Tag Archives: This

For Sale – HP Probook x360 11 G3 – Touchscreen Laptop

HP probook x360 11 G3 – Excellent condition. Bought this for my Daughter secondary school but she is comfortable using Ipad and this never gets used. Had this for just 5 months and used maybe 5 times.
No scratches.. Comes with original charging cable and original box.
Pickup from Woodford Green can be arranged.

Windows 10 Pro

Intel Celeron N4000 (2 Core), 1.1 GHz (2.6 GHz Max Turbo)

4 GB (1x 4 GB), DDR 4, 2400 MHz Ram

64 GB embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC)
11.6 inch 1366 x 768 HD, LED-backlit

Happy to take reasonable offers

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12 Microsoft 365 security best practices to secure the suite

Part one of this two-part series on Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) security weaknesses examined some of main misconfigurations that cause problems when trying to securely operate or migrate to the cloud-based Microsoft 365 suite of services. While knowing the challenges is half the battle, what about addressing those challenges? Based on our work with clients, our research data and a review of available information, Nemertes recommends the following 12 best practices to secure Microsoft 365.

  1. Implement a Microsoft 365 cybersecurity task force. To address known concerns with Microsoft 365, we recommend enterprises form a cybersecurity team focused specifically on Microsoft 365 cybersecurity. This team should be responsible for the following:
  • educating itself on the known issues;
  • recommending remediations and best practices;
  • developing a security-based project plan for the Microsoft 365 migration;
  • working directly with any third-party providers to ensure migration and implementation align with best practices; and
  • working directly with Microsoft’s technical experts if issues arise.
  1. Review Microsoft documentation. Microsoft has an extensive library that grows daily, documenting security vulnerabilities — particularly those related to configuration issues. As a regular practice, the task force should review the library. Earlier this year, for example, Microsoft added a recommendation to the repository that businesses should use Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) to validate and authenticate mail servers to ensure destination email systems trust messages sent from company domains to help companies fortify their systems.

    Using DMARC with Sender Policy Framework (SFP) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) provides additional protection against spoofing and phishing emails. The library has hundreds of recommendations like this. As a result, the task force should familiarize itself with the library’s documentation and, as a regular practice, continue reviewing the library on a regular basis.

  1. Enable and use DMARC, SPF and DKIM. When used together, these three protocols dramatically reduce the risk of spoofing and phishing. Use Microsoft Exchange as your email service provider in this configuration.
  2. Enable multifactor authentication (MFA) by default, at the very least for administrator accounts and, ideally, for all accounts. The May 2019 U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) report noted that MFA for administrator accounts isn’t enabled by default, yet Azure Active Directory (AD) global administrators in a Microsoft 365 environment have the highest level of administrator privileges at the tenant level. Modifying this configuration to require administrator MFA is a huge step toward ensuring security.
  3. Enable mailbox auditing by default. The CISA report also revealed Microsoft didn’t enable auditing by default in Microsoft 365 prior to January 2019. The Microsoft 365 task force should ensure this step is enabled by default.
  4. Determine if password sync is required. By default, Azure AD Connect integrates on-premises environments with Azure AD when customers migrate to Microsoft 365. In this scenario, the on-premises password overwrites the password in Azure AD. Therefore, if the on-premises AD identity is compromised, then an attacker could move laterally to the cloud when the sync occurs. If password sync is required, the team should carefully think through the implications of a premises-based attack on cloud systems, or vice versa.
  5. Move away from legacy protocols. Several protocols, including Post Office Protocol 3 and Internet Mail Access Protocol 4, don’t effectively support authentication methods such as MFA. CISA recommended moving away from all legacy protocols.
  6. Upgrade all software and OSes prior to migration. Earlier versions of Microsoft software, such as Office 2007, have known security vulnerabilities and weaker protection thresholds. Upgrade all software to current versions prior to migrating to Microsoft 365.
  7. Test all third-party applications before integrating them into Microsoft 365. If you are using Microsoft 365 in conjunction with third-party applications — developed in-house or by outside companies — be sure you conduct solid cybersecurity testing before integrating them with Microsoft 365.
  8. Develop and implement a backup and business continuity plan. Many organizations wrongly assume that, because Microsoft 365 is cloud-based, it is automatically backed up. That’s not the case; Microsoft uses replication rather than traditional data backup methods. As a result, it can’t guarantee an organization’s files will remain available if files are compromised through ransomware or accidental deletion.
  9. Implement cloud-based single sign-on (SSO). Known vulnerabilities in Microsoft 365’s security protocols involve using cross-domain authentication to bypass federated domains. The best approach to mitigating these issues is to deploy SSO as a service from a provider such as identity and access management company Okta or identity security company Ping Identity.
  10. Assess your Microsoft Secure Score and Compliance Score. Microsoft has developed two registries for Microsoft 365: Secure Score and Compliance Score. These registries list hundreds of steps customers should take to improve their overall scores and include a way to indicate whether they’ve done it, not done it yet or accept the risk. Secure Score is aimed at traditional security, such as “Did you enable MFA?” Compliance Score offers a general assessment, as well as regulation-specific assessments, such as GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

