Authorize access to Azure Event Hubs

Every time you publish or consume events/data from an event hub, your client is trying to access Event Hubs resources. Every request to a secure resource must be authorized so that the service can ensure that the client has the required permissions to publish/consume the data.

Azure Event Hubs offers the following options for authorizing access to secure resources:

  • Azure Active Directory
  • Shared access signature


This article applies to both Event Hubs and Apache Kafka scenarios.

Azure Active Directory

Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) integration for Event Hubs resources provides Azure role-based access control (Azure RBAC) for fine-grained control over a client's access to resources. You can use Azure RBAC to grant permissions to security principal, which may be a user, a group, or an application service principal. The security principal is authenticated by Azure AD to return an OAuth 2.0 token. The token can be used to authorize a request to access an Event Hubs resource.

For more information about authenticating with Azure AD, see the following articles:

Shared access signatures

Shared access signatures (SAS) for Event Hubs resources provide limited delegated access to Event Hubs resources. Adding constraints on time interval for which the signature is valid or on permissions it grants provides flexibility in managing resources. For more information, see Authenticate using shared access signatures (SAS).

Authorizing users or applications using an OAuth 2.0 token returned by Azure AD provides superior security and ease of use over shared access signatures (SAS). With Azure AD, there's no need to store the access tokens with your code and risk potential security vulnerabilities. While you can continue to use shared access signatures (SAS) to grant fine-grained access to Event Hubs resources, Azure AD offers similar capabilities without the need to manage SAS tokens or worry about revoking a compromised SAS.

By default, all Event Hubs resources are secured, and are available only to the account owner. Although you can use any of the authorization strategies outlined above to grant clients access to Event Hub resources. Microsoft recommends using Azure AD when possible for maximum security and ease of use.

For more information about authorization using SAS, see Authorizing access to Event Hubs resources using Shared Access Signatures.

Next steps