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Exam Code: SC-400 Practice exam 2022 by team
Microsoft Information Protection Administrator
Microsoft Administrator basics
Killexams : Microsoft Administrator basics - BingNews Search results Killexams : Microsoft Administrator basics - BingNews Killexams : Top 16 Microsoft Azure certifications to expedite your IT career

With companies increasingly moving their data to cloud, there is an extensive need for more professionals with sound understanding and expertise of cloud technology.

Microsoft’s cloud offering, Azure, ranks among the top in the industry. Enterprises find Azure’s hybrid feature appealing, as well as the wide range of tools offered on the platform. As per data from Statista, the Azure market share has been on an upsurge and now accounts for 21% of the worldwide cloud market, making earning an Azure certification a strong career move.

Here are 16 role-based Azure certifications that will provide you an in-depth understanding of the skills and knowledge required to elevate your IT career using Microsoft’s cloud.

  • Azure Administrator Associate
  • Azure AI Engineer Associate
  • Azure Database Administrator Associate
  • Azure Data Engineer Associate
  • Azure Data Scientist Associate
  • Azure Developer Associate
  • Azure Enterprise Data Analyst Associate
  • Azure Network Engineer Associate
  • Azure Security Engineer Associate
  • Azure Solutions Architect Expert
  • Azure Stack Hub Operator Associate
  • Cybersecurity Architect Expert
  • DevOps Engineer Expert
  • Identity and Access Administrator Associate
  • Security Operations Analyst Associate
  • Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate

Azure Administrator Associate

The certification is designed for professionals with expertise in implementing, managing, and monitoring identity, storage, governance, compute, and virtual networks in a cloud environment. Many a times, this role operates as a part of a bigger team devoted to implement an organization’s cloud infrastructure.

To earn this certification, you should have a minimum of six months of hands-on experience managing Azure. In addition, you would also require a good understanding of core Azure services, Azure workloads, security, and governance. It will also test your skills of deploying and managing Azure compute resources, as well as your ability to configure, monitor, and maintain Azure resources.

Job role: Administrator

Required exam: Microsoft Azure Administrator

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure AI Engineer Associate

This certification validates your ability to develop AI solutions in collaobration with data engineers, data scientists, AI developers, and IoT specialists.

To earn this certification, you need to have a strong understanding of C# or Python and should have hands-on knowledge of REST-based APIs and SDKs to develop conversational AI solutions, natural language processing, computer vision, and knowledge mining on Azure. You should also be proficient enough to apply responsible AI principles and be able to plan and mange Azure Cognitive Services solution.

Job role: AI engineer

Required exam: Designing and Implementing a Microsoft Azure AI Solution

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure Database Administrator Associate

This certification demonstrates your ability to implement and manage the operational side of hybrid data platforms and cloud-native solutions developed with SQL Server and Azure data services. This exam verifies your proficiency in using varied methods and tools to execute regular operations, including know-how of using T-SQL for administrative management purposes.

The skill sets that the exam measures include the ability to: plan and implement data platform resources; implement a secure environment; examine, configure, and Improve database resources; configure and manage task automation; and plan and configure a high availability and disaster recovery environment.

Job role: Database administrator

Required exam: Administering Microsoft Azure SQL Solutions

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure Data Engineer Associate

This certification is a stamp of your expertise in integrating, consolidating, and transforming data pouring in from numerous structured and unstructured data systems and in providing structure to build analytics solutions on that data. An Azure data engineer ensures data pipelines and data stores are well-functioning, effective, structured, and reliable based on business requirements and limitations. You also need to navigate unexpected issues and reduce data loss.

To earn this certification, you need to have an in-depth knowledge of data processing languages, including Scala, SQL, or Python, and have an understanding of parallel processing and data architecture patterns. You should be able to design, implement, and optimize data storage, data processing, and data security.

Job role: Data engineer

Required exam: Data Engineering on Microsoft Azure

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure Data Scientist Associate

This certification focuses on your expertise in leveraging data science and machine learning to implement and run machine learning workloads on Azure.

Candidates for this role should be able to conduct data experiments, train predictive models, and manage Azure resources for machine learning.

Job role: Data scientist

Required exam: Designing and Implementing a Data Science Solution on Azure

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure Developer Associate

The Azure Developer Associate certification is designed for professionals with one to two years of professional experience with Azure. It validates that a candidate is a cloud developer who takes part in all stages of development, deployment, and maintenance. And that the candidate works with cloud database administrators and clients to implement solutions.

The skills measured in the exam include the ability to develop Azure compute solutions; develop for Azure storage; implement Azure security; monitor, troubleshoot, and optimize Azure solutions; and connect to and use Azure services and third-party services.

Job role: Developer

Required exam: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure Enterprise Data Analyst Associate

The certification proves your standing to appropriately deal in areas of designing, creating, and deploying enterprise-scale data analytics solutions.

