Administration and governance of identities depend heavily on entitlement management. It involves managing user access to resources and data within an organization. Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) Entitlement Management allows organizations to define, enforce, and audit user access rights.
Azure AD entitlement management allows organizations to centrally manage access to cloud and hybrid resources at scale. It allows organizations to define user access based on business roles, groups, or specific resources. By this approach, only authorized users can access critical resources, ensuring granular control over user access.
Benefits of using entitlement management in Azure AD
Using entitlement management in Azure AD offers several benefits, including:
- Enhanced security: With entitlement management, organizations can implement a least privilege access model, allowing users to access only the resources they need to perform their duties.
- Compliance: By managing entitlements, organizations can ensure that users only have access to resources they need for their jobs. It helps organizations comply with regulatory requirements and internal policies.
- Efficiency: The entitlement management system simplifies the process of managing user access, saving time and effort.
- Auditability: The Azure AD entitlement management system keeps track of all access requests and approvals, so that all access can be monitored and controlled.
Types of entitlements available in Azure AD
Azure AD provides several types of entitlements that can be used to manage user access, including:
- Azure AD roles: Roles in Azure AD are collections of permissions that can be assigned to users, groups, and applications. They can access Azure resources such as virtual machines, storage accounts, and databases.
- Conditional access policies: Conditional access policies are used to control access to cloud apps based on specific conditions such as user location, device compliance, and risk levels.
- Azure AD app roles: Azure AD app roles are used to control access to application resources such as APIs and pages within the application.
- Azure resource roles: Azure resource roles are used to control access to Azure resources such as virtual machines, storage accounts, and databases.
- Privileged access management: Privileged access management (PAM) provides just-in-time (JIT) access to Azure resources for privileged users. PAM can be used to restrict access to resources until it is needed and automatically revoke access once the user’s task is complete.
- Group memberships: Group memberships can be used to manage user access to resources by controlling group membership. Users can be added or removed from groups based on specific criteria, and group membership can be used to control access to resources.
Setting up and Configuring Entitlement Management in Azure AD
To set up entitlement management in Azure AD, follow these steps:
- Navigate to the Azure AD entitlement management page and click “Enable entitlement management“.
- Entitlement management policies define how entitlements are managed within an organization. To create a policy, navigate to the “Entitlement management policies” page and click “New policy“.
- Configure policy settings, including who can request entitlements and who can approve entitlement requests.
- To create an entitlement, navigate to the “Entitlements” page and click “New entitlement“. You also need to configure entitlement properties, including name, description, and permissions.
- Test entitlement management by requesting an entitlement and verifying that it is approved and provisioned correctly.
Use case: A company wants to implement entitlement management to control access to Azure resources. The company has three different types of employees: developers, IT administrators, and business analysts. The company wants to ensure that each employee has access only to the resources that they need to do their job.
Conventions for configuring entitlement management in Azure AD
When configuring entitlement management in Azure AD, follow these practices:
- Define clear policies: Clearly define entitlement management policies, including who can request entitlements and who can approve requests.
- Limit entitlement approvers: Limit the number of approvers for entitlement requests to ensure that only authorized users can approve requests.
- Use groups to manage entitlements: Use Azure AD groups to manage entitlements, making it easier to manage access for multiple users.
Creating and Managing Entitlements in Azure AD
To create and manage entitlements in Azure AD, follow these steps:
1. Create Entitlements
To create an entitlement in Azure AD, follow the steps below:
- Navigate to the “Entitlements” page in the Azure portal.
- Click “New entitlement” and specify a name for the entitlement.
- Select the type of entitlement (such as Azure AD roles or app roles) and specify the permissions associated with the entitlement.
- Specify the users or groups that should be assigned to the entitlement.
- Save the entitlement.
2. Configure Entitlement Properties
After creating an entitlement, you can configure its properties, including the name, description, and permissions associated with the entitlement. This can be done by navigating to the “Entitlements” page in the Azure portal, selecting the entitlement, and clicking “Properties“.
3. Manage Entitlements
Entitlements can be managed in several ways, including:
- Editing entitlements: You can edit entitlements to modify the permissions or users assigned to the entitlement.
- Removing entitlements: Entitlements can be removed when they are no longer needed.
- Reviewing entitlements: You can review entitlements to ensure that users have access only to the resources they need.
Use case: A financial institution wants to implement entitlement management to control user access to sensitive financial data. The institution has two types of employees: financial analysts and IT administrators. The institution wants to ensure that each employee has access only to the resources they need to do their job.
Conventions for creating and managing entitlements in Azure AD
When creating and managing entitlements in Azure AD, follow these practices:
- Use descriptive names and descriptions: Use descriptive names and descriptions when creating entitlements to make it easier to understand their purpose and scope.
- Limit entitlements: Limit the number of entitlements to reduce the complexity of entitlement management and improve security.
- Regularly review entitlements: Regularly review entitlements to ensure that they are still necessary and appropriately assigned to users.
Entitlement Request Workflow
The entitlement request workflow in Azure AD involves the following steps:
- User request: Users can request entitlements by navigating to the “Entitlement requests” page and clicking “New request“.
- Approval: Entitlement requests are routed to approvers, who can approve or reject the request.
- Provisioning: If approved, the entitlement is provisioned to the user.
- Review: Entitlements are regularly reviewed to ensure that they are still necessary and appropriately assigned to users.
Conventions for managing the entitlement request workflow in Azure AD
When managing the entitlement request workflow in Azure AD, follow these practices:
- Define clear approval processes: Clearly define approval processes, including who can approve entitlement requests and under what conditions.
- Monitor entitlement requests: Monitor entitlement requests to ensure that they are reviewed and processed promptly.
- Implement role-based access control: Implement role-based access control to ensure that only authorized users can approve entitlement requests.
Wanna know what is Azure Privileged Identity Management? Check out this article: Azure Privileged Identity Management (PIM) – An overview
Interested in Active Directory Rights Management Services, check out this article: Azure AD PIM: How to manage privileged access to resources
Identity governance and administration require entitlement management, and Azure AD provides a robust platform for managing user access to resources. An organization can ensure that user access is properly managed and audited by following best practices for configuring, creating, and managing entitlements.