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How to implement Multi-Factor Authentication in Office 365

Multi-Factor Authentication, MFA, is a very useful tool for adding an extra layer of security. Rather than relying on a single username and password, a third and completely separate authentication method is required. Popular ones include OTC, One-Time Codes that are sent to mobiles. In the case of Office 365, it can use a call, SMS or mobile notification.

If you’re running a small business with Office 365, chances are you will have the Admin console from which you control every aspect of your service. It is from here that you can implement Multi-Factor Authentication and enforce it for every staff member. It’s a small security feature but it has a big impact.

Multi-Factor Authentication in Office 365

The admin console in Office 365 is only available to domain hosting or business subscriptions. If you use Office 365 Home, you won’t have it.

  1. Open Office 365 and select Admin from the main screen.
  2. Select the up arrow beside Settings to expand the menu.
  3. Select Services and Add-ins.
  4. Select Azure multi-factor authentication from the next page.
  5. Select Manage multi-factor authentication on the next page.
  6. Select Service Settings from the text link at the top.
  7. Check the box next to ‘Allow users to remember multi-factor authentication’ and set a time limit. This is how often users will have to verify using MFA.
  8. Select Save.
  9. Select Users from the text link at the top.
  10. Check the box next to a user and select Enable.
  11. Select Enable Multi-Factor Authentication in the popup window.
  12. Repeat for everyone you want to use MFA.
  13. Select Close once done.

Now whenever staff try to log into Office 365 they will see a prompt that says something like ‘Your organization needs more information to keep your account secure’. They will need to select Next and enter security verification details. This is usually a phone number. They enter their phone number and then select ‘Send me a code by text message’.

Once the code is received, it should be entered into the window and Office 365 authenticates. Now they can log in and begin work as normal.

The authentication process should take less than a minute and depending on how long a period you set in Step 7, they will have to repeat this every day, week, fortnight or month.

MFA is a solid way to help secure your productivity apps and we definitely recommend implementing it. It’s a minor inconvenience for staff but takes less than a minute and could make a real difference to your data security.

If you would like more help securing your business, contact New Jersey Computer Help today!

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