Azure AD External Identities (previously Azure AD B2B) is a fantastic way to collaborate with partners, customers or other people external to your company. Previously you may have needed to onboard an Active Directory account for each user, which came with a lot of inherit privilege, or you used different authentication methods for your applications, and you ended up juggling credentials for all these different systems. By leveraging Azure AD External Identities you start to wrestle back some of that control and importantly get really strong visibility into what these guests are doing.
You invite a guest to your tenant by sending them an email from within the Azure Active Directory portal (or directly inviting them in an app like Teams), they go through the process of accepting and then you have a user account for them in your tenant – easy!
If the user you invite to your tenant belongs to a domain that is also an Azure AD tenant, they can use their own credentials from that tenant to access resources in your tenant. If it’s a personal address like gmail.com then the user will be prompted to sign up to a Microsoft account or use a one time passcode if you have configured that option.
If you browse through your Azure AD environment and already have guests, you can filter to just guest accounts. If you don’t have guests, invite your personal email and you can check out the process.
You will notice that they have a unique UserPrincipalName format, if your guests email address is email@example.com then the guest object in your directory has the UserPrincipalName of test123_gmail.com#EXT#@YOURTENANT.onmicrosoft.com – this makes sense if you think about the concept of a guest account, it could belong to many different tenants so it needs to have a unique UPN in your tenant. You can also see a few more details by clicking through to a guest account. You can see if an invite has been accepted or not, a guest who hasn’t accepted is still an object in your directory, they just can’t access any resources yet.
And if you click the view more arrow, you can see if source of the account.
You can see the difference between a user coming in from another Azure AD tenant vs a personal account.
It is really easy to invite guest accounts and then kind of forget about them, or not treat them with the same scrutiny or governance you would a regular account. They also have a tendency to grow in total count very quickly, especially if you allow your staff to invite them themselves, via Teams or any other method.
Remember though these accounts all have some access to your tenant, potentially data in Teams, OneDrive or SharePoint, and likely an app or two that you have granted access to – or more worryingly apps that you haven’t specifically blocked them accessing. Guests can even be granted access to Azure AD roles, or be given access to Azure resources via Azure RBAC.
Thankfully in Microsoft (no longer Azure!) Sentinel, all the signals we get from sign-in data, or audit logs, or Office 365 logs don’t discriminate between members and guests (apart from some personal information that is hidden for guests such as device names), which makes it a really great platform to get insights to what your guests are up to (or what they are no longer up to).
Invites sent and redeemed are collected in the AuditLogs table, so if you want to quickly visualize how many invites you are sending vs those being redeemed you can.
//Visualizes the total amount of guest invites sent to those redeemed let timerange=180d; let timeframe=7d; AuditLogs | where TimeGenerated > ago (timerange) | where OperationName in ("Redeem external user invite", "Invite external user") | summarize InvitesSent=countif(OperationName == "Invite external user"), InvitesRedeemed=countif(OperationName == "Redeem external user invite") by bin(TimeGenerated, timeframe) | render columnchart with ( title="Guest Invites Sent v Guest Invites Redeemed", xtitle="Invites", kind=unstacked)
You can look for users that have been invited, but have not yet redeemed their invite. Guest invites never expire, so if a user hasn’t accepted after a couple of months it may be worth removing the invite until a time they genuinely require it. In this query we exclude invites sent in the last month, as those people may have simply not got around to redeeming their invite yet.
//Lists guests who have been invited but not yet redeemed their invites. Excludes newly invited guests (last 30 days). let timerange=180d; let timeframe=30d; AuditLogs | where TimeGenerated between (ago(timerange) .. ago(timeframe)) | where OperationName == "Invite external user" | extend GuestUPN = tolower(tostring(TargetResources.userPrincipalName)) | project TimeGenerated, GuestUPN | join kind=leftanti ( AuditLogs | where TimeGenerated > ago (timerange) | where OperationName == "Redeem external user invite" | where CorrelationId <> "00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000" | extend d = tolower(tostring(TargetResources.displayName)) | parse d with * "upn: " GuestUPN "," * | project TimeGenerated, GuestUPN) on GuestUPN | distinct GuestUPN
For those users that have accepted and are actively accessing applications, we can see what they are accessing just like a regular user. You could break down all your apps and have a look at the split between guests and members for each application.
//Creates a list of your applications and summarizes successful signins by members vs guests let timerange=30d; SigninLogs | where TimeGenerated > ago(timerange) | project TimeGenerated, UserType, ResultType, AppDisplayName | where ResultType == 0 | summarize MemberSignins=countif(UserType == "Member"), GuestSignins=countif(UserType == "Guest") by AppDisplayName | sort by AppDisplayName
You can quickly see which users haven’t signed in over the last month, having signed in successfully in the preceding 6 months.
let timerange=180d; let timeframe=30d; SigninLogs | where TimeGenerated > ago(timerange) | where UserType == "Guest" or UserPrincipalName contains "#ext#" | where ResultType == 0 | summarize arg_max(TimeGenerated, *) by UserPrincipalName | join kind = leftanti ( SigninLogs | where TimeGenerated > ago(timeframe) | where UserType == "Guest" or UserPrincipalName contains "#ext#" | where ResultType == 0 | summarize arg_max(TimeGenerated, *) by UserPrincipalName ) on UserPrincipalName | project UserPrincipalName
Or you could even summarize all your guests (who have signed in at least once) into the month they last accessed your tenant. You could then bulk disable/delete anything over 3 months or whatever your lifecycle policy is.
