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July 03, 2023

Microsoft Entra: The future of identity and access management

Azure AD is now part of Microsoft Entra, a new product offering that includes all of Microsoft’s identity and access management features. The Entra family not only includes Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), but also introduces two new product categories: Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM) and decentralized identity.

What is Microsoft Entra?

According to the Microsoft Entra Admin Center, Entra “secures your entire identity infrastructure with identity management and more. Protect your business with decentralized identity, identity protection, governance and more in a multi-cloud environment.”

Changes announced in the Admin Center

In December 2022, Microsoft announced the upcoming changes to the Admin Center with notification MC477013. Entra replaced the Azure AD admin center and added more features, such as CIEM and decentralized identity.

Entra’s New Focus

Although Entra still uses existing interfaces, they are now housed in sub-menus and the focus is on:

  • Azure Active Directory: for securing and managing identities to connect them to apps, devices and data.
  • Permission management: to discover, remediate and track permission risks for each identity or resource.
  • Verified ID: for creating, issuing and verifying decentralized identity proofs for secure interactions.
  • Workload Identities: Helps manage, secure and control your workloads with Azure AD Workload Identities.
  • Identity Governance: Manage access rights with entitlement management, access reviews and lifecycle workflows.

Versions of Microsoft Entra

It is important to note that Microsoft Entra is available as a free version, Office 365 app, Premium 1 and Premium 2. The free version includes the Azure Directory and Office 365 apps.

Premium P1

Designed for organizations with more demanding identity and access management needs, the Azure Active Directory Premium edition adds feature-rich enterprise-level identity management features and enables hybrid users to seamlessly access on-premises and cloud capabilities. This edition covers everything you need for information workers and identity managers in hybrid environments in the areas of application access, self-service for identity and access management (IAM), and security in the cloud. Premium 1 is included with Microsoft 365 and is charged at €5.60 per user/month.

Premium P2

Azure Active Directory Premium P2 includes every feature of all other Azure Active Directory editions, enhanced with advanced identity protection and privileged identity management features. Premium 2 is also included with Microsoft 365, but is charged at €8.40 per user/month.

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