The Office 365 Exchange Online Protection (EOP) team has been hard at work on new features that reflect our continued commitment to provide advanced security, reliability and protection of your email, and a simpler and more efficient user experience for email admins. Today, we’re pleased to announce seven new EOP features, including:
- Scheduled EOP reports
- Domain-based email traffic support
- Simplified block and allow
- Quarantined message preview
- Bulk release
- Improving backscatter detection with Boomerang
- Non-delivery report (NDR) backscatter storm prevention
Scheduled EOP reports and domain-based email traffic support
Two new EOP reporting features have been included in this update. First, customers can now schedule EOP reports to be delivered via email on a weekly or monthly basis. For tenant admins, this means you can schedule EOP reports to arrive in your inbox on a day that you specify and choose from four types of EOP reports:
- Mail traffic summary (aka sent-and-received mail)
- Spam detections summary
- Rule matches
- Data Loss Prevention policy matches
The new scheduled report feature is easy to set up on the Office 365 portal for EOP or Exchange Online customers.
To get started, go to the Office 365 portal and click Reports, then select the type of report you want to schedule. From the report page, click Schedule this report. It’s that easy! You’ll find more information about scheduling EOP reports and the customization features that help you obtain the specific data you need here.
Scheduled EOP reports are delivered to your inbox on the day of the week or month you specify.
The second new reporting feature enables admins to assess email traffic at the domain level through PowerShell. For large customers with many domains, this feature makes it easy to view domain-level aggregation of mail traffic. To obtain mail traffic breakdown by domain, use the ‘Domain’ parameter with Get-MailTrafficReport and Get-MailTrafficPolicyReport in PowerShell. More information about domain-based email traffic support is available here.
Simplified block and allow
We simplified the process for EOP or Exchange Online admins to block or allow emails from an individual sender or an entire domain. The new simplified block-and-allow lists replace the need to write a complex transport rule to bypass spam filtering or modify the Spam Confidence Level for a sender or domain.
Located in the Spam Filter section of the Office 365 Exchange Admin Center, you’ll access this feature by clicking the Protection link, making it easy and intuitive to find. There, you can create, edit and maintain block-and-allow lists for senders and domains.
Simplified block and allow is currently in preview with first-release customers and will be deployed worldwide by the end of the month.
Quarantined message preview and bulk release
As part of our efforts to revamp our quarantine feature area to further protect against email containing malware or viruses, we released our new quarantined message preview earlier this month. You gave us the feedback that you need more information to determine if a quarantined message is malicious or legitimate. The new quarantined message preview allows you to see the body of a message without triggering any malicious content. This new visibility provides an improvement over previously just seeing a quarantined message’s sender, recipient, subject and date.
Two months ago, we released our bulk release feature, which has received widespread positive feedback from customers. Now, admins can quickly and easily select up to 500 quarantined messages to release or not release, which can be especially helpful in addressing large email campaigns. The bulk release feature can be accessed either through the Office 365 quarantine area or via PowerShell.
Backscatter spam improvements
Backscatter spam—when you receive a non-delivery receipt for an email that a spammer sent using your forged email address—is a growing source of irritation for end users and a challenge for email admins. We have stepped up to backscatter spam with two new protections:
- Improving backscatter detection with Boomerang—In addition to basic backscatter protections in Office 365, we recently rolled out Boomerang, our Microsoft-branded mechanism to better detect backscatter spam. Now deployed for both hosted and on-premises mailboxes, Boomerang provides greater security and smarts to fight backscatter spam.
- NDR backscatter storm prevention—This feature, deployed in May, addresses backscatter on a mass scale by automatically deleting the majority of a spammer’s large-scale email campaign, leaving just a handful of forged messages so that the responsible admin has visibility on the attack. NDR backscatter storm prevention is especially helpful in preventing spammers from spoofing well-known, executive email aliases, which are often targeted to add an appearance of legitimacy to spam or to direct mass hate emails.
Contact the Atidan team at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information about security and special offers on Office 365 deployment and support!
Pleased to announce that an Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) service is available now to all Exchange/Office 365 subscribers (Coming August 1 for volume (Open/EA) license customers). You already have Microsoft’s Exchange Online Protection (EOP) at no charge to protect against spam and malware. Exchange Advanced Threat Protection or ATP is a new offering launched this week and is priced at $2 per user per month. You can activate any number of licenses to suit your needs – try it for your top executive team, for users who work with sensitive content or for your entire enterprise.
