Microsoft Azure Virtual Training Day: Fundamentals  with Free Exam Voucher

Microsoft Azure Virtual Training Day: Fundamentals with Free Exam Voucher

Microsoft is providing more exam vouchers if you complete the following training. Just to clarify exam voucher can be used for any Microsoft exam

To create your vision for tomorrow, you need to understand what the cloud can do for you and your company today. In this introductory course, Microsoft Azure Virtual Training Day: Fundamentals, you will learn about cloud computing concepts, models and services, covering topics such as public, private and hybrid cloud, as well as infrastructure as a service, platform as a service and software as a service.

During this training event, you will explore how to:

  • Get started with Azure
  • Integrate Azure with your existing networks
  • Better understand key cloud concepts and core services, including pricing, support and cloud security

After completing this free training, you’ll be eligible to take the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals certification exam at no cost.

Here’s what you can expect:

Part 1Part 2
Module 0: Course Introduction
Module 1: Cloud Concepts
Module 2: Security, Privacy, Compliance & Trust
Break: 10 minutesBreak: 10 minutes
Module 3: Core Azure ServicesModule 4: Azure Pricing and Support

The Microsoft Azure Virtual Training Day: Fundamentals event and associated vouchers are open to the public and offered at no cost. Prior to registering for this training, government employees must check with their employers to ensure their participation is permitted and in accordance with applicable policies and laws.

5th August 2020, 10:00-12:40
6th August 2020, 10:00-12:20
12th August 2020, 10:00-12:40
13th August 2020, 10:00-12:20
19th August 2020, 10:00-12:40
20th August 2020, 10:00-12:20

The Author – Blogabout.Cloud

Take an Azure Exam for Free

Take an Azure Exam for Free

Hello Readers,
Due to Covid-19 Microsoft has been offering free training online for the AZ-900 exam. There have been a number of sessions in recent months and the uptake as been so high Microsoft has now added more sessions throughout June, July and August: 

Head over to the following URL where you can sign up for the events today.

These session are split into two half-day sessions. And at the end, you receive a free voucher to take Any Azure exam within 7 working days.

In case you do not receive the voucher you can reach out to to get the vouchers

So, if you have been studying for AZ-103, 104, 300, 301, 303, 304 or 203 and have not booked it yet, perhaps this is the perfect time to take up this offer.

The Author – Blogabout.Cloud

Going Passwordless with YubiKey by Yubico

Going Passwordless with YubiKey by Yubico

This has been on my To-Do list for such a long time and because of Covid-19 I have finally found the hours required to get this done. A while back I received two Yubico and never got around to testing them 🙁 naughty I know. So let’s look at Yubico;

Microsoft and Yubico have been created a path for a passwordless future for organizations of all shapes and sizes. With a technology standard called FIDO2 and U2F which Yubico co-authored with, Microsoft and Google. Yubico became a founding member of the FIDO Alliance.

How does it all work, I hear you

The Yubikey supports multiple methods for authentication, enabling and the same key to be used across services and applications. With an out of the box native integration for the Microsoft environment provides a rapid deployment.

Diagram that outlines the steps involved for user sign-in with a FIDO2 security key
  1. The user plugs the FIDO2 security key into their computer.
  2. Windows detects the FIDO2 security key.
  3. Windows sends an authentication request.
  4. Azure AD sends back a nonce.
  5. The user completes their gesture to unlock the private key stored in the FIDO2 security key’s secure enclave.
  6. The FIDO2 security key signs the nonce with the private key.
  7. The primary refresh token (PRT) token request with signed nonce is sent to Azure AD.
  8. Azure AD verifies the signed nonce using the FIDO2 public key.
  9. Azure AD returns PRT to enable access to on-premises resources.

Enabling support for Yubikey

Time to log into your Azure Active Directory via

Select Security
Select Authentication methods
Select FIDO2 Security Key and Enable for your environment

Now thats the easy bit completed, the next step is educating the users.

