In this blog post I will go through the process of configuring a conditional access policy within Azure AD.
Conditional Access policies are simply if and then statements, for example, if a user wants to access a resource, then they must complete an action. Example: A staff member wants to access the payroll application and is required to perform multi-factor authentication to access it.
Note: Using this feature requires an Azure AD Premium P1 license
1. Login to the Azure Portal portal.azure.com 2. Click Azure AD or locate via the search box 3. Click Security
4. Click Conditional Access
5. Click New Policy
6. For the purpose of this demo, I have selected:
Assignments: – Selected Users and groups – Selected the Sales group
7. Next, click Cloud apps or actions
8. Select what this policy applies to. For the purpose of this demo, I have clicked select apps
9. Select your apps. For the purpose of this demo, I have selected Office 365 only
10. Next, click Conditions
Up to this point I have selected the Sales group and the application Office 365. I will now continue to apply conditions to the Sales group. Click Conditions
11. Click Device Platforms
12. For the purpose of this demo, I want this policy to apply for Sales people using an IOS device, such as an iphone
13. Click Locations
14. Here you could configure a location, for example you could prevent a conditional access policy from applying to your trusted locations but apply the policy everywhere else. Note the exclude option below where you could exclude locations from this policy.
15. Here you can control user access to target specific client applications not using modern authentication.
Note: When not configured, policies now apply to all client apps, including modern and legacy auth.
16. Click device state
17. Here you can control user access when the device the user is signing in from is not Hybrid Azure AD joined or marked as compliant.
18. Next, click grant
19. Here you can decide what you want this policy to do, block or allow access based on conditions. If you allow, you can select what conditions the users have to meet when authenticating. You could also select several options and select require all the selected controls or require one of the selected controls.
20. Finally, you have the option to enable the policy by clicking On. Clicking Off and the policy will not apply. Or clicking Report-Only which will only log events for you to analyse but not apply to users.
21. Click Create
Note: if you receive the below message after clicking create, you must disabled security defaults before you can create your policy.
Security defaults must be disabled to enable conditional access policy.
Out of the box, Microsoft now provide secure default settings that Microsoft manage on behalf of organisations to keep customers safe until they are ready to manage their own identity security. Security defaults is now enabled by default when setting up a new tenant.
You can disable security defaults by:
Logon in to the Azure portal at portal.azure.com
Click Azure Active Directory, or search using the search box
Click properties located in the left pane
Browse to the bottom of the page, and click the link Manage Security Defaults
22. and here is the policy
Notice the option What If below. This option allows you to test what a conditional access policy would do if applied to a user.
In this blog post I will be going through the various configuration options available within a modern Sharepoint site offered as part of Microsoft 365 suite. This is my first attempt setting up a modern Sharepoint site, so I decided to document my experience for others who may want to know more about Modern Sharepoint.
If you’re testing, you can sign up for a free 365 E3 license which includes a number of services including Sharepoint. You can sign up for a free 365 E3 trial at the following link Microsoft 365 E3 Trial
You’ll be prompted to setup a unique onmicrosoft.com tenant url as part of the registration process. I have configured imrancloudbuild.onmicrosoft.com, therefore my default sharepoint url is imrancloudbuild.sharepoint.com
After setting up your account, you’ll find that the out of the box Sharepoint design provided by Microsoft includes a nice layout and is mobile responsive.
Let’s move on and create a modern SharePoint site, click SharePoint to visit the admin center
2. Click + Create site (You could also amend the existing default Sharepoint site. For the purpose of this demo, i’ll be doing both, going through the options available when setting up a new site and also working with the default site later)
3. A couple of options appear
Examples of communication site scenarios.
Official corporate news
HR team communicating benefits and compensation information
Travel team publishing guidelines about corporate travel
Policies and procedures
Examples of team site scenarios.
Project team working together to complete deliverables and manage tasks.
Holiday party planning committee, planning the annual get together. If you have work locations in multiple geographies, you may have many holiday party committees and each party committee team site might be in a different language.
Human Resources team members – everyone who works in HR.
Executive Committee – different leadership groups within the organisation.
4. For the purpose of this demo, I will be setting up a SharePoint communication site
5. For the purpose of this demo, I will be selecting Topic
Topic to share information such as news, events, and other content.
