Fig 1. Cloud App Discovery tile on the Startboard of the Azure preview portalThe first time you arrive at the Cloud App Discovery blade, click the Quickstart icon on the top of the blade. This provides guidance on how to get started with Cloud App Discovery, including how to download and deploy the agent, as well as details about how the feature works.
Fig 2: Cloud App Discovery QuickstartSeeing your data on cloud applications usage Once you've installed the Cloud App Discovery agent on at least one client, you'll begin to see data on application usage in the Cloud App Discovery blades. The new blades expose all of the capabilities that the Cloud App Discovery feature had in preview. You can:
Fig 3: Cloud App Discovery blades in Azure preview portalAccess Delegation By default, only the global administrators in your organization have access to the Cloud App Discovery feature. With this release, we've added access delegation to meet an important request articulated by many preview customers: Now you can grant access to the Cloud App Discovery feature to users who need it, such as users in the security organization, even if they're not global admins in your directory. To enable other users in your organization to use Cloud App Discovery, click on the Settings tile on the Cloud App Discovery blade. Then click "Manage Access." Then, select the users and groups in your directory that need access to the Cloud App Discovery feature.
Fig 4: Delegating access to the Cloud App Discovery FeatureTo see a step-by-step walkthrough of the management experience in the Azure preview portal, and the installation of the Cloud Application Discovery agent, read our documentation here . Preview of Privileged Identity Management We've just turned on a preview of our Privileged Identity Management (Azure AD PIM) feature. This is an Azure AD Premium feature that improves your organization's cloud security posture by reducing risk from users who have access to highly-privileged roles, such as administrator roles in Azure AD and other services such as Office 365, Intune, and SaaS apps whose access is managed by Azure AD. No other cloud identity service offers this advanced capability. Overview Today, most admins have permanent and unmonitored permissions to high-value resources in order to do their jobs. While this is convenient, it poses major security concerns and makes their accounts high-value targets for security attacks. In many of the recent high-profile security breaches, a hacker found a way to compromise a user account that was permanently assigned to privileged roles. Then the attacker was able to use that account to access resources across the organization's network, in many cases going undetected for months. Many of our enterprise customers have told us they want to improve the security and reduce risk around access to these roles. Azure AD Privileged Identity Management reduces this risk by enabling you to:
Fig 5: Privileged Identity Management item in the Marketplace of the Azure preview portalActivate the security administrator role The first global administrator who initiates access to this preview is automatically assigned to the security administrator role, which is a new role used to manage privileged identities. Later you can add other users to the security administrator role. With Azure AD Privileged Identity Management, the basic model is that that a privileged role is assigned to candidate members, who in turn activate their membership in the role on-demand and for a limited pre-configured time. Since the security administrator role is a privileged role, in order to begin managing privileged identities you will need to activate your membership by clicking "Activate my role". You will see a list of roles assigned to you: the global administrator role with "permanent activation" and the new security administrator for which you need to "request activation". Finish the wizard to request activation for the security administrator role. During this preview, a user enters a business justification ("request reason") in the form of free text. While no meaningful validation is enforced today, the business justification it is logged and shows up in the audit experience along with the other details of the historical events. You can use it forensics or for detecting compliance issue with company policy, such as a policy that requires providing business justification like an incident number that needs privileged access to resolve. In future the business justification could be used for stronger validation by an authorization workflow.
Fig 6: Activating the security administrator roleManage privileged identities The security administrator manages the other privileged identities. In the Privileged identities blade, you can see the privileged roles, including the security administrator role. For each privileged role, you can see how many users are assigned to that role, how many of these assignments are currently active and how many are permanently active. The table also shows a summary of the risk level in each role: If there are too many permanent assignments, it shows a yellow warning. If there are only a few permanent assignments, or none, it shows a green checkmark. You can configure the thresholds by right-clicking the row and editing the settings.
Fig 7: Managing privileged identitiesYou can click on the Roles tile to manage user assignments for privileged roles. You can view all privileged identities by role or name, add or remove users from privileged roles, make the assignments to privileged roles either temporary or permanent, or activate someone into their assigned privileged role, on their behalf. For example, you can assign an additional user to the security administrator role, either permanently or requiring temporary activation.
Fig 8: Managing an assignment to a privileged roleClick the Activation History tile to view detailed historical information regarding privileged roles. This includes operations done automatically by the service, such as expiring privileged roles at the end of the activation time window.
Fig 9: Viewing activation history of privileged rolesSelf-service experience for administrators The privileged identities managed by Azure AD Privileged Identity Management are effectively regular users in the system until they are activated into their assigned privileged role. To activate their privileged role membership, a user:
Fig 10: Requesting role activationAzure AD Privileged Identity Management improves your ability to control and manage the highest security risks to your cloud identity infrastructure – your own privileged roles (administrators) -- that have become a high-value target for attackers. To see the user experience for the security admin to configure temporary access to a privileged role, and for a user to request activation into that role, see our video .
As always, we're very interested in your feedback on these features. So if you have any questions or suggestions, just drop us a line in our forum .
Alex Simons (Twitter: @Alex_A_Simons )
Director of Program Management
Microsoft Identity and Security Services Division
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