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What is Microsoft Entra?

Microsoft Entra: The New Identity for Azure Active Directory

Introduction

In August 2023, Microsoft initiated a significant rebranding by replacing the name Azure Active Directory, commonly known as Azure AD, with their sparkling new branding, Microsoft Entra ID. This marks a pivotal shift in Microsoft’s identity and access management solutions approach.

Microsoft Entra: A Comprehensive Overview

Microsoft Entra is a new product family that encapsulates all of Microsoft’s identity and access management capabilities, signifying a broad spectrum of services aimed at enhancing security and efficiency across Microsoft’s cloud services.

The Entra Family Components

The Entra family is comprehensive, including the well-known Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), and extends to encompass software as a service (SaaS). Additionally, it introduces two new product categories: Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM) and decentralized identity, marking an expansion in Microsoft’s security and identity offerings.

The transition to Entra represents more than a mere name change; it symbolises the integration and evolution of Microsoft’s identity and access management solutions under a cohesive umbrella.

Microsoft Entra Features

User and Group Access Management

Entra offers a robust user and group access management solution, facilitating secure access to on-premises and private apps. It supports directory synchronisation, generates basic reports, and provides self-service password change options for cloud users.

Additionally, Entra ensures seamless single sign-on across Azure, Microsoft 365, and numerous popular SaaS applications.

Microsoft Entra Domain Services

Microsoft Entra Domain Services delivers managed domain services, including domain join, group policy, LDAP, and Kerberos/NTLM authentication, eliminating the need to deploy, manage, and patch domain controllers in the cloud.

Hybrid Environment Support

Microsoft Entra shines in hybrid environments, offering unmatched flexibility. It enables seamless access to both cloud and on-premises applications and resources, catering to the needs of both cloud-only and hybrid organizations. Furthermore, Entra supports passwordless options like Windows Hello for Business and FIDO2 security keys, pushing the boundaries of secure and convenient access.

Microsoft extra, azure permissions, azure active directory.

How does Microsoft Entra differ from Azure AD?

Microsoft Entra is the evolution of Azure AD, expanding its capabilities with additional features like CIEM and decentralized identity. While Azure AD focuses on directory services, user and group, private access management, and application access, Entra broadens the scope to include more advanced security and identity governance and features for cloud and hybrid environments.

Can Microsoft Entra support hybrid environments?

Yes, Microsoft Entra is designed to support hybrid environments seamlessly. It allows for integrating on-premises and cloud resources, ensuring more secure access across both platforms with features like domain join, group policy, and single sign-on (SSO).

What are the security benefits of using Microsoft Entra?

Microsoft Entra enhances security through features like CIEM, which provides granular control over cloud and permissions management, identity and access management and decentralized identity, which offers a more secure and user-centric approach to identity management. Additionally, Entra supports passwordless authentication methods, reducing the risk of password-related security breaches.

How does Microsoft Entra aid in regulatory compliance?

With its advanced reporting and auditing tools, Microsoft Entra helps businesses monitor access and manage permissions in compliance with regulatory standards. It ensures that only authorised users can access sensitive information, thereby aiding in the control of access and adherence to consistent security policies and privacy regulations.

A diagram of the Microsoft cloud platform showcasing the Microsoft Entra.

A diagram of the Microsoft cloud platform showcasing the Microsoft Entra ecosystem.

What is Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM) in Microsoft Entra?

CIEM in Microsoft Entra is a set of tools and capabilities designed to manage and protect access and secure permissions within cloud environments. It helps organisations minimize the risk of excessive permissions by providing visibility into entitlements and permissions management, enabling the enforcement of least privileged access policies.

How can businesses implement passwordless authentication with Microsoft Entra?

Microsoft Entra supports passwordless authentication methods, including Windows Hello for Business and FIDO2 security keys. Businesses can implement these options by configuring their Entra settings to enable these authentication methods, thus providing a more secure and user-friendly login experience.

Is Microsoft Entra suitable for all business sizes?

Microsoft Entra is scalable and can cater to businesses of all sizes, from small startups to large enterprises with multi-cloud environments. It features flexible deployment options to help enable a more seamless experience.

How do businesses get started with Microsoft Entra?

To start with Microsoft Entra, businesses can contact us directly for assistance.  Visit the dedicated Microsoft Entra product page on the Microsoft website.

As a partner of Microsoft, we can help you with initial planning and deployment.

 

If you need help with all things Microsoft Entra, enquire or call now, and we can help put the grease on your business wheels; your business success is our shared mission.

 

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