Multi-Factor Authentication - with Microsoft

Have you logged into a website and been asked to further verify who you are by entering a code sent via text or email?  If so, you’ve used multi-factor authentication.  Many organizations are using it to improve account security, and now it’s here at Barry.

What is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)?

MFA is defined as a process that requires more than one method of authentication from independent sources to verify the user’s identity. A person using this method, is given access only after providing two or more pieces of information which uniquely identifies that person. This information is usually a combination of two of the below:

  • Validation of your password
  • Utilizing your mobile phone via text or Authenticator App

A common method for MFA is that you are sent an access code to your mobile phone that you enter or receive a notification that you approve through a mobile application, along with your usual username and password. The idea of MFA is to keep multiple layers of protection, making it difficult for a hacker to gain access to your account.

Why implement it?

It’s becoming well established that a traditional username and password combination no longer sufficiently protects against common cyberattacks, and lends itself to being vulnerable to:

  • Social engineering
  • Targeted phishing
  • Password cracking
  • Lax security by individuals

Implementing MFA can prevent an intruder from accessing your account even if your password was compromised. We think this will significantly reduce the incidence, anxiety and time lost during an identity theft.

How will MFA work at Barry?

When visiting online resources such as Workday, Canvas or email, we’ll ask you to enter another verification option in addition to your username and password, which includes any of the methods you've signed up for, including the Microsoft Authenticator App, text message and a Security Key.

We recommend taking a few minutes to update the security information on your account, and adding the verification methods you'd like to use.   If you haven't updated your security information, you'll be required to do so on after logging in. 

To set up Office 365 MFA for your account, follow one of the instructions below:

  • If you are prompted to provide additional security verification before accessing Office 365, follow the New Account set-up.

For more information and a list of frequently asked questions go to:  Office 365 MFA Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

This video provides a brief video explanation.

What options do I need to set up Office 365 MFA?

It is highly recommend to set up multiple authentication options so that no matter what situation you find yourself in, you are still able to access your Office 365 account. There are a variety of authentication options that can be chosen for Office 365, ranging from a push notification to a smartphone, a verification phone call, to a code sent by text message.

  • Option 1: Microsoft Authenticator App

This is the easiest option and recommended method for your Office 365 MFA. After you download and configure the Microsoft Authenticator app, your phone will prompt you at login to approve the login request. After you select approve on your phone you will be logged in.

This method does require a smartphone and downloading and app, also be sure to configure other options as a backup in case your phone is lost or damaged. This method can also generate 6-digit codes to use when you are out of country or without cellular data or Wi-Fi.

  • Option2: FIDO2 Security Key* (Physical Hardware)

Microsoft support several designs and providers of security keys using the Fast Identity Online (FIDO2) passwordless authentication protocols.
*purchase separately.

We've recommend the following:
Yubico Security Key Series

  • Option 3: Cell Phone Text (Will not be supported after May 2024

The next option is text message verification. After you type in your credentials to your account, it will ask permission to send a text message to your phone. After you click “Send”, you will receive a 6-digit code via text on your cell phone. Next you must enter this code into the field now located on the login window of your computer allowing you to be log in.

This method works for those without smartphones. There is no extra configuration required when you upgrade or replace your cell phone as long as your phone number stays the same.


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