Customize MFA Enrollments in New Universal Login

Auth0 supports a variety of factors for securing user access with multi-factor authentication (MFA). Using post-login Actions, you can customize your MFA flows to prompt users to enroll in specific factors. After a user enrolls in a factor, they can use that factor as a secondary method of authentication in future logins.

You can also use contextual information to further customize your MFA enrollment flows. For example, you can prompt users to enroll in SMS for one application while prompting them to enroll in push notifications or WebAuthN for a different application.

This feature allows you to customize your MFA enrollment flows. If you want to customize MFA flows for users who are already enrolled, review Customize MFA Selection in New Universal Login.

How it works

You can use Actions to customize your MFA enrollment flows. Specifically, you can modify the post-login trigger of the Login Flow with the following Authentication API methods:

  • enrollWith: Specifies the default factor presented to users during enrollment. Optionally, you can provide an alternative list of factors for users to choose from. If provided, a Try Another Method link displays on the enrollment prompt.

  • enrollWithAny: Specifies a set of factors users can choose from during enrollment. By default, this method presents a selection prompt that allows users to choose their desired factor. In some cases, the user experience may vary:

    • If two or more factors have been specified, the selection prompt displays to the user.

    • If the user has already enrolled in all specified factors except one, the selection prompt is skipped, and the user is prompted to enroll in the remaining factor.

    • If the user has already enrolled in all specified factors, the command fails, and the login sequence continues.

You can use a combination of these methods to customize your MFA enrollment flows. You can also incorporate user metadata, such as roles or last login date, to create more tailored experiences.

Customized enrollment flows support the following factors:

  • otp

  • recovery-code

  • push-notification

  • phone

    • preferredMethod: voice

    • preferredMethod: sms

    • preferredMethod: both

  • webauthn-platform

  • webauthn-roaming

After a user enrolls in a factor, its value is added to their enrolledFactors. This property represents the list of active factors associated with their user account.

The array event.authentication.methods includes a type field when the name of the method is set to mfa. This field contains factor values (string) that match those used by the type field from enrolledFactors.

When an MFA enrollment occurs, methods contains the object of name:mfa with type set to the factor used for that event. methods and enrolledFactors are only updated when an Action first begins. You can access the results of an enrollment event in the next Action of the flow.

To learn more, review the following resources:

Sequenced and contextual flows

With the enrollWith or enrollWithAny commands, you can use contextual information to determine the best enrollment or series of enrollments to present to users.

  • The enrollWith command supports an initial or default factor and a list of alternatives. Users can only enroll in one factor per command.

  • The enrollWithAny command supports a list of factors. The specified order of factors determines how the list displays to users. Users can only enroll in one factor per command.

With these commands, you can leverage the following:

  • Sequenced flows: Enroll users with a series of factors in a specific order.

  • Contextual flows: Determine which factor to prompt the user with based on metadata or previous commands in the flow.

To help illustrate these flows, consider the following example:

Action 1

exports.onExecutePostLogin = async (event, api) => {
  if (event.user.enrolledFactors.length) {
    // already enrolled, challenge
    api.authentication.challengeWithAny(event.user.enrolledFactors.map(m => ({type: m.type})));
    if (event.user.app_metadata.isAdmin &&
        !event.user.enrolledFactors.some(m => m.type === 'webauthn-roaming')) {
          // if is admin and doesn't have a security key, meaning a different factor was used, enroll now
          api.authentication.enrollWith({type: 'webauthn-roaming'})
        }
  }
  else {
    // not enrolled; choose a factor to enroll now
    api.authentication.enrollWithAny([{type: 'webauthn-roaming'}, {type: 'otp'}]);
    if (event.user.app_metadata.isAdmin) {
      // one more factor for admins
      api.authentication.enrollWithAny([{type: 'webauthn-roaming'}, {type: 'otp'}]);
    }
  }
};

Action 2

exports.onExecutePostLogin = async (event, api) => {
  function performed(type) {
    return event.authentication.methods.some(m => m.name === 'mfa' &&
           m.type === type &&
           Date.now() - new Date(m.timestamp).getTime() < 5000)
  }
  if (event.user.app_metadata.isAdmin) {
      // enforce both factors are used by challenging the one that has not been used yet
      if (!performed('webauthn-roaming')) {
        api.authentication.challengeWith({type: 'webauthn-roaming'})
      }
      else if (!performed('otp')) {
        api.authentication.challengeWith({type: 'otp'})
      }
  }
};

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These two Actions combine to create a scenario where users without the admin role are required to enroll with either a one-time password (OTP) or a security key. Conversely, users with the admin role must enroll in both factors.

Action 1 reviews the app_metadata to determine if the user is an admin, then prompts them to enroll in specific factors. If an admin user has only enrolled in OTP, they are first challenged with OTP to complete their authentication. They are then prompted to enroll with security keys (webauthn-roaming).

