How to upgrade CentOS 7.0 to 7.5

Hello folks, there is good news for you. Have you heard CentOS has released its latest version, i.e., 7.5?
Yes, you heard it correct, the new version is available on the net now. So, if you are an existing Linux user and you have a plan to upgrade your CentOS this would be a dashing deal for you.
This post focuses on how to upgrade to the CentOS latest version 7.5. Also, walk you through the new features, discontinued features, considerations and the drawbacks (If any). And it’ll help you to decide why should you update the current CentOS to CentOS 7.5( click here for more information).
Let’s see the prominent factors that you need to check before a headlong.

Major Features:

1. CentOS can report bugs directly to bugs.centos.org via Automatic Bug Reporting Tool(ABRT).
2. OpenSSL is compiled with OpenSSL instead of NAME Service Switch (NSS).
3. Supports HA(High Availability) clusters of VMs(Virtual Machines) on Medha Hosting, AWS, Microsoft Azure.

Prerequisites:

1. Root access to the server
2. Working internet connection to the server for download packages.

Consideration:

Debuginfo packages are also being signed and pushed. Yum configs shipped in the new release file will have all the context required for debuginfo to be available on every CentOS Linux install.

Let’s check how to upgrade CentOS 7.5

Before upgrading to CentOS 7.5, let’s check the current OS version.

cat /etc/centos-release

I have received the following output.

CentOS Linux release 7.0.1406 (Core)

For the latest release, let us check the available updates.

yum check-update

The output would be like:

Loaded plugins: fastestmirror
base | 3.6 kB 00:00
extras | 3.4 kB 00:00
updates | 3.4 kB 00:00
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
* base: packages.oit.ncsu.edu
* extras: packages.oit.ncsu.edu
* updates: packages.oit.ncsu.edu

acl.x86_64 2.2.51-14.el7 base
acpid.x86_64 2.0.19-9.el7 base
at.x86_64 3.1.13-23.el7 base
attr.x86_64 2.4.46-13.el7 base
audit.x86_64 2.8.1-3.el7_5.1 updates
audit-libs.x86_64 2.8.1-3.el7_5.1 updates
authconfig.x86_64 6.2.8-30.el7 base
avahi.x86_64 0.6.31-19.el7 base
avahi-glib.x86_64 0.6.31-19.el7 base
avahi-libs.x86_64 0.6.31-19.el7 base
bash.x86_64 4.2.46-30.el7 base
bind-libs-lite.x86_64 32:9.9.4-61.el7_5.1 updates
bind-license.noarch 32:9.9.4-61.el7_5.1 updates
binutils.x86_64 2.27-28.base.el7_5.1 updates
bzip2.x86_64 1.0.6-13.el7 base
bzip2-libs.x86_64 1.0.6-13.el7 base
ca-certificates.noarch 2018.2.22-70.0.el7_5 updates
cairo.x86_64 1.14.8-2.el7 base
centos-logos.noarch 70.0.6-3.el7.centos base
checkpolicy.x86_64 2.5-6.el7 base
chkconfig.x86_64 1.7.4-1.el7 base
coreutils.x86_64 8.22-21.el7 base
cpio.x86_64 2.11-27.el7 base
cronie.x86_64 1.4.11-19.el7 base
cronie-anacron.x86_64 1.4.11-19.el7 base
cryptsetup-libs.x86_64 1.7.4-4.el7 base
cups.x86_64 1:1.6.3-35.el7 base
cups-filesystem.noarch 1:1.6.3-35.el7 base
cups-filters.x86_64 1.0.35-22.el7 base
cups-filters-libs.x86_64 1.0.35-22.el7 base
cups-libs.x86_64 1:1.6.3-35.el7 base
curl.x86_64 7.29.0-46.el7 base
cyrus-sasl-lib.x86_64 2.1.26-23.el7 base
dbus.x86_64 1:1.10.24-7.el7 base
dbus-libs.x86_64 1:1.10.24-7.el7 base
device-mapper.x86_64 7:1.02.146-4.el7 base
device-mapper-libs.x86_64 7:1.02.146-4.el7 base
dhclient.x86_64 12:4.2.5-68.el7.centos.1 updates
dhcp-common.x86_64 12:4.2.5-68.el7.centos.1 updates
dhcp-libs.x86_64 12:4.2.5-68.el7.centos.1 updates
e2fsprogs.x86_64 1.42.9-12.el7_5 updates
e2fsprogs-libs.x86_64 1.42.9-12.el7_5 updates
elfutils.x86_64 0.170-4.el7 base
elfutils-libelf.x86_64 0.170-4.el7 base
elfutils-libs.x86_64 0.170-4.el7 base
expat.x86_64 2.1.0-10.el7_3 base
file.x86_64 5.11-33.el7 base
file-libs.x86_64 5.11-33.el7 base
filesystem.x86_64 3.2-25.el7 base
findutils.x86_64 1:4.5.11-5.el7 base
fipscheck.x86_64 1.4.1-6.el7 base
fipscheck-lib.x86_64 1.4.1-6.el7 base
fontconfig.x86_64 2.10.95-11.el7 base
freetype.x86_64 2.4.11-15.el7 base
gawk.x86_64 4.0.2-4.el7_3.1 base
gettext.x86_64 0.19.8.1-2.el7 base
gettext-libs.x86_64 0.19.8.1-2.el7 base
ghostscript.x86_64 9.07-29.el7_5.2 updates
ghostscript-cups.x86_64 9.07-29.el7_5.2 updates
glibc.x86_64 2.17-222.el7 base
glibc-common.x86_64 2.17-222.el7 base
gmp.x86_64 1:6.0.0-15.el7 base
gnupg2.x86_64 2.0.22-5.el7_5 updates
grep.x86_64 2.20-3.el7 base
grub2.x86_64 1:2.02-0.65.el7.centos.2 base
grub2-tools.x86_64 1:2.02-0.65.el7.centos.2 base
grubby.x86_64 8.28-23.el7 base
gzip.x86_64 1.5-10.el7 base
hwdata.x86_64 0.252-8.8.el7 base
info.x86_64 5.1-5.el7 base
iproute.x86_64 4.11.0-14.el7 base
iptables.x86_64 1.4.21-24.1.el7_5 updates
iptables-services.x86_64 1.4.21-24.1.el7_5 updates
iputils.x86_64 20160308-10.el7 base
kbd.x86_64 1.15.5-13.el7 base
kbd-misc.noarch 1.15.5-13.el7 base
kernel.x86_64 3.10.0-862.14.4.el7 updates
kmod-libs.x86_64 20-21.el7 base
kpartx.x86_64 0.4.9-119.el7_5.1 updates
krb5-libs.x86_64 1.15.1-19.el7 updates
lcms2.x86_64 2.6-3.el7 base
less.x86_64 458-9.el7 base
libICE.x86_64 1.0.9-9.el7 base
libSM.x86_64 1.2.2-2.el7 base
libX11.x86_64 1.6.5-1.el7 base
libX11-common.noarch 1.6.5-1.el7 base
libXext.x86_64 1.3.3-3.el7 base
libXfixes.x86_64 5.0.3-1.el7 base
libXfont.x86_64 1.5.2-1.el7 base
libXrender.x86_64 0.9.10-1.el7 base
libXt.x86_64 1.1.5-3.el7 base
libXxf86vm.x86_64 1.1.4-1.el7 base
libacl.x86_64 2.2.51-14.el7 base
libattr.x86_64 2.4.46-13.el7 base
libblkid.x86_64 2.23.2-52.el7_5.1 updates
libcap.x86_64 2.22-9.el7 base
libcap-ng.x86_64 0.7.5-4.el7 base
libcom_err.x86_64 1.42.9-12.el7_5 updates
libcroco.x86_64 0.6.11-1.el7 base
libcurl.x86_64 7.29.0-46.el7 base
libdb.x86_64 5.3.21-24.el7 base
libdb-utils.x86_64 5.3.21-24.el7 base
libdrm.x86_64 2.4.83-2.el7 base
liberation-fonts-common.noarch 1:1.07.2-16.el7 base
liberation-mono-fonts.noarch 1:1.07.2-16.el7 base
libffi.x86_64 3.0.13-18.el7 base
libfontenc.x86_64 1.1.3-3.el7 base
libgcc.x86_64 4.8.5-28.el7_5.1 updates
libgcrypt.x86_64 1.5.3-14.el7 base
libgomp.x86_64 4.8.5-28.el7_5.1 updates
libicu.x86_64 50.1.2-15.el7 base
libidn.x86_64 1.28-4.el7 base
libmount.x86_64 2.23.2-52.el7_5.1 updates
libnetfilter_conntrack.x86_64 1.0.6-1.el7_3 base
libpciaccess.x86_64 0.14-1.el7 base
libpng.x86_64 2:1.5.13-7.el7_2 base
libpwquality.x86_64 1.2.3-5.el7 base
libss.x86_64 1.42.9-12.el7_5 updates
libssh2.x86_64 1.4.3-10.el7_2.1 base
libstdc++.x86_64 4.8.5-28.el7_5.1 updates
libtasn1.x86_64 4.10-1.el7 base
libtiff.x86_64 4.0.3-27.el7_3 base
libusbx.x86_64 1.0.21-1.el7 base
libuser.x86_64 0.60-9.el7 base
libuuid.x86_64 2.23.2-52.el7_5.1 updates
libxcb.x86_64 1.12-1.el7 base
libxml2.x86_64 2.9.1-6.el7_2.3 base
linux-firmware.noarch 20180220-62.2.git6d51311.el7_5 updates
logrotate.x86_64 3.8.6-15.el7 base
lsof.x86_64 4.87-5.el7 base
lua.x86_64 5.1.4-15.el7 base
m4.x86_64 1.4.16-10.el7 base
mailx.x86_64 12.5-19.el7 base
make.x86_64 1:3.82-23.el7 base
mariadb-libs.x86_64 1:5.5.60-1.el7_5 updates
mesa-libEGL.x86_64 17.2.3-8.20171019.el7 base
mesa-libGL.x86_64 17.2.3-8.20171019.el7 base
mesa-libgbm.x86_64 17.2.3-8.20171019.el7 base
mesa-libglapi.x86_64 17.2.3-8.20171019.el7 base
mlocate.x86_64 0.26-8.el7 base
ncurses.x86_64 5.9-14.20130511.el7_4 base
ncurses-base.noarch 5.9-14.20130511.el7_4 base
ncurses-libs.x86_64 5.9-14.20130511.el7_4 base
net-tools.x86_64 2.0-0.22.20131004git.el7 base
nspr.x86_64 4.19.0-1.el7_5 updates
nss.x86_64 3.36.0-7.el7_5 updates
nss-softokn.x86_64 3.36.0-5.el7_5 updates
nss-softokn-freebl.x86_64 3.36.0-5.el7_5 updates
nss-sysinit.x86_64 3.36.0-7.el7_5 updates
nss-tools.x86_64 3.36.0-7.el7_5 updates
nss-util.x86_64 3.36.0-1.el7_5 updates
ntpdate.x86_64 4.2.6p5-28.el7.centos base
open-vm-tools.x86_64 10.1.10-3.el7_5.1 updates
openjpeg-libs.x86_64 1.5.1-17.el7 base
openldap.x86_64 2.4.44-15.el7_5 updates
openssh.x86_64 7.4p1-16.el7 base
openssh-clients.x86_64 7.4p1-16.el7 base
openssh-server.x86_64 7.4p1-16.el7 base
os-prober.x86_64 1.58-9.el7 base
p11-kit.x86_64 0.23.5-3.el7 base
p11-kit-trust.x86_64 0.23.5-3.el7 base
pam.x86_64 1.1.8-22.el7 base
pam_pkcs11.x86_64 0.6.2-28.el7 base
patch.x86_64 2.7.1-10.el7_5 updates
pcre.x86_64 8.32-17.el7 base
pcsc-lite-libs.x86_64 1.8.8-7.el7 base
pinentry.x86_64 0.8.1-17.el7 base
pixman.x86_64 0.34.0-1.el7 base
poppler.x86_64 0.26.5-17.el7_4 base
poppler-utils.x86_64 0.26.5-17.el7_4 base
procps-ng.x86_64 3.3.10-17.el7_5.2 updates
psmisc.x86_64 22.20-15.el7 base
pth.x86_64 2.0.7-23.el7 base
python.x86_64 2.7.5-69.el7_5 updates
python-chardet.noarch 2.2.1-1.el7_1 base
python-libs.x86_64 2.7.5-69.el7_5 updates
python-pycurl.x86_64 7.19.0-19.el7 base
python-urlgrabber.noarch 3.10-8.el7 base
readline.x86_64 6.2-10.el7 base
redhat-lsb-core.x86_64 4.1-27.el7.centos.1 base
redhat-lsb-submod-security.x86_64 4.1-27.el7.centos.1 base
rpm.x86_64 4.11.3-32.el7 base
rpm-build-libs.x86_64 4.11.3-32.el7 base
rpm-libs.x86_64 4.11.3-32.el7 base
rpm-python.x86_64 4.11.3-32.el7 base
rsync.x86_64 3.1.2-4.el7 base
rsyslog.x86_64 8.24.0-16.el7_5.4 updates
setup.noarch 2.8.71-9.el7 base
shadow-utils.x86_64 2:4.1.5.1-24.el7 base
shared-mime-info.x86_64 1.8-4.el7 base
spax.x86_64 1.5.2-13.el7 base
sqlite.x86_64 3.7.17-8.el7 base
stunnel.x86_64 4.56-6.el7 base
sudo.x86_64 1.8.19p2-14.el7_5 updates
tar.x86_64 2:1.26-34.el7 base
traceroute.x86_64 3:2.0.22-2.el7 base
tzdata.noarch 2018f-2.el7 updates
unzip.x86_64 6.0-19.el7 base
util-linux.x86_64 2.23.2-52.el7_5.1 updates
vim-minimal.x86_64 2:7.4.160-4.el7 base
wget.x86_64 1.14-15.el7_4.1 base
xinetd.x86_64 2:2.3.15-13.el7 base
xorg-x11-font-utils.x86_64 1:7.5-20.el7 base
xz.x86_64 5.2.2-1.el7 base
xz-libs.x86_64 5.2.2-1.el7 base
yum.noarch 3.4.3-158.el7.centos base
yum-plugin-fastestmirror.noarch 1.1.31-46.el7_5 updates
yum-utils.noarch 1.1.31-46.el7_5 updates
zlib.x86_64 1.2.7-17.el7 base
Obsoleting Packages
grub2.x86_64 1:2.02-0.65.el7.centos.2 base
grub2.x86_64 1:2.02-0.2.10.el7.centos.1 @base
grub2-tools.x86_64 1:2.02-0.65.el7.centos.2 base
grub2-tools.x86_64 1:2.02-0.2.10.el7.centos.1 @base
grub2-tools-extra.x86_64 1:2.02-0.65.el7.centos.2 base
grub2-tools.x86_64 1:2.02-0.2.10.el7.centos.1 @base
grub2-tools-minimal.x86_64 1:2.02-0.65.el7.centos.2 base
grub2-tools.x86_64 1:2.02-0.2.10.el7.centos.1 @base

