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Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

What is Multi-factor Authentication?

Multi-factor Authentication or "MFA" is a method of adding enhanced security to your campus Microsoft Office 365 account which provides access to several services including email, OneDrive, Canvas, Zoom and Teams. Normally you only have to supply a username and password to login to your account. However, MFA adds a second layer of security by requiring you to acknowledge the login attempt using a mobile device, which is something that is in your possession. You’ve probably seen this in the form of a code sent to your cell phone which you must provide for authentication in addition to your username and password.

Why is MFA Important?

Cybercrime is a serious risk to the security, privacy, reputation and operation of the university. Almost every week, you can read about an institution or business whose systems have been compromised and whose data has been stolen through hacked accounts. Due to the increased success of phishing attacks on campus, strong passwords and network security isn’t enough to mitigate these threats. Multi-factor Authentication has become a required security control to help protect university resources. If your credentials are stolen, hackers cannot use them without the additional authentication MFA provides. In addition, by turning on MFA, you will get a notification if someone attempts to login using your account credentials.

MFA is no longer just an optional security control, but is considered a requirement for securing systems and data. When the campus works with external vendors and contractors, MFA is many times a requirement to obtain services and the campus no longer considers software solutions that do not include MFA capabilities.

Setting up MFA

Once MFA is established, when you login to access your campus account from off-campus, you must provide your username and password and you must also approve the login using the Microsoft Authenticator App on your mobile device or by providing a code sent to your cell phone. Using the Microsoft Authenticator App is preferred and more secure.

Note: Should you decide to use the Microsoft Authenticator App on your mobile device, you must first download the app before configuring your MFA settings.

Follow these steps to configure your MFA settings.

  1. Navigate to
  2. Sign-in to your Office 356 account
  3. Click the circle icon in the upper right-hand corner
  4. Select View Account
  5. On the left-hand side, click Security Info
  6. Click + Add Method
  7. Select one of the four methods to add and follow the on-screen prompts
  1. Navigate to
  2. Sign-in to your Office 356 account
  3. Click Next to add additional information to secure your account
  4. Select one of the four methods to add and follow the on-screen prompts

We also have a document that will walk you through the setup in greater detail.

If you have any questions, contact the IT Help Desk at (573) 651-4357 or via email at


IT Help Desk

(573) 651-4357
Memorial Hall 107

IT Office

(573) 651-2217
One University Plaza
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701