To achieve this certification, you should have advanced Power BI skills. You should have the expertise to implement and manage a data analytics environment; query and transform data, implement and manage data models; and explore and visualize data.

Job role: Data analyst

Required exam: Designing and Implementing Enterprise-Scale Analytics Solution Using Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Power BI

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure Network Engineer Associate

The Azure Network Engineer Associate certification validates your prowess of deploying networking solutions by using the Azure portal and other methods such as PowerShell, Azure Command-Line Interface, and Azure Resources Manager templates. The certification demonstrates your aptitude to work with solution architects, security engineers, cloud administrators, and DevOps engineers to deliver Azure solutions.

The exam measures thorough expertise in planning, implementing, and maintaining Azure networking solutions comprising connectivity, routing, hybrid networking, security, and private access to Azure services.

Job role: Network engineer

Required exam: Designing and Implementing Microsoft Azure Networking Solutions

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure Security Engineer Associate

This certification focuses on your expertise in implementing Azure Security Controls that secure identity, access, data, applications, and networks in cloud and hybrid environments. It proves your ability to execute responsibilities such as managing the security posture of the organization, responding to security incident escalation, conducting threat modeling, identifying and neutralizing detected flaws, and implementing threat protection.

To earn this certification, you need to have moderate to robust knowledge of most Azure offerings and an understanding of basic IT security principals. This exam tests your knowledge in four different subject areas: managing identity and access; implementing platform protection; managing security operations; and securing data and application.

Job role: Security engineer

Required exam: Microsoft Azure Security Technologies

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure Solutions Architect Expert

The certification validates your subject matter expertise in designing cloud and hybrid solutions on Azure, including network, compute, monitoring, storage, and security. It requires you to have advanced experience and deep knowledge of IT operations comprising networking, governance, disaster recovery, data platforms, virtualization, business continuity, identity, and security.

To earn it, you must have Azure Administrator Associate certification (see above), which tests your skills to implement, monitor, and manage an organization’s Microsoft Azure environment.

Job role: Solution architect

Required exam: Designing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Azure Stack Hub Operator Associate

This certification focuses on your ability to plan, deploy, update, and maintain the Azure Stack Hub infrastructure. It evaluates your aptitude to work with teams that support datacenter infrastructure; teams that manage identity; and teams that use Azure Stack Hub resources such as DevOps engineers, developers, and virtual infrastructure administrators.

The certification requires you to possess strong experience in operating and managing Azure Stack Hub environments, and to do so by using PowerShell. It will also test the depth of your understanding of Azure, as well as your knowledge of networking, virtualization, and identity management as the certification is for administrator-level role.

Job role: Administrator

Required exam: Configuring and Operating a Hybrid Cloud with Microsoft Azure Stack Hub

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR                     

Cybersecurity Architect Expert

Cybersecurity Architect Expert is an enhanced certification that establishes your subject matter expertise in securing an organization’s digital assets by deploying cybersecurity strategy. It also focuses on your ability to design a Zero Trust strategy and architecture, which comprises applications, security strategies for data, identity and access management, and infrastructure. This exam also evaluates Governance Risk Compliance (GRC) technical strategies; security operations strategies; and experience of hybrid and cloud implementation.

To earn this certification, you must have at least one of the following certifications: Microsoft Certified: Azure Security Engineer Associate; Microsoft Certified: Identity and Access Administrator Associate; Microsoft 365 Certified: Security Administrator Associate; or Microsoft Certified: Security Operations Analyst Associate.

Job role: Security engineer, administrator, solution architect, security operations analyst

Required exam: Microsoft Cybersecurity Architect

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

DevOps Engineer Expert

The DevOps Engineer Expert certification proves your ability to plan and implement strategies for collaboration, code, source control, infrastructure, compliance, monitoring, delivery, testing, constant integration, monitoring, and feedback. It requires you to possess experience with administering and developing in Azure, with solid skills in at least one of these domains. You need to be acquainted with both Azure DevOps and GitHub.

The exam evaluates your ability to develop an instrumentation strategy; oversee source control; design a security and compliance strategy; plan and implement constant integration; plan and implement a continuous delivery and release management approach; enable communication and collaboration; and build a site reliability engineering strategy.

To earn this certification, you must have either the Azure Administrator Associate or Azure Developer Associate certification.

Job role: DevOps engineer

Required exam: Designing and Implementing Microsoft DevOps Solutions

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Identity and Access Administrator Associate

The certification verifies your ability to design, implement, and operate an organization’s identity and access management systems by putting into use the Azure Active Directory. It also validates your expertise to configure and manage authentication and authorization of identities for Azure resources, users, devices, and applications.

Job role: Administrator, identity and access administrator, security engineer

Required exam: Microsoft Identity and Access Administrator

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Security Operations Analyst Associate

This certification validates your skills in collaborating with stakeholders to secure IT systems from cyberattacks. It demonstrates that you are capable of reducing organizational risk by promptly emending active attacks in the systems, recommending improvements to threat protection practices, and stating breaches of organizational policies to applicable stakeholders.

