The Threat Landscape is Changing

The threat landscape has evolved dramatically in recent years. It seems every day we hear another headline about an organization getting breached. We’ve responded by changing the architecture of Windows 10 so that we’re not just building bigger walls against these attacks; we’re locking the criminals out. Windows 10 provides a comprehensive set of protections against modern security threats. The average cost of a data breach per incident is $3,500,000 (2014 Cost of Data Breach: Global Analysis. Ponemon Institute, 2014.) According to a recent survey of CIOs, security spending is increasing at double the rate of overall investment.

Identity Protection

  • 75% of individuals use only three or four passwords across all of their accounts.
  • Passwords are not secure. Others can access your corporate network by pretending to be you.
The solution: Windows 10 introduces an alternative to passwords with Microsoft Passport and Windows Hello.

Information Protection

  • 57% of us have sent data to the wrong person.
  • 87% of senior managers have leaked corporate data to unmanaged personal locations.
Solution: Windows 10 provides Enterprise Data Protection, now at the file level, to help ensure corporate data isn’t accidentally or intentionally leaked to unauthorized users or locations.

Device Protection

  • An attacker can go over 200 days undetected in your environment, now that people are bringing their own devices to work—that’s scary.
Solution: Windows 10 offers Trusted Boot to help ensure that a genuine version of Windows starts first on your device, preventing attackers from evading detection.

Online Protection

  • More than 300,000 new malicious files are are being created every day and spread through the Internet.
Solution: Windows 10 Device Guard completely locks down your device, so you can run only trusted applications, scripts, and more.

It’s time to take action to protect your business.

By deploying the security features in Windows 10, you can outmaneuver today’s cybercriminals and neutralize their destructive tactics before they’ve even begun.
Contact Managed Solution to schedule a Network & System Assessment to build the most strategic architecture around your systems and networks. 858-429-3084


[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A new vision for the empowerment of Firstline Workers in the digital age was unveiled with the introduction of Microsoft 365 F1 - a new offering that bundles Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security in order to provide an all-in-one intelligent solution to empower all workers.

The modern workplace requires companies to meet new employee expectations, connect a more distributed workforce, and provide the tools that allow all employees to create, innovate, and work together to solve customer and business problems. A truly modern workplace brings out the best in the ingenuity of their employees, creates a culture that consists of innovation and action, and empowers all workers from the executive team  all the way to the Firstline Workforce.

Firstline Workers make up most of our global workforce. Totaling around two billion people around the world, they are the people behind the counter, on the phone, in the clinics, on the shop floor, and in the field. Often times they are the first to engage a business's customers, the first to represent a company’s brand, and the first to see products and services in actual action and practice. They comprise the backbone of many of the globe’s largest industries, and without them, the goals and ambitions of many organizations could not be met.

There is a real chance for technology to provide Firstline Workers with a more intuitive, immersive, and empowering experience. There is a real opportunity for Firstline Workforce to tap into their fullest potential with a variety of tools, spanning from Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 to Microsoft IoT, Microsoft AI, and Microsoft HoloLens and the Windows Mixed Reality ecosystem.

Microsoft 365 F1 represents a very important step towards a vision of including the Firstline Workforce in digital transformation by empowering every worker with technology.

Transforming the Experience of the Firstline Workforce

Microsoft 365 F1 provides the tools that enable every worker to push their ideas into action. It fosters culture and community, with Skype Meeting Broadcast for interactive townhall meetings and Yammer to help employees find and share best practices across the company.

Microsoft 365 F1 makes it simple to train and upskill employees, with Microsoft Stream to share dynamic, role-based content and video, and SharePoint to easily distribute onboarding and training materials all while managing institutional knowledge in one secure place.

It supports firstline productivity and digitizes business processes, with Microsoft StaffHub, a purpose-built app for Firstline Workers to manage their workday and Microsoft PowerApps and Flow to automate everyday activities. Today, we’re announcing new capabilities coming to StaffHub, including the ability for employees to clock in/out and track tasks. We are also making it easier for employees to stay connected in StaffHub, by integrating messaging with Microsoft Teams, the hub for teamwork, and highlighting corporate announcements made in Yammer. Finally, we’re enabling customers to connect StaffHub to workforce management systems and other tools with the availability of general APIs.

Microsoft 365 F1 streamlines IT management, minimizes cost, and extends security to all employees and endpoints. Azure Active Directory provides management of employee identity and access; Microsoft Intune helps secure devices; and new features in Windows 10 simplify the management of Firstline Workers’ experiences, supporting locked down single purpose devices with Windows Assigned Access and automated deployment with Windows AutoPilot.

