Setting up Multi-Factor Authentication for Office 365

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a security system that verifies a user’s identity by requiring multiple credentials. Traditional usernames and passwords can be stolen and they’ve become increasingly more vulnerable to brute force attacks (using computing power to continuously attempt different password combinations). With MFA, a cybercriminal may steal one credential but will be thwarted by having to verify identity in a different manner.

The below instructions will detail how to set up the Microsoft Authenticator app on your phone as your second authentication method. In addition to using your username and password to log in to some services, you will also be required to approve this sign-in through the Authenticator app on your phone (usually through an Approve/Deny notification). This means that even if your username and password gets stolen or guessed, the sign-in cannot succeed unless you approve it with your phone.

The Authenticator app on your phone functions as a physical key to your account. This means that if you lose your phone, uninstall the app, wipe/reset your phone, or get a new phone then you will not be able to verify your identity to access your account. You can set your phone number as a secondary authentication method to cover these circumstances so that you can still access your account and then add a new Authenticator app.

Instructions

All you will need to complete this is a mobile phone.

These steps are fairly similar whether you have never set up an Authenticator app before or if you are setting up an additional or replacement phone.

1. On your phone web browser, navigate to https://aka.ms/mysecurityinfo.

2. Sign in with your email address.

3. Enter your password or Temporary Access Pass (if you have been given one).

4. You will be prompted “More information required”. Click Next.

 

 

If you already have the Microsoft Authenticator app installed on your phone, skip to Step 7

 

5. Click the Download now link in the blue font.

 

6. This will take you to the Microsoft Authenticator app in either the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. Download and install the app.

7. Return to your web browser and click the Next button.

8. Click the Pair your account to the app by clicking this link button in the blue font.

9. This should open the Authenticator app and add your account automatically. You should see an entry with St Vincent’s Institute and your account listed underneath.

10. Return to your web browser and click the Next button

11. It will now test that the app is working correctly by sending you a test notification.

Open the notification when it appears and then click the approve button.

12. You will then need to set up a second authentication method to use as a backup in case the app is not working or is inaccessible.

  • Change the region to Australia

  • Enter your mobile phone number

  • Select whether you want to receive a text or a phone call

  • Enter the verification code received by SMS, or answer the phone call and follow the instructions

13. After successfully setting up and verifying your Authenticator app and phone number, you will now be able to use either of these to complete Multi-Factor Authentication when signing in to your Microsoft account

 

Troubleshooting

If you encounter any issues during setup such as:

  • The Next buttons not functioning and/or showing a never-ending loading circle

  • Red error banners with “an unexpected error occured”

  • Accidentally closing the web browser

  • etc

You will need to start again from the beginning by following the below:

  1. Remove the failed SVI account from the Authenticator app (if present)

    1. Open the app

    2. Tap on the St Vincent’s Institute entry with the account you’re trying to set up

    3. Click the Settings cog icon at the top right

    4. Click “Remove account”

  2. Close any browser windows

  3. Try using a private/incognito window

  4. Follow the above instructions again from Step 1

 

If you continue to encounter issues with setting up your Authenticator app, please submit an IT Request. Please include details such as which step above you cannot get past.