//Month by month breakdown of when your Azure AD guests last signed in SigninLogs | where TimeGenerated > ago (360d) | where UserType == "Guest" or UserPrincipalName contains "#ext#" | where ResultType == 0 | summarize arg_max(TimeGenerated, *) by UserPrincipalName | project TimeGenerated, UserPrincipalName | summarize InactiveUsers=make_set(UserPrincipalName) by startofmonth(TimeGenerated)
You could look at guests accounts that are trying to access your applications but being denied because they aren’t assigned a role, this could potentially be some reconnaissance occurring in your environment.
SigninLogs | where UserType == "Guest" | where ResultType == "50105" | project TimeGenerated, UserPrincipalName, AppDisplayName, IPAddress, Location, UserAgent
We can leverage the IdentityInfo table to find any guests that have been assigned Azure AD roles. If your security controls for guests are weaker than your member accounts this is something you definitely want to avoid.
IdentityInfo | where TimeGenerated > ago(21d) | summarize arg_max(TimeGenerated, *) by AccountUPN | where UserType == "Guest" | where AssignedRoles != "" | where isnotempty(AssignedRoles) | project AccountUPN, AssignedRoles, AccountObjectId
We can also use our IdentityInfo table again to grab a list of all our guests, then join to our OfficeActivity table to summarize download activities by each of your guests.
//Summarize the total count and the list of files downloaded by guests in your Office 365 tenant let timeframe=30d; IdentityInfo | where TimeGenerated > ago(21d) | where UserType == "Guest" | summarize arg_max(TimeGenerated, *) by AccountUPN | project UserId=tolower(AccountUPN) | join kind=inner ( OfficeActivity | where TimeGenerated > ago(timeframe) | where Operation in ("FileSyncDownloadedFull", "FileDownloaded") ) on UserId | summarize DownloadCount=count(), DownloadList=make_set(OfficeObjectId) by UserId
If you wanted to summarize which domains are downloading the most data from Office 365 then you can slightly alter the above query (thanks to Alex Verboon for this suggestion).
//Summarize the total count of files downloaded by each guest domain in your tenant let timeframe=30d; IdentityInfo | where TimeGenerated > ago(21d) | where UserType == "Guest" | summarize arg_max(TimeGenerated, *) by AccountUPN, MailAddress | project UserId=tolower(AccountUPN), MailAddress | join kind=inner ( OfficeActivity | where TimeGenerated > ago(timeframe) | where Operation in ("FileSyncDownloadedFull", "FileDownloaded") ) on UserId | extend username = tostring(split(UserId,"#")) | parse MailAddress with * "@" userdomain | summarize count() by userdomain
You can find guests who were added to a Team then instantly started downloading data from your Office 365 tenant.
// Finds guest accounts who were added to a Team and then downloaded documents straight away. // startime = data to look back on, timeframe = looks for downloads for this period after being added to the Team let starttime = 7d; let timeframe = 2h; let operations = dynamic(["FileSyncDownloadedFull", "FileDownloaded"]); OfficeActivity | where TimeGenerated > ago(starttime) | where OfficeWorkload == "MicrosoftTeams" | where Operation == "MemberAdded" | extend UserAdded = tostring(parse_json(Members).UPN) | where UserAdded contains ("#EXT#") | project TimeAdded=TimeGenerated, UserId=tolower(UserAdded) | join kind=inner ( OfficeActivity | where Operation in (['operations']) ) on UserId | project DownloadTime=TimeGenerated, TimeAdded, SourceFileName, UserId | where (DownloadTime - TimeAdded) between (0min .. timeframe)
I think the key takeaway is that basically all your threat hunting queries you write for your standard accounts are most likely relevant to guests, and in some cases more relevant. While having guests in your tenant grants us some control and visibility, it is still an account not entirely under your management. The accounts could have poor passwords, or be shared amongst people, or if coming from another Azure AD tenancy could have poor lifecycle management, i.e they could have left the other company but their account is still active.
As always, prevention is better than detection, and depending on your licensing tier there are some great tools available to govern these accounts.
You can configure guest access restrictions in the Azure Active Directory portal. Keep in mind when configuring these options the flow on effect to other apps, such as Teams. In that same portal you can configure who is allowed to send guest invites, I would particularly recommend you disallow guests inviting other guests. You can also restrict or allow specific domains that invites can be sent to.
On your enterprise applications, make sure you have assignment required set to Yes
This is crucial in my opinion, because it allows Azure AD to be the first ‘gate’ to accessing your applications. The access control in your various applications is going to vary wildly. Some may need an account setup on the application itself to allow people in, some may auto create an account on first sign on, some may have no access control at all and when it sees a sign in from Azure AD it allows the person in. If this is set to no and your applications don’t perform their own access control or RBAC then there is a good chance your guests will be allowed in, as they come through as authenticated from Azure AD much like a member account.
If you are an Azure AD P2 customer, then you have access to Access Reviews, which is an already great and constantly improving offering that lets you automate a lot of the lifecycle of your accounts, including guests. You can also look at leveraging Entitlement Management which can facilitate granting guests the access they require and nothing more.
If you have Azure AD P1 or P2, use Azure AD Conditional Access, you can target policies specifically at guest accounts from within the console.
You can enforce MFA on your guest accounts like you would all other users – if you enforce MFA on an application for guests, the first time they access it they will be redirected to the MFA registration page. You can also explicitly block guests from particular applications using conditional access.
Also unrelated, I recently kicked off a #365daysofkql challenge on my twitter, where I share a query a day for a year, we are nearly one month in so if you want to follow feel free.