Finally, we recognize the importance of providing Firstline Workers streamlined and secure devices that minimize total cost of ownership. Today, we’re announcing new commercial devices with Windows 10 S from our OEM partners HP, Lenovo, and Acer. Starting as low as $275, these devices benefit from cloud-based identity and management and are ideal for firstline environments.


Windows 10 Tip: Watch a video while using another app with mini view

By Elana Pidgeon as written on blogs.windows.com
Did you know that, with the new mini view feature in the Windows 10 Creators Update, you can now keep an ever-present small window on top of what you’re doing?

With the Windows 10 Creators Update, watch a video while using another app with mini view

This means you can do things like watch your favorite show, carry on a Skype conversation or control your music, regardless of what else you’re working on. Go ahead, have your movies keep you company while you’re cranking through the PowerPoint presentation.

Here’s how it works:

Launch the Movies & TV app and click a movie, trailer, or TV show to start playing it. Click the “Play in mini view” button in the bottom right-hand corner, and the “Leave mini view” button when you want to exit.
The mini view will stay on top of any other windows you have open. You can click and drag to move it around your screen, or click a corner and drag to resize the window.

MS Paint is here to stay

By Megan Saunders as written on blogs.windows.com
MS Paint fans rejoice: The original art app isn’t going anywhere – except to the Windows Store for free!
Today, we’ve seen an incredible outpouring of support and nostalgia around MS Paint. If there’s anything we learned, it’s that after 32 years, MS Paint has a lot of fans. It’s been amazing to see so much love for our trusty old app. Amidst today’s commentary around MS Paint we wanted to take this opportunity to set the record straight, clear up some confusion and share some good news:
MS Paint is here to stay, it will just have a new home soon, in the Windows Store where it will be available for free.
Paint 3D – the new app for creativity, also available for free with the Windows 10 Creators Update, will continue to get new feature updates. In addition to the new 3D capabilities, many of the MS Paint features people know and love like photo editing, line and curve tools, and 2D creation are in Paint 3D.
So, thanks for all the MS Paint love, keep the feedback coming via the Paint 3D app, and keep creating!

Protect Windows Server System State to cloud with Azure Backup!

By Saurabh Sensharma as written on azure.microsoft.com

One of the key endeavors of the cloud-first approach of Azure Backup is to empower enterprises to recover from security attacks, corruptions, disasters, or data loss situations quickly, securely, and reliably.  Restoring servers efficiently in the wake of evolving IT threats involves going beyond recovering data alone from backups. Our customers have expressed varying degrees of complexity in how their operating systems and applications are configured. Restoring this dynamic configuration captured in the form of the Windows Server System State, in addition to data, with minimum infrastructure, forms a critical component of disaster recovery.

Today we are extending the data backup capabilities of the Microsoft Azure Backup agent to enable customers to perform comprehensive, secure, and reliable Windows Server recoveries. We are excited to preview the support for backing up Windows Server System State directly to Azure with Microsoft Azure Backup.

Azure Backup will now integrate with the Windows Server Backup feature that is available natively on every Windows Server and provide seamless and secure backups of your Windows Server System State directly to Azure without the need to provision any on-premises infrastructure.

System State Backup to Cloud final

Value proposition

  • Comprehensive Protection for Active Directory, File-Servers and IIS Web servers: Active Directory (AD) is the most critical database of any organization and therefore requires a backup strategy that allows for reliable recoveries during critical scenarios. System State of a domain-controller server captures the Active Directory and files that are required for domain-controller synchronization and allow for targeted Active Directory protection and restores.On a File Server, System State captures important file-cluster configurations and policies that protect files from unauthorized access. Combined with file-folder backup, the backup of System State with Azure Backup agent provides the ability to comprehensively recover File Servers.On an IIS Web Server, System state captures the IIS Metabase that contains crucial configuration information about the server, the site and even files and folders and therefore is the recommended option to restore Web Servers.
  • Cost-Effective Offsite for Disaster Recovery: System State for most Windows Servers is less than 50 GBs in size. For that size, at $5 a month and pay-as-you-go Azure storage, Azure Backup eliminates all infrastructure and licensing costs, and enables you to protect your Windows Server System State for reliable restores. No need to provision local hard-drives, or offsite storage, or employ additional tools or servers to manage system state backups and ensure their off-siting. Azure Backup takes care of off-siting System State on a specified schedule to Azure!
  • Secure Backups: The enhanced security features built into Azure Backup and data-resilience offered by Azure ensure that your critical system state backups remain secure from malicious attacks, corruptions, and deletions.
  • Flexible Restores: With Azure Backup’s Restore-as-a-Service, you can restore System State files from Azure without any egress charges. Additionally, you can apply System State to your Windows Servers at your convenience using the native Windows Server Backup utility.
  • Single management pane in Azure: All information related to System State backup jobs across all your Windows servers will be available in the Azure portal. You can also configure notifications directly from Azure to be notified in the event of a failed backup, so you can take corrective steps and ensure your servers are always prepared for disaster recovery!

