Microsoft Launches Series of Outlook Mobile Seminars

Microsoft will deliver a set of five seminars about Outlook Mobile starting on March 14. It’s always good to gain some knowledge about an important technology. Outlook Mobile is important to Office 365 because it is the most functional email client available. If you don’t believe me, attend some of the seminars and make your own mind up.

Phishing: Your Document Has Been Completed

Phishing attacks through email happen all the time. A new relatively crude one arrived today. It’s easy for the trained eye to detect phishing, but do your Office 365 admins know how to use the tools available in Exchange Online Protection to suppress malware, and do your users know the signs of bad email? In this case, it’s an invitation to click to get to a PDF document to bring you to digitaloceanspaces.com. Some interesting things might happen afterwards, but I really don’t want to find out what occurs when I click the link.

Microsoft 365 Licensing, Yammer and Teams, Office DPIA, and Exchange

Office 365 changes all the time, which is good because it keeps the Office 365 for IT Pros writing team busy and happy. Discussions this week included Microsoft’s response to a Dutch DPIA, the effect large Teams have on Yammer, how Exchange Online validated a fix to a security problem, and graphics to help understand the components of the Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 plans.

Azure Active Directory Still a Weakness for Office 365

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.

Exchange Page Patching and Native Data Protection in Office 365

Some backup vendors think that corruption can lead to data loss within Office 365. The possibility exists, but the page patching mechanism for databases incorporated into Exchange Online DAGs makes corruption a lot less likely, especially when mailboxes are protected by four database copies and Exchange applies many other techniques to ensure the consistency of the databases.

New OWA Now Generally Available to Office 365 Tenants

The new version of OWA (sometimes called Outlook on the Web, or Outlook Web Access) is now generally available to all Office 365 tenants. Although the new OWA has some nice features, you might want to turn off the user choice (toggle) to move the new UI until you’ve had time to prepare the help desk, documentation, and that sort of thing.

Exchange Online Transport Rule to Encrypt Sensitive Email

Microsoft has released details of an Exchange Online transport rule to encrypt outbound email containing sensitive data types like credit card numbers. The rule works (after fixing the PowerShell), but needs to be reviewed and possibly adjusted to meet the needs of Office 365 tenants.

Teams Compliance Records Focused on by New Report

A new report commissioned by Microsoft explains how Exchange Online and the Security and Compliance Center meet the electronic records requirements of regulatory bodies like the SEC and FINRA. Within the report, there’s some news about changes to the way that Office 365 handles Teams compliance records stored in Exchange Online. And after all that, we consider how some backup vendors treat Teams compliance records as equivalent to the data stored in the Teams Azure services.

Good and Bad Marketing (Technical) Blog Posts

The internet makes it easy to find material to read about technical topics. Unfortunately, a lot of content is rubbish. In this post, we compare two recent technical articles and explain why we think one marketing post is good and the other isn’t up to scratch.

New OWA Maturing in Different Ways

The new version of OWA is maturing and new features are turning up on a weekly basis. You can now schedule a Teams meeting from OWA and the prospect of joyful animations hang in the air. But only for Office 365 users as there’s no sign that the new OWA will come to Exchange on-premises servers.

Service Domain Prefix Appears and Disappears in Exchange Online Cmdlets

A change made to fix a problem in Exchange Online introduced another problem in that service domains started to show up as prefixes in the data returned by PowerShell cmdlets. Microsoft has reversed the change, but the way things happened creates some questions.

Applying Autosignatures with Transport Rules

Office 365 tenants can use Exchange transport rules to apply autosignatures to outbound email, including messages protected with encryption. You can even include some properties of the sender extracted from Azure Active Directory, and you can add an exception so that the autosignature isn’t applied to replies.

Using Exchange Session Identifiers in Audit Log Records

Exchange Online now captures session identifiers in its mailbox and admin audit records that are ingested in the Office 365 audit log. That’s interesting and useful, but how do you access and interpret this information on a practical level?

How to Create Global Contacts in an Office 365 Tenant

You can use a public folder to store and share global email contacts, but a better approach is to use Exchange mail contacts. These objects show up in the Exchange GAL and OAB and are available to all Outlook clients (and some third-party clients too).

Sending Email with PowerShell and Exchange Online

You can use the Send-MailMessage cmdlet in a PowerShell script to send mail messages via Exchange Online. And sometimes your IP address might be listed as a spammer, which is bad. All in all, authenticated client submission seems best.

Sending Protected Email to Teams, Yammer, Groups, and Shared Mailboxes

Encrypted email is becoming more common within Office 365. Things usually flow smoothly when sending protected messages to email recipients, but other Office 365 recipient types like Teams and Yammer might not be able to handle protected email.

Searching for Encrypted Office 365 Information

Making it easy to protect Office 365 content with encryption is great, but it has some downsides too. One of the obvious problems that we have is that encrypted documents in SharePoint and OneDrive for Business libraries can’t be found unless their metadata holds the search phrase.

How to Track the Processing Done by Exchange Online’s Managed Folder Assistant

The Exchange Online Managed Folder Assistant (MFA) runs in the background on a workcycle basis to make sure that mailboxes are processed at least once a week. Most of the processing involves mailbox and Office 365 retention policies and runs smoothly, but how do you know what MFA has done?