NOOooooo That's impossible!!!!! - Luke Skywalker - quickmeme

Configuring Yubikey

Each user will need to visit the following your

Select Security Info
Click Add Method
Select Security Key –> Add
Select USB device
Press Next
Insert your Security Key into one of your USB ports.
Specify a security key PIN
Touch the button on the security key
Provide a name to identity the security key
All Done!!

Hows does the sign-in work?

Well, really simple. Check out the video below

The Author – Blogabout.Cloud

Receive a voucher to take the AZ-900 for free!!

Receive a voucher to take the AZ-900 for free!!

Microsoft has decided to run a number of multiple full day virtual training events on the Fundamentals of Azure! This is excellent news for all those affected by Covid19 as there is no excuse not to attend 🙂 also in attending the attend your will receivey a free Microsoft Exam voucher so you can go take the AZ-900 Exam from home.

The course details are as followed;

To create your vision for tomorrow, you need to understand what the cloud can do for you and your company today. Microsoft Azure Virtual Training Day: Fundamentals explains cloud-computing concepts, models, and services, covering topics such as public, private, and hybrid cloud as well as infrastructure as a service, platform as a service, and software as a service. 

  • Common cloud concepts 
  • Benefits of Azure 
  • Strategies for transitioning to Azure cloud 
  • Azure computing, networking, storage and security basis 
AZ-900 Free

During this free virtual event you will learn: 

By attending the event, you will have the knowledge needed to take the AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals certification exam and receive a voucher to take the exam for free at a date and time of your choice. 

Virtual training will be in English.

So here are the options available for attending the virtual event.

April 21st , GMT+2 timezone :

May 5th, Eastern Time Zone:

June 17th (Pacific Time Zone):

June 2nd (Eastern Time Zone):

Two day Virtual Event

This will be the same content but delivered over two days. Each day will deliver 2 of the 4 modules listed above.

May 12 – 13 (Eastern Time Zone):

May 27 – 28 (Pacific Time Zone):

June 24 – 25 (Pacific Time Zone):

There are more options available and you can see them all over here:

PS: Additional assistance available for passing your exam as Pluralsight is also free for the entire month of April 2020

The Author – Blogabout.Cloud

Enforcing Cloud Password Policy for Password Synced Users

Enforcing Cloud Password Policy for Password Synced Users

Did you know that Enforce Cloud Password Policy for Password Synced Users exists? and that it is also disabled by default. This means that any user that you sync using Azure Active Directory Connect will not have an expiration timer set against their account. This can be a nightmare for an organization that has strict password policies.

So let’s switch it on and get all your synced users applied

First of all, you will need to run the following command after you have ran Connect-MsolService

PowerShell Command

Set-MsolDirSyncFeature -Feature EnforceCloudPasswordPolicyForPasswordSyncedUsers -Enable $true

You can verify all your users by running the following commands

PowerShell Command

# Output all users to PowerShell console
Get-AzureADUser | Select-Object DisplayName,DirSyncEnabled, PasswordPolicies, AccountEnabled

# Output all users where DirSyncEnabled equal True
Get-AzureADUser | Select-Object DisplayName,DirSyncEnabled, PasswordPolicies, AccountEnabled | Where-Object {$_.DirSyncEnabled -eq $true}

Now let’s apply the following script to ensure that the Password Policy is not disabling password expiration.

PowerShell Command

Get-AzureADUser -All $true | Where-Object { $_.DirSyncEnabled -eq $true -and $_.PasswordPolicies -eq ‘DisablePasswordExpiration’ } | ForEach-Object {
Set-AzureADUser -ObjectId $_.ObjectID -PasswordPolicies None

The Author – Blogabout.Cloud

Delivering your applications to Windows 10 Clients using Azure Blob Storage and Intune

Delivering your applications to Windows 10 Clients using Azure Blob Storage and Intune

Delivering your corporate applications can be a nightmare if you dont have a enterprise delivery solution like System Center or 3rd party mechanism.

