As we begin 2024, Microsoft Entra reflects on the significant enhancements made during the previous year. Catering to thousands of clients, Microsoft Entra has strengthened its identity verification and access security capabilities across multicloud environments.
The feats of innovation encompass Security Service Edge (SSE), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and realms such as Decentralized Identities. Heeding customer insights, over a hundred features have been unfurled, with the top fifty encapsulating the gist of users' preferences and market demands for bolstering digital security.
Among the key offerings, Microsoft Security Copilot stands out, aiming to reframe policy analysis and workflow curation with AI, thereby enhancing identity security strategies and overall security investment returns.
With the identity security landscape in constant flux, Microsoft advises a proactive stance towards identity protection. Acknowledging the progression in both threats and AI, partnering with trusted providers is key, and the anticipation for Microsoft Entra's 2024 plans is fervent.
Microsoft Entra plays a crucial role in enhancing identity and access management within organizations. Its developments over the past year, notably through the adoption of AI with tools like Microsoft Security Copilot, assert the importance of automated and conversational understanding in policy and workflow efficacy.
The introduction of phishing-resistant authenticators like passkeys and enhanced Conditional Access policies indicate a pressing endeavor to mitigate possible breaches and identity theft. The dedicated dashboard for ID protection and new signal alerts for potential compromise elevate organizational preparedness against cyber threats. Furthermore, the cross-cloud permission management showcases Microsoft's resolve in delivering comprehensive, integrated security solutions for increasingly multi-faceted IT environments.
Microsoft Entra's advancements offer a more robust framework for executing identity and access protocols, emphasizing multi-factor and conditional access as pillars of a secure digital estate. These innovations, matched with a focus on non-human identity security, consolidate Microsoft’s position as a leader in secure, multifactor identity verification systems for a variety of applications.
As Microsoft Entra progresses into 2024, a keen eye is kept on emerging threats and AI-fueled security trends to ensure that advancements continue securing digital identities amidst a rapidly evolving landscape.
Microsoft Entra’s Top 50 Features of 2023
To kick off 2024, we're taking a look back at the significant features Microsoft Entra introduced throughout the past year. It's been a busy time for the Microsoft team, focusing on verifying a wide array of identities and streamlining access to resources with their innovative multicloud identity and network access products. Their latest advancements pushed the boundaries into areas such as Security Service Edge (SSE), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and more, yielding over a hundred new features.
These top fifty features, shaped by customer feedback and market developments, are poised to bolster digital defense and optimize security investments. While the full list is available in the release notes, let's highlight some key additions that could transform how you protect your organization's digital assets.
1. AI and Secure Access
At Microsoft Ignite 2023, it was announced that Microsoft Security Copilot would become part of Microsoft Entra to assist users in automating tasks, interpreting policies, and designing workflows, with the aim of enhancing identity security. This innovation strengthens protection across employees, customers, and various environments. Microsoft Security Copilot delivers explanations of Conditional Access policies and multi-factor authentication (MFA) triggers in accessible language within the Microsoft Entra admin center.
2. Future-Proof Security
Phishing-resistant access options are underway with support for passkeys, paired with the automatic rollout of Conditional Access policies based on risk assessment, usage, and licensing. In addition, new measures against token theft and secure administrative operations are being introduced, further defending against unauthorized access.
3. Advanced Conditional Access
An overview dashboard provides a comprehensive look at Conditional Access status, while new templates enable easy alignment with Microsoft best practices. Conditional Access is also evolving with the introduction of authentication strength, allowing for finer control tied to risk levels and resource sensitivity, which is crucial for tightly regulated industries.
4. Enhanced Identity Protection
Microsoft Entra ID Protection has been upgraded with a central dashboard for monitoring security posture, new signals for verified threats, and real-time intelligence detections to help apply risk-based Conditional Access policies. It also offers crucial capabilities for managing permission of identities across multicloud infrastructures and streamlining user risk management in hybrid setups.
Microsoft introduced system-preferred MFA, phishing-resistant mobile authentication without the need for certificates, and customization options for certificate-based authentication (CBA). They’ve also rolled out the Microsoft Entra Verified ID to verify workplace credentials on LinkedIn, and new app health recommendations for non-human identities to leverage the power of Microsoft Entra.
6. Innovations in Access Management
Admins are now equipped to modernize identity with cloud-based services, SSO for Apple devices, and secured local admin accounts. They also can tailor their authentication flows with custom claims providers and establish secure digital relationships using Microsoft Entra External IDs.
7. Comprehensive Insights and Control
Microsoft Graph Activity Logs provide insights into activities within a tenant, and users have more control with restricted management and IPv6 support. Microsoft is integrating Entra Permissions Management with Microsoft Defender for Cloud and ServiceNow to offer a cohesive security experience.
8. Focused on Zero Trust
Microsoft continues to emphasize the importance of Zero Trust security, simplifying network access and unifying adaptive access controls with their Identity and Network Access solutions. This coordinates their policies across identity and networking teams, ensuring safer internet and app access through Secure Web Gateways (SWG).
9. Developer and Governance Resources
An Identity Platform Developer Center has been launched, and company branding has been enhanced. Cross-tenant access settings have been improved, and lifecycle workflow auditing is now easier to manage. Machine Learning-based reviews, a new Governance dashboard, and tools for enforcing independently verified credentials support rigorous identity governance.
10. Extending Identity Management
Microsoft provides guidance on API-driven provisioning, automating governance for on-premises applications, and they have enhanced the access lifecycle with organization-specific processes. Furthermore, entitlement management now integrates with Conditional Access, expanding the tools administrators can utilize for access control and user lifecycle workflows.
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