The certification establishes that you are efficient for the role that predominantly investigates, responds to, and tracks attacks applying Microsoft Sentinel, Microsoft Defender for Cloud, Microsoft 365 Defender, and third-party security products.

Job role: Security engineer, security operations analyst

Required exams: Microsoft Security Operations Analyst

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD

India: ₹4800 INR

Windows Server Hybrid Administrator Associate

This certification proves your expertise in configuring and managing windows server workloads using on-premises, hybrid, and infrastructure-as-a-service technologies. It also demonstrates your ability to execute tasks in line with security, monitoring, migration, troubleshooting, and disaster recovery. It also covers Azure Automation update management, Microsoft Defender for identity, Azure Security Center, Azure Migrate, and Azure Monitor.

This certification tests your ability to deploy and manage active directory domain services in on-premises and cloud environments; manage windows servers and workloads in a hybrid environment; implement and manage an on-premises and hybrid networking infrastructure; manage virtual machines and containers; manage storage and file services; and implement disaster recovery. You should have vast experience working with Windows Server operating systems.

Job role: Administrator,identity and access administrator,support engineer, network engineer, information protection administrator, technology manager, security engineer

Required exams: Administering Windows Server Hybrid Core Infrastructure and Configuring Windows Server Hybrid Advanced Services

Cost: Depends on the country or region in which it is taken. Does not include applicable taxes.

United States: $165 USD + $165 USD = $330 USD

India: ₹4800 INR + ₹4800 INR = ₹9600 INR

Sun, 16 Oct 2022 22:00:00 -0500 Author: Moumita Deb Choudhury en-US text/html
Killexams : This new Windows features makes password-hacking attacks much harder
Image: Ratnakorn Piyasirisorost / Getty

Microsoft has rolled out a new capability to all supported versions of Windows that will make it harder for hackers to carry out brute-force password-guessing attacks against local admin accounts.  

The new feature means that Windows devices can now lock out local admins – something that Windows devices haven't been allowed to do until yesterday's Patch Tuesday updates introduced a new set of admin account lockout policies. 

When local admin accounts can't be locked out of Windows device, attackers can hit the account with an unlimited number of attempts to guess the right password. Attackers can often quickly guess ones that are simple and short. 

Also: The 10 best Windows laptops: Top notebooks, 2-in-1s, and ultraportables

As Microsoft notes, this attack can be done using remote desktop protocol (RDP) over a network. RDP is a feature often targeted by ransomware gangs trying to gain access to systems. 

"Beginning with the October 11, 2022 or later Windows cumulative updates, a local policy will be available to enable local administrator account lockouts. This policy can be found under Local Computer Policy\Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Account Policies\Account Lockout Policies," Microsoft explains in a support note for KB5020282 as spotted by Bleeping Computer.

The account lockout policy has four settings: Reset account lockout counter after; All Administrator account lockout; Account lockout threshold; and Account lockout duration. Microsoft's baseline recommends organisations should enable the admin account lockout, and set the other three to 10/10/10, meaning the account will be locked out after 10 failed attempts within 10 minutes and that the lockout lasts 10 minutes. After that, the account is automatically unlocked. 

This is the default state for Windows 11, version 22H2, as well as cleanly installed machines that include the October 11, 2022 Windows cumulative updates before set up. Microsoft notes that a machine that was set up and then had the October updates installed later would not be secure by default and would need the policy settings explicitly added. Admins can also apply the disabled setting for 'allow administrator account lockout'. 

Also, on on new machines where a local administrator account is used, Microsoft now enforces password complexity, requiring the password have "at least three of the four basic character types (lowercase, uppercase, numbers, and symbols)."

Also: The biggest cyber-crime threat is also the one that nobody wants to talk about

A Microsoft program manager for Active Directory also pointed out Microsoft's Patch Tuesday has restricted computer account re-use via domain join if the domain joiner does not have the appropriate rights to the account. It's another element of Microsoft's Windows 'secure by default' effort and relates to an Active Directory elevation of privilege flaw – CVE-2022-38042 – addressed in the October 11 update, with hardening changes for domain join.

In September, Microsoft rolled out a rate limiter default to make Windows 11 machines a "very unattractive target" for hackers trying to steal credentials.  

Tue, 11 Oct 2022 23:22:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Microsoft Store blocked by administrator in Windows 11

If you get Microsoft Store is blockedCheck with your IT or system administrator error while opening the Microsoft Store on Windows 11; follow these solutions to get rid of it. However, you must have the administrator rights to use all the suggestions.

Microsoft Store blocked by administrator in Windows 11

At times, you might find the Microsoft Store is blocked error while opening it in Windows 11. Although it can happen in an organization to prevent regular users from installing unnecessary apps on the PC, it is pretty unusual on a home computer. However, if you have got this error on your home computer or on a computer where you are the only administrator, you can follow these solutions.

