Tag: Advanced Threat Protection

Microsoft Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) is a cloud-based email filtering service that helps protect your organization against unknown malware and viruses by providing robust zero-day protection, and includes features to safeguard your organization from harmful links in real time. Azure ATP of MDATP are also part of the ATP stack.

Microsoft is delivering automated Security Operations (SecOps) for any organization

Microsoft is delivering automated Security Operations (SecOps) for any organization

Hi There! I’m happy that you find your way to one of the series of blogs about Microsoft 365 Security.

You may find earlier articles that will help to understand the scenario where I wanted to position this solution in. First Article: How to build your Zero Trust modern workplace with Microsoft 365. This articles is focusing on relevant security discussion that can help segment and isolate your broader IT landscape. Important to keep on track is the foundation of security maturity in Microsofts technological landscape. I mean, you need a baseline for doing sec-ops. You need to get things finetuned, get modern technology to be sure you’ve done all you can to decrease the respond actions. In the next article I’ve answered the technical high-level blocks to actual shift workloads to Microsoft 365 and Azure. Yes, I’m focusing cloud technology. And the reason why is written in this Zero Trust article.

At first it will be useful to get some context of the type of customers where I wanted to touch-base this Security Operation strategy.

It’s time for change. “I’m not a Security specialist. Not totally aware of the technological part of it and my question is: ARE YOU?”

What I mean by this statement is that there is a lot cyber risks. The understanding is poor. The implementations are very basic. For example a SIEM solutions, companies are buying SIEM solutions and are doing nothing with it. But they have a SIEM. — Why do we think we need 10 people in a SecOps organizations if we don’t have a team now? — Why not make standards, fully automated. And run a SecOps operation different than hard-core teams (early adoptors)

In this article I’m providing answers on these topics. Feel free to give a reaction in the comment! Thank you for reading.

Customer focus

The customer focus of this article are small and midsize companies. Microsoft Cloud focused. Because their security maturity is relative low. Companies struggling with the fact that they cannot get their SecOps in order because: it’s too complex, too expensive, the maturity is low.. read on, below.

Framework for security operation

Every security operation need a plan and strategy when it comes to running the operation. Let’s make this simple. A Security Operation is using mythology which include:

  1. Identify: Who has access to information or privileged controls. Is it really you?
  2. Protect: Limit access, patch, upgrade, update, keep everything in order.
  3. Detect: Detect malware (Antivirus), monitor for anomalies for sign-in and device behavior
  4. Respond: Fast response for mitigation of the issue, or limit the impact. Clear Incident process
  5. Recover: Have a plan for disaster when security incidents are appeared. Backups, cyber insurance, and more technical important be able to recover from difficult damages done.

What is a Security Operation?

SecOps (Security + Operation) is the organization to facilitate and elaborate with focus on security in a organization. It has procedures, standards, process which describes the actions and effort it will put in running this Security operation.

SecOps is ‘always running’, with service-level agreements (SLA), possibly 24/7. SecOps is a team of people continuous working on Identify -> Protect -> Detect -> Respond..

Is a Security Operation overvalued?

‘Security operation” is a container concept. Which doesn’t always make the same understanding. It has no real meaning like ‘digital transformation’. When people talk about SecOps they talk about their analyst running trough their SIEM. Others are talking about endpoint security, and most of the time (because of the relative impact) we talk about patching and updating of systems or incident response. — reactive.

SecOps is overvalued because there is a double understanding here. We have the top 5 giant companies as Microsoft doing SecOps for their customers. And you have your own SecOps team doing the already ‘segmented’ of ‘made ready for you’ actions. Our Security Operation teams needs to be in charge of the incidents when appearing. And all other tasks reactive on the somewhat predefined roadmap of Microsoft. It’s the only way – embrace the change.

This shocking title is an invitation for you — to think about security operations in a different way. The world has changed since companies are shifting their workplace and workloads towards Microsoft 365. It became super relevant to think about the strategy and the usage in your organization of this service and infrastructure. How important is O365, CRM, M365, Networking, Applications in your datacenter.

Focus has never been so important then today, also on security efforts

If you, as an organisation work with future proof collaboration tools and migrate your server infrastructure to Azure or AWS or private datacenters the focus stays at protection Microsoft technology. It’s a fact.

How does a security operations work?

High-level overview of how your security operation is running:

Tier 1: Clearing the incident queue – Triage and high-speed response
Tier 2: Investigate and respond – Deeper analysis and remediation
Tier 3: Hunting based on org specific knowledge – Proactive hunting and advanced forensics

Why choose Microsoft?

Choose Microsoft for simplifying your IT Landscape. It’s already difficult enough. Next to that: Microsoft is leading and heavily investing in Cybersecurity. And buying companies that fit in the future needs.

If you’re building your workplace with 90% Microsoft Technology It’s super strange not to take Microsoft Technology to protect this environment. Think about the foundation infrastructure. Technology and workloads are never the goal of transformation but they are just facts when shifting. Choose wisely if you’re not willing to go the Microsoft way. And if you choose different, integrate with Microsoft.

