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Duo Two-Factor Authentication for Microsoft Azure Active Directory

Last Updated: May 5th, 2023


Duo integrates with Microsoft Azure Active Directory Conditional Access policies to add two-factor authentication to Azure Active Directory logons, offering inline self-service enrollment and authentication with Duo Universal Prompt.

About Azure Conditional Access

Microsoft Azure Active Directory (AD) Conditional Access (CA) allows you to set policies that evaluate Azure Active Directory user access attempts to applications and grant access only when the access request satisfies specified requirements e.g. user group membership, geolocation of the access device, or successful multifactor authentication.

Duo's custom control for Microsoft Azure Active Directory Conditional Access provides strong secondary authentication to Azure Active Directory logons. Additionally, Duo's granular access policies and controls complement and extend the access controls in Azure.

Conditional Access with third-party MFA custom controls requires an Azure Active Directory Premium P1 or P2 subscription. Verify your Microsoft subscription features before proceeding.

Please review Microsoft's Azure Conditional Access documentation before configuring Duo authentication in your Azure Active Directory tenant.

Azure Custom Control Limitations

MFA Requirement Excludes Custom Controls

Microsoft does not evaluate authentication with a custom control as part of a Conditional Access multifactor authentication claim requirement. Custom controls, like the Duo custom control for Azure CA, cannot satisfy a CA rule that requires "multifactor". Learn more about this Microsoft limitation for custom controls in the Azure Active Directory documentation.

Duo MFA can satisfy CA multifactor requirements when you federate Azure/Microsoft 365 with Duo Single Sign-On or when you federate Azure with Microsoft AD FS, install Duo for AD FS, and configure AD FS to pass an Authentication Method References claim for MFA back to Azure.

Azure Government Exclusion

Azure Government does not yet provide support for custom controls in Conditional Access. Therefore, the Duo Azure conditional access application is not available in Duo Federal plans. Be sure to review Azure Government's additional variations in Azure Active Directory Premium features.

Client Application Compatibility

Note that Azure Active Directory Conditional Access protects cloud applications only when the user access originates from the following client applications:

Conditional Access cannot add third-party MFA for Office clients that do not support modern authentication, such as Office 2010. Microsoft relies upon modern authentication workflows to invoke Conditional Access policies, which in turn apply Duo's MFA custom control. You can use Conditional Access to block authentication from legacy Office clients that cannot support modern authentication. Please refer to How to: Block legacy authentication to Azure AD with Conditional Access to learn how to control access from these client applications.

Video Overview


Create the Duo Azure CA Application

Before starting these steps, you should either not be logged in to the Microsoft Azure administration portal at all, or be logged in as the designated service account for Duo you created as a prerequisite.

  1. Sign up for a Duo account.

  2. Log in to the Duo Admin Panel and navigate to Applications.

  3. Click Protect an Application and locate Microsoft Azure Active Directory in the applications list. Click Protect this Application. See Protecting Applications for more information about protecting applications in Duo and additional application options.

  4. Before you can proceed, Duo needs read access to your Azure Active Directory tenant. Click the Authorize button, which takes you to the Azure portal.

    Authorize the Duo Application in Azure
  5. Sign in with the designated Azure service administrator account that has the global administrator role for this Azure Active Directory. If required, complete Azure MFA for that service account admin user.

    Sign in to Azure

    Duo does not see or store your Azure Active Directory administrator credentials.

  6. Once you've signed in to Azure, you must check the box next to Consent on behalf of your organization and then click Accept to grant Duo the read rights needed to access and read from your Azure Active Directory tenant.

    Grant Azure Permissions to the Duo Application
  7. Accepting the Duo Azure Authentication application's permissions request redirects you back to the Microsoft Azure Active Directory application page in the Duo Admin Panel.

    Note the Custom control JSON text in the "Details" section of the page. You'll need to provide this information to Azure to complete Duo authentication setup.

    Duo Azure CA Application JSON
  8. You can adjust additional settings for your new Azure Active Directory Duo application at this time — like changing the application's name from the default value, enabling self-service, or assigning a group policy — or come back and change the application's policies and settings after you finish Azure setup (note that the "Hostname Whitelisting" settings have no effect on this application). If you do update any settings, click the Save Changes button when done.

  9. Keep the Duo Admin Panel open so you can copy the custom control JSON text into the Azure portal in the next steps.

Duo Universal Prompt

The new Universal Prompt provides a simplified and accessible Duo login experience for web-based applications, offering a redesigned visual interface with security and usability enhancements.

