Configure customer-managed keys for encrypting Azure Event Hubs data at rest by using the Azure portal

Azure Event Hubs provides encryption of data at rest with Azure Storage Service Encryption (Azure SSE). Event Hubs relies on Azure Storage to store the data and by default, all the data that is stored with Azure Storage is encrypted using Microsoft-managed keys.


Azure Event Hubs now supports the option of encrypting data at rest with either Microsoft-managed keys or customer-managed keys (Bring Your Own Key – BYOK). This feature enables you to create, rotate, disable, and revoke access to the customer-managed keys that are used for encrypting Azure Event Hubs data at rest.

Enabling the BYOK feature is a one time setup process on your namespace.


The BYOK capability is supported by Event Hubs dedicated single-tenant clusters. It can't be enabled for standard Event Hubs namespaces.

You can use Azure Key Vault to manage your keys and audit your key usage. You can either create your own keys and store them in a key vault, or you can use the Azure Key Vault APIs to generate keys. For more information about Azure Key Vault, see What is Azure Key Vault?

This article shows how to configure a key vault with customer-managed keys by using the Azure portal. To learn how to create a key vault using the Azure portal, see[] Quickstart: Set and retrieve a secret from Azure Key Vault using the Azure portal](../key-vault/


Using customer-managed keys with Azure Event Hubs requires that the key vault have two required properties configured. They are: Soft Delete and Do Not Purge. These properties are enabled by default when you create a new key vault in the Azure portal. However, if you need to enable these properties on an existing key vault, you must use either PowerShell or Azure CLI.

Enable customer-managed keys

To enable customer-managed keys in the Azure portal, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to your Event Hubs Dedicated cluster.

  2. Select the namespace on which you want to enable BYOK.

  3. On the Settings page of your Event Hubs namespace, select Encryption (preview).

  4. Select the Customer-managed key encryption at rest as shown in the following image.

    Enable customer managed key

Set up a key vault with keys

After you enable customer-managed keys, you need to associate the customer managed key with your Azure Event Hubs namespace. Event Hubs supports only Azure Key Vault. If you enable the Encryption with customer-managed key option in the previous section, you need to have the key imported into Azure Key Vault. Also, the keys must have Soft Delete and Do Not Purge configured for the key. These settings can be configured using PowerShell or CLI.

  1. To create a new key vault, follow the Azure Key Vault Quickstart. For more information about importing existing keys, see About keys, secrets, and certificates.

  2. To turn on both soft delete and purge protection when creating a vault, use the az keyvault create command.

    az keyvault create --name ContosoVault --resource-group ContosoRG --location westus --enable-soft-delete true --enable-purge-protection true
  3. To add purge protection to an existing vault (that already has soft delete enabled), use the az keyvault update command.

    az keyvault update --name ContosoVault --resource-group ContosoRG --enable-purge-protection true
  4. Create keys by following these steps:

    1. To create a new key, select Generate/Import from the Keys menu under Settings.

      Select Generate/Import button

    2. Set Options to Generate and give the key a name.

      Create a key

    3. You can now select this key to associate with the Event Hubs namespace for encrypting from the drop-down list.

      Select key from key vault

    4. Fill in the details for the key and click Select. This will enable the encryption of data at rest on the namespace with a customer managed key.


      For preview, you can only select a single key.

Rotate your encryption keys

You can rotate your key in the key vault by using the Azure Key Vaults rotation mechanism. For more information, see Set up key rotation and auditing. Activation and expiration dates can also be set to automate key rotation. The Event Hubs service will detect new key versions and start using them automatically.

Revoke access to keys

Revoking access to the encryption keys won't purge the data from Event Hubs. However, the data can't be accessed from the Event Hubs namespace. You can revoke the encryption key through access policy or by deleting the key. Learn more about access policies and securing your key vault from Secure access to a key vault.

Once the encryption key is revoked, the Event Hubs service on the encrypted namespace will become inoperable. If the access to the key is enabled or the delete key is restored, Event Hubs service will pick the key so you can access the data from the encrypted Event Hubs namespace.


