Welcome to the July 2 - 8, 2017 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest. Please see below for a reminder on a change regarding the inclusion of Message Center notification details in these weekly posts.
Events for the coming week include Azure Active Directory webinars and an on-demand webcast focused on using SharePoint to inform and engage employees.
The general availability of Microsoft Workplace Analytics was the major headline from last week. Disposition Review in Office 365 Advanced Data Governance also reached GA last week. New features for Office 365 Secure Score, all based on customer feedback, were also announced. Additional posts related to Skype for Business Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling and a summary of features released in June for Power BI Service and Mobile are also included in this week's digest.
Wrapping up this week's post are a security advisory for Azure AD Connect, updates to the IP addresses for Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams, a review of what's new in Office 365 for Windows in June, and a timely case study on how Microsoft uses threat intelligence to protect, detect and respond to threats.
As Office 365 increases the relevance of change communications to be more tenant-specific, a broad publication of this information becomes less useful and potentially inaccurate. Please be sure to check the Message Center in your Office 365 tenant for details on changes for awareness or that may require admin attention. Additional resources are included below:
- Stay on top of Office 365 changes
- Message Center in Office 365
- Manage messages in Message Center
- Turn on language translation for Message Center posts
Note: A Message Center weekly digest email is currently available for Office 365 admins set to First Release.
When: Multiple sessions currently scheduled from July 11 – July 19, 2017 | Sessions include Azure AD Connect Health, Getting Ready for Azure AD, Securing Your Identities with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), Accessing Your Organization’s Internal Applications via Azure AD App Proxy and more. Each 1-hour or 75-minute webinar is designed to support IT Pros in quickly rolling out Azure Active Directory features to their organization. All webinars are free of cost and will include an anonymous Q&A session with our Engineering Team. So, come with your questions! Capacity is limited. Sign up for one or all of the sessions today! Note: There are also some sessions available on-demand.
When: Wednesday, July 19, 2017 | On-demand webcast—Farren Roper and Mark Kashman, from the SharePoint team, present the “SharePoint: Inform and engage your employees” business webcast. Sign up today to receive details via email. And in advance, read the new, related eBook, “4 secrets to a connected workplace.”
Microsoft Workplace Analytics—a powerful new organizational analytics solution—is now generally available as an add-on to any Office 365 enterprise plan. According to a recent Forrester report, increasing employee productivity is the number one priority for C-level executives in the next year, with 96 percent of respondents citing it as a critical or high imperative. Workplace Analytics provides unprecedented behavioral insights that can be used to improve productivity, workforce effectiveness and employee engagement. Workplace Analytics taps into Office 365 email and calendar metadata, including to/from data, subject lines and timestamps, to shine a light on how the organization collaborates and spends time. It turns this digital exhaust—the data that comes naturally from our everyday work—into a set of behavioral metrics that can be used to understand what’s going on in an organization. Microsoft has enabled Workplace Analytics with built-in privacy and compliance capabilities. Customers own their Office 365 data and decide how to apply insights generated by Workplace Analytics to solve tough business challenges. Workplace Analytics only leverages metadata that is aggregated and de-identified. | Microsoft Mechanics: An introduction to Workplace Analytics for Office 365
Since we announced the general availability of Office 365 Secure Score we have received a lot of feedback on how it could be optimized for our customer’s needs. Two requests that came up regularly were that organizations wanted Secure Score to award points in situations where a control was being met by a third-party product and the ability to ignore a control because it was not relevant to them. Based on this feedback we are happy to share that these two options are now available. By ignoring a control, we will no longer calculate this action as part of your Secure Score. Any points you have earned from this control will be removed. The control’s points will also be removed from the denominator of your score. When you designate a control as covered by a third party, we give you the full set of points for that control. If at a later date want to remove the ignore or third-party designation from a control, you can go to the Score Analyzer page and under the “Ignored Actions” and “Third Party Actions” tabs you can revoke these options from a control. | Related: Security Best Practices for Office 365
