Anyone who has participated in migrations or transitions to Exchange is probably familiar or had to work around potential issues caused by the nickname cache. A “cache,” also known by its file extension, NK2 in older Outlook clients, is a convenience feature in Outlook and Outlook on the web (OWA). It lets users pick recipients from a list of frequently-used recipients. This list is displayed when the end user types in the first few letters:
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Anyone who has participated in migrations or transitions to Exchange has most likely encountered or has had to work around potential issues caused by the nickname cache. A “cache,” also known by its file extension, NK2 in older Outlook clients, is a convenience feature in Outlook and Outlook WebApp (OWA) which lets users pick recipients from a list of frequently-used recipients. This list is displayed when the end user types in the first few letters.
The potential issue revolves around end users using those lists to send messages, as the list contains cached recipient information. Because this information is static, it may become invalid at some point. Thus, when users pick recipients when sending messages, they may be sending messages to non-existent recipients or invalid e-mail addresses, which create issues like non-delivery of e-mail.
In an earlier version of Outlook, this information was stored in local .NK2 files. In Outlook 2010 and up, this information is stored in your mailbox (AutoComplete Stream). Unfortunately, OWA utilizes its own cache mechanism while Outlook stores recipient information in other locations as well, like the ‘Suggested Contacts’ folder for example.
One of the largest challenges many organizations face is how to secure email. Industries such as healthcare and financial have government regulated policy to adhere to such as HIPPA and Sarbanes Oxley. So how do we ensure that our users are not sending out information they shouldn’t be from their desks or mobile devices? Also with the emergence of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) securing company data is become even more important than it has in the past.
Information Rights Management
Over the years there have been many options that we have been able to consider. First, let’s look at Information Rights Management. This is a great product from Microsoft that allows the administrator or user to control what can be done with their email. For example, if I send you information that may be somewhat confidential in nature I can put a restriction in place that prohibits your ability to forward or print this message. Even better yet the message is transferred in an encrypted state. As Microsoft continues to work on Information Rights Management the feature set is improving. From a BYOD perspective they are even able to support Outlook Web App and Exchange Active Sync with the newer versions of the Exchange product. The largest downfall of this application is that it will only protect messages internal to an organization. You will need a two-way federated trust between your Active Directory forest and any other organizations Active Directory forest in order to send messages to that external entity.
For many generations, Outlook Web Access allowed users to change their password, but only after they had successfully logged on to OWA. With Exchange 2007 Service Pack 3 and the upcoming Exchange 2010 Service Pack 1, administrators now have the ability to change the password pretty much the same way users do when they log on to Windows on their PC.