In a connected world heavily invested in digital access, Microsoft Entra has emerged. Inspired by entry-ways and business portals, Entra aims to limit attack surfaces and reduce operational risks in hyper-connected environments. This new family of products encompasses all of Microsoft’s identity and access capabilities. Through the reimagining of direct identity and accessibility controls, the Entra suite attempts to foster digital trust through cloud infrastructure entitlement and identity verification.
Why Entra is important
As communication accelerates and networks proliferate around the world, the way we work and play is changing before our eyes. Online interactions create exciting opportunities for engagement and value creation, but they also lead to unwanted levels of exposure.
Entra is Microsoft’s latest attempt to address and manage this risk without compromising the user experience. Entra is about managing pathways to help businesses move forward with confidence. While this family of products is concerned with security and control, it aims to highlight accessibility above restrictive access.
The critical components of Entra
Microsoft Entra is a three-staged software collection designed to function as a single entity. According to Microsoft, it will help organizations to manage the accessibility requirements of any online application or resource. A range of technologies will be working under the hood to help Entra discover and manage permissions within multicloud environments.
Digital security is not a simple task, with Entra merging three core components as one. It includes the existing Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), along with two new product categories. The recently launched Permissions Management is based on Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM), and a new decentralized identity product called Verified ID will be ready in August.
Entra includes the following core components:
- Azure AD is a comprehensive identity as a service (IDaaS) solution that deals with all aspects of identity, access management, and security. Azure AD manages everything from conditional access to passwordless authentication and Azure AD External Identities. As part of Entra, it will also manage B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) connections.
- Permissions Management is a multicloud infrastructure entitlement management solution. This arm of the Entra family is based on rebranded CloudKnox permission technology. Permissions Management offers visibility into permissions, actions, and resources. It helps to mitigate the risk of data breaches in Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform.
- The third part of Entra is a new decentralized identity product called Verified ID. This new service gives greater controls to security teams, who will be able to verify the credentials of users and organizations at any time and place. Customers will be able to create and share verifiable credentials across diverse services and link things like identity, proof of education, and employment.
Entra offers an integrated vision
Controlling digital access used to be straightforward, with singular services used to identify, verify, and control credentials across diverse systems. Those days are over, however, as user identities shift all the time and virtual perimeters continually adjust to meet changing scenarios. Organizations don’t want to deal with disjointed services or manage conflicting demands, and this is why Microsoft proposes Entra as an important part of the solution.
To be effective, accessibility solutions need to work everywhere. From traditional on-premises infrastructure to Azure AD, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform, users need to slide between services using a single identity or navigate singular services using multiple identities. Entra is designed to manage multiple use case scenarios across diverse digital resources, from software-based apps and websites to hardware-based servers and personal devices.
According to Microsoft, trust is the fabric that ties all of these things together. Microsoft Entra will verify all types of identities, but more than that, it will secure, manage, and govern their access to any resource based on need. Entra will make intelligent decisions to benefit all users across a variety of hybrid and multicloud environments.
According to Microsoft, Entra will be used to:
- Protect access to any app or resource
- Secure and verify user identities
- Discover and govern online permissions
- Simplify and improve the user experience
Benefits of Entra
The online environment is always changing and evolving, with new solutions needed to bring systems and users together. With a variety of diverse services managed under a single umbrella, Entra will have a number of positive real-world implications. The following benefits are key:
Improves multicloud access and user management
The emerging multicloud environment has caused an explosion of user identities, permissions, and resources. This has caused a proliferation of new attack surfaces and potential misuse scenarios, many of which are difficult to manage. Security teams manage permissions by enforcing the principle of least privilege across all digital assets, which lacks flexibility in multicloud environments. Entra Permissions Management is designed to solve this problem, with comprehensive visibility providing detailed control over user and workload identities, actions, and resources.
Secures digital interactions and user privacy
Verified ID is an integral part of Microsoft Entra, with decentralized standards giving rise to portable and self-owned user identities. This will allow for more secure digital interactions and greater privacy across services and timelines. According to Microsoft, Entra will promote a more open and trustworthy digital environment based on interoperable standards and decentralized identities for individuals and organizations. With credentials built into the communication process, B2B and B2C transactions can be conducted with greater efficiency and confidence.
Manages identities across roles and scenarios
Identity governance is a huge challenge for security teams, with existing processes known to affect IT and individual productivity. Microsoft Entra will streamline all aspects of identity management through manual actions and automation practices to avoid delays, smooth supply chains, and promote business continuity. Entra is capable of divorcing operational roles from accessibility demands, with identity always managed on its own terms. For example, if accounts need to be reprovisioned or deactivated due to changing circumstances, access rights can remain in place.
If you want to improve accessibility for all users and environments, Microsoft Entra is definitely worthy of your attention. If you’re ready to get started with this powerful software suite, Softlanding provides professional consultation, guidance, and implementation. Whatever your needs, our IT services are designed to help you thrive.
To discover a world of new possibilities, please reach out to our team.