Blog

Securing Your Cloud Resources for Free

Azure Active Directory Conditional Access is a feature that you get with Azure Active Directory Premium so you can manage who, where, when, and how users can sign-in to access your cloud-based services such as Office 365 and Microsoft Azure. Although it’s great and we’d recommend everyone look at it, for some, the cost it too much. In this post, we’ll explore what you can do when it comes to securing your cloud resources for free.

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Spreading the Cost of Azure Reservations

When Azure Reservations first become available via the Cloud Seller Programme (CSP), enabling you to buy Azure Reservations through your preferred partner, there was a catch. You could commit to a 1-year or a 3-year reservation but that required you to pay for the whole thing upfront and doesn’t having to pay for it all upfront negate some of the fun in saving money?

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Public Team Search Fix in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is designed to enable and promote collaboration in an organisation, however, we’ve encountered a few organisations having issues with public team search in Microsoft Teams not working.

After experiencing the issue ourselves at Arcible, we thought we would share the solution, a Public Team Search fix in Microsoft Teams. We can’t take credit for this one ourselves and we actually came across the answer while exploring a thread on one of the Microsoft Tech Communities for Microsoft Teams at https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-Teams/We-don-t-see-any-Public-Teams-on-the-Add-Teams-page/m-p/116080/page/2 .

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Empower Users with Self-Service Password Reset

Across the globe, first line support teams spend swathes of their time dealing with users needing a password reset or an account unlock but wouldn’t it be great to save time for the end-user, improve their experience for this day-to-day, repeatable task, and free up time on your Service Desk to deal with the bigger fish you have to fry? You could even make the process more secure too!

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Resize Azure VMs to Meet Business Demand

So what exactly do we mean? Imagine you have a financial system. On a typical day, the system is lightly used and doesn’t need too much horsepower. At the end of every month, your finance team work like busy bees to get the month end data pulled together and the system needs extra compute power to cope with the demand. In the physical world, we would have had to build and engineer these systems for the peak demand; on a daily basis, the system would have been underutilised.

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Shut Down Azure VMs Out of Hours

Public Cloud is great for many reasons but two aspects of this greatness can also be a serious fall. Number one is the ease of which it can be consumed which means if allowed to, things can run away and spiral out of control. Number two is that you pay for what you use (pay-as-you-go). In normal circumstances, once you create a start an Azure Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) Virtual Machine, it will stay running until you tell it otherwise. When it comes to paying for what you use, that means paying 24 by 7 for that server, but the question is: do you really need that server 24 by 7? Could you cope with that server shut down the rest of the time?

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Introducing HTTP/2 and Support in Azure Web Apps

HTTP/2 is the latest upgrade for the internet offering us advantages in performance and reduction in wait times, server resource usage and network resource usage. In this article, we explain what HTTP/2 is and why you want to use it over and above HTTP/1.1, some of its advantages and some things you need to consider before thinking about using it.

Once we get past the introduction, we’ll talk about how we can support HTTP/2 in Azure-hosted websites.

If you run a website then performance is one of the key metrics that you must consider: how does the site perform for end-users accessing the page; how many connections the website can handle at once (concurrent connections) before things start to go a bit haywire; how does the load generated by end-users impact the performance of the server and more. For a long time now, the web has relied on HTTP/1.1 as a protocol for delivering content to end-users.

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Get Office 365 and Azure for Free as a Charity

Did you know that as a registered charity you can get some of the best bits of Microsoft Azure and Office 365 for free? We didn’t think you did because it’s not something Microsoft advertise very well and the registration process is just as confusing and undocumented. Luckily for you, here at Arcible, we’ve been through it all before and know what to expect and when to expect it.

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PCI DSS Changes to Supported Security Protocols

Do you run a website? Is your organisation required or meet or have you opted to voluntarily meet the requirements of PCI DSS or do you just like to keep up with good security practices?

Starting on 30th June 2018, the PCI Security Standard Council (PCI SSC) has given organisations who must comply with PCI requirements until this date to move away from insecure web security standards. This means that if your organisation is running a website or have any web-based services which use a secure connection, they must use the TLS 1.1 or above protocols; the web service must reject connections over SSL 3.0 and TLS 1.0 protocols. There is a handy PDF guide at https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/pdfs/PCI_SSC_Migrating_from_SSL_and_Early_TLS_Resource_Guide.pdf.

For most websites and web services, this is a simple change to implement, however, some platforms will not allow you to make this change and some application development languages may not even support these newer versions.

For big businesses, they may have teams dedicated to managing these requirements but for small organisations or start-up businesses offering online web fronts and check-out shopping services, you may not. Why not get in touch with us about consulting and we can help you investigate whether you can simply make this change or whether there is more work in store to get yourselves ready for the change. Now may even be a good time to take a look at modernisation such as Azure Web Apps for your website.