To Microsoft Store blocked by administrator error in Windows 11, follow these steps:

  1. Remove custom rule
  2. Disable Group Policy setting
  3. Unblock using Registry

To learn more about these steps, continue reading.

1] Remove custom rule

It is the first thing you need to do in order to fix this above-mentioned error. In Windows 11, it is possible to create a custom rule to allow or deny a specific app from running on your computer. If you have done it mistakenly in the past, you may get issues while accessing the Microsoft Store app. Therefore, you need to verify if there is any such rule or not. If it is for blocking the Microsoft Store app, you need to remove it accordingly.

First, press Win+R to open the Run prompt, type secpol.msc, and press the Enter button to open the Local Security policy panel.

Then, navigate to Application Control Policies > AppLocker > Packaged app Rules. Here you can find all the custom rules you created earlier. Find out a rule that has Microsoft.WindowsStore in the name.

Double-click on it and see if the Action is set as Allow or Deny.

Microsoft Store blocked by administrator in Windows 11

If it is set to Deny, go back to the previous screen, right-click on the rule and select the Delete option.

Microsoft Store blocked by administrator in Windows 11

Then, you need to confirm the change. Once done, close all the windows and try to open the Microsoft Store. Hopefully, you will be able to open it without any problem.

2] Disable Group Policy setting

Microsoft Store blocked by administrator in Windows 11

There is a Group Policy setting, which might be responsible for this error. You need to check if it is turned on or not. If turned on, you must disable it.

  • Press Win+R to open the Run prompt.
  • Type gpedit.msc and press the Enter button.
  • Navigate to this path: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Store.
  • Double-click on the Turn off the Store application setting.
  • Choose the Not Configured option.
  • Click the OK button.

Then, close all windows and try opening the Microsoft Store app.

Read: Security software blocks UWP app from opening

3] Unblock using Registry

Microsoft Store blocked by administrator in Windows 11

The same Group Policy setting can be enabled through the Registry Editor as well. Therefore, follow these steps to delete the corresponding Registry key:

Press Win+R > type regedit > hit the Enter button.

Click the Yes option.

Navigate to this path:


Right-click on the RemoveWindowsStore REG_DWORD value.

Select the Delete option.

Click the Yes button.

Then, restart your computer and open the Microsoft Store in Windows 11.

ReadThis app has been blocked due to Company Policy.

How do I fix Microsoft Store is blocked by administrator?

To fix the Microsoft Store is blocked by administrator error, you must delete the custom rule made in the Local Security Policy panel. For that, you can follow the very first solution mentioned in this article. That said, you can go to Application Control Policies > AppLocker > Packaged app Rules, right-click on the custom rule and select the Delete option.

How do I turn off Microsoft Store restrictions?

Depending upon the restrictions, you can try using the Local Security Policy, Local Group Policy Editor, and the Registry Editor to turn that off. You need to follow the aforementioned guides one after one if you cannot determine the exact error message. However, in most cases, you can resolve the error with the help of the Local Security Policy.

That’s all! Hope this guide helped.

Read: This app has been blocked for your protection by your system administrator.

Microsoft Store blocked by administrator in Windows 11
Wed, 30 Mar 2022 04:29:00 -0500 en-us text/html
Killexams : Microsoft extends brute-force attack protections to local Windows accounts

Why it matters: New Windows installations will be more secure thanks to a recently implemented policy against recurring login attempts. Microsoft is waging war against brute force attacks, on all supported Windows versions and not just Windows 11.

As Microsoft works to implement a more secure Windows ecosystem, new security policies have become available for users and system administrators. The most latest policy concerns so called brute-force attacks, a tried and tested threat against the Windows account management subsystem.

Microsoft says brute force attacks are one of the top three ways Windows machines are being targeted today, with malware and malicious scripts trying countless password combinations until user login accounts are finally compromised. The worst of it, Microsoft states, is that Windows devices currently do not allow local administrators to be locked out for security reasons.

With no proper protection for local setups, dangerous scenarios where local administrator accounts can be subjected to unlimited brute-force attacks become realistic. This kind of attack can be done using RDP communication over the internet, while modern CPUs and GPUs make guessing common or simpler passwords a rather trivial affair.

Microsoft suggests a baseline security policy of 10/10/10, which means an account will be locked out after 10 failed attempts within 10 minutes and the lockout period would last for 10 minutes.

The latest effort to curb brute-force attacks comes alongside the October 2022 cumulative update, as a new policy available to secure local machines by enabling local administrator account lockouts. The policy can be found under Local Computer Policy\Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Account Policies\Account Lockout Policies, that when enabled will block login attempts after a fixed set of failed attempts.

Microsoft suggests a baseline security policy of 10/10/10, which means an account will be locked out after 10 failed attempts within 10 minutes and the lockout period would last for 10 minutes. The new default lockout policy for mitigating RDP brute-force attacks was introduced in July for the latest Windows 11 Insider builds. Now the lockout policy is becoming available for all supported Windows versions with the October 2022 updates installed.

