Blog

Managing Windows 10 Updates using Microsoft Intune

Previously, we wrote about using Azure Update Management to perform Software Updates on Windows Server-based systems but what about Windows 10. In this article, we will explore Managing Windows 10 Updates using Microsoft Intune.

In on-premises environments, we use solutions like Windows Server Updates Services (WSUS), System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), or Microsoft Endpoint Manager. Yes, you can continue to use SCCM and Endpoint Manager with their Cloud Attach Co-Management features, however, what about if you have a cloud-native environment? What about if you have an environment where users are using non-domain joined devices?

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Securing Passwords with Azure AD Password Protection

Organisations define password policies to ensure that their users are not setting weak passwords that can be easily compromised. In this article, we explore securing passwords with Azure AD Password Protection and whether it can help make you more secure but also easier on your users.

Traditional password policies in Active Directory rely on basic filters to determine the number of characters and type of characters including numbers, letters, and symbols. On face value these policies may seem secure, however, are these policies actually causing the problem and much weaker than you think?

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Manage Software Updates with Azure Update Management

The answer is Azure Update Management so what is the problem we are trying to solve? At Arcible, we have some on-premises servers. To keep safe, secure, and compliant, these servers need patching just like any other server does. Our environment is small and not big enough to justify a Microsoft Endpoint Manager (formerly Configuration Manager) deployment and Windows Server Updates Services (WSUS) is too painful and manual to manage.

So if we aren’t using Microsoft Endpoint Manager or WSUS, what do we do? We want a solution that’s automated to reduce the admin overhead but while being lightweight and not costing much.

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Is Your Physical Security Exposing Your Information Security

Last week I stumbled across a rather interesting set of videos on YouTube by a presenter called Deviant Ollam (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=deviant+ollam+physical+security). Deviant Ollam is a physical security penetration tester in the US and runs a company doing just that: trying to gain access to places he shouldn’t. We’re not talking black hat breaking in activity here but we are talking about white hat: doing these things paid for by the client to test their physical security.

What I found watching some of these videos was startling. Yes, some of the content is a little bit US-centric and perhaps doesn’t apply to the UK, however, it really got me thinking about a question. As IT, we spend all this time and money investing in information security, event logging, event monitoring, alerting, and more. If the physical security of our premises, however, is so easily bypassed, are we just making it too easy for would-be attackers.

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The New Microsoft Edge Stable Release

Earlier this month, Microsoft made the new Microsoft Edge Stable release of its new, Chromium engine based, Microsoft Edge browser available. We’ve been using this new browser, at Arcible, in its early forms for quite a while now and with the stable release now available, that means it’s ready for adoption by end-users.

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Azure Cost Management for CSP

One of the primary routes for Azure consumption has been the Cloud Seller Programme (CSP) model, however, a problem has been that there has been no visible Cost Management for CSP. As of October 2019 though, this is now available giving you access to the same cost management for CSP as Enterprise Agreement and Pay-as-you-Go customers have had.

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Managing Costs in Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure makes building and consuming resources almost too easy so understanding and managing costs in Microsoft Azure is critical.

We aren’t trying to scare you and say that you shouldn’t be deploying resources into the cloud: quite the opposite in-fact. What we are saying though is that you should keep stock of what you are spending and where so that you are managing costs in Microsoft Azure and not the costs managing you.

In this post, we’ll explore some of the ways that you can manage your costs in Microsoft Azure to make sure that you are getting bang for your buck.

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End of Support for Windows 7 and Server 2008

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 (and 2008 R2) has had a great run of it. After Vista that came before it and Windows 8 that came after it, Windows 7 was a shining light for enterprises: it offered the right user experience and the right performance. Windows Server 2008 R2 has been the mainstay of enterprises the world over, far exceeding what was possible in Windows Server 2003 and not feeling quite as bloated as Windows Server 2012 did. Sadly, all good things come to an end at some point and January 14th 2020 marks the end of support for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2.

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