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With Cloud on the ‘loose’, Microsoft has offered a very flexible platform which allows organizations to easily subscribe for trials or even register for a tenant on the fly. However, without a proper clean-up would create additional hassles and steps, especially if the Global Admin is no longer around or the login credential has been misplace – and this what happened to me in a recent Office 365 engagement.

In this implementation, we were supposed to activate the actual domain (Example: to a new Ofifce 365 tenant. However, when attempting to associate the corporate domain into the Office 365 tenant, the portal had detected that our domain has been used and activated with another tenant – for Microsoft Power BI purposes, to make things complicated, nobody knows whom own the other domain.

To ‘regain control’ of the corporate domain, we’d to create an automated generated TXT record to proof that we’re the actual and will be the Global Admin taking over the Power BI tenant. After which we’d to remove the corporate domain that has been configured with the Power BI tenant but were thrown with an error message:

Dependencies on domain. To remove this domain, you’ll have to remove the following dependencies first.


When expand, the alias and Skype addresses indicate the users which has been assigned within the tenant, although there wasn’t any Exchange Online and Skype for Business Online licenses are available. In the end, we’d to use PowerShell to remove the corporate domain:

  • Connect-MsolService
  • Remove-MsolDomain -DomainName $ -Force

Refresh the Admin portal and we manage to remove the corporate domain that was initially assigned to the Power BI tenant and ‘migrated’ it to the actual Office 365 domain.


This is a continuity from my previous post on sharing my experience in dealing with Web Proxy and Office 365. You may browse through or select the following topics:

  • Office 365 & Web Proxy Part 1 – Conceptual Design & Preparation
  • Office 365 & Web Proxy Part 2 – Prepare Symantec .Cloud Web Gateway for Office 365
  • Office 365 & Web Proxy Part 3 – Setting up the Symantec Client Side Proxy & Cloud Web Gateway
  • Office 365 & Web Proxy Part 4 – Setting up Firewall for Office 365
  • Office 365 & Web Proxy Part 5 – Troubleshoot Skype for Business Online with Cloud Web Proxy

In this chapter, these are the components that are made up to make the solution work:

  1. Active Directory Users & Security Groups
  2. Symantec Directory Synchronization Tool (SCHEMUS)
  3. Active Directory Group Policy Object (GPO)

The key essence in this deployment is identifying the types of URLs or Web Categories that the users would be allow and prohibited to access, so before we begin the building the web policies, it is extremely crucial to identify the groups of users and types of materials (URLs) that they needed to access to ensure both productivity and restrictions are applied according to the corporate policies.

To start off, I’ve created the security groups, using the this format: Web-XYZ, where Web indicates for Web Proxy while XYZ stands for the type of access. For example: Web-YouTube, where users in this group are allowed to access to YouTube. Placed all of these groups into a dedicate OU which we’ll be using Symantec Synchronization Tool (SCHEMUS) to synchronous to the Symantec .Cloud. For general guideline, you may structure / plan the Security Groups in this manner:

  • Web-YouTube
  • Web-SocialMedia
  • Web-PublicWebMail
  • Web-BasicWeb

Once the security groups has been created, install SCHEMUS onto a designated system, SCHEMUS doesn’t required much resources so you may collocate with the Azure AD Connect which performs the same synchronization activity the cloud.

Configuring SCHEMUS very much similar to Azure AD Connect – select the OU Container (best practices) which holds all of your users and security groups:

1. Give a Name to the Synchronization (e.g. Sync Web) and select Users at the synchronization type column


2. Select Microsoft Active Directory as the Source Type


3. Fill-up the hostname of your Domain Controller along with your Domain Admin’s Username & Password


4. Select the OU that you’ve store all of your corporate Users


5. At the next screen, SCHEMUS will attempt to query a list of sample users from the last selection that you’ve made. If you’ve confirm that the queried objects are correct, move on to the next screen

6. Select Symantec .Cloud at the Repository Type


7. During the initial launch after installing SCHEMUS, you’ll be prompt for Symantec .Cloud user credentials to activate the application. So can continue with the wizard by leaving this option on its default configuration.


8. If you need to omit any objects in this synchronization, key in the filters or leave the values blank (default)


9. Leave the limits to its default unless you’ve a good reason to limit the number of users that needs to be synchronized


10. I would highly recommend that you configure the notifications for any synchronization failures as the synchronization tasks will be perform based on scheduled – which is similar to Azure AD Connect. Key in your SMTP relay server (I’m assuming that no active mail server are still available as we’re moving to Office 365 – duh!)


11. On the final configuration screen of SCHEMUS, click on Verify to make sure all of the configuration are working as expected


If everything is successful, you should get the (similar) screen as mine


12. Schedule the synchronization tasks based on your desired time


13. Click on Save to complete the synchronization for Users. Repeat Step 1 – 13 for Groups and Mail (if any)

14. Click on Update at the left of the SCHEMUS window screen and you should be able to see the list of users and groups being synchronized to the Symantec .Cloud

Next, we move on to configuring the Symantec .Cloud CA Root certificate, this is to allow HTTPS inspection when users attempting to browse to any HTTP Secure Sites. Grab the file from your ClientNet portal > Tools > Downloads

Symantec Web Security Cloud Root CA

After downloading it, publish it to all domain member workstations, desktops and / or laptops via the Active Directory GPO:

Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Public Key Policies > Trusted Root Certification Authorities

Import the downloaded Symantec Web Security .Cloud Root CA and all domain members machines will automatically download it to the local certificate store, this would allow all major browsers – Internet Explorer, Google Chrome & Microsoft Edge (Except FireFox) to automatically recognizes and accepts the certificate when the HTTPS inspection triggers at the Cloud level. I would recommend to link the Policy at the designated OU which you’ve stored all your client machines; if you’d been leaving the machines at the default container – Computers, update the configuration using the Default Domain Policy GPO.


