Microsoft launches Entra, a new identity and access family of products

Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft has been on a roll lately, in terms of packaging up a group of products into a newly branded suite. (See the ever-expanding Microsoft Defender family, the Microsoft Priva privacy-management suite and the Microsoft Purview compliance and governance brand for the latest examples.) On May 31, the company did it again with a suite of identity and access products it has christened “Microsoft Entra.”

Microsoft’s contention is managing digital access is not straightforward because it’s impossible for organizations to plan ahead for all the access scenarios that can happen across an organization and its third-party suppliers, who maintain devices outside of a company’s security perimeter. That’s where Entra is meant to fit in.

Microsoft Entra includes all of Microsoft’s identity and access products: Azure Active Directory, Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM) and Decentralized Identity. Azure AD is what manages everything from conditional access to passwordless authentication and Azure AD External Identities, which manages B2B and B2C (business to consumer) connections is part of Entra, as well. The CIEM piece of this is the rebranded CloudKnox permission technology. Microsoft bought CloudKnox Security in 2021. The Verified Identity capability started out as an incubation about five

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