Now let us upgrade the OS version to the latest one applying the following command.

yum update

or

yum upgrade

The above command displays the full package details like version, size of the package, etc.

Here you need to press ‘Y’ and ‘Enter’ key to initiate the up-gradation.

Once the packages are downloaded, the installer will install it automatically.

Once everything is done, you will see the ‘Complete!’ message.
Now you need to reboot the server to take effect.
reboot

Now, check the CentOS version.

cat /etc/centos-release

The output looks like this ( If it’s installed correctly)

CentOS Linux release 7.5.1804 (Core)

We did it! 😊

Here you go! Now you know how to update your current CentOS version to CentOS 7.5.

As you’ve seen CentOS 7.5 have a handful of stuff to take into our serious consideration. The features like Automatic Bug Reporting Tool, OpenSSL, all-inclusive debug info packages are making it a cut above to run our Linux system operations.

How to add user in Centos 7 using command line?

Add User in Linux using Terminal

I guess I don’t need to teach you the advantages of Linux. One of the best-in-class open source operating system with top-notch security measures.

It’s free, secure and viruses are rare to dare peep into it. Moreover, it’s flexible and totally free to shape as we like to function it.

But, when it comes to Linux Administration, we may slip by far. As the term implies, administration of anything is bit complex till we become old hands on it.

Hence Linux server administration starts from the very process of creating an account and adding a new user in it.

As we learn anything, let’s start from the beginning of Linux.Here we go, the step by step procedure to add a user in Linux.

Let’s start.
I’m using

useradd
‘command to add a new user in Linux home directory.

Step 1 : Create User

 Login to your centos  using putty or console 
 
Putty Login

After connecting the server it will prompted for user name and password as shown the below screen.Provide your user id and password which is having sudoer permissions.In my case it is my root user.

login as: root
root@103.XXX.XXX.XXX’s password:
Last login: Sat Oct 27 07:54:45 2018
[root@srv1 ~]

Now type command useradd followed by the the desired user name.

[root@srv1 ~]# useradd testuser1
[root@srv1 ~]#

Top 10 Cheap Dedicated Servers List – Truth Revealed

Ever feel like you’re googling, and reading the same kinds of cheap dedicated server list over and over and over again?

