Interlink Cloud Blog

Matt Scherocman brings more than 15 years of experience in the information technology industry to Interlink Cloud Advisors. His experience includes both the system integrator and manufacturer sides of the business. During his time at the Microsoft Corporation he was responsible for all the the Large Account Reseller (LAR) relationships in the four state Heartland Area of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Prior to Microsoft, Scherocman led a Cincinnati based IT consulting company to grow 5000% and become a Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year. He is actively involved in the strategic vision and operation decisions of the company including finance, selling strategy and marketing. Matt holds a Bachelor of Science in Business degree from Miami University and is a Certified Expert in Microsoft licensing including speaking engagements at both Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference and Channel Partner Summit. He is a frequent contributor to leading industry publications.

Matt Scherocman

Microsoft Stream – The Future of Workplace Video

Microsoft Stream – The Future of Workplace Video

Video is one of the most powerful forms of media. It gives you the opportunity to convey meaningful messages, tell a story, and connect with others in ways that cannot be done otherwise. Video is a media outlet that is heavily engrained in our personal lives, and as it continues to grow, we should use it to make an impact in the workplace. This is the goal of the new Microsoft Stream business video service - to bring the power of video into the workplace and give organizations access to its many benefits.

With the preview launch of Microsoft Stream, we wanted to share some of the features that make it an easy, collaborative, and social experience for users:

  • Ease of upload and organization: With easy drag and drop capabilities you can quickly upload your videos and organize them how you see fit
  • Discover relevant content: With content discovery powered by machine learning you can find content through “trending” videos and searches by hashtag, most liked videos and other terms
  • Watch anywhere on any device: With Stream being optimized for mobile usage you can take this content on the go with you, whenever and wherever you are.
  • Secure video management: Backed by the powerful Azure Active Directory, manage who can view your content within your organization
  • Engage with content: Make video social with the ability to share via email, like your favorites, and more.

Those who are using Microsoft Office 365 may already be utilizing the existing Office 365 Video platform. As Stream builds upon the feedback and success of Office 365 Video, these two platforms will converge making Stream the de facto video experience within Office 365. While Stream is still being developed, there will be no changes made to the current Office 365 Video experience.

As Microsoft continues to build upon the Stream platform, they are looking to develop something that makes video an extraordinary experieince within the workplace. As the platform continues to evolve, it will include some of the following ideas:

  • Deliver corporate broadcast seamlessly: This will allow organizations a better way to communicate and connect through live video with Stream becoming the hub for both live and video on demand.
  • Intelligent video search: No longer do you have to skip around the video looking for content, with intelligent video search you can search within the video. Leveraging capabilities such as audio transcription and face detection, Stream allows for a deep searching making relevant content easier to find and faster.
  • Make video part of your business apps and workflows: Building on the Office 365 platform Stream is able to integrate with other apps such as Microsoft Flow, SharePoint, and many others.
  • IT management capabilities: Being able to manage the content your organization shares is a big deal so Stream allows for IT to manage permissions throughout Stream. From removing and monitoring content to granting access to channels, IT has the tools to ensure the best experience for its organization.
  • Microsoft Stream App Ecosystem: Instead of locking down the API Microsoft will be opening it up to allow partners to create custom applications and make them available in AppSource, Microsoft’s marketplace for business applications that was announced earlier this month. 

We're looking forward to the exciting new features coming to video with Microsoft Stream and hope you are too. For more information about Microsoft Stream and how to get started managing videos within your organization, please visit the Microsoft Stream webpage.

Contact Interlink for more information.

Matt Scherocman

Microsoft Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery - Reducing the Challenges and Costs of eDiscovery

Microsoft Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery - Reducing the Challenges and Costs of eDiscovery

The new Advanced eDiscovery tool from Microsoft is groundbreaking while it uses machine learning to find the most valuable data quickly and without the use of expensive outside legal assistance.

eDiscovery, short for electronic discovery, is the process of finding, gathering and generating electronically stored information (ESI) in response to a civil litigation that is carried out in electronic formats. It includes , but is not limited to, emails, instant messaging, documents, presentations, CAD/CAM files, databases, voicemail, audio and video files, social media, and web sites, and any other electronic information that could be significant evidence in a lawsuit. It can be an expensive, time consuming process, but Microsoft has created a solution that allows you to quickly and efficiently investigate and meet legal obligations with Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery.

Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery utilizes Equivio machine learning, predictive coding, and text analytics to analyze large, unstructured data sets and focus the data that's most relevant to a legal caseUtilizing these tools, Advanced eDiscovery sorts through thousands of messages, emails, and documents to find relevant files. The application also eliminates duplicate files, reconstructs email threads, and identify themes and data relationships that are the most relevant to your case. This reduces many of the legal and compliance challenges companies face when trying to manage large quantities of electronic data. 

