Tag Archives: Dropbox

Cloud App Discovery spotlights shadow IT users

Do you know what end users do with a company’s data? Do they use Dropbox to share documents with clients? Discuss…

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trade secrets via Slack? Plan secret projects on Trello? The Cloud App Discovery feature in Office 365 reveals certain shadow IT practices admins need to know to secure the enterprise.

End users often enlist cloud services to perform their jobs, but the practice of introducing unsanctioned apps invites risk. It circumvents security practices, which potentially opens the company to an unexpected compliance issue or a cyberattack. Cloud App Discovery uncovers shadow IT without the need to implement agent-based software on users’ computers and mobile devices.

Here’s how to identify and monitor use of unauthorized cloud services within the organization — and what to do about it.

Find hidden app usage with Cloud App Discovery

Office 365’s E3 subscription includes Cloud App Discovery, a component of Cloud App Security. This service interprets log files from web proxy servers, firewalls and network devices, such as wireless access points and switches, to create a visual picture of the shadow IT services used in the organization.

Cloud App Security dashboard
Figure 1. The Discover tab in Office 365 Cloud App Security presents a visual summary of shadow IT services used in the organization.

The Office 365 version of Cloud App Discovery indicates services that have similar functions to Office 365 apps, especially productivity services. Therefore, the discovered apps section does not include nonproductivity applications. We’ll show how to uncover those later in this article.

Create reports of productivity apps

Cloud App Discovery uses logs taken from a network device that sits between end users and the internet. The Cloud App Discovery service supports common log file formats, such as those generated by Cisco access points, open source web proxy servers or third-party cloud services, such as Symantec Websense.

The admin then accesses the Cloud App Discovery feature from the Security & Compliance Center. Download a log file from the network device in a format that Cloud App Discovery supports, navigate to the main console and choose Discover > Create new snapshot report.

Search for and specify the log format from the list, then upload the log file. Office 365 takes up to 24 hours to process and display the results.

Log file upload
Figure 2. To create a new snapshot report, search for the log format you want to use, and upload the log file.

Navigate to Discover > Manage snapshot reports to see the uploaded file. Office 365 shows processed reports as Ready.

Manage snapshot reports
Figure 3. The snapshot reports section indicates when the admin uploaded the report and its status.

The report shows the productivity apps in use from the Office 365 platform and from other cloud services. Select an app to open an Excel spreadsheet for more details, such as how many users accessed the service, how many times users accessed it and the amount of traffic uploaded to and downloaded from the service.

Discovered apps
Figure 4. View the report to see the productivity apps that are in use and to see detailed information about each app.

Automate the log upload process

Organizations that subscribe to Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS) E3 can extend Cloud App Discovery’s functionality in several powerful ways.

The continuous reports feature automates log uploads through a customized VM with a syslog server and an HTTPS uploader.

To configure continuous reports, use the Discover > Upload logs automatically option in Cloud App Security. The admin adds a data source, which replaces the uploaded log file. The admin then defines a log collector and links it to the data source, which generates the information to deploy the Hyper-V or VMware VM.

After the VM deploys, configure one or more network devices to send data to the log collector in the format that matches the defined data source. Figure 5 shows an example of a Cisco Meraki device set up to send URL data in syslog format to the log collector’s VM IP address.

Configure URL data
Figure 5. Configure a network device to send data to the VM IP address for the log collector.

After about 24 hours, results from logged data will appear in the Cloud App Discovery section. The admin accesses both real-time and historic information related to app usage.

Cloud App Discovery dashboard
Figure 6. The Cloud App Discovery dashboard shows current app usage statistics and provides access to historical information.

See the threat level of shadow IT services

Aside from productivity services — such as webmail, cloud storage and content sharing — Cloud App Discovery also provides visibility into other areas. The EMS-based version of the tool detects internet of things devices, cloud service use from providers such as Amazon Web Services and visits to websites.

Cloud App Discovery ranks the discovered services based on risk score from one to 10. A lower score indicates a more suspicious application. The Cloud Discovery service determines the rank through assessment of security policies, such as where the data resides, who has access, who has control and whether organizations can prevent unauthorized access.

Apps designed for enterprise use, such as Google’s G Suite, get good scores. Services that provide less organizational control, such as WhatsApp, receive poor grades.

WhatsApp is considered a risky service because no one has administrative control. For example, a financial advisor who communicates with a client over WhatsApp could breach regulations because the business cannot record the conversation for future discovery.

View the detailed report on each service, and decide whether to approve the cloud service.

Figure 7 lists the services with usage statistics and threat level:

Discovered apps tab
Figure 7. The Discovered apps tab lists the services used on the company network with details on the traffic used and the risk score.

Take action against shadow IT

Administrators should take action when armed with data from Cloud App Discovery. If workers use Trello, Slack and Box, then admins should deploy the corresponding Office 365 services — Planner, Teams and OneDrive for Business, respectively.

However, IT should still take action even if the business can’t make these Office 365 apps immediately available. In that case, let end users know that the company plans to roll out Microsoft services to replace shadow IT apps. Explain the benefits of the move, such as service integration across the Office 365 suite.

