How Azure Active Directory helps manage identity for remote users

The pandemic has pushed admins to realize that identity should be the first thing they think of when designing a secure network. If you aren't prioritizing your identity focus in your organization, it's time for you to do so. If you're managing identity with an on-premises mindset but support staff, then it might be time to update your approach.

If you have been in technology for any length of time, you've probably used Microsoft's Active Directory (AD). Introduced in 1999, Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) is the cornerstone of many networks. It stores information about devices and users in a domain and verifies their credentials and rights to the network.

AD DS has been the gold standard of how admins set up networks and validated users. Cloud services were not a major part of many daily network needs before 2020. Then came the pandemic and all five-year plans for technology to provide for better integration between our physical domains and cloud applications were compressed to being needed, well, yesterday. Suddenly we needed something that could go outside the physical network and allow for authentication with cloud services; we needed a way to connect and control home computers and allow them to access corporate networks.

Azure Active Directory use on the rise

As a result, Active Directory (Azure AD) has moved from being something to evaluate to a now mandatory platform to successfully support users and their work-from-home needs. The ability to work from home will be a standard even after the threat of the pandemic goes away.

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