Binding Linux to Azure AD: Rethinking Access Management

Written by Ashley Gwilliam on January 18, 2023

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For a long time, Linux systems were the sole domain of highly skilled tech gurus. Not because they held a monopoly on the operating system but because most people preferred the more user-friendly, out-of-the-box Windows and Mac operating systems.

While its usage on desktop computers is nowhere near the same level as Windows and Mac, the rise of open source technology has caused Linux system usage to double over the last decade.

With Linux virtual machines and servers now becoming a mainstay in several organizations’ infrastructure, a question that regularly arises is how to manage these devices on Azure Active Directory (AD).

The Problem: How To Bind Linux to Azure AD

coworkers in sever room looking at a tablet

Binding Linux to Azure is less problematic for Linux users than Mac users for a simple reason: Microsoft Azure runs on the Linux operating system!

However, it still requires IT admins to manually join every device to the directory, create an account, and log them into the network. Alternatively, admins could use configuration management tools in writing codes to grant user access.

The problem is that the admin must write exceedingly complex codes when granting different levels of access to different users. These extra steps become problematic as organizations grow and leverage more tools. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there; they must also jump through similar hoops when terminating user access.

Woe beside the IT admin who needs to do numerous tasks while working within the challenges posed by remote work and possibly a distributed workforce! Fortunately, there is a better way.

The Solution: Bind Users, Not Devices

What if admins could grant access to users instead of individual devices? This way, when users log in from different devices or systems, their access remains restricted only to what has been granted and can be tracked easily.

This makes it easy for admins to grant and revoke access. All they have to do is update the user’s profile, and all their devices will reflect the changes.

Plus, when using the same profiles, admins can always specify the level of access users have to the different tools, networks, and resources available.

This isn’t just a relief for admins alone; it also makes life much easier for users as they can log in to any of their machines and access all the resources granted without creating multiple profiles for each device.

Control User Access From a Unified Platform

The JumpCloud Directory Platform reshapes how admins manage user access to their resources. Admins can create, update, and delete users’ profiles and assign or revoke access to their organization’s tools, networks, resources, and services using JumpCloud’s directory service. 

This way, they have seamless access control and no longer worry about writing complex codes or manually managing each device. It also makes it easy for them to track user access activity across multiple systems from a single pane of glass.

Plus, with users needing to provide multi-factor authentication (MFA) before accessing their profiles, the extra layer of security makes it even harder for unauthorized users to gain access to the company’s network, even if a device falls into the wrong hands. Sign up today to redefine how your organization thinks about access.

Ashley Gwilliam

Ashley Gwilliam is a Content Writer for JumpCloud. After graduating with a degree in print-journalism, Ashley’s storytelling skills took her from on-camera acting to interviewing NBA basketball players to ghostwriting for CEOs. Today she writes about tech, startups, and remote work. In her analog life, she is on a quest to find the world's best tacos.

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