So let’s see how Azure Blob Storage and Microsoft Intune can address this issue by using a storage location and PowerShell script.

Azure Storage Account

One of the requirements for this solution is an Azure Storage Account within your Azure subscription, this account will be used for storing the applications which you would like to roll out to your Windows 10 desktops that are managed using Microsoft Intune.

Storage Account

Specify the required settings within the Basic tab for creating a Storage Account.

Basic Properties

Using the default settings as shown below

Advanced Properties

Click Review and Create
Click Create

Configuring Storage Account with required Applications

Click Container
Specify the Name
Select Conditioner (anonymous read access for containers and blobs) under Public Access Level

Blob – Container

Select your container
Select Upload
Select the files you want to upload
Modify the block size if it’s less than the size of the files you are uploading
Select Upload

Once the files are upload they all have a unique url which is used to identify the file as shown below.

The PowerShell Script!!!

I have created a PowerShell script that is available on GitHub and should be self-explanatory.

Step 1 – Download all the required files into C:\_Build
Step 2 – Run installer files
Step 3 – Run additional Powershell scripts (Optional)
Step 4 – Remove C:\_Build
Step 5 – Create RegKeys (Optional)

Publish script via Intune

If you are having issues with script not executing, please visit this URL to ensure you met all the Microsoft pre-requisites.

The Author – Blogabout.Cloud

Preventing unauthorized external access from home to your Microsoft Cloud applications with Conditional Access

Preventing unauthorized external access from home to your Microsoft Cloud applications with Conditional Access

Did you know that you could prevent unauthorized access to your Microsoft Cloud applications with Conditional Access? When speaking with a customer recently I had been asked is it possible to prevent external access to their Cloud apps and the answer to that is yes. The customer didn’t want their staff accessing corporate data from their home laptops/desktops so in order to action this we will now switch over to the Microsoft Endpoint Manager Admin Portal.

Click Endpoint security –> Conditional access
New Policy
Provide name to the Conditional Access Policy
Select All Users
Excluding the Global Admins to the tenant security group, we dont want to chop off our legs now
Select All cloud apps
Conditions –> Client apps –> Browser
Grant –> Block access

Now enable the policy 🙂 and as you can see from below you users is now prevented from login into the Office portal from an internet browser.

The Author – Blogabout.Cloud

Understanding Hybrid Azure AD Join for Windows 10 devices

Understanding Hybrid Azure AD Join for Windows 10 devices

In recent times I have started to become a bit of an “expert, well I will use that word loosely” for Windows 10. Hybrid Azure AD Join is becoming a very popular option for a lot of the clients that I am currently working with and pops up all the time in discussions about “Modern Management” of Windows 10. I have experienced a few highs and lows when implementing Hybrid Azure AD Join and want to share that knowledge I have gain over the past 6 months.

What is Hybrid Azure AD Join?

Hybrid Azure AD Join is where your Windows 10 device is connected to your local Active Directory Domain and synchronized using Azure Active Directory Connect (AADC) to Azure AD.

Why would you do this?

This enables you to manage your Windows 10 devices from Microsoft Intune and leverage the offers from the cloud. Most organizations today have the required Microsoft subscriptions to implement Microsoft Intune but are unaware of how to start their journey.

What do I need for Hybrid Azure AD Join in a Managed Domain?

  • Azure Active Directory Connect version 1.1.819 or greater
  • Devices must be able to connect to the following URLs
  • All Computer Objects from your on-premises Active Directory must be within the sync scope
  • Service Connection point (SCP) is created for device registration (Completed via running AADC)

Implementing Hybrid Join for your organization

We are now going to run through the steps required to gear up your environment for Hybrid Join, first of all we are going to create the SCP using AADC. When you launch AADC you see “Configure device options”, select this option and proceed

Configure device options

In this section you will receive the following Overview of what can be configured and in this case, we are looking at Hybrid Azure AD Join only.