Showcase to use photos or images to showcase a product, team, or event.
Blank to create your own design.
No matter which one you choose, you can add, remove, or reorder web parts as required.
6. Select a name for your new site. My new site is HR. Click finish
7. If we had clicked the option to create a Teams Site instead of a communication site, here is an example of the options and what the site would have looked like
Input details and click next (Teams Site example)
and here is the default Teams Site
8. Back to our communications site, let’s take a look at the available options
9. Click Site contents
10. Click Site settings
Site Usage – Allows you to check your Sharepoint stats, such as number of views, most viewed posts, what devices are used to connect to your site, etc.
Recycle Bin – deleted content resides here, with the option to permanently delete or restore
11. After clicking Site Settings, you’ll find a number of settings, including the option to delete your Sharepoint site, permissions, language settings etc.
We’ll start with changing the Modern Sharepoint Title and logo. Click Title, Description and logo
12. Change details as required and click ok. I have changed my site name from HR to Cloud Build Hub and uploaded a logo. Save the changes
13. Let’s check the changes, click the home link
Changing Modern Sharepoint template
14. Next, let’s take a look at the various templates available in case you don’t prefer the default template for your new Sharepoint site. Again, click change the look available under site settings. See step 11
15. Microsoft provide a number of different templates including the ones below.
16. After clicking a template, there is an option to Try it Out before you decide to apply the template. See screenshot below.
After clicking Try It Out, a further option appears where you can select to apply the template or cancel
Inviting members to a Modern Sharepoint site
17. What if you want to invite other members of your team to assist you with setting up the site? You can do this by clicking the share link at the top right corner of the site and granting members access.
Create a new menu link Modern Sharepoint
18. Next, I’ll create a new menu item, linking to my Blog, click Edit
19. Hover over pages and click the + icon as shown below
20. I type the details to my blog, click ok, and then save
And there is the new menu item
21. If you wish to reorder the items below, drag and drop the links as required.
Note that the admin links will not be visible to regular users and exist for the purpose of administration of the Sharepoint site only.
You may notice an option to add a label as shown below. A label is useful if you wish to add a top menu link such as Company, and upon clicking Company, additional menu items appear. In this case Company is the label.
Microsoft offer two types of menu layouts (Mega menu and Cascading menu). The default is Mega menu. If you wish to change the menu layout, click the cog icon towards the top of the site and click change the look as shown below
and then click navigation, change the menu to the cascading style. You may prefer the cascading menu over the Mega menu so experiment with both after creating a label and sub menu links.
Grant all users within the organisation read only access to Modern Sharepoint site
22. At some point you will want the Sharepoint site to be visible to all users within your organisation
Type everyone and click the option Everyone except external, click ok, and click share. I’ll cover external sharing in part 2
Ensure read only is selected
23. If you wish to add addition colours to your site without changing your site theme, click the cog found towards the top right corner, click the option change the look and click Theme
Note: At the time of writing this post, only certain parts of the site colours change when using Theme colours.
And select the colours of your choice
24. As you can see, only certain parts of the site have changed to the colour red
You could also use the customize option to change to a different colour that is not already part of the default theme colours provided by Microsoft.
Select the Header and Footer options if you wish to change the colours
Header colour has changed to grey
Stay tuned for part 2 where I will continue to go through the various settings offered as part of a Modern Sharepoint site.
In this blog post I will go through enabling password expiration within the Microsoft 365 portal. I will also go through the default password options within Azure AD.
Note: this only applies if you’re utilising a Microsoft cloud only setup. Also, at the time of writing this post, Azure AD does not allow configuring password expiration from the portal. You must do this via Powershell or from the 365 portal as we will be doing now.
Login to portal.office.com
Click Settings and Org settings
3. Click Security & privacy
4. Click Password and expiration policy
5. By default passwords are set to never expire. Click the option Set user passwords to expire after a number of days
6. Configure settings as required, or leave the defaults and click save
Moving on, let’s take a look at the default Azure password configuration
1) Click the link to launch the Azure Active Directory admin center
2) Click Azure Active Directory
3) Click Security from the left pane
4) Click Authentication Methods
5) Click Password protection
6) and here are the default settings
The audit option applies to the custom list of banned passwords. If set to Enforce, users will be prevented from setting banned passwords and the attempt will be blocked. If set to Audit, the attempt will only be logged.
