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Why Multi-Factor Authentication Is So Important for your Microsoft 365 Account

Cybersecurity can seem overwhelming at times. Your IT Provider handles this so why do you have to know so much about it? 

Our goal is to limit the impact any one cybersecurity layer has on our clients. However, in some situations it does require buy-in from our client base. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a perfect example of this. This is one of the few layers that will require the user to participate. 

What is Multi-Factor Authentication? 

In the past, a username and password has been somewhat sufficient to protect your accounts. However, more data is ending up on the dark web and easily accessible to the bad actors.  

MFA is a second form of authentication to login to your account, rather than just your password.  

While this may sound cumbersome, we make this easy.  

After implementing the rule that all users must have MFA, they will be prompted to set up a second form of authentication.  

There are multiple options to choose from: 

  1. Authenticator App – Preferred Method  
  1. Text code to their phone 
  1. Call their phone 
  1. USB Key – For organizations that do not have company owned mobile devices or do not want employees using personal devices to authenticate 

The user will just need to set up their preferred method and go through the prompts. This process is usually quick and easy, but we are here to help if they run into any roadblocks.  

The Authenticator App: 

This free app can be downloaded from an Apple or Samsung device. The user will be prompted to “add and account” and scan the QR code that is displayed on their computer screen. This will pair the app with their account. 

User Experience 

With this enabled, the user can now easily log in to their Microsoft 365 account but with significantly enhanced security on their account and your organization. 

They will be prompted every single time they login to a new device. However, their primary device will be remembered so it will not prompt the user every time, making it less intrusive. The primary concern is a login on a new device, which is why the policy is laxer for the daily/weekly use computer.  

Your question may be, how long does it take?  

What’s your favorite movie?  

It’s as quick to answer that question as it is to use MFA with your Microsoft 365 account. 

The Benefits of Multi-Factor Authentication 

There are few cybersecurity layers that have such a massive impact. According to Microsoft, 99.9% of account compromise attacks can be prevented with this enabled.  

While it’s impossible to completely prevent cyber attacks on your Microsoft 365 account, this layer makes it significantly more difficult for the bad actor to gain access to your businesses Microsoft 365 accounts. With more data than ever moving to the Microsoft platform, this layer is no longer a recommendation but a requirement.  

Microsoft will soon be requiring this for all accounts, so it’s best to get ahead of this change and start today.  

If you need help getting this started for your business, please reach out and we’ll walk you though the quick process.