Monday, April 28, 2014

Azure Cloud App Discovery Preview - See the cloud apps your users are using...

Active Directory Team Blog - A new Azure AD module in preview: Cloud App Discovery

Howdy folks,

Today I have the privilege to announce the preview of our new Cloud App Discovery features. These new features give IT visibility into which cloud apps are in use within the organization. You can try it for free here.

I've had the opportunity to meet with hundreds of enterprise customers this year, and one of the consistent things I've heard from them is "I know people are using SAAS apps in my company, but I don't know which ones".

All of these customers expressed concerns about unauthorized access to corporate data, possible data leakage and other security risks inherent in the application. And since they didn't even know how many apps or which apps were being used, even getting started building a plan to deal with these risks seems daunting.

Our new Cloud App Discovery service is our first step to help answer that question. It enables IT to easily determine which cloud apps are in use in the organization. IT can then take steps to integrate the applications with Azure Active Directory.


Hi everyone,

I'm Girish Chander and for the last three months I've been driving the effort to design and build our Cloud App Discovery features. These features address one of the top pieces of feedback we've heard from customers. "Help me find out what apps my employees are using, so I can manage these applications better"

With Cloud App Discovery, IT can:

  • Get a summary view of total number of cloud applications in use and the number of users using cloud applications
  • See the top cloud applications in use within the organization
  • See top applications per category
  • See usage graphs for applications that can be pivoted on users, requests or volume of data exchanged with the application
  • Drill down into specific applications for targeted information
  • Easily proceed to integrate an application with Azure Active Directory

Here's how you can try it out for yourself


A comprehensive view into all applications discovered, in the apps page.

Click on the 'apps discovered' tile on the dashboard to:

  1. Get a categorized view of all the cloud applications discovered.
  2. View Top applications within each category.
  3. Filter applications by category.
  4. Sort applications by recently discovery, most number of sessions, most volume of traffic and most number of unique users.



Ability to drill into a specific application on a per-app page

You can click on a specific application from the dashboard or the all apps page to drill down into a specific application. You can see:

  1. Total number of unique users that have used the application
  2. Total number of web requests made to the application
  3. Total volume of data uploaded and downloaded to the application.
  4. Usage trends over time across above pivots
  5. Link to integrate the application with AAD to provide users with SSO and give IT more control.


This could be one of those "plausible deniability" killer things. Parsing web filters, proxies, etc might be more effort than is feasible. This makes it a little to easy to gather, explore and report on. On one side, I think this is kind of cool. On the the, this gives me the creeps. Yeah, yeah, I know all my work traffic is already being tracked, logged, etc, but this almost makes it too easy. I'm glad there's a client side install for it though. Makes it a little more controlled and controllable.

But if I were an IT guy and was concerned about all the stealth clouding going on, I think I'd jump on this (so much for the creeps... lol)

No comments: