What is Azure Active Directory A Complete Guide

What is Azure Active Directory A Complete Guide

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Microsoft’s Cloud Identity and Access Management (IAM) solution is Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). Azure AD is the backbone for the Office 365 system and can sync with the on-site Active Directory and authenticate other systems in the cloud using OAuth.

Microsoft Teams experienced a 70% spike in daily Teams users in a single month during the 2020 pandemic. While it’s unclear how many of those users are brand new to Azure AD, we can presume that the 2020 pandemic accelerated Azure AD uptake and implementation to fulfill the needs of a distributed workforce.

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What should I know about Windows Active Directory services?

Microsoft’s predecessor to Azure Active Directory (AD) is Windows Active Directory (AD). Active Directory was first published by Microsoft with Windows 2000 server, and it quickly became the industry standard for enterprise identity management.

Domain Controllers (DC) are on-premise machines that house Active Directory. Each DC maintains a list of users and machines who are allowed to access network resources. Kerberos or NTLM authentication is used by users to connect to DCS.

Differences between (AAD) and Active Directory on-premises (AD)

Both Azure AD and Windows AD are built by Microsoft and both of them are IAM systems, but the analogies stop there. They are basically separate systems in a linked business environment.

Azure Active Directory

  • To communicate with other web-based services, Azure AD leverages Representational State Transfer (REST) APIs.
  • For user authentication, Azure AD supports cloud-based authentication protocols such as OAuth2, SAML, and WS-Security.
  • Each Azure Active Directory instance is referred to as a “tenant,” which is a flat hierarchy of users and groups.
  • Admins divide users into groups and then grant access to apps and resources to those groups.
  • With Microsoft Intune, Azure AD manages mobile devices.
  • Microsoft Intune allows Windows desktops to join Azure AD.
  • Azure AD Domain Services is used by Azure AD to administer servers in the Azure cloud virtual machine environment.

 

Differences between (AAD) and Active Directory on-premises (AD)

Windows Active Directory

  • To transfer data between clients, servers, and DCs, Windows AD employs the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP).
  • To validate user credentials, Windows AD employs Kerberos and NTLM.
  • Windows Active Directory is divided into Organizational Units, Domains, and Forests.
  • Administrators or data owners assign users to groups, and those groups have access to network resources.
  • Windows Active Directory does not manage mobile devices.
  • Group Policy governs desktops that are linked to Windows AD (GPOs)
  • GPOs or another on-premise server management system manage and govern Windows AD servers.

Considerations for Azure Active Directory

  • Licensing: Azure AD licensing is based on the same monthly subscription model as Office 365 licenses.
  • Select your scenario: Azure AD Hybrid or Azure AD? If you already have Windows AD, Hybrid may be the best option for you. If you want to build a cloud-only infrastructure, Azure AD is the better option.
  • SSO: Will you enable Single Sign-On (SSO) with Azure AD? You must configure your cloud apps and services to use Azure SSO, as well as set up a hybrid cloud for printing.
  • User Provisioning: How will you add existing users to Azure? You can configure self-enrollment, in which users run the process themselves, Windows Autopilot, or have an administrator enroll your users.
Considerations
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How Does Azure Active Directory Work?

Azure Active Directory is a brand-new system built from the ground up to enable cloud infrastructure. REST APIs are used by Azure AD to transmit data from one system to other REST-enabled cloud applications and systems (which is most cloud applications).

Unlike Windows Active Directory, Azure Active Directory is a single-tenant flat structure. Consider the tenant as a circle that encompasses all of your belongings. You have control over the contents of the tenant’s apartment, but once it leaves that circle, you lose control over what happens to your belongings.

Common Attacks on Azure Active Directory

Attackers enjoy using massive collections of usernames and passwords from data breach dumping sites to try to break into Azure AD accounts, a technique known as credential stuffing.

Because Azure AD is accessible through the internet, it’s a simple target. Most brute force attacks can be thwarted with a robust password policy and multi-factor authentication, as well as behavioral monitoring of login activity and geo-hopping. In the case that an attacker succeeds with a single login attempt, you must continue to monitor your data to discover fraudulent activity within your tenant.

The next highest attack against Azure AD users is phishing. Phishing can lead to credential theft or infection with malware that can let attackers access your tenant. Azure AD offers alerts if you open an email from an external or untrustworthy source.

What is Azure Active Directory A Complete Guide

What Else Can I configure with Azure active directory setup?

Microsoft adds enhancements and tools to Azure AD and Microsoft 365 to help your organization secure and protect its data in the cloud. Here are a few more options for making your organization more secure.

  • Integrate apps with Azure Active Directory to provide single sign-on (SSO).
  • Automate the provisioning of new users’ applications based on their membership in a group.
  • Limit the capacity of users to consent to applications – this might be a phishing attempt, and once the user clicks, the attacker has gained access to your tenant.
  • Block outdated protocols with known security flaws, such as SMTP, POP3, and MAPI.
  • Allow Microsoft Cloud Access Security (MCAS) to monitor your tenant, and then supplement that surveillance with an Azure Skeleton Key attack.
  • Now that you have Varonis, categorize and tag all of your sensitive data with Microsoft Azure Information Protection (AIP).

Get in touch

If you have come this far, you are probably looking for Azure active directory implementation. Therefore, you can set up a meeting with our team and get the best active directory consulting services. They can guide you according to the needs of your organization and how you can have hassle-free Azure active directory deployment. 

So, get in touch with the most amazing Microsoft consulting services in Australia by the DFSM.

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What is Azure Active Directory A Complete Guide

Microsoft’s Cloud Identity and Access Management (IAM) solution is Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). Azure AD is the backbone for the Office 365 system and

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