As the use of AI tools increase in businesses, data privacy and security have also emerged as critical concerns. Companies are cautious about using generative AI tools due to the risk of confidential information leaks. This week Microsoft introduced a preview of Bing Chat Enterprise, a revolutionary AI-powered chat tool that prioritises data protection. This article explores Bing Chat Enterprise’s features and its ability to address data privacy concerns associated with AI.
Enhanced Data Protection for Businesses
Recently launched in preview mode, Bing Chat Enterprise will be available in selected Microsoft 365 plans at no extra cost. Designed for companies hesitant about generative AI, it ensures users’ chat data is not saved or used for AI model training. This protection sets it apart from OpenAI’s ChatGPT as well as other AI tools including the AI powered Bingwhich utilise user prompts for training unless they opt out.
Eliminating Fear of Data Leaks
Bing Chat Enterprise alleviates concerns about accidental sharing of confidential information. Its secure service prevents potential leaks, complemented by manual and automated reviews that monitor inappropriate behaviour, ensuring ethical business communication.
Built on Trustworthy Technology
Microsoft confirmed to The Telegraph that Microsoft cannot view your company data, adding that the service offers “commercial data protection.” Bing Chat Enterprise utilises OpenAI’s GPT-4 model with both automated and manual reviews, ensuring proprietary and confidential data remains protected.
Microsoft's Commitment to Privacy and Security
Microsoft’s launch of Bing Chat Enterprise reflects its dedication to developing AI-powered tools with the utmost privacy and security for businesses. The tool’s introduction indicates a growing demand for AI solutions in the business world, with data protection at the forefront.
A Glimpse into the Future of AI-Powered Tools
Bing Chat Enterprise offers more than data protection; it provides a glimpse into the future of AI-powered tools. To foster trust between businesses and AI developers, addressing privacy and security concerns becomes paramount as AI tools become more widespread. Bing Chat Enterprise is a promising opportunity for businesses seeking secure AI solutions for communication needs, without the fear of data leaks.
Insights from an interview between Yusuf Mehdi and Fox Business
In an interview with Fox Business yesterday, Yusuf Mehdi revealed that Bing Chat Enterprise unlocks AI for everyone in the workplace, prioritising data protection. Additionally, Microsoft’s M365 Co-Pilot aims to facilitate real-time meeting summaries and seamless integration with Teams & PowerPoint, expanding AI use cases in workplaces.
Microsoft’s Bing Chat Enterprise marks a groundbreaking step in AI-powered tools for businesses. By ensuring data privacy and security, this chat tool empowers companies to leverage AI confidently. With Bing Chat Enterprise, millions of users can harness AI’s potential in various use cases, fostering a new era of AI-powered collaboration and productivity. As AI becomes an integral part of the workplace, Microsoft sets a positive example for the industry by prioritising data protection.
Before the pandemic, many businesses took measured steps to transition to cloud technology. The global pandemic forced many companies to make rapid changes to allow their employees to work from home. Although there were security implications associated with such drastic measures, it has resulted in massive gains in cybersecurity.
The cloud has revolutionised the way businesses store and manage data. Thanks to major vendors investing in top-tier security measures, businesses of all sizes can rely on a high level of protection for their confidential information, along with regular updates as more features are added daily.
Despite the advances in cybersecurity technology, businesses still experience security breaches. Often, these breaches can be avoided when the right policies and configurations are in place.
To ensure your business is adequately protected without breaking the bank, let’s look at a few simple yet effective measures that are included with Microsoft 365.
Use Microsoft 365 Business Premium
All Microsoft 365 plans include security features, but Premium provides far more features specifically designed for business environments.
Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
When every user is authenticated correctly, the risk of security breaches drastically decreases. Furthermore, this powerful security feature can be executed speedily, taking a few minutes per account.
The two most secure MFA methods include the Security key method (which involves using a separate security key that you can insert into a PC or mobile device to authenticate the login) and the use of an authentication app. If you use voice and SMS-based MFA please do so with caution. SMS and Voice MFA do not use encryption, making it easy for hackers to intercept them.
Admin Account Protection
No user should have admin rights on their primary account because even admins can make mistakes when checking email or casually browsing. Users should only have the access they need for the time they need it. Implement a limited access policy to cut the chances of any violations.
Disable Anonymous Sharing
Anonymous sharing is enabled by default, allowing you to share documents with anyone. Meaning, a document could accidentally get sent to the wrong person. By disabling this feature, you will have more control over where your business data is shared.
Monitor SharePoint for Changes and Access Events
SharePoint is a practical way to keep your team informed. You can receive alerts for suspicious activity and notifications when someone deletes more than five files or copies a large amount of data. This can help prevent data loss accidents as well as malicious acts.
