What is Multi-Factor Authentication?
Multi-Factor Authentication is a security technology that helps protect your Middlebury account from potential compromise. Multi-Factor Authentication complements your password, "something you know", with "something you have", like your phone or mobile device.
How does Multi-Factor Authentication work?
Middlebury's implementation of MFA has been thoughtfully designed to effectively protect your account without being inconvenient.
It works like this: You start by authenticating against the service you wish to access with your Middlebury email address and password. You are then prompted for a second form of authentication, such as a text or voice message that is sent to your phone, or a verification code generated by a mobile application on your mobile device.
- If you are connecting to a service from within Middlebury or Monterey networks, you will not be prompted for Multi-Factor Authentication. Virtually all of the account compromises that have occurred in the last year have been from outside our networks.
- You can choose to have Middlebury’s Multi-Factor Authentication service “remember your device” for 30 days following an Multi-Factor Authentication verification. With this setting enabled, you won’t be prompted for Multi-Factor Authentication every single time you try to sign-in from the same device, regardless of the network you might be using.
Why do I need Multi-Factor Authentication?
Account compromises have increased significantly during the past year and Multi-Factor Authentication provides a very effective solution for preventing unauthorized access.
Multi-Factor Authentication helps keep your Middlebury account protected against online criminals who would use your account to launch cyber attacks from Middlebury’s technology services and/or steal sensitive and confidential information.
How do I prepare for Multi-Factor Authentication?
Use the following tips to help ensure that your Multi-Factor Authentication setup goes smoothly.
Tip #1: Upgrade to Office 2016
If you haven’t already, please upgrade to Microsoft Office 2016 on your Windows or Mac computer. Middlebury’s Multi-Factor Authentication solution does not work with Office 2010. Microsoft Office 2016 currently provides the most seamless Multi-Factor Authentication experience and brings improved security and functionality to the Microsoft Office applications that you use every day.
To upgrade to Office 2016 on a personally-owned computer, please visit Middlebury's Office 365 portal.
Tip #2: Install the Microsoft Authenticator app on your smartphone
Consider installing the official Microsoft Authenticator app on your smartphone. The Authenticator app is not required, but it is very easy to configure and use, and it is the recommended alternative to SMS text-based authentication.
- Microsoft Authenticator on the Apple App Store
- Microsoft Authenticator on the Google Play store
- Microsoft Authenticator on the Microsoft store
No smartphone? You can still use Multi-Factor Authentication. Contact Middlebury Information Security for help getting setup.
Tip #3: Install the Microsoft Outlook app on your mobile device(s)
Consider installing the official Microsoft Outlook app on your smartphone and tablet. The Outlook app includes built-in support for Multi-Factor Authentication. The Outlook app does not require “app passwords”, which will save you a few steps setting up Multi-Factor Authentication. The Outlook mobile app also provides remote access to Middlebury’s directory, a handy capability, particularly when you are on the road and need to lookup someone’s contact information.
How do I sign up for Multi-Factor Authentication?
If you would like to sign up for Multi-Factor Authentication, please submit a Web Help Desk ticket requesting that Multi-Factor Authentication be enabled for your account (Request Type: Information Security/Multi-Factor Authentication) or simply visit: http://go.middlebury.edu/getmfa.
How do I set up Multi-Factor Authentication?
Upon completion of your Multi-Factor Authentication sign-up request, you will receive a “Middlebury Multi-Factor Authentication Enrollment” email. The enrollment email will include a link to Microsoft’s Multi-Factor Authentication Setup page. Follow the instructions included in the link to enable Multi-Factor Authentication for your account.
- Please note that any device that you wish to configure to use MFA must have a working network connection at the time of setup.
- By clicking the "Set it up now" button, you are activating Multi-Factor Authentication and you must complete the setup process or you may be unable to access your account, including your email.
What are the Multi-Factor Authentication verification options?
There are several different options for completing Multi-Factor Authentication verification. Choose the one that makes the most sense for your situation and follow the on-screen instructions.
Please note that the Microsoft Authenticator app is the recommended choice for Multi-Factor Authentication verification. You install this app on your mobile device. The Microsoft Authenticator App offers two verification methods, “Notify me through app” and “Use verification code from app”.
Notify me through app
You enter your Middlebury email address and password at an online service’s login screen and then you receive a push notification to the Microsoft Authenticator app on your mobile device prompting you to “verify “or “deny” the authentication request.
Use verification code from app
You enter your Middlebury email address and password at an online service’s login screen and then you are prompted to enter the code displayed in the Microsoft Authenticator app.
Text code to my authentication phone
Another Multi-Factor Authentication verification option is to have the Multi-Factor Authentication service send a text message to your mobile phone after you enter your Middlebury email address and password at an online service’s login screen. You then enter the code displayed in the text message into the login screen, when prompted.
Call my authentication phone(s)
Yet another option for Multi-Factor Authentication verification is to have the Multi-Factor Authentication service place an automated call to either your primary or alternate telephone number after you enter your Middlebury email address and password at an online service’s login screen. To verify the authentication request, you simply press the # key.
- This option may be preferable for individuals with limited texting plans, no home computer or device, or those who may not have a mobile phone.
- The "Call my office phone" is not currently configured to work properly. Please choose another verification option.
- You may choose to configure your office phone as your "alternate" authentication phone.
What are App Passwords and when are they required?
Apple Mail, iOS Mail, Android E-mail, Thunderbird, and other email clients that do not have built-in support for multi-factor authentication require a special “App Password” to work with MFA.
This means that if you have enabled multi-factor authentication and you are are attempting to use a non-Microsoft email client, or another non-browser app, you will not be able to connect until you configure an App Password.
Once you have an app password, you use this in place of your regular Middlebury password with these 3rd-party email clients and non-browser apps.
For example, if you are using multi-factor authentication and the native iOS mail app on your iPhone, you can use an App Password so that it can bypass multi-factor authentication and continue to work.
To create an app password in our Office 365 portal*:
- Log on to the Office 365 portal or WebMail.
- In the top right corner select the widget and under Your App Settings choose Office 365.
- Click on Security & privacy on the left.
- Click on Additional security verification.
- In the expanded window, click Update my phone numbers used for account security.
- This will take you to the page that will allow you to change your settings.
- At the top, next to additional security verification, click on app passwords.
- Click Create.
- Enter a name for the app password and click Next.
- Enter the displayed app password into your account settings on your mobile device.
It is recommended that you use one App Password per device.
You will also need to make sure that the server name in your account settings is changed to outlook.office365.com and is no longer mail.middlebury.edu.
How do I use Multi-Factor Authentication?
Once you have completed Multi-Factor Authentication set up, here is what to expect.
When you sign in to a Multi-Factor Authentication protected online service (like webmail), from off-campus (or outside of the Middlebury networks), you will be prompted to verify the authentication request using the primary verification option that you selected during setup.
For example, if you chose the "Notify me through the app" option, you would enter your Middlebury email address and password at an online service’s login screen and then you would receive a notification from the Microsoft Authenticator app on your mobile device prompting you to “verify “or “deny” the authentication request.
Caution: Only approve verification requests that you have initiated! This is particularly relevant to the "Notify me through app" and "Call my authentication phone" verification options. Imagine that an online criminal has your password and is trying to access your account. Once Multi-Factor Authentication has been enabled for your account, this access attempt would generate an authentication verification request. If you approved this verification request, the criminal would be able to access your account. Remember, only approve verification requests that you have initiated.