Common Conditional Access policy: 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 make the following changes:
- Alter subscription-wide configurations
- Service settings
- Subscription billing
To protect these privileged resources, Microsoft recommends requiring multifactor authentication for any user accessing these resources. In Microsoft Entra ID, these tools are grouped together in a suite called Windows Azure Service Management API. For Azure Government, this suite should be the Azure Government Cloud Management API app.
Conditional Access policies are powerful tools, we recommend excluding the following accounts from your policies:
- 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 to take steps to recover access.
- More information can be found in the article, Manage emergency access accounts in Microsoft Entra ID.
- Service accounts and service principals, such as the Microsoft Entra 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 won't be blocked by Conditional Access policies scoped to users. Use Conditional Access for workload identities to define policies targeting service principals.
- 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.
Organizations can choose to deploy this policy using the steps outlined below or using the Conditional Access templates.
Create a Conditional Access policy
The following steps will help create a Conditional Access policy to require users who access the Windows Azure Service Management API suite do multifactor authentication.
Make sure you understand how Conditional Access works before setting up a policy to manage access to Windows Azure Service Management API. Make sure you don't create conditions that could block your own access to the portal.
- Sign in to the Microsoft Entra admin center as at least a Conditional Access Administrator.
- Browse to Protection > Conditional Access.
- Select Create new policy.
- Give your policy a name. We recommend that organizations create a meaningful standard for the names of their policies.
- Under Assignments, select Users or workload identities.
- Under Include, select All users.
- Under Exclude, select Users and groups and choose your organization's emergency access or break-glass accounts.
- Under Target resources > Cloud apps > Include > Select apps, choose Windows Azure Service Management API, and select Select.
- Under Access controls > Grant, select Grant access, Require multifactor authentication, and select Select.
- Confirm your settings and set Enable policy to Report-only.
- Select Create to create to enable your policy.
After administrators confirm the settings using report-only mode, they can move the Enable policy toggle from Report-only to On.