Hybrid Azure AD Join enables devices in your Active Directory forest to register with Azure AD for access management. Computers in your organization will automatically discover Azure AD using a service connection point (SCP) object that is created in your Active Directory Forest.

Device writeback is a prerequisite for enabling on-premises conditional access using AD FS and Windows Hello for Business. Device writeback synchronizes all devices registered in Azure AD back to on-premises. The device are synchronized to a device container that is created in your Active Directory forest.

Important Note

Device writeback requires the Active Directory Schema version to be Windows 2012 R2 (level 69) or higher
Connect to Azure AD
Configure Hybrid Azure AD Join and proceed
Tick “Windows 10 or later domain-joined devices.” It is worth remembering that your Windows 10 devices need to be synchronized and Proceed
Tick your Forest
Select Azure Active Directory
Click Add
Enter your Enterprise Admin Credentials
Configure and this completes this task

You can confirm that the SCP has been created by launching ADSI Edit and browse to the location displayed below.

Now we have configured Active Directory we need to create a new GPO that configures the Windows 10 device to AutoEnroll into Azure AD. First of all we need the correct GPO templates installed in your SYSVOL, these templates can be download by the below URL.

Once you have installed the required GPOs to your primary domain controller you’ll be able to “Enable automatic MBM enrollment using default Azure AD”

Computer Configuration –> Policies –> Administrative Templates –> Windows Components –> MDM
Enable Policy and select Device Credential for Device 1903 or greater, or User Credential for 1809 and below.

Once this policy enabled and linked to the OU where your computers are located, they will become Hybrid Azure AD Joined.

Gotchas !!!

This Microsoft link is your friend if you encounter any issues with Windows Enrollment Errors

You can also follow the official Microsoft documentation

The Author – Blogabout.Cloud

Merging on-premise AD User Objects with existing Azure AD user Objects.

Merging on-premise AD User Objects with existing Azure AD user Objects.

This post will explain how to merge an on-premise AD user objects with an already existing Azure AD user using hard-match with the sourceAnchor/immutableID property. I have recently experience this issue with a customer who was merging their addresses to their Azure AD account.

As you can imagine this isnt a simple process but with the power of PowerShell and good old fashion “I can” attitude, this merger was a complete success.

Before we continue I would like to state that there are two methods that Azure AD Connect will use to match existing users;
– Soft-Match
– Hard-Match

When you install Azure AD Connect and you start synchronizing, the Azure AD sync service (in Azure AD) does a check on every new object and try to find an existing object to match. There are three attributes used for this process: userPrincipalName, proxyAddresses, and sourceAnchor/immutableID.


Soft-Match will use the properties userPrincipalName and proxyAddresses to match existing users.


Hard-Match will use the property sourceAnchor/immutableID. You can only select which property is used as sourceAnchor during the installation of Azure AD Connect as described in their documentation.

If the selected sourceAnchor is not of type string, then Azure AD Connect Base64Encode the attribute value to ensure no special characters appear.

Important Note

By default, Azure AD Connect (version 1.1.486.0 and older) uses objectGUID as the sourceAnchor attribute. ObjectGUID is system-generated.

So we only have to set the immutableID property of the existing user in our Azure AD to the Base64 encoded string of the ObjectId of the user in our on-premise AD. If you already synchronized your Active Directory then you probably have two users with the same name in your Azure AD. Just follow the following steps to finally merge these users:

You have to execute the following PowerShell commands on the machine with your on-premise AD and the Azure PowerShell commands via the Azure Cloud Shell.

