How I keep up with Microsoft SCI product features and news

I get asked frequently on my strategy to stay up to date on the news and feature releases around Microsoft Security, Compliance and Identity (SCI) products. I decided to share my secret sauce with you in this blog post and describe exactly how I stay up to date.

Before I share my “secret sauce”, it’s important to me that I share the why behind staying up to date. For me, this is a lifestyle and a passion – it’s so much more than “a job”, even if I wasn’t paid to do things with Microsoft SCI technology I would still be doing it as a hobby, for free. It’s for those reasons why (for me personally) I enjoy spending my personal time studying the technology, reading new blogs and technical documentation, watching videos, etc. I really do love this stuff, and I love sharing my passion with others. Everyone has passions and hobbies, mine is Microsoft SCI (yes, really).

Ask: Please share your methods on staying up to date on new features , announcements and news in the comments below! I’ll add it to this blog!

Okay, let’s jump into how I stay up to date…

My go to source – http://www.justdothebasics.com

This is an amazing resource where every weekend you receive a newsletter digest of all Microsoft SCI news for the week! Don’t ask me how he (Jeremy the site owner) does it, but it’s very accurate and complete. I make a habit to spend 10-15 mins each weekend reviewing the blogs and articles captured in this newsletter and then prioritizing the ones that interest me where I want to go deeper. I would say this newsletter is a must for anyone who wants to keep track of what’s happening in this space. Below is a screenshot of what to expect in the newsletter – you can subscribe to the newsletter here.

“Azure Sentinel this Week” (by Rod Trent)

My go to source for all Azure Sentinel news. This is an amazing SIEM solution and there are always new capabilities and new ways of using it. My friend Rod Trent sends an email newsletter weekly with all the updates – check it out! (Sign up here)

Twitter

I discovered a few years ago that many Microsoft Program Managers and Microsoft Partners will tweet product announcements, new features, and overall evangelize on Twitter. By following key individuals, I find I am able to get a daily dose of updates and I am always learning about something new or something I didn’t know when I read these tweets. This is a big part of how I stay up to date. There is SO MUCH to learn from others in the industry!

If you’re a user of Twitter you will probably agree with me that the more people you follow the more “noise” will be in your feed. That’s where lists come in handy. You can create custom lists (that can either be private or public, where others can subscribe to it – my list can be found here) and add people you want to follow just to that list. So, I have created a list for Microsoft SCI news so when I want to read about those topics that people are tweeting, I open that list.

Okay, so who do I follow? Well I’m always finding new people to follow both inside Microsoft but also throughout the Cyber Security industry (such as Microsoft Partners) so it’s one of those things you need to stay fresh on, but here’s the list of people I am following today and that I recommend anyone who wants to stay up to date on Microsoft SCI also follow. Tip, look at the followers of others, then look at that individuals profile to see if they are in the industry or work at Microsoft, then follow them! (I also watch what they retweet then follow those people)

  • Cristin Goodwin
  • Joe Stocker
  • Thorsten Henking
  • Jeremy Windmiller
  • Sue Bohn
  • Windows Insider
  • Christiaan Brinkhoff
  • Scott Hanselman
  • Morgan (@MSFT)
  • Cory Gehr
  • Pascal Walschots
  • Matt Burough
  • Ryan Heffernan
  • Wayne Anderson
  • Bruno Nowak
  • Tom Burt
  • Microsoft Security Intelligence (@WDSSecurity)
  • Natalia Godyla
  • TimbMSFT
  • Phillip Misner
  • Sarah Armstrong-Smith
  • Hayden Hainsworth
  • Stefan Sellmer
  • Tomer Teller
  • @SingingTech
  • Sean Lyndersay
  • Microsoft Global Security
  • Travis Rhodes
  • BlueHat (@MSFTBlueHat
  • IntuneSupportTeam
  • Miriam Wiesner
  • Emily Hacker
  • @MicrosoftGTM
  • Gavriella Schuster
  • Toni Townes-Whitley
  • Satya Nadella
  • Microsoft Life
  • Microsoft for Healthcare (@Health_IT)
  • Kevin Scott
  • Jeff Teper
  • Why Microsoft
  • Microsoft Channel 9
  • US Partner Training
  • Microsoft US Partner
  • Microsoft Research
  • Digital Crimes Unit
  • Microsoft Government
  • Open at Microsoft
  • Microsoft 365
  • Microsoft On The Issues
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Microsoft IoT
  • Microsoft Support
  • Joanna Harding
  • Bailey Bercik
  • John Rodriguez
  • Microsoft in Business
  • Corey Sanders
  • Joe Belfiore
  • Aaron Margosis
  • Jackie Ostlie
  • Rakesh Agrawal
  • @AzureSecPod
  • Brad Smith
  • Jen Gentleman (@jenMSFT)
  • Jess Doson
  • Matt Egen
  • @gabsmashh
  • Jeff Chin
  • @hackersSentinel
  • Microsoft Partner
  • @yuridiogenes
  • Microsoft Azure AD
  • Katie Anderson (@andekat101)
  • Microsoft Azure
  • @MSIntune
  • @mslearn
  • @sosemanmatt (me!)
  • @Microsoft
  • @Windowsserver
  • Simon May
  • Microsoft Mobility
  • Microsoft Surface
  • @MSFTnews
  • @msftnews
  • Ron Markezich
  • Ram Shankar
  • Mayunk Jain
  • Alex Simons
  • Frank X. Shaw
  • John Lambert
  • Judson Althoff
  • Sarah Fender
  • Samuel Devashayam
  • Chris Capossela
  • Robyn Hicock
  • Andrew Conway
  • Alex Weinert
  • Joy Chik
  • Nicholas Dicola
  • Ann Johnson
  • Microsoft Mechanics
  • Adam Hall
  • DarkReading
  • Offensive Security
  • Darknet Diaries
  • Jack Rhysider
  • Metasploit Project
  • Briankrebs
  • Vasu Jakkal
  • @ravivtamir (Ninjacat)
  • Swift On Security
  • Hadar Feldman
  • Mark Simos — A MUST!!!
  • Heike Ritter
  • Bleeping Computer
  • @brucesaaaa
  • @AzureSupport
  • @MSFT365Status
  • @MSThreatProtect
  • @MSFTSECINTEL
  • @WindowsUpdate
  • @jepayneMSFT
  • @Dwizzzlemsft
  • Ari Schorr
  • Mark Russinovich
  • @MSFTSECRESPONSE
  • @MS_IGNITE
  • @maryjofoley
  • Panos Panay
  • Microsoft Teams
  • @Office365_tech
  • @MSFTSECURITY
  • @MSCLOUD
  • @Office365

Who do you follow? Let me know if the comments and I’ll add to this list!

LinkedIn

This is another go to for me, I’m usually taking probably 30-60 minutes a day to check LinkedIn and read what people are posting. People I follow on Twitter I’m connected with on LinkedIn – now I am connected with 8K people on LinkedIn so I’m not going to write all of them out in this blog 🙂 I recommend doing a search on LinkedIn for Microsoft Security and connect with those people (whether they are employees or partners)- and if you can browse who I am connected with and connect with them! (They won’t bite!)

People will post amazing articles and I’m always learning from them, so LinkedIn is a must.

Top people that you should connect with or follow who consistently post amazing valuable content:

  • Joesph Davis
  • Mark Simos
  • Ryan Heffernan
  • Adam Hall
  • John Savill
  • David Branscome
  • Heike Ritter
  • Vase Jakkal
  • Joe Stocker
  • Rudy Ooms
  • Elli Shlomo
  • Ammar Hasayen

Subscribe to Microsoft Tech Community

Another must – I’ve been doing this for years and typically spend a couple hours a week on this website (aka “the forums”). Microsoft Tech Community is a website of hundreds of communities around all Microsoft technologies, comprised of people like you and I that want to ask questions and learn from eachother. The cool part is the engineering teams at Microsoft who are responsible for these products are also on this site responding to questions, delivering AMA events (Ask Me Anythings) and posting blogs.

Here’s the blogs that I follow, where new announcements are landing daily. Again, another go to and must have resource! (I’ll typically subscribe to these with RSS)

Note: These are just some of the blogs I follow on Microsoft Tech Community – what do you follow? Let me know in the comments!

Security Community Webinars

I’m constantly attending webinars or watching replays from the Microsoft SCI community. Upcoming webinars and recordings can be found at https://aka.ms/SecurityWebinars and you can subscribe to their email list at https://aka.ms/SecurityEmailList

These webinars are delivered by the engineering teams at Microsoft behind the products, so you know you’ll receive the latest information directly from the source!

Azure Security Podcasts

I’m a big fan of podcasts whether I listen when I’m driving or working out. I subscribe to dozens, but for Microsoft SCI my two go to are: https://aka.ms/AzSecPod and https://aka.ms/ASCInTheField

docs.microsoft.com RSS Feed

Reading the technical documentation is free, and full of information – and is typically your best place to learn what’s new with your favorite product. You can subscribe to the “what’s new” RSS feeds for many products – here’s the ones I subscribe to so I can be notified whenever a change or new feature becomes available in some of my favorite Microsoft SCI products:

Microsoft Security Blog

Microsoft posts a lot of content on their security blog, that is not only useful and insightful, but also helps to bring the technical capabilities into context to understand how it helps the business. I usually spend 30 minutes a week looking through the Microsoft Security Blog learning about new things – another great resource! https://www.microsoft.com/security/blog/

Bonus: I also love reading the Microsoft IT blog to learn how Microsoft is deploying the technology internally, which always gives me new ideas for use cases! https://www.microsoft.com/itshowcase/blog

Microsoft Ignite Videos

I am constantly watching videos from Microsoft Ignite throughout the year, typically one to two per week. A great (free) way to learn and understand what’s new and upcoming in addition to getting inspired. Another must have! Microsoft Ignite Session Catalog

Microsoft Security Technical Content Library

New as of Spring 2021 is the Microsoft Security Technical Content Library, where all Microsoft SCI content lives. There’s a feature on this site called “New Content” that I subscribe to and peruse on a weekly basis: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/security/content-library/