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.
Benefits of MFA for Your School:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- When will I be prompted for my MFA credentials?
When you sign-in from a new device or location.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- What app will I need to download on my phone?
Microsoft Authenticator or another compatible app.
- How do I set up the app initially?
Please read through the Schools ICT official guidance (to follow) or see here for Microsoft instructions:
- Will it still work if my phone doesn’t have a signal?
- I don’t have a phone which can download the app, is there an option to receive a text message instead?
- 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.