Monthly Newsletter – December 2014

The monthly newsletter is out! In this month’s edition I take a look back at security happenings in 2014. It certainly was an interesting year! Microsoft finally ended support for Windows XP, there were serious security vulnerabilities in open source platforms announced, and data breaches galore. Never a dull moment! As always, news and current events are covered too. Check it out! Monthly Newsletter – November 2014

The monthly newsletter is out! In this month’s edition I provide highlights about the recently released Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (SIR) volume 17. The SIR is always interesting and important for security administrators across all vertical as it provides valuable information regarding the current threat landscape and successful attacks by cybercriminals. Do yourself a favor and read the newsletter, then download and read the report. This is something you don’t want to miss.

Reserved IP Address Options in Microsoft Azure

I’ve been working with Microsoft Azure a lot lately, utilizing their Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) virtual machines to extend my on-premises test lab and for a few other projects I’m working on too. Address assignment in Azure is dynamic, with services typically being accessed by hostname. There are times when having a static IP address is desirable, however. Microsoft Azure does have several options available to address this need. Read my latest article on to learn more.

Creating Custom Base Images in Microsoft Azure

Configuring Unstructured File Storage in Microsoft Azure

There are a number of storage options available in Microsoft Azure, including blobs, tables, and queues. There are also various versions of SQL available in both Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). Recently Microsoft announced the availability of Azure Files, which is designed for unstructured data that can be access via SMB. This is a wonderful new feature that will greatly enhance the IaaS solution, as having a native Azure storage option for things like scripts, configuration files, and software that can be access via file share in the cloud will streamline things greatly. No more having to configure a dedicated file server VM! For more information about Azure Files, read my latest article on here.

Creating Custom Base Images in Microsoft Azure

Deconstructing Forefront TMG 2010 Firewall Client Operation and Communication

The Firewall Client, an optional client-side component that can be deployed with Forefront TMG 2010, is arguably the most powerful tool a security administrator can use to control network traffic destined for the public Internet in their organization. The Firewall Client provides seamless and transparent proxy services for all Winsock TCP and UDP communication. More importantly, all Firewall Client communication is authenticated, allowing TMG administrators to enforce strong user and group based access control on traffic using the Firewall Client. In this month’s article on I provide detailed information about how the Firewall Client works. I also break down how communication takes place at the network level, providing deep insight as to how the Firewall Client communicates with the TMG firewall.

Microsoft Forefront TMG 2010

Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) 2014

I’m very happy to announce that I have been awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for 2014! This is my sixth consecutive year receiving this award from Microsoft, and I’m proud and honored to be included with the great group of professionals associated with this program. I’m looking forward to joining all of my fellow MVPs again at this year’s summit in November. Hope to see you there!

Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) 2014

Creating Custom Base Images for Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines

Creating virtual machines in Microsoft Azure is simple and straightforward. There are countless preconfigured virtual machine images to choose from for both Windows and Linux platforms. Also available are pre-defined workloads like SharePoint, SQL Server, and many others. But what if you want to deploy a virtual machine in Azure using your own deployment image? Well, Azure supports creation and deployment of virtual machine on their cloud platform using your own pre-configured images. Read my latest article on to find out more.

Creating Custom Base Images in Microsoft Azure