Author: Tony Redmond

Latest Articles

Teams End-to-End Encryption Finally Rolls Out to Desktop Clients

Microsoft has made end-to-end encryption available in preview for Teams 1:1 calls on Windows and Mac desktop clients. The full roll-out to tenants is due in November. End to end encryption means that the workstations involved in both sides of a conversation do extra work to secure the communications. Although E2EE results in extra protection, it means that some call features cannot be used.

November 1, 2021

Ignite 2021 is Next Week. Here’s What I Anticipate for Microsoft 365

Microsoft Ignite 2021 happens (virtually) on Nov 2-4. There are tons of sessions scheduled and in this post we consider some important Microsoft 365 topics that we hope Microsoft will cover to help technologists plan tenant development over the coming year. Above all, we're looking forward to being able to attend conferences like Ignite in person so that we can learn from experts from inside and outside Microsoft.

October 26, 2021

Using the Microsoft SDK for PowerShell to Report Azure AD Account Sign-ins

The Microsoft Graph SDK for PowerShell can be used for many purposes, among which is access to Azure AD account sign-in data. In this article, we explain how to use the SDK cmdlets to retrieve sign-in data for both tenant and guest accounts and report what we find. You can use the report to identify potentially unused accounts which might not need some expensive licenses, or guest accounts that are no longer used.

October 26, 2021

Send Exchange Online Email Using the Microsoft Graph SDK for PowerShell

Many people use the PowerShell Send-MailMessage cmdlet to send email from Exchange Online. In this article, we explain how to use cmdlets from the Microsoft Graph SDK for PowerShell to do the same job. The reason why this is important is that Microsoft will eventually deprecate the Send-MailMessage cmdlet as part of its campaign to eliminate basic authentication from Exchange Online. A replacement will be needed for all those PowerShell scripts which uses Send-MailMessage. This is one solution.

October 18, 2021

How to Create a Microsoft 365 Licensing Report Using the Microsoft Graph SDK for PowerShell

After figuring out how to convert a script from using Azure AD licensing cmdlets (due to stop working in June 2022), we move on to create a licensing report for a tenant using cmdlets from the Microsoft Graph SDK for PowerShell. The code is pretty straightforward, but you need to do some up-front work to extract and prepare some input files containing product and service plan codes. Given that Microsoft is increasing its license fees, it's a good time to report this information...

October 14, 2021

Researcher Says Autodiscover Problem is Client-Side, Not in Exchange

An interesting and worthwhile interview (available on YouTube) with security researcher Amit Serper reveals a lot more detail about the Autodiscover credential leak reported by Guardicore last month. The interview (with three Office 365 MVPs) goes through the collection of leaked credentials, how Serper tried to reproduce the problem, and his interaction with Microsoft. It’s a real pity Serper didn’t include the information in his original report as it would have taken a lot of heat out of the situation.

October 12, 2021

Time to Move Off Exchange Online DLP Policies

Microsoft plans to remove the management of Exchange transport-rule based policies from the classic EAC in mid-2022. Given that Microsoft 365 DLP policies offer the same if not better functionality for Exchange Online and can process other workloads as well, it's a good time to consider transitioning away from the older technology. Microsoft is obviously not putting any engineering effort into Exchange-based DLP, so there's no good reason not to move over and use the technology they are investing in, The transition will take time and effort, but it will be worth it.

October 8, 2021

Consumption Models and Potential Cost Introduced by Microsoft’s New Teams APIs Require Careful Calculation

Along with the general availability of a new Graph Export API for Teams, Microsoft is introducing new licensing and charging models. Understanding the charging incurred for different uses will take some time to sort out and could pose real challenges for ISVs working in the migration space. Developers need to understand terms like model A and model B, seeded capacity, and consumption units and how these apply to their apps. The question now is if this is a test bed for Microsoft to apply similar charges to other APIs.

October 5, 2021

Microsoft Caps Exchange Online’s “Unlimited Archive” at 1.5 TB

On November 1, Microsoft will limit auto-expanding archives to 1.5 TB and bring the era of "bottomless archiving" to an end. The new limit might not affect many Exchange Online tenants, but it's a wake-up call for administrators to check how archiving is used in their tenants. To help the process, we've written a PowerShell script to report the current set of user and shared mailboxes with archives.

September 29, 2021

Hot Air and Publicity for Purported Autodiscover Security Flaw

Lots of excitement was generated when Guardicore revealed a purported vulnerability with the Exchange Autodiscover service. However, the almost total lack of detail about the configuration used for testing and to generate the reported results makes it impossible for Exchange administrators to check the theory against their own deployment. I don't think a problem exists with Exchange Online, but it's possible that poor DNS practice or flawed third-party clients could cause an issue with on-premises servers. The case remains to be proved.

September 23, 2021

Connecting to the Microsoft Graph Using the PowerShell SDK

The Microsoft Graph SDK for PowerShell exists to help developers use Graph API calls from PowerShell. It works, but like anything in life, there's a right way to connect and use the SDK and a wrong way. In this article we explore topics like how to connect to the right tenant, how permissions are managed (or not), and why running Graph SDK cmdlets interactively isn't something you should do in production. Good as the SDK is, Microsoft has some big issues to solve to address some obvious security issues.

September 23, 2021

Old Versions of Outlook for Windows Stop Connecting to Exchange Online November 1

From November 1, 2021, Microsoft requires Outlook 2013 Service Pack 1 (with fixes) as the minimum client version to connect to Exchange Online. Given all the publicity about attacks against the on-premises version of Exchange earlier this year, it's a wonder why organizations continue to allow people to use outdated client software to connect to Exchange Online. In any case, the drop-dead date is November 1. If you have any old Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010, or Outlook 2013 (before SP1) clients, it's time to start upgrading.

September 20, 2021