You might be fed up with the same long list of cheap dedicated server list that is just weaved for trap us down on the web of true cheap looters in server hosting industry.

Like you, we are also hoping for a cheap and best-dedicated server provider. We are even get flooding in by this mundane list of cheap dedicated server providers.

Moreover, we know it’s a bit difficult to find out who is real and who is not a real cheap hosting partner.

Here, we are with a surprising and equally perplexing story about the plots taking place behind the screen of cheap dedicated server provider show.

Do you think the popping list of cheap dedicated server service providers on our screen is true in all its aspects? It ’s not.

Reality behind the cheap dedicated servers list

Let me explain, go to google .com and type “cheap dedicated servers.”

Cheap Dedicated servers list 1
And, the results are like this

Here we get the list of top cheap dedicated server hosting providers. It looks perfect and finely defined for us. We’ll click it with an eager heart to get the service more affordable.

However, are we getting it for a cheaper price!

Let’s check it out, what is happening inside, how is it works and what all we need to check?

Let’s go with the first search result.

Cheap Dedicated servers list 3

You might be seeing a webpage that is similar to this; there may be some changes can be expected.

Almost in every list, we can watch the profusion of keywords and its technical focus words.
With a perplexing introduction session, the blog post will usher us to the list of true cheap dedicated server hosting providers.

Including their history, features, services, and review and why to choose them to others. Probably, it would be a lengthy post with charts and lists as well.

Mostly we can land into a page like this

Cheap Dedicated servers list 4

You can see whatever you want to know about dedicated service server hosting for your business on these lists.

The features, ratings, How to, what to, and why should we, and all answeres will be there.

Most probably you don’t have any questions after going through the write-up.

We’ll get a feeling of relief as if finally we got an affordable server hosting partner who knows the pocket size of our business.

 

In Depth analysis of Cheap Dedicated  Servers Offers

Let’s go a bit more in-depth,

I’m clicking on the first provider appeared in the cheap dedicated server list, and I directed to their service page.

Cheap Dedicated servers list 5

The service page welcomed me with a wide array of offers and services that I can choose. It’s seen quite pretty and convinceable as well.

A dedicated server hosting for this cheap rate is not an easy deal to look down. Also, the additional offers are even glimmering on my eyes, but I looked down my pocket and tried to keep my eyes on the small platers.

As we all do, I jumped for it and decided to go for it.

I got my order, well garnished and hinted with all the required aromas and for a sensible price, I wished to slurp it at once.

Here, if we have a second look, we can see that the offer is just for the first four months.

I know, we’ll have got a thought that at least we can try it for the first four months and stop the service if it’s not going well.

Of course, we have the right to take any decision but haven’t you checked the features that we’ll get for the offered price.

Is it enough for you for the price you are splashing for the growth of your business.

Don’t you want to know if anyone is giving more better service at a lesser price?

Let’s check it out,
Now I’m clicking the second first, and let’s check what they have for us.

 

Cheap Dedicated servers list 7

I think the price difference is making some sense at least over the disk space and in the domain name, you can check as well.

I went forward and took a precise plunge into there, and I was pulled into a page that you see below

Cheap Dedicated servers list 8

I nosed around, but I couldn’t find the offered prize that they pasted on the affiliate website.
With a hint of perplexity walked around my head and checked the first offer that they are offered for the best price.

While I moved my mouse pointer over the popping ORDER-NOW button, An unusual drop box popped up and asked me, which one you need, a monthly subscription, half-year subscription or a year full subscription.

I checked three of them evidently and found the price sticker they pasted over the offer boards are only applicable for a yearly subscription.

To get a clear picture I went inside and picked the half-year subscription.

It again surprised me with loads of annoyance,
They’ve unrolled an endless list of features that we can add in our cart for extra cash.

It never ends here, they charge for every service,

Can you see the box at the top right corner, the features are visible I hope. That is the list of features we’ll get for sure at this price.

But have you seen any of these attached strings on the list page of top cheap dedicated service? No, right?

This what we are trying to tell all this while. These providers won’t say the real picture at the posters. Once buy the ticket and start watching the show, we can come to know for what we’ve paid .

We have seen those offers, not on the provider’s page; the affiliate marketers tackle these marketing strategies. 

Affiliates role behind the Offers

The hosting service providers will facilitate all the tools and amenities that they need to enchant the customers. Also, the affiliate marketers will get wholesome commissions as well.

Cheap Dedicated servers list 11

For each sign-ups and for every referral they can earn a lump sum of money laying back at their homes.

The long blogs that are tightly packed with keywords are their SEO trick to sit at the top of the search result. It is as empty as it is.

They are cleverly leveraging the technological knacks to cheat down rightly our fellow customers.

Cheap Dedicated servers list 12

Through the affiliate marketers they are claiming themselves as the top cheap dedicated server hosting providers. The truth is absolutely in reverse, in fact.

In our in-depth research, we couldn’t even find a single dedicated server hosting company that is listed on the website page as cheap dedicated that genuinely provides an affordable server hosting service.

If we could find at least a justified service on that list, we would happily prescribe it to our fellow customers.

But, regretfully we couldn’t find a single one on the list.

That doesn’t mean, there is any cheap dedicated server around us, there are a lot of server hosting providers world decently and genuinely providing best services at a more competitive price.

They are not crazy about cheating and media hypes, so most of the times we are unlucky to hear about them.

The story is not ending here; we’ll be here to surprise and equally amaze you with unbelievable list of real cheap dedicated server providers

Mean time you can Try here Our Cheap Dedicated servers.

Medha Hosting cheap dedicated servers

Factors To Be Checked Before Headlong For BYOD

BYOD
BYOD

Bring Your Own Device” it sounds trendy. As a part of new work nature, to give more free space to leverage the productivity along with the employee satisfaction, BYOD is the futuristic way of work. Companies are letting employees bring their own device to work.

Definitely, it’s enhancing the productivity and morale of employees.

But this may not be a good fit for a small business venture. Behind the screen, some more complicated risks are associating with it. Especially, data and network security concerns have to be thought out. Hence there are few things to consider before jumping into BYOD.

Cost of Support

The concept can spare a lot of budget in terms of hardware installation, procurement and its maintenance for the companies. There will a huge freedom to opt for the device employes can choose as well. Undoubtedly that is a huge incentive, but, extra support costs must also be factored in.

Though the employees can bring there own machines and work, they may not be skilled in resolving a bit complex technical issues and not be aware of adding new plugins to the ease of work as well.

Hence, there should be a dedicated IT support team or they need to turn to a Managed Service Provider (MSP) in your premises for support. They can provide exclusive expertise and leverage Mobile Device Management (MDM) tools to monitor, secure and optimize your business network and applications.

Limited Number of Support Devices

Though the employees can bring their own devices, it’s impossible to foster any sort of devices. There would be a chance of taking advantage over this possibility may arise. An accepted list of machines with specific features will mitigate the redundant expenses involved in maintenance and software or equipment upgrades for outdated devices. And it would be good to extend the limit for a broad range of devices and their more recent releases to accommodate the diversified tastes of your employees

Legal Risks

Apart from its benefits, a set of risks are clinging to the new approach for every business. Especially, those first dealing with the sensitive customer data and records. It will the expose the business to complex legal risks. A mismanagement form any of the employees is more than enough to put the whole business into irrecoverable risk. In addition, the personal online habits of your employees can also increase your network’s vulnerability to malware, phishing, or hacking schemes intended to steal the data.

Hence, these increased legal risks are another reason why SMBs must take precautions. So, unless they can ensure all the can safeguard the data with their own IT team, it’s better to work with an MSP that offers a solid MDM solution to ensure all employee devices are monitored, deployed, managed and configured in a manner that prioritizes data integrity and security.

Contact us at Medha Hosting

Top 10 Reasons Why You Need Microsoft Office 365.

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If you are already using Microsoft Office in your organization, I want to share with you,

Top Ten Reasons Why You Need Microsoft Office 365.

Number 1 – New Apps.

 

The traditional office package came software you installed on each user’s computer.

It included core office apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

Office 365 goes beyond those core applications and adds Skype for Business, OneDrive for business, Microsoft Teams, Yammer, and SharePoint.

It also includes a host of enhanced services such as Delve, Power BI, Sway, Stream, Planner, Flow, and Forms.

All these additional tools make Office 365 more potent than the old version of Microsoft Office.

Office New Apps

 

Number 2 – Portability.

 

Office 365 can be installed on the local system as it has traditionally, but you can run online versions of all the Office applications as well.Every user has access to https://office.com using their Active Directory credentials.

From this portal, you can access Mail, Contacts, your Calendar, or create and edit documents online for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other apps.The online capability gives you the mobility you can use anywhere you want to go.