Availability for Windows Server (Preview)

The support for backing up System State with Azure Backup agent is available in preview for all Windows Server versions from Windows Server 2016 all the way down to Windows Server 2008 R2!

Follow the four simple steps below to start protecting your Windows Servers using Azure Backup!

  1. Create an Azure Recovery Services Vault.
  2. Download the latest version of the Azure Backup Agent from the Azure Portal.
  3. Install and Register the Agent.
  4. Start protecting Windows Server System State and other Files and Folders directly to Azure!

Network Assessment & Technology Roadmap

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As written on customers.microsoft.com

MARS sells a lot of M&M’s and other confections in 78 countries around the world, but that’s not all there is to the company’s success. To meet audacious goals that include 100 percent growth in 10 years, MARS has adopted Windows 10 Enterprise, Microsoft Surface Pro devices, Microsoft Office 365, and Microsoft Azure to increase employee effectiveness, enhance mobility, streamline collaboration, promote data security, and reduce IT costs. Now MARS can deliver continuous innovation, empower its Associates, and meet its business objectives.

"This company will continue to accelerate growth organically and through acquisition, and we’re using Windows 10 to build the flexibility and capabilities we need to get there."

- David Boersma: Senior Manager for End User Technologies


Offering products that customers genuinely love is an old recipe for sweet success. But that’s only part of how MARS has turned iconic brands such as M&M’s, Snickers, Pedigree pet foods, and Wrigley’s into a global enterprise with USD35 billion in annual revenue. That is a lot of M&M’s, but MARS is a lot more than candy treats. Pet care products account for almost half of annual revenue at MARS.

In fact, MARS markets more than 60 brands across six business segments, from food products to biomedical research. Since the early 2000s, this privately held, century-old company has grown 100 percent, and it expects to continue to accelerate growth organically and through acquisition. MARS is justly proud of business practices that include zero waste to landfills, fair and sustainable cocoa production, and wind farms that generate enough electricity to offset all corporate operations in North America and the United Kingdom. In 2014, MARS launched an industry-leading labeling initiative that encourages portion control and other smart snacking decisions.

“We run MARS with an extremely long-term view,” says Joe Carlin, Technology Service Delivery Director at MARS. “We try to do business in a way that benefits our customers, our Associates, and the communities we work in.”

That long-term view includes a commitment to product, technology, and workplace innovation. MARS has audacious business goals and expects to meet them by using Windows 10, Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Azure, and other key Microsoft services and devices to boost employee effectiveness, enhance mobility, streamline collaboration, promote data security, and reduce IT costs, ultimately transforming the way people work at MARS. “Through digital innovation, our business has the fantastic opportunity to get closer to our consumers and provide and even better value proposition,” says Vittorio Cretella, Chief Information Officer at MARS.

$4 million upgrades vs. an evergreen estate

As MARS accelerates its growth and adds new products, services, and business units to its existing operations, its Information Services (IS) department is committed to adopting new digital capabilities that will help the company continue to expand and diversify, organically and through acquisition. “We have to drive technology as a business enabler, but remain efficient,” says Carlin.

With 400 locations in 78 countries and more than 80,000 Associates, MARS wanted to avoid the cost and time of repeated operating system upgrades. Previous enterprise-wide upgrades had gaps of up to four years and had cost more than $4 million, plus the operational overhead of managing multiple systems during the long transition. “It made more sense to spend our time and money on optimizing our work environment, finding new ways to safeguard high-value corporate data, and delivering other strategic contributions to the business,” says David Boersma, Senior Manager for End User Technologies at MARS.

Yet MARS still needed an up-to-date operating system and productivity tools. In February 2016, it began to roll out the Windows 10 Enterprise operating system and Microsoft Office 365 across the global organization, to help give all its Associates the mobile, social, analytical, and cloud-based tools they need to perform effectively in today’s connected workplace. A small number of mobile Associates were given Microsoft Surface Pro 4 devices.

