Microsoft Office 365Multi-factor authentication has been available for administrative roles since June 2013, however, Microsoft recently added multi-factor authentication for all users of its Office 365 suite. “The multifactor authentication increases the security of user logins for cloud services above and beyond just a password,” Microsoft said.

The company will also bring multi-factor authentication to Office 2013 desktop applications, including Outlook, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and SkyDrive Pro later in 2014.

What is Multi-Factor Authentication?

Multi-factor authentication is a method of authentication which requires the user to present two or more authentication factors. Office 365 multi-factor authentication will require:

  1. A knowledge factor (for example: a password)
  2. A possession factor (for example: a code generated on a smartphone)

The first authentication factor will be a password and the second authentication factor ranges from entering a unique six-digit code sent to the user’s smartphone, answering a phone call, or confirming through an app on the user’s smartphone. Microsoft explained, “Only after this second authentication factor has been satisfied can a user sign in.”

Office 365 administrations have the option of enrolling users for multi-factor authentication through the Office 365 admin center. While the new feature is optional, administrators can enforce multi-factor authentication for specific users, for example, employees who work with sensitive information.

Once users are enrolled for multi-factor authentication, Office 365 will prompt users to set up their second authentication factor upon signing in. If the user chooses to use app notifications or a one-time code, smartphone apps will provide these authentication factors for Windows Phone, Android, and iPhone.

The multi-factor authentication feature is a no-cost update for all Office 365 subscriptions, including Office 365 Midsize Business, Academic plans, Enterprise plans, Non-profit plans, and standalone Office 365 plans.

To learn more about the multi-factor authentication feature for Office 365 users, give us a call at (613) 828-1280 or send us an email at Fuelled Networks can help you utilize the latest security measures to protect your sensitive data. 

I have a strong passion for helping Ottawa Businesses, Entrepreneurs and professionals to become more productive and successful while allowing them to feel at ease and secure when it comes to their Information Technology needs. As the President of Fuelled Networks since 1998, I specialize in providing no-nonsense flawless and prompt technical support to Ottawa businesses, with in-depth consulting on Fortinet, Microsoft, Microsoft Cloud Stack and security. I strive to help businesses to succeed and take great pride in building long-lasting positive relationships and taking on a strong leadership role within the Ottawa community.

Published On: 13th February 2014 by Ernie Sherman.