Rules to Better Office 365

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  1. Do you have Active Directory Federation Services activated?

    Using Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) lets you use one account to log into multiple systems, through Single Sign-On (SSO).

    ​ADFS is built upon SAML 2.0 protocol (Security Assertion Markup Language), allowing secure exchange of authentication data.

    With ADFS, you can use only one account (generally created on your on-premises Active Directory (AD) server) to log into multiple systems e.g. Dynamics 365 CRM, Office 365 and many others.

    This implementation gives you security over which users are acessing which application with which accounts, and also reduces the surface for attacks on having many accounts with many different passwords:

    sso.png 

    Figure: Good Example - Using one account on many systems

    ADFS also gives you a solution in other corner cases:

      1. When you want to use Office 365 and not store your password on the cloud;
      2. When you want the authentication to take place on-premises;
      3. When you want to create a trust between SharePoint on-premises and Azure AD;
      4. Amongst many others.

    adfs.jpg
    Figure: Good Example - Using SSO to log into CRM with your on-premises account
  2. Do you have Azure Active Directory Password Hash Synchronization activated?

    ​Azure Active Directory (AAD) Password Hash Synchronization (PHS) is one of the methods you can use if you want to have your identities synced to the cloud, alongside Pass-through Authentication (PTA) and Federation with AD FS.​

    If you have a hybrid identity in place with AAD, chances are you are already synchronizing password hashes to the cloud with Azure AD Connect Sync.

    AAD PHS synchronizes the password in on-premises AD with AAD so you can use your on-premises password to login to cloud services, like Azure or Office 365. It also allows you to implement Seamless Sign-On for domain-joined machines, so users don't need to login twice when opening their emails in a browser, for example.

    AAD PHS also allows you to have an absolute lean infrastructure on-premises, as the only needed moving part is Azure AD Connect Sync to be installed in a server or Domain Controller. No agents or internet-facing machines necessary.

    The web requests don't even come to your server, they are server by Microsoft's big pool of servers around the globe!

    aad-phs.png
    Figure: Good Example – AAD PHS infrastructure workflow

    You can check out a deep dive of AAD PHS in official Microsoft documentation at What is password hash synchronization with Azure AD?

  3. Do you have Skype for Business setup in Hybrid to get the full functionality out of Teams?

    If you have an on-premises Skype for Business (S4B) server, and you want to upgrade to Microsoft Teams, you need to setup S4B in Hybrid mode with your Office 365 tenant first.

    Microsoft Teams is going to replace Skype and Skype for Business in the near future - which means an upgrade will be necessary soon.

      1. To leverage the full features of Teams, you need to first setup Hybrid on your S4B on-premises server. This is no small task, and you can find the full instructions on how to do that here
      2. After setting up a Hybrid environment, you will need to migrate all your users from S4B to Teams. This involves 2 steps (if you have an on-premises S4B):
          a. Moving from S4B on-premises to S4B online (instructions);
          b. Moving from S4B online to Teams. (instructions)

  4. Dynamics and Teams - Do you integrate Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Teams?

    • ​In Teams, add a Dynamics tab
    • In Dynamics, add a Teams URL field
    integration-teams-365.png
    Figure: Dynamics 365 tab in MS Teams (also showing the Teams URL field, two birds in one stone)

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