If you delete an existing encryption key from your key vault and replace it with a new key on the Event Hubs namespace, since the delete key is still valid (as it is cached) for up to an hour, your old data (which was encrypted with the old key) may still be accessible along with the new data, which is now accessible only using the new key. This behavior is by design in the preview version of the feature.

Set up diagnostic logs

Setting diagnostic logs for BYOK enabled namespaces gives you the required information about the operations when a namespace is encrypted with customer-managed keys. These logs can be enabled and later stream to an event hub or analyzed through log analytics or streamed to storage to perform customized analytics. To learn more about diagnostic logs, see Overview of Azure Diagnostic logs.

Enable user logs

Follow these steps to enable logs for customer-managed keys.

  1. In the Azure portal, navigate to the namespace that has BYOK enabled.

  2. Select Diagnostic settings under Monitoring.

    Select diagnostic settings

  3. Select +Add diagnostic setting.

    Select add diagnostic setting

  4. Provide a name and select where you want to stream the logs to.

  5. Select CustomerManagedKeyUserLogs and Save. This action enables the logs for BYOK on the namespace.

    Select customer-managed key user logs option

Log schema

All logs are stored in JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) format. Each entry has string fields that use the format described in the following table.

Name Description
TaskName Description of the task that failed.
ActivityId Internal ID that's used for tracking.
category Defines the classification of the task. For example, if the key from your key vault is being disabled, then it would be an information category or if a key can't be unwrapped, it could fall under error.
resourceId Azure Resource Manager resource ID
keyVault Full name of key vault.
key The key name that's used to encrypt the Event Hubs namespace.
version The version of the key being used.
operation The operation that's performed on the key in your key vault. For example, disable/enable the key, wrap, or unwrap
code The code that's associated with the operation. Example: Error code, 404 means that key wasn't found.
message Any error message associated with the operation

Here's an example of the log for a customer managed key:

   "TaskName": "CustomerManagedKeyUserLog",
   "ActivityId": "11111111-1111-1111-1111-111111111111",
   "category": "error"
   "keyVault": "",
   "key": "mykey",
   "version": "1111111111111111111111111111111",
   "operation": "wrapKey",
   "code": "404",
   "message": "Key not found: ehbyok0/111111111111111111111111111111",

   "TaskName": "CustomerManagedKeyUserLog",
   "ActivityId": "11111111111111-1111-1111-1111111111111",
   "category": "info"
   "keyVault": "",
   "key": "mykey",
   "version": "111111111111111111111111111111",
   "operation": "disable" | "restore",
   "code": "",
   "message": "",


As a best practice, always enable logs like shown in the previous section. It helps in tracking the activities when BYOK encryption is enabled. It also helps in scoping down the problems.

Following are the common errors codes to look for when BYOK encryption is enabled.

Action Error code Resulting state of data
Remove wrap/unwrap permission from a key vault 403 Inaccessible
Remove AAD role membership from an AAD principal that granted the wrap/unwrap permission 403 Inaccessible
Delete an encryption key from the key vault 404 Inaccessible
Delete the key vault 404 Inaccessible (assumes soft-delete is enabled, which is a required setting.)
Changing the expiration period on the encryption key such that it's already expired 403 Inaccessible
Changing the NBF (not before) such that key encryption key isn't active 403 Inaccessible
Selecting the Allow MSFT Services option for the key vault firewall or otherwise blocking network access to the key vault that has the encryption key 403 Inaccessible
Moving the key vault to a different tenant 404 Inaccessible
Intermittent network issue or DNS/AAD/MSI outage Accessible using cached data encryption key


To enable Geo-DR on a namespace that's using the BYOK encryption, the secondary namespace for pairing must be in a dedicated cluster and must have a system assigned managed identity enabled on it. To learn more, see Managed Identities for Azure Resources.


If virtual network (VNet) service endpoints are configured on Azure Key Vault for your Event Hubs namespace, BYOK will not be supported.

Next steps

See the following articles: