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Azure AD-only authentication#

Security · SQL Managed Instance · Rule · 2023_03

Ensure Azure AD-only authentication is enabled with Azure SQL Managed Instance.

Description#

Azure SQL Managed Instance supports authentication with SQL logins and Azure AD authentication.

By default, authentication with SQL logins is enabled. SQL logins are unable to provide sufficient protection for identities. Azure AD authentication provides strong protection controls including conditional access, identity governance, and privileged identity management.

Once you decide to use Azure AD authentication, you can disable authentication with SQL logins.

Recommendation#

Consider using Azure AD-only authentication. Also consider using Azure Policy for Azure AD-only authentication with SQL Managed Instance.

Examples#

Azure AD-only authentication can be enabled in two different ways.

Configure with Azure template#

To deploy SQL Managed Instances that pass this rule:

  • Set the properties.administrators.azureADOnlyAuthentication property to true.

For example:

Azure Template snippet
{
  "type": "Microsoft.Sql/managedInstances",
  "apiVersion": "2022-05-01-preview",
  "name": "[parameters('managedInstanceName')]",
  "location": "[parameters('location')]",
  "identity": {
    "type": "SystemAssigned",
    "userAssignedIdentities": {}
  },
  "properties": {
    "administratorLogin": "[parameters('administratorLogin')]",
    "administratorLoginPassword": "[parameters('administratorLoginPassword')]",
    "administrators": {
      "administratorType": "ActiveDirectory",
      "azureADOnlyAuthentication": true,
      "login": "[parameters('login')]",
      "principalType": "[parameters('principalType')]",
      "sid": "[parameters('sid')]",
      "tenantId": "[parameters('tenantId')]"
    }
  }
}

Alternatively, you can configure the Microsoft.Sql/managedInstances/azureADOnlyAuthentications sub-resource. To deploy Microsoft.Sql/managedInstances/azureADOnlyAuthentications sub-resources that pass this rule:

  • Set the properties.azureADOnlyAuthentication property to true.

For example:

Azure Template snippet
{
  "type": "Microsoft.Sql/managedInstances/azureADOnlyAuthentications",
  "apiVersion": "2022-05-01-preview",
  "name": "[format('{0}/{1}', parameters('managedInstanceName'), 'Default')]",
  "properties": {
    "azureADOnlyAuthentication": true
  },
  "dependsOn": [
    "[resourceId('Microsoft.Sql/managedInstances', parameters('managedInstanceName'))]"
  ]
}

Configure with Bicep#

To deploy SQL Managed Instances that pass this rule:

  • Set the properties.administrators.azureADOnlyAuthentication property to true.

For example:

Azure Bicep snippet
resource managedInstance 'Microsoft.Sql/managedInstances@2022-05-01-preview' = {
  name: managedInstanceName
  location: location
  identity: {
    type: 'SystemAssigned'
    userAssignedIdentities: {}
  }
  properties: {
    administratorLogin: administratorLogin
    administratorLoginPassword: administratorLoginPassword
    administrators: {
      administratorType: 'ActiveDirectory'
      azureADOnlyAuthentication: true
      login: login
      principalType: principalType
      sid: sid
      tenantId: tenantId
    }
  }
}

Alternatively, you can configure the Microsoft.Sql/managedInstances/azureADOnlyAuthentications sub-resource. To deploy Microsoft.Sql/managedInstances/azureADOnlyAuthentications sub-resources that pass this rule:

  • Set the properties.azureADOnlyAuthentication property to true.

For example:

Azure Bicep snippet
resource aadOnly 'Microsoft.Sql/managedInstances/azureADOnlyAuthentications@2022-05-01-preview' = {
  name: 'Default'
  parent: managedInstance
  properties: {
    azureADOnlyAuthentication: true
  }
}

Notes#

The Azure AD admin must be set before enabling Azure AD-only authentication. Managed identity is required to allow support for Azure AD authentication in SQL Managed Instance.

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