|Windows Local Administrator Password Solution (LAPS) is a feature that automatically manages and backs up the password of a local administrator account on your Azure Active Directory-joined or Windows Server Active Directory-joined devices. This solution is one of the most effective ways to protect administrator passwords and prevent unauthorized users from accessing systems or data that they shouldn’t. |
With Windows LAPS, passwords are automatically randomized and updated on a routine basis, so that no two users ever have the same passwords and that passwords don’t become stale and more vulnerable to hacking. This investment in security is crucial for protecting your organization’s data and ensuring peace of mind. This new version of the tool can be configured with Microsoft Intune and can store passwords in Azure Active Directory.
At Now Micro, we understand the importance of keeping up with the latest technological advancements to help organizations take advantage of new programs. That’s why we stay on top of the news and partner with IT experts to ensure our clients have the most up-to-date hardware and software.
Contact us at Now Micro to learn more about how we can help your organization take advantage of Windows LAPS and other cutting-edge technologies. Our team of experts can help implement the tool, making it super easy for our customers and their IT staff to manage and maintain security.
According to Microsoft, in Azure Active Directory, there are 50 million password attacks daily, yet only 20% of users and 30% of global admins are using strong authentications such as multi-factor authentication (MFA). Attackers who get control of privileged accounts can do tremendous damage, so it’s critical to protect these accounts. Read our checklist to learn more:
Strengthen your credentials
Strengthen your credentials by enabling strong authentication, banning commonly attacked passwords, implementing expiration rules, protecting against leaked credentials, adding resilience against outages, and implementing AD FS extranet smart lockout.
Reduce your attack service area
Reduce your attack service area by implementing cloud authentication, blocking legacy authentication, blocking invalid authentication entry points, implementing privilege access management, and restricting user consent operations.
Automate threat response
Automate threat response by implementing sign-in and user risk security policies, integrating Microsoft 365 Defender with Azure AD identity protection, and setting up monitoring and alerting.
Utilize Cloud Intelligence
To utilize cloud intelligence, your organization should monitor Azure AD, Azure AD Connect Health in hybrid environments, Azure AD Identity Protection events, apps, and consented permissions.
Enable end-user self-service
Implementing self-service password reset, self-service group and application access, Azure AD access reviews, and automatic user provisioning will create efficient ways for end-users to secure your organization’s identity infrastructure.
Now Micro Professional Services
We create a simplified desktop and data center management experience for your robust, complex, and heterogeneous environments. Through configuration and automation of systems management tasks, we allow you to keep control of your complex IT business, whether it is on-premises, in the cloud, or across the country.
Now Micro helps you implement a cloud-based infrastructure, giving you unparalleled access, robust security, and greater control in your environment. Moving the infrastructure to the cloud pushes technology out of the way so you can focus on your job.
Our identity management solutions help you create simplified synchronization between identities on-premises and in the cloud while allowing administrators to monitor user access and behavior.
The ongoing pandemic is changing the way companies are structured. Remote work adds flexibility to workers’ lives and protects them from COVID-19, while in-person work allows staff to communicate nuances and socialize. Companies are now offering their employees the best of both worlds: a hybrid office. Read our top 4 tips on providing the right technology for a smooth transition into hybrid work.
The new hybrid office system can look different for every company or for different departments within one company. For example, not all employees work on the same day in many companies, so to save space, a company could opt to have unassigned desks, also known as hoteling. Pairing hoteling with seamless workstations makes for a great hybrid office that saves space and money.
Invest in seamless workstations
After working the last two years at home, many employees have perfected their home technology to be able to work exactly how they want. However, with hybrid schedules, going back and forth between home and the office can be quite the hassle if you’re bringing things like laptops, headsets, and charging cables back and forth. A way to solve that challenge is to invest in seamless workstations for assigned desks or hotel stations. The arrangement can look different depending on each company’s needs. The setup used at Now Micro allows staff to bring only their laptops and plug them into monitors, which connect the laptop to charging, a wireless keyboard, and a mouse.
Conference Room AV Setup
Some days employees may choose to be in the office, while others work remotely. However, that doesn’t mean meetings have to only occur in person on only by video. Simply adding a small media player, a display on the wall, a web camera, and a speaker/microphone can equip conference rooms to help teams collaborate no matter where they are working.
Borderless Data Center
Storing company data can be challenging when employees are based in many locations. A solution to this is the borderless data center. The borderless data center is a hybrid cloud concept that brings the basic tenants of cloud computing to the brick-and-mortar data center for seamless application operation. Disaggregating the traditional physical infrastructure through a cloud-enabled Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) facilitates a software-defined, unified system combining all the elements of a conventional data center: storage, compute, networking, and management into a cloud infrastructure on-premises with lower costs, more control, and improved security.
Office setup and workplace culture are not going back to the way things were before. Therefore, it is essential to adapt to the times and equip offices that push us towards a more innovative future. Now Micro and its partners are here to help your office transition to a hybrid office. To learn more, visit nowmicro.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Microsoft has launched the all-new Windows 11, bringing users some much-needed improvements and updates. Take a look at the top 4 interface updates on Windows 11:
The Windows 11 interface will soon rival the design world’s beloved MacOS interface. Features include a cleaner, minimalist design with rounded corners and light, pastel shades.