Now that the core elements are in-place, we’ll now proceed to the next topic on configuring the Client Side Proxy (CSP) and setting up rules and policies at Symantec .Cloud Services.

As Office 365 (Cloud) Solution & Services are getting very common to most organization, restricting and controlling of bandwidth to ensure users’ experience are not impacted – as compared to the traditional method where internal communications are deemed to be seamless, where connectivity are between 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps.

This time around, I’ll be sharing a recent implementation that involves with Office 365 and Symantec Cloud Web Proxy:

In this engagement, the client has subscribe onto a mixture of Office 365 Business Essential, Exchange Online Plan 1 and Exchange Online Kiosk, with a total of 600 users within the organization. The plan was to migrate the existing on-premise Exchange Server 2007 to Exchange Online, activate all workloads and subsequently enforce the web browsing usage – this is to ensure the users’ experience while using the Cloud are not impacted by non-productive web browsing during office hours. (e.g. Audio & Video Streaming). Hence, two (2) elements are involve – The firewall and cloud-based web proxy.

To get things started, the following components has been deployed in the infrastructure:

  1. Active Directory – GPOs are highly used for this deployment
  2. WPAD script which has been customized and published onto a Windows Server 2012 R2 Internet Information Services (IIS)
  3. DHCP with option 252 enabled and mapped to the Web Server
  4. Symantec .Cloud Web Gateway subscription
  5. Symantec Directory Synchronization Tool (SCHEMUS)
  6. Symantec Client Side Proxy with customized configuration with the bypass URLs. The Symantec CSP underlying core runs on SQUID Services where most of the configuration are highly customizable
  7. Fortinet Firewall

Working mechanism:


  1. The DHCP Servers distributes the WPAD script as part of leasing IP addresses to the endpoints (during boot-up). The browsers will then make HTTP / HTTPS requests either directly to the Server Farm (Internal Web Servers) or through the Symantec Client Side Proxy (CSP).
  2. Based on the configuration and policies (ACL) within the Symantec SCP, the browsers either gets to entirely bypass without any authentication OR basically passes through the Symantec .Cloud Web Gateway for web filtering.
  3. In this scenario, we’ve set ALL Office 365 URLs and a set of the organization’s permitted web sites (e.g. Banking Sites) where web traffics will basically bypass the Symantec .Cloud Web Gateway filtering policies while the rest will be tunneled to the Cloud Gateway before reaching to the Internet

Before starting Part 2, is it important to identify the list of frequent URLs with their associated user groups to it, types of non-browser based applications and services, IP subnets and Web Browsers used within the organization; so far, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome & Safari doesn’t impose any compatibility issues with the above infrastructure, however Mozilla Firefox requires attention and additional steps in order to get the browser working with the Cloud Proxy.

Hello and Happy Monday! Yes, I know and I’m sorry that I’d left my blog “in the cold” as life-work and business has took away most of my time since I’ve started my own (Woo-Hoo!). In this article, I’m about to share about another Cloud platform which involves integration with Microsoft Office 365.

As the industry “all” moves to the cloud, the dependencies of deploying and configuring Cloud platforms gradually increases as well.

Recently, I was involved with an Office 365 with Symantec.Cloud integrated (Mail & Web) and we’d to setup a Schemus Server (similar to Microsoft’s Azure AD Connect) which synchronizes the Active Directory’s Users and Objects to Symantec.Cloud platform. Activating the tenant was pretty straight forward as we already had the tenant ready during the evaluation stage (Proof-of-Concept), next thing is to configure Schemus.

While trying to establish the relationship between the Symantec.Cloud with Schemus, the following error message was presented on the setup window:







Can’t access the Symantec.Cloud service. There was a problem communicating with the Symantec.Cloud service server: WS Security The message has expired (WSSecurityEngine: Invalid timestamp The security semantics of the message have expired)

To resolve this issue, make sure the following entries are in-place:

  1. If you’ve recently changes your password for Symantec.Cloud service, update your most recent password at Schemus Configuration OR at the Schemus Windows, click on Edit > Settings > Symantec.Cloud and modify password field
  2. Make sure that the specified URL is accessible and not filtered/blocked by the Firewall
  3. System Time is the same as the Internet time







We ran into the issue on item #3 and what we’d to do was just simply modify the system clock and click on Apply. Close the Schemus and re-launch the settings window and Walla! the problem went away. Based on Symantec Technical Support, updating the system clock to establish the communication with Symantec.Cloud is only one-time off, so for those organizations whom aren’t following the Internet time, the Schemus server would be able to resync its time with either the Active Directory or NTP Server.

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