Shift your MFA Server to Entra ID MFA

We stand at the threshold of an important transition in our approach to digital security. The shift from Azure Multi-Factor Authentication Server (MFA Server) to Microsoft Entra multifactor authentication marks a significant change, one that aligns with the evolving landscape of cloud-based security solutions. This move is crucial for those of us relying on Azure MFA Server, especially as we navigate the complexities of hybrid environments. After the 30th of September 2024 the MFA Server will be deprecated.

The Reason Behind the Move

Azure MFA Server has been a cornerstone in our security framework, providing an essential layer of protection. However, the move towards cloud-based solutions has become inevitable. Microsoft Entra multifactor authentication represents the next step in this journey, offering a more integrated and cloud-centric approach to security.

Who Should Be Paying Attention?

This transition is particularly relevant for:

  • Organizations utilizing MFA Server in a hybrid setup.
  • Those incorporating federation with Microsoft Entra ID, alongside Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS), or other identity provider federation products.
  • Environments where MFA Server is integrated with AD FS for application authentication.
  • RADIUS with MFA Server (MFA for VPN or WiFi MFA via RADIUS)
Speciality RADIUS 

The MFA Server facilitates multifactor authentication via RADIUS for supported applications and devices. Users are advised to upgrade RADIUS-based applications to newer authentication protocols like SAML or OAuth with Microsoft Entra ID, whenever possible. If upgrading is not feasible, deploying a Network Policy Server (NPS) with the Microsoft Entra multifactor authentication extension offers a bridge for incorporating multifactor authentication. However, it’s crucial to note the NPS extension’s limitations, such as its exclusion from Microsoft Entra Conditional Access policies and the necessity for users to pre-register for Entra multifactor authentication. Available multifactor authentication methods are determined by the client system’s capabilities, with common integrations including Remote Desktop Gateways, VPN Servers, Citrix Gateway, and Cisco VPN. Transitioning to modern authentication methods, where possible, is highly recommended for enhanced security and functionality.

Mapping Out the Transition

Each organization’s journey from MFA Server to Microsoft Entra multifactor authentication will be unique. Whether your aim is to simply retire MFA Server, fully embrace Microsoft Entra authentication, or also phase out AD FS, the objective remains the same: to adopt Microsoft Entra multifactor authentication as your primary MFA solution.

Preparation is Key

Before embarking on this migration, it’s vital to:

  • Consider upgrading to AD FS for Windows Server 2019, ensuring a smoother transition for your users.
  • Understand that the migration extends beyond transferring MFA data; it encompasses a thorough review of how your systems interact with MFA Server, ensuring a seamless move to Microsoft Entra.

Embarking on the Migration

The migration process involves several steps:

  • Gradually transferring user accounts, beginning with smaller test groups to ensure a smooth transition.
  • Utilizing tools such as the MFA Server Migration Utility to synchronize MFA data with Microsoft Entra.
  • Assessing the integration of hardware security keys within the new environment.

The Importance of This Transition

Moving to Microsoft Entra multifactor authentication is not merely a technical necessity; it represents an opportunity to enhance our security posture. It opens the door to exploring advanced security features, including passwordless authentication, and strengthening our defense mechanisms.

Looking Forward

This transition is about more than just updating our technology stack; it’s about ensuring we are equipped to face future security challenges. By adopting Microsoft Entra multifactor authentication, we are taking a proactive step towards a more secure and resilient digital environment.

Closing Thoughts

As we undertake this journey, let us focus on the broader goal of enhancing our security infrastructure. Together, we can navigate this transition smoothly and emerge stronger on the other side.

Source: Migrate from MFA Server to Microsoft Entra multifactor authenticationAzure Multi-Factor Authentication Server will be deprecated 30 September 2024

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