How Does SPF Work?

No, I’m not talking about sunscreen. The SPF I’ll be discussing here is Sender Policy Framework. It’s an email security measure that can prevent unauthorized use of your email domain name. I’ll be going over a few things in this post, but if you just want to know how to craft an SPF record, you can scroll to the “The SPF Puzzle” section below.…

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Step by Step: Export Office 365 Email to PST

Microsoft has significantly changed the way admins export email in Office 365 are done by eliminating export tools in each application (Exchange, SharePoint, etc). There is now a single solution for exports, including Exchange PSTs, OneDrive, and SharePoint files. This central solution is the Security and Compliance center. Unfortunately, there isn’t much information on how to properly export data from Exchange Online now that the Compliance center in Exchange Admin is deprecated.…

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Office 365 Hybrid Agent – An Overview

If you have set up a new Hybrid configuration with Office 365 lately, you will notice a new option in the Hybrid Config Wizard, the Hybrid Agent. Before I go into my personal views on this new option and whether you should use it, let me first explain what this agent does. Note: Before I start, I should state that I have not had an opportunity to test the Hybrid agent’s features yet, so there are still a few questions I have about it.…

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Save Sent Items in a Shared Mailbox

Shared Mailboxes make it possible to centralize email for a specific group of employees. If you don’t know what a shared mailbox is, think about the “Contact Us” address most web pages have. Or your company’s “Support” mailbox. Exchange implements these very easily through mailbox delegation. Grant users full access to the mailbox in the Admin Portal and the mailbox will appear in Outlook.…

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Exchange Server Maintenance Functions

Exchange server maintenance requires some specific steps in 2013+. There is no specific maintenance mode, as in previous versions, but you can complete a few actions to take a server out of production. You will need to drain the SMTP queues on the server, tag the services as unavailable, then disable transport entirely. Each step needs to have some rest time, so that is built into the script.…

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Office 365 Migration – When Do I Need to Use Third Party Tools?

This post may be late in coming, given that most smaller companies have already moved away from on-prem solutions to cloud based services for things like email and file sharing, but I feel like it’s important to stress some of the realities involved in migrating from on-prem to cloud systems. Particularly when migrating to Office 365.…

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Exchange Server EMail Routing – Accepted Domains and Send Connectors

Exchange Server (And Exchange Online) can be a little confusing at times, particularly when we're dealing with mail routing. Internal mail routes are handled almost automatically (especially if you keep all your Exchange servers in the same AD Site, which I recommend), but how do you get it to route email to mail servers *outside* your organization? This post answers all the questions you might have about how to handle Special Mail Routing cases for Exchange.

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Clearing Logs from All Exchange Servers

Log file management in Exchange is an extremely important part of your work as an Exchange Admin. Now, I don’t mean transaction logs, here, I mean IIS logs, performance logs, protocol logs, and other log files that abound in modern versions of Exchange. Clearing these files weekly will keep your servers from getting clogged and the transport queues from getting halted due to a lack of space. …

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Hardening Microsoft Solutions from Attacks

Take a minute to go over this post from Dirk-jan Mollema. Go ahead and read it. I’ll wait…

Did you realize how scary that kind of attack is? As an IT guy who specializes in Exchange server and loves studying security, that article scared the snot out of me. Based on my experience with organizations of all sizes I can say with a good bit of authority that almost every Exchange organization out there is probably vulnerable to this attack.…

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