Why more people are taking a sneaky look at Microsoft Identity Manager



Why more people are taking a sneaky peek at Microsoft Identity Manager 30th October 2016

Judging by day rates paid to Microsoft freelance contractors, a newly launched Microsoft security technology is in high demand and short of skilled technicians.

When Microsoft introduced Microsoft Identity Manager (MIM) 2016 last year, it was as a replacement for the old Forefront Identity Manager 2010. Interest in the new product that handles authorisation and privileges of users has been growing faster than an Active Directory in a booming enterprise.

At the same time, the supply of competent MIM-contractors has apparently grown as slowly as the process of administering user rights without software to support user administration.

According to Curo Talent’s recently published ‘Microsoft Freelance Rates and Technology Trends 2016’, contractors with MIM-skills earn some the highest average daily rates, together with experts in Biztalk Server and Azure gurus.

The MIM-contractors are probably busy these days exploring the latest features – and hotfixes – included in the first service pack for MIM 2016.

Broadened platform support

MIM 2016 SP1 was released in October and this first service pack means support for SQL 2016, Exchange 2016, Outlook 2016 and SharePoint 2016 SP1 is now included in MIM. Previously, it was only possible to send approvals and notifications about user access with Exchange Server and/or SMTP, but now it can also be done using an Office365 Exchange account.

The new service pack also broadens browser support. One of the great things about MIM 2016 is the self-service element, e.g. offering self-service password reset with Multi-Factor Authentication to end-users. Users interacting with the MIM online portal for self-service groups and profile management can now use Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Apple Safari browsers.

Microsoft has described all the new features and hotfixes in a ‘What’s new’ document [2].

PAM is getting new features

I would, however, like to mention the nice lady called PAM (Privileged Access Management) [3] who helps isolate the use of privileged access within an existing Active Directory environment, thus reducing the risk of credentials being stolen.

PAM will help in re-establishing control over a compromised Active Directory environment by maintaining a separate ‘bastion’ environment that is known to be unaffected by malicious attacks. In that way, PAM helps in isolating any eventual unauthorised privilege escalations.

She has some new features which make her even more attractive. With SP1, there are for instance PAM deployment scripts and PAM Cmdlets that make it easier to streamline the installation of the PAM environment.

Better deployment scripts

Microsoft has also added other menu-driven PowerShell-scripts to help with the general configuration and deployment of MIM 2016.

Organisations will need to have MIM 2016 installed in order to upgrade to SP1. Microsoft provides the installation instructions (and caveats) at the end of the ‘What’s New’ document [2]. There’s also a detailed walkthrough guide [4] as well as a list of all supported platforms [5].

There’s no excuse for not taking a sneaky look at the new features of Microsoft Identity Manager 2016.

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LINKS:

[2] What’s new for Microsoft Identity Manager 2016 SP1
https://github.com/MicrosoftDocs/MIMDocs/blob/master/MIMDocs/Microsoft-identity-manager-2016-sp1-release-notes.md
[3] PAM for Active Directory Domain Services
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-identity-manager/pam/privileged-identity-management-for-active-directory-domain-services
[4] Walkthrough guide of MIM SP1 installation https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/connector_space/2016/10/07/new-install-or-upgrade-to-microsoft-identity-manager-2016-sp1-synchronization-service/
[5] MIM supported platforms
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-identity-manager/plan-design/microsoft-identity-manager-2016-supported-platforms

Dan Mygind

Author: Dan Mygind

Dan Mygind is a Journalist and Computer Scientist with a strong interest in technology, technology-related businesses, and the transforming effect source code can have on society.
He has worked for startups, SMEs and global IT-organisations such as IBM as a developer, consultant, and IT-architect. With a solid technology background, he has written extensively for a wide variety of publications such as Computerworld as well as writing technical white papers for Microsoft and other companies.

Contact Dan Mygind: mygind{at}writeit{dot}dk

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the view and opinion of Curo Talent.

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