How Azure Active Directory Helps Manage Identity for Remote Users

The coronavirus pandemic has emphasized the importance of identity when designing a secure network. We need to understand the importance of identity while constructing the cloud infrastructure for our organizations in these times. You need to upgrade your approach if you control identity with an on-premises mindset but also support remote staff.

How Azure Active Directory Helps Manage Identity for Remote Users?

What Is It?

If you’ve delved into the world of technology for some time, you have probably heard of or used Microsoft’s Active Directory (AD). AD Directory Services became the predecessor of many such networks. It is Microsoft’s enterprise cloud-based identity and access management system (IAM) solution.

Azure stores information about your devices in a domain and then verifies their credentials to the network. It is the backbone of Office 365 and can sync with the on-premise Active Directory to give authentication to other cloud-based systems via OAuth.

Changing Needs

Before the pandemic hit us in 2020, our daily network requirements weren’t centered around cloud services. But suddenly, everything changed. All our ideas for technology to advance physical domains and cloud applications turned on their head.

Now, we required something that goes beyond our organizational boundaries and allows for authentication using cloud services; we needed a way to connect and control home computers to access corporate networks—all this and more, with the level of customization and control our business needs.

How Does It Work?

Google Microsoft Teams rose in popularity owing to the pandemic. It is safe to say that the 2020 pandemic accelerated Azure AD and the like to meet work-from-home demands.

 

Azure D is designed to give force to cloud infrastructure. It uses Representational State Transfer (REST) APIs to support communication to other web-based services. AD uses authentication protocols such as OAuth2, WS-Security, and SAML for user authentication.

Unlike its predecessor (Windows AD), Azure AD is a flat structure in a single tenant. Each Azure AD instance is called a “tenant,” a flat structure of groups and users. Think of the tenant as a circle that surrounds your data like a fortress. You have the ability to control and manipulate what’s inside a tenant but not entirely when it leaves that circle. The security threat is greater then.

 

Users and groups are the elementary units of Azure AD. For instance, you can put your Logistics Team in one Azure AD group and provide authorization at the group level, so you only need to deactivate one account if a user leaves and the rest of the group stays intact. It helps you extend the organizational umbrella to people outside of your organization. It provides an additional layer of security.

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