Why Microsoft? Because it’s leading in the Security era. Let me put this very clear. I do believe there are a lot of security vendors creating great great technology for keeping organizations save. Most of the time the missing part is integration in one ecosystem. That is were the fragmentation and segmentation and integration fails. If it’s not integrated well enough:

  • Alerts are coming from everywhere
  • The focus is lost
  • Security standards are lowered
  • The automation is poor
  • The security vision is troubled
  • The Impact on changes are difficult

Licensing for Security Operation

I’ve written a popular article about why should each company invest in Microsoft 365 E3 and E5. As you can see in the licensing part in Microsoft 365 E5 Windows 10 Enterprise E5 + Advanced EndPoint Security is included.

Building blocks of organizations core infrastructure

The fundamental infrastructureBuild your workplace based on a layered approach. The high-level is written below the details in this highlighted article.

Identity: Building your foundation identity management solution as described in this article. Cloud first. Azure AD primary. More options -> more automation.

Protect Devices: Windows 10, Mobiles, iOS, Android. Exclude non supported devices so it’s super clear what is supported. On paper + technical. Compliance.

Services: Understand the services used by your business or customer. 5% of all companies do know what software they are using and running. Ask the DPO to deliver a list of current used applications and services..

Data: Data can be in Microsoft 365. Third-party can be strategic defined that it lands in SharePoint, Teams or OneDrive. Most of the time that’s your 90%.

Network: Just treat it as an public connection. Depending on the migration path to M365 and Azure. When all infrastructure is still running on-premises. It could be that it’s not (yet) possible.

There are always exceptions needed for some applications – but this doesn’t mean you cannot do the 90% right!

Why you (don’t) need a 24×7 team

Focus on the prevention of important fundamental things as for example: Identity & Devices. Automate all actions in Tier 1 + Tier 2 even if you don’t to research and analyses right away. Because you don’t have people working in the night. Make smart decisions. Isolate risks as compromised identities, devices etc.. Automate.

This is the most important figure of the whole article.

Practical examples of T1 and T2 response and remediate

Example 1: Identity protection: Require Password Change when the risk is high. Create process that describes the action required as: Call user – validate risk – validate credentials (real person) ..

Identity Protection
Identity Protection

Example 2: Automatic Remediation when suspicious events are happening.
If you don’t want to do anything set remediation to automatically and build a partnership with Microsoft Engineers to consult when threats are around the corner. This is a holistic position. You need Security specialists to start from scratch.

Example 3: Isolate a machine when risk is detected. You can use Microsoft PowerAutomate to do automated response when events appear. The possibilities built-in without any code and development are huge. The impact and value is undervalued 🙂

Identify(1) and Protect(2)

What you could do to Identify and protect your organization is work with the: Threat & Vulnerability Management dashboard to map actions on your roadmap to implement. 5 top Security recommendations are brought by Microsoft, as example.

Security Recommendations: Find the critical gaps. Put them towards the operational team. Process needs to be defined.

Software inventory: Easiness of understanding the temperature and the required actions to make these risks go away. Again process..

Integrate ATP for on-premises alerts from lateral movements, plain text passwords, pass-the-ticket/hash to understand which alerts occur.

Detect (3)

Weaknesses in SecurityCenter: Easy to bring these in the first process and create processes with service levels to fix these gaps.

Cloud App Security: Find anomalies based on Alerts of sign in or device based.

Azure Workbooks for sign-in analyses

Other possibilities: Risky Sign-ins, Security center, Log Analytics queries,..

Respond (4)

Responding is actually doing something to prevent that the breached device or identity is being taking care of. It’s doing an action to prevent different users from having the same risk. As for example isolate a device when doing to research. Or locking an account as long as the risks is valid. Also work with ATP.

Automatic investigation can start with: User-reporting a phishing emails or
a user clicks a malicious link.

Recover (5)

Ransomware detection and recovering your files. (built-in)
SharePoint Site-restore for collections and sites. (built-in)
Backup with Microsoft technology of third-party. Azure Back-up, SQL Service backup.
Disaster recovery (Plan)
Cyber insurance


  • Microsoft understand that automation is the way forward. Alerts creation, follow-up to have relations in events. It’s time to shift from complex Security Operation to understandable solutions with reporting, automation and long-term possibilities.
  • Sensitive document data can be found in Office 365. (Exchange, SharePoint, Teams). Core-application as CRM and Server Infrastructure are integrated in Azure AD. The risks are shifting to the modern cloud. Focus on these new risks. Not the on-premises Active directory, not anymore.
  • Focus on T1 and T2 automation. Next to reactive follow-up, work with the benefits of E5 MDATP. If you’re able to get the security baseline to a next level the standards will shift to a less risky environment.
  • SIEM solutions can be integrated but keep in mind: If the full infrastructure + Office 365 is shifted. Do you still need an different solution on-premises or in Azure?
  • Microsoft 365 E5 includes great security features with a cost. It’s best to use the full potential.
  • Power Automate skills are important for SecOps and can be used for different Sysadmin tasks and other teams in the organization.

And after this journey? Logic Apps with building blocks for quick deployments and standards, reporting, Azure Sentinel workbooks with templates as in this blog, Integrations with ticket tools, prediction and whatever you like…

Thank you so much for reading! If you have feedback please comment below or reach out on Linkedin or Twitter.

When and why should you start with Microsoft 365 business Premium

When and why should you start with Microsoft 365 business Premium

Earlier I’ve brought the article: The value of Microsoft 365 E3 and E5. Due the request I’ve written this article about Business Premium. To respect the content of the previous article the creating the modern workplace is crucial to read before reading this one. Global value of the Microsoft 365 stack will be the same.

