With the new feature Idle Timeout, you can protect your data from unauthorized access. This setting automatically times-out inactive users, making your data more secure and less prone to unauthorized access. You can enable it in 3 simple steps:
Microsoft Entra will verify all types of identities and secure, manage, and govern their access to any resource. The new Microsoft Entra product family will:
Protect access to any app or resource for any user across hybrid, multicloud, and beyond;
Secure and verify every identity including for employees, customers, partners, apps, devices, and workloads;
Provide only necessary access by discovering and right-sizing permissions, and managing access lifecycles for any identity; and
Simplify the human experience with simple sign-in, intelligent security, and unified administration.
But, what it is really Microsoft Entra? A unified portal for securing and managing every identity – The admin center for Microsoft Entra facilitates identity and access management, multicloud permissions management, and administration of verifiable credentials, all in one place.
When Entra will take place? In May 31st
And what happens to my AzureAD? Azure AD continues to be the foundational infrastructure for all new products in Microsoft Entra family. Innovation and investment in Azure AD continues, including the popular Application Gallery, Conditional Access, multifactor authentication, passwordless, and more.
Will I still be able to access my Azure AD Admin portal? short answer yes, long answer see below:
The Azure AD admin center (aad.portal.azure.com) will continue to function for the next 12-18 months, and then redirect to entra.microsoft.com in 2023 after extensive customer notice.
The Azure portal at portal.azure.com will also continue to offer Azure AD for Azure customers.
The M365 portal Azure AD admin page will be redirected to entra.microsoft.com later this summer.
So, can I Buy Microsoft Entra? Microsoft Entra is a product family. Products within Microsoft Entra are available for sale but there is no Entra bundle to purchase
This new product family has an impact on licenses or billing? No, but if you’re interested in sing Microsoft Entra Permissions Management will need to obtain a license for the solution. Microsoft Entra Verified ID is a free service but some scenarios, integrated with Azure AD capabilities, may require an Azure AD P1 or P2 license as a pre-requisite.
Currently, we could say that Legacy Authentication is one of the most compromising sign-in, luckily for us, older protocols have been replacing with modern authentication services, taking the advantage that MA supports MFA, while Legacy Authentication refers to all protocols that use Basic Authentication, and only requires one method of authentication.
So, it is important thar for security reasons we need to disable legacy authentication in our environments, why? Because enabling MFA isn’t effective if legacy protocols are not blocked. For example, the following options are considered legacy authentication protocols:
Authenticated SMTP – Used by POP and IMAP clients to send email messages.
Autodiscover – Used by Outlook and EAS clients to find and connect to mailboxes in Exchange Online.
Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) – Used to connect to mailboxes in Exchange Online.
Exchange Online PowerShell – Used to connect to Exchange Online with remote PowerShell. If you block Basic authentication for Exchange Online PowerShell, you need to use the Exchange Online PowerShell Module to connect.
Exchange Web Services (EWS) – A programming interface that’s used by Outlook, Outlook for Mac, and third-party apps.
IMAP4 – Used by IMAP email clients.
MAPI over HTTP (MAPI/HTTP) – Used by Outlook 2010 and later.
Offline Address Book (OAB) – A copy of address list collections that are downloaded and used by Outlook.
Outlook Anywhere (RPC over HTTP) – Used by Outlook 2016 and earlier.
Outlook Service – Used by the Mail and Calendar app for Windows 10.
POP3 – Used by POP email clients.
Reporting Web Services – Used to retrieve report data in Exchange Online.
Other clients – Other protocols identified as utilizing legacy authentication
How can we monitor the usage of legacy authentication in Azure AD?
Thanks to Log Analytics, Insights and workbooks, we are able to monitor the use of those protocols, for instance:
And check the non-interactive sign-ins (be careful with ADConnect sync accounts):
In this case, I am testing out the K33 and K44 products
The initial setup of the tenant is covered in my previous post, so I will skip the details of how to do it.
To configure the K33 key you will need to download the app “BioPass FIDO2 Manager” from the Windows Store:
And connect your K33 key via USB to the laptop (otherwise won’t be possible to configure), the configure your preferred PIN, and finally configure your fingerprints. The process to the K44 is similar, but in this case, I am using and Ipad, and the app to download is “iePassManager”
Once the key has been paired, the process to configure it is simple, the only thing that you must take into account is that even it is Bluetooth Key, you must configure it as an USB key (but remember, it must be paired first with the device).
Authentication with K33
K44 Registration Process
Once again, it is needed to set up the PIN for the Key, in my case, it has been done with the Ipad, but the registration process, is easy as the video shows:
The sign in process is very similar as we’ve seen before, so I do not want to cover this, but as you can observe, the registration and use of Fido2 Keys is pretty simple.
Inclusion, MFA keys and particularly, Fido2 Keys from Feitian are great!! But now, something that you must consider when implementing Fido2 keys in your environment:
There’s no way to enforce PIN policy in Azure AD: Every user can set up their own PIN to use their key. There is no centralized way to manage PINs, but Windows Hello for Business blocks simple PIN codes by default. The bad news is, if you add the key directly to your Azure AD account, these settings are overridden ☹
Feitian offers multiple options for connecting your key, so you’re sure to find one that works for you. Among the available connections are USB-A, USB-C, NFC, Bluetooth, PIN, biometrics, and more.
Biometrics requires app installation: you need to download the manufacturers’ application that enables fingerprint scanning, which is additional software that you must consider to install
Again, I want to thanks Feitian for providing the security keys to test out the use cases
Nobody can doubt that 2021 has been the year to adopt the cloud (due to COVID of course), mostly because most of us needed to work from home. We can say that business has changed and “Probably” will never go back to was it was.
