Advanced Office 365 Message Encryption Includes Branded Communications and Revocation

Message Encryption for the Office 365 Masses

Office 365 Message Encryption (OME) is the technology behind the ability of Exchange Online users to send encrypted messages sent to any recipient. Included in the Office 365 E3 and E5 plans (and equivalent education and government plans), OME is automatically enabled for tenants to allow people to use the Encrypt-Only feature supported by Outlook and OWA. Outlook mobile can read encrypted email inline but isn’t yet able to send encrypted messages. To support clients that don’t support encryption, OME also supports encryption through Exchange transport rules (aka mail flow rules). Continue reading

Azure Gets Longer Passwords

shutterstock_1137101603-compressorAnnouncement by Microsoft that they had removed the 16-character limit for passwords in Azure Active Directory had been coming for a while. It takes time for Microsoft to deploy such a fundamental change across all the places in their cloud systems where passwords can be changed. The first leaks that something was happening came in late April when people noticed that the user interface in components like the Azure AD portal and Office 365 Admin Center offered administrators the chance to set 256-character passwords.

The new password limit is also mentioned in the Microsoft 365 User Management blog for April 2019 (posted on 7 May). You can’t say that Microsoft didn’t give us hints that this was coming. Continue reading

Teams Messaging Policies

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Managing Teams with Policies

When Microsoft launched Teams in November 2016, the tenant-wide settings to control the application were in the Office 365 Admin Center. With the introduction of the Teams and Skype for Business Online Admin Center in April 2018 (now renamed the Teams Admin Center), some of those settings are replaced by a set of policies (messaging, meeting, and live events)

The major advantage of this approach is that you can apply different policies to different users instead of a single setting for the entire tenant. Where it makes sense to have global settings, like those governing guest user access, the Teams Admin Center manages these under org-wide settings. Continue reading

Getting the F@£$ Out – Keeping Teams Polite

rudepolite.jpgTeams is a nice place to discuss the issues of the day, but what happens if someone abuses the platform and sends some abusive or otherwise objectionable messages?

The simple answer is that team owners should keep an eye on discussions and remove anything that shouldn’t be there. That’s OK if team owners are omnipresent and have the time and energy to check every channel in every team they own. Not every owner does so.

Continue reading

Enable backup for Azure Stack & Running a backup

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Enable the Infrastructure Backup Service through the administration portal so that Azure Stack can generate backups. You can use these backups to restore your environment using cloud recovery in the event of a catastrophic failure. The purpose of cloud recovery is to ensure that your operators and users can log back into the portal after recovery is complete. Users will have their subscriptions restored including role-based access permissions and roles, original plans, offers, and previously defined compute, storage, and network quotas.

However, the Infrastructure Backup Service does not backup IaaS VMs, network configurations, and storage resources such as storage accounts, blobs, tables, and so on, so users logging in after cloud recovery completes will not see any of their previously existing resources. Platform as a Service (PaaS) resources and data are also not backed up by the service. Continue reading

Backup Office 365…It’s in the Cloud. It’s ALREADY backed up…..isn’t it?

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Over the last few years, I’ve seen a significant increase in the number of  businesses moving from on-premises Exchange environments to Office 365. That move makes absolute sense. When it comes to messaging, there’s hardly any difference (in terms of business value and competitiveness) whether you run it yourself or consume it a service.

But one area in particular does make a difference: backup and restore. Continue reading

Teams PowerShell Module Gets a Nice Little Refresh

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Given that the Teams and Skype for Business Online Admin Center recently introduced support for team management, it is unsurprising that Microsoft has refreshed the Teams PowerShell module. You can now download version 0.9.5 from the PowerShell Gallery).

In terms of the administrative control over Teams, the module has improved steadily from the first release and is now capable of handling most of the administrative operations available in the Teams and Skype for Business Online Admin Center. Cmdlets are available to create teams (including a team for an existing Office 365 group), list all teams in the tenant, update settings for teams, and create new channels. Because the module is still evolving, some change is inevitable before the final release. Even with this warning, you can depend on the current release for production use. Continue reading

Microsoft Releases Administrative Roles For Teams

Microsoft-Teams-Official.jpgIn a surprise move because we expect Microsoft to keep all announcements until the Ignite conference rolls around next week, Microsoft released four new administrative roles to help Office 365 tenants to manage Teams more effectively, especially when the complexity of the Teams infrastructure for video and audio meetings and calling scales up.

Four New Roles

This move is to help organizations move from Skype for Business Online to Teams. Office 365 tenant administrators already have the necessary rights to manage Teams through the Teams and Skype for Business Admin Center or PowerShell. In small tenants, it’s likely that the tenant administrator will manage Teams along with all the other workloads. However, if you run a larger tenant, you can assign the new administrative roles to users to allow them to perform specific management actions for Teams. The new roles are: Continue reading

Verifying Administrator Access to Office 365 User Data

Office-365-Customer-Lockbox-An-introduction_44465a_headerAdministrators have always been able to access user content and don’t need eDiscovery functionality to do this. Administrators can log onto someone’s mailbox or give themselves permission to access a user’s OneDrive account, or use the Search-Mailbox cmdlet to copy messages from user mailboxes to another mailbox. And they can run content searches to scan mailboxes, SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams, Office 365 Groups, and public folders and export whatever they find to PST files, ZIP files, or individual files. In short, many ways are available to an Office 365 administrator to poke around in user content if they so wish. Continue reading

Archiving Teams

Video_tape_archive_storage_(6498637005).jpgEarlier this month, Microsoft disclosed that Teams now boasts an official solution for archiving.

To archive a team, click Teams in the navigation bar in the desktop or browser client to expose the list of teams, then the Manage cogwheel icon under the list of teams. You see a list of teams that you belong to, divided into active teams and archived teams. You can only archive a team when you are an owner of that team. The choice to Archive team is in the ellipsis menu for the team. Continue reading