Today, Microsoft have announced the next milestone in their expanded vision for the unified secure access with some huge changes to their unified access and security offering Entra which has now become the brand name for all things identity and access management. Along with that is a name change to Azure Active Directory to Entra ID.
Is Azure AD discontinued?
No… This is a name change that is a result of the shift to a truly end to end multi cloud identity and access solution that spans beyond simply Microsoft 365 and Azure. The name change is designed to reflect it’s new and enhanced capabilities.
With this they have announced they are expanding their Microsoft Entra suite into the Security Service Edge (SSE) category with the launch of two new products.
- Microsoft Entra Internet Access and
- Microsoft Entra Private Access.
Microsoft Entra Internet Access is an identity-centric Secure Web Gateway that protects access to internet, software as a service (SaaS), and Microsoft 365 apps and resources. It extends Conditional Access policies with network conditions to protect against malicious internet traffic and other threats from the open internet.
Microsoft Entra Private Access is an identity centric Zero Trust Network Access that secures access to private apps and resources. Designed to reduce operational complexity and cost by replacing legacy VPNs with simple yet granular security to ensure that any user can quickly and seamlessly connect to private apps across hybrid and multi cloud environments, private networks, and data centers from any device, from any location and from any network.
The goal and vision of Microsoft here is to help organisations secure access to any app or resource, from anywhere. Microsoft say in their security blog that the flexible work arrangements we have become accustomed too, along with continued increase cloud adoption continue to put strain on traditional and legacy corporate networks and network security approaches. Using VPNs to backhaul traffic to the legacy network security stack weakens security posture and damages the user experience while using siloed solutions and access policies leaves security gaps.
Both are now in preview….
The renaming of Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) to Microsoft Entra ID was also announced which Microsoft say has been done as Microsoft to simplify the product naming conventions and to unify their expanded product family. The change was made as Azure AD now supports multi-cloud meaning the name Azure AD no longer represented the breadth of its offerings.
Personally not a fan of the name change even though their reasoning makes sense… Everyone knows what Azure AD is (or maybe that’s the problem… they think they do!)… Even Microsoft Teams wasn’t sure about it.!
Microsoft say that that the currently capabilities and licensing plans, sign-in URLs, and APIs will remain unchanged, and all existing deployments, configurations, and integrations will continue to work as before.
You can read more about these recent changes and announcements here.