Consulting with a Conscience™

A cruciallogics blog

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Written by Chris Diachock
on January 04, 2021

If your company utilizes both cloud and local environments, you don’t want your employees have to use separate authentication for each one. Azure AD Connect has a single Active Directory identity for applications like Microsoft Office 365, giving users a seamless experience with the sense of working in one location.

What to Know Before you Connect

First, ensure you’re using Microsoft Windows 2012 or later or else it won’t be supported by the domain controller operating systems.

It's very important that when you provision your Azure tenant to get the correct naming convention. In order to link cloud and local environments together you must ensure there aren’t any unsupported names with characters that may not work properly such as dots, dashes, or underlines.

Four Benefits of Connecting on Premise AD to Azure Using Azure AD Connect and Cloud Identity

  1. Simplification

Azure AD Connect is a server that talks to your active directory on premise and synchronises the user IDs, the passwords, the groups, and the device objects into the Azure AD cloud tenant. This allows for services in the cloud that are SaaS based services or PaaS based services to leverage that identity without having to have hooks and links or network connections back to your on-premise environment.

A prime example is Office 365 or a cloud-based mail service. When you create a mailbox in the cloud your identity is already there in your ID, so it just has to link that mailbox to that identity in the cloud. This is linked back to the on premise identity, simplifying the provisioning and the control over these cloud based applications.

  1. Security

Using Azure AD in cloud for your identity provides a layer of conditional access. Essentially, if you’re trying to get to a service, conditional access can check for certain criteria, ensuring you’re compliant or logging in from a good location. This is known as geo location and it ensures a non-hostile network, helping to lock down the security.

Multi-factor authentication will only grant user access when at least two pieces of authentication have successfully been offered. This double authentication proves that you are who you say you are on the other end of that login.

  1. Scalability

Third party software programs have not always been easy to integrate. They're complicated or they simply don't scale, not just with your identity, but even more so around the services or the products that can be leveraged by them. When you consider that there are literally thousands of marketplace apps available for service based applications into Azure AD for authentication, you can see how difficult it would be to scale to those levels on premise.

  1. Verification

The zero trust model is based on a stringent identity process and ensures everything is constantly being verified. Whether that's the authentication process, the data consumption process, or how the user accesses their data, it ensures that the device and the user meet certain criteria or standards to avoid security breaches.

How a Professional Service Provider Helps with the Process

CrucialLogics knows the technology well and recognizes how it can affect the overall implementation or design. We’ve done it all before and we understand how to quickly configure things. We’re able to provide support and guidance on how to maintain coexistence between the migration of services and potentially the pitfalls of unintentionally not securing legacy protocols. These are things you want to prevent because they’re essentially an attack vector for hackers and malware to get into your environment.

When companies try to implement this technology themselves, it’s not uncommon for them to have to rebuild completely because they didn’t consider an element such as compliance. This is extremely costly in terms of time and impact to the organization and impossible to determine what downtime costs in lost revenue and reputation.

By adhering to the old adage of measure twice, cut once in mind, CrucialLogics considers the proper approach and timelines to ensure that we do it right the first time.

Reach out to our team today to learn more about how we can help your organization connect on premise AD to Azure using Azure AD Connect and cloud identity.

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