It is Time to Get Serious About Data Privacy! Add Microsoft Security to your Office 365 Subscriptions

Microsoft provides a holistic approach to security, helping you to protect identities, data, applications, and devices across on-premises, cloud, and mobile.

Foundational to the security of every computer system are the following:

  • Threat protection using Microsoft Defender for Office 365 which safeguards your organization against malicious threats posed by email messages, links (URLs), and collaboration tools.

There are two available plans, the following table summarizes what’s included in each plan.

Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Plan 1- $2.00/user/month Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Plan 2-

$5.00/user/month

Configuration, protection, and detection capabilities:
Safe Attachments
Safe Links
ATP for SharePoint, OneDrive, and Microsoft Teams
Anti-phishing in Defender for Office 365 protection
Real-time detections
Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Plan 1 capabilities+
Automation, investigation, remediation, and education capabilities:
Threat Trackers
Threat Explorer
Automated investigation and response
Attack Simulator
Campaign Views

Learn more

  • Information protection and Identity and access management using Office 365 Data Loss Prevention and Exchange Online Archiving
  • Office 365 Data Loss Prevention – $3.00/user/month

That helps your organization:

  • identify sensitive information across many locations, such as Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, and Microsoft Teams.
  • Prevent the accidental sharing of sensitive information.
  • Monitor and protect sensitive information in the desktop versions of Excel, PowerPoint, and Word.
  • Help users learn how to stay compliant without interrupting their workflow.
  • View DLP alerts and reports showing content that matches your organization’s DLP policies.

Learn more

  • Exchange Online Archiving – $3.00/user/month

That assists your organization with your archiving, compliance, regulatory, and eDiscovery challenges while simplifying on-premises infrastructure, and thereby reducing costs and easing IT burdens.

Learn more

 

 

What’s New In Microsoft Teams

What’s New : Meetings

Virtual Breakout Rooms
Breakout rooms allows meeting organizers to divide the meeting into smaller groups to facilitate discussions and brainstorming sessions. A breakout room can be created in a Teams meeting or a Teams channel meeting, allowing greater flexibility on how you want to meet. Organizers can easily jump in between breakout rooms, deliver announcements to all breakout rooms at once, and bring everyone back to the main meeting at any time. Any files from the breakout rooms can be shared in the main meeting and is available afterwards in the meeting chat. Learn more.

End-of-meeting notifications
Microsoft Teams notifies the participants in a meeting when there are five minutes remaining in the scheduled meeting time. The notification appears on screen for 10 seconds and disappears without any user action. This helps you stay on track and wrap up as necessary without unintentionally running late to your next schedule. Notification is triggered for all scheduled private and channel meetings and does not cause the meeting to end automatically.

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Teams meeting pre-join experience
We have now improved the pre-join meeting experience for Teams meetings including easier discovery of audio, video, and device configurations before joining a meeting. Previously, you had to go to settings to change meeting devices, but now these can be easily adjusted prior to the meeting in the pre-join experience.

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New languages supported for real-time translation in live events
Translate Japanese, Korean, French, French-Canadian, Spanish, Spanish-Mexican, Traditional Chinese, Swedish, Dutch, Italian, Hindi-Indian, Portuguese-Brazilian, and Russian into up to 50 different languages. Learn more.

Live events limit increases are extended until June 30, 2021
To continue help support our customers, through June 30, 2021, we extended limit increases for live events, including:

  • Event support for up to 20,000 attendees
  • 50 events can be hosted simultaneously across a tenant
  • Event duration of 16 hours per broadcast

Additionally, events for as many as 100,000 attendees can be planned through the live events assistance program. Learn more.

 

What’s New : Calling
Multiple Number Dialing
You can now see a split button in the chat header for audio/video calling. This displays multiple numbers for a single contact making it easier to view available numbers to initiate a call.

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Live Captions for 1:1 Calls
Whether you’re in a noisy environment or just missed what was said, live captions can make it easier to follow along in calls. Admins can disable this capability if desired, and users have control to turn these off. For the most accurate captions possible, it is recommended to speak clearly into the microphone and avoid having multiple people speaking at the same time.