Report for Email Encryption in the Security and Compliance Center

The Office 365 Security and Compliance Center includes a report to detail encrypted email. The report is in preview. It’s a nice insight into user activity, even if it has some glitches that need to be sorted out before it becomes generally available.

Logos in Email – Another Way to Stop Spoofing

Including a company’s logo when listing or displaying email is another way to give users confidence that the email is in fact from that company. Business Indicators for Message Identification is a draft standard that might become generally used by all email clients. But for now. Microsoft has their own business profile “brand card” program, and that’s where OWA gets its logos.

How to Report the Connection Protocol Used by Outlook Mobile Clients

Microsoft has refreshed the Outlook Mobile architecture (now called “Microsoft Sync Technology”). They suggest that you run some PowerShell to report clients connecting via the old and new architectures. Their code works, but we think ours is better.

Understanding the Email Addresses Used by Microsoft 365 Groups and Teams

Some recent questions in the Microsoft Technical Community show confusion about the email addresses used by Office 365 Groups and Teams. Here’s our attempt to clarify.

Using S/MIME with the Azure Information Protection Client

The latest version of the Azure Information Protection (AIP) client supports the ability to associate S/MIME protection with an AIP label. Although interesting, it’s a feature unlikely to be of much practical use to the majority of Office 365 tenants.

Phishing: Sample Messages Delivered to Exchange Online Mailboxes

Another day, another phishing attempt, this time trying to make unwary Office 365 administrators click on a link to “Retrieve Pending Messages” for their domain. I’m surprised this one got through! Some other examples from November 2019 are included for your review. Make sure that you report these bad boys when they arrive into user mailboxes

Phishing: EFile Document Notification

A very exciting message arrived in my mailbox. So exciting that it was too good to be true. Some basic checks made me more suspicious and then Outlook’s Message Header Analyzer gave more evidence to think the message was bad.

Sensitivity Labels Bring Rights Management to the Masses

Azure Information Protection and Office 365

Rights management and encryption are likely to be a much more common Office 365 feature in the future. Sensitivity labels makes protection easy for users to apply through Office apps. The downside is that protection makes content harder to access for some Office 365 and ISV functionality.

How to Populate Team or Group Membership from Email Distribution Lists

Exchange Online distribution lists can be used to populate the membership of Office 365 Groups or Teams by applying a little PowerShell magic. Here’s how.

Use Search-Mailbox to Remove Thousands of Items from an Exchange Online Mailbox

A question asks how to remove a bunch of emails from a shared mailbox. You can use OWA to do the job, especially with its Cleanup Mailbox option, but perhaps some administrative action is needed.

How to Find and Report Inactive Distribution Lists

A recent correspondent asked how to find inactive distribution lists in Exchange Online. We didn’t have a good answer in the book, so here’s some PowerShell code to do the trick.

Office 365 Privileged Access Management: Too Flawed and Too Exchange?

Microsoft has launched Privileged Access Management (PAM) for Office 365. The name’s incorrect because PAM only works for Exchange Online right now. PAM is based on RBAC, which is good, but is the implementation too Exchange-centric?

How to Find Send As Records in the Office 365 Audit Log

Exchange administrators are accustomed to looking through mailbox audit logs to find details of events. Those same events are in the Office 365 audit log, so that’s the place to go look for information, like when you want to find out who sent a message from a shared mailbox using the SendAs permission.

The Vexed Question of Microsoft 365 Backups

Backup vendors say you should definitely use their products to protect your valuable Microsoft 365 data. Backup products can do a good job, but the nature of Microsoft 365 creates many challenges at a technical level. A lack of APIs is the most fundamental issue, but the connected nature of Microsoft 365 apps is another.

How to Apply Encryption to Exchange Online Email Containing Sensitive Data

Office 365 offers different ways to apply encryption to important messages. When those messages hold sensitive data known to Office 365, like credit cards or passport numbers, we can define a transport rule or DLP policy to protect outbound email automatically. And while you can define rules and policies through the GUI, PowerShell is available too.

How to Migrate On-Premises Distribution Lists to Exchange Online

If you run a hybrid Exchange deployment, you probably have some on-premises distribution lists that you’d like to move to the cloud. Office 365 offers no way to do this, so it’s up to PowerShell. Instead of starting from scratch, you can use a script created by Tim McMichael of Microsoft and amend it to meet your needs. PowerShell is just great.

How to Disable Basic Authentication for Exchange Online Connection Protocols

Microsoft has released a preview of the cmdlet set to allow tenants to create and manage protocol authentication policies for Exchange Online. It’s a great chance to disable basic authentication and reduce the attack surface for password spraying.

How to Make Public Folder Scalability Better Within Exchange Online

A recent update for Exchange Online gives extra control over who can access public folders. The change is intended to help with scalability, but it can be used to turn public folders off for any mailbox for which you care to disable access.

How Exchange Online Room Mailboxes Use AutoUpdate and AutoAccept

Microsoft issued Message Center update MC151582 to tell Exchange Online administrators about a new default value for automatic processing of events sent to room mailboxes. Unfortunately, the PowerShell code in the update contains an error, so here’s some fixed code to check existing values and to set them to the new default, if you want to do that.