The value of Microsoft 365 Business Premium

1. High-level

  • Cloud strategy to become a modern organization that will tackle the on-premises complexity and grow to a modern cloud-first organization.
  • Some Microsoft 365 E3 or E5 features are included to enable and empower the people to reset their own password. Some are part of AD premium P1 features: Others are: Cloud App Discovery, Office 365 ATP, Application Proxy, Dynamic Groups, Passwordless authentication.
  • WHY? This product is made for companies under 300 people. And has more value because of this specific offering in the market. The price is lower. It has features of Microsoft 365 E3/E5, but there are constraints because the cloud-only focus. This will push the investment to consolidate on-premises workloads to M365 Business Premium. You will read the details below.

2. Defend against threats

  • Office 365 Advanced Threat protection to be protected with Safe Links, Safe Attachments, Anti-phishing intelligence.
  • Advanced multi-factor authentication. You can choose to bypass MFA from trusted locations.
  • You can enforce Microsoft Defender on your Windows 10 PCs with enhanced protection against ransomware and malware.

3. Protect business data

  • Data Loss Prevention: Microsoft 365 Business Premium can automatically detect when an email you’re about to send includes sensitive data like credit card info, social security numbers, and dozens of other confidential data types. If you’re just conducting normal business. But, if you’re about to do something dumb, it’s a welcome safety net. There are even templates that can conform to geographic or industry-specific regulatory requirements.
  • Encryption of email and documents: If you need to send sensitive data to a partner or customer outside your organization you can encrypt that email with just one click. This ensures that only the intended recipient with the right credentials can open the email.
  • Information protection: You can use this function to control who has access to company information. Whether it’s in an email or a document. By applying restriction that prevents people form forwarding, copying and printing.
  • Archiving: This is another function that’s been made simple for when you need to preserve email and documents for legal reasons, or if you need to access an employee’s email/files after they leave the company

4. Easily secure and manage your devices

  • MAM: Mobile Application Mangement is typically used for devices that aren’t owned by your employees, like personal phones or laptops. This type of management gives you control of company-owned email and files—but personal “data,” like pictures and texts, are not controlled with MAM. With MAM, your workers can use their personal devices to do their job without worrying that IT is controlling it. If a MAM device is ever lost or stolen, it’s simple to wipe all the corporate data from it.
  • MDM: Mobile Device Management: is the best option if your organization issues company-owned devices to your employees for work use. With MDM, you can centrally manage everything on the device, install apps on it, restrict the functions or usage, block recreational usage (kind of a buzzkill, but ok), just to name a few options. As with MAM, if an MDM device is ever stolen, wiping the corporate data or doing a full factory reset is easy.
  • You are able to set a minimum of security requirements needed for a modern midsize organisation.

The Microsoft 365 Business Premium strategy

Microsoft 365 business Premium is created to help midsize organization with their challenging ambition to be more productive and secure. It’s a known fact that not all small business have the possibly to provide a M365 E5 license for everyone.

  • Office apps and services
  • Advanced security + management
  • for 1-300 employees! Hard requirement!
Microsoft 365 Business Premium

Which features of E5 are included in Microsoft 365 Business Premium

Don’t choose Microsoft 365 Business Premium if…

  • I’ve met a lot of people who don’t dare to advice Microsoft 365 Business Premium because for a long time there were less features than today. And they don’t follow the evolution.
  • It is still difficult to grow to cloud-only. so take a good look to the things below that are not included.
  • It is important to know that Microsoft 365 Business Premium is focusing on a cloud-strategy. When you have a mid-size organization who is willing to shift to modern cloud solutions they will be able to shift if they make the commitment to remove these integrations. This product is created to work for cloud scenario’s. Are you able to decommission all of these workloads?
  • It looks difficult but the most services are replaced in cloud variants today. So it’s outdated technology with a high TCO.
  • Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, and Skype for Business Server Client Access License (CAL) equivalency is not included/licensed.
  • Windows Server, RMS, and Microsoft Identity Management CAL equivalency is not included/licensed.
  • System Center Configuration Manager and System Center Endpoint Protection Management License (ML) equivalencyis is not included/licensed.
  • Full overview here.

Microsoft 365 Business will include Azure AD Premium P1

Brad Anderson, Microsoft 365 Vice-President is referring to this blog: aka.ms/aadp1smbblog

High-level decisions to be made

  • Are you ready and able to stop investing heavily in your on-premises infrastructure?
  • Do you want to stop using, Exchange, SharePoint, Skype for business on premises?
  • Are you willing to shift your System center infrastructure to EndPoint Manager?
  • And at least, most important: Are you able to stop thinking Hybrid AND on-premises? Than GO, DO IT! Good luck! I’ve helped almost 5 customers to grow to full cloud. with no footprint in their local-AD. they are super exited and happy! Simplicity = key to grow.

New product names

The new product names go into effect on April 21, 2020. This is a change to the product name only, and there are no pricing or feature changes at this time. Maybe later.

