MFA: FAQs Multi-factor Authentication

Article Type: General Information


Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) FAQs

This article covers:

  • 1)  What is Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)?
  • 2)  Why is MFA needed?
  • 3)  Does Minnesota State require accounts to be MFA enrolled?
  • 4)  Does MFA store my personal phone data?
  • 5)  How will I be prompted for MFA verification?
  • 6) What should I do when I get a verification request I don’t recognize?
  • 7)  How often will I be prompted for verification?
  • 8)  How do I set up and enroll in to MFA to attain this added layer of security protection?
  • 9)  What applications are MFA supported?
  • 10)  I am both an employee and student - what do I need to know?
  • 11) What if I am employed or take classes at multiple Minnesota State institutions?
  • 12) How do I add an alternate sign-in authentication option or make changes to my MFA options?
  • 13) Why is setting up an alternate backup phone number important? How can I avoid being locked out of my account?
  • 14) I have set up an alternate sign-in authentication option, how do I view and select alternate sign-in options?
  • 15) I will be transitioning to a new phone or new phone number, what do I need to do?

  • 1) What is Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)?

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), in some instances referred to as 2-Factor authentication, is a form of authentication which provides an added layer of protection, beyond just your password. This added authentication verification helps verify that a person logging in to an account is authorized to access that account.

  • 2) Why is MFA needed?

With the vast increase of security attacks across all business with an added increase of targeted attacks across higher education institutions, passwords alone are no longer enough to protect Minnesota State institutions’ data and resources.

  • 3) Does Minnesota State require accounts to be MFA enrolled?

Yes. The O365 multi-factor authentication is a service provided through the Minnesota State Microsoft O365 tenant. The Minnesota State System Office IT in partnership with each Minnesota State institution requires all accounts to have MFA enrollment. This solution helps protect not only your account, but all data and applications connected to the Minnesota State O365 tenant.  

  • 4) Does MFA store my personal phone data?

No. None of your personal data is stored from any phone device you select for MFA set up and enrollment or by installing and using the Microsoft Authenticator app. MFA is not designed for data storage, it’s design and purpose is as an authentication utility. The Microsoft Authenticator app verifies authentication within the sign-in process in order to access Minnesota State O365 provided services.

  • 5) How will I be prompted for MFA verification?

When you log in to O365 connected applications, after entry of your MinnState credentials, you will receive a notification via the device and MFA notification option you selected during set up (a text, a phone call, or mobile Microsoft Authenticator App verification) to prompt you to confirm verification.

  • 6) What should I do when I get a verification request I don’t recognize?

If you receive approval requests for access to your Office 365 and you are not actively signing in to Minnesota State O365 connected applications (in other words you did not just attempt to log in to your O365 account using your Minnesota State O365 login credentials) then deny the access.

Stay Vigilant:

  • You will not be prompted by MFA without your attempt to log in. MFA verification will never prompt you first. Do not approve or take action on any prompts if you are not logging into your account.
  • No one, including IT Services, Metropolitan State University, Minnesota State Colleges or Universities, or other entities which may appear to be related, will ever contact or prompt you to ask you to “approve” an MFA notification or ask for a verification code.  
  • Do not press # key for verification or enter verification code if you receive a voice call on your mobile device, office, or alternate phone. Ensure your spouse or trusted family doesn’t automatically enter the key(s) without checking with you first.
  • 7) How often will I be prompted for verification?

You will not be prompted for verification every time you sign in. Generally, it's only used the first time you sign into an app or device. Whenever you change your password, you will be prompted for verification. If you are not actively logging in to a MinnState connected O365 provided service do not approve verification.

  • 8) I am a new employee/student, how do I set up MFA?

Refer to: MFA Main Article: Set up O365 Multi-factor Authentication

  • 9) What applications are MFA supported?

Refer to: MFA Supported Applications

  • 10) I am both an employee and student - what do I need to know?

If you are both employee and student, you will need to set up MFA on both your employee and student accounts.

  • 11) What if I am employed or take classes at multiple Minnesota State institutions?

If you are employed or take classes at multiple Minnesota State University / Colleges you only need to do this once per employee/student account.

  • 12) How do I add an alternate sign-in authentication option or make changes to my MFA options?

Refer to: MFA: Set Up Alternate Sign-in, Add or Make Changes

  • 13) Why is setting up an alternate backup phone number important? How can I avoid being locked out of my account?

To help ensure you are not locked out of your account, it is important to set up one or more alternate options in the event you do not have access to your primary phone, for instance if:

  • You do not have immediate access to your primary authentication phone
  • Your phone battery is dead
  • Your primary phone device is lost, stolen or damaged
  • You get a new phone and no longer have your original primary phone number

Instructions: MFA: Set Up Alternate Sign-in, Add or Make Changes

  • 14) I have set up one or more alternate sign-in authentication options, how do I view and select one?

Refer to: MFA: Select an Alternate Sign-In Option

  • 15) I will be transitioning to a new phone or new phone number, what do I need to do?

Refer to: MFA: New Phone or Number Change

Details

Article ID: 132528
Created
Tue 5/18/21 2:48 PM
Modified
Fri 1/21/22 10:32 AM

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