 

What’s New: Devices
New features rolling out to Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows
The latest app for Microsoft Teams Rooms on Windows, version 4.7.15.0 is now available in the Teams Admin Center. The latest update includes the following new capabilities:

  • Cortana Voice Assistance (Preview): Launching in Preview, in-room meeting attendees can now use voice assistance powered by Cortana to join and end their meetings without touch. Using natural language, people can simply state “Cortana, join/end my meeting” for a seamless hands-free experience.
  • Control Spotlight from console: People in the meeting room can now control the Teams meeting Spotlight feature from the Teams Rooms console control. Once enabled, the individual identified as the spotlight will be the main video shown to all participants in the Teams meeting.
  • Share HDMI audio: A highly requested feature, users connecting to a Teams Room via HDMI can now share their PC audio into the Teams meeting.

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Enhanced meeting experiences on Teams phones
Teams phones now support a new video layout including 3×3 gallery view, large gallery view for more participants and Together mode. Using 3×3, users can see the video feeds of up to 9 meetings participants at a time. For even larger meetings, enable large gallery view to show up to 49 participants. Teams phones now also supports Together mode, the meeting experience where participants are transported to a virtual shared space. No matter which style of meeting you select you can always enable background blur to reduce distractions and obscure any imagery found in a video setting.

 

Proximity Join for Teams conference phones
Proximity based meeting join for an available Microsoft Teams conference phone is supported from this update. The Microsoft Teams client on your PC and mobile detect proximity of the conference phone via the BLE beacon transmitted by the phone and allow you to add the phone easily to the meeting from your pre-join screen on your desktop or mobile client. When a user adds the conference phone to the meeting, the phone would auto accept the incoming meeting request. Learn more.

 

New unified communication workstation and phone form factors from Yealink and Audiocodes
Yealink is excited to introduce a new set of peripherals, the WH66 and WH67, an integrated unified communication workstation. The all-in-one format has a built-in speakerphone, wireless mobile phone charger, multi-touch screen and USB hub. Calling is now even more convenient with a dedicated Teams button. All these features reduce the number of tools and wires on a desktop, simplifying a workspace and boosting productivity.

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Make Life Easier for Users and IT with Citrix

Download Citrix e-book Today.

There have never been so many ways for people to get work done. Mobile devices and apps allow employees to be productive from anywhere, at any time. That’s certainly great for the business—but it complicates life for IT.

The more options people get, the more diverse the enterprise environment grows. Plus, the more difficult it becomes for IT to secure, provision, patch, update, repair, and maintain all the software and hardware now in use across the workforce.

Welcome to the painful reality of today’s distributed enterprises the world over.

Some might say that these headaches are simply growing pains on the path to a cloud-first world. That once you centralize and standardize on a single cloud platform, all the headaches will go away.

Unfortunately, that’s just wishful thinking.

The fact is, we like choice, even in clouds. In fact, a majority of organizations that already in the cloud are in multiple types—whether on-prem, off-prem or hybrid. (A recent study put the percentage at almost 73 percent, with that number rising every year.) The reason? Flexibility, pure and simple. One cloud platform might work well for content collaboration, but it doesn’t necessarily do what you need for delivering apps or services to distant users.

The surprise for most, however, is that you don’t have to give up all the choices and flexibility to avoid the dreaded complexity that today’s distributed infrastructures create.

With a secure digital workspace, you can get both, making work and IT simpler. That’s because a secure digital workspace provides a single place for people to securely access all their apps, desktops, and data from anywhere.

Employees become more productive and engaged because they get a consistent single sign-on experience, no matter how or where they work, including:

• Any device

• Any cloud

• Any network

• Any type of app—cloud/SaaS, web, mobile, Windows

On the back end, a secure digital workspace gives IT unified security and control without the cost and complexity of managing myriad point solutions. Plus, they can simplify endpoint management and security, which is a good thing since the number of network-connected devices is expected to be almost 50 billion connected devices by 2020.*

More importantly, a secure digital workspace can help you increase business agility. Because you can onboard employees and offices faster and roll out new services and apps in less time, you—and your users—can respond to new opportunities in ways you never thought of before.

