Multi-Factor Authentication

What is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)?

MFA is a security system that requires users to verify their identity through multiple credentials before gaining access to a system. In essence, it adds an extra layer of protection beyond the traditional username and password. This additional layer is usually something you physically have, such as a mobile device or token.

This Microsoft page on multi-factor authentication and has a helpful video explaining how MFA works and how important it is in today’s connected world.

Microsoft – What is Multi-Factor Authentication?

Benefits of MFA for Your School:

  1. Enhanced Security: When implemented, MFA significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized access to systems, protecting sensitive data and the privacy of student and staff information.
  2. Mitigation of Cyber Threats: The education sector is a target for cyber threats. MFA acts as a powerful deterrent by making it exponentially more challenging for malicious actors to compromise accounts.
  3. Compliance: Implementing MFA aligns with industry best practice, regulatory requirements, and DfE Digital Technical Standards. This ensures your school meets or exceeds your data protection obligations.

Q&A’s for our schools

  1. When will I be prompted for my MFA credentials?

When you sign-in from a new device or location.

  1. Will I be prompted for my MFA credentials every time I login?

You will be given the option to save your MFA credentials for 14 days.

  1. What additional device is needed for the credentials?

A mobile phone. If this is not possible, an alternative device can be used such as a physical token, or a phone call to a landline.

  1. What if I am not able to have my phone with me when I log on?

Please log a call with the service desk to discuss your options.

  1. What app will I need to download on my phone?

Microsoft Authenticator or another compatible app.

  1. How do I set up the app initially?

Please read through the Schools ICT official guidance (to follow) or see here for Microsoft instructions:

Microsoft – How to use two-step verification with your Microsoft account

  1. Will it still work if my phone doesn’t have a signal?


  1. I don’t have a phone which can download the app, is there an option to receive a text message instead?


  1. Will this affect Google Classroom emails used by pupils for ICT lessons?

No, MFA will only be enabled on staff accounts.  This will not affect student accounts.

Contact us

If you have any queries or concerns, please contact our team who would be happy to help.

East Sussex County Council: 01273 482519

Brighton & Hove City Council: 01273 293663





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