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What is Active Directory: The Ultimate Guide

Active Directory is Microsoft’s on-premises identity and access management (IAM) service. In this article, learn how Active Directory (AD) makes it easier for IT to manage an organization’s IT resources. Active Directory is especially useful for companies that have to manage lots of endpoints and servers. What is Active Directory and why is it used?...

Last Update: Nov 16, 2023

About Identity Management

Identity Management (or Identity and Access Management) is a fundamental aspect of modern IT security. It involves the processes and technologies used to manage and verify the identity of users accessing IT resources. A key IAM solution is Active Directory, a product by Microsoft that is widely recognized for its robustness and versatility in managing on-premises user identities.

Active Directory (AD) centralizes user and computer authentication and authorization, allowing IT administrators to control user access to various network resources effectively. This is especially crucial for large organizations with complex structures and lots of users, where maintaining individual user accounts wouldn’t be practical. Active Directory streamlines management by providing a single, unified platform for identity management, enhancing security and operational efficiency.

Expanding the principles of Identity and Access Management to the cloud, Microsoft introduced 'Microsoft Entra ID' (formerly Azure Active Directory). It is a solution designed to simplify and secure the management of user identities for cloud-native applications.

Entra ID extends beyond the traditional boundaries of on-premises networks, embracing cloud services and mobile applications. Microsoft Entra ID offers enhanced features like multi-factor authentication (MFA), conditional access policies, and integrated identity governance capabilities.

Microsoft Entra ID is the IAM used by Microsoft 365. Entra ID can also be used in conjunction with on-premises Windows Server Active Directory, giving organizations the ability to extend their existing directory service to the cloud.


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Ignite 2023: Microsoft 365 Universal Print Gets macOS Support, Security Features

Microsoft announced some important updates for the Universal Print service at its Ignite 2023 conference today. The cloud-based print service is getting macOS support, allowing users to print from any Mac app without installing third-party drivers or software. Universal Print now supports the pull printing functionality that lets employees securely release their print jobs from…

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Get-ADComputer: The PowerShell Command for Managing Active Directory Computers

The Get-ADComputer PowerShell cmdlet is a powerful tool for managing AD computers. It can be used to retrieve information about computer objects, search for computer objects based on specific criteria, and perform various actions on computer objects. What is Get-ADComputer used for? Get-ADComputer is a PowerShell cmdlet that retrieves one or more computers from Active…

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Microsoft Entra ID App Registration and Enterprise App Security Explained

Last Update: Nov 10, 2023

One of the main reasons that application governance is often overlooked, as it relates to an organization’s cloud security posture, is because the topic is not fully understood. . However, it is vitally important to understand the fundamentals of Microsoft Entra ID (formerly Azure Active Directory)  – tenants, app registrations, enterprise apps, and consent –…

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How to Properly Secure and Govern Microsoft Entra ID Apps

Last Update: Nov 09, 2023

Microsoft Entra ID, formerly Azure Active Directory (AD), is Microsoft’s cloud-native identity management platform. It only takes one compromised Entra ID user account to consent to a rogue app that siphons all the user’s Microsoft 365 data or to take over their mailbox. Business Email Compromise (BEC) amounts to $8 million in losses on a…

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ManageEngine ADSelfService Plus: Protect On-Premises and Cloud Services from Password Attacks with Multi-factor Authentication

Last Update: Nov 07, 2023

Advanced password attacks, like brute force and those launched by malicious insiders, are devastating the security of today’s enterprises and cloud services. ADSelfService Plus from ManageEngine can protect web properties from such attacks with multi-factor authentication (MFA). Multi-factor authentication is the best way to protect Active Directory and cloud-based user accounts As the impacts of…

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Microsoft Entra ID to Get Automatic Conditional Access Policies This Month

Microsoft has announced plans to introduce new Conditional Access policies that will automatically protect customers against potential cyberattacks. Starting next week, the company will begin rolling out the new policies to all eligible commercial customers. “We’ve designed these policies based on our deep knowledge of the current cyberthreat landscape to help our customers strengthen their…

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Mastering Active Directory OU: A Comprehensive Guide to Organizational Units

Last Update: Oct 24, 2023

If you’ve been an IT Pro for many years (OK, decades), you likely know what an Active Directory OU (Organizational Unit) is. But, what if you’re new to the IT field or new to Microsoft Active Directory? No need to fret or get flustered – read my post to find out about OUs, what they are, and…

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Windows LAPS Introduces Microsoft Entra ID and Intune Support to Boost Protection

Microsoft has introduced support for Microsoft Entra ID and Microsoft Intune in its Windows LAPS solution. This update enables organizations to easily configure local administrator password policies to protect Windows devices against cyberattacks. Microsoft started rolling out Windows Local Administrator Password Solution (Windows LAPS) in April 2023. The solution replaces the legacy LAPS implementation (Microsoft…

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Master SQL Server: SQL Server Management Studio Tutorial

Last Update: Oct 17, 2023

In this SQL Server Management Studio tutorial (SSMS), I will show you the primary database management and development capabilities provided by the tool. Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is the primary management and development tool for SQL Server and has been since its release back with SQL Server 2000. SSMS provides a graphical interface…

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