Last week we talked about why passwords are bad. Today we will continue with part 2, how to get the passwords gone, and we will zoom in on Windows Hello for Business!
So what is Windows Hello? Windows Hello is a modern way of authenticating users on their laptop, where this will be a two factor authentication. The first factor is the integrated TPM chip in the device, and the 2nd factor is the bio-metric of the user.
By enabling the TPM chip and the bio-metric data from the end user we will eliminate the need of a password on the users device. Off course the user can use his password to unlock the device in case bio-metric verification fails because of different reasons.
If you have a on-premise domain with Windows Hello for business enabled, it is also possible to enable the convenience PIN, however, I wouldn’t recommend it, as Microsoft has disabled this in Azure AD as well. In short:
Windows Hello for Business is: An asymmetric key-pair protected and stored in the TPM, unlock with PIN or Bio-metric Authentication
Where Azure MFA is only included in the paid Azure Active Directory Premium subscriptions (P1/P2 and EM+S suites), there is a free version for the Office 365 apps.
It is always a good idea to enable multi factor authentication, in case your credentials get stolen, the thief will not be able to use them because of the 2nd authentication factor. Microsoft is encouraging all their users to start using MFA, so the made it free of charge for all the apps of the office 365 suite, including Outlook, Teams, Excel, Word and many more.
The 2 factor authentication can be setup up fairly easily by the end users self. This can be enforced by the administrator by requiring 2 factor authentication. The first time a user logs on, he or she will get a notification message to setup MFA. Or you can redirect your users to the following portal to setup MFA: https://aka.ms/mfasetup
How to setup MFA for your end users?
In the office 365 portal go to the Active Users tab, and go to the Setup multifactor authentication page (see below)
Enterprise Mobility + Security is a Microsoft solution specially developed for management and securing users, company data and applications. This gives you and your users always secured access to your company information without ever worrying about security!
With EM+S we are moving from a managed device to data management and security. This means that it will not only protect your device, but most important, it will take care of security on a document level where you can prevent that confidential data is readable by unauthorized persons.
By using this security suite you can prevent abuse of stolen credentials when one of your users is tricked by a phishing email. You can limit access to company data to only trusted devices (Company and BYOD) by using the Intune portal. But we can limit access to it as well with IP black / white listing. This includes Geoblocking as well, it is impossible to travel from the Netherlands to Russia for example in 5 minutes.
To protect your valuable company data I recommend to always use EM+S for optimal protection. If you want the security to be at its best, E5 is your way to go!
Simple management and security of your devices
Multifactor authentication (MFA)
Selfservice portal for password reset en securitygroep management
Application company portal
Mobile device management (MDM)
Integrated device management (Laptop/Desktop)
Securing company data en restrict access to company data
Conditional access (geo-blocking and more)
Advanced Threat Protection with reporting
Risk-Based conditional access (E5 only)
Privileged identity management (E5 only)
Intelligent data classification and labeling (E5 only)
Within Azure there are multiple ways to setup MFA. Where you would install MFA server in the past, there is a new extension. Microsoft is going to leave the MFA server behind in the near future (security updates will remain being published for now).
Besides the NPS extension and the MFA on-premise server the best practice is to run MFA from the Azure cloud where possible. But that isn’t always an option. So let’s move on to the NPS extension. Lets start with the requirements.
Requirements: – Server 2016/2019 with ADFS version 4 – Server 2016/2019 hosting NPS services which performs Radius authentication. – Users must be synchronized between local Active directory and Azure Active Directory – Azure AD Premium or EM+S license must be assigned to the user – NPS Extension for Azure MFA (Download link: https://aka.ms/npsmfa)