Universal Prompt Traditional Prompt
 Duo Push in Universal Prompt  Duo Push in Traditional Prompt

We've already updated the Duo Azure CA application hosted in Duo's service to support the Universal Prompt, so there's no action required on your part to update the application itself. You can activate the Universal Prompt experience for users of new and existing Duo Azure CA applications from the Duo Admin Panel.

Before you activate the Universal Prompt for your application, it's a good idea to read the Universal Prompt Update Guide for more information about the update process and the new login experience for users.

Activate Universal Prompt

Activation of the Universal Prompt is a per-application change. Activating it for one application does not change the login experience for your other Duo applications.

The "Universal Prompt" area of the application details page shows that this application is "New Prompt Ready", with these activation control options:

  • Show traditional prompt: (Default) Your users experience Duo's traditional prompt when logging in to this application.
  • Show new Universal Prompt: Your users experience the Universal Prompt when logging in to this application.

Universal Prompt Info - Application Ready for Universal Prompt

Enable the Universal Prompt experience by selecting Show new Universal Prompt, and then scrolling to the bottom of the page to click Save.

Once you activate the Universal Prompt, the application's Universal Prompt status shows "Update Complete" here and on the Universal Prompt Update Progress report.

Universal Prompt Info - Universal Prompt Activation Complete

Should you ever want to roll back to the traditional prompt, you can return to this setting and change it back to Show traditional prompt.

Universal Update Progress

Click the See Update Progress link to view the Universal Prompt Update Progress report. This report shows the update availability and migration progress for all your Duo applications in-scope for Universal Prompt support. You can also activate the new prompt experience for multiple supported applications from the report page instead of visiting the individual details pages for each application.

Configure Azure

Create the Duo MFA Custom Control

  1. Log in to your Azure Active Directory tenant in the Microsoft Azure Portal as a global administrator (if you aren't already logged in).

  2. Go to Azure Active DirectorySecurityConditional Access.

  3. Click Custom Controls on the left, and then click New Custom Control.

  4. Remove the example custom controls JSON text and paste in the "Custom control" JSON text you copied from the Duo Admin Panel's Microsoft Azure Active Directory application page earlier.

    Duo Azure CA Custom Control JSON Input

    Click the Create button after entering the Duo JSON text. Azure creates the new custom control "RequireDuoMFA".

    Duo Azure CA Custom Control Created

Create and Apply a Duo Conditional Access Policy

  1. While still in the Azure Active Directory Conditional Access configuration blade, click Policies on the left and then click New Policy.

  2. Enter a descriptive name for the new policy, like "Require Duo MFA".

  3. Make your desired policy assignments. You can assign this new policy to selected users or Azure security groups, to specific Azure cloud apps, or to any of the other Azure conditions like client platform or network.

    As an example, click on Users and groups under "Assignments", click Select on the "Users and groups" blade, and locate the users or Azure security groups you want to authenticate with Duo. Click on a user or security group to select it, then click the Select button on the "Select" blade, followed by clicking the Done button on the "Users and groups" blade.

    In this example the new Duo policy assignment includes the Azure Active Directory group "Duo Users", so members of that group will require Duo two-factor when logging in to Azure Active Directory.

    Duo Azure CA Policy Group Assignment

    Next, click on Cloud apps. On the "Include" tab, click Select and choose the Azure Active Directory applications where you want Duo authentication before access. In this example the Duo cloud apps assignment applies to "Office 365 Exchange Online" and "Office 365 Sharepoint Online". This means that the policy (and the Duo custom control in it) gets applied when the users assigned that policy access the Exchange and SharePoint applications only. Other Azure and Office applications not specified by the policy assignment, including the Office 365 portal itself, will not exercise the Conditional Access control at login and therefore will not require Duo MFA. If you want your users logging into the Office 365 portal using Duo MFA, then select the All cloud apps option.

    Click Done to save the cloud apps assignment and close that blade.

    Duo Azure CA Policy Cloud App Assignment

    Note: We don't recommend assigning the Duo policy to all users (including tenant administrators) or to all cloud apps at first to avoid the risk of inadvertently blocking administrator access to the Azure Active Directory portal. Verify that your Duo policy and custom control work properly before assigning the policy to your tenant administrators or to all cloud apps. You should create a fail-safe Azure tenant administrator account that is excluded from Duo MFA policies to ensure uninterrupted admin access. Apply a secure password and a different access condition, like one based on a trusted network, to secure this admin account.