For new machines running Windows 11 version 22H2, the policy will be set by default at system setup. Existing Windows 10 and Windows 11 machines without the cumulative updates already installed, however, will require manual policy setting. Microsoft is also enforcing password complexity on new machines with local administrator accounts: the account password will now need to use at least three of the four basic character types (lower case, upper case, numbers and symbols).

Fri, 14 Oct 2022 07:40:00 -0500 Alfonso Maruccia en-US text/html
Killexams : Windows 11 22H2 Brings New Changes to the Group Policy Editor © Provided by MUO

Windows 11 feature update 22H2 was released on the 20th of September, 2022. As with any significant Windows version updates, it introduced changes to the Local Group Policy Editor, enabling everybody from admins, power users, or anyone interested to customize the "Windows Experience."

Let's look at some interesting new policies in this update.

What Is the Group Policy Editor and How Do You Access It?

The Group Policy Editor is a powerful Windows administration tool that allows users to configure many critical settings system-wide.

The Group Policy Editor needs elevated Administrator privileges. So, if you cannot access it via the steps outlined below, you either do not have administrator privileges or are on Windows Home. In that case, check out how to access the Group Policy Editor on Windows Home.

You can access the Group Policy Editor in various ways, but the two simplest methods are:

1. Use the Start Menu

Click the Start button or press the Windows key on your keyboard to open it. Then, type gpedit.msc. You should see the Best match displayed above; press Enter to launch it immediately.

2. Use the Run Dialog

Open a Run dialog with the Windows + R shortcut, then enter the same command as above: gpedit.msc. Press Enter to open the Group Policy Editor.

If you have little experience with the Group Policy Editor, we recommend reviewing the basics of Group Policy before you proceed. We'll walk through changes to the Group Policy Editor next.

1. startmenu.admx: Remove Recommended Section From Start Menu

The Windows start menu is cluttered. We only have a few options to organize it with More pins, More recommendations or the Default layout, as seen under Settings > Personalization > Start.

You can achieve a cleaner interface that does away with the recommended section by navigating to: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar and setting the State to Enabled on the Remove Recommended section from Start Menu policy in Group Policy Editor.

Restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

2. search.admx: Allow Search Highlights

You can configure menus to be simple and minimalistic by choosing whether to have Search highlights enabled.

Search highlights appear as a new dynamic panel of content suggestions integrated into Windows search. By default, they will display events, commemorations, holidays, and trending searches in your region.

When you begin typing in the search box, Search highlights will also search the web, your local machine, and even your enterprise account; if you are signed in with one, for content matches.

You can remove these search highlights or limit access to others as an administrator.

Go to: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search. Set the State to Disabled on the Allow search highlights policy in Group Policy Editor.

The changes will take effect immediately, and a restart isn't required.

3. explorer.admx: Turn Off Files From in Quick Access View

Microsoft is constantly trying to streamline the look of the Windows 11 UI. For instance, its heavy-handed integration with other products like Microsoft Edge. Another notable integration is with and having access to your OneDrive documents within File Explorer.

This integration can be helpful. However, it does mean that each time you open File Explorer, Windows has to fetch the cloud file metadata necessary to display it. You can reduce these unnecessary web calls if you use an offline version of Microsoft Office (such as 2016 or 2019).

Navigate to: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer and set the State to Enabled on the Turn off files from in Quick access view policy in Group Policy Editor.

Once again, you will need to restart your computer or Windows Explorer in Task Manager for the changes to take effect.

4. lanmanworkstation.admx: Use SMB Compression by Default

SMB compression is a breakthrough network compression technology for administrators. SMB compression can substantially accelerate copying data over a given network, particularly when dealing with large uncompressed files such as VHD's and VHDX's. It does this at the expense of slightly higher CPU usage when copying but will significantly reduce transfer times and overall congestion on the network.

Take a look at the video below for a quick demonstration of SMB in action.

To enable SMB compression by default navigate to: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Network > Lanman Workstation and set the State to Enabled on the Use SMB compression by default policy in Group Policy Editor.

Download the Group Policy Settings Reference Spreadsheet

You can get the Excel spreadsheet (XLSX File) directly from Microsoft to see the complete list of changes made to the Group Policy Editor with version update 22H2.

More to Come, Hopefully Soon…

Microsoft has big plans for Windows 11 and is on track to deliver feature updates as large as 22H2 annually. In between, we can expect smaller individual feature updates monthly, in line with its new development cadence.

With Windows 11 receiving tweaks all the time, there may yet be more new treasures to uncover within the Group Policy Editor in the coming months.

Fri, 14 Oct 2022 03:30:14 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : Windows update could help defend against an all-too-common cyberattack null © Provided by TechRadar null

It appears the anti-brute-force mechanism Microsoft implemented in Windows 11 less than a month ago is working, as the company has decided to expand it to all other supported versions of the operating system. 

In an announcement, Microsoft explained that IT admins can now configure their systems to automatically block these types of attacks against local admin accounts through a group policy.

