Category: IdefixBlog

CosmosDB access keys

From when ever there is need to rotate access keys to your CosmosDB or any other storage service using Access keys this is the best practis method to do so.

So for CosmosDB these are the steps needed to be used.

  1. Head into Azure portal and navigate to your CosmosDB and select “keys” from the menu.
  2. rotate the “Secondary Access key” by selecting the “Regenerate Secondary Key” from the ellipsis menu
  3. Change the key used within your application to use the newly generated “Secondary Access key
  4. Head back to the Azure portal and rotate the “Primary Access key
Screenshot of the Azure portal showing how to regenerate the secondary key

After these four steps you have rotated both keys within your services and your application is now running on the secondary key. No need to switch to the primary key at this point.

Windows365 – So easy!

Windows365

Windows365 is a Cloud pc for all users and it`s so easy to start using!
In this post I will go through a setup of Windows365 Business in a cloud only tenant and show you how fantasticly easy this is!

There are some pre-requisites that need to be taken in considiration and I`l list them here

  • Azure AD – IAM
  • Maximum 300 users in your tenant
  • Microsoft Endpoint Manager (Intune) for admin/config

So with that “short” list the joker here is that you should have Intune configured allaready as that makes the Windows365 deployment soooo super easy.

Let`s first talk about licenses.

There are Windows365 Business and there is Windows365 Enterprise, as mentioned I will cover the Business version here – so let`s have a look at the different machine sizes.

The pricing is ranged between $24 for the cheapes one and $162 for the most expensive one with most vCPU`s, most RAM and biggest Storage.

  • 1 vCPU and 2GB RAM + 64 GB Storage
  • 2 vCPU and 4GB/8GB RAM + 64GB/128GB/256GB Storage
  • 4 vCPU and 16GB RAM + 128GB/256GB/512GB Storage
  • 8 vCPU and 32GB RAM + 128GB/256GB/512GB Storage

So there are some different licenses to choose from as you see. 12 of them to be exact and i`m guessing everyone can find a license fitting their needs.

In my scenario I`m using the $45 machine with the spec`s “2 vCPU, 8GB RAM and 128GB Storage” this is a machine that run`s the most of my regular work tools.

Provisioning the beauty!

So to the easy part! First off is to buy the license that you need based on your machine size – and when that`s done just simply add the licence to the user you are going to provition a cloud PC for.

That easy!

The user (maybe your own..) can simply logon to https://windows365.microsoft.com/ and access the machine 🙂 First time when you click the to connect the machine it will provition and get ready – in my case this took about 30 minutes – but after that the machine was ready for me to connect to.

about 1 hour later the machine was reporting into Intune that it`s a Compliant computer just like any other physical machine out there!

From the management pane of your cloud pc you can do actions like Restart, Reset, Rename and Troubleshoot.

De-provisioning and cleanup

This is even easier! Just remove the license from the user and the Cloud PC is removed after approximently 30 minutes.

I`m back!

So! I`m back again after not blogging, speaking or “anything” for the community for the last one and half year (since the pandemic started in Norway 12.03.2020)!

I have been spending the summer in paternity leave at home with my 1 year old son and been been recharging my batteries to full and from now on I will be starting with community work again as I feel ready to meet, great and have fun with all you fellow community people again.

The pandemic has physically drawn me down to a place where i have not been able to contribute to the community at all. I used all my energy on delivering my hours at work and spending time with my family at home.

Now that we see the end of the pandemic i feel energized and ready to work hard both from our company offices and from home when that`s needed!

Next community talk is our “Office 365 User Group Agder” meetup in Kristiansand Norway where I will be delivering the “What`s new” section. This will be a in-person event with both food and drinks complimented to our guests! SO EXITED!!

I will also work hard on getting back on stage on other conferences and meetups moving forward!

See you guys arroud – Cheers

Enterprise application – Admin consent workflow

The new built-in admin consent workflow within AzureAD Enterprise Application is amazing!

This feature will give you the control that you need to take care of your companies sensitive information like user id`s, files, email accounts etc.

Did you know that malicious applications is often a start of a sophisticated phising attack?

If a malicious application get`s the right permissions it could be a bad situation for your company!