Key benefits and my comments include:
1. Better protection against day zero viruses and unknown malware
a. Even after EOP filtering, something that has never been seen before can get through filters
b. Machine learning with behavior analysis watches content and makes real time validations called Safe Attachments
i. Could cause possible message delays in suspicious message receipt fyi
2. Real time protection against malicious URLs
a. Protect against phishing attacks and redirection
b. Check is performed at time of reading
i. Note this could cause a time delay while URL is scanned as the link is clicked
3. Reporting and URL Tracing
a. Analyze patterns of attacks, categories of attacks and conduct investigations
It is hard to put a value on this service but the cost is insignificant compared to the cost of an attack such as the Cryptolocker virus. One single incident could dwarf the costs of this subscription and I’ve posted a great white paper study from Ponemon detailing the average data breach cost .
Active Atidan clients can get our assistance to turn on this service at NO CHARGE. Additional consulting is always available to help you with new security features in Office 365 such as Rights Management, Encryption, eDiscovery, Legal Hold, Archiving and more.
Protect your email in real time against unknown and sophisticated attacks.
Secure your mailboxes against advanced threats
New malware campaigns are being launched every day, and Office 365 has a solution to help protect your email against them. With Exchange Online Advanced Threat Protection, you can protect your mailboxes against new, sophisticated attacks in real time. By protecting against unsafe attachments and expanding protection against malicious links, it complements the security features of Exchange Online Protection to provide better zero-day protection.
Protect against unsafe attachments
With Safe Attachments, you can prevent malicious attachments from impacting your messaging environment, even if their signatures are not known. All suspicious content goes through a real-time behavioral malware analysis that uses machine learning techniques to evaluate the content for suspicious activity. Unsafe attachments are sandboxed in a detonation chamber before being sent to recipients. The advantage is a malware free and cleaner inbox with better zero-day attack protection.
Protect your environment when users click malicious links
Exchange Online Protection provides protection against malicious links by scanning content. Safe Links expands on this by protecting your environment when users click a link. While the content is being scanned, the URLs are rewritten to go through Office 365. The URLs are examined in real time, at the time a user clicks them. If a link is unsafe, the user is warned not to visit the site or informed that the site has been blocked. Reporting is available, so administrators can track which users clicked a link and when they clicked it.
Get rich reporting and track links in messages
Gain critical insights into who is being targeted in your organization and the category of attacks you are facing. Reporting and message trace allow you to investigate messages that have been blocked due to unknown viruses or malware, while URL trace capability allows you to track individual malicious links in the messages that have been clicked.
Join Atidan for live demonstrations showcasing the latest Skype for Business and Office 365!
Microsoft is already delivering the tools that make meetings more productive – with assets that are integrated, familiar, and part of the everyday work experience. And yet, so much more is possible with Skype for Business as a part of Office 365. Atidan is pleased to invite you to experience Skype for Business during our live demonstration and discussion.
We will show you how schedule and start a meeting right from within your Exchange Email and share documents directly from Office apps like PowerPoint. Take notes with OneNote and share information from SharePoint portals. Skype for Business supports all kinds of meetings – from highly interactive collaborative sessions to more formal, large presentations.
Audio, video and web conferencing is integrated into a single experience. People connect easily and stay focused on the things they’re doing together—whether it’s sharing an app, co-authoring, or presenting content. Frequent meeting organizers and hosts will save time on routine activities.
Skype for Business automatically captures participant lists via OneNote. Sharing and co-editing the meeting notes can be done without having to switch back-and-forth from one app to another. Skype for Business means the freedom to work with anyone, in any location, at any time – virtually eliminating the need for travel.
Spontaneous conversations, working sessions, and meetings can happen at any time. People in different locations meet and make decisions in an instant. Online meetings are easy to host, join, and manage with Skype for Business.
Everyone registered will receive a free trial offer and we are giving away copies of Microsoft Office to several lucky winners!
|Lync is now Skype for Business — see what’s new|
|Add a contact from your org or the Skype directory|
|Send an IM|
|Make and receive a video call|
|Set up a Skype for Business meeting in Outlook|
|Set up and test Skype for Business audio and video|
- Basic configuration for an Internet-facing farm (3 servers)
- High-availability configuration for an Internet-facing farm (9 servers)
- SharePoint 3-tier configuration emulating an intranet farm (5 servers)
- SharePoint intranet farm in a hybrid cloud (6 servers)
Basic configuration for an Internet-facing farm
Here is the basic, Internet-facing farm.
