Controlling Autodiscover with the Registry or GPO

Depending on your situation, you may want to take control of how Exchange’s Autodiscover lookup process works. Specifically, there are a lot of scenarios where Autodiscover will break because the lookup process isn’t properly controlled. In this article, I’ll go over registry settings that will let you control which steps are used and which ones are skipped.…

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IT Concepts: What is MFA (Multi Factor Authentication)

An important security concept that has cropped up over the past few years is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). Its predecessor, 2 Factor Authentication, has been around for decades but has become less common recently due to some inherent flaws. Put simply, both techniques improve security, but how? To get to that, let’s go through the MFA acronym backward, so I can explain how things come together.…

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AC Brown’s Cloud Guide – Part 4 – Cloud Service Providers

What are Cloud Service Providers

Moving from a traditional IT infrastructure to a cloud-based or hybrid infrastructure is a complicated undertaking. Cloud systems will reduce the level of control an organization has over their application, and getting the right setup is sometimes difficult. This is where Cloud Service Providers (CSP) come in. I should first point out that CSP is a Microsoft term for organizations that partner with them to provide migration, administration, architectural, security, and development services to their customers.…

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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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AC Brown’s Cloud Guide – Part 3 – Shared Responsibility Model

What does “Shared Responsibility” Mean

“Shared Responsibility” explains the demarcation line between what a cloud provider controls and what a cloud consumer controls. In a traditional DIY IT environment, responsibility for everything rests entirely on the business and its IT personnel. Electricity, physical security, hardware, software, and everything else has to be purchased, installed, maintained, and administered by the company directly or through an intermediary.…

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AC Brown’s Cloud Guide – Part 1 – The Basics

Cloud Concepts and Terminology

As a consultant who was working on Office 365 migrations shortly after it was released (well, renamed), I have worked on a log of migrations. Migrations are a always a project that can be difficult to manage if not done properly. As with any project, planning for a migration is extremely important.…

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IT Concepts – What is Identity Federation

One of the most historically difficult problems to address in IT is usernames and passwords for multiple applications. We all have a multitude of accounts we have to manage. Bank accounts, social media, email, work accounts, cloud storage, and every other system we use relies on usernames and passwords to “authenticate” who we are. There are a number of different solutions for this problem, but the most user friendly method is a technique called “Identity Federation.”…

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DNS – An Introduction

Though you may not know it, DNS (Or Domain Name System) is probably the most used things on the Internet. In fact, you’re using it right now. For those who don’t know what DNS is or does, it is the system we use to translate Domain Names to IP Addresses.

What is DNS?

DNS was created to allow easy creation, distribution, and update of “Internet Names.”…

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Data Encryption – How it Works (Part 1)


I’ve decided to start a short series of posts on data encryption, which is becoming an increasingly important subject in IT as government regulations and privacy concerns demand ever increasing levels of privacy and security.

In this series, I’ll try to cover the more confusing concepts in encryption, including the three main types of encryption systems used today; Private Key encryption, Public Key Encryption, and SSL/TLS encryption.…

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