Microsoft Log Retention Overview

Microsoft Log Retention Overview

For most Microsoft products, data retention is 30 days. However, it depends on some products if you use the free or paid version of the product, and some products do not allow you to change to the retention period at all. To get a clear overview, I created a table with the most common Microsoft products with their retention period.

Microsoft Log Retention

ProductReportMinimumMaximumDefault
Microsoft Azure AD FreeAudit Logs7 days7 days7 days
Microsoft Azure AD FreeSign-in Logs7 days7 days7 days
Microsoft Azure AD FreeAzure MFA Usage30 days30 days30 days
Microsoft Azure AD FreeUsers at risk7 days7 days7 days
Microsoft Azure AD FreeRisky sign-ins7 days7 days7 days
Microsoft Azure AD PremiumAudit Logs30 days30 days30 days
Microsoft Azure AD PremiumSign-in Logs30 days30 days30 days
Microsoft Azure AD PremiumAzure MFA Usage30 days30 days30 days
Microsoft Azure AD Premium P1Users at risk30 days30 days30 days
Microsoft Azure AD Premium P1Risky sign-ins30 days30 days30 days
Microsoft Azure AD Premium P2Users at risk90 days90 days90 days
Microsoft Azure AD Premium P2Risky sign-ins90 days90 days90 days
Microsoft Defender for EndpointData Retention30 days180 days180 days
Microsoft Cloud App SecurityActivity Logs180 days180 days180 days
Microsoft Cloud App SecurityDiscovery Data90 days90 days90 days
Microsoft Cloud App SecurityAlerts180 days180 days180 days
Microsoft Cloud App SecurityGovernance Logs120 days120 days120 days
Microsoft Defender for IdentityAudit Logs90 days90 days90 days
Microsoft Defender for Office 365 P1Real-time Detections30 days30 days30 days
Microsoft Defender for Office 365 P2Threat Explorer30 days30 days30 days
Microsoft Azure Log Analytics FreeData Retention30 days30 days30 days
Microsoft Azure Log Analytics PaidData Retention30 days730 days30 days
Microsoft Office 365Basic Audit Logs90 days90 days90 days
Microsoft Office 365Advanced Audit Logs365 days365 days365 days
Microsoft Office 365Message Trace90 days90 days90 days
Table 1: Microsoft Log Retention Overview

Conclusion

Not all products allow you to change the retention period, and some products come with an additional cost when changing the retention period. However, this is not always the case. When a Log Analytics Workspace is attached to Sentinel, data retention if free for 90 days.

Suppose you want to extend the retention period longer than the maximum period. In that case, you need to send the logs to a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solution or send it to an Azure Log Analytics workspace if the product supports it.

Microsoft Azure AD Premium

Microsoft Azure AD Premium

Every Microsoft 365 tenant contains an Azure AD free edition. The free version includes Core Identity and Access Management, and Business to Business Collaboration. Even though the free edition comes with many features like Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), Password Protection, Azure AD Connect sync, and Single Sign-On (SSO), Microsoft offers two additional plans called Azure AD Premium P1 and P2.

This article will explain the differences between the two and take a more in-depth look into Azure AD Premium.

Azure AD Premium Features

The difference between Azure AD Premium P1 and P2 is Identity Protection and Identity Governance. But before we look at the features of Identity Protection and Identity Governance, let’s take a look at the premium features first.

The free version contains Password Protection, but it is not possible to use custom banned passwords. Custom banned passwords is one of the premium features. You can set a list of passwords that users cannot use as their password. Simple passwords like “Company Name” is not allowed. Password Protection for Windows Server Active Directory does the same as Password Protection, but for on-premises.

Self-service password reset eliminates the users to call the ServiceDesk to change their password. The user can change their password on a portal that does not need any support from the company. Azure AD Join makes it possible to auto-enroll your mobile device.

A noticeable feature in Azure AD Premium is Conditional Access. Conditional Access, as the name implies, grants, or block access to certain conditions. You can force MFA, block specific applications, block legacy authentication, etc.

Figure 1: Conditional Access Policies

Identity Protection and Identity Governance

An Azure AD Premium P2 feature not included in Azure AD Premium P1 is Identity Protection and Identity Governance. Identity Protection is a feature that detects risky accounts based on many indicators (atypical travel, malware linked IP address, and many more). Conditional Access uses these detections to allow or block an identity. Using Identity Protection makes it possible to mitigate an attack within seconds due to an automated response to a risky user.

Figure 2: Risky Users

Identity Governance contains Privileged Identity Management (PIM), Access Reviews, and Entitlement Management. PIM makes it possible to control, manage, and monitor access to essential resources in your organization. PIM provides Just-In-Time (JIT) access to Azure AD and Azure resources, assign time-bound access, asks for approval, and much more. Identity Governance also includes Access Review to review access regularly to make sure only the right people have continued access.

Conditional Access, Identity Protection, and Privileged Identity Management help organizations control their identities and definitely worth checking.

Licensing

Azure AD Premium comes with Microsoft 365 E3, Microsoft 365 E5, or a separate license.

Figure 3: Licensing

Conclusion

With features like conditional access, Azure AD premium is a must.