Enable Microsoft 365 Security – Example from Microsoft

Set up tenant:Recommend settings – normal scenarioRecommended settings – high risk scenario
Decide between hybrid & cloud-only identityHybrid, Azure AD ConnectHybrid, Azure AD Connect
Azure AD Connect – sign-in methodPassword Hash SyncPassword Hash Sync
Azure AD Connect – single sign-onEnabledEnabled
Azure AD Connect – On-premises attribute for Azure AD usernameuserPrincipalNameuserPrincipalName
Azure AD Connect – Password writebackEnabledEnabled
Decide on email migration strategyHybrid AgentHybrid Agent
Configure DNS domainsSituationalSituational

Configure identity protection – example from Microsoft

Configure identity protection:Recommend settings – normal scenarioRecommended settings – high risk scenario
Plan for administrative accessRequiredRequired
Configure dedicated admin accountsRecommendedRecommended
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) for adminsSecurity defaultsRequired, Conditional Access
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) for usersSecurity defaultsRequired, Conditional Access
Self-service password reset (SSPR)Enabled-AllEnabled-All
Combined security information registrationEnabled-AllEnabled-All

Practical guide to securing remote work using Microsoft 365 Business Premium

This guide summarizes Microsoft’s recommendations for enabling employees at small and medium-sized businesses to securely work from home, using the features included in Microsoft 365 Business Premium is written above. Read the Microsoft Guide: Here with deep insights and knowledge of medium-sized business. Guide

Creating a security culture

Use the Chief Security Officer (CSO)

Succes Stories Microsoft 365 Business Premium

Something missing? Please leave a reply!

The value of Microsoft 365 E3 or E5

The value of Microsoft 365 E3 or E5

Creating the modern workplace!

  • Digital business transformation. Every company has a digital transformation initiative. Microsoft 365 drives this digital transformation.
  • Increasing agility. The ability to respond to and drive market change quickly is the fundamental measure of business agility.
  • Empower information workers and firstline workers so they can collaborate and communicate better. Internally as with customers.
  • Support different working styles for millennial’s, Gen Z, Gen X, Baby boomers.
  • Generate better intelligence and analytics with a single view into your company information!
  • Increase mobility. people are working from home. From clients and during travel. In regard to collaboration, 98% of information workers collaborate or communicate with someone else at work on a weekly basis.
  • Improve security and compliance. Most of the time there is no control of data compliance in the current on-premise environment. Security systems are complex and static without growing or proven improvements. Start with a Zero Trust model.

Microsoft 365 E3 OR E5?

  • Decision making is crucial. Also simplicity. Make IT-system simple to move faster and support your business better. 2-3 Flavors of license scenario’s or strategies will be great. Don’t mess with addons id you will not use or active them..build trust, choose platform, choose Microsoft.
  • Start with activating basic security mechanisms. Start support of what you are using. grow. Don’t buy E5 when you are not mature enough, yet. Buy E5 and enable CASB to understand shadow IT or act when people extract crucial organization data… etc..
  • Don’t think it’s complex. Even when your company size is 50 people. You could start using Microsoft Business, full cloud. With real value and benefits as in Microsoft 365 E3. You could even use M365 E5 for small business when data control and cloud security is required.
Microsoft 365 E3 license overview
Micrososoft 365 E5 License overview
Micrososoft 365 E5 License overview

Office 365 – standard set

  • Every company is using e-mail, calendar, contacts move to exchange Online. it’s a proven standard.
  • Voice, Video, Meetings. Microsoft Teams. It’s used by 500.000 organization and became a standard. Shift to Microsoft Teams for better collaboration.
  • Office ProPlus: Everyone is using rich office clients: Word, Excel, PowerPoint. It’s there for decades and became a standard.
  • Planner, Yammer, OneDrive, SharePoint,.. it isn’t always a standard but we currently have tools to Plan tasks, Share thoughts, Share Documents and colleborate in our organization. Proven standard

Office 365 – advanced

  • ‘Built-in’ Analytics – did you know there are free/default/built-in dashboards for a lot of Microsoft 365 Services. I know. These are not organizational related. So they can give rich insights of usability of Office 365 tools.
  • Workplace Analytics for example: Measure progress toward transformation goals or Evaluate effectiveness of change efforts. Measure meeting hours, Discover inefficient processes, Identify hurdles to innovation, Gaps in learning, Identify Influencers,..
Workplace Analytics Microsoft
  • MyAnalytics: It’s not to control – it’s to to help to find out how work is done. People in your organization can find out their own habits because of their Analytic-insights.
MyAnalytics Workplace

The bigger picture – Why?

To bring value of Microsoft 365 E3 or E5 it’s important to understand the bigger picture. In the underlaying topics I’ve brought as much features in the eco-system of the E5 license. The main question is what are the benefits for a organization to shift to cloud solutions?

Why shift to Microsoft 365 E5

1. Protection across the attack kill chain

This slide shows the real value of Microsoft 365 E5. A lot of customers al laughing with MDATP because they think this is a isolated product. And are going deep in the license compare strategy of their current antivirus. Have a separated anti-spam solution, NO Azure AD Protection, NO cloud App Security..

2. Microsoft 365 E5 license includes

O365 ATP, Windows Defender ATP, Azure ATP + Cloud App Security. Detailed descriptions can be found on the website of Microsoft.

3. Cloud App Security

Cloud App Security shows you exactly whether data is passing on all endpoints. Document data, lateral movements, usage of applications, global traffic, count of applications in use in your organisation. Risk levels, GDPR proof applications. Bring network devices logging in CASB to have more insights.

