Combined security information registration for Azure Active Directory overview

Before combined registration, users registered authentication methods for Azure AD Multi-Factor Authentication and self-service password reset (SSPR) separately. People were confused that similar methods were used for Multi-Factor Authentication and SSPR but they had to register for both features. Now, with combined registration, users can register once and get the benefits of both Multi-Factor Authentication and SSPR. We recommend this video on How to enable and configure SSPR in Azure AD

Note

Starting on August 15th 2020, all new Azure AD tenants will be automatically enabled for combined registration.

This article outlines what combined security registration is. To get started with combined security registration, see the following article:

My Account showing registered Security info for a user

Before enabling the new experience, review this administrator-focused documentation and the user-focused documentation to ensure you understand the functionality and effect of this feature. Base your training on the user documentation to prepare your users for the new experience and help to ensure a successful rollout.

Azure AD combined security information registration is available for Azure US Government but not Azure Germany or Azure China 21Vianet.

Important

Users that are enabled for both the original preview and the enhanced combined registration experience see the new behavior. Users that are enabled for both experiences see only the My Account experience. The My Account aligns with the look and feel of combined registration and provides a seamless experience for users. Users can see My Account by going to https://myaccount.microsoft.com.

You might encounter an error message while trying to access the Security info option, such as, "Sorry, we can't sign you in". Confirm that you don't have any configuration or group policy object that blocks third-party cookies on the web browser.

My Account pages are localized based on the language settings of the computer accessing the page. Microsoft stores the most recent language used in the browser cache, so subsequent attempts to access the pages continue to render in the last language used. If you clear the cache, the pages re-render.

If you want to force a specific language, you can add ?lng=<language> to the end of the URL, where <language> is the code of the language you want to render.

Set up SSPR or other security verification methods

Methods available in combined registration

Combined registration supports the following authentication methods and actions:

Method Register Change Delete
Microsoft Authenticator Yes (maximum of 5) No Yes
Other authenticator app Yes (maximum of 5) No Yes
Hardware token No No Yes
Phone Yes Yes Yes
Alternate phone Yes Yes Yes
Office phone Yes Yes Yes
Email Yes Yes Yes
Security questions Yes No Yes
App passwords Yes No Yes
FIDO2 security keys
Managed mode only from the Security info page
Yes Yes Yes

Note

App passwords are available only to users who have been enforced for Multi-Factor Authentication. App passwords are not available to users who are enabled for Multi-Factor Authentication via a Conditional Access policy.

Users can set one of the following options as the default Multi-Factor Authentication method:

  • Microsoft Authenticator – push notification
  • Authenticator app or hardware token – code
  • Phone call
  • Text message

Third party authenticator apps do not provide push notification. As we continue to add more authentication methods to Azure AD, those methods become available in combined registration.

Combined registration modes

There are two modes of combined registration: interrupt and manage.

  • Interrupt mode is a wizard-like experience, presented to users when they register or refresh their security info at sign-in.
  • Manage mode is part of the user profile and allows users to manage their security info.

For both modes, users who have previously registered a method that can be used for Multi-Factor Authentication need to perform Multi-Factor Authentication before they can access their security info. Users must confirm their information before continuing to use their previously registered methods.

Interrupt mode

Combined registration adheres to both Multi-Factor Authentication and SSPR policies, if both are enabled for your tenant. These policies control whether a user is interrupted for registration during sign-in and which methods are available for registration. If only an SSPR policy is enabled, then users will be able to skip the registration interruption and complete it at a later time.

The following are sample scenarios where users might be prompted to register or refresh their security info:

  • Multi-Factor Authentication registration enforced through Identity Protection: Users are asked to register during sign-in. They register Multi-Factor Authentication methods and SSPR methods (if the user is enabled for SSPR).
  • Multi-Factor Authentication registration enforced through per-user Multi-Factor Authentication: Users are asked to register during sign-in. They register Multi-Factor Authentication methods and SSPR methods (if the user is enabled for SSPR).
  • Multi-Factor Authentication registration enforced through Conditional Access or other policies: Users are asked to register when they use a resource that requires Multi-Factor Authentication. They register Multi-Factor Authentication methods and SSPR methods (if the user is enabled for SSPR).
  • SSPR registration enforced: Users are asked to register during sign-in. They register only SSPR methods.
  • SSPR refresh enforced: Users are required to review their security info at an interval set by the admin. Users are shown their info and can confirm the current info or make changes if needed.

When registration is enforced, users are shown the minimum number of methods needed to be compliant with both Multi-Factor Authentication and SSPR policies, from most to least secure.

Consider the following example scenario:

  • A user is enabled for SSPR. The SSPR policy requires two methods to reset and has enabled Authenticator app, email, and phone.
  • When the user chooses to register, two methods are required:
    • The user is shown Authenticator app and phone by default.
    • The user can choose to register email instead of Authenticator app or phone.

The following flowchart describes which methods are shown to a user when interrupted to register during sign-in:

Combined security info flowchart

If you have both Multi-Factor Authentication and SSPR enabled, we recommend that you enforce Multi-Factor Authentication registration.

If the SSPR policy requires users to review their security info at regular intervals, users are interrupted during sign-in and shown all their registered methods. They can confirm the current info if it's up to date, or they can make changes if they need to. Users must perform multi-factor authentication when accessing this page.

Manage mode

Users can access manage mode by going to https://aka.ms/mysecurityinfo or by selecting Security info from My Account. From there, users can add methods, delete or change existing methods, change the default method, and more.

Key usage scenarios

Set up security info during sign-in

An admin has enforced registration.

A user has not set up all required security info and goes to the Azure portal. After entering the user name and password, the user is prompted to set up security info. The user then follows the steps shown in the wizard to set up the required security info. If your settings allow it, the user can choose to set up methods other than those shown by default. After completing the wizard, users review the methods they set up and their default method for Multi-Factor Authentication. To complete the setup process, the user confirms the info and continues to the Azure portal.

Set up security info from My Account

An admin has not enforced registration.

A user who hasn't yet set up all required security info goes to https://myaccount.microsoft.com. The user selects Security info in the left pane. From there, the user chooses to add a method, selects any of the methods available, and follows the steps to set up that method. When finished, the user sees the method that was set up on the Security info page.

Delete security info from My Account

A user who has previously set up at least one method navigates to https://aka.ms/mysecurityinfo. The user chooses to delete one of the previously registered methods. When finished, the user no longer sees that method on the Security info page.

Change the default method from My Account

A user who has previously set up at least one method that can be used for Multi-Factor Authentication navigates to https://aka.ms/mysecurityinfo. The user changes the current default method to a different default method. When finished, the user sees the new default method on the Security info page.

Switch directory

An external identity such as a B2B user may need to switch the directory to change the security registration information for a third-party tenant. In addition, users who access a resource tenant may be confused when they change settings in their home tenant but don't see the changes reflected in the resource tenant.

For example, a user sets Microsoft Authenticator app push notification as the primary authentication to sign-in to home tenant and also has SMS/Text as another option. This user is also configured with SMS/Text option on a resource tenant. If this user removes SMS/Text as one of the authentication option on their home tenant, they get confused when access to the resource tenant asks them to respond to SMS/Text message.

To switch the directory in the Azure portal, click the user account name in the upper right corner and click Switch directory.

External users can switch directory.

Next steps

To get started, see the tutorials to enable self-service password reset and enable Azure AD Multi-Factor Authentication.

Learn how to enable combined registration in your tenant or force users to re-register authentication methods.

You can also review the available methods for Azure AD Multi-Factor Authentication and SSPR.