As 2023 comes to a close, let’s look back at some of the technology trends and tech innovations that have shaped this year. From AI breakthroughs to security enhancements in Microsoft Authentication, many notable changes have made a lasting impact on the industry.
The AI Revolution
One of the most significant changes this year has been the adoption of AI in the workforce. AI enables businesses to transform their operations in creative and engaging ways. It can boost human capabilities in performing complex tasks, increasing productivity and innovation across business and society. AI can also help to detect and respond to threats faster, and more effectively than human experts alone.
Artificial Intelligence, when used responsibly, can bring about immense benefits. However, in the wrong hands, it can have devastating consequences. Hackers are increasingly turning to Artificial Intelligence to enhance their attacks, making it harder for businesses to detect and prevent breaches. Hackers are leveraging AI tools in several ways through: automated attacks, social engineering, credential stuffing attacks, enhanced phishing, and Data manipulation – to name a few. To combat the abuse of AI, business leaders have had to invest in advanced cybersecurity measures, train cybersecurity professionals, and stay informed about emerging threats.
Microsoft Authentication Security Updates
In May 2023, Microsoft added number matching authentication to improve the security of its Authenticator app and to prevent MFA fatigue attacks. MFA fatigue attacks are a type of social engineering that exploits users who are overwhelmed by multiple push notifications and may approve a sign-in request by mistake. With number matching, users have to type a number from their secondary device to their primary device when responding to an MFA push notification using the Microsoft Authenticator app. This feature helps users avoid accidental approvals by making them more aware of the source and validity of the sign-in requests.
End-of-Life Support for Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2
As of October 10, 2023, Microsoft stopped supporting all versions of Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2. This means that Microsoft no longer provides security updates, non-security fixes, support options, or technical content updates for these versions. This poses a serious security risk for businesses that still use them, as they become vulnerable to new threats and attacks. Therefore, many businesses had to prioritize upgrading their servers to newer versions in 2023.
Microsoft Loop – The Ultimate Productivity Tool
Microsoft Loop, the cutting-edge productivity tool, was launched in 2023 and we think it is here to stay! Loop is an app that helps you create, share, and collaborate on dynamic and interactive documents. Loop lets you use components, such as tables, lists, charts, and images, to create rich and engaging content that can be updated and edited by multiple people at the same time. You can also embed Loop components into other Microsoft Office 365 apps, such as Teams, Outlook, and OneNote, so you can access and edit them from different contexts. Loop helps you streamline your workflows, reduce silos, and keep your team on the same page. We have been loving the Loop component for team collaboration! Learn how to get started with it here.
Convergence Improvements and Investments in 2023
At Convergence, we are committed to providing our customers with the best service and security possible. We know that cyber threats are constantly evolving and becoming more challenging to deal with. Which is why invested in the latest technology and security products to protect our customers’ data and ensure the highest level of security and reliability. We have also improved our service experience with our team by introducing new tools and features that make it easier for our customers to communicate and collaborate with us. Here are some of the improvements and investments we made this year:
Scheduling tool: Now our customers can easily schedule appointments, meetings, and calls with our team at their convenience. With this tool, we effortlessly schedule appointments, meetings, and calls with our clients, ensuring seamless coordination and alignment.
Improved monthly reporting: Our customers now receive monthly reports that provide them with customized insights into their IT environment. These reports help track key performance indicators (KPIs) and help our customers make informed decisions.
Managed Detection and Response (MDR): Our utilization of MDR tools has significantly enhanced our security posture by equipping us with real-time threat detection and response capabilities. With these tools, we can promptly identify and respond to potential threats, effectively minimizing the impact of security incidents.
Network Monitoring and Management: This tool has allowed us to get insights and preventative remediation for network devices like switches, routers, firewalls, and other critical network components, helping to prevent service impacting outages before they occur.
Cloud Security & Protection: Our tool allows our customers to get unprecedented insight into their Cloud and, including 14 different checks that indicate areas for remediation for security enhancements and compliance. Additionally, the tool includes monitoring of changes to the platform settings (disabling admin MFA for instance) and alerting thresholds for things like restricted country logins.
Ultimately, 2023 has been a year marked by remarkable technological, security advancements and strategic investments while also reminding us that technology and security are not “set and forget”. They both need consistent and constant evaluation and investment year over year to stay both efficient and secure.
If you are interested in learning more about our services and how we can help you turn your technology into your competitive advantage, contact us. We would be happy to schedule a discovery call and walk through how Convergence can help your business achieve success and remain secure.