In July 2016 Microsoft made Conditional Access generally available as a feature of Azure Active Directory (AzureAD). Since that time I had a love and hate relationship with this functionality of Azure AD. Mainly because it’s difficult to test scenario’s and some changes can have a really high impact. I even experienced being locked out of accessing the Azure portal during one of my tests.

Why this series of articles?

Some good documentation from Microsoft and blogpost by fellow bloggers detailing Conditional Access scenario’s, but not really a one-stop shopping overview. With this series of blog posts I hope to achieve this.

I will try to describe everything that I find important and lessons learned while implementing Conditional Access in our own tenant and at customers. I will not go into much detail on creating individual Conditional Access policies, since that is both well documented by Microsoft and described by well known bloggers on this subject like Peter van der Woude, Per Larsen and Peter Daalmans among others. 

Microsoft is continuously adding functionality to Conditional Access, first functionality is added in a preview from which can be recognized by the (preview) tag in the name of the feature or Conditional Access policy and later it will eventually be released. The best way to  keep up to date is by monitoring the Azure Updates webpage, where available, in preview and in development features of Azure Active Directory are shared.

This is the first post in a series of blogs, you can find the links to the other articles below for reference:

Conditional Access demystified, part 2: What is Conditional Access?
Conditional Access demystified, part 3: How does Conditional Access work?
Conditional Access demystified, part 4: Designing a Conditional Access strategy
Conditional Access demystified, part 5: Implementing Conditional Access
Conditional Access demystified, part 6: Troubleshooting Conditional Access
Conditional Access demystified, part 7: Modifying Conditional Access to suit your special needs
Conditional Access demystified, part 8: Resources and further references

The contents of these blog postings are also available in a downloadable whitepaper which can be found here:

In the next article (part 2) I’m going to explain what Conditional Access is.