I use Veeam back up software for Microsoft 365 backups. It is an excellent, efficient, and effective backup program. It is used specifically for team SharePoint sites, user mailboxes, and user OneDrives (‘My-SharePoint’). I installed the needed Veeam modules on a standalone Azure virtual machine which communicates to our related cloud services. Although this article is very useful, the headline is a bit misleading. 76% of organizations have not admitted to paying ransomware to criminals so they could recoup locked data. But 76% of organizations affected by ransomware did pay ransomware to hackers. Per Veeam’s survey: (we) “surveyed 1,000 IT leaders whose organizations had been successfully attacked by ransomware at least once during the past 12 months”. So, of those hacked, 76% had made some payouts. This is all very good information.
A very important additional piece of information is that 19% of those affected by ransomware (in this survey) did not need to pay any ransomware because … they had proper and secured backups. This, of course, is the objective. Ransomware breaches are failures in the penetration sense. But at least a proper organizational backup strategy can remedy any data loss. Once backup data is retrieved and restored, security breaches can be investigated, analyzed, and fixed.
Microsoft and others have helped to expedite moving the Ukrainian government’s systems to the cloud. They are offering various forms of monetary assistance, presumably with hosting, integration, migration, and especially, cybersecurity, according to this article. Russia continues to be a formidable worldwide cyber power and threat.
This “Cloud One” product offering from Trend Micro looks very promising. In this day and age of explosive cloud service growth, monitoring of cloud services for infrastructure, security and compliance is essential.
What does it do? Cloud One does the following and more:
“Run continuous scans against hundreds of industry best practice checks, including SOC2, ISO 27001, NIST, CIS, GDPR, PCI DSS, GDPR, HIPAA, AWS and Azure Well-Architected Frameworks, and CIS Microsoft Azure Foundations Security Benchmark.“
Microsoft Azure Advisor is a super useful tool to help administrators obtain pertinent recommendations for improvement of services. It is used in order to work towards obtaining best practices. Azure will occasionally prompt administrators upon log in, but to get to it manually, simply type in “advisor” on the home screen search.
The categories focus on cost, security, reliability (aka, high availability), operational excellence, and performance. In a perfect world, we would always see all these wonderful green check marks, as below. Admittedly my ever-changing Azure account is currently limited, so the green was easy in this case. It is normally not unusual to see low, medium and high level recommendations, with descriptions of their impact on services.
This new online Microsoft poster is an excellent overview of all the certifications available with Microsoft in 2019-2020 and beyond. In my opinion, it is really laid out nicely and I appreciate their clarity with the top level 4 categories:
Apps and Infrastructure; Data and AI; Modern Workplace; Business Application
I personally am focused on the “Apps and Infrastructure”, as that is more in line with my Systems Administration background. But honestly all four areas are very interesting. I have already completed AZ-900 and am now focusing on the Azure Administrator – the below is only a snippet of the entire poster, which lays out possible career paths for all levels of Windows IT pros.
I did not know about the short hand reference to Kubernetes: “K8s”. I am studying to take the Microsoft Azure Administrator certification exam and came across this little fun fact on the Microsoft “Learn” web site, which I am using to prepare. It has great modules for both conceptual and hands-on lab learning. But I must admit, K8s is a new one to me!
When you are studying for Azure Cloud exams and working off the Microsoft Learn website, then realize your personal Azure account is GROWING
The reality is that the bulk of these costs is covered, given that the Learn site utilizes sandboxes for on-hands learning. But there were a few situations where using a regular Azure account was required. Also, for the purposes of learning and certification exam preparation, these resources can simply be deleted.
Of course, it is always best to monitor costs. The Azure Management section provides for helpful cost analysis, budget monitoring and optimization tools.
I am studying for one of the Microsoft 365 Certifications. I am using the free “Microsoft Learn”* offerings or paths. They are excellent. I already went through the “Azure Fundamentals” and passed that exam. But now I want to work on some Microsoft 365 or “M365” certification [Office 365, but with EMS – “Enterprise Mobility and Security”].
In Unit 5 of the Compliance Module, Microsoft points out that the most dangerous attack vector is compromised credentials. One way to fight this is with “Zero Standing Access”: it is a “users don’t get permissions by default” approach to data access within their Office 365 space. If they need access, there is a request process available. This needs to be set up accordingly. I absolutely love this.
They also apply this concept to their Data Centers, by way of “Lockbox Workflow”. The point is that not everyone and anyone can simply open a file, or (in the case of a Microsoft Data Center) walk on into a tenant space and ‘look around’. They have safeguards to stop that and help customers get more organized around the matter of access and data security. IT and Auditors especially love this.