Users, Meet Your Sign-ins
On October 17, Alex Simons, Microsoft VP for Program Management in the Identity Division, posted a blog saying that users could now check their sign-in history for unusual activity. Two simple steps were needed to realize the dream: tenants had to enable the feature in the User settings section of the Azure Active Directory portal (Figure 1) and then users could go to their profile page and browse their recent sign-in history.
According to Microsoft, users can use the information presented in the My Sign-Ins tile to recognize when someone is trying to guess their password, has signed into their account from a strange location (like a bar in Route 66), and the apps used to get into their account. It’s a great idea that suffers from one big weakness: Most users won’t bother.
Interesting Users in Their Sign-in Data
The thing is that users have better things to do than wonder if someone might be attacking their Azure Active Directory account. Their busy days are filled with sending email, reading and editing documents, crunching data in spreadsheets, and pondering the inadequacies of the world in chats. And that’s before attending a single meeting in person or by video. With so much going on, only the true nerds will contemplate the sign-in data that Microsoft so thoughtfully presents (Figure 2).
Finding Azure Active Directory My Sign-ins
Even if a user decides that checking sign-ins might be a good idea, the question of how to find the information needs to be answered. There’s no trace of the My profile page anywhere that I can see within Office 365, so unless someone is told where to go, they’re unlikely to stumble onto the Azure Active Directory user profile page and find their way to see their sign-ins.
Using an Office 365 Custom Tile to Point to My Sign-Ins
One solution is to create an Office 365 custom tile to guide users to the sign-in data. To do this, go to the Organization profile section of the Office 365 Admin Center and then Add custom tiles for your organization. Click Edit and then Add a custom tile. Input the details for the custom file (Figure 3) and save it.
When users access the Office 365 apps menu, they’ll see the custom tile (Figure 4) and can click it to see their sign-in information. Simple. Quick. Easy.
It’s nice to see Microsoft put features like My Sign-Ins in public preview to allow everyone to see how things work (for instance, the display of data in the My Sign-In page can be very slow) and how to improve how things work. In this case, it would be nice to see Azure Active Directory settings integrated more tightly with the Office 365 user settings accessible through the Office 365 portal.
We have tons of information about working with Azure Active Directory in the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook. Some of it is even useful!