IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT FOR OUR READERS!
AskPFEPlat is in the process of a transformation to the new Core Infrastructure and Security TechCommunity, and will be moving June 20, 2019 to our new home at https://aka.ms/CISTechComm (hosted at https://techcommunity.microsoft.com). Please bear with us while we are still under construction!
We will continue bringing you the same great content, from the same great contributors, on our new platform. Until then, you can access our new content on either https://aka.ms/askpfeplat as you do today, or at our new site https://aka.ms/CISTechComm. Please feel free to update your bookmarks accordingly!
Why are we doing this? Simple really; we are looking to expand our team internally in order to provide you even more great content, as well as take on a more proactive role in the future with our readers (more to come on that later)! Since our team encompasses many more roles than Premier Field Engineers these days, we felt it was also time we reflected that initial expansion.
If you have never visited the TechCommunity site, it can be found at https://techcommunity.microsoft.com. On the TechCommunity site, you will find numerous technical communities across many topics, which include discussion areas, along with blog content.
NOTE: In addition to the AskPFEPlat-to-Core Infrastructure and Security transformation, Premier Field Engineers from all technology areas will be working together to expand the TechCommunity site even further, joining together in the technology agnostic Premier Field Engineering TechCommunity (along with Core Infrastructure and Security), which can be found at https://aka.ms/PFETechComm!
As always, thank you for continuing to read the Core Infrastructure and Security (AskPFEPlat) blog, and we look forward to providing you more great content well into the future!
Hi there! Stanislav Belov here, and you are reading the next issue of the Infrastructure + Security: Noteworthy News series!
As a reminder, the Noteworthy News series covers various areas, to include interesting news, announcements, links, tips and tricks from Windows, Azure, and Security worlds on a monthly basis.
|Microsoft Azure portal April 2019 update
This month’s updates include improvements to IaaS, Azure Data Explorer, Security Center, Recovery Services, Role-Based Access Control, Support, and Intune.
|Defense in depth security in Azure (Video)
Learn how Microsoft designs and operates Azure, and get an overview of Azure services and capabilities to secure, manage and monitor your cloud data, apps and infrastructure. In this Azure Essentials, we also go in-depth on the controls of the Azure Security Center and explain the controls you can leverage as well as what Microsoft does to keep your data, apps, compute and networking resources secure.
|Web application firewall at Azure Front Door service
WAF with Front Door service leverages the scale of and the deep security investments we have made at the Azure edge, and it is designed to protect you from multiple attack vectors such as injection type attacks and volumetric DoS attacks. It inspects each incoming request at Azure’s network edge, stops unwanted traffic before they enter your backend servers, and offers protection at scale without sacrificing on performance.
|Azure AD Password Protection is now generally available!
To help users avoid choosing weak and vulnerable passwords, we updated the banned password algorithm. Using the global banned password list that Microsoft updates and the custom list you define, Azure AD Password Protection now blocks a wider range of easily guessable passwords. Read our detailed documentation to learn more about how password strength is evaluated and how Azure AD Password Protection can help block weak passwords in your organization.
|Windows Admin Center 1904 GA update is now available!
As a platform, version 1904 of Windows Admin Center is generally available, and contains all the features and improvements of the previous monthly preview releases. As the number of capabilities grow, please note that some extensions and features are still clearly marked as “preview” to help differentiate newer functionality and allow for flexibility of ecosystem growth.
|Introducing the security configuration framework: A prioritized guide to hardening Windows 10
In the past, we left defining the security configuration for Windows 10 as a task for every customer to sort out. As a result, we saw as many different configurations as we saw customers. Standardization has many advantages, so we developed a security configuration framework to help simplify security configuration while still allowing enough flexibility to allow you to balance security, productivity, and user experience. We are defining discrete prescriptive Windows 10 security configurations (levels 5 through 1) to meet many of the common device scenarios we see today in the enterprise.
|Improving the Windows 10 update experience with control, quality and transparency
While regular updates are critical to keeping modern devices secure and running smoothly in a diverse and dynamic ecosystem, we have heard clear feedback that the Windows update process itself can be disruptive, particularly that Windows users would like more control over when updates happen. On April 4 we announced significant changes in the Windows update process, changes designed to improve the experience, put the user in more control, and improve the quality of Windows updates.
|Announcing the public preview of Windows Virtual Desktop
On March 21, we moved to the next phase and announced the public preview of Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop. Now, all customers can access this service—the only service that delivers simplified management, a multi-session Windows 10 experience, optimizations for Office 365 ProPlus, and support for Windows Server Remote Desktop Services (RDS) desktops and apps. With Windows Virtual Desktop, you can deploy and scale your Windows desktops and apps on Azure in minutes and enjoy built-in security.
|Improving security by protecting elevated-privilege accounts at Microsoft
Microsoft Core Services Engineering and Operations (CSEO) developed and implemented a defense-in-depth security approach to help reduce our attack surface and take enterprise security to the next level. We are implementing least-privilege access, using isolated identities for elevated privilege accounts, and reducing the amount of persistent elevated access. For administrators, we are providing secure workstations that are used to connect to a dedicated cloud environment in a secure datacenter.
