When designing a Conditional Access strategy for a customer we first
need to start with an inventory of the environment, in the most ideal situation
you would design and implement conditional access in a green field scenario,
but I for sure never had that luxury before so it’s better to assume that the
customer is already using cloud apps and wants to implement conditional access
as an security measure.
Microsoft explains Conditional Access in the following way. Conditional Access consists of access scenario’s called Conditional Access policies. An Conditional Access policy follows the following pattern:
“When this happens” defines the reason for triggering your policy. This reason is characterized by a group of conditions that have been satisfied. With “Then do this” you define how users can access your cloud apps.
Technically this is translated to Conditions (When this happens) and Access controls (Then do this)
Microsoft describes Conditional Access as followed: “With Conditional Access, you can implement automated access control decisions for accessing your cloud apps that are based on conditions.” and “Conditional Access policies are enforced after the first-factor authentication has been completed. Therefore, Conditional Access is not intended as a first line defense for scenarios like denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, but can utilize signals from these events (e.g. the sign-in risk level, location of the request, and so on) to determine access.”
The way I see it, the best way to explain what Conditional Access does,
is by making the comparison to a firewall. A firewall determines what traffic
can access your resources, under what circumstances and Conditional Access sort
of does the same. Conditional Access describes under what circumstances users
can access your cloud applications.
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
While teaching the 20533C course to students I provide them with more information about the topics covered in the training. Perhaps they can help you as well while studying for your exam. Keep in mind that the overview is valid for the C version of the course.
Update (December 11th 2015): Today Microsoft released a hotfix for the Self Service Portal, the hotfix (KB3124091) can be downloaded from Microsoft Download here.
The corresponding KB article at time of writing isn’t available yet. I did an installation in my lab environment though and the most annoying issues are solved Please read the full article to get an idea of what was solved.
A Distribution Point can be made member of one or more Distribution Point Group, based on the content deployed to that Distribution Point Group and whether the Distribution Point is member of that group, the Distribution Point receives content which is defined for the Distribution Point group.
When distributing content you have the ability to choose whether you want to distribute to a either a Collection/Collections, Distribution Point or Distribution Point Groups. This is actually the point where things start to go wrong, since depending on who is performing the distribution of the content, different options are chosen.Read More
When Microsoft released System Center 2012 R2 Service Manager in October 2013, I was quite suprised that the server the webparts for the Self Service Portal only were supported on SharePoint 2010. At that time, installing SharePoint 2010 was only supported on Windows Server 2008 R2.
At a customer of mine a issue with Incident Requests in System Center 2012 R2 Service Manager was reported. Some users reported that they received the error:”Failed to execute Submit operation. Fix the reported error before… – The user <domain>\<accountname> does not have sufficient permission to perform the operation.
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