Entra ID is Microsoft’s comprehensive identity and access management (IAM) service, designed to facilitate secure access to an organization’s applications and resources. For organizations working within the Microsoft ecosystem, Entra ID is a key component of enterprise security, handling user authentication and authorization from the cloud to the ground. Entra ID was formerly known as Azure Active Directory (AD). It was renamed to underscore its capabilities beyond the Azure platform, embracing a multi-cloud strategy and addressing the complexities of modern digital environments.
From the perspective of cybersecurity, Entra ID acts as a gatekeeper, managing identities to prevent unauthorized access and breaches. As businesses try to manage remote workforces and diverse cloud services, they face extensive security challenges regarding identity protection. To that end, Entra ID is a widely adopted solution.
In this article, we’ll explore Entra ID, considering its advantages over traditional identity services. We’ll also look at how it integrates with CrowdStrike Falcon® Identity Protection to enhance your cybersecurity posture.
What is Entra ID (formerly Azure AD)?
Entra ID is Microsoft’s modern IAM solution that enterprises use to manage user identities and regulate access to their environments, applications, and data. Entra ID extends the capabilities of traditional identity services to support the complexities of today’s cloud-centric IT landscapes.
Active Directory (which should be distinguished from Azure Active Directory, or Entra ID) has been fundamental to enterprise identity management for decades. However, its focus was on-premises user authentication and resource authorization. Entra ID, on the other hand, is built with flexibility and scalability to accommodate the modern cloud. It’s a secure identity management solution that supports remote workforces and integrates with a multitude of cloud services.
Entra ID has several key components that form the backbone of its identity services:
- A tenant is “an instance of Microsoft Entra ID in which information about a single organization resides.” This includes objects and application registrations.
- Objects are the entities within Entra ID that the tenant manages. They include users, groups, and devices.
- Domains are the namespaces used to establish identity boundaries within the tenant.
- Applications are either third-party or internal applications to which Entra ID can manage access.
The core features of Entra ID are designed to provide comprehensive IAM capabilities:
- User and group management: Create and manage user identities and organize them into groups for easier access management.
- Identity services: Enhance security and user convenience with features like single sign-on (SSO) and multi-factor authentication (MFA).
- Device management: Ensure secure access to enterprise resources from any device in any location.
- Application management: Integrate with a wide range of applications for consistent access management and security enforcement.
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Though Entra ID is a critical IAM tool for many enterprises, using Entra ID in conjunction with CrowdStrike Falcon Identity Protection will give you holistic visibility and stronger security controls.
When it comes to securing your digital environment, implement identity security beyond the traditional corporate perimeter. Falcon Identity Protection provides visibility into identities and authentications across Active Directory and Entra ID. In today’s landscape, users can access corporate resources from anywhere in the world. A high level of visibility is important if your organization is to detect and respond to potential threats in real time.
Next, seek to gain visibility into all corporate application access. This means not just knowing who is accessing what but understanding the context of each access. Entra ID, when used in conjunction Falcon Identity Protection, enables organizations to:
- Assess access behavior
- Detect deviations from established baselines
- Identify user risks (particularly those accessing the network from remote locations)
This comprehensive view is critical in spotting potential security issues, whether they stem from compromised credentials, insider threats, or external attacks.
Falcon Identity Protection works with Entra ID activity to help organizations establish baselines for remote user behavior. By defining what constitutes normal activity, you can spot anomalies that could indicate a security incident.
Continuous threat detection is a must-have in cybersecurity today. Entra ID, bolstered by Falcon Identity Protection, offers persistent monitoring of user access patterns. This extends the protective reach of Entra ID’s MFA, ensuring that additional verification is required when suspicious activity is detected.
By integrating with Falcon Identity Protection, organizations can leverage Entra ID to manage identities and actively protect them. This comprehensive approach effectively meets the sophisticated nature of today’s cyber threats, ensuring that you remain resilient against potential attacks.