Conditional Access: Require MFA for Azure management

Organizations use many Azure services and manage them from Azure Resource Manager based tools like:

  • Azure portal
  • Azure PowerShell
  • Azure CLI

These tools can provide highly privileged access to resources, that can alter subscription-wide configurations, service settings, and subscription billing. To protect these privileged resources, Microsoft recommends requiring multi-factor authentication for any user accessing these resources. In Azure AD, these tools are grouped together in a suite called Microsoft Azure Management. For Azure Government, this suite should be the Azure Government Cloud Management API app.

User exclusions

Conditional Access policies are powerful tools, we recommend excluding the following accounts from your policy:

  • Emergency access or break-glass accounts to prevent tenant-wide account lockout. In the unlikely scenario all administrators are locked out of your tenant, your emergency-access administrative account can be used to log into the tenant take steps to recover access.
  • Service accounts and service principals, such as the Azure AD Connect Sync Account. Service accounts are non-interactive accounts that aren't tied to any particular user. They're normally used by back-end services allowing programmatic access to applications, but are also used to sign in to systems for administrative purposes. Service accounts like these should be excluded since MFA can't be completed programmatically. Calls made by service principals are not blocked by Conditional Access.
    • If your organization has these accounts in use in scripts or code, consider replacing them with managed identities. As a temporary workaround, you can exclude these specific accounts from the baseline policy.

Template deployment

Organizations can choose to deploy this policy using the steps outlined below or using the Conditional Access templates (Preview).

Create a Conditional Access policy

The following steps will help create a Conditional Access policy to require users who access the Microsoft Azure Management suite do multi-factor authentication.

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal as a global administrator, security administrator, or Conditional Access administrator.
  2. Browse to Azure Active Directory > Security > Conditional Access.
  3. Select New policy.
  4. Give your policy a name. We recommend that organizations create a meaningful standard for the names of their policies.
  5. Under Assignments, select Users and groups
    1. Under Include, select All users.
    2. Under Exclude, select Users and groups and choose your organization's emergency access or break-glass accounts.
    3. Select Done.
  6. Under Cloud apps or actions > Include, select Select apps, choose Microsoft Azure Management, and select Select then Done.
  7. Under Access controls > Grant, select Grant access, Require multi-factor authentication, and select Select.
  8. Confirm your settings and set Enable policy to Report-only.
  9. Select Create to create to enable your policy.

After confirming your settings using report-only mode, an administrator can move the Enable policy toggle from Report-only to On.

Next steps

Conditional Access common policies

Simulate sign in behavior using the Conditional Access What If tool