now business-critical. Moreover, it brings up new challenges that don’t arise in conventional, office-based setups.

 
Why Cybersecurity Is Important
 

Many firms outsource their security to professionally managed service providers that continuously monitor network traffic and block suspicious activities. As a result, most company networks are difficult for hackers to crack.

 

When workers are remote, though, that approach becomes more challenging. Employees and contractors prefer to use their own devices, which don’t offer the same level of cybersecurity protection as enterprise-level solutions. 

 

During the pandemic and the shift to remote working, many cybersecurity incidences rose across the board. The movement created new attack surfaces for cybercriminals to exploit, increasing the risk that companies face. The departure from previous methods of working increased insider threats substantially, both deliberate and inadvertent. 

 
How To Set Up Cybersecurity For Remote Workers
 

According to a Microsoft Digital Defense report, there are some relatively simple steps that employees and organizations can take to bolster security in this new environment.

 

Options include:

 

Mandating better passwords. Passwords such as “password123” or “mypassword” are easy for hackers to crack …

A Beginner’s Guide To PBX Systems

When starting a small business, having just a single phone line for most contact purposes is common. You provide a phone number that your customers can ring, and you’ll typically answer it yourself or dedicate a receptionist to help you take calls. It’s probably not the phone that you give clients and business partners (for that, you might provide your mobile number), but it’s still a public contact number that anyone can call.

 

Now imagine that you’re expanding your business. You have ten times the staff and customers, and your single phone line can no longer keep up. Customers are unable to phone you, and they aren’t even put on hold because it’s just a regular telephone line. If you don’t do anything about it, they will get frustrated and may stop supporting your company.

 

So how do large companies handle it? If you’ve ever called a bank or a large business, then there’s a good chance you’ve been forced to listen to waiting music and made to wait in line. This is likely because they’re using a Private Branch Exchange system, also known as a PBX. It’s an enterprise-level telephone network system that businesses use to offer multiple customers support simultaneously.

 

In this short guide, we’ll be explaining how they work and give you a few reasons why you should have one!

 
How do PBX systems work?
 

There are actually a number of different PBX systems. These are usually described as analog, digital, …

10 Powerful Business Benefits of VoIP

Are you looking for a business phone system that provides powerful features and benefits? If so, you should consider VoIP. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, and it’s a technology that allows you to make phone calls using the internet. Thanks to VoIP, businesses can enjoy a wide range of benefits, including cost savings, better collaboration, and improved flexibility.

Keep reading to learn more about the 10 best business benefits of VoIP.
1. Cost Savings
Businesses can save a lot of money by switching to VoIP. For example, you don’t have to pay for expensive long-distance calls with VoIP. What’s more, VoIP plans are often much cheaper than traditional phone plans.

With communication data being modified into data packets and sent over the IP network, the issue of a single phone line being utilized by only two callers is eliminated. The IP network could be a direct IP connection to your phone service provider or simply your existing internet connection (or a combination of both).

Traditional phone lines typically charge for each minute of call time, whereas with VoIP, your only costs are your monthly charges from your ISP. In addition, many providers offer inexpensive or even free calling, such as the contiguous United States.
2. Better Collaboration
VoIP makes it easy for employees to collaborate, no matter where they are located. Team members can always stay connected with features like conference calling and call forwarding.

 

 
3. Improved Flexibility
VoIP gives businesses the flexibility to scale …

Get to know the team: Gracie Milo

The Millennia Technologies team is growing! We’re excited to introduce our newest team member, Gracie Milo.
Gracie Milo
Sales & Marketing Intern
What do you like most about your job?

I love working alongside my team members, being immersed in a positive work environment, & learning new skills daily!

 

What does a typical day look like for you?

Wake up early, read my Bible, get my workout in, grab a coffee, & get to work!

 

What is your background?

I am a fourth year full time student at Grand Valley State University pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Communications.

 

What is your motto or personal mantra?

