Add a Critical Level of Security to Your Business with Multi-Factor Authentication in Microsoft 365

With all the cyber threats popping up all day, every day, protecting your business’s sensitive data is more crucial than ever. One of the most effective ways to secure your Microsoft 365 environment is by implementing Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). This guide will walk you through the necessary steps to set up MFA and highlight its benefits for your business.

What is Multi-Factor Authentication?

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) adds an extra layer of security to the login process by requiring users to provide two or more verification methods. This typically includes something you know (password), something you have (smartphone or security key), or something you are (fingerprint or facial recognition).

Why Does Your Business Need MFA

Implementing MFA significantly enhances security by reducing the risk of unauthorised access, even if passwords are compromised. It also helps businesses comply with regulations that mandate MFA for protecting sensitive data. Additionally, MFA reduces password fatigue among users (because who has time remember them all?!), as they are less likely to rely on weak passwords when they know an extra verification step is in place. So, what are the steps to implement MFA?

1. Enable Security Defaults

Security defaults Microsoft are enabling this on all tenants across by default so the Users setup the MFA. Sign in to the Microsoft Entra admin center with at least a Security Administrator role.
Navigate to Identity > Overview > Properties.
Select Manage security defaults.
Set Security defaults to Enabled and save your settings.
This approach is suitable for most organisations and provides a good balance of security and convenience.

2. Configure Conditional Access Policies

For businesses with more specific security needs, Conditional Access policies give you more control than Security defaults if you need more features for the policy.

Start by logging in to the Azure Active Directory admin center.
Go to All services > Azure AD Conditional Access > New Policy.
Create a new policy and name it (e.g., Require MFA).
Select users and groups for whom you want to enforce MFA.
Choose the applications to be covered by the policy.
Set the policy to require MFA and enable it.
Conditional Access policies allow you to tailor security settings based on user roles, locations, and devices.

3. Per-User MFA

If you prefer to enable MFA for specific users, you can do so through the Microsoft 365 admin center.

Go to Users > Active users.
Select Multi-factor authentication.
Choose the users and set their MFA status to Enabled.

4. Setting Up the Microsoft Authenticator App

For users to start using MFA, they need to set up the Microsoft Authenticator app on their mobile devices.

Download and install the Microsoft Authenticator app from the app store.
Sign in to Microsoft 365 and follow the prompts to set up MFA.
Click Work or School to use 365 for business.
Scan the QR code with the Authenticator app.
Approve the sign-in request from your mobile device.
Benefits of MFA for Your Business
Improved Security Posture
MFA protects against various cyber threats, including phishing attacks and credential theft. By requiring multiple forms of verification, it becomes much harder for attackers to gain access.

With business-wide deployed MFA, employees can use stronger, more complex passwords without worrying about forgetting them, as the additional verification steps offer a safety net. Implementing this essential layer of defence helps your business comply with industry regulations and builds trust with clients by demonstrating a commitment to data security. While MFA adds an extra step to the login process, options like biometric authentication and push notifications can streamline the experience and make an initial bother a breeze going forward.

If you need help interpreting the jargon, deploying MFA in your business or anything else that’s clouding your IT progress, Clearsky is ready to support.

You might also find this helpful: What is MFA and Who Needs It?

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