Microsoft 365 security effort requires focus

In summary, Microsoft 365 is peppered with cybersecurity vulnerabilities, in its architecture and design and in the default configuration. The known vulnerabilities and best practices discussed here are just a start. What’s more important is that enterprise technology pros maintain a focused and ongoing cybersecurity effort to protect their environments.

Organizations are facing a lot of pressure to migrate to Microsoft 365. Nemertes believes the platform’s cybersecurity challenges can be overcome with effort and attention. In particular, it is vital to have a Microsoft 365 cybersecurity task force. This is not an optional component of any migration to Microsoft 365. That means companies need to consider the cost and effort involved in creating and maintaining an ongoing Microsoft 365 task force when computing the ROI of migrating to the platform. If the perceived benefit of agility and a cloud-based environment exceeds the cost of maintaining a focused internal group, a move to Microsoft 365 is warranted.

This was last published in June 2020

Dig Deeper on Email and messaging threats

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For Sale – Apple iMac Pro 10-Core, 64GB RAM, 16GB VEGA GRAPHICS & AppleCare **RRP £6,699**

This Apple iMac Pro is in Mint condition and complete with the original box.

It was a customised upgrade, that would cost £6,699 if purchased from Apple Direct today.

I don’t need the power these days, so can go to a new home

Plus, it comes complete with the Satechi iMac Pro Hub which adds USB-A and C ports on the front, plus MicroSD and SD sockets, in matching Space Grey.

I’ll also chuck in a new Satechi Desk mat in black too.

Spec details:

  • 3.0GHz 10-core Intel Xeon W processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz
  • 64GB 2666MHz DDR4 ECC memory
  • Radeon Pro Vega 64 with 16GB of HBM2 memory
  • 1TB SSD storage
  • Magic Trackpad 2 – Space Grey
  • Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad – British – Space Grey

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For Sale – Custom built PC. 8GB, i5 core, 1TB drive. Large upgradeable Cosmos tower.

How well will this run something like iRacing, Assetto Corsa or Forza 7

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For Sale – Brand new Alienware m15 R2 (i7, RTX 2070, 256GB SSD)

I won this beautiful piece of equipment at a conference in NL a couple of weeks back but I use a Macbook Pro for work and don’t game so it’s been sitting around collecting dust and now, trying to fund a start-up it’s a good opportunity for me to sell.

It’s never been used, the lid has been opened once to take the picture for this thread and it’s never been out of the box. Seals still on the screen. Did a bit of research and these are real state of the art machines, not too clunky and the keyboard isn’t obnoxiously small – over-all I think whoever buys it will have a hell of an experience.

I’ve sold phones on here and also a Macbook Pro without issue! Also, i’ll link my ebay profile where I used to sell refurbed phones if anyone wants to check my rep.

I will be posting for FREE using the most competent and reliable logistics companies so either DHL or DPD – tracked a signed for next day delivery. No RoyalMail BS in this thread!