The flow pauses after Action 1 executes, and both event.user.enrolledFactors and event.authentication.methods will be updated when Action 2 runs. This allows the Action code to make decisions based on actual user data when users are given a choice to challenge or enroll in different factors.

Note: This method of executing Actions only applies to those containing enrollWith or enrollWithAny commands. Actions serving other purposes are not affected.

Before you begin

Before you can customize your MFA flows, you must set up MFA in your tenant and enable the Customize MFA Factors using Actions setting. You can enable one or more factors and define your MFA policies on your Auth0 Dashboard under Security > Multi-factor Auth.

To customize your flows, you must enable the Customize MFA Factors using Actions toggle in the Additional Settings section. Your customized flows will not work properly if this setting is not enabled.

Auth0 Dashboard > Security > Multi-factor Auth > Additional Settings

Note: Actions with enrollWith or enrollWithAny commands override any existing policies or rules that enable or disable MFA in a tenant.

Customize MFA enrollment flows

After setting up MFA for your tenant, you can create post-login Actions to customize your MFA enrollment flows.

Create your post-login Action

You can create Actions through the Auth0 Dashboard:

  1. Navigate to Actions > Flows and select Login.

  2. In the Add Action panel, select the plus sign (+) icon and choose Build from scratch

  3. On the Create Action popup:

    • Enter a name for your Action.

    • Select Login / Post-Login as the trigger.

    • Use Node 18 (Recommended) for the runtime.

  4. Review the popup to ensure accuracy. Then, select Create.

  5. In the code editor, add your custom code to the onPostExecute command. 

  6. When your command is ready, select Deploy.

  7. Select Add to Flow on the successful deployment notification.

    • Note: If the notification closes, choose Back to Flow above the code editor.

  8. Drag and drop your new command from the Add Action panel into your Login flow. Then, select Apply.

To make additional changes after saving, navigate to Actions > Library > Custom and select your Action. You can then update and redeploy your code as needed.

Test your post-login Action

To ensure your commands function appropriately, you can test your Action through the Auth0 Dashboard:

  1. Navigate to Authentication > Authentication Profile.

  2. Select Try to open a sample login prompt in a new tab.

  3. Enter your credentials and test your new MFA flow.

If the flow is successful, a confirmation screen displays. If you encounter any issues, you can update your code by navigating to Actions > Library > Custom in your Auth0 Dashboard.

Troubleshooting

In the event that you experience errors or unexpected results from your customized MFA enrollments, you can use the information below to help identify and resolve these issues.

Tenant Logs

You can monitor your customized MFA enrollments through tenant logs.

Tenant logs are available in the Auth0 Dashboard under Monitoring > Logs. Alternatively, you can retrieve logs using the Management API.

If you or your users experience unexpected behavior, review tenant logs for the following event codes to learn more:

Scenario Event Error Message
A user is prompted to enroll with a specific factor. However, the requested factor meets one of the following conditions:
  • The factor is not enabled in your tenant.
  • The factor is not supported by the user's browser.
  • The user has already enrolled in the requested factor.
In this scenario, the user can complete the flow if alternative factors are available.
w An MFA enrollment is used in a PostLogin action, but the requested factor ${factor.name} is not properly set up. Enable the requested factor and ensure the user is not already enrolled with it.
A user is prompted to enroll with one or more factors, but the supplied factors cannot be used for enrollment. In this case, the user cannot complete the flow. mfar An MFA enrollment is used in a PostLogin action but the requested factors are not properly set up. To perform MFA, enable the requested factors and ensure the user is not already enrolled with them.
A user attempts to enroll in a new factor without completing at least one challenge using an existing enrollment. mfar An MFA enrollment was requested but the user is already enrolled in MFA. Challenge with at least one existing factor before enrolling a new one.

Troubleshooting checklist

The following checklist provides additional suggestions for identifying and resolving common issues with customized MFA flows.

  1. The Customize MFA factors with Actions toggle must be enabled.

  2. Factors referenced in your Actions must be enabled in your tenant.

  3. Ensure your Actions have been deployed and saved in your Pipeline.

    1. Navigate to Auth0 Dashboard > Actions > Library > Custom. Locate your Action in the list and ensure its status is Deployed. If a different status is listed, access your Action, review your code, and click Deploy to the top right.

    2. Navigate to Auth0 Dashboard > Actions > Library > Flows and select Login. Ensure your Action is listed in the flow. If not, access the Custom tab of the Add Action panel and drag and drop your Action into your Login flow. Then, select Apply.

  4. Ensure you've upgraded to the latest version of post-login Actions.

    • Navigate to Auth0 Dashboard > Actions > Library > Custom and select your Action. If your Action is out-of-date, you will see a yellow banner prompting you to update the Action. If the banner displays, select Update.

    • You can also specify the latest version of post-login Actions for deployment when using the Deploy CLI. For more information, review Configure the Deploy CLI.