The Groups section of the Azure Active Directory portal now includes a preview of a feature to configure the Office 365 Groups naming policy without going near PowerShell. Although those proficient with scripts and GUIDs will lament this sad reduction in standards, the normal administrator will welcome the chance to forget some obscure syntax.
The LinkedIn connector for Office 365 now uses a group to control the set of user accounts allowed to connect their accounts to LinkedIn. It’s a good change because it makes the connection easier to manage. Even so, you might still need to use PowerShell to manage the membership of the group, especially if you want to add multiple people to the group at one time.
Exchange Online protocol authentication policies control what protocols a user can connect to mailboxes with, but it would be much better if we didn’t have to worry about some old and insecure protocols. Azure Active Directory gives Office 365 tenants the chance to clamp down on IMAP4 and POP3 connections and close off some of the holes that attackers try to exploit. Microsoft says that this can lead to a 67% reduction in account compromises, so that’s a good thing.
The Office 365 Groups Naming Policy is now generally available. The policy has taken nearly two years of preview to not get very far, but at least it’s now an official part of the service. Microsoft considers the naming policy to be an Azure Active Directory Premium feature. Many customers might think differently, especially because the naming policy must be implemented through PowerShell and can easily be mimicked through PowerShell. And of course, Exchange Online’s distribution list naming policy is free.
The January 24-25 Azure Active Directory outage demonstrated once again how important AAD is to Office 365. Microsoft’s Post Incident Report tells us what happened to deprive 1% of the users in Europe of service. That doesn’t sound a lot, but you’d be mad if you were affected.