Microsoft Defender for Identity Licensing: A Guide to Protecting Your Data 

Do you need help with Microsoft licensing? Agile IT, a Microsoft Cloud Partner for 10+ years, can help you understand and navigate the intricacies of Microsoft licensing.

We have a lot of experience and knowledge, enabling us to give helpful advice on the complexities of Microsoft licensing and make it easier for you to manage. At Agile IT, we’re laser-focused on Microsoft cloud services as we believe it’s the best path forward for our customers. We’ll explore why and how Microsoft Defender for Identity supports this belief.

Overview of Microsoft Defender for Identity

To better understand Microsoft 365 Defender, we can divide it into four main areas:

  • Identities
  • Endpoints
  • Email
  • Apps

Each area is supported by different branches, such as Defender for Endpoint Plan 1 and Plan 2, and in the future, we’ll talk about Defender for Office 365 Plan 1 and Plan 2 and Defender for Cloud Apps.

Today, we’ll focus on Defender for Identity, which used to be called Azure Advanced Threat Protection (or Azure ATP for short).

While Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA) has some overlap in terms of capability, calling it a former version of Defender by Identity is only partially accurate.

Defender for Identity is the genuine replacement for Azure ATP, and it’s available either as a standalone license or bundled with other licensing options. Later on, we’ll discuss licensing pathways and strategies, but this is where we stand in the Microsoft space.

Protecting Low-Privileged User Accounts in Identity Risk Management

Identity risk is a big deal, especially for well-known users and those with high-privileged accounts. However, hackers know these people are often heavily protected, so they often target low-privileged users with lower protection.

IT teams may overlook these users, making them more vulnerable to phishing attacks. Even if a hacker gains access through a low-privileged account, they can escalate their access and steal sensitive data. Remember this and protect all users, not just the high-privileged ones.

Internal Identity Risks and the Role of Defender for Identity

Keep your online environment safe because a lot can go wrong if someone unauthorized gains access. Use multifactor authentication and conditional access and ensure only authorized individuals can access the environment.

However, identity risk isn’t just about external threats but also internal ones like verified employees who might try to access data they shouldn’t. It’s where Defender for Identity comes in, which looks for abnormal user behavior and notifies of internal abuse.

It monitors signals, entities, network traffic, and Windows events and traces in your on-premises Active Directory, including domain controllers and ADFS, by installing sensors to monitor and gather input. However, Azure AD identity protection is the better option if you only have Azure Active Directory.

Strengthen Your Cybersecurity with Microsoft Defender for Identity

Microsoft Defender for Identity helps protect your accounts and sensitive information from being hacked. It works with other Microsoft Defender products like Defender for Endpoint, Office 365, and Cloud Apps to provide a more robust defense against threats.

When you use multiple defender products, they collect more user behavior data, which helps reduce false alerts and false notifications. It also helps to identify when a user is acting normally or abnormally, which allows for detecting potential threats.

Defender for Identity focuses on four main areas:

  • Reducing the attack surface
  • Real-time detection
  • Threat investigation
  • Threat response

It checks for vulnerabilities like weak passwords and recommends the best security practices.

Safeguard Your Identity with Microsoft 365 Defender:

Defender for Identity can help you detect attacks on your computer. For example, it can pick up on things like someone trying to steal your login information, move around your computer, or take control of your domain. You’ll get notifications if any of these happen, and they’ll appear in the Microsoft 365 Defender portal.

This tool uses data points to create a baseline of what’s typical for each user; you can relax as there’s no need to fret about the setup process. If anything unusual happens, you’ll get notified.

If you use multiple Defender products, the portal will group all the alerts into something called an incident, so you can see how everything connects. While attackers don’t always follow a specific plan, Defender helps you understand how threats might appear and why they matter.

It’s a valuable tool for anyone who wants to keep their computer and online accounts safe.

Prioritizing Threats

When you see a phishing campaign that gets flagged by Defender for Office 365 and then leads to compromised credentials that get flagged by Defender for Identity, it tells a story of how the threat is coming together. This information may change how you choose to respond to it.

For example, a coordinated attack may elevate the priority, while a lack of coordination may indicate a false positive. Therefore, each threat has a priority score to help identify which ones matter most and which ones should act on as soon as possible.

It helps cut down on noise and expose legitimate threats. Defender for Identity also integrates with Microsoft Sentinel for a two-way integration that allows you to use Sentinel as your primary Alert Center. So, when you fix a problem on one portal, the changes will apply to the other.

Enhancing Azure AD Security

If you use Azure Active Directory, you should use Azure AD identity protection to keep your information safe. It’s part of the Azure AD Premium plan included in EMS E5.

To access this protection, you’ll need to purchase a license for every user using it. Even if one user has the ability, no guardrails are in place to prevent others from using it. It’s up to you to ensure you only use it for licensed users to avoid legal trouble.

If you are still determining which licensing pathway is best, look at the Microsoft 365 E5 licenses. Just make sure to stay within the licensing guidelines to avoid any penalties.

Combining Products

If you’re already using Microsoft 365 Defender products, using them together is a good idea. You can do this by adding-on other products or getting a license that includes them all. It will make them stronger and more effective.

If you can’t get a bundled product, consider Defender for Identity and Endpoint, the best combination. You can get Defender for Identity as a standalone license and apply it to your existing user license.

Enhancing Your Security with EMS Security and Agile IT

If you’re interested in EMS security, purchase it through the Microsoft 365 E5 Security, F5 Security, or F5 Security and Compliance license. Purchasing an E5 license grants you access to a lot more features.

EMS improves the security of Office 365 by providing extra protection for your data. Even if you’re using a device not managed by your IT team, you can keep your Office 365 data safe. The IT Administrators can safeguard your data at the app level without enrolling your device.

They can limit functions like copy-pasting and only use Managed Browser App to access web links for better security.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the licensing options for Defender for Identity, don’t worry! Agile IT boasts over 16 years of experience with Microsoft Licensing and can help you navigate complex scenarios with persona-based licensing to save money and reduce redundancy. Contact Agile IT today to learn how to save on your Microsoft licensing.

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