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Vol. 20, #7 - February 23, 2015 - Issue #1017
Here's this week's Dilbert comic which naturally is on the topic of corporate security:
I've been having recurring nightmares re-connecting my Win 7 PCs to an old HP printer on an XP desktop, every time the power goes out or the router needs to re-boot. Your tip here: http://www.wservernews.com/go/1423576396937 saved the day. I'm still only able to connect to the XP when I use its local IP address, not its name. The machine does not show up when I browse the network. Microsoft really stepped in it when they added all sorts of enhancements to good old workgroups. But at least it works and I know how to fix it next time the XP machine gets assigned a new IP address. Thanks so very much!
By the way, if you can point me to any easy to follow advice for a very small business that's trying to move from a Server 2003 environment to Office 365 with SharePoint, I'm all ears. It's harder than it should be. We just want to be able to share files and host our QuickBooks company file on SharePoint the way we do it on the Server now.
Another reader named Steve who runs a business that provides consulting and support services was gracious enough to reply to both of Hans' questions as follows:
Am responding to the question regarding the small office – I have several offices that are still running 2003 and the prospect of moving to Office365 keeps me up nights having to export to PST and then import to new profiles. However, I found a company called BitTitan that will do the upload in a few simple steps and the cost is reasonable. Product is called MigrationWiz – enter server OWA address and the Office365 credentials and migrate.
Regarding the WinXP PC printing issue – set a reservation in your firewall or worst case assign a static IP to the XP PC so if it does reboot, you never have to touch any of the other PC's to reconnect to the printer.
You can find more info about BitTitan on their website:
Ask Our Readers: WServerNews has almost 100,000 subscribers worldwide. That's a lot of expertise to tap into. Do you need help with some issue or need advice on something IT-related? Got a question you'd like us to toss out to our readers to try and answer? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
You'd think that MS would be smart enough to realize that after the mistakes they have made with Windows 8 (and 8.1) they would of kept support for 7 active at least until Windows 10 is finished. I'm a manager in an IT department and we are NOT going to upgrade the Windows 7 system in our organization until there is a better choice than 8.1 available. Hopefully that choice is 10. Apparently Microsoft is out of touch with their customers or doesn't care about making them happy customers.
A reader named Jim who owns his own company said the following:
If Microsoft drops support for Windows 7 and no longer activates Windows 7 as it does with XP, it is the end of Microsoft and my company. EVERY Windows 8 system I have sold, I have had to buy back! The simple complaint: IT SUCKS!
My medical users tell me it is not HIPPA compliant and cannot be used where a patient can see the PC because of a vast number of reasons and therefore they will NOT load their medical application on it!
I have a modified version I created that looks like Windows 7 but the terrible hype about Windows 8 has KILLED it. If the same idiots release a "home" version of 10 (as I am testing) sell your Microsoft stock.
Another angry reader named Lorne had this to say about Microsoft:
Something will have to be done about Microsoft, sooner or later. I have Windows 7 ultimate 64 on two machines for which I paid, in good coin of the realm, an exorbitant sum. I have only had Windows 7 for a few years and already Microsoft is trying to force us to spend more money. This has simply got to stop. I have a machine running Windows 95, another running XP, another running Windows 98 second edition and all of them access the Internet just fine and do all of the other things I need to do as well. Microsoft must be congratulated because they have managed to get us all to drink the Kool-Aid. I am not particularly interested in increasing Microsoft's already bloated bank account. I have other words that I could use but are not necessarily appropriate for this note. I could say one thing, Microsoft can go to hell and reside there permanently for aught I care.
Another reader named Richard sent us this comment:
To force anyone onto the horrid Windows 8 is an egregious malicious act.
Finally, a reader named Ron responded to the "got feedback?" blurb in our last issue with the following short but sweet comment:
Yeah any thoughts: Windows 8.1 sux
Let's hope Windows 10 doesn't.
Now on to our Editor's comments for this issue...
