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IT Managed Services Provider Resource Recommendation Update on March 30, 2022

Blog

RDR-IT is loaded with fantastic IT tutorials, scripts and troubleshooting information—all geared toward the professional sysadmin. You’ll find tons of useful tips for Windows and Linux, as well as helpful details on other software, hardware and time-saving tools.

Security Guide

Network Infrastructure Security Guidance is intended to establish the best practices for overall network security that will prevent cybercriminals from exploiting a network. Describes it as “a new report that gives all organizations the most-current advice on how to protect their IT network infrastructures from cyberattacks.”

List

Free Cybersecurity Services and Tools is a newly released compilation of security-related resources from CISA. Plans for the page include continuous updates and community contributions of useful tools and services, so it should continue to deliver value beyond the first visit. It simply as “a list of free cybersecurity services and tools to help organizations reduce cybersecurity risk and strengthen resiliency.”

Tip

Shares some great advice on how to approach the need to change IP addressing on multiple subnets: “Change the DHCP lease timeout down to 5 minutes or so. Add the new address in, replacing the old IP. Add the original IP in as secondary interface. Let it bake a few days. It will continue to run. Go look at the arp cache to find statically defined devices like printers. Go from arp mac to mac-address table on the switch and have desktop address them until the arp cache on the old subnet is empty. Remove the secondary address on the interface and from any routing protocols. Restore DHCP lease times.”

Handy shortcut for MS Teams: “Left click 7 times on MS Teams in the system tray then right click to gain access to dev options. Useful for gathering in-depth logs.” And adds that “Ctrl+Alt+Shift+1 will dump Teams logs to default Downloads directory.”

Shares some helpful Intune magic: “You can sync devices to Intune with a single-line PowerShell command:

Get-ScheduledTask | where {$_.TaskName -eq 'PushLaunch'} | Start-ScheduledTask

That’s it. That’s all. It doesn’t help to invoke a sync remotely unless you have PS access to the computer somehow. This can be a quick and dirty way to invoke a sync for all your devices by pushing this command to them; either through Intune or your RMM. Since, for some reason, Intune still won’t let you bulk sync.”

A simple, handy keyboard shortcut: “F5 in Notepad prints a timestamp.

Advice on how to determine if your organization needs more bandwidth from the ISP: “Focus on your ISP circuit and the directly attached router interface. Look at your Network Monitoring System (NMS) performance data. If you don’t have a NMS (an SNMP monitoring tool), you NEED ONE.

Look at percent utilization over time. Are you spending significant portions of the day above 75% load? If so, you probably need more capacity.

If you don’t have an SNMP tool, then look at the router interface itself. Are you dropping packets?? Are you seeing PAUSE requests? Are you seeing errored frames?”

Website

Rule 11 Tech is a compilation of resources and information from networking expert, Russ White. You’ll find a wide compilation of topics and materials that can help you delve deeper into the subject of networking—and some other highly interesting topics as well! Adds, “Russ has some great trinkets in his RSS feed. He also has a weekly weekend reads to help you discover other sources.”

Microsoft 365 Scripts is a repository loaded with useful MS-specific scripts that have been organized into categories to make it easier to find relevant content: Exchange Online, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams, News, Security, and SharePoint Online.

Webinar

Massive changes to Hyper-V and Windows Server coming. Ready? will help you prepare for the big changes that are coming to Hyper-V and WindowsServer. In this free webinar hosted by Altaro on 23 March, Microsoft MVPs Andy Syrewicze and Carsten Rachfahl will break down Microsoft’s core hybrid cloud solution, what it means and how to fit into tech stack long-term.

Training Resource

CompTIA A+ Full Video Course for Beginners is a free training course generously provided by No-Energy2718, an international certified trainer with over 10 years of experience. It consists of 18 modules and is intended to be “enough to pass both the international exams for A+.”

YSK (if you don’t) about fiber optics and how they work is a fantastic how-to on the key concepts you’ll want to understand when dealing with fiber. It’s the work of lordvadr, who describes it as a means to “learn how wavelength, core size, modal bandwidth, a few colors, and such affect fiber.”

Tool

MKVToolNix is a toolset for creating, inspecting and altering Matroska files. Adds, “I try to output video files exclusively in mkv containers until they hit deployment locations, since mkv is so malleable. MKVToolNix is a great toolkit for mucking with them, including replacing audio and/or video tracks, adding embedded subtitles, as well as the ability to examine and edit properties and other embedded files.”

Argc is an easier way to handle sh/bash cli parameters. Allows you to create a command line program by simply describing the options, parameters, and subcommands in comments. Once you set it to work, Argc extracts parameter definitions from comments, parses command line arguments, outputs error text/help info for an abnormal parameter or the parsed parameter variable for a normal one, and finally, calls any subcommand function.

PDF Catfish is a simple script for pulling information from one PDF file for use in another. Author foonathan explains, “I needed to concatenate lecture notes into a single PDF file, but wanted to preserve the bookmarks for easier navigation. [This script] extracts the bookmarks, updates the page numbers, and puts them back into the next file.”

Jitsi is an open-source Zoom alternative that allows you to create highly secure videoconferencing solutions. The main project gives you the tools for web-based videoconferencing, and community add-ons facilitate audio, dial-in, recording and simulcasting. I think Jitsi is the best on privacy. You can make it 100% P2P.

dnGrep is a Windows tool that allows you to search text, Word, Excel, PDF and archive files using text, regular expression, XPath and phonetic queries. Features include search/replace, whole-file preview, right-click search in File Explorer and more.

Cloudimized is a Google Cloud Platform (GCP) configuration scanning tool that allows you to monitor changes to selected resources. Essentially a cloud version of Oxidized, it executes periodic scans of GCP resources via API calls and dumps them into yaml files, so you can track information on every configuration change. Author FINpacket explains, “As [our] company started using GCP, we as a Network team needed to have visibility on changes that happen on network-related configurations.”

Mandiant Azure AD Investigator is a PowerShell module designed to detect “high-fidelity” and “dual-use” artifacts that can indicate UNC2452 and other threat activity. Provides a foundation for analysis and verification that can determine if there is a compromise under way.

Tutorial

10 Cool AutoHotkey Scripts (And How to Make Your Own!) is a blog post that walks you through how to make some nice, custom Windows shortcuts, macros and more. Explains, “I handle a lot of Azure subscription and tenants, and often need to type their ID numbers. Instead of having a spreadsheet, I have made a number of entries, ie !customertenant, which enters the numbers for me… but it can be much more advanced.”

Learning How to Compare Objects with PowerShell is a helpful explainer on how to use the Compare-Object cmdlet to automate the rather tedious task of visually comparing files or file contents in Windows. Author adbertram describes how to use this cmdlet to compare objects, like files or file contents, and customize output.

How does public key encryption work? is a well-written explainer on what exactly “asymmetric encryption” is and how it functions within the TLS/SSL protocol to secure communication during transmission.

Setup Master Slave Replication with MySQL explains how you can add multiple slave servers to enable your application servers to read the data from them instead of from the master server. This approach provides redundancy that can improve availability, scalability, throughput and overall performance.

Starting a New Digital Forensic Investigation Case in Autopsy 4.19+ is a beginner-level video tutorial on starting a new investigation using the Autopsy open-source toolkit. Data organization, documentation, new case creation, ingest modules, basic analysis workflow and exporting reports.

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