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Limit Access to Outlook Web Access, SharePoint Online and OneDrive using Conditional Access App Enforced Restrictions

One of the scenario’s we can build with Conditional Access, is the scenario where we restrict access inside the web application itself. By doing so, you could for example limit the functionality of the web applications on non-managed devices, or when accessing the web application from a country where your company normally doesn’t operate. The web applications can be configured to behave differently if the user is applicable for a Conditional Access policy where App Enforced restrictions are configured.

Within the Office 365 suite of applications, the following web applications are supported for App Enforced Restrictions:

  • Outlook Web Access
  • SharePoint and OneDrive

In this post I will go into detail on how to setup these app enforced restriction and what the expected behavior will be from an end-user perspective.

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May 2020 update of the Conditional Access Demystified Whitepaper, Workflow cheat sheet, Implementation workflow and Documentation spreadsheet

In August last year, I published eight articles in a series on Conditional Access, and later when finished I decided to bundle those articles in a paper which I made available on the TechNet Gallery. In March this year, Microsoft decided to retire the TechNet Gallery, so I had to find another solution to host this paper and some of the additional workflows and spreadsheets I posted as well. For now I’ve decided to host these on GitHub since that is an easy accessible location as well.

The articles I wrote at that time, will remains as is, and I’ve decided to update the paper once in a while to reflect the current status of Conditional Access. Even though some of the information in the articles is outdated, I still think that they can be of value.

Below I’ve summarized the articles I published last year:

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Some welcome additions to the Admin consent workflow in Azure AD

In February this year, I wrote an article about Admin consent in Azure Active Directory. The article titled: “Did you already modify your Azure AD consent defaults settings? Here is why you should“, explained why giving end-users within your Azure AD the ability to give consent for every Application might not be such a good idea.

While disabling this option for the end-users is recommended by Microsoft, and having a workflow in place to review any requests and approve if found valid is a more secure solution it introduced an administrative burden since each request must be reviewed by one of the defined users in the list of users to review admin consent requests.

In order to address this, Microsoft made some changes to the way the Admin consent workflow is working which allows an Azure AD administrator more control over which requests must be approved and which are allowed automatically.

Note: This post reflects the status of Admin consent as of May 22, 2020. Functionality may change, even right after this post has been published.

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Speaking at Workplace Ninja Virtual Edition 2020

I’m very proud to announce that I will be speaking at the Workplace Ninja Virtual Edition 2020 event. The Workplace Ninja Virtual Edition 2020 event will take place from Tuesday 25th till Thursday 27th of August 2020 and will contain 45 sessions, spread across 3 days. Each day will provide 3 tracks, with 5 timeslots. The event can be attended for free, the only thing you need to do is register via the website.

Workplace Ninja Summit 2020 moves to 2021 - Workplace Ninja's
Speaking at Workplace Ninja Virtual Edition 2020

The goal of the Workplace Ninja Virtual Edition is to share knowledge and learn together. This covers topics around management of endpoints with SCCM and Intune, as well virtual desktop and the complete security stack of Microsoft. Since the event is virtual, we can’t see each other personally but we will provide a NinjaZone, where we can connect with each other.

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Speaking at RDW Techday on April 1st 2020

On Wednesday April 1st, I have the opportunity to present at the RDW Techday. RDW Techday is a community event organized by the RDW, the goal is to stimulate knowledge sharing within the company and between companies in the same region. I had the pleasure to present at earlier events already and received some really positive feedback.

RDW is the Netherlands Vehicle Authority in the mobility chain. RDW has developed extensive expertise through its years of experience in executing its statutory and assigned tasks. Tasks in the area of the licensing of vehicles and vehicle parts, supervision and enforcement, registration, information provision and issuing documents.

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License requirements for administering Microsoft 365 services

Microsoft licensing is tough and vague but something we must deal with while implementing our solutions. I’m also aware that some of the features I describe on my blog are only available in the most expensive licensing options Microsoft provides, making some of the features I describe not usable for some of my readers.