Just have a look at this random application and what that app can retreive, other also gives a complete user list of all the employees back to the app developers.

In this case ALL files that this user has access to does this app now have access to read – meaning that`s there is no secrets anymore.. 

So to be able to block and and have controll over the applications that get`s granted to your AzureAD tenant you should use the new “Admin Consent Workflow” within AzureAD. This feature is in preview at the moment but I highly recomend using it.

It takes two minute to configure and after it`s configured the users see`s this when trying to connect a thirdparty application to your tenant

Admin consent user request and justification

After this request is sent – the admin that is configured within the workflow get`s an approval email and can easlly approve consents 🙂

The configuration looks like this:

Please have a look at the official documentation and enable it for your deployment!

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/active-directory/manage-apps/configure-admin-consent-workflow#enable-the-admin-consent-workflow

Get your data to your home country!

If your Microsoft 365 tenant like mine is located in a region that not`s include your country then this is how you should configure your tenant to get the data as close to you as posible!

(if Microsoft has opened a Datacenter in your country of course :))

Why move your data?

There are several improvements by getting your data moved to a closer datacenter.

  • Improved latency to the services
  • Data stored in your own country
  • Still have DR capabilities outside of your country if infrastructure failes
  • Multi-geo capabilities to many more closeby countries for your staff

The latency improvements are incredible! I have noticed this when using a SharePoint Online site located in Europe vs. In my home country Norway. The latency against Norway was much much better and when using the service it feels much more “snappy”.

Creating a new Microsoft 365 tenant for everyone living in Norway will create the data store in Norway aswel for the services

  • Exchage Online
  • SharePoint Online
  • Microsof Teams

When to do it?

Microsoft has released a table of when the Request period for requesting a move of data, take a look here to have a look for your country!

https://docs.microsoft.com/nb-no/Office365/Enterprise/request-your-data-move#when-can-i-request-a-move

For us in Norway this means that we need to opt-in by the end of October to be migrated and get our core customer data at rest in Norway.

When will your data be moved?

A catch with all this is that Microsoft says that they may use 24 months to move your data! TWO years for migrating it to new datacenters.. But that said, it can happend faster. After you request a move of data, Microsoft will plan to move your company data as soon as operational constraints allow.

How to request a move of data?

It`s quite easy to request a move of data!

Head in to “Settings -> Organization profile -> Data residency” and check the checkmark and “Save changes” then wait 🙂

To look at where your data is at the moment head into the “Data location” in the same menu under Organization profile and have a look 🙂

Get started with Microsoft Endpoint Manager

In this post I want to go through some steps that I think is quickest method to get started with Microsoft Endpoint Manager. This will not cover ALL the features but it will give you an quickstart to the service.

For instance, what shold you start with?

To be honest, start with something easy and creates quick ROI (Return of investment) and that could be more than just how to get my money back – rather it could mean that your infrastructure is getting more secure.

So to start with something “easy” let`s kick it of with mobile devices. Many companies does not have any Mobile device management in place and their Cloud services is available for EVERYONE to attache to. So let`s start with demanding compliant devices and closing the door for others!

Requirements:
Microsoft 365 E3 / E5
or
EMS E3 / E5
or
Intune licenses

Devices
Android devices will work straight “out of the box” with Intune but to be able to join iOS/iPadOS Devices to Intune we need to generate and apply a “Apple MDM Push certificate”.

Let`s start with the Certificate for Apple devices (this certificate is also needed for MacOS devices). The only thing you need here is an Apple ID and follow the guide from “Devices -> iOS enrollment -> Apple MDM Push Certificate”. When this is in plnace we can procede.

When it`s created you have a valid Certificate for the next 365 days. That means that you need to remind your self to renew the certificate every year! When the certificate expires your intune services will stop against Apple devices.

So what is a compliant device?

A compliant device is a device registred to Intune and has passed the Compliance policy that you have created.

The policy can contain several “settings” that must be enabled or set on your device for it to be marked as “Compliant Device”. For iOS/iPadOS we have at the moment (04.04.2020) 17 settings we can check to validate the device and for Android 19 settings (04.04.2020).

Here is a simple set of compliant device policies for Android and iOS.

iOS/iPadOS Comliance.