(Also, the box has the plastic on it because DHL stick their labels in a sticky bag)

SPECS:

9th gen Intel Core i7 9750H
8GB DDR4 RAM
RTX 2070 8GB GDDR6
256GB PCIe SSD
15 inch FHD 60hz display
Comes with Win-10 pre installed.

Also comes with European power adapter (as I won it in NL) so a UK wall adapter will work fine.

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Cisco acquisition of ThousandEyes has many user benefits

Cisco plans to acquire internet intelligence vendor ThousandEyes. The acquisition, announced this week, would give Cisco customers better visibility into internet connections among the data center, branch offices and multiple cloud providers.

The Cisco acquisition is expected to be complete by the end of October. After the transaction closes, Cisco’s software-defined WAN customers would be the first to benefit from the combined company, said Shamus McGillicuddy, an analyst at Enterprise Management Associates.

Like most SD-WANs, Cisco’s Viptela product provides users with solid visibility into the virtual network, or overlay, between the SD-WAN at the branch and cloud applications. With ThousandEyes, Cisco would also provide intelligence on the underlay’s performance, which would be the public internet.

“Cisco has the opportunity to offer integrated visibility into both layers of a hybrid network,” McGillicuddy said.

ThousandEyes monitors the performance of traffic paths over the internet through software agents running on dozens of facilities owned by AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. The vendor also has agents in the data centers of colocation partners, such as Equinix and Cogent, in more than 150 cities.

ThousandEyes customers also deploy agents on the virtual private clouds companies create to run applications on the infrastructure of public clouds. As a result, the vendor’s customers view internet performance from the software running on a cloud provider to the end user.

ThousandEyes and Cisco AppDynamics

Cisco is likely to provide some integration between ThousandEyes technology and AppDynamics, McGillicuddy said. The latter is Cisco’s product for monitoring the performance of applications and computing infrastructure in the data center.

ThousandEyes has many customers using its technology and AppDynamics as their primary performance management products, the company said.

McGillicuddy said Cisco could also package ThousandEyes with Cisco’s Duo Security two-step authentication service and its AnyConnect VPN software. The combination would provide Cisco customers with tools for improving application access for people working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is something that is so important right now with so many people working from home,” McGillicuddy said. “I urge Cisco to focus on this opportunity.”

Cisco did not disclose how much it was paying for ThousandEyes, but Bloomberg reported the cost of the Cisco acquisition was nearly $1 billion. Cisco planned to fold the company into the networking services business unit.

ThousandEyes CEO and co-founder Mohit Lad will become general manager of the ThousandEyes operation, with CTO and co-founder Ricardo Oliveira continuing to lead product development.

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What’s New in Microsoft Teams | May 2020

This month, we have new meetings, calling, devices, chat, collaboration, platform, and industry features we will not want you to miss. Read on to stay up-to-date. If you are interested in our recent Microsoft Build news, check out our Teams Build blog!

What’s New: Meetings, Calling, and Devices
Improved meeting join launcher experience
When launching a Teams meeting from a link, you will be provided with clearer options for how to join the meeting. You will be prompted with an option to join on the web, download the Teams client, or join with the native Teams client. We are gradually rolling this out over the coming weeks, and in the interim, you may continue to see this and the former experience.

Easily access meeting options during a Teams meeting
We are making it easier for meeting organizers to quickly and easily change their presenter and lobby settings once a meeting has started by providing a link directly in the participants pane. This new functionality is available for both scheduled and “Meet Now” meetings.

Download a participant report in a Teams meeting
Meeting organizers, especially teachers, often need to know who joined their Teams meetings. You can download a participant report, found in the roster view that includes join and leave times for participants. Available in the roster view, meeting organizers can download the report that includes those users who joined while the organizer was present. This feature is only available within the meeting while the meeting is active. Available on desktop (Windows and Mac) and the web.