Cloud App Security

4. Security & Compliance

I’ve seen that there a not enough organizations aware of the richness of the Security & Compliance possibilities in Microsoft 365. Because of shifting to Microsoft 365 the compliance will be in control of your organization. Even if you leave some file-servers and SharePoint services on-premise.

Unified data classification platform

5. Identity & Access management

Because of simplified Identity management organizations are able to work with Security perimeters to protect their users and organization. Because of these simplified configuration users will be able to reset their own password, control their own devices, or configure additional security components. (ZERO-IT)

Azure Active Directory

6. Self-Service Password Reset (SSPR)

The SSPR possibility Is an Azure Active Directory (AD) feature that enables users to reset their passwords without contacting IT staff for help. People can unblock themselves and continue working no matter where they are.

7. Managed Mobile Device

Cloud intelligence drives management. Use Autopilot to roll-out new devices and Increase productivity, reduce help-desk costs and Provide the best employee experience. Manage you Windows 10 devices and your mobile devices. Stop allowing personal devices without taking control of organization data. Use MAM and be diplomatic for end-users.

8. Microsoft Defender Security Center Security operations dashboard

The Security operations dashboard is where the endpoint detection and response capabilities are surfaced. It provides a high level overview of where detections were seen and highlights where response actions are needed. USE your built-in possibility for SECOPS reporting. You HAVE IT.

EndPoint manager admin center

9. Identity driven Security

Because of the use of a single identity in Azure. Or hybrid synced from your local Active Directory services organizations will be able to protect and automatically act when necessary. request for update your password if breached. Ask MFA when your device is not trusted. etc.. let your users update their password from home. Increase productivity.

Microsoft Secure Score

10. Risky Sign-ins

This great feature will bring based on cloud intelligence insights to understand the RISK of a user. for example unfamiliar location, anonymous IP addresses, leaked credentials.. (more info here)

Risky Sign ins Azure AD
risky users
Risky Sing ins overview
Risky Sing ins overview

11. Information Protection

To start with classification and labeling of document choose your battles. Define 1-2-3 labels for example: “High-Confidential Internal Only”, “Public” and “Internal Only”. It’s a good start without auto-labeling documents so people can learn how to protect their confidential data. In a later phase you can enable auto-labeling when a document is highly confidential because of there are credit-card numbers, personal information etc in this document. The activation of Information Protection could come from the fact that 1 million files are shared with external people. Or that you want to stop third-party applications so company data stays safe in the environment.

Microsoft 365 Compliance

12. Advanced Threat Protection

Work with Microsoft Defender Security Center (previous WDATP) it will give you insights for Applications, OS, Network, Accounts, Security Controls + Give insights for Software patching, Top vulnerable software, Top exposed machines. Most reports are built-in and seamless integration is done in the Eco-system of Microsoft 365 E5.

Threat & Vulnerability management dashboard
Detection sources

13. Windows 10 Enterprise with modern approach

Windows 10: My personal favorite. I really love customers which did their homework and started using Windows 10 without policies, governance, Intune (for example), management solutions and now they are stuck in the patching & management of these systems. This is wrong!

Microsoft Windows 10: Windows 10 has been released to insiders in 2015. version. 1507 afterwards 1511, 1607, 1703,1709, 1803,1809,1903,1909. Microsoft did understand the pain of shifting from Windows XP to Windows 7, Windows 8 to 8.1 and Windows 10. And now they want you to work on this NEW versions in a different way.

Microsoft’s Windows 10 Enterprise: comes in the flavor of continues improvement. And needs to be implemented in a service-model with automatic updates, roll-outs, deployment, patching, updating, software requests (self-service) and even more!

Set compliance policies: Because of deep integrations you will be able to work on the compliance of the devices and grow to a recurrent update-model.

Device Compliance

14. Desktop Analytics 

Thanks to desktop analytics you will be able to evaluate the changes during updates as software distribution and compatibility issues. You can bring your organization to a next level. In case you were afraid that automation took your job, think again. These things need huge attention!

Dekstop Analytics

15. Native PowerBI Integration

Because of the rich Eco-system within Microsoft 365 everything can be measured. This report is default/standard without any manipulation of Power-bi. I know it sounds stupid, but without insights that can grow fast. You have nothing. Features/services are changing every year. Be prepared. Start consolidation and start using standards to built on.

Native PowerBI Integrations

Action Plan

  • Create a STRATEGY to bring value for Microsoft 365 E3 or E5. Do you want to: increase agility, empower information workers create intelligence increase mobility short: Drive transformation. AND invest in your SECURITY MATURITY -> than you should start with a STRATEGY. Non of all these things are technical. Even if we think it’s technical. DECIDE.
  • PLAN: Everything starts with a plan. PLAN to start a Microsoft Teams pilot, to evaluate, to pick-up the finding. and plan to go further. Most important PLAN to write a ROADMAP which describes the road ahead.
  • READINESS CHECK: Are you technically READY to start with a Microsoft Teams Roll-out? Is your company READY to start? Are the people READY to start? Is everyone involved? Are you READY?
  • IMPLEMENTATION: This is the easy part. Implement Microsoft Teams. Enable the features, check the boxes. Activate the subscriptions, copy the templates. Start the Pilot. Ask experts to deliver the technical requirements.
  • NEW WAY OF WORK: Microsoft Teams as used in this example as ‘new tech’, think about the groups we had in the top of the article. millennial’s, Gen Z, Gen X, Baby boomers. Do you think you should make some scenario’s? training and standard adoption programs to help them work as they never did before? YES!
  • TRANSFORM(ATION): Real transformation is successful when you KNOW/MEASURE it went well. Wen you see the activation/usage ratio in numbers. When you know the people are confident and happy to use new technology. When nobody is complaining and the organization has grown to a higher level of collaboration. And even when it fails or needs more improvements start over with this S-P-R-I-N-T.

