Cloudflare Suppresses Largest DDoS Attack Ever Reported

With an ever-increasing reliance on and demand for online services, every business must be online in today’s digital age to survive. Whether for internal corporate use or for providing customers with a service, the risks of an attack are great, great enough to bring your entire business to its knees, causing irreparable damage to your reputation and customer base. Cloudflare to the rescue.

Cloudflare has recently pulled off nothing short of a security wonder – automatically detecting and mitigating possibly the largest ever Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. What is a DDoS attack? Simply put, it is a malicious attempt by hackers to disrupt the typical traffic received by a server, service, or network. An overwhelming amount of traffic is sent to this target to flood it with internet traffic.

Through their autonomous edge DDoS protection, Cloudflare managed to suppress an unprecedented DDoS attack, with 330 million total requests, peaking at 17.2 million requests-per-second (rps).

Source Cloudflare

In terms of internet traffic, with a typical 800-1000 requests per second…that’s huge! However, thanks to the reliability of their global scale network, Cloudflare not only managed to mitigate this attack, but did so without requiring any manual intervention by their security engineers and without degrading performance.

That’s big! But does size really matter?

Although DDoS attacks are increasing in power, a business does not need to experience a large-scale attack as the one above. According to Cisco’s Internet Report the average DDoS attack size is a 1 Gbps attack that is more than enough to take most organisations completely offline. If you believe that your business is too small to suffer an attack, think again! Small businesses are typically the preferred targets due to the lack of defences in place. Numbers show that cyber criminals target up to 43% of their attacks on small business, with only 14% of businesses prepared to take precautions. With an average cost of an attack on a business of over €150,000, 60% of businesses that have been a victim, close shop within 6 months.

Following Veracloud’s partnership with Cloudflare, we assist companies in creating a trustworthy digital environment to bring the level of security required by all businesses, small or large. Protect your online assets today before it’s too late. Reach out now and learn how Veracloud can assist your company with securing your online business presence!

Windows 365

Windows 365: Cloud PC for your Hybrid Workplace

Microsoft has recently announced that it will be releasing Windows 365, an incredibly simple way to securely stream Windows from the Microsoft Cloud, the most comprehensive and trusted cloud on the market. As also referred to as Cloud PC, a new user experience is on the horizon, with the traditional PC operating system moving completely to the cloud without impacting on users’ expectations. Whether it is a personal computer or a corporate device, the full experience of providing the apps, data availability and settings will be maintained in this Cloud PC. 

What is Windows 365 

Windows 365 is a virtual desktop service that is a part of Microsoft 365.  It offers organizations a fixed-price monthly subscription, to a cloud PC that is dedicated to a user and can be managed using the exact same tools as a traditional Windows PC. Making a cloud PC available to a user (once the initial environment is set up) is a matter of assigning a Microsoft 365 license.  Three key properties of Windows 365 are worth repeating and emphasizing.   

A cloud PC is dedicated to a user, fixed price, and part of the Microsoft 365 cloud rather than Azure. 

This SaaS (Software as a Service) offering that is built on the Azure Virtual Desktop platform, will allow anyone to freely access their desktop wherever they may be in the world and from whichever device. This is a persistent Cloud PC, meaning it is always on and easily accessible 24 x 7. You will also find the exact same desktop, wallpaper, and document you were working on a few minutes, hours (or days) ago readily available to continue where you left off. 

How Veracloud Supports Windows 365 

Microsoft has expanded the available options for virtual desktops.  Organisations now have the flexible Azure-based AVD with single-user, multi-session, and RemoteApp options and the simplified M365-based Windows 365 with Enterprise and Business cloud PC alternatives. 

For the past year, Veracloud has gained momentum in implementing Azure Virtual Desktops for almost every solution need and gained hands-on experience building successful setups on the Microsoft cloud. We do this by helping our customers choose the right Microsoft service for the right use-case, automate the deployment, simplify ongoing management, and optimize to reduce ongoing costs. 

If you are considering either an AVD or a Windows 365 deployment, or maybe a bit of both, our technical engineers will provide the support and guidance required to identify the solution that works best for you and your business’s needs. Contact us now and explore the world of a hybrid workplace and get your business to the next level. 

Microsoft rebrands and enhances its VDI offering

While rebranding WVD to AVD, Microsoft also provides a broader service offering

The launch of Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) in 2018 was something that proved to be essential for companies. With the pandemic breaking out just over a year later, organisations had to quickly adapt and provide its workforce with remote capabilities, without sacrificing security, management, and employee productivity. WVD came to the rescue, providing the best virtualised Windows and Office experience for a multi-user environment, delivered on Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft has recently rebranded WVD to Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD). But it’s not just a name change that Microsoft is announcing. Kam VedBrat, GM of AVD, states that Microsoft is preparing to broaden the AVD product with exciting new capabilities and integrations. These enhancements specifically focus on the security and management aspects around AVD.

Integration with Azure Active Directory (AAD) will provide the ability to join AVD virtual machines directly to AAD and connect to the virtual machines from any device with basic credentials. Microsoft Endpoint Manager provides central management with the ability to automatically enrol virtual machines, manage policies and distribute applications across devices, drastically simplifying administration though the admin centre. Automated deployment will get you going in minutes with the new QuickStart experience. This automation will validate requirements, kick-off an automated deployment, and will also implement according to best practices.