Predictive Coding

With predictive coding in Advanced eDiscovery you can "train" the system to automatically determine if a data element is relevant or not by making decisions on a small set of the data. The system then looks to see what decision you made and applies that logic towards making decisions on relevancy for the larger data set. With that logic in place, it will also look to create a relevance ranking so that you can see what documents will most likely be the most relevant to your particular case.

Microsoft Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery predictive coding

Near-duplicate Detection

When you have teams constantly working on documents and sending them back and forth, odds are you will have multiple versions of the same document across your platform. Typically, you'd have to take one of your current employees off of their usual tasks or hire outside legal teams to review each of these documents and those costs can quickly add up. Even if the resources are there to support individual sorting, you could have different employees looking at different versions of the same document, which is a huge waste of valuable time! With near-duplicate detection you can have resource review a group of similarly structured documents, eliminating the manpower, time, and money normally needed.

Email Threading

We all know the feeling of receiving an email in our inbox that is at least five emails long with the same information from every reply, creating an incredibly long thread. Within advanced eDiscovery, the system looks to identify the unique messages from the email thread, eliminates duplicate messages, which allows you to focus on unique messages instead of the same ones over and over again.

Export for Review

When you export your case data with Advanced eDiscovery from Office 365, it includes a CSV file that contains all your document properties from the exported data along with the analytics metadata. After exporting, you can load the CSV file into the eDiscovery review application and maintain the analytics information. The export can then be imported to create searches in the eDiscovery review application.

Microsoft Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery export

How does this differ from E3?

The Office 365 E3 plans include the ability to do eDiscovery across a customer’s 365 information. The eDiscovery tool also has the ability to define searches based on a number of criteria including from, to, date

range, subject line, etc. However, it lacks a way to score, filter, or remove duplicates from the search like the Advanced eDiscovery tool.

Get Started with Advanced eDiscovery Today

Microsoft’s Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery, which is a part of the new Office 365 E5 plan and is available for purchase as add-on services to all Office 365 Enterprise plans. Advanced eDiscovery can be added for individual users and does not need to be purchased for every mailbox being searched.

Have any additional questions? – Contact us today!

 

Matt Scherocman

ALERT! Office 365 OneDrive Forced Update

ALERT! Office 365 OneDrive Forced Update

Beginning in May 2016, Office 365 users with fewer than 250 Office 365 licenses will be required to use the OneDrive for Business Next Generation Sync Client to sync OneDrive for Business files. This automatic upgrade requirement has already started rolling out and will continue until July 31, 2016.

NOTE - It will NOT apply to those clients with more than 250 Office 365 licenses!

What does this mean for you?

If you are currently using less than 250 Office 365 licenses, you will be automatically upgraded sometime in the next month and a half and the following things will occur during the sync takeover:

  • The old OneDrive for Business sync client (Groove.exe) will begin to stop syncing OneDrive sites.
  • The new OneDrive for Business sync client (OneDrive.exe) will begin to sync the same OneDrive sites, but it will not re-download the content already there.
  • The old OneDrive for Business sync client (Groove.exe) will stop running and will remove itself from automatically running upon system startup. The only exception to this is if the client is still syncing other such as SharePoint site libraries or on-premises OneDrive for Business.

How to delay updating OneDrive.exe until the second release wave

The OneDrive.exe update is planned to roll out in two waves. The first wave will begin when the update becomes available and will take one to two weeks to completely roll out. The second wave will begin rollout shortly after the first wave comes to a closure. There is a policy that will prevent OneDrive sync clients from being updated until the second way which is the “Delay updating OneDrive.exe until the second release wave” setting.

  • By default, these updates are installed right after the first wave begins rolling out.
  • By enabling this setting you will force the update to occur for you during the second wave only.

What to expect after you begin to the use new OneDrive for Business sync client

  • The old OneDrive for Business sync client (Groove.exe) will still be the client you use to sync any site libraries or on-premises SharePoint content. You will be able to use both sync clients on the same computer without any issues.
  • Links in the “Recent list” Office desktop have the chance of no longer working. This means you may have to re-pin the files you want to appear since they might lose functionality.

Contact Interlink Cloud Advisors if you have any questions on this or need help with your cloud update strategy.

For more information please check out the support article from Microsoft - Transition From the Previous OneDrive for Business Sync Client.

Matt Scherocman

Six Reasons Microsoft Azure SQL Database Provides the Best Data Security Around

Six Reasons Microsoft Azure SQL Database Provides the Best Data Security Around

Companies leveraging the cloud for business have a multitude of options. They also have a lot of security concerns when transitioning their data to the cloud. Microsoft has built on the SQL Server foundation, bringing a new level of security to help ease the mind of these cloud-driven companies with six enhancements. All of which are crucial reasons to consider Microsoft Azure SQL Database as your company’s cloud platform of choice:

  1. Always Encrypted: Exactly how it sounds, Always Encrypted means your data remains encrypted…all the time to help you protect sensitive data. Data is encrypted in transit, in memory, on a disk, and during query processing.

