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  5. Implementing Multi-Factor Authentication on Azure

Configure Verification Methods

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Multi-factor authentication or MFA is no longer optional, and it is paramount that you protect not only your privileged accounts but enable it for all accounts. Azure Active Directory offers the ability to secure your identities with an additional authentication method. Verification of your identity can be done via an automated voice call, text message, through the Microsoft Authenticator app, or with a verification code.

Azure multi-factor authentication can be enforced using different methods. We will configure the user settings to give the ability to a user to report fraudulent attempts on their accounts. We will also review how an administrator can provide a one-time bypass code and whitelist trusted locations to bypass the two-step verification. Lastly, you will see how to configure Azure Active Directory conditional access to enforce MFA on cloud-based applications.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the different methods of enabling two-step verification
  • Configure multi-factor authentication for users
  • Configure settings for MFA
  • Implement Azure Active Directory conditional access for MFA

Intended Audience

  • People who want to become Azure administrators
  • People preparing for Microsoft’s AZ-303 exam


  • General knowledge of Azure Active Directory

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The Multi-Factor Authentication can be configured to accept different forms of authentication methods, be it calling your phone, sending a text message, notification in the Microsoft Authenticator app, or using a verification code. Call to phone option will be an automated call to the number you have provided, and simply hit the pound symbol to authenticate. When entering your number, ensure you enter it with the country code, then the 19-digit number. SMS messages option will send an automated text message to your mobile phone number. You typically have about five minutes to enter the code before it times out. Just like the voice call option previously, ensure you enter a number with country code, then a 10-digit number. 

Notification through the app. Microsoft has a free app called Microsoft Authenticator that's available in the Google Play store and the App Store. After you have configured your accounts to receive notification, every time you log in, you will receive a notification on your phone to approve or decline the login through the app. Verification code, just like receiving notifications, you need to have the app installed on your mobile phone. After you have configured your account to enter verification codes, you will be prompted to enter a code every time. The verification codes cycle every 30 seconds, so make sure you enter it quickly.

About the Author

With over 15 years of experience in the IT industry, Eric Leonard is a Microsoft Azure MVP and a Cloud Solution Architect. Eric’s experience working with Microsoft technologies, with a strong emphasis on cloud and automation solutions, enables his clients to succeed in today’s technological environment. Eric has worked for clients in a variety of different industries including large and small enterprises, the public sector, professional services, education, and communications.

When he is not working, Eric believes in sharing his knowledge and giving back to the IT community. He is the co-organizer of the Ottawa IT community meetup, which has over 1,000 members, and he enjoys presenting and mentoring in the community.