The directory services space has become far more interesting lately. With the shift to the cloud, new cloud identity and access management (CIAM) solutions are appearing left and right. One particularly powerful example of a CIAM solution is called JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®. This cloud directory is integrating more capabilities than simply authenticating and authorizing user access. In this post, we’ll explore the cloud directory feature: cross platform GPOs. But first, we should provide some context.
What is Group Policy in Active Directory?
Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD) has been the leader in the directory services space for almost two decades, and much of how IT admins view the space was shaped by their innovations.
AD not only authenticated and authorized user access to Windows® based IT resources like never before, but it also introduced the concept of group based policy management for Windows systems. This approach became known as Group Policy. Group Policy Objects (GPOs) were the instantiation of this concept.
GPOs were basically templated scripts, commands, and policies that could be executed on Windows machines. The idea behind GPOs was to give IT admins a way to remotely and centrally manage their Windows fleet with security policies, task execution, and virtual system management. Not surprisingly, IT admins loved it.
In fact, GPOs would go on to become one of the most critical and valuable components of AD. However, as the IT landscape started to shift, with more Mac® and Linux® systems making their way into the organization and more data centers moving to cloud infrastructure providers such as AWS®, Google Cloud Platform™ (GCP), and others – the traditional concept of GPOs became limiting.
Limitations of Active Directory GPOs
The trouble with Active Directory GPOs was (and still is) that IT admins wanted a way to have GPOs for Mac and Linux systems. Yet, Microsoft wasn’t completely interested in supporting competing platforms. Of course, IT admins could find third party solutions that could be integrated with the on-prem AD instance to effectively provide GPOs for Mac and Linux, but that (Read more...)
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from JumpCloud authored by Vince Lujan. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/cloud-directory-feature-cross-platform-gpos/