“We want to drive the right digital behaviors,” says Jonathan Chong, Digital Workplace and Corporate Systems Director at MARS. “So we’re using Windows 10 to build a technology environment that is comparable to or better than what our Associates use in their personal lives.”

To avoid the effort and expense of future upgrades to its very large Windows environment, MARS subscribed to the “Windows as a service” model from Microsoft and receives automatic web-based operating system updates. The incremental updates will help MARS improve platform stability, enhance security for thousands of devices, and introduce a constant flow of new tools and capabilities. “I told my team that I never want to do a big-bang operating system migration again,” says Paul L'Estrange, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Core Services at MARS. “Windows 10 will allow us to maintain a truly evergreen estate.”

Traditionally, MARS Associates often stay with the company for 25 years or more, but the company knows that to stay vibrant it must recruit millennials—and retain them. MARS invests significantly in recruiting and training new Associates. It wants value back, but it understands that young, digitally native talent expect easy access to knowledge, and that to retain new talent, MARS needs to deliver access to data with smart, simple, flexible tools. “To get and keep the best people, we want to offer the best work environment,” says Boersma. “With an advanced, nimble, easy-to-use, self-service, always-current technology environment, MARS IS will deliver a robust Windows 10 experience with Office 365 to empower and enable all our Associates.”

An enterprise digital workplace

The MARS IS team worked with Microsoft Services to help architect the solution and with VDX, a member of the Microsoft Partner Network, to help prepare the MARS infrastructure and roll out Windows 10. By September 2016, 5,000 MARS Associates were using Windows 10 and Office 365. More than 500 field Associates and high-level mobile executives had Surface Pro devices.

“Our Associates appreciate the familiarity, reliability, and ease of use of the Windows 10 experience,” says Boersma. “The Surface Pro users love the flexibility to switch from desktop to tablet mode and enhanced mobility features such as the touchscreen and Surface Pen.”

As a global enterprise, MARS has always valued human interaction and high-touch collaboration. With tools like Yammer social networking and Skype for Business messaging and video conferencing, MARS Associates can bridge geographies and time zones to take down barriers, engage in real time, and connect with people, knowledge, and resources. Almost 4,000 MARS Associates are already using Yammer to post subjects, canvas for feedback, and collaborate live every day. Global teams use Skype for Business to meet and communicate meaningfully without flying halfway around the planet, reducing costs and helping people spend more time at home—and still do what needs to get done.

With Windows 10, cloud-based Office 365, and an early evaluation of Windows Intune, MARS intends to expand its on-premises capability for mobile device management in the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite to manage mobile devices and applications. MARS Associates can choose between using Surface Pro devices, PCs, tablets, and smartphones, or easily move between devices, locations, and even regions across the whole company. Field teams can connect with each other to be more productive and improve customer engagement. “With Windows 10, MARS Associates finish things on the road instead of waiting until they get back,” says Carlin. “For example, field associates use their Surface Pro devices in store walk-throughs, and if necessary, use Office 365 to connect with other team members and resolve display issues in one day instead of a week.”

New safeguards and a cloud transformation

After MARS IS prepared every device for a 64-bit version of Windows 10, the MARS security team recommended replacing an existing legacy security solution with Windows Defender endpoint protection. This will save the cost of a third-party solution and avoided the hassle of moving the legacy technology to the upgraded operating system. Windows Defender has since passed two MARS security audits, and to help further safeguard all the company’s devices and reduce risk to its corporate data, MARS intends to combine existing BitLocker Drive Encryption with other Windows security features such as Windows Information Protection, Credential Guard, Device Guard, and Windows Hello biometric multifactor authentication on its Window 10 devices.

As part of its transformation to a new digital workplace, MARS is also aggressively expanding many line-of-business and other workloads to the cloud. The company manages two datacenters, one that is almost 25 years old. To reduce the associated capital and maintenance costs, promote efficiency, and increase reliability, MARS has moved more than 100 workloads to the Microsoft Azure enterprise cloud platform, including a critical SAP retail application solution. The company expects to transfer up to 500 workloads to Azure over the next year.

By early 2017, the company had deployed Windows 10 to 12,500 seats, adding Associates through device attrition. Boersma estimates enterprise-wide adoption before the end of 2018.

Sweet business value

By eliminating future full-scale upgrades, MARS will save millions of dollars that it can spend to transform MARS IS into a strategic center of innovation and business value. It will save $250,000 on third-party licensing and maintenance each year. As MARS continues to build its digital workplace and offer professional tools such as Office 365 and advanced devices such as the Surface Pro, it will attract a new generation of Associates, help them serve customers more effectively, make their careers at MARS more rewarding, and preserve the human, employee-centric culture that MARS is so proud of—and that it is convinced has contributed to its long success.

