Yesterday, I discovered that Microsoft has change the way how to disable office 365 group creation from users. You may refer from this Microsoft Docs and it was last updated in September 2019. It seems that it requires a minimum license of Azure AD Premium Plan 1. You may find this plan in your M365 E3 license. Before this, this was the way on how to disable office 365 group creation from users.
Looking through this blog post, on the Azure portal image, and comparing the current one has changed a lot. Now the group settings in the current Azure portal looks like this;
As you can see above the Office 365 Groups settings, you can only control users from creating office 365 groups via Access Panel or Azure portals.
One of my customer informed me that why is his Office 365 Groups got big? I went in and help the customer to have a look at it together. I notice the email addresses are different and not normal looking kind. So I was thinking and checking the utilization dashboard and asked customer “Is Teams being launch?”. Answered “In the process”. Hurried that I had to run a disable Teams creation script and to prevent unnecessary Office 365 Groups created.
I saw Office 365 Groups with naming like “Jom Makan-Makan”, “I hate this Job”, “Boss Convo”, “What is Life” and etc.. This is why you should disable Teams creation capability to tenant wide, when you first deployed Office 365.
So what is the right way?
Disable Teams creation tenant wide
Create a security group
Include only champions or Head of Departments as privileged owners to create Teams / Office 365 groups.
I am glad to got accepted again for this aOSKL event, but there is a challenge to this, that is it is a workshop, 2 hours of workshop. Am I going to just read through slides? (That will be so boring….duhhh) What will my workshop consist? Well, are you interested to know? Come register and join my workshop! Seats are limited, first come first served.
“Sabrina Kay always hunger for challenges!”
Here is the link aOSKL 2019, to help you to find out more what this events has 🙂
Before things or infrastructure of your SharePoint Online, Exchange Online’s Office 365 Groups, and Microsoft Teams go uncontrollable, it is better to disable the freedom of creating Office 365 groups for users. You can only do this via PowerShell and this may take 24 hours or probably a few hours to take effect. Think about what is the best procedure for this.
Requires PowerShell Module
Requires AzureAD Module
This doesn’t impact Global Administrators
Users got the freedom to create Office 365 groups from application or web platforms, such as Outlook, Yammer, SharePoint Online, Teams and many more.
Open Windows PowerShell or Windows Azure AD PowerShell module
Type the following command, to connect to Azure AD Services
Enter your Global Administrator Credential
Type this command to get your company information
Is will show you “UsersPermissionToCreateGroupsEnabled” is set to True
Type this following command to turn off the freedom for users to create Office 365 groups
Ever encounter in an environment where IT does not have visibility of the previous IT actions? Frustrating and irritating right? They were unsure whether is sync service running or not or exist or not.
At first, you will go to portal.office.com to find the DirSync Status, but this is where the funny part, there is a DirSync Management and it has resulted or hint that this Office 365 had Synchronization Service. As you can see below, there is no service account and no last directory sync.
Next, I went into their Domain controller > Active Directory Users and Computers > Users OU. I was able to locate 2 Synchronize’s Service accounts, that are not disabled. To locate their location (server), double click on the account to launch the properties. At the description attribute or value, you can identify the location (server name).
1 Service account with no indication of this sync service’s server location in the Description Information
Able to locate it, it was inside a Window Server 2008 R2
1 Service account with an indication of its location (inside one of the Domain controller, Windows Server 2012 R2)
I access both of these servers, able to capture
Sync tool exist
Sync service is running (inside the services.msc)
No Operation of sync
No connectors in the sync service to be found
Windows Server 2008 R2 running Microsoft Online Services Directory Synchronize Service version 2013 year
Window Server 2012 R2 running Windows Azure Active Directory Service tool version 2014 year
New version Sync tool naming is “Azure Active Directory Sync Service”.
Another round to proof your findings is to run the PowerShell command to get all attributes of the user list in Active Directory on-premises and Azure Active Directory user list. (If you prefer to filter only a few attributes, then it is up to you.)
For Active Directory
#Run this command in domain controller's windows PowerShell
Get-ADUser -Properties * -Filter * | Export-Csv "filename.csv"
Get one of the oldest (before the year of 2013) and an active employee’s objectGUID.
