The last couple of years we have seen several security breaches in IT, leading to serious impact and financial losses. Not only in the United States, but also in the rest of the world. Last year here in Holland we have seen two respected companies in a lawsuit, where one company was compromised, leading to a financial loss of a 7-digit number of the other company. The first company was running their environment in Office 365, but because of a weak password, the mailbox of a financial controller was compromised. It could easily have been prevented by using Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). In my own customer base there are also examples of security breaches, including CFO fraud which resulted in a financial loss which also could have been prevented easily.
Azure & Active Directory Center
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Almost a year ago, in March 2020, I wrote an article called Microsoft stops basic authentication, now what on this site about Microsoft’s plan to decommission Basic Authentication in Office 365. The Covid-19 pandemic took over the world and a lot of projects were postponed. This was also the case of the Basic Authentication project at Microsoft, but the decommissioning is still planned although there are some serious changes in Microsoft’s planning. Time for an update.
AAD Roles for EXO Administrators
In one of my other articles “Accessing Exchange Online Objects” I outlined how you can interact with these objects. When you need to scope apps with application permissions to a subset of mailboxes, we can use ApplicationAccessPolicies as outlined here by Microsoft.
Microsoft 365 offers a wide variety of services beyond the full stack of services like Exchange Online, Microsoft Teams, etc. In particular, you can use Azure Active Directory as your primary Identity Provider (IdP). This allows you to move authentication of your legacy applications from on-premises to Azure.
Last week I shared part one of my Microsoft 365 Security Assessment where we took a deep dive into securing things related to Azure Active Directory. If you haven’t had a chance to read through it yet, take a few minutes and read it here.
Now that we’re all on the same page, lets dive into part two, where we’ll cover security settings in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center.
Moving on to the Microsoft 365 Admin Center
Turn ON modern authenticationModern authentication is what allows you to enforce MFA and other identity based security features. Products that don’t use “modern authentication” use what we call “Legacy Authentication” (obviously) or “Basic Authentication”. It only uses username and password pairs to authenticate a user. The example shown in Figure 14: Basic authentication prompt is using legacy authentication, also known as basic authentication.
Thanks for all the phish..
There’s a running joke in the industry at the moment that the COVID-19 pandemic has done more to drive digital transformation in organizations than any consultant, project team or CTO! While this may be a slight exaggeration, there is definitely an element of truth to it. Many organizations have historically been slow to adopt remote working practices, but the pandemic and associated lockdowns have forced organizations all over the world to change their work from home policies and accelerate the deployment of tools to support telecommuting. In fact, Microsoft recently reported a staggering increase of more than 30 million Teams users in a single month. Even more surprising is that these same organizations who were once against it are now seeing the productivity benefits and opportunity for cost-reduction and may never go back to the old ‘open-plan office’ way of working again.
Administrative Units Management in Azure Active Directory
Since writing this blog post in May 2018 about administrative units, some things have finally been changed. As this feature is still in preview, it can now be managed in the Azure portal and with Microsoft Graph. But before we go into more detail, let's do a quick heads-up what administrative units are used for.
One of the great features in Microsoft 365 is Azure Active Directory Application Proxy. AAD App Proxy allows you to publish internal web applications to the Internet and ensure users authenticate in a very secure way. Best of all, it can do this usually without requiring any firewall changes – all that is required is outbound Internet access from the computer running the AAD App Proxy agent.
If there is anything consistent about Office 365,
Want to learn more about Active Directory?
Active Directory Administration Cookbook, 2nd Edition
In this book, Microsoft MVP & Technical Editor of ENow's Azure & Active Directory Center, Sander Berkouwer will share the intricacies of managing Azure AD, Azure AD Connect as well as Active Directory for administration in the cloud and on Windows Server 2022.