Archive for News

Microsoft’s EMET 5.0

In case you missed it, Microsoft rolled out version 5.0 of their Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) in July 2014. This follows on the heels of EMET 4.0 (Nov 2013) and EMET 4.1 (May 2014).

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What is EMET?

You may be asking yourself What is EMET? Why should I install it? Where or when should I install it? Susan Bradley has written an in-depth article on EMET, covering all of these questions. I highly recommend reading her article.

EMET helps defend against zero-day threats. It is a standalone security application, but that does not mean that it should be installed on every workstation. The basic guideline is to install EMET on this systems where you do any online tasks that involve sensitive personal information, purchases and online banking.

EMET: A Customer’s Perspective

Installing EMET

EMET can be installed standalone, which is what I am showing here. The EMET manual offers additional information and guidance for businesses and domain-based networks.

If you have a previous version of EMET installed, you will need to uninstall it first and reboot before installing EMET 5.0.

If you wish, go ahead and download and install EMET 5.0 now! Installation is straightforward, and does not require a reboot of the workstation. EMET 5.0 supports Window clients Vista SP2, Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8/8.1, as well as Windows Server 2008 SP2, 2008 R2 SP1, 2012 and 2012 R2.

The only suggestion I would make when installing EMET 5.0 is to select “Use Recommended Settings”:

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After installing EMET 5.0, you will find a new Padlock icon in your list of notification-area icons in your taskbar.

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Right click on the Padlock icon, and select Open EMET to view the EMET Settings.

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MVP Roadshow Tampa FL

The “Transform the Datacenter” MVP Roadshow was held at the Microsoft office in Tampa FL on Monday Sept 22, 2014. Many kudos to Adnan Cartwright. Due to an illness in the family with our first presenter (Telmo Sampaio), Adnan had to step in at the last minute to do both the first and second presentations.

Topics covered new features in Windows Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V 4.0, migrating from  Windows 2003, public/private/hybrid clouds, Azure and more. More than half of the presentations were live demos, with lots of questions throughout. One comment from an attendee: “I can’t wait to get into Azure!”.

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Windows Update Advisory

Last week Microsoft rolled out a large set of updates that cover both the Windows operating system and Microsoft Outlook. In my testing, the updates have installed fine. However, Microsoft has indicated that they have since removed some of the Windows OS updates from distribution on Friday – based on early feedback from users that they may cause a “Blue Screen of Death” (BSOD) situation.

The most sever case is with MS14-045. For details on the updates in question, check out this ZDNet article.

For I.T. personnel, Ed Langley (Naked PowerShell) has written a  series of PowerShell scripts (click here) to determine if any of the relevant updates are installed on a system.

  1. If you, tend to periodically run Windows Updates on your own workstations, I would advise against doing so until I hear more from Microsoft.
  2. The Microsoft Office updates are not involved, and can be applied as desired.
  3. Finally, it’s because of situations like these that I recommend that servers are NOT configured to have updates automatically applied.

There is nothing you need to do as a response to this email. This is simply an advisory – unless of course you have encountered a workstation that has had a BSOD.

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/security/ms14-045.aspx

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2982791

Windows 8.1 August Update Rollup

Microsoft released the August 2014 update rollup (KB 2975719) on Tuesday August 12, 2014. This is an optional update, but does provide two new feature enhancements:

  • Precision touch pad improvements
  • More information on the Windows Update tab in PC Settings

Although these don’t seem to be significant at first reading, they are certainly improvements that I have been waiting for.

More importantly, this appears to indicate a change in how new features are released. Until now, new update rollups might come out a couple of times a year, containing a slew of new features and enhancements. But, it looks as if Microsoft will release new features and enhancements on a monthly basis, in smaller chunks.

I like that!

If you want to read more about the August update rollup, check out Ed Bott’s writeup on ZDNet.

