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The 12 Tips of ConfigMas

It’s that magical time of year again! A time for friendship, feasts and festivities. I’m talking, of course, about ConfigMas! That special occasion when Adaptiva delivers a holiday ConfigMgr roundup for all to enjoy. As we prepare to greet the new year, we’ve compiled some of the best advice from MVPs and leading industry experts into the 12 Tips of ConfigMas. If you prefer to hear the 12 tips in a song, please enjoy this rousing rendition from the ConfigMas Carolers. 1. Use the SCCM Office 365 Wizard to Create Your Office 2019 Install Prajwal Desai @PrajwalDesai With Office 2019 utilizing click-to-run technology, MSI technology is no longer used. Instead, Microsoft lets you create your Office 2019 install via the Office 365 installer wizard in the ConfigMgr console. To get the best from t...

Custom Configuration Items: Maybe the Most Underrated Tool in Your ConfigMgr Kit

ConfigMgr has many little gems tucked away, underutilized, forgotten at times. Configuration Items (CI) is one of these gems. CIs have been around since Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) 2007 days, when they were known as Desired State Configuration. Configuration Items are created, set to a Configuration Baseline (CB) that is then deployed to a collection. Compliance is evaluated against the baseline and reported back to ConfigMgr. Non-compliance can be remediated to bring devices back into a compliant state–super-cool, super-powerful and really easy to set up. A CI can be created using different item types. These range from registry, file system, Active Directory query, WQL query, and WMI query to a script; a CB can contain one or more CIs to add power and f...

Windows 10 Security Checklist Starter Kit

I love it when a tech speaker lays out an overwhelming topic so clearly that it starts to feel approachable. That’s how I felt during a recent ITPro Today webinar with Orin Thomas on security configuration management for Windows endpoints in the enterprise. I’ve gone through Orin’s webinar and pulled out many of the items into a checklist that you can use as a starting point. It’s obviously not a complete checklist. That’s why I’m calling it a “starter kit.” You can use it to see how your company stacks up on these essential items. Then you can take steps to address any shortcomings and toward building a comprehensive checklist to help make your organization more secure. Organization-Wide Checklist These items apply to all Windows 10 endpoints the entire organization. □ Managing All System...

Survey: IT Pros Want to Secure Endpoints Daily but Don’t Have the Time

If you work in IT today, you are walking on a razor’s edge trying to get security right. The Adaptiva 2018 Endpoint Security Survey can help you avoid missteps. We polled over 300 IT professionals about Windows security in a business environment. Findings include: Windows 10 deployments measured (past the half way point!) Security hygiene tasks prioritized Staffing shortages The biggest help desk time sinks So much more …   Windows 10 Deployments Pass the “50/50” Milestone Adaptiva has been polling IT pros about their Windows 10 deployment plans and progress since the OS was released in 2015. Windows 10 is crucial for IT security. In fact, security is the top reason enterprises are moving to Windows 10—if you don’t count “we have to in order to keep getting support.” For the fir...

ConfigMgr Pros Get Help from OneSite

ConfigMgr implementers, architects and administrators don’t have the luxury of getting it wrong. You have to nail everything in order for the organizations you support to succeed. That’s a lot of pressure! More and more, ConfigMgr professionals are enlisting Adaptiva OneSite to help businesses and government organizations prosper. Instead of telling you why, I’ll let you hear it directly from them. DXC Technology (Adaptiva Partner) Learn why DXC Technology includes Adaptiva OneSite in solutions offerings. As Senior Technical Consultant in the Workplace & Mobility Offering Delivery (OD&T) group, Tom Gibson helps some of the world’s largest companies manage their endpoints. Click here to hear from Tom. NetCentrics (Adaptiva Partner) Thomas Cook, Senior Security Engineer with NetCentr...

MMS 2018 Recap: A Day in the Life of an OSD Guru

At MMS, I presented a session with Johan Arwidmark called “A Day in the Life of an OSD Guru.” Times certainly are changing, and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the way operating systems are traditionally deployed is facing some challenges. Our session attempted to address those challenges by conveying how we think IT pros should handle deployments in their organizations and providing some forward-thinking ideas. Policy Management On-prem management by group policy, while still supported, is considered legacy. As an OSD guru, you need to be forward thinking when applying policy to a device. First, ideally, you should have a new OU for your Windows 10 devices and make sure you’re not trying to apply unsupported policies. If you can’t do that (typically for p...