Thank you for reading!


The top 10 security recommendations to consider while working from home!

The top 10 security recommendations to consider while working from home!

  • Mobile working is a standard, today.
  • Companies are not longer protected by their infrastructure in their corp-environment.
  • Crucial document data is moving away from centralized systems because it’s easier to work on them on our own document systems.
  • The irrelevance of bombastic systems in corporate environment is holding collaboration down.
  • Does it sounds familiar?

the 10 security recommendations we should consider while working from home!

  1. Identity Security / MFA
  2. Install the latest patches and updates
  3. Passwords and management
  4. Build real-time reports of security risks 
  5. Create automated and intelligent alerts 
  6. Install antivirus on all endpoints 
  7. Secure devices and corporate devices (+ personal phones) 
  8. Evaluate regularly which users have access to data, devices and networks 
  9. Track, change and block access for temporary projects and when employees are leaving your company 
  10. Use information protection solutions to protect your data everywhere. 

1. Identity protection

  • Some facts: 1.2 million of all Office 365 or Microsoft 365 accounts (each month) are compromised. This represents 0.5% of all accounts in your environment. Source: theregister-co-uk

Multi-factor authentication prevents 99.9% of all attacks.

99,9% compromised accounts did not have MFA

2. Patching & updates

Device Compliance

3. Passwords and management of authentication

4. Create real-time reporting of security vulnerabilities

  • Identity risks are in every organisation. Don’t think that your changes are low. Check the facts.
  • It is very easy to use ‘risky users‘, ‘risky-sign’ ins and ‘risk detection’ to find out real risks.
  • Integrate with Microsoft Defender ATP and ATP Sensors to have all intelligence in the Microsoft cloud.
Risky Users
Risky Sign-ins

5. Create automated and intelligent alerts

  • There is only 1 answer. Microsoft Cloud App Security.
  • Create alerts when 100 files are deleted. Copied to Dropbox for example.
Cloud App Security Portal

6. Install antivirus on ALL endpoints + go beyond antivirus

  • Microsoft Defender ATP, sentinel-one, Norton, McAfee, it doesn’t really matter. As long as you are able to protect all endpoints.
  • The second factor is to make sure that your antivirus is enabled. Use a single console. OR use MDATP. Set security alerts so you know when you are at risk.
  • Use EDR monitors to detect and respond to advanced attacks in real time.
Antivirus Windows 10

7. Secure private(personal) devices and corporate devices

  • workstations and portables (With W10 for example) are in control in most of the companies. Mobile devices are left unmanaged because we don’t know the options.
  • With Intune (EndPoint Manager) you can isolate and segment applications without having to manage the device. The corp. applications is under control. The organization’s data is protected. The most important thing is done!
  • Choose a fingerprint, faceID worst-case pincode in app protection.
  • Below you may find an example of the Outlook application which is protected by Mobile Application Management. In case organisations are not the owner of these devices this is a great option. And simple to implement.
Mobile Application Management

8) Evaluate regularly which users have access to data, devices and physical network

  • Cloud App Security shows you exactly whether data is passing on all endpoints.
  • Document data, lateral movements, usage of applications, global traffic, count of applications in use in your organisation. Risk levels, GDPR proof applications..
  • Bring network devices logging in CASB to have more insights.
Cloud Discovery
Cloud Discovery

9. Track and block access for temporary projects or employees leave the company

  • governance without enforcement is just good advice.
  • Create simple written policies, enforce policies.
  • Create retention policies for example in a Microsoft Team that removes the team after 180 days.

10. Use information protection to protect your data everywhere

  • Use Information protection to protect document data. Even if you lose the document “physically”. There are still options to block this from opening and keep in secure from distribution, opening, editing,..
  • Create document data insights from on-premises and cloud solutions with Microsoft Information Protection Policies.
Unified data classification platform
Retention Label


Windows Secure Score
  • Security priorities are difficult. However, I would always start with MFA becasue this is fundamental identity security. Afterwards document and device security. Because companies are moving to Teams during Covid-19. And you don’t want data leakage during this time.
  • If your identity is not secure, and compromised, there is no point in doing information protection. Because a ‘hacker’ will use your accounts to access your corporate data.
  • Use Microsoft Securescore.microsoft.com as a guidance. Extract your priorities.
  • Let’s do it!
Modern Desktop implementation – Behind the scenes

Modern Desktop implementation – Behind the scenes

Introduction & Vision

At Synergics we truly believe the mission of Microsoft to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Every great implemented project start with a vision and with goals/milestones.

In the first project we delivered workshops to understand the transformation needs of the organization. we identified these digital outcomes below. (the description is basic, I know. But it’s another side-traject of this implementation)

  • Empower information workers and firstline workers so they can collaborate and communicate.
  • Simplified communication – Communicate through the full organization.
  • Increase agility for the IT-Organization – adaptability.
  • Futureproof design – Technical design, cloud first strategy.

