Microsoft goes password-free for Azure AD sign-in

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Enterprise customers using Microsoft’s Azure Active Directory (AD) ID management service can now use the Microsoft Authenticator app to login instead of passwords.  Microsoft announced the new Authenticator-based password-free support for Azure AD at its annual Ignite conference, which is being held this week in Orlando, Florida.  Authenticator support means enterprise customers with line-of-business apps that users connect to through Azure AD can now use fingerprint, face, or PIN to sign-in from a phone.  Microsoft products that use Azure AD for sign-in include Office 365, Azure, and Dynamics CRM Online.  Authenticator support should make it easier for enterprise customers to eliminate passwords, and with it, the problem of users picking weak passwords or reusing them across services. Azure ExpressRoute Global Reach has also reached general availability as of this week, allowing customers to connect to on-premise networks through Microsoft’s network.  Meanwhile, it’s launching a preview of Virtual WAN support in Express Route to enable VPN, SDWAN and ExpressRoute connections through Microsoft’s network.  Microsoft has also launched what it calls Azure “confidential computing”, which uses chip-level encryption to protect data on shared public cloud hardware.  The so-called trusted execution environments (TEEs) rely on Intel’s SGX or Software Guard Extension (SGX) technology.

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