What is Azure Active Directory (AD)?
Azure Active Directory is a cloud-based directory service offered through Microsoft and developed for Windows domain networks. You can think of Active Directory as a digital phone book…but with more flexibility and tools. Active Directory stores information about your organization including sites, systems, users, and just about anything else you want to control access over. Active Directory is also a tool for you to govern identities and control who has access to what, and at what level.
Why use Azure Active Directory?
At its core, Azure Active Directory is about protection. Unfortunately, as technology improves, so does the sophistication of bad actors and data thieves alike, which only increases the criticality around safeguarding our sensitive data.
Azure Activity Directory is a comprehensive, cloud-based identity management service, providing single sign-on and multi-factor authentication to help protect your users from 99.9 percent of cybersecurity attacks.
Azure Active Directory governs two primary access issues:
- Authentication, which manages which users it grants access into Azure Active Directory
- Authorization, which determines what resources users have access to within Azure Active Directory.
What are the benefits of the Active Directory suite of applications for your business?
With Microsoft Intune and Autopilot, you can set your team up with new devices without the need to build, maintain, and apply custom operating system images to the devices. When you use Intune to manage Autopilot devices, you can manage policies, profiles, apps, and more after they’re enrolled.
Most of us are working from home these days, but no matter where your team is logging on, Azure Active Directory provides seamless access so your team stays up to speed from anywhere in the world. You also have the option to use automated, self-managed workflows throughout your users’ lifecycles, which saves both time and resources.
Here’s a deeper dive into the suite of Azure Active Directory services:
Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS)
AD FS provides Web single-sign-on (SSO) technologies to authenticate a user to multiple Web applications over the life of a single online session.
Active Directory Rights Management Services (AD RMS)
Active Directory Rights Management Services (AD RMS) is an information protection technology that works with AD RMS-enabled applications to help safeguard digital information from unauthorized use. Content owners can define who can open, modify, print, forward, or take other actions with the information.
Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS)
AD DS provides a distributed database that stores and manages information about network resources and application-specific data from directory-enabled applications. The hierarchical containment structure includes the Active Directory forest, domains in the forest, and organizational units (OUs) in each domain. A server that is running AD DS is called a domain controller.
Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS)
AD CS provides customizable services for issuing and managing public key certificates used in software security systems that employ public key technologies.