Exchange Server

The Magic Behind OWA Likes

by Tony Redmond

OWA is the only Outlook client that supports "Likes." This begs the question how OWA supports likes and where the information about likes is stored. Some probing using easily accessible tools reveals the answer. You might think that the answer only interests Office 365 Trivial Pursuit nerds, but it's actually of real interest to eDiscovery investigators.

Is Exchange Online Threatened by Ransomware?

with 4 Comments by Tony Redmond

Some people worry that Exchange Online mailboxes could be compromised by ransomeware and people will be forced to pay BitCoin to decrypt their messages. It's certainly a possibility, but out-of-the-box solutions exist if you're unlucky enough to be infected. That is, if you've done the necessary up-front planning to prepare for the worst to happen.,

Microsoft Deprecating Exchange Online’s Search-Mailbox Cmdlet

by Tony Redmond

Microsoft has started to flag its intention to deprecate the Search-Mailbox cmdlet. It's probably the right time to remove this cmdlet from Exchange Online because Office 365 compliance searches can serve the same purpose. At least, compliance searches can do most of what Search-Mailbox does faster. Some functionality gaps need to be filled before we can bid adieu to Search-Mailbox, but its time is coming.

The PowerShell Mess in the Microsoft Cloud

with 1 Comment by Tony Redmond

PowerShell is a great way of automating common administrative Office 365 operations. That is, if you know what module to use and how to use the cmdlets in that module. Unfortunately things are a bit of a mess with too many modules and inconsistent behavior in areas like error handling. With so many development groups working on Office 365, the PowerShell situation might be inevitable, but it needs cleaning up.

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    Phishing Report Highlights Need for Sophisticated Anti-Malware Software

    by Tony Redmond

    A recent report by a security vendor says that 25% of phishing messages get by Exchange Online Protection (EOP) and arrive into Office 365 user mailboxes. This highlights the need to configure EOP properly and run multiple lines of defense. Microsoft would like you to use Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) alongside EOP. Offerings from other security vendors are also available. For better protection against phishing, you should consider something like ATP.

    Exchange and the Turla LightNeuron Attack

    by Tony Redmond

    Turla, a Russian cyber-espionage group is reported as being behind an attack on Exchange on-premises servers that uses transport agents to capture and process messages for selected users. It's an attack vector that hasn't been seen before and raises the question of how often administrators should review transport agents active on their servers. The important point is that unless your network is compromised, hackers cannot install transport agents on Exchange servers and this attack is more theoretical than practical.

    Office ProPlus Desktop Apps Get New Privacy Controls

    with 4 Comments by Tony Redmond

    Office ProPlus Version 1904 boasts new privacy controls and Microsoft has documented how it thinks about required and optional data collected from users. Office 365 still lacks privacy controls for the server apps. It remains to be seen if customers will be happy and consider that Microsoft has solved the GDPR issues identified in the Dutch DPIA report in November 2018.

    How Retention Impacts Office 365 Storage

    with 2 Comments by Tony Redmond

    Office 365 retention policies help organizations keep information for as long as needed. But retention consumes storage. This isn't a problem for Exchange Online, but it is for SharePoint Online, because files held in the Preservation Hold Library are charged against the tenant storage quota. This isn't a reason to not use retention policies, but you should be careful.

    Stick or Stay: Should I Upgrade to Exchange 2019?

    by Tony Redmond

    Exchange 2019 has been around for six months. It's a good time to consider if on-premises organizations should upgrade or stick with the version of Exchange they run today. Exchange 2019 is a solid release, even if Microsoft's engineering efforts are largely focused on the cloud these days. Of course, moving to Exchange Online is an option too, but perhaps not for the dedicated on-premises deployments.

    Exchange Privilege Elevation Vulnerability Addressed by Microsoft Patches

    with 3 Comments by Tony Redmond

    The recent exposure of a privilege elevation vulnerability that exists in the control Exchange has over Active Directory and EWS push notifications is fixed by cumulative updates for Exchange 2013, Exchange 2016, and Exchange 2019 and a roll-up update for Exchange 2010 SP3. These changes mark an architectural modification for Exchange, something that Microsoft is loathe to do outside major releases. Install the updates now!

    Why Exchange Transport Rules are a Good Way to Encrypt Email

    by Tony Redmond

    Exchange Online transport (mail flow) rules are a powerful way to ensure that email from Office 365 tenants to specific recipients are encrypted in a consistent manner. Using rules relieves the need for users to become involved and makes sure that email is protected in a way that recipients can read messages. It's a good way to use the protection features built into Office 365.

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