Microsoft Entra for Office 365: What Do the New Services Mean for Your Business? 

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Microsoft has security concerns when it comes to identity and access, especially in Office 365. Now, it’s announced its expanded vision to help secure access for its users.

Microsoft Entra is a new product family that encompasses all of Microsoft’s identity and access capabilities. The Entra family includes these features:

  • Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD)
  • Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM) 
  • Decentralized identity

These products help provide secure access through:

  • Identity and access management
  • Cloud infrastructure entitlement management
  • Identity verification

You’ll find a reduced risk of cyberattacks via Office 365 upgrades, which leverage AI using the new Security Copilot. Let’s explore Entra further. 

Microsoft Entra for O365 Security: Latest Brand Change Invites Users To Upgrade

Office 365 has seen many focused attacks where hackers will trick users into giving them their multi-factor authentication (MFA) code. They’ll then break into users’ emails and target their contact lists. 

Microsoft’s 2023 Digital Defense Report stated, “In just two years, the number of password attacks detected by Microsoft has risen from 579 per second to more than 4,000 per second. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, the global cost of cybercrime is expected to reach $10.5 trillion by 2025, up from $3 trillion in 2015.

Cybercrime costs include a range of problems:

  • Data damage and destruction
  • Stolen money
  • Lost productivity
  • Intellectual property theft
  • Personal and financial data theft
  • Embezzlement
  • Fraud
  • Operational disruption
  • Forensic investigation
  • Hacked data and system restoration and deletion
  • Reputational harm

It’s wise to stay up to date with the latest advancements to avoid those higher business costs.

IT Companies Upgrading to Microsoft Entra for Office 365: Features and Benefits

In the past, many companies needed many third party apps to protect our clients’ Office 365 environments. This was because the O365 tools themselves were limited in their security offerings.

However, with the Entra rebrand and its primary focus on advanced security, we recommend clients upgrade to Business Premium and have their managed service provider deploy Entra’s advanced, built-in security features.

In sum, there’s no real way for IT companies to see cyberthreats beforehand without elevating 365 security. This is why companies are leaning more on AI and the heightened measures it takes to protect data. Who doesn’t want more advanced security?

Top Entra Features

  • Secure and adaptive access. Strong authentication and access policies help protect resources and prevent deep data access. 
  • Seamless user experience. Users remain productive in a multi-cloud environment with fast and easy sign-ins (like reduced password management).
  • Unified identity management. Whether your applications and identities live on-premises or within the cloud, you can manage them in a central location. In turn, you have more control. 

Top Entra Benefits

Entra has many benefits, but chief among them is its ability to help companies become more proactive with their security measures. 

For example, Entra lets IT companies block access by geography or allow access only to users in certain countries, like the U.S. It might become more difficult for unauthorized users to infiltrate a company’s systems. Because of this, businesses can better monitor and protect clients’ Office 365 accounts, including their email and SharePoint. 

Entra has additional capabilities and benefits:

  • Uses set rules that block email forwarding. 
  • Allows IT companies to monitor the entire Microsoft environment. 
  • Sends administrators alerts if anything deemed a risk happens (for example, a user attempting numerous logins).
  • Sends platform alerts that help IT companies act before security penetration goes too deep.
  • Shows logs in the new platform that display specific security risk activities.

Note: Entra requires that users need a higher license level to access data as another hedge against cybercriminals.

Exploring Microsoft Entra Solutions

These multi-cloud identity and network access products help safeguard connections among people, apps, resources and devices.

Identity and Access Management

Here are the services and products related to identity and access management within the Microsoft Entra family. 

Microsoft Entra ID (Azure AD)

Protect your organization with Microsoft Entra ID (formerly Azure Active Directory) — a cloud identity and access management solution. Your employees, customers and partners maintain a steady connection to their apps, devices and data.

Microsoft Entra ID Governance

Easily identify and address identity risks in your organization with Entra ID Governance. Better governance leads to greater employee productivity, while you also meet compliance and regulatory requirements.

Microsoft Entra External ID 

Make your authentication experiences more secure, flexible and personal to each user (like customer and partner applications). 

Key features:

  • Create digital relationships that are more secure.
  • Control the access rights for all external users.
  • Establish people-centric experiences
  • Speed up the development of secure applications.

Microsoft Entra Domain Services

With Microsoft Entra Domain services, you can better manage all of your users via the cloud.

New Identity Categories

Here are the new services and product categories within the Microsoft Entra family. 

Microsoft Entra Verified ID

Strengthen your defenses by creating, issuing and verifying decentralized identity credentials to secure interactions.

Microsoft Entra Permissions Management

Microsoft Entra Permissions Management is a cloud infrastructure entitlement management (CIEM) product that allows you to discover, remediate and monitor permission risks for any identity or resource. You have comprehensive visibility and control over permissions within Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

Microsoft Entra Workload ID

Secure the latest app and service identities, as well as restrict access to cloud services to further strengthen your defenses.

Network Access

Here are the services and products related to network access within the Microsoft Entra family. 

Microsoft Entra Internet Access

Protect your identity and resources from malicious internet traffic, unsafe content and various cyberthreats. You’ll find secure internet access to the internet, software-as-a-service and Microsoft 365 apps.

Microsoft Entra Private Access 

Microsoft Entra Private Access is built on Zero Trust principles and helps users securely connect to private apps from anywhere. It removes risk while enhancing user productivity. Quickly connect users from any device or network to private apps that are on-premises or in any cloud.

Moving Forward With Entra

A Forrester Consulting study, “The Total Economic Impact of Microsoft Entra,” unearthed the following figures: 

  • Its net present value is $8.57 million.
  • It reduces the risk of a security breach by 20%.

With numbers like these, it’s hard to ignore the value of Microsoft Entra. Are you ready to move your business forward with it?

Contact CMIT Solutions of Rochester for Consistent IT Maintenance and Protection

At CMIT Solutions, we’ve earned thousands of clients’ trust. We help them protect their businesses, employees and devices, which span sizes, industries and capabilities. 

We have 800 technicians supporting more than 250 independently owned and operated offices across North America. And we work diligently to protect your data and improve systems across all your business departments. 

We also stay up to date with the latest and greatest products and services like Microsoft Entra. If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to enhance your cybersecurity measures without wasted time and extra hassle, ​contact CMIT Solutions today. We’re eager to get started. 

Featured image via Pixabay

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