Since Windows 95, the Windows Start Button has always been in the lower-left corner. On Window’s 11, it will now be placed at the bottom center of the screen. This is one of the most significant changes in interface and navigation, allowing the start button to be more visible.
When Windows 11 first rolled out, users found the taskbar not as configurable as Windows 10, and some customization needed to be done. Since then, Microsoft has made some changes making the taskbar more manageable. For example, users can decide whether the taskbar shows more of their chosen pins, recommendations from the software, or the default combination of both. Users can also view the full taskbar on 2nd or 3rd monitors and choose the size of the taskbar.
Microsoft Teams Integration
Microsoft Teams is essential for productivity with the continued importance of remote work. Microsoft Teams will be located in the Windows taskbar, allowing the app to be more integrated than before. This is comparable to Apple’s FaceTime app in macOS, where launching video calls is easy to navigate. As always, Microsoft Teams will be available on Mac, iOS, Android devices, and Windows PCs.
Now Micro is ready to deploy devices that are compatible with Windows 11 for your organization. Visit our website or reach out to our Senior Systems Consultant and Windows expert, Jon Anderson at email@example.com to learn how you can integrate Windows 11 into your network.
The Most Notable Microsoft Teams Announcements of 2020 (through Oct)
The later part of 2020 has seen a flurry of updates, previews and announced roadmap items for Microsoft Teams. Let us look at the announcements that are likely to have the most impact.
HealthCare: Virtual Rounding and Care Coordination
2020 has been a stressful time for health care professional across the globe. From exposure risks to PPE shortages, healthcare providers are turning to technology to provide solutions. Microsoft has answered this call by announcing Virtual Rounding and Care Coordination.
Virtual rounding, a Teams app that aims to reduce exposure while health care professionals do their daily checkups on their patients. The goal is to limit contact to infected or vulnerable patients by leveraging portable carts equipped with video screen, mics, camera’s, and speakers. This allows healthcare professionals to maintain distancing when physical presence is not needed for diagnostics or treatment.
Care Coordination, which began its private preview October 1st, allows healthcare to aggregate patient data, provide care plans and test results and communicate with each other regardless of physical location all in a HIPAA compliant platform. The introduction of Teams for care coordination aims to improve efficiency while minimizing exposure.
SharePoint home sites for Teams
The SharePoint home site experience announced in 2019 allows organization to create a new or migrate their existing intranet sites to SharePoint. With the increasing ability to embed your organizations apps and resources into Microsoft Teams many organizations are hoping Teams will be come the single pane of glass for all needs.
So why create a home site to serve as your organizations intranet if it will detract from all the work you have done in teams?
Enter the SharePoint home site app for Teams. This home site app allows you to deploy your intranet home site through the Teams client.
The announcement came to us in September 2020 and we are eagerly awaiting release details.
Teams Breakout Rooms
Many in person conferences and events will include a keynote or introduction meeting that all attendees are present for before breaking into smaller groups for more granular content. Recreating this experience virtually has proven difficult. Microsoft Teams breakout rooms hopes to simplify this experience.
Teams Breakout Rooms will allow meeting organizer to split attendees into smaller groups and bring everyone back together without the need to drop and rejoin multiple meetings.
The announcement for Teams breakout rooms came to us in July and we hope to see previews or general availability before the end of 2020.
Advanced Communication Add-on
2020 has seen an interesting race to provide more attendees, more features, and more video feeds between collaboration platforms. The majority of normally in person conferences, large presentations and even college orientations have been converted to virtual events. 2020 more than ever has created a need for very large virtual events.
Microsoft’s answer to this need is the advanced communications add-on. At release, the advance communication add-on increased the maximum attendees for Teams live events to 20,000.
Features coming later this year include:
- Teams meeting maximum members increase to 1,000
- The ability for a Teams meeting to have up 20,000 overflow participants in a view only meeting experience
- Custom Lobby Branding
To take advantage of these features, the organizer of the meeting/live event will need the advanced communication add-on currently priced at $12 per user/month. Attendees DO NOT need the add-on. There is also a 60-day trial available through the admin center.
Considering this new and not quite yet saturated market, I would expect to see more feature announcements coming soon.
Custom Meeting Layouts
If you are looking to make a good impression on clients or impress you coworkers with your big presentation, Microsoft may have given you a secret weapon. Teams custom meeting layouts allow you, the presenter to customize what attendees are seeing. Microsoft Ignite gave us a preview of new tech allowing you to overlay the presenter on a PowerPoint slide. Who knows, maybe someday virtual meetings may look more professional than traditional in-person meetings with half the effort!
Office 365 ProPlus Device-based Subscription for Education provides administrators an experience that mirrors the user-based model, but with ease of management and access to the desktop Office 365 desktop apps. You can assign the device-based subscription to any device within the institution’s organization, including, but not limited to open access, lab or library devices providing consistent user experience.
Recently, two new methods for Office 365 SSO have become available: Azure AD Seamless SSO, and Azure AD Domain Join. Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) had (and still has) its place within Office 365 environments, but it is not nearly as attractive and easy to use as the new methods. Continue reading “Decommission ADFS: How to switch from ADFS to Password Sync for Office 365”