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Top 7 Azure AD Management Mistakes & How to Prevent Them

Azure AD provides a reliable way for managing user identity and access to cloud networks. Yet, there are Azure AD management mistakes that can prove to be very expensive for businesses. See how to avoid these mistakes and follow best practices to deploy Azure AD into your platform.

Enterprises use Active Directory for identity and access management of their employees. Microsoft introduced an active directory feature in 2000 that helped firms manage their on-premises infrastructure, allowing one identity per user. 

Azure AD management provides IDaaS (Identity as a service) solutions to organisations for their on-premises applications and across the cloud. Some of the major intended customers of Azure AD are IT Administrators, online Microsoft subscribers, and Application Developers. 

What is Azure Active Directory Management

Azure AD allows you to grant your employees access to internal and external resources required for their respective tasks. These resources may include applications on your business’s corporate intranet, the Azure portal, Microsoft 365, and many other SaaS (server as a service) applications. The following benefits make Azure AD Management crucial for employee access management and the security of your business. 

  • Single sign-on, SaaS, and Application Proxy for managing your on-premises and cloud applications. 
  • Custom banned list of passwords, MFA (Multi-Factor authentication), and self-service password resetting help in Azure AD Management. 
  • B2B (Business-to-Business) and B2C (Business-to-Customer) management becomes easier by giving you control over how and who can access information and resources. 
  • Microsoft Intune enables mobile device and windows desktop management in Azure AD. 
  • Azure AD management allows users to manage workloads from windows servers and from Linux / Unix as well. 

Common Mistakes in Azure AD Management and their Preventions

1. Inactive Multi-Factor Authentication 

Sometimes if deemed necessary, you can grant exclusions from Multi-Factor Authentication to some users, but they are not revoked by company IT administrators. If MFA is not active, the system can mistake a guest Wi-Fi network as a trusted IP range.  

Users must enable Multi-Factor Authentication for every account, and regular audits have to be conducted to keep the network under control. 

2. Global Admins 

Global admins are users with limitless access to your on-premises AD forest and Azure AD tenant. This can cause harm to your infrastructure if a global admin goes rogue. 

A good practice is assigning roles with less control, and delegating permissions to individual roles instead of giving certain users global admin roles. 

3. Unmonitored Application Privileges 

All applications require some privilege to run. Usually, it is seen that applications are granted greater privileges than they actually require to operate. Attackers can use applications as backdoors to infiltrate the servers. 

The applications under use must be monitored regularly to manage their privileges and access. This can reduce the size of a potential attack surface.  

4. Unauthorized access to Azure AD Connect Servers 

Azure AD Connect Servers need special permissions to manage and modify Active Directories. If attackers gain access to the azure AD connect servers, they can compromise entire network security and privacy. 

It must be made sure that only domain admins have administrative rights on the Azure AD Connect Servers.  

5. Automatic Setup 

Users often opt for the default settings provided; in some cases, it is better to apply the default settings, but it is not the case every time. Passwordless authentication and similar higher-level security protocols are disabled by default.  

A best practice is to review all application settings before the Deployment of Azure AD. Additionally, make sure to follow the general security policies of the enterprise during the deployment of Azure AD. 

6. Ungauged User Permissions 

An easier way to assign permissions to users is to allow complete access to all users; however, this is the worst strategy to follow. Any employee or user granted more permissions than they need is a potential source of a cyber-attack. 

Principle of least privilege should be adopted to grant access and/or privileges to each account. Another best practice is granting conditional or temporary access to users or groups who are not entitled to use the platform for longer. 

7. Stale Account Clean-up 

Another common mistake in Azure AD management is to leave stale accounts as they are. Using these stale accounts, potential digital threat actors can access confidential information and organisational resources. 

A detailed inspection of the usage and users of company accounts should be regularly performed, and any stale accounts found must be removed from the system. 

Conclusion 

Careful Azure AD management is essential to the security and productivity of your business. Improperly deploying Azure AD can put your organization at risk of a cyber-attack and data leakage. To ensure that your resources and data are secure, a fully integrated Azure AD aids the overall security infrastructure of your enterprise network. 

If you would like some assistance with the deployment of Azure AD into your network, get in touch with our Microsoft-certified Azure specialists right away!

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