How can Veracloud help?

Ever since being included in the Azure Marketplace, we have gained momentum on the AVD front and can now assist every company with most use cases for this VDI offering. We have already provided our expertise in setting up large-scale AVD deployments both locally and internationally, tailored to the requirements set forth by the company, while adhering to strict security and regulatory compliance procedures.

If you are considering implementing AVD or are not sure whether this is the right solution for you, we will provide the support and guidance required. Contact us today and explore the cost reduction and benefits associates with Microsoft’s Azure Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.

The Wonderful World of Meraki

IT Agility has never been easier to achieve!

In the never-ending evolutionary process of IT, agility is a term that has been loosely used, misused, and misunderstood. Starting as an approach in Software Development, agility has now evolved towards being adopted in a wider business context. Key players and leaders in the business agility field teamed up to produce the Business Agility Report. Respondents included in the study believe that the ability for an organisation to focus on business agility initiatives creates a ripple effect of positive outcomes – enhancing customer and employee satisfaction and retention, speed to market, market success, collaboration and communication, accountability, and improved ways of working – to mention a few! The report also reveals that, COVID or no COVID, every organisation needs to adapt to a constantly changing environment.

Embrace change with Cisco Meraki

Do you have an IT strategy built around agility? Do you need help identifying a strategy? Or want to improve on it? Look no further. Cisco Meraki is the answer. It’s not just hardware … it’s an experience! Meraki serves as a fantastic, robust backbone, regardless of business requirements or the industry you operate in. Consolidate all your infrastructure and services. Control everything. Deploy anywhere. Scale reliably. Manage everywhere! The beauty of Meraki is in its simplicity. With a “cloud-first everything” mentality, Meraki is the solution to the agility a business must embrace.

At Veracloud we leverage cloud technologies to seamlessly manage your infrastructure. From the assessment of your needs and design of your network, to the implementation and ongoing maintenance, we take care of everything. Focus on what’s important to you … your business! Speak to us today and let us help you develop and achieve a strategy centred on business agility.

Exchange Server Hack

What to Learn from the recent On-Prem Exchange Server Hack

It has been a pretty challenging week for those that still manage and maintain on premises Exchange servers due to HAFNIUM targeting Exchange Servers with 0-day exploits.

Who Is HAFNIUM?

HAFNIUM is a state-sponsored advanced persistent threat group from China that is described as a “highly skilled and sophisticated actor.” 

While Hafnium originates in China, the group uses a web of virtual private servers located in the US to try and conceal its true location. Entities previously targeted by the group include think tanks, non-profits, defence contractors, and researchers. 

Our Take on the Situation

From what has been read online regarding the HAFNIUM Exchange Server hack, what was noted is that many organisations did not have a business continuation/response plan in place for this.  Although guidance and resolution were given by Microsoft to administrators to run scripts and patch systems, we read that most seemed totally unprepared for this kind of situation, especially at scale.

Many may think by shift everything to the cloud that all worries are over, however, challenges in the cloud may easily be of the same scale and impact. The cloud is a shared responsibility model which means that both Microsoft and end-user are both responsible for cloud security. In this case, specifically, the recent Exchange issues have largely fallen to Microsoft when it comes to the cloud.

Most cloud systems offer availability of over 99.99% which allows for a large amount of complacency to creep into internal systems and procedures, especially those responsible for maintaining these systems, both internal staff and external 3rd parties. Thoughts of disaster recovery and outage impact get put on the back burner and are never really addressed because there are always higher priorities.

Next Steps

In the end, it comes down to risk analysis. No matter where your systems are hosted, you always need to have an action plan of what do in case of disaster. But where do you start? That is where Veracloud has you covered. Contact us today to find out how to create a business continuity plan as well as discuss the different ways of migrating to a cloud or hybrid cloud setup.

Cloud Managed IoT Sensors

Protecting your Data Centre with Cloud Managed IoT Sensors

With cloud managed IoT sensors, real-time visibility into IT environments has now become a reality to help ensure proper business continuity plans are put into place. Protect your critical IT infrastructure through a powerful platform and simple-to-deploy environment sensors.

Maximize network uptime and equipment lifespan – Real-time visibility and alerts give you control over your environment. Ensure optimal conditions and minimize risk with remote monitoring and flexible alerting.

Gain value in less time – Quickly provision and manage thousands of sensors to monitor temperature, humidity, leaks, and intrusion. Simply insert the batteries and add to the dashboard. Say good-bye to on-premises servers, dedicated gateways, and management software.

Drive smarter decisions through data – Understand trends about your physical environment. Improve safety, security, and operational decision-making through a data-driven approach. Build on top of our platform using APIs or the vast ecosystem partner community and further enhance operations

Secure IoT devices seamlessly – Each sensor features a unique per-device identifier, which securely authenticates the device and encrypts all communication with the sensor gateways. Combined with automated firmware updates, our sensors pack a powerful security punch in a smart package.

