Always On VPN for DirectAccess Administrators

Always On VPN for DirectAccess AdministratorsWith Microsoft no longer investing in DirectAccess, Always On VPN with Windows 10 is the way of the future. Many administrators have been asking about this new solution and how it compares  with DirectAccess. The good news is that Always On VPN provides the same user experience as DirectAccess with some important advantages. Read my latest blog post to learn more.

NetMotion Mobility as an Alternative to DirectAccess

NetMotion Mobility as an Alternative to DirectAccess With Microsoft no longer investing in DirectAccess and actively promoting their Always On VPN solution as a replacement, many organizations are taking this opportunity to evaluate modern remote access solutions such as NetMotion Mobility. The NetMotion platform provides the same DirectAccess-like experience but with many more features and capabilities. Learn more about NetMotion Mobility and how it makes an excellent alternative to Microsoft DirectAccess here.

Installing a Digital Certificate in Microsoft Outlook 2016

Using digital certificates to sign and optionally encrypt email messages is a highly effective way to improve integrity and confidentially for email communications. Obtaining a digital certificate for the purposes of securing email is simple and inexpensive. Typically, an email signing certificate costs less than $20.00 USD per year for personal use. They are available from Entrust as well as numerous other public certification authorities.

After obtaining an email signing certificate, it is less obvious how to configure an email client to use it. The following is guidance for importing and using a digital certificate to sign email messages with Microsoft Outlook 2016.

1. In Microsoft Outlook 2016, click File and then Options.
2. In the navigation tree click Trust Center and then click Trust Center Settings.

Installing a Digital Certificate in Microsoft Outlook 2016

3. In the navigation tree click Email Security and then click Import/Export.

Installing a Digital Certificate in Microsoft Outlook 2016

4. Select the option to Import existing Digital ID from a file. Enter the path to the certificate obtained from the public certification authority and enter the password associated with it. Click Ok.

Installing a Digital Certificate in Microsoft Outlook 2016

5. Outlook will prompt to set a security level. Click Set Security Level to change the default setting.

Installing a Digital Certificate in Microsoft Outlook 2016

6. The default security level is set to Medium. At this level, Outlook will prompt for permission to use the certificate when signing emails. When set to High, a password will also be required.

Installing a Digital Certificate in Microsoft Outlook 2016

7. After importing the certificate, select the option to Add digital signature to outgoing messages and click Ok. Optionally, to ensure that signed messages can be read by recipients who do not have S/MIME security capability, select the option to Send clear text signed message when sending signed messages.

Installing a Digital Certificate in Microsoft Outlook 2016

8. Click the Settings button next to the Default Setting drop-down menu. Click on the Hash Algorithm drop-down menu and choose SHA256.

Installing a Digital Certificate in Microsoft Outlook 2016

Once complete, all outgoing emails message will be signed using this certificate by default.  When creating a new email message, the option to sign them is automatically selected. Click Options and then Sign to disable signing on a per-email basis. Optionally you can choose to encrypt the email by clicking Encrypt.

Installing a Digital Certificate in Microsoft Outlook 2016

Repeat the above steps to import signing certificates for any additional email addresses, as required.

PowerShell Now the Default Setting in Windows 10 Creators Update

It’s the little things that make a difference. After switching to PowerShell for the majority of my command line administration tasks many years ago, I’ve always found it frustrating to have to change the default Quick Link menu settings (Win+X) in Windows 8.x and Windows 10 from Command prompt to PowerShell. Yes, it can be done with group policy, but for non-domain joined systems it still has to be done manually. With the increased prevalence of PowerShell, I’ve been surprised that Microsoft has not made it the default. With Microsoft’s recent Creators Update release, they’ve finally done it! Beginning with update 1703, Microsoft has finally made PowerShell the default option on the Quick Link menu. It’s about time!

PowerShell Now the Default Setting in Windows 10 Creator’s Update