 

Office 365 portability

 

Number 3 – Licensing.

 

You get five licenses per user.Each user has up to 5 phone, five tablets, and 5 PC or Mac installs available. To ensure to allow access to Office applications anytime, anywhere.With one valid Enterprise license, you can install Office 365 at work, at home, and on your mobile devices.

The user or your IT admin can manage these installs, and when a license has removed, the applications are deactivated on those devices as well.If you want to install Office on your home computer, as an example, you log in to the portal from your home computer.

Once you’re there, you can click the Install Apps and select Office 2016 from the list, and it will run an installation file, and it will load all of the Office apps on your home computer so that you can access the shared content and data from your work.

To install on a mobile device, choose Other Install Options and select Phone & Tablet from the menu.Select the type of phone or tablet that you want to install to and down below click Get Apps.

It will give you a choice to enter your email address or phone number and sends it.When you send it to your phone as a text, you click on the link, and it downloads all of the mobile applications for your cell phone.Your mobile apps will have access to the same email and files that you have at work or home.

 

Office Licensing

 

Number 4 – Sharing.

 

Sharing with other users is a cornerstone of Office 365 online. All the apps designed to allow you to share documents both internally and externally.

You can even work on documents live and see other user’s edits in real-time. To ensure you’re using the Excel online version or the word or PowerPoint or another app online, and you can click the Share button to enter the name of somebody’s email address that you want to share to within your organization.

You can also send them a copy of the link or attach this to an Outlook email and send it to them that way. Once they access that file, they’ll be accessing the same data that you’re sharing.

Office 365 Sharing

 

Number 5 – Admin Center.

 

IT support for Office 365 covered through the Admin Center.

As an Office 365 Administrator, you can

  • Add and remove users,
  • Grant licenses to users,
  • Manage groups,
  • Handle billing information,
  • Submit support tickets directly to Microsoft
  • Manage security settings,
  • View report statistics,
  • Check reports on security and compliance,
  • And look at the health dashboard to see how Office 365 apps and connectivity is working.

 

Office 365 Admin Center

 

To see a more detailed walk through of the Admin Center click on the  Office Admin Center Walk through Post

Number 6 – Security.

 

Office 365 has award-winning security built-in.It is the best on the market.

In addition to malware and spam filtering you can enable protection using data loss prevention, multi-factor authentication, advanced threat protection, safely audit logging, and monitor all these threats from the threat management dashboard.

Microsoft provides all these tools built-in with your Office 365 licensing and it is often much more secure than what you can implement on-premise in your environment.

 

O365 Security AndC ompliance

 

Number 7 – Reduced Risk.

 

Your office 365 environment is hosted in the cloud using Azure. Microsoft handles all data center requirements. Microsoft patches servers automatically thus taking the load away from your IT staff.

Active Directory is synced from your on-premise servers to Azure and is available even if your on-premise Active Directory is unreachable. You no longer need to build the redundancy in your on-premise environment.

Microsoft manages it for you in the cloud. You can create secondary DR sites in Azure to protect your data, and online services remain even when a localized event may disrupt your internet connectivity. All these features reduce your risk of disruption and data loss.

 

Office Azure AD

 

Number 8 – Storage.

 

Office 365 gives you plenty of storage capacity for files. OneDrive provides up to 5TB  of storage per user, depending on your enterprise license.

Your IT staff will love the fact that they no longer need to manage this storage space locally. When a user account is disabled files  archived, or they will automatically remove after 30 days, and because those files stored in the cloud. You don’t have to worry about losing data if your laptop is damaged or misplaced.

 

Office storage

 

Number 9 – Automated Updates.

 

You no longer need to install updates on each machine or push out updates using Group Policy, System Center Configuration Manager, or similar management tools. All Office 365 updates are automatic just like Windows updates. As an administrator, you can choose to set up users on the standard release or a Targeted Release.

Most companies set up all users on standard release and then IT staff on the Targeted Release so that they have a chance to test the new features before general rollout to the rest of the organization.

Standard Release is usually a few months after Targeted Release. Either way your applications stay current without intervention and users can continue to run office applications while updates are installing in the background.

 

Office 365 Updates

 

Number 10 – User Self-Management.

 

With on-premise file storage and Exchange servers, everything must maintain your IT team. Shared file locations, email distribution lists, archiving, and security groups created and supported directly by IT.

Using Office 365 this functionality become self-managed. It shifts the convenience and the responsibility to the user. Users can create groups, assign members, set up teams, all without requesting these services from IT.

 

 

Office-365-admin

 

 

Conclusion

I have just shared ten reasons why you need office 365 in your corporate environment. For Office 365 implementations or migrations  or planing it shortly, you may look at  our office consulting  and migration services. Medha Hosting provides Office 365 Consulting, Support, and, Migration services. Just in case you need it check it out here. I do appreciate your support.Please let me know what your thoughts| comments on this are.

Email Migration to Office 365 | Medha Hosting

Office-365-Migration

You want to update your organization’s email platform?

But you don’t want to deal with the downtime, hassle, and headaches of switching?

See how Medha Hosting makes migrating to Microsoft Office 365 email a breeze.

office 365 migration

For starters, your Medha Hosting Account Manager will help you choose the best Office 365 email plan for your business.

Next, you determine the most convenient day and time.

To make the switch from your current email platform to your new Office 365 email.

No matter when it is, the migration process requires no downtime for you or your employees.

Schedule

Medha Hosting will work with you to create each employee’s new email account.

Then your employees will get an email requesting a bit of info that is needed to migrate their email messages, calendar entries, and contacts.

Your Employees,who use Windows Outlook will also receive a link to a user-friendly tool that ensures their email settings move smoothly to their new account.

The actual migration takes place while you and your team go about business as usual.

We do all the heavy lifting for you.

Plus, your Medha Hosting Account Manager will be standing by in case you have any questions or concerns during the process.

azure consulting

When the migration is complete,we will notify, and then everyone on your team can start making the most of their new business-grade email, calendars, and contact management.

Finally, just in case you need it, free ongoing support from Medha Hosting’s team of Office 365 experts is available round-the-clock, seven days a week .No hassle; no headaches!

We don’t say we do; We show it! With 100% responsive call and email support. Check out Office 365 Migration Services Page.

How Does Microsoft Azure Security Work?

Microsoft Azure provides most of the same controls and security features that you would expect from Windows Server within an on-premises data center – with the one notable exception that it must operate and scale across thousands of tenant environments simultaneously. Core security and access components include.

  • Microsoft Azure Active Directory: Identity and access management capabilities in the cloud
  • Access Control Services: Cloud-based service that provides simplified authentication and authorization
  • Microsoft Azure Virtual Network: Logically isolated section in Microsoft Azure that connects over IPsec to your on- premises data center.M
  • Microsoft Azure Multi-Factor Authentication: Additional layer of authentication via mobile services.

In this article, we’ll delve into the mechanics of security in the cloud. Not to be confused with Security-as-a-Service (fee-based subscriptions such as security event management), our interests lie in demonstrating how to properly secure applications, services, and data – wherever they reside in the cloud services stack (IaaS or PaaS).

Specifically, we will focus on workloads running in Microsoft Azure. By integrating the capabilities of Barracuda Network’s best-in-class virtualized NG Firewall and Web Application Firewall (WAF) with Microsoft Azure’s native security features, you’ll be in a superior position to deploy reliable and resilient cloud services for your enterprise, partners, and customers.

Introduction

Microsoft azure security

Cloud computing has faced many challenges when it comes to reliability, privacy, and security. With early incarnations, such as those from commercial service providers, sensitive corporate information was kept at a distance from public platforms. Instead, hosting was used for lightweight applications with limited needs for access to such data, including websites, collaboration tools, and real-time communications. As cloud services matured, businesses became more willing to place proprietary data in the hands of trusted SaaS partners, such as salesforce.com for CRM. And when the depth and breadth of available services evolved into more standardized infrastructure – the “as-a-Service” model – organizations started large-scale moves into the cloud with their most critical data.

Today, cloud computing has become a “must-have” to a majority of the enterprise IT community, for reasons ranging from economic gains to technology benefits. But one of the major concerns carrying over from traditional IT – data and application security – has not changed, and requires the same diligence in the cloud as with on-premises solutions.

Solution Profile

When you migrate data, applications, and processes to the cloud, you take with you the requirements to safely manage both corporate and customer information. And in most cases, you are still subject to the privacy and compliance directives of your industry, whether HIPAA, SOX, PCI, or others.

So, while the cloud computing model promises great flexibility, cost savings, scalability, and other benefits, it’s essential to understand the differences between implementing effective on-premises information security and deploying the same protections in the cloud. These considerations include (but are not limited to) data governance, auditing, leak prevention, threat detection/ remediation, privacy and confidentiality, information integrity, and reliability/availability.