Set tenant-wide default selection for “Who Can Present” in meetings
Tenant admins can now update their Teams meeting policies to allow for a new default selection when choosing who can present in new Teams meetings (everyone, people in my organization, specific people, or only me). Today, the default selection is “everyone” unless the meeting organizer selects otherwise through the meetings option configuration. To start, organizations can set this policy via a PowerShell cmdlet, and soon after we will have this policy configurable in the Admin portal.

Set background effects policy at a user-level
Tenant admins can soon assign a user-level policy to control how users engage with background effects in Teams meetings. Options include: offer no filters; background blur only; use background blur and default provided images; and all, which includes the ability for users to upload their own custom images.

Better policy controls over screen sharing from chats
Screen share from chat allows you to immediately start sharing your screen in a 1-1 chat or group chat. This entry point was previously governed by the AllowPrivateCalling policy. If this policy is disabled, users are not able to screen share from chat. The option to start a screen share from chat will now be governed by the ScreenSharingMode policy. Further, the ability to “add audio” to a screen share from chat session (if you want to talk to someone while screen sharing) will be governed by a user’s AllowPrivateCalling setting. This ensures that users who have AllowPrivateCalling disabled cannot start audio calls via screen share from chat.

Teams and Skype Interoperability
Teams and Skype interoperability will enable collaboration with more partners, customers, and suppliers who rely upon Skype for Consumer (SFC) as their communication app. On either platform, customers will be able to discover users via email search, then chat or call using audio/video. Clients supported include Desktop, Web and Mobile (iOS/Android). Admins will be able to control user access to this feature from The Teams Admin Center.

Reverse Number Lookup (RNL) Enhancements
In the past, the caller name sometimes did not show when they called you. Back in October 2019 we released the feature to make it easier to identify the caller. With the latest enhancements to RNL, the Telco display name will now also show up in your Activity Feed, Call History, and Voicemail as well.

Microsoft Teams Rooms, app version 4.4.41.0 now available
While physical meeting rooms may not be a focal point for many right now, there are still organizations and industries whose essential workers continue to rely on these spaces during this time. We also recognize the vital role Microsoft Teams Rooms will play when organizations return to work. The latest update, app version 4.4.41.0, is now available on the Windows store and is coming to every Teams room over the next few weeks. New features include: Modern authentication support, New application splash screen, Ability to project content to a single display when using a HDMI cable in a dual display configuration, Support for dynamic emergency calling, and more. To learn more about these new features, read the Microsoft Teams Rooms May Update blog.

Poly announces new solution for Microsoft Teams Rooms
Poly Room Solution for Microsoft Teams not only delivers the premium Poly audio and video for Teams, but also provides a clutter-free experience from start to finish, with simple installation and maintenance in any size room. To learn more about the Poly solutions for Microsoft Teams Rooms, coming later this year, click here.

Jabra PanaCast now certified for Microsoft Teams
The Jabra PanaCast is a plug-and-play device, certified for Microsoft Teams. The Jabra PanaCast is designed to improve meetings by using three 13-megapixel cameras and real-time video stitching to give a full 180° view. Enjoy a natural, inclusive human perspective, with no blind spots ensuring quick, easy collaboration with hassle-free video and audio. To learn more about the Jabra PanaCast, click here.

Yealink, EPOS, and Jabra announce new Teams peripherals
With increased demand for remote work and virtual communication, having the right set of personal devices provides painless interaction and increases time for meaningful connection. With Teams certified devices, you can join professional meetings anywhere with high audio fidelity that removes distracting background noise and ensures that your voice is heard clearly.

Here are some new releases this month:

  • EPOS ADAPT 360, 460T, 560, and 660 headsets range from in ear and over the ear options that optimize concentration and productivity any environment with Active Noise Cancellation, Bluetooth connectivity, and a dedicated Teams button. Availability varies by product: ADAPT 360 (July 3), ADAPT 460T (June 29), ADAPT 560 (June 26), ADAPT 660 (June 22). You can learn more here.

  • Yealink UH36 Dual/Mono is a simple and lightweight USB headset with a dedicated Teams button for long conference calls. Availability starting on May 15. You can learn more here.

