Posted by: kurtsh | December 26, 2019

PREVIEW: Azure AD authentication to Windows VMs in Azure

As taken from the announcement:

imageI’m excited to announce that Azure AD authentication to Windows Virtual Machines (VMs) in Azure is now available in public preview—giving you the ability to manage and control who can access a VM.

Deployment of Windows VMs in Azure is becoming very common and a challenge everyone faces is securely managing the accounts and credentials used to login to these VMs. Typically, people create local administrator accounts to login to these VMs and it becomes difficult to manage these accounts as people join or leave teams.

To make things simple people often follow the risky practice of sharing admin account passwords among big groups of people. This makes it very hard to protect your production Windows VMs and collaborate with your team when using shared Windows VMs.

Now, organizations can utilize Azure AD authentication over a Remote Desk Protocol (RDP) for their Azure VMs running Windows Server 2019 Datacenter edition or Windows 10 1809 and later.

Using Azure AD to authenticate to VMs provides the ability to centrally control and enforce policies using tools like Azure Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) and Azure AD Conditional Access to allow you to control who can access a VM.

There are many benefits of using Azure AD authentication to login to Windows VMs in Azure, including:

  • Utilizing the same federated or managed Azure AD credentials you normally use.
  • No longer having to manage local administrator accounts.
  • Using Azure RBAC to grant the appropriate access to VMs based on need and remove it when it is no longer needed.
  • Requiring AD Conditional Access to enforce additional requirements such as:
  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA)
  • Sign-in risk
  • Automating and scaling Azure AD join for Azure based Windows VMs.

You can use Azure Portal, AZ CLI, or PSH to enable this capability. Below is a quick example of how to do this from Azure Portal.

Read the rest here:


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