You can read the reference-case in NL or FR! Microsoft Surface with Windows Autopilot ensure efficiency gains and easier IT management for the city of Lokeren. Reference Case.

Evolution to modern management – 100% CLOUD!

  • Less complexity
  • built-in automation
  • brand-new configuration & policies
  • higher security standards
  • self-service possibilities
  • 100% CLOUD!

To achieve more it’s important to give control to the people (empower), update your platform, easier roll-out’s of new devices etc.. (Scenario on the right, 100%…)

Traditional Co-Management Modern

New device setup experience with Autopilot

Imaging/cloning/etc of devices is taking a lot of crucial time – compared to Autopilot. This isn’t the easiest enabler because there are policies, GPO’s, in place. With Autopilot we deliver the roll-out of the Windows 10 Devices and sync back the Device-Object so on-premise resources can still be accessed in transition for future plans.

Autopilot Microsoft EndPoint Manager
  • – Old GPO’s can stay for some time.
  • – New possibilities of modern management becomes active.

Microsoft Windows update in waves & delivery optimization

It looks like a easy job but most of the time it’s a non-controlled mechanisms.

Windows 10 started in 2015 with builds as: 1511, 1607, 1703,1709, 1803,1809,1903,1909. As you see can in the screenshot, now we are transforming to 1903! and 1909 starting soon.

Compliance Policy
Device Compliance

Hybrid Identity – and password write-back

I was hoping to write cloud-identity but we still live in a world of on-premise infrastructure waiting to move to the cloud. For now we are creating and maintaining identities on-premise. We enable password-write-back so users are able to change their password.

Azure AD connect configuration

Intune mobile device management authority

Office 365 ProPlus distribution based on dynamic collections

It sounds very easy but I’ve seen a lot of customers fighting with licenses and automated processes.

  • When a user is in a M365 E3 dynamic collection because of the parameters Office ProPlus is automatically distributed.
  • When a user has no ProPlus acces, like a O365 F1 user, office 365 ProPlus will be removed.

Onedrive Known Folder Move (KFM)

There are two primary advantages of moving or redirecting Windows known folders (Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Screenshots, and Camera Roll) to OneDrive for Business for the users in your domain:

  • Your users can continue using the folders they’re familiar with. They don’t have to change their daily work habits to save files to OneDrive.
  •  Saving files to OneDrive backs up your users’ data in the cloud and gives them access to their files from any device.
  • This has value, value, value. Users can find their documents on their phones because of the automated move. When there workstations crashes, the data is still there..

Microsoft Defender Advanced threat protection

All devices are fully managed under the greatest MDATP. (also see the quadrant)

  • Multi-layered protection: Microsoft Defender ATP provides multi-layered protection (built into the endpoint and cloud-powered) from file-based malware, malicious scripts, memory-based attacks, and other advanced threats
  • Threat Analytics: Contextual threat reports provide SecOps with near real-time visibility on how threats impact their organizations
  • A new approach to Threat and Vulnerability Management: Real-time discovery, prioritization based-on business context and dynamic threat landscape, and built-in remediation process speed up mitigation of vulnerabilities and misconfiguration
  • Built-in, cloud-powered protections: Real-time threat detection and protection with built-in advanced capabilities protect against broad-scale and targeted attacks like phishing and malware campaigns
  • Automated security, SecureScore and +10 more features!
Microsoft Defender ATP

Enterprise state roaming (ESR)

With Windows 10, Azure AD users gain the ability to securely synchronize their user settings and application settings data to the cloud. Enterprise State Roaming provides users with a unified experience across their Windows devices and reduces the time needed for configuring a new device. Enterprise State Roaming operates similar to the standard consumer settings sync that was first introduced in Windows 8. Additionally, Enterprise State Roaming offers:

  • Separation of corporate and consumer data – Organizations are in control of their data, and there is no mixing of corporate data in a consumer cloud account or consumer data in an enterprise cloud account.
  • Enhanced security – Data is automatically encrypted before leaving the user’s Windows 10 device by using Azure Rights Management (Azure RMS), and data stays encrypted at rest in the cloud. All content stays encrypted at rest in the cloud, except for the namespaces, like settings names and Windows app names.
  • Better management and monitoring – Provides control and visibility over who syncs settings in your organization and on which devices through the Azure AD portal integration.
  • Even next to KFM! Even more great for data loss etc..

Future achievements..

  • Everything starts with the value of Microsoft 365 E3 of E5.
  • Analytics and data. My-analytics, Workplace Analytics?
  • Security Operations – Advanced hunting?
  • Proactive services – thousand scenario’s possible..
  • Automation in processes with Power Automate?
  • Deep integration with third-party applications?
Modern Device Management
Office 365 ATP Recommended Configuration Analyzer – Best Practices!

Office 365 ATP Recommended Configuration Analyzer – Best Practices!

Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection is growing and evolving over time. Writing documentation takes time – automation doesn’t. Automatically export your O365 ATP settings in one HTML file to see the scores and recommendations.

Solution: ORCA! Orca is a report that you can run in your environment which can highlight known configuration issues and improvements which can impact your experience with Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP).

Start from Exchange Online Powershell

Start up your Exchange Online Powershell Module from:

PowerShell Module Exchange Online

Installation of ORCA

  • Install-Module ORCA
Install Orca


  • Get-ORCAReport


The results are logged in a log in your userprofile. And will be populated in a really great HTML overview.