For Azure Active Directory
.NET Framework installed (latest)
Microsoft Azure Active Directory Module or PowerShell
#Connect to Azure AD service
#Key in your Global admin credential
#Run this get command to get all user list with its attribute
Get-MsolUser | Export-Csv "filename.csv"
Next, you find the same oldest employee’s immutable id value, if there is value means this environment had sync service running before. You could compare the value that is valid and convert the objectGUID to an immutable ID or the other way around, using this converter.
After locating all this, now you can plan your clean up and recommendations. This may take a longer process, due to you need matching and creation.
To be honest, I felt a bit fooled by the “masking” method. Well at first just by looking at the feature at file policy, I thought it has the capability to mask sensitive information on the files but I was wrong until I test it out myself.
Another honesty from me is that I had read 7 times on one of the paragraphs from Microsoft Docs, about masking, then only I notice this feature is just plain masking to prevent from viewing at administration side. #sadme #dummy
There are administration permission/role settings that you could manage. Will talk about this more on another blog
This doesn’t limit to only Office 365 Products.
It was this paragraph;
In addition, you can specify a regular expression to exclude a file from the results. This option is highly useful if you have an inner classification keyword standard that you want to exclude from the policy. You can decide set the minimum number of content violations that you want to match before the file is considered a violation. For example, you can choose 10 if you want to be alerted on files with at least 10 credit card numbers found within its content. When content is matched against the selected expression, the violation text is replaced with “X” characters. By default, violations are masked and shown in their context displaying 100 characters before and after the violation. Numbers in the context of the expression are replaced with “#” characters and are never stored within Cloud App Security. You can select the option to Unmask the last four characters of a violation to unmask the last four characters of the violation itself. It’s necessary to set which data types the regular expression searches: content, metadata and/or file name. By default, it searches the content and the metadata.
So the policy is all the same stage;
Anyway, this blog will elaborate on how the masking works;
So I have created a file policy named “ID Card Masking”, so the purpose of this policy is to identify documents that contain “Malaysian Identification Card” and enable masking to prevent administrator to have the privilegeto view full details and prevent having it to store in Cloud App Security.
Go to Control > Policies
2. Expand ID Card Masking policy settings
I selected no template
Give a policy name
Give a level of severity
Give a Category type
Give some Filtering that this policy will act on (The clearer the better the match)
I selected a specific folder in my OneDrive for Business for this policy to act on
Next, I selected the Inspection method > Data Classification Service > Malaysian Identification Card
This part you can only choose 1 Data Classification for each file policy you created
I checked Unmask last 4 sensitive information
3. Next, you will have to define notification and actions
So for notification, I leave it as default
For action, you have the option to apply AIP on this document that matches to this policy
*The AIP label contain DLP labelling and AIP labelling for you to choose from
4. So after 3 minutes of this policy creation, you will be able to view matching result from Investigation tab or Policy.
Click on the Policy name (highligted)
Then it will show you the statement where the sensitive information found in the documents
And these sensitive informatino are masked and last 4 value are unmask
So yeah…that is how the masking works and looks like. If you would like more about what and how, do drop me an email or comment below 😀
First of all, understand that I also went through trouble with this modern authentication that is turn on and causing you to see “Always prompt for logon credentials” option is grey out under Outlook application. You would like to have app password for your outlook application but got stop to proceed so because of modern authentication. Is also troublesome to have to keep on keying the code whenever you are re-login your Outlook application without the app password setup on your Outlook account.
*Modern authentication only supports 2013 or the earlier release, please refer to reference for further information
Example for Outlook 2016;
Where to see the grey out “Always prompt for logon credentials”?
File > Info > Account settings > Account Name and Sync Settings > Select More Settings > go to Security tab
However, to sign in with app password, there are 2 options;
If you have an existing account in your Outlook application and have “Always prompt for a password to log in” is enabled then you will just have to key in the app password in the prompt panel.
If you are re-adding or add new account then you will have to key in the app password during your setup of the account for your Outlook application.
