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By: Adnan Khan
August 19, 2020

"Microsoft 365 Fundamentals [MS-900]" Course Review

By: Adnan Khan
August 19, 2020
Adnan Khans profile image
By: Adnan Khan
August 19, 2020

Microsoft (MS) 365 is a famous cloud-based suite presented by Microsoft. In addition to the core applications of MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, that many of us are regularly using to handle data, produce documents and share information, MS 365 also includes SharePoint, Access, OneDrive, Microsoft Teams, etc. It offers an enhancement to the core application, with added features. For instance, Outlook's calendar features are enabled with better collaboration and time management. Simultaneously, Artificial Intelligence (AI) integrated into PowerPoints, which offers recommendations to the presentation, are some of the many fascinating perks offered by Microsoft 365. In this course, Instructor Chris D'Amico has brought many of these fascinating features into the light.

__Practicality for this course: __

MS 365 is an online-based service, which can be accessed online and accessed on mobile devices with an internet connection. This also means data generated on Office 365 is accommodated on Microsoft's cloud server. Additionally, a subscription-based design means the latest Microsoft programs are easily available for updates to the subscription user. Being a cloud-based model, it is not required to install the Microsoft software in devices physically. Webmail- email hosting and cloud storage space allow us to store and share files online, using internet-enabled devices, and access this on-demand. This makes MS 365 a must know program for System Administrators or anyone interested in understanding Cloud computing.

This course appeals to (but is not limited to):

  • End Users – General Employees interested in cloud computing.
  • System Admins
  • Cyber Security -Enthusiasts, beginners
  • Help-desk support staff
  • IT Professionals interested in Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms

Prerequisites:

  • Basic knowledge of computing. The course progresses at a steady pace, and it easy to follow through.

Areas this course covers:

Module 1: Introduction

The instructor has many years of experience in System administration and working in the IT field. In this chapter, he highlights the Core Services and Features. Some of these are captured in the list below:

  • Windows Hello – Localized Hashing for pins (to check the integrity of data)
  • FIDO2 Authentication (for password-less sign in)
  • Cortana (Artificial Intelligence- AI)
  • Features updates
  • MS 365 rolls out the Feature/ Security Patches on Tuesday (2nd Tuesday of the month)
  • Binary Delta Compression (Difference between old and new files)
  • Windows Autopilot (OS)- set- up and configure new devices
  • Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (OS)
  • Intune/ Configuration Manager- offers granular control for data integration

 
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Module 2: Collaboration

In this chapter, the instructor takes us deeper and explains an understanding of how teamwork is facilitated in a Modern Desktop. Points addressed in this chapter are in the list below:

  • How updates work (Windows as a service)
  • Quicker and takes less bandwidth
  • Unified Endpoint Management
  • Configuration Manager
  • Administrators can choose whether the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) devices have access to sensitive data.

Module 3: (Security, Compliance & Trust)

This module explains how cloud-computing is virtually shaping the workplace and how we access resources from remote locations. Instructor: Chris sheds light on how the enhanced security features in MS 365 addresses the Compliance requirements. Some of the dynamic security features discussed in this chapter are:

  • Unified Endpoint Management- which allows one device to execute multiple instructions.
  • Cloud-based- Enterprise mobility management (EMM) -intended to protect the organization's data on employees' portable devices.
  • The Intune configuration manager lets you pre-configure Wi-Fi settings.
  • Windows auto-pilot – recognize and configure profiles.
  • Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (APT)- defenses against malicious threats.
  • Self-Service password reset.
  • Synchronize data with devices and the cloud.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for cloud and on-premises apps.
  • Co-management of data (On-site or on cloud synchronization).
  • Remote Action – Restart /rename a device and remotely control a device.
  • Cloud-based Enterprise Mobility Management tool- InTune and Configuration Manager are the on-premises equivalents.
  • Protection – Windows Information Protection (WIP) & ATP
  • 4 Key pillars (People, Process, Accessibility, and Connectivity) – Holistic approach to security, its approach toward identity is secured on Zero trust model ), -Threat Protection – Integrated and automated security, -Information protection – protect information classification, -Security Management – Know security.
  • Identity & access – -Windows Hello, Microsoft Authenticator, Conditional Access provides Identity protection, which identifies unusual behavior (i.e., log in from different countries), -Azure Advanced Threat Protection – Identify, Detect, and Investigate, Windows Hello (Pin, Facial Recognition, Fingerprint)
  • Dynamic lock- the user's mobile device is no longer in signal range; this application will lock the computer.
  • Microsoft Graph -REST Representational state transfer, API which offers Interoperability through single sign-on.
  • Information Protection (Discover and classify events) and Protect sensitive information across devices (cloud service & on-premises).
  • Security Management – MS 365 Security Centre (Reports, presents a centralized dashboard, helps configure policies).

Compliance

  • Privacy Law- right to access and correct data stored about them.
  • Service Trust Portal – compliance manager Dashboard, regulations, and assessments, breaks down, and says what we should be doing.
  • Data Retention policies detected by the data customer are trusting to mark as a record (such as a Tax Form); however, it also provides manual (user input) /automatic (AI) intervention.
  • Encryption – All data is encrypted by default.
  • Zero standing access (Customer Lockbox)- Privileged Access Management.
  • Data Discovery Request – Advanced eDiscovery (Review & Redact).
  • Compliance Centre – Visibility into your compliance posture against key regulations and standards like ISO27001 and GDPR, performs risk assessments, and provides step-by-step guidance. Label Analytics can analyze and validate how sensitivity and retention labels are being used.

Module 4 – Support & Planning

This enlightening course on cloud computing wraps up with highlights on Cloud deployment models and subscription management. Some of the intriguing points highlighted in this final chapter are as below:

  • Support Model with the availability of the Admin Centre, which provides common entry points, and allows access to all other admin panels.
  • Licensing Management of MS 365 (per user and not devices).
  • Billing management determines How many licenses are available.
  • Support Options – Deployment Support, Support Assistant (AI- Relevant article).
  • Premier Support is also available for specialized assistance from the MS Tech team.
  • MS 365 Support Forum has plenty of useful information.
  • Service Level Agreement (SLA) and performance level for the support services are strictly measured, and businesses may be eligible for compensation if SLA is not met and exceed the agreed downtime.
  • Service Health (Monitor Health Performance).
  • Cloud only- no physical infrastructure.
  • Migration and Co-existence of data have been diversified and have become more efficient for an organization.

Final remarks

In the current, unprecedented circumstance of COVID-19, when a big portion of the workforce is working from home, there is a growing dependency on cloud computing by businesses. Now more than ever, it is important to access and share documents on the go and online. This course highlighted the innovative features that Microsoft 365 has to offer and has been nicely articulated. Dive right into the course and find out for yourself.

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