Azure Active DIrectory is getting a slimmed-down background image to help with bandwidth-constrained locations. Office 365 tenants with custom backgrounds won’t see the change. Customizing the appearance of the sign-in screen is easy if you prepare. And to finish up, we have pointers to a set of videos about how Azure Active Directory authentication works.
The Azure Active Directory Group Naming policy generates display names for new Office 365 Groups created by various applications. You can include a prefix or suffix in a group name, The approach taken by email favored prefixes because this gathered all distribution lists together in one place in the GAL. However, prefixes work better with applications like Teams.
Azure Active Directory now features the public preview of the My Sign-Ins feature, which allows users to see where their sign-ins originate and what applications are used to sign-in. It’s a nice idea but Office 365 users are unlikely to find the page. We can help by creating a custom tile with a link to the My Sign-Ins page. The tile appears in the Office 365 apps menu and makes it easy for people to access their sign-in data.
Office 365 makes extensive use of Azure Active Directory guest accounts. Implementing a risky sign-in policy is a good idea, but it can have the unfortunate side-effect of suddenly blocking guest accounts that could previously access tenant resources. If blocks happen, they can only be lifted through administrative intervention in the guest account’s home tenant.
A reader asks if it’s possible to create a dynamic Office 365 group for global administrators. Well, it is and it isn’t. Azure Active Directory doesn’t give us the ability to execute the right kind of query to find global administrators, but with some out-of-the-box thinking, we can find a way to accomplish the task.
The Groups section of the Azure Active Directory portal now includes a preview of a feature to configure the Office 365 Groups naming policy without going near PowerShell. Although those proficient with scripts and GUIDs will lament this sad reduction in standards, the normal administrator will welcome the chance to forget some obscure syntax.
The LinkedIn connector for Office 365 now uses a group to control the set of user accounts allowed to connect their accounts to LinkedIn. It’s a good change because it makes the connection easier to manage. Even so, you might still need to use PowerShell to manage the membership of the group, especially if you want to add multiple people to the group at one time.
Exchange Online protocol authentication policies control what protocols a user can connect to mailboxes with, but it would be much better if we didn’t have to worry about some old and insecure protocols. Azure Active Directory gives Office 365 tenants the chance to clamp down on IMAP4 and POP3 connections and close off some of the holes that attackers try to exploit. Microsoft says that this can lead to a 67% reduction in account compromises, so that’s a good thing.
The January 24-25 Azure Active Directory outage demonstrated once again how important AAD is to Office 365. Microsoft’s Post Incident Report tells us what happened to deprive 1% of the users in Europe of service. That doesn’t sound a lot, but you’d be mad if you were affected.
Microsoft has launched email one-time passcodes (OTP) into preview for Azure Active Directory guest accounts. It’s all to do with better collaboration. OTP doesn’t support Teams, Planner, or Office 365 Groups yet, but it can be used to share documents from SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business.