*These options doesn’t just limit to Outlook application only
So to disable the modern authentication you may need to add-on a registry;
Go to registry
Locate this directory HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Common\Identity\EnableADAL
If “EnableADAL” registry is not created yet then create it as DWORD and set the value to “0”
If you have already has this registry then just change the value to “0”
Close the registry and restart your Outlook application (by closing and re-open)
You will see the prompt for the credential to log in is shown while you launch your Outlook application
Key in your app password and select remember password
*Is much simple to add registry
*But I recommend that you remove the profile and then re-add
Good day, everyone, I’m not here to insult but to raise awareness, so please read this with an open mind.
I had met and chat with a few different people from different companies, asking them to do you know about data security, is your company ready for data security, what do you think about security, and etc..
Most had replied to me that data security is expensive and does impact the end users productivity. When they told me that it is expensive, and I had asked them “why do you think it is expensive? “. Their answers had hesitation in it. Anyway, to the ones that told me that security could only bring impact to users, and I replied them “Plan, organize, and proper implementation, never jump/rush to a conclusion” (Disaster plan is important).
Technology is there, is how you look at it and use it. (A joke: Don’t tell me that you go shopping and you just blindly buy stuff without testing or checking whether that it really suits your needs/wants.)
Yes, whenever most users or companies hear about security, the first thing on their mind was expensive and impact. Had you really asked and research and gather enough information to prove it? (You know references) Had you ever compare the investment of data security vs The cost of Fines from regulators? (GDPR law fines? PDPA fines?)
During my talk about Data Leak Prevention (Rights Management) in aOS KL event, on 23rd October 2018. I was trying to gain awareness to the audience about data security too. However, there was one audience told me that Microsoft enterprise license is expensive.
What I replied to the person, who was asking about the pricing of Microsoft enterprise license was to ask for more information with the licensing companies. I should have added another replied “Are you ready to lose 2% to 10% of your company global revenue (or probably both fine and jailed) to regulators?” but my session period had used up another extra 5 mins (felt panic and guilty to used up the time that is not mine already).
So for the people that were asking/telling about the security license is expensive in a technical session, I kindly advise you to think twice or many times to the statement above, which I’ve highlighted in RED.
Quote; “Better safe than Sorry” “Never a technology problem, Is human/attitude problem” “Never try, never know” “Plan, Don’t make harsh decision/actions” “Live till old, learn till old” (Take Malaysia’s latest Prime Minister as an Example) “Ask more doesn’t do harm, Only Stupidity does harm” “Stop dreaming, Wake up is reality”
Litigation hold is a feature that allows you to keep your mailbox with specific period or unlimited period. However, this is only the high level definition of litigation hold. Through out my deep and many research of Microsoft articles, especially technet it only state high level of definition of litigation hold but nothing about notices.
Few weeks ago I’ve encounter one of my user reported to me, saying that they have a user account that is disable (in Active Directory), blocked sign in and unlicensed but the mailbox still in active state and able to send (etc inbox forwarding rules) and receive mails and also able to login if with full access. After few research, I found a Microsoft article (support article “https://support.office.com/en-us/article/manage-inactive-mailboxes-in-office-365-296a02bd-ebde-4022-900e-547acf38ddd7“) , about how to handle inactive mailboxes. However, it still didn’t state why it happens or how this mechanism works.
We call this as deprecated account but active mailbox. I really hope that Microsoft could do something about this as it seems to me it is pretty troublesome to go extra further step to handle this, and also hope that they could elaborate more about litigation hold pro and cons or how this mechanism works.
Please take note if you have mailboxes with unlimited litigation hold enabled, and user account in Active Directory is disable but in a sync Organization Unit, please move them to a unsync organization unit IMMEDIATELY or else it will full up the mailbox storage.
To check whether which Organization unit is unsync;
Just go to your Azure Active Directory Server
Windows Start button
open MIISCLIENT or Synchronize Services
On top select “Connection”
double on your local domain
select Configure Directory Partition
at the bottom right button
enter Azure Active Directory credential
you will able to view unchecked boxes means they are the unsync organization unit.