Historically, many of these needs could be met and enforced at the edge of your corporate network. A selection of physically-wired routers, firewalls, gateways, IPS devices, and VPNs worked together to keep the bad traffic out and the good in.

But in the cloud, you can only rely on what the platform vendor offers, either natively or as valueadded services on top of your subscriptions. You do not have a say in how the infrastructure behaves or what mechanisms are used to secure it, other than in how your applications interact. You cannot deploy your own firewall in the server rack, and you can’t configure the ACLs on the fabric routers.

In this sense, your previous approach to security is no longer suitable. You must trade physical control for virtual stewardship using the combination of the cloud platform’s capabilities, your application design, deployment methodology, and layered virtualized security. Indeed, you may not own the hardware, but you can certainly own what runs on it – and implement a security solution that fits your needs.

A fully-functional virtualized security appliance deployed within the framework of your environment can deliver all of the benefits of a physical device, with the flexibility only possible in a fluid software form-factor. The Barracuda NG Firewall and Barracuda Web Application Firewall are optimized to run on Microsoft Azure, make it easy to protect mission-critical enterprise applications and data in the cloud.

Application Security Overview

The origins of application security revolve around the protocols, commands, data types, credentials, and policies associated with providing external access to internal corporate resources – whether by employees or otherwise. As traditional client/server architecture transitions to webbased solutions using XML and HTTP, forms-and-claims-based authentication becomes more common. Likewise, application firewalls are transforming into web-based systems that deal with a broad threat landscape

How Does Microsoft Azure Security Work?

Microsoft Azure provides most of the same controls and security features that you would expect from Windows Server within an on-premises data center – with the one notable exception that it must operate and scale across thousands of tenant environments simultaneously. Core security and access components include.

  • Microsoft Azure Active Directory: Identity and access management capabilities in the cloud
  • Access Control Services: Cloud-based service that provides simplified authentication and authorization
  • Microsoft Azure Virtual Network:Logically isolated section in Microsoft Azure that connects over IPsec to your on- premises data center
  • Microsoft Azure Multi-Factor Authentication:Additional layer of authentication via mobile services.

With these capabilities, augmented by Windows Server’s native security functionality within a virtual machine, customers can either host their IT resources in Microsoft Azure, or easily extended their on-premises infrastructure to the cloud, without adversely affecting their security posture. Some examples of architecture-level security features in Microsoft Azure include:

  • Storage, network, process isolation:prevents different customers’ virtual machines (VMs) or cloud services from interfering with one another’s operation
  • VM-VM/host-VM packet filtering: host-level and VM-level firewalls block unwanted traffic from crossing VM boundaries, as well as blocking tenantto-host connections that could impact the Microsoft Azure fabric
  • Port restrictions: by default, all new VMs are deployed with deny-all policies on the native Windows Firewall, and all ports are closed to external traffic

But are these capabilities, taken by themselves, enough to protect your IT environment from all attacks and exploits? As we’ll see below, the answer is “no.

Bringing Together Application Security and Microsoft Azure.

The future data center is one which spans both on-premises physical infrastructure and cloud based virtualized services.

Whether you use the platform, infrastructure, Software-as-a-Service, or a mix of all or a mix of all, your security strategy needs to encompass your applications and data wherever they reside. Applying a “Defense-in-Depth” (DiD) approach means using more than one type of security measure in the data path. As a simple example, consider how your corporate email system has anti-malware, anti-spam, a front-end gateway, router ACLs, and a firewall in front of it.

Putting that same resource into the cloud requires the same effort, but security capabilities also have to bridge between your local systems/users and your virtualized data center. The latter is true for both a fully-hosted IT environment in the cloud, and extended IT from existing on-premises infrastructure.

So while Microsoft Azure’s core infrastructure security stands well on its own with comprehensive authentication/ authorization/access control technologies, encryption, data and storage protection, etc., it makes sense to augment it with advanced security functionality to safeguard your critical assets

Web World.

Microsoft Azure websites are built on top of the same secure infrastructure as Bing, Microsoft. com, and Office 365. In terms of reliability, it is the same platform that drives some of the world’s biggest websites and collaboration services.

However, challenges emerge as you move from service-level offerings (SaaS) from the provider to custom-developed solutions (or packaged applications) running within customers’ virtual environments (IaaS/PaaS). The cloud infrastructure should not, by it’s very nature, obstruct the operations of a tenant’s workload.

Thus, Microsoft Azure cannot block a poorly-designed web application from running on a VM, regardless of the security risks it might pose. However, any VM found to be the source of a DDoS or malware attack will be removed from the network by Microsoft Azure data center administrators.

In an ideal world, every web-facing application would be designed and thoroughly reviewed according to strict security-development practices, penetration-tested, and deployed using the latest embedded filtering technologies.

This is a rare occurence, as was the trend with rollouts of data-driven web systems in the past, many corporate cloud applications will get released with little security testing and limited system hardening. of data-driven web systems in the past, many corporate cloud applications will get released with little security testing and limited system hardening.

When web application firewalls came along, they solved this problem by making up for inadequate design by locking down every transport, protocol, method, command, and data structure used in modern web services. Developers could now rely on the web gateway to protect the app, and CIOs could accelerate the push towards getting more of their in-house resources onto the Internet for increased employee productivity.

The present situation is nearly identical…CIOs want to move applications and services out of the expensive data center and into the commodity cloud; however, the cloud does not natively have the same protections in place as on-premises corporate resources

As before, will developers begin rewriting their applications specifically to run effectively and securely in the cloud, or will economics win out once again, rapidly driving corporate assets onto the Internet without sufficient security considerations?

The answer is that economics always win. Hackers know this, and will continue to exploit every new IT medium that is introduced. It means that IT customers must once again take an active role in protecting their investments at multiple levels, without relying on just the cloud provider, or just developer resources to address Internet threats.

Now, web application security is known for preventing advanced attacks that may hide in scripts, code, downloads, data streams, images, protocols, tunneled/encrypted traffic, program execution/ applets, forms, and more.

Thus the idea of an application firewall has become too narrow, as only a comparatively small number of exploits are targeted at protocol or IP stack vulnerabilities (most of which are known and easily deterred at this point). The rich functionality, power, and depth of data in web applications represents a treasure trove for malevolent individuals and organizations to exploit

There’s no difference between securing a workload or application that runs in the cloud, or an onpremises service in your data center. The basic concepts of encryption, filtering, and access control apply equally well in a hosted scenario. The primary change is in the breadth of considerations, as well as how you deploy and configure these security attributes.

A proven tenet of application, one of the proven tenets of application protection is that the closer the security capability is to the resource, the better it will function. In the data center, this means installing access and security gateways on the same network, in the same DMZ, as the target servers. Such a deployment topology prevents traffic from reaching the application without first being inspected and filtered – in some cases, at multiple points along the way.

However, in the public cloud, no such topology exists because a customer cannot walk into a global data center, find the rack their applications are running on, and install a firewall. The very nature of cloud computing stands in stark contrast to hardware-level protection, since the fabric can autonomously move your workload to another rack, or to another data center altogether.

As a result, application security requirements take on a transitory nature that must be as mobile as the workload itself. Apart from security capabilities built into the cloud platform, there are only two options: Security-as-a-Service, or virtualized security (i.e., virtual appliances).

But in the cloud, you can only rely on what the platform vendor offers, either natively or as valueadded services on top of your subscriptions. You do not have a say in how the infrastructure behaves or what mechanisms are used to secure it, other than in how your applications interact. You cannot deploy your own firewall in the server rack, and you can’t configure the ACLs on the fabric routers.

In this sense, your previous approach to security is no longer suitable. You must trade physical control for virtual stewardship using the combination of the cloud platform’s capabilities, your application design, deployment methodology, and layered virtualized security. Indeed, you may not own the hardware, but you can certainly own what runs on it – and implement a security solution that fits your needs.

Conclusion

azure consulting

Medha Hosting has been protecting its users, applications, and data for different organizations worldwide, Medha Hosting has developed a global reputation as one of the trusted partner to provide  powerful, easy to hire, affordable IT solutions. The company’s proven customer-centric business model focuses on delivering high value, subscription-based IT solutions for security and data protection. For additional information, please visit Azure ConsultingGoogle Cloud Consulting, and AWS consulting .

