Microsoft made 147 updates and announcements in the month of November for the Microsoft 365 platform. Don’t have time to read them all? We’ve gone through all of them and put together what we feel are the most important updates for you to be aware of.
1. Microsoft is excited to announce the OneNote viewer feature within Teams mobile apps.
Through this new feature, users will be able to open and view OneNote notebooks right within their Teams mobile apps. Users interested in editing the content will be directed to the standalone OneNote mobile app. The experience will be available as part of the Teams mobile apps on Android and iOS (including iPads), starting with English language users, followed by international languages. Microsoft expects to begin rolling out the OneNote viewer starting early December 2022 and complete the rollout by late January 2023.
2. Authenticator number matching enabled for Microsoft Authenticator
To prevent accidental approvals, admins can require users to enter a number displayed on the sign-in screen when approving an MFA request in the Microsoft Authenticator app. This feature is critical to protecting against MFA fatigue attacks which are on the rise. Admins can now selectively choose to enable the following:
• Application context: Show users which application they are signing into.
• Geographic location context: Show users their sign-in location based on the IP address of the device they are signing into
3. Three New Site Templates are Available for SharePoint
Microsoft released three new SharePoint templates in November. Two are communication site templates – one for the HR department and one for Events, and one is a team site template for contract management built on and offers an introduction to Microsoft Syntex. Once a new site has been created, the first time the site owner visits the site, they will be prompted to look at templates. After a template has been applied, it can be customized to meet organizational needs. A template can always be applied later through ‘Site Settings’ > ‘Apply a site template’. You can preview the site templates:
• Human Resource communication site template
• Event communication site template
• Contracts Management team site template
4. Deprecation of Distribution List conversion to Microsoft 365 Groups
Microsoft will be retiring a feature that allows for the conversion of existing distribution lists to modern Microsoft 365 Groups in the Exchange Admin Center and Powershell. The deprecation of this feature is scheduled for February 1, 2023. Any distribution list groups that require conversion should be converted to groups before the deprecation date if possible. Post-deprecation, the steps to create new Microsoft 365 groups and add members detailed in the linked article will need to be followed.
5. Start a Teams Chat with Distribution Groups, Mail-Enabled Security Groups, and O365 Groups
Microsoft has begun rolling out a new Teams feature that allows users to send a chat message to Distribution lists, mail-enabled security groups, and Office 365 groups. Teams admins will be able to turn this feature On or Off. Messaging this way is limited to 250 users, so chatting with a large group will not work. Microsoft expects the rollout of this feature update to be completed sometime in January 2023.
6. May 2023 enforcement is coming for servers running Active Directory Certificate Services and Windows domain controllers
Starting in May 10, 2022, Windows security updates have addressed CVE-2022-34691, CVE-2022-26931, and CVE-2022-26923 following a timeline that includes a Compatibility mode, Full Enforcement mode and a Disable mode. By May 9, 2023, all servers that run Active Directory Certificate Services and Windows domain controllers will be updated to Full Enforcement mode. These CVEs address an elevation of privilege vulnerability that can occur when the Kerberos Distribution Center (KDC) is servicing a certificate-based authentication request.
Before the May 10, 2022, security update, certificate-based authentication would not account for a dollar sign ($) at the end of a machine name. This allowed related certificates to be emulated (spoofed) in various ways. See KB5014754 for detailed information. With the Full Enforcement mode, if a certificate fails the strong (secure) mapping criteria (see Certificate mappings), authentication will be denied. Microsoft strongly suggests enabling Full Enforcement mode on all domain controllers if no audit event logs are created. See audit events for more information.
7. Advanced Virtual Appointments in Teams Premium
Advanced Virtual Appointments in Teams Premium provides an end-to-end solution designed to help you drive better customer experiences and operational excellence for business-to-customer engagements.
You can read details about the Advanced Virtual Appointments in Microsoft Teams features here.
8. Deliver organizational messages with Windows 11 and Microsoft Intune
IT admins can soon configure native Windows 11 onboarding and information update messages for improved user engagement. The public preview of organizational messages with Microsoft Intune and Windows 11, version 22H2 is coming in November. This includes a variety of templated messages with your organization’s logo delivered through the user’s taskbar, Notification center, and Get Started app.
9. Introducing Threat Explorer V3 by Microsoft Defender for Office 365
Microsoft Defender for Office 365 is rolling out the Threat Explorer-Version 3. Threat Explorer has been an integral part of security operations workflow, allowing users to explore the email data and take remediation actions on threats. Version 3 strives to make the security operations experience better for the users by enhancing the filtering, navigation, and data visualization experiences.
With this new version, Microsoft is improving the filtering experience by adding four new filtering conditions. The existing “Advanced Filters” functionality has been made available with the new filter, thereby reducing the complexity in applying multiple filter conditions and providing users an easy-to-navigate and rich filtering experience.