IT professionals, developers, and experts descended upon Orlando, Florida last week, to hear about the latest and greatest tech being introduced at Microsoft Ignite 2018.

With so many announcements and improvements jampacked into the event, it was difficult to filter through it all it all. Luckily, Evros had five of its Microsoft team on the ground at Ignite, exploring the latest introductions to the Microsoft Stack.

So, if you missed Microsoft Ignite or happened to be living under a rock last week, here’s a recap from our experts:

1. The announcement of Windows Virtual Desktop. Our Principal Azure Solution Architect Joe Carlyle was there for the big reveal: “Azure is already the only cloud where you can run Windows 10 workloads and this service is going to improve on the deployment and management of them. Essentially, Azure will run the RDS Gateway and Broker service for you. You will have full control and responsibility of the infrastructure this will connect too and which applications and desktops are presented.”

He also learned that Microsoft now offers 100Gbps connectivity speeds via ExpressRoute Direct – the fastest cloud connectivity available. Read more on Joes’ blog, ‘WedoAzure’ here.

2. Improvements to Organisation Configuration Transfer and Hybrid Publishing was received by wild cheers, as speakers announced new features designed to simplify hybrid Exchange deployments and speed onboarding to Exchange Online (EXO).

Organisation Configuration Transfer v2 will be launched this month, which promises to take the configurations made in Exchange Server on-premises and transfer them to Exchange Online to reduce the burden of re-configuring all your settings before onboarding.

They also introduced the Hybrid Agent, to fix issues in the hybrid Exchange environment. Up until now, customers would have to publish their on-premises environments. This includes, but is not limited to, adding external DNS entries, updating certificates, and allowing inbound network connections through your firewall.

3. Last week, we saw Microsoft wave goodbye to the password, with new support for passwordless sign-on available via Microsoft Authenticator App for 1,000s of apps.

Microsoft Solutions Architect, Seán O’Farrell explored the Evolution of Single Sign-On and learned: “The Azure Active Directory Seamless Single Sign-On automatically signs users in when they are on their corporate devices connected to your corporate network. This feature provides your users easy access to your cloud-based applications without needing any additional on-premises components.”

4. In the cybersecurity arena, Cloud Solutions Architect Adil Touati examined the Office 365 collection of threat-protection solutions that helps protect against a wide range of threats. Adil said: “We need to begin to secure enterprise productivity with Office 365 threat protection services including EOP, ATP, and Threat Intelligence.

“In particular, Office 365 Threat Intelligence helps security analysts and administrators keep users safe by bubbling up insights and identifying action based on what is happening in their your Office365 environment, from the Office365 Security & Compliance Center. It monitors signals and gathers data from multiple sources, such as user activity, authentication, email, compromised PCs, and security incidents,” added Adil.

Want to know more on how to secure your workplace environment? Evros can help!

5. Azure Advanced Threat Protection was on the agenda too, and has expanded Integrations, Detections, and Forensic Capabilities with a new alert system against Kerberos TGT and DCShadow attacks and compromised identities, says Microsoft Solutions Architect, Sean O’Farrell.

6. Professional Services Consultant Darach Nugent found out that: “End user activity reporting is now in private preview. This feature will allow users to review their own sign in activity and report suspicious activity.”

Darach also advised that all Office 365 accounts should now be protected by Multi-Factor Authentication to protect from Identity Attacks with the help of Conditional Access. There has been a 300% increase in identity attacks over the past year.

“Conditional Access Enhancements block users from downloading email attachments from their corporate email when using OWA on non-compliant devices,” he added.

And speaking of conditional access:

7. Conditional Access Enhancements now block users downloading email attachments from their corporate email when using OWA on non-compliant devices. It now also offers limited access based on data classification.

8. In the new Sharepoint Admin centre, an admin can apply a label to a site collection and then select what conditional access policy is applied to the site. Microsoft Solutions Architect, Sean O’Farrell explained why this is handy: “This is useful for external sharing sites, which could be set to ‘View only’, ‘No forward’, ‘Print’, ‘Copy’ or ‘Download’.”

And other highlights from Microsoft Ignite:

  • Cloud App Security can now integrate with Microsoft Flow for process automation
  • Expansion of Secure Score, the only enterprise-class dynamic report card for cybersecurity. Secure Score will cover all of Microsoft365, and can be used for hybrid cloud workloads in the Azure Security Center
  • Unified labeling is now available in the Security & Compliance Centre “as a single destination where you can create, configure, and automatically apply policies to ensure the protection and governance of sensitive data

Have any of these updates caught your eye? Our Microsoft experts here at Evros are very eager to discuss how some of these new features and updates can help your company. Talk to us today.