RBAC settings required to allow a non-administrator to request or initiate a JIT session

Today, I faced the challenge to grant a remote consultant temporary access to a VM in Azure.

Since, Bastion may be a cleaner way to access the service, we decided to try JIT via the Azure portal as it gives you a quick and easy access protected with MFA. I decided to AZURE AD federations and granted access to his account on his own domain and request MFA (External Access).

After giving the account permission to login to the VM the user got an error when invoking the JIT. The permission does not allow the user to request JIT. When the user clicked the connect option from Azure portal VM UI, it was showing JIT was not enabled on this particular VM. Therefore, the connection was failing. But JIT was enabled on the VM, and a subscription owner/contributor were able to see “Request Access” when clicked Connect.

I learned that one option will be to use the reader role. But that would have given extra visibility to the VM that I was not interested in exposing.

The solution was to create a custom role at the VM level and assigned the external user to the role.

The permission needed are as follows:

If you prefer to use the JSON, you may use the following:

{
    "properties": {
        "roleName": "Just In Time (JIT) Request",
        "description": "Created by Clopez. Allow non-administrator to request JIT",
        "assignableScopes": [
            "/subscriptions/bdd4aef1-176f-46b9-b150-40930ced4f32/resourceGroups/Falcon1"
        ],
        "permissions": [
            {
                "actions": [
                    "Microsoft.Security/locations/jitNetworkAccessPolicies/initiate/action",
                    "Microsoft.Security/locations/jitNetworkAccessPolicies/read",
                    "Microsoft.Security/policies/read",
                    "Microsoft.Compute/virtualMachines/read"
                ],
                "notActions": [],
                "dataActions": [],
                "notDataActions": []
            }
        ]
    }
}

The result was positive, and now the user has the options to request the JIT.

Azure Application Proxy – Step by step to setup an on-premises web application

Over the last months, and as we continue migrating our client’s on-premises infrastructure to the cloud, Azure Active Directory’s Application Proxy has become a very power tool used by organization looking into closing their VPN access, migrating workloads to the cloud, and reducing their on-premises footprint. While this is not the final solution for removing the on-premises services, it does serve as a steps to removing the relationship or need of VPN and connectivity to on-premises services, especially for organization that are transitioning from local AD to AzureAD-Joined devices. Azure application provides secure remote access to on-premises web applications. After a single sign-on to Azure AD, users can access both cloud and on-premises applications through an external URL or an internal application portal.

Licenses Requirements: With Azure Active Directory Premium P2 you can gain access to advanced security features, richer reports and rule based assignments to applications. Your end users will benefit from self-service capabilities and customized branding.

Azure AD Application Proxy is:

  • Simple to use. Users can access the on-premises applications the same way they access Microsoft 365 and other SaaS apps integrated with Azure AD.
  • Secure. On-premises applications can use Azure’s authorization controls and security analytics. Including Conditional Access and MFA. Also, Application Proxy doesn’t require you to open inbound connections through your firewall or VPN.
  • Cost-effective. To use Application Proxy, you don’t need to change the network infrastructure or install additional appliances in your on-premises environment.

Install and register a connector

To use Application Proxy, install a connector on each Windows server you’re using with the Application Proxy service.

To install the connector:

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal as an application administrator of the directory that uses Application Proxy.
  2. In left navigation panel, select Azure Active Directory.
  3. Under Manage, select Application proxy.
  4. Select Download connector service.
  • Read the Terms of Service. When you’re ready, select Accept terms & Download.
  • At the bottom of the window, select Run to install the connector. An install wizard opens.
  • Follow the instructions in the wizard to install the service. When you’re prompted to register the connector with the Application Proxy for your Azure AD tenant, provide your application administrator credentials.

Add an on-premises app to Azure AD

Now that you’ve prepared your environment and installed a connector, you’re ready to add on-premises applications to Azure AD.

  1. Sign in as an administrator in the Azure portal.
  2. In the left navigation panel, select Azure Active Directory.
  3. Select Enterprise applications, and then select New application.
  4. Select Add an on-premises application button which appears about halfway down the page in the On-premises applications section. Alternatively, you can select Create your own application at the top of the page and then select Configure Application Proxy for secure remote access to an on-premise application.
  5. In the Add your own on-premises application section, provide the following information about your application:
  6. Name: The name of the application that will appear on My Apps and in the Azure portal.
  7. Internal URL: The URL for accessing the application from inside your private network.
  8. External URL: The address for users to access the app from outside your network. If you don’t want to use the default Application Proxy domain, read about custom domains in Azure AD Application Proxy.
  9. Pre Authentication: How Application Proxy verifies users before giving them access to your application.
  10. Azure Active Directory: Application Proxy redirects users to sign in with Azure AD, which authenticates their permissions for the directory and application. I recommend keeping this option as the default so that you can take advantage of Azure AD security features like Conditional Access and Multi-Factor Authentication.

Connector Group: Connectors process the remote access to your application, and connector groups help you organize connectors and apps by region, network, or purpose. If you don’t have any connector groups created yet, your app is assigned to Default.

Best Practices for Azure Application Proxy

  1. Physically locate the connector server close to the application servers to optimize performance between the connector and the application.
  2. The connector server and the web applications servers should belong to the same Active Directory domain or span trusting domains.
  3. Install multiple connector servers on-premises to avoid a single point of failure.
  4. Configure FQDN and DNS records internally and do not use IP addresses.
  5. Make sure your connector servers have full internet access and can reach the Microsoft network.
  6. Use conditional access to secure access to your environment.
  7. Configure SSO to enhance the end-user experience

Azure Application Proxy for RDS (Finally fully supported)

This is a continuation of one of my past blogs. Finally this came out, and I am excited about this announcement. The new Azure Application Proxy for RDS permits the clients to use App Proxy with RDS to reduce the attack surface of the RDS deployment by enforcing pre-authentication and Conditional Access policies like requiring Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) or using a compliant device before users can access RDS, if using conditional access. App Proxy also doesn’t require to open inbound connections through your firewall, Yeah!!!.

To use the RDS web client with App Proxy, first you need to upgrade to App Proxy version, 1.5.1975.0. If you haven’t already, you will need to configure RDS to work with App Proxy. App Proxy will handle the internet facing component of your RDS deployment and protect all traffic with pre-authentication and any Conditional Access policies in place. For steps on how to do this, see my previous blog.