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Changes in v10.0.0


Read the breaking changes below carefully and adjust your environment accordingly.

Breaking Changes in v10.0.0

Changes in globalSettings.jsonc


We heavily reworked the globalSettings.jsonc file. You will need to update the file.

Deprecated top-level elements:

  • globalNotScopes is moved as an array into each pacEnvironment. If you used the * notation, copy the array into each pacEnvironment.
  • managedIdentityLocations is moved as a string into each pacEnvironment. If you used the * notation, copy the string into each pacEnvironment.

Per pacEnvironment:

  • New required managedIdentityLocation string.
  • New optional globalNotScopes array.
  • New optional deployedBy string. We recommend against using it and let EPAC generate the default value.
  • inheritedDefinitionsScopes has been deprecated and removed. Please review the revised use case Use Case 4: Multiple Teams in a Hierarchical Organization.
  • cloud is now a required field. Previously, it was optional and defaulted to AzureCloud.
  • desiredState is now a required field.

desiredState has newly required fields:

  • strategy: was optional and defaulted to full. We recommend setting it to full, except during a short transition period to EPAC. This was changed to require an explicit decision.
  • keepDfcSecurityAssignments: replaces deleteDfcSecurityAssignments which defaulted to true. We highly recommend setting it to false and assigning any desired Initiative at management groups.

desiredState fields deleteExpiredExemptions and deleteOrphanedExemptions are deprecated and removed. Exemptions with an `unknownOwner are only deleted when strategy is full.

The recommended desiredState settings are now as follows:

"desiredState": {
    "strategy": "full",
    "keepDfcSecurityAssignments": false

During a brief transition from a pre-EPAC to an EPAC usage, you can set desiredState to ownedOnly to keep existing Policy resources. This is not recommended for long-term use.

"desiredState": {
    "strategy": "ownedOnly",
    "keepDfcSecurityAssignments": false

Desired State Handling for Policy Assignments

Field desiredState.includeResourceGroups is deprecated/removed. This change removes all Policy Assignments in resource groups not defined in the Policy Assignment definition files. To keep the previous behavior, add a pattern "/subscriptions/*/resourceGroups/*" to the"excludedScopes"` array.

Desired state handling for Policy Assignments related to Defender for Cloud (DfC) automatic Policy Assignments has been reworked. DfC creates two different types of Policy Assignments at the subscription level.

  • Security and Compliance Initiatives, such as, Microsoft cloud security benchmark, NIST SP 800-53, ... EPAC calls them DfC Security Policy Assignments. The PAC owner is listed as managedByDfcSecurityPolicies
  • Initiatives assigned by DfC when enrolling a subscription in a DfC workload protection plan. These assignments contain Policies required by DfC for finding vulnerabilities and threats. EPAC calls them DfC Defender Plan Policy Assignments. The PAC owner is listed as managedByDfcDefenderPlans.

Previously, the desiredState.deleteDfcSecurityAssignments field (default true) and was used to control the deletion of DfC both types of auto-assigned Policy Assignments at the subscription level when the desiredState.strategy was "full". The new field is keepDfcSecurityAssignments.

  • This behavior is now independent of the desiredState.strategy field. Therefore it will delete DfC Security Policy Assignments at the subscription level, unless desiredState.keepDfcSecurityAssignments is set to true.
  • Assignments created by DfC when enrolling a subscription in a DfC workload protection plan are never deleted starting with v10.0.0

Build-PolicyDocumentation.ps1 ignores Policies with effect Manual

  • Build-PolicyDocumentation.ps1 skips Policies with effect Manual. Using the switch parameter -IncludeManualPolicies overrides this behavior reverting to the previous behavior.

Deprecated Operational Scripts

EPAC had multiple operational scripts which are not Policy as Code related. These scripts are now deprecated and will be removed in a future release. The scripts have been moved to a new folder Scripts-Deprecated and are not included in the PowerShell module. The scripts are:

  • Get-AzMissingTags.ps1
  • Get-AzResourceTags.ps1
  • Get-AzStorageNetworkConfig.ps1
  • Get-AzUserRoleAssignments.ps1

We recommend that you use Azure Governance Visualizer (AzGovViz) for these tasks.

Enhancements planned for v10.1.0

  • Script to update CSV effect/parameter files preserving extra columns:
  • Automatically disable deprecated Policies:
  • Cleanup/Improve Export-PolicyResources and Build-PolicyDocumentation scripts: and
  • Simplify exemption creation by allowing lists of scopes and Policy definitions:
  • Clarify SPNs, Least Privilege, and environments for CI/CD:

Enhancements in v10.0.0

Support for Cloud environments with limited Support for Resource Graph Queries

  • US Government Cloud handling of Role Assignments
  • China cloud (21v) handling for Role Assignments and Exemptions.

Cross-tenant (Lighthouse) support for Role Assignments.

Cross-tenant Role Assignments are now supported. This is used if log collection is directed to a resource (Log Analytics, Event Hub. Storage) in a management tenant (e.g, Azure Lighthouse, and similar constructs) which requires you to use additionalRoleAssignments in the Policy Assignment file.

Simplified Exemption definitions

Exemptions can be specified with a policyDefinitionName or policyDefinitionId instead of a policyAssignmentId and policyDefinitionReferenceId. EPAC creates as many Exemptions as needed to cover all Policy Assignments occurrences of the specified Policy - Support for Microsoft release flow in addition to GitHub flow (documentation and starter kit) - Schema updated to latest draft specification

Description field in Role Assignments

The description field in Role Assignments is now populated with the Policy Assignment Id, reason and deployedBy value. This is useful for tracking the source of the Role Assignment.

Reasons is one of:

  • Role Assignment required by Policy - Policy definition(s) specify the required Role Definition Ids.
  • additional Role Assignment - from filed "additionalRoleAssignments" in the Policy Assignment file.
  • additional cross tenant Role Assignment - from filed "additionalRoleAssignments" with crossTenant set to $true in the Policy Assignment file.

Metadata deployedBy and assignedBy

deployedBy is a new field in the global settings per pacEnvironment. It is used to populate the metadata fields in the deployed resources.

If not defined in global settings, EPAC generates it as "epac/{{pacOwnerId}}/{{pacSelector}}". You can override this value in the Policy resource file by entering it directly to the respective metadata field. It is added to the deployed resources as follows:

  • Policy Definitions, Policy Set Definitions and Policy Exemptions - metadata.deployedBy.
  • Policy Assignments - metadata.assignedBy since Azure Portal displays it as 'Assigned by'.
  • Role Assignments - add the value to the description field.

Schema Updates

Updating JSON schema to the latest specification 2020-12.

Documentation Updates

Reorganized the documentation to make it easier to find information. Added a new section on how to use the starter kit and how to use the Microsoft release flow.