Organizations periodically review expired content and approve its disposition. There are several reasons why reviewing content to decide whether it can be safely deleted (disposed) is important. The tremendous momentum we have seen in adoption of Office 365 is driving significant growth in the data enterprises are governing using our Data Governance feature set. To provide organizations with even more granular control in the disposition of unnecessary data, we are announcing the general availability of Disposition Review in Office 365 Advanced Data Governance. Note that disposition reviews require an Office 365 Enterprise E5 subscription. Also note that a disposition review includes only content in SharePoint sites and OneDrive accounts. If a label that triggers a disposition review is applied to content Exchange mailboxes, public folders, Skype conversations, or Office 365 groups, that content will be deleted automatically at the end of the retention period and that content won’t appear on the Disposition page of the Security & Compliance Center. | Overview of disposition reviews
If you are using Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling, you will receive your telephony services from Microsoft. To assign phone numbers to your users, you can either port in existing numbers or acquire new numbers from Microsoft - however the process in doing so will vary from country to country. As we are looking to add new countries and continue to improve our processes, we want to point you to the official documentation that has not only all required information but will also be always up-to-date: Get phone numbers for Skype for Business Online. So in order to avoid any surprises, whenever you start using Cloud PBX with PSTN calling in a country where you have no prior experience, be sure to visit the official documentation page and review your country specifics. | Related: PSTN Calling for Ireland and The Netherlands is now in General Availability
June was an exciting month for Power BI! Read on for a summary of the features that we released in both the service and mobile. Also, remember that with Premium, features in the Power BI service accrues to both the SaaS and embedded analytics use cases! June also played host to the Microsoft Data Insights Summit. The conference featured a jam-packed itinerary, with dozens of sessions from leading industry experts. A huge thank you to those who came. And, for those who couldn’t make it, you can check out the recordings of the keynote and individual sessions. We hope to see you next year! Finally, we also released the Power BI Enterprise Deployment Whitepaper in June. This free whitepaper is filled with guidance for deploying Power BI in your Enterprise. It walks through use cases and best practices for connecting to data sources, distributing your content, governing usage, and much more.
Updated: Office 365 URLs and IP Address Ranges
July 5, 2017: Updates for Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business. Details on the updates are available on the RSS feed and the complete list is located here. | Additional Resources: Managing Office 365 Endpoints, Content Delivery Networks and Client Connectivity.
If you have an Office 365 subscription, these are some of the new features available to use for Office 365 for Windows including new ways to use PowerPoint Designer and quick access to superscript and subscript in Excel. For more, see http://aka.ms/new365.
Microsoft is releasing this security advisory to inform customers that a new version of Azure Active Directory (AD) Connect is available that addresses an Important security vulnerability. The update addresses a vulnerability that could allow elevation of privilege if Azure AD Connect Password writeback is misconfigured during enablement. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could reset passwords and gain unauthorized access to arbitrary on-premises AD privileged user accounts. The issue is addressed in the latest version (1.1.553.0) of Azure AD Connect by not allowing arbitrary password reset to on-premises AD privileged user accounts.
Format: Technical Case Study | Published: July 3, 2017 | To combat cyber-attacks and protect against urgent threats, Microsoft amasses billions of signals for a holistic view of the security ecosystem—giving our company and customers relevant, contextual threat intelligence that’s built into products like Office 365, Windows, and Azure. To more quickly detect, investigate, and respond to email threats, Microsoft IT uses Threat Explorer in Office 365 Threat Intelligence for broad threat visibility, along with Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection and Exchange Online Protection.
The Power BI mobile experience continues to evolve. In addition to much loved “just works” capabilities – dashboards and reports that just work on mobile – Power BI is providing more ways to create experiences optimized for devices of all sizes. For example, dashboards and reports optimized for phones allow even more control over the small-screen experience. Delivering a rich visualization on a large screen and then preserving that richness in a small screen can be a challenge. To address this challenge, we’ve created responsive visualizations. Power BI responsive visualizations change dynamically to display the maximum amount of data and insight, no matter the screen size. As a visualization changes its size, Power BI prioritizes the data view, for example removing padding and legend tweaks such as moving the legend to the top of the visualization - automatically, so the visualization remains informative and beautiful even as it gets smaller.