Implement Device Policies and Management
Your workforce may use various devices to carry out tasks. Each device is a potential path into your protected environment, so it is essential to have strong policies in place. You can create policies that require complex passwords and insist that Windows updates are performed promptly. Endpoints are now the most prominent threat, so use the free device protection in your Microsoft Business Premium subscription to boost security.
Block Client Forwarding Rules
Enabling email forwarding might breach your workplace policies and also put your business at risk. Suppose a hacker managed to gain access to an account, they could forward emails to an address of their choice, allowing them access to leak sensitive business information and wreak havoc.
Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Policies
In Microsoft 365 Business Premium, you can designate rules around your data, such as restricting certain document types from being emailed. You can use these rules to prevent sensitive information, such as credit cards, Medicare, and licence numbers, from being emailed, cutting a critical risk. If your business must share sensitive data, we recommend uploading documents to a secure file storage platform such as OneDrive or Google Drive and then generating a secure link to share with relevant individuals/teams.
Improve Your Microsoft Secure Score
Microsoft 365 includes a handy tool that evaluates your security posture and provides a score based on system configurations, user behaviour, and other measurements. In addition, the tool offers you a prioritised list of recommendations to support you in raising your security level.
Backup Your Cloud Data
A common misconception is that someone, somewhere, is backing everything up for you in the cloud, but that isn’t entirely true. Understand what your data loss acceptance level looks like and find a data backup solution you are satisfied with.
Regarding cybersecurity, it is no surprise that human error is the most common cause of security breaches. Regardless of all the possible precautions you take to minimise the risk of cybercrime, all it can take is a link click, download, missed update or misconfiguration to lead to a big problem.
The best way to avoid human error is to enforce cyber security guidelines and provide online and in-person training and testing.
Testing should include a targeted phishing campaign to see who clicks – this can help you to identify who requires training.
As part of any cyber security audit, we look at physical security; you’d be surprised how many people still put their password on a post-it note by their monitor and how many visitors are left unsupervised around sensitive information!
Most of the actions in this post require little or no help to set up and will immediately reduce your risk of a breach. While it is worth investing in a cyber security review and the assistance of a data security specialist, there is plenty that you can do yourself to become less of a target to hackers.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about data protection.
Microsoft is disabling basic authentication in random tenants worldwide starting October 1, 2022.
Since the announcement in September 2019, there have been multiple reminders and warnings from Microsoft about the move from Basic to Modern Authentication. Millions of tenants have already disabled basic authentication to protect themselves, but millions of others have not made the change.
Starting in October 2022, Microsoft will begin randomly selecting tenants and disabling their Basic Authentication access for MAPI, RPC, Offline Address Book (OAB), Exchange Web Services (EWS), POP, IMAP, Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) and Remote PowerShell. The move exists to protect their information from cyber attackers exploiting the insecure auth scheme.
Microsoft will announce the rollout seven days before commencing, posting the message to the Windows Message Centre. Each tenant will be notified via the Service Health Dashboard notifications when basic auth is disabled.
Although the rollout will disable basic authentication from October 2022, it can be temporarily re-enabled until December 2022. Re-enabling basic authentication will allow anyone who did not prepare for the change to do so before it is permanently disabled in January 2023.
Why is Microsoft disabling basic authentication?
The goal of disabling basic authentication is to improve data security as the number of cyberattacks that leverage basic auth increases.
Basic authentication or legacy authentication is an HTTP-based scheme that applications use for sending credentials in plain text to servers, endpoints or various online services.
Unfortunately, this allows cybercriminals to steal your credentials in middleman attacks over TLS and brute force attacks. they can steal text credentials from apps using basic auth via several tactics, including social engineering and info-stealing malware.
Modern authentication methods include a variety of different techniques that are all designed for increased security. Microsoft’s implementation of Open Authorization (OAuth), allows users to grant limited access rights from their mobile device without having traditional accounts on various platforms like Facebook or Google+.
OAuth access tokens can only be used to authenticate resources they are issued for.
Will this affect you?
The Depreciation of basic auth will affect a number of applications. Migrating to modern authentication will avoid disruptions when basic authentication is disabled on your tenancy. Some applications that will be affected are:
Microsoft Outlook on the Web
Microsoft Outlook for PC & Mac
Microsoft Outlook Mobile App
Mac Mail and Calendar App (10.13 High Sierra and older)
Most IMAP/POP Mail clients e.g. Thunderbird, Eudora
Apple iOS Mail app (iOS 10 and older)
Microsoft Office 2014 or prior
How to be prepared for this change and avoid disruptions
Administrators can disable basic authentication and allow users to use modern authentication through authentication policies. A new Authentication policy can be created and assigned to users.