“Initiatives like Windows 10 and our new digital workplace help MARS direct IT investment dollars toward unlocking greater potential across our organization,” says Chong. “Rather than tying up investment and time to just get through the next product release, we can focus on enhancing key aspects of our culture at a digital level, across divisions, borders, and time zones—so we can preserve what is special about MARS and help all our Associates be more productive and agile.”

When it adopted Windows 10, Office 365, and Azure, MARS streamlined IT management, made it easier to safeguard all its devices and data, and took some of the guesswork out of its IT spending. As MARS expands its cloud environments and decreases its on-premises IT footprint, it can focus on solving business challenges and using data to generate insight—and value. It can support ongoing innovation, streamline processes and access to information, empower MARS Associates, and meet its ambitious business-growth objectives.

“At MARS, we meet our goals,” says Boersma. “This company will continue to accelerate growth organically and through acquisition , and we’re using Windows 10 to build the flexibility and capabilities we need to get there.”


Windows 10 Tip: Import data from another browser to Microsoft Edge in one step

By Elana Pidgeon as written on blogs.windows.com
Today, we’re sharing how you can import your favorites, browsing history, and other data from another browser to Microsoft Edge with the Windows 10 Creators Update – all in one simple step.

Here’s how to import your data:

Microsoft Edge displaying the Windows Blogs and showing the menu for importing data from another browser to Microsoft Edge

In Microsoft Edge, click on the three dots in the upper-right-hand corner, then on Settings.

Under “Import favorites and other info,” click the “Import from another browser” button. Then, choose the browser from which you’d like to move your data.*
Have a great week!
*Microsoft Edge can import browsing history, passwords, and other data only from Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Favorites can be imported from Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and 360.

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Microsoft blurs the line between desktop and cloud with OneDrive update

By Sarah Perez as written on techcrunch.com
At Microsoft’s Build 2017 event today, the company introduced a new feature for the company’s cloud storage service OneDrive that will allow you to access your files without using up device storage. Called “Files On-Demand,” the feature will roll out along with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update and will give users more control over which files are stored locally versus in the cloud.
The feature is basically Microsoft’s own take on Dropbox’s Smart Sync, as it lets you view all the files and folders directly in File Explorer, instead of only seeing those you’ve opted to sync to your device.
The idea is that the more you use online storage – creating files and uploading photos and working across multiple devices – the more you need to be able to see all your documents, and not worry if you had forgotten to sync something to your current device.
But while Dropbox’s Smart Sync was introduced as a feature for business users, OneDrive’s Files On-Demand supports your personal and work OneDrive accounts, as well as SharePoint Online team sites.
In addition, your OneDrive files won’t just be visible on your desktop, they’ll also be shown in the file picker when you’re using a Windows store application. When you select a given file from the picker, it will automatically download and open in the app – like a local file would.
The user interface in Windows 10 File Explorer will also be updated so you can better see which files are available on the device and in the cloud, thanks to the use of a small cloud icon in a column labeled “Status.” You’ll still be able to tell how much storage space the file will require if you choose to download it, as its size information is available in Explorer as well, even if the file isn’t yet on your device.
You can also choose to make certain folders or files always available offline with a right-click, then choosing “Always keep on this device” from the menu.
However, you generally won’t have to go through this process – it’s only really necessary if you know you’ll be spending a lot of time offline and don’t want to lose access to your more critical folders and files. Most times, while you’re connected to the internet, you can just double-click files and usual to open them into an app, and the file will automatically download to your device.
The feature has another benefit for larger organizations using SharePoint Online team sites – it will reduce the network bandwidth by reducing the continual syncing that occurs today when changes are made.
At present, when anyone makes a change, files are re-downloaded on all synced devices. This is no longer necessary, as the files in their updated format will be available whenever the user clicks them.
While Files On-Demand works well on desktop devices, on mobile, connectivity is often more of an issue. Microsoft addressed this by introducing a new option that will allow users to save entire folders to your mobile device, so you can open the files they contain once you have a connection again. Changes others make to those files while you’re offline will be automatically updated once you’re connected again.
This feature is available now on Android for Office 365 Personal and Home subscribers and OneDrive business accounts. iOS users will receive the update in a few months.
However, iOS users can today use OneDrive with iMessage. You can share an entire folder or file directly within the iMessage interface. These documents and photos can also be instantly previewed here, through this new integration.

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