Fix for Windows Server Essentials 2012R2 and Multi-DC released

Microsoft released an update (KB 2974308) today to address the issue where integrating Windows Server Essentials 2012 R2 with Microsoft Office 365 or Windows Azure Active Directory is blocked when you are in a multiple domain controller environment.

Until now, you could only integrate Windows Server Essentials with O365/Azure AD in a single domain controller environment.

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Attempting to run the integration in a multiple DC environment would fail:

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I’m proud of the work that our MVP group did in identifying this issue soon after the release of Essentials 2012 R2 last year.

Netgear Backup Appliance using StorageCraft ShadowProtect

imageStorageCraft and Netgear are teaming up to release a new set of products called ReadyRECOVER Backup Appliance. It’s designed for small and medium-sized businesses, and leverages the legendary reliability of StorageCraft ShadowProtect to simplify backup and recovery of Windows systems.

With ReadyRECOVER, incremental snapshots, taken as often as every 15 minutes, generate full backups instantly.  Each point in time backup is ready to quickly and reliably recover Windows systems, including Microsoft SQL, Exchange, and SharePoint servers, into production mode on any platform – physical or virtual.  Each backup is also ready for fast, simple recovery of files or folders.

Cloud-based Web Protection from GFI now available

imageGFI recently rolled out their new Web Protection solution allowing KW Support & Consulting to deliver web security, web filtering and web bandwidth monitoring to its clients. Web Protection is integrated into the GFI RemoteManagement dashboard and is based on GFI’s award-winning GFI WebMonitor product.

Features include:

  • Web security – stop client’s end-users from accidentally visiting malicious sites pushing malware, phishing, proxies, spyware, adware, botnets, etc.
  • Web filtering – help end-suers stay productive with common-sense web browsing policies designed for the workplace. Protects the business from legal liability and reduce the risk of a security breach through proactive internet access controls.
  • Bandwidth Monitoring – automatic alerts when excessive bandwidth activity on a network is identified, so you can remediate quickly and maintain productivity.

With Web Protection integrated into the GFI RemoteManagement platform, there is no software to install at the client site, no DNS name records to create or modify, and all settings and policies are managed right from the RMM dashboard.

If a user goes to a malicious web site, this is the type of warning screen they will receive:

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Download Microsoft free eBooks (nearly 300 are available)

For the past two year Eric Ligman, Micorosoft Senior Sales Excellence Manager, has been making various Microsoft eBooks available for free download. These books are available in PDF, EPub and MOBI formats. He announced yesterday the availability of another 130 free eBooks for download, bringing the total number of free eBooks to nearly 300!

These books cover Windows (8.1,8,7), Office (365, 2013, 2010), Sharepoint, Lync, Exchange, PowerShell, Azure Cloud, SQL and many more.

Click here to go to Eric’s Microsoft blog page for download links

 

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Microsoft includes XP in fix for recent IE security issue

Microsoft has released today (May 1, 2014) a security update (MS14-021 / 2965111) that addresses the recent Internet Explorer (IE) issue that was first discussed in Security Advisory 2963983. More importantly, Microsoft has decided to make this patch available for Windows XP users, although XP is officially no longer a supported operating system.

If your computers are set to receive automatic Windows updates from Microsoft, then this patch will be automatically installed.

Read more here:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/msrc/archive/2014/05/01/out-of-band-release-to-address-microsoft-security-advisory-2963983.aspx

https://technet.microsoft.com/library/security/ms14-may 

https://technet.microsoft.com/library/security/ms14-021

IT Camp: Windows 8 in Tampa

Microsoft will be hosting a Windows 8.1 IT Camp on Friday May 9, 2014 from 9am-4pm. The day long session is titled “Empowering People-Centric IT with Windows 8.1 for Professionals”. The audience for this hands-on event is geared for IT Decision Makers and IT Managers.

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This event takes place at the Microsoft Office in Tampa Florida. The address is: 5426 Bay Center Dr, Suite 700, Tampa FL 33609

Click here to register