What is Azure Active Directory Identity Protection?
Azure Active Directory Identity Protection enables organizations to configure automated responses to detected suspicious actions related to user identities.
Microsoft has secured cloud-based identities for more than a decade. With Azure Active Directory Identity Protection, in your environment, you can use the same protection systems Microsoft uses to secure identities.
The vast majority of security breaches take place when attackers gain access to an environment by stealing a user’s identity. Over the years, attackers have become increasingly effective in leveraging third-party breaches and using sophisticated phishing attacks. As soon as an attacker gains access to even low privileged user accounts, it is relatively easy for them to gain access to important company resources through lateral movement.
As a consequence of this, you need to:
- Protect all identities regardless of their privilege level
- Proactively prevent compromised identities from being abused
Discovering compromised identities is no easy task. Azure Active Directory uses adaptive machine learning algorithms and heuristics to detect anomalies and suspicious incidents that indicate potentially compromised identities. Using this data, Identity Protection generates reports and alerts that enable you to evaluate the detected issues and take appropriate mitigation or remediation actions.
Azure Active Directory Identity Protection is more than a monitoring and reporting tool. To protect your organization's identities, you can configure risk-based policies that automatically respond to detected issues when a specified risk level has been reached. These policies, in addition to other Conditional Access controls provided by Azure Active Directory and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS), can either automatically block or initiate adaptive remediation actions including password resets and multi-factor authentication enforcement.
Identity Protection capabilities
Detecting vulnerabilities and risky accounts:
- Providing custom recommendations to improve overall security posture by highlighting vulnerabilities
- Calculating sign-in risk levels
- Calculating user risk levels
Investigating risk events:
- Sending notifications for risk events
- Investigating risk events using relevant and contextual information
- Providing basic workflows to track investigations
- Providing easy access to remediation actions such as password reset
Risk-based Conditional Access policies:
- Policy to mitigate risky sign-ins by blocking sign-ins or requiring multi-factor authentication challenges
- Policy to block or secure risky user accounts
- Policy to require users to register for multi-factor authentication
Identity Protection roles
To load balance the management activities around your Identity Protection implementation, you can assign several roles. Azure AD Identity Protection supports 3 directory roles:
|Role||Can do||Cannot do|
|Global administrator||Full access to Identity Protection, Onboard Identity Protection|
|Security administrator||Full access to Identity Protection||Onboard Identity Protection, reset passwords for a user|
|Security reader||Read-only access to Identity Protection||Onboard Identity Protection, remediate users, configure policies, reset passwords|
For more details, see Assigning administrator roles in Azure Active Directory
Azure Active Directory Identity Protection analyses your configuration and detects vulnerabilities that can have an impact on your user's identities. For more details, see Vulnerabilities detected by Azure Active Directory Identity Protection.
Azure Active Directory uses adaptive machine learning algorithms and heuristics to detect suspicious actions that are related to your user's identities. The system creates a record for each detected suspicious action. These records are also known as risk events.
For more details, see Azure Active Directory risk events.
Your journey through Identity Protection typically starts with the Identity Protection dashboard.
The dashboard gives you access to:
- Reports such as Users flagged for risk, Risk events and Vulnerabilities
- Settings such as the configuration of your Security Policies, Notifications and multi-factor authentication registration
It is typically your starting point for investigation, which is the process of reviewing the activities, logs, and other relevant information related to a risk event to decide whether remediation or mitigation steps are necessary, and how the identity was compromised, and understand how the compromised identity was used.
You can tie your investigation activities to the notifications Azure Active Directory Protection sends per email.
To implement automated responses, Azure Active Directory Identity Protection provides you with three policies:
Using this feature requires an Azure AD Premium P2 license. To find the right license for your requirements, see Comparing generally available features of the Free, Basic, and Premium editions.