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What is Azure AD Pass-through Authentication?

Azure Active Directory Connect Pass-through Authentication is an integrated solution for enabling users to use the same password for signing into on-premises and cloud applications. It improves user-experience while reducing the costs of maintenance of IT helpdesks as users are less likely to be locked out of their accounts with fewer passwords to remember. Azure Pass-through authentication is an alternative to Azure AD Password Hash Synchronization for organizations that need to extend the capabilities of the latter to their on-premises infrastructure. Read on to understand what Azure AD Pass-through Authentication is, its features, and its functioning.

Why Should Organizations Use Azure AD Pass-through Authentication?

Azure AD Pass-through Authentication has several features for improving security without compromising on efficacy or user-experience when integrated with cloud-based and on-premises applications. Below are some reasons why your organization should use Azure AD Pass-through authentication.

  • Minimizes the dependence on IT teams for password management by unifying passwords for on-premises and cloud use.
  • Azure AD Pass-through Authentication simplifies password management capabilities such as self-service password reset (SSPR).
  • It reduces the need for complex on-premises infrastructure or network configuration using a light-weight agent.
  • Updates and security fixes occur automatically for reducing manual intervention.
  • It adopts a siloed approach for ensuring that on-premises passwords stay within the network.
  • It works seamlessly with other Azure features such as Azure AD Conditional Access and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for extending security features and improving compliance.
  • The capability is extensible to several on-premises servers to ensure that sign-in requests are honored with high-availability.

How Does Azure AD Pass-through Authentication Function?

When you enable pass-through authentication for a tenant, the user-journey looks as stated below.

  • When a user tries to log in to a web application, they get redirected to the User Sign-in if they have not signed in to the application yet.
  • Users enter their credentials in the Azure AD sign-in page where they are encrypted and passed on to the agent installed on the on-premises server.
  • The agent decrypts the credentials and matches them with the values in Active Directory using a method similar to that of Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS).
  • The request goes to the Active Directory domain controller that responds with an appropriate message such as succeeded or failed to authenticate.
  • The agent relays this message to Azure AD that in turn responds to the user request based on the security policies that are in place. If the authentication is successful, the user may either be allowed to access the application directly or have to present additional information if MFA and conditional access (CA) are enabled.

Where Can Azure AD Pass-through Authentication Be Implemented?

There are numerous scenarios in which Azure AD Pass-through Authentication can be implemented. Some of them are stated below.

  • Organizations need to facilitate their users to sign into browser-based or legacy applications.
  • Modern authentication solutions have to be extended to Office clients, Outlook, PowerShell, and other applications that rely on legacy protocols.
  • Extending Azure capabilities to Windows 10 machines using Azure AD join.
  • Implementation of application passwords that need MFA protection.

Apps4Rent Can Help with Azure Protection for On-Premises Infrastructure

While Azure AD Pass-through Authentication is in itself a free feature that can work with any Azure AD tenant, protecting your on-premises objects with advanced features such as Conditional Access requires Azure AD Premium subscriptions. As a tier 1 Microsoft CSP, Apps4Rent helps businesses around the globe identify the right cloud solutions and integrate them with their existing on-premises infrastructure. Contact our team available for assistance 24/7/365 via phone, chat, and email today to know more about our promotional prices on Azure services and products.

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