 

Unlocking the Public Cloud Benefits, Strategies, Challenges, and Solutions

Introduction – Public Cloud

There is no doubt that public clouds are transforming businesses and organizations at nearly every level. Of course, not every organization is there – yet. But those who are, now have the ability to offer great insight to companies considering how to adopt and leverage public clouds or help guide future strategies for those already there.
A year ago, we conducted research that highlighted our understanding of how the cloud became mainstream. This year, we dug deeper across a larger pool of cloud users to find out what they are doing, the challenges they face, and how those challenges are being solved.We found that interest in the public cloud continues to grow: On average, respondents’ have over 40% of their infrastructure in the public cloud, and it appears that this number will increase to 75% in five years. They use services provided by a number of vendors for a variety of reasons, including storage of sensitive data. However, with approximately 50% of firms affected by a cyber attack and another one-third expecting one in the future, security remains a key concern. Only 57% feel their cloud infrastructure is totally secure. The report also illustrates a disconnect between what organizations think they understand about cloud security and the real responsibilities that cloud providers bear. This is reflected in other findings, including how more experienced organizations in the cloud are enhancing security and fixing infrastructure gaps in order to become less prone to attacks; they are also doubling-down on leveraging public clouds.

Demographics

An interview with 300 IT decision makers from organizations across the US using public cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), widely dispersed across small, medium, and large-sized organizations. The study was part of a global report that analyzed the results of 1,300 interviews with IT leaders worldwide.

Number of employees in US respondents’ organizationsPublic cloud survey

 

Sector of US respondents’ organizations

Public cloud organisation

Key Findings

Public cloud adoption is growing at a rapid rate across industries

Respondents currently run 44% of their infrastructure in the public cloud, with intent to increase to 62% in two years and 76% in five years. Researchers found little discernible difference across vertical segments, with technology organizations understandably a few points above average, while public sector adopters leverage nearly 40% of their infrastructures in public clouds.

Different cloud providers have different strengths

On average, organizations are leveraging three different cloud infrastructures within their overall IT infrastructure. When asked which is the most utilized, Azure leads with 66%, AWS with 46%, and Google Cloud Platform with 36%. The majority of respondents (68%) employ multiple cloud providers because they believe different platforms have different strengths, while 52% feel security is increased through the use of more than one public cloud service provider.

Public clouds offer endless benefits

Ninety-nine percent of respondents report their organizations have seen benefits as a result of moving to the public cloud. While some companies saw 40-50% return on their investment—or even more than 50%—the majority of respondents experienced between 26% and 30% return within their first year of cloud deployments.

Security concerns still prevent widespread cloud adoption

Seventy-four percent of respondents state that security concerns restrict their organizations’migration to the public cloud. In addition, about a quarter of respondents reported that they are concerned over the lack of an expert partner to work with for cloud security (26%), or have a lack of in-house skills to maintain the cloud (23%).

 The Shared Responsibility Model is misunderstood

Although cloud vendors are only responsible for the security of their infrastructures under the shared responsibility model, 77% of respondents believe that public cloud service providers are responsible for securing customer data in the cloud, and 68% suggest public cloud providers are responsible for securing applications running on public clouds.

Organizations lack security measures for proper protection

Despite the lack of clarity around the shared responsibility model, 30% of organizations have not added additional security solutions to their public clouds. Additionally, of those who do have additional security measures in place, 95% of them see a need for added security outside their current scope.

Once in the Cloud, Adoption Soars

Percentage of organizations’ infrastructure running in the public cloud

Percentage of organizations’ infrastructure running in the public cloud

Organizations that have moved their infrastructure to the cloud continue to invest in cloud resources; in five years’ time, their cloud footprints will nearly double. We also looked at different vertical segments across these respondents and found little discernible differences: Technology organizations were understandably a few points ahead of the average, but even public sector adopters have on average nearly 40% of their infrastructures already in public clouds.Are they just using one cloud? The answer is surprising because, on average, organizations leverage three different cloud infrastructures within their overall IT infrastructure. When asked which is the most utilized, we found Azure leads the pack with 66%, AWS with 46%, and Google Cloud Platform with 36%. The reasons for using multiple cloud providers gave more insight into this:

Why do those organizations using more than one public cloud service provider, do so? Asked to those who use more than one (197)

public cloud service provider

The majority of respondents believe that different providers have unique strengths, and are leveraging these cloud providers accordingly. Today, Azure is a dominant player in Info/Sec and IT data centers, whereas AWS has a more significant presence in Dev/Ops. Respondents also believe that leveraging multiple public cloud providers increases security.

However, continuing to use multiple providers will complicate the cloud landscape; further on, we discuss how companies are addressing security issues by mostly leveraging third-party solutions. With multiple infrastructures becoming commonplace, organizations will soon need to look at third parties that can operate inside multiple infrastructures—or their overall IT landscape complexity will grow dramatically, decreasing some of the cloud’s most obvious benefits.

Benefits to Using Public Clouds

Virtually all organizations are gaining benefits from the cloud with 99% stating that they are seeing multiple benefits: The majority reported reduced IT expenditures and greater scalability.Greater agility, less time spent by IT on maintenance, and improved security (both for applications and for infrastructure) are essentially tied at around 45% of all respondents

What benefits have organizations seen from using the public cloud?

Benefits to Using Public Clouds

Respondents noted that better security underscores the fact that the cloud can be made even more secure than on-premises environments — but that protection is not automatic.When asked about returns on cloud expenditures, the majority of companies experience a fairly rapid return on their investments in cloud infrastructure, including services and any third-party solutions added to their cloud infrastructures.

While some organizations saw 40-50% return on their investment, or even more than 50%, the majority of respondents experienced between 26% and 30% return within their first year of cloud deployments. The average ROI is 28.99%.

What positive ROI have organizations seen from using the public cloud?

aws consulting

Also asked how organizations leverage clouds, and what kinds of data they put in public clouds. The responses illustrate that organizations are figuring out public clouds and are learning to navigate security and other concerns.

How do organizations leverage public cloud?

cloud storage

Organizations leverage public clouds for a variety of purposes: The top use is data storage and recovery, followed by website or application hosting. Some organizations use the cloud for data analytics, while others turn to it for desktop virtualization and relationship management systems.Over 40% use the cloud for application testing and development, and over a third for pure development and testing.

What type of sensitive data does your organization store in the public cloud? Asked those who use the public cloud for data storage (257)

 cloud for data storage

Organizations also store sensitive data in the cloud. While employee records and personnel data are among the top sensitive items being stored, organizations are storing business IP in public clouds. Bank details, both for customers and for employees, are included in the sensitive data being stored by organizations in the public cloud.
The responses about sensitive data illustrate a level of trust in cloud security, yet in some ways it’s at odds with organizations’ overall views on security and risks, which we’ll examine next.

Security: Only Partly Understood

The Shared Security Model is standard across all cloud platforms. It states that while the cloud vendor will ensure the security of its infrastructure, organizations are responsible for the security surrounding what they put into the cloud. More than four in five (84%) respondents reported that they fully understand the public cloud security responsibilities of both their organization and IaaS provider and an additional 15% cited that they partly understand public cloud responsibilities.

However, when asked what cloud vendors are responsible for securing, the responses clearly indicate that the Shared Security Model is not fully understood. More than 75% of respondents felt public cloud service providers are responsible for securing customer data in the cloud, and some 68% felt public cloud providers are responsible for securing applications running on their clouds.

However, when asked more directly about security, around three quarters (74%) of those interviewed stated that security concerns restrict their organization’s migration to the public cloud. In addition, the vast majority (89%) of respondents believe that there are threats to their organization’s public cloud infrastructure for securing applications in the public cloud.

What do organizations believe that public cloud service providers have a responsibility to secure? Asked to those who have an understanding of cloud security responsibilities (296)

public cloud service providers

Over nine in ten surveyed IT decision makers (92%) state that they have concerns over their organization’s use of public cloud, with the most likely (58%) being the impact of cyber attacks.In addition, around a quarter of respondents report that they are concerned over the lack of an expert partner to work with for cloud security (26%), or have a lack of in-house skills to maintain the cloud (23%).

What benefits have organizations seen from using the public cloud?

public cloud benefits

If organizations haven’t been targeted yet by a cyber attack, a large majority feel such an attack is imminent. It doesn’t matter whether organizations are large or small, the perceived risk is nearly identical. And while larger organizations tend to report already having been attacked, small organizations are also being attacked. Eighty-eight percent of the organizations who have suffered a cyberattack reported that the attack had measurable negative impacts on their operations. Loss of faith in the public cloud is the most consistent impact, but over 25% of impacted organizations faced either regulatory or compensatory fines as the result of a cyber attack.

Overcoming Security Challenges

It’s very clear from the results of this survey that despite security concerns and the real threat of attacks, organizations continue to leverage the cloud and grow their cloud infrastructures.Two thirds (67%) of respondents say that their organizations have already added some additional security solutions to their public cloud to protect it during access. Additionally, 30% cite that they have not yet, but plan to do so in the future.

