Azure Active Directory (AD) is a cloud-based identity and access management solution from Microsoft. It provides centralized control for managing user identities, authorization, and access to applications and services. The need for Azure AD arises due to the growing number of cloud-based applications and services that organizations use, making it increasingly difficult to manage access and security. Azure AD helps organizations to manage and secure access to these applications and services, enabling employees to work efficiently while ensuring the security of sensitive data. Additionally, Azure AD integrates with on-premises Active Directory, providing a unified identity solution for hybrid environments.
Features of Azure AD:
Centralized User Management: Azure AD provides a single location to manage all user accounts and permissions, making it easier to enforce security policies and ensure compliance.
Secure Single Sign-On: Azure AD provides secure single sign-on (SSO) access to all cloud and on-premises applications, enabling users to access all their resources with one set of credentials.
Multi-Factor Authentication: Azure AD supports multi-factor authentication (MFA) to add an extra layer of security to user accounts and sensitive resources.
Access and Identity Management for Devices: Azure AD provides identity and access management for devices, allowing businesses to secure and manage devices used for work, regardless of location.
Compliance and Auditing: Azure AD provides detailed logs and reports for auditing and compliance purposes, enabling businesses to meet regulatory requirements and ensure the security of their resources.
What is the difference between Active Directory and Azure AD?
Active Directory (AD) and Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) are related but distinct directories.
Active Directory is Microsoft’s on-premises directory service that runs on Windows Server. It provides centralized management of identities and access to resources on a local network. It uses a hierarchical structure of domains, trees, and forests to organize and manage user and device identities, as well as provide access to resources.
Azure Active Directory, on the other hand, is a cloud-based service that provides identity and access management capabilities for applications and services running in the cloud or on-premises. It is designed to work with modern cloud-based applications and services, and provides a centralized way to manage access and authentication for these services, regardless of whether they are running on-premises or in the cloud.
In summary, Active Directory is an on-premises solution for managing identities and access to resources on a local network, while Azure Active Directory is a cloud-based solution for managing identities and access to cloud-based and on-premises resources.