So if you’re finally ready to make the leap into the cloud, be sure to deliver a strategy that works not only for the business, but your workforce as well. To learn more about how a secure digital workspace can make your users more productive, simplify IT and deliver the security and agility your organization requires download this Ebook now !

The Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Plan 1 & Plan 2

We are pleased to announce the General Availability (GA) of Attack simulation training in Microsoft Defender for Office 365. Delivered in partnership with Terranova Security, Attack simulation training is an intelligent social engineering risk management tool that automates the creation and management of phishing simulations to help customers detect, prioritize and remediate phishing risks by using real phish and hyper-targeted training to change employee behaviors.

Emulate real threats with intelligent simulations  

Intelligent simulations automate simulation and payload management, user targeting, schedule and cleanup. In the Microsoft 365 Security Center, administrators can launch a simulation and choose a technique commonly used by attackers and target users.  

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Attack simulation training dashboard

 Wide variety of Phishing Techniques

Following the simple steps outlined in the workflow, administrators can choose from the top five social engineering techniques and select the phish template from a list of real attacks seen in their tenant. Optionally customers can upload their own template and then select the users to whom the simulation will be sent.  

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Phishing Techniques available 

Phish Template Library from Real Phish Emails

To maximize accuracy, Attack simulation training pulls its phishing templates from real world phish attackers seen in the customers environment. The security administrator can automate a “payload harvester” that collects and neutralizes phish emails received by the organization.­­

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Payloads Available

Through the real payload harvester, Attack simulation training trains employees to identify and report the kinds of emails real attackers will send them. The security administrator can set up targeted payload harvesting as well, using conditions like technique used, department targeted and frequency.

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Payload Harvesting Conditions

­­­­­­Finally, security administrators can add ‘phishing indicators’ like an incorrect domain name, an urgency tip or a misspelled company name to train end users on commonly-seen phishing indicators.

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Add indicators to phishing templates

 User targeting and training assignment

User targeting is automated, and the administrator can use any address book properties to filter for a user list and target them. The administrator can also quickly import a list of “repeat offenders” or employees who have failed a simulation in the past and target the simulation to this group.

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Target users based on address book filters

The administrator can then assign training tailored to a user’s behavior in the simulation. Microsoft recommends training to assign based on learning pathways and our intelligence into which training is effective for which kinds of behavior. The administrator can also choose to assign training themselves. For example, an administrator may choose to assign 3 trainings to users who were compromised in the simulation but only 2 to those who clicked and 1 to all users. The landing page on which the end user will land to access this training are wholly customizable for the look and voice of your brand. Finally, the administrator has the option to schedule the simulation to launch right away or at a later time, which can be customized by recipient time-zone.  

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Assign Training

Customized Role Based Access ensures that administrating the simulation and training is a secure and diversified workflow.

Quantify social engineering risk and prioritize remediation through training

The training effectiveness metric, which plots your organization’s actual compromise rate in a simulation against Microsoft’s predicted compromise rate, measures the effectiveness of the training program. Overlay the dates of training completion and simulations to correlate which trainings caused a drop in compromise rate and evaluate their effectiveness. 

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Training Effectiveness Report

Gain visibility over your organization’s training completion and simulation status through completeness and coverage metrics and track your organization’s progress against the baseline predicted compromise rate. Every reporting dashboard can be filtered in different ways and exported for reporting.  Multiple reporting views allowing you to drill down on training efficacy, training completion, repeat offenders and coverage.

Reinforce the human firewall with industry-leading Security Awareness Training

Terranova Security’s huge library of phish training content enables personalized and highly specific training targeting based on the user’s behavior during a simulation.

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Training Library

Nanolearningsmicrolearnings, and interactivity

 cater to diverse learning styles and reinforce awareness. Additionally, all trainings are available in 40+ languages and accessible to the highest standards to meet the needs of Microsoft’s global customers.  