In my scenario, I had a customer that the Email Address on the Active Directory Account didn’t match the PrimarySMTPAddress in Azure AD, however, the PrimarySMTPAddress in Exchange was correct. So I need to match both objects using the PrimarySMTPAddress from Exchange And Azure to set the ImmutableID. I create a PowerShell to gather PrimarySMTPAddress from Exchange along with the required information from Active Directory

1. Get ObjectId from All AD Users

$users = Get-ADUser -Filter * -Properties *
$users | Foreach-Object {

    $user = $_
    $exchange = Get-Mailbox $user.Name
    $immutableid = [System.Convert]::ToBase64String($user.ObjectGUID.tobytearray())

    $report = New-Object -TypeName PSObject
    $report | Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -Name 'DisplayName' -Value $user.DisplayName
    $report | Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -Name 'PrimarySMTPAddress' -Value $exchange.PrimarySMTPAddress
    $report | Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -Name 'UserPrincipalName' -Value $user.UserPrincipalName
    $report | Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -Name 'ImmutableID' -Value $immutableid
    Write-Host ('INFO: The following user {0} has the Immutable of {1}' -f $,$immutableid)
    $reportoutput += $report
 # Report
$reportoutput | Export-Csv -Path $env:USERPROFILE\desktop\immutableid.csv -NoTypeInformation -Encoding UTF8

2. Remove duplicated Azure AD User

If you have synced users and have duplicate accounts you will need to remove these before looking at continuing. A simple way of doing this changing the OU you have synced which has caused the duplicate or you can use the Azure Portal

Deleted Users

But if you love PowerShell the following command is also possible as well.

Remove-AzureADUser -ObjectId <objectid>

3. Get Azure AD User ObjectID

One of the key requirements for this post is that we require the ObjectID of the Azure Active Directory account we are looking to match against. The following PowerShell command prints a list of all users with their ObjectId and exports to your desktop.

Get-AzureADUser | export-csv $env:userprofiles\desktop\AzureADUser.csv

4. Matching my CSV Files

So I ended up with two CSV files

– Export of AD with PrimarySMTPAddress from Exchange
– Export of Azure AD with ObjectID and PrimarySMTPAddress.

A few months ago I came across a little gem in the PowerShell world called ImportExcel which is a PowerShell module I have discussed in the past.

Once you have a single pane of glass with your ObjectID and ImmutableID matched within a csv, you will now be able to set all the ImmutableID for all your Azure AD Objects.

5. Set immutableId for Azure AD User in Bulk

Run the following script against Azure AD using PowerShell.

$Filepath1 = $env:USERNAME\desktop\immutableid.csv
$csv1 = Import-Csv -Path $filepath1


Start-Transcript $env:USERPROFILE\desktop\PilotUser.csv

foreach($user in $csv1){

    Set-AzureADUser -ObjectID $user.ObjectId -ImmutableID $user.ImmutableID
    Write-Host $user.PrimarySMTPAddress,"with ObjectID"$user.ObjectId," has been set with ImmutableID",$user.ImmutableID

6. Start AD Sync

You can now resync the OUs which had all the user accounts and hard matching will be completed using the newly set ImmutableID.

Start-ADSyncSyncCycle -PolicyType Delta

The Author – Blogabout.Cloud

Using Azure Blob Storage for your Intune applied Lock Screen and Desktop Backgound

Using Azure Blob Storage for your Intune applied Lock Screen and Desktop Backgound

Leveraging your Azure subscription for Microsoft Intune massively reduces the requirements for on-premises infrastructure. In this post I will show you how to use Azure Blob Storage to provide the Lock Screen and Desktop background all with the power of the Microsoft Cloud.

First up you will need to create a storage account within your Azure subscription.

Create Storage Account

Specify the following;
– Resource Group
– Storage Account Name
– Location (Europe) UK South

Specify settings

Once the storage account has successful created, you will need to go to the resource

Go to resource

Go to “Containers”
Create new “Container”
Specify the name of the Container
Specify the Public Access level as “Blob”
Then click ok

Specify settings

Click on your new “Container”

Created Container

Click Upload
You will need to upload your required .jpg file

Click on the uploaded file and you will be provided a URL which can be used

Provide the URL into your required destination for example Lock Screen as shown below

As you can see from below my Lockscreen and Desktop backgrounds are what I have specifed.

Image for Lockscreen
Image for Desktop

The Author – Blogabout.Cloud