In this blog post I will add and verify a domain in the Microsoft 365 admin portal. I will also setup an email address using the newly added domain via the Exchange admin center. Finally, I will test to ensure I can send and receive emails.
Login to the Microsoft 365 Admin Portal at admin.microsoft.com (Login with Global Admin account)
Click Show All
Note: you could also add the domain by clicking Setup.
3. Click Settings
4. Click Domains
5. As you can see from the below screenshot, I have my default onmicrosoft.com domain displayed
6. Click Add Domain or purchase a new one by clicking Buy domain
7. Add a domain if you already own one and click use this domain when ready
8. I’ll be selecting the option to add a TXT record to my external domain DNS portal. Click continue
9. Microsoft provide a TXT record which I will need to add to my domain DNS portal. This process verifies that you own the domain you are trying to add to 365
10. I login to my domain portal at my domain registrars website, locate DNS and click to add a new TXT record.
11. I add the details and click Add Record
12. TXT record added successfully
13. Back to the 365 portal to verify the domain. If the domain does not verify, allow time for replication
14. The following appears after Microsoft have verified your domain. You may want to stop at this point as you may not want to configure email routing just yet without planning. I’ll explain further at step 15 below.
The text states:
Connect your domain to your Microsoft services so you can use email and instant messaging. There are a couple of options to consider, depending on how you’d like to manage domain name service (DNS) records for your domain imranrashid.co.uk.
Add your own DNS records. We’ll provide a list of DNS records that you’ll need to add for your domain at your DNS host.
15. If you decide to cancel the setup after verification, you’ll find that the new domain is now available within Exchange Admin Center. Let’s take a look. Note that your domain has been verified so if you decide to cancel the wizard at this point. You can return and continue from where you left at a later time. Let’s login to Exchange Online and check the status of the new domain aswell as add a new email alias to my mailbox. No email routing has been configured at this point.
– Access Exchange Admin Center
– Click Mail flow
– Click accepted domains and you’ll find that the domain has been added as your default domain
-I won’t be able to receive email to this domain until I continue with configuring the required DNS/MX records but I am in a position to start configuring email addresses.
– Click on recipients
-In the example below, my mailbox is still set to the default onmicrosoft.com address
– Click the edit icon or double click the name
– Click email addresses, add your email address and save
– My email address has changed from the default onmicrosoft.com to my newly added domain.
16. I want to continue with setting up my records to allow me to send and receive emails to my new email address
You can continue with the domain setup at anytime. Note that if you’re using an external email filtering solution such as Mimecast the process is different so some planning is required before you decide to make this serious change of routing email into O365. Routing email changes should be completed at a suitable time to reduce impact to your users.
So i have acccessed the Microsoft 365 Portal, clicked settings, domains and clicked my domain which is currently displaying a status of Incomplete setup
17. Click Continue Setup
18. And we’re back at the setup screen we left earlier
19. Click more options and the below options appear
20. I will be selecting the default option Add your own DNS records, click continue
21. Microsoft have provided me with further records to add to my domain portal for imranrashid.co.uk
You’ll find a further option towards the bottom of the page as shown below. If you decide to click the options below, further DNS records will be provided for Skype For Business and Intune and Mobility Device Management for Micrsosoft 365
22. For the purpose of this demo, I will only be working with Exchange Online. Let’s add the MX, CNAME and TXT records to my domain portal for imranrashid.co.uk before we continue. Back to my domain portal to add the records.
23. Records added as specified by Microsoft, back to the portal.
Note: It may take some time for changes to replicate but in most cases the process does not take long. You will want to plan the replication time into your schedule as in some cases it can take up to 24 hours for DNS records to replicate.
24. Click continue
If there are issues, Microsoft will assist by providing recommendations on how to resolve your issues, for example, if you have typed or copied a record incorrectly, Microsoft will raise this on the next page.
25. Success, domain setup completed. I should now be able to send and receive emails.
26. Earlier in this blog post I assigned an email address to my mailbox via the Exchange Admin Center, so let’s test by logging into my mailbox and test email.
Send email outbound from firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s reply to the email
Email received successfully
Stay tuned for further blog posts
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