Microsoft has been pushing security default settings to act as extra protection against threat actors. Users of Azure Active Directory will be affected by the program, but there are ways to disable the features if desired. 

 

“Azure AD is Microsoft's cloud service for handling identity and authentication to on-premise and cloud apps. It was the evolution of Active Directory Domain Services in Windows 2000.” (ZDNet). 

 

The program is expected to double the number of accounts protected by the features. 

 

"When complete, this rollout will protect an additional 60 million accounts (roughly the population of the United Kingdom!) from the most common identity attacks," says Microsoft's director of identity security, Alex Weinert.  (ZDNet). 

 

A variety of features are included in this rollout.  

 

“After the rollout starts, Global administrators will be notified and can either enable security defaults or snooze their enforcement for 14 days when they will be toggled on automatically. Once toggled on in an Azure AD tenant, users will be required to register for MFA within 14 days using the Microsoft Authenticator app, with Global admins also asked to provide a phone number.” (Bleeping Computer).  

 

If users or administrators do not want these features active, they can disable them in two ways. 

 

“Admins who don't want security defaults enabled for their organizations can disable them through the Azure Active Directory properties or the Microsoft 365 admin center.” 

 

This is not recommended, as the features have been quite successful. 

 

“However, this might be a bad idea since, according to Weinert, organizations who leave security defaults enabled ‘experience 80 percent less compromise than the overall tenant population.’ Furthermore, per Microsoft's telemetry data, requiring MFA prevents over 99.9% of account compromise attacks when enabled.” (Bleeping Computer).  

 

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Sources: 

ZDNet. https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-were-rolling-out-these-security-settings-to-protect-millions-of-accounts-heres-whats-changing/?ftag=TRE-03-10aaa6b&bhid=%7B%24external_id%7D&mid=%7B%24MESSAGE_ID%7D&cid=%7B%24contact_id%7D&eh=%7B%24CF_emailHash%7D 

Bleeping Computer. https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/microsoft/microsoft-to-force-better-security-defaults-for-all-azure-ad-tenants/