Every year people do a spring cleaning of their home, car, office or even their lives. Spring being so symbolic of renewal gives a perfect opportunity for such a task. As email administrators, we too should do a spring cleaning; but the type of cleaning we’re talking about here should happen at least quarterly.
Security is no longer something that can be addressed passively. Those responsible for email security need to take a much more proactive approach to things as the threat landscape grows increasingly more dangerous, and reviewing these items on a regular basis can help lay the foundation for that. Continue reading Spring Cleaning for Better Security
When working in an Exchange Server environment, the ability to search through the database is an important feature that should never be down. The ability to search has been around a long time and is nearly perfected by all corporations that use it, but every now and then things go wrong that render this function useless. In order to maintain a proper Exchange Server environment the search function should always be returning the desired results. In this article I’ll go into detail about an example of our search function, that isn’t performing as expected.
To get things started we’ll look at our exact configuration of the system. In our example the current system is running on Windows server 2008 R2, which is running Exchange Server 2010 on it. To ensure everything is running properly, make sure there isn’t a new service pack that you haven’t installed yet, as service packs generally fix issues like this. After inspecting your system we begin breaking down the problem. Continue reading How to Fix for Exchange Server Search Failures
The ability to sync a mailbox with Microsoft Exchange Server is a key element in your systems design. If this ability is non-existent then your system may as well be broken. It’s important to remember that users will be relying on getting their mail, and if they can’t, then you’re going to have a problem. Companies and organizations rely on System Administrators to maintain business continuity; letting something like a synchronization error slip through is just not an option. In order to prepare for issues like this, be sure that your system is updated to the proper service pack as well as the latest updates being applied to your users’ devices.
An example of this particular issue is when a mailbox won’t Sync to an Exchange Server 2010 environment. The mailbox is using Exchange ActiveSync and receives an error message during the sync process. Based on my past posts it seems that ActiveSync has been a common problem with some devices trying to access the server. Although most operating systems have released a patch to fix this issue, you should know that not all are currently optimized for working with an Exchange Server. Continue reading InetOrgPerson Object Causing Sync Issues in Exchange Server 2010
The Exchange Team at Microsoft has long maintained one of the best and most active blogs of any Microsoft product group. “You Had Me At Ehlo” is not only a regular read for me, it is often the inspiration for my posts here at TheEmailAdmin. Recently, Jeff Mealiffe, the Senior Program Manager Lead for the Exchange Customer Experience posted an article on sizing Exchange 2013 that should be a must read for anyone currently considering an Exchange 2013 upgrade or new deployment. Ask the Perf Guy: Sizing Exchange 2013 Deployments is one of the longer posts to make it onto the Exchange Team Blog, but it’s also one of the most informative and detail filled posts I’ve seen in a long time. Here’s some of the highlights for you to consider. Continue reading Inside Exchange 2013, Part 12 – Sizing Does Matter
While every mobile operating system is different from another, it’s important to make sure you know how to fix some common problems on iOS. Most of these problems revolve around one simple issue: syncing. iOS has been having problems with Exchange Server ever since it came out. To give its manufacturer credit, they are usually always on top of releasing software updates to correct problems as soon as they become known. And although most of these fixes are successful, there are always a couple fixes that still need workarounds.
Unfortunately these issues don’t become known until after an update has been applied and a particular condition occurs where the update was not tested against during beta testing. Not every condition or application can be tested so it’s understandable, though unfortunate, that customers often are the ones to complete the final debugging of patches and updates. That’s why workarounds are usually implemented after an official update has been released to the public. These workarounds are meant to be temporary but on rare occasions they can become de facto long term fixes.
One example of this is when users of iOS are prevented from accessing an Active Directory account. If you skim across the net you will not find an official fix for this problem. However the issue is known by the manufacturer and if you want an official fix then you will need to open a support case with them. The specific problem occurs when users have changed their Active directory password on their mobile device. When users enter their new password their account will get locked. Continue reading Common Fixes for iOS and Exchange Server
The Exchange team at Microsoft must not sleep, because once again they have taken one of my favourite tools, and made it better. The Remote Connectivity Analyzer, which by now we all know and love, has a new feature added into it for analyzing SMTP headers called the Message Analyzer, and while it is branded as being in beta, and you might think it’s only useful for Exchange or Office 365, it’s a great tool you can use today whether or not you use Exchange or live in Microsoft’s cloud. Continue reading Troubleshooting Headers with the Remote Connectivity Analyzer
Any organizations spend a considerable amount of time, resources and dollars to secure the perimeter of their organization’s network. When it comes to email, however, the same fervor that came with ordering firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, web application firewalls, penetration tests, end point security and even data encryption comes up short when email security is concerned.
From the network security expert’s point of view the mail servers exist behind the firewall or in the DMZ so they are secured as much as they need be. The operating systems are patched and the machines are running anti-virus software with the latest signature database so what more could you ask for? Anti-spam filtering? No need for anything more than a list of words to filter and domains to block right? After all, spam is dead.
Its unfortunate, but true, that a majority of managers and executives understand security threats when they are glamorized or newsworthy. Anonymous launching a large scale distributed denial of service attack against major credit card companies make the mainstream news so what do people look for? Ways to prevent DDoS attacks from taking down their business web site. Social networking accounts are compromised so what is the immediate reaction? Two-factor authentication becomes the silver bullet.
But when you look at the root of most of the recent attacks, email is the source. Whether the attack tricked a user into giving up their login credentials, or an attachment loaded malware onto the victim’s computer odds are an email message was used to deliver the payload.
If you find that you are having trouble getting your bosses to understand the need for greater email security due to a lack of sensationalized news stories, try running these statistics by them to see if they still shrug it off as not important: Continue reading Email Security by the Numbers
I work a lot with customers who are migrating from non-Microsoft mail platforms to Microsoft based ones, be that Exchange Online in Office 365 or on-prem. One of the interesting differences that comes up a lot for customers migrating is the difference between Exchange/Outlook and Domino/Notes and how shared mailboxes are handled. It’s a learning curve and big change for many companies that use shared mailboxes for customer service, sales inquiries, and other purposes, and interestingly enough, the default way that Domino/Notes handles sent and deleted items actually seems to be the more intuitive choice when compared to how Exchange/Outlook handles them. Continue reading Troubleshooting Shared Mailboxes and Sent Items
For the email administrator in a small to medium sized organization, a request for e-Discovery can bring about a great deal of stress. Large companies often have a legal team and personnel dedicated specifically to this process. But for a smaller company, this can be rather intimidating.
e-Discovery, for those who are unfamiliar with the term, is the initial phase of litigation where parties in dispute are required to provide information, records and any other evidence relevant to the case. In today’s world, where electronic storage of documents and electronic communication is the norm, e-Discovery is important because it deals with all of the documents, spreadsheets, database records, multimedia and email that was produced and is stored electronically.
When it comes to providing email messages, things can get a bit trickier. The request for these records can be quite expensive and extremely time-consuming. The process usually goes as such: Continue reading Is Your Email Ready for e-Discovery?
There’s a new tool out from the Exchange Team that you should know about. It’s a guided walkthrough for troubleshooting public folder replication in Exchange 2003. Yes, that’s right, a tool for a version of Exchange that is in extended support, and should be well on its way to retirement. Why should you care about something for a product that is near the end of its support lifecycle? There’s a couple of reasons actually. If you have any Exchange 2003 still in your environment, read on. Continue reading New Tool For Troubleshooting Exchange 2003 Public Folder Replication