|How Microsoft secures elevated access with tools and privileged credentials (Video)
Microsoft has been working to establish secure, isolated environments, credential management services and policies, and secure admin workstations to help protect mission-critical systems and services—including those used to manage cloud services, like Azure. Listen in as our experts answer questions about the strategies we use to help secure critical corporate assets and increase protection against emerging pass-the-hash attacks, credential theft, and credential reuse scenarios.
|Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Workshop Training
This Chief Information Security Office (CISO) workshop contains a collection of security learnings, principles, established best practices, and emerging best practices for modernizing security in your organization for the cloud age. This workshop is built on a combination of experience from Microsoft’s security teams and learnings from our customers.
|Bolster efficiency of security teams with new Automated Incident Response in Office 365 ATP
Office 365 ATP offers unparalleled protection from targeted and zero-day attacks over email and other collaboration vectors. Building over the massive threat intelligence signal available in the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph and pairing it with sophisticated Machine Learning algorithms, Office 365 ATP offers security teams best-in-class prevention, detection and response capabilities to keep their organizations secure with stellar effectiveness and efficiency. On April 4th, we announced new Automation capabilities in Office 365 ATP that further amplify the efficiency of security teams as they investigate and respond to threats within their organization.
|Protect your documents and email: top 10 actions to secure your environment
The “Top 10 actions to secure your environment” series outlines fundamental steps you can take with your investment in Microsoft 365 security solutions. In “Step 8. Protect your documents and email,” you’ll learn how to deploy Azure Information Protection and use Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) and Exchange Online Protection to help secure your documents and emails.
|Discover shadow IT and take control of your cloud apps: top 10 actions to secure your environment
The “Top 10 actions to secure your environment” series outlines fundamental steps you can take with your investment in Microsoft 365 security solutions. In “Step 7. Discover shadow IT and take control of cloud apps,” you’ll learn how to set up Microsoft Cloud App Security (MCAS) to identify, access, and manage the cloud applications used by your organization.
|IT Pros can now easily connect to Microsoft Graph Security with the PowerShell Module!
We now have a new PowerShell module for the Microsoft Graph Security API that makes it easier for IT Pros to connect with the API from a PowerShell console. This module is available on the PowerShell gallery, thanks to a community contribution from the Microsoft Cloud Security’s Customer Experience Engineering team. The Microsoft Graph Security API connects multiple security solutions to enable easier correlation of alerts, provide access to rich contextual information, simplify automations and investigations. This empowers organizations to quickly gain insights and take actions across their security products, while reducing the cost and complexity of building and maintaining multiple integrations. For further details on integrating with the Microsoft Graph Security API, learn about the API and access the schema.
|Secure access to your enterprise with Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5
What if we could make user access simpler for users and simultaneously more secure for the enterprise? That’s the topic of the first e-book in a six-part series that describes how you can use the full Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5 suite to comprehensively address today’s security challenges without reducing employee productivity.
|Vulnerabilities and Updates|
|Now available: Microsoft System Center 2019!
As of March 14, 2019, we are pleased to let you know that System Center 2019 is generally available. Customers with a valid license of System Center 2019 can download media from the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC). We will also have the System Center 2019 evaluation available on the Microsoft Evaluation Center.
|Windows 7 support will end on January 14, 2020
Microsoft made a commitment to provide 10 years of product support for Windows 7 when it was released on October 22, 2009. When this 10-year period ends, Microsoft will discontinue Windows 7 support so that we can focus our investment on supporting newer technologies and great new experiences. The specific end of support day for Windows 7 will be January 14, 2020. After that, technical assistance and automatic updates that help protect your PC will no longer be made available for the product. Microsoft strongly recommends that you move to Windows 10 sometime before January 2020 to avoid a situation where you need service or support that is no longer available.
|Extended Security Updates for SQL Server and Windows Server 2008/2008 R2: Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)
On January 14, 2020, support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will end. That means the end of regular security updates. Don’t let your infrastructure and applications go unprotected. We’re here to help you migrate to current versions for greater security, performance and innovation.
|Products reaching End of Support for 2019|
|Microsoft Premier Support News|
|We are happy to announce the release of three new Onboarding Accelerator solutions to implement and operate Microsoft Advanced Threat Detection technologies: Onboarding Accelerator – Advanced Threat Detection – Implementing and Operating Azure ATP, Onboarding Accelerator – Advanced Threat Detection – Implementing Advance Threat Analytics & the Onboarding Accelerator – Advanced Threat Detection – Operating Advance Threat Analytics.|
|Does your organization struggle to effectively apply security baselines? Has your organization’s journey towards cybersecurity resiliency been hampered by environmental or operational roadblocks within your infrastructure? If you answered yes to one or both questions then the Onboarding Accelerator – Implementing Security Baselines
can help you. This offering provides a repeatable, scalable solution to quickly and cost-effectively help mitigate security blockers by designing a plan to implement Microsoft hardening best practices across your Domain connected Operating Systems.
|Check out Microsoft Services public blog for new Proactive Services as well as new features and capabilities of the Services Hub, On-demand Assessments, and On-demand Learning platforms.|