The heartbeat of your organisation is your Active Directory. Here’s how you can gain an edge over your competitors by embracing technology that streamlines and secures your data and your IP — two of your most valuable assets.
Data is the lifeblood of your business. How much you have, how it’s stored, and how it’s accessed and used can give you an important competitive advantage. But data also needs to be protected.
This means you need an identity and access management solution that achieves several key business objectives:
- A solution that protects the integrity of your entire identity management infrastructure. Only those who have access should be able to sign in to your system, preventing data leakage, system corruption or even system destruction.
- Your teams need immediate access to business systems and data. This means single sign-on capabilities, and access from any device, at any time. This is a must for productivity and efficiency.
- Operate across multiple platforms and SaaS solutions with ease. Signing in and out of multiple platforms means different passwords, employees becoming lax on security protocols, not to mention time wastage. An Active Directory that serves as a single data store for quick data access to all users, and controls access based on the directory’s security policy, is a must.
Find out how you can secure your business against cyber-threats effectively with Azure Active Directory with your free Mitigate business risks and protect your data with Azure Active Directory white paper
3 ways Azure AD supports your business
Azure Active Directory is a comprehensive, cloud-based identity and access management solution that provides a robust set of capabilities to manage users and groups, and helps secure access to applications, including Microsoft online services like Office 365 and a world of non-Microsoft SaaS applications.
Let’s see what this means in terms of the objectives raised above.
1. Security. Employees today require access to your business’s data 24/7, from wherever they might be working, both onsite and offsite. While cloud solutions, such as Azure, have made this possible, when you need all-access to data, security is essential.
With cyberattacks at an all-time high, every business’s data is at risk.
So, what do you need to protect your data, while still ensuring the right people have access to it? First, you need to verify the identity of your employees wherever they are. To ensure high productivity rates, users must be able to authenticate quickly and seamlessly.
Second, when it comes to verifying identity, particularly for employees working offsite, it’s necessary to do so through a system that is available from anywhere, at any time, via the cloud.
2. Productivity. Azure AD can be configured to authenticate employees on non-Microsoft cloud services, platforms and SaaS solutions. This gives your entire organisation the immediate benefits of a centralised identity management platform, including the ease and simplicity that single sign-on brings to the business table. The faster your employees can access their platforms and data, the more they’re focusing on productive tasks instead of admin.
3. Integrated systems. Because most businesses use various SaaS solutions and platforms, it’s vital that they are integrated, can be accessed through one authentication process, and are all adequately protected. One weak spot could leave your entire organisation exposed.
Who Azure AD is for?
Like all Microsoft solutions, Azure AD is designed to give your business what it needs. This means you get a version when you sign up for Office 365, but you can also upgrade to Azure AD Premium and gain access to a range of additional security features.
These include enhanced connectivity to on-premises servers, the ability to monitor Web-based application usage, detailed auditing and user control, and more.
You only pay for the features you need, and Microsoft will automatically provision them for you. This flexibility allows you to manage and maintain identity through first-class protection and availability of the tools you need.
Azure AD is developed specifically with you in mind, IT admins. As an IT administrator, you can use Azure AD to control access to your organisation’s apps and app resources, based on their business requirements. For example, you can use Azure AD to require multi-factor authentication when users access important organisational resources. Additionally, you can use Azure AD to automate user provisioning between your existing Windows Server AD and your cloud apps, including Office 365. Finally, Azure AD gives you powerful tools to help automatically protect user identities and credentials, and assist you in meeting your organisation’s information security governance or compliance requirements.
App developers. As an app developer, you can use Azure AD as a standards-based approach for adding single sign-on to your app, allowing it to work with a user’s pre-existing credentials. Azure AD also provides APIs that can help you build personalised app experiences using existing organisational data.
Microsoft 365, Office 365, Azure or Dynamics CRM Online subscribers. As a subscriber, you’re already using Azure AD. Each Microsoft 365, Office 365, Azure and Dynamics CRM Online tenant is automatically an Azure AD tenant. You can immediately start to manage access to your integrated cloud apps.
Protect your business today
To protect personal and sensitive information, First Distribution has partnered with AVeS Cyber Security, specialists in cloud security and governance. We’ve found that the first step to protecting a business’s data is understanding where the critical gaps lie.
Find out how you can secure your business against cyberthreats effectively with Azure Active Directory with your free Mitigate business risks and protect your data with Azure Active Directory white paper.
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