What multi-factor authentication is and how it will impact how you log into your various SAIT accounts.
What’s Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and how does it work?
MFA supports cybersecurity at SAIT by adding another layer of verification to the account sign-in process. MFA goes beyond a username and password, requiring users to choose a secondary authentication method to access applications — for example, confirmation through a mobile device or by entering a code.
The following MFA methods are available:
- Use the Microsoft Authenticator app on your smartphone or tablet. With the app, you can approve login attempts (when your phone is connected to the internet) or retrieve authentication codes when your phone is offline. This is the most convenient and preferred method for MFA at SAIT.
- Using a desk phone, cell phone or smartphone to receive an automated voice phone call to approve login attempts.
- Using a cell phone or smartphone to receive authentication codes by text messages (SMS).
Why is MFA important?
Cybersecurity is an institutional priority at SAIT. During a typical month, SAIT experiences more than 100 attempted hacks. If a password is compromised, anyone with the password can access everything the account holder can access. MFA helps protect our online accounts and data and is particularly important to support remote work and access.
How will MFA be activated?
Once MFA has been applied to your account, you will be prompted to set up MFA to access Microsoft 365 applications and related systems.
MFA readiness checklist
- Before accessing any Microsoft 365 products and applications on the day of your MFA implementation, log out of all devices (desktop, PC, phone, etc.) that access Microsoft 365 through your SAIT email account.
- If you’re using a desktop or laptop, close all apps, browsers and tabs when initially setting up MFA to avoid being prompted to authenticate for each Microsoft 365 session that’s open.
- If you’re using a mobile device, such as your phone, as your second authentication method and you’re being asked to authenticate multiple times, close the email application on your mobile device and relaunch the application or reboot the phone.
- Some users may not be able to sync their Apple or Android mail emails on a native mail app after MFA is enabled. In this case, deleting and re-adding the email account should fix the problem. Alternatively, use the Microsoft Outlook app to sync emails on your phone. It creates a much more secure connection.
MFA set up
When setting up MFA you will be prompted to choose an authentication method. You will be asked to accept an authentication request or provide a code from your chosen method. Authentication will also be required when logging in from a new device or a different location and may be required to access systems that are authenticated through Microsoft 365. Setup includes three tasks:
- Task 1: Activate MFA. You will receive a prompt on the device you use to login.
- Task 2: Enroll in MFA. You will be taken through the setup automatically.
- Task 3: Receive a digital code (via the app or text) and input the code into the pop-up screen. From here, you can proceed to access Microsoft 365 applications.
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