High-level overview of the Office 365 ATP ORCA Report

Configuration Analyzer Report

Recommendation example

Compliant Level
Safe Links

What’s in scope?

  • Configuration in EOP which can impact ATP
  • Safe Links configuration
  • Safe Attachments configuration
  • Antiphish and antispoof policies.

Coming Soon!

  • At MS Ignite session’s Microsoft announced a new best-practice portal in Office 365’s admin console. This session can be found here: 79719(BRK2104)
Best Practive Analyzer

Bring it all together

  • Export and compare multiple customer-scenario’s. This will help you determine the differences.
  • Modern Security mechanisms as Office 365 ATP are continues improving and need continues attention and recurrent validations. (each month!)
  • In 2018, the percentage of inbound emails that were Phishing messages grew 250%. That trend has continued to grow with increased level of targeting and sophistication! Still super important!
  • Focus on user education and training. In addition to advanced security tools for detection, investigation and response still 40% is user-related.
  • More and more control an reporting will come to the Office 365 portal!
  • AND NOW since you have the report in a easy way. ACT and enable best-practices!
The Multi-factor-authentication struggle? AND the solution!

The Multi-factor-authentication struggle? AND the solution!

The struggle for a Multi-factor authentication implementation is REAL and most of the time, really frustrating? Some frequently asked questions and answers below! Let’s change problem into a solution.

We don’t want to use Multi-factor authentication – it’s too complex!

  • Ask the people in your organization if they use the same password as their corporate account for: Dropbox, Yahoo, Gmail, Facebook. Do they?
  • I know, it’s really bad advice. But type your ‘old’ password in Haveibeenpwned.com Is it still ‘safe’?
  • Do you have MFA on your Facebook account? Your iCloud account, You’re private mail? Is it that bad?

How to tackle the resistance!

  • END-USER AWARENESS: There are a lot of organizations helping with a great case which can help your organization (including Microsoft) to communicate well. Communicate – make people understand WHY – support them – give them more!
  • MEASURE THE NEED FOR MFA: Measure the impact in your organization. And make people understand WHY. You could send out a ‘false Payroll update’ and measure how many people are entering their credentials. Make them aware that they did very good not entering their corporate credentials. Don’t punish people because they did. Help them to identify and understand phishing mails. https://protection.office.com/attacksimulator
ATP Phishing demo
Change Password
  • SELF-SERVICE: Give people in the organization the ability to get some pro’s because they ‘need’ to do MFA. For example: self service reset password possibilities. It could also mean that the workload of IT-teams will decrease because of self-service mechanisms. It’s nearly impossible (insecure) to deliver self-service without a trusted-second factor.
  • MODERN MANAGEMENT: Bring all your devices in a Azure AD in a state where they are at least Azure AD Joined so users will have pro’s like Single-Sign-On in Microsoft Edge. Other browsers are possible, but requires a little bit more time.
  • CONDITIONAL ACCESS: It’s simple to define a basic set of conditions where there shouldn’t be an second factor required. For example your work-environment. It creates a huge way of possibilities to have a better roll-out. Better have MFA with one condition then having no MFA at all.
Passwordless authentication codes
  • PASSWORDLESS AUTHENTICATION: Deliver passwordless authentication. It will help your users to not struggle with their password. Implementation guide here.
  • MEASURE THE RISK(S): Login to your Azure AD portal and export all sign-in logs of the last 3 month. Filter on SUCCESS and filter on a country which your company is not in. (or filter out all locations you are in and work with the left-overs) You have leaked credentials. Mostly it’s clear after this simple exercise.
  • MICROSOFT AUTHENTICATOR APP: You could just use SMS as a factor but don’t bother and use the Authenticator App
s Azure AD
  • AZURE ADVANCED THREAT PROTECTION: Work with Azure Advanced Threat Protection in a ‘Pilot’. This setup will cost you 60 minutes. Order a trial license of Microsoft 365 E5, go through the wizard of Azure ATP and add your domain controllers as a sensor.
Azure Advanced Threat Protection

After 30 days go to the console and export: Passwords exposed in clear text, lateral movement paths to sensitive accounts. I’m sure you can find something happening without knowing! This will bring insights where you had none before.

ATP Reports Cloud
  • THIRD PARTY ASSESSMENT: Work with third-party tools to measure the security or cyber-security maturity of your organization.
  • CLOUD APP SECURITY: Measure that data is extracted to machines to understand the needs in your environment. This will prioritize the need of identity-protection (later data-control)
Cloud Discovery Reports

Advice to IT Administrators

  • Maintain an 8-character minimum length requirement (and longer is not necessarily better)
  • Eliminate character-composition requirements.
  • Eliminate mandatory periodic password resets for user accounts.
  • Ban common passwords, to keep the most vulnerable passwords out of your system.
  • Educate your users not to re-use their password for non-work-related purposes.
  • Enforce registration for multi-factor authentication.
  • Enable risk based multi-factor authentication challenges.

Microsoft Password guidance didn’t changed in years. It’s still great!

It isn’t only commercial talk..

Microsoft sees over 10 million username/password pair attacks every day. This gives them a unique vantage point to understand the role of passwords in account takeover. 99.9 percent of attacks on your accounts can be prevented. (and it is not)

Side nodes