Which of the following security solutions have organizations added to their public cloud? Asked to those who have added additional security (200)

public cloud security

When we asked what organizations are doing, two strategies emerged. The most prevalent strategy involved routing traffic to and through a central firewall or other security measures and then rerouting traffic back out. The second strategy is to provide branch locations with fully functional local breakouts using distributed firewalls or a similar security routine for all internet traffic and access.

Sixty-four percent of organizations that have added additional security solutions route their branch locations’ traffic to headquarters, and then pass it to the cloud using a dedicated MPLS circuit in a central location. However, more than nine in ten (95%) respondents report that they see a need for additional security solutions to be added to their public cloud to protect it during access.

While organizations are investing in additional security to address perceived gaps in their cloud infrastructures, we found other concerns as well. Security dominates the discussion, but regulatory requirements and the cost to maintain cloud infrastructure were also raised as concerns. Over 25% of all organizations reported issues with either needing a shadow IT organization to shepherd their cloud infrastructure, or the lack of an expert partner to help bolster cloud security.

What are the concerns that organization have regarding the use of public cloud?

public cloud concerns

Conclusion

What are the ten most important drivers for choosing a public cloud service provider?

public cloud conclusions

Despite the challenges, the overall benefits of leveraging cloud infrastructure are pushing organizations to accelerate their cloud adoptions. More than half of respondents report that easy integration with legacy technology (61%) and strong protection of applications in the public cloud (54%) are important drivers when choosing a public cloud IaaS provider to use in their organization, while around half (48%) said the same regarding strong protection of access to applications in the public cloud.

Scalability, support, and innovation are also reported as important drivers of cloud adoption.Organizations applauded the support they are offered by public cloud providers, and more and more are seeing the cloud as an effective means of disaster recovery. For readers of this summary, a key takeaway is that security remains a key concern. The upside is that organizations can (and are) augmenting support with third-party providers. These solutions allow them to create infrastructures that are even more secure than those on-premises.
As cloud infrastructures evolve and organizations deploy more clouds, a corresponding challenge will be ensuring they have chosen third parties who provide cross-platform solutions and expertise. Additionally, it should not be forgotten that these organizations are coming from somewhere (i.e., on-premises infrastructures), and their chosen third parties need a strong understanding of hybrid deployments as well as pure cloud ones.

Medha Hosting Protecting users, applications, and data for many organizations worldwide, Medha Hosting has developed a global reputation as the trusted partner for powerful, easy to hire, affordable IT solutions Provider. The company’s proven customer-centric business model focuses on delivering high value, subscription-based IT solutions for security and data protection. For additional information, please visit Azure Consulting, Google Cloud Consulting, and AWS consulting .

A Complete Guide to PST Files – How To Manage?

PST GUIDE

Introduction of PST files

PST files are widely used in many organizations and often contain business-critical or sensitive data, but they are frequently completely unmanaged and can present a significant risk to the organization as well as causing ongoing issues for IT support teams.In this article, we take a look at these files and the problems they can cause. We then discuss the options for addressing these problems and concludes with a summary of the benefits an organization can realize by managing PST files.

What Are PST Files?

An unfamiliar term to those outside of IT, they are often known as Outlook Archives or Personal Archives and are typically created by Outlook when the “Auto Archive” function is enabled. PST is actually an acronym for “Personal Storage Table” but that term is not often used.The auto-archive function in Outlook allows users to bypass the mailbox quota limits which IT departments may enforce as a result of size limitations with their central Exchange server. This feature was turned on by default in Outlook 2003 and 2007 and generated PSTs as container files to store email locally for the user.Where Are They Located? PST files can be located almost anywhere. By default, Outlook will create them on a user’s desktop or laptop, however, that does not stop them being located on corporate servers, removable media such as USB and flash drives etc., or even home PCs.

Are They Secure?

This depends on a number of factors, but normally they are not.PST files are highly portable, as they can be disconnected from Outlook and copied or moved to another
Outlook client with ease and they are also widely used as a great way of moving email data between people and/or organizations quickly. They can be password protected, although a simple search on the internet will find any number of programs that can crack these passwords.Are They Reliable? PSTs are notoriously unreliable, as they were never designed to hold the amount of email data they often do today. Users keep pouring more emails into them, blissfully unaware of the risk this poses to their data, and
10 or 15% of an IT department’s daily helpdesk calls can be taken up with looking after these files.Due to their size, they are also susceptible to internal corruption if they are located on a network share or accessed over a network, and Microsoft specifically advises against accessing them this way.

Are They Always Available?

The perception for a lot of users is yes, but this is not always the case, as Outlook must have access to the location where the PST file is stored. This is fine for office-based users who have the same access to either local or network storage, however, if the user has the ability to work from different desktops or locations they may not be able to always access their PSTs. Also, if the user uses Outlook Web Access (OWA) then they cannot gain access to their files.PST files can easily be disconnected by users from their Outlook profile, either inadvertently via a failure such as a power outage or PC crash, or by the user ‘closing’ them. For some users, this is standard practice when
they are managing a number of PST files, and these PSTs can be reopened at any time as long as the user knows their location. But for most users, once the PST is ‘closed’ it is either forgotten about or they cannot find it again, thereby creating an ‘orphaned’ PST. Orphaned PST files can still contain valuable business information that may need to be preserved and made available.

Are They Backed Up?

This depends on their location and how the IT department is managing them. If they are located on desktops and laptops there is a high probability they fall outside the corporate backup strategy, and are therefore not protected. If however they are located on network shares, then the chances are they are being backed up.However, this in itself brings a set of new challenges for the IT department.

Do Companies Still Use Them?

Yes – as many companies will copy a former employee’s mailbox to a PST as a method of retention. These practices can change from time to time or be overlooked, so consistency may be a problem. Companies also frequently use them for passing large amounts of email data around between locations or even between organizations.

Do Employees Still Use Them?

Yes – although, there is a high chance they don’t know it. Many workers favour the “Auto Archive” as a way to organize and keep older emails without understanding the risks, particularly if their mailbox is restricted by quota limits.

Do PSTs Fall Under Compliance and Legal Hold Requirements?

The PST file itself does not, as it is merely a container, but the emails and attachments that are stored in the file do. Since most legal discovery occurs sometime after the alleged incident, not knowing the location or indeed the owner of PSTs can make legal hold and compliance problematic.

Which IT Projects Can PST Files Impact?

 

Office 365 Migration

Where organizations are looking to move the overhead of their office applications to Microsoft’s online platform, PST files should be considered either as part of that migration or certainly straight after.Consolidating all email data into the online Exchange environment will not only enhance the end user experience and productivity but also ensure that any legacy email data is protected.

Desktop Refresh

When considering a refresh to either new hardware or a virtual environment the impact of PST files should not be underestimated. They can be located anywhere in the desktop environment, and end users are likely to lose access to them if they are not identified and handled correctly. Without careful consideration, a large
amount of valuable business data could be at risk of being lost.

eDiscovery and eDisclosure

Situations may arise where an organization needs to identify all historical information (including emails) that is relevant to a particular issue or request. In this situation, the email contained within PST files is difficult to identify and retrieve because the location of the files may not be known or their contents are available only to their end-user.
Corporate Compliance Best practice is often jeopardized by PST files because they typically contain emails which should be managed according to corporate compliance policies, but have fallen outside the scope due to their location. It is important to note that Defensible Compliance dictates that all known sources need to have a consistent policy applied to them.

How Big is the PST Problem?

Across the organizations we work with, we see an average of between two and four PST files per active mailbox, ranging in size from a couple of Megabytes up to many Gigabytes.A typical PST file may contain 10,000 individual messages with attachments, which normally represents around 1 GB of data. In storage terms, this doesn’t sound like a lot, but multiply this by the number of mailboxes and triple that figure (with the average number of PSTs per mailbox being three) and the scale of the problem can be seen.Consider too that these emails may contain business-critical data such as supplier contracts, customer orders and research data, so the size of PST files is not always the biggest problem. In practice, most enterprises have thousands of PSTs littered throughout their infrastructure going unseen and unprotected.

How Do We Find Out if We Have a PST Problem?

The IT department will have a good idea if PST files exist with their organization, but the scale of the problem will be less clear.An initial search will certainly give an indication of the problem, and this may be enough, but in our experience, more information is required. For example, you will need to consider the actual data size compared to the
on-disk size. You will also need to identify who owns the data in each PST file, which is especially important for all those lost or orphaned PSTs.Once you have this information, careful consideration will need to be given as to what to do with each PST file.

Can IT Departments Manage PST Files?

Yes, with the right strategy and tools – although this does not mean that they are currently being managed.For a long time, PST files have been the thorn in the side of IT departments. PSTs have served a purpose for many years for both the user and the IT department with either the associated risks to the business being invisible or a blind eye being turned to the risks being taken.IT administrators have several options available to them, including:

  • Migrating the data back into Exchange or Office 365, then deleting them
  • Moving them all to a central network server
  • Ingesting the data into a third party archiving solution, then deleting them
  • Simply living with the existence of PST files

Why Can’t Users Manage Their Own PST Files?