You can deploy this in two ways:
- For an Azure Resource Manager deployment, use the Create a Three VM SharePoint Deployment Resource Manager template.
- For an Azure Service Management deployment, use SharePoint Server Farm in the Azure Preview Portal.
In both cases, you specify very few configuration settings and let the template or the Preview Portal perform the computer and farm configuration for you.
For information about the new Azure Resource Manager, see Azure Compute, Network & Storage Providers under Azure Resource Manager
High-availability configuration for an Internet-facing farm
Here is the high-availability, Internet-facing farm.
Like the basic configuration above, this configuration is for an Internet-facing test farm with a cloud-only Azure virtual network. This farm is not connected back to your organization network through a site-to-site VPN connection.
- For an Azure Resource Manager deployment, use the Create an new HA SharePoint Farm Resource Manager template.
- For an Azure Service Management deployment, use SharePoint Server Farm in the Azure Preview Portal.
These methods can save you a lot of configuration time, but you will need an Azure subscription that supports 9 servers and 19 cores.
SharePoint 3-tier configuration emulating an intranet farm
With the SharePoint 3-tier farm in Azure Test Lab Guide (TLG), you build a simple 3-tier farm, complete with a client computer. This is an Azure-based alternative to building a SharePoint test lab with on-premises computers or virtual machines.
Use this configuration as an intranet test farm using a cloud-only Azure virtual network. It emulates an intranet farm relative to the CLIENT1 computer, rather than from your organization intranet. Unlike the SharePoint Server Farm configurations previously described, there is no Internet access to the resources of the SharePoint farm.
The advantage to this configuration is that you can use a set of existing SharePoint TLGs to configure permissions, authentication, profile synchronization, and social networking. For more information, see SharePoint Server 2013 Test Lab in Azure.
SharePoint intranet farm in a hybrid cloud
With SharePoint intranet farm in a hybrid cloud, you build a simple two-tier farm, complete with a simplified on-premises organization network containing a domain controller and client computer.
Use this configuration as an intranet test farm using a cross-premises Azure virtual network. It emulates an intranet farm relative to the CLIENT1 computer on your simplified on-premises network. There is no Internet access to the SharePoint farm.
The advantage to this configuration is the inclusion of a site-to-site VPN connection and the ability to experience the performance and administration of an emulated intranet SharePoint farm relative to your location on the Internet.
Note that you can also build this using the simulated hybrid cloud. Here is the result.
Blog written entirely by Joe Davies at Microsoft http://azure.microsoft.com/blog/2015/06/08/sharepoint-server-2013-dev-test-environments/
If you haven’t started testing the new Office 2016 for Windows Preview, now is a great time to join the public Beta. New features are being added monthly. If you need information about Office 365 and Office please contact the Atidan team at email@example.com
Here’s a quick look at a few of the highlights:
- Real Time Presence in Word—While Real Time Typing will ship in subsequent builds, a key part of that collaborative experience with Real Time Presence is now available. Real Time Presence allows you to see where in a document your teammates are editing. We are turning this on first for OneDrive for Business subscribers but it will be available more broadly soon.
- Simplified file sharing—Simplified the process of sharing files and making them available to others to review, comment, and edit. Just clicking Share on the Ribbon will save your file to the Cloud and make it available to others in one easy step.
- Insights for Office (currently in Word and Outlook)—Insights, powered by Bing, brings you contextual information from the web right into your reading experience. Try it by selecting keywords, like people or places, in your content and watch as Insights pulls relevant information into the Task pane to help you learn more.
- Version History improvements—It is now easier to find different versions of files stored on SharePoint or OneDrive for Business. You can click the History command in the File menu to view or restore any previous version.
- Tell Me in Outlook—Tell Me now available in Outlook, a new search tool already available in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, serves up the commands you need by simply typing what you want to do using natural language. For example, in Outlook if you want to mark an e-mail as unread, you would simply type “mark unread” in the Tell Me Box.
These are just a few of the highlights, with many others available including Power Pivot improvements, improved grammar checkers, and more.
If you haven’t joined Office 2016 Preview, it’s not too late. Join here.
Data analysis made faster and easier—New analysis capabilities are built into Excel, so you can pull, map, analyze and visualize your data faster and easier than ever.
- One-click forecasting. Create forecasts on your data series with one click to future trends.