A number of organizations have responded to this problem by blocking their users from using the app. For example, PCWorld has an article about the EU Parliament blocking the app here:
Whether you're a Microsoft Exchange admin or use Office 365 in your organization, you may want to block users from using this app until the security concerns have been resolved by Microsoft to your satisfaction. You can learn how to block the app on ExchangeServerPro here:
George Chetcuti has a short article on WindowSecurity.com, one of our TechGenix family of sites, describing how the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has identified the Secure Socket Layers (SSL) v3.0 protocol as no longer being acceptable for protection of data due to inherent weaknesses within the protocol. George's article has a link to a bulletin from the PCI Security Standards Council where you can learn more about this:
One of the hottest emerging trends in IT and cloud computing is running applications in containers instead of in virtual machines. For a simple explanation of the difference between these approaches, see this article by Scott Lowe on NetworkingComputing:
Containers have become so popular that even Microsoft Azure supports them, and not just for Linux VMs but also for VMs running Windows Server:
While containers provide organizations with another way of provisioning applications to users, there may be security risks with using them as Lenny Zeltser explains in this new article on his website:
Finally, Dave Piscitello a.k.a. The Security Skeptic has a helpful article on his blog describing five different ways you can monitor DNS traffic for possible security threats to your network. DNS is such a foundational part of IT infrastructure that securing it is essential nowadays, so I recommend you read Dave's article:
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Continuing with this issue's topic of security, Andrew Case has compiled a helpful list of good books on topics like security, digital forensics, incident response, malware analysis, and reverse engineering, and so on. Take a look:
One announcement this week from the Microsoft Virtual Academy:
March 26: Azure Active Directory Core Skills Jump Start
Join us for Part 1 of the "Enterprise Mobility Core Skills" series. Microsoft Corporate Vice President Brad Anderson and Microsoft Technical Evangelist Simon May help you prepare your environment for mobility with Windows 10, including Identity and Access Management (IAM) in Azure AD, single sign-on, user self-service management, multifactor authentication, and more. Don't miss it! Register today!
"The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat." --Lily Tomlin
Until next week,
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VNew Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server gives you fast, transaction-level recovery of SQL DBs. With agentless transaction log backup and replay, you can restore SQL DBs to a precise point in time:
Fiddler is a free web debugging proxy for any browser, system or platform:
Become more productive with your documents, pictures, music, source code with xplorer2, a desktop file manager:
BlueScreenView scans all your minidump files created during Blue Screen Of Death crashes and displays the information about all crashes in one table:
The Microsoft Excel tip we included in last week's issue seemed to hit a chord with our readers as several of them submitted their own Excel tips to us. Below are two reader tips that we found particularly helpful along with a third tip that was submitted to us by someone at Microsoft which concerns an Outlook calendar issue.
I use this so much at work and it has always frustrated me not knowing how to do it that I thought I would share.
If you ever subtotal a list (Simple Example Below) and then want to copy only the rows that you see to a new sheet for further analysis, it doesn't work. You select the information, copy and paste to a new sheet and all the rows come with it:
The secret? Highlight the rows, press ALT + ; (that is, hold the ALT key while pressing the semicolon). This selects only the visible rows and allows you to paste them wherever you want.
--Submitted by Brian Drab
I was training a group in Microsoft Excel and was asked if there was a simple way to change a list into all upper case text. I demonstrated how to add a temporary column next to the list and use the formula =UPPER(cell_reference). Use auto fill to populate the formula to the full list range. Then copy and paste special - values over the original text. The =LOWER(cell_reference) and =PROPER(cell_reference) Functions can be used the same way.
This wasn't the crowd pleaser though. I got wows and "why didn't you tell us this before?!" from a simple function key toggle. In Microsoft Word and Outlook you can highlight any amount of text and press SHIFT + F3. This is a three-way toggle between upper, lower and proper cases.
--Submitted by Jim Way
For years and years I've had this issue but wasn't able to find a resolution. If I did a reply or reply all of a calendar invite that I originally created, the reply includes Friday, April 3, 1998 11:38 AM as the timestamp for when it was sent. I could repro this 100% of the time from Outlook whether it be 2013 or previous versions prior to 2013.
Well it turns out the issue is not specific to this date 1998. It appears that many years ago when I installed an addin for Cisco Unified MeetingPlace, it took over my default calendaring option and now every time I reply to an invite I created, it will have the incorrect 1998 timestamp.
