What is Azure Active Directory and how to setup it

By Nitin Pandit | Views: 1434

Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) is a cloud-based identity and access management service provided by Microsoft. It is used by organizations to manage access to their applications and resources both on-premises and in the cloud. Azure AD provides a single sign-on (SSO) experience, which allows users to log in once and access all their applications without having to enter credentials again.

Azure Active Directory

Azure AD provides a wide range of identity-related features and capabilities, including:

Identity and access management:

Azure AD manages user identities and access to applications, devices, and resources based on policies and rules defined by the organization.

Multi-factor authentication (MFA):

Azure AD supports MFA to provide an additional layer of security beyond passwords. This includes phone-based authentication, smart card authentication, and biometric authentication.

Conditional access:

Azure AD enables organizations to apply policies to control access based on user identity, location, device health, and other factors.

Identity protection:

Azure AD helps protect user identities against threats such as password attacks, phishing, and account compromise.

Application management:

Azure AD provides application management capabilities such as provisioning, deprovisioning, and access reviews.

Reporting and monitoring:

Azure AD provides reports and logs to help administrators monitor and audit user activity and access.

Azure AD can be integrated with other Microsoft cloud services such as Office 365, Dynamics 365, and Microsoft Intune. It can also be integrated with third-party applications and services using industry-standard protocols such as SAML, OAuth, and OpenID Connect.

Overall, Azure AD provides a comprehensive identity and access management solution for organizations of all sizes, allowing them to secure their applications and resources while providing a seamless user experience.

How to setup Azure Active Directory step by step?

Setting up Azure AD involves several steps, which are outlined below:

Create an Azure AD tenant:

The first step is to create an Azure AD tenant, which is a dedicated instance of Azure AD that you can use to manage your organization's identities and access. To create a tenant, you need an Azure account. If you don't have one, you can sign up for a free trial at https://azure.microsoft.com/free/.

Add users:

Once your tenant is created, you can add users to it. To add users, go to the Azure portal and navigate to Azure Active Directory > Users > New User. Fill in the user's details and assign them a username and password.

Set up authentication:

You can configure authentication for your Azure AD tenant using one of the following methods: password-based authentication, multi-factor authentication, or federated authentication (using an identity provider such as Active Directory Federation Services or a third-party provider). To configure authentication, go to Azure Active Directory > Authentication methods.

Configure applications:

You can configure the applications that your users can access through Azure AD. To do this, go to Azure Active Directory > Enterprise Applications > New Application. You can either select an existing application or create a new one. Once you've configured an application, you can assign users to it.

Set up conditional access:

You can use conditional access policies to control access to your applications based on various conditions such as location, device type, and user risk. To set up conditional access, go to Azure Active Directory > Conditional Access.

Set up identity protection:

Azure AD offers a variety of identity protection features to help you identify and remediate identity-related risks. To set up identity protection, go to Azure Active Directory > Identity Protection.

Monitor usage and activity:

Azure AD provides detailed logs and reports to help you monitor usage and activity in your tenant. To access these logs and reports, go to Azure Active Directory > Monitoring.

These are the basic steps involved in setting up Azure AD. However, depending on your organization's needs, you may need to configure additional features and settings. Microsoft provides comprehensive documentation and tutorials to help you get started with Azure AD.

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