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Assigning groups to Azure AD roles and Privileged access groups, a first look!

On August 13th 2020, Alex Simons (Microsoft Identity PM) announced that assigning groups to Azure AD roles in now in public preview. This feature is one of the most requested features to be found in the Azure AD feedback forum.

I have been following this feature request for a while now, and up until recently Microsoft stated that implementing Azure AD role assignment for Azure AD groups wasn’t the issue, the issue was more related to who is able to manage those groups. For example, if enabled how can we circumvent that someone with the “User Administrator” role (capable of adding users to groups) is capable of adding someone to the group used to assign Global Administrator rights. When implemented incorrectly, this new “feature” could then introduce a new security risk in your environment.

Assigning groups to Azure AD roles requires an Azure AD Premium P1 license at minimum, for the Privileged Identity Functionality an Azure AD Premium P2 license is needed.

Disclaimer: This post reflects the status of assigning groups to Azure AD roles as of August 20, 2020. Functionality may change, even right after this post has been published.

So, let’s walk through on what was announced and see..

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Implementing RBAC and Scoping in Microsoft Intune

When you create an Intune tenant within your environment, you execute the creation with an account which is Global Administrator within Azure Active Directory. And in my work as an indendent consultant I see a lot of companies which keep using the account with Global Administator rights to manage their Microsoft Intune environment as well.

While for initially setting up some Azure AD functionality Global Administrator rights might be needed, this is only the case during the setup phase. Once you have implemented your environment, you hardly ever need the Global Administrator rights and for most tasks they are not needed perse. Think of the Global Administrator rights as an equivalalent of the Forest Administrator/Schema Administrator group within Active Directory.

Disclaimer: This post is written on December 4th 2019 and reflects the state of this functionality at that point in time.

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