Attack simulation training enables organizations to improve their security posture by training their employees effectively and changing risky behavior. Organizations can choose from multiple training options to best fit their needs – using Microsoft’s recommended learning pathways, choosing to assign training manually, or choosing not to add training to a simulation.

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E3 Trial

As Microsoft mentioned in their blog announcing the expansion of public preview to E3 license holders, we will continue to offer a subset of Attack simulation training capabilities to E3 customers as a trial. The trial offering contains the ability to use a Credential Harvest payload and the ability to select from 2 training experiences ISA Phishing and Mass Market Phishing. The trial offering will not include any other phishing techniques, automated simulation creation and management, conditional payload harvesting, and the complete catalog of Terranova Security trainings.

To get started today, go to Attack simulation training in your M365 Security and Compliance Center or use this link: aka.ms/AttackSim. 

Dynamics 365 Project Operations preview is now available

Now more than ever, operating with the speed needed to deliver successful project-based services requires that everyone involved—from leaders to team members and contractors—can predict, adapt, and rapidly respond to change, all while practicing social distancing and with teams working remotely.

Our vision for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Operations is to connect teams across the project delivery lifecycle and unlock the business agility and resilience needed for success. Today, we are announcing the next milestone in achieving that vision and invite you to participate in the Dynamics 365 Project Operations Preview Program.

Get more accurate quotes and perfect sales to delivery hand-offs

Your sales team will provide the best customer experience from the first touch point by creating project proposals that outline scope and provide more accurate quotes. Be sure to take the time to create a full client proposal, including delving into the flexible and multidimensional pricing capabilities, as well as the project planning functionality, that is key to nail the hand-off from sales to project delivery teams.

Optimize resource scheduling with accurate demand forecasting

People are the cornerstone of your project-based services businesses—making it imperative to retain top performers. Project Operations helps you take better care of your people by making the best use of their time and skillset, while providing insights on resource utilization across the business. Explore how you can match team member skillsets with project demands. And don’t miss the advanced scheduling engine that simplifies resourcing processes. Increased awareness of how you are utilizing your resources allows you to make better workforce decisions, resulting in better quality of work and higher customer and employee satisfaction.

Improve collaboration across all team members

With your teams operating remotely, it is important to keep everyone connected and working efficiently. While evaluating Project Operations, we suggest you dig into the forecasting and dashboards that will ensure team members have the data they need to make confident decisions. Also, check out Microsoft Teams to keep everyone connected, as Project Operations will allow for Microsoft Teams integration to facilitate world-class collaboration and teaming. In addition, keep in mind that Project Operations is built on the Microsoft Power Platform and you can expand your team’s access to business intelligence with Microsoft Power BI.

Deliver projects on-time and on-budget

Empower your project teams to be responsive by enabling consistency in practice and procedures with true process governance. Explore Microsoft Project for the web project management tools that are embedded in Project Operations. Take a look at the project planning capabilities, Kanban board, and Gantt charts that let users see project timelines in relation to one another. The rise in the need for enhanced mobility among your project team members and delivering an outstanding customer experience is more important than ever, so ensure you explore Project Operations from your mobile devices.

Drive financial performance and increase project profit margins

Last, but definitely not least important, delve into the comprehensive project costing and accounting capabilities of Project Operations. You will want to take the time to look at budgeting, forecasting, time and expense tracking, project costing, and billing capabilities. And don’t forget to dig into the financial insights and metrics that will keep profit margins front and center.

Get everything you need to run your project-based services business—quotes, resourcing, project delivery, time and expense, project accounting, and business intelligence—all in one solution for better insight, collaboration, and visibility. Project Operations ensures you can deliver exceptional services to your customers on-time and on-budget, every time.

The Microsoft Open License program changes

Learn about how we’re simplifying licensing through the new commerce experience for public sector customers.

In September 2020, we announced another step toward our new commerce experience to support your digital transformation with new offers through the Microsoft new commerce experience and removal of purchasing options that no longer meet customer needs. This was announced for commercial customers only. Today we’re sharing several related changes that impact public sector—education, government, and nonprofit—customers.

