Microsoft Cloud PKI for Intune SCEP URL

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced Cloud PKI for Intune, a cloud service for issuing and managing digital certificates for Intune-managed endpoints. With Cloud PKI for Intune, administrators no longer need to deploy on-premises infrastructure to use certificates for user and device-based authentication for workloads such as Wi-Fi and VPN. Cloud PKI for Intune can be used standalone (cloud native) or integrated with an existing on-premises Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS) enterprise PKI to extend an existing on-premises certificate services infrastructure.


Cloud PKI for Intune utilizes Simple Certificate Enrollment Protocol (SCEP) to enroll certificates for users and devices. To deploy Intune Cloud PKI certificates, administrators must create and deploy a SCEP Certificate device configuration policy in Intune.


When creating the SCEP certificate device configuration policy in Intune, administrators are asked to supply the SCEP server URL. Administrators will find this information by opening the Intune management console, navigating to Tenant Administration > Cloud PKI, clicking on the issuing certification authority, and then clicking Properties.

Administrators may notice the URL is unreachable if they try to connect to it using their web browser or PowerShell. Specifically, the FQDN is not shown in the URI; instead, it is represented as the variable {{CloudPKIFQDN}}, as highlighted above.

Policy Configuration

You can safely ignore this as it is not an error or misconfiguration. Simply copy and paste the entire URL into your SCEP certificate device configuration profile as is. Intune in the background will convert this to a fully formed URL with a proper FQDN accessible from the public Internet. This variable is used because it allows Microsoft to use different resources dynamically according to geography and availability.

Additional Information

RFC 8894 – Simple Certificate Enrollment Protocol

Microsoft Cloud PKI for Intune

Microsoft Cloud PKI for Intune and Active Directory

Microsoft Cloud PKI for Intune and Certificate Templates

Troubleshooting Intune Failed PKCS Request

Always On VPN administrators deploying on-premises enterprise PKI certificates using Microsoft Intune with PKCS may encounter a scenario where a certificate fails to be issued to a user or device. In this post, I’ll share some things to investigate when troubleshooting this issue.

Event 1001

To begin, open the Event Log and navigate to Applications and Services > Microsoft > Intune > CertificateConnectors > Admin. You will likely find an event ID 1001 from the CertificateConnectors source with the following error message.

Failed to process PKCS request.


Validate the following prerequisites have been met on the issuing Certification Authority (CA) server.

Certificate Template

Ensure the certificate template used for PKCS has the correct permissions and is published on an issuing CA server. Open the Certificate Templates management console (certtmpl.msc), right-click the certificate template, choose Properties, and then click on the Security tab. The certificate template must grant the Intune Certificate connector server’s computer account (or the PKCS connector’s service account if running as a service and not SYSTEM) the Read and Enroll permissions on the template.

CA Permissions

In addition to the permissions on the certificate template, ensure the correct permissions have been configured on the issuing CA itself. Right-click on the CA in the Certification Authority management console (certsrv.msc) and choose Security. Ensure the Intune Certificate connector server’s computer account (or the PKCS connector’s service account, if running as a service and not SYSTEM) is granted The Issue and Manage Certificates and Request Certificates permissions.

Intune Policy

Ensure the Intune device configuration policy is configured correctly. These three fields are critical and can result in failed PKCS certificate deployment if misconfigured.

Certification Authority

Enter the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the on-premises issuing CA server in this field.

Certification Authority Name

Enter the common name of the issuing CA in this field. You will find this information by running the following command on any domain-joined Windows system.

certutil.exe -dump

Certificate Template Name

Enter the name of the certificate template in Active Directory. Be aware that the template name and template display name are two different things. The template name is usually the template display name without spaces. However, that’s not a guarantee. On the General tab of the certificate template, look at the template name field on the certificate template to confirm.


This article is not a comprehensive troubleshooting guide for problems associated with failed PKCS certificate deployment using the Microsoft Intune Certificate connector and PKCS. However, it covers some of the more common problems administrators will likely encounter. If you cannot provision PKCS certificates correctly, drop me a note and I’ll provide further guidance.

Additional Information

Troubleshooting Failed Intune Certificate Connector Configuration – Part 1

Troubleshooting Failed Intune Certificate Connector Configuration – Part 2

Intune Certificate Connector Service Account and PKCS

Microsoft Intune Cloud PKI

Microsoft Intune Cloud PKI and Certificate Templates

Microsoft Intune Cloud PKI and Active Directory

Microsoft DirectAccess Formally Deprecated

Today, Microsoft has announced the formal deprecation of DirectAccess. Microsoft DirectAccess is a widely deployed enterprise secure remote access solution that provides seamless, transparent, always-on remote network connectivity for managed (domain-joined) Windows clients. First introduced in Windows Server 2008 R2, it’s been a popular solution with many advantages over ordinary VPN technologies of the past.

Windows Server 2012

DirectAccess was almost entirely rewritten in Windows Server 2012. Many of the features and enhancements offered for DirectAccess with the Unified Access Gateway (UAG – a separate product with additional costs) were built into the operating system directly. In addition, Microsoft introduced integrated load balancing and geographic redundancy features.

Demise of DirectAccess

DirectAccess relies heavily on classic on-premises technologies like Active Directory. All DirectAccess servers and clients must be joined to a domain. In addition, all DirectAccess clients must be running the Enterprise edition of Windows. With organizations rapidly adopting cloud services such as Azure and Entra ID, Microsoft began to develop an alternative solution that better integrated with the cloud. That solution is Always On VPN. With that, Microsoft stopped developing DirectAccess after the release of Windows Server 2012 R2. No new features or capabilities have been added to DirectAccess since that time.


We’ve been speculating about the end of life for DirectAccess for quite some time now. However, this formal deprecation announcement from Microsoft is official. It is the end of the road for this technology. To be clear, though, DirectAccess is available today in Windows Server 2022 and Windows 11. DirectAccess will be included in the upcoming release of Windows Server 2025. However, formal deprecation from Microsoft means they will remove DirectAccess components from the next release of the operating system.

What Happens Now?

Organizations should begin formal planning efforts to migrate away from DirectAccess. Here are a few popular solutions to consider.

Always On VPN

Always On VPN is the direct replacement for DirectAccess. It was designed to provide feature parity for DirectAccess, with seamless, transparent, always-on remote network connectivity. However, Always On VPN better integrates with Entra ID and supports conditional access. It does not require domain-joined devices or servers and works well with cloud-native endpoints. Always On VPN is a good choice for organizations that employ hybrid Entra-joined devices.

Entra Private Access

Entra Private Access, part of the Entra Global Secure Access suite, is an identity-centric zero-trust network access (ZTNA) solution from Microsoft. It is in public preview now and has some compelling advantages over traditional VPNs. However, Entra Private Access is not feature complete today. In addition, it is best suited to cloud-native (Entra-joined only) endpoints.

Absolute Secure Access

Absolute Secure Access (formerly NetMotion Mobility) is a premium enterprise remote access solution with many advanced options. It is by far the best solution on the market today. Absolute Secure Access is a software solution that supports zero-trust configuration and includes many features to improve and enhance security, performance, and visibility. In addition, it provides cross-platform support, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android operating systems.

Learn More

We have several decades of experience working with secure remote access technologies. We can help you and your organization find the best solution for your needs. Fill out the form below for a free one-hour consultation to discuss your DirectAccess migration strategy today.

Additional Information

Deprecated Features for Windows Client