"In an effort to prevent further brute force attacks/attempts, we are implementing account lockouts for Administrator accounts," Microsoft said. "Beginning with the October 11, 2022 or later Windows cumulative updates, a local policy will be available to enable local administrator account lockouts."

Microsoft first introduced the change in late September, with the Insider Preview Build 25206, by making the SMB authentication rate limiter enabled by default. A couple of other settings have been tweaked to make these attacks “less effective”, as well. 

“The SMB server service now defaults to a 2-second default between each failed inbound NTLM authentication," Ned Pyle, Principal Program Manager in the Microsoft Windows Server engineering group, said at the time.

"This means if an attacker previously sent 300 brute force attempts per second from a client for 5 minutes (90,000 passwords), the same number of attempts would now take 50 hours at a minimum."

In other words, by toggling the feature on, there is a delay between each unsuccessful NTLM authentication attempt, making the SMB server service more resilient to brute-force attacks. 

To turn the feature on, IT admins should search Local Computer Policy\Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Account Policies\Account Lockout Policies for the “Allow Administrator account lockout” policy.

Together with this change, Microsoft also altered how all local admin passwords are set up, requiring at least three of the four basic character types - lower case, upper case, numbers, and symbols.

Via BleepingComputer

Wed, 12 Oct 2022 00:39:06 -0500 en-GB text/html
Killexams : Video sharing is disabled by the administrator in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams has become the fastest growing app. Companies worldwide use it extensively for managing both, conversations, and meetings. Sometimes, the app can experience issues related to screen sharing. For instance, when you’re on a video call, others in the call can see a video but you cannot. Upon trying to click the video icon you get a message that says Video Share is disabled by the administrator. Here’s what you can do to fix the problem instantly.

Video Sharing is disabled by the Administrator in Microsoft Teams

The issue does not occur at random but by design due to the meeting policy settings. Also, it has been observed the problem could be fixed by setting the ‘Allow IP Video’ setting to ‘On’ position for the Guest Access. To enable video sharing in the Teams Meeting:

  1. Launch Microsoft Teams app.
  2. Click Meetings drop-down menu.
  3. Select Meeting Policies.
  4. Choose a meeting policy name.
  5. Go to Audio & Video
  6. Enable Allow IP video.

Before proceeding with this method, make sure guest access is configured in the Teams admin center. For this, sign in to the Microsoft Teams admin center, select Org-wide settings > Guest access. Set Allow guest access in Microsoft Teams to On. Then, proceed as follows –

Go to Microsoft Teams admin center.

Click ‘Meetings’ drop-down arrow to expand the menu.

Select ‘Meeting policies’.

When directed to a new page, choose a meeting policy name.

Scroll down to its ‘Audio & Video’ section.

Here’ look for the ‘Allow IP video’ setting. Audio and video settings let you turn on or off features that are used during Teams’ meetings.

Video sharing is disabled by the administrator in Teams

When seen, move the slider to ‘On’ position to enable the setting. This will allow guests to use video in their calls and meetings.

Hereafter, you should not see ‘Video Sharing is disabled by the administrator’ message in Microsoft Teams

That’s all there is to it!

Sat, 12 Mar 2022 00:29:00 -0600 en-us text/html
Killexams : A latest Windows update could be able to prevent a typical hack

Microsoft has chosen to roll out its anti-brute-force technology, first introduced in Windows 11 a little over a month ago, to all other supported versions of the operating system.

Microsoft said that IT administrators may now use group policy to automatically prevent attacks against local admin accounts.

Microsoft has said that it would be locking down Administrator accounts “to avoid additional brute force attacks/attempts.” “Starting with the Windows cumulative updates released on October 11, 2022 or later, a local policy will be available to allow local administrator account lockouts.”

As of Microsoft’s Insider Preview Build 25206 released in late September, the SMB authentication rate limiting is now enabled by default. To further “de-optimize” these assaults, a few more variables have been adjusted.

According to Ned Pyle, Principal Program Manager in Microsoft’s Windows Server engineering division, “the SMB server service now defaults to a 2 second default between each unsuccessful incoming NTLM authentication.”

This implies that the same amount of brute force tries that would have taken an attacker 5 minutes to send before (90,000 passwords (opens in new tab)) would now take a minimum of 50 hours.

In other words, enabling this option makes the SMB server service less vulnerable to brute-force assaults by adding a delay between failed NTLM authentication attempts.

Local Computer Policy is where IT personnel should look to activate the function.

Setting Up a Computer

To disable the “Allow Administrator account lockout” policy, go to Security SettingsAccount PoliciesAccount Lockout Policies.

Microsoft also updated the requirements for local administrator passwords at the same time, making use of three of the four basic character types (lowercase, uppercase, digits, and symbols) mandatory.

