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multi-factor authentication
Most modern-day organisations are moving their business to the cloud, and that means making the switch to Microsoft Office 365. It’s never been more critical to protect user accounts and sensitive company data.

One of the best ways to safeguard any information stored in the cloud is by enabling Office 365 multi-factor authentication. In this article, we’ll examine what multi-factor authentication is, what it can achieve, and how to use it to secure personal data.

Let’s get started.

What is multi-factor authentication?

Multi-factor authentication adds additional layers of protection to online accounts. When enabled, users are required to provide more than their username and password when logging in. Things like a code sent to your mobile phone or a security question are examples of multi-factor authentication.

How multi-factor authentication works in Office 365

In Microsoft Office 365, multi-factor authentication requires users to prove their identity before they can access their data. This means that if someone steals your username and password details, they still won’t be able to log in.

Although multi-factor authentication is a part of Azure, it’s free with every Office 365 subscription. You have three options:

  1. Receive a phone call to your registered number. When logging in, you’ll receive a phone call on either a mobile or landline number. Upon answering, you’ll be asked to press the hash (#) key to confirm your identity.
  2. Receive a text message to your registered number. When logging in, you’ll receive a one-time password (OTP) via text message to your mobile phone. You then enter the OTP on-screen.
  3. Use the Microsoft Authenticator app. Download the Microsoft Authenticator app. When logging in, you’ll be given an OTP or push notification. Enter the OTP on-screen.


You can use just one of these options, or you can configure multiple options. An Office 365 global admin can also set multi-factor authentication as a default for all users within an organisation. Individual users can then add additional factors to their accounts.

How to enable multi-factor authentication in Office 365

office 365 login

You must be a global administrator to set up multi-factor authentication. First, sign in. Then follow these steps:

  1. Head to https://portal.office.com and navigate to the Admin Centre here https://portal.office.com/adminportal/home.
  2. On the left, expand the Users tab and select Active Users.
  3. Now, click the dropdown arrow beside More and click Setup Azure multi-factor auth.
  4. Choose the users you’d like to set up multi-factor authentication for – you can select all by clicking the checkbox near Display Name at the top of the page.
  5. When you have selected the required users, click Enable.

There are three different multi-factor authentication statuses a user can be in Office 365:

  1. This is the default for a new user.
  2. The admin has enabled multi-factor authentication but has not finished the registration process. Next time the user signs in, they will be prompted to complete the process.
  3. The admin has enabled multi-factor authentication and the user has completed the registration process. They are now actively using multi-factor authentication.

How users configure multi-factor authentication

When the administrator enables multi-factor authentication for a user, they will be prompted to register their details the next time they sign in.

Here’s how the process works:

  1. Users will head to their Office 365 portal at https://portal.office.com and sign in.
  2. The user will then be prompted to register for multi-factor authentication. They will be taken to the Additional security verifications page where they can choose their preferred contact method.
  3. After they’ve entered their details, the user will click Done. They have now successfully set up multi-factor authentication and will be signed in to their account.

How to login to Office 365 with multi-factor authentication

Logging in to Office 365 with multi-factor authentication enable is easy – that is, of course, if you are the legitimate owner of the account.

  1. Visit the Office 365 portal at https://portal.office.com and enter your email. Click Next.
  2. Enter your password and click Sign in.
  3. Office 365 will prompt you to complete the second factor of authentication, depending on which is enabled on your account.
  4. Once successfully completed, you will have full access to office 365 and all of its services.

Protect your business’s data with Office 365 multi-factor authentication

Multi-factor authentication is an easy and effective way to protect data stored on Microsoft Office 365 – if you’re serious about security, it’s imperative to set it up as soon as possible.

If you’d like professional help configuring multi-factor authentication – or anything to do with Office 365 – please do not hesitate to get in contact. Our team are Office 365 experts and can help you take full advantage of its many powerful capabilities. Call today on 1300 553 166 or fill out the form on this page, and we’ll be in touch soon.

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