What is Microsoft Entra ID?

Microsoft Entra ID is Microsoft’s multi-tenant, cloud-based Identity as a Service (IDaaS) solution. 

Microsoft Entra ID (Azure AD) provides organizations of all sizes with an affordable and easy-to-use means of enabling Single Sign-On (SSO) to thousands of first and third-party Software as a Service (SaaS) applications like Office 365, Salesforce.com, ServiceNow, Concur and others. For organizations building their own applications, it can be easily integrated providing a world-class identity solution.

In addition to SSO, Microsoft Entra ID has enhanced capabilities for robust identity management and security, such as multi-factor authentication, self-service password reset, privileged identity management, role-based access control, access reviews, application provisioning, application usage monitoring, auditing, and security monitoring and alerting. 

Microsoft’s on-premises Active Directory has been around for a lot longer than Microsoft Entra ID and many organizations implemented Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) for authentication and authorization on-premises.  

With the release of Azure and Microsoft Entra ID, many organizations want to take advantage of the capacity, capabilities, and reduced costs of cloud computing, and to utilize cloud authentication and authorization (with all its advantages such as built-in SSO, MFA and PIM). 

Microsoft released Dir Sync, later replaced by Microsoft Entra Connect (previously called Azure AD Connect), to allow organizations to synchronize their on-premises and cloud identities, facilitating the use of both realms (for users and admins) in a typical hybrid set-up.  

When all legacy systems can be migrated to the cloud (or simply sunsetted), many organizations may dispense with their on-premises estate altogether. 

Want to learn more?

Microsoft Entra IDOur highly practical 4-day training course provides comprehensive and in-depth coverage of the essential Microsoft Entra ID identity and application security features.

You’ll learn to build and implement a strong identity and application access solution with Zero Trust at its heart.