Tue, 11 Oct 2022 06:00:00 -0500 Catherine A. Leal en-US text/html
Killexams : Microsoft attempts to eat Oracle's database lunch with Azure migration service © Provided by The Register

Redmond hopes move will lure more to its PostgreSQL managed service

Microsoft is launching a database migration tool to help Oracle users shift to a PostgreSQL managed service on Azure.…

Coinciding with Redmond's Ignite bash, the vendor is offering Azure Data Studio, a cross-platform database assessment tool, to help switch from Big Red to a Microsoft PostgreSQL-compatible managed service.

Available in preview, the Database Migration Assessment for Oracle "includes database migration recommendations and an evaluation of database code complexity. With these changes, migration planning is simplified for Oracle customers looking to modernize their data estate to Azure managed databases," Microsoft claimed in a statement.

It said Oracle customers could get sizing recommendations for Oracle Database migration to Azure Database for PostgreSQL and Azure SQL, including Azure SQL Database Hyperscale, which it says works for large workloads up to 100TB.

"Azure Database for PostgreSQL and Azure SQL Database offer excellent value for Oracle customers looking to reduce administration overhead and optimize database license costs while maintaining performance," it said.

Earlier this year, Oracle and Microsoft announced Oracle Database Service for Microsoft Azure, an Oracle-managed service for Azure customers to help them provision, access, and operate Oracle Database services in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) with a familiar Azure-like experience.

Carl Olofson, IDC research vice president, said: "Microsoft has offered basic Oracle to SQL Server/Azure SQL Database migration capability for a while now. Many enterprise Oracle database deployments are very complex, and so migration is difficult and fraught with risk. This service is meant as an expert service to provide a safer and more reliable form of migration."

For some time, PostgreSQL backer EDB has offered an Oracle migration service for users looking for a future outside their traditional home.

Elsewhere at Ignite, Microsoft said it was adding distributed PostgreSQL support for Azure Cosmos DB, its distributed database service, built upon the Hyperscale (Citus) engine. It is also previewing support for statistical language R in its Synapse data warehouse. ®

Wed, 12 Oct 2022 07:22:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : Is CISA stretched thin on critical infrastructure?

With help from Eric Geller 

Driving the Day

CISA oversees half of all the country’s critical infrastructure sectors. It's an enormous mandate — and one lawmaker is concerned the agency can’t handle it.   

HAPPY MONDAY, and welcome to Morning Cybersecurity! I have fallen seriously behind “The Rings of Power,” and I forbid you from spoiling it for me.

On an unrelated note, I recently watched two more seasons of “Emily in Paris” than I ever intended to.

Don’t judge me.

Got tips, feedback or commentary for MC? Email me at [email protected]. You can also follow @POLITICOPro and @MorningCybersec on Twitter. Full team contact info is below.

Want to receive this newsletter every weekday? Subscribe to POLITICO Pro. You’ll also receive daily policy news and other intelligence you need to act on the day’s biggest stories.

Today's Agenda

Emily Goldman, a strategist at U.S. Cyber Command, speaks at a Heritage Foundation event about her co-authored book on U.S. cybersecurity strategy. Noon.

Critical Infrastructure

OVERWORKED — A key House Democrat is concerned that CISA may be stretched too thin managing the cyber and physical security of eight infrastructure sectors, far more than any other agency.

“There must be greater transparency and accountability around CISA’s role as a [sector risk management agency], how it measures success, and whether it has the authorities and resources it needs to oversee multiple sectors of critical infrastructure effectively and exclusively,” Rep. Ritchie Torres, a member of the House Homeland Security cyber subcommittee, said in an Oct. 14 letter to CISA Director Jen Easterly.

We’re watching: Torres’ letter, first reported by MC, underscores congressional concerns about CISA’s ability to triage its massive responsibilities, particularly as the Biden administration seeks to impose new cyber regulations on multiple industries.

The letter also emphasizes Torres’ interest in playing a larger role on cyber policy for House Democrats and sharpening Congress’ oversight of the issue, ambitions he discussed in an August interview with POLITICO. With multiple cyber-focused members retiring in January, Torres is poised to play an increasingly important role in holding agencies’ feet to the fire on their cybersecurity missions.

Deets, please: Torres asked Easterly about CISA’s “unique activities, initiatives, or risk management efforts” in the eight sectors it manages, from dams to nuclear reactors, as well as information about how CISA maintains relationships with companies in those sectors and what it considers each sector’s biggest risk.

NIPP it in the bud: Torres also asked when CISA would complete its overdue update to the National Infrastructure Protection Plan and how that overhaul would inform its updates to each sector’s plan.


MAKING A CASE — Top cyber defense officials from across the U.S. government are taking the stage this week at Mandiant’s Worldwide Information Security Exchange Conference (mWISE), in what will be a key opportunity for the Biden administration to promote its progress on cybersecurity ahead of the midterms.

Here are some key themes that you might see from NSA Cybersecurity Directorate lead Rob Joyce, National Cyber Director Chris Inglis and CISA Director Jen Easterly:

National cyber strategy — With last week’s publication of the Biden administration’s new national security strategy, the “doomsday clock” for the follow-on cyber document officially stands at one minute to midnight.

