Reporting User-Preferred MFA Methods for Azure AD User Accounts

New Graph API Reveals MFA Preferred Authentication Method for User Accounts

Graph authentication methods

In his copious spare time when he’s not reviewing chapters of the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook in his technical editor role, Vasil Michev writes for his blog. A recent post covers the Graph API to configure multi-factor authentication methods for Azure AD user accounts. This API is helpful because it fills in a gap in Graph coverage.

We’ve been able to report authentication methods set on accounts for quite a while, but setting methods has been problematic, especially with the upcoming deprecation of the Microsoft Services Online module (MSOL). Until now, the MSOL cmdlets to deal with “strong authentication methods” are what people have had to use in automation scenarios. Go to Vasil’s blog to learn about how to fetch and set the preferred MFA authentication method for Azure AD accounts (the signInPreferences object for accounts), or read up on the documentation.

Vasil makes the point that the new APIs have not yet appeared in the form of cmdlets in the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK. This is because a process needs to run (called AutoRest) to generate the SDK cmdlets from Graph APIs. Microsoft runs the process regularly, but some delay is always expected.

Invoke Graph Requests

The workaround is to use the Invoke-MgGraphRequest cmdlet. Here’s an example of using the cmdlet to fetch details of all Azure AD user accounts that have at least one assigned license (to filter out accounts used for room mailboxes, etc.) The filter used with the Get-MgUser cmdlet is a good example of using a lambda operator with what Microsoft calls a complex Azure AD query (the check assigned licenses). Because it’s a complex query, we need to use the ConsistencyLevel parameter and pass eventual as its value. If you haven’t seen this kind of filter used to find accounts before, store it away because it’ll be one that you use time and time again in your scripts.

After fetching the set of users, it’s a matter of running the query to return the authentication sign in preferences for each account and storing the details in a PowerShell list object. Here’s the code:

Connect-MgGraph -Scopes UserAuthenticationMethod.ReadWrite.All
Select-MgProfile Beta
[array]$Users = Get-MgUser -Filter "assignedLicenses/`$count ne 0 and userType eq 'Member'" -ConsistencyLevel eventual -CountVariable Records -All

$Report = [System.Collections.Generic.List[Object]]::new() 
ForEach ($User in $Users) {
 $Uri = ("{0}/authentication/signInPreferences" -f $User.Id)
 $AuthData = Invoke-MgGraphRequest -Uri $Uri -Method Get

 $ReportLine = [PSCustomObject]@{
    User   = $User.displayName
    UPN    = $User.userPrincipalName
    'System preferred MFA enabled' = $AuthData.isSystemPreferredAuthenticationMethodEnabled
    'System preferred MFA method'  = $AuthData.systemPreferredAuthenticationMethod
    'Secondary auth method'        = $AuthData.userPreferredMethodForSecondaryAuthentication }


Azure AD System Preferred Authentication Policy

An important factor to take into account is the existence of the Azure AD system-preferred authentication policy, which is now generally available. When this policy is active (as it soon will be for all tenants), Azure AD uses the strongest authentication method available to an account. A note in the documentation for updating authentication methods says that “this value is ignored except for a few scenarios where a user is authenticating via NPS extension or ADFS adapter.” That’s something to consider when updating user accounts.

Progress, Not Perfect

I don’t think anyone would say that things are perfect in terms of the transition from the old MSOL and Azure AD PowerShell modules to the Graph (APIs or SDK cmdlets). Migrations are never perfect, and we’ll be coping with the effects of this changeover for many months to come. That being said, it’s nice to see progress, albeit in small steps.

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2 Replies to “Reporting User-Preferred MFA Methods for Azure AD User Accounts”

  1. I was looking for the same thing but found it in a proper cmdlet that doesn’t require you to enumerate users:

    Get-MgReportAuthenticationMethodUserRegistrationDetail (under the Graph ‘beta’ profile) – check under AdditionalProperties.

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