Navigate to “Devices -> iOS -> Compliance policies” and create a new policy. Give it a name, set some settings and click create. In this policy i have just put on two settings, “block Jailbroken devices” and “Require password to unlock device”

Hit Create and go to “Assignments”, in this menu we will assign the policy to all users so that everyone that tries to enroll their device will get the policy.  (this is the same step for both iOS and Android).

Android Compliance

Navigate to “Devices -> Android -> Compliance policies” and create a new policy. Give it a name, set some settings and click create. In this policy i have just put on two settings, “block Rooted devices” and “Require password to unlock device”

And like the iOS policy we need to assign it to all users, so head in to Assignents after creating the policy and assign it to all users.

Block devices that are not compliant

To block users from connecting with other devices we will use Conditional Access to prevent devices that are not enrolled in your organization. The policy is created from the Microsoft Endpoint Manager portal under “Endpoint security -> Conditional Access. Create a new policy and name it “Require compliant devices”

The policy looks like this and will of course not block the Intune enrollment portal 😊

  • Users and groups
    • Include all users and create exclution for users you want to exclude from the policy
  • Cloud Apps or actions
    • Include “All cloud apps” and click on “Exclude” and search after “Microsoft Intune Enrollment”
  • Conditions
    • Device platforms, configure it and choose Android and iOS from the list.
  • Access controls
    • Grant access and choose “Require device to be marked as compliant”

Now you can enroll your first device, i`ll show it with an iPad her, but first you need to downlod the Company Portal to your iPad.

Then you stat the application and sign in – then starts the enrollment of the device.

Sign-in

setup device

Apply profile

Enrolled!

When that`s completed the device is registred in the Device pane in Microsoft Endpoint Manager Admin Center and you`ll see complance status on it.

That`s it! Now you have a new requirement for all users, they need to enroll their devices (mobile devices) within Microsoft Endpoint Manager to gain access to cloud resources!

Until next time – stay safe and secure!

What is Microsoft Endpoint Manager?

Many people wonder what Microsoft Endpoint Manager is and how to quickly gain value to their company by using it.

In this post i will give you some quick information on what it is and later on create a how to get started quckly with Microsoft Endpoint Manager!

So what is Microsoft Endpoint Manager?

Some people are saying “It`s the new name of Intune” and that`s not what it is at all! or Intune is in there, but it`s so much more.

MS Endpoint Manager is a tool set witch are combining several solutions and gives you “One place to manage” several infrastructure services. To name them:

  • Microsoft Intune (ofcourse :))
  • Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager (SCCM)
  • Windows Autopilot
  • Desktop Analytics
  • Microsoft Defender ATP
  • Azure Active Directory

By doing this Microsoft achieves a ground breaking new management solution for us that gives us ability to manage all major platforms like Windows devices, Apple devices, Linux distros and Android devices.

So to be clear, Microsoft Intune or Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager (SCCM) will not be discontinued! They both will live their life but be combined with Microsoft Endpoint Manager.

So what do you need to start using Microsoft Endpoint Manager?

You need to have either Intune licenses or SCCM licenses and you also need to have Azure Active Directory Premium P1 to utilize Azure AD Conditional Access.

I will in the next blogpost come up with a brief guide om how to get started using Microsoft Endpoint Manager and quickly gain usage of yours EMS package!

Stay tuned for more secure devices!

S for Security in EMS – Cloud App Security

Last but not least in my blog post series “S for Security in EMS” is about Microsoft Cloud App Security!

Microsoft Cloud App Security is a CASB (Cloud access security broker) service delivered by Microsoft that will give you several features to protect your data, users and cloud services. MCAS is giving you a great insight on

  • Shadow IT visibility
  • Cloud applications usage
  • Notifications when users take advantage of new Cloud applications
  • Dive into specific applications, users or ip addresses

Microsot Cloud App Security comes in two editions – Microsoft Cloud App Security and Office 365 Cloud App Security

To see differences in features have a look at docs.microsoft.com here

With both editions you can easily upload your firewall logs to MCAS and get a analysis on what users are using of Cloud applications from your office network or you can configure reverse proxy features with Conditional Access and MCAS giving you great insight on what applications users are using with Azure AD integration and files shared across other services outside of Office 365.