If Inglis doesn’t tip the new cyber strategy, expect him to address three themes sure to animate it: industry’s responsibility to meet the government halfway on mitigating cyber threats, a clarification of the roles and responsibilities of the federal government’s cyber defense bureaucracy and how to overcome the cyber talent shortage in America.

Incident reporting — It’s nearing two years since U.S officials learned that top-tier Russian hackers had burrowed into the supply chain of nine federal agencies and upwards of 100 private companies, and a key lesson from that experience is sure to feature heavily at mWISE: the need for private companies to report breaches to the federal government.

That’s not just because FireEye — the company who lifted the lid on SolarWinds by disclosing that Kremlin hackers had slipped its defenses — will be playing host. One day before Easterly takes the stage, CISA will hold its first and only D.C. listening session for the new incident reporting bill.

Doing the basics — Don’t assume industry execs at a fancy cyber confab are beyond some instruction in the basics: Two weeks ago, Joyce’s Cybersecurity Directorate fired a warning shot at the country’s defense industrial base, highlighting how multiple foreign hackers had slipped into a defense contractor’s network and gained access to sensitive national security information.

Industry can hawk shiny cyber products that allegedly mitigate “uber-sophisticated” threats all it wants. But expect Inglis, Easterly and Joyce to hammer home the importance of two-factor authentication, least privilege account management and network segmentation.


WOLF IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING — A previously unidentified ransomware strain that bears conspicuous overlap with Russian intelligence is menacing critical infrastructure entities in Ukraine and Poland, according to researchers at Microsoft.

Superficially just another attempt to string cryptocurrency from desperate victims, the so-called “Prestige” ransomware attacks raised the eyebrows of Microsoft researchers last Friday because they affected several transportation and logistics companies within the span of an hour, bore no ties to known ransomware groups and appeared to deploy different tradecraft across victims — a far-cry from the rote approach of most criminal groups, which tend to work more mechanically from victim to victim.

Not having seen such activity before, Microsoft researchers were unable to tie the attacks to a known threat actor. However, they left little doubt about their suspicions, underscoring that the attack “shares victimology with latest Russian state-aligned activity.”

New tool, same game — If the Kremlin is responsible, the attacks would mark a new spin on a familiar pattern of Russian cyber activity in Ukraine.

Since the Russian invasion last February, Kremlin-linked hackers have pummeled Ukrainian networks with data-destroying “wiper” attacks. While ransomware can have the same effect, it encrypts but does not delete data, meaning information theoretically remains recoverable to victims.

A mystery, sort of — Along with the Kremlin’s apparent efforts to avoid re-using known tradecraft, that distinction could help the Russian government deny its involvement in the attacks.

That argument might seem thin, but it's a card Russia has played many times before, both literally — having launched a destructive cyberattack, NotPetya, that masqueraded as ransomware — and figuratively — with the Kremlin often denying involvement in nefarious activities despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, as with the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.


SURVEILLANCE STATE — A report out this morning from the Atlantic Council explores how the People’s Republic of China uses investments in a web of private surveillance tech companies to pursue two goals: becoming a global technology leader and exerting domestic social control. The report, authored by Bulelani Jili, also argues China’s public-private partnerships have helped it export surveillance technologies to the Global South, presenting a new and growing threat to U.S. national security interests.

BACK AT IT — Researchers at Palo Alto Network’s Unit 42 have identified links between a pesky new group of extortionists and a notorious ransomware gang, according to a report published Friday. The so-called Ransom Cartel cybercrime group likely “had some relationship” to REvil — a prolific Russian ransomware group that went quiet after authorities in Moscow cracked down on it last January. Appearing shortly after REvil’s disappearance, Ransom Cartel appears to have access to some REvil source code but not some of the group’s other tools, write the Unit 42 researchers.

Tweet of the Day

Dr. Kate Klonick, who studies how private platforms govern online speech, has an interesting thread about what the latest Meta vs. Wire dust-up reveals about the fallibility of digital evidence. Take a look here:

Industry Intel

Today, identity and access management provider Okta will announce it is joining the Alliance for Digital Innovation, an industry association that lobbies for government adoption of advanced digital technologies.

Quick Bytes

— Former Wall Street Journal reporter accuses law firm of hiring cyber mercenaries to sabotage his career. (Reuters)

How much information should state and local governments disclose in the wake of a cyberattack? (

— State Department wants Silicon Valley to be a closer ally when it comes to the country’s national security. (Wall Street Journal)

— For two years, Microsoft “botched” a key Windows security measure. (Ars Technica)

Chat soon. 

Stay in touch with the whole team: Eric Geller ([email protected]); Maggie Miller ([email protected]); John Sakellariadis ([email protected]); and Heidi Vogt ([email protected]).


Mon, 17 Oct 2022 02:00:00 -0500 en text/html
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