I’m sure you’re probably tired of the bombardment of Info-Sec (Information Technology Security) articles and posts telling you that you need something more to fight lateral movement. Do this, do that, buy this, trial that, use this freeware. It is exhausting if you are an IT Pro trying to do the best thing without impacting your budget or users too much. Ransomware and other exploits target lateral movement as a way to get to the privileged accounts on your network. I am not going to list changes that have a big impact on your users like removing local admin rights. You should never allow users to have local admin rights in any production environment and, if you are allowing it, you’re going to spend a lot of time implementing the removal of those rights. Passwords should be long and complex and if you aren’t protecting your log in accounts with lock out policies then you have bigger problems than Ransomware. Patching shouldn’t be talked about because patching isn’t negotiable any more. Do it and don’t ask questions. You shouldn’t be more than 30 days (14 days is better) behind in patching and you should be patching ALL of your third party software in that time frame as well. Instead, I will be talking about things that IT Pros can do that cost very little or nothing at all and have little impact on your users. Most of this will consist of minor configuration changes in Microsoft software including Windows and Office as well as other infrastructure changes related to networking that can yield decent protection rewards. So let’s get to it.
Cloud migrations can be painful. Part of the pain with migrating to Office 365 is getting ALL of the company email into the cloud. Active users are typically easy as there are endless methods for migrating active users. But what about companies that have archived and\or offline email? Trying to manage them locally on PCs is cumbersome and risky. Opening them over the local networks is slow and unstable. We need a method to upload PSTs into shared mailboxes where we can easily attach them to other mailboxes using Office 365 memberships. This blog post is how you should upload PST files into Office 365 mailboxes.
PC performance issues can be difficult to diagnose sometimes. In my experience the hard drive is the most common culprit. Now, I am only talking about a hard drive. Not a solid state drive. Solid state drives have a different set of diagnostic tools because of the nature of their inner workings. This blog post is only for those needing to troubleshoot hard disk drive based PC performance issues.
Office 365 suite installs are updated regularly these days and sometimes things go wrong. Sometimes when it goes wrong, it is stuck with a cryptic bad image error involving the ApiClient.dll file. You can’t launch any Office apps. You can’t repair the install. You can’t even uninstall it without getting this error and it crashing. Sit back, relax. Here is how you fix it.
Exchange 2013 is a whole new beast when it comes to a stand alone Exchange server. A failed Exchange 2013 CU (Cumulative Update) can leave your Exchange server unresponsive to outside requests even though all Services are up and Powershell diagnostics are reporting everything working correctly. It leaves many Exchange Admins new to 2013 scratching their heads and attempting to restore from backup only to learn that a restore from backup does not work! What is this sorcery?! Stay calm. This is an easy fix and a lesson for new 2013/2016 Exchange admins that are used to the previous versions.
Migrating DHCP roles between Windows servers can be painful. I wanted to share my favorite method for doing this. I think it is the least difficult and the most effective way of getting your DHCP services moved to a newer Windows server with ZERO downtime. It isn’t perfect and it can fail. However, it works most of the time and when it does, you will feel like it was too easy!
This sounds really easy but it can be challenging if you have never done it before. Out of the box Windows does not want to run Powershell scripts in an automated fashion. There are some security hurdles put in place for this reason. This blog post will show you what you need to know to make Powershell task scheduling a breeze.
This will get much more intense through the remainder of the year as Microsoft ramps up the upgrades of Windows 7/8 computers joined to Active Directory domains. This post is all about what you need to know to block this upgrade from happening without having to manage Windows Update Services.
This is something that is super easy to accomplish and can have a big impact on your Group Policies management scope.
Microsoft updates are not to be trusted. A lot of you might hear that and say “Duh”, however, it hasn’t always been this bad. Recently, Microsoft has really hit a wall with security updates reeking havoc on systems and applications. The new Microsoft CEO has been actively pushing faster software development cycles. This has been a boon for them as it keeps developers and enterprises moving to refresh their software and hardware. This has also been a huge pain for the IT staff in charge of managing upgrades and updates.