Keep your PCs secure with Windows Intune
 

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    Keep your PCs secure with Windows Intune

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    HOME >> BUSINESS RESOURCES >> ARTICLES >> Keep your PCs secure with Windows Intune

    Keep your PCs secure with Windows Intune

    By Marcus Gomez (www.marcusgomez.com).

    Your best night watchmen aren’t in the company gatehouse – they’re in the IT department. The success of your business depends on the security of your PCs. Windows Intune protects your PCs against critical failures and lets you get on with the really important work.

    In many businesses, the IT professional is seen as nothing more than a high-tech handyman – someone who fixes computer problems when they crop up. But the reality is quite different. If the IT handyman doesn’t keep PCs properly maintained, the virtual walls could come tumbling down.

    Your enterprise needs to keep its computers updated and secure. Without the latest updates, your entire network runs the risks of a malware intrusion or some other system failure. Your company could lose IT capabilities for several critical hours, or have confidential data stolen.

    Worse, your clients could lose faith in your business, and that’s something you can’t simply reboot.

     

    A patched PC is a safe PC

    The more your business grows, the more computing devices it will use. Tablets, smartphones and laptops are all viable productivity platforms now, but they can create a nightmare for IT managers.

    Asyraf, an IT professional, says: “My team wants to have the freedom of choice to work with a variety of laptops, desktops and mobile devices, both in the office and in the field. And of course, they use these devices for personal mail and applications as well. This resulted in some huge headaches for us, especially when it came to figuring out which device had which security update. In short, it used to be a mess.”

    Users can’t be expected to manage the many updates and patches for their PCs while also getting important work done. And your IT team needs to be able to efficiently track and monitor all of those devices.

    Microsoft Windows Intune provides one possible solution. It’s a cloud service that takes up the burden of managing your entire IT inventory, freeing up your staff to focus on getting more done.

     

    Remote command and control

    No matter how far your users are from the office, Windows Intune provides centralised management of Microsoft updates and service packs. You can set and implement security policies regarding firewalls and malware protection settings for all PCs across the network with just a few clicks. In addition, powerful reporting tools let you see the status of updates, software and licensing on each machine in the organisation.

    Your business can also benefit from precise control over updates. If your business relies on non-Microsoft applications and you’re worried about compatibility issues with new updates, Windows Intune lets you control how you roll out your updates.

    Asyraf says: “We always use Windows Intune to test out new patches and service packs on a group of test machines to begin with. After running them for a few days, we can be pretty sure that there aren’t going to be any compatibility problems. That’s when we roll out the updates, company-wide.”

    The Remote Assistance feature can be a boon for users who need technical support but are nowhere near the IT staff – let alone the head office. Windows Intune lets them send assistance requests, which are routed to the designated support staff. Remote Assistance allows desktop sharing, file transfers and chat requests to help the user get the assistance they need as quickly as possible. In addition, the session can be recorded for training and review purposes.

    Last year’s Windows Intune Beta test gave many users a sneak preview of the software’s features. Ever since the Beta test ended, Asyraf has been a happy convert.

    He says: “Windows Intune helped us to transition from a traditional IT management model, where support staff and machine had to be in the same location, to a lightweight remote management model. We’ve saved costs and tightened up our updates and security significantly. Best of all, no more headaches for me.”

     

    The “30 minutes” rule
    They say that you need at least 30 minutes of exercise a day to stay healthy, and that if you skip even just one day, you start to slow down. The same is true of marketing through social media – neglect your updates for a single day, and your business will vanish from the market’s consciousness amidst a sea of tweets and chatter from other contacts and groups.

    You have to keep updating. All the hard work you’ve put in towards building your social media presence can fade in an instant if there isn’t anything new for your customers. It doesn’t need to be long, and it doesn’t need to be clever – a short poll, a favourite quote, or even a newsbyte will be enough to make sure you don’t lose your customers’ mindshare.

    Mak maintains a collection of generic postings that aren’t time-specific, and he schedules their release so that there’s always something going up for his customers to see even when he is not around.

    “I prepare the posts ahead of time and schedule their release for when I’m away from the shop,” he explains. “This way, it looks like I’m always hard at work, even when I’m sunning myself in Langkawi!”

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    The Take Away

    • Social networks let you engage with customers and build brand loyalty for a very low cost.

    • Social networks keep you connected with your customers in real time, all the time.

    • To make social media work, you need to update and post regularly.

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