  2. Transparent Data Encryption: For those of us constantly keeping up on compliance regulations and requirements, this encrypts databases with associated backups as well as transaction log files without needing changes to your applications. The audit trail is clear in order to stay in compliance while keeping data safe from any breach.

  3. Row-Level Security: This feature can limit access to individual rows of data based on a user's identity, role, or query execution context to ensure only the right people can view that data. This also simplifies the application code so that data isn’t accidently shared in any situation.



  4. Azure Active Directory (AD) Authentication: Different from SQL Authentication, Azure AD
    Authentication simplifies password management by allowing you to access a number of Azure services using the same identity. This does not compromise the level of security. It reduces the amount of IT time spends on retrieving lost passwords and login details while maintaining access control every step of the way.

  5. Dynamic Data Masking: Another, more sophisticated, form of encryption allows users to define masking patterns on actual database columns. For example, users can set a masking rule that masks all but the last four digits of any social security number in the result set of any query to ensure that sensitive data is truly safe.

  6. SQL Database Threat Detection: This feature alerts set users of any suspicious database activities automatically and complements Azure SQL Database Auditing, which records database events and writes audited events to an audit log in the Azure Storage account. 

    Microsoft Azure SQL Database Security

Both features are great examples of how users can monitor and quickly respond to risk. Advanced Threat Analytics is yet another approach to helping users stay ahead of sophisticated malware attacks.

Another (bonus) reason to consider Azure SQL Database that’s best shared through this diagram, courtesy of Microsoft Azure, is that SQL Server’s track record speaks for itself. When you’re in the cloud, you can’t be vulnerable and SQL Server lives up to that motto…six years running!

microsoft azure sql database unparalleded security

Data security in the cloud isn’t a set it and forget it process. It is a constant work in progress because the security risks keep changing and technology keeps advancing. Choosing Microsoft as your partner in mitigating those risks is a smart and educated decision in keeping your data safe.

Learn more about these security enhancements by downloading the Security and Azure SQL Database whitepaper and contact us at Interlink for more information.

SQL Modernization Assessment Ad

 

Matt Scherocman

The Struggle is Real: How to Deal with the Growth and Sophistication of Cybercrime with Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics

The Struggle is Real: How to Deal with the Growth and Sophistication of Cybercrime with Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics

As business changes and technology evolves, the majority of organizations depend on IT systems to store their data and run critical workflows. Unfortunately, these systems can be a prime target for cyber-attacks as sophisticated hackers put the enterprise in a vulnerable position. Just take note of these especially stunning stats:

  • 76% of attacks stem from compromised user credentials
  • The average cost of a data breach to a company is $3.5 million and total cost of cybercrime on a global scale is as high as $500 billion
  • Because of dangerous IT security blind spots (shown in the image below), it could take over 200 days to detect an attack

    IT blind spots Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics

Stats courtesy of Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics Datasheet.

The reality is, businesses need to pay attention and adapt to this changing nature of data security threats.

Now available in the Enterprise Mobility Suite, Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA) helps to protect your company from attacks by leveraging machine learning. It uses behavioral analytics to uncover suspicious behavior, internally or from external attacks. It also detects known security issues and risks , the goal is to stay  one (or two, or three) steps ahead of the attackers.

Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics

When you think of security software, your mind might immediately turn to configuring system rules and alerting. All of which take time and commitment from your team. With ATA, you don’t need to create rules, baselines, or thresholds. It’s streamlined from setup and works immediately. Once a threat is detected, it’s also easy to view a timeline of when the attack hit. It can help pinpoint where the breach took place. All of this insight can better prepare you for future attacks.

The thought of being hacked and not even knowing it is scary enough, but ATA also helps identify internal threats like why a user would be accessing files in accounting if they’re in the marketing department? Combined with online security reports, ATA can show anomalies for logins.  It will help detect when user credentials have been compromised by reporting geographically distant logins that occur at the time time – like a single user being logged in from Ohio and from Romania at the same time.  

The high-level benefits of using ATA at your business are obvious. Peace of mind goes a long way, and you also want it to help you adapt as cyber-attacks grow in frequency and sophistication. The features of ATA are even more appealing when you see exactly how it works for your business. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Timeline: We’ve already mentioned that timeline, but it’s worth noting again. In addition to listing the activities as they occur, ATA provides recommendations on how to handle that alert.
  • Organizational Security Graph: This maps out entity interactions which represents the context and activities of the users, devices, and resources. This will be a big driver in managing security for each of your users.
  • Email Alerts: There’s no need for one person to be continuously monitoring for cyber-attacks. With ATA, you can have emails sent to users or groups when suspicious activity is detected.
  • Leveraging the Cloud:  Microsoft cloud based correlation engine helps more quickly identify new attacks and reduce the amount of false positives. 

The cyber-attack threat is real and ATA can help you adapt to the changing cyber-attack world we live in.

Contact Interlink if you any questions.

 

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All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations or warranties regarding the information from our partners or other external sources.

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