The EMS-integrated capabilities give admins a way to configure security alerts when workers use these unsanctioned apps. Part of the continuous reports feature partially controls the use of apps. For example, an admin creates a rule that identifies when a user downloads a lot of data from Office 365 and then uploads a lot of data to Dropbox. When the rule detects this activity, the admin gets an alert and notifies the security team to block that user’s access to Office 365.

Next Steps

Slack or Microsoft Teams: Which one makes more sense?

Shadow IT dangers present best opportunity to use cloud access security brokers

Regulate shadow IT to reduce risk

Dropbox for Windows 10 is here

The Dropbox app for Windows 10 will begin rolling out in the Windows Store this week as a free download for Windows 10 customers.

Dropbox app for Windows 10

Dropbox makes it easy to view or edit your files on any device, anytime and anywhere; to privately share files of any size with anyone; and to back up your work automatically. With this new app built on the Universal Windows Platform, users will be able to take advantage of the convenience of Dropbox with great Windows 10 features such as Windows Hello, Live Tiles and Notifications.

Here are some of the new features in the Dropbox app for Windows 10:

  • Updated for Windows 10: Performance improvements and faster launching for our Universal Windows Platform app.
  • Enable Windows Hello: Add an extra layer of protection with Windows Hello, which uses either your face, fingerprint, or iris instead of your password to unlock your Dropbox*.

Enable Windows Hello with the Dropbox app for Windows 10

  • Quick Access to Recent Files: Using Jump List, all you have to do is right-click on the Dropbox app icon in your taskbar.

jumplist

  • Interactive Device Notifications: Accept a shared folder invitation without opening the app with Notifications.

Using Jump List in Dropbox for Windows 10, all you have to do is right-click on the Dropbox app icon in your taskbar.

  • Quick Search: You don’t need to click on the search icon; just type what you want to search.
  • Drag and Drop: To move or copy a file into Dropbox, just drag and drop it from Windows File Explorer. Within the app, you can also move or copy files into other folders by dragging and dropping them between folders (hold Ctrl to copy).

2 Drag and drop

  • Commenting: Add comments directly on your files, and bring others into the discussion with @mentions.

1 Comments

  • Coming Soon: the Dropbox app for Windows 10 Mobile. Stay Tuned!

Our partnership with Dropbox has helped more than 17 million people get more work done on the go. With Windows 10 running on over 200 million devices worldwide, we’re excited to continue to offer our fans easy and convenient access to photos, documents, and files anytime, anywhere.

You can also head over to the Dropbox Blog where Michael Shaffer, Vice President of Business Development and Partnerships at Dropbox talks more about the app and our work together.

The Dropbox app for Windows 10 is optimized for tablets and will begin rolling out in the Windows Store in the coming days. If you’re using a Windows 10 PC, you can try out these features** with the new app or use the Dropbox desktop client.

*Hardware dependent. 
**Windows 10 features are available in the Dropbox for Windows 10 app via the Windows Store.

Skype Translator speaks Mandarin and Italian, Build 2015 plans a road tour, Star Wars movie collection comes to Xbox – Weekend Reading: April 10 Edition

The Force is with us big-time this week: We’ve got stories about Skype Translator debuting in Mandarin and Italian, Build 2015 making a first-ever road tour worldwide, and all six Star Wars films being available digitally for the first time on Xbox Video.

Skype Translator adds two more languages, Mandarin and Italian, joining Spanish and English in the preview program. Adding Mandarin Chinese is quite a feat; it’s a “very challenging language to learn, even for Skype Translator,” noted Yasmin Khan in a Skype blog post. “With approximately 10,000 characters and multiple tones, this is one of the most difficult languages for a native English speaker to master, along with Arabic, Japanese and Korean.” Microsoft researchers and scientists in Beijing, China, worked very closely with their U.S.-based colleagues to build the recognition, language and translation models for Mandarin.

Build is doing a road trip! Build 2015, the developers’ conference April 29-May 1 in San Francisco, is sold out, but if you want to see some of Microsoft’s latest technologies and hear Build speakers in person, you’re in luck: Build is going on the road. The Build Tour, from May 18 through June 15, will come to 10 cities around the world: London, New York, Atlanta, Austin, Sao Paulo, Berlin, Mexico City, Singapore, Auckland and Sydney.

Build 2015, developers

Pay it forward by helping teach computer science to high schools students. High schools around the country are in desperate need of your computer science smarts if you’re an engineer, software developer or programmer. An easy way to connect your talent and skills is through Microsoft’s volunteer TEALS (Technology Education and Literacy in Schools) program. More than 475 TEALS volunteers across the nation now are team-teaching Computer Science 101 and AP Computer Science with classroom teachers in more than 130 schools. Applications are being accepted through May 1. TEALS founder Kevin Wang shares appreciative comments from TEALS students at a recent event.

TEALS, education, computer science

A student participates in a coding activity during a recent TEALS field trip.

