Use Okta MFA to satisfy Azure AD MFA requirements for Office 365

You can use Okta multi-factor authentication (MFA) to satisfy the Azure AD MFA requirements for your WS-Federation Office 365 app instance.

Okta MFA can be used in the following use-cases:

  • You want Okta to handle the MFA requirements for an MFA prompt triggered by Azure AD Conditional access for your domain federated with Okta.
  • You can use Okta MFA to enroll your end users into Windows Hello for Business so that they can use a single MFA solution for both Okta and Microsoft MFA needs.

Known issues

Users can enter infinite sign-in loop

End users can enter an infinite sign-in loop when Okta app-level sign-on policy is weaker than the Azure AD policy. This can happen in the following scenarios:

  • App-level sign-on policy doesn't require MFA

    In this case, Okta does not prompt the user for MFA when accessing the app. However, Azure AD Conditional Access requires MFA and expects Okta to pass the completed MFA claim. Consequently, the user gets stuck in the infinite authentication loop. Okta may still prompt for MFA if it is configured at the org-level but that MFA claim won't be passed to Azure AD.

  • App-level sign-on policy doesn’t require MFA when the user signs in from an "In Zone" network but requires MFA when the user signs in from a network that is "Not in Zone"

    In this case, if the user is signing in from a network that’s In Zone, he or she will not be prompted for the MFA. However, Azure AD Conditional Access requires MFA and expects Okta to pass the completed MFA claim. Consequently, the user gets stuck in the infinite authentication loop.

Note

Temporary support for org-level MFA

You can temporarily use the org-level MFA for the purpose of this procedure, if:

  1. you’re migrating your org from Classic Engine to Identity Engine, and
  2. the org-level sign-on policy requires MFA.

However, we strongly recommend you set up an app-level Office 365 sign on policy to enforce MFA to use in this procedure.

Before you begin

  1. Configure MFA in Okta: Configure an app sign on policy for your WS-Federation Office 365 app instance as described in Authentication policies.

  2. Configure MFA in Azure AD: Configure MFA in your Azure AD instance as described in the Microsoft documentation.

Start this procedure

You need to change your Office 365 domain federation settings to enable the support for Okta MFA. Choose one of the following procedure depending on whether you have manually or automatically federated your domain.

For manually federated domain

Run the updated federation script from under the Setup Instructions:

  1. From the Okta Admin Console, go to Applications > Applications.
  2. Open your WS-federated Office 365 app.
  3. Click the Sign On tab > Sign on Methods > WS-Federation> View Setup Instructions.

    The How to Configure Office 365 WS-Federation page opens.

  4. On the page, go to the If your domain is already federated section.
  5. Copy and run the script from this section in Windows PowerShell.
  6. For the option, Okta MFA from Azure AD, ensure that Enable for this application is checked and click Save.
  7. Run the following PowerShell command to ensure that SupportsMfa value is True:
    Connect-MsolService
    Get-MsolDomainFederationSettings -DomainName <yourDomainName>

For automatically federated domain

In this case, you don't have to configure any settings.

  1. From the Okta Admin Console, go to Applications > Applications.
  2. Open your WS-Federated Office 365 app.
  3. Click the Sign On tab > Edit.
  4. For the option, Okta MFA from Azure AD, ensure that Enable for this application is checked and click Save.
  5. Run the following PowerShell command to ensure that SupportsMfa value is True:
    Connect-MsolService
    Get-MsolDomainFederationSettings -DomainName <yourDomainName>

Disable this feature

To disable the feature, complete the following steps:

  1. From the Okta Admin Console, go to Applications > Applications.
  2. Open your WS-Federated Office 365 app.
  3. Click the Sign On tab > Edit.
  4. For the option, Okta MFA from Azure AD, ensure that Enable for this application is checked and click Save.

If you decide to turn off this feature, you must manually set the SupportsMfa setting to false for all federated domains that were automatically federated in Okta and had this feature enabled.

Use this PowerShell cmdlet to turn this feature off:

Set-MsolDomainFederationSettings -DomainName <targetDomainName> -SupportsMfa $false

How the feature works

Okta MFA satisfies Azure AD Conditional Access MFA requirement

If Office 365 is configured with an Azure AD Conditional Access policy that requires MFA, end users trying to access the app are challenged by Okta for MFA to satisfy the Azure AD MFA requirement. Okta then passes the successful MFA claim to Azure AD which accepts the claim and allows access without prompting end users for a separate MFA.

Assuming that Azure AD Conditional Access MFA is enabled and Okta MFA is enabled at the app level Okta passes the MFA claim as described in the following table.

Okta App-level MFA Azure AD MFA What Happens
Disabled Enabled

End users enter an infinite sign-in loop. To prevent this, you must configure Okta MFA in order to satisfy the Azure AD MFA requirement.

Enabled Enabled End users complete an MFA prompt in Okta. Okta passes the completed MFA claim to Azure AD. Azure AD accepts the MFA from Okta and does not prompt for a separate MFA. The user is allowed to access Office 365.

Okta enrolls users in Windows Hello for Business

Prerequisite: The device must be Hybrid Azure AD or Azure AD joined.

If your organization requires Windows Hello for Business, end users who are not enrolled in Windows Hello for Business already are prompted to complete a step-up authentication (e.g. SMS, push) in Okta. After successful enrollment in Windows Hello for Business, end users can use it to log in on the device. Okta will help the end users enroll in Windows Hello for Business as described in the following table.

Okta App-level MFA What Happens
Disabled

End users enter an infinite sign-in loop. To prevent this, you must configure Okta MFA in order to satisfy the Azure AD MFA requirement.

Enabled End users complete a step-up MFA prompt in Okta. Upon successful enrollment in Windows Hello for Business, end users can use Windows Hello for Business as a factor to satisfy Azure AD MFA.

Related topics

Office 365 sign-on rules options

Windows Hello for Business (Microsoft documentation)