What's the recommendation for an organisation with admins who administer multiple environments?

For example, we have the same administrator with privileged access to different Microsoft Entra Id tenancies - tenantA, tenantB and tenantC. Currently, a single admin has multiple accounts, one for each environment, the only advantage of this is that a compromised account won't impact the other environments, however:

  • it does mean a management overhead of multiple accounts and multiple passwords which is a slight pain to manage
  • it also leads to a user management issue where we have multiple admin accounts, it's not easy to de-provision accounts as it requires manual intervention in each tenancy and accounts often get forgotten.

I'm thinking of using a single account that has federated authentication to each tenant. The account will be controlled centrally from our main tenant. Is this a security risk? What's best practice?

Are there any NIST recommendations or similar around this?

  • 2
    The compromise of one admin account grants admin access to all those tenants... the "best practice" or recommendation here is obvious and straightforward, and I think you already know the answer. What you appear to want to know is how to do what you want to more securely than you are imagining. Am I correct?
    – schroeder
    Nov 8, 2023 at 14:14
  • Managing three accounts aren't an overhead, that's why password managers exist. My password manager have entries for more than 300 different accounts.
    – ThoriumBR
    Nov 8, 2023 at 17:07
  • OK, thanks. Separate admins it is.
    – Jay
    Nov 9, 2023 at 9:01


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