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02:43 PM

Microsoft Adds GPS Location to Identity & Access Control in Azure AD

New capabilities let admins restrict access to resources from privileged access workstations or regions based on GPS location.

Microsoft has announced new identity and access management capabilities to its Azure Active Directory Conditional Access feature, built to give admins more control over how resources are accessed and help them handle access policies and authentication for virtual machines (VMs).

One of these tools, available in public preview later this month, lets admins restrict access to sensitive resources from specific countries or regions, based on the user's GPS location, to meet data compliance requirements. They can also apply policies based on device attributes so they can require access from devices that meet specific criteria.

"Due to VPNs and other factors, determining a user's location from their IP address is not always accurate or reliable," wrote Alex Simons, corporate vice president of program management for Microsoft's Identity division, in a blog post describing the "named locations" feature. "GPS signals enable admins to determine location with higher confidence."

When the feature is enabled, a user will be prompted to share their GPS location using the Microsoft Authenticator app during sign-in.

When choosing a region to be a named location in Conditional Access policies, admins can decide whether to determine a user's location based on their IP address or GPS location through the Authenticator app. With the location selected, they can use Conditional Access to restrict access to selected apps for logging in within a chosen location. Simons notes that admins can choose the named locations where they want the policy to apply.

Read the full blog post for more details.

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User Rank: Strategist
5/13/2021 | 5:44:57 PM
Security Face Palm
Unless they can securly validate the provided GPS information, it's, at best, security through obscurity. It would be rather trival (in the big picture) to have a fake GPS driver provide custom coordinated. Even if they could verify it was only coming from a trusted driver, how hard is it for someone to build a fake USB/GPS device using cheap, off the shelf microcontrollers, which spoofs a trusted GPS driver?
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