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Every organization knows that security is essential and needs to be solid. Nowadays, every organization enables MFA and thinks that they are protected and done. Well, hold your horses because that’s not the case. What if a user gets an MFA prompt and accidentally accepts it when clicking on it? That’s when number matching in Azure AD plays a role and makes MFA push notifications more secure. In this article, you will learn how to enable MFA number matching in Microsoft Authenticator app for sign-in security purposes.

Enable Azure MFA

Configuring MFA in Azure/Microsoft 365 is a prerequisite, and there are two methods:

  1. Configure per-user MFA in Microsoft 365
  2. Configure Azure AD Multi-Factor Authentication

Note: It’s recommended to configure Azure AD Multi-Factor Authentication instead of per-user MFA.

Azure MFA number matching

Require number matching for push notifications is a feature in Azure AD. It presents users with a number when they respond to an MFA push notification using the Authenticator app. They need to type that number into the app to complete the approval.

Note: Number matching in Azure AD is flexible and can be targeted to a single user, multiple users, all users, and groups.

Note: Microsoft will enable Azure MFA number matching by default for all tenants from May 8, 2023.

Let’s look at how to configure MFA number matching and how it looks.

Enable Azure MFA number matching

To enable number matching in Azure AD, follow these steps:

Step 1. Sign in to Microsoft Azure Portal.

Step 2. Click on Menu > Azure Active Directory.

Azure MFA number matching Azure Active Directory panel

Step 3. Click on Security.

Azure MFA number matching security panel

Step 4. Click on Authentication methods.

Azure MFA number matching authentication methods panel

Step 5. Click on Policies > Microsoft Authenticator.

Azure MFA number matching Microsoft Authenticator policy

Step 6. Click on the Enable and Target tab and configure the below settings:

  • Enable: Yes
  • Include > Target: All users
  • Authentication mode: Any

Suppose you want to enable it on a group or a test account; click Select users and select the users/groups.

Enable all users in Microsoft Authenticator settings

Step 7. Click on the Configure tab and configure the below settings for Require number matching for push notifications. Don’t forget to Save.

  • Status: Enabled
  • Target: Include – All users

Note: Two more features are available on the Microsoft Authenticator settings configure page. You should enable these features for security improvements.

Enable Azure MFA number matching

Step 8. Confirm that Microsoft Authenticator shows the target that you have set and the status enabled.

Azure MFA number matching Microsoft Authenticator enabled

In the next step, you will test that everything works as you expect.

Verify Azure MFA number matching

To test that Azure MFA number matching works, follow the below steps:

Sign in to Microsoft 365 portal.

Note: You need to have MFA enabled on the account you like to test and not sign in from a network that is excluded from MFA.

Azure MFA number matching sign in to Microsoft Office portal

The approve sign in request message appears with a randomly generated number.

Azure MFA number matching approve sign in request

Enter the number in the Microsoft Authenticator app to sign in. Next, tap Yes.

Azure MFA number matching enter the number shown to sign in

You will successfully sign in to the portal.

Microsoft Office portal signed in

That’s it! You successfully did configure MFA number matching in Azure AD for the users.

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