What is Microsoft Entra ID?

As you almost certainly know, Microsoft Entra ID, formally known as Azure Active Directory, is Microsoft’s comprehensive cloud platform, offering more than 200 products and services to users. Entra ID is the built-in identity and access management service, for Microsoft 365, and thousands of other third-party SaaS solutions. But how useful is Entra ID and what does it offer users? Read on to learn more about what it offers and to see it might be a good fit for you.

Microsoft Entra ID: Past and Present

The first version of Entra ID, was created back in 1999 and officially released in the early 2000s. Over time, this has evolved, leading to the current version, which we’re focusing on in this blog. Entra ID was created by Microsoft to allow businesses to take more control over the management and access of their online infrastructure. Microsoft Entra ID builds upon this heritage, with the essential features of the previous Azure Active Directory, together with new functionality such as identification management and enhanced security.

Identification Management

The key feature in Entra ID is its identification management, offered as Identity as a Service (IaaS). Entra ID’s IaaS gives its users the ability to sign into multiple platforms, such as their emails and intranet, as well as use different platforms including cloud or company software, by using just one login name and password. This means that users can log in with ease and access their different apps at the same time, rather than having to log into each one individually.

This may sound useful, but perhaps not very secure. Surely having just one password would make it easier for someone to hack into your account? Fortunately, Entra ID has a unique way of managing the identification process, using IaaS, a cloud-based authentication service. Through this service, IaaS can confirm that people logging into the platform are who they say they are, by integrating and maximising security across all the relevant platforms. IT administrators can use Entra ID to control access to apps and resources, based on business requirements, for example requiring multi-factor authentication to be used when accessing sensitive or confidential organisational data.

What else do you need to know about Entra ID?

As well as their identification management, Entra ID also has excellent access management tools for subscribers to use. With these tools, administrators can assign different roles to the relevant people within the company, giving them access for the specific tools they need for their role. Entra ID has some roles already built into the system, so these can easily be assigned to the right person, including owner, administrator, and contributor.

There is a free version of Entra ID, which is great if you want to try before you commit to a subscription. However, you won’t see the full effects and benefits of the platform without a paid subscription.
There are different premium options of Entra ID, known as Premium 1 and Premium 2. P1 offers things such as advanced security reports, self-serve group management, system for Cross-domain Identity Management support, and multi-factor authentication. P2 offers enhanced security options, including tailored security recommendations, calculation of risk levels, time-limited resource access, etc.

How to find out more about Microsoft Entra ID

The best way to discover what Entra ID can do for your business is to see it in action and talk to people who both use it and help implement it into business-critical systems. We at Mintivo would love to show you how Microsoft Entra ID can help your business IT systems meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. To find out more, please get in touch. We would love to hear from you.

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