Remote work will continue growing, so in 2022 we will need to protect our assets much better, and for this, here are my predictions/concerns for the next year:
Hacker will continue to try to breach in our systems and try to access by the weak link in supply chains. For this, we need to reduce privileges for internal and external accounts, and not forget about machine identities
Every business needs to reduce his own Attack Surface, to reduce the blast radius of any exposure or incident. To achieve this, tools that provide visibility into identities and activities are essential, we need to be sure of what happened and respond quickly to those incidents
Protect the data is your responsibility, try to plan and build security controls for your cloud migration roadmap
Zero Trust will continue growing, but remember to keep in touch with all the components: network, identity, permissions, configurations… The need of tools that give visibility is essential here.
Currently we put the focus on protecting our user identity with MFA controls, but what about machine identities? These identities and permissions are being exploited in every breach to make lateral attacks, so we will need to be aware of that during the next year.
For now, I think that it’s all, stay tuned to the blog and happy new year!
Probably you’re asking yourself what’s a jump host? So in simple words, is a virtual host which is not the same as you use daily to read e-mail, browse the web, install software, but is used to perform administrative tasks for one or multiple IT infrastructures.
These are some of the recommendations that I follow when I need to deploy a jump host in Azure. The first two, are the most important, you have to be sure of not doing any of these
Do NOT install any productivity tools such as Office, it’s important to keep the VM as clean as possible, it’s only a considered to be a jump Host, not a working device.
Do NOT use this VM for general internet browsing purposes
and other some recommendations…
Isolate the VM with NSG, only is need to access where it is really needed
Install the AntiMalware extension from Azure and configure Windows Defender Settings
If possible, configure JIT on the VM
Onboard the device in Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (if Possible)
The following are recommendations and thoughts that I extracted by working with several customers, maybe you will find it obvious, but for other people could be useful. So, let’s begin:
In the identity plane, we could say that exists 2 categories:
Resist Common attacks
Contain successful attacks
I don’t want to enter of how to resist or contain attacks, because probably I covered some of these topics in other blog entries, but for me, there is another category which is: understand the human nature.
Nothing more that understand that almost every rule that we impose to the end users, result in degradation of security. Why? Because we force users to use long passwords, with special characters, and in the end, users tend to reuse passwords which makes easier to guess or crack passwords for malicious actors.
So, in the post I will resume some of my experiences as AntiPatterns and recommendations:
Antipattern – Requiring long passwords: excessive length passwords (more than 10 characters) can result in a behaviour predictable, users tend to choose repeating patterns (heyholetsgoheyholetsgo) that meet the character length but clearly not hard to guess. We can say that this kind of passwords are hard to guess but lead to poor behaviours to guess the password.
SuperPRO Tip: You can use a long password, but in this case what I recommend is something that engineers from Microsoft do. They use a very loooooooong password, they forget it, and instead of it, they use passwordless mechanisms such as Windows Hello to sign in.
My tip: Use minimum 8 length requirement but ban common passwords with Azure AD Password Protection.
Antipattern – Require use of multiple character sets: probably you’re not in the same line as me, but I’ve seen that this rule do more harm than good. People use patterns as substitutions such as $ for s, @ for a, 1 for I. So keep it in mind
Antipattern – Password expiration: Policy expiration drive users to use very predictable password (for example, the next password can be predicted on the previous password), end users do not tend to use a new password, the tend to update the old one.
My tip for the two previous points: Azure AD Password Protection + Conditional Access based on User Identity
Recommendation – Ban common passwords: For me, the most important restriction is to ban the use of common password to reduce the possibility of brute force or password spray attacks
Tip: Look at my first tip 😊
Recommendation – Educate end Users not to use organization credentials anywhere else: Yes I know that educate users are difficult, but you have to do it, because the tend to reuse the same password across multiple sites. It is a common practice for cyber criminals to try compromised credentials across many sites.
Recommendation – Enforce MFA registration and enable MFA: ensure that users maintain their security information up to date, so they can respond to security challenges if needed. Doing this, I have seen that end users are more implicated concerning digital security
Enabling MFA prevents up to 99.9% of identity attacks, and if we use other controls such as user location, the better.
EndUser TIP: Consider turning on two-step verification everywhere you can
Recommendation – Enable risk-based Authentication: when the system detects suspicious activity, it challenges the user to ensure that they are the legitimate account owner. Personally, I think that this feature is great, but the only drawback that it is only included with AAD P2
Probably you will have different ones based on your experience but these are my recommendations. Till next time and stay safe!
This product is becoming very popular among my customers specially when they’d purchased Microsoft 365 E5 LIcenses, but, let’s have a look how we can implement this technology in our business.
But first, What is Defender for EndPoint? It’s an enterprise endpoint security platform designed to help enterprise networks prevent, detect, investigate, and respond to advanced threats. Also we can onboars servers and devices indepently to the service, which is great.
What is very cool, MDE is not only available for Windows, also for iOS, Linux and Android, so we can cover almost all the spectrum of corp devices.
And most important, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint integrates seamlessly into Microsoft Endpoint Manager. You only must activate the Intune integration ones during the initial setup and your reports will flow into MEM. This allows you create and configure Security baselines, which are pre-configured groups of Windows settings that help you apply the security settings that are recommended by the relevant security teams.
If you’re using an existing AV solution, you can check out the following guidelines to migrate to MDE:
If you have an existing AV, configure Defender as an exclusion
Onboard devices to MDE
Run detection test
Update MDE database
Final Phase: Microsoft Defender also recommends activating different features in order to increase the security level of your desktops in the Security recommendations tab. In there, you can find multiple settings that you can directly enable and push into Intune when you set up the connection correctly to your Intune tenant environment. But for me the most important are: