Azure AD Renamed to Entra ID – What’s Changing

Azure AD Renamed to Entra ID – What's Changing

Microsoft recently announced that Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) will be renamed to Microsoft Entra ID as part of the evolution and unification of the Microsoft Entra product family. This name change represents a commitment to simplify secure access experiences for users and organisations. 

While the name is changing, there will be no impact on the capabilities, licensing, or pricing of Azure AD. In this article, we will explore the details of this name change and what it means for users.

The Evolution of Microsoft Entra

Microsoft Entra is a product family that includes various solutions for identity and access management. Initially introduced in May 2022, it consisted of three products: Azure AD, Entra Permissions Management, and Entra Verified ID. 

Over time, the Entra family expanded to include Entra ID Governance and Entra Workload ID. These products aim to protect identities and secure access to resources across different environments, including on-premises and cloud.

What is Microsoft Entra ID?

To simplify the product naming and unify the Entra product family, Microsoft decided to change the name of Azure AD to Microsoft Entra ID. This change does not affect the capabilities, licensing plans, sign-in URLs, or APIs of Azure AD. 

Existing deployments, configurations, and integrations will continue to function as before. The transition from Azure AD to Entra ID will be completed by the end of 2023, and no action is required from users.

Microsoft Entra Internet Access

In addition to the name change, Microsoft is introducing new solutions within the Entra portfolio. One of them is Microsoft Entra Internet Access, which serves as an identity-centric Secure Web Gateway. 

It offers protection for internet access, software as a service (SaaS), and Microsoft 365 apps and resources. With Conditional Access policies and network conditions, it defends against malicious internet traffic and other threats. It enhances security and visibility for Microsoft 365 environments and provides seamless access to boost productivity.

Microsoft Entra Private Access

Another addition to the Entra portfolio is Microsoft Entra Private Access, an identity-centric Zero Trust Network Access solution. It enables secure access to private apps and resources from any device and any network, allowing users to connect across hybrid and multi cloud environments, private networks, and data centres. By replacing legacy VPNs, it reduces operational complexity and cost while providing granular security controls and the ability to enforce Conditional Access on individual applications.

Microsoft’s Security Service Edge (SSE) Solution

Microsoft Entra Internet Access and Microsoft Entra Private Access, together with Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps, form Microsoft’s Security Service Edge (SSE) solution. This solution combines identity and network security to protect organisations against modern cyber threats. It offers flexibility and choice by integrating solutions from Microsoft and its partners. Pricing details for Microsoft Entra Internet Access and Microsoft Entra Private Access will be available upon their general availability.

Enhancements in Microsoft Entra ID Protection

To prevent account compromise, Microsoft is introducing changes to Microsoft Entra ID Protection (formerly Azure AD Identity Protection). It utilises advanced machine learning to identify sign-in anomalies and anomalous user behaviour in real time. 

By blocking, challenging, or limiting access, it mitigates the risk of identity takeover. A new dashboard provides insights into preventing identity attacks, attack patterns, and risk exposure, empowering organisations to improve their security posture.

Automating Access Governance with Microsoft Entra ID Governance

Microsoft Entra ID Governance is a comprehensive identity governance solution that helps organisations comply with security requirements and enhance employee productivity. It automates the employee identity lifecycle and provides machine learning-based insights about identities and app entitlements

With its cloud-delivered approach, it scales to complex cloud and hybrid environments, supporting apps from any provider. Global system integrator partners are available to assist with planning and deployment.

Personalised and Secure Access with Microsoft Entra External ID

Microsoft Entra External ID is an integrated identity solution for external users such as customers, partners, and suppliers. It offers customization options, Conditional Access, identity protection, and support for social identity providers. 

Developer-centric capabilities in External ID allow developers to create personalised sign-in and sign-up experiences for their applications easily. These capabilities are accessible through comprehensive developer tools, enabling developers with limited identity experience to incorporate secure identity features.

Simplifying Identity Verification with Microsoft Entra Verified ID

Microsoft Entra Verified ID provides a simpler way to verify someone’s identity, revolutionising business processes like employee onboarding. It allows individuals to store and verify a wide range of digital ID cards securely. Microsoft recently announced a collaboration with LinkedIn, enabling millions of LinkedIn members to verify their place of work using a Verified ID credential. The introduction of the Microsoft Entra Verified ID SDK allows developers to add a secure digital wallet to any mobile application for seamless verification.

Embrace Microsoft Entra ID Today 

The name change from Azure AD to Microsoft Entra ID signifies the evolution and unification of the Microsoft Entra product family. Despite the change, there will be no impact on the capabilities, licensing, or pricing of Azure AD. 

Microsoft Entra brings new solutions, such as Microsoft Entra Internet Access and Microsoft Entra Private Access, to enhance secure access experiences. With additional features in ID Protection, ID Governance, External ID, and Verified ID, Microsoft aims to provide comprehensive identity and access management solutions for modern organisations.

Contact GKM2 today to learn more about Microsoft Entra ID and how it can simplify and strengthen your organisation’s secure access experiences.