Focusing on the positive in life & showing others the love of Jesus Christ

 

Do you have a pet?

I have two dogs, one golden retriever named Benson & one Shitzu named Brutus!

How to Determine What Level of Cybersecurity Your Small Business Needs

You and fellow stakeholders in your organization have concluded that you need cybersecurity. But what’s still unknown is just how much protection is enough. You also may not have a clear idea of what level of cybersecurity is too much, to the point that it’s negatively affecting your bottom line.

Determining the right balance of security and budget can be a tricky process. Here are some of the things to consider when determining cybersecurity coverage:
Establish the Importance of Taking Cybersecurity Seriously
Cybersecurity should be taken seriously; the financial and reputational risk of an incident is high. Everyone in your company should be aware of the consequences of criminals breaking into the system.

Hackers could copy sensitive information such as personal details about customers. They might hold your business hostage, encrypting your data until you pay a ransom. Employees may not even have a place to work if hackers have vandalized or shut down all the computers and networks.
Define Risk
Understand the risk and define it in terms that everyone across your company can understand, from customer service with little computer knowledge to workers in more technical and data-driven positions. In your business, the main risk could be the theft of intellectual property. Or, the problem may have more to do with protecting the huge amounts of data you store on customers.

For many organizations, the biggest threat they face is that their operations might have to shut down until computer security professionals can find …

Amplify your Microsoft Teams investment with 8×8 Voice for Teams.

8×8 Voice for Microsoft Teams is Here
Enterprises standardizing on Office 365 want to optimize ROI by adopting Microsoft Teams for all of their collaboration requirements as well. Many organizations, however, are concerned about the prospect of adopting the Microsoft Phone System and Calling Plans for Teams as a telephony solution, as it lacks the rich PBX feature set that enterprises are accustomed to as well as a global PSTN footprint with unlimited calling plans.

Enter 8×8 Voice for Microsoft Teams, an enterprise-grade, cloud-to-cloud, Direct Routing integration with the Microsoft Phone System, providing enterprise-grade telephony and global PSTN connectivity to customers that want to retain Microsoft Teams as their sole collaboration interface.

A PSTN presence in 38 countries and unlimited calling plans in 47 countries worldwide, run on the industry’s most reliable telephony communications platforms. So, 8×8 is your best choice to enable PSTN communications globally for your Teams users.

Unlike other vendors, we don’t use clunky bots, apps, or browser extensions that break the Teams user experience and cause maintenance nightmares for IT administrators. Continue Teams users to make and receive calls without altering their user experience in any way, whether they are web, desktop or mobile.

And with a simple centralized administrative interface, the configuration of Teams users on 8×8 requires only a few easy steps. Meaning your Teams users can begin taking calls on the 8×8 network in minutes.

All provided from one vendor running on one platform globally.
Amplify your Microsoft Teams …

In Loving Memory… Jeremy Eugene Blackburn (Jebbi)

We’re saddened to inform you that Jebbi Blackburn passed away on November 9, 2019, after an unexpected illness. Jebbi was just two months shy of his 47th birthday. His passing has left us with an instant—and enormous—void.

For our customers who knew and worked with Jebbi Blackburn, we wanted to inform you of his passing and tell you a little more about this remarkable human being.

Jebbi worked for Millennia Technologies from February of 2005 through his passing. He was an honorable man of great integrity, with a love for and faith in God that developed him into the person he was.

While visiting his parents, who were on a mission trip in Paraguay, Jebbi met a young lady who would later become his wife of nine years. He loved the slower pace of life in Paraguay and decided to start his life with Gabi there.

Jebbi worked for Millennia as a remote engineer, supporting customers who would call for help or open trouble tickets. Over the years, he took literally thousands of calls and performed hundreds of upgrades and installations.

For those who did know him, we’re sure you loved him as much as we did. For those of you who didn’t know him, be assured that he is exactly the type of person that every business would search for.