  • Jabra Speak 750 is a speaker phone with a dedicated Teams button helps users hold natural conversations with USB and Bluetooth. Availability starting on June 1. You can learn more here.

Limited time partner offers available for Teams Devices
Crestron
Crestron is offering a program for customers looking to upgrade existing systems to those certified for Microsoft Teams. Special offers are available for a Crestron Smart Soundbar, Flex C-Series Integrator Kit and Mercury system. Offers end June 30, 2020 and are available in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Asia and EMEA. Purchase orders must be placed through an authorized Crestron dealer.

Poly
For customers using Trio Visual+ in Skype for Business who would like to move to a Microsoft Teams environment, Poly is offering a Trio Visual+ to Poly Studio X30 Trade In program. With this promotion, Poly Microsoft customers can replace Trio with Poly Studio X30 and TC8 controller, or pair Trio with the Poly Studio X30, for Teams video meetings in huddle and small room spaces. Between April 15, 2020 and December 31, 2020, customers can trade in Trio Visual+ and save up to $200 when they upgrade to a Poly Studio X30 or up to $300 when they upgrade to a Poly Studio X30 with TC8 controller. This program is globally available.

Yealink
For a limited time, Yealink is offering a devices bundle trial program for remote workers, giving customers 50% off MSRP on any two WFH devices (limit one per device model). This offer is valid through July 31, 2020 and is globally available. Additionally, Yealink is offering a coupon code for the VC210 Teams edition collaboration bar on the Microsoft Teams devices showcase. Use the coupon code: Yealink4Teams at checkout to access the discounted price. This offer is available in the US and Canada only and is valid through July 31, 2020.

What’s New: Chat & Collaboration
Templates in Teams
Create a new team even faster with a variety of templates for common team types. Options will include event management, crisis response, hospital ward and bank branch, just to name a few. Templates comes with pre-defined channels, apps, and guidance on how to utilize and customize it. IT professionals can standardize team structures by creating new custom templates for their organization. Templates in Teams will roll out in the next few months and appear automatically. Check out the deep dive blog to learn more.

Microsoft Lists in Teams
Microsoft Lists helps you track information and organize work. Lists are simple, smart, and flexible, so you can track issues, assets, routines, contacts, inventory and more using customizable views and smart rules and alerts to keep everyone in sync. To learn more, visit the new Microsoft Lists resource center and get first looks at the Microsoft Lists product demo video.

Create a new list directly inside Teams or bring in one that already exists in Microsoft 365.

You can create, share, and track list all from within Microsoft Teams.

Bring more people together in group chats and teams
Whether you need to collaborate with others to deliver a big project or work with a large group of people to complete an ad-hoc task, Microsoft Teams now allows you to bring more people together. Group chats will now be able to accommodate up to 250 users and teams can now have up to 10,000 members.

Pop out chats into separate windows
Users can now streamline their workflow and pop out chats into separate windows. This allows people to move more easily between ongoing conversations. This is now generally available.

What’s New: Onboarding your organization to Teams
New Skype for Business to Teams Upgrade Advisor
Our newest Advisor for Teams, the Skype for Business Upgrade plan, has launched within the Microsoft Teams Admin Center. Whether you’re just getting started with Microsoft Teams, already using Teams alongside Skype for Business, or ready to upgrade, this provides everything you need for a successful transition. Designed for Skype for Business customers with online or on-premises environments, the Skype for Business Upgrade plan shares a proven success framework for implementing change and step-by-step process to enable your organization’s technical and end-user readiness. We’ll connect you with valuable upgrade resources including planning guidance and best practices, free workbooks, schedules and communication templates and live 1:many planning workshops. Learn more here about using Advisor for Teams to help you roll out Teams and upgrade from Skype for Business.

What’s New: Developer, Platform, and App management
Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code Extension for Teams
Developers can use the new Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code Teams extension to quickly build project scaffolding, configure features, create app package manifest and setup hosting, validate app package manifest, and start the app publishing process (for yourself, to your organization’s catalog, or to the Teams app store). Visual Studio Code extension is available in public preview today. Visual Studio extension coming soon!

