What is Identity Protection?

Microsoft Entra ID Protection helps organizations detect, investigate, and remediate identity-based risks. These identity-based risks can be further fed into tools like Conditional Access to make access decisions or fed back to a security information and event management (SIEM) tool for further investigation and correlation.

Diagram showing how Identity Protection works at a high level.

Detect risks

Microsoft continually adds and updates detections in our catalog to protect organizations. These detections come from our learnings based on the analysis of trillions of signals each day from Active Directory, Microsoft Accounts, and in gaming with Xbox. This broad range of signals helps Identity Protection detect risky behaviors like:

  • Anonymous IP address usage
  • Password spray attacks
  • Leaked credentials
  • and more...

During each sign-in, Identity Protection runs all real-time sign-in detections generating a sign-in session risk level, indicating how likely the sign-in is compromised. Based on this risk level, policies are then applied to protect the user and the organization.

For a full listing of risks and how they're detected, see the article What is risk.


Any risks detected on an identity are tracked with reporting. Identity Protection provides three key reports for administrators to investigate risks and take action:

  • Risk detections: Each risk detected is reported as a risk detection.
  • Risky sign-ins: A risky sign-in is reported when there are one or more risk detections reported for that sign-in.
  • Risky users: A Risky user is reported when either or both of the following are true:
    • The user has one or more Risky sign-ins.
    • One or more risk detections are reported.

For more information about how to use the reports, see the article How To: Investigate risk.

Remediate risks

Why automation is critical in security?

In the blog post Cyber Signals: Defending against cyber threats with the latest research, insights, and trends dated February 3, 2022 Microsoft shared a threat intelligence brief including the following statistics:

Analyzed ...24 trillion security signals combined with intelligence we track by monitoring more than 40 nation-state groups and over 140 threat groups...

...From January 2021 through December 2021, we’ve blocked more than 25.6 billion Microsoft Entra brute force authentication attacks...

The sheer scale of signals and attacks requires some level of automation just to keep up.

Automatic remediation

Risk-based Conditional Access policies can be enabled to require access controls such as providing a strong authentication method, perform multifactor authentication, or perform a secure password reset based on the detected risk level. If the user successfully completes the access control, the risk is automatically remediated.

Manual remediation

When user remediation isn't enabled, an administrator must manually review them in the reports in the portal, through the API, or in Microsoft 365 Defender. Administrators can perform manual actions to dismiss, confirm safe, or confirm compromise on the risks.

Making use of the data

Data from Identity Protection can be exported to other tools for archive, further investigation, and correlation. The Microsoft Graph based APIs allow organizations to collect this data for further processing in a tool such as their SIEM. Information about how to access the Identity Protection API can be found in the article, Get started with Microsoft Entra ID Protection and Microsoft Graph

Information about integrating Identity Protection information with Microsoft Sentinel can be found in the article, Connect data from Microsoft Entra ID Protection.

Organizations might store data for longer periods by changing the diagnostic settings in Microsoft Entra ID. They can choose to send data to a Log Analytics workspace, archive data to a storage account, stream data to Event Hubs, or send data to another solution. Detailed information about how to do so can be found in the article, How To: Export risk data.

Required roles

Identity Protection requires users be assigned one or more of the following roles in order to access.

Role Can do Can't do
Security Administrator Full access to Identity Protection Reset password for a user
Security Operator View all Identity Protection reports and Overview

Dismiss user risk, confirm safe sign-in, confirm compromise
Configure or change policies

Reset password for a user

Configure alerts
Security Reader View all Identity Protection reports and Overview Configure or change policies

Reset password for a user

Configure alerts

Give feedback on detections
Global Reader Read-only access to Identity Protection
User Administrator Reset user passwords

Currently, the Security Operator role can't access the Risky sign-ins report.

Conditional Access administrators can create policies that factor in user or sign-in risk as a condition. Find more information in the article Conditional Access: Conditions.

License requirements

Using this feature requires Microsoft Entra ID P2 licenses. To find the right license for your requirements, see Compare generally available features of Microsoft Entra ID.

Capability Details Microsoft Entra ID Free / Microsoft 365 Apps Microsoft Entra ID P1 Microsoft Entra ID P2
Risk policies Sign-in and user risk policies (via Identity Protection or Conditional Access) No No Yes
Security reports Overview No No Yes
Security reports Risky users Limited Information. Only users with medium and high risk are shown. No details drawer or risk history. Limited Information. Only users with medium and high risk are shown. No details drawer or risk history. Full access
Security reports Risky sign-ins Limited Information. No risk detail or risk level is shown. Limited Information. No risk detail or risk level is shown. Full access
Security reports Risk detections No Limited Information. No details drawer. Full access
Notifications Users at risk detected alerts No No Yes
Notifications Weekly digest No No Yes
MFA registration policy No No Yes

More information on these rich reports can be found in the article, How To: Investigate risk.

To make use of workload identity risk, including the Risky workload identities and Workload identity detections tab in the Risk detections panes in the admin center, you must have Workload Identities Premium licensing. For more information, see the article Securing workload identities.

Next steps