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Microsoft deprecates Conditional Access baseline policies in favour of Security Defaults, here is what you need to know and do

Last week, Microsoft announced that the Azure AD conditional access baseline policies will not make it out of their current preview status. The functionality of the baseline policies will be made in available in a new feature called “Security Defaults”, Microsoft will remove the baseline policies on February 29th, so if you are using them you need to take action in order to make sure to keep their functionality in place. Here is what you need to know.

I’ve discussed the baseline policies in part 5 of my blogpost series “Conditional Access Demystified“, while they provided a welcome addition, one of the main disadvantages of the baseline policies in its current preview form was that there was no option to exclude accounts from the policy, which was in contradiction with the best practice for break glass accounts and therefore made the policies not usable in some scenario’s.

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Configuring Group Policies for your ConfigMgr Servers

Disclaimer: Please test and validate this in your test environment, don’t take the information i provide for granted. This article describes a method to determine correct settings and doesn’t supply the answer to your specific environment !

When you are installing System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) in environments where group policies are used to control the User Rights Assignment and Security Options security settings of the Servers, you have to be extra carefull.

You can expect some strange behavior after the installation because when the companies policy is applied again, it removes some entries made by either the prerequisite installation (roles and features) and installation of ConfigMgr itself, and this can result in some interesting scenario’s. Therefore my advise would be:

If you know the environment in which you are going to install ConfigMgr in, has a lot of restricing group policies make sure you do the installation of ConfigMgr while the servers are member of an OU with minimal policies applied.

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