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What is Azure Password Writeback? A Complete Guide in 2024

Azure AD Domain Services supports Azure Password Writeback in Azure AD. After you enable Password Writeback on the Azure AD Domain Services page in the Azure portal, users can therefore change their passwords in Azure AD. Azure AD then changes the passwords on the domain controllers in Azure DevOps Services. Additionally, as the passwords are changed, Azure AD Domain Services synchronizes the passwords back to Azure AD. This means Azure offers password writeback options and services.  

What is Password Writeback? 

If you are ever wondering what is password writeback, tele back to this article for clarity.

The password writeback meaning is simple. In technical terms, an Azure password write-back operation is basically an option for a password “reset” action. The most significant highlight of a password writeback is that it tends to eliminate the need to set up and configure an on-premise solution for most users in order to reset their passwords. Interestingly the reset action or password writeback takes place in real-time. Because of the real-time feature, users get notifications instantly in case of the following situations: 

  • The password cannot be reset. 
  • There is some problem and hindrance in the password change process due to some reason. 

Moreover, PTA and PHS protocols enable the password reset or password writeback seamlessly. We hope this answered your concerns regarding what is password writeback.   

Password Writeback License Requirements

Azure Password Writeback and Self-Service Password Reset (SSPR) also require Azure Premium P1 or P2 for EVERY user. Azure ad password writeback operates under the same principles of password reset. With password writeback license requirements, one must be cautious. 

This feature of Azure password writeback can also be bought separately as an add-on and comes as a part of the following license plans: 

  • Business Premium By Microsoft
  • Enterprise Mobility + Security (E3 and E5) add-on 
  • Microsoft 365 F1 and F3 
  • Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 

Configuration

For configuration of password writeback services, you need a Hybrid Identity Administrator/Global Administrator role. 

  • Open Azure AD Connect configuration wizard and click configure. Here you will understand the significance of azure ad connect password writeback. 
  • Select Additional tasks, 
  • Then select Customize Synchronization Options 
  • Additionally, you will be asked for Azure AD Global Administrator credentials. Type and click Next.
  • Go to Connect directories and Domain/OU filtering pages and click Next.
  • Proceed to optional features and check the option for password writeback.
  • After you see an overview of the changes yoor the password writeback you made, click configure. After a few minutes, the configuration will be complete.
  • Now connect to Azure AD tenant, go to Azure Active Directory, click Password reset > On-premises integration option, and see Password writeback will be enabled. Here you have enabled Azure writeback. 
  • Finally, SSPR or password writeback Self-service password reset feature is also now enabled. 

Moreover, Self-service password reset (SSPR) in Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) allows users to reset their passwords without having to contact an administrator. 

Steps Required for Enabling Password Writeback Option in SSPR Framework

Following are the steps through which one can activate password writeback in SSPR instead of Azure AD. If you follow the steps on self service password reset on-premise, you are good to reset passwords.

  1. Go to the Azure portal and log in with your Global Administrator account credentials.  
  2. Then move directly to Azure Active Directory, which shows you the option to change/reset your password. Click on the password reset tab. 
  3. Similarly, on the left pane, you will see integration options. Click On-premises integration.
  4. Options will pop open, so select the option for writing back passwords to the on-premises directory to Yes. 
  5. You can also select “Allow users to access accounts without resetting the password to Yes.” 
  6. The password writeback is now enabled. Lastly, you can finalize it by clicking the Save option. This is how simple the password writeback process is.  

Password Synchronization Solution for AD

The feature “ManageEngine ADSelfService Plus” provides the users with an AD-based password synchronization option. Moreover, it also helps to synchronize users’ AD domain passwords in addition to making changes using.  

  • Azure AD accounts 
  • Microsoft 365 accounts 
  • Enterprise applications including “AD Lightweight Directory Services, Google Workspace, and Salesforce.” 

Benefits of Synchronization Feature

  1. Self-service password reset: It provides a secure option for a self-service password reset or password writeback. The reset portal also allows users to reset their passwords and synchronize whatever changes there are to integrated enterprise accounts. 
  2. Granular configuration: A password synchronization option related to specific applications is also available for users of particular domains, OU, and groups. 
  3. Advanced password policies: The Password Policy Enforcer governs any changes and resets. This feature can trigger advanced password requirements such as bans on dictionary words, trends, and patterns. 
  4. Application-specific synchronization: Users have the choice to sync any changes with the integrated applications accounts or any desired app.  
  5. Synchronized account status: “Self-service domain account unlocks” will only have the option to open integrated enterprise accounts.

Conclusion

In addition to everything said above, Azure Password Writeback enhances security by offering multi-factor authentication (MFA) support. With MFA, users are required to provide additional verification beyond just a password, such as a code sent to their phone or email, adding an extra layer of protection against unauthorized access. This feature not only strengthens security but also aligns with industry best practices for safeguarding sensitive information.  

Azure AD’s self-service password writeback feature is the most famous and reliable way of resetting passwords. Therefore, use this feature and make the password change process more fun. But make sure of password writeback license requirements. Azure ad password writeback surely makes resetting passwords quick easy and hassle-free.  

FAQs 

What is Azure Password Writeback? 

Azure Password Writeback allows users to change their passwords in Azure AD, which then syncs the changes back to on-premises domain controllers. 

What are the benefits of Azure Password Writeback? 

It eliminates the need for on-premises solutions for password resets and provides real-time notifications for password change actions. 

What license is required for Azure Password Writeback? 

Azure Premium P1 or P2 licenses are required for every user utilizing Password Writeback or Self-Service Password Reset (SSPR). 

Which license plans include Azure Password Writeback? 

Azure Password Writeback is included in plans such as Microsoft 365 E3 and E5, Enterprise Mobility + Security (E3 and E5) add-on, among others. 

What role is required for configuring Password Writeback? 

A Hybrid Identity Administrator or Global Administrator role is required for configuring Password Writeback. 

How do I enable Password Writeback in Azure AD Connect? 

You can enable Password Writeback in Azure AD Connect by selecting the option during the configuration wizard. 

What is the purpose of Self-Service Password Reset (SSPR)? 

SSPR allows users to reset their passwords without needing to contact an administrator, enhancing security and user convenience. 

How do I activate Password Writeback in SSPR? 

To activate Password Writeback in SSPR, you need to enable the option in the Azure portal under Azure Active Directory settings. 

What is ManageEngine ADSelfService Plus? 

ManageEngine ADSelfService Plus is a password synchronization solution that allows users to sync passwords across various enterprise applications and directories, including Azure AD. 

What are the benefits of using Azure AD’s Password Writeback feature? 

Azure AD’s Password Writeback feature provides a secure and efficient way of resetting passwords, making the process quick, easy, and hassle-free for users. 

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