Why lacking conditional access can be critical to your business

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Why lacking conditional access can be critical to your business

In today’s business environment, mobility and convenience are essential, both for customers and employees. Even when ...


In today’s business environment, mobility and convenience are essential, both for customers and employees. Even when they’re outside the corporate perimeter, employees accessing work-related systems and information expect the same level of speed and convenience they enjoy when conducting transactions on their favorite online shopping sites.

 

 

What is Conditional Access?

 

Conditional Access is the tool used by Azure Active Directory to bring signals together, make decisions, and enforce organizational policies. Conditional Access is at the heart of the new identity-driven control plane. As organizations continue to run more workloads in the cloud, balancing security with anywhere access and remote work is a challenge they must take. Making sure resources like legacy on-premises applications using two application proxy and new cloud-based SaaS applications are accessible to the right people in the right situation requires granule controls.

 

Conditional Access is an Azure AD premium feature that provides a policy-based mechanism to address these challenges. Conditional Access policies can be thought of as an if-then statement; conditional Access policies, at their simplest, are if-then statements. If a user wants to access a resource, then they must complete an action. This by combining signals like:

  • Users and groups
  • Network locations
  • Applications
  • Devices
  • Risks

With decisions like:

  • Block access
  • Require MFA
  • Require a compliant device
  • Force a password change
  • Require terms of use

to force your organizations' security policies.

 

Conditional Access policies, at their simplest, are if-then statements. If a user wants to access a resource, then they must complete an action.

 

Conditional Access and Multi-factor Authentication 

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a process where users are prompted during a sign-on event for additional forms of identification. This prompt could be to enter a code they receive on their cellphone or provide a fingerprint scan. Requiring a second form of authentication increases security since this additional authentication factor is far more difficult for an attacker to obtain or duplicate than a password.

The best way to enable and use Azure MFA is with Conditional Access policies. Conditional Access lets you create and define policies that react to sign-on events and request additional actions before a user is granted access to an application or service. Azure MFA and Conditional Access policies give you the flexibility to enable MFA for users during specific sign-on events.

 

Why is it important?


Administrators are faced with two primary goals:

  • Empower users to be productive wherever and whenever
  • Protect the organization's assets

Using conditional access policies, you can apply the right access controls when needed to keep your organization secure and stay out of your user's way when not needed.

By setting your own conditional access policies, you can:

 

  • Requiring multi-factor authentication for users with administrative roles
  • Requiring multi-factor authentication for Azure management tasks
  • Blocking sign-ins for users attempting to use legacy authentication protocols
  • Requiring trusted locations for Azure AD Multi-Factor Authentication registration
  • Blocking or granting access from specific locations
  • Blocking risky sign-in behaviors
  • Requiring organization-managed devices for specific applications

 

This lets your employees safely access your business data from remote locations and fosters modern work while staying secure.

 

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