The resolution was to change the following: Right click on My Calendars/Calendar, select Properties, select "When posting to this folder, use" and select IPM.Appointment instead of what it was currently set to which was MeetingPlace Meeting:
This did not fix existing calendar invites, but it did fix new ones.
--Submitted by Quincy Tan. Quincy is an Account Technology Strategist at Microsoft and builds cool new devices with OEM partners. He is the WW Technical Sales lead for Apps and Services in the OEM division
GOT TIPS you'd like to share with other readers? Email us at email@example.com
Microsoft Ignite on May 4-8, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois, USA
PLANNING A CONFERENCE OR OTHER EVENT you'd like to tell our 95,000 subscribers about? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Join experts Brien Posey, Microsoft MVP and Roy Lopez, Netwrix Sales Engineer, as they discuss the increasing frequency of data breaches and real-life lessons learned by organizations, including recent examples such as the Anthem breach. Brien and Roy will also discuss future trends based on recent data breach investigation and address a range of important, timely topics, including:
You'll also learn how change and configuration auditing can help organizations enable complete visibility into what is happening across the entire IT infrastructure to successfully deal with security challenges.
The webinar will include a Q&A session with our expert presenters to answer your top questions!
PLANNING A WEBCAST you'd like to tell our subscribers about? Contact email@example.com
Selecting a Cloud Management Platform (Part 2) (CloudComputingAdmin.com)
The case for Hybrid Clouds: Business and technology drivers and requirements (CloudComputingAdmin.com)
Reserved IP Address Options in Microsoft Azure (CloudComputingAdmin.com)
New features in Azure Backup – Long term retention, offline backup seeding and more (Microsoft Azure Blog)
BYOD Basics: Microsoft's Mobile Device Management Toolset (CanITPro)
Manage Mobile Devices and Policies in Active Directory (Redmond Magazine)
Managing Exchange Online using Server 2012 R2 Essentials Experience Role (Part 5) (MSExchange.org)
16 Tips to Optimize Exchange 2013 (Part 3) (MSExchange.org)
Cloud Security: You Can Never Stand Still (CloudComputingAdmin.com)
Microsoft Outlines Security Protections Using Azure Active Directory (Redmond Magazine)
When Good Clouds Go Bad: All about Cloud Services Outages (Part 2)
Security Best Practices for AWS (IaaS) EC2 (Part 2)
System Center Virtual Machine Manager for Beginners (Part 10)
Security: A Shared Responsibility (Part 3)
Configuring Active Directory Recycle Bin
While there is a lot that goes into becoming a cloud admin, from tools to certifications and more, you can ace the interview portion of the hiring process by utilizing a few simple tactics. Start preparing for your interview by studying these five questions that are sure to put you ahead of the other applicants.
Choosing a Hyper-V virtual hard disk is not easy. There are a lot of files associated with a virtual machine that are running on Hyper-V, so it is crucial that users choose the right fit for their production workload. Discover today which virtual hard disk is right for your production workloads so you can streamline the selection process.
Despite the benefits of using a mobile device as a thin client, differences in crucial elements, such as network speed and touch interfaces, still impose challenges. So, how do these pain points get resolved? Discover the pros and cons of utilizing tablets and smartphones as thin clients inside.
Performing an upgrade to virtual hardware is crucial for administrators looking to get the most out of their virtualization investments. However, they also need to be prepared to undo the change if any problems arise. Get the answers to your VM compatibility mode and virtual hardware questions, and learn how to execute a virtual hardware upgrade today.
GOT FUN VIDEOS or other fun links to suggest you'd like to recommend? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
One of our colleagues found this on YouTube:
The most amazing bowling tricks, featuring the greatest bowling master of all time - Andy Varipapa:
Funny animals playing mischief on each other:
Japanese cat relaxing in front of the fireplace, purring loudly:
Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. Mitch was lead author of the bestselling Windows 7 Resource Kit and has been author or series editor for almost fifty books mostly published by Microsoft Press. Mitch is also a ten-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his outstanding contributions in support of the global IT pro community. Mitch owns and runs an information technology content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information see www.mtit.com.
Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of WServerNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. Ingrid is also manages research and marketing for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.