Features include:

  • Centralized cloud management – The dashboard provides secure monitoring and management of all sensors, from anywhere in the world.
  • Flexible alerts – Set customized thresholds for devices and receive alerts via SMS, push notifications, email, or use webhooks to connect to your platform of choice.
  • Seamless setup and installation at scale – Wire-free installation, flexible mounting options, and automatic pairing makes it easy to provision.
  • Onboard storage – Five days of onboard storage keeps data safe in the event of an outage.
  • Long battery life – Field-replaceable AA batteries, with up to five years of battery life, provide one less thing to worry about.
  • Open API – Automate analysis outside of the dashboard, link to third-party services, and aggregate sensor data with information from other business systems.
  • Secure and always up to date – a secure way to exchange data between the gateway and sensor. Automatic firmware updates keep things running smoothly.

Act now and contact us today for a FREE proof of concept.

Microsoft announces plans for first datacenter region in Greece

Microsoft announced its intent to build new data centres that will establish a Microsoft Cloud region in the country, adding Greece to the world’s largest cloud infrastructure footprint and delivering access to low-latency, enterprise-grade cloud services.

The Greece datacenter region will join Microsoft’s global footprint of cloud regions, now totalling 63 regions announced, with Microsoft Azure available in over 140 countries, and will provide companies local access to Microsoft’s full set of cloud services, all built on a foundation of trust:

  • Microsoft Azure: An ever-expanding set of cloud services that offers computing, networking, databases, analytics, AI and IoT services.
  • Microsoft 365: The world’s productivity cloud that delivers best-of-breed productivity apps integrated through cloud services and delivered as part of an open platform for business processes.
  • Dynamics 365 and Power Platform: The next generation of intelligent business applications that enable organizations to grow, evolve and transform to meet the needs of customers and capture new opportunities.
  • Compliance, security and privacy: Microsoft offers more than 90 certifications and spends $1 billion every year on cybersecurity to address security at every layer of the cloud. Microsoft’s Greece datacenter region will help companies comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and will also help customers store data at rest in our region.
  • Sustainably operated: As part of Microsoft’s global commitment to be carbon negative by 2030, the company will shift to 100 per cent supply of renewable energy for its data centres by 2025.
Exchange 2010 EOS Version

Exchange 2010 Version – What is yours?

Know your Exchange 2010 version is vital to a migration?

Read our previous post which explains how mainstream support for Exchange 2010 ended in January 2015. Extended support ends for the below Exchange 2010 on October 13, 2020, a grace period Microsoft recently extended.

How to Determine Exchange Version

With Microsoft Outlook running, press and hold CTRL while you right-click the Outlook icon in the notification area, at the far right of the task bar: 

Exchange 2010 version check
Exchange 2010 Version Check
  1. Click Connection Status
  2. Move the horizontal slider all the way to the right. Under the Version column heading, note the number that appears
  3. Compare the number with those in the table below: 
Microsoft Exchange Server VersionVersion
Microsoft Exchange Server 201014.0.639.21
Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 SP114.1.218.15
Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 SP214.2.247.5
Exchange 2010 Version Table

What’s Next?

Veracloud is here to help. From assessing your current Exchange 2010 environment to helping you select a better productivity suite like Office 365 and performing the migration for you—we got you. Act now and Contact us today!

Exchange 2010 EOS

Exchange 2010 End of Support Happening Soon

Time is running out for Exchange 2010, what will you do?

Mainstream support for Exchange 2010 ended in January 2015. Per standard practice, Microsoft extended support ends five years after mainstream. Now, you have less than a year left before extended support ends for this version of Exchange on October 13, 2020, a grace period Microsoft recently extended.

Severe Implications of End of Extended Support

On October 13, 2020 there will be no further security patches, fixes, or updates, no available support for Exchange 2010. Nothing. It all ends with the anticipation that users have already migrated to a more current platform.

Every hacker and other bad actor on the internet is aware of this end of support. They know your platform is vulnerable and are painting a target on your back. After October 13, 2020, they will all go looking for those who are still using Exchange Server 2010.

So, What Can You Do to Protect Your Business?

October may seem far off but being proactive can save you stress as you plan your migration from Exchange 2010 to either Office 365 or Exchange Server 2016. We will need to examine  your retention policies to help you determine what older segment of your mail store will be archived and what segment will be migrated to the new platform. There are rights issues, governance issues, technical issues, and others which need to be discussed and planned for.

Here’s some good new

Veracloud is here to help. From assessing your current Exchange 2010 environment to helping you select a better productivity suite like Office 365 and performing the migration for you—we got you. Act now and Contact us today!

Transform Endpoint Management and Security with Microsoft 365


Microsoft 365 unified endpoint management (UEM) is the most secure, flexible approach to managing Windows 10 and other mobile devices in your modern workplace. Combining the strengths of Microsoft Intune and System Center Configuration Manager, it is the simplest way to cloud-connect your existing management infrastructure and reduce overall complexity, empowering end user productivity and enhancing device security. Contact us to learn how you can keep your data and employees’ mobile devices secure with Microsoft 365.

Microsoft 2021 Partner of the Year for Malta!

X