Bringing low-code bots to Teams, with Power Virtual Agents
We are working with the newest component of the Power Platform – Power Virtual Agents, which is a low-code chatbot platform. New features will make it easier to create and manage low-code chatbots from within Teams and more streamlined for end users to use Power Virtual Agents bots in Teams. These new features are:

  • Bot Template: FAQ bot template available in GitHub
  • Single sign-on: Power Virtual Agents bots will be available, removing the need for users to sign in again when using a Power Virtual Agents bot in Teams

Simplified Power Apps and Power Virtual Agents “Add to Teams”
Coming soon, Power Apps makers will be able to click a single “Add to Teams” button in Power Apps, which will push the app to the Teams app store. Similarly, the process of adding low-code bots from Power Virtual Agents will be simplified, so developers can spend more time building and less time deploying.

Enhanced workflow automation with Power Automate + Teams
There are several new Power Automate triggers and actions built specifically for Teams to unlock custom message extensions, allow for automated @mentioning, and provide a customized bot experience. To make the process of building automation even easier, we are also rolling out new business process scenario templates built for Teams. When users create a new flow, they will see these templates when they select the “Create from Template option.”

Improved Power BI sharing to Teams
We have made it even easier to share Power BI reports to Teams – simply select the report to share and click the new “Share to Teams” button in Power BI. You’ll be prompted to select the user or channel to send the report to, which will automatically be posted to the conversation.

Users can now also copy individual charts in a Power BI report, and when they are pasted to a Teams conversation, the chat will include a rich thumbnail preview of the chart, as well as an adaptive card allowing users to take actions on that chart.

If you want to read more about all our new developer capabilities, check out our Teams Developer blog post: What’s New in the Microsoft Teams Platform | Build 2020.

What’s New: Education
Change in meeting join experience for our education customers
Today, we allow anyone within an organization to start a Teams meeting, regardless if they are the meeting organizer or not. Moving forward, we will restrict the ability to start a meeting to only those users who have been assigned a policy to create a meeting within their organization. Meeting attendees without the ability to create a meeting will see a pre-join screen indicating that the meeting hasn’t started. These individuals will be automatically admitted into the meeting once a user with permissions joins and starts the meeting. For example, where teachers are assigned a policy that enables them to create meetings, but students are not: if a student clicks on a Teams meeting not yet started by a teacher, they will be admitted into the meeting once a teacher has started a meeting.

Keeping distance learning engaging and secure
With many school and universities closed for the foreseeable future, Teams supports faculty, educators, and students to connect, engage, and learn. Here is the latest guidance on how to maximize learning at a distance and keep students safe:

  • Manage student, faculty, and staff engagement in meetings, live events, chat, and more. Learn more about these settings and how to manage them here.
  • Get started in Teams with student and educator quick start guides and create, run, and attend safe Teams meetings with this guidance.
  • Customize your school’s distance learning toolkit with these LMS integrations in Teams.

What’s New: US Government
In-line message translation in GCC and GCC High
In-line message translation will ensure that every worker in the team has a voice and facilitate global collaboration. With a simple click, people who speak different languages can fluidly communicate with one another by translating posts in channels and chat. This is now generally available.

To see many of these new capabilities in action with demonstrations, check out today’s Microsoft Mechanics video: Microsoft Teams updates | May 2020 and beyond.

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Steer clear of trouble while following the Office 365 roadmap

Microsoft will make several changes to the Office 365 platform this year that will affect enterprise users. Email client changes and new features in the Office suite and subscriptions can increase support calls, but administrators can help themselves through training and engagement.

Microsoft, which was once tolerant of customers on older products, is pushing customers to adopt the latest Windows 10 build and Office suite to take advantage of new Office 365 functionality and capabilities. At time of publication, the Office 365 roadmap shows nearly 250 features in development with nearly 150 rolling out. Some of the changes include:

  • After October 2020, only Office 2019 and Office Pro Plus will be allowed to connect to Office 365 services, such as email on Exchange Online and SharePoint Online;
  • Microsoft Outlook will receive several changes to its user interface throughout 2020;
  • Office Groups and Microsoft Teams will be the focus for collaboration tool development;
  • Office ProPlus is no longer supported in Windows 8.1, Windows 7 or older on the client operating system and Windows Server 2012, 2012 R2 and 2016 on the server side.