Key changes

1. Perpetual software licenses

Microsoft is taking a significant step to simplify licensing by introducing perpetual software license purchases through the new commerce experience, as part of our Cloud Solution Provider program for partners. Targeting July 2021, all partners enrolled in the Cloud Solution Provider program will be able to sell perpetual software licenses (without Software Assurance) to government, education, and nonprofit organizations for on-premises deployment. Software licenses will be available to commercial customers in January 2021.

What’s already available through Cloud Solution Provider for public sector

What’s coming through Cloud Solution Provider for public sector

  • Online services for government community cloud
  • Online services education offers
  • Online services nonprofit offers
  • Software licenses for government
  • Software licenses for education
  • Software licenses for nonprofit

2. Open License program change

Starting on January 1, 2022, commercial, government, education, and nonprofit organizations won’t be able to buy new or renew software licenses, Software Assurance, or online services through the Open License program. New license-only purchases should be transacted through partners in the Cloud Solution Provider program. You can continue to renew and purchase new software licenses, Software Assurance, and online services through the Open License program until December 31, 2021.

3. Open Value for education and nonprofit organizations

To support the change to the Open License program, we’re adding software licenses and Software Assurance offers to the Open Value program for eligible education and nonprofit customers. This will provide like offers with the Open License program. Education and nonprofit customers that want to continue buying new licenses with Software Assurance and online services can buy through the Open Value program starting in March 2021. Open Value is already an option for government customers.

What’s already available through Open Value for public sector

What’s coming through Open Value for public sector

  • Government licenses and subscriptions*
    • License and Software Assurance
    • Software Assurance renewal
    • Online services
  • Education and Nonprofit licenses and subscriptions
    • License and Software Assurance
    • Software Assurance renewal
    • Online services

*Open Value for Government available in Canada and Denmark on January 1, 2021

Options for software licenses and online services

Your options for existing and new purchases after January 1, 2022 are outlined below.

  • If you’re buying perpetual software licenses only (without Software Assurance) and want to continue doing so:
    1. Buy perpetual software licenses from qualified partners participating in the Cloud Solution Provider program. These partners also offer guidance if you’re evaluating online services and looking for value-added solutions, and offer the flexibility needed to address your hybrid use needs with both software licenses and cloud offers. Talk to your software reseller to find out if they are a Cloud Solution Provider or find a partner.
    2. For alternatives, talk to your current licensing partner.
  • If you have Software Assurance coverage through the Open License program:
    1. Your Software Assurance term, including benefits, will continue until its expiration, even if the expiration is after December 31, 2021.
    2. The Microsoft Open Value program is recommended for future purchases that include Software Assurance. Available for government organizations now and in March 2021 for education and nonprofit organizations.
    3. The Microsoft Open Value Subscription* program doesn’t offer perpetual software licenses but is a lower-cost subscription that gives you rights to use the software during the agreement’s term and also includes Software Assurance.
  • If you have online services through the Open License program:
    1. Any unused online services tokens can still be assigned and used, even after December 31, 2021, provided it occurs within the five-year term of token purchase.
    2. If you want to purchase additional online services subscriptions, you can work with a partner in the Cloud Solution Provider program to purchase online services subscriptions or you can buy additional online services tokens through the Open Value program or Open Value Subscription* program or from the Microsoft Store. Purchasing through the Open Value program is available for government organizations now and in March 2021 for education and nonprofit organizations.

*Nonprofit pricing isn’t available through Open Value Subscription.

Key Dates

Software licenses available through Open Value Software licenses available through Cloud Solution Provider Last day to buy/renew through Open License
Government Available now July 2021 December 31, 2021
Education March 2021 July 2021 December 31, 2021
Nonprofit March 2021 July 2021 December 31, 2021

If you’re evaluating cloud services and looking for value-added solutions, you can get guidance from your qualified and trusted partner. If you want to continue with Software Assurance on your licenses, the Open Value program is an established way to get it. Talk with your partner about which option is best for your organization.