Last week, Yusuf Mehdi announced the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, our latest feature update for Windows 10. Today, we’re excited to share that the update is available to customers. This post will provide details on the April 2018 Update rollout plan, including information on our new machine-learning approach. We’ll also detail how you can get the update today. As with prior rollouts, our goal is to deliver the April 2018 Update as quickly and as broadly possible, while maintaining the best possible update experience for our customers.View Full Post
Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 update is arriving for PCs and tablets today. Like the previous Fall Creators Update, it’s full of small features that improve Windows 10 without dramatically changing the platform. Microsoft is only adding one major feature with this update, and it’s the Timeline feature that lets you resume where you left off across multiple Windows 10 machines.View Full Post
When it comes to migrating data to the cloud, the complex landscape of government regulations and compliance can be overwhelming to navigate through. I was reminded of this during my livestream with Protected Trust CEO Ingram Leedy and Solutions Consultant Cindy Loput. During this livestream Ingram and Cindy spoke with me about the challenges a government agency faces when on-boarding new systems and software. Government agencies are ready to make the move to the cloud but they’re not sure how to get started. This is not necessarily a simple process, although we make it easy. There are steps that need to be taken to move from an internal platform to the cloud. A lot of the government agencies are familiar with purchasing their Office licenses directly through either an enterprise vendor or from Microsoft directly and they can still do that, however they really need assistance to ensure they are still compliant. Different government entities have different government regulations that they need to follow as well.
The difference however isn’t only in the licensing. The data centers where the government data is stored is separated from the traditional Office 365 public cloud. It’s not to say that the public cloud data centers don’t go through a rigorous compliance process for security, but the government data centers go through the extra compliance certifications specifically for government use. We spent much of our livestream speaking about Government Cloud Community (GCC) where most Federal, State and Local government information are stored. However, Office 365 also has data centers for specific government agencies and information. These data centers are called GCC High and DoD (Department of Defense). I’m sure it’s a huge relief for many administrators knowing that their data center compliance needs are already met with Office 365 GCC.
As many government administrators know, your compliance regulations don’t end at the server level and every department must have their own policies and procedures depending on the data that is being handled. Microsoft has incorporated a ton of new features specifically developed to make sure information is not mishandled, such as DLP or Data Loss Prevention. This feature isn’t something that can just be turned on and start working however. As I simplified in the livestream, you still need someone to know which switches to flip and for who. For those who aren’t aware of DLP’s functionality, it scans a message for predefined parameters (social security numbers, billing information, etc). If it detects one of the parameters in a message, it will stop the message from being sent and notify the sender of a potential leak of information (though that’s just one way it can be configured).
Office 365 has given its users a wide array of tools to optimize security, productivity and now compliance. However, just knowing where to start is a huge hurdle for organizations looking to make the move. That’s where Protected Trust comes in. For over 15 years, Protected Trust has helped private businesses and government agencies select and configure the right tools from Microsoft’s wide range of offerings. As we said during the livestream, we’ve gotten so good at migrating organizations to the cloud, that the end-users don’t know they underwent a migration. We have a team of project managers, product architects and server administrators doing this every day. Don’t be overwhelmed at the prospect of a data migration. Let our team manage it for you.
Microsoft is unveiling a number of new features for its Outlook desktop app, Outlook for iOS / Android mobile apps, and the company’s Outlook.com webmail service this week. The new Outlook features that are now available or coming soon are being detailed by Microsoft less than a week after Google started rolling out a new Gmail redesign. Google’s new Gmail features are mostly aimed at business customers, in an attempt to get more businesses using G Suite. Microsoft’s new Outlook features are also primarily aimed at business customers, an area that Microsoft’s traditional Outlook desktop apps for Windows and macOS specialize in.View Full Post
With Attack Simulator (included in Office 365 Threat Intelligence), if you are a member of your organization's security team, you can run realistic attack scenarios in your organization. This can help you identify and find vulnerable users before a real attack impacts your bottom line.View Full Post
The ability to reset one's own password for business email may not seem that important for your organization's cyber security and budget, but it actually matters more than you think. After all, resetting your own password isn't a new thing. Almost any website that requires you to log in with a username and password also gives you the opportunity to reset your password without having to call or email into a support desk. Even though it has been around for a few years now, Self Service Password Reset was not always a feature in Office 365 and that could be the reason why so few organizations know about or utilize it. I spoke with Steve Cornell, our Service Desk Manager, about Self Service Password Reset in our livestream on 4/24. You can watch the recorded version on the left (don't forget to like and subscribe!). During this livestream, Steve and I discussed the many benefits of using SSPR and gave a quick walkthrough of the initial setup. Even though this is enabled by default for our clients, unless end-users complete the process shown in the video, then they will not be able to reset their own password. So, if you are an admin reading this, make sure your users follow through. Why bother? Well, password reset requests account for 20% of all IT organizations' support calls. Not only that, but it also leads to an improved end-user experience because users no longer have to wait for the Support Desk to get back to them. So instead of being locked out of their accounts for a few hours or even days, end-users have the power to get back into their account without delay. As for the security side of things, SSPR takes the guess work out of authenticating the person on the other end of the phone. As we've discussed in previous blog posts, phishing is more prevelent than ever and attacks are getting increasingly more sophisticated. It only takes one misjudgement from the support desk engineer to compromise an account and possibly the entire organization. By factoring out the risk of human error and replacing it with SSPR authentication options, the security of the entire organization increases. The admin doesn't have to give up any control either; he or she still dictates the policy. From which authenticated methods are used to how many validations are required, the system is designed to let only the right person in. Speaking of authentication methods, there are currently four options to choose from:View Full Post