All six Star Wars films are available, starting today, for the first time on Digital HD and on Xbox. Also newly available is the Netflix original series “Marvel’s Daredevil.” For Star Wars, exclusives are being offered for Xbox customers who purchase the saga on Xbox Video, including R2-D2 as an Xbox Live avatar and the action-packed Star Wars Pinball Pack for the free-to-play game “Pinball FX 2” for Xbox One or Xbox 360. In “Marvel’s Daredevil,” join Matt Murdock – blinded as a young boy but imbued with extraordinary senses – as he fights injustice by day as a lawyer, and by night as the Super Hero Daredevil. It’s Marvel’s first original series on Netflix, and is the first of four series to come.

Star Wars, Xbox

Office 365 introduced Exchange Online Advanced Threat Protection, a robust email filtering service that protects against specific types of advanced threats, including unknown malware and viruses. The system extends the protection already available in Office 365’s Exchange Online Protection. Also in Office news this week: Office Online and Dropbox expanded their ongoing partnership with integration between Dropbox on the Web and Office Online. Now you can browse, open and edit files in Dropbox online with Office Online. You can also create new files in Office Online and save directly to your Dropbox.

Our app of the week is the new Shazam, which makes exploring, buying and sharing music even easier for Windows Phone users. You can now preview favorite Shazams with Xbox Music Playbox and add your favorite songs from Shazam’s Charts to the My Shazam section. Meanwhile, if you’re just starting your taxes (*looks at self*), get some help from Mint, MSN Money and other apps, including TaxCaster, which lets you quickly calculate your estimated tax refund. If, after your tax prep, you’re not in the mood to cook for real, you can still have some fun with the game, “Toca Kitchen 2,” with some crazy new food combinations to try out. Or just let it go, and play the updated “Frozen Free Fall,” with 45 new birthday levels, three new game modes and dazzling dresses.

Shazam, Windows Phone, apps

This week on our global adventure to find people who #DoMore on the Microsoft Instagram page, we traveled to Brazil, where we met Rodrigo Rodrigues, a man of many passions. Follow us on Instagram to see his story.

DoMore, Instagram

That’s it for this edition of Weekend Reading. May the Force be with you for a great weekend, and we’ll see you next Friday!

Posted by Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff

More productivity for all, smarter cities, and Eddie Vedder and Microsoft raise money for rare disorder — Weekend Reading: Nov. 7th Edition

October may have left you in a candy-induced haze, but the first week in November comes with opportunities for increased productivity and news of inspirational people, and their actions. Read on!

Microsoft Thursday announced new and updated Office apps and experiences for the iPhone and iPad, a preview of Office for Android tablets and the ability for customers using these devices to create and edit Office content without a subscription. “With Office on nearly every device, it’s incredibly important to us that customers have a consistent experience and the ability to do more – anywhere and everywhere,” writes John Case, corporate vice president for Microsoft Office.

officeverywhere-infographic-2-984x1024

In other notable news, Microsoft announced, Tuesday, a strategic partnership with Dropbox to integrate file sharing services across Microsoft Office on phones, tablets and the Internet. “In our mobile-first and cloud-first world, people need easier ways to create, share and collaborate regardless of their device or platform,” said Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella.

Also on Tuesday, Kirill Tatarinov, executive vice president of Microsoft Business Solutions Group, announced at Convergence 2014 Europe in Barcelona, Spain, that Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 will be generally available next month. The new release includes advancements in natural user interface and integration with virtual assistant Cortana. Check out other highlights from Microsoft’s premier conference for the business community, here.

WR_3_convergence

Imagine a place where beacons affixed to neighborhood objects ping information to a headset worn by someone who’s visually impaired to help them navigate an urban environment. This isn’t a city of the future, it’s a London suburb. The technology? Microsoft’s 3D soundscape in partnership with the charity Guide Dogs. The /stories team has the full scoop, in glorious, high-def detail.

Speaking of glorious high-def, imagine attending a private Eddie Vedder concert with 90 of your colleagues. That was a dream come true for a lucky few Microsoft employees thanks to their generous donation to the EB Research Foundation — the perfect capper to a banner Employee Giving Campaign season.

vedder

If your plans call for travel, and you like art, check out the City Art Search app, a great resource for finding galleries that house your favorite artists’ works and other must-see masterpieces. View the art, then plan to see it with Art Finder, which pinpoints its location on Bing Maps. If you’re more about breaking a sweat than exploring the Baroque period, check out the Microsoft Health app for Windows Phone, Android and iOS, which helps you achieve fitness goals by tracking your heart rate, steps, calorie burn and sleep quality. Pair the app with the new Microsoft Band wearable device.

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This week on the Microsoft Facebook page, we featured Laura Butler, Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft. Laura told us, “If it’s not fun, you’re doing it wrong.”

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Wishing success, whether your weekend calls for having fun, getting more done, getting in shape or helping your fellow man. Join us for more Weekend Reading. Same time. Same place.

Posted by Aimee Riordan
Microsoft News Center Staff