Author Archives: Sathish Veerapandian

Microsoft Teams – Utilize the Azure Sentinel to facilitate SOC and Monitor Teams critical events

Its been almost a year that Microsoft has announced the new release in Azure Sentinel which provides us the opportunity to integrate MS Teams related activities that are recorded in the audit logs to Azure Sentinel. Enabling this feature benefits organization where there is a separate SOC team monitoring and analyzing the security posture as an ongoing operational procedure.

We still have the Microsoft native cloud app security which benefits in creating the alerting mechanism for MS-Teams related activities.But with the Log Analytics and Azure Sentinel we can do a lot more than it can be done from the Cloud App Security. We can further fine tune the alerting, create workbooks and dashboards for Microsoft Teams related activities which will be useful for Teams Monitoring.

To start with this new feature ,we need to enable this new option to ingest Teams Data into Azure Sentinel Work Spaces. This article can be followed to start with connecting office 365 with the Microsoft Cloud native SIEM Azure Sentinel.

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Synology DiskStation Active Backup for Office365

Recently i was requested to review the synology diskstation ActiveBackup for Office 365 . Though Microsoft 365 provides unlimited retention period and litigation hold for office 365 applications i always had one topic in my hit list to read on why there might be a reason to have a local backup instance for Office 365 applications.This made me to do some little bit research on this topic and could see there might be few business cases ,compliance/legal requirements which demands to maintain backup copies of electronic data.

Moreover the litigation hold and retention period is not applicable for all office 365 plans. I have seen organizations consuming wide variety of Office 365 plans based on their business models.

On the other hand i see most of the office 365 backup solutions provides faster efficiency of users able to restore the content on their own mostly from the user management portal. In an ideal scenario office 365 user data recovery can be executed from a native tool set where we use the native content search or an e-discovery case from the admin portal. In a real case scenario if we don’t have an SLA for restore of data that comes in everyday for a resigned employee or an existing employee there might be some delay where only few admins are responsible in handling the operations tasks. With these third party packages we can optimize the processes for data restore.

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Overview of Microsoft Teams Graph API and its benefits

Microsoft Teams Graph API have been there for a quite a long time and it can be beneficial in various ways to perform Teams related tasks in API operations. In this article we will go through the Teams Graph API overview and API calls available as of now.

Using Graph API developers have a unified Rest API to access Teams underpinned components. For instance, using Graph API we can post a survey notification to a channel with option to vote for the survey. With this we can create a Team, add members and owners ,configure team settings and even archive a Team.

The overview of Graph API can be explored by navigating to the below URL.

https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/graph/graph-explorer

Before consuming the Graph API we need the required permissions on the Graph API to run the query. So we need to consent the required permission based on the action that will be performed from the Graph API. In below example have granted the below permissions to execute the Graph API operations for Teams.

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Microsoft Teams – Change the Supported Meeting Mode on existing Skype Room Systems to Teams Mode by leveraging Intune Scripts

Microsoft Teams have been the highly adopted collaborative platform in few months time.It has been helping a ton worldwide and the new features that is been released every now and then makes us stay connected and expands the efficiency in every organization who have been using them.

By default Microsoft Certified Room systems are forward compatible with the new Skype for Business or Teams services while maintaining the same client user experience.Usually when any organization has only Skype then these meeting rooms will have the options only Skype enabled on them.

In this article we will be looking at how to enable the existing Skype room systems to have the capacity to host Teams Meetings in them.

Example screen of a Skype room system panel where we have the below options on the supported meeting mode while configuring them at the initial stage .

These devices are basically on KIOSK mode running on recommended versions of Windows 10 currently supported one being 1909 at the time of writing this blog.

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Microsoft Teams – Utilize Power BI to get more details on the Call Quality Dashboards

With Microsoft PowerBI we can gather more details from the call quality dashboards. As of now Microsoft have released 7 power BI desktop templates to accumulate more details on the Microsoft teams call quality dashboard.

PowerBI being a very potential platform for data gathering and analysis these new templates for Microsoft Teams have been more outstanding in terms of analyzing the Microsoft Teams data.

We will go through the overview of the reports and the configuration on this post.

Firstly the PowerBI Query Templates for Microsoft Teams needs to be downloaded.

We have below 7 templates report:

  1. CQD Helpdesk Report.pbit
  2. CQD Location Enhanced Report.pbit
  3. CQD Mobile Device Report.pbit
  4. CQD PSTN Direct Routing Report.pbit
  5. CQD Summary Report.pbit
  6. CQD Teams Utilization Report.pbit
  7. CQD User Feedback (Rate My Call) Report.pbit

These are customizable templates which can be used to analyze data. These above are PBIT file formats which can be used from PowerBI desktop which has the data source configured. If we need to open them directly from the powerbi portal they need to be renamed as pbix. If we are importing them from the powerbi desktop the following file MicrosoftCallQuality.pqx needs to be imported to the location [Documents]\Power BI Desktop\Custom Connectors folder.