Is Windows Defender Mature Enough to Replace Third-Party Anti-virus/Anti-malware?

Think you already know everything you need to know about Windows Defender Antivirus versus third-party solutions? If you haven’t heard what Sami Laiho has to say, then I suggest you read on just to be 100% certain. Sami is an elite global cybersecurity speaker and author. He provided a very interesting take in a recent webinar, Get Smart on Windows 10 Application Security. (View the full webinar here.) The Young Adulthood of Windows Defender When Windows Defender was first released in 2006, Microsoft described it as “not great, but better than nothing.” I’m paraphrasing, but was the essence of their message at launch. Microsoft told corporate customers not to abandon third-party anti-malware solutions in favor of Windows Defender. (Note: I’m using “anti-malware” even though the...

Planning Your Company’s Win10 move? 3 Ways Applications Could Get in the Way

By Will Min (Consultant, IBM Services) The majority of businesses today find themselves either in the midst of their Windows 10 migration or planning for it. At IBM Services, we recently assisted a global engineering firm with a presence on seven continents undergo its Windows 10 migration, upgrading 12,000 to17,000 machines a year largely through hardware replacement. Things are now moving smoothly. However, as we prepared to embark on the project, there was a realization that in at least one area the transition would not necessarily be as straightforward as we had hoped and assumed: application management. App management caused serious irritation during those Windows XP-to-7 migrations due to incompatibility of existing applications with the new OS. Certainly Microsoft–along with m...

Cloudlisting Is the New Whitelisting for Windows 10 Application Security

Your Windows 10 enterprise is only as secure as the shadiest app allowed to run. No matter how carefully you configure the OS itself, it can still run recklessly insecure applications. The obvious solution is:  Don’t let users run garbage apps! The Garbage App Law: Windows 10 apps are guilty of being garbage until proven to be totally secure. This does not mean that the apps are insecure. It just means that your IT department must classify them as insecure until and unless there is evidence to the contrary. So, how do you prevent users from running them? Traditionally the answer is whitelisting. However, the answer is increasingly becoming cloudlisting. In this blog, I’ll explain both. I’ll also tell you why I believe that the future of app security is in the cloud. A Brief History of Wind...

Infographic: Windows 10 Security Features

I probably don’t need to convince you that Microsoft Windows 10 is a security must-have for enterprises. As a myITforum reader, you must know that security is critical to your company’s success. You also know that Windows 10 contains scores of must-have business security features. You may not know, however, exactly what all the key Windows 10 security features are. This infographic explains each feature and what it can do for your organization. It is arranged by operating phase (offline, boot, logon, running). If you’d like to learn more, click through to the full infographic and blog for: · A PDF version of the infographic with links to more information on each Windows 10 security feature · A blog that provides more information about each item, as well as links to learn even more · A high...

Infographic: Enterprises’ Greatest Endpoint Security Challenges

This infographic shares some of the key insights from Adaptiva’s Enterprise Endpoint Security Survey of 175 IT professionals. The survey focuses on Microsoft Windows endpoints. The findings reveal that most companies are unable to keep all endpoints secure at all times. To learn more about the many factors contributing to the vulnerabilities, download the full report. Download Report Download Infographic as PDF Bill Bernat, director at Adaptiva, has worked in the technology industry for over 25 years. Before joining the team at Adaptiva, Bill was the web publisher at OpenText and a technical editor for Penton’s Streaming Media Magazine. He spent many years as a programmer and engineering manager for a variety of organizations including NASA, Union Bank of California, and Banc of America Se...

The One Third-Party Patching Best Practice ConfigMgr Pros Need to Know

For most ConfigMgr pros, third-party patching is a bear of a problem—and that’s putting it politely. In a recent Adaptiva Endpoint Security Survey, 48% of IT pros called it “especially challenging.” At the same time, they rated it as one of their top security priorities. What Exactly Is Third-Party Patching? Third-party patching is the process of updating non-Microsoft software applications and drivers. When it comes to updating Windows itself, Microsoft has a mature process in place for companies using ConfigMgr. Administrators can rely on timely notification of updates to Windows. Microsoft also provides an organized and consistent mechanism for delivering the updates, though it’s up to each organization how quickly it rolls them out. However, Microsoft does not include updates for other...