Azure, Cloud Computing

4 Mins Read

Microsoft Conditional Access Policy to Control Access to Organization Application


In the digital transformation era, businesses are leveraging the potential of cloud applications to enhance productivity and collaboration. However, with the convenience of cloud computing comes the pressing need for robust cybersecurity measures. Unauthorized access to sensitive data and the looming threat of data breaches demand strategic solutions. Conditional access policies (CAPs) are a pivotal tool that organizations can use to fortify their defenses. In this blog post, we will delve into Conditional Access Policies, exploring their significance and the art of effectively employing them to block access to cloud applications.

Understanding Conditional Access Policies

Conditional Access Policies act as gatekeepers, defining the conditions under which users are granted or denied access to specific resources. These policies allow organizations to tailor access controls based on various parameters, including user identity, device health, location, and more.

The primary goal of Conditional Access Policies is to ensure that only authorized users using secure devices and operating within a secure environment can access sensitive information and applications. By setting up these policies, organizations can mitigate the risks associated with unauthorized access and enhance their overall security posture.

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Benefits of Conditional Access Policies

  1. Enhanced Data Protection:

By selectively blocking access to certain cloud apps, organizations can safeguard their most critical data from unauthorized exposure, reducing the risk of data breaches and potential legal ramifications.

  1. Improved Compliance:

Meeting regulatory compliance requirements is a top priority for many organizations. Conditional Access Policies enable businesses to enforce access controls that align with industry-specific regulations, ensuring adherence to data protection standards.

  1. Reduced Attack Surface:

Blocking access to high-risk cloud apps minimizes the attack surface, making it more challenging for cybercriminals to exploit vulnerabilities. This proactive approach helps in preventing security incidents before they occur.

  1. Customized Security Posture:

Every organization is unique, and so are its security needs. Conditional Access Policies allow businesses to customize their security posture based on their specific requirements, ensuring a tailored approach to risk mitigation.

License Requirements

Conditional Access policy requires Microsoft Entra ID (formerly known as Azure AD) P1 licenses.

Microsoft 365 Business Premium Licenses include Conditional Access

Risk-based policies work based on Identity Protection findings, which require Microsoft Entra ID P2 licenses.

Security defaults are a pre-defined set of conditional policies framed to help protect against identity related attacks and are free to every Microsoft Entra ID user.

Steps to Build policy to restrict access to cloud applications

Step 1: Go to Conditional Access

There are two ways of accessing Conditional Access:

  1. Microsoft Azure portal -> Microsoft Entra ID Service -> Security
  2. Microsoft Intune portal -> Endpoint Security


Step 2: Create a new policy with an appropriate name



Step 3: Select the users or groups for the assignment in the Users section.

For example, All the users are assigned to this policy except the 1 excluded user.


Step 4: Under the target resources, Select apps that need to be controlled

For example, teams and Exchange Online (mailing)


Step 5:

Under the Conditions section, Device platforms allow you to control specific device types.

For example, unlike Windows and macOS, every platform will be blocked on Linux.


Step 6: In the Grant section, Select Block access



In the ever-expanding digital landscape, safeguarding sensitive data from unauthorized access is paramount.

Conditional Access Policies emerge as a potent tool for organizations seeking to fortify their defenses and control access to cloud applications. Businesses can significantly reduce the risk of data breaches and enhance their overall cybersecurity posture by strategically blocking access to certain cloud apps based on user identity, device compliance, location, and other parameters.

Organizations must remain vigilant as technology advances, staying ahead of emerging threats and continuously refining their security strategies. Implementing Conditional Access Policies for blocking cloud apps is a proactive step towards building a resilient and secure digital environment for the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Drop a query if you have any questions regarding Conditional Access Policies and we will get back to you quickly.

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1. Do Conditional Access Policies cover both cloud-based and on-premises applications?

ANS: – Yes, Conditional Access Policies can be extended to cover both cloud-based and on-premises applications. This ensures a comprehensive approach to access control regardless of where the applications are hosted.

2. Can certain user groups be exempted from Conditional Access Policies?

ANS: – Yes, Conditional Access Policies can be configured to exempt specific user groups. This flexibility allows organizations to accommodate varying access needs for different departments or roles.

3. Does implementing Conditional Access Policies impact user convenience when accessing applications?

ANS: – The impact on user experience depends on policy configurations. Well-designed policies aim to balance security requirements with user convenience. For instance, policies can be set to prompt for additional authentication only under specific conditions.

WRITTEN BY Kashyap Nitinbhai Shani

Kashyap Nitinbhai Shani is a Research Associate at CloudThat. He is interested to learn advanced technologies and gain insights into new and upcoming cloud services. He likes writing tech blogs and learning new languages.



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