On March 29 2022, the Morrison Government announced it will support Australian small businesses and encourage them to invest in digital technology, skills and training. The new measures are subject to decisions from the new Government.
Small Business Technology Investment Boost
The boosts are for eligible businesses that have less than $50 million in annual turnovers. Suitable businesses can claim eligible tech spending, of up to $100,000, until June 30 2023, in their 2022-23 tax return.
Small Business Skills & Training Boost
The Skills and Training Boosts will give small businesses access to a further 20% deduction on eligible external training courses for upskilling their employees. The Skills and Training Boost will apply to costs incurred from March 2022 until 30th June 2024, delivering $550 million in tax relief.
What can be claimed?
Claim on expenditures and depreciating assets that support digital uptake. Budget documents suggest SMEs will be free to claim the cost of
Office 365 has gained quite a lot of popularity of late, with small and large businesses coming to know the benefits of using a cloud based platform to drive simplified collaborative work at a straightforward cost.
A trend that started in fortune 500 companies is now being picked up by smaller startups and has now been adopted by approximately 80% fortune 500s. This is because a cloud based, constantly evolving software suite is well placed to meet most companies unique and ever changing needs.
Office 365 migrations offer myriad business advantages
For any business, an Office 365 migration is a momentous occasion. Not only will your IT staff breathe a sigh of relief, but your business will reap the benefits of new tools, rolling no-stress updates, and bolstered productivity with routines and workflows. In sum, productivity and effectiveness will skyrocket.
Although the most commonly cited benefit of migrating to Office 365 is the substantial cost reductions, the advantages go far beyond that. Case and point, here are 5 reasons below!
1) Certainty in costs
No nasty surprises for your carefully planned budget. What you see is what you get.
With a fixed rate, subscription plans for Office 365 allow certainty in software expenses that is otherwise hard to come by. This is incredibly important when planning your budget and business operations expenses. On a related note, Microsoft manages Office 365 upgrades and additional functions, so you needn’t worry about expensive migration projects that were once the norm for an enterprise level microsoft customer.
Fortunately, once all is said and done you can compare the respective prices of Office 365 and your current software suite by analysing your past spendings on microsoft products and management. From this you can easily compare what the flat rate would be for Office 365 over that period. Disclaimer, you may be annoyed you didn’t migrate sooner.
2) Synchonise business operations and collaboration across locations
In today’s global economy and interconnected world, it is becoming more and more common place for employees, contractors and others to work together from different locations. Without an appropriate cloud based software suite, businesses in such positions are left with the options of expanding their current on the premises IT infrastructure of build additional data centers in order to support collaborative work between additional locations. Globalisation can certainly entail some headaches for IT professionals.
Enter, Office 365…
Scaling your business up or down over multiple locations becomes a simple matter with a cloud based software suite. According to your requirements, you can adjust the number of licenses you need for Office 365 without the logistical issues usually associated with such expansion.
3) Improve inter- and intra-organisational communication
Not only can physical separation cause headaches for traditional on the premises software suites, inter-departmental and project separation can severely affect the cohesiveness and efficiency of strategic business unit operations. Sadly, separation between departments and strategic business units can often diminish communication which in-turn makes overall business objectives less likely to be achieved.
Such worries are a figment of the past with Office 365’s collaboration and communication functionalities. The suite features such as Exchange Online, Yammer, Office Groups, SharePoint Online, Skype for Business, OneDrive for Business and more! You can utilise that to streamline communication and cultivate collaboration, whereby staff can seamlessly share ideas and files between departments, projects, devices and locations.
4) Boost productivity
All the previous benefits add up to one very important objective. That is, to stramline business operations and make every second of work more productive! But Office 365 isn’t just about helping you get stuff done faster. It’s purpose is to reinvent how you do it!
In a globally interconnected world where productivity is key. It is imperative to have your familiar offoce applications on a range of devices that you can have, wherever you are. Whether you catch up with work whilst waiting for a friend, work on a project with a coffee catch-up with a colleague, use your morning commute or a conference call with a client for maximum efficiency, Office 365 will help you make it happen.
5) Supercharge IT operations
If you work in IT then you’ll probably know the pain involved in expanding and maintaining an on the premises Office suite. The layers upon layers of technical requirements, unmet dependencies, and other moving parts, there’s a whole lot of opportunities for things to go wrong. Implementing one update can trigger a domino effect of linked upgrades and incompatibilities occur. Migrating to Office 365 takes the stress out of keeping software up to date, and speeds up IT operations. Leaving Microsoft Office configuration to Microsoft means you can turn your attention to other important tasks that you may need to do.
So call KeyTech today, and wait for all this to be set up!