By their very nature, PSTs are created by the end-user, so it is therefore fair to say that by default the user has ended up managing them, but with varying degrees of success. The more alert user will have made ad-hoc copies of their PSTs on network shares or removable disks, which provides them with some level of backup or protection. But apart from the potential security risk, this presents, it can also lead to data duplication.So should users manage their PST files? The simple answer is no, they should not be burdened with ensuring business-critical data is protected. This responsibility falls at the door of IT departments who are better equipped to do so.Indiscriminate deletion of information could mean the organization falls foul of various laws if data pertaining to litigation or investigation is involved, resulting in fines and bad publicity.

What Tools Are Available for Managing PST Files?

A number of archiving solutions include embedded PST management tools, however, these have limited functionality and offer varying degrees of success.
Organizations should consider the value of stand-alone PST Management tools. These range from Microsoft’s free PST Capture tool to enterprise-class solutions such as Barracuda’s own PST Enterprise, which can meet the demands of more complex PST migration projects.

Microsoft’s Tool is Free – Is That Not Enough?

Microsoft has attempted to solve the problem with their PST Capture application, which addresses the challenges of legacy PST files by ingesting the data from these files back into the user’s mailbox. The problem with this is that PST Capture doesn’t scale to the typical size of PST problem that many larger companies face.The Microsoft PST Capture tool is also only a partial solution and requires a great deal of manual intervention.In particular, it doesn’t cover the work involved in finding and organizing PSTs or deleting PSTs after they have been processed, so unless you are a company with less than 100 mailboxes, deployment of a third party solution such as PST Enterprise is advised.

What Features Should a PST Management Tool Provide?

Key features should include:

  1. Discovery of PST files wherever they exist across the organization, whether this is on local or network drives, or even on removable storage.
  2. Determining and assigning an owner for each PST file.
  3. Removing passwords from protected files.
  4. Migrating data selectively, based on the file contents or the age of the data.
  5. Providing a choice of target locations to move data to, such as to the primary or archive mailbox, to a network server, or dedicated servers to a third-party archive solution.
  6. Deleting files once they have been processed.

All these features should include a high degree of automation. In particular, locating PSTs on remote desktops and laptops is a time-consuming task, so the tool should automate this process without involving or impacting end users.

Can’t PST Files Just be Deleted?

Many PST files are simply collections of old and obsolete emails which are candidates for deletion. However, the PST file properties not only restrict access but also fail to provide details on what the file actually contains or how old the emails within it are.An organization must consider whether it is prepared to live with the consequences of deleting these files without understanding the type and value of the information contained within them. In particular, if it has a corporate retention policy then it should ensure that it complies with this at an individual item level for each email within each PST file.

Which of Those Options is Best?

The choice will depend on the three key factors of risk, performance and cost:

pst files

These decisions are individual to each company, and will normally fall within the overall company retention and discovery requirements that facilitate governance and best practice.The key is to have a consistent, automated, scalable practice that solves the problem, backed up by an audit trail of the activity.

Will the PST Problem Ever Go Away?

The latest versions of Exchange have better capacity management, and the need for PSTs has been negated with the addition of in-place archiving. There is also the option of adopting third-party archiving solutions, which allow organizations to better streamline and manage their email environments.It is still important to consider historical PSTs and the data that resides within them. Ultimately, removing PST files will have a positive effect on all downstream processes, as well as eliminating much of the legal risk
and uncertainty in unmanaged containers of email data sitting on your corporate servers and on the end user machines.The emergence of big data, and the realization by enterprises that to retain a competitive edge they need to be able to analyze and realize value from all their data, makes PST management a business driver and not just an IT requirement

Conclusion – The Benefits of Managing PST Files

  1. Reduce Risk
  2. Eliminate risks associated with unmanaged email data.
  3. Protect against end user and intellectual property data loss.
  4. Implement robust data retention and defensible deletion policies.
  5. Ensure compliance with Freedom of Information, Data Protection and other regulations.
  6. Improve Performance
  7. Reduce backup and restore times for business-critical file servers.
  8. Quicker retrieval of centrally stored information.
  9. Remove obstacles for projects such as hardware upgrades, BYOD, VDI or Office 365 migration.
  10. Reduce Costs
  11. Reduce IT support overheads.
  12. Streamline processes for eDiscovery and other disclosure requests.

How to Secure Microsoft Exchange Server In Post-TMG World

Introduction – How to Secure Microsoft Exchange Server In Post-TMG World

For many organizations, Microsoft’s Threat Management Gateway was a critical reverse-proxy security solution for Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint publishing. TMG provided a number of security benefits for Microsoft applications including:

  • Application security
  • Network security
  • Authentication proxy
  • Secure remote access

The Microsoft announcement of TMG’s end-of-sale in 2012 and the end-of-support in 2015 left organizations without a long-term solution for securing their existing Exchange and SharePoint deployments.

Barracuda Solutions are Ideal for Microsoft TMG Customers

Barracuda Networks has a long history of security expertise and experience working with Exchange and SharePoint deployments, making us the ideal partner for customers needing to migrate from TMG. Our application security, anti-malware, and anti-spam capabilities have secured more than tens of thousands of deployments worldwide. In addition, our solutions are certified by Microsoft as recommending hardware load balancing and application delivery solutions.

Secure Application Delivery for Microsoft Exchange

Publishing Exchange Server takes many forms, ranging from Exchange Server Support ,protecting the server infrastructure and safeguarding e-mail traffic, to providing secure access via rich and thin clients. Barracuda supports a number of technological capabilities that support secure access and high performance. In addition, they are designed for easy installation and administration. Barracuda’s Application Delivery Controller deployed as a reverse proxy provides a critical security layer for Exchange Publishing. It segments external access from internal resources, providing a security buffer that protects Exchange servers from application and network threats. Barracuda ADCs are certified by Microsoft as a preferred hardware load balancers for scaling and accelerating exchange deployments.

Exchange Server support with Barracuda

Secure Application Delivery of Exchange ServersThe Barracuda Load Balancer ADC provides a complete solution for Exchange. It has sophisticated load balancing, session management, and server health checks to provide robust scalability and high availability for Exchange. As a reverse proxy, it also provides a layer of security. All requests are terminated and inspected before being sent to the backend servers.
Secure Outlook Web Access (OWA)Barracuda’s ADC has pre-built templates designed specifically for OWA. This allows organizations to provide strong plug-and-play security against SQL Injections (SQLi), Cross Site Scripting (XSS), OWASP Top 10 attacks, DDoS, and other attacks against the Exchange infrastructure.
Secure ActiveSyncBarracuda’s ADC provides secure ActiveSync access. It can provide secure session management and access control based on device and browser type. Additional capabilities like DDoS and brute-force protection ensure availability even in face of rate-based attacks.
Pre-AuthenticationBarracuda can also provide the ability to authenticate users and devices using a number of authentication methods like Active Directory, LDAP, and RADIUS. This allows administrators to offload the authentication process from their Exchange infrastructures and provide Single Sign-On (SSO) across their Microsoft applications.
SSL OffloadingBarracuda ADCs use high-performance hardware for SSL offloading.

About Medha Hosting.

Medha Hosting is the leading global Cloud, Managed hosting and managed IT services provider with award-winning platforms in USA, Europe and Asia. Medha Hosting has delivered enterprise-level hosting services to businesses of all sizes around the world since 2014 and still serve a growing base of customers. They rely heavily on our 100 percent uptime guarantee, unbeatable level of client service through our triumph Support Heroes, and with half-dozen data centres across five regions in Europe, US, and Asia. We have a tendency to integrate the industry’s best technology to supply you better of breed cloud hosting solutions, all backed by our triumph Support Heroes

We aim to be the choice managed IT services and hosting provider. We will attract the best employees, develop and deploy the best technology, and deliver the best products and services.

We are managing and ensuring smooth business continuity and data security of Windows Servers, Exchange Server, Share point servers, SQL server and other Microsoft Server Technologies. And also we work with various Linux server and applications.

We partnered with many industries leaders such as Microsoft, Barracuda AWS, IBM, HP, and many others.

To learn more about how Medha Hosting can protect and accelerate check our Microsoft Exchange Server Support.

About Barracuda Networks, Inc.

Protecting users, applications, and data for more than 150,000 organizations worldwide, Barracuda Networks has developed a global reputation as the go-to leader for powerful, easy-to-use affordable IT solutions. The company’s proven customer-centric business model focuses on delivering high value, subscription-based IT solutions for security and data protection. For additional information, please visit www.barracuda.com.