Discuss: Office 365 Outage

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September 29, 2020 at 17:04:27
Specs: Windows 10, 1.4 GHz / 5610 MB
Hi all,

This week's poll question is about news that a major outage recently affected Microsoft's Office 365 services. Discuss here if you had issues because of this outage, and, if you like, the poll results themselves.

Thanks,
Justin


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#1
September 30, 2020 at 00:04:02
Not being a devotee of MS Office suite, especially 365, it didn’t affect me personally. I use Libre Office which is all many of us need, and Thunderbird to replace Office/Outlook. True it’s not as comprehensive etc. as 365, but as previous, for many that’s not an issue.

Neither LO or T-bird being web based, subscription applications, one isn’t vulnerable to “outages” - to which 365 clearly is. At the least if one really wants, needs, the 365 suite then install it locally; and live with the limited upgrades, updates the non-subscription suffers from compared to the online version. Perhaps it’s a wake up call for the moneybags at M$-land to revert to, to restore, the model pre-365; and ensure “all” updates etc. are freely available for both versions?

And wise to ensure one’s data is also locally stored, even if in the cloud as well...?

I used MS Office until 2016 was released, at which time I dropped it due to lack of compatibility of 2016/365 with current Mac OS.

message edited by trvlr


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#2
September 30, 2020 at 02:47:54
"Neither LO or T-bird being web based, subscription applications, one isn’t vulnerable to “outages” - to which 365 clearly is."

Amen to that. Having a connection is great, but it shouldn't determine whether you can work with documents or not. Been a fan of LO/Oo since their predecessor Star Office back in the late '90s.

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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#3
September 30, 2020 at 07:27:20
re: "Having a connection is great, but it shouldn't determine whether you can work with documents or not."

This is not specifically 365 related, but more about your comment related to "having a connection".

Having a connection isn't just "great" it's an absolute requirement for many of us. Like millions of others, I'm working from home. When I log in from home, I connect to the desktop PC in my workplace office which in turn connects to our corporate network. Due to security reasons, every document that I need to access is stored on the corporate servers and cannot be downloaded/stored locally.

In addition, all work-related phone calls that I make are routed through our corporate VOIP system. To access that system, I must be connected to my workplace desktop.

While I (and the thousands of others that work for my company) was not impacted by the 365 outage, any connection issue - outage or slowdown - prevents us from "working with documents" and doing our jobs.


message edited by DerbyDad03


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#4
September 30, 2020 at 07:47:03
The connection issue will always be there lurking in the background; be it power outs locally, or further afield. Let alone serious hack DOS attacks...

I fully empathise with DD and others in his situation; it's one of the pitfalls of working from home for whatever reason. But an outage can equally apply even at work and a remote source is "off-line" at a critical moment...

Knockout a few server farms, knock out a satellite or three and you have chaos in the making. Some years back due to sunspot activity (I think it was that) aa lot of the SW USA was snaffu'd when data links went down; meaning no credit card and bank systems etc. worked; and equally for many no internet either! Don't know hoe the gamers survived that latter effect...

And despite all the toys in broadcast fields.... they're still vulnerable to effects of weather; T-storms and worse; and the seasonal effects of solar flares etc...


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#5
September 30, 2020 at 08:26:46
"Having a connection isn't just "great" it's an absolute requirement for many of us."

I'm not denying (nor was I implying) that, my point only being that having documents only accessible online makes it difficult and risky to depend on such a connection. I recently (March) acquired what I would define as true broadband. And yes it is (in this day) becoming as necessary as electricity and running water.

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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#6
September 30, 2020 at 08:57:13
Give us time T-R-A and we'll locate your secure service feed - and knock it out once in a while... Wouldn't want you to feel left out...

The day will come when we return to (now olde fashioned) paper and pen/pencil and a chap on bike or horse to deliver it...

(Time for the evening hit of kooking sherry...)


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#7
September 30, 2020 at 18:10:43
re: "I'm not denying (nor was I implying) that, my point only being that having documents only accessible online makes it difficult and risky to depend on such a connection."

I get that, but in some cases it's more risky to have the data on a local PC than to have to put up with the rare outage. I don't want my highly personal and confidential data on somebody's home PC. I want it stored on a highly secure server and only accessible by someone who is monitored such that all access is logged and traceable. I want it at least as secure as the data I work with, such that I can't transfer it to my own system unless I email it to myself through a highly monitored email system. If I tried that, my phone would be ringing within 5 minutes of clicking send and I'd probably be fired the same day.

How To Post Data or Code ---> Click Here Before Posting Data or VBA Code


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#8
September 30, 2020 at 18:34:06
"I don't want my highly personal and confidential data on somebody's home PC. I want it stored on a highly secure server and only accessible by someone who is monitored such that all access is logged and traceable."

And I get that. My concern is that, until recently, for myself to access anything online was dependent on a not-so-stable internet connection (euphemistically called "U-verse" by AT&T...which rarely had speeds beyond 1.5Mbps). There's many folks in my neck of the woods that still have no access to reliable broadband, and several folks I work with have no access to anything beyond dial-up. The reports you hear about the "digital-divide" being eliminated is fantasy at best...thus quite a few have to rely on software that is not dependent on a broadband connection.

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

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#9
October 2, 2020 at 22:28:48
The Enterprise server /storage may be safe for now. Hackers are continuously bombarding employees with fishing emails to get an entry into the enterprise network, with the many successes described in the media. I hope the Highly Secured Server will live up to it's name!

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#10
October 3, 2020 at 17:17:44
are: Hackers are continuously bombarding employees with fishing emails

Not just hackers, but IT Security departments too. We get "tested" at least once a week with fishing style emails. If we screw up and click a bad link 3 times in a 6 month period, we have to take mandatory cybersecurity training.

We have a "Report" button built into our corporate email app. We are supposed to report any email that we view as suspicious via that button. If it was a test, we are told that it was and asked not to share the details with other employees. If it was not a test, the email is analyzed for harmful content and we are informed if any was found or not. Part of the reporting process includes a means to tell IT Security if we clicked the link or not before reporting it. It is my understanding that they dig real deep into any reported email in which a link was clicked.

Our cybersecurity team used to work for the NSA and includes people that know how to hack in order to discover vulnerabilities.

I realize that the the end-user is still the weakest link and I'm not saying that bad things can't happen, but so far nothing has.


message edited by DerbyDad03


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#11
October 11, 2020 at 09:39:16
I've been working from home (for the most part) since March. My wife has a messed up immune system and I would really rather not risk her life so as soon as I was able to, I began working from home. A significant portion of my work is hands-on so I'm typically onsite about once a week.

Different places do things differently but I'm quite surprised to read that DerbyDad03 actually connects to his desktop at work and from there, to internal data.

DD, your company should be using a VPN.

We use a Pulse Secure VPN device at my workplace. We've had to expand that as so many people are now working from home our one device didn't have the capacity. You install the client on your PC and then connect to the device at the workplace and all files/data are available to you just like you're sitting in your office.

I like too that I can install that client on my personal laptop and use it to ensure all my online sessions are encrypted and secure regardless of where I'm connecting inlcuding free wifi. I felt a lot better about doing onlne banking from my RV while on holidays camping this summer!

As an aside, I typically connect to my switches via telnet or ssh. So I have a BSD box here at home, and "MobaXerm" installed on my gaming rig and I can use either to connect to a BSD box at work that allows me access to my management network and all appliances connected to it.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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