Microsoft Entra – An Overview

Woke up to a nice little surprise from Microsoft this morning. Microsoft Entra. At first glance It looked like they have bundled the Identity and Access related products in to one portal and provides access via https://entra.microsoft.com

According to Microsoft, this is a single pane of view for all Identity and Access related solutions, which is indeed something great to have.

The more I dig in to it the more good stuff I found.

Azure Active Directory

This is an Admin Center style easy to find features kind of a menu as you can see which works nicely. Rather than going to many places to get one job done, I can see how they have bundled the activities together. When you go to the options, it will still be the same Azure AD components showing up but this is a nicer way to show the main options.

Permissions Management

As you may know the security giant CloudKnox were acquired by Microsoft recently and it’s capabilities are enhancing Permissions Management component in Entra. This is a CIEM or Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management product which is in Preview at this stage and according to Microsoft it will be providing comprehensive visibility and control over permissions for any identity and any resource in Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
More information can be found here

Image from Microsoft

At this stage CloudKnox Permissions Management needs to be enabled in the tenant to work.

Verified ID (Preview)

Microsoft is very big in working on Decentralised ID (DID) framework and their offering is Verified ID which is still in preview. This was known as Azure AD Verifiable Credentials and was basically hidden in the Privileged Identity Management section earlier and nice to see it has it’s own node in Entra.

More on Verified ID – Read this

More Coming

It looks like Microsoft will be annoucing Public Previews for

  • Workload Identities – Assign and secure identities for any app or service to extend access control and risk detection
  • Lifecycle Workflows – Automate assigning and managing access rights, plus monitoring and tracking access, as user attributes change.

Keep and eye on https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/azure-active-directory-identity/introducing-microsoft-entra-modern-identity-and-access-solutions/ba-p/2520440 as they will update the documentation on the go as they add more features

My Thoughts

This is my 1st review on Entra. I will be writing more as I experiment with the features. Sepcially the Permissions Management part. I believe this is a good move from Microsoft. Of course one more portal to bookmark and same can be still accessed from the standard ways. I like how the Admin Center style side panes can make your life easier. And talking about Microsoft’s vision of managing, securing and governance over identities from a multi cloud perspective.

If I quote from the announcement page

feature image: from Microsoft

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