Given the number of updates in the works, many administrators realize that the wave of change will affect many of their users, especially if it requires upgrading any legacy Office suite products such as Office 2013, 2016 and even 2010. To ensure a smooth transition with many of the new Office 365 tools and expected changes, IT workers must take several steps to prepare.

Develop an Office 365 or Office 2019 adoption plan

One of the first steps for IT is to plot out a strategy that outlines the upcoming changes and what needs to be done to complete the adoption process. During this step, the IT team must detail the various software changes to implement — upgrades to the Office suite, introduction of Microsoft Teams and other similar items. The adoption plan can define the details around training material, schedules, resources and timelines needed.

Identify platform champions to help encourage adoption

To be more effective when it comes to gaining the trust of their end users and keeping them invested with the upcoming Office 365 roadmap features, administrators must identify a few platform champions within the business to help build support within the end-user groups and outside of IT.

Build excitement around the upcoming changes

Changes are generally met with some resistance from end users, and this is especially the case when it comes to changing tools that are heavily used such as Outlook, Word, Excel and certain online services. To motivate end users to embrace some of the new applications coming out in 2020, administrators must highlight the benefits such as global smart search, a new look and feel for the email client and several enhancements coming in Microsoft Teams.

Be flexible with training materials and methods

Everyone learns differently, so any training content that administrators provide to the end users must come in several formats. Some of the popular delivery mechanisms include short videos, one-page PDF guides with tips and tricks, blog postings and even podcasts. One other option is to outsource the training process by using a third-party vendor that can deliver training material, tests and other content through an online learning system. Some of the groups that offer this service include BrainStorm, Microsoft Learning and Global Knowledge Training.

Monitor progress and highlight success stories

Once IT begins to roll out the adoption plan and the training to the end users, it is important to monitor the progress by performing frequent checks to identify the users actively participating in the training and using the different tools available to them. One way for the administrators to monitor Office activation is through the Office 365 admin portal under the reports section. Some of the Office usage and activation reports will identify who is making full use of the platform and the ones lagging behind who might require extra assistance to build their skills.

Stay on top of the upcoming changes from Microsoft

End users are not the only ones who need training. Given the fast rate that the Office 365 platform changes, IT administrators have a full-time job in continuing to review the new additions and changes to the applications and services. Online resources like Microsoft 365 Roadmap and blog posts by Microsoft and general technology sites provide valuable insights into what is being rolled out and what upcoming changes to expect.

Share stories and keep the door open for continuous conversations

Microsoft Teams and Yammer are highly recommended for administrators to interact with their end users as they are adopting new Office 365 tools. This gives end users a way to share feedback and allows others to join the conversation to help IT gauge the overall sentiment around the changes in Office 365. They also provide IT with an avenue to make some announcements related to major future changes and evaluate how their end users respond.

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When will mobile voting be ready?

Listen to this podcast

This week’s Risk & Repeat podcast examines the rise of mobile voting apps and how security experts have expressed concerns about the risks deploying the technology for elections.

This week’s Risk & Repeat podcast looks at the prospect of mobile voting apps being deployed for U.S. elections in the near future.

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised concerns about in-person voting at potentially crowded polls with long lines. But despite those concerns, various security experts as well as mobile voting advocates say the technology won’t be ready for widespread deployment in elections any time soon. Critics of the technology argue the mobile apps aren’t secure enough to ensure the integrity of votes, while advocates say there isn’t enough funding or infrastructure to support a large rollout of the technology.

In this episode, SearchSecurity editors Rob Wright and Alex Culafi discuss the challenges facing mobile and internet voting options, the friction between voting system vendors and the security research community, and the potential of these systems in future elections.

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