    Additionally, the Duo custom control doesn't support external guest Azure logins. Do not apply a Conditional Access policy requiring Duo MFA to these accounts.

  4. Click Grant under "Access controls". To allow users access with Duo authentication, click on Grant access and check the box next to the RequireDuoMFA custom control you created in the previous steps. While you may choose to combine or require satisfying multiple controls before granting user access, this example simply adds the Duo authentication requirement to the new policy. Click Select when done.

    Duo Azure CA Policy Grant Access with Duo
  5. The final step to creating the new Duo policy is to enable it. Click the On toggle switch underneath "Enable policy", and then click Create. Azure creates and enables the new "Require Duo MFA" policy.

    Duo Azure CA Policy Created and Enabled

    Close the "Conditional Access" blade when done.

Test Your Setup

Log in to Azure Active Directory (or, per the example cloud app assignment, Exchange Online) as a user assigned the Duo MFA policy.

If you chose to apply the Duo Conditional Access policy to "All cloud apps", then when you log into the Office portal and submit your primary Azure credentials, you'll be redirected to the Duo Prompt or Duo user enrollment. Completing Duo authentication returns you to Azure to complete your login.

OIDC Duo Prompt

*Universal Prompt experience shown.

If you applied the Duo Conditional Access policy to specific applications, then the initial Office portal login won't prompt for Duo MFA, but accessing the protected application from within the Office portal after logging in or accessing the protected application directly (bypassing the Office portal) will prompt for Duo MFA.

Remembered Devices and Azure CA

Each Azure CA custom control is a single application in Duo, even though you may opt to apply that single control to multiple Azure or Office applications. If you enable Remembered Devices on the Microsoft Azure Active Directory Duo application, then if a user signs into one application that has that control applied and chooses to remember that device when performing Duo authentication, then other Azure and Office applications with that same Duo control applied won't require the user to perform Duo MFA again.

If you want the Azure and Office applications you protect with Duo to have distinct Remembered Devices settings, or any other combination of Duo settings, you can create multiple Duo custom controls with different settings.

Configuring Multiple Duo CA Policies

You may wish to create multiple Duo Conditional Access policies with unique Duo policy settings to apply to different Azure applications or users. The process of creating additional Duo custom controls in Azure is slightly different than creating the first one. You'll need to edit the custom control JSON text provided by Duo with some unique values before saving the new control.

  1. Log in to your Duo Admin Panel and create another Microsoft Azure Active Directory as you did earlier, and copy the custom control JSON text.

  2. In the Azure admin portal, create a new Conditional Access custom control as before, pasting in the JSON from the Duo Admin Panel.

  3. Locate the following attributes in the "Controls" section of the Duo JSON text and give them unique values:

    Id: Append text to RequireDuoMfa, for example RequireDuoMfa-ALT.
    Name: Append text to RequireDuoMfa, for example RequireDuoMfa-ALT.
  4. Locate the second Name: attribute after the "DiscoveryURL" attribute. Append text to Duo Security, for example Duo Security-2.

    Full example of Duo JSON updated with the unique values highlighted:

         "AppId": "XXXXX",
         "ClientId": "XXXXX",
         "Controls": [
                 "ClaimsRequested": [
                         "Type": "DuoMfa",
                         "Value": "MfaDone",
                         "Values": null
                 "Id": "RequireDuoMfa-ALT",
                 "Name": "RequireDuoMfa-ALT"
         "DiscoveryUrl": """,
         "Name": "Duo Security-2"
  5. Click Create to create the additional Duo custom control.

  6. Apply the additional Duo control to users or applications via Azure Conditional Access.

You can repeat this process as many times as you wish to create multiple Duo controls for use with Conditional Access policies.


Need some help? Take a look at our Microsoft Azure Active Directory Knowledge Base articles or Community discussions. For further assistance, contact Support.

Network Diagram

Duo Azure CA Authentication Network Diagram
  1. User accesses Microsoft Online or other services using Azure authentication.
  2. User submits primary Azure credentials.
  3. An Azure Conditional Access policy redirects the client browser to Duo.
  4. User received the Duo Prompt and submits factor selection.
  5. User receives Duo Push authentication request on device.
  6. Authentication approval returned to Duo service.
  7. Secondary authentication approval returned to client.
  8. Client sends Duo approval back to Azure.
  9. Azure grants application or service access once the Duo Conditional Access policy is satisfied.