Update June 23rd 2020: Microsoft has removed the Intune license requirement for administrators, see this blogpost by Peter van der Woude for more information: Quick tip: Allow access to unlicensed admins

If you administer Microsoft 365 services like Azure Active Directory (AzureAD), Exchange Online (EXO), SharePoint Online (SPO), Intune and many other products the license requirements for your administrative accounts are extra vague. I’ve asked Microsoft in December last year to clarify this, but until now no response was given.

There is some fragmented information available in the Microsoft documentation, that in combination with some other information to be found on the internet, like on twitter concludes that the license requirements are indeed very vague and could really use some official documentation from Microsoft to clear things up.

One thing in known, is that when asked about licensing requirements for the online services provided by Microsoft the statement returned is: “When the user benefits from the service, a license is required”

So let’s see what I found available online and see if it makes sense in some way…

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Microsoft is going to disable basic/legacy authentication for Exchange Online. What does that actually mean and does that impact me?

Update: On April 3rd 2020, the Exchange Team announced that due to the COVID019 crisis, they will postpone disabling legacy authentication until the second half of 2021.

Update: On April 30 2020, the Exchange Team announced that OAuth 2.0 authentication for IMAP and SMTP AUTH protocols is now available. In order to leverage this functionality mail clients need to start using it (so they need an update). Michel de Rooij did a nice article on how to configure Thunderbird for oAuth2 which you can read here: Configuring Exchange Online with IMAP & OAuth2

Update: On May 28 2020, the Exchange Team announced that OAuth support for POP is now also available for Exchange Online.

Update: On June 30th 2020, the Microsoft Exchange Team announced support for Modern Authentication in scripts using the new Exchange PowerShell module, see: Modern Auth and Unattended Scripts in Exchange Online PowerShell V2

On March 7, 2018 the Microsoft Exchange Team announced that on October 13, 2020 it would stop the support for Basic Authentication (also called Legacy authentication) for Exchange Web Services (EWS) in Exchange Online (EXO), the version of Exchange offered as a service part of Office 365. EWS is a web service which can be used by client applications to access the EXO environment. The team also announced that EWS would not receive any feature updates anymore, and suggests customers to transition towards using Microsoft Graph to access EXO.

One and a half year later, on November 20, 2019 the Exchange Team also announced to stop supporting Basic Authentication for Exchange ActiveSync (EAS), Post Office Protocol (POP), Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) and Remote PowerShell on October 13 2020 as well. Authenticated Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) will stay supported when used with Basic Authentication.

Instead of supporting Basic/Legacy authentication Microsoft will move towards only supporting Modern Authentication for most of the methods used to connect to Exchange Online.

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A guide to implementing Applocker on your Modern Workplace

At our last Windows Management User Group Netherlands meeting, we had the honor to have Sami Laiho, one of the world’s leading professionals in the Windows OS and Security flying over to the Netherlands and present for our user group. In his presentation titled: “Securing Windows in 2020 and forward”, Sami made us aware that by implementing some simple Applocker policies on our Modern Workplace and by making sure that the user working on the device has no admin rights, we can seriously improve our security. In his presentation Sami referred to a quote from Mikko Hyppönen (Chief Research Officer at F-Secure): “Make your security better than your neighbours”.

In this blogpost I will share my experience with implementing Applocker policy within my own tenant, and how I started to use these principles myself which eventually led by removing my account from the local administrator group.

Disclaimer: This blogpost provides a very simplistic way of enabling Applocker policies, in the real world there are some caveats which must be addressed when implementing Applocker. I will address  those caveats later in this post as well.

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Ask yourself if you still really need ADFS

In Q1 2017 Microsoft released the Pass Through Authentication (PTA) functionality as part of Azure AD connect. With the release of Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) Pass-through Authentication allowed for your users to sign in to both on-premises and cloud-based applications using the same passwords without the need to implement a Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) environment.

With this options we now have the following authentication options available when setting up a hyrid identiy:

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