When creating a new snapshot report (aka firewall log upload) the data goes through several steps like file parsing, data analysis and then the report is created.

This is a sample on how the report could look like and what can be discovered.

Note that here you see Open Alerts on Cloud applications users are using, how many GB of data is being uploaded to what applications and much more!

Next up you also get som pritty nice alerting out of the box.

There is 26 enabled policies that will govern your environment looking for leaked credentials, multiple failed logons, imposible travel and much more

Take a look here at some alerts on imposible travel

The alert gives us rich information on IP addresses, country, what service is used and witch user are affected. A great tool to investigate a account breach!

Some of the policies available

That in mind!

Microsoft Cloud App Security or Office 365 Cloud App Security is a greate tool to use within your organization!

S for Security in EMS – Overview
Part 1 – S for Security in EMS – Azure AD Premium
Part 2 – S for Security in EMS – Information Protection
Part 3 – S for Security in EMS – Microsoft Intune
Part 4 – S for Security in EMS – Advanced Threat Analytics
Part 5 – S for Security in EMS – Cloud App Security

S for Security in EMS – Advanced Threat Analytics

So in this fourth blog post in my series S for Security in EMS we will og deeper in Advanced Threat Analytics included within EMS.

So what is Advanced Threat Analytics?

Well, it`s an on-premises platform that helps protect your enterprise from multiple types of advanced targeted cyber attacks and insider threats.

Why is this a important toolset to have on your hybrid environment?

Well, since you have an hybrid environment you are lacking a system to detect abnormal behavour like password sharing, lateral movements and so on and Malicious attacks like Pass-the-Ticket, Pass-the-Hash and several other attack vectors.

Advanced threat analytics uses machine learning and user usage analytics discover abnorman activities and suspicious activities.

Within Advanced Threat Analytics we can also get insights on Security Issues and risk within our on-premises environment like broke trust between machines and domain controlelrs, weak protocols used by our users and systems and much more!

All these actions and insights can be viewed from the Advanced Threat Analytics Dashboard

This is just a smal insight on what ATA can do for you!

S for Security in EMS – Overview
Part 1 – S for Security in EMS – Azure AD Premium
Part 2 – S for Security in EMS – Information Protection
Part 3 – S for Security in EMS – Microsoft Intune
Part 4 – S for Security in EMS – Advanced Threat Analytics
Part 5 – S for Security in EMS – Cloud App Security

S for Security in EMS – Microsoft Intune

So this is the third post in my blog post series “S for Security in EMS” and I will try to cover some Microsoft Intune benefits and quick-wins meaning how to quickly get started with Intune and to gain some benefits right the way. 

First, what is Microsoft Intune?  

Microsoft Intune is an cloud based mobile device manager, this does not mean that MS Intune only can be used for 

Celular phones and tablets. All devices can be enrolled into Intune and by requireing this of your users we can start protecting business data with other tool-sets like Conditional Access, Information Protection and so on. 

When users enroll their devices into intune (that can be Windows, macOS, Android or iOS) the device goes through an “Compliance policy” that you have configured to “measure” the device and stamp it as compliant or non-compliant based on evaluations against the the compliance policy.  

Image result for microsoft intune compliance

So why is Intune so important for the Security part within the EMS Suite? Well! When your device is added to Intune and gone through the Compliance policy marking the device as an Compliant device we can use that status with for example Conditional access to deside on what services a user can access based on compliant device or not.  

Furter on we can with the MDM deploy software like Antivirus/Antimalware (if you don`t use Microsoft Defender ATP :)), deploy Windows 10 security baselines where you can controll several services within Window 10 (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/intune/protect/security-baseline-settings-mdm-all?pivots=mdm-may-2019).  

And the last but not least, you have an inventory of devices that can access your enterprise data and applications! Thats a big value to have in your pocket! 🙂 

S for Security in EMS – Overview
Part 1 – S for Security in EMS – Azure AD Premium
Part 2 – S for Security in EMS – Information Protection
Part 3 – S for Security in EMS – Microsoft Intune
Part 4 – S for Security in EMS – Advanced Threat Analytics
Part 5 – S for Security in EMS – Cloud App Security