Multi-factor authentication is now available for both administrator and end user accounts.  This service is now available Office 365, Windows Intune, and Microsoft Azure.

One of the risks of cloud technologies is that they are accessible from anywhere.  This means that any hacker can try to log into your account from anywhere in the world.  User names are usually public and widely known (i.e. an email address).  The only thing standing between the hacker and your personal data is a password.  Many users do not change their passwords as often as they should.  This makes them vulnerable to brute force attacks by powerful computers.  Sometimes users write down their passwords because they are unable to remember them.  This creates the risk of passwords getting lost or stolen.

Multi-factor authentication increases the security of user logins for cloud services above and beyond a password.  With Multi-Factor Authentication, users are required to acknowledge a phone call, text message, or an app notification on their smartphone after correctly entering their password. Only after this second authentication factor has been satisfied can a user sign in.

Some Office desktop applications such as Outlook and Lync are not able to support multi-factor authentication yet.  This will be addressed in a future release.  App Passwords allow users to authenticate to Office desktop applications when multi-factor authentication is enabled for the user account.

This addition of multi-factor authentication is part of Microsoft’s ongoing effort to enhance security for its enterprise cloud services including Office 365, Windows Intune, and Microsoft Azure.  Multi-factor authentication is a recommended security measure for administrators to access these services to prevent unauthorized access.  Now multi-factor authentication is available for end user accounts to provide additional protection for their personal data.

Any of the following may be used for the second factor of authentication.

1. Call my mobile phone. The user receives a phone call that asks them to press the pound key. Once the pound key is pressed, the user is logged in.

2. Text code to my mobile phone. The user receives a text message containing a six-digit code that they must enter into the portal.

3. Call my office phone. This is the same as Call my mobile phone, but it enables the user to select a different phone if they do not have their mobile phone with them.

4. Notify me through app. The user configured a smartphone app and they receive a notification in the app that they must confirm the login. Smartphone apps are available for Windows Phone, iPhone, and Android devices.

5. Show one-time code in app. The same smartphone app is used. Instead of receiving a notification, the user starts the app and enters the six-digit code from the app into the portal.

If you are concerned about the security of your data in the cloud, please contact Kloud Solutions using the following URL:

Azure Platform, Communication and Collaboration, Exchange, Identity and Access Management, Lync, Office 365, SharePoint

Comments are closed.