Microsoft is releasing a staged rollout of the Entra admin center for Microsoft 365 and Azure Active Directory customers, to unify Azure AD with other identity and access products.
According to the Redmond, Wash.-based company, the move is part of a vision for identity that goes beyond traditional identity management to give customers an entire toolset to secure access for users and assets in multicloud and multiplatform environments.
Microsoft launched Entra and the new Entra admin center earlier this year, and starting this month, waves of customers will begin to be automatically directed to entra.microsoft.com from Microsoft 365 in the place of the Azure AD admin center.
According to Microsoft, the new admin center unifies visibility and administration of the Entra portfolio of identity and access solutions, including Azure AD, Entra Permissions Management, Entra Verified ID, Entra Workload Identities and Entra Identity Governance.
IT administrators will still be able to complete Azure AD management tasks from the admin center, and all capabilities will remain available under the Azure AD tab in the navigation, Microsoft says. However, admins will also be able to return to the Azure AD admin center from a link in the Entra admin center.
To prepare for the change and ensure uninterrupted access to the management tools, organizations should update firewall rules as needed. Microsoft also urges organizations to explore the Entra admin center to prepare for full migration.
The announcement of the new admin center comes just days after Microsoft announced the general availability of Entra Workload Identities, the newest member of the Entra portfolio that allows organizations to apply enhanced security to workload identities by implementing conditional access, containing threats proactively and getting more insight into workload identities lifecycles.
According to Microsoft, the number of workload identities in Entra have more than tripled since 2019. Citing a recent study, the company says nearly 70% of workloads have access to sensitive data and assets, but most of the focus is on human identity security. That is leading to more attacks targeting workload identities as an entry point into a target’s environment.
“Therefore, managing and securing workload identities is critical for protecting your organization, your users, and your data,” the company says. “With Microsoft Entra Workload Identities, you can apply enhanced security to your workload identities by implementing conditional access, containing threats proactively, and getting more insight into workload identities lifecycles.”