- Intuitive data connecting and shaping capabilities. With integrated Power Query, use Excel as your personal analysis workspace by connecting to and viewing all the data around you. Take advantage of a broad range of data sources, including tables from websites, corporate data like SAP Business Objects, unstructured sources like Hadoop, and services like Salesforce. After bringing all your data together in one place, quickly shape and combine to fit your unique business needs and get to analysis in seconds
- Easy data modeling and powerful analysis. With improved Power Pivot features as part of Excel, map different data sets with drag-and-drop ease to build data models to give you the bigger picture of your business. Take advantage of intuitive analysis functions, automatic time grouping and other features that enhance your PivotTable and PivotChart analysis experience. Now with the ability to calculate 100s of millions of rows of data, perform deeper analysis with high speed.
- Publish to Microsoft Power BI Preview. Effortlessly publish and share your Excel workbooks to users of Power BI.
- New modern charts and graphs, including TreeMap, Sunburst, Waterfall, Box & Whisker and Histogram & Pareto in Excel help you to present your data in fresh ways.
New for IT
Office 2016 will offer new security, compliance, and deployment features, giving organizations more control over sensitive data and IT more flexibility in deployment and management.
Compliance and security controls
- Data Loss Protection (DLP). DLP is now available in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. IT admins can centrally create, manage and enforce policies for content authoring and document sharing. End users will see policy tips or sharing restrictions when the apps detect a potential policy violation.
- Outlook Multi-factor authentication. Multi-factor authentication now available in Outlook through integration with the Active Directory Authentication Library (ADAL).
- Information Rights Management (IRM). IRM protection is now extended to Visio files, enabling both online and offline protection of Visio diagrams.
Flexible deployment and management options
- Better network traffic management. New Background Intelligence Transfer Service (BITS) helps prevent congestion on the network. BITS throttles back the use of bandwidth when another critical network traffic is present.
- Enhanced distribution management. Improved integration with ConfigMgr allows IT admins to efficiently download and distribute monthly Office updates using the native ConfigMgr features.
- Flexible update management. Admins can now manage the pace at which they receive feature updates and bug fixes while continuing to receive regular security updates.
- Simplified activation management. New controls in the Office 365 Admin Portal allows admins to manage device activations across users.
Reference and information from Microsoft: http://blogs.office.com/2015/06/03/office-2016-on-windows-preview-update/
Atidan is pleased to deploy Microsoft’s Azure Cloud architecture for SharePoint with SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability Groups.Utilizing best recommended practices documented by Microsoft, the Atidan team creates SharePoint 2013 Server farms deployed in an Azure cross-premises virtual network. This blog article shows some of the main steps we take and contains links to the latest information and reference.
Atidan team makes this process easy by managing the entire process from architecture,POC, test and into production. We utilize System Center (SCOM) to monitor all Azure operations and keep watching your critical infrastructure in the cloud. Many options are available to provide security, reliability, performance and to meet your budgets. Contact us today to find out about our “Azure Cloud Jumpstart” solutions!
SharePoint with SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability Groups in Azure guides you through the end-to-end process to:
- Understand the value of the SharePoint farm in Azure IT workload.
- Create a proof-of-concept configuration or a dev/test environment for SharePoint application development.
- Configure the production workload in a cross-premises virtual network.
The result of this process is a functional, high-availability intranet SharePoint farm that is accessible to on-premises users.
The end-to-end configuration of the production workload consists of these phases:
- Phase 1: Configure Azure. Create a storage account, cloud services, and a cross-premises virtual network.
- Phase 2: Configure Domain Controllers. Create and configure replica Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) domain controllers.
- Phase 3: Configure SQL Server Infrastructure. Create and configure the SQL Server virtual machines, prepare them for use with SharePoint, and create the cluster.
- Phase 4: Configure SharePoint Servers. Create the four virtual machines for the SharePoint servers and configure the SharePoint farm.
- Phase 5: Create the Availability Group and add the SharePoint databases. Prepare the SharePoint databases and create a SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability Group.
These phases are designed to align with IT departments or typical areas of expertise. For example:
- Phase 1 can be done by networking infrastructure staff.
- Phase 2 can be done by identity management staff.
- Phases 3 and 5 can be done by database administrators.
- Phase 4 can be done by SharePoint administrators.
To make the Azure configuration foolproof, Phases 1 and 2 contain configuration tables for you to fill out with all of the required settings. For example, here is Table V for the cross-premises virtual network settings from Phase 1.
To make the configuration of the Azure elements as fast as possible, the phases use PowerShell command blocks and prompt you to insert the configuration table settings as variables.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information about our Cloud Services!