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Information Technology Navigator

Tips, Advice & Insights from Technology Pros

Conditional Access – Deployment Best Practices

Conditional Access in Azure AD provides a level of security required to maintain appropriate controls over who can access confidential and privileged information. It was the topic of discussion at our most recent “Ask the Engineer Q&A Roundtable” where attendees learned tips for a successful Conditional Access deployment and got answers to their specific questions.

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Mon, Jun 15, 2020
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Teams Usage Reports – Ensure Your Employees are Leveraging Teams

It’s a crazy time out there. Businesses have been mandated by state governments to enable employees to work from home. Literally overnight, there have been massive shifts to connect people remotely. Suddenly even your grandparents know what Zoom is!

Microsoft Teams is playing an integral part in facilitating remote communication and collaboration. Most companies with Office 365 subscriptions already have licenses for this product, but just now are really rushed to enable Teams for the massive increase of remote workers.  

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Fri, Apr 10, 2020
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State-Backed Hackers Targeting All Exchange Servers

On February 11 2020, Microsoft released a patch for Exchange Servers that would fix a vulnerability pertaining to unauthorized access to the backend of the Exchange Control Panel. There is now confirmation from a source at the United States Department of Defense that multiple nation-state backed actors and other ransomware gangs are actively and maliciously exploiting this vulnerability on unpatched systems. The vulnerability results from the Exchange Server failing to properly create unique cryptographic keys at the time of installation. The hackers’ sophisticated exploits circumvent encryption, granting them full access of the server.

It is imperative that the latest patches from February 11th be applied as even a single Exchange instance puts you at risk.

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Tue, Mar 10, 2020
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Microsoft Ignite The Tour: Worth the Trip

Microsoft has a well-known yearly user conference in Orlando called Ignite. But did you know there is a smaller, free version of this conference? Microsoft Ignite The Tour is set to hit 30 cities around the world in 2020, including two U.S. cities: Washington DC, Feb 6-7th and Chicago, April 15-16th.

I had the benefit of attending the first 2020 event in Toronto earlier this month. In this blog, I’ll review the unique format of this event and share my personal highlights. Hopefully, I’m able to convince a few admins and business users to attend.

Format:

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Mon, Jan 13, 2020
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Microsoft Teams – 10 Deployment Tips

Microsoft Teams is the cloud-based collaboration solution in the Office 365 suite that integrates business messaging, calling, video meetings and file sharing. It is Microsoft’s replacement for Skype for Business.

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Thu, Nov 21, 2019
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Understanding Office 365 Impossible Travel

Impossible travel. Is it sending a human to Saturn or Venus? Well maybe, but in the context of Microsoft Office 365, Impossible Travel is a security feature that is a great indicator of potential hacking attempts. The concept is straightforward. If you login to Office 365 from your office in Boston and then 20 minutes later you try to login from Dallas, or you login from home in Chicago and five hours later from Beijing, Office 365 basically says “wait a minute, that’s impossible” and it denies login from Dallas and immediately sends an IT security alert.

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Wed, Oct 23, 2019
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Cloud Solution Providers Bring Escape Velocity to O365

Why Office 365?

The speed of business is requiring IT to create, secure, and scale resilient services, prompting enterprises to move away from on-premises data centers to the cloud. Microsoft Office 365 (O365) is an attractive option for organizations that need to innovate at what feels like “escape velocity” speeds. 

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Thu, Aug 08, 2019
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Nuances of Azure’s Shared Responsibility Security Model

The benefits of migrating applications to Microsoft’s Azure cloud make a very compelling business case – agility, scalability, a pay for what you use cost model, etc. But as you move workloads to Azure, don’t assume they are automatically protected, because while Azure does ensure a secure infrastructure, you are responsible for ensuring protection of your data – not Microsoft.

It’s all detailed in Microsoft’s Shared Responsibility Security Model. Understanding where the Shared Responsibility model starts and stops is critical to ensuring your data is secure and compliant. Here are some key considerations:

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Wed, Feb 27, 2019
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3 Tips to Prepare for SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 End of Support

Time is running out. Microsoft deadlines for SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 end of support are quickly approaching with Extended Support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 ending on July 9, 2019 and Extended Support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 ending on January 14, 2020. Don’t risk possible security or compliance gaps of unsupported software.

Security Options

End of support for these releases means the end of regular security updates. With cyberattacks becoming more sophisticated and frequent, running applications and data on unsupported versions can create significant security and compliance risks. With these risks and end of support dates coming soon, Microsoft has provided a cost-effective alternative to allow you to keep your 2008 release servers by migrating to the Azure cloud.

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Fri, Feb 01, 2019
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Office 365 Hybrid Migration – 5 Factors for Smooth Mailbox Migration

 

email-migration-blogA large number of businesses are increasingly embracing all that Microsoft Office 365 cloud technology has to offer and are getting there using a hybrid model. This model is based on - maintaining their on-premises Exchange infrastructure while slowly migrating mailboxes into the O365 cloud tenant. It’s a strategy that makes sense when organizations have large numbers of mailboxes or don’t have sufficient staff to support a “big bang” cutover approach.

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Tue, Jan 15, 2019
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