Jebbi was devoted to God and had a strong belief in the Bible’s promise of a better life in the future. He rests in …

CUSTOMER CONTACT CENTERS: MAXIMIZE CUSTOMER SATISFACTION WHILE CONTROLLING COSTS

“This is the era of the customer.” You’ve probably been hearing that phrase a lot lately. Among other things, it refers to increased customer expectations regarding service and communications. The customer experience has never been more important, and contact centers play an important role in that overall experience.

Although customers typically begin their service journey with an automated system, when that fails (which it does when the support issue is too complex), customers want to talk to a real person. For instance, did you know…

Automated Telephone Systems (IVR) and the inability to reach a live person for support is the number one complaint from customers. According to Microsoft’s 2017 State of Global Customer Service Report, 34% of U.S. respondents found this the most frustrating aspect of the customer service experience.
The survey also revealed that 44% of people in the U.S. still prefer phone or voice as their primary customer service channel. That’s 21% higher than any other channel available, with live chat coming in second at 23%.
The global cloud-based contact center market is expected to grow from $6.8 billion to $93 billion by 2022!
Despite advancements in call-back technology, telecom, airlines and retailers were listed as some of the worst offenders for putting customers on hold and not offering call backs.

 

Most importantly, studies indicate that customer experience is rapidly becoming the main differentiator for customers when choosing between companies to do business with. Many industry experts note …

HOW TO MAKE YOUR PHONE SYSTEM MORE INTELLIGENT

Let’s be honest, we’ve all experienced phone rage at some point. It occurs when you call a company and get put on hold for what seems like an eternity, while being forced to listen to the instrumental version of classic rock tunes, or worse, an endless loop of commercials. Equally frustrating is being put in perpetual transfer mode, where there is no escape except to hang up and start over! These experiences do not leave you feeling positive about the company you’re dealing with.

You know this type of interaction is bad for business, but do you know how your company is handling customer calls? Are phones being answered in a timely fashion? Are customers being transferred properly? How long are they on hold, and more importantly, how long are they willing to wait before hanging up?

If your phone system is not collecting and analyzing this data, it’s merely a communication tool—when it could be a strategic asset to your business. Using Brightmetrics Business Intelligence provides invaluable data to help you make informed business decisions to improve customer engagement, as well as employee productivity.
Tap into the Power of Analytics
Brightmetrics makes it easy to tap into the vast amount of data that the Mitel MiVoice Connect (formerly known as ShoreTel ShoreWare 10.1 through Connect ONSITE) system collects. While many other companies can give you basic reporting for your Mitel MiVoice Connect phone system, Brightmetrics delivers the full breadth of data necessary …

8 BUSINESS DYNAMICS THAT CAN BE OPTIMIZED BY THE CLOUD

(Reprinted with permission from Mitel)
Certain Business Dynamics are Custom-Made for Cloud Communications Solutions
If you want to spend less time managing communications infrastructure and more time focusing on your core business objectives, it’s time to consider the cloud. Step back and take a fresh look at the forces affecting your business. Check out the list below to see if any of these common dynamics might be driving you to the cloud:
1 | Rapid Growth
Businesses expanding rapidly need solutions that can be implemented just as fast. The cloud provides quick and easy software upgrades with the inherent scalability needed to support growth. Plus, cloud solutions offer greater flexibility for integrations with other technologies you may already be using and the ability to more readily adapt processes in the future.
2 | Multiple Locations
You may have staff in multiple locations, but you need a single solution that supports remote workforces or work-from-home employees without becoming a major administrative undertaking for your IT staff. A cloud solution can easily be deployed regionally or globally, while also creating a more consistent experience for both your staff and your customers.
3 | Mobile Workforce
If you have a substantial number of people who are in the field, on the road or just not at their desks, cloud-based technologies and mobile apps make data easily accessible wherever they are. The cloud also makes it easy for your administrators or IT staff to remotely manage equipment to ensure remote employees …