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Create Azure Dashboards for workbooks created from log analytics for monitoring

In the previous post we had a look at how to group multiple azure log analytics queries ,group them and display them in one screen. There are few real challenges in displaying the queries directly from the workbook. Firstly they are not having the capability to auto refresh the live data until we reload the workbook. There is no option to fit the dashboard and customize them as per our requirement. Finally there is no option to set the refresh rate, setting up the local time zone and sharing them to the required persons to view them with read access.

Creating the dashboards is much easier and there are multiple ways to do them. In this post we will have a look at creating one from the workbook.

Inorder to create a workbook navigate to Azure Log Analytics Workspace – Click on WorkBooks – Select the workbook that needs to be created in dashboard.

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Microsoft Azure – Leverage Manage Engine AD Manager and delegate MFA reset action to the Helpdesk Team

Currently there is no option as per this uservoice to delegate the MFA reset action to help desk team via an admin role. As of now only the global admin have the required privileges to perform this action from the azure portal. In this article we had a look into how to reset this option by creating an automation account and integrating with Microsoft Flow. Though this is a good option there is another way where this action can be delegated via ManageEngine AD manager plus. 

Most of the organizations have AD Manager plus and its features integrated on their on premise tenant. This can be used to execute office 365 and Azure AD operations in a hybrid environment. In this article we will have a look at the steps to integrate AD manager plus with Azure AD to  delegate this action to the help desk team.

Below are the prerequisites :

  1. AD manager plus server must be present in the hybrid domain. Not necessarily a hybrid domain it works well for cloud only accounts as well.
  2. The connectivity to the Azure IPs and URLs are required to connect azure module connect-msolservice
  3. Azure AD modules must be downloaded  on the AD manager plus server.
  4. AD delegation must be already assigned to the help desk team with AD management role.
  5. Global admin account is required to specify them as encrypted credentials with key on the AD manager plus server. This global admin account will only be used by the manage engine AD manager server in the backend and not exposed to the helpdesk team.
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Visualize Microsoft Teams Room Systems health components through Azure Monitor Workbooks

In the previous post we looked on how to configure Azure Monitor Alerts for Critical events that occurs on Microsoft Windows Devices which can be used for monitoring the Teams Room Systems. With Azure Log Analytics we could leverage few more components that will help us to visualize the status of the systems which are monitored through selected event logs and the performance counters.

Creating the Workbooks and making them visualize purely depends on the data that is been ingested on the corresponding log analytics workspace. So at the first stage its very important that we are sending all the required logs and counters which is mandatory for visualizing the metrics.

Firstly before creating the workbooks we need to devise a strategy on how to build a skeleton for the dashboard. This is very important since there are multiple options available and need to understand what important data that needs to be projected on the dashboard.

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Use Azure Log Analytics to notify critical events occurring on Microsoft Teams Room Systems

In the previous post we had an overview of how to create Azure Log Analytics and configure them to collect data from windows systems. Once the information is ingested in the workspace we currently have a choice to make alarms and notify the responsible team dependent on various signal logics which will be useful on monitoring these devices.

These alerts are scoped to each log analytics workspace. It will be a smart thought to isolate the services ,group them on singular workspace and create separate alerts for critical events happening on these monitored devices.

In order to create the alerts Navigate to alerts on the same workspace  – Click on New Alert Rule

Navigate to signal logic and choose the signal logic. There are multiple we need to see if any more interesting which suits our requirement can be added over here.

Now we have the required critical signals based on which the alert needs to be triggered. Usually the signal type will be from the collected events and the performance counters. In our scenario we could go with some default events from the list and also custom log search.

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Microsoft Teams – Configure Azure Log Analytics for Monitoring Teams Room Systems

Microsoft Teams being the best collaborative solution there are lots of supported smart devices which are equipped with Microsoft teams App for providing the smart meeting room systems with modern cameras, microphones and display screens. The nicest aspect of Teams room application is that it can function well in all ranges of supported devices as stated here with a support of basic hardware and running on a windows 10 IOT operating system running in appliance mode.

While there are numerous approaches to monitor the Microsoft Teams room systems this article we will go through the steps to monitor them through Azure Log Analytics.Like other applications Microsoft Teams App running on room devices will write all the events on the event logs.Through the Microsoft Monitoring agent in Microsoft Teams it allows these events to be collected in Azure log Analytics.

Prerequisites:

  1. Subscription with Azure to configure log analytics workspace.
  2. Teams meeting room system with internet connectivity. There are other methods to collect the logs without internet through  Log Analytics gateway in this approach we are going with direct agent method.
  3. The Teams devices must be running on a supported Teams windows operating system as listed here on all meeting rooms on a KIOSK mode or probably on a full operating system mode based on the requirements.

Since we are going to leverage Azure Log Analytics as a monitoring solution for our room systems the first step here is to Create Azure Log Analytics and integrate them with Microsoft windows agent.

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