Cloud-Based Active Directory Services are the Way Forward for Organizations in 2023, says Info-Tech Research Group

Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 3:06 PM EST

With hybrid and remote work models here to stay, organizations must shore up their security posture, moving away from legacy Active Directory Services and toward zero trust architecture.

TORONTO, Feb 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ - With organizational security becoming an increasingly critical priority for a world rapidly moving toward more permanent hybrid and remote work models, organizations may be hindered by their legacy Microsoft Active Directory (AD). To support IT professionals in their efforts to increase security and eliminate the technical debt of legacy AD, global IT research and advisory firm Info-Tech Research Group has published a new industry blueprint titled Legacy Active Directory Environment.

The many dependencies of legacy Active Directory and how it impacts infrastructure technical...
The many dependencies of legacy Active Directory and how it impacts infrastructure technical debt, from Info-Tech Research Groups' (PRNewswire)

Modern software as a service (SaaS) and cloud-native apps offer a more secure, efficient, and sustainable choice for organizations seeking to innovate and look toward the future. However, implementing new technologies can prove challenging with traditional AD in place.

Traditional AD was initially built as a free component for the Windows Server environment, leading to it becoming the industry standard and difficult to migrate away from. However, it also creates infrastructure technical debt and leaves the door open for cybersecurity risks in the wake of hybrid and remote work environments.

"Neglecting legacy AD security will lead to cyberattacks," says John Donovan, principal director at Info-Tech Research Group. "Malicious users can steal credentials and hijack data or corrupt organizational systems. Transitioning to cloud services optimizes security and allows organizations to take advantage of software, infrastructure, and platform as a service (SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS), as well as Microsoft 365 in Azure. It is the way forward for IT departments focusing on future technologies."

Info-Tech's research states that due to the pervasive nature of AD in the IT ecosystem, IT organizations are often reluctant to move away from AD to modernize and innovate, even when it means a greater risk to overall organizational security in the present climate. However, recent migration to Microsoft 365 in Azure AD has forced IT departments toward cloud-based infrastructure, offering them a way out of the mounting technical debt and a way toward increased cybersecurity.

Organizations often fail to move away from AD due to a lack of time, resources, budget, and tools, according to the new blueprint. They may also have trouble understanding what has changed between the introduction of AD and the present day, or view migrating from AD as a low-priority item on the lengthy list of IT priorities.

However, holding onto legacy AD can negatively impact business innovation and long-term success in several ways, including difficulty integrating modern technologies and maintaining consistent security policies, vulnerability to cyberattacks, and a lack of support for "bring your own device" (BYOD) work models.

To prevent detrimental impacts on the business, Info-Tech suggests that IT leaders consider the following actions regarding their organization's AD:

  • Remove dependency on AD one application at a time. If the organization is cloud-first, rethink the AD strategy to ask "why" when adding a new device to the Active Directory.

  • Think of zero trust architecture. With the advent of hybrid work, AD is now a security risk. Organizational security posture must be bolstered.

  • Plan on removing barriers through applications that do not depend on AD. For example, take inventory of objects that depend on Kerberos and NTML.

To learn more, download the complete Legacy Active Directory Environment.

For more information about Info-Tech Research Group or to access the latest research, visit and connect via LinkedIn and Twitter.

About Info-Tech Research Group

Info-Tech Research Group is one of the world's leading